Steve Jobs: The…

Steve Jobs: The New Age Techno Wizard
Nov/15/11 08:00 Filed in: Ecumenism
As the inventor of the personal computer, iTunes, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, as a mover/shaker in the Hollywood fantasy business (as owner of Pixar films and as a collaborator with Disney), and as a pioneer in the field of digital books, Steve Jobs had a massive influence on modern society.

Jobs represented the merger of New Age philosophy, the sexual revolution, the me generation, drugs, music, and technology.

According to his sister, Jobs’ last words were “Oh wow; oh wow; oh wow.” Many commentators have tried to figure out the meaning of these enigmatic words. They could have meant that he was merely high on pain killers or that he was having a glimpse into a beautiful afterlife or that he realized at the very end that he was going to give account to a holy God without benefit of the Saviour.

The Bible is the only book that allows us to look into the next life, and it plainly states that death is a journey and there are only two destinies, Heaven or Hell, the destiny being determined by one’s relationship with the only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus boldly testified, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The Bible says of Him, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
According to Jobs’ authoritative biography by Walter Isaacson, who had unprecedented access to the man, Jobs rejected the Bible in his youth. His parents took him to a Lutheran Church, but as a teenager he told the pastor that he didn’t want anything to do with a God who allowed innocent people to suffer and he never went back to church. (Though the vast majority of men have rejected the God of the Bible, they have the audacity to demand that God intervene in human affairs and act in accordance with human thinking.)

Jobs studied Eastern religion for the rest of his life. He studied Hinduism in India and with the Hare Krishnas in California and studied Buddhism with Shunryu Suzuki and others at California Zen centers.

Isaacson writes, “Jobs’s engagement with Eastern spirituality, and especially Zen Buddhism, was not just some passing fancy or youthful dabbling … it became deeply ingrained in his personality” (Isaacson, Steve Jobs, Simon & Schuster, 2011, p. 34). He read Paramahansa Yogananda’s The Autobiography of a Yogi once a year up until the time of his death (p. 527).

Jobs was powerfully influenced by hallucinogenic drugs. He said, “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life” and claimed that people who have not taken acid could never fully understand him (pp, 41, 384).

He developed a lifelong commitment to alternative New Agey diets and procedures, eating only fruits and vegetables, engaging in prolonged juice fasts, living for weeks on one or two types of food, practicing hydrotherapy, bowel cleansings, acupuncture, the “expression of all negative feelings” (he had engaged in scream therapy as a young man), and consulting with psychics. It is possible that his refusal to have his cancer operated on in a timely fashion and his commitment, instead, to “alternative therapies” resulted in his untimely death at age 56 (p. 454).

In all of this Jobs was a product of the 60s rock culture. “Vegetarianism and Zen Buddhism, meditation and spirituality, acid and rock–Jobs rolled together, in an amped-up way, the multiple impulses that were hallmarks of the enlightenment-seeking campus subculture of the era” (p. 36).

In turn, Jobs became an avid promoter of the rock culture with its anti-Bible philosophy and through his technological inventions he helped create the interconnected global society that is preparing the way for the antichrist. He was “at the nexus of the counterculture and technology” (p. 58). He embodied “the fusion of flower power and processor power, enlightenment and technology” (p. 56).

Timothy Leary, the 60s LSD guru, revised his philosophy after the invention of the personal computer (which Steve Jobs had a large role in creating). He said that personal computers had become the new LSD (p. 57). Instead of “Turn on, tune in, drop out,” his mantra became “Turn on, boot up, jack in.” This is precisely what the ensuing generations has done. Its mindless addiction to the pop culture is fed intravenously through 24/7 connectivity. Jobs designed the iPod specifically because he loved rock music, and rock music is the sound track for end-times apostasy and the mystery of iniquity.

Jobs acknowledged that he was carried along by unseen spiritual forces that were beyond human analysis. He trusted in “intuitive understanding and consciousness” (p. 35). He said that “the whole vision of a personal computer just popped into my head” (p. 60). “His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times magical” (p. 566).

From a biblical perspective, we know that this influence in a lost man’s life refers to the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).

Jobs’ immersion in Eastern philosophy deceived him into thinking that he could change reality through the power of his mind and will. It was called his “reality distortion field” and “magical thinking.” One of his friends said, “If he’s decided that something should happen, then he’s just going to make it happen” (p. 51). The phrase “reality distortion field” came from episodes of Star Trek, “in which the aliens create their own new world through sheer mental force” (p. 117).

As for his view of God Jobs said, “I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery” (Isaacson, Steve Jobs, p. 15). Soon before he died he said, “I’m about fifty-fifty on believing in God. … I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures. But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch. Click! And you’re gone” (p. 570).

Jobs’ spirituality didn’t produce good character. He was “an enlightened being who was cruel” (Isaacson, Steve Jobs, p. 32). He was “always temperamental and bratty” (p. 81), “tyrannical and sharp in his criticism” (p. 81), “the opposite of loyal” (p. 103). He “tended to lie” (p. 118). He believed himself to be some sort of Nietzsche “superman” to whom “rules didn’t apply” (p. 184). He was “completely obnoxious and thought he could get away with anything” (p. 184). He had a “perverse eagerness to put people down, humiliate them” (p. 223), was vindictive and “held grudges, sometimes passionately” (p. 299).

Born six years before Jobs, I was swept along by the same powerful cultural/spiritual forces in the 60s and early 70s. I followed Eastern religion, loved The Autobiography of a Yogi, and took a lot of acid. I understand Steve Jobs and his times, and I thank the Lord for His mercy in lifting the spiritual blindness from my eyes and liberating me from bondage to the god of this world and granting me eternal freedom in Jesus Christ.

Advertisements
Aside | Posted on by | Leave a comment

The Bible’s Historical Background
by Steve Elwart

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

2 Timothy 3:16

While one can quickly get bogged down in the minutiae of the origins of the Bible, it is important to re-member that however the Scriptures were handed down to us, they were (and are) the inspired Word of God.

Studying the Bible is a treasure hunt. The more you learn about the Bible, the more you will come to appreciate the elegance, the structure, and the relation-ships between the passages.

Oral Tradition

Students of the New Testament often encounter references to Mishnah, Talmud, Halakah, and other unfamiliar terms describing documents relating to Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament. There is an old tradition among the rabbis that first began the process of disseminating the Law by explaining its meaning. Jewish scribes were also believed to pass along this body of knowledge through oral teaching. These teachings are called Halakah. Over time, the Halakah was organized according to subject and was gathered into a body of knowledge that was known as the Mishnah, from the Hebrew word mišnâ meaning to “repeat” or “study.”

(A student would recite the material to be learned over and over again, until he had committed the in-formation to memory.)

The Mishnah was written down by the end of the second century B.C., under the guidance of Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi, often referred to as “the Patriarch” or “the Prince.” All through the Talmud are phrases such as “R. Judah says” and “The words of R. Judah.” Later, another group of Rabbis created a commentary on the Mishnah called the Gemara or “completion.” During the fifth and sixth centuries, the Mishnah and the Gemara were combined into the Talmud, meaning “instruction.” There are two versions, the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. The Babylonian Talmud is about four times as long as the Jerusalem Talmud and is generally referred to when one speaks of “the Talmud.”

Even though these writings were originally passed down orally for generations, these oral traditions should not be considered inferior to the written word. The preaching of Christ and the Apostles were oral be-fore they were written down. From Adam to Moses there appears to be little known written Word of God, yet God’s Word was passed down orally for generations.

Jesus taught His disciples by His Words and His actions. His teachings were later written down. The writ-ten tradition then took precedence over the oral. There is a school of thought that believes Matthew may have actually written down some of Christ teachings as He spoke. Matthew was a tax collector and as such would know shorthand. The fact that shorthand was used during that time was confirmed by the fact that in 63 B.C. Marcus Tullius Tiro, a friend of Cicero, had invented a system of shorthand that was widely taught in the schools of the empire. It was used by the notarii (notaries) in the Roman Senate to take down the speeches of the orators. The Greeks also used short-hand for commerce and government.

Written Traditions

In John 14:26, Jesus Himself said that the Holy Spirit would help transition the oral traditions into written ones. Such was a process that had been going on for generations.

… because no prophecy ever originated through a human decision. Instead, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:21

There have been skeptics that believed that Moses could not have written the Torah (c. 1,500 B.C.) because writing was unknown at that time. However modern archeology has given lie to these claims. The Sumerians were adept at writing in about 4000 B.C., and the Egyptians and Babylonians almost as far back in history. More importantly, the Holy Spirit Himself confirmed that Moses could write.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.

Exodus 34:27 (emphasis added)

Ancient Writing Materials

Stone – Stone was used as a writing medium in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Palestine, as is evidenced by the Code of Hammurabi,1 the Rosetta Stone,2 and the Moabite Stone.3 God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written on tables of stone (Exodus 31:18, also Exodus 34:1, 28). During the time of the Book of Job, (2,100 – 1,600 B.C.) writing was done on both stone and scrolls (Job 19:23–24).

Clay – This was the primary writing surface in the Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian empires and is mentioned in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 4:1). The wet clay was formed into small tablets and wedge-shaped symbols called cuneiform were pressed into the clay, and then dried in an oven or in the sun. Cuneiform became the universal writing style on clay because the medium was only suitable for the straight line form of writing. The rounded, Aramaic form of Hebrew writing did not lend itself well to that media. Thousands of these tab-lets have been uncovered by the archaeologists. Wood – Wooden tablets were used quite extensively by the ancients for writing purposes. The tablets were covered with stucco or wax, which was used as the writing surface. For centuries, this was the writing medium in Greece. A New Testament example is in Luke:

He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And everyone was amazed.

Luke 1:63

Leather (cowhide) – The Jewish Talmud specifically required that the Scriptures used in public worship should be copied on the skins of animals that were “clean”; in other words, on leather. The scrolls were made by sewing the skins together in lengths ranging from a few feet to one hundred feet or more. The width of the scroll was eighteen to twenty-seven inches high and was rolled onto one or two sticks.

(The Dead Sea Scrolls are made from leather sewn together with linen thread.)

Papyrus – Papyrus was made from two layers of papyrus reeds set at right angles to each other, then pressed together to form a sheet.6 The sheets were made six to fifteen inches high and three to nine inches wide. They could be simply used as sheets or joined together to make a scroll up to thirty feet long, long enough to contain the longest epistle. Papyrus was easily obtained, relatively inexpensive, and durable. The New Testament was mostly written on papyrus since it was the most commonly available material for its time.

Since papyrus was a plant material, it is not very durable and did not endure well in damp climates. However in the desert climes of the Middle East, they were better preserved. Some papyrus rolls dating back to the 4th century B.C. are still in existence. Almost 70 papyrus documents containing parts of the New Testament have been found in Egypt, varying from small scraps like the Rylands Papyrus7 (five verses of the Gospel of John), to the Chester Beatty Papyrus II (consisting of 86 almost perfectly preserved pages containing almost all the epistles of Paul.

Vellum (calfskin) or Parchment (lambskin) – Today, the terms “vellum” and “parchment” are used inter-changeably, however, originally, vellum was made from the skins of calves and antelopes, while parchment was made from the skin of sheep and goats. All four types of skins produced a quality writing media that was pre-pared for writing on both sides. Vellum and parchment came into prominence in the second century B.C., eventually replacing papyrus as the preferred media around 300 A.D.

Most of the early copies of the New Testament were written on vellum in a writing style called uncial writing. This was a style of writing that was used until the 10th century A.D. when it was replaced by a more cursive script called minuscule writing. Later, the leather pages were bound together into books or “codices.” Over 350 of these codices still exist today, the most important of them being: Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus. Handwritten texts written on vellum were used as copies of the Bible until the invention of printing, circa 1450. Paper – Early paper, made from wood, rags and grasses began to replace vellum and parchment as early as 900 A.D. in Europe. By the 1400s paper was widely used.

Metal – Metal was infrequently used as a writing media, especially if the information contained on it was especially important or needed to be preserved for a long period of time. The most well-known example of metal being used as a writing medium is “The Copper Scroll” found in Cave 3 at Qumran as part of the Dead Sea Scroll collection. The fact that the scroll is made of copper would tend to indicate that it is an artifact that needs considerable study.8

Validity of the Texts

Almost from the time that the original texts were written, there has been a debate over the accuracy or even the validity of the texts. Second Thessalonians is assumed to be a Pauline letter written in response to a forgery hence, some call the epistle “Third Thessalonians.”

The current Biblical texts represent the compilation of thousands of manuscripts (in whole and fragments) in either scroll or codex form. Before the invention of the printing press, the copying of the Testaments was done by hand by people known as scribes, professionals who had a rigid set of rules to assure the text they were reproducing was accurate. During the time of Christ, the Torah had already been copied for more than 1400 years. Yet during that time, on average the scribes had an error rate of less than one out of every 1,580 letters; these errors were usually corrected when new copies were made. Most of these errors consist of spelling mistakes. Sometimes a word form was changed so that it would grammatically agree with the rest of the sentence.

The Printing Press

It is generally thought that Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. In fact, printing had existed over a millennium before. Wood blocks were carved into entire pages containing images and text. These wood blocks were then inked and pressed on cloth and later paper. Samples of this technique from China and Egypt date back to the third century A.D. The technique is still used today.

What made Gutenberg’s invention revolutionary was his 1452 invention of moveable type for a printing press. Instead of carving out an entire page of a Bible onto a wood block, individual pieces of wood, each with a single letter carved on it, was placed in a wooden frame and placed in a printing press. Multiple copies of the page were made, then the wooden frame would be broken down and the type reused. This method was much faster that the wood block method and made possible the mass production of Bibles, devotional material, and pamphlets. Gutenberg’s invention also aided the spread of the Protestant Reformation in ways never before imagined.

About 180 copies of Gutenberg’s Bible were copied in Latin from a copy of the Vulgate translation of the Bible between 1453 and 1456. Of these Bibles, only about 50 copies are known to survive. Sixty years after the invention of moveable type, about the time Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses,” two dozen printing centers had cropped up around Europe. Within a month of Luther posting the theses, authorized (and unauthorized) copies of his 95 Theses had flooded Europe.

Modern Communication

Communication methods and media did not change substantially until the 20th century and the advent of contemporary media. Beginning with radio, Christian communication has expanded into every conceivable media. Within the last ten to twenty years, the ways of disseminating God’s Word has exploded. There are websites, mp3 audio files, mp4 video files, podcasts, streaming video, RSS feeds, Facebook® interest pages, Twitter® “tweets,” the list goes on. The greatest challenge for the Christian community of today is to understand, evaluate and eventually embrace the varied technologies available to the contemporary world.

Originally published in the November 2011 Personal Update
Notes:1 The Code of Hammurabi is a wellpreserved Babylonian law code, dating to ca. 1700 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world.
2. The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion a more modern Egyptian demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
3. The Moabite Stone is a black basalt stone bearing an inscription by the 9th century BC ruler Mesha of Moab in Jordan. The inscription was set up about 840 BC as a memorial of Mesha’s victories over “Omri king of Israel” and his son, who had been oppressing Moab. It is the most extensive inscription ever recovered that refers to ancient Israel (the “House of Omri”). It bears what is generally thought to be the earliest extra-biblical Semitic reference to the name Yahweh (YHWH).
4. chaqaq /khaw·kak.
5. πινακίδιον, πινα-κίς [pinakidion/pin·ak·id·ee·on/].
6. The inner pith of the papyrus plant was called byblos. From this comes the Greek word biblion (“book”) and the English word “bible.” The word “paper” is derived from “papyrus.”
7. The Rylands Papyri are a collection of thousands of papyrus fragments and documents from North Africa and Greece housed at the John Rylands University Library, Manchester, UK. The collection includes what i s known as the St John’s fragment, generally accepted as the earliest extant record of any gospel.
8. VanderKam, James
C. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Grand Rapids, MI Eerdmans,1994.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

chrislam is wicked paganism

Chrislam – the Bottom of the Slide

While Terry Jones wanted to burn the Qur’an there are pastors that want to read the Qur’an in church to their congregations. In response to a local Qur’an burning, Larry Reimer, a minister of the United Church of Gainesville, decided to read Scripture from the Qur’an as part of worship services on September 12, 2010, prodded further about religious relatives. “Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all part of the Abrahamic tree of faith. We all believe in the same God, and in many aspects we are all trying to accomplish the same goals.”
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2584630/posts

Islam recital in Methodist church http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybSAinBMb_g

This GROWING TREND is a natural slide to the bottom for common ground to have a peaceful coexistence. There is a movement saying that other religions are as valid as “Christianity.” Unfortunately the way Christianity is practiced today, there may be some truth to this. But if one were to go by the Bible and live Christianity the way it was originally taught, it becomes as different as night and day (Christianity being the day.

Chrislam is an interfaith movement that is a dialogue with Islam – a syncretistic movement that speaks about “spirituality without boundaries.” These churches, softening John 14:6, are opening the door to allow the conversion of their people. Because to them it matters not what you are anymore. For the most part, the majority of these churches are already removed from the faith, so this is expected in the days we live in.

It was Robert Schuller, pastor of Crystal Cathedral, that began this process by housing the offices for “Christians and Muslims for Peace.” Schuller had told an Imam of the Muslim American Society that “if he came back in 100 years and found his descendants Muslims, it wouldn’t bother him….” (The Berean Call (April 1998), -What’s Happening to the Faith? by Dave Hunt ). That should bother any authentic Christian, but not those who espouse the “new Christianity” of our modern times.

The assumption is that Christians and Muslims all worship the same God; they, along with the Jews, are all faiths from Abraham. This is something we have steadily warned about for years. When you see people make the name Allah acceptable, that it is suitable for a Christian to pray in his name because it is the same God, or that Muslim converts can continue to go into their Mosques and pray and worship as if nothing happened to them, this is leading Christians toward accepting the Qur’an as equal in inspiration as the Bible (both Old and New Testament) when it contradicts it more than it agrees.

Consider the story of Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, an Episcopal priest for about 21 years, who says, “I am both Muslim and Christian” On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest. On Fridays, she ties on a black headscarf to pray with her Muslim group. She says both Islam and Christianity are compatible at the most basic level.

Are they? Can one be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time? Islam’s Jesus is not divine in the Qur’an; Jesus is not the only-begotten Son of God, nor the Messiah, God in human flesh; He did not die on the cross for our sins; He did not resurrect. Islam denies the gospel of Christianity – the core reason Jesus came to earth for. This is what these churches want to make peace with!

We have no commonality with Islam. The Bible says, “For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness. This movement is apostasy in action, and we can expect more of this type of compromise.
A few years ago, 138 Muslim scholars and clerics sent an open letter to leaders of Christian churches, titled “A Common Word Between Us and You.” Many of America’s top Christian leaders and known scholars signed in support to find commonality between the religions, ignorant that it contained a rebuke and an Islamic warning.

Now we have Chrislam, which blends the minimalist parts of Christ with Islam, with the intention of making them as equal faiths. In some churches, the Qur’an is placed in the pews next to the Bible; all of this is promoted under “loving your neighbor,” which was part of this open letter that the unwary undiscerning Christians signed to have peace.

This is part of a Jihad: to expose those who normally would not be interested in the Islamic religion, (of course it will be all the peace quotes). Muslims certainly know how to take advantage of this new openness to convert the kafirs to Islam. Islam condemns the belief in the divinity of Jesus as shirk, so to an authentic Christian –born of the Sprit of God there is no debate in this matter.

But to others who name themselves as Christians but care little of Jesus as the truth, they want a peaceful coexistence with those that demean their religion.
The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. along with 50 churches in 26 states have already joined the effort, As MORE THAN FIFTY CHURCHES AGREE TO HOLD QUR’AN READINGS “Faith Shared is a project of Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First.”

My immediate reaction to the first line… is it faith SHARED?
Christian clergy at churches across the country hosted readings from the Qur’an and other sacred religious texts as they welcomed their Muslim and Jewish colleagues on Sunday, June 26, 2011. Their purpose was to counter the Anti-Muslim bigotry. On the website sponsoring this (faithshared.org): “Tensions around Islam in America have erupted throughout the country in the past year, leading to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases violence.”

I have to disagree with their premise. Bigotry is part of Islam, as they have no allowance for other religions, even those they call “people of the book.” Tensions and violence have come from Islam itself, not just in our country but all over the world. This becomes enigmatic when you are including the Jews of whom Islam has an open war with and the religious leaders in their most religious lands vow to eliminate. Are people deaf and blind to what is taking place? Leave it to those who accept everything to ignore the obvious. Liberal thinking rules over all logic and common sense.

So we need to ask: What would Jesus do? We know he NEVER once read or quoted from another religion of his day to promote his teaching. He instructed and rebuked when necessary those of his own religion that spoke incorrectly. Which certainly would be applicable in this case with those who profess to be his followers, who apply his name to themselves and call themselves a church.

Stahnke, director of policy and programs for Human Rights First, stated, “We want to send a message to the world,” he said, “that Americans do respect religious differences and reject religious bigotry and the demonization of Islam or any other religion.”

If I may make sense of his false argument by allowing reality to intrude … America has always allowed all kinds of religions to worship in our country, including Islam. It is the Islamic countries that do not allow the other religions to freely worship. They have no integration in their lands or culture, and they certainly do not allow any integration with their religion.

We have a conundrum; they are the ones who are intolerant; they have bigotry thriving; but it is implied that we are the bigots and haters because we quote their own sermons and measure their actions.

Are we to intentionally put aside hundreds of statements like this to show we are not bigots?
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah ’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,’ and whoever says, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,’ his life and property will be saved by me except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with Allah, (either to punish him or to forgive him.)” (Bukhari, Hadith, Vol. 4, Book 52, 196)

It’s not whether we respect them, but do they respect us, or others? Do we see Islam asking for rights of other religions in their own land? Of course not. In fact, in most Islamic countries other religions are OUTLAWED. Once they live by Sharia law it becomes difficult for them to allow anything that is contrary. Let’s not overlook the obvious, which would be the things right in front of your nose in plain view (called the news). Of all the compromises made these days, this has got to be the most asinine, irrational, and ignorant.

We have freedom to worship any way we want in America. Go try to have the same freedom, or promote your interfaith in one of the countries that have Islam as the state religion. This is why the whole matter is self-defeating and an exercise in futility.

The fact is, the only religion that is being used for violence is Islam, so we must ask why? Why are the majority of terrorists throughout the world Muslim? It’s because of the Qur’an, not their ethnicity; it is their religion that can affect their person and culture.

The idea of appeasement may exhibit tolerance to Islam, but it exhibits disloyalty to Christ. It is these people who call themselves a church that are not going to stand up against the tide of persecution. You can’t uphold what you don’t know. They will probably convert, since they are halfway there already. They are Christian in name only because they will not stand up for Christ or his gospel. This shows who the head of their church is. For the Lord is not consulted, they have abandoned the head of the body for spiritual correctness and the way of the world.

This supposedly includes reaching out to the Jews. They want to read from each other’s “sacred texts.” Do we expect the Hebrew or Christian Scripture to be read or spoken well in the Mosques? Is it too much to ask to see them do the same for Israel that they do for Islam and stand up for their right to exist and practice their religion not only in their homeland but in Muslim lands.

The Berean Call: Even Atheists on occasion recognize that the real threat to them is not biblical Christianity, but Islam. Consider the comments below, prompted by an article from the Religion News Service printed in the Salt Lake Tribune.
“More than 50 Churches Agree to Hold Koran Readings!!”

In the past I have stated I am not religious, but my goal is to help educate and unite Atheists and members of non-Islamic religions against a common enemy. That enemy is Islam. The good news is that our voice against Islam is clearly getting louder, the bad news is that far too many Americans who identify themselves as “Christians” are taking the easy way out and bowing down to Islam, in an effort to avoid a conflict that has been raging for 1400 years.

Muslim Hadith Book 019, Number 4366: “It has been narrated by ‘Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.”
A conflict in which Christians are clearly losing!

[The author then quotes the article from the Salt Lake Tribune.] Pulpit pals: Christians, Jews, Muslims plan shared worship “Religious and human rights activists are asking U.S. churches to invite Jewish and Muslim clergy to their sanctuaries to read from sacred texts next month in an initiative designed to counter anti-Muslim bigotry.

The June 26 initiative, called “Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding,” is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First. Leaders of the two Washington-based groups said the event hopes to demonstrate respect for Islam in the wake of Quran burnings in recent months….
(Adelle Banks, “Pulpit pals: Christians, Jews, Muslims plan shared worship,” Religion News Service, May 17 2011).

There are some trying to respect a religion that considers itself superior to all religions and challenges the Bible on nearly everything it says, giving untrue alternate stories.

Agenzia Fides (the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies) Continental News reports an increase in rape and forced marriage to convert to Islam of Christian and Hindu girls in Pakistan, a Muslim nation. This has been taking place at a larger scale in Africa. This is what Islam allows with Sharia law? We see no repercussions for this from Islam. Is this what they want us to respect?

Modern History of the Chrislam Movement

Nigeria, like many other African countries, has been experiencing increased violence between Muslims and Christians; the answer came religiously not politically.

The most popular Chrislam movement in Lagos, Nigeria at present is called Oke Tude: Mountain of Loosing Bondage. The older Chrislam movement is called Ifeoluwa: The Will of God Mission.

Oke Tude was founded in 1999 by a Muslim man calling himself Prophet Dr. Samsindeen Saka who was born in a Muslim family. He believed in Allah and went on a pilgrimage to Mecca four times. “During Saka’s second hajj in 1990, he received a divine call by Allah, telling him that he had to unite Christians and Muslims by enlightening them that they are serving the same God, but in different ways:

“The vision to bring mutual understanding between Muslims and Christians was revealed to me by Almighty God, when I rested near the Ka‘aba. In a dream God showed me pictures of religious intolerance in Nigeria, and He assigned me to bridge the misunderstanding between the two religions, to stop the killings. Initially, I didn’t understand the dream. On New Year’s Eve I called several Muslim scholars to my house. They prayed and afterwards fell asleep. It turned out that they all had the same dream: in their dream they saw me bringing together Christians and Muslims. This is how it started.” (Chrislam: Forging Ties in a Multi-Religious Society)

As far back as January 26, 2006, Christian Science Monitor did an article on this movement stating:

“Pastor Saka explains that his father was an herbalist and that both Muslims and Christians would come to him for healing. Although he grew up Muslim, and has been to Mecca on pilgrimage several times, he couldn’t comprehend Nigeria’s sectarian strife. He now considers himself a Christian, ‘but that doesn’t mean Islam is bad.’ Quite the opposite. Next to his mosque is a televangelist’s dream – an auditorium with 1,500 seats, banks of speakers, a live band, and klieg lights. On Sundays the choir switches easily between Muslim and Christian songs, and Pastor Saka preaches from both the Bible and the Koran. His sermons are often broadcast on local TV.” (In Africa, Islam and Christianity are growing – and blending)

Think about what is being said. That God (Allah) told him that he is the same God of both religions and to stop the killing (which was from the Muslims initially). This new revelation from a Muslim started this new synthetic blend that has become the answer for their conflicts.
This is what is being termed “Muslim-Christian coexistence” to accept the premise and practice of the coexistence movement you must depart from faith in Jesus Christ and what He said in the word of God. These religions are not to be united but to stay separated. Clearly, we have prior examples for us today: “They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them”(Jeremiah 11:10). Islam believes Christianity has another God but will feign being of a kindred source when it is advantageous to them.
See: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/february-13-2009/chrislam/2236/

The Modern Chrislam movement in Lebanon
The main Chrislam organization on the web has a minimal amount of content. On its home page, it has a quote by Malcom X. This organization is more about dialogue and recognition of equality with the Abrahamic religions. But it does have some interesting points made in its agenda. We are told that “The members of the Committee are de facto members of the Arab Group for Islamic-Christian Dialogue, affiliated to the Middle East Council of Churches. Some are founding members of this Group.”

It appears there are two main people involved; Emir Hares Chakib Chehab and Mr. Mohammad As- Sammak. Emir Hares Chakib Chehab is the General Secretary of the Committee. Emeritus President of the Maronite League. Emeritus President of the Union of Christian Leagues in Lebanon. Maronite Syriac Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome.
Emirs Chehab, jurist and lawyer, is a consultant in the field of public relations and the owner of the Arab News Agency, which he founded after leaving his key position in the Ministry of Information.

According to the Maronite Syriac Church, they believe in the human nature of Jesus Christ and the reality of the incarnation of the Son of God for our Salvation; they hold to the divinity of Christ. So how this can be reconciled with Islam that calls this blasphemy is perplexing.

Mr. Mohammad As – Sammak is listed as no.101 on the common word website. Sammaka Political scientist – Secretary General of the Islamic Spiritual Summit in Lebanon member in the National Lebanese Unesco Committee, Editor in Chief of the review Al-Ijtihad and writes in several other newspapers. He represents Dar Al-Fatwa on the Committee, which is a Sunni council upholding Sharia law.

Dar al-Fatwa has commissioned lawyers to prepare a lawsuit against Aoun leader of the Free Patriotic Movement who has taken “stances hostile to Islam and Arabism since he began interacting with public affairs.” They accuse him of inciting tensions among sects in Lebanon and of defamation against the Sunni sect:

http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=274837#ixzz1PYadEL7x

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/7018-dar-al-fatwa-to-sue-aoun-for-inciting-strife-advises-him-to-treat-himself

Dr. Jean Salmanian is the Chancellor of the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon, representing the Armenian Orthodox Church.

Mr. Camille Menassa is Director of “L’Orient- le Jour,” newspaper and CEO of the publishing house “L’Orient-le Jour.” He is a professor at Saint-Joseph University, Vice-President of the Arab World Cultural Council. He represents the Greek Catholic Partriachate of Antioch and all the East.

Judge Abbas Selim El-Halabi- Jurist and judge as a background, he is member of the Permanent Secretariat of the Islamic Spiritual Summit and in charge of the key responsibilities in the Druze Community who appointed him as her representative to the Vatican Synod for Lebanon in 1995.
He represents the Druze House of the Community on the Committee

Mr. Michel Elias Abs is Professor at Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, he is the former Chairman of Department and Sociology and Anthropology. He is the former Director of the Lebanon Emergency and Development Program of the Middle East Council of Churches. He represents the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East.

Dr. Ali El-Hassan is the founder of “The Lebanese- German Friendship Society” in Germany, the founder and chairman of “The Graduates of German Speaking Universities” in Lebanon, the Vice-President of the “5th of June society” and a Co-founder of “AMAL Organization,” Dr. El-Hassan was a close associate to Imam Moussa El-Sader in his various political and social endeavors. He represents the Chiite Islamic Supreme Council on the Committee.
See also: chrislam.org website : http://www.chrislam.org/actions.html

[Moussa El-Sader was a Lebanese Shiite religious and political leader who came from Iran to Lebanon. He founded the Amal Movement the “Brigades of the Lebanese Resistance,” the military wing of the movement of the Deprived, which fought alongside the Lebanese National Movement and the Palestinian Resistance.
Lebanon has a real potpourri of political parties at work. Progressive Socialist Party, Socialist Arab Union Lebanese Communist, Party Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Christian Democratic Party, Hezbolla, Islamic Gathering Movement, Islamic Jihad Movement, Union of Muslim Ulama, Free Patriotic Movement, Democratic Secular Party, Arab Democratic Party. Many other parties take part in politics and the landscape is constantly changing as new parties spring up and others become defunct.
On the Chrislam site: Under the link “actions” Islamic-Christian National Dialogue Committee- Unified Working Paper, The Islamic-Christian National Dialogue Committee

“On the basis of the fundamental principles on which the Lebanese are agreed, as enshrined in the Document of National Entente (1989), and which affirm the commitment to Lebanon as the definitive country of all its people in its internationally recognized borders, with its Arab identity and membership of the Arab world;

“As an ample human terrain for freedom and dialogue between the followers of the divinely revealed religions, a land of life shared in common between Christians and Muslims, in which the aspirations and goodwill of all Lebanese come together and interact to build their state and political entity on the basis of a free republican, parliamentary, democratic system, under the protection of complete equality in rights and duties between all the people of one single country;
A state committed to the principle of freedom of religion, thought and information, as well as economic freedom, without monopoly and anarchy.” (underline mine)

What they call Chrislamogy is coming from Lebanon. The Lebanese population consists of 28 percent Sunni Muslim, 28 percent Shi’a Muslim, 5 percent Druze, 22 percent Maronite Christian, 8 percent Greek Orthodox, and 4 percent Greek Catholic. There are also very small numbers of Jews, Bahai’s, and Hindus.

On the site: 4-Christian-Muslim Dialogue

“The coexistence between all denominations of Muslims and Christians is Lebanon’s greatest value. It is Lebanon’s mission to the world, in that it is a pattern of life, as well as a relationship of constant dialogue between the Christian and Islamic worlds, a link of continuity to enrich the values imprinted on human character by these two divinely revealed messages. To safeguard this formula of civilization and emphasize its credibility are therefore both a Lebanese and a human responsibility. However, since the struggle of power is usually exercised in a way that harms this formula, the establishment of a balanced political system constitutes a bulwark to protect this formula from any evil exploitation.
“National fraternization between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon is not merely a commitment dictated by the essentials of coexistence or a necessity for avoiding sectarian strife, but also a destiny, a choice, and a noble human task which makes Lebanon have a world mission. For this purpose, we have to work to unify national oratory so that it transcends sectarian selfishness, rising to openness and the interest of one country, for all denominations and all Lebanese.

“This requires the establishment of a just and conscious national state, which will open up horizons for emerging national forces to participate in creating a better tomorrow, reassure citizens and encourage them to shift from the shadow of the sect to the protection of the state which is responsible for their security and stability, and for providing them with the essential elements of a life of freedom and dignity.”

We need to pay attention to these next statements:
“These include the necessary guarantees of work, education, medical treatment and other social guarantees. The return of all displaced persons to their villages and houses, and a halt to the exploitation of their agonies and sufferings, are considered an essential basis for strengthening the credibility of the state as the protector of all citizens.” (underline mine)

The coexistence movement is not only interfaith but has strong elements of communism. Those involved in Chrislam make Lebanon sound like a prototype for a new world model.

These concepts are lofty goals under the heading of “moving forward” to forge unity. Yet we need to have a better name for Chrislam – maybe Islam-ity, as it is part of the Islamization of Christianity in America.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When God Judges a Nation

When God Judges a Nation

By Gary Kah

Written the week of July 4, 2011
Posted on July 22, 2011

On the morning of June 25, I had a very disturbing and vivid dream. In this full-color dream I was standing on our driveway with close friends when I noticed the wind picking up. I looked up toward the sky to my left and saw a massive whirlwind descending from heaven. This tornado-like mass was brownish-gray with multi-colored dark clouds swirling in various directions all around it. It was an ominous, terrifying sight and invoked an instant sense of awe among those of us watching.

We were suddenly compelled to look toward the right. We were astonished at the sight of three more raging whirlwinds moving toward the ground. None of them had yet touched down, but they were moving lower and were about to strike. These whirlwinds were enormous and their intensity worse than anything I had ever seen. Aware of the approaching storm we began to scramble for cover. This is when I woke up.

I rarely remember my dreams, but this one was so real that it took me a while to recognize that I was actually lying in the safety of my own bed. It was around 4:30 in the morning, but I awakened my wife to share my dream with her. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t; so I finally got up, took my Bible and devotional book and went downstairs. I asked the Lord to show me if there was anything I was to understand from this dream.
Disasters occurring in America

A short while later I viewed the morning headlines on our television to see if anything of significance had happened overnight. CNN’s lead story reported that New York had just become the sixth state to sign same-sex marriage into law. The state’s Senate, a majority of which is Republican, approved the measure late on the previous day to the delight of the Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo. The news segment showed the New York Senate chamber erupting in loud applause from the balcony as spectators celebrated the outcome of the vote – one day before NYC’s annual Gay Pride parade.

The reporter covering the story explained that this new law does not require that homosexual couples be residents of New York in order to be married there. In other words, the floodgates have been opened. Homosexuals from anywhere in the country will now be able to travel to New York, get married, and then return to their home state claiming to be a legal couple – thereby challenging existing laws forbidding such unions in other states. This new law will do more to accelerate and legitimize immoral behavior than anything preceding it.

A majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage. Our citizens are increasingly throwing caution to the wind, doing whatever they please to gratify their selfish desires without regard for the consequences of their sins. In some parts of the country one-half of all babies are born out of wedlock. The use of pornography is pandemic and marriages are crumbling because of infidelity. These are just the “sex sins.” Never mind all the others – abortion, greed, gluttony, drug abuse, deception, murder, theft, self-centered pride, the pursuit of occult practices/demon spirits, outright hatred for God or the denial of His existence, to name just a few. Our nation, it seems, is racing toward sin rather than away from it. In spite of this reality, it remains fashionable and almost second-nature for us to say “God bless America.” But how can He?

Our President, who claims to be a Christian, stands opposed to the biblical position on many, if not most, of the moral and spiritual issues facing our nation. Americans were aware of where he stood on these issues and that he had the most liberal, anti-Christian voting record in the US Senate. Yet, enough people voted for him to make him President. Aren’t we getting what we deserve?

On the matter of Israel, our President is defying the Lord and is thereby putting the United States at risk. He is trying to carve up this tiny Jewish nation in a way that would make it indefensible against its enemies. He is currently applying enormous pressure on Israel’s leaders to finalize an agreement with the Palestinian Authority this fall. No nation has ever persecuted God’s chosen people without suffering the consequences of His judgment. Make no mistake, God will not be mocked!

Within the past few months nearly every part of the United States has experienced a major crisis. Most have been of epic proportions. From the massive fires in Arizona and New Mexico and extreme drought in areas of the South to unprecedented tornadoes and historic flooding in the nation’s heartland, old records are being shattered as quickly as the news can be reported. We are only halfway through the year and the hurricane season is just beginning. It seems as if the crises are getting progressively worse and affecting more and more people. Could a major hurricane, earthquake, or tsunami be next?

After several months of relentless disasters, we should be asking ourselves, “Is God sending a message?” But instead, “experts” are trying to blame the unusual ferocity of weather on climate change, which they claim is being brought on by man’s disregard for the environment. Some atheists/agnostics even go so far as saying that our intelligence agencies are behind these catastrophes. Although some manipulation of weather may be taking place (we know that the US, Russia, and several other countries are developing technology which can affect weather), it is completely over-the-top to suggest that all of these disasters are manmade. Carnal man is quick to offer any explanations detracting attention from God while putting the emphasis on man. I’m sure there are those who would even attempt to explain away the significance of an asteroid suddenly hitting the earth.

Personally, I am convinced that God is in the process of lifting His hand of protection from America – as well as other nations that defy Him. His judgment against certain nations has begun. It will only intensify the rest of the way. The magnitude of disasters will increase to such a scale that what we have seen thus far will seem small by comparison. I believe this was the symbolic message of my dream.

God is slow to anger and full of love and compassion, ever willing to forgive if people repent of their sins (Jonah 4:2, Exodus 34:6, and Numbers 14:18). However, when a people persistently choose to sin and reject God’s patient efforts to correct them, eventually His judgment falls. The greater the sins of a nation, the greater His punishment will be when it finally occurs.

A Lesson from History
No nation in recorded history has fallen from the truth and its favored position with God more quickly than America – except possibly Israel during ancient times. Within a short time of their miraculous exodus from Egypt – complete with God’s supernatural parting of the Red Sea and destruction of Pharaoh’s army – the Israelites built an idol representing a foreign god of demonic origin and began to worship it. When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and saw his people worshipping and offering sacrifices to a golden calf, he was in disbelief. That day three thousand people were put to death because of their grave sin; and the Lord struck the remaining Israelites with a plague because of what they had done (Exodus 32, Deuteronomy 9:7-21). He referred to them as a rebellious and stiff-necked people. Yet, in response to Moses’ humble plea for mercy on their behalf and because of the Lord’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He relented and spared a majority of the people.

On another occasion, during the time of the prophet Hosea, the Israelites had once again turned away from God. In spite of Hosea’s repeated warnings and calls to repentance, Jeroboam – the king ruling over the northern kingdom of Israel – led his people in an all-out rebellion against the Lord. His actions are recorded throughout the book of Hosea and in I Kings 12:25-33, also chapters 13 and 14. According to these passages, Jeroboam erected idols to other gods for his people to worship. Being led by pagan-turned priests, their worship included temple prostitution along with occult ceremonies and festivals. Hosea lamented,

Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this, the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying….my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge….The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful. They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.” (Hosea 4:1-3, 6a, 7-9)

Another prophet of the Lord by the name of Ahijah pronounced the following judgment against Jeroboam and his people:

Go, tell Jeroboam that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: “I raised you up from among the people and made you a leader over my people Israel. I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have provoked me to anger and thrust me behind your back. Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel – slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country. The LORD has spoken!”…And the LORD will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their forefathers and scatter them beyond the River, because they provoked the LORD to anger by making Asherah poles. And he will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit. (I Kings 14:7-11, 15-16)

These are strong and sobering words for a people who only a generation earlier had enjoyed God’s favor – being led by King David, the man after God’s own heart! Why was the Lord’s punishment of His own people so extreme? One reason may be because of the severe nature and depravity of their sins. However, I believe another reason for God’s seemingly harsh judgment was because of how quickly and easily they were led astray and were willing to turn their backs on Him.

America finds itself in a similar position today. Only a generation ago our nation, although not perfect, operated under the strong influence of a Judeo-Christian ethic which caused us to prosper. This moral, Christ-centered foundation was put in place by the early Pilgrims who made their way to our shores. In spite of Satan’s best efforts to erode this godly foundation through secret societies and their encroaching occult-based beliefs, it remained largely intact until the 1960s. This is when the on-going hidden rebellion became public. Since then, in less than fifty years time, our nation has literally been turned upside down. What was once good is now considered evil; and what was once evil is being celebrated as good.

God has continued to bless us, undeserving though we are, while patiently calling us to repentance. However, His merciful pleas have gone largely ignored by a proud and defiant people who believe, “It can’t happen here; this is America.” Rather than learning the lessons of history, we have chosen not to heed God’s warnings – bringing us to the current state of affairs.

When God Judges a Nation
God can carry out His judgment on a nation in a variety of ways, depending on the severity of its rebellion. He may choose to affect its livelihood by bringing down its economy; He may allow it to be attacked and overtaken by its adversaries; or, He may choose to completely destroy a nation so it will never rise again (read Isaiah 45:6b-7). Destruction can occur through natural disasters, seemingly random accidents, or through acts of war and terror. Depending on the pervasiveness of the rebellion, and whether it is centered in or limited to a particular location within a nation, God may choose to destroy just one of its cities or perhaps a region or a group of cities. Regardless of how a nation is judged by the Lord, all of its inhabitants are impacted to some degree – this includes Christians.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

NOTE: We must not make the mistake of thinking that Christians living in areas currently facing disasters deserve what they are getting or are more deserving of calamity than those of us who have not yet experienced a major crisis. We have more than a few Christian friends living in the areas affected. Our hearts go out to them and we have been praying that the Lord would help them recover quickly and draw them close to His side. As we are witnessing what I believe is the beginning of “national” judgment intended to get our attention, our turn could come next. Any part of the country could be hit at any time. God usually reserves His greatest judgment for last.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

When God could tolerate no more of Nazi Germany’s crimes, His judgment fell. It was carried out through the United States and its allies. The destruction was extensive. In some cities the devastation was so complete that hardly a building was left standing. Dresden was particularly hard hit; many Christians living in that city perished. There had been warnings to get out. Some left while they could, but most stayed, not wanting to leave their homes and friends behind.

Judgment against a nation should not be confused with God’s eternal judgment of individuals. One day each of us will stand before the living God to give an account of our lives. Thankfully, those of us who have accepted Jesus as Savior are under the covering of His blood which paid the penalty for our sins. We will receive glorified bodies and spend eternity with Him as our reward; while those who rejected the Son of God will be subjected to everlasting punishment in hell.

When God’s judgment falls on a nation, believers in Christ who die as a result will still spend eternity with the Lord. Their death occurs because they happened to be living in the judged nation – not because they were enemies of God. This is an important point to understand. Here’s why.

Some American Christians mistakenly assume that because they are under the protective covering of the Lamb (in an eternal sense) they are somehow invincible in the physical realm as well. But this is not the case. For example, if New York City were to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon, there is a very high probability that you would not survive physically if you are within close proximity of the detonation. Unless God supernaturally protects you, you would die like everyone else, regardless of whether you are a Christian. Perhaps God is communicating this point in Revelation 18:4-5 when speaking of a wicked city He says, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”

Some of my Christian friends who understand this principle are taking action. Believing that America will not repent and has gone beyond the point of return, they are choosing to exit the country. While they do not fear their eternal destiny (being secure in Christ), nor fear physical death (realizing they will die at some point unless Christ returns first), they do not want to be in the path of God’s “national” judgment which they believe is certain to come. Some of these individuals are leaving (or have already left) for entirely pure motives. By leaving the US they believe they will be able to carry out the work they’ve been called to do by God for a longer period of time – perhaps for several more years until the emerging one-world system is fully implemented and limits their freedom to share the Gospel.

One of these individuals recently moved to Costa Rica. He happens to be very intelligent and level-headed, loves the Lord with all his heart, and is one of the best teachers of the Word I’ve ever known. Whatever you may think of people who are leaving the United States, I believe God would have me caution you against mocking them for doing so. Their actions, in the end, may have been very wise. We must each prayerfully seek God’s direction and then pursue His will for our lives on this matter.

The Clock is Ticking
Only God knows how much longer America has to repent of her sins. But every indication points to the fact that time is running out. If not for the Lord’s exceptional mercy and grace our nation would already have been destroyed. He has intervened repeatedly to hold back our enemies. However, through natural disasters and a faltering economy He is now turning up the heat hoping Americans will get the message and respond accordingly. If we don’t, the calamities He brings our way will continue to intensify.

We should understand that in Christ all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). Without His presence or protection, our nation would quickly deteriorate in every imaginable way. We as a nation have been successful only because God has blessed us. Our influence over the past century has been great because He has allowed it. Without God we are nothing. We would do well to recognize and acknowledge this fact so that He does not have to “prove” it to us.

Another possible sign indicating God’s time of patient warning may be nearing an end is that He is taking some of His most faithful servants and “watchmen” home. Several godly men whom I have respected and admired have gone to be with the Lord unexpectedly in the last few weeks (i.e. David Wilkerson, Ron Carlson, J.R. Church). They were each strong contenders for the faith and had been calling America to repentance for many years.

Will America Repent?
At this late hour, there are only three ways for America’s Christians to avoid God’s judgment of our nation. The first is to leave the country, as some have already done. The second is to pray that God would supernaturally lead us out of harm’s way to safe zones He has prepared somewhere within our borders – where people could flee before the worst disasters strike. Such a scenario would require the Lord to miraculously communicate these details to His people. The third option, which should be our foremost desire, is for America to repent of its sins on a scale like that of ancient Nineveh, crying out to God to forgive our defiance and to restore our people and land.

I believe that God greatly loves the people of this nation and is desperately trying to reach through to our hardened hearts. He only sends all-out judgment as a last resort. In the words of Peter, “He is patient with you [us], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9b) Will we continue trying His patience until He brings “last resort” judgment? Or, will we repent?

Any serious repentance (turning away from sin and submitting to God) must begin with the church. More than 70 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians; yet, many if not most of these professing believers are living more like the Devil than the Lord Jesus Christ. In most cases one can tell little difference between those in the church and those in the secular world. Therein lies the problem.

The secular world – including those involved in other religions – no longer respect most Christians and, as a result, do not want to be like us. To many, the term “Christian” has become synonymous with Hypocrite. The fact is, unless we practice what we preach, no one will listen. On the other hand, if we truly put our beliefs into practice, while the world may or may not accept our beliefs, many will at least listen and respect our position. For there to be any possibility of a genuine spiritual revival in America, Christians must lead the way by example. If this were to occur, non-Christians would take notice and surrender their hearts to Christ in growing numbers, and our situation could turn around.

God understands that none of us will ever be perfect on this side of eternity. Rather, He looks at the overall attitude of our hearts toward Him. Is our spiritual condition one of surrender to Him and His will for our lives, or are we trying to get away with as much as we possibly can while hoping God will look the other way when we sin? Are we aiming to please God or ourselves?

Some of us have “pet sins” we’ve held on to for years. They are eating us alive from within, while ruining our testimony to others. This must change. We have to get serious about sin!

If you profess Christ but are not living a surrendered life because of the hold that sin has on your heart and mind, then you need to make the overcoming of that sin a life and death matter. Are you serious enough about overcoming your pet sin that you are willing to ask God to take your life if you ever do it again?

I know this sounds radical. However, we in the church have come to redefine grace as “God being tolerant of sin.” But the truth is – He hates sin! It ruins our lives and brings shame to His name. Therefore, repent of your sins and be an overcomer for the sake of Christ!

If you are one who has genuinely been living for Christ but has stumbled in your walk, simply confess your sin to the Lord and turn from it. He will be faithful to forgive you (1 John 1:9, Micah 7:18). Then move on, learn from your mistake and be stronger next time. Draw even closer to Christ and ask Him to fill you and empower you with the Holy Spirit. We are no match for a powerful adversary unless we are clothed with God’s Spirit every day (Ephesians 6:10-18).

It is important as believers in Jesus that we frequently encourage, comfort, and urge each other to live lives worthy of the Lord (I Thessalonians 2:12). Close fellowship with solid, committed Christians is vital to our spiritual walk. Make sure you are in the regular presence of mature, repentant believers who pull you up rather than take you down (Hebrews 10:24-25).

In order to seek God and petition Him at a heightened level, we are asking everyone reading this message to join my wife and me in a one-month period of fasting and prayer. (We are choosing to set aside the month of August.) This can be in the form of a partial fast, especially if you have health issues. The purpose of this time of intense prayer and giving up some foods that we normally enjoy is to focus our attention completely on the Lord and on how we might become more obedient and surrendered to Him. Let us draw near to God and ask Him to show us what in our lives needs to change. Let us also cry out for His mercy on our nation. Perhaps, if enough people sincerely repent and look to the Lord as our only hope, He will withhold additional punishment and restore our nation (II Chronicles 7:14).

[A word from the Author: As long as a people are morally strong and devoted to the truth of God, it is difficult for Satan and his agents to gain a foothold or destroy them. However, if people succumb to the influence, deception, and temptations (plots and schemes) of Satan, they sink into the mires of sin and are weakened. If they do not repent and turn to God, eventually He lifts His protective covering from them allowing the forces of evil to prevail – until such a time that He brings His wrath against these same forces. This is why Scripture says,

He [the Lord] brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff (Isaiah 40:23-24).

Even though Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36), He is referred to by John in Revelation 1:5 as “the ruler of the kings of the earth.” He determines who rises and falls, and when. Regarding the powerful, far-reaching hand of God, the prophet Daniel wrote, “He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them.” The fact is, God rewards righteousness and punishes evil. This is the course of history.

At the same time, Satan’s goal – along with deceiving and tempting the masses – is to persecute and wear down the saints of God (Christians). We must therefore resist the Devil vigilantly and remain clothed with the full armor of God at all times. This is the nature of our spiritual battle on this earth. Our purpose is to expose the work and lies of the evil one so that people might not be led astray by his wicked schemes, but might hold fast to the truth and hope we have in Jesus Christ.

If you are one who has never received Jesus Christ as your Savior, there is no better time to do so than now. You must decide to believe in Him – that He alone can, and will, rescue you from the eternal punishment of your sins. In your own words tell the Lord that you are a sinner and are in need of His forgiveness. Confess your sins to Him; then ask Him to strengthen you in every area of your life – to empower you with the Holy Spirit so you will be able to live obediently and submissively before Him from this day forward. Thank the Lord for loving you enough to die in your place in order that you can have everlasting life. Then, make it your daily heartbeat to love and faithfully serve Him.

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” ― Galatians 5:16, 22-25]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is This Bigotry? A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, “We Never Criticize Christian Churches”

Is This Bigotry? A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, “We Never Criticize Christian Churches”
Posted on October 11, 2011 by christ4asia
Is This Bigotry? A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, “We Never Criticize Christian Churches”
Compiled by Bill McKeever

Far too many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are quick to accuse anyone of bigotry if they happen to disagree with the doctrines of Mormonism or place the LDS Church outside the parameters of the Christian faith. It is not uncommon for LDS spokespersons to play the victim card in order to get sympathy from the media or even Christians who are ignorant of Mormon claims. What is often overlooked in this debate is how LDS leaders have characterized Christianity. If to insist that Mormonism is not Christianity makes one a bigot, what do the following statements say about these LDS leaders and the Mormon Church as a whole?

Joseph Smith (Mormonism’s founder)

Joseph Smith claimed that he had seen both God the Father and Jesus Christ and asked these personages which church he should join. He claimed he was told to join none of them, “for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

When asked “Will all be damned but Mormons?” Smith replied, “Yes, and a great portion of them unless they repent and work righteousness” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 119).

“Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10).

The Doctrine and Covenants (1:30) leaves no doubt to the Mormon teaching of exclusivity when it says the LDS church is, “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased ….”

Brigham Young (Mormonism’s Second President)

“Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity” (Journal of Discourses 10:230).

“When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness” (Journal of Discourses 5:73).

“The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God” (Journal of Discourses 8:171).

“With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world” (Journal of Discourses 8:199).

“The religion of God embraces every fact that exists in all the wide arena of nature, while the religions of men consist of theory devoid of fact, or of any true principle of guidance; hence the professing Christian world are like a ship upon a boisterous ocean without rudder, compass, or pilot, and are tossed hither and thither by every wind of doctrine” (Journal of Discourses 10:265).

“… the time came when Paganism was engrafted into Christianity, and at last Christianity was converted into Paganism rather than converting the Pagans” (Journal of Discourses 22:44).

“Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth” (Journal of Discourses 6:176).

John Taylor (Mormonism’s 3rd President)

“We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense …the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century” (Journal of Discourses 6:167).

“What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast.” (Journal of Discourses 6:25).

“What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing …Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God” (Journal of Discourses 13:225).

“And who is there that acknowledges [God’s] hand? …You may wander east, west, north, and south, and you cannot find it in any church or government on the earth, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Journal of Discourses 6:24).

Daniel H. Wells (Mormon Apostle)

“The whole system of Christianity is a failure so far as stemming the tide of wickedness and corruption is concerned, or turning men from their evil ways to living lives of righteousness before God our Heavenly Father. I would rather preach the Gospel to a people who have not got any religion than I would to a people who have got a great deal of religion. You take the Catholic world. What impression can the truths of the Gospel make upon them as a people? Scarcely any impression at all. Why? Because they are satisfied with what they have got, which we know is an error, and which is not calculated to stem the tide of wickedness and corruption which floods the world. It never will convert the world to God or His Kingdom, or convey a knowledge of God unto the children of men, and it is life eternal to know Him, the living and true God. The Christianity of the period will never make the people acquainted with God in the world. It will never bring them to eternal life as spoken of in the Scriptures. It is an utter impossibility. In the first place they do not know anything about God, and in the second place, they apparently don’t want to know anything about Him. They have reared a superstructure in the earth which is false. It is and has been a tremendous imposture to the children of men. Some have come out of it, to a certain extent, seeing its incongruity, and yet they have floundered in the dark, not knowing what was right; not having that knowledge of God which is necessary to obtain eternal life, they have been tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, without being able to find the truth. Many who have thus been foundering are honest people; but the so-called system of Christianity is not only an error and a snare, but is a monstrous iniquity fastened upon the children of men throughout the earth. No wonder that people become infidel. The inconsistent and incongruous nature of the system is enough to make any being who reasons infidel. It was time the truth should be revealed; it was time for the Lord to restore the everlasting Gospel, for men were blind. Darkness covered the earth, even gross darkness the minds of the people in regard to religious subjects. Perhaps a darker time was never known since the earth began its revolutions around the sun. From what I have read and from what experience I have had in life, and the intelligence I possess, I make bold to give my testimony that the darkest period the world ever saw was when this work first commenced, when it was made known from heaven to Joseph Smith. It was no darker here, perhaps, than in any other part of the world; but it was just as dark in Christian countries as in any Pagan country, so far as true religion and the light of heaven were concerned” (Journal of Discourses 24:321-322).

Orson Pratt (Mormon Apostle)

“Q. After the Church of Christ fled from the earth to heaven, what was left?

“A. A set of wicked Apostates, murderers, and idolaters, who …left to follow the wicked imaginations of their own corrupt hearts, and to build up churches by human authority…” (The Seer, pg.205).

“The sooner the present generation loses all reverence and respect for modern ‘Christianity,’ with all its powerless forms and solemn mockeries, the sooner they will be prepared to receive the kingdom of God” (Parley P. Pratt, The Key to the Science of Theology, 1978, p.68).

“…all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord’s supper from their hands highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people …The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints” (The Seer, pg. 255).

“This class of men, calling themselves Christian, uniting with the various forms of the pagan religion, adopting many of their ceremonies and institutions, became very popular, and finally some of the pagans embraced Christianity and were placed, as it were, upon the throne, and what they termed Christianity became very popular indeed. How long has this order of things existed, this dreadful apostasy, this class of people that pronounced themselves Zion, or Christians, without any of the characteristics of Zion? It has existed for some sixteen or seventeen centuries. It has spread itself and grown and gone into the four quarters of the earth. It is the great ecclesiastical power that is spoken of by the revelator John, and called by him the most corrupt and most wicked of all the powers of the earth, under the name of spiritual Babylon, or in other words Babel, which signifies confusion. This great and corrupt power is also represented by John as presenting a golden cup to the nations, full of all manner of filthiness and abominations” (Journal of Discourses 14:346).

“This great apostasy commenced about the close of the first century of the Christian era, and it has been waxing worse and worse from then until now” (Journal of Discourses 18:44).

“But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be …But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance, and they are represented in the revelations of St. John as a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, having a golden cup in her hand, full of filthiness and abominations, full of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; that in her forehead there was a name written – `Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots’” (Journal of Discourses 18:172).

“Who is Babylon? I have already explained that Babylon is a great power that should be in the earth under the name of a church, a woman – that generally represents a church – full of blasphemy …These churches are scattered over the wide face of the earth, and this is called Babylon. Another angel is to follow the one that brings the Gospel, after it has been sufficiently preached, and proclaim the downfall of this great and corrupt power in the earth” (Journal of Discourses 18:179).

“The worshipers of Baal were far more consistent than apostate Christendom; for they had a faint hope that Baal would hear and answer them; but modern divines have no expectation that their God will say anything to them or to their followers. Baal’s followers cried from morning until evening for him to give unto them a miraculous manifestation, in the presence of Elijah; but to even expect a supernatural manifestation or revelation now is considered, by modern religionists, as the greatest absurdity. Baal’s worshipers, therefore, with all their absurdities, approached nearer the religion of heaven, in some of their expectations, than those who falsely call themselves Christians” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No. 1 (1850), pp.12-13).

“We have already proved in the previous numbers of this series that immediately after the first century the whole earth became corrupted by the great “Mother of Harlots,” that apostasy and wickedness succeeded Christianity, that for the want of new revelation, all legal succession to the apostleship was discontinued that the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit ceased and that the Church was no longer to be found on the earth: this being the case, all nations must have been destitute of the everlasting gospel for many generations – not destitute of its history as it was once preached and enjoyed but destitute of its blessings, of its powers, of its gifts, of its priesthood, of its ordinances administered by legal authority” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No.6 (1851), pg.82).

Heber C. Kimball (First Counselor to Brigham Young)

“Christians – those poor, miserable priests Brother Brigham was speaking about – some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth …” (Journal of Discourses 5:89).

George Q. Cannon (Counselor to presidents Young, Taylor, Woodruff and Snow)

“I do not wish to say anything in relation to other forms of religion; I do not know that it is necessary that I should do so; but no thinking man can admit that Christianity so-called – I call it a false Christianity, untrue to its name – satisfies the wants of humanity at the present time. It is not a religion that satisfies” (Journal of Discourses 24:185).

“After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon” (Gospel Truth, pg.324).

Wilford Woodruff (4th LDS President)

“I said then, and I say now, may the Lord give me such periods of darkness as were enjoyed by the Apostles and Saints of old, in preference to the Gospel blaze of modern Christianity. The ancient doctrine and power will unlock the mysteries of heaven, and pour forth that Gospel light, knowledge, and truth, of which the heavens are full, and which has been poured out in every generation when Prophets appeared among the children of men. But the Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord, and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called” (Journal of Discourses 2:196).

Erastus Snow (LDS Apostle)

“There is a theory in the human mind – I will say with a certain school of modern philosophers – to satisfy themselves and justify their infidelity; the bent and tendency of their inclinations is that way. But it is probable that the crude, undefined devices and erroneous notions and ideas of modern Christianity touching the Deity leads to this infidelity, as much as anything else. The advocates of Christianity are in a great measure to blame. When we begin to scan the teachings and enquire into the views of the leading divines of modern times, and examine their articles of faith and their discipline, the teachings of different Christian denominations on the subject of the Deity, we do not wonder that the reflecting, careful thinker, should repudiate their crude notions” (Journal of Discourses 19:268).

B.H. Roberts (LDS Seventy and Historian)

“Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Introduction to the History of the Church 1:XL).

“This view of God as an incorporeal, immaterial, bodiless, partless, passionless being is now and has been from the days of the great apostasy from God and Christ, in the second and third centuries, the doctrine of Deity generally accepted by apostate Christendom. The simple doctrine of the Christian Godhead, set forth in the New Testament is corrupted by the meaningless jargon of these creeds, and their explanations; and the learned who profess a belief in them are wandering in the darkness of the mysticisms of the old pagan philosophies” (History of the Church, 1:LXXXV).

Parley P. Pratt (Mormon Apostle)

“The false and corrupt institutions, and still more corrupt practices of `Christendom,’ have had a downward tendency in the generations of man for many centuries …The overthrow of those ancient degenerate races is a type of that which now awaits the nations called `Christian,’ or in other words, `the great whore that sitteth upon many waters” (Key to the Science of Theology, 1978 ed., pg.106).

James Talmage ( LDS Apostle)

“A self-suggesting interpretation of history indicates that there has been a great departure from the way of salvation as laid down by the Savior, a universal apostasy from the Church of Christ …From the facts already stated it is evident that the Church was literally driven from the earth; in the first ten centuries immediately following the ministry of Christ the authority of the Holy Priesthood was lost among men, and no human power could restore it” (The Articles of Faith, pp.200,203).

“The significance and importance of the great apostasy, as a condition precedent to the re-establishment of the Church in modern times, is obvious. If the alleged apostasy of the primitive Church was not a reality, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the divine institution its name proclaims” (The Great Apostasy, preface).

Joseph Fielding Smith (10th LDS President)

“For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation that was not, in the year 1820, so obscured by false tradition and ceremonies, borrowed from paganism, as to make it unrecognizable; or else it was entirely denied …Joseph Smith declared that in the year 1820 the Lord revealed to him that all the ‘Christian’ churches were in error, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men” (Doctrines of Salvation 3:282).

Spencer W. Kimball (12th LDS President)

“This is the only true church …This is not a church. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. There are churches of men all over the land and they have great cathedrals, synagogues, and other houses of worship running into the hundreds of millions of dollars. They are churches of men. They teach the doctrines of men, combined with the philosophies and ethics and other ideas and ideals that men have partly developed and partly found in sacred places and interpreted for themselves” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pg.421).

“Presumptuous and blasphemous are they who purport to baptize, bless, marry, or perform other sacraments in the name of the Lord while in fact lacking the specific authorization” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pg.55).

Bruce McConkie (Mormon Apostle)

“The traditions of the elders – as is also the case with the traditions of an apostate Christendom – are wholly devoid of the least scintilla of inspiration. They are, as Jesus said, ‘the commandments of men’” (The Mortal Messiah, Vol.2, FOOTNOTES, Pg.412).

“What of seventies? Who are they, and how do they fit into the eternal scheme of things? That their mission and ministry is unknown among the cults of Christendom is one of the great evidences of the apostate darkness that engulfs those who call themselves by the name of Him who called seventies to stand as especial witnesses of that very name” (The Mortal Messiah, 3:99-100).

“Thus the signs of the times include the prevailing apostate darkness in the sects of Christendom and in the religious world in general. False churches, false prophets, false worship – breeding as they do a way of life that runs counter to the divine will – all these are signs of the times” (The Millennial Messiah, pg.403).

“What is the church of the devil in our day, and where is the seat of her power? …It is all of the systems, both Christian and non-Christian, that perverted the pure and perfect gospel …It is communism; it is Islam; it is Buddhism; it is modern Christianity in all its parts” (The Millennial Messiah, pp.54-55).

“As with other doctrines and ordinances, apostate substitutes of the real thing are found both among pagans and supposed Christians” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.72).

“When inquiring and scientific minds delve into the narrow and bigoted creeds of the apostate sects of Christendom it is not surprising that they rebel against those dogmas falsely set forth as the tenets of true religion” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.107).

“Christianity is the religion of the Christians. Hence, true and acceptable Christianity is found among the saints who have the fullness of the gospel, and a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.132).

“The only real superiority of the apostate sects of Christendom over their more openly pagan counterparts is the fact that the Christian sects (though rejecting the doctrines, ordinances, and powers of the gospel) have nonetheless preserved many of the ethical teachings of Christ and the apostles” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.240).

“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.269).

“Gnosticism is one of the great pagan philosophies which antedated Christ and the Christian Era and which was later commingled with pure Christianity to form the apostate religion that has prevailed in the world since the early days of that era.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.316).

“In large part the worship of apostate Christendom is performed in ignorance, as much so as was the worship of the Athenians who bowed before the Unknown God, and to whom Paul said: “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 374).

“For instance: The creeds of apostate Christendom teach untruths about God, and the scriptures say that those who accept these creeds ‘have inherited lies.’ (Jer. 16:16-21.) Those who accept any of the doctrines of the apostate churches are said to ‘believe a lie.’ (2 Thess. 2:1-12.) The process of apostasy consists in changing ‘the truth of God into a lie.’” (Mormon Doctrine pg. 440).

“Pagan tribal gods were the creation of the imaginations of apostate peoples, just as the creeds and apostate views of God which prevail in modern Christendom are the result of forsaking the truth” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 511).

“Mormonism is Christianity; Christianity is Mormonism; they are one and the same, and they are not to be distinguished from each other in the minutest detail …Mormons are true Christians; their worship is the pure, unadulterated Christianity authored by Christ and accepted by Peter, James, and John and all the ancient saints” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.513).

“The gods of Christendom, for instance, are gods who were created by men in the creeds of an apostate people. There is little profit or peace in serving them, and certainly there is no salvation available through them” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pg.545).

Misc.

“To say that Satan sits in the place of God in Christianity after the time of the Apostles is not to say that all that is in it is satanic…Still, ‘the power of God unto salvation’ (Rom. 1:16) is absent from all but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which the Lord himself has proclaimed to be ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth (D&C 1:30). Satan’s goal of hindering many of God’s children from returning to their Father’s glory is thus realized.” (BYU Professor Kent P. Jackson, “Early Signs of the Apostasy,” Ensign, December 1984, p. 9)

“The period of time when the true Church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy. Soon pagan beliefs dominated the thinking of those called Christians. The Roman emperor adopted this false Christianity as the state religion. The church was very different from the Church Jesus organized. It taught that God was a being without substance” (Correlated LDS manual Gospel Principles, 2009, p.92).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is This Bigotry? A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, “We Never Criticize Christian Churches”

Is This Bigotry? A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, “We Never Criticize Christian Churches”
Compiled by Bill McKeever

Far too many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are quick to accuse anyone of bigotry if they happen to disagree with the doctrines of Mormonism or place the LDS Church outside the parameters of the Christian faith. It is not uncommon for LDS spokespersons to play the victim card in order to get sympathy from the media or even Christians who are ignorant of Mormon claims. What is often overlooked in this debate is how LDS leaders have characterized Christianity. If to insist that Mormonism is not Christianity makes one a bigot, what do the following statements say about these LDS leaders and the Mormon Church as a whole?

Joseph Smith (Mormonism’s founder)

Joseph Smith claimed that he had seen both God the Father and Jesus Christ and asked these personages which church he should join. He claimed he was told to join none of them, “for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

When asked “Will all be damned but Mormons?” Smith replied, “Yes, and a great portion of them unless they repent and work righteousness” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 119).

“Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10).

The Doctrine and Covenants (1:30) leaves no doubt to the Mormon teaching of exclusivity when it says the LDS church is, “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased ….”

Brigham Young (Mormonism’s Second President)

“Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity” (Journal of Discourses 10:230).

“When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness” (Journal of Discourses 5:73).

“The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God” (Journal of Discourses 8:171).

“With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world” (Journal of Discourses 8:199).

“The religion of God embraces every fact that exists in all the wide arena of nature, while the religions of men consist of theory devoid of fact, or of any true principle of guidance; hence the professing Christian world are like a ship upon a boisterous ocean without rudder, compass, or pilot, and are tossed hither and thither by every wind of doctrine” (Journal of Discourses 10:265).

“… the time came when Paganism was engrafted into Christianity, and at last Christianity was converted into Paganism rather than converting the Pagans” (Journal of Discourses 22:44).

“Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth” (Journal of Discourses 6:176).

John Taylor (Mormonism’s 3rd President)

“We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense …the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century” (Journal of Discourses 6:167).

“What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast.” (Journal of Discourses 6:25).

“What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing …Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God” (Journal of Discourses 13:225).

“And who is there that acknowledges [God’s] hand? …You may wander east, west, north, and south, and you cannot find it in any church or government on the earth, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Journal of Discourses 6:24).

Daniel H. Wells (Mormon Apostle)

“The whole system of Christianity is a failure so far as stemming the tide of wickedness and corruption is concerned, or turning men from their evil ways to living lives of righteousness before God our Heavenly Father. I would rather preach the Gospel to a people who have not got any religion than I would to a people who have got a great deal of religion. You take the Catholic world. What impression can the truths of the Gospel make upon them as a people? Scarcely any impression at all. Why? Because they are satisfied with what they have got, which we know is an error, and which is not calculated to stem the tide of wickedness and corruption which floods the world. It never will convert the world to God or His Kingdom, or convey a knowledge of God unto the children of men, and it is life eternal to know Him, the living and true God. The Christianity of the period will never make the people acquainted with God in the world. It will never bring them to eternal life as spoken of in the Scriptures. It is an utter impossibility. In the first place they do not know anything about God, and in the second place, they apparently don’t want to know anything about Him. They have reared a superstructure in the earth which is false. It is and has been a tremendous imposture to the children of men. Some have come out of it, to a certain extent, seeing its incongruity, and yet they have floundered in the dark, not knowing what was right; not having that knowledge of God which is necessary to obtain eternal life, they have been tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, without being able to find the truth. Many who have thus been foundering are honest people; but the so-called system of Christianity is not only an error and a snare, but is a monstrous iniquity fastened upon the children of men throughout the earth. No wonder that people become infidel. The inconsistent and incongruous nature of the system is enough to make any being who reasons infidel. It was time the truth should be revealed; it was time for the Lord to restore the everlasting Gospel, for men were blind. Darkness covered the earth, even gross darkness the minds of the people in regard to religious subjects. Perhaps a darker time was never known since the earth began its revolutions around the sun. From what I have read and from what experience I have had in life, and the intelligence I possess, I make bold to give my testimony that the darkest period the world ever saw was when this work first commenced, when it was made known from heaven to Joseph Smith. It was no darker here, perhaps, than in any other part of the world; but it was just as dark in Christian countries as in any Pagan country, so far as true religion and the light of heaven were concerned” (Journal of Discourses 24:321-322).

Orson Pratt (Mormon Apostle)

“Q. After the Church of Christ fled from the earth to heaven, what was left?

“A. A set of wicked Apostates, murderers, and idolaters, who …left to follow the wicked imaginations of their own corrupt hearts, and to build up churches by human authority…” (The Seer, pg.205).

“The sooner the present generation loses all reverence and respect for modern ‘Christianity,’ with all its powerless forms and solemn mockeries, the sooner they will be prepared to receive the kingdom of God” (Parley P. Pratt, The Key to the Science of Theology, 1978, p.68).

“…all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord’s supper from their hands highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people …The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints” (The Seer, pg. 255).

“This class of men, calling themselves Christian, uniting with the various forms of the pagan religion, adopting many of their ceremonies and institutions, became very popular, and finally some of the pagans embraced Christianity and were placed, as it were, upon the throne, and what they termed Christianity became very popular indeed. How long has this order of things existed, this dreadful apostasy, this class of people that pronounced themselves Zion, or Christians, without any of the characteristics of Zion? It has existed for some sixteen or seventeen centuries. It has spread itself and grown and gone into the four quarters of the earth. It is the great ecclesiastical power that is spoken of by the revelator John, and called by him the most corrupt and most wicked of all the powers of the earth, under the name of spiritual Babylon, or in other words Babel, which signifies confusion. This great and corrupt power is also represented by John as presenting a golden cup to the nations, full of all manner of filthiness and abominations” (Journal of Discourses 14:346).

“This great apostasy commenced about the close of the first century of the Christian era, and it has been waxing worse and worse from then until now” (Journal of Discourses 18:44).

“But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be …But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance, and they are represented in the revelations of St. John as a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, having a golden cup in her hand, full of filthiness and abominations, full of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; that in her forehead there was a name written – `Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots'” (Journal of Discourses 18:172).

“Who is Babylon? I have already explained that Babylon is a great power that should be in the earth under the name of a church, a woman – that generally represents a church – full of blasphemy …These churches are scattered over the wide face of the earth, and this is called Babylon. Another angel is to follow the one that brings the Gospel, after it has been sufficiently preached, and proclaim the downfall of this great and corrupt power in the earth” (Journal of Discourses 18:179).

“The worshipers of Baal were far more consistent than apostate Christendom; for they had a faint hope that Baal would hear and answer them; but modern divines have no expectation that their God will say anything to them or to their followers. Baal’s followers cried from morning until evening for him to give unto them a miraculous manifestation, in the presence of Elijah; but to even expect a supernatural manifestation or revelation now is considered, by modern religionists, as the greatest absurdity. Baal’s worshipers, therefore, with all their absurdities, approached nearer the religion of heaven, in some of their expectations, than those who falsely call themselves Christians” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No. 1 (1850), pp.12-13).

“We have already proved in the previous numbers of this series that immediately after the first century the whole earth became corrupted by the great “Mother of Harlots,” that apostasy and wickedness succeeded Christianity, that for the want of new revelation, all legal succession to the apostleship was discontinued that the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit ceased and that the Church was no longer to be found on the earth: this being the case, all nations must have been destitute of the everlasting gospel for many generations – not destitute of its history as it was once preached and enjoyed but destitute of its blessings, of its powers, of its gifts, of its priesthood, of its ordinances administered by legal authority” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No.6 (1851), pg.82).

Heber C. Kimball (First Counselor to Brigham Young)

“Christians – those poor, miserable priests Brother Brigham was speaking about – some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth …” (Journal of Discourses 5:89).

George Q. Cannon (Counselor to presidents Young, Taylor, Woodruff and Snow)

“I do not wish to say anything in relation to other forms of religion; I do not know that it is necessary that I should do so; but no thinking man can admit that Christianity so-called – I call it a false Christianity, untrue to its name – satisfies the wants of humanity at the present time. It is not a religion that satisfies” (Journal of Discourses 24:185).

“After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon” (Gospel Truth, pg.324).

Wilford Woodruff (4th LDS President)

“I said then, and I say now, may the Lord give me such periods of darkness as were enjoyed by the Apostles and Saints of old, in preference to the Gospel blaze of modern Christianity. The ancient doctrine and power will unlock the mysteries of heaven, and pour forth that Gospel light, knowledge, and truth, of which the heavens are full, and which has been poured out in every generation when Prophets appeared among the children of men. But the Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord, and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called” (Journal of Discourses 2:196).

Erastus Snow (LDS Apostle)

“There is a theory in the human mind – I will say with a certain school of modern philosophers – to satisfy themselves and justify their infidelity; the bent and tendency of their inclinations is that way. But it is probable that the crude, undefined devices and erroneous notions and ideas of modern Christianity touching the Deity leads to this infidelity, as much as anything else. The advocates of Christianity are in a great measure to blame. When we begin to scan the teachings and enquire into the views of the leading divines of modern times, and examine their articles of faith and their discipline, the teachings of different Christian denominations on the subject of the Deity, we do not wonder that the reflecting, careful thinker, should repudiate their crude notions” (Journal of Discourses 19:268).

B.H. Roberts (LDS Seventy and Historian)

“Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Introduction to the History of the Church 1:XL).

“This view of God as an incorporeal, immaterial, bodiless, partless, passionless being is now and has been from the days of the great apostasy from God and Christ, in the second and third centuries, the doctrine of Deity generally accepted by apostate Christendom. The simple doctrine of the Christian Godhead, set forth in the New Testament is corrupted by the meaningless jargon of these creeds, and their explanations; and the learned who profess a belief in them are wandering in the darkness of the mysticisms of the old pagan philosophies” (History of the Church, 1:LXXXV).

Parley P. Pratt (Mormon Apostle)

“The false and corrupt institutions, and still more corrupt practices of `Christendom,’ have had a downward tendency in the generations of man for many centuries …The overthrow of those ancient degenerate races is a type of that which now awaits the nations called `Christian,’ or in other words, `the great whore that sitteth upon many waters” (Key to the Science of Theology, 1978 ed., pg.106).

James Talmage ( LDS Apostle)

“A self-suggesting interpretation of history indicates that there has been a great departure from the way of salvation as laid down by the Savior, a universal apostasy from the Church of Christ …From the facts already stated it is evident that the Church was literally driven from the earth; in the first ten centuries immediately following the ministry of Christ the authority of the Holy Priesthood was lost among men, and no human power could restore it” (The Articles of Faith, pp.200,203).

“The significance and importance of the great apostasy, as a condition precedent to the re-establishment of the Church in modern times, is obvious. If the alleged apostasy of the primitive Church was not a reality, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the divine institution its name proclaims” (The Great Apostasy, preface).

Joseph Fielding Smith (10th LDS President)

“For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation that was not, in the year 1820, so obscured by false tradition and ceremonies, borrowed from paganism, as to make it unrecognizable; or else it was entirely denied …Joseph Smith declared that in the year 1820 the Lord revealed to him that all the ‘Christian’ churches were in error, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men” (Doctrines of Salvation 3:282).

Spencer W. Kimball (12th LDS President)

“This is the only true church …This is not a church. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. There are churches of men all over the land and they have great cathedrals, synagogues, and other houses of worship running into the hundreds of millions of dollars. They are churches of men. They teach the doctrines of men, combined with the philosophies and ethics and other ideas and ideals that men have partly developed and partly found in sacred places and interpreted for themselves” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pg.421).

“Presumptuous and blasphemous are they who purport to baptize, bless, marry, or perform other sacraments in the name of the Lord while in fact lacking the specific authorization” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pg.55).

Bruce McConkie (Mormon Apostle)

“The traditions of the elders – as is also the case with the traditions of an apostate Christendom – are wholly devoid of the least scintilla of inspiration. They are, as Jesus said, ‘the commandments of men'” (The Mortal Messiah, Vol.2, FOOTNOTES, Pg.412).

“What of seventies? Who are they, and how do they fit into the eternal scheme of things? That their mission and ministry is unknown among the cults of Christendom is one of the great evidences of the apostate darkness that engulfs those who call themselves by the name of Him who called seventies to stand as especial witnesses of that very name” (The Mortal Messiah, 3:99-100).

“Thus the signs of the times include the prevailing apostate darkness in the sects of Christendom and in the religious world in general. False churches, false prophets, false worship – breeding as they do a way of life that runs counter to the divine will – all these are signs of the times” (The Millennial Messiah, pg.403).

“What is the church of the devil in our day, and where is the seat of her power? …It is all of the systems, both Christian and non-Christian, that perverted the pure and perfect gospel …It is communism; it is Islam; it is Buddhism; it is modern Christianity in all its parts” (The Millennial Messiah, pp.54-55).

“As with other doctrines and ordinances, apostate substitutes of the real thing are found both among pagans and supposed Christians” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.72).

“When inquiring and scientific minds delve into the narrow and bigoted creeds of the apostate sects of Christendom it is not surprising that they rebel against those dogmas falsely set forth as the tenets of true religion” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.107).

“Christianity is the religion of the Christians. Hence, true and acceptable Christianity is found among the saints who have the fullness of the gospel, and a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.132).

“The only real superiority of the apostate sects of Christendom over their more openly pagan counterparts is the fact that the Christian sects (though rejecting the doctrines, ordinances, and powers of the gospel) have nonetheless preserved many of the ethical teachings of Christ and the apostles” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.240).

“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.269).

“Gnosticism is one of the great pagan philosophies which antedated Christ and the Christian Era and which was later commingled with pure Christianity to form the apostate religion that has prevailed in the world since the early days of that era.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.316).

“In large part the worship of apostate Christendom is performed in ignorance, as much so as was the worship of the Athenians who bowed before the Unknown God, and to whom Paul said: “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 374).

“For instance: The creeds of apostate Christendom teach untruths about God, and the scriptures say that those who accept these creeds ‘have inherited lies.’ (Jer. 16:16-21.) Those who accept any of the doctrines of the apostate churches are said to ‘believe a lie.’ (2 Thess. 2:1-12.) The process of apostasy consists in changing ‘the truth of God into a lie.'” (Mormon Doctrine pg. 440).

“Pagan tribal gods were the creation of the imaginations of apostate peoples, just as the creeds and apostate views of God which prevail in modern Christendom are the result of forsaking the truth” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 511).

“Mormonism is Christianity; Christianity is Mormonism; they are one and the same, and they are not to be distinguished from each other in the minutest detail …Mormons are true Christians; their worship is the pure, unadulterated Christianity authored by Christ and accepted by Peter, James, and John and all the ancient saints” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.513).

“The gods of Christendom, for instance, are gods who were created by men in the creeds of an apostate people. There is little profit or peace in serving them, and certainly there is no salvation available through them” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pg.545).

Misc.

“To say that Satan sits in the place of God in Christianity after the time of the Apostles is not to say that all that is in it is satanic…Still, ‘the power of God unto salvation’ (Rom. 1:16) is absent from all but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which the Lord himself has proclaimed to be ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth (D&C 1:30). Satan’s goal of hindering many of God’s children from returning to their Father’s glory is thus realized.” (BYU Professor Kent P. Jackson, “Early Signs of the Apostasy,” Ensign, December 1984, p. 9)

“The period of time when the true Church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy. Soon pagan beliefs dominated the thinking of those called Christians. The Roman emperor adopted this false Christianity as the state religion. The church was very different from the Church Jesus organized. It taught that God was a being without substance” (Correlated LDS manual Gospel Principles, 2009, p.92).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The calvinism Debate

Calvinism is a theology that was developed by John Calvin (1509-64) in the sixteenth century. He presented this theology in his Institutes of Christian Religion, which subsequently became the cornerstone of Presbyterian and Reformed theology. It is also called TULIP theology. Calvin himself did not use the term TULIP to describe his theology, but it is an accurate, though simplified, representation of his views, and every standard point of TULIP theology can be found in Calvin’s Institutes.

Calvinistic theology was summarized into five points during the debate over the teachings of Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609). Arminius studied under Theodore Beza, Calvin’s successor at Geneva, but he rejected Calvinism and taught his non-Calvinist theology in Holland. Arminius’ followers arranged his teaching under the following five points and began to distribute this theology among the Dutch churches in 1610: (1) Free will, or human ability, (2) Conditional election, (3) Universal Redemption, or General Atonement, (4) Resistible Grace, and (5) Insecure Faith. These points were rejected at the state-church Synod of Dort in Holland in 1618-1619 (attended as well by representatives from France, Germany, Switzerland, and Britain), and this Synod formulated the “five points of Calvinism” in resistance to Arminianism. Arminius’ followers were thereafter put out of their churches and persecuted by their Calvinist brethren.

In the late 18th century, the five points of Calvinism were rearranged under the acronym TULIP as a memory aid.

A SUMMARY OF TULIP THEOLOGY

Total Depravity: Man is totally corrupt and dead in his sin so that he cannot even respond to the gospel unless God sovereignly enables him, which only happens if he is one of the elect. God not only must enable the dead sinner, but must sovereignly regenerate him and give him the gift of faith. In the words of the Westminster Confession Total Depravity is defined as follows: “Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.”

The Calvinist doctrine of Total Depravity does not mean merely that the sinner has no righteousness of his own or that his heart is depraved. It means also that his will is in bondage to sin in such a fashion that he is unable to believe the gospel. Further, it means that he must therefore be born again before he can believe. Arthur Pink states this doctrine as follows: “Faith is not the cause of the new birth, but the consequence of it. This ought not to need arguing. … Faith is a spiritual grace, the fruit of the spiritual nature, and because the unregenerate are spiritually dead–‘dead in trespasses and sins’–then it follows that faith from them is impossible, for a dead man cannot believe anything” (The Sovereignty of God, p. 73).

Unconditional Election: God unconditionally and “sovereignly” elects who will be saved and this election has nothing to do with anything the sinner does, including exercising faith in the gospel. Consider the words of the Westminster Confession: “By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life and others foreordained to everlasting death. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished. … The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.” John Calvin expressed the doctrine of unconditional election in these words: “Predestination we call the decree of God, by which He has determined in Himself, what He would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny: but eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, chap. 21). Calvin emphasized his belief in sovereign reprobation as follows: “[God] devotes to destruction whom he pleases … they are predestinated to eternal death without any demerit of their own, merely by his sovereign will. … he orders all things by his counsel and decree in such a manner, that some men are born devoted from the womb to certain death, that his name be glorified in their destruction. … God chooses whom he will as his children … while he rejects and reprobates others” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, chap. 23).

Limited Atonement: The death of Christ was only for those God has sovereignly elected. Calvin denounced the universal offer of the Gospel. “When it appears that when the doctrine of salvation is offered to all for their effectual benefit, it is a corrupt prostitution of that which is declared to be reserved particularly for the children of the church” (Institutes, Book III, chap. 22).

Irresistible Grace: God’s call to the elect is effectual and cannot be resisted. The dead sinner is sovereignly regenerated and granted the “gift of faith.” “That some, in time, have faith given them by God, and others have it not given, proceeds from his eternal decree; for ‘known unto God are all his works from the beginning,’ etc. (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). According to which decree he graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however hard, and he bends them to believe; but the non-elect he leaves, in his judgment, to their own perversity and hardness” (summary derived from the Synod of Dort). The Westminster Confession adds the following: “This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved…”

Perseverance of the Saints: Those who are sovereignly elected and regenerated will continue in the faith. “Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (Abstract of Principles, 1858).

SOME INTRODUCTORY POINTS

1. I HAVE STUDIED CALVINISM FROM “THE HORSE’S MOUTH.” In order to gain a proper understanding of Calvinism, I have studied the writings of many influential Calvinists, both contemporary and past. I have examined Calvinism many times during the 32 years since I was saved. The first time was shortly after I was converted, when I was in Bible College, and Calvinism was one of the many topics that were strenuously discussed by the students. I had never heard of Calvinism before that and I didn’t know what to think of it, so I read Arthur Pink’s The Sovereignty of God and a couple of other titles on the subject with a desire to understand it and to know whether it was scriptural or not. Some of the students became Calvinists, but I concluded that though Calvinism makes some good points about the sovereignty of God and though I personally like the way it exalts God above man and though I agree with its teaching that salvation is 100% of God and though I despise and reject the shallow, manipulative, man-centered soul winning scheme that is so common among independent Baptists and though it does seem to be supported by a few Scriptures, the bottom line to me is that it ends up contradicting far too many plain Scriptures.

In the year 2000 I was invited to preach at a conference on Calvinism at Heritage Baptist University in Greenwood, Indiana, that was subsequently held in April of 2001. The conference was opposed to Calvinism; and I agreed to speak, because I have been in sympathy with such a position ever since I first examined the subject in Bible College. Before I put together a message for the conference, though, I wanted to re-examine Calvinism in a more thorough manner. I contacted Dr. Peter Masters in London, England, and discussed the subject of Calvinism with him. I told him that I love and respect him in Christ and I also love and respect his predecessor, Charles Spurgeon, though I do not agree with either of them on Calvinism (or on some other issues, in fact). I told Dr. Masters that I wanted him to tell me what books he would recommend so that I could properly understand what he believes on the subject (knowing that there are many varieties of Calvinism). I did not want to misrepresent anything. Among other things, Dr. Masters recommended that I read Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and Iain Murray’s Spurgeon vs. the Hyper-Calvinists, which I did.

In the last couple of years I have re-investigated Calvinism from both sides. I read Dave Hunt’s “What Love Is This?” and “A Calvinist’s Honest Doubts Resolved by Reason and God’s Amazing Grace.” I read “Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views” by Dave Hunt and James White. I carefully re-read Arthur Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God” as well as the “Westminster Confession of Faith.” I have also studied about 100 pages of materials published in defense of Calvinism by the Far Eastern Bible College in Singapore. This is a Bible Presbyterian school.

As best as I know how, I have studied these materials with the sole desire to know the truth and with a willingness to follow the truth wherever it leads.

Thus, while I have not read every book on this subject that could be recommended by my readers, I have made a considerable effort to understand Calvinism properly and not to misrepresent it (though I have learned that a non-Calvinist will ALWAYS be charged with misrepresentation).

2. BAPTISTS MUST FACE THE ISSUE OF CALVINISM. It is a divisive subject, but it must be faced because it touches some of the most important points of biblical truth and affects how Christians perceive of the gospel and the very person of God. It is interesting to observe that there have always been divisions among Baptists on the issue of Calvinism. The early Baptists in England were divided into the General Baptists and the Particular Baptists, referring to how they viewed Christ’s atonement, as to whether it was for all men (general) or only for the elect (particular). Adam Taylor’s History of the General Baptists of England (1818) deals with the history of the non-Calvinist Baptists in Great Britain, and there were a large number of them. To my knowledge, Taylor is the only 19th-century British Baptist historian who was not a Calvinist. It is certain that the vast majority of Baptist histories are written by Calvinists and they typically neglect and sometimes misreport the history and beliefs of the non-Calvinist Baptists. Be that as it may, the fact remains that Baptists have always been divided on this issue and it is not wise to draw back from dealing with it today, even though divisions are certainly the result.

3. FEW THINGS HAVE HINDERED BIBLICAL EVANGELISM MORE THAN CALVINISM. It almost killed the evangelistic zeal of the Baptist churches of England in the 18th century and well into the 19th. Among Calvinists, evangelism is done IN SPITE OF Calvinism, not because of it. Baptist historian Thomas Armitage wrote: “William Carey’s ‘Inquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use means for the Conversion of the Heathen’ was published in 1792, but found few readers and produced little effect. To most of the Baptists his views were visionary and even wild, in open conflict with God’s sovereignty. At a meeting of ministers, where the senior Ryland presided, Carey proposed that at the next meeting they discuss the duty of attempting to spread the Gospel amongst the heathen. … Ryland, shocked, sprang to his feet and ordered Carey to sit down, saying: ‘When God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine!’”

Things were not much better when Spurgeon took his first pastorate in 1854. This situation is described in Spurgeon vs. the Hyper Calvinists by Iain Murray. Many Calvinists opposed Spurgeon and denounced his broad, indiscriminate invitations for sinners to come to Christ. For example, one Calvinist publication warned in Spurgeon’s day, “…to preach that it is man’s duty to believe savingly in Christ is ABSURD” (Earthen Vessel, 1857).

4. IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT CALVINISM IS AN UNSETTLED THEOLOGY. Calvinists are seriously divided among themselves and always have been. There is Supralapsarianism and Sublapsarianism and Infralapsarianism. “The Supralapsarians hold that God decreed the fall of Adam; the Sublapsarians, that he permitted it” (McClintock & Strong). There is also Amyraldianism, named for theologian Moise Amyraut, and Reymond’s modified supralapsarianism, named for Robert Reymond, another Calvinist who wants his own type of lapsarianism. The Calvinists at the Synod of Dort were divided on many issues, including lapsarianism. The Swiss Calvinists who wrote the Helvetic Consensus Formula in 1675 were in conflict with the French Calvinists of the School of Saumur. There are Strict Calvinists and Moderate Calvinists, Hyper and non-Hyper (differing especially on reprobation, the extent of the atonement, and whether God loves all men), 5 pointers, 4 pointers, 3 pointers, 2 pointers. In America, Calvinists were divided into Old School and the New School. As we have seen, the Calvinists of England were divided in the 19th century.

Whenever, therefore, one tries to state TULIP theology and then refute it, there are Calvinists who will argue with you that you are misrepresenting Calvinism. It is not so much that you are misrepresenting Calvinism, though. You might be quoting directly from various Calvinists or even from Calvin himself. The problem is that you are misrepresenting THEIR Calvinism! There are Calvin Calvinists and Andrew Fuller Calvinists and Arthur W. Pink Calvinists and Presbyterian Calvinists and Baptist Calvinists and many other sorts of Calvinists. Many Calvinists have never read Calvin’s Institutes of Christian Religion for themselves. They are merely following someone who follows someone who allegedly follows Calvin (who, by his own admission, followed Augustine).

Calvinists believe that they have the right to reject or modify some parts of, or conclusions of Calvin. I agree with them 100%, and I say, further, that we also have the right to reject the entire thing if we are convinced that it is not supported by Scripture!

5. IT IS NOT WISE TO FOLLOW JOHN CALVIN; HE WAS UNSOUND AT THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. Calvin never gave a testimony of the new birth; rather he identified with his Catholic infant baptism. Note the following quotes from his Institutes:

“At whatever time we are baptized, we are washed and purified once for the whole of life” (Institutes, IV).

“By baptism we are ingrafted into the body of Christ … infants are to be baptized … children of Christians, as they are immediately on their birth received by God as heirs of the covenant, are also to be admitted to baptism” (Institutes, IV).

Calvin was vicious toward his enemies, acting more like a devouring wolf than a harmless sheep. Historian William Jones observed that “that most hateful feature of popery adhered to Calvin through life, the spirit of persecution.” Note how he described his theological opponents: “…all that filth and villainy…mad dogs who vomit their filth against the majesty of God and want to pervert all religion. Must they be spared?” (Oct. 16, 1555). Calvin hated the Anabaptists, though they were miles closer to the Scriptural pattern for the New Testament church than he was. He called them “henchmen of Satan.” Four men who disagreed with Calvin on who should be admitted to the Lord’s Supper were beheaded, quartered, and their body parts hung in strategic locations in Geneva as a warning to others. He burned Michael Servetus (for rejecting infant baptism and for denying Christ’s deity). Calvin wrote about Servetus, “One should not be content with simply killing such people, but should burn them cruelly.”

6. GOD DOES NOT REQUIRE HIS PEOPLE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM! I am convinced that John Calvin has caused great and unnecessary divisions among God’s people because of dogmatizing his philosophizing about God’s sovereignty and election. If men were left simply to believe the Bible’s own statements on these matters and if men were not forced to decide between the man-made theologies called “Calvinism” and “Arminianism,” the Christian world would be much better off and many artificial and unnecessary divisions would not have resulted.

The Bible says “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). The Bible itself is the test of truth, not some man’s systematic theology. I have the right and responsibility to test every theology by the Bible, and I am free before the Lord to reject any part of it or all of it. I do not have to make a choice between human theologies. I can stand strictly and exclusively upon the Bible itself, the SOLE authority for faith and practice. Many Calvinists won’t allow that, though. James White, author of “The Truth about the King James Bible Controversy” and “The Potter’s Freedom” and several other books, wrote to me in about the year 1999 and challenged me to a public debate. He urged me to “defend Arminianism.” That is a strange notion, because I don’t follow Arminianism and I don’t care anything about Arminianism. I have studied the theology of James Arminius some and I find errors in it just as I have found errors in John Calvin’s theology. Though I do believe that Arminius was closer to the truth than Calvin, this does not mean that I have any intention to “defend Arminianism.” White has the idea that is so typical among Calvinists that if a man is not a Calvinist, he is surely an Arminian.

This idea actually began with Calvin. He treated those who disagreed with his position on election as enemies of God and the gospel and would not admit that men can reject Calvinism and still believe God’s Word! From the time that I was saved by God’s marvelous and free grace 32 years ago until this very day, I have wanted to understand the will of and to be a faithful servant of Jesus Christ through God’s preserved Word, the Scriptures. As best as I know how, I have made that my sole authority. I enjoy systematic theology; I have taught a course in Bible doctrine in a new Bible college that helped establish in South Asia and have published a book on Bible Doctrine or Theology, but I test all of the various theologies with the Scriptures alone, and I have never agreed completely with any man’s systematic theology.

I praise God that I am not under any divine obligation to follow either Calvinism or Arminianism.

SOME CENTRAL ERRORS OF CALVINISM

1. CALVINISM TURNS THEOLOGY INTO PHILOSOPHY.

Calvinism goes beyond biblical statements in an attempt to systematize the mysteries of God. John Calvin was a philosopher by training; his Institutes are extremely philosophical. It was first written when Calvin was young and only new converted to Protestantism, when his mind was still filled with the philosophy that he had studied as a Catholic priest.

True theology is simply believing and rightly interpreting the Bible, but God warns against philosophy and about leaving the simplicity of Christ (Col. 2:8; 2 Cor. 11:3).

Philosophy is to use the human intellect and logic in an attempt to come to the truth apart from divine revelation. In the case of Calvinism, the problem is that he goes beyond the actual statements of Scripture and creates doctrine by human reasoning.

For example, Arthur Pink states, “If then God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass then He must have decreed that vast numbers of human beings should pass out of this world unsaved to suffer eternally in the Lake of Fire. Admitting the general premise, is not the specific conclusion inevitable?” (p. 84).

The answer is that Pink’s premise is wrong and so, therefore, is the conclusion. To say that God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, is to go beyond what the Bible teaches. The Bible says He “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11), but that is not the same as actually foreordaining everything. And to build on this faulty platform by claiming that God must have decreed that vast numbers of human beings should pass out of this world unsaved, is to allow human logic to assume the place of divine revelation.

Again, Pink says, “Now if God had willed their salvation, would He not have vouchsafed them the means of salvation? Would He not have given them all things necessary to that end? But it is an undeniable matter of fact that He did not” (p. 83).

This is all human reasoning. But what saith the Word of God? It says that God did will the salvation of all (1 Tim. 2:3-6; 2 Pet. 3:9) and did provide for it (1 Jn. 2:2), but He also gave man a choice to believe or disbelieve (Jn. 3:16).

Here is another example of the philosophical approach of Calvinism. Pink says, “Now all will acknowledge that from the foundation of the world God certainly fore-knew and fore-saw who would and who would not receive Christ as their Saviour, therefore in giving being and birth to those He knew would reject Christ, He necessarily created them unto damnation” (p. 82).

The authority for this statement is not the plain teaching of Scripture but the author’s human reasoning. Pink confuses foreknowledge with forewilling. A parent gives his children many choices and greater liberty as they grow older and he knows that they will make mistakes and he knows the consequences of those mistakes beforehand, but when the children do wrong that is not to say that the parent forewilled it.

In this context, it is important to observe that Calvinism is not simple; it is very complicated. James White often makes the claim that Dave Hunt, who has debated him in print on this subject, doesn’t understand Calvinism, even though he is intelligent and has studied the issue diligently. This highlights the complexity and philosophical nature of Calvinism. It results in an elitist mentality. Consider some of the terms that James White uses in his debate with Dave Hunt: compatibalism, monergism versus synergism, electing grace vs. irresistible grace, effectual calling vs. general calling, effective atonement vs. hypothetical atonement, libertarian free will vs. the bondage of the will. Other Calvinists speak of objective grace and subjective grace, natural ability and moral ability, mediate vs. immediate imputation of Adam’s sin, supralapsarianism, sublapsarianism, infralapsarianism, desiderative vs. decretive will, and antecedent hypothetical will.

I believe that Calvinism is more akin to philosophy than to sound Bible theology and that it has left the simplicity that is in Christ.

2. THE CALVINIST SYSTEM TRIES TO RECONCILE THINGS THAT CANNOT BE RECONCILED IN THIS WORLD.

Consider Acts 13:48 and Acts 13:46

Verse 48 is a pet Calvinist verse: “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

The Calvinist says, “See, here is a plain statement that those who believe are those who are sovereignly ordained to believe.” The problem is that the word “sovereignly” is added to what this verse actually states and Calvinist doctrine is read into the verse to make it say, “…as many as were sovereignly and arbitrarily elected believed.” Any possibility that God’s foreknowledge could allow for the exercise of human will is entirely discounted, but there is nothing in the verse itself to require such an interpretation.

Also, in verse 46 we see a different story. “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”

Here we see that salvation is associated with man’s response to the gospel. According to the plain teaching of this verse, these Jews did not go to Hell because they were not part of the elect or because they were sovereignly elected to reprobation, but simply because they refused to believe. They reprobated themselves. Paul told them that God wanted to give them everlasting life and they rejected it.

Consider John 6:37 and John 6:40

Again, John 6:37 is a favorite Calvinist proof text. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

The Calvinist finds his doctrines of Sovereign Election and Irresistible Grace here. The problem is that if “irresistible grace” is taught in this passage, it is for all who believe on Christ and not merely for a special few who were sovereignly pre-elected to be saved.

This verse does not say that God has sovereignly pre-chosen only some for salvation and that it is those pre-chosen ones that are given to Christ. One must read all of that into the verse. It simply says that all that the Father gives will come to Christ. The question is this: “Who is it that the Father gives to Jesus?”

That question is answered plainly in this passage only three verses later: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:40). (Of course the Calvinist argues that it is only the elect who can “see the Son,” but one must read that into the verse.)

In verse 40 we see that the sovereign will of God is that each and every sinner that believes on Christ will be saved. Here the sovereign will of God is to allow men a choice in salvation, and a great many other verses agree.

Consider John 6:44 and John 12:32

John 6:44 is another Calvinist proof text. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

The Calvinist finds sovereign election and irresistible grace here.

Yet John 12:32 says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

Here we see that Jesus draws all men.

How can these seemingly contradictory things be reconciled? Calvinism doesn’t have the answer, because its proposed solution ignores or twists too many clear Scriptures.

I don’t believe these things can be properly reconciled in this present world. We should simply let them stand and not try to force them into a perfectly formed theological system. God truly elects and man truly chooses. God elects and yet every man is urged to be saved and every man can be saved. God elects and yet sent His Son to die for the whole world. God elects and yet does not want any sinner to perish.

All are equally true and Scriptural, so let them ALL stand and do not try to reconcile that which the Bible itself does not reconcile and which therefore cannot be reconciled into a neat theological package in this present world.

3. CALVINISM’S DOCTRINES ARE CONTRARY TO THE PLAIN TEACHING OF GOD’S WORD.

THE BIBLE VS. THE CALVINIST DOCTRINE THAT FAITH IS A WORK

Calvinism says that grace means man cannot do anything, cannot even believe, because otherwise grace would not be grace and the sinner would have something to boast of.

First of all, this is unscriptural, because the Bible plainly says faith and believing are not works.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

It is not faith that is the gift of God; it is salvation that is the gift. Salvation is by grace but THROUGH faith. Faith is “the hand that reaches out and accepts the gift of God.” Faith is not a work.

“For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:2-5).

Here we see plainly that faith is the opposite of works. Therefore to require that a sinner believe the gospel is not to require the sinner to do some sort of works for salvation.

Furthermore, this doctrine that faith is a work is unreasonable. Salvation is likened in Scripture to receiving a gift. It can also be likened to accepting a pardon and taking a life preserver. If someone purchases an expensive gift for me and I accept it, do I have anything to boast of? If I am in prison on death row for my crimes and the governor mercifully offers me a pardon and I accept it, have I done anything that I could boast of? If I am drowning in the ocean and a boat pulls alongside and offers to rescue me and I allow them to do that, have I thereby had some part in my salvation from drowning? Have I done something I could boast of? Of course not! When the sinner hears that Christ loves him and died for him and rose from the dead and offers him eternal salvation and the sinner joyfully receives that great salvation, that is not works and the sinner has nothing to boast about.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment