“Be willing to let people leave the church. And I told you earlier the fact that people are gonna leave the church no matter what you do. But when you define the vision, you’re choosing who leaves. You say, “But Rick, yes, they’re the pillars of the church.” Now, you know what pillars are. Pillars are people who hold things up … And in your church, you may have to have some blessed subtractions before you have any real additions” – The Purpose Driven Church
This quote by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the bestselling books ‘The Purpose Driven Church’ and ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ exemplifies why I left the only church I have attended in the eleven years since embracing Christ as my Savior. I count myself as one of these ‘blessed subtractions’ for the simple reason that I don’t share Warren’s vision for the postmodern church. Unfortunately, I appear to be in the minority, as thousands of churches nationwide have adopted the principles he espouses in his books, which many have exalted to near canonical status in laying ecclesiological foundations. Continue reading
I don’t make this stuff up, people. The modern church is impossible to satire. The truth is much more absurd than fiction. Dr. Albert Mohler in his daily blog discusses a recent article from the Arizona Daily Star about a growing trend among churches to refer to God as anything and everything but ‘Lord’. You really must read this to believe it…
I have an opinion on the origin of all these PC gender-neutral terms and hierarchical and patriarchal phobic beliefs – and someday I may be brave enough to post about it. For now, enjoy as Dr. Mohler sinks his teeth into this postmodern rebellion.
This blog has primarily focused on issues of theology and personal experiences in evangelism, but I will now begin integrating the themes and articles from my discernment blog into this one. Shortly, my other blog shall cease to exist and I will journal onward only as a quite peculiar pilgrim.
Be ye warned! You shall be exposed to heresies, watered down doctrines, false teachers, big teeth and slicked back hair. Please keep barf bags and smelling salts nearby. Things could (and probably will) get a little ugly at times.
For those readers who willingly bring injury to your intellects by digesting both my blogs, I ask for patient endurance as I republish articles from over there. I will continue to post new things interspersed with the discernment articles, so please don’t take an extended leave of absence. I have several interesting topics in the skillet – so stay tuned!
I gleaned the following snippets from the article ‘The Practical Implications of Calvinism’ by Albert N. Martin. I highly recommend reading it in its entirety.
Have you been brought to see your own corruption in sin in such a measure that the first two beatitudes are true of you?’ The only people in the world who are truly blessed are those who have been so wrought upon by the Spirit that they are not strangers to these two things: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted’. How does God make men truly blessed, truly happy? First of all, he makes them sad at the sight and sense of their own impoverishment in a state of sin. What is poverty of spirit? Is it some kind of pseudo-pietistic attempt to convince myself that I am a miserable worm and a wretch? Not at all! Poverty of spirit results from just getting a sight of what you really are, and seeing that you are nothing and have nothing and can do nothing that can commend yourself to the grace and saving favour of God; it results from the conviction that he could make you an eternal monument of his righteous wrath, and let you perish in the eternal burning. Have you known an inner stripping that has brought you to poverty of spirit? to holy mourning? to the recognition that your sin has been against the Sovereign God? Have you been brought to the place where you hate your sin enough to forsake it and cleave only to Christ? Continue reading
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Mat 16:24-26)
In my toddler years as a believer I pondered the importance of the doctrine of dying to self. Why would Jesus demand such a radical position of people in order to follow him? Self isn’t all that bad. We make mistakes, but surely God doesn’t demand for us to throw away our inherent goodness in word, thought and deed in order to be called a true disciple of Christ. After all, God loves us just as we are, right? I puzzled over it for years without coming to any fruitful conclusions. I classified these verses as hyperbole. After I embraced the doctrines of Grace or Calvinism I came to fully understand man’s desperate natural condition. Man is radically corrupt in all his character and nature. Not one part of his being seeks to glorify God in any manner whatsoever.
I now realize why Jesus demanded self abandonment. Continue reading
Sometimes we are inclined to think that a very great portion of modern revivalism has been more a curse than a blessing, because it has led thousands to a kind of peace before they have known their misery; restoring the prodigal to the Father’s house, and never making him say, “Father, I have sinned.”
It very often happens that the converts that are born in excitement die when the excitement is over.
None of us can fully escape this blindness [of our age], but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern books. Where they are true they will give us truths which we half knew already. Where they are false they will aggravate the error with which we are already dangerously ill. The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us…. To be sure, the books of the future would be just as good a corrective as the books of the past, but unfortunately we cannot get at them. – CS Lewis