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important Sermon! Very needed and important refutation of the naive and popular statement that is here exploded and refuted many. A pastor of a sovereign grace baptist church told me "we are not a confessional church", as if that was better. Yet they have a short statement of beliefs in print! This message shows why such statements are untruthful and an irrational position that only opens the door for a multitude of errors and heresies, that have flooded modern churches.
Neil wrote: Glad he pointed out Brown's Calvinism; that is usually overlooked....
Are you kidding? John Brown absolutely did not hold to traditional Calvinistic teaching! John Brown was America's first terrorist, a heretical fanatic and psychopath (see dictionary definition).
Google "What John Brown did in Kansas", then try to convince us that he was a real Christian instead of a crazed murderer that held the equivalent of what became Black Liberation Theology, with militia fanaticism!
Also, the Bible does not teach Abolitionism, or the abolition of the Master-Servant relation any more than it does that of Fathers-Children or Husbands-Wives (i.e. Ephesians, Colossians, Timothy, et al). Abuse within a relation does not negate the relations established and regulated in the Bible.
Good! Idols, likenesses, and images are not only unnecessary but strictly forbidden in the 2nd commandment for the worship of God and Christ. "Thou shalt not make unto thee ANY graven image or ANY LIKENESS...".
This was the position of the protestants, reformers, like Calvin, Knox, the Puritans of England and Pilgrims of America, who also did not bow the superstition of "Christmas" day, but in fact banned it and made it a "common market day".
Superstitious icons are a mark of false, not true, Christianity. Faith does not require sensual images or music to be active, for "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT SEEN" (Heb. 11).
It's time to purge away the icons, manger scenes, decorated trees in Christian homes and churches, materialistic shopping greed, and light imagery--the Christianized paganism of the superstitious regard for Dec. 25th as being "Christ's birth" at the time of the pagan's festivals of the Winter Solstice (i.e. what the trees, decorations, lights, and gift giving really are a part of).
The subject of this conference is very relevant especially these days as a smorgasbord of worship practices, many of which are worldly, have come headlong into churches that have in particular embraced being "reformed" in theology, and claim to follow the Puritans in doctrine. This has been especially evident among New Calvinists and their youth movements.
Yet, I wonder if the speakers represented will address their own peculiarities and questionable interpretation of the 2nd commandment's regulative principle and example of the New Testament apostles. For example Dr. Beeke's church has a massive pipe organ while the Puritans at Westminster disassembled theirs and even Spurgeon denounced the use of musical instruments for worship. Also, Paul Washer has been quoted as endorsing some kinds of rap music for worship which he thought were consistent with sound doctrine.
All this to say there is considerable confusion and new innovations even among those holding to reformed theology and even on the list of speakers scheduled. Maybe these things will be addressed since they are appropriate for the immediate purpose of the conference as stated.
Images, Icons Show Hatred to God, Not Love Historically, Baptists used to hold to the same principles regarding worship as the Westminster Confession and Catechism too. It used to be that Baptists would never put crosses or spires on their Church Meeting places either for this same reason, and certainly never Christmas trees, nor pictures of "Jesus", nor holiday idols called manger scenes.
"... But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, **or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures**."
- 1689 London Baptist Confession, also adopted by Charleston Baptist Assoc. of South Carolina in the 1700s.
Important Sermon! Very relevant as to what God desires rather than the vain desires of churches today. And even more relevant during this season of great superstition as we approach closer to what is blasphemously called Christmas, largely by professing Christians. Dare we talk about the use of decorated trees, and quite a few in churches? Pray tell, what example of do we have in scripture of this, other than from the heathen nations and Babylon's idolatry?
The Second Commandment cannot be of "secondary importance", without considering the grave threat, from God himself, in the commandment. Should we provoke God while claiming to worship the Son?
Relevant topic but will it make a difference? It is interesting how this subject is receiving much attention, yet few changes have been made in churches. Everyone considers other churches trendy but not their own. It is a matter of degrees of difference.
You would think that church was impossible without even 18th and 19th century hymns, mostly from Arminians. Wesley, Fanny Crosby, Watts have more influence on even the "traditional" churches than does the apostle Paul and Scripture! There is a 2nd commandment, a regulative principle for worship, and both warnings and examples in the New Testament of right and wrong worship, and how "psalms, hymns, songs...inspired", by the Holy Spirit, ought to be sung to one another, and not a word about musical instruments being necessary, while innovations and "Judaizing" (using OT means of worship) is condemned by none other than the apostle Paul (Gal, Col, Eph, etc). Those who claim to be "reformed" thus far, have not reformed themselves.
Sodomy therefore is a public health issue, and a cause for justifiable discrimination for public welfare. The CDC statistics are also compelling. Where are all those then who believe in science on this issue? It is irrational to ignore the evidence.
The self-righteousness of those who assert Evolution falls apart the more you ask them questions. And these people think they are "higher" and "educated" yet they cannot articular intelligently any consistent, logical explanations with any sense of common reasoning. "Professing to be wise they became fools". The truth is they merely want to mock the Bible, God, and the Christian religion on nothing more than personal prejudice.
Excellent Warnings! This is worth hearing in its entirety. In regards to the multitudes that still follow John Piper and New Calvinism (yes it certainly is new, different than historic Calvinism) in particular this sheds needed light on just why their 'Desiring God' conference is so deceptive and dangerous. Let those who like C.S. Lewis attempt to refute these plain facts about the man's beliefs and teachings (through allegory aimed at children too). In regard to the Vatican issue about its political influence the same, and moreso, even stronger case could be made for AIPAC, the Israeli Lobby in Congress. Good points about Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church which while it is refreshing on the issue of homosexuality (and a contrast to the new popular Pope) it is an idolatrous institution as much as the Roman, Greek, and Coptic (Egyptian) churches all of which represent no true Christianity as taught in the Bible.
The LORD's Holy Grudge Against the Churches Timely! "...until they acknowledge their offense". The LORD holds a holy grudge, turns and walks away, and will not return to the modern churches (yes conservative and reformed too), until they come to terms with his condition above, "until."
The issue is not "will the Lord turn away", but that the LORD already HAS turned away from the churches in America and Britain. Yes they have "sought after him with their sheep and flocks", returning to some older and historic doctrines and practice, but only superficially. "They will not find me, until...", says the inspired text. Churches are going through the motions but are impotent because there is no power, no true regeneration or sanctification. Churches and family generations are Backsliders. "I know Ephraim, and Judah..". "There is none that seeks after God", truly that is. "All have turned aside", literally. This is the "Ichabod Generation", and has been in America since the Civil War and early 1900s. Even Spurgeon's Downgrade puts a time frame on the "falling away", and Fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, Charismaticism and New Calvinism were vain attempts to regain power and influence. But the condition has not been met: "Until they acknowledge their offense", and "come clean" before Christ who removes Candlesticks.
Mark of Apostasy Leads to Tyranny The failure and lack of any fear of God or regard for the Lord's Day as holy are clear marks that modern Christianity is not only lukewarm Laodiceanism but entirely apostate. Even most grandparents would be astonished at the casual regard for it. This also includes the lack of distinction between a real Christian or church and the world. Have not the Candlesticks of America's churches effectually been 'removed' and no longer shed any distinguishing light in the dark land of a licentious liberty?
But the second consequence is that an anti-Christian but accepted Tyranny has been erected. For while the government and corporations in law pretend to protect "equal rights" on employment, including "religion", the fact is clear that most all employers require availability for work on Sundays and will openly discriminate and not hire those who refuse! DEFEND YOUR LEGAL AND CHRISTIAN RIGHT TO NOT WORK ON THE LORD'S DAY WHICH THE GOVERNMENT AND ALL CORPORATIONS MUST RESPECT (as they do for others, such as Jews and their holidays, who force even Congress to dismiss). Will those of a pretended "sexual orientation" have protected "rights" while Christians have none and forfeit their Christian liberty?
Apostasy is the road to tyranny, and it's here.
This is a very important subject. But I am shocked and disappointed that the blogger in his blog confesses to liking Metallica as favorite music. I believe that is entirely contrary to what the Psalms teach about the fear of God, reverence, holiness, all of which stands against the wickedness and culture of the heathen world where "there is no fear of God before their eyes". Would the apostle Paul like Metallica? Would David? Truly this makes liking Watts or Wesley look much better. Are we to be "unregulated" in principle the rest of the week? This is a symptom of a bi- frocated modern Pop Calvinism (New Calvinism) which walks in a Facebook world during the week but talks about the Holiness and Justice of God, from the Psalms, on Sunday.
Very helpful and enlightening post! Most do not even consider how church practice has differed from the past and consider it unimportant. But this demonstrates a pattern that will worship in singing leads to apostasy.
My grandfather was a pastor of a German Reformed Church (who studied under Warfield at Princeton) and their denomination during the end of his life turned to apostasy and liberalism (which is the pattern of all churches that decline into will worship) and his entire extended family seceded from it and from all reformed churches and fled for refuge to (get this) fundamentalist (but Arminian and creedless) churches typical of the 20th century. Now the fundamentalist churches have declined into pop culture and have no firm doctrines (except the incomplete listed fundamental ones). The point is that the leaving of exclusive Psalm singing leads to decline in Doctrine and Practice and total apostasy from the Word of God. It replaces God's justice with a false universal love and sentimentalism which is superstitious will-worship of a very different God than what the Bible teaches, and a different gospel (with a false universal love) which opposes God's Justice.
Typical liberal state where past cries for tolerance against "thought police" now are turned into applause for pretended "social justice" dictatorship. Are they not censoring his speech and rights for New Orthodoxy of Political-Correctness? Will the State be a persecutor of religious freedom and (passive protest) speech? He is not even trespassing or picketing in protest on public streets. He simply refused a customer order to his own private-owned business.
Articles in the UK prove that if met with resistance both conservatives and liberals believe such persecutory laws by government are contrary to the Constitution and free speech, free religion, and private property (i.e. including business affairs).
Where is the "social justice" in overthrowing speech, intellectual and religious "freedom" here in America? This will not stand in any Constitutional appeal. The baker is on firm moral and lawful grounds in refusing and standing against such tyranny and injustice. No one compelled them to order a cake from him, nor is it a life-essential commodity they wanted. Why should he be compelled to support and avow their pretended marriage or any other strange or offensive order?
Mike wrote: We need a poll to determine the obvious? Of course government threatens freedom. That's what it does when given free rein. "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." Thomas Jefferson 1788
Yep, and it's old news since it says "for the first time since 1995". Really? What about 2002 after 9/11 and the Bush Administration began trampling the Constitution for a Homeland Tyranny (aka Security) government, USA PATRIOT ACT, and surveillance state that makes Orwell look like a prophet? It only shows how republicans are so blind when their own party (filled with blind evangelicals) does it. Apparently it's only noticed under Democrat administrations.
But this has be going on since FDR (Social Security and New Deal laws) and Woodrow Wilson (who imprisoned dissent for WWI)...back further to 1861 (read why the Southern states really seceded)...yeah, go back to the Anti-Federalist speeches of Christian statesmen like Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams before 1787 and the Constitution's ratification!
The Centralized government has constantly been usurping since State's Rights were overthrown for a Consolidated "Big Government". And republicans have been no friend either, historically, esp.
King Herod, who liked to listen to John the Baptist, had a wife like that too. So did King Ahab, whose wife was the infamous Jezebel, that wicked woman. These (outwardly beautiful) women were enemies of the prophets and sought to kill them who spoke the word of God boldly to those otherwise considerate statesmen.
And God said to Adam after his Fall, "because you listened (and acted accordingly) to the voice of your (attractive) wife...", etc. Satan still uses this same craft, Playbook 101 since the Garden, to breakdown righteousness and confound any reformation for good, i.e. infiltration and subtle usurpation from those of closest affinity, esp. marriage. King Solomon's wives even turned his heart toward idols. It is not uncommon for women to use their husband's power to achieve their own ambitions like this, craftily.
This not only happens in governments, but in churches and homes too--with devastating spiritual and social effects and declines! It is better not to have a wife and be alone than to have the wrong one. "A faithful woman who can find?"
And woe unto the men who tolerate being "hen-pecked" or seduced into submission to their wives' ambition-driven wills!
"In the last days difficult times shall come...lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God...who have a a form of godliness (church goers) without the power thereof (no difference on life)...from such turn away". -- The apostle Paul, 2 Tim. 3