I see what you are saying, but Jeff Cook isnâ€™t merely talking about an ongoing Sanctification process that we might debate over. He goes on to suggest that we abandon the concept that homosexuals and lesbians need to repent at all. He suggests that we should view homosexuality and lesbianism like OT dietary restrictions for shell fish that simply didnâ€™t apply to the new Gentile believers in the early church. He is clearly encouraging us to entertain homosexuals and lesbians coming as they are and staying as they are, as being the new wave of the new work of the Holy Spirit that overrides what Godâ€™s Word so clearly says (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
rebels justifying & defending apostasy Well reasoned and flowery justifications and defenses for apostasy and apostates based upon personal experience will wear thin on that Day in which we all must give an account. Gal 1:6-9, 2 John 10-11, and Jude 3 cry out against such folly with absolute clarity and infinite authority. How dare any man or woman open their foul mouth or put their foul fingers to the keyboard to speak against God's eternal Word. The Word of God judges their defense of apostasy now and the God of the Word will judge them when they stand before His throne if they do not repent. Those who Love the Lord Jesus, His Gospel, and lost sinners will happily stand with Jeremiah and Spurgeon against all those who cry "Peace, peace! When there is no peace" (Jer. 6:14).
Ed Chapman is a long time, faithful follower of Julie Anne Smith.
In answer to Ed's question, MATTHEW HENRY (CHARLES SPURGEONâ€™S FAVORITE BIBLE COMMENTATOR), JOHN CALVIN, AND ALBERT BARNES support me, my family, and our church in a just defense against vicious criminal accusations vindictively made by the close friends of Don Miller (see http://wp.me/p2YEp0-54), a fired former staff member. These heavy weight pastor/theologians stand firmly with us against the evil assault of Christ's church and our families.
Here is Matthew Henry's commentary on 1 Cor. 6, â€śHere is at least an intimation that they went to law for trivial matters, things of little value; for the apostle blames them that they did not suffer wrong rather than go to law (v. 7), which must be understood of matters not very important. In matters of great damage to ourselves or families, we may use lawful means to right ourselves. We are not bound to sit down and suffer the injury tamely, without stirring for our own relief; but, in matters of small consequence, it is better to put up with the wrong. Christians should be of a forgiving temper. And it is more for their ease and honor to suffer small injuries and inconveniences than seem to be contentious.â€ť
You wrote in your missive that, â€śthe liturgy will include a Creed that goes to the heart of Gospel and will include words spoken and sung that take us to the Cross.â€ť It is here that you carelessly trample not on Scripture alone, but upon the TRUE Gospel, the FINISHED work of the Cross, and the LORD Jesus Christ.
â€¦The Catholic gospel is a complex system of sacramental faith and works in which Godâ€™s grace is doled out sacrament by sacramentâ€¦ The sixth point of the Grace Brethren Statement of Faith says: SALVATION. A complete and eternal salvation by God's grace alone received as the gift of God through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
In your continual promotion of the ministry of pope and priest alike, you trample our Biblical position on SALVATION beneath your feet in the dung of manâ€™s tradition and papal decree. You insult the lives, testimonies, and shed blood of the martyrs that died for the true Gospel that our statement of faith declares.
*The excerpts from the letter below were written to Don Shoemaker four years ago, exhorting him to repent and stand by his professed commitment to the FGBC doctrinal distinctives. I EXHORT YOU TO DO THE SAME:
â€¦As a pastor of a Grace Brethren Church you have professed agreement with a basic FGBC covenant and Statement of Faith. Section One of that covenant reads, â€śThe sovereign congregations which are members of this corporation are united in accepting the Holy Scriptures as the sole guide and authority in all matters of faith, doctrine and practiceâ€ť (http://www.fgbc.org/whoarewe/covenant-and-statement-of-faith.cfm). How does finding â€śspiritual nourishmentâ€ť (and encouraging others to do so) in Roman Catholic â€śliturgy,â€ť â€śCreed,â€ť and â€śhomilyâ€ť based on an amalgamation of Holy Scripture, unholy papal decree, and the unholy authoritative traditions of Rome, reflect a commitment to â€śthe Holy Scriptures as the sole guide and authority in all matters of faith, doctrine and practiceâ€ť?
â€¦Your professed unity with the FGBC is based upon a claim to hold to the â€śBible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible,â€ť and yet you trample upon the Bible and that claim, through your continual promotion of the Roman Catholic Church.
You wrote, "As you know, the FGBC is a Fellowship of churches. Our association as churches is relational (around doctrinal distinctives of course), but our functioning together is because of our relationships with each other. That is why we are a 'fellowship' rather than a 'denomination.'"
I exhorted Dr. Shoemaker to cease trampling upon the FGBC doctrinal distinctives four years ago. I exhorted you to defend the FGBC doctrinal distinctives, and more importantly the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, four years ago. I exhort you to do so again now. Repent Greg. Defend the Gospel. Defend the Word of God. Defend the very heart of the FGBC doctrinal distinctives. Repent of your fight against those who are defending the Gospel, Word of God, and the FGBC distinctives. Repent of your unholy alliance with the pope, priest, mass, counter reformer, Rev. Ginny Wagner promoting Don Shoemaker as a member of the AGBM in good standing. Do the Biblical and â€śhonorableâ€ť thing and repent, OR withdraw yourself from the AGBM, the FGBC, and the pastorate. BGBC is yet committed to defending the Gospel, the Word of God, and the FGBC doctrinal distinctives that are built upon it. Repent and join us in that defense Greg.
*Things are not always what they first seem to be. Here is a portion of the rest of the story.
In Nov. of 2008 a man was removed from the staff of Beaverton Grace Bible Church (BGBC). Since that time, Pastor Charles Oâ€™Neal and the Beaverton Grace Bible Church have been the targets of a three and a half year campaign of defamation by a group of former church members and attenders who are close personal friends of the former staff member. The church elders and the pastor did little to defend themselves over these three and a half years, believing that the individuals would tire of the effort and eventually cease the defamation. However, that did not prove to be successful. In fact it was counter-productive. The defamation campaign escalated recently when one of the former congregants established a blog on the internet with the intent of reaching a broader audience. This divisive group has used review websites, blogs, the police, the Department of Human Services, and now the local media in their three and a half year campaign to destroy Pastor Oâ€™Neal and Beaverton Grace Bible Church with false accusations that range from ridiculous to criminal.
Great Sermon! Thanks for the encouraging word Nina. May God grant a revival of evangelistic zeal to the church of Jesus Christ. The armies of Islam are taking over the earth through violence, intimidation, and bold declaration of Muslim dogma. Christ's army must respond with grace and bold Gospel truth publicly and house to house. To God (Yahweh -Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) be the glory!
Rom 10:2-4 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
2 John 9-11 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
What you see here are two essential types of judgment exercised and admonished. If we canâ€™t make GOSPEL judgments we canâ€™t distinguish between the true Gospel and the many false gospels. If we canâ€™t make MORAL judgments we canâ€™t distinguish between righteousness and lawlessness.
You make a good judgment yourself in writing, â€śright now, SO-CALLED Catholics and Evangelicals, and the World, are allowing Unborn Babies, No Rights, just Legally Aborting them.â€ť I agree with you completely in your Biblically based judgment that professing Christians who promote abortion are in certain danger of hell, and professing Christians who do nothing to stop abortions (speak out, support pro-life ministries, etc.) are in danger of some level of divine chastisement in the least. However, I must make a distinction. Roman â€śCatholicsâ€ť (those who hold to the Catechism of the Catholic Church) and the â€śWorldâ€ť are even now under the wrath of God and must repent or they will most certainly perish.
Matt 7:13-23 "ENTER BY THE NARROW GATE; for WIDE IS THE GATE AND BROAD IS THE WAY THAT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION, AND THERE ARE MANY WHO GO IN BY IT. 14 Because NARROW IS THE GATE AND DIFFICULT IS THE WAY WHICH LEADS TO LIFE, AND THERE ARE FEW WHO FIND IT.
15 "BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS (in order to beware of them you must make judgments as to who they are and why), WHO COME TO YOU IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING, BUT INWARDLY THEY ARE RAVENOUS WOLVES. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21"NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS TO ME,'LORD, LORD,' SHALL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER IN HEAVEN. 22 MANY WILL SAY TO ME IN THAT DAY, 'LORD, LORD, HAVE WE NOT PROPHESIED IN YOUR NAME, CAST OUT DEMONS IN YOUR NAME, AND DONE MANY WONDERS IN YOUR NAME?' 23 And THEN I WILL DECLARE TO THEM, 'I NEVER KNEW YOU; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS!'
If you had read your Bible more thoroughly you would have known that the Lord Jesus forbids making sin based judgments, He in no way forbids us from making judgments on truth and error, authentic Gospel and false gospel, holiness and sinfulness. These judgments are essential. These judgments are both commanded and exemplified by the Lord Jesus, the Apostles, the Prophets of old, etc. Notice the full teaching of Matt. 7:1-5 (especially verse 5) and the immediate judgment the Lord makes and exhorts us to make in the following verses.
Matt 7:1-5 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! FIRST REMOVE THE PLANK FROM YOUR OWN EYE, AND THEN YOU WILL SEE CLEARLY TO REMOVE THE SPECK FROM YOUR BROTHER'S EYE.
I assure you that I read my Bible. As a rule I read the whole chapter when I quote a verse or two from it. For instance, the often ecumenically abused prayerful admonition for unity found in John 17:20-26 is preceded by:
John 17:17-19 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
The Lord Jesus was in no way praying for a unity in verses 20-26 that supersedes His prayer for His followers to be sanctified by the truth of the Word of God in verses 17-19. In fact, the Lord expressly forbids unity with error, false gospels, heresy, etc. (See 2 Cor. 6:12-7:1; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 John 9-11)
You have provided another example of misinterpreting Scripture in your use of Luke 6:32. The first rule of interpretation is CONTEXT, you ignored that rule in your use of John 17:20-26. The second rule of interpretation is THE ANALOGY OF THE FAITH, interpreting Scripture with Scripture by comparing Scripture with Scripture when and where it speaks to the same subject. Luke 6:32 is an abbreviated form of the same teaching found in Matt. 7:1-5.
Your commitment to sacramental salvation is commendable from the standpoint that you actually believe what you say you believe and thus strive to convince others of their error. I pray many of my fellow â€śevangelicalâ€ť pastors, missionaries, and evangelists will one day fight for the true Gospel of Jesus Christ as faithfully as you fight for the demonic doctrines of Rome. MAY GOD OPEN YOUR EYES AND THEIRS TO THE SIMPLICITY AND GLORY OF THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST!