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Or perhaps you missed this part (the Holy Spirit inspired part)...
4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim 4:1-5)
Hello again Jason. You must have missed this part...
It is gloriously true that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). It is also gloriously true that the Holy Spirit condescends to use earthly means toward that end. The Lord has practical means by which He sanctifies His people. Sanctification is an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit through the washing of the water of the Word of God.
It is God's will that every believer be in a local church where they are well known and well know the saints of God, for the mutual ministry of iron sharpening iron. Furthermore, it is God's will that every believer be in a local church where the full counsel of God is preached and taught by faithful pastors. This is the Lord's design for maturing, equipping, and sanctifying His saints. You are right that no church is perfect, and yet the Lord perfectly uses the local church and the local pastor to wash His people with the water of the Word. In the Pastoral Epistles we see the ministry of God's word starting in the home (parental instruction) and being furthered in the local church (pastoral instruction).
I sense in your writing an over-emphasis on your position of authority as a pastor; the Word is not your club or mine to wield as we desire. The people you minister to are all at different stages of spiritual growth; the Word of God (thru the Spirit) will speak to each of them where they are. If you want to see lasting change and not just outward conformity, let God do the work in His time. Remember, in your preaching you must also address your own heart; itâ€™s not just you telling others what to do.
Itâ€™s not by a preacher personal authority or persuasiveness, no matter how well he knows scripture or how highly he is gifted. But solely by the authority and the power of Scripture itself, illuminated and applied by the Holy the Holy Spirit, that any ministry or Christian service can be spiritually effective and pleasing to the Lord.
While I agree with most of what you say the sentence â€śIt is every pastor's job to bring conviction upon God's people.â€ť is a little frightening. Remember, it is the Holy Spirit that brings conviction through the Word, not the pastor. The pastor and others, not just the appointed leader of a local body (pastor in your case), are to preach the Word. It is the Spirit that does the work. If you truly wish to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting Godâ€™s people of sin, let Him do it; His Word will not return void (Is. 55)
My heartâ€™s desire is to be of man of God, completely yielded to Him in all my ways; my mind will never be sufficiently renewed and washed until I am completely conformed to the image of Christ, just as the Church we see in this world ( and I include all churches) is not without stain, wrinkle or blemish. If anyoneâ€™s life is dissected and probed, there will be evidence of not being â€śsufficiently renewed.â€ť However, our Lord also sees us in our positional standing before Him, as individuals and the Body, through His righteousness that He has given us.
My heart and mind is fully known by God, and He will bring about the needed changes in my life (Ps 139). My limited life experiences have made it very clear to me that I am a poor judge of otherâ€™s motives, hearts, and minds (1 Sam 16:7). I am open to His leading and desire to press on in my Christian life. â€ś Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Phil. 1:12)
â€śThis is evidence of a mind that has not been sufficiently renewed, and a conscience that has not been washed and revived by the Word of God (Ephs. 5:26).â€ť
I know that as a Christian, my sanctification is a LIFE-LONG process. Philippians 1:6 makes it very clear that the Lord will continue the work HE BEGAN in me until I either die and go to be with Him or meet Him in the air. I also know that I must keep on being filled with the Spirit (Eph5:18), it is not just a onetime event or a plateau we may reach and never again need His filling. 1 John 1:9 tells me that I need to confess my sins and He will purify me from ALL unrighteous; the sins I need to confess are those that the Holy Spirit convicts me of, not simply what others will point out. Real change comes from the work of God within the heart. I have already changed some of my views on music, by the grace of God. And by His grace, He will continue to change me from the inside out, and the desires of my heart will become His (Ps. 37:4). For some of us, that change takes longer than others; but He loves all His children the same.
I've seen Saw 1. And that was enough for me, and reading from detailed reviews of 2, 3, 4. It is not something I want to continue to watch. Seeing limbs and body parts get ripped off in horrible ways, gore and blood squirting everywhere... Violence in movies in one thing, but there is a limit to where they can go "to far" with violence, were it becomes just sickening to watch. That is what Saw is known for.
I don't like giving my location to people, or even my city. Unless, of course, I know them personally.
So, before you bash a movie telling everyone how wrong it is, Iâ€™d recommend you watching the movie for yourself. Donâ€™t judge a book by its cover until youâ€™ve read it for yourself. Unless, of course, youâ€™ve seen the movie. Which based on your huge negative review, I doubt you have. Maybe you have though.
We see the detrimental changes one character undergoes as he chooses to seek revenge on those he feels have wronged him. The Dark Knight is not what I would consider a movie to shun from watching. It is dark movie, yes, there is violence, but not necessarily in the way you are insinuating and exaggeratingâ€¦especially having pluggedinonline comparing it to the saw seriesâ€¦that a little extremeâ€¦ The movie is dark in that it shows the truly evil nature of the villains and how a person can become corrupted by continually making bad decisions. But Batman is ultimately the hero of the movie and he chooses to make huge personal sacrifices for the people of Gotham.
I wouldn't consider any of that a horribly objectionable "evil" or anti-Christian film. You make it sound as if the movie should be shunned. I agree that the Lord's name should not be taken in vain. I'm sure most Christians have boundaries for the movies they will watch. However, all Christians have different limits that we set, that differ from individual to individual. Where to draw the line is important and involves a great deal of discernment on our parts. Also people will not always agree on where the line should be drawn.
I would first like to say that the quoted pluggedinonline review is not accurate. Pluggedinonline at times over-exaggerates on how they describe e things. Comparing them to the Saw series is completely ridiculous.
I take it basically, that essentially, you are saying that The Dark Knight is an evil film and Christians shouldn't be watching it. But I do object to your labeling of The Dark Knight as a movie with a "violent and dark or maybe even a (evil) messageâ€ť, and should be avoided at all costs. The movie actually has several positive messages throughout this fantastic film. Batman goes so far as to willing sacrifice everything he holds dear (his reputation, his chance at a relationship with the woman he loves, etc.) to protect the people of Gotham. The people of Gotham also demonstrate and strongly show a heightened sense of morality when they are tested with a kill or be killed "experiment" set up by The Joker. Lt. Gordon continues to set a good and positive example for the citizens of Gotham as a trustworthy and honorable police officer. And eventually turns into Commissioner Gordon.
Please note that while I am accused of poor study skills, philosophical error and lousy rhetoric, the blog in question is not authored by me. This was clearly indicated multiple times in the opening lines of the blog (one might question one's interpretive skills). However, I am no doubt guilty by association in that I stand by the author, Pastor Steve Mitchell of Garden City Grace Brethren Church, Roanoke, VA. It should also be noted that young Bible College students with lots of academic theory and little experience in the trenches of Gospel warfare would benefit from their own advice; â€śhumbly repent from your attacks and grow in conviction of truth.â€ť Furthermore, if you are going to argue that someoneâ€™s rhetoric is poor, or that quotes have been mishandled, it is helpful to provide examples of those instances to substantiate your rhetoric.
Ryan, I respectfully submit that your reply is nothing more than an ad hominem attach on Pastor O'Neal. You have attacked by insulting the speaker and making accusations. If you have a personal knowledge of Pastor O'Neal that would substantiate your insinuation that he is ignorant of proper Biblical hermanuetics, philosophy, or rhetoric, then by all means bring that to light. Using ad hominem is not only fallacious reasoning, it is disappointingly unchristian behavior.
You have accused the pastor of abusing scripture, a serious charge indeed. However, you have not substantiated your claim to any degree. I'm certain that Pastor O'Neal would be most eager to reason with you from scripture, should you afford him that opportunity by being gracious enough to present specific concerns/scripture references.
You appeal to this pastor for humble-mindedess...please reconsider your own standing in this regard (Matt. 7:3-5).
"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."
Aidan, Thank you for your thoughtful answer. I have a few comments and questions. God is the source of divine revelation and we are saved by His grace. Do you believe that He reveals himself only through Holy Scripture? Are your comments regarding sola fide infallible?
edl: Try to think of it this way. If we reject sola scriptura, then either (1) divine revelation can be had from some other source, or (2) salvation requires more than divine revelation. If (1), then what other source? Is it reason or logic? Hardly, because logic isn't capable of giving us any substantive first principles; it only works with what it has. As for reason, it's demonstrably unreliable because, as Kant understood, it often sends us down dead-end streets. Reason is no less mischievous than emotion, and its natural tendency is to run amok. What about mystical "experience" as a source of revelation? The New Age trades heavily on this notion, but what assurance do we have that we can take any putative "experience" at face value? How do we know that it is of divine origin? To say "I know that I know . . ." implies a claim of persoanal infallibility. If (2), then what else other than divine revelation can trump divine authority? If it can't, then it's redundant and there's no point in considering it. As for sola fide, it's ubiquitous in the letters of Paul. The emphasis on works in James is not inconsistent with sola fide. A careful reading reveals that works are the result of faith, not the cause of it. It's the distinction between justification and sanctification.