Archive for August 2009

More Reformed that I Used to Be, or the Gospel?

August 10, 2009

The Reformed mainline often has an either/or mindset. Either what we left, or what we are now. It does not seem to occur to these relativists that a third alternative is possible. The truth is that there are many false gospels, many ways to be lost, and just because you have rejected one wrong way does not mean that you now believe the true gospel.

When one has abandoned the scoldings of “first legalism” (no wine or TV) for the moral pep talks of “the discipleship in a confessional community” preachers, one has only exchanged one form of moralism for another.

The Reformed person who used to be a fundamentalist now thinks that grace means that theological doctrine doesn’t matter when it comes to saved and lost. In a covenant where grace is conditional but not merited, it’s not helpful to judge individuals saved or lost based on the evidence of their gospel doctrines.

Unless we tell all people without exception, without respect of persons, that God demands a perfect righteousness and that God provided this righteousness only for the elect, then we still have a man-centered legalistic cult. It may be a happier kind of cult. But it still is not submissive to God’s gospel.

But I don’t see that the covenant people are given grace to meet the conditions? And in the PCA lite (as opposed to Reformed Baptist) set of conditions, it all begins with the Chuck Swindoll idea that God does not demand righteousness but only the faith to “not-perform”. As the old blues song goes, “start stopping”…!

Where the old legalism said that it was saved because it out-performed others, the new legalism claims to have done it the right way now, and to have performed not-performing where others were still trying to perform. But in neither case is the finished for the elect performance of Jesus Christ even in the picture.

Satan hates Permanent Security

August 10, 2009

Satan does not agree with God about lost and saved. God says to those who do not have the righteousness required: ye shall surely die. Satan says: let’s discuss that, let’s find a way to verify that empirically. Satan says: nobody knows for sure.

Satan says: do you think you are God that you know for sure? Then Satan says: and who are you to think you know for sure what God has said? Satan says: and who is God to say for sure you will die. Satan says: that was a generalization about people dying, but on this historical occasion, we can’t know for sure what will happen, since future grace is conditional and nothing is finished yet.

I am not saying that the liberals have denied my freedom of speech. I have no desire to sit down at the liberal’s table and “cast my vote” and “say what I have to say” and then agree to whatever happens.

God’s gospel is clear and is not a matter for negotiation. I have no desire to talk to anybody if the cost of talking is to agree with them first that they are saved even if they don’t agree with me about the gospel. I have no desire for an apologetic which lets the enemies of the cross decide what counts as the evidence of assurance or as .the condition of perseverence.

You can call us fanatics if you like, but we know that nobody can know the truth we know until they believe the gospel we do. And the truth we know is not a partial truth which is only true for us. Even though we are sinners, even though we do not know anything exhaustively, nevertheless we know the truth.

When evolutionists talk of a “fallibilism” by which they are self-corrected by the “facts”, they are not confessing sins but only confessing again that there is no God who will tell them what the facts are and what the facts mean.

So when I talk about the gospel to liberals, I refuse to agree first that they might be right. If they agree with me about the gospel, then they will learn to repent of being wrong.

Self-righteous Lack of Repentence about being Arminian

August 10, 2009

Many pluralists think that they grew up legalists but now have outgrown legalism. Iin reality have only exchanged one form of legalism for another. Their new legalism is a “legalism against legalism”.

Living in reaction to their own past, they feel very SELF-RIGHTEOUS in regard to the ignorant folk who still think like they used to think. Thus they fail to see their own present ignorance. They have not even repented of their first version of legalism. They blame that legalism on those who taught them.

They claim to have been Christians even when they were Arminians. Thus they cannot see their present Arminianism.They are not yet submitted to the righteousness revealed in the gospel. In reaction to being legalists, they have now become pluralists who deny that any belief system of doctrines is necessary.

They fail to see that this reactionary idea is itself a system of doctrine. We don’t have rigid doctrine, they claim, but only searching together and community. But just wait to find out how their loving community will search with you if you say that there is only one gospel and that those who do not believe it are lost!

Before one talked about lost and saved, now one talks about individualism vs. living in community. Before one said that doctrine defined the person you believed in, now you have a doctrine about “community” which demands that all other doctrines be adjusted or sacrificed to fit that paradigm. Those who will not submit to be included or translated into this pluralist framework are consigned to the margins as people with whom nobody can search.

Piper says he’s also an Arminian

August 4, 2009

In Taste and See (Multnomah,1999, p325), John Piper endorses the conditional false gospel. “Christ died for all sinners, so that IF you will repent and believe in Christ, then the death of Jesus will become effective in your case and will take away your sins. ‘Died for you,’ means if you believe, the death of Jesus will cover your sins. Now, as far as it goes, this is biblical teaching.”

Piper then goes on to disagree with Arminians for not teaching that Christ died to purchase faith for the elect. But he does not disagree with the Arminians about propitiation and substitution and punishment.

Piper’s false gospel does not teach that Christ was specifically punished for the elect alone . It still only has a punishment in general, to be assigned later to those who believe. But  he does insist that Christ also died for the elect to give them something extra that He will not be giving the non-elect?  Piper’s false gospel misses being true gospel in two important and related ways.

First, the false gospel fails to report that Christ was punished specifically for the elect, and when it does that, it will be heard every time as saying that there was enough punishment done to Christ to save even people who will nevertheless end up being punished. Thus, even though it has punishment, this false gospel is not about punishment that replaces punishment for all whom Christ intended to save. It has punishment without any intention of Christ to save anybody in particular at all.

Piper’s punishment- in- general gospel (with faith purchased extra for the elect) is no gospel in a second and important way.  It makes the important atonement to be something other than the punishment of Christ. It makes the real reconciliation to be the Spirit Christ purchased giving people faith to believe, even if they happen to believe a message that says Christ died for every sinner.

The alternative here is to either claim that people who have never heard the gospel are saved, or to claim that general punishment for nobody in particular is the gospel. In any case, it is not the good news about the real meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection.

If we jump ahead to the things Christ has bought for believers, even including their believing, without telling it straight about the punishment of Christ specifically for the elect, then we will continue to love a gospel which has no election in it and no punishment to release the elect from guilt. If we jump ahead in that way, we jump over why God’s love for the elect is never described apart from the death of Christ.

If the death of Christ is not that which saves any specific sinner, then the death of Christ does not save sinners. If the atonement is Christ purchasing faith to give elect sinners a portion in a general punishment, then the punishment of Christ was not for salvation. The false gospel which nullifies election also nullifies justification by the punishment of Christ.

The false gospel which nullifies justification by the punishment of Christ nullifies justification by the righteousness of Christ. It talks about justification by the imputed righteousness, but without ever talking about God’s imputation of the sins of the elect to Christ. It won’t say whose sins were imputed to Christ.

It refuses to say anybody’s sins were imputed to Christ, because it refuses to say it was the sins of the elect alone which were imputed to Christ. Such a false gospel nullifies the love of God for the elect. But God’s grace by which God gives Christ to be punished for the elect will not be nullified.