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Friday, September 25, 2015

Hypergrace, Capitulation To Rome, & Dangerous Music Associations


It came to my attention awhile back that Elyse Fitzpatrick has changed in the last few years.  It is something worth considering, and we must always strive to discern between the right and almost right in our thinking.  Shortly after the following post came the sad announcement from Tullian.  Nobody is immune to temptation.

Regeneration & Hypergrace  by Jeremiah Johnson and Wayne de Villiers on GTY

Avoiding Teachers Who Capitulate to Rome

A couple years ago Rick Warren endorsed a book called Catholics, Come Home.
We as Christians need to avoid Rick Warren, and all who try to blur distinctions, because Roman Catholicism is not another denomination of Christianity.  I have now seen that Rick Warren & T.D. Jakes went to see the Roman Catholic pope during the U.S. visit.
Rick is not the only one who has blurred distinctions.  Many people either are uneducated about church history, or they intentionally compromise truth wanting people to love them instead of Christ.
Here is a good link to share with Roman Catholics (as well as my past blog series).

Truth For Catholics

Guilt By Musical Associations

Recently Hillsong has been open in its capitulation on Biblical morality by allowing fellowship with people who continue in their sin without regard for church discipline.
Many people use Hillsong music in church.  I've even shared songs (though usually if not always with disassociation).  We need to think very carefully about using their music, especially as it may draw people to the people who wrote them.  That is why I tend to try to distance myself many times when I do share music.

Hillsong and The Issue of Association

Monday, September 21, 2015

Social Action, Gospel Proclamation, & What Do They Believe?

Social Action Is Not The Gospel 

Too many people think social action is equivalent to Gospel proclamation.  It isn't.
Unbelievers can do social action.
Some ministries do connect with churches, yes, but are they making sure the Gospel is proclaimed?
Is the church even a Biblical church?  Are they hearing a Biblical Gospel?
I wasn't able to watch this conference, but this nails things right on the head.

The Mission of the Church - Ekklesia 2015 from Ekklesia Conference on Vimeo.

Gospel Proclamation in the Midst of Hostility

Mike Riccardi had to pinch hit for John MacArthur the other week in the evening, and in my opinion he hit a homerun.
Grace Community Church has some under-shepherds that are excellent teachers and preachers.

What Do They Believe

An online friend of mine,  named Andrew Rappaport of Striving for Eternity Ministries, wrote a book that quickly was sold out, but more are coming.  
The book (What Do They Believe) explains what other religions teach according to their actual sources.
Now, I don't believe it's mandatory to know what others believe, and before people read about what others believe they need to study the Bible well.  There is nothing better for recognizing the false when you know the truth well.  For mature Christians though, I believe it can be very helpful to know enough about what others believe in order to be able to know the points where someone is wrong by comparing it with the Scripture.  There are oftentimes straw men Christians can mistakenly bring up when trying to point out what is wrong about world religions.  I have ordered a copy, as I have heard Andrew online enough to know he is trustworthy and knowledgeable (though we don't always agree on every issue).  He has spent many years on this book!  

In addition to the websites linked, you can also find the book Here.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Raised Amish - Finding Freedom In Christ

Many Christian book sellers and writers have been profiting off of books about the Amish for quite a number of years, and I admit that I have found a few of them interesting myself though I don't think I've read more than a few.  Before it was so popular I had read an older book where I figured out that the Amish might not be - or probably weren't - really Christians.

Perhaps what fascinates people is that the Amish seem to be stuck back in history.
They generally have a good reputation,  and there is the novelty of something not fully understood.
There are some Amish in the area of Tennessee where I live (though probably not that many), and there are also Mennonites.

I listened to an online radio program recently where a guest answered questions about the Amish.
The guest (who had become a Christian coming out of Roman Catholicism) had connections with people who were Amish or formerly Amish.  I think the guest has even met at least one of the guys in the video I'm sharing with you today.
What he explained on the program really pointed out the similarities between Roman Catholicism and Amish beliefs.  Both are caught up in a works system.  Amish belief isn't Christian, and just like with Roman Catholicism - any true Christian in that system will eventually come out.

The video I'm going to share with you is from a number of years back (in 2009), and there was part two in 2011 (see note below the video about that).

The following documentary was talked about on the radio program I was listening to, and I found it fascinating and enlightening.
It chronicles the story of people who were raised Amish, and the hardships they faced becoming Christians.

I'd love to share the podcast with you also, but I haven't seen that it has been posted.
It was on Iron Sharpens Iron Radio.

Part Two Leaving Amish Paradise does have one time where God's name is used inappropriately in the video when they are talking about young Amish men (I think it may even be one of the Amish that used it) and their time of worldliness / sowing their wild oats (and then they actually show some of the young Amish guys at the time).  Growth and change take time, and I could see some that it would be great if the guys learned Biblical hermeneutics.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why Christianity And Roman Catholicism Are Not The Same Thing Part 6

This is my wrap up of my series on Roman Catholicism vs. Christianity.

Tradition and church leadership do not have an equal place with the authority of the very words of God Himself.

There is still the need to guard what has been entrusted as Timothy was told by Paul in the Bible (1 Timothy 1:20) and to accurately handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

1 Corinthians 4:6 says not to exceed what is written.

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!"  Galatians 1:8 NASB

That is a strong warning!

Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.  Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.  Proverbs 30:5-6

2 Tim. 3:16-17 lets me know that it is the Word of God that is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction & training in righteousness...that the man of God man be adequate equipped for every good work.

The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edge sword... (Hebrews 4:12)

Is the Bible Alone Sufficient for Spiritual Truth?

Psalm 146:3 lets me know not to trust in mortal man in whom there is no salvation.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’   “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’  Matthew 7:21-23

Let us never forget that truth, distorted and exaggerated — can become the mother of the most dangerous heresies! - J. C. Ryle

Link from a former pastor of mine from many years back.

Roman Catholicism 

Truth That Saves

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Mercy Day - Reclaiming The Rainbow - September 13

You might find it odd, but I'm sharing an event that pretty much starts a year from now!
I have waited a very long time, and now it has finally been announced!

Please share about it.

Mercy Day - September 13
Find out more here including how to start an event in your area.

If you want to help out the project, you can visit the following site:

Mercy Day items:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Why Christianity & Roman Catholicism Are Not The Same Thing Part 5

Responding to the idea of transubstantiation

When Jesus served the first communion / Lord's Supper He was right there for the disciples to see.
It is quite obvious that He was speaking symbolically about the bread and the wine being His body and blood..
Jesus was the One who gave the cup and bread to the disciples, so clearly He didn't ask them to grab His hand and take a bite out of it.  He wasn't teaching cannibalism.
Tell me, do you taste literal flesh when you eat the bread, or do you taste bread?
Jesus is God and able to do real miracles.  If He wanted people to eat His literal flesh and blood, then He could have made that happen...but He didn't and doesn't.

Does God have literal wings? Psalm 91:4
Correct Biblical hermeneutics is very important in understanding Scripture.  It is true that when the plain sense makes sense you don't need to seek another sense.  However, in the Bible there are things like poetry, figures of speech, metaphors, parables, etc.  as well as literal historic accounts.

Jesus Christ is called the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), but did He suddenly turn literally into a dumb animal?  No!
Christians are also described as sheep.  That doesn't make us literally woolly animals.

Nicodemus was told he must be born again or he would not see the Kingdom of God in John 3 . Nicodemus thought Jesus meant physically (John 3:4), but that was not the case.  He needed to be born from above (and not as a literal physical baby).

Christians are God's temple.  Do we physically turn into a building?  

There was a time when reading and having a Bible for yourself was not only discouraged, but people were killed for putting Scripture into the languages and hands of the people.

Since many people now have access to Bibles (though not all),  my desire is for people everywhere to read the Bible for themselves and not check their brains at the door of a church.

The Bereans were noble-minded for reading the Scriptures to see if things were so.  Why?
Because leaders in the church are fallible human beings who left unchecked can help people to Hell by their heresies.

Please watch this VIDEO by a friend who was formerly a Roman Catholic for more on transubstantiation.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Why Christianity And Roman Catholicism Are Not The Same Thing Part 4

In the Bible, there is no mention of a Pope having the leadership role over all of the church.

There are elders & deacons prescribed in the Bible for leadership in the church  (as well as pastors and teachers, etc.).
Obviously, apostles in early times were part of the leadership of the church as well.
The Levitical priesthood was no longer practiced in the OT way in the Biblical early church  - since Jesus is the High priest (Hebrews 6:20) and all believers are priests (1 Peter 2:9 ).

Peter was one of many apostles.
He had much authority among Jewish believers while Paul had much authority among the Gentile believers.

Peter is not the chief cornerstone of the church.
Believers are a holy temple built on the prophets and the apostles with Jesus as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2).

Peter was not infallible.
In Galatians 2:11-13,  Paul opposed Peter to his face.  If Peter was supreme, would Paul have had that right?  Peter also called himself a "fellow elder" in 1 Peter 5:1.

Peter was a man who sinned like all of us do.
Jesus said something like, "Get thee behind me, Satan" to Peter at one time, and Peter also denied Jesus 3 times.  Peter was chosen as a disciple and apostle, but there is nothing in the Bible showing that Peter was the authority over the other apostles.

What about being called the rock?
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus called Peter "Petros", but He used the word "Petra" to refer to the truth about Himself (which Peter had just confessed...that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God). 
We know that Peter was only one of the people used for the foundation of God's household based on what I read in Ephesians 2:20.
Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23-24).
You can read more about the stone/rock interpretations HERE.

God's Words are true and inspired, so as a Christian I cannot trust in man but in God.
The Bible warns about wolves coming in & false prophets bringing destructive heresies.
God did use Peter, and even used him to write some of His Word, but only the inspired Word of God is what we can rely upon as pure truth).

"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.  John 17:17 NASB

...Christ did not redeem His church with His blood that the Pope might come in and steal away the glory!  He never came from heaven to earth and poured out His very heart that He might purchase His people so that a poor sinner, a mere man, should be set upon high to be admired by all the nations and to call himself God’s representative on earth!  Christ has always been the head of His church. - Charles Spurgeon

Monday, September 7, 2015

Why Christianity And Roman Catholicism Are Not The Same Thing Part 3


Jesus actually did not place Mary in a higher place than any other person who believed.
God did show her favor, but it was not due to sinlessness.
Everyone is born dead in their trespasses and sins.  Even Mary was not sinless. (Romans 5:12; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8; Romans 3:23)
Nobody can be good enough to get to Heaven.  Not even Mary. Luke 1:46-48 has her rejoicing in God her Savior.  She needed a Savior...and she calls herself a bondslave...just like Paul called himself one.

In Luke 11:27-28 when a woman was saying blessed be the womb that bore you, etc. Jesus actually contradicted the lady.  In Luke 8:21 He did not place Mary above anyone else who heard His words and obeyed them (in Matthew 12:48 as well).  Stephen was also "full of grace" (Acts 6:8), so Mary is not above other believers on that account either.
Also, the Bible claims that there is one mediator between God and man in 1 Timothy 2:5. That mediator is Jesus.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray... not to his mother or dead saints.
People have to go with what the Bible teaches. When sacred tradition and the Pope contradict what God has said in His Word, then what?  Whose words are infallible?

Roman Catholics say they don't worship Mary, but do they?

Lying, stealing, covetousness, hate, gossip, lust are all sins deserving of eternal judgment in Hell.  A dead corpse cannot do a thing to help save itself from God's just wrath (Eph. 2 & Col 2).   Even Mary needed a Savior.

Who and what are you trusting in for salvation?  It can't be Mary. She needed the Gospel too.
What then is the Gospel?

The Gospel

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Why Christianity & Roman Catholicism Are Not The Same Thing Part 2

A Different Gospel: 

The Bible teaches salvation is by faith in Christ alone.
Roman Catholicism requires works as part of  / necessary for salvation.
Ephesians 2:8-9 lets us know that salvation  is by grace through faith.  Even that is not of ourselves. It is the gift of God ...not as a result of works lest any man should boast.
Christians believe we are saved unto good works but works themselves are not meritorious towards our being saved.
Remember the thief on the cross...he could not work or be baptized.

Here are some other Scripture references that show salvation is not of works: Titus 3:5-6. Galatians 2:16, (By the works of the law no man is justified) Romans 3:2-28, and Galatians 5.
Believing that we are not saved by works doesn't mean that Christians believe that we can just pray a prayer and live any way we want to afterwards.
Works only prove that the faith given by God exists in the Christian.  Works don't merit salvation or grace, but they are evidence of the reality of what God has done and not we ourselves.
The Bible says we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  For just as the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.  Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.  The verses I'm taking from are about those who are already Christians.  God is the one who begins a good work in Christians, and He is the one who will be faithful to complete it.  The Bible doesn't tell me to work for my salvation.
(Ephesians 2:10; James 2:26; Philippians 2:12-13)

The James Controversy:

Some may think that James contradicts salvation by grace through faith (alone) and it not being of works, but it actually does not negate the other Scriptures. The Word of God never truly contradicts itself though we may struggle to comprehend at times.  Much of what I already shared really already covers this (James 2:26).
Please check out this explanation:
Does James 2 contradict Romans 4?

John 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why Christianity & Roman Catholicism Are Not The Same Thing Part 1

Some people assume Christians and Roman Catholics are the same - just belonging to different denominations.  Others realize that one or the other has got to be in error.

The things that separate Christians from Roman Catholics are our views of the authority of Scripture and the Gospel message itself (with a lot of other important issues I plan to delve into in future posts).
They are the differences between truth and error - the destiny of Heaven or Hell.  People have been willing to be killed and have actually been martyred as Christians in the past over the issues, so this is very serious.

Today I want to start with questions about the authority of Scripture: 

How was the canon of Scripture discovered to be Scripture?
(Also, Why the Apocrypha is not in the Bible)

Can there be confidence that the Bible today is accurate? 

Did the Roman Catholic Church give us the Bible? 

Timeline of Biblical Inerrancy - click on the names to see info. 

Problems with Roman Catholic Sacred Tradition: 

If Roman Catholic Sacred Tradition contradicts the Bible, which will you believe - Sacred Tradition or the inspired Words of God?   God's Words should not be added to (Prov. 30:6)
So, when Sacred Tradition claims Mary is a mediator, faith alone in Christ alone is considered anathema ( , that grace can be merited,  and that Muslims adore the one, merciful God, do you believe Sacred Tradition or the Bible (which contradicts these claims)?
For a more complete list of Roman Catholic teachings and Bible verses which contradict them:

We know that the Bible warns about the traditions of men (Colossians 2:8) that the Pharisees & Judaizers were confronted over human traditions added. What is your absolute source and standard of truth?   Are you trusting in a council or a creed or a pope as being on par with the inspired Words of God Himself???

Psalm 19:7-9 ...The law of the Lord is perfect (this means whole or complete or sufficient in the Hebrew. The Word of God is clearly sufficient: 

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4 ESV