Did Paul Get Jesus Right? Part 2

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If you haven’t seen the first part, See Did Paul Get Jesus Right? Part 1.

Now, I want to look again at what John Piper said in his second paragraph (i.e. from Did Jesus Preach the Gospel of Evangelicalism?):

What I am driven by in this message, and in much of my thinking since my days in graduate school in Germany, is the conviction that Jesus and Paul preached the same gospel. There is a 300-year history among critical scholars of claiming that Jesus’ message and work was one thing, and what the early church made of it was another. Jesus brought the kingdom; it aborted; and the apostles substituted an institution, the church. And dozens of variations along this line.

Notice that it is scholars who have been saying Jesus preached a different gospel than Paul.  Pastors always want to make it out like its just kooks and internet trolls saying this.  Nope.  Its scholars.  And “There is a 300-year history” of it!  That’s John Piper admitting it, not just me saying it.

Now, this position has always been more accepted in Germany than in America, because the American theological academy is under the control of the Calvinists, of guys like Piper.  So much so that had Piper himself gone to graduate school in the US, he probably wouldn’t be knowledgeable enough on this subject to even know that there is a 300 year history of scholars saying Jesus taught a different gospel from Paul!  Seminary in the US is Mickey Mouse basket weaving time.

I saw a post on an online forum using Hebrews 6:1-2 to demonstrate that Paul rejected the teachings of Jesus:

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ [or elementary teachings of Christ], let us go on unto perfection [or maturity]; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The argument was that Paul calls Jesus’ own teaching “elementary” but his new teaching “mature.” That this is very clear evidence Paul taught a different doctrine.

Now, I’ve never taken the idea of Pauline authorship of Hebrews too seriously.  But then again, I don’t take the Pauline authorship of Romans and Galatians too seriously anymore either.  Paul is more a group, an emerging sect or heresy, than an actual person.  So I suppose I can grant the “Pauline” authorship of Hebrews.

What does “he” actually mean when he says that he wants to “leave behind” the “elementary teachings of Christ” and move on to “maturity”?

Well, contextually, it appears he means two things:

(1) high christology.

(2) that the law is completely obsolete.

These are the two points discussed from this point on in Hebrews, along with (in this chapter, see 6:4) his theory that nobody who falls away can be restored (which is different from the “Paul” of the other epistles, obviously—not to mention that it is also essentially a denial of the parable of the prodigal son).

Basically what is being said is “What Jesus preached: an impending resurrection and judgement that requires us to believe in God and repent of our sins and be baptized—man that’s old hat. Today where its at is high christology, making Jesus out to be either an exalted pre-existant spirit, a ‘logos’ whom God used to create the world, or making Jesus out to be God himself somehow.”

That is essentially what Christianity has become, is it not?  Its all about christology, about your opinion on what sort of being Jesus is/was.  Its no longer about following his teachings; and certainly no longer about repentance and judgement.  The concept of resurrection has even been replaced by immediate going to heaven upon death. That’s a subject that one Paul disagrees with another on, for in 1st Cor 15 Paul is in favor of the resurrection, but in Philippians where he’s hard pressed to decide whether or not to commit suicide (yes, I said it, Philippians 1:20-26) Paul expresses that to die is to be with Christ (immediately); so much for the resurrection. Ultimately Paul not only undoes the teachings of Jesus but one Paul undoes another Paul.

Did Paul Get Jesus Right? Part 1

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Last night I read this comment on the blogpost Tweet, Tweet: The Religious Voter at Paul’s Passing Thoughts.  In short, the comment said that “On the 26th of May, 1786, James Madison” said the following in a sermon:

“I earnestly recommend to our Christians to reject every system as the fallible production of human contrivance, which shall dictate the articles of faith; and adopt the Gospel alone as their guide. Those Christian societies will ever be found to have formed their union upon principles, the wisest and the best, which makes the scriptures alone, and not human articles, a confession of belief, the sole rule of faith and conduct.”

Therefore, I mused, what gospel is John Madison referring to?  Jesus’ or Paul’s?

That led me to search the question on google: Paul’s gospel or Jesus’ gospel

And up came an article by the Calvinist prozac posterboy, John Piper. Did Jesus Preach the Gospel of Evangelicalism?

Now, I didn’t watch the video or listen to the audio, because John Piper’s voice and presentation style are horrendously annoying to anyone who is sane and not on prozac like himself.  But I began to read the article, and I want to make a series out of quoting/responding to it over time.

John Piper begins:

The aim of my title is not to criticize the gospel of evangelicalism but to assume that it is biblical and true, and then to ask whether Jesus preached it. If I had it to do over again, I would use the title “Did Jesus Preach Paul’s Gospel?”—the gospel of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Christ’s blood and righteousness alone, for the glory of God alone.

The first paragraph is a distortion of Paul’s gospel, since Paul himself is not that consistent with it, but that is the basic jist of how he is interpreted by those who bulldoze over his inconsistencies and force him into a coherent system.

But what I want to particularly notice here is that although Piper intends to ask the question of whether Jesus taught this same gospel, he doesn’t really intend to ask the question at all. He begins with a foregone conclusion that he will not dare question.

The reason he is even writing this article or giving this speech is because others are asking the question, and they intend to really pursue the issue for real, and he sees that their truth-seeking is harming the false doctrine of Calvinism (this will be apparent as we continue).

What I am driven by in this message, and in much of my thinking since my days in graduate school in Germany, is the conviction that Jesus and Paul preached the same gospel. There is a 300-year history among critical scholars of claiming that Jesus’ message and work was one thing, and what the early church made of it was another. Jesus brought the kingdom; it aborted; and the apostles substituted an institution, the church. And dozens of variations along this line.

Although surely some scholars have taken the position that the kindgom was aborted and then Paul came along and saved the day with a new concept, the church, there’s obviously a better way to put it.   That is—Paul aborted the kingdom.  The idea of “kingdom living” or living right, was killed in the womb by Paul and his doctrine, his false dichotomy between faith and works.   Not that nobody has entered the kingdom since Paul, because many have, but the majority have been deceived by Paul, who, like his fellow Pharisees before him, took away the key of knowledge and did not enter neither would he suffer others to enter in.

So the problem I am wrestling with is not whether evangelicalism gets Paul’s gospel right, but whether Paul got Jesus’ gospel right. Because I have a sense that among the reasons that some are losing a grip on the gospel today is not only the suspicion that we are forcing it into traditional doctrinal categories rather than biblical ones, but also that in our default to Pauline categories we are selling Jesus short. In other words, for some—perhaps many—there is the suspicion (or even conviction) that justification by faith alone is part of Paul’s gospel, but not part of Jesus’ gospel. And in feeling that way, our commitment to the doctrine is weakened, and we are thus less passionate to preach it and defend it as essential to the gospel. And we may even think that Jesus’ call to sacrificial kingdom obedience is more radical and more transforming than the gospel of justification by faith alone.

Piper saying he’s wrestling with the question is a pretense.  He refuses to wrestle with the question, and that’s the problem.  Some in his congregation are wrestling with it for real, and he wants that to stop.

Now I want to zero in on this statement:

And we may even think that Jesus’ call to sacrificial kingdom obedience is more radical and more transforming than the gospel of justification by faith alone.

Well, why wouldn’t we think that?  Faith alone is nothing: its the devil’s doctrine.  Faith alone is the same as atheism, just an atheism that says “Ok, God exists and I believe a few facts about: back to disobeying him heartily!”  Of course Jesus’ call to “sacrificial kingdom obedience” is “more radical and more transforming” than a baptized atheism.

So I am starting where R. C. Sproul left off in his message to us yesterday. And I consider this message as an exegetical extension and defense of what he said: “If you don’t have imputation, you don’t have sola fide (faith alone), and if you don’t have sola fide, you don’t have the gospel.” And my goal is to argue that Jesus preached the gospel of justification by faith alone apart from works of the law, understood as the imputation of his righteousness through faith alone.

Notice how he snuck in the “of the law” now.  He didn’t say that in paragraph 1!!!!!!!!  Notice that!!!!! This needs like 50 billion exclamation points!!!!!

Piper’s normal modus operandi is to teach faith alone period.  Now he only claims faith alone as in apart from the works “of the law” so that he can pretend that Jesus taught faith alone period.  Sneaky, isn’t he?

Now, I may or may not continue this series, because honestly, this is all that needs to be said on the subject.  Anyone with half a brain and any commitment to the truth whatsoever will eventually figure out that Paul got Jesus wrong, period.  So I don’t really have to go through all of Piper’s crappy arguments, but I might, if and when I get the time to do so. But I have zero fear that anyone with reasonable intelligence and a love for the truth will be led astray by Piper’s arguments without a refutation by me.  Simply reading the gospels all the way through, over and over, which any lover of truth will do, refutes Piper’s arguments!

I want to close this Part 1 by noticing simply something he says on the parable about the prayers of the Pharisee and the publican. I’m skipping over a few of his arguments to this point. I might go back to those in another part of the series.

Concerning the Pharisee’s “righteousness,” Piper says:

Third, he believed that this righteousness was the gift of God. Verse 11: “The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men.’” He gives God the credit for making him upright and devout like he is. “I thank you that I am morally upright and religiously devout.” In other words, this man is not what theologians call a Pelagian—a person who believes he can make himself righteous without God’s help. He may not even be a semi-Pelagian—a person who believes that God’s help is needed but the human will is decisive and can successfully resist God’s help. But none of that is mentioned here. It’s not the point or the problem.

Calvinists normally act like the Pharisee was a Pelagian or semi-Pelagian.  John Piper admits this is not the case. This Pharisee believed his righteousness was a gift from God!!!!  So then what is he?  What is left?   Piper can’t answer that question, since it makes against him, but I can answer it: this Pharisee was a Calvinist. And that is precisely the point of the parable, despite Luke’s interpretation of it throwing us somewhat off track: Jesus is saying that anyone who claims their righteousness is a direct gift from God and other people’s sins are caused by God (i.e. by God not giving them the grace to repent) CANNOT be justified.

The problem is not whether the man himself has produced the righteousness he has or whether God has produced it. The problem is: He trusts in it. This is his confidence. Verse 9: “[Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous.” Now make sure you see what this is saying. It is not saying that he is trusting in himself to make himself righteous. No. He says explicitly he is thanking God for that. He is not trusting in himself to make himself righteous. He is trusting in himself that he is righteous with the righteousness that he believes God has worked in him. That is what he is trusting.

That is just silly and absurd. If that is indeed the point Luke is making, we would have to point out that as a close personal friend of Paul, Luke could be covering for Paul.  So Luke’s spin on the parable, i.e. his comment that Jesus “told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous” is inadmissible for this discussion of whether Paul got Jesus right or not.  We can use Luke’s historical information, but his interpretation is tainted by his association with Paul, so we can’t use Luke’s interpretation as if it is independent of Paul (it is not).  So, to ask if Jesus teaches the same as Paul, we must ignore Luke’s interpretation of Jesus (which will be the same as Paul’s) and look only at the facts which Luke records, i.e. what he presents Jesus as saying. This parable interpreted only by Jesus’ words, is a parable against those who claim that God made them righteous but didn’t make others righteous; i.e. its a parable against Calvinists.

 

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Featured Posts:

Acts 13:48 word order of οσοι ησαν τεταγμενοι εις ζωην αιωνιον and meaning of τεταγμενοι

Acts 4 – where is the Trinity in this prayer?

Did Paul plant all those churches in Acts?

The book of Acts disproves Calvinism, Protestantism, and Catholicism (Part 2)

The book of Acts disproves Calvinism and all Protestantism, for good. (Part 1)

Common sense…otherwise known as Pelagianism

All man’s righteousness is NOT filthy rags

Should women be allowed to be preachers? and, are preachers “called of God”?

If Christ died for all, then why is it that some people will go to hell?

Paul was a unitarian

Christology

Paul was a unitarian

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1 Corinthians 8:6
“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

Paul was a unitarian, not a Trinitarian.  Do Trinitarians believe he is in hell for not believing the Trinity?

As I said before: When Paul teaches his own doctrine, his own opinions, he’s a Gnostic heretic.  But when he sticks with what other Christians at the time believed, he is a valuable historical witness to first century Christianity.  Here, he is in perfect agreement with the speeches in Acts.

Is grace really opposed to works like Paul A and Paul D claim?

Notice that who does the work is not the issue. Work period is the issue. The BASIS of grace is the issue here, and if the basis of grace is works it is no longer grace. If Christ had to keep the law for us to make grace possible, according to Paul [A], grace is no longer of grace. (Paul D in Charles Haddon Spurgeon: The Prince of Preachers?)

[Of course the idea of keeping the Law for grace makes no sense, especially considering we're Gentiles who were never under the ceremonial law in ANY sense: we were never condemned by it, ever, and never in need of being redeemed from it, PERIOD. So the flawed explanation of Jesus becoming a curse to take the curse of the Law etc. in Galatians could not ever have been intended for us. Its an explanation aimed at Jews.]

There are a few questions that must be answered before we can even talk about this subject:

  1. What is grace?
  2. When is it needed?
  3. beginning?
  4. middle?
  5. end?

Without defining these things, the word “grace” is as meaningless as “Evangelical.”

Augustine basically made grace out to be magic-enabling-power that must come at the beginning to enable you to believe. Then he also made it a continuing but exhaustible power source needed in the middle, but apparently not in the end.  And then he made God out to be a stingy jerk who won’t give you the grace you need no matter how persistent you are in prayer.

To Pelagius grace wasn’t needed at the beginning, at least not grace as we normally define it. The only “grace” needed at the beginning was the preaching of the gospel, which Augustine complained about constantly saying “By grace Pelagius means nothing but law and teaching.”

See Pelagius thought we could respond to the gospel without Augustine’s magic enabling power. No Calvinist zapping from on high was needed to undo inherited disability, because there was no inherited disability!

Grace proper with Pelagius began once you became a Christian, at which point grace enabled you to resist sin “more easily” which implies you could resist sin before conversion too, just not as easily (which Augustine again complained about, because Augustine claimed it was impossible to resist sin at all without “grace”).

And Pelagius identified grace with the indwelling of the Spirit, received in baptism, of course.   Not only that, but Pelagius a credobaptist which again Augustine wasn’t too happy about since his Rome-given job was to invented a theology to defend infant baptism (which is what “original sin” was created for).

But ultimately, isn’t grace God’s mercy? Isn’t it really what comes at the end?

We can delineate 3 graces:

(1) revelation (i.e. what Augustine complains Pelagius believed in, “law and teaching”) : the teaching ministry of Christ’s assembly.

(2) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which enables the Christian to resist sin “more easily,” and is received in baptism (Acts 2:38 no matter what the Baptists say).

(3) God’s mercy on Judgement Day, as James says and Jesus as well in the sermon on the mount: he who shows mercy WILL receive mercy.

But what Augustine called “grace” and what both Catholicism and Protestantism teach about “grace” (Baptists too): its like energon in Tranformers; its a myth.

Now, is grace no longer grace if it requires any works?

(1) Well, Relevation is free, although people had to copy it by hand for centuries, and that was works.  If nobody worked you wouldn’t have it.

(2) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit don’t just zap you. You have to repent and be baptized to receive it (Acts 2:38)

And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32)

Notice that verse contrary to the Baptist heresy: God don’t give the Holy Spirit to those who simply obey.  Faith alone is Satan’s religion.  God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey.  Obey what?  “Repent and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

(3) He who shows no mercy will receive none, James says.

So each of the 3 graces requires works or you don’t get it. Sorry, but Paul A was wrong, as usual. He’s the source of all Gnostic error and stupidity, as always. Or rather, the epistles forged in his name are, since Paul A in Acts ain’t half a bad as these “authentic epistles” of his.

Creeds…why do non-Calvinists never seem to have them? And does this prevent their growth?

In the non-Calvinist world, and particularly the non-Trinitarian world, there is a tendency to reject creeds.  Not just the established creeds, but even the very concept of making creeds.  Of course, the Bible is the authority…blah blah blah.  But I’ve been thinking lately about the fact that we have such an uphill battle against Calvinism.  Why????  Its such a disgusting theology.  Why would anyone believe it?

Simply put: because its easier to beleive a doctrine that can be handed to them in the form of a creed than one that has to constantly proven from the Bible, from scratch, every time anyone asks a question or makes a challenge.  Its a serious disadvantage to be expected to explain the whole Bible on the fly, even with memorized responses and traditional helps like commentaries, etc.

There have been many non-Calvinist movements over the centuries since the Reformation.  Most of them have died out.  Those that didn’t die out completely either have already, or are in the process of compromising with Calvinism.  But had they made a creed, would they still be around? would they have stayed solid and not compromised?   It would have given them an ease of explaining their beliefs, right? And thus an ease of propagating them? So this is a line of inquiry I am going to pursue.  Do we need creeds or not?

What does a creed do? In a creed, you take up the parts of the Bible you believe in and isolate them from the parts you don’t believe in, and if you feel like it, you add in stuff that’s not even in the Bible.  That’s how the Catholics and the Calvinists have done it.

So why can’t we do it too?  The fact is, we need a creed, not to add anything to the Bible like they do, but to remove from it.  To remove the mistakes and blunders of Paul.  Can non-Calvinist churches remain non-Calvinist without a creed to authoritatively outline what parts of Paul’s doctrine are wrong? Without showing what explanation of why we don’t need to be circumcised (for instance) we will replace Paul’s bogus “faith vs works” explanation with?

What do you think?

One thing I clearly see as a mistake for non-Calvinists is accepting the idea that all books included in the canon are equal, and especially giving Paul any independent authority (i.e. believing him when no books not written by him substantiate his claims).  Non-Calvinists for too long have tried to mold Paul into Christ’s image, and ultimately failed, and lost their churches to Calvinist takeovers, because where Paul is accepted as inspired, Calvinism WILL take over eventually.  Well, either Calvinism will takeover, or take away your membership.  Either they seize the building, or they empty it.

The only non-Calvinist organizations to date that seems capable of beating this are the ones that mimic the RCC in creating a hierarchical institution.  But surely it can be done without this.  I would much prefer a one-time creed to point out where Paul is wrong over a bureaucracy given the power to change doctrine whenever they feel like it.

Now, one of the reasons people fear questioning Paul is the question “where will it stop?” If you begin to question one book in the canon, won’t you question another, until there is nothing left?   Well, this may be precisely where a creed comes in handy: it tells you where to stop.  If you were to question the canon on your own, maybe you never would stop.  But with a creed, either you stop, or you exit the bounds of fellowship of the group that accepts the creed.  So a creed could be the way to mitigate the over-questioning of the canon.

But will non-Calvinists ever be open to a creed? or will they always oppose creed-making to the point of signing their own death-warrants?

We could even take the tact of leaving Christology out of the creed, and making it only the basics, like:

We believe that there is one God, who created all things visible and invisible, who for the salvation of mankind sent his son Jesus, the Messiah or Christ, to die for the sins of all, that all might have a chance at salvation, whosoever will believe and obey the gospel.

We believe that one must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; repent of their sins; confess said belief; and be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins. And after this, live the Christian life; a life of worshiping God, and of morality.

We believe that it is within man’s power to do these things, for God did not promise any moral incapacity as a punishment for Adam’s sin.

We reprobate anyone who preaches faith alone, especially faith alone in sanctification, but also even in justification, for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ himself did not even use the term “justification” but spoke of forgiveness or remission of sins only. And that he did not speak of as something to be received by faith alone, but by baptism firstly, and by prayer afterwards.

We be so bold as to say if anyone preaches inherited disability or arbitrary predestination, or any variation of once saved always saved, let him be anathema. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of Protestantism: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. (cf. Titus 1:10-11)

Note, reprobate is being used as a verb. Archaic language above is all intentional to evoke the creedyness of the creed.

God over money

Took some of my coins to the Coinstar and got me a “gift card” slip which I cashed in on Amazon.com, and then I started listening to some of the music on Amazon’s Prime Music to see what I’m going to buy.  And I came across this song (God over money, by Bizzle), which I thought was pretty good.

Another song (Dear hip hop) I liked from the same guy:

US Govn’mt patents Ebola virus

The inventor’s names: Jonathan S. Towner, Stuart T. Nichol, James A. Comer, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Pierre E. Rollin, Less
The applicant for the patent: Jonathan S. Towner, Stuart T. Nichol, James A. Comer, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Pierre E. Rollin, The Government Of The United States Of America As Represented By The Sec Retary, Department Of Health & Human Services, Center For Disease Contro[l],

So, why did the US Government and CDC patent the Ebola virus? And in what sense is it an “invention”?

Are there any patent lawyers reading this blog?

The Reformation Solas are Gnosticism

Over at PPT, on the post Why Deathbed Terror is a Reformed Family Tradition there’s been a little exchange in the comments which results finally in me taking the stance below. Its immediately an answer to this question:

David,
What did Jesus Christ do that is salvific? What did He do that redeems and justifies?

(This is something I was planning on posted here anywhere.)

Not just his death but also his teachings.  Its what everyone other than the Gnostics believed prior to Augustine. It also caused controversy on the question of whether Christ’s ministry was nothing more than a one-year march from Nazareth to Jerusalem to die (as the Gnostics claimed) or whether it was at least a three year ministry of equipping the apostles to, as Jesus tells them in the great commission, “teach all things I have commanded you.”   This is another area where Protestantism has failed.

Sola Scriptura in the sense of just picking up some paraphrase like the NIV or even a formal equivalence translation like the KJV and thinking you can understand it correctly with ZERO knowledge of church history, of the history of the interpretation of the text, of acceptance of doctrine, and of the very formation of the canon.  People who think the Bible dropped from heaven leather-bound as one book can’t interpret the Bible to save their lives.  You don’t have to go to seminary to learn any of this history either. Especially not today, with ccel.org housing all of Philip Schaff’s collection of English translations of the so-called “church fathers,” with wikipedia, with google books.  And no I’m not endowing the “church fathers” with authority like the Catholics.  On the contrary, I’m rescinding the authority they gave Augustine.  Augustine was the turning point in church history from Christianity to Gnosticism, so a knowledge of what was believed in the first 3 centuries is indispensable to understanding the Bible.

Sola Scriptura = wrong.  Scripture + common sense + knowledge of church history = right.

Sola Fide = wrong.  Faith + obedience to Jesus = right.

Sola Gracia = wrong.  Jesus’ death + revelation + freewill + faith + repentance + obedience + grace = right.

Its high time to awake from the Pauline slumber and quit adding “only” after everything.

Grace only implies that we do nothing in salvation; but we must.

Faith alone implies that morality doesn’t matter to God; but that would make God into Satan.

Sola Scriptura implies that understanding how the canon was formed doesn’t matter; just accept the finished product as infallible and inerrant without question no matter where it comes from or how corrupt it might be.

And ironically, Sola Scripture also implies that the modern presuppositions (inherited from Augustine) which are used in interpreting the Bible in line with the Catholic and Protestant creeds are not to be questioned; just accept them and tow the ‘orthodox’ line without questioning them on the basis of the history of the first 3 centuries of the church.

None of that makes any sense.

What does the article on Sin mean in PPD’s 14 Basic Fundamentals?

A new sort of creed or set of theses has been published at Paul’s Passing Thoughts under the title 14 Basic Fundamentals of the True Gospel and 12 Anti-Gospel Presuppositions.  I have some comments I sort of wanted to make on a few articles, but I think I will only say anything about one of them.

IV. Sin

Sin was found in Lucifer, an angel created by God. It is described in the Bible as a master. Sin masters those who are not saved, but is hindered by the conscience God created in every being. God also wrote His character traits on the hearts of all people because we are born in His image. Unbelievers are not completely mastered by sin because they are born in God’s image. Unfortunately, unbelievers often confuse the image of God with their own righteousness.

When a believer sins, it is a violation of the Bible, but is considered to be sin against God and His family directly or indirectly by bringing shame on God’s name. For the unbeliever, violation of the law leads to eternal condemnation while sin for the believer can lead to chastisement and loss of reward.

I’ll pass over the fact that I don’t think “lucifer” (which is not even Hebrew but Latin) is the devil’s proper name.  And I’ll go right to the next thing. I think there’s probably something sinister lurking under the phrase “Unfortunately, unbelievers often confuse the image of God with their own righteousness.”  Its too cryptic for its own good.

As to the second paragraph, even Paul himself says “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Cor 9:27) — Remember the watchphrase at PPT: “words mean things” — so what does it mean to be a castaway?  To lose rewards? or to be damned?

If all that Paulinists have to be afraid of is losing the toy from the crackerjack box, then of course they’re going to sin, and sin bad.  And the only rewards Paulinism will allow we can earn are trinkets, if it allows we can earn anything, which in fact, it doesn’t.  So what rewards are there even to lose in the Baptist system?

Also I note the strange wording here: “it is a violation of the Bible” rather than that its a violation of God’s will.  Is that intentional?  Some kind of suggestion that God’s Ok with sin but the Bible isn’t?  I don’t get it.

And to whom did Jesus preach that we should not be afraid of him who can kill the body only and after that has nothing more he can do, telling us that we should rather fear him who can destroy (i.e. annihilate, see also Psalm 37:20) both body and soul in hell?    Was he saying this only to nonbelievers and not believers?  That sure would be strange…especially since the point of saying this is to strengthen believers in their resolve to obey God rather than men and not shrink from obeying God for fear of persecution!

Ah, but if Christians who persist in willfull sin, like committing fornication on the basis of Paul’s claim that “all things are lawful” can actually be lost as a result, well then that means that all things are NOT lawful after all.  That means there’s still law for the Christians, even in “justification” if you want to play with Paul’s toys, er, I mean terminology.

It means in other words, exactly what Jesus said to believers in the sermon on the mount: he that does this or that is in danger of hell fire.   Can Paul undo what Jesus says there and tell us there is not law for Christians at all?   Does Paul get to reverse Jesus’ declaration that “not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but he that does the will of my Father”?  Or does Paul get to whiteout “Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them is likened to a wise man….and whoever hears them and does not do them is likened unto a fool….”?

Now of that fool, what does he say?  The house that the fool built on the sand will fall down and great will be the fall of it.   Is that damnation or loss of crackerjack toys?

Or again, in Luke 12, the 3 servants, one who was beaten with few stripes, another with many stripes, and one “cut in half and given his portion with the hypocrites,” does this being cut-in-half means simply losing the toy at the bottom of the cereal box, or does it mean damnation?

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Now, after I was sufficiently pleased with this post, I went to read iMonk and I looked at the article called How I Became a… Arminian he quoted some of the following:

2nd Peter 2:20-22 (KJV)

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Here it must be emphasized that Peter says those who get entangled again in sin, i.e. practice or live in sin, after becoming believers, will end up in worse shape that if they had never been saved!

But I also want to emphasize that he speaks of a “holy commandment”…what’s that?  The commandment to repent, I suppose, for he has it in the singular, and “repent!” is the only command I can think of that basically encompasses all the rest.  And this is what Jesus said he came for, “to call sinners to repentance.”  When he sent the 12 out to preach around Israel, one gospel says “they went out preaching the gospel” and another “they went out preaching that men should repent.”  So that repentance and the gospel are largely synonymous.  Therefore, to turn from repentance back to wallowing in sin is to turn from the gospel.

So what is the worse end?  To lose a quarter-machine toy? or damnation?

Reformation Era Doubts About Paul

I just found a really interesting article on a site called Jesus’ Words Only, and the article is called Reformation Doubts About Paul.

According to the article, Martin Luther himself (the greatest Paul worshiper of all time, second only to Marcion) said the following in his commentary on Galatians 3:16 where Paul gives the ungrammatical argument that “seed” is singular (which is not true in English nor Hebrew) and therefore must refer exclusively to Christ and not the children of Israel:

My dear brother Paul, this argument won’t stick.

Lol. Even Luther could see that?  That’s pretty amazing considering how drunk he stayed.

The article goes on to claim that Luther towards the end of his life tried to limit faith alonism a bit, to roll back some of the damage he had done, resulting in the double justification doctrine (initial justification by faith alone, final justification by works, i.e. what NT Wright teaches today). But after Melancthon, Luther’s successor, died, people went back to full-on crazy faith alonism. Interesting.

See Paul D, that’s how it goes when you try to control Paul.  I’ve seen it over and over.  You have a congregation that’s perfectly Christian, obeying Jesus and all, and then somebody reads Romans or Galatians and starts teaching Calvinism, faith alonism, its Ok to fornicate since Paul says “all things are lawful” so fornication is lawful, just not expedient because Paul says “but all things are not expedient.”   This is what happened to Marcion, after all, as Tertullian reports it, he “discovered Galatians” and it was all downhill from there. You have to reject the Benjamite Wolf, not just put him on a chain: he’ll always get loose from the chain.  You’ve got to reject him, not just apply some fancy expository techniques to limit the damage he can cause.  Because nice little distinctions you make will be ignored by your hearers. And if not in your lifetime, as soon as you die.

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