This is a response to what I think Paul D is implying by his post John MacArthur was for Baptismal Regeneration before he was against it.
I have to disagree with you here. Baptists ironically are against baptism. But scripture is clear that baptism is the point of salvation. I don’t even have to list them, you know the ones, Acts 2:38, Galatians 3:26-27, 1 Peter 3:21. Galatians 3:26-27 is from Paul to boot.
Its Calvinism’s insistence that baptism is not essential to salvation that makes them so arbitrary. People can all get saved in different ways according to them, for which purpose you have to give a “testimony” of how you got saved. And some people’s testimony is “cooler” than others, while some is more “boring.” And they use this to shame people who grew up living clean lives before they “got saved.” But with baptism as the normative point of salvation, there is no need for such testimony. I know when you got saved: when you believed and were baptized.
Baby baptism, of course, doesn’t count, and the phrase “Baptismal regeneration” as a pejorative, should be saved for the baby baptizers. Only baby baptizers believe that baptism BY ITSELF regenerates. (That is, in other words, baby baptizers believe that the water itself regenerates apart from faith.) Credo-baptists who nonetheless teach that baptism is essential, simply see it as what Jesus meant when he said: “You must be born of water and of the Spirit.”
Compare John 3:5 to Acts 2:38.
“You must be born of water and of the Spirit.”
“Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and you will receive the Holy Spirit as a gift.”
So when you go into the water as a believer, you receive the Holy Spirit = born of water and of the Spirit.
Now, it was Jesus who said “YOU MUST” do this. Paul doesn’t get to rescind that. Nor do I think he intended to. When he says justification is by faith and not by works, he is not excluding baptism. That is the one so-called “work” that he cannot be excluding, or he is a pure heretic who contradicts Jesus directly.
Also everyone who banishes baptism from conversion, ends up replacing it with a work they made up on their own, the sinner’s prayer. This is fact is behind the Calvinist attacks on the sinner’s prayer of recent. Baptists tossed baptism and replaced it with the sinner’s prayer to satisfy the Calvinist hatred of baptism, long ago. But now the Calvinists are coming back to take that away too.
Regardless of what all of those verses seem to say, It is clear that we receive the Spirit by believing and not works of the law (Gal 3:2).
That is certainly true. But where does “the Law” command baptism? Jesus commanded it, not “the Law.” This is a classic Calvinist mistake, to confuse what is Jesus and what is the Law.
Now, look at Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized.” Not one person who accepted Peter’s message refused to be baptized. For had they done so, they would have shown they did not believe the message of the gospel at all, since the message of the gospel contains the command to be baptized. If you don’t believe that, you don’t believe the gospel.
I know this is the case also from the very verse you are using against it. Galatians 3:2 NRSV “The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard?” What did I hear? Believe in Jesus, repent of your sins, and “be baptized for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Do I believe what I heard? If so, I will be baptized.
And Paul says plainly in the same book, Galatians 3:26-27 KJV “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
I became a child of God by faith in Christ, but when? John 1:12 says as many as believed received the RIGHT to become sons of God. Yes, at belief you receive the RIGHT. When do you use that right? In baptism.
Paul says I am a child of God by faith in Christ, FOR I was baptized into Christ and put on Christ. It follows then that if I was not baptized into Christ I did not become a son of God.
Calvinists teach the false gospel that you become a child of God prior to baptism, then discourage baptism, and they’ve brainwashed Arminian Baptists to teach the same false gospel, in the hope of damning many people to hell by tricking them into never getting baptized. And when they can’t accomplish that, they implement infant baptism to trick people into thinking they were already baptized when they weren’t because you must be a believer when you are baptized or it is invalid.
My response to some Catholics who just can’t seem to comprehend how by labeling Mary as the “spouse” of the Holy Spirit, they have sexualized the conception of Jesus:
“I hope you don’t think that God needs to use physical sex for incarnating Jesus…” Of course I don’t. You do.
“God never fornicates since that is sin, hence that is one proof that Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit.” Without any sexual intercourse, there could be no fornication. Hence labeling Mary as the “spouse” of the Holy Spirit shows that you think there was sexual intercourse.
From this post I ended up at the actual article, Austin Fischer’s Response to John Piper’s Criticism of His (Austin Fischer’s) Book about Leaving Calvinism.
The quoted paragraph below was the first thing that caught my eye, and it set me off on a rant that I posted in the comment box of the site that had led me to the article.
Bah. Too much political correctness and wishy washiness. Grow a set Arminians. [Please excuse my Driscollian-Calvinist terminology there.] I mean seriously. You guys are the most limp-wristed mealy-mouthed people on earth.
The nub of the issue is this: I don’t think Edwards or Piper think God is a black hole that needs human worship (a vacuum cleaner, as Piper says)—period, honest to God, cross my heart, scout’s honor.
Then you’re an idiot, because that’s exactly what they believe, and everything they say points in that direction.
When you take to defending your enemies in their very attacks on you, you are committing suicide. Piper all but admits that he thinks God is a scared little woose who can’t dare create a world with people who have freewill because he’s afraid someone with real choice might reject him and that would make him have a nervous breakdown, so Piper’s woosey god creates a world of robots to spare his paper-thin ego. And what should an Arminian do with this? Deny that Piper said what he said? Defend Piper by lying and saying he doesn’t believe what he claims to believe? Why would you do that? Are you retarded?
I know obviously you aren’t the person that wrote the article, but since they don’t have comments enabled, you get to hear my rant.
It actually turns out that the original source is http://purpletheology.com/dear-john-piper/ and comments are enabled. So I’ve posted my rant over there.
If this weren’t a screenshot and you could click the link to Piper’s audio, he would explain there that what he means is that God is not a biological entity, that he has no physical body, no male features, no form at all, etc. But really he means more than that: he means to make you into an atheist. Let me explain.
You see, in Judaism and in Calvinism they are very insistent on this notion that God has no form. He’s not in the shape of a man at all. They preach a lot of sermons about how “God is not an old man with a beard” and “God is not a king sitting on a throne.” The Bible lies, according to them, when it says anything about God’s arm or God’s hands, God’s eyes. Jews go so far as to insistent that in the Torah when it says God spoke, God did not speak but created a noise! And look how many Jews are atheists: 99.9% of them. About the same percentage of Calvinist youths become militant anti-Christian atheists.
Now, obviously, God is not a biological entity. He doesn’t have a physical body like ours. (We’re talking about the Father. Obviously Jesus is still incarnate.) But does that mean he doesn’t have form? Does that mean he is just a formless blob?
You see, Jews and Calvinists hate the idea of a personal God. Assert that God has no form, is not in the form of a human being, and viola, God is no longer a personal God, but just an impersonal force. Use the force Luke. George Lucas was a Jew.
In John 4:24, it says plainly: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” But can’t spirits have form?
Well, the apostles obviously thought so! In Matthew 14:26 when they saw Jesus walking on the water and thought he was a spirit:
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
So spirits can have form.
God being a spirit does not mean he is a formless blob. God is a spirit who has human form, or rather, we are flesh-beings made in the image of his form which he has although being a spirit.
This is how he can sit on a throne, and Jesus can sit at his right hand. He does have personal form. He is a personal God. He is not a formless blob like that mold growing in your refrigerator. Praise Jehovah!
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences” (i.e. the Calvinists) “contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)
There is nothing wrong with physical exercise, and yoga positions in themselves are not the main issue. But these positions are teaching postures with a spiritual purpose. Consider this — if you have to meditate intensely in order to achieve or to maintain a physical posture, it is no longer merely a physical posture.
Al Mohler (Calvinist) in The Subtle Body — Should Christians Practice Yoga?
The idea that a certain physical position may carry with it a certain spiritual energy may be the belief of some insane Yoga practitioners, but its a shame that Mohler would be superstitious enough to believe that himself.
That blog post of Mohler’s is rather old, but I was directed to it by a more recent post on the blog of Turretinfan (Calvinist) Thoughts on Al Mohler’s Post on Yoga?.
I don’t know anything about Yoga, quite frankly, but I do know a thing or two about martial arts. Just doing something as simple as the splits can require concentration (at least when you first start) because it hurts at first.
Now, I would imagine that Mohler would also say Christians should not study any martial arts. After all, isn’t there a spiritual dimension to those too? Weren’t they developed by Buddhist monks? etc.
I suppose many of them were. But when I took Taekwondo at the YMCA as a kid, they didn’t teach us anything spiritual, other than don’t use this to start fights, only use it for self defense (if you consider that “spiritual”).
I remember there were some family members that condemned Taekwondo when I was taking it, saying it teaches kids to be violent, Christians are to be pacifists, etc. Well, I’ve never started a fight, and didn’t join the army, so I guess it didn’t make me violent.
Here is an article by a man (apparently Greek) who describes himself as an atheist convert to the Eastern Orthodox church, Tae-Kwon-Do and Orthodoxy, in which he condemns Taekwondo (which is sometimes abbreviated as TKD):
One of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit is peace. The teachers of TKD also show a peaceful face, as sheep-like wolves that they are, and their bodies are relaxed through too much exercise. They do not have virtue. They can be debauchers, meditating gurus, participants in mental suggestions, whereas their soul does not rest in the Holy Spirit, as it is dead, not alive; in it live demons (this is what I understood in the school where I was taught TKD).
This is exactly the kind of rhetoric Jesus is warning against when he says “Judge not lest ye be judged, for with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you.” When you condemn something innocent, you put yourself at risk. Taekwondo is not a heresy like Calvinism or Gnosticism, nor is it immorality like adultery and so on. Its just bodily exercise. There is also that component of learning techniques to repel an attacker with minimal force (especially if it is paired with Hapkido as it was when I took it), which is good and useful, even virtuous. There certainly is no “mental suggestion” involved, nor demons.
What is the purpose of man’s existence? The answer is given to us by our Lord and also by His Saints through the ages, whose bodies were wasted in hard asceticism, fasting, vigils, prayers, and virtues in general. In all these, they lived freedom in Christ. This answer is also given through the conversation of St. Seraphim of Sarov with Motovilov (cf. Chapter 3). According, therefore, to the Saint, purpose of Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, namely the living of the Kingdom of God from this life.
It is madness for someone to wish to combine the path of extreme humility that our saints walk with the Luciferian self-deification path that we are subject to through TKD training.
What? So beating the body rather pointlessly through depriving it of food is good. But doing push-ups, sit-ups, jumping-jacks, that thing where you lay down and raise your legs up 6 inches and hold, and then kicks and punches into the air, why that’s bad. Really? So breaking the body and making yourself sick is good; but improving the shape of your body is bad. Why, isn’t that just wonderful teaching?
In many TKD schools one can find the Korean flag. This flag (according to [website removed]) has its philosophical foundations in the Chinese traditional philosophy (religion, rather) of Yin and Yang. It is called Taeguk and has imprinted on it a summary of the ideas of the (occultist) book of changes I’ Ch’ing.
Yep, it started in Korea, so the Korean flag is used as a symbol, not only will there be a flag, but there is usually a patch with the Ying/Yang thing on the should of the Gi (the Karate suit thing that you wear during class). So what! Nobody is thinking about the meaning of Ying/Yang as a spiritual symbol; its just something showing the national origin of the martial art.
For someone to obtain a belt in TKD, he needs to learn to execute certain “choreographies”, as Cook calls them, namely forms of TKD. The repetitive execution of these movements is essentially a form of meditation because it trains man’s imagination against imaginary opponents, having always as an aim self-deification.
If this guy really took Taekwondo he ought to know what these things are actually called. This is what in Karate is called Katas, and in Taekwondo they are called Poomses, both of which are just Asian words meaning “forms.” Essentially what they are is a way for instructors to make money. Rather than teaching you scenarios, “If an opponent does this, you do this,” they teach you these dances. And with each belt you get a new dance. And in these Katas, new moves are introduced, new blocks, or punches, or kicks, or elbow-strikes, or whatever. This is what makes it take a long time to go through the belts, which in turn is what allows the school to make money. It has nothing to do with “self-deification,” nor really with “meditation.” Of course, since these are self-defense moves being introduced in choreographed form, you are supposed to consider what the new moves would be used for in a real situation, but I wouldn’t call that “meditation.”
The teacher is the one who trains his pupil in the technique and philosophy of TKD, and he is essentially his guide in Do, the spiritual path of the martial art. He places the pupil to begin meditation in movement (forms) and teaches him more or less about Buddhism, Taoism, even Confucianism and this without using many words; irrespective as to whether he himself is doing this consciously or not.
I was about to say, that when I got up to red belt in my YMCA Taekwondo class, they had me teach the younger students, or rather, the lower belts. I certainly didn’t teach any Confucianism or Taoism, etc. All I did was either lead them in the basic exercise stuff (doing the splits, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc.), teach them the Katas, or for brown belts, show them the Hapkido moves (e.g. techniques for getting out of holds). But look, this nut has that covered, doesn’t he, “irrespective as to whether he himself is doing this consciously or not.” Lol. So I was teaching Taoism the whole time and didn’t know it. Crazy, right?
So what it amounts to is that because the martial art was first developed in a Buddhist country, it is now inherently evil for all time. What an absurd way of thinking. We are talking about physical self-defense tactics, and exercise, not doctrine. Get a grip people.
[I should add I didn’t learn Taekwondo from actual Asians, but rather white guys who had fought in the Korean conflict and learned it while they were over there. Don’t know how much difference that makes, if any.]
By the way, Do does not refer to a spiritual path. Tae means kick. Kwon means punch. Do means art. Hence, Taekwando means “art of kicking and punching.” This can be verified by looking at the wikipedia article for Taekwondo.
Similarly, with Hapkido, Hap means coordinated, and Ki means power. Hence “art of coordinated power.” It is essentially about coordinating kinetic energy, or in other words, using your opponent’s momentum to throw them, or using centrifugal force to break from holds or to flip an opponent. Thus its more physics than spirituality to be sure.
Now, of course, Yoga is entirely different ballgame (to use a trite sports metaphor). I really doubt anyone is going to prevent themselves from being kilt with Yoga. Twisting yourself into a butterfly ain’t going to repel a mugger. And as for the physical benefits of Yoga, you are more likely to throw your back out with some of those positions (I would imagine) than to improve your health.
Screaming fans throwing their undergarments onstage at a Justin Timberlake concert makes sense. But at a Demi Lovato show? Is that a thing?
That her fan base is comprised of mostly tweens and teens makes the news more unbelievable.
Not that unbelievable considering that the media, USA Today included, have made it their full-time job to confuse young girls into thinking they are lesbos.
A Calvinist calling himself David Murray has put up a blog post called Why Every Politician Should Be a Calvinist, in which he argues that the world would be all sunshine and lollipops if Barack Hussein Obama (and every other politician) were a Calvinist. (I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to!)
Among this deluded cultist’s points is the absurd claim that “Calvinism produces more prayer” (rofl!!!!) and his totally out of touch claim that:
Barack Obama’s basic flaw is that he has too much faith in human nature. He does not seem able to conceive that people will frequently choose what is wrong, what is against their interests, or what is destructive to society as a whole.
Really? What planet is this guy living on?
From Paul’s Passing Thoughts, The Problem with Wartburg:
ALL people on the earth are slaves. They are either slaves to unrighteousness or slaves to righteousness. AND, all people upon the earth are also free, and the freedom corresponds to the slavery. The unregenerate are enslaved to disobedience and free to obey (Romans 6:20)—the regenerate are enslaved to obedience and free to sin. No unbeliever sins perfectly, and no believer obeys perfectly.