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?

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