Confessions from a Christian

(Note: this is an old post written June 2, 2007 on my Facebook blog, but, with my new blog on this site, I decided to transfer it.)  
What is it about Christians that makes us such jerks? (I realize that’s quite an offensive statement, but as I’m one myself, I don’t think you can really criticize me for it.) Have you ever looked at most of the things that we’re “known” for? It’s no wonder people are turned off by us! A lot of stuff–a lot of personal stuff–has gone on in my life over the last couple of years and God has taken me on a whirlwind of circumstances that have left me doing something considered, by some, “un-Christian”: questioning.
We’re supposed to just “accept” everything we’ve been taught by “faith”. No questions asked. That’s crap, right there. (The no questions, part, I mean) I remember once, during a Q & A-type thing I was at, we were asking questions about the Second Coming (of Jesus) and the different beliefs of what happens to us after we die. Now, there’s nothing more that I like than questioning people 🙂 , so I did. Quite a bit, actually (though I came out knowing not much more than I did beforehand!) Afterwards, I had someone come up to me and “encourage” me, told me it was good that I questioned. . .and then basically told me that my questioning was pointless, b/c we all just accept through faith, anyway.
I feel like screaming!!!!! Don’t get me wrong: I’m a Christian and I believe in faith as much as the next guy. . .maybe even moreso than some. Just bear with me here, and maybe I’ll make sense eventually.
Another thing we do: we JUDGE. That’s what annoys me the most, no competition. I do it, too. It’s like the minute we accept Christ as our Savior, we turn around and point out everyone else’s flaws and “un-Christian” things they do, whether they’re Believers or not! I hate to break it to you, but whether your neighbor dresses modestly or not really isn’t any of your business!! Maybe you should go and tell her that her mini-skirt offends you, as a Christian. . . ya, bet that’ll get her into church, sure thing! Sheesh, people!
But the church in general. . .there’s another problem. I’m nearly convinced that it’s nothing more than an institution, with the Bible as it’s Instruction Manual. Good Heavens, don’t we know any better than that? The Bible isn’t a Rule Book to hit people over the head with, nor is it it meant to turn us into grinning robots who are always so “happy”.  The church is considered the “Bride of Christ” and the Bible is our Love Letter from Him! In it, our Husband tells us everything He wants us to know before we’re united. So, while I do agree with some people when they say stuff like ‘they’re the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions’ etc., what they fail to expand on is the rest of what our Love Letter says. . . that we are forgiven for every time we’ve broken those commandments. That’s the whole point of Christianity.
So, why do we shun people who don’t believe like us? I actually know the answer to that one: because it makes us “uncomfortable”. Well, get over it! Jesus didn’t say “You can only have Christian friends b/c I don’t want you falling into sin.” Nope. He said to go tell the entire world about Him, specifically nonchristians. That means SPENDING TIME WITH THEM!!! Just wait ’till you get to Heaven and God is looking at the book of your life and asks you, “Why didn’t you reach others for me like I asked you to?” What are you gonna say? “Well, ya see, God, it’s like this. You also said you didn’t want us to be corrupted by the world, so I stayed in my little box labeled ‘Christian’ and kept to my only-Christian community. Aren’t you proud of me? Now I’m here before you unscathed and perfect!” Then God’ll mumble, “Hmph, more like unscathed and useless!” 🙂
So, anyway, why am I writing all of this? I’m not trying to preach at anyone. Actually, it’s the opposite. I’m doing this as a confession, of sorts.  Moreso, however, it’s an apology. You see, all this stuff I’ve mentioned is ME. I feel like I’m a robot. A perfectly trained Christian girl…trained by the all the above “guidelines”.  I’m really good at saying the right things, smiling at the right time, no matter how I really feel. In other words, I’m good at putting on an act, making some kind of pathetic show. I remember once, when I was still going to a Christian school [I’m now a High School senior at a public school], during devotions the principal asked me this one question and what came out of my mouth was nearly word for word what he probably would have said. It wasn’t what I believed at all. In fact, I strongly disagreed with it. But I knew what he wanted me to say and was too much of a coward to speak my own beliefs. I walked out of that room feeling sick and embarrassed that I’d said that in front of all my friends. Things have changed a lot since then, and I’d LOVE the chance to do that over. . . but we can’t correct our mistakes, we can only do our best to prevent them from happening again.
So, anyway, I know many of you–most of you, probably–reading this aren’t Christians, and I hope this has expanded your view of us and please be patient! No matter how often we try to deny it, we Christians are miserable sinners, too, and mess up royally! To those who are Christians out there: Let’s be real Christians, not plastic ones who live in fragile glass churches. Jesus deserves better.
Advertisements

47 Responses

  1. Pretty accurate (and embarrassing!) stuff.
    One of the things I enjoyed was an ALPHA course: At least in it’s conception, it is intended as a safe place for folks, Christian or not, to ask questions. I’ve been in some groups that did not buy into that idea so much, but it’s great when they/we do.

    I remember finding with great joy CS Lewis demonstrating that one needn’t leave ones brain at the door of the church: That it is OK to think, and that if, as we proclaim, God is Truth, and Christianity is important first because it is true, then an honest and forthright pursuit of truth will eventually lead one home. It may not be the fastest way to get there. and may of us, including me, are often less than “honest and forthright” in my supposed pursuit of truth. I mostly want validation that I and my ideas are already OK. But a true love of truth is a gift from God. Real questions seeking real answers will ultimately lead one to the real source of truth. We may not get the answers, Job never did; but his refusal to put up with pious (or profane) BS from his supposed spiritual friends led him to an encounter with God, and God praised Job for it.

    My faith is not in the obliterated by my questions, my faith is in the God who I believe is the answer to them all. I trust Him even when I don’t understand what’s going on. It’s sort of like talking with a 4 of 5 year old child: It is a joy and delight when they want to understand everything. I want to meet his or her thirst until he or she is absolutely worn out with discovery. But I fear that sometimes with my heavenly father, I’m more likely to be just saying “why” over and over, mostly to feel my own power to control thereby.

    Thanks for bringing this over from FB, I think you make a lot of important points (I am in the middle of listening to a sermon series by Tim Kellor on the same subject. I’ll find the free download link again if there is any interest).

    -Blessings, and may our “scathedness” be redeemed into the stigmata of our Lord, as we lay these and all wounds at His feet.
    RES

  2. Thanks for your honesty. Christianity needs more people like you. Questions don’t scare God, only people.
    Keep Giving Them Jesus,
    Shawn

  3. Thanks for the comments!!! Both touched me very much!

    And RES, yes, I’d definitely be interested in the download…thanks!

    Blessings,
    Emily Grace

  4. I came back to recommend a book that I am reading, man your fast with responses!! Anyway, check out “I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt: Replacing Souvenir Religion with Authentic Spiritual Passion” You can get it at Amazon. It is written by a pastor named Vince Antonucci. I am reading it now and it is pretty funny, but true as well. I am also blogging on it as I read it. http://www.reflectionsofamirror.wordpress.com the post is called “Is There More?”
    Anyway, I am off, the family needs me!!
    Shawn

  5. I hadn’t noticed before, but the link is on a wordpress blog.

    http://setsnservice.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/

    I ‘ve just started listening to these sermons yesterday, and am very impressed!
    RES

  6. Shawn~ Thanks for the recommend! I always get excited when people recommend me books! Thanks for posting your link, too, because I clicked on your name earlier, but that took me to your church’s blog, not yours. And, btw, the fast replying thing isn’t necessarily a good thing! It signals I’m on-line too much!! 🙂 However, in my defense, it IS the weekend.

    Res~thanks for the link! I’ll definitely try check it out sometime this week.

    ~Emily Grace

  7. No matter how often we try to deny it, we Christians are miserable sinners,

    There is a reformation coming guys. I feel very sad for young folk raised in the church. Your parents told you that you gave your heart to the Lord when you were three and you believed them 😦 The reality is, that there are a whole group of Christians out there, I will say that they are definately in the minority, who have met Jesus and it has transformed their lives. And the way that it is measured is by their love, for the world and for their brothers and sisters. We are on at least the second generation of people raised in the church, religious folk, and it shows. No grandchildren in the kingdom guys, just children. You have to have your own epiphany guys, and I dont mean jumping up and down at church or getting pumped at some thing like “aquire the fire.” Go to any concert, rock or otherwise, and see the secular world having “church.” A true epihany will change everything, and the last thing you will be is a miserable sinner. Your whole life will be changed and will be marked by love and thankfulness and you will especially love those in the world and those in the world will be won by your love. Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care and thats the only cliche your gettin from me. Did you think it was gonna be easy guys? This treasure of life has to be sought, you have to be willing to die to everything, that is the way of entrance into His kingdom, not a fire insurance prayer said at an alter at whatever age. Seek Him out, and when you find Him, nothing in this planet will make you let Him go. http://scottishwarriors.wordpress.com

  8. Appolus~ I’m not sure what you mean by the second generation raised in the church…there have been many, MANY generations raised in the church. Could you explain that for me? Thanks!

    “No grandchildren in the kingdom guys, just children.”

    I don’t really get that either. My grandfather is a Christian…as is my father…as am I. As the third generation, I’m not excluded from walking through the Pearly Gates!

    I really appreciate what you said about love. They’ll know we are Christians by our LOVE. That’s the positive angle of my negative post! 🙂

    However, it doesn’t change the fact that Christians still mess up, make mistakes…essentially, sin.

    I appreciate your post! Please return!
    ~Emily Grace

  9. Hi Emily … a second generation would be the children that result from people who came to Christ. Third generation on would mean that your grandparents became Christians, your parents were raised in the church and they raise their children in the church.

    Bottom line is, you cannot get to heaven on your parents faith, and they cannot get to heaven on their parents faith. Each person has to come to Jesus individually. If I were to ask you when you met Jesus, for instance, what would you tell me? What did He say to you? Did He become the lover of your soul? Did He consume your thoughts? Does any of this make sense? Your families generation started when a family member first came to Christ. What typically happens is that this is watered down with proceeding generations. So, people know the right things to say, what they should say, what they should believe, how they should live, but its all from the outside in, not from the inside out. It can only last so long and then the person falls away. This is the real reason that almost 90% of young people “walk away,” during or after college, they were never really saved in the first place. They never met “the person of Christ.” We are saved, not by adhering to truth, but by knowing Him, Truth…..I hope this helps Emily………….Frank

  10. Ah, now I understand. Thanks for explaining! And I agree…which is why we call it a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus. My point I was going for in my post was that even after you have that meeting with Christ, you are still a human being who sins and have no right to act self-righteous, as if you earned your salvation when, in fact, you did not.

    “So, people know the right things to say, what they should say, what they should believe, how they should live, but its all from the outside in, not from the inside out.”

    Thanks for that sentence, especially! I know it’s been said before by many a Christian, but it really applies! Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the motions (for me, anyways) and we need to rejuvenate our spirit with Living Water!

    Blessings,
    Emily Grace

  11. Emily,
    You are a very mature young lady. I wish I had young people like yourself at my church.
    Keep Giving Them Jesus,
    Shawn

  12. I think the point has to be made again and again. Especially if there is a tendency to belive that we are only slightly better than miserable sinners. There is no truth in that of course. Some of your statements from your post…………………….

    “I feel like I’m a robot. A perfectly trained Christian girl…trained by the all the above “guidelines”. I’m really good at saying the right things, smiling at the right time, no matter how I really feel. In other words, I’m good at putting on an act, making some kind of pathetic show.”…………”Another thing we do: we JUDGE.”……………….What is it about Christians that makes us such jerks?……..

    “the minute we accept Christ as our Savior, we turn around and point out everyone else’s flaws and “un-Christian” things they do, whether they’re Believers or not!”………………

    “So, why do we shun people who don’t believe like us? I actually know the answer to that one: because it makes us “uncomfortable”.

    ” all this stuff I’ve mentioned is ME.”

    Well Grace, thats a powerful admission. Since you admit that this is your Christianity, what does that say about the Christianity that you have? Do you think we would see that in the Bible? I guess my point would be that if the post was balanced, it would have mentioned the goodness o Christ. How that while you struggle with some of these points, that nothing could compare to the Joy that is in you. How that,despite being jundgmental sometimes, most of the time you and the Christians you know are loving and accepting and forgiving and that even though the Christians you know do not always get it right, that you love them with a great love. Now of course that would have to be true, and only you know if that is true.

    Another thing for your consideration, since you like to question everything. Where in the Bible does it say that you accept Jesus as your Saviour. In the context of your statement it sounded a little blasie. To surrender to Christ and to give Him our lives is the hardest descision that a human being ever makes, that is why the Bible says “Many are called but few are chosen.” Its such a monumental descision, to die, to decide that the old person , you, will be no longer and that you are giving over your life into His hands, that it changes everything. Thats why in the last 50 to 70 years, the state of Chritianity is so dreadful. Its called easy believism. Come forward and sign on the dotted line. Say a few sentences, agree with, mentally assent to an abstract truth, and then I will be saved. Of course that is not true, and there is nothing in the Bible to suggest this. If you get a chance, read everything that A.W.Tozer wrote starting with pursuit of God. Read Dietrich Bonhoeffers “The Cost of Discipleship,” read Murray”s “Absolute Surrender.” These books are not for the fainthearted Emily, but you said you liked questions. You may find out that you dwell in a religious world, you may not, but you will know one way or another………………….Frank

  13. I am writing down the books you suggested on my “to read” list right now!! Tozer has some amazing quotes that I have, but I’ve never read any of his books. Thanks for the suggestions!

    You don’t happen to be pentecostal, do you? lol (I’m not implying anything wrong with that, you just sound pentecostal is all. 🙂 )

    You are absolutely correct: my post wasn’t “balanced”…but it was that way on purpose. I write topically and I write for a specific audience. If this were a newspaper, my post wouldn’t have been written as an unbiased article representing both sides, but an editorial. Specifically and directly stating my personal opinions. It was to point out many errors Christians are making–ones that I believe are very harmful. Then at the end, yes, I brought it down to a close with the confession that I do all the bad things I mentioned, as well.

    And can’t you say the same? Couldn’t you have replaced my name with yours? Or are you telling me that, since you became a Christian you have never–not once–judged another person? Do you have a balanced group of friends? (between Christian and non) or are the majority of your close aquaintances followers of Christ? Is your church pro-active in spreading the LOVE and JOY of Christ? Or do things become habitual? Is it attended by several perfect families who tithe regularly…or have some pregnant teenagers, new divorcees, AIDS victims, etc. found comfort there…without feeling UNcomfortable or that everyone is thinking of two to three Bible verses against them.
    (Obviously, you may not answer all those “yes” or “no”, it will probably be a mixture.)

    But on the ‘miserable sinners’ part…we may just have to agree to disagree. Because, although I am not denying the great gift we have received in Christ, and…how does that Bible put it…we’re ‘heirs to the Kingdom of God’…something like that?…it is not something we earned or deserve and it does not stop our sinful nature (or my confession would be like saying ‘well, since I’m still sinning, I must not actually be saved’) it does, however, FORGIVE it. Could I have included that in my post? Sure…I maybe should have. But, again, it wasn’t a theological paper or a sermon, trying to balance everything out. It was me saying: Hey, this is wrong. Christians need to stop acting like this–including myself. And I closed it with a challenge:

    Let’s be real Christians, not plastic ones who live in fragile glass churches. Jesus deserves better.

    “real” Christians insinuating that all the complaints I’d had were not right or part of what “real” Christians should be. And I do have other posts on my blog where I bash incorrect theology with the points you mention (i.e. JOY). This post, for instance

    https://emilygracewriting.wordpress.com/2007/12/31/jesus-camp/

    As for accepting Jesus as your Savior…first of all, define “accept”. Everyone interprets it differently. Here’s what I believe you need to become a Christian:

    That if thou shalt CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. ~Romans 10:9

    An imperfect girl, serving a perfect God,
    Emily Grace

  14. Shawn~
    Your posts are such an encouragement to me! THANK YOU!
    🙂 Emily Grace

  15. Hi Emily…well your still hanging in there:) Thats good. Pride is the number one enemy of all that would follow Jesus. You quoted a Scripture which is a poster Scripture for the term “Cheap Grace or “Easy believism,” which is the major cause of the state of Christianity today. Can I suggest that a text without a context become a pretext. Can I further suggest that you study the greek meaning of the word “believe.” It is far deeper and richer than our present English meaning which is “to give mental assent to an abstarct truth.” Which of course is what James is talking about when he sarcastically says so, you believe in God, so does the demons and they tremble. Here is one example of an altel call from Jesus………………………Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me Lord , Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name? And then I will declare to them , I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness. Therefore , whoever hears these sayings of Mine , and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon a rock ; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, he will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house ; and it fell. And great was the fall.”

    Here is another ” Matt 26….“If anyone desires to come after me (belief) let him deny himself, and take up his cross , and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

    Here is what Bonhoeffer says about those who claim salvation by a mental assent to the truth(fire insurance)…..

    Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out an eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.” “ Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow , and it is grace because it call us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”……….. “ Yet the outcome of the Reformation was the victory, not of Luther’s perception of grace in all its purity and costliness, but of the vigilant religious instinct of man for the place where grace is obtained at the cheapest price. All that was needed was a subtle and almost imperceptible change of emphasis and the damage was done.”

    There is a common theme, its about death, the desire to die, the desire to thow in your whole lot with Jesus, and this comes on the front end, this is a condition of faith. Here is another scripture describing what it actually means to be born again.

    …………Luke 14:25 “ Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned around and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it- lest , after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him , saying “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Or what king, going to make war against another king , does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise , whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

    Of course you know the Scripture “Unless a man is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus was describing in Luke 14:25 the entryway into being a “believer.” This is what Bonhoeffer is talking about when he says that the “Protestant,” world has found the lowest common religous denominator and hence the phrase is bor “all you have to do to be saved………….fill in the blank.” This phrase is an affront to Jesus who actually describes what you actually have to do to be saved, and of course, that is why many are called but few are chosen, because narrow is the path that leads to life, and few find it, and wide is the road that leads to destruction and many therof find it. Another book I would suggest Emily is Williman Wilberforce”(the recent movie Amazing Grace) True Christianity. Bear in mind when you read that book that it was written 300 years ago by the man responsible for the dwonfall of slavery in the Wetern world. The religious people of the day laughed at him and he was mockingly called an “enthusiast.” We still have religious folk of course, today they just do not use the word enthusiast anymore:) Last question Emily, are you a Baptist? I am not implying that there is anything wrong with that, you just sound Baptist :)…………brother Frank(hang in there, its a tough ride but Christianity is not for the fainthearted)

  16. HAHAHA. I laughed hard at your last question. I am going to assume that your lack of directly answering my question means I was correct! (not bad for a Baptist, huh?) I should get some kind of award for that. : ) Most High Schoolers don’t even know the difference between the two…haven’t even heard of them. (I’m not too sure that the fact I’m so obviously Baptist is a good thing. 🙂 )

    Yes, I’ve heard about the Greek meaning of Believe. I also believe in “repentance”…which means a 180 degree turn from the direction one was going before. Yes, it takes more than just belief…hence “Confess with thy mouth”.

    “For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.” ~Ephesians 2: 8-9

    “Most assuredly I say to you, he who hears My word and BELIEVES in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” ~John 5: 24

    “BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ~Acts 16:31

    Cheap Grace is a terrible oxymoron. It’s not cheap: it cost Christ His life! Grace for us, however, I do believe is cheap. I agree that the Christian life is not a joy-ride. People have been KILLED for their faith. But becoming a Christian is not difficult at all.

    Blessings,
    Emily Grace

  17. “But becoming a Christian is not difficult at all”….Hence the cheapness of the theology that you have been taught. I think you must have missed the quotes from the Lord about having to die. Only someone who has not died to the flesh could make the comment that to do so is not difficult. Yet, you are very young and have a lot of life ahead of you. Better to die now than later ……………….Frank

  18. Jesus also said His burden is easy. Emily, I agree with Frank on a lot of his ideas, but context is key here, as he stated earlier. I will give you an example of someone coming to know Christ as savior. Lets consider the thief on the cross, he simply asked Jesus to remember him and Jesus told him he would be in paradise that same day. Now, how about we look at Romans 1: 16-17- For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
    Saving everyone who believes, this is accomplished start to finish by faith. Through faith a righteous person has life. I know Frank means well but he makes it all about us, and it is all about Him. Faith alone saves. Here is a quote for you- Faith alone saves, but faith that saves is never alone. He is right though, we have made it to easy for people to get fire insurance. Alter calls are one of the worst ideas in the world. We use connection cards and follow up with people to ensure they know what they are doing. Also, Frank is right, a lot of “christians” have head knowledge only, again, our fault. People need to “count the Cost” and know that salvation is not repeating a prayer but accepting an offer to follow Jesus, to make Him Lord of their life and to accept His will as there own. Jesus never explained this to His diciples, He simply said, Come, Follow Me. Then He began to teach them what it meant to be a Christ-Follower.
    I wish I had more time to write but work calls. Emily, you sound very intelligent and I hope this doesn’t sound preachy or anything, however you should make up your own mind from your personal studies. I encourage you to read the books he suggested, here is one I like- Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little. There are several others I can let you know about later.
    KGTJ,
    Shawn

  19. Oh, and it easy to become a Christian, if it isn’t then anyone with mental retardation would be unable to accept. Why should it be hard? The journey is hard. Again, it is all about Him, it is NOT all about us.

  20. Shawn makes some good points. Of course the mental retardation point is moot. (I actually have a Down Syndrome child) I have made several references to dying and they have not been picked up 🙂 No surprise there 🙂 A couple of observations on what Shawn said. First of all, and it cannot be restated enough, the meaning of the word “believe.” Its about trusting completly and giving our lives(death to the old life) to Him. Jesus Himself, in the Scripture that I quoted said that you better count the cost before you make any commitments, because as in John 6, He requires that we take all of Him, not what we like and leave the rest. If we do not count the cost, not only will we look stupid when we fail, we do a diservice to the cause of Christ. Imagine one of your classmates comes forward one night at a service or a Billy Graham rally. She signs on the dotted line and excitedly tells all her friends. Weeks later she is sleeping around and doing drugs, or she continues in the same lifestyle. A “conversion,” but no life change. Meanwhile well minded church folk are telling her that she is a Christian and that she is in a process, completely ignoring the fact that Jesus addresssed this very problem in the parrable of the sower and the seed. Did you guys know that just over 100 years ago in this country that a lot of churches would not accept you as a member until at least 6 months after your “commitment.” This of course was to ofset what we just spoke about, that a person, in a moment of emotion and wanting saved from their immediate circumstances “comes forward.” By the way Emily, I am not a Pentecostal 🙂 I could recognize you because I

  21. went to a Baptist Seminary(Belton) and was a part of a Southern Baptist church for a year(became best friends with the Pastor) I am simply a follower of Jesus and His word. If I label myself, then people tend to pigeon hole you and because of pre-concieved notions, cannot digest information properly. Here is a piece from Tozer that you may enjoy…………………….
    “The cross where Jesus died became also the cross where His apostle died. The loss, the rejection, the shame, belong both to Christ and to all who in very truth are His. The cross that saves them also slays them, and anything short of this is a psueudo-faith and not true faith at all. But what are we to say when the majority of our evangelical leaders walk not as crucified men but as those who accept the world at its own value-rejecting only its grosser elements? How can we face Him who was crucified and slain when we see His followers accepted and praised? Yet they preach the cross and protest loudly that they are true believers. Are there two crosses? And did Paul mean one thing and they another? I fear that it is so, that there are two crosses, the old cross and the new.

    Remembering my own deep imperfections I would think and speak charity of all who take upon them the worthy Name by which we Christians are called. But if I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is , rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of self-assured and carnal Christianity whose hands are indeed the hands of Abel, but whose voice is the voice of Cain. The old cross slew men;the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new cross brings laughter. The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross; before the cross it bows and towards the cross it points with carefully staged histrionics-but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of that cross it stubbornly refuses to bear.

    I well know how many smooth arguments can be marshalled in support of the new cross. Does not the new cross win converts and make many followers and so carry the advantage of numerical success? Should we not adjust ourselves to the changing times? Have we not heard the new slogan “New days, new ways”? And who but someone very old and very conservative would insist upon death as the appointed way to life. And who today is interested in a gloomy mysticism that would sentence its flesh to a cross and recommend self effacing humility as a virtue actually to be practiced by modern Christians? These are the arguments , along with many more flippant still, which are brought forward to give an appearance of wisdom to the hollow and meaningless cross of popularity.”

  22. Ok, Frank. I hope you realize how heartbroken I am. I was so proud of myself for guessing your denomination! You totally blew a hole in my bubble! 😦 (But, as you said, “Pride is the number one enemy of all that would follow Jesus.”) 🙂

    I couldn’t agree more with your theory on denominations, however. The only thing they’re good for is telling jokes! 🙂 (Baptist jokes are by far the best. They’re HILARIOUS. I’m planning on writing a book someday about all the Baptist idiosyncracies 🙂 )

    Shawn, whether or not you sounded preachy is not for me to say, because I agree with you. You’d have to ask someone else who’d have a problem with your post. But, I mean, you ARE a preacher, right… 🙂 (And I will take as many book referrals as you can give!)

    Thanks for the comments to both of you! They are MUCH appreciated. I never expected when I started this blog I’d find myself in such deep theology! Kudos!!!

    Love,
    Emily Grace

  23. Will write more later. Too late at night, coffee is wearing off. But is is fun to debate. It is how we learn. I will say this, I have never read in the Bible where anyone who became a Christian had to go through anything other than acceptance of Jesus. I see over and over where believing is enough. Also, we don’t allow anyone to become a member without going through a new members class. However, I am not sure I clearly understand the point Frank is getting at. Of coarse we have to die to self. For me to live is Christ, to die is gain. However I don’t believe that this life is all about suffering for Jesus. I believe we suffer yes, but the joy of the lord is my strength, not the misery. To suffer for the cause is counted as joy, but it is not the same as joy. Jesus also said that He came to give life, not death. We have fun in our worship service but we also address serious issues as well. The book of Psalms is a perfect example, I am reading through it now, it is full of both deep misery and abounding joy. Love and hate, contentment and longing. I find that if I focus more on the things I am supposed to do then I don’t have the time or energy to do the things that I am not supposed to do. To me the picture of Jesus that Frank is painting is of a pessimist, but I believe Jesus was balanced. He was optimistic in His love for us but realistic in His knowledge of who and how we would accept it. Maybe I am just not seeing where Frank is going and I am off track, but it sounds like he doesn’t like life, I love life. I love living, I can’t wait to get to heaven but I find joy and fun here as well. Jesus said a lot of things that are opposites of each other, He also had to speak things that would take root in many different people. What turns the light on in my head isn’t what flips the switch in another. But, again, I may be missing his point entirely. It is late, I am coming down off my caffeine buzz after all.
    KGTJ,
    Shawn

  24. Oh, and Baptist jokes are awesome, but I have some Episcopal friends and I get some good ones from them as well.

  25. Shawn writes(and I am guessing Shawn is young)……..I have never read in the Bible where anyone who became a Christian had to go through anything other than acceptance of Jesus. I see over and over where believing is enough.

    It seems the point cannot be made about what it means to believe. Here is another key phrase from Shawn……….”I know Frank means well but he makes it all about us, and it is all about Him.” That is nothing more than a denominational , cookie cutter statement that really does not mean anything, its a straw man.

    Let me just state for the record. The work of Salvation is a finished work of God, I can bring nothing to it and I can claim nothing of it , it is His and His alone. To accept it will cost me everything!!!

    If I own a BMW Covertable, brand new. It is mine, I own it outright. I can give it to whoever I want to. I meet a guy on the street and throw him the keys. I say, here you go, its all yours take it. If, for whatever reason he refuses the car, that is no reflection of the one giving the car. The gift is mine, the choice to accept it or reject it for the recipient. Now, would it make any sense to refuse, of course not. Does it make any sense for people to refuse eternal life? Well here is the difference between the car analogy and Salvation, the reason people refuse is that they do not want to give up their lives, they instictively know that to come to Jesus is to die to themselves and most of all people want to be captain of their own destinies.

    Although I do respect an honest atheist or someone who outright refuse salvation, it is their choice to do so. Now as for people who claim to be Christians but are not, their is a wealth of Scripture to prove this. In fact Paul warned day and night for three years about false bretheren, wolves in sheeps clothing, who would ultimatly have no compassion on the sheep. There is the wheat and the tares, there is the sower and the seeds, there is the “believers of John chapter 8 who end the chapter by attempting to stone Jesus. There are His followers of Chapter six who all turn away, leaving only His disciples. Why did they trurn away? Well Jesus revealled who He was and what He required, He required that they take all of Him, that was just too much. There are the sheep and the goats, there are the virgins, five wise with oil, five foolish without. There are the people who calll Jesus Lord and cry out to Him and say “but Lord we did all these things in your name,” and of course we know what Jesus says to these people. On and on it goes. I would suggest that Shawn would read Tozer also, and Murray. I would find it difficult to believe that he has read these guys, deep men of the faith. Shawn you can read some of my poems at

    http://scottishwarriors.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/my-poems-of-coming-into-his-presence-trials-and-dry-times.

    The reason I started out by saying that I thought Shawn was young is beause I think Shawn has fun mixed up with Joy. There is no connection between these two words but are commonly mistaken by people who do not truly understand the nature of trials and death to the flesh. These do not produce misery as Shawn suggested, it would only produce misery to someone who walks in the flesh. There is great rejoicing by the Apostles when they suffer for Christ. In fact they rejoice just after being scourged because they are counted worthy to enter into His sufferings. I too love this life, this life in Christ. There is nothing of the world that I care for, that is not a misery, it is emnity to God, but it is not misery. Shawn says …..

    “To suffer for the cause is counted as joy, but it is not the same as joy.” Sorry Shawn, you completely lost me on that one.

    It is deep joy. For as we suffer for the cause of Christ we are refined and purified. James says ” My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of temptations,
    Jam 1:3 knowing that the trying of your faith works patience.
    Jam 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.
    Jam 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him.

    There is always a context to Joy, and it is quite literaly never fun……..

    2Co 7:4 My boldness of speech is great toward you; my glorying on your behalf is much. I have been filled with comfort, I am overflowing with joy on all our trouble. For, indeed, coming into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but being troubled in every way, with fightings on the outside, and fears on the inside.

    2Co 8:2 that in much testing of trouble, the overflowing of their joy, and the depth of their poverty, abounded to the riches of their generosity.

    Phi 2:17 Yea, and if I am offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.

    1Th 1:6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, welcoming the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,

    2Ti 1:4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, so that I may be filled with joy,

    Heb 12:2 looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

    1Pe 4:13 but rejoice according as you are partakers of Christ’s suffering, so that when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.

    Frank

  26. Maybe I am just not getting the point. What are you trying to get across? Are you saying that we are not saved because both of us were young when we prayed in faith to receive salvation from God through the death of His Son Jesus, that for the last 27 years I have not been a Christian, but religious. That all the times that I have heard and felt God speaking to me, that when I accepted the call to be a pastor, that when I doubted my faith at times and God showed Himself to me in wondrous ways, you are saying that because I couldn’t fully count the cost I was not saved? Sorry brother, your wrong. I know, that I know, that I know. Do I agree with most of what you say? Yes, we do need to count the cost, we do need to die to self, we do need to be willing to give up everything to serve. However, I do know what the difference between joy and fun is. I also know the difference between spiritually smart and spiritually mature. Am I young, I suppose it depends on your angle, to Emily, I am not young, as I have no idea of your age I may very well be, however I am the same age as Jesus was when He was in the middle of His mission. Age is a variable, maturity is the key, and I don’t claim to be mature, but I am growing.
    I find it interesting that you don’t answer my questions though, you just pick at new ones. You never showed us where in the Bible anyone has to do anything but believe to be saved, although occasionally it is believe and be baptized. When you can show me that then we will be getting somewhere. All the verses that you have shown, as far as I can tell, are for after we begin following Jesus, as a matter of fact, when Jesus called the disciples He didn’t tell them anything, He just said, Come and they came. I don’t think anything has changed, He still says come and they come. No need to know everything, just that they come.
    To me the key is that the church has dropped the ball after salvation begins, lack of mentoring and training and definitely a lack of ministry.
    I have read some Tozer, but not much. never read Murray. So I can’t debate them, but I have read the Bible and that I do know a little about.
    My friend, you make a lot of valid points, I just think we are coming from two different directions. I pray that God blesses you and your ministry. However, I think we will have to agree to disagree on this. I think God should be fun, not just joy. I think God has a gigantic sense of humor. I know what joy is and I know what count it all joy means. I realize I am “young” but I know what I believe. I have spent many years searching the Scriptures, I have read many books, I have listened to many different sermons from many different denominations and affiliations. I know that I am saved, I know to whom my knee bows and I know for whom my soul longs. I can’t speak for Emily, but I can for me, I am a Christ-Follower. One who has counted the cost, one who has suffered little but would suffer greatly if called upon. One who would count it all joy, but at the same time would prefer to have the cup taken away if it is the will of God.
    KGTJ,
    Shawnb

  27. Shawn writes……………………………That all the times that I have heard and felt God speaking to me, that when I accepted the call to be a pastor, that when I doubted my faith at times and God showed Himself to me in wondrous ways.”

    Now we are finally getting somewhere. Shawn I could care less that you believe that Jesus was the Son of God. James put that to context and to rest when he explained who else believes that. I have never said that you were not a Christian. Over and over again I have stated that your mere mental assent to an abstarct truth is niether here nor there. 90% of this country “believes,” and claims to be Christian. Every great man of God down through the years has sought to clarify what it means to “believe.”

    According to Barna, this is the most scripturally illiterate generation in over 300 years. The Christina church is in complete crisis. The stats for the world and for the church are exactly the same, sometimes worse within the “Church.” You give yourself the name of Pastor Shawn, then accountability comes to you in greater measure. If you are satisfied witht he state of the Church, that is between you and God.

    If you are a Pastor, then you have no greater responsibility than to make sure people know what it means to be saved. Of course, your not gonna make a lot of friends doing that. Your gonna lose numbers. They hated Jesus , they will hate those who follow Him. But thats another cost, not all are willing to pay that cost. Friendship to and of the world is more important to some people. We live in an age where popularity is more important than truth. Where personality is worshipped. So yes, we can agree to disagree Shawn. If you believe that by giving verbal assent to an abstract truth is salvation, without any evidence of change, then we disagree. Nominal Christianity has condemend millions to an eternity in hell. It takes real love to share the truth. And the truth is, unless you “know,” Jesus then you are lost.

    If I were you Shawn, and I was going to read any of those books, I would read “Real Christianity,” by William Wilberforce, you can find it in any good book store. Also read, if you have a mind or get the chance………….http://scottishwarriors.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/bibliocentric-or-christocentric. Just before that there is also a piece entitled “Is there life in the Scriptures.” I would like your opinion on that.

    Finally Shawn, I can relate to this “That all the times that I have heard and felt God speaking to me, that when I accepted the call to be a pastor, that when I doubted my faith at times and God showed Himself to me in wondrous ways.” Everything else is just religion and the world has plenty of that. Keep the faith brother, your gonna be challenged.

    PS….How much fun was there on the decks of the Ttitanic?

  28. Question for Emily………………………

    If someone came up to you and said “You do not know your mother.” Would you ……….

    a. Take that question seriously?
    b. Be offended………………or
    c. Dismiss it as nonsense.

    Question number 2

    If you met the President tomorrow. You had a pleasent converstaion, he called you by name and so on, would you ever forget that? Would you tell all your friends and family? What if the President took you into his confidence, shared private things with you and spoke to you regularly?

    How much credence can be given to someone who is not sure if and when they met the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Dont you think you would remember meeting the God of all the universe if you would remeber meeting the President? Are there enormous amounts of people around the world who so claim to have met Him? Are they not obssesed with Him and want to tell everyone about Him? Perhaps they would be called Holy Rollers or the old word, enthusiasts or fanatics. When you read the word of God, do you read about a sold out bunch of people who gave up everything for Jesus? When the Jewish people were told that Jesus is not dead but alive and that He wanted to come to them in the form of the Holy Spirit and take up residence in them, if they would only believe that He was who He said He was.What did it mean for a Jewish person of that time to make the enormous leap and acknowledge that Jesus was the Christ? What did their “beleiving,’ cost them? Their jobs? Their families? Their 2000 year traditions?Loss of reputation? Torture and death? Yes, all of that. And when they made this leap of faith, putting everything on the line, did they then not know if they knew Him, or were they like you when you met the President and he took you into His confidence? That is a small poriton of what it means to believe and the consequeces of true Biblical belief, as opposed ot the religious mental assent to an abstract truth which James talks about. ………….Frank

  29. Shawn, you cand find this piece at sermonindex.net

    A Salvation That Does Not Save by Greg Gordon
    A Salvation That Does Not Save

    A vital message exposing spurious preaching of the gospel

    MOCK SALVATION

    In the last days the Apostle Paul declared that there would be a segment of people that would give heed to “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” We are living in the reality of this passage of Scripture for there are “doctrines of demons” being preached from many pulpits worldwide. But you might argue that the gospel is being preached and we should approve! My friend we must realize that there were many false gospels preached in the apostles days and there are many false gospels being preached today. God has no interest and is not required to honor such a gospel that is false. There is a epidemic of a sort of “mock” salvation being preached from many pulpits today. It is a gospel message that is not authentic. It is correct in doctrine but false in reality. It is a salvation that does not work! It is a salvation that does not save! The holy Scriptures warn of a “falling away” apostatizing from the faith of Christ. Christ spoke of a strong word of emphatic warning to his disciples: “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Oh believer! it is possible for you to be deceived with a gospel that is spurious, false, and counterfeit. You might ask what is this “mock” salvation that is being spoken of? Simply defined it is a salvation that does not make men holy. It was warned about in the Epistle of Jude in this phrase: “turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.” Catherine Booth in her book “Popular Christianity” speaks of this gospel and her dismay of many that follow in its deception: “Alas, many false, delusive, disappointing christs; so I have to show that there are many make-believe, mock salvations, which only deceive, disappoint, and damn those who trust in them. As I walk about the world, and as I look at professing Christians, my soul cries: O God, make haste to help us raise up a holy people, in order to show the world what salvation really means, for they do not know. They are utterly befogged and bewildered, and I do not wonder.”

    SINNERS SAVED TO SIN?

    Perhaps no other evangelical phraseology has caused more damage to true gospel preaching then this simple coined phrase: “sinners saved by grace.” Thus the Scriptures read to most such as: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the sinners which are at Ephesus, and to the unfaithful in Christ Jesus.” No, ten thousand times no! Rather the Holy Ghost spoke a message that did not glorify sin but rather the holiness and salvation of God in believers from sin. The deception is real and persuasive. The simple question can be asked “what have you been saved from?” Not positionally but practically. Is there any sins which Christ has delivered you from? Christ was manifested that he might “take away our sins.” He spoke to the women caught in adultery “Go, and sin no more.” Paul stated that we “who are dead have been freed from sin.” A French infidel, answering a caviller against holiness, said the other day, “You believe and sin, I do not believe and sin: where is the difference? It seems to me I am the better of the two.’ Exactly, for however true or grand a man’s beliefs, of what use are they if he does not act them out? ‘Can faith save him?’ Nay, verily, but such a faith can damn him.” This is false security to believe that we can act, talk, and walk like the world and still claim salvation in Christ. Sinners are not saved to sin but rather saved to holiness and good works. We are the light of the world so that our “good works” may be manifest before men that they may “glorify our Father in Heaven,” this is biblical Christianity.

    It might seem strange to say that ministers of religion are “pleading for impurity and sin.” Yet dear reader this is exactly what multitudes of professors preach and teach that you cannot be free from sin. That you must sin! This is a unbiblical emphasis and the Apostles and Christ always preached from the vantage point of the possibility to walk holy and free from sin. Is “Christ the minister of sin? God forbid!” Christ is the minister of holiness and righteousness in God. Hear the lament of Fox over this opposition to the truth: “But they could not endure to hear of purity, and of victory over sin and the devil. They said they could not believe any could be free from sin on this side of the grave. I bade them give over babbling about the Scriptures, which were holy men’s words, whilst they pleaded for unholiness. Then I bade them forbear talking of the Scriptures, which were the holy men’s words; “for,” said I, “the holy men that wrote the Scriptures pleaded for holiness in heart, life, and conversation here; but since you plead for impurity and sin, which is of the devil, what have you to do with the holy men’s words?” The warning of Christ is against this gospel where professors of religion are forbidding people to be a part of the holy body of Christ: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

    Can there be preached a gospel that damns people? The warning of the last days is that “there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies.” They teach the gospel of God in a way that damns and does not free people. It speaks of life and heaven yet does not offer a release of the bondage of sin in believers. The great falling away will damn people even though they believed in a supposed gospel: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” The true Gospel will free people from the pleasure, potential and possibility of sin. This is not a crucial matter and not something to accept as tolerable. The extent of this modern day “mock” salvation that does not result in producing a holy people is damning people to hell. Does this seem strong? Harsh? It is better to be offended over these words and repent from this gospel rather then meeting Christ as the judgement seat being found “in your sins” not “in Christ” and the freedom of sin that our precious Saviour offers. Yes! He is the Saviour from sin. Not to covering it but removing it. Catherine Booth again speaks to this contradiction of true biblical preaching: “It is doubtless better to have right opinions than wrong ones, but the best opinions will not save a man. I am afraid there is a great deal of preaching that amounts to a mere putting of the different theories about salvation, instead of persuading men to come to Christ and be saved.” This error is subtile for it appears there is a preaching of the right texts and emphasis yet alas it does not bring people to the person of Christ. Mere theory will not remove sins but a encounter with the living Christ who died to take away sin.

    PREACHING WITH TEARS

    Preaching with tears is the mark of true gospel preaching. Not just the tears themselves bear witness to the truth but are a outward manifestation of the greatness and loftiness of the gospel that actually saves a sinner from their sins. Catherine Booth gives us her estimation of preaching that was worthless in her day. It was a preaching that did not save from sin, did not offer the sinner much except a theoretical pardon from their guilt complex: “The main idea of much of the preaching of this day seems to be that of teaching people, instructing them, which too often results in hardening their hearts, and finding them an easier way down to perdition than they would have found without it. Unfortunately a man feels more comfortable when he has been to a place of worship and heard a fine theory about salvation, then he would if he had not been, although he may be no nearer being saved. All preaching or any other instrumentality which has not for its end the immediate salvation of the people, only leads them to trust in mere teaching, which is a mockery. You can see the want of it in the way they fail to bring men to Christ. How my heart has ached over this aimless, pointless preaching, I could not express.” Preaching that is not impassioned with the goal of bringing people to the living God who can break the fetters of sin is then in turn pointless preaching. Catherine Booth relates this story showing forth a example of not mere doctrinal preaching but showing the power of God and effectual working of God’s Word: “Would to God there were more preaching in the fix of a Baptist minister in a town where we are just now having a glorious work, who has been so stirred up and awakened to his responsibilities, that, on a recent occasion when he had read his text, he broke down, weeping, which had more effect than all the sermons he had preached during the years he had been in that town. His people wept too, and many of them got converted over again. I wish that a few thousands of the ministers of this kingdom could be brought to a similar state of mind before next Sunday; what a commotion there would be in the land, and what a stir in hell, ah, and in heaven too!”

    The saintly Edward Griffin who was used of God in the second great awakening and gives us a example of bringing people to a Christ who is a saviour of sin. The church historian David Smithers gives us this word picture: “A hearer of Mr. Griffin in New Jersey in 1829 gives us a description of his preaching and of the love and brokenness which gave that preaching its power. “During most of the sermon his face was wet with tears, and for nearly an hour he spoke to us with such tender and appealing sentences that it seemed as if his hearers must cry out in an agony of fear and trembling . . . But what a climax the ending was! It was a wonder how he endured the strain so long and that he had not given up physically exhausted. The mental agony, the heartbreaking sympathy, were enough to break an angel down! When he fell on his knees as if he had been knocked on the head with an ax, with outstretched arms, tears coarsing down his face, he cried out; ‘Oh! my dying fellow sinners, I beseech you to give your heart to the Savior now. Give your life to Jesus Christ, do not put it off! Do not leave this house without dedicating yourself to His service, lest you be left at last to cry, the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved.'”

    What consolations can you offer to your hearers? Do you preach as one that has a freedom of sin and liberty in the gospel of Jesus Christ? This statement was given by the ‘General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China’ in 1877, yet perhaps in our generation we need a release of the tyranny of sin over the Church! “How long shall this fearful ruin of souls continue? Ought we not to make an effort to save China in this generation? Is God’s power limited? Is the efficacy of prayer limited? This grand achievement is in the hands of the Church… We want China emancipated from the thralldom of sin in this generation.” May we experience this “emancipating” power that the Church of God may sin no more!

  30. So you are telling me that you no longer sin? You are perfect. And I don’t mean in the sense that Jesus forgave your sins and in God’s eyes you are perfect, but in the real sense of the word where you no longer commit sins. No more lust, no more lies, no more idolatry, no more sin period?

  31. “PS….How much fun was there on the decks of the Titanic?” Not sure what this has to do with anything. And to answer I would have to say it depended on the day you were there? How much fun would it be to hang out with Jesus? Depended on the day, when Peter was walking on water I would say it would be pretty cool, when He was hanging on the cross, not so much.

  32. I think you already know the answer to that Shawn. By the way, I did not write that, I agree with it, but I did not write it. If you did not like it , then I would suggest that you do not read Tozer or Murray or Wilberforce. You certainly should not read George Whitfield. I am assuming that you know who he is and all about the great awakening? Well Whitfield, perhaps the greatest evagelist we have known in the last few hundred years apart from maybe the Wesley brothers(you might not like them either, they preached exactly what you just read) wrote an open letter to the exisitng clergy of the Church of England in the late 1700s and made the accusation that all but a few “knew anything of the new birth.” Oh how the religious men of the day railed. Actually got him banned from every pulpit in the western world. Now here’e the thing, he decided to preach in fields instead and the usual size of his crowds was 10,000 a number that no church could have held anyway. And of course the great awakenig changed the course of this country. Of course Jonathan Edwards was going about his business for the Lord at this time. Prior to his own awakening sermons(most famous is sinners in the hands of an angry God) he too had been banned from the pulpit and for some years preached only to the American Indians because the good religious folk of the day did not want to be convicted by his powerful preaching.

    Shawn all these great men of God had something in common, they took a stand for the truth, they paid a price , lost their reputations, were humilated and empoverished for a time yet they had been called of God and it was God who honored them. All the religious men of those days faded into history, Gods men changed history. I guess it all comes down to Romans 7 Shawn. You wanna live that life, you wanna teach people how to live a Romans 7 existence?

    Who runs a race not expecting to win? Is that what you preach Shawn, I cannot believe that you do? Who goes into a battle commiserating his troops for the upcoming defeat? Wow, that is the difference between a Romans 7 existence, no different from most of the world, and a Romans 8.

    Can I ask you Shawn, do you have victory over any part of your life? Are you a man who is sold under sin?Do you believe that the only difference between you , a Christian, and the guy next to you, not a Christian, is the fact that you said a sinners prayer when you were five? I cannot believe that you believe that. I cannot believe that you did not get what that guy who wrote the piece above was trying to say?

    As for me, I came to Christ when I was 26. I was a drunk, a drug user , a cheater on my wife, a whoremonger you could say. I walked in complete defiance of God. In all of these areas I have complete victory through Christ. I am not a dog that I returned to my vomit, and of course the reason was love. I had encountered the greatest love in the universe, actualy, not theoretically, experientially and it changed everything. His love for me, my love for Him exploded inside my spirit and it changed everything, starting with my heart. I no longer wanted to sin, not because it was against the rules, but because it would grieve the lover of my soul. The second I came to Christ I was delivered from alcohol. No 12 step program, no AAs, just the power of Christ He who the Son had set free was free indeed, I was completely liberated from the curse of the Law. When I went back to Scotland to visit, my old freinds were stunned. They could not understand what had happened to me. I was a completely new creature in Christ. Now Shawn, my story is just one of millions from around the world in the last 2000 years. Wherever the Spirit of Christ is there is liberty. It is a victorious Gospel I share, it is a Gospel of freedom and a changed life, because of a new heart. A heart that could love where it could not before. A heart that could take his son in his arms and tell him he loved him, a thing that I could never have done before. a heart that changed my whole family, a new heart, a Gospel of victory that broke the chains of sin and despair that had chained my family for at least several generations. This is nothing new Shwan, this is the Gospel, this is the freedom this is Jesus Christ, Overcomer who created creatures and made promises to them who overcame. This is true religion, the Gospel that breaks the chains of darkness………………………….Frank

  33. Ok, Frank. You asked me some questions. Know that the Devil’s Advocate in me really wants to pick at your question (this trait in me annoys my friends all the time) but, as I love to say, I am not a politician…so I will answer your questions directly. 🙂

    If someone came up to you and said “You do not know your mother.” Would you ……….

    a. Take that question seriously?
    b. Be offended………………or
    c. Dismiss it as nonsense.

    I’d have to say C. I’d laugh, probably play along, question them but wouldn’t care the least. Then I’d probably blog about it and forget it ever happened.

    Question number 2

    “If you met the President tomorrow. You had a pleasent converstaion, he called you by name and so on, would you ever forget that? Would you tell all your friends and family? What if the President took you into his confidence, shared private things with you and spoke to you regularly?”

    If I met Bush I would tell my friends and family. If Bush took me into his confidence I wouldn’t tell a living soul. I keep my friends’ secrets…I would try do the same for my president.

    Ok, so now I am just confused. Of course people paid the penalty for their faith. Especially the first Christians. It was an awful time of persecution, of which history has recorded many. As a result, I have a very shallow, wimpy faith in comparison. Why? Not because I am not a “real” Christian. Because I am spoiled and, above all, very fortunate in that I live in a country with religious freedom.

    But my faith is no less authentic.

    This quote you wrote, by the way. . . absolutely amazing! I love it:
    “Would to God there were more preaching in the fix of a Baptist minister in a town where we are just now having a glorious work, who has been so stirred up and awakened to his responsibilities, that, on a recent occasion when he had read his text, he broke down, weeping, which had more effect than all the sermons he had preached during the years he had been in that town. His people wept too, and many of them got converted over again. I wish that a few thousands of the ministers of this kingdom could be brought to a similar state of mind before next Sunday; what a commotion there would be in the land, and what a stir in hell, ah, and in heaven too!”

    That there would be a little glimpse of heaven on earth!

    Blessings!

  34. Philippians 3:7-16 “7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
    Pressing on Toward the Goal
    12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

    15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained. ”

    If, according to verse 12, Paul was not perfect I have a hard time believing that you are brother.
    Shawn

  35. Gosh Shawn, I cannot believe that you thought that was my answer????? You just quoted one of my favorite Scriptures and I say amen to that.

    “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish.”

    The surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus, this is the essence of Christianity.

    After everything that was said in the above posts, that was your reply? That is quite sad Shawn. Listen brother, I am going to tell you straight just so there is no confusion, of course I am not perfect, of course I sin. How does that change anything that is written above???? I am an overcomer because He overcame. I am no longer the guy that I was as I decibed above. Would you not give God the Glory for a changed life Shawn? When the Lord Jesus healed the man in the Temple, the Pharisees were only interested in a technical point, they say that He broke the law by healing the man on the Sabbath, they cared nothing for the man.

    Emily, the point of the questions. If you “know” Jesus and someone says or implies that you do not, then how ridiculous would it be to get offended over that, it would be the same as someone who would say to you that you do not know your mother. It would not offend you, you would think “hmm, whatever,” or something along those lines. Now when Jesus told the Jews and the Pharisees that they did not know God, for if God had been their Father then they would have acceptd Him, they did not react to kindly to that.

    If you met the President, you would exciteldy tell all your friends about it. If you meet Jesus, you would have a similiar reaction, greater I would say.

    The point about believing is that you too are called to the same sacrifice as the early believers. You might not lose your life(although that could change and hundreds of thousands of Christians have just in this last centuary) but you could definately lose your reputation, your friends, your job, a bofriend or a potential future husband, you could lose all those things for the sake of Christ.

    I love that you love that quote Emily. There is a Pastor who had an encounter with the living God and he was broken before his congregation and in his brokeness, he allowed the Holy Spirit to move through him and effect the sheep in his charge, beautiful. If you get a chance Emily read this piece, it may or may not mean something to you, but it was an encounter I had with the Lord when I was in Croatia last year, with my wife for our 25th. The “flying,” is coming into His presence. The opening paragraph is my pathetic attempts at words to describe His presence. The English language is beautiful, but even with all its complexity, there are no actual words to describe His manifest “presence.” Shawn please re-read what I wrote with a less critical eye now that you know I was not claiming to be perfect or that I do not sin. I think we both know what 1st John would say about that for anybody who would make that claim, which is not what theat guy was doing in that piece. Kinda reminds me of the Judaizers saying to Paul that he had a license to sin, and Paul saying “God forbid.”

    http://scottishwarriors.wordpress.com/2007/12/28/a-vision-of-coming-into-his-presence

  36. Brother,
    I feel like you are leading me on a wild goose chase, not saying that you are, it just feels that way. Either you have been evasive and manipulative or you just really don’t know how to write what you were wanting to share in a way that shows your true intention, I am not sure which it is. If you re-read the posts as someone that has never met you and does not know what beliefs you hold you will see that that is exactly what one would infer. You would not identify yourself with any church group to allow for some context. I asked you several questions that you skirted around or answered so vaguely that I couldn’t figure out what you were talking about. Even Emily was confused. Of coarse I would give glory to God for a changed heart. My own father accepted Jesus as his Saviour and Lord 10 years ago. He was into several things that you were into. However He didn’t automatically receive deliverance from every stronghold. As he grew in Christ and matured the desires of his heart changed and serving God replaced serving self and the destructive sin habits that he had. My point is this, not everyone received automatic deliverance from every sin in practicality. Some things take days some take years. We all struggle, I struggle with certain sins and have for years. I have gained victory over certain things and I die daily to certain sins, but I also loose battles daily as well. My calling as a pastor is to shepherd my flock, to teach them the Word of God and to lead them to maturity. I don’t teach an easy salvation but I do believe that attaining salvation is easy, ie. there is not a system of rules and regs one must abide by to be saved. We saw that in the Old Testament and it didn’t work. There is only one way to heaven, through Jesus Christ. Do I believe in the salvation prayer? Yes, but I also add in there about making God the Lord of your life. If you are not ready to do that then chances are you are not ready to become a Christian. Becoming a Christian is not about saying a prayer and bam it is done, it is about entering into a relationship with the God of the universe. It is about freedom from the sin that chains us, it is about accepting the love that God has for each of us, enough love that He would die on a cross in our stead. However, you can not fully understand that until you accept the free gift that God offers.
    I think we have said all this to really come down to the fact that saying a three minute prayer will not get you to heaven. But, saying a 3 minute prayer in true repentance and seeking forgiveness to truly make God the Lord of your life will. We can not judge the salvation of a person based on anything other than what they do with it. And by that I mean, where is the fruit.? If the fruit is there, if there is life change then I would assume that to be a true salvation. No fruit, I would not take them off my prayer list to get saved. That is why I believe in counseling people who want to become Christians, or that have just prayed that prayer to truly find out where there heart is. I also believe to 5 years old may be to young for some, but maybe not all. I truly know I am saved, and I truly know that it happened when I was 5.
    Again, maybe I am off base as to what you are trying to get across, if I am then my apologies.
    KGTJ,
    Shawn

  37. Hi Shawn

    Why would a church group give you context? I am a follower of Jesus and His word. You accuse me of being manipulitive? Who am I manipulatiing and for what purpose? You associated trials that Christians go through as misery, I simply disagreed. You said …..”Of coarse I would give glory to God for a changed heart.” But Shawn, you did not until I called you on it.

    I do not think Emily is that confused, why should she understand eveything, why should you for that matter Shawn? (and that is not a critisism) My own walk with Jesus is an open book. Go to my website and read all about it, its all there.

    I praise God for your Fathers salvation. May his changed life be a witness to his family and his friends, glory to God in the highest.

    You did not comment on the brokeness of the Pastor from the piece Shawn, in fact you did not comment on many of the points, am I to assume that your are being evasive and manipulitive, nooooo. I think that you are right when you identify that you do not understand some of the points, thats ok. None of us have arrived and some are more mature than others as I am sure you would agree? I accept your apolgies brother, it takes guts to admit that you are of base as to what I am trying to get across. Please read the books that I suggested Shawn, I think that you will be tremendously blessed by them and it will make you want to go deeper into Christ and die more………..Frank

  38. “Even Emily was confused”~Shawn
    “I do not think Emily is that confused”~Frank

    Whoooooa there, boys. Neither of you can speak for me. Shawn said I was confused b/c I ADMITTED I WAS…a couple times at least, throughout this entire conversation. But Frank, how do you know how confused I am or am not? If I wasn’t confused I never would have said I was. Am I confused about this topic of salvation? Absolutely not. I said I was confused on some of the comments you made/ questions you asked me. But you explained them for me, and I thank you.

    I have been adding as little as possible to this conversation lately, I admit. NOT because you guys are way over my head. Because:

    a) I hate debating. It’s completely pointless and there is no doubt that this conversation has turned from a discussion to a definite, flat-out debate. I do hope you guys realize that you will never convince the other person…even if you leave hundreds of comments on here. And I know you both know this, but just a reminder: you cannot argue someone into heaven. It just won’t work.

    b) It’s honestly just way to much fun watching you guys without having to think so deeply about it.

    c) I’m learning just as much–if not more–by reading your posts then I would by commenting myself.

    d) You are both very learned men of the Bible, so it probably takes you less than five minutes to type your (very long 🙂 ) comments on here. I, however, would have to search for the verses I was thinking of and spend way too much time leaving a comment that will, in the end, not convince anyone anything. Instead, I need to use that time and effort on my blog to actually BLOG.

    e) I have already stated what I believe and why I believe it. So you already know. I certainly love to here other peoples sides of the issue, and I DO take it into consideration. (I’m not as closed-minded as you might think). But I don’t need to comment to do that.

    I will still chime in on occasion, don’t get me wrong. And I’m not upset, by any means: reference me as often as you like. It’s my blog and I’m still here. I will especially comment when you ask me a direct question or, like now, reference me. And, by all means, keep your unending debate going. It certainly isn’t hurting me! (This post only has 30-some comments now. Even though it now has nothing to do with my post! 🙂 ) Remember, though: in the end, you ARE on the same side, so it probably would be to both your benefits to NOT kill each other. 🙂

    Blessings and Happy Debating,
    Emily

  39. Brother,
    Yes, a church group that has a doctrine that you subscribe to would give some context. No it would not define you, just as I do not subscribe to all the beliefs of the baptists, however it does give people a general idea of where I am coming from. No offense to you but I don’t know you, you could be the next David Koresh for all i know, the internet does allow for people to be anything and anyone that they want. Not that I am accusing you of anything like that, but the possibility exists, and to be honest with you, I don’t have the time to read your site, i went there and there is a lot of content. Unfortunately I have a job and a church as well as a family, therefore time is limited. Also, I didn’t accuse you of being manipulative I simply said that you were either being manipulative or not being clear, I wasn’t sure which, and I was referring to how I felt before you explained things in the second to the last post. If that offended you I apologize, that was not my intent, I was merely trying to let yuou know whay I was as you called it, critical. I understand now. Just as you wouldn’t just accept someone at face value to teach you neither would I. I try to learn from anyone that I can, but they have to be worth learning from. And come on, does the fact that I didn’t comment on your salvation mean that I am not amazed at the grace of God? Of coarse not. But, I was still trying to get a question answered in a direct way. Not understanding your points has nothing to do with my maturity but with my understanding of your point. Admittedly I am not as mature as some others but to say I am more or less mature than you is a judgment call that I am not prepared to make as I don’t know you brother. What we say is a lot different from what we do. Chances are good that you re more mature, but does that mean you should lord it over me? I am not a rebellious student that needs correction, but a fellow brother in Christ that needs encouragement, just a thought. The reason I didn’t comment on “many of your points” is because I didn’t feel they needed comments or required questions. Why ask you to clarify the parts that were clear? I pray every day that God will reveal more of Himself to me.

    Emily- Thanks for the reminder, while I don’t feel so much that I am debating him as much as questioning him. He is a very intelligent man and knows a lot of the Bible and obviously is seeking God with His whole heart, I just couldn’t figure out where he was going. I felt I was trying to go there with him but I wasn’t sure what bus to get on. I don’t feel I am on a different side than him, now that I know what he is trying to say, (at least I think I do) I pretty much agree with him. I love debating, as long as it is kept respectful and both parties have equal time and don’t run over each other, which this has started to become, thanks for the reminder.

    Frank- I love you brother, I may not agree with you on all your points, but we serve a BIG God and He wants all of us in this together.
    I will leave with this, nothing I wrote was meant to upset you or offend you, I simply wanted clarification, because to be honest, a lot of times you weren’t real clear on what you were trying to get across, at least to me.
    KGTJ,
    shawn

  40. Shawn

    Let me tell you the problem with the internet. I certainly love it and it is a great way to communicate, but it has its limitations. I am so far from being either angry or offended 🙂 Just for clarification, I did not say I was more mature than you(ok now I gonna put smiley faces just so you know thats not offence 🙂

    As for killing each other, cmonnn Emily, everyone knows an American, especially a Baptist one, could never take a Scotsman!! 🙂

    On a more serious note, I am a member of a non-denominational church, which I would describe, for Shawn, as a conservative pentecostal church. I only do that because you pushed me brother. Nothing worse than pre-concieved notions. Although, I did attend Calvary Baptist seminary in Belton Missouri. So there was me, a poor little arminian amongs all those nasty Calvinists(although only four pointers:)

    I also attened a Southern Baptist church for over a year in the midst of Bible College. So I was pretty aware of Shawn and myselfs differences from the start, although I could still be pleasantly surprised. I guess the biggest difference between myself and Shawn, please correct if I am wrong Shawn, is that I believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second and distinct experience. Obviously I believe in all of Corinthians as opposed to Shawn who probably thinks that the “when the perfect has come,” meant that the sign gifts, dissapeared, knolwedge vanished and so on. Again, please correct me if I am wrong Shawn.

    So the debate we just had about victorious life in Christ is one that has occured many times. The authors that I suggested to Shawn would be acceptable to most Baptist theologians. In fact one of the most popular books when I was at college was “Fresh wind , fresh fire,” which really just describes an old style pentecostal church.

    So, Emily, since you like questions, and if you have the time feel free to jump in Shawn, have you been Baptized in thr Holy Spirit, and if so, which of the Biblical gifts do you have?

    So the problem for Baptists, and which ultimately leads them to not being able to lead an overcoming life(this is an honest observation Shawn, after two years of mingling, which you a free to refute) is that they ultimately deny the operation of the Holy Spirit as described by Scripture. I have described my Baptist friends in two pieces that I wrote, the first one is Bibliocentric or Christocentric ..http://scottishwarriors.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/bibliocentric-or-christocentric/#more-16

    And the second one is “Is there life in the Scriptures.”…….http://scottishwarriors.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/is-there-life-in-the-scriptures

    These two pieces probably decribe most Baptist men I have ever met, and I liked almost all of them by the way, so dont get hot under the collor until you have read the pieces Shawn. Anyway, if they do nothing , they will make you think. By the way, I believe that if Baptists and Spirit filled people fought togther on the battle feild of life, the forces of darkness would get bloodied pretty badly…………Frank

    PS I never said I was more mature than you, I was making a blanket statement, really about the authors that I quoted and the piece that I included.

  41. Hi Shawn

    Now Emily is speaking for us:) I hear you man. Let me tell you something about the internet, it is a great way to communicate, but it often does not translate well. I have no anger nor animosity with you my friend, and I have never felt that you were angry or bitter or anything like that, far from young Emily’s assertion about “killing each other,” 🙂 Of course I know she said that with a smile on her face.

    If you want a label for me, other than follower of Jesus, thene here ya go 🙂 I belong to a non-denominational church, Church of the Harvest. There is a link to our churche’s website on mine. I attended a Baptist Seminary in Belton Missouri 🙂 I also attended a Southern Baptist church for just over a year , several years ago while I went to Bible school. The Holy Spirit led me there so there I went. The pastor and I ended up best friends and we talked at length about his congregation and the Baptists. We had many fine discussions about our buddy Calvin and his counterpart Arminius. I guess our main discussions centered around Romans 7 and the life of most of his congregation. He believed that Paul was talking about part of his experience of being a Christian, I believed that this was possible, but to me, unlikely. The problem was that a lot of the men in his church took great comfort from Romans 7. “Well if Paul continually did what he did not want to do and it climaxed in him declaring “Oh wretched man that I am,” then we can relate to that and should not expect to live any differently, consequently they did not. Not bad people, but not overcomers, much like the majority of “good people,” of the world. Its a big subject, but I think it goes to the heart of the matter. I have written two pieces on it , they are on my blog…”Bibliocentric or Christicentric,” and “Is there life in the Scriptures.” Check them out if you get the chance. Our other big differences was the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts there of. Anyway, below is a interesting piece from my buddy Tozer(accepted accross the board by the way, Swindoll and the like)……………..

    I want to be fair to everyone and to find all the good I can in every man’s religious beliefs, but the harmful effects of this faith-as-magic creed are greater than could be imagined by anyone who has not come face to face with them. Large assemblies today are being told fervently that the one essential qualification for heaven is to be an evil man, and the one sure bar to God’s favor is to be a good one. The very word righteousness is spoken only in cold scorn, and the moral man is looked upon with pity. “A Christian,” says these teachers, “is not morally better than a sinner, the only difference is that he has taken Jesus, and so he has a Savior.” I trust it may not sound flippant to inquire, “A savior from what?” If not from sin and evil conduct and the old fallen life, then from what? And if the answer is, “From the consequences of past sins and from judgment to come,” still we are not satisfied. Is justification from past offenses all that distinguishes a Christian from a sinner? Can a man become a believer in Christ and be no better than he was before? Does the gospel offer no more than a skillful advocate to get the guilty sinners off free at the day of judgment?

    I think the truth of the matter is not too deep nor too difficult to discover. Self-righteousness is an effective bar to God’s favor because it throws the sinner back upon his own merits and shuts him out from the imputed righteousness of Christ. And to be a sinner confessed and consciously lost is necessary to the act of receiving salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. This we joyously admit and constantly assert, but here is the truth which has been overlooked in our day, A sinner cannot enter the kingdom of God. The Bible passages which declare this are too many and too familiar to need repeating here, but the skeptical might look at Galatians 5:19-21 and Revelation 21:8.

    How then can a man be saved? The penitent sinner meets Christ and after that saving encounter he is a sinner no more. The power of the gospel changes him, shifts the basis of his life from self to Christ, faces him about in a new direction and makes him a new creation. The moral state of the penitent when he comes to Christ does not affect the result, for the work of Christ sweeps away both his good and evil and turns him into another man. The returning sinner is not saved by some judicial transaction apart from a corresponding moral change. Salvation must include a judicial change of status, but what is overlooked by most teachers is that it also includes an actual change in the life of the individual. And by this we mean more than a surface change—we mean a transformation as deep as the roots of his human life. If it does not go that deep it does not go deep enough.

    If we had not first suffered a serious decline in our expectations we should not have accepted this same technical view of faith. The churches (even the gospel churches) are worldly in spirit, morally anemic, on the defensive, imitating instead of initiating and in a wretched state generally because for two full generations they have been told that justification is no more than a “not guilty” verdict pronounced by the heavenly Father upon a sinner who can present the magic coin faith with the wondrous “open-ses-ame” engraved upon it. If it is not stated as bluntly as that, at least the message is so presented as to create such an impression. The whole business is the result of hearing the Word preached without power and receiving it in the same way.

    Now faith is indeed the “open-sesame” to eternal blessedness. Without faith it is impossible to please God; neither can any man be saved apart from faith in the risen Savior. But the true quality of faith is almost universally missed, namely, its moral quality. It is more than mere confidence in the veracity of a statement made in Holy Writ. It is a highly moral thing and of a spiritual essence. It invariably effects radical transformation in the life of the one who exercises it. It shifts the inward gaze from self to God. It introduces its possessor into the life of heaven upon earth.

    It is not my desire to minimize the justifying effect of faith. No man who knows the depths of his own wickedness would dare to appear before the ineffable Presence with nothing to recommend him but his own character. Nor would any Christian, wise after the discipline of failures and imperfections, want his acceptance with God to depend upon any degree of holiness to which he might have attained through the operations of inward grace. All who know their own hearts and the provisions of the gospel will join in the prayer of the man of God:

    When He shall come with trumpet sound,

    Oh, may I then in Him be found,

    Dressed in His righteousness alone,

    Faultless to stand before the throne!

    It is a distressing thing that a truth so beautiful should have been so perverted. But perversion is the price we pay for failure to emphasize the moral content of truth; it is the curse that follows rational orthodoxy when it has quenched or rejected the Spirit of Truth.

    —God’s Pursuit of Man

  42. Hello All,
    Amen. Now that was clear and concise. Thank you. And I completely agree. I believe there has to be life change, not all at once, but there has to be some. No one can experience a salvation so great as ours without being changed. Anyone can recite some words, the words in and of themselves have no power, it is the intent of the words, is the person reciting or pleading with God to transform them, to take them out of there mess of a life into the beauty of eternal life with God. Are they willing to turn control over to God (here is where I believe most people in America falter) and allow Him to direct our paths? However, it all begins with confession, confession with the mouth and the heart that we need a savior and that His name is Jesus.
    Well, I am off to work,
    KGTJ,
    Shawn

  43. I have a question. Since this whole debate is about salvation and who is really saved, I thought maybe you guys would be the best people to ask something I’ve been wondering for a few months.

    Are either of you familiar with the author Anne Lamott?? (I just finished blogging about her, probably why she’s in my head). She’s very controversial–especially among Christian circles. If you haven’t heard of her, google her. You’ll find a TON of stuff on her beliefs.

    But tell me . . . do you think she’s “saved”?

    Just curious,
    Em

  44. I have never heard of her Emily. I did google and read one of her stories from Salon.com. I liked the principal of the story, although she did drop the F-bomb. Its not so much her dropping it as much as there was no apolgy or seeming regret in the language, although she did regret her anger which may translate to the same thing. I would have to read more of her to get an idea where she is coming from. ……..Frank

  45. Hey Em,
    Haven’t had time yet to read her. Sorry, been busy. Will try this weekend.
    shawn

  46. Frank . . . for some reason, one of your posts (the first one you wrote on March 9, at 8:30) went into my spam, instead of adding as a comment. I just now figured out how to check my spam (months after getting this blog…sad, I know. Welcome to me and technology!) So I just wanted to apologize! I’m very sorry, but it should be there now.

    And to answer your question on that post: yes, I have been baptized. I was ten or eleven years old, not sure exactly. I do not believe baptism gives you spiritual gifts, I think those are things God gives His children whether or not they’ve taken that step. However, if I had to pinpoint a spiritual gift for myself I’d say discernment.

    And if your Non-denominational church has pentecostal tendencies, than I think I should get at least some credit for guessing pretty accurately! 🙂

    Have a good week!

    ~Emily Grace 🙂

  47. Hi Emily,,,how ya doin 🙂 I just finished with a thread on sermonindex.net about Baptism. Specificaly Baptism in the Holy Spirit as a second and distinct experience. Here is the link for the thread.http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=22729&forum=35

    I do give you some credit for guessing that I belong to a full gospel church 🙂 Let me know what you think about the thread. …………Frank

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: