UFC 19061

October 23, 2017

In one of the Bible’s strangest tales, Jacob wrestles with God. Jacob was headed home to face his brother Esau, whom he hadn’t seen in the 20 years since Esau wronged him (see Ge 32:4). Although Jacob had reached out to God for help, he was still resisting fully submitting to his will. That’s when God confronted him face-to-face.

 The wrestling match lasted throughout the night, and yet Jacob wouldn’t let go. God crippled Jacob’s hip, and Jacob still wouldn’t let go. He remained persistent throughout the great struggle and refused to let go until God blessed him. Because Jacob acknowledged God as the source of the blessings, the Lord honored his request. Through this account we see Jacob coming to a point of true faith.

  Here is a reminder that undergoing the great change—becoming a Christian—is not always quick and easy. It is not just a matter of repeating a prayer, making a decision, or filling out a card. True conversion often comes only after intense wrestling with God. A new identity in Jesus often comes only after a period of persistently praying like Jacob, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

  Want to cultivate persistence that rivals Jacob’s? Check out these three ways to prepare:

  1. Understand your desire—What motivates you to become more like Christ? What does a truly honest answer look like? What are the desires of your heart that you want the Lord to give you (see Ps 37:4)?

  1. Outline your steps—Persistence in your journey will come easier when you understand what you need to do next. Consider the spiral of spiritual formation What are the next steps? How are you fine-tuning your choices to make spiritual formation integral to your daily routine?

  1. Expect difficulties—At some point during his struggle, Jacob realized that while he couldn’t overcome the stranger, he could at least hang on. Then the stranger did something unexpected and made “the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched” (Ge 32:25). At that point, the pain was likely overwhelming and Jacob was surely ready to concede. Yet he refused to give up.

  Persistence doesn’t require overcoming every difficulty; it merely requires that you refuse to give up. It is through such difficulties that God strengthens your character. Difficulties are inevitable, so be prepared. You don’t have to know what challenges you’ll face to know that if you refuse to give up you can endure. Hang on until God blesses you.

Not every situation with God is going to be painful or agonizing. So don’t measure your salvation or walk with suffering. Realize though that God does bring detours into our lives that can make the way seem longer. But persistence in building your spiritual life will always pay off.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Tim S, he is struggling with urges he thought were long gone and have come back.

Pray for Sam E, she is asking for prayer for her mom who they just found out she has cancer of the thyroid.

Edie, she wants to say thanks for prayer and for her new bible.

Kurt, is asking for prayer that he would step up his walk with the Lord. He is thinking that maybe God is calling him to be a missionary.

suicide is special

October 22, 2017

Well today was a tough day, I had to do a funeral for a youth pastor that committed suicide. What made it tougher was his home church, the one he worked in refused to do his service as they were sure he went to hell.

After sex, the second most predominant idea in a college kid is suicide.

I’ve lost several good friends to self death, including some relatives it has been an area that I’ve struggled with for many years. To me it’s kind of like the chicken or the egg which came first, is it always depression than suicide or is it shame and them suicide. Fear than suicide.

This is the third person in ministry that I’ve done the funeral of due to suicide.

This is one topic I may change my mind on, but here’s my current thinking.

Since the early days of the church, suicide has been considered a grievous sin. Theologically, it is seen as an act of subverting God’s will.  Because we belong to our Creator and not ourselves, self-murder is on par with murdering another person.

However, all sin is a subversion of God’s will. So how and why did suicide become an “unpardonable sin”? Augustine asserted that suicide was an unrepentable sin based on the fact that “Thou shalt not kill” didn’t exclude oneself. Catholic thinker Thomas Aquinas lent his support on three points: suicide opposes love, it hurts the greater community, and it usurps God’s right to determine the length of his creation’s earthly life. In the Middle Ages, the doctrine was simply that suicide cuts short a person’s relationship with God. The view that suicide doomed one to hell continued with the Catholic church’s view that those who die with unabsolved mortal sin are bound to hell.

Protestant reformation leaders strongly condemned suicide, but generally disagreed with the Catholic church’s stance that suicide would condemn a person to hell. The reformers preached salvation through grace alone, and therefore, it is neither earned nor lost by human works–including suicide. Reformers also opposed the Catholic view as unsupported by Scripture.

Suicide is all that the church has labelled it: a tragedy, a sin, usurping God’s rights. It leaves deep scars on the family, church and community. It is a horrible and painful occurance. But, I believe that we are saved by grace alone, and Jesus’ righteousness clothes even the most wretched sinners, and that nothing can separate us from God’s love, and therefore could answer my friend confidently. There would be many days of pain and regret and healing ahead of them, but they didn’t have to add to that the thought that this Christ-follower was eternally doomed.

Trust me I’ve heard all the arguments, “oh, they weren’t really saved” or “they must have backslid.” I’ve heard pastors preach long time members of the church into hell. Some say, “we must always send them to hell to discourage others.”

What about the fat slob in your church that eat KFC three times a day and we preach him into heaven, with a knowing look of sadness but forgiveness. Death by Cop, death by donut, death by speeding. It’s all about death.

Having been in attendance on both sides of the fence for S.O.S (survivors of suicide) I will tell you the pain and loss of those let behind is a hell all of its own.

I know many folks that survived their suicide attempt and they were all screaming in their head as the bullet thundered down the barrel, “oh God let me live”.

It’s not the answer, but we have to many people living to much in themselves and not living in Christ. As a tag to yesterday’s devotion, “self interest” can lead to self death.”

If your struggling with this issue trust me I know firsthand how the impulse can be so strong, so sudden and seemingly the best answer, it’s not.

Please tell someone, several someone’s, if there is a secret in your life, trust me, tell the secret to someone, shame disappears when it’s no longer a secret.

Please reach out to us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember I only check my email for this site at 1030 pm central time.

Call 1-800-273-8255 for the national suicide hotline 24/7

Blessings, peace and love, God bless the troubled.

read my mind

October 21, 2017

If you could read my mind love

What a tale my thoughts could tell

Just like an old time movie

About a ghost from a wishing well

In a castle dark or a fortress strong

With chains upon my feet

You know that ghost is me

And I will never be set free

As long as I’m a ghost you can see

If I could read your mind love

What a tale your thoughts could tell

Just like a paperback novel

The kind the drugstore sells

Gordon Lightfoot.

first thoughts.

Number one; God can read your thoughts

Number two, the devil cannot read your thoughts.

Number three your spouse can’t read your thoughts

Number four, all tv mind readers, spirit guides, palm readers, horoscopes, mediums, they are all fake and or demonic.

Number five we are commanded to know the mind of God.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9).

We are also told to “be of the same mind toward one another” which means essentially that we must develop and maintain the mind of Christ or God’s thoughts. We are to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Rom. 12:16; Phil. 2:5; 1:27). But if my thoughts are contrary to God’s, then I must exchange my thinking with God’s and for that process, He has given us His inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word. So what is our need? We are to study the Scripture, but for that to be effective, we also need to develop the art of biblical meditation.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 4:4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.

The bible has quite a bit to say about our minds, thoughts, intents, feelings. More than we may think (pardon the pun).

Possibly the third most asked question; “how can I be a better Christian?”

Here’s the short answer;

Psalm 63:6 When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches,

Psalm 77:11 I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.

Psalm 78:42 They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary,

Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy doings; I muse on the work of Thy hands.

Spend more time thinking about God and less about yourself.

One thing that amazes me about social media is how often people take pictures of themselves. Get over yourself.

He (God) must increase, I must decrease. Pretty simple.

Well I promised myself this would be a short devotion.

Think about God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

schooled

October 20, 2017

It has been said that the most repeated phrase in Scripture is, “Do not be afraid.” Some variation of it is mentioned over 350 times. God said it to Gideon when calling him to lead Israel (Judg 6:23). God said it to Jeremiah when calling him to be a prophet to the nations (Jer 1:8). Christ said it to the women at his resurrection (Matt 28:10). Christ told his disciples, “Do not worry about what you will eat, drink, or wear” (Matt 6:25). Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing.”

It was never God’s will for mankind to be fearful. It wasn’t until the advent of sin that fear became a problem for mankind. In Genesis 3, when Adam committed sin, a new word came into his vocabulary. In speaking to God, Adam said, “I was afraid so I hid.” Mankind now struggles with fear. We struggle with fear about the past, present, and future, anxiety disorders, phobias, etc. Fear is natural to man; even though, it was never God’s will for us to be afraid.

First John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casteth out fear. He who fears has not been made perfect in love” (KJV). For those who know God and are born again, we have experienced a love that when perfected in us, can wipe away all our fears.

Fear is not only common to people in general, it is even common to believers. After calling down fire from heaven and having the priests of Baal put to death, Elijah runs out of fear, as Jezebel threatened to kill him (1 Kgs 19). The disciples, after Christ was taken to be crucified, fled in fear. This is the very reason that we see so many admonitions in Scripture to not be afraid or to not be anxious. It is because we all struggle with fear in some way or another.

“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 5:1)

Fear is normal, it can save your life, every soldier must deal with fear. It might be your first thought or emotion but it’s what comes next that is the most important. Fear is short circuited by training, faith, experience, victories, trusting God and knowledge.

Someone asked me today how I would solve several different problems, they were a bit surprised when I said there is only one answer, ‘education’ all the examples I gave in the previous paragraph are examples of education. Faith, trust, victories, they are all a part of our education in the school of faith.

And make no mistake God wants to school you. Call it 40 years in the wilderness, there is a divine school and the lessons are hard. But that’s why we have such a magnificent God. Big problems, big God.

My prayer today is you pass muster, graduate. If we fail a test, trust me you will take the exam again. The beauty in an old saint is the perfection of patience and trust in the Lord.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Continue to pray for Jennifer and her upcoming eye surgery, talk about fearful.

Pray for Lauren, she is unsaved and wild, now she is reaping the whirlwind, pray for her salvation.

Pray for Lisa and Dyrrin, they are ending their marriage after only 5 years. Everyone counseled them to not get married, now with a young 2 year old.

RED MEAT

October 19, 2017

three basic questions arise when discussing the divine election of the saints by God:

Is God fair?

Doesn’t this make us robots?

Why should I evangelize?

All three questions are answered in Romans 9-11, (hopefully this makes you curious enough to read past chapter 8, where so many people seem to stop.)the great passage in the Bible which deals with this doctrine. Romans 9 answers the question of our choice, Rom 10 answers the question of the need for evangelism, and Rom 11 answers the question of God’s fairness. It should be noted as well that Paul’s theology here is not in a vacuum; he begins (vv 1-3) by almost wishing that he could go to hell if it would mean that just one of his Jewish brothers would get saved!

Many folks want to seek a balance between God’s sovereignty and human free will. A balance needs to be sought, but this is not the place. Nowhere do we read in the Bible that God is not sovereign over our wills. Further, we have the explicit testimony of Romans 9 to the opposite effect. As well, there is an inherent imbalance between a creature’s will and the Creator’s will. What right do we have to claim that these two are equal?

The real balance comes between the two broad categories of God’s attributes. God has moral attributes (goodness, love, mercy, justice, etc.) and amoral attributes (he is infinite, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, etc.). In short, the balance is between his sovereignty and his goodness. If God only had amoral attributes, he may well be a tyrant. If he only had moral attributes, he would be incapable of effecting change in the world; he would be impotent.

Putting all this together we see the majesty and mystery of God. God’s attributes cannot be compartmentalized. That is, he is good in his sovereignty, infinite in his mercy, loving in his omnipotence. However, we as mere finite creatures cannot comprehend the grandeur of his plan. Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts; but just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” There is no contradiction in God, but there is finite understanding in us.

The mystery of election is that God can choose unconditionally, yet our wills are not coerced. We are persuaded by the Holy Spirit to believe. Further, we have the sense of free will in the process.

the biblical doctrine of election is that it is unconditional, irresistible, and irrevocable. All this to the glory of God–without in any way diminishing the dignity or responsibility of man. To put this another way: A large part of maturing in the faith is this: we each need to make the progressively Copernican discovery encapsuled in the words, “I am not the center of the universe.” Or, as John the Baptist put it, “That he might increase and I might decrease.

God bless scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

rest in peace

October 18, 2017

  “I, the Lord, search the heart” (Jeremiah 17:10).

Feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit is good news, it means your heart is still soft and the painful piercing of your heart means you are still capable of repentance and genuine Godly sorrow.

We are afraid to face up to the sinful nature within, not fully realizing that it was dealt with in condemnation to God’s full satisfaction at Calvary. When we come to see that all the old nature was taken down into the death of the Cross, and in Christ Jesus we are completely clear of its penalty and power, then it is that we begin to welcome the work of the Cross upon all that of which the Holy Spirit convicts us. Just as we trust God for Salvation, it is by faith we accept regeneration, sanctification and the new being in Christ.

The next time you are tempted tell that temptation there is no one to work on in you, as you are crucified in Christ, buried and resurrected. You will find it is easier to deal a death blow to that temptation than wrestling with it.

The natural man cannot bear the thought of being searched by God; he cannot stand to think of being found out in his true condition and character. But to the truly hungry believer it is a positive comfort to be assured that God knows everything about us; He knows the very worst that can be discovered. He has searched out all that we are, and in spite of all He has thoughts of blessing concerning us. There is, therefore, no fear of anything coming to light that might cause Him to change or reverse His thought of blessing and acceptance.

Our acceptance with God in Christ is perfect, and therefore unimprovable. It never alters; never varies. And it is very important for us not to mix the acceptance itself with our enjoyment of it. Our acceptance is ‘in Christ,’ and therefore eternal; the enjoyment is ‘by the Spirit,’ and therefore (because of the working of the flesh) often hindered.

The sense of His goodness removes the guile of heart that seeks to conceal its sin.

  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Think victoriously, and accept your total forgiveness, past, present and future.

Truly rest in peace.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Walter L, throat cancer

Pray for Betty C, 84 years old today, widowed for 15 years, today is bitter sweet as her husband Charles died on her birthday.

Pray for Ronald D, he can’t leave the house anymore because of phobias.

 

Green and Mean

October 17, 2017

In the Marines they used to say, “there is no black, there is no white there is just green. And then there is the Law, you will follow every order…”

Semper Fi, just the Corp, all green, all Marine.

Wow, pretty simple, no Black Panthers, the Weathermen, Brown Berets, KKK, Aryan Army, no Black Lives matters. (half of you probably never heard of some of these terms, which is good thing).

Just folks, you and me, me and Jesus, you and Jesus. Christianity is and was the great equalizer. It was and is radical. No historical figure ever said, “come unto to me all that are heavy burdened.”

All, the gospel of Luke, follows the story through the genealogical trail of women. The book of Ruth, no direct mention of God, just His shadow.

In the book of Genesis, the first chapter “the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.” It is a feminine noun, in Egyptian it is the hieroglyphic of a mother bird, hovering over its nest.

No Race, no color, the bible says Jesus had no appearance or figure, shape, outward shape that was distinguished or notable. He was average.

Simple, we inhabit one planet, we are the human race, one family of being. Follow the law.

You want to not get shot by a cop, follow the law, when he says drop the gun, drop the gun, when he says get out of the car get out of the car. Respect and politeness goes a long way.

It’s not about race, it’s about obedience. We can have anarchy or we can have peace.

Follow God’s law and the same thing happens, peace.

Follow God’s plan, know peace.

Do you know that in the early history of America, you couldn’t become a lawyer until you had a Divinity Degree, because our laws are based on the bible. My how times have changed.

Well I told you no more questions, follow the plan.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO PERSUADE YOU TO ONE FORM OF THEOLOGY OR ANOTHER, WE ARE JUST INFORMING YOU OF TWO PREDOMINATE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT. YOU AS A CHRISTIAN MUST BE READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO ALL.

Part two on theology

Yesterday we talked about Reformed or Covenant Theology. So that would be some Presbyterians, and Baptist, not all but most.

Today we’ll cover Dispensationalist’s. first a cautionary note. And that’s jumping to conclusions. Not all Pentecostals are Dispensationalists. In fact a great many are Reformed in theology except for the speaking in tongues part.

Some great Dispensationalist for you are John MacArthur and The Dallas Theological Seminary. Foundation.

.Plymouth Brethren Movement -J. N.Darby, WilliamKelly . C.I.Scofield . WilliamTrotter . C.H.Mackintosh

Key Influencial Preachers .L. S. Chafer F.W.Grant

.Harry Ironside Erich Sauer .W. A. Criswell John Walvoord

Charles Ryrie

Wiliam Newell

  1. C. Gaebelein- Our Hope Magazine

Institutions

Moody Bible Institute

Dallas Theological Seminary

Grace Seminary, Indiana

Talbot Seminary, California

1930s-1940s

Harry Ironside

William Newell

  1. C. Gaebelein

  2. S. Chafer

Theodore Epp-Back to the Bible (1939)

Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry(1938)

1950s-1960s

Dallas Seminary, Charles Ryrie, John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost

  1. E. Vine, Erich Sauer

Warren Weirsbe

Lehman Strauss

Charles Swindoll

Quite a surprising list and not to mention there are Classical Dispensationalist and Neo Classic and Modern and Ultra Modern Dispensationalists.

And the New Reformed Movement is attacking Dispensationalists like they were a cult. Which they are really attacking the Ultra Modern’s and not the classics.

So enough of that; here is some info to help you converse and understand the other side of the coin compared to the Reformed Movement.

Dispensational theology is probably the most popular theological understanding in America at this time, even though it has a more recent origin than Covenant theology. The development of Dispensational theology dates back to the nineteenth century in Britain. J.N. Darby (1800-1882), an Irish lawyer, sought to explain the uniqueness of the Christians’ spiritual condition “in Christ.” To explain the radical different in Christian “benefits” from that afforded to peoples in all prior times, Mr. Darby employed the division of time into distinct “dispensations.” Harry Ironside, a later proponent of Dispensational theology, noted that “until Mr. J.N. Darby…it (the dispensational idea of a postponed kingdom) is scarcely to be found in a single book or sermon through a period of sixteen hundred years.” Darby’s novel idea of distinguishing “dispensations” of time became the basis of a new theological system known as “Dispensationalism.”

   As with Covenant theology, it is equally important to explore the socio-political climate in which Dispensational theology emerged. In nineteenth century Britain there existed an abundance of oppressive and depressing sociological conditions, out of which grew an anti-establishment movement of thought against both governmental and ecclesiastical authority. Historical analyst, George Marsden, has noted that two individuals who were contemporaries of one another both became the catalysts of popular systems of thought. J.N. Darby (1800-1882) and Karl Marx (1818-1883), both reacted to the existing conditions in nineteenth century Britain.  Whereas Darby came to the forefront in saying the church must look forward to ‘The Rapture’ as the world was to evil to successfully reform.

   J.N. Darby became an instrumental leader in the movement which became known as the “Plymouth Brethren. (not the same as the Brethren Church)” This independent religious group was outside of the mainline institutional churches of that.Other British Dispensationalists include C.H. Mackintosh, William Kelly and E.W. Bullinger. Darby made at least eight visits to America to promulgate his new interpretations, and they were espoused by such American leaders as Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) and J.H. Brookes (1830-1897). Other prominent names associated with Dispensational theology in the twentieth century include W.E. Blackstone, L.S. Chafer who founded Dallas Theological Seminary, and C.I. Scofield who popularized Dispensational theology with his explanatory notes in The Scofield Bible. Dispensational theology became entrenched in the “Fundamentalist” movement of the 1920s and 1930s. More recent Dispensational writers included John E. Walvoord, and Charles Ryrie who like Scofield has added explanatory notes in hisRyrie Study Bible.

   Dispensational theology is not as closely connected with Calvinistic theology as is Covenant theology. This explains in part why it so quickly and easily found favor across denominational and theological lines in America, for there were many American Christians who did not appreciate the rigid dogmatism of five-point Calvinism and desired more freedom for diversity, in typical American pluralistic fashion. One could wish that Dispensationalists could have maintained such tolerance for diversity without becoming so dogmatic and exclusivistic about their own theological and eschatological opinions, which led eventually to the “Evangelical” movement breaking free from the “Fundamentalist” movement in the 1940s. Dispensational distancing from strict Calvinism allows Pentecostal and Holiness theologies, which are quite Arminian, to be Dispensational in theology as well. Covenant theologians are quick to fault Dispensational theology for not adhering to pure Calvinism, but sometimes unfairly charge all Dispensationalists with being Arminian in their theology. (which the majority are not Arminian). (Arminian’s believe you can be saved and then lose your salvation).

   Some of the prominent features of Dispensational theology include (1) distinct dispensations of time, (2) the dichotomy of Israel and the Church, (3) the unconditional covenant of God with Abraham, to be fulfilled physically and literally for the Jewish people in the future Davidic/millennial kingdom. Upon these basic presuppositions the system of Dispensational theology is constructed.

the early formulators of Dispensational theology defined a “dispensation” as “a period of time with a test that ends in failure,” and began to divide all history accordingly. A more complete Dispensational definition of a “dispensation” might be “a period of time wherein (1) a distinctive idea of revelation is given by God, (2) a specific test of obedience is given based on that revelation, (3) man fails the test of obedience, (4) God judges man for his disobedience, and then establishes another dispensation.” These dispensations do not build upon one another, but are regarded as totally distinct and separate from one another.

   Dispensationalists are not agreed as to the number of dispensations of time wherein God deals with men in different ways. At least three dispensations are required for the theological system to provide the contrasts necessary; these are the dispensation of law, the dispensation of grace, and the dispensation of the millennial kingdom. The most popular calculation of dispensational time periods is seven. They are usually identified as

(1) The dispensation of innocence (Gen. 1-3), wherein the test was the eating from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and the failure was the fall of man into sin.

(2) The dispensation of conscience (Gen. 4 8:14), wherein the test was proper sacrifice and the failure was the continual evil of men’s hearts judged by the flood.

(3) The dispensation of human government (Gen. 8:15 11), wherein the test was governance and compliance with government and the failure was evidenced at the tower of Babel.

(4) The dispensation of promise (Gen 12 Exod. 18), wherein the test came when God offered the Law to the Israelites, and the failure is alleged to be their abandonment of a prior grace/faith relationship with God by their rash and foolish acceptance of the Law.

(5) The dispensation of Law (Exod. 19 Acts 1), the test of which came when Jesus came to earth and offered the Jews the Davidic kingdom which they refused, so God postponed the fulfillment of the kingdom promise.

(6) The dispensation of grace (Acts 2 Rev. 19), wherein the test is for Christians to live obediently in grace, but the failure is predicted to be the apostasy of the institutional church.

(7) The dispensation of the kingdom (Rev. 20), a thousand year period which will end in final rebellion leading to the judgment of God upon the earth and the inauguration of a “new heaven and new earth.”

Dispensationalist’s believe in a more literal interpretation and less allegorical than the Reformed tradition.

A second prominent feature of Dispensational theology is the radical dichotomy and disjuncture of Israel and the Church. In an apparent attempt to keep law and grace distinctly separated, Dispensational theology has divided the nation of Israel from any connection with the Church of Jesus Christ, the Body of Christ. They are alleged to be so mutually exclusive as two separate peoples that “never the twain shall meet.” J.N. Darby indicated that “the Jewish nation is never to enter into the Church.”The physical race of Jewish people is regarded as God’s “earthly people” while Christians are regarded as God’s “heavenly people.” Dispensational theology indicates that separate promises are given to Jews and to Christians.

That is why a Dispensationalist has a problem with Messianic Jews. You are either a Christian or you are not. There are to the Dispensationalists Kingdom promises and then promises to the Church.

A third basic presupposition of Dispensational theology is the unconditional covenant with Abraham, to be fulfilled physically and literally for the Jewish people in the future Davidic/millennial kingdom. Beginning with the promises of God to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15 and 17, the Dispensationalist argues for a literal fulfillment of these promises for the physical race and nation of the Jews. Such fulfillment is alleged to be the epitome of God’s intent and the primary message of the Bible. Charles Ryrie states that “the goal of history is the earthly millennium…(which is) the climax of history and the great goal of God’s program for the ages. John E. Walvoord further explains that “the Abrahamic covenant furnishes the key to the entire Old Testament…(and) sets the mold for the entire body of Scripture truth. Thus, there will be after the Rapture, the time of Tribulation and Jesus returning to set up a literal kingdom on earth for a 1000 year reign.

God therefore postponed the re-implementation of the Kingdom until Jesus comes again to set up the millennial kingdom, which will be the fulfillment of the “new covenant” promised to the Jews. The period of the postponed kingdom, the “dispensation of grace,” is a parenthetical time period wherein God’s primary purpose is interrupted and held in abeyance. The Church is not to be identified with God’s kingdom and was unforeseen by all of the Old Testament prophets whose prophesies never refer to the Church age. The Church, which is primarily for Gentiles, began on Pentecost, and there are many “mysteries” concerning God’s revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ so as to “call out” a “heavenly people” whose destiny is to be seated with Christ on the throne in the New Jerusalem of heaven. Meanwhile the primary futuristic focus is on the return of Jesus Christ to re-establish the realm of the earthly Davidic Kingdom in Palestine during the 1000 year millennial period which fulfills the promised “new covenant,” the “dispensation of the kingdom.” (Some Dispensationalists will allow that the “new covenant” may have a double application: a spiritual application for the church and a physical application for Israel.) The return of Christ is “imminent,” expected at “any moment.” It will be preceded by the “rapture” in order to remove the Church and keep Israel and the Church separated. Dispensational theology is necessarily premillennial, but that does not mean that all premillennialists subscribe to Dispensational theology. There are covenant theologians who believe in a premillennial return of Christ.

There are of course many other ‘schools’ of theology, and most borrow bit and pieces from the other. There are those who say we only have ‘Biblical Theology’ of we only have a ‘Christocentric’ theology. Each borrow strongly from the other.

The more you study you will probably end up like me and say I have an Adaptive Theology. It is the sum of all the parts. There are quotes attributed to Calvin (Reformed) that he never said. As well as quotes to Darby and Dispensationalists that are pure myth. Find out the truth, for one reason, you make sense when you talk and can give a better answer than ‘because’.

Where do i fall, Reformed, Dispensationalist, semi Pentecostal, brethren, Mennonite.

That’s it, no more theology, back to rant and rave, prod and poke.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

what am I?

October 15, 2017

Following our weekly theme of questions, here is a statement that will answer some questions for you or cause even more.

Being a professor and perpetual student of Theology, you can guess my favorite topic. ‘theology’. For some people they think it boring, believe me it is anything but.

Every Christian has a theology. Everyone engages in theology. Everyone has a theology. The word “theology” is derived from two Greek words, theos meaning “God,” and logos meaning “word” with extended meanings of “reasoning” or “logic.” Theology refers to “reasoning about God.” Everyone has some “reasoning about God,” including the atheist who rejects the “god” he has reasoned about.

Here is part one of the two basic Christian theologies, most people fall into one or the other of these two groups. Neither group can claim to be exclusively right or wrong. And these explanations are simplistic at best. But see which group you fall into. And just like the newest hybrid dog i.e. labradoodle, you can be a mix and develop over your lifetime.

Covenant theology is also referred to as “Reformed theology” and occasionally as “Federal theology.” Reformed theology is not equivalent to Reformation theology. In their protestation against the theology of Roman Catholicism, Martin Luther and John Calvin, among others, developed distinctive theological interpretations, so that Lutheran theology and Calvinistic theology both existed prior to Reformed or Covenant theology.

   It was not until the seventeenth century that a systematized theology based upon the idea of “covenant” developed. Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) from Scotland, and Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669) of Holland, were both instrumental in the establishment of Covenant theology. It became firmly entrenched in Reformed Protestant theology after the Church of Scotland accepted the Westminster Confession in 1647, which incorporated the idea of federal or covenant theology into a creedal statement for the first time.

   The socio-political climate in which these ideas germinated is important.1 In the seventeenth century, the European societies were breaking free from the old feudalistic system of governance. There was strong emphasis on national sovereignty and on social contracts or “covenants” to defend national freedom. Societal and moral law was emphasized to maintain the new social structures. These sociological and cultural factors lent themselves to the development of a corresponding political theology which emphasized law and covenant and sovereignty. Covenant theology has been conducive to political enmeshment throughout its history, as is evidenced by the contemporary resurgence of “theonomy” and “reconstructionism.”

   Theologians and authors identified with Covenant theology include Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), Charles Hodge (1797-1878), Philip Mauro, Albertus Pieters, Oswald Allis, William Cox, Anthony Hoekema, Herman Ridderbos and John Murray, as well as many others.
Covenant theology is closely connected with “five-point” Calvinistic theology, though not to be equated with such. Some of the prominent features of Covenant theology include (1) the idea of a common “covenant of grace,” (2) emphasize on the singular collective “people of God,” (3) unity and uniformity of God’s people and the Bible.

   A single, over-all, everlasting “covenant of grace” is postulated by covenant theology. The mention of an “everlasting covenant” in Genesis 17:7,13,19 serves as the basis for this single, unified covenant, within which a series of subordinate covenants are said to build upon one another so as to culminate in the “new covenant.” Even so, the old and new covenants are not viewed as two separate covenants, but only as two forms of the one “covenant of grace.” The progressive sequence of subordinate covenants includes (1) the covenant of works (Gen. 1,2) in the garden of Eden with the promise of perfect environment, (2) the Adamic covenant (Gen. 3) with the first promise of a Savior, (3) the Noahic covenant (Gen. 6-9) with the promise never to destroy the earth by flood again, (4) the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12-35) with the promise of multitudinous “seed,” (5) the Mosaic covenant (Exod. 19-24) with the promise of grace, (6) the Davidic covenant (II Sam. 7:1-16) with the promised throne of David, and (7) the New covenant (Heb. 8:8) which fulfills the promise of Jeremiah 31:31 and God’s ultimate purpose for an “elect people” in covenant relationship with Himself.

   Does the emphasis on “covenant” serve to cast God’s dealings with man into a legal, judicial, contractual framework? Is God the ultimate “legal contractor” who keeps adding clauses to the contract? Does the whole framework of legality diminish the dynamic and ontological essence of God’s function? Does the covenantal and legal framework lend itself to external behavioral legalism?

   A second prominent feature of Covenant theology is the focus upon the “people of God.” God, the Father, chose a “people” for Himself; the Son agreed to pay the penalty for their sin; the Holy Spirit agreed to apply the benefits of the Son’s work to the “people of God.” Does this not divide the Godhead into work assignments? Does God need a “people” so necessarily as to become contingent on man for such? Does the sociological collectivism of an identified “people” overshadow the individual response to God in faith? Does the application of “benefits” adequately explain the life and work of Jesus Christ?

   A third feature of Covenant theology is the “unity” of all God’s people spiritually throughout the covenantal development. This is also identified and applied as the “unity of the Bible.” Does not the unity thesis become a “uniformity grid” which imposes a singularity of divine function, which effectively puts God into a straight-jacket? When all subsequent covenantal actions of God must incorporate all precedent actions, so that there is an equivalency among all the “people of God” in every age, is God really free to do something “new” and unique and novel? Is God unable to change His modus operandi?

   When Covenant theology explains the connections of old covenant and new covenant, it is heavily weighted toward a correspondence of theological content throughout all of the history of God’s dealings with mankind. Both law and grace are said to be co-existent within each era or covenantal period. Despite the almost antithetical contrast that Paul draws between law and grace,2 Covenant theology often attempts to balance these concepts or amalgamate them in such non-biblical phrases as “the grace of the law,” or “the law of grace.” Does God talk out of both sides of His mouth at the same time with different emphases?

   Covenant theology asserts that the gospel has been preached in every covenantal period. Grace has been available to all men with a singular plan of salvation offered to all in every age. God’s divine declaration of righteousness, the activities of the Holy Spirit, and the personal regeneration unto spiritual life are attributed to believers both in the new covenant and in prior times. All of the so-called “divine benefits” are regarded as having an “eternality” of existence based on God’s eternality. Does this not deify God’s actions apart from His Being?

   Emphasizing the eternality of God’s activities in the continuity of historical continuum, covenant theology seems to stereotype God into a commonality of continuous content and action that disallows God from every doing anything different or new. If all subsequent actions are consistent with precedent actions, God is trapped in the box of precedency.

   To sidestep some of these logical contingencies of the covenant theological system, explanation is sometimes given that attempts to show some discorrespondence of theological content and discontinuity of historical continuum between old and new covenants. It is explained that law took precedence over grace during the Mosaic covenant, but that grace predominates over law in the new covenant, even though law still has its function. The on-going function of the law is explained in the arbitrary categories of moral law, ceremonial law and judicial law. One segment of covenant theology has advocated the contemporary application of God’s law in theonomy and reconstructionism,3 which involves the application of their understanding of God’s law as the “law of the land” in the United States.

   A sense of discorrespondence and discontinuity is also suggested by covenant theology when they are forced to admit that new covenant Christians experience “superior” spiritual “benefits,” or that these “benefits” take on “deeper meaning” in the new covenant. Within their emphasis on the “people of God,” there is also a discorrespondence and discontinuity in the explanation that the physical application of this designation predominated in the previous covenant periods, but a spiritual application of the “people of God” predominates in the new covenant period.

   Over-all, the presuppositional insistence on a singular and common “covenant of grace” in Covenant theology leads to an emphasis on a concordance and correlation of covenant peoples, a solidarity and unity of divine activity, which verges on complete identification and equivalence. The “people of God” are one collective and corporate unity, albeit with multiple manifestation in old and new covenants, having one common heavenly destiny in the presence of God. Israel and the Church are in essence the same entity, the “elect people” of God. The Church, the ecclesia, the “called out people of God,” existed all the way back to Adam. The events on Pentecost (Acts 2) comprised but the empowering of the Body of Christ in the new covenant. The kingdom of God, defined by His “right to rule,” has existed from the beginning of God’s dealings with man.

   What, then, was the purpose of Christ’s coming to earth in His redemptive mission? Covenant theology seems to explain that Jesus came to make the final addition to the covenantal progression in order to establish the new covenant manifestation of Israel, the church, the kingdom, wherein the “people of God” might have right relationship with God.

   What are the expectations, the hope of covenant theology? When God’s “people” evidence commitment and obedience within the legal and contractual framework of the covenant relationship, then the situation will progress toward the perfection of God’s intent for the new covenant community. Things will get better and better. Most who accept the covenant theological premises arrive at eschatological conclusions which are amillenial or postmillenial. There are premillenial covenant theologians, though, so eschatological persuasions alone are not the basis for determining whether one subscribes to Covenant or Reformed theology. Likewise, there are those who have amillennial or postmillennial eschatological beliefs, but have an Arminian theology, and could never be identified with Covenant theology which is strongly connected with Calvinistic theology.

   The prominent feature by which Covenant theology is identified is the distinctive idea of a common “covenant of grace,” and this colors their interpretation of all the Scriptures. The covenant idea was, to some degree, sociologically, politically and culturally derived from the sixteenth and seventeenth century transition from feudalism. Covenant theology is closely allied with the closed-system theology of Calvinistic determinism which emphasizes the “sovereignty” of God in the implementation of His covenants. If one accepts the ideological premise of a “predetermined, unified covenant people,” then Covenant theology can be a consistent theological system.

This is basically the theology of the Baptists.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

A SECRET AFFAIR

October 14, 2017

Here are three ways men are called to serve their wives:

  1. Sacrifice unto death—The most important way a husband can love his wife like Christ loved the church is to sacrifice himself for her sake. Consider the (negative) example of Abraham. When he moved into the region of the Negev, he feared that some man might kill him to take his wife, so he claimed Sarah was his sister (see Ge 20:2). This was the second time Abraham tried to pull this ruse (see Ge 12:10–13), putting his own safety ahead of his wife’s. Abraham had it backward; as Sarah’s husband, he should have been willing to die for his bride—just as Jesus died for his.

  1. Be Christ to her—Because of a misunderstanding of Biblical authority, many wives cringe at the idea of having to “submit” to their husbands. But as the husband is Christ to the wife (who represents the church), submission becomes a two-way street. “Jesus himself teaches that, at least for Christians, authority must manifest itself not in the exercise of power but in service that finds its ultimate expression in sacrifice.”

  1. Lead her into holiness—God’s intention for our lives is that we be made holy. One way he does that is by having a husband model and channel the love of Christ. A husband should therefore forgive, pray for and encourage his wife to engage in disciplines that lead to her sanctification (see Eph 5:25–27).

There are many things I fail at, but the one thing I’m really good at is being married and a good husband. We have a marriage and a friendship that is stellar. I can’t tell you how many times in restaurants people have come up and asked if we just got married. My wife is always pleased that we are romantic in public. Women have followed my wife into the restroom and asked if we were having an affair (which I find deeply disturbing on so many levels).

Our marriage seminars have great alumni, that keep coming back to make sure they are still kindling a fire.

I think we are particularly fortunate in that we were high school sweethearts, we dated almost 2 and half years. We spent every weekend with each other’s parents (or in our case grandparents, we were both raised by our grandparents, which gave us a little older value system). Completely different in temperaments but the same religious values and both wanted great marriages as we both saw our birth parents fail miserably.

As a marriage counselor and pastor let me tell you two danger signals I see in a marriage, and I’m not joking, separate bank accounts and separate vacations. I would have to check my records to be sure, but after 40 years in ministry and 43 years married, I see that being a path way to disaster.

One other thing, shortly after being married (3 months) we moved 1500 hundred miles away (military) we had nothing but each other and everything we owned fit into a 1962 Chevy impala, and I mean everything we owned.

Good marriages are from attention to detail. Appreciation and expression. I make sure I hug or kiss her at least 10 times a day. (probably a lot higher). We are strange in that we don’t watch TV so we talk a lot, we share books, so I guess we are really a cult with just two people in it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Roberta, hip surgery,

Remember Jennifer, oct 31 cataract surgery.

Pray of Bill O, he fell on a cruise and hurt himself pretty bad, one broke rib, and 3-4 ribs cracked.