Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Born and Raised in the Christian Faith?



In the meta of my last post about Willie Nelson's marijuana offering to Jesus, a commenter expressed her outrage at my comments, and accused me of not doing my research before popping off a post. Here's a clip of what she said:

Willie Nelson has a strong faith. He was raised in the Christian faith by his grandparents in Abbott, Texas, and attended the Methodist church there. When he was younger, he taught church school. His first performance was at the church. He has recorded several acclaimed gospel albums. Two years ago, he purchased the Methodist Church in Abbott, to prevent it being sold, so that it could continue to hold church services.

So Willie has a strong faith. Faith in precisely what isn't specified, although the subsequent comments imply it's a Christian faith. That doesn't jive with the things I've seen and read over the years. More recently, I came across an item which documents Nelson's own comments on the subject. Take a look at this commentary by Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While I've linked the entire article, I'll excerpt a comment here . . .

In a recently released book, Texas outlaw songwriter Willie Nelson says quite a bit about his rejection of the Christianity he once professed. Nelson was, for a time, a student at Baylor University and a member of a Southern Baptist church. Years of dissipation have left him far from those Baptist church pews. Now he holds to a pantheistic form of paganism, embracing everything from pop-Taoism to psychic powers to reincarnation. It is clear, however, that he’s rebelling against something, which is why it seems to delight him to talk about smoking marijuana in Jimmy Carter’s White House or lighting up a joint in the presence of Ann Richards, then the goveror of Texas. The tensions between Nelson’s longing for the Christians in his past and his longing to be “on the road again” are everywhere in his music. He is, after all, the man who sings both “Family Bible” and “Whiskey River.”

Aside from this commentary which clips from Nelson's book, I've seen other things through the years that have shown me that the singer is hardly an orthodox Christian.

This whole subject is very sad to me -- aside from Nelson's theological and spiritual deterioration. My real target for this post is actually something that is pretty widespread within a lot of churches. I'm talking about the erroneous, ignorant idea that because someone grew up attending a church -- be it Methodist, Baptist, or any other denomination -- and has done good works here and there, that makes them a genuine, regenerate, born-again, biblical Christian. That is not the genuine message of Christianity. That is not the Gospel. That is not the clear message of God's Word, the Bible.

For my errant commenter's sake, I hope she and others do a little research of their own on what the founder of Methodism would have to say about such an idea, Willie Nelson's theological beliefs aside. Both Charles and John Wesley would take issue with the idea that just attending a church or buying a building for a church earns you a spot in heaven.

All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. We can be saved only by saving faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross for our sins. We are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead for our justification. Once we are saved, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live a godly life. Someone who is truly saved will obey God's Word out of love for God. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep my commandments." (John 15:15). Someone who loves God and is a true Christian is not going to mock the God who saved him, and is not going to ignore or denegrate His Word. Period.

This doesn't just apply to Willie Nelson. It applies to everyone.

29 comments:

Linda Lee said...

I sincerely apologize if I offended anyone's Christian sensibilities. That was not my intent. I only meant that in looking at a person, is it right to judge them on only on a parody they did on television at the request of a friend? Shouldn't we look at the whole picture? Willie Nelson has done so many good works, for decades, for the farmers, for his efforts to bring peace to the world, for veterans, for schools, for schools, for churches. Shouldn't the kindness and goodness of a person be considered? That's all I meant. Willie Nelson does a lot of good with his time and his money.

Solameanie said...

Your point is well taken, Linda. It depends on what precisely is being judged here. I certainly don't discount a person's charitable work. It is indeed a noble thing when properly motivated.

But from an eternal perspective, human works of righteousness will not earn God's forgiveness or approval. "By the works of the flesh shall no one be justified." That is the key point often lost here. Many people have the mistaken notion of the "scale of justice" where one's good works are weighed against their evil works. That is not Christianity.

In reference to the television parody, it was just wrong for him to do, and he knows it. What he and others try to pass off as a joke is deeply offensive to millions.

As usual, it seems to depend on whose ox is getting gored. The same liberals that accuse Christians of intolerance when we take a stand against sins such as homosexuality (or even parody such sins) are the same ones who yell loudly that we can't take a joke when someone insults OUR faith.

However, what Nelson did was wrong and he knows it.

Phil Perkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Lee said...

Who are we to sit and judge each other, anyway, and to call each other names? Why can't we just get along? Why are people so mean-spirited in their words here? I don't understand. I know many who go to church every day, read the Bible, yet their every-day actions are not kind, or reflect any values that Christ embraced. I do not think Jesus would be so unkind. He embraced everyone, and encouraged them to do better.

Anyway, I wish you all the best. Goodbye.

Solameanie said...

Oh, yes...now the "mean-spirited" accusation. I could see that coming miles off.

Linda, I think you need to read your Bible again. Jesus talked more about Hell than anyone in the New Testament. He commanded people to repent of their sin. He didn't ignore it or wink the eye at it.

He also had a few choice words for false teachers -- words you would no doubt consider "mean-spirited."

Those who are out there deceiving people into a Christless eternity are the true "mean-spirited" ones.

Phil Perkins said...

Sola and Linda,
"Willie Nelson has a strong faith."

So?

So do Osama Bin Laden, Pat Roberts, and Rev. Wright. That doesn't mean they aren't charlatans, creeps, and generally disgusting people, who do heinous things.

Four things wrong with a statement like Linda's:

1. It's just bad logic as demonstrated above.

2. And this is the worst part--It is based on a faulty worldview with an irrational epistemology that is, unfortunately, far and away the prevailing epistemology in the culture and in the Modern Evangelical "church".

The problem is also exemplified in the problems I pointed out in the Interstate Battery ads, to bring back some memories. (I don't wish to beat a dead horse, here, so please be patient, Sola--just think it through.) Here is the problem:

OBJECTIVE TRUTH IS TRUMPED BY EMOTIONAL PLEAS, PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, AND FEELINGS.

Look at Linda's contention. The fact that Willie the Greasy mocked
Christ isn't important. After all, that's only something we know he did, making it nothing more than objective truth. More important an internal state that may or may not exist in Willie the Greasy, his "strong faith", as Linda asserts. Never mind the fact that no man's internal state can be known by another--something Solomon told us in the objective truth we call Scripture. Thus we can only assume Willie's internal state or we may try to subjectively perceive it somehow.

Du du du du du du du du.....

Biblical faith isn't a parlor trick, a Rod Serling skit, or the result of repeating verses of "Just As I Am". It' based on the objective truth of a God Who acts in space-time. And those acts are attested by witness. That's why we believe the Bible.

Deal in objective truth. Internal states will come and go and usually have nothing to do with God since the human heart is a liar--Jer. 17:9.

To demonstrate even further, Scripture says that blasphemers won't see God. Willie the Greasy is a blasphemer. If we assume that he had genuine religious feelings that caused him to save the church building, that only proveS this:

UNSAVED PEOPLE CAN HAVE RELIGIOUS FAITH AND FEELINGS.

3. Linda, like most Americans, believes there is a virtue of some kind in having "faith". The Scripture says otherwise. Read James.

4. And this problem flows from number 2--There is an assumption that God will weigh good acts against bad acts. Even human law doesn't work that way. Murderers are convicted even if they are nuns. Willie the Greasy is a blasphemer. The fact that he bought a building for a dying "church" is neither here nor there. In fact, if it is a modern methodist church, he probably did an evil thing by doing this.

Think it through,
Phil Perkins.

Phil Perkins said...

Sola,
You know something? Linda may be just repeating what she learns in her "church". That's sad. She may be sincere. Wrong, but sincere.

Her pastor will certainly pay if that's true.

Good post, by the way. Read you every day almost.

God bless,
Phil.

Stan McCullars said...

Linda,
Quit your whining.

Phil Perkins said...

Stan and Sols,
Here's a quick answer I've used quite often by those who accuse us of "judging":

I simply say, "If judging someone is wrong, stop it."

Sometimes they get it. Sometimes not. It's a great line for on-lookers to hear. If they're at all open-minded, the on-lookers or third-party eaves-droppers get it and the lights go off about the logical contradiction in the unbiblical command "Don't judge" when it is used as a general prohibition against all judging for all purposes at all times.

Phil.

Stan McCullars said...

Phil,
Thanks for the pithy line. That works.

Phil Perkins said...

Stan, use it. Sometimes you can just say, "Then stop it."

Depends on how's the conversation's going. If they get it they either laugh or get really mad.

Also--1 Corinthians 5:12-13 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

Ron said...

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,d who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Brothers,

Clearly, an individual was here posting, needing to hear the truth. Phil even mentioned the possibility that she could have heard a false truth from the pulpit. I commend Joel for making the effort.
I know the frustration that comes when dealing with PoMo's and New Agers, but we're still called to firmly preach the truth in love, with the same grace as Christ.
Do you think that's what she heard?

Solameanie said...

Ron,

I understand what you're saying. With me, my tone or level of response depends on with what or with whom I am dealing. Christ showed gentleness with the woman at the well, but also found plenty of occasion for sharp rebuke when it was called for.

Linda began with an "in your face" attitude, which I slapped down in pretty short order. She then did what this generation is pretty good at doing -- emoting rather than reasoning. Feelings determine truth. Her response was actually a very common tactic with the left. When you nail their arguments to the wall, they then whine about how mean you are. It's a tactic designed to make people back off, and to bring emotion into the equation. Once you introduce "feelings," the debate is over.

This blog is a place where strong views are expressed and defended. I won't go out of my way to be ugly with someone, but when someone gets in my face, I am not going to back down and whimper.

By the way, part of the problem with our society is the feminization of it.

Phil Perkins said...

Ron,
Yes, I do. In fact, I'd say this: You're in the wrong and seriously so. You're world view is closer to Linda's than to God's as revealed in the Scripture.

The reason I say that is this: You are concerned with tone, but have not even addressed truth. Believe it or not, this is a characteristic of the religious leaders who killed Jesus, and very sinful.

PoMo's who call themselves Christians are like the Pharisees, replacing the authority of Scripture with a set of traditions--namely Postmodernism. Further, if you read her writings she has heard the gospel of repentance (the only gospel in Scripture) and rejected it. We know that because she defends Willie the Greasy despite the fact that he lives like the devil, while claiming to be somehow "Christian". Or, at least, that was HER claim. Like most Modern Evangelicals, she is religious and has a Bible. So even if she hasn't heard the gospel, she has it on her book shelf and she claims righteousness.

She is Pharisaical and so are you, really. Don't get mad, just thinkit through. You've come here (you're more than welcom here) and tried to lay rules on us that aren't in Scripture. (I will never submit to those rules for the same reason Paul refused to bow to the demands of those who push their own opinions.) And you don't even know the Scripture. Or just enough to be dangerous. You show that because you don't know Jesus and how He acted in the Gospels. He didn't wear a skirt. You SEEM to think he did.

If you doubt me on that, read His message in Mt 4. It has two elements and two elements only that were essential to the gospel He preached. I won't tell you what they are. Look it up.

Also go to the end of Luke and read Luke's version of the Great Commission. You will find the same elements there.

This is hard, but it's true: You don't know the gospel, but you criticize others in about it. That's why Jesus spoke in parables--so ultra-religious, looking down their noses at others, wouldn't understand and get saved. They knew a lot, but most of what they knew was their tradition--exactly where we are in the Modern Evangelical "church". I preach the gospel to folks on the street for free because they're unchurched and don't know better. You, however, claim to know the gospel. I know you think you do, but you don't.

Turn off the TV. Burn most of your religious library. Keep good Bible study aids. Then get out your Bible and read.

And read.

And read.

After a few months (or weeks if you really get to it) you will know enough to speak intelligently about the subject, but keep reading. Currently, you're not qualified Scripturally.

But your problems go further than simple ignorance. You have also blasphened against God by contradicting what God claims is the power to save folks. Do you know what it is? You learned it in Sunday School when you were a kid, probably.

Do you remember?

No, you don't. Even if you do in your head, you don't practice it. If that's the case it's actually a problem of unbelief in what you already know that God has clearly said over and over in Scripture. Idopn't think that a "gentle" technique, or any other technique does it. You don't understand the gospel. You don't understand soteriology. You don't understand the depravity of man. You don't understand the helplessness of any of us to save anyone. You don't understand the power of God. You don't understand the Great Commission. You don't understand sanctification. I could go on.

I'm not being intentionally mean here. AND I'm not singling you out. You're typical among Modern Evangelicals. We live in a ghetto of biblical aphronism.

Your biblical ignorance is further proven by your criticism of my claim that pablum or even outright lies come out of pulpits.

Have you read even one page of Scripture?

Condemnations of, and warnings about false teachers and false prophets are in just about every book of the Bible. If you had read it through just once you'd know that.

Why don't you know that?

There's an answer to this question. If you don't face that answer you can't fix it.

Finally, you don't know what biblical love is. You think it means no criticism, yet you criticize us.

How hypocritical is that?

How logical is that?

How do you excuse that?

Tell ya what-----let's just see if my main point here is right, or if I'm just being mean:

Give us the biblical definition of love.

Look it up. Sadly, I'll bet you'll have to look it up. And don't come back with I Cor. 13. That's no literal definition. It's a description and only a partial picture designed by Paul for a particular problem at a particular time.

I'll give you a hint--It's not anything like "love" meant by most church folks. In fact, that the "love" spoken by most church folks is so sinful that when they say "God is love" they are actually blaspheming against the God of Scripture.

think it through,
Phil Perkins.

Solameanie said...

Phil,

I think you're being a bit hard on Ron. There is quite a bit in Scripture about being gentle:

Ga 6:1* Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

Eph 4:2* with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

Col 3:12* So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

1Ti 6:11* But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

2Ti 2:25* with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,

Jas 3:13* Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

1Pe 3:15* but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

As I said, I really think it depends on the specific circumstance and to whom we are talking. There is occasion for sharpness, and I do use sharpness as my readers well know. But God forbid that I should ever relish being harsh. Some people enjoy using cutting words on others. I don't mean to imply that you do that, but I do know some people who like to get into a good scrap because they like scrapping. It's a particular weakness with some apologists, and I speak advisedly because I am an apologist of sorts.

In Linda's case, I didn't think her remarks deserved a particularly gentle response. However, if she had raised her question in a genuinely curious and non-combative way, I would have responded differently.

Phil Perkins said...

Sola,
I'm cut to the quick. Nobody's ever said that to me before.

Sulking,
Phil.

Solameanie said...

Oh, stop it! ;)

Or I'll have to send Linda to your house.

Ron said...

Here you are, so there's no more leaps.

I'm 52 and a reformed Baptist. I freely admit that I'm not as theologically knowledgeble as many, but am blessed and honored that God provided His word so that I can learn more about Him daily. I willingly and gladly submit myself to my Pastor and Elders for correction, guidance and instruction, as I acknowledge the gravity and importance of the knowing and speaking of God's word as accutately as I can to the best of my abilities at this time.
I serve in an environment almost daily where most have little or no knowledge of God or His word. Those that have knowledge (or think they do) only have a twisted, man centered, prosperity mish mash that's been spewed on them. Most weren't discipled by God fearing parents, but were raise where generations ago their ancestors turned their faces away from God, just like me. They all need to know the truth of God's word, which includes summiting to His authority. Sometimes is requires a gentle touch, sometimes quite harsh. For me, it first requires listening.
I didn't clearify my thoughts in my earlier post. For that I apologize. In Linda Lee's posts on this thread (remember, only one on the last thread) first she apologized. Yes, then we read the normal PoMo "mean", "harsh" lingo. But from taking all of her words in their entirety, between theose lines it states she hasn't or no longer attends a church, but know people who do that leave their "Christ-likeness" at the door. We've all seen it and maybe experienced it. And Phil makes a salient observation, that she may have been taught this man centered junk. If so, we know where the teacher stands, but we still have the student who needs to know the truth of God's word. Maybe that's all she's ever heard and known. Now, I may be completely wrong and she needed to be treated harshly. But did you notice that she didn't keep arguing ad nauseum as most dyed in the wool PoMo's do?
I sumbit myself humbly to the guidance and correction of my Christian brother on this thread.
Thank you for your indullgance.

Phil Perkins said...

Okay, now I'll be serious.

You're at least partly right. And you don't have to beat around the bush. When you mentioned that some folks are happy to fight, you ddidn't have a slip of the keyboard, didja? Just say it. I won't break. We both know that when a Christian man is confronted with his own sin he's obligated to repent on the spot. No whining. I expect the same of you, don't I?

I need to work on that and I promise you, as a bro, to do that.

In fact, I'll tell you something. You're absolutely right--I've been frustrated lately. I feel like I'm surrounded by folks who could water a small garden with their drool. Someone lately told me that I broke their train of thought. I almost asked them if it ran on a plastic track on the coffee table.

I'm frustrated because almost no one I know thinks biblically in a significant way. Of all the folks I talk to and write to on a typical day, I know of two whom I consider to be deeply biblical thinkers. And of late, it's hit me particularly hard, becaue if this is true there's no hope for the Evangelical "church" anymore. Revival would have to include an intellectual revolution all the way down to our epistemologies. Currently our mental cups can't hold the fluid of Scripture, only the gravel of mindless bromides, witticisms, and stuff John Tesh might say. We need knew cups. I can't make that happen and it breaks my heart.

It's depressing.

I feel like I speak a special language that we Christians promised to learn a long time ago, but when we get together, I'm almost the only one in an auditorium full who even understands it. A couple others do and a few can catch a word or two. Most are in the spiritual mosh pit, thinking what they are doing is profound. I roll my eyes at their stuff and they can't understand a thing I say. Or don't want to.

I'll be honest with you, Joel---we are so twisted that we don't know it.

By the sovereign workings of God, I've been given a mind that is almost a curse, but also a splendid blessing. And by those same sovereign workings I've been able to spend the time to be in the Scripture like VERY few ever do. Much more than most clergy. I know the languages well enough that all my memory work is in the originals and I'm self taught in Latin. I so easily see logically, it's frustrating to deal with others at times. I want a logic calculator so they can watch me punch the keys so they know I'm not cheating. Then they can see the answer.

Pray for me in that regard. it is my most serious road block to spiritual growth in that it leads to sin. And it is also, at times, a curse, in that I have truths in my mind, but am often at a loss to adequately communicate them to those who would like to know God.

Then, there's also the I-just-quit-smoking-and-so-you're-going-to-quit-too-right-here-and-right-now-whether-or-not-you-like-it effect. It's almost as obnoxious as that last sentence. I used to be a typical Modern Evangelical and I want everyone else on the Scripture Wagon now. RIGHT now.

Did I mention "right now"?

Adding to these normal frustrations, I've recently caught a good friend in damnable heresy and he's refusing to repent. I will soon be breaking fellowship with him and that hurts. He knows better. AND I think another is headed there, too. I just spoke to him yesterday on the phone. I see these lives going down the drain. Like Paul urging young ones to perservere because if they don't it'll break his heart, too.

On the other hand, I will never back down from any of the actual assertions in my response to Ron. They are biblical and true. And I'm not saying that defiantly. I just don't want that misunderstanding. I pray that he goes to his study and searches the Scripture. He'll find I'm right. I doubt he will, but we'll see.

I apologize for the tone, not the content.

Now another note of note: The tone thing is actually something about which I've been thinking lately. One of the things that no doubt bugs you, Joel, is that I will phrase an moral argument like this:

1. You are wrong on this point--or--you are in sin in this way...

2. We know that, because the Bible says...

3. Thus you ought to change in this way... (Implied by the tone used or stated explicitly.)

That is biblical form. Jesus, Paul, or the prophets, were pretty much always straight to the point and factual.

The point you made about feminity is exactly right. BUT we use English, don't we? We don't argue in Aramic. We don't wear sandals.

PERHAPS, we might be obliged to be softer than the biblical characters simply because we ought to seek to communicate more effectively in our more effeminate culture. Maybe we ought to rebuke in the same way Paul would have rebuked his mom if he had to.

The danger in taking a tone softer than just straightforward argument, especially to men, is that the style may become part of the message and that is wrong, too.
And the same thing can be said for a mean tone.

Perhaps this is a matter of opinion and individual judgment.

Just a thought that has been rolling around in my head for a number of months now. What say you?
A biblical pattern isn't always to be construed as a command.

Face it. If Jesus wrote on this comment thread, He'd make me look pretty milque toast.

Would love to meet you in person sometime.

God bless you and yours,
Phil Perkins.

PS--THERE YOU GO!!! Believe it or not, I was just about to send the message above. Cynical in me expectations about the outcome and then Ron's last response pops on!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW!!!!!!!

What a blessing of a guy you are, Ron.

God bless you.

Phil Perkins said...

Ron,
God bless you, man. I apologize for the Elijah-itis. I was wrong.

Phil

Ron said...

Phil

I plan to study the exact Scripture you provided. Thank you.

BTW. Have hope. I wish you could listen in on the Bible studies I lead with these folks. God and His word is doing some amazing things. Too many stories for this meta..

Ron said...

Phil

I understand your frustration. I came to a saving faith in Christ several years ago, spent my early years in a seeker church. Through my own study of Scripture I came to know more of the truth of God's word (they didn't do any discipling or mentoring, just cheer-leading training) which led to several "But Scripture says" conversations with the Pastor. Ultimately, my wife and I were "given the opportunity" to find another church. To this day I still have the same types of conversations, not nearly as many and they're mostly met with instructive responses.
And the apology is accepted. No blood no foul! I'm a big boy. Besides, I work for a King!

Phil Perkins said...

Ron,
Where are you ministering? What city? I might like to come and spend a week with you--at my expense, of course.

It is my dream to start a home church. No decent churches in Billings, MT. I would like to see what you are doing.

I also would love to pour out my heart to you about all that I have learned from God in times alone these last couple of years. What I have learned shatters what most of us call church and religion.

I was raised an Evangelical, and I still believe all the main doctrines, but Modern Evangelicalism is SO far from God that it really isn't even close anymore. It is as apostate as Rome--almost. It's actually more dangerous than Rome, because it's so close to the truth that it's hard to tell, but it still takes most folks to hell. That's why they hated you. You aren't theirs. Different dads.

Your story is exactly like mine in the journey. I started out an Arminian, dispensational mess. Went to a Baptist seminary, where I got into trouble because I could out think my theology prof, and got saved at age 38. Now 51, almost 52. Since 38, it's been a slow climb out of ME nonsense into biblicity. Darkness into light.

Currently seeking where to spent the shot God has given me. Starting to write a book on the 23 Great Sins of American Evangelicalism. (I couldn't think of 99--sorry.) May have a publisher, maybe not.

Pray for me and pray that we could meet if God's will. Not, if not.

Phil Perkins.

Ron said...

Phil

Target Dayton Ministries
Dayton, Ohio

It's an urban ministry, serving the poor, homeless and a lot of folks who have mental imparments.

Tuesday- Friday mmornings (5a.m.) which includes a regular Gospel message then a meal.
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings as well.

I'd look forward to your visit if possible. If not maybe we can find a suitable format for you to share with me.

Phil Perkins said...

Ron,
Here are somethings quickly that may be of help to you:

1. For a biblical def. of love: I John 5:2-3, Lev. 19:17-18, II John.

2. Paul makes clear that the power to save is only the gospel--like in your studies with the folks--and the power is supplied by the Holy Spirit. We do no more than the Israelites who marched around Jericho. Just as stupid as their marches, telling folks about a guy who lived 2000 years ago, was murdered, and got alive again is useless--laughable. But we do it cuz He said to. Then He works cuz He wants to.

3. When we try to save others, we blaspheme because we take the place of God--or try to. That implies that He isn't doing it or isn't able to, just like when you take a tool out of the hand of a co-worker. That worker is insulted. When we touch the arc, take the tool out of God's hand, it's like a paraplegic trying to jump up, throw his nurse into the wheel chair. and push the chair. The truth is that we can't save anyone. Only God does that. Only God creates new men. We didn't even make the old ones. Vis-a-vis "Make the gospel relevant."

4. As to ME worldview being so close to the PoMo worldview, they are essentially the same epistemologically. Neither really values objective truth. PoMo's just admit it. ME's have the Bible in their doctrinal statements, but call "righteous" someone they like, whether or not said claim is attest by Scripture or even their doctrinal statements. AND ME faith is seen as independent from evidence and rational thought. Vis-a-vis scinece vs. faith.

5. ME and PoMo worldviews agree in the use of rational thought. It is only incidental in all matters other than the mundane. Rational when doing my checkbook, not rational when talking of morality, God, man, etc.

Phil Perkins said...

Ron,
To continue--I had a chore to do--The ME and PoMo worldviews and rational thought as useless in matters of God, morality, and ultimate ends:

In higher matters, both see feelings, "the heart", etc. as primary in determining truth. While the PoMo's may recoil at the word "truth", they do believe that somethings are actually so and others aren't. And they determine that, not by rational thought and evidence, but by how they feel, or even at times the authority of the latest PoMo guru in their particular branch of PoMoism. In the case of the ME's this leads to this nonsensical statement when confronted with biblical truth they may not like: The Holy Spirit hasn't convicted me of that yet. By this they mean that they have not had the set of feelings they have, on their own accord, decided are necessary to know that a certain activity or doctrine is right or wrong. Thus, the objective truth of Scripture, interpreted with an eye toward authorial intent is ignored. That's hard work and produces no feelings of "the Spirit"--blaspemy to say the least.

Or worse yet, ME's often arrive at a quazi-Barthian approach to Scripture in which the truth of a particular understanding or misunderstanding of Scripture is determined by how one feels when it is read. This turns the entire biblical worldview on its head, with the individual now sovereign over Scripoture, not the other way round, and the emotions determining truth, while the mind is expected to follow the guiding light of the heart. Thus, we hear in ME circles the virtues of following one's heart. yuck.

In short, the biblical worldview starts with a God Who creates all of reality (material, moral, and spiritual) out of nothing but His own thoughts and power. Thus His attributes of omniscience and omnipresence. And modern reflects this truth. All things in space-time are made of only energy (God's power) and the information that describes them (God's knowledge of all things).

In matters of free will and sovereignty, ME's are very much like the philosophical materialists and argue over whether there is predeterminism or freedom--the arminianistic tendencies of MEism. This is a fictitious tension, arising from either or both of two particularly Western fallacies, the Fallacy of the Single Cause, and the Fallacy of Choice vs. Criteria (my own terms).

I could write a book on that easily. Someone also ought to write a good essay on the biblical imperative to value general truth, and precise thought. Or one could just read the Bible.s The Puritans understood this well. Read Edwards.

I find it extremely odd, that folks who claim to love God think so sloppily as ME's. Surely it's because they don't know the God of Scripture either personally or intellectually. The God of Scripture authors truth. That is to say, all reality comes from His thoughts--Let there by light. And there was light.

The Latin is awesome: fiat lux et facta est lux.

Get that? From fiat to fact. JUST CUZ HE THUNK IT!!!!!! The minute I read that I decided I'd learn Latin. Really--that's why I did it.

Amazing.

Anyway if you wanna yak some more, philperkins99@yahoo.com. My parole officer let's me get my email once a day.

Phil.

Phil Perkins said...

Ron,
Just a quick thought about ME views on "heart" vs. mind:

Heart good. Mind bad.

Is this the Plato from a parallel universe where everything is the same, but a little different?

Oh--and remember this: God deals always with man primarily through the objective senses. "Heart" is secondary. For proof, think through the doctrine of Special Revelation--in other words, just what is a prophet and a Scripture?

That is the opposite of MEism.

Rattlesnake6 said...

Folks,
I've enjoyed the spirited debate. As Sola will tell you, few are more critical of the modern church than I am. Few are more masculine than I. I'm a 1967 graduate of The Citadel, a former tank commander/platoon leader, wrestlers, etc.
My point is that Linda was wrong and so is Willie Nelson. I saw parts of his song on TV and found it blasphemous. Celebrity excuses immorality and blasphemy in our country. Phil, I'm not certain that Jesus would be quite so tough, although he would be very resolute and unbending. Beware that you don't take the opposite tack of the "Ethics of Jesus" pomos, who believe that Jesus was a pacifist. He wasn't Vin Diesel either. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Ego-central.