Friday, March 27, 2009
It just ain't right to criticize Republicans while yer askin' fer a handout.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
"I believe that Conservatism is compassionate
and is the true path to achieving the American Dream.
Liberalism weakens the human spirit by encouraging people
to view themselves as victims."
Lloyd Marcus, Singer/songwriter, activist, proud black conservative spokesperson for Our Country Deserves Better Committee, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Conservative People of Color, and great American.
You can read his entire message about this new song and the upcoming tax protest here.
What do you mean by "fundamentalist" in context to your profile. For some reason, I'm under the impression that you may be "Christian Reformed."
Grace & Peace,
(name withheld to protect the reader’s identity)
First, I will define the term by what I mean because that’s what the reader asked. Probably the simplest answer is that I hold to, what has been called, “The Five Fundamentals of the Faith,” which, I believe, are absolute, non-negotiable and essential for true, biblical faith:
- The inerrancy and authority of Scripture
- The deity of Jesus Christ
- The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Christ’s vicarious death and atonement for sin
- The literal second coming of Jesus Christ
The questioner goes on to suggest that I might be "Christian Reformed." The label “reformed” is also difficult to define and, probably, because I am Baptist, most reformed Christians would object to my appropriation of that label. However, when I observe the horrendous effects of inaccurate and unbiblical teachings of salvation and anemic, man-centered gospel presentations, I find myself more comfortable pitching my tent in the reformed camp than with the promoters of decisional regeneration and easy-believism among evangelicals, especially in my own denomination.
To answer the question simply, directly, and unapologetically, I believe in the doctrines of grace that are commonly oversimplified and referred to as Calvinism. I believe that God is absolutely sovereign in all things (including salvation). I also hold to those five fundamentals of the faith as articulated by the majority of the reformers; that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God, that Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that salvation is a sovereign act of God’s will for His glory alone.
So I guess I consider myself to be “Reformed Baptist.” I hope that helps.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Dear Mr. President:
This time the $35.00 was sent to the National Republican Trust (PAC). You see, March 31 is coming up soon. Do you know what is special about March 31? Well that is my daughter’s birthday and it is also her husband’s birthday. But there is something else that is special about March 31 this year. That is the date of a very important special election in the 20th District of the State of New York. Polls now show that the Republicans actually have a good chance of winning that Congressional seat with their conservative candidate, Jim Tedisco. So this time around, I figured the best gift I could give my children is one that would irritate and frustrate Nancy, Harry, and you all at once and possibly accomplish some resistance to your dangerous liberal plans to change America as we know it. Thanks again, my contribution wouldn’t have been possible without you.
On another unrelated topic, I’m not going to criticize you for your careless, inane "Special Olympics" comment on Jay Leno’s show about your bowling score; after all, we all make foolish slips from time to time. Mr. Shriver was satisfied that your apology was sincere and that you meant no harm so that is good enough for me. I share your heart-felt appreciation that “the Special Olympics is a wonderful program that gives an opportunity for people with disabilities from around the world.”
And, Mr. Obama, I wanted you to know that there is another great program that gives tremendous opportunities to people with disabilities. It’s called the national presidential election.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
March 18, 2009
President Barrack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Dear Mr. President:
I know it has been a while since I last wrote to you and I apologize for that; my computer crashed and I had to replace it. But I am back in business now and I should be able to resume my frequent epistles to you.
Things are tough everywhere out here in fly-over country and many of the uneducated, unsophisticated, and ignorant rednecks in my circle of acquaintances are really feeling the pain.
But there is a bright side. We will not be caught unprepared. We are not dependent on your benevolence and unrealistic promises. We will survive. Long after you are gone, we will be here. We are Americans.
You see, there is a social phenomenon, actually an institution of traditional americana that has been duplicated in thousands of coffee shops, taverns, barber shops and fast-food restaurants across this great land. It is the modern day equivalent of the gathering around the pot-bellied stove in the old general stores of yesteryear. It is the daily gathering of good old boys (and girls) for the purpose of discussing news, politics, and culture.
My cohorts and I have been meeting together for coffee every morning for years in a local coffee shop. The camaraderie is great and the discussions are pure, mindless drivel - the same guys sitting in the same places telling the same old lies and insults year after year. So I have to admit, your election has reinvigorated us and your new socialist agenda has given us new stuff to crab about.
And that brings me to the point. In recent days we have all come to realize what most Americans have known throughout our 200+ years of history. That is we must take care of ourselves. And that is what we are doing.
The last few weeks we have been busy making plans and we have created a list of necessary supplies that we are accumulating for our survival. Money is worthless and the government will fail us. We are just simple people with nothing but our faith and our guns and our guts. I thought you might be interested to know what thousands of Americans, whose savings, home values, and retirement provisions have been decimated, are up to.
The following is a sampling of some of the items in our “must have” list of survival provisions:
- Gold and silver in any form
- Machetes and knives
- 1000 watt flashlights (strong enough to blind someone)
- Emergency, hand-crank radios
- Vegetable seeds
- Shovels, pitchforks and axes
- Bottled water and dehydrated foods
- Tents, sleeping bags, and blankets
- Generators and propane
- First Aid kits
- Chainsaws so we can drop some trees at each end of our streets to keep outsiders away from our homes.
- Several cords of firewood
- At least 1000 rounds of ammunition and something to put them in (if you catch my drift)
- Etc. and etc. but you get the idea. We just all want you to know that we will be OK. Don’t worry about us.
Ralph M. Petersen and the rest of the good old boys.
Friday, March 13, 2009
The content is relevant and quite insightful, coming from a non-calvinist. It is certain to irritate some but it definitely presents a deserving criticism of the sloppy and irresponsible methods of evangelism in much of modern Christian evangelicalism.
The pamphlets, as written, are much too long to reproduce in blog form. The full original text can be located in the Keith Green archives. I have taken liberties to edit and abridged the content and I am posting them together here in two parts.
Part 1: "The Missing Parts"
The blood of Jesus is God’s only cleansing agent for a sin-sick soul. What we present today is a bloodless or anemic gospel! The whole concept of Jesus being the Passover Lamb of the Old Testament has been lost. We often reason that it takes too much time and thought to explain or that we need to simplify the Gospel so that we can reach the masses. But when we remove the blood from the preaching of the Gospel, we remove the power of the gospel.
Paul said, "I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." (I Cor. 2:2)
Sin has been redefined as “missing the mark,” “shortcomings,” or “failing to live up to our potentials.” There is very little preaching about hell anymore. It is seen as unnecessary scare tactics. Sinners are just unfortunate, misguided souls.
In our worldly wisdom, we act as though God needs our help to communicate with our contemporary generation in a gentler, more loving tone. We talk about heaven and the temporal rewards of being born-again, but we completely neglect the warnings of Jesus and the Apostles about the consequences of sin and rebellion against God.
But the Bible clearly shows that all men, in their unregenerate condition, are rebels who have robbed and dishonored the living God, infinitely offending Him. We have no right to allow them to see themselves in any other light.
When the rich young ruler came to Jesus, he asked a very direct question: "Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" How would we answer him today? "Just admit you're a sinner, accept Jesus as your Personal Savior, go to church, pay your tithes, try to be good, and you're in!"
But what was Jesus' answer? He said, "You know the commandments... if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." The commandments?? Isn't this the "age of grace"? Jesus wasn't preaching the commandments to him as the way of salvation. He was using the commandments to specifically convict him of his particular sin – greed, and Jesus knew just how to do it - preach the Law! And that's exactly what the Law is for- "For through the Law comes the knowledge of sin" (Rom. 3:20). The Law must be preached - not as the way of salvation, but as a searchlight on the sinner's heart so he can see how utterly rotten he is compared to God’s requirement for sinless perfection.
Our modern gospel emphasizes all the good things God will do for us if we just “accept” Him! Today we don't want to scare the "liberated generation" away with rules. If we say that fornication or drugs or abortion, or any other specific sin is wrong, people will feel all condemned and then how could they get saved? But that's just the point, Jesus preached the Law to the rich young ruler so that, after feeling condemned about his greed, he could turn and obey Jesus and find true treasure in heaven. "Go and sell all you possess and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me." (Mark 10:21) Unless people are truly convicted of their sin and totally condemned by God’s Law, then it is impossible to convince them of the need for a savior. Only by the preaching of the Law can a man fully desire to be saved from the penalty of his sin. For, "I would not have come to know sin except through the Law."(Rom. 7:7)
Instead of the awesome majesty of Jehovah, today the Lord is presented as a sort of benevolent Santa Claus and the Church is the toy store where you can get every goodie your heart desires. Jesus is portrayed only as a good, loving, and forgiving friend. But what does the Scripture say? "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31) and "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom'? (Proverbs 9:10)
Conversion without repentance is impossible. The teachings of Jesus and the apostles are full of commands to "repent and be saved!" True repentance is not just "being sorry" – genuine sorrow is only conviction. Repentance is a change of heart and a change of mind that results in a decisive change of action by turning away from sin. God blesses those decisions and commitments with abundant grace and power to fulfill the desires of the Spirit within us. Repentance is a natural response of one who sees how ugly and horrible his sin is but it is impossible where the Law does not convince the sinner of his wicked heart. Because our modern preaching generates so little real conviction of sin, there is no compulsion for repentance. You see, all these removed parts of the Gospel are connected. In God's wisdom, every aspect of the appointed way of salvation is irreplaceable. It is true that without God loving us first, we could not be saved. And when He saves us, He requires that we repent!
Modern preaching paints an inaccurate picture of God as carefree, cheerful, understanding, and tolerant of our sin. The Church doesn't want a God who's grieved with sin, because He would be grieved with them (and He is!).
The Bible indicates that God is greatly grieved by our sin. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. And God plead with the nation of Israel through the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel. The God of the Bible is continually striving with men through His Spirit. "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3). That means that God sees every rape, every murder, every starving person, every pornographic film and book, and every abused and battered child. Scripture warns us to not “grieve the Holy Spirit of God?” (Eph. 4:30)
The Necessity of Holiness
Without holiness "no one shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). Jesus commands us to be perfect. Yet none of us can achieve perfection. Nevertheless, we still have those uncomfortable words of the Lord, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." Because of that dilemma, we have invented some pretty interesting (but unscriptural) doctrines. Some teach that when God looks at us, He doesn't really see us anymore, He sees Jesus instead. And whenever there's sin in our hearts, if God should happen to look at the wrong moment, He'll see a smiling face of Jesus there, instead of seeing our sin. So God sees us as holy - even though we’re not! Another stranger-than-truth doctrine is that blessed refuge of backsliders called "the carnal Christian." In this example of pretzel-logic, we have solved the problem of “so-called believers” who do not walk with the Lord but continue to indulge in the things of the world and the lusts of the flesh. They are another class of Christians called “carnal Christians.
Here we have a case of a "believer" who doesn't believe. Oh, he still "believes" that God is God, and that there is a heaven and hell, and so on (but don't forget, the devil believes all these things too!-James 2:19). He knows all the right things to say to convince granny, the pastor, and his Christian friends that he's still hanging in there. He even sort of believes it himself. Seems he's got everybody fooled - everybody that is, except God! The Bible is clear that "If we say we' have fellowship with Him, and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth " (I John 1:6).
Well, the immediate answer to that question is, "The people are not getting saved because of their messages, they're getting saved in spite of them." But many of the people who make "decisions for Christ" do not even continue to attend church following their experiences. Let's take a closer look at what kind of "converts" today's gospel usually produces.
What, Specifically, Is Wrong With Our Modern Gospel?
It is Me-Centered Instead of Christ-Centered
First and foremost, it is a gospel that appeals to the self. Instead of honoring God, it places the sinner at the center of God's love and plan. But the Bible places Jesus at the center of God's plan, not the sinner.
Of course, it infinitely benefits those who love, serve, and honor Him, but that is a secondary result; not the primary one. If people come to Jesus mainly to get a blessing, or only to get forgiveness, they will ultimately be disappointed. But if they come to Him in faith, giving Him their lives in honor and worship, then they will truly have forgiveness and joy - more than they could ever imagine!
Our gospel presents the good news on a "come and get it while you can" basis. We make every effort to make it easy. We remove everything that might offend someone or might make them hesitate or postpone their decision. Jesus never lowered the requirements for anyone. One had to be completely sincere, totally humbled, having counted the cost, willing to leave everything- family and property, "count all things loss" so that they might "gain Christ" (Phil 3:7-8). When that rich young ruler "went away sad, for he had many possessions" (Matt. 19:22), Jesus didn't go running after him shouting, "Hey, wait a minute! Let's talk about this; it isn't as bad as it might sound. Maybe I was a little too harsh!" Maybe we're so eager to "see converts" or to publish "how many got saved at our last concert" that we'll do anything to rush someone into a "decision" before he's had a chance to really make one. The problem is, if you have to rush him into it, he probably will change his mind later anyway. For as a friend of mine says, "If somebody can talk them into it, somebody can talk them out of it!" (I Cor. 1:17)
We offer forgiveness of sin like as something we can negotiate. I've even heard, "You give Jesus your sin, and He'll give you salvation in return!" No one in the Bible ever thought so low of the grace of God to talk about the gift of eternal life like it was for trade. It is a gift! You can't earn it, buy it, or give anything in return for it. How it must offend God to hear people talk that way about the redemptive work of Christ.
Anyone who is made to believe he becomes a Christian under such preaching will seldom bring forth the true fruits of a real convert. He will remain self-serving only now his selfishness will take on a religious form. If he wants something for himself, he will say he "has a burden" for something, or he will say, "It is the desire of my heart," or some other religious-sounding phrase like that. He will pray selfishly, desiring blessings for himself, and even if he does pray for others, it is often for selfish reasons. After all, when he "accepted the Lord," he was told how much Jesus wanted to bless him and how much God had stored up for his account, and how the Bible was like "a checkbook full of promises, just waiting to be cashed!" Such a person always seeks to "feel" good about himself, his church, his pastor, etc. His whole world is built on feeling blessed. He was never shown how he was created to bless God... God was not created to bless him.
The kinds of "converts" described above are not like those described in the book of Acts where the tender spirit of love and the mighty spirit of power prevailed among the brethren in those early days. I believe that one of the great reasons that "everyone kept feeling a sense of awe" (Acts 2:43), was because "they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to prayer " (vs. 42). The Spirit of God anointed and blessed the new converts with power because Peter and the others made every effort to convey the whole message of the Gospel when they preached and taught. God always anoints the truth.
Part 2: "The Added Parts"
The following is a list of some of the inventions of man that have become so essential to our modern Gospel, that they have become almost inseparable from it. In fact, they are considered so necessary that some Christians can hardly believe that anyone can be saved without them.
The "Personal Savior"
The use of the term "Personal Savior" isn't very harmful in itself, but it shows a kind of mind - set that is willing to "invent" terms, and then treat them as if they were actually found in the Bible. Would you ever introduce your sister like this: "This is Sheila, my personal sister"?! Or would you point to your navel and say, "This is my personal bellybutton"? Ridiculous! But nevertheless, people solemnly speak of Christ as their personal Savior, as if they've got Him right there in their shirt pocket - and as if when He returns, He will not have two, but three titles written across His thigh: King of kings, Lord of lords, and PERSONAL SAVIOR! This is only one example of how a non-biblical term can be elevated to reverence by the Church, as if to say, "Well even if it isn't in the Bible - it should be!"
Imagine Jesus having people bow their heads after hearing the Sermon on the Mount, and then very slowly and softly (while Bartholomew plays "How Great Thou Art" on the accordion) saying to the crowd, "While your heads are bowed and your eyes are closed, if you really want to be My disciple tonight, if you really want to show My Father that you truly mean to follow this sermon I have given, then I want you to slip your hand up slowly, so that I may see it. There now... yes... yes... I see that hand ... and that one ... and the one way back by the fig tree ... yes! Now, please, while Bart plays another chorus, I'd like you to start moving down through the center of the crowd ... yes, those who raised their hand. I want to know if you really mean business. I'd like to lead you in a prayer...
The altar call was invented only about 150 years ago. It was first used by the American evangelist, Charles Finney, as a means of separating out those who wanted to talk further about the subject of salvation. Finney called the front pew "the anxious seat" (for those who were "anxious" about the state of their souls) or "the mourner's bench." Finney never "led them in a prayer," but he and a few others would spend a great deal of time praying with and giving specific instruction to each, one by one, until finally, everyone was sent home to pray and continue seeking God until "they had broken through and expressed hope in Christ," as Finney would say.The early Salvation Army, going a bit further on Finney's innovation, developed what they called "the penitent form" or "the mercy seat." After a rousing time of singing and preaching, they would invite any sinner present who wanted to confess his sins to God and repent, to come to the front, and they would be prayed for individually.
Can you also imagine this scene where Jesus is leading some new "disciples" in the "sinner's prayer"?"Wow! There are so many that came forward for salvation tonight!" (The multitude applauds.) "Now, it is very simple. You just repeat this little prayer after Me, and then you're a Christian! Now it doesn't really matter whether you fully understand the prayer . . . it works just the same. Ready? Repeat after Me... 'Dear Jesus... Come into my heart...'"and so on ...When we try to picture Jesus Himself using our modern methods of evangelism, it seems completely foolish. I think this is a very good test for any method.
Obviously there is no "set" sinner's prayer. There are many variations, with different lengths, different wordings, different endings, etc., but the contents are usually the same. The prayer usually includes phrases like, "Dear Jesus," "Come into my heart," "I admit I have sinned" (at least the better ones contain this last statement - there are some who do not even like to mention sin in their "sinner's prayer"), "Fill me with Your Spirit," "In Jesus' name. Amen." Extremely harmless . . . nothing wrong with a prayer like that, right? Wrong!
A true "sinner's prayer" will naturally burst out from the heart of anyone who is truly convicted by their sin, and in repentance, seeks God’s forgiveness. The very act of "leading someone in a prayer" is often a devise of crowd manipulation and brainwashing. You will find nothing even remotely like it in the Bible, or among the writings and biographies in Church history. Jesus never called His disciples to "repeat after Me," He called them to “come follow Me.”
Quick and Easy "Steps-To-Salvation" Booklets
The Bible says in Proverbs 10:26, "Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the unfaithful messenger to him who sends him." Paul said that if we are really Christians, then we are "ambassadors of Christ." That means we are His representatives in this foreign land called "the world" and we are under orders to accurately communicate His message, regardless how unpleasant it may seem.
But How many evangelists have misapplied that Scripture to paint a pathetic picture of Jesus standing outside a door, waiting, knocking, knocking, waiting, for the sinner to open up and let Jesus in? Sometimes these preachers go on and on, until it starts to sound like, "Aw, poor Jesus is out there in the cold, shivering, waiting for someone to let Him in. Won't you go ahead and let poor Jesus into your heart?"The truth of the matter for sinners is the exact opposite. Jesus is not outside of their world, knocking to come in - they are outside of His Kingdom! And they can knock all night like the five foolish virgins but Jesus will never let them in unless they meet His requirements: a humble and contrite heart, and a complete disgust for sin. Then, and only then, will God deliver them from their slavery to sin - and transfer them by His grace to the Kingdom of His loving kindness. God will never repent for someone - He makes it possible for the sinner to see the folly of his ways, surrender, and desperatly gasp, "I am a fool to run my own life! Lord, show me the way to your door, and I'll knock and knock, and beg forgiveness ...I'll do anything, anything, ANYTHING YOU SAY!" Then, and only then, will God save a sinner.
I realize that these articles will step on many toes, and some might even be deeply offended, but that is not my intention at all. My prayer is that some will begin to take up the cross and preach the good news of our salvation with the same power and anointing that Jesus promised and gave to the early Church, and that when we stand before Him on that great day, we will be able to say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith . . . I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ" (II Tim. 4:7; Rom. 15:19), so that we may hear those sweet words from our King's lips, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Matt. 25:21)
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
- This is outrageous! But I am somewhat confused by the conflicted reasoning. Abortion is good; murder is bad? Go figure!
- How to tell if you are an Arminian. So Spricht der HERR has this fun list of Bad Advise For Arminians that could be cleverly reworded in the style of the,“you might be a redneck,” jokes.
- Do you want God to make you rich? Junker Jorge gives us the magic formula here according to the cult of the Word of Faith Movement.
- Eddie Eddings offers this Startling Revelation at Facets of Grace.
- Phil Johnson, in his blogpost, As One Having Authority announces the subject of his address to the 2009 Shepherds Conference. Using Titus 2:7-8, he skillfully denounces the growing practice of pulpiteers who insist that sleazy and course language is a necessary tool of contextualization to be relevant.
About Phil’s sermon, Underdog Theology rightly observes that, “If you howl like the world, then perhaps you might be a wolf yourself.”
- Watcher’s Lamp asks the question, "Will The Purpose Driven/Best Life Now Religion Pass This Test?" Well, what if God loves you and has a HORRIBLE plan for your life? Maybe the first of the Four Spiritual Laws should be, “God created you and has a sovereign plan for your life.”
- And finally, at Townhall.com, in his post, Rush Rattles Obama The Whiner's Cage, Doug Giles says, “I would rather bikini wax a sensitive and livid grizzly sow than be a “tolerant bipartisan” toward the bloated government, pro-death, anti-free market, crap on traditional values, socialism squared, nanny state policies Obama has floated in the last few days.”
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Thank you very much.
I just got my first, semi-monthly paycheck with your phony tax refund. I have to admit, that was a pretty slick way to buy the adoration of millions of ignorant, empty-headed worshippers. Although it didn't work on me, I am now stimulated.
The increase in my check amounted to just a bit under $35.00 and just in time for my birthday. So today, I bought myself a birthday present on your stimulus plan. For just $35.00, I got a one-year membership in the National Rifle Association. I have proudly displayed their logo on my blog and I can hardly wait to place my membership decal on the windshield of my car.
With the additional resources available to me each payday, I figure that over the next few months I will be able to make donations to many worthy causes like The Patriot Post , Our Country Deserves Better (PAC), Grassfire.Org Alliance, Pacific Justice Institute, American Solutions, and a myriad of other conservative organizations, PACs, and individual champions of liberty dedicated to the preservation of our constitution, our freedoms, and our American way of life. The way I see it, a stimulus plan should be stimulative. And your giving me these additional resources will enable these worthy organizations to continue to stimulate conservatives to action.
Oh, also, I might be able to send an occasional few bucks to your brother, George, who is existing in abject poverty. It’s good to spread the wealth around you know.
So, thanks again for the birthday present (even though it was my money before government took it so you could give it back).
I remain faithfully dedicated to your opposition and resistant to your policies. And I HOPE for the day when liberalism, socialism, and fascism are destroyed and we CHANGE leadership (YES WE CAN).
Ralph M. Petersen
ps. I'm sure the NRA thanks you too.
Sent to the White House via U.S.P.S. on 3/5/09
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
"For decades now evangelical churches have been conducting their services for the sake of unbelievers. Both the revivalistic service of a previous generation and the 'seeker service' of today are shaped by the same concern--appeal to the unchurched. Not surprisingly, in neither case does much that might be called worship by Christians occur. As a result, many evangelicals who have been sitting for years in such worship services are finding their souls drying up, and they have begun to long for something else.
"Accordingly, they have become vulnerable to the appeal of the mysterium of hierarchical liturgical services. This is why some today are "on the Canterbury trail" of defecting to Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Others who have been simply spectators for years in their worship services are getting caught up in the people-involving worship of charismatic services."