Saturday, May 31, 2008

Comment #28

Here's the comment that was deleted... (a shorter version of one I tried to post yesterday)

I found Candy's church's website and it makes NO reference to having missionaries in Peru specifically ministering to Roman Catholics. There is an impressive list of missionaries they are supporting. I am sure Bro. O'Daniel is wondering where the writer got this information.

Is it out of bounds to find Candy's church on the web when she tried to keep it anonymous? Maybe. I think it skirts the line of acceptability.

Is it ok to pry into Candy's personal information (real life) because she published personal information about Elena? No.

Turning the other cheek and forgiveness are Christian virtues.

Eye for an eye? Not.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Solas Part 3: Sola Scriptura

Scripture Alone.

We pledge ourselves to the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments as the pure and clear fountain of Israel, which is the only true norm according to which all teachers and teachings are to be judged and evaluated. - Christian Cyclopedia

The Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura (Scripture alone) teaches that every doctrine in Christian theology must be derived from Scripture alone. This teaching is not based on only a few Bible passages or "proof texts", but rests on a great number of Bible sections and verses that touch on the subject. When everything that the Bible says about the source of religious truth and the authority to establish teachings among God's people is taken into account, we hold that it becomes clear that we are to base our doctrine and practice on Scripture alone. - WELS

II Tim. 3:14-17 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Revelation 22:18-19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A creed by any other name...

I have been working on a procedures manual at work, that is why I called my last post Company Policy and then posted the Nicene Creed. My brain has been playing connect the dots with corporate handbooks and church doctrine. Many similarities, but I'll save that for another post, another day.

A creed is a statement of what we believe, teach and confess.

A creed is not Scripture - but it summarizes what we believe Scripture teaches.

Almost all Christian Churches have creeds, but they don't all call them by that name. You'll find creeds called Doctrinal Statements, Confessions, Articles, Catechisms, Beliefs, Declarations, Statements of Faith, Agreements, Expositions, Canons, and so on and so on.

At some point, someone or some group, committee or council gets together, puts pen to paper and writes "We believe..." or "We profess..."  and before you know it, they are telling you "what the Bible means."  Or what they believe it means....And a creed is born.

Is it wrong for a church to develop creeds or doctrinal statements etc? No, it is not wrong as long as those creeds/statements are in agreement with Scripture. And do the churches that claim not to have creeds, develop creeds? Yes they do.

Company Policy

I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again
according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge
both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Getting into the Spirit of things

Inspired by Pentecost - a comparative look at the work of the Holy Spirit...

Roman Catholic - the Holy Ghost we attribute the operations of grace and the sanctification of souls, and in particular spiritual gifts and fruits, because He proceeds from the Father and the Son as Their mutual love and is called in Holy Writ the goodness and the charity of God. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are of two kinds: the first are specially intended for the sanctification of the person who receives them; the second, more properly called charismata, are extraordinary favours granted for the help of another, favours, too, which do not sanctify by themselves, and may even be separated from sanctifying grace. Those of the first class are accounted seven in number, as enumerated by Isaias (11:2-3), where the prophet sees and describes them in the Messias. They are the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety (godliness), and fear of the Lord. - Catholic Encyclopedia

Anabaptist/Mennonite - ... The Holy Spirit in His relation to the believer effects regeneration, assures of salvation, guides into truth, activates the conscience, purifies the heart, comforts, produces love, and gives power and joy in service ... The Anabaptists never identified the Holy Spirit with reason, or with emotion, or with the conscience, resisting the positions of rationalism and mysticism, but declared the Holy Spirit to be objective reality, revealing Himself to the believer in the Gospel ... In His relation to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit was not considered to be a separate and independent "inner light" or "inner Word" whose authority might contradict and supersede the "written Word" as spiritualists taught. Anabaptists held that the Holy Spirit as the true author of Scripture is also the true interpreter of Scripture who does not contradict Himself...Considering the disparate origins of the movement it is not surprising to note that there is not only one Anabaptist view of the Holy Spirit. However, on the main points there was remarkable agreement. Throughout Anabaptism there was a profound conviction that the Spirit was at the center of Christian experience enabling the follower of Christ to rise above legalism to the transforming life of joyful obedience... - Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online

Pentecostal - The Holy Ghost is not a third person in the Godhead, but rather the Spirit of God (the Creator), the Spirit of the resurrected Christ. The Holy Ghost comes to dwell in the hearts and lives of everyone who believes and obeys the gospel, as the comforter, Sustainer, and keeper (John 14:16-26; Romans 8:9-11). - United Pentecostal Church International, Apostles' Doctrine

[BTW My brother, Bryce, is a KJV-only Oneness Pentecostal - I found this link through his church's website.]

Assembly of God - All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.... This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth...With the baptism in the Holy Spirit come such experiences as: an overflowing fullness of the Spirit; a deepened reverence for God; an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work; and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost...The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance....The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues, but is different in purpose and use...
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God. The Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to obey the command: "Be ye holy, for I am holy." Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit. - General Council of Assemblies of God, Statement of Fundamental Truths

Baptist - We believe that the Holy Spirit has always been at work in the world, sharing in the work of creation, awakening faith in the remnant of God’s people, performing signs and
wonders, giving triumphs in battle, empowering the preaching of prophets and inspiring the writing of Scripture. Yet, when Christ had made atonement for sin, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, He inaugurated a new era of the Spirit by pouring out the promise of the Father on His Church. We believe that the newness of this era is marked by the unprecedented mission of the Spirit to glorify the crucified and risen Christ. This He does by giving the disciples of Jesus greater power to preach the gospel of the glory of Christ, by opening the hearts of hearers that they might see Christ and believe, by revealing the beauty of Christ in His Word and transforming His people from glory to glory, by manifesting Himself in spiritual gifts (being sovereignly free to dispense, as he wills, all the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10) for the upbuilding of the body of Christ and the confirmation of His Word, by calling all the nations into the sway of the gospel of Christ, and, in all this, thus fulfilling the New Covenant promise to create and preserve a purified people for the everlasting habitation of God. - Bethlehem Baptist Church, Elder Affirmation of Faith [a church in my area]

Candy (Non-denominational Fundamentalist) - When a person really gets saved/born again, then the very Holy Spirit of God Himself indwells that new creature in Christ. Suddenly this person is given gifts from the Holy Spirit. Often one of those gifts is the gift of discernment - to discern true evil from true good. - Keeping the Home, "Lord, Lord!" - Christians who aren't. What are you?

Via this comparison, it appears Candy's view of the work of the Holy Spirit is most closely aligned with that of the Pentecostals (although Candy does believe in the Trinity). She hasn't written very much regarding the work of the Spirit -- perhaps it is something she should read more about.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentecost Thought: I believe in the Holy Spirit...

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.  In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the last day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and to all believers in Christ.

This is most certainly true.

-explanation of the 3rd article of the Apostles' Creed from Luther's Small Catechism

Friday, May 9, 2008

I've been called worse...


You are very perceptive and smart. You are clear and to the point and have a great sense of humor. You are always learning and searching for understanding.

Find out your color at!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Solas Part 2: Sola Gratia

By Grace Alone.

Term referring to the Scriptural doctrine that man is saved by grace alone without the deeds of the Law. - Christian Cyclopedia

sola gratia—“without any merit or worthiness in us.” Out of his mercy and
grace, God looks with favor on our lives and forgives our transgressions through Christ.
God’s gift of love in Christ, totally undeserved... -

Ephesians 1:3-10 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Solas Part 1: Solus Christus

Also know as solo Christo = by Christ Alone.

"Solus Christus is the teaching that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that there is salvation through no other....absolution reconciles the penitent with God directly through faith in Christ's forgiveness rather than with the priest and the church as mediating entities between the penitent and God." - Wikipedia

Colossians 1:13-20 - He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 - For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.