Saturday, June 29, 2013

Our Unshakable God

"All the plots of hell and commotions on earth have not so much as shaken God's hand to spoil one letter or line he has been drawing."

-- William Gurnall

Friday, June 28, 2013

The False Christ of Arminianism (Part II)

Learn to Answer the Right Question

Yesterday I began this post with the late "breaking news" that I may have stumbled on what must have been a well kept secret. Learning to answer the right question may be a great way to reduce the amount of vitriolic rhetoric and superfluous gasbaggery that can abound.

First, let me say that I have come to loathe labels. I do think at times labels have the tendency to be divisive. I have come to realize that many times labels can be destructive rather than "helpful." Labels can also distort valuable viewpoints and the truth.

Let me say secondly, that I think it is also fairy-tailed naivety to think that we can totally eliminate labels from our discussions. I do not think that we can completely avoid using some "labels" for accurate description of certain doctrines or teachings.

Having said that, let me say that I am in the process of preparing a new study on Paul's letter to the Roman congregations. One of the themes in Romans is that of justification. I have commenced an in-depth research and reading regiment on justification.

In doing so I was somewhat startled to see some teachings that are not only germane to the subject of justification, but how they also "nullify" justification. This realization caused me to wallow through this "discussion" and let to the following conclusions.

It took nearly five years of intense and dedicated study to finally come to the position that the "Arminian" position of salvation was not biblical. I also came to the conviction that the "doctrines of grace" contains the true New Testament Gospel. Truly, the discussion centers on two diametrically opposed positions known as monergism and synergism.

Some of you may need to forgive me because this is not the time to go into a complete description of these  positions. This was not my purpose nor promise when I began yesterday. Suffice it to say that monergism describes the doctrine that God through the Holy Spirit based on the completed work of Christ on the cross works alone to effectively bring salvation to sinners through spiritual regeneration without the help or aid of sinners. Synergism is the teaching that salvation involves cooperation of both God and the sinner, a combination of divine grace and human participation.

These teachings are in deed opposite and cannot be brought together. One is right and one is wrong. I am convicted by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit that monergism is right and synergism is wrong. Not only wrong, but damming to the soul. There is no salvation in synergism.

I was also plagued by a tremendous struggle. That struggle can be reduced to the following dilemma: since  synergism is so wrong why are there individuals who saved who hold to this position?

I think synergism and Arminianism is a very damming doctrine. There are some who call is a very cruel hoax. John Owen dismissed Arminianism with this observation:

" [the required Arminian condition of salvation] as an impossibility: it is 'as if a man should promise a blind man a thousand pounds upon condition that he will see.'" (John Owen) 

Owen called the Arminian Christ "but a half-mediator" because He procures the end of salvation but not the means to it.

Charles Spurgeon spoke of Arminianism in this manner. Spurgeon compared Arminianism and what he called Calvinism, which is really the doctrines of grace, to two bridges over a river. The Arminian bridge is wide and easy but does not bring its traveler safely to the other shore. It stops short in sight of the shore because something is left for the depraved will of the natural man to accomplish - i. e. to exercise faith in Christ by his own strength. Spurgeon went on to say that the Calvinist bridge is narrow but spans the whole river for Christ Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of salvation and justification.

It is not my desire at this time to demonstrate why Arminianism has a false Christ and is a damming doctrine nor demonstrate why the doctrines of grace reflect the very teaching of Christ and the Bible. My point is to demonstrate how I finally resolved the struggle that I dealt with these past twenty five years.

My struggle was as I said, how could Arminianism or synergism be so wrong and yet there are people saved in that "camp?" Well, I discovered I was answering the wrong question.

What is the wrong question in regards to this struggle? The wrong question is: Can Arminians be saved? Most people would say yes, even though their system and Christ is false. How can these people be truly saved? Some of course have flat out rejected their "salvation." Others have come up with terms such as "muddle-headed Arminians" meaning they are muddled in their thinking. They became believers with faulty doctrine. I ran across a term recently called "folk Arminians." This term was defined as people who have been reared under faulty theology and have never been exposed to the biblical doctrines of grace.

I struggled however with the fact that synergism is unbiblical and damming. Damming in the sense that is causes justification to rely upon the faith of a dead sinner. So how could a person be really saved by that system?

Well, here is the right question:  Are Arminians saved? No, I am not trying to be funny. First, to answer the question can Arminians be saved? No! They cannot be. Their doctrine is unbiblical, possess a false Christ and denies the depravity and deadness of a sinner relying on a sinner to cooperate with divine grace. An Arminian cannot be saved by the teachings of synergism.

Are Arminians saved? Yes! At least some. God promised to save His elect. They will not be lost. All whom God gave to Christ will be saved. The cross and the work of Christ was efficacious. All of the elect are born dead in trespasses and sin, all are under condemnation, and all need salvation. God will save His elect regardless of what system you might have been brought up in or exposed to. Somehow, God can work through faulty theology whether it be Catholic, Mormon, Pagan, Mystic, Baptist, or Arminian and save His elect.

When I came to think through this my struggle instantly ceased. Synergism and monergism are diametrically opposed. Only one can be right. The other is wrong. I no longer have to struggle with the question of how one can be truly saved and yet be Arminian in thinking. God saves sinners in spite of themselves.

I am no longer asking the question of can an Arminian be saved by a false system, to are some Arminians truly saved? 

Now the quest begins on how to educate them to biblical doctrine? Those who are God's elect and have been redeemed by the efficacious work of the cross need to be taught properly. 

So, in conclusion, at least for me, learning to answer the right question solved years of frustrating struggle.

How about you? What questions do you need to re-think through?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The False Christ of Arminianism (Part I)

Learn to Answer the Right Question!

Just yesterday, at age 58 and some plus forty years in various type of bible teaching service I learned something. Quite frankly I wish I had learned this "truth" or principle a long time ago.

What did I learn, you say? I learned that it is important if not imperative to answer the right question. Simple, right? Well, apparently not for me.

Of course sometimes the necessity lies upon the one asking the question to ask the right question. Simply because we have the "power" or ability to speak doesn't mean that we always communicate accurately. Let me illustrate what I am trying to "communicate" with an experience in my life.

In the late seventies, early eighties while in college I worked for the Alta Dena Dairy of the City of Industry (CA.) I worked in the ice cream department. In this department we "pulled" the freshly made and packaged ice cream off the conveyor belt, stacked it in pallets, and then with forklifts stored the ice cream in a large freezer. The remaining portion of our shift entailed the "pulling" of orders for various retail outlets and loading them onto semi-trucks for shipping.

Loading these trucks required a "truck shagger" to walk to the truck line, find the right truck, drive it to our loading dock and back it up (accurately) in order to secure a seal between the dock and the truck. We then loaded the semi either by hand or with a forklift.

One day, our "shagger" did not show up. We still needed to load the trucks. My supervisor asked me, "Metcalf, can you drive that truck?" Now, notice how he asked the question - "Can you drive the truck." He did not ask, "Have you ever driven a truck?" or "Do you know how to drive a truck." He didn't even ask if I could back the truck up to the dock. 

What guy doesn't love forty-five foot tractor trailers? My reply was a "truthful" one, I said "Yes!" I believed I could drive anything. Come on, how hard could it be?

First, it took me nearly thirty minutes to figure out how to start it. I kept turning the key with nothing happening. It was by accident I discovered that it had a floor switch that needed to be depressed once the key was in the on position. 

Second, I discovered that not only was it a manual transmission, it had two gear shifts. I didn't know what a "split-shift" was at that time.

Third, when I did get the truck rolling I could barely get it out of first and into second. Fortunately I didn't need to find any other gears while driving from the line to the dock.

Fourth, I had never backed-up anything that big before. However, how hard could it be? I had pulled a number of U-Haul trailers before. I knew you had to turn the wheel opposite of where the "rear" of the trailer was going.

Well, I decided the trailer was nothing more than a U-Haul trailer on steroids, so I said a prayer, gritted my teeth, and by God's grace found reverse. It has been well over thirty years since that incident therefore I can't remember how many attempts were needed before I was able to not only make straight contact with the dock but also formed a seal between the trailer and the cushions on the dock but I did.

Needless to say, after that experience (never telling the boss that was the first time I drove a split-shift and backed up a tractor- trailer) I became the designated swing shift truck shagger. All because my supervisor did not ask the "right" question. In his defense I am sure that he thought he asked the right question. 

What does this have to do with The False Christ of Arminianism? First, let me say that there is a huge gulf between the underlying theology of Arminianism and the theology of the biblical doctrines of grace.

Second, I have come to understand clearly that these "doctrines" or teachings are diametrically opposed. They cannot be synthesized. One is true while the other is false.

Third, because many people who are truly saved were exposed or saved with some type of Arminian flavor. Because of this truth many believers stop short of calling Arminianism a false gospel.

I have struggled with this myself for a long time. Well, yesterday I realized what was causing my struggle. I was focused on the wrong question concerning this issue. Yesterday, I discovered the question that really needed to be asked. Once I saw this, the entire struggle instantly ceased. 

So, tomorrow, Lord willing in Part Two I will divulge both the wrong question and then the right question. 

Will You Join Me?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Is All the Fuss About?

Supreme Court Trumps God!


All ready the articles, blogs, and postings are already starting. Why are you so surprised? Why are you so outraged? Why are you reacting as if chicken little's sky is falling?

Yes, as expected DOMA was declared unconstitutional. Homosexual marriages have been deemed by the Supreme Court to be treated the same as heterosexual marriages. This should come as a great disappointment, but not as some huge surprise. Nor should it be considered as "trumping" God or redefining marriage.

God's Word, God's laws, God's righteousness, and God's holiness is still the same. The penalties and consequences for violating God's word, law, righteousness, and holiness remain the same. God's standards for marriage remain the same today as they did when He gave them in Genesis.

Listen, the Bible has made it very clear that man has a fallen and sinful nature. Every human being is born spiritually dead. There is no human being alive who seeks after the God of the Bible. There is no human being alive that seeks God's standards. Every human being is born as a God-hater, who hates the "Light" and loves the darkness.

No one suddenly jumped up and by a 5-4 decision trumped God or redefined marriage. No one suddenly decided that a homosexual union is a better idea than a union of one man and one woman until death does them part. The legalization or Supreme Court recognition may have been a long time coming, but this "rejection" of God's laws and standards is not new nor is it surprising.

Have you forgotten what Paul said in Romans, Chapter One? 

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be know of God is manifest in them for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of hte world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lusts of their fown heart, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who [don't miss it - here it comes] exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever, amen." (Romans 1:18-22, 24-25, NKJV)

Mankind did not choose to "trump" God today by a 5-4 decision. Nor did mankind choose to redefine marriage today. Mankind did not choose to reject God, His Word, or His opinion today. Mankind did this some 6,000 years ago in the Garden of Eden and mankind has been doing it since then. 

The Romans passage tells us that man viewed God and the evidence of God and after viewing that evidence decided to reject God. Since creation man has suppressed, spurned, and subverted the truth of God. 

Today's decision doesn't change a thing. When my wife presents the lease agreement and all of its accompanying documents and we come to the Lead-base paint disclosure and she tells them about the legal mumbo jumbo in the form, I tell them,"Heck, you don't need to know all that legalese about lead-based paint - just don't eat the paint." Well, when it comes to the decisions and behaviors that violate God's standards - don't do them.

I am not trying to be flippant or disrespectful. I am trying to say that this is no surprise to me. Human beings are doing exactly what their nature compels them to do. The lost are in bondage to their sin nature. They are in Adam. They are in and under the rule and reign of sin. As a Christian you are not - you are in Christ. You are no longer under the rule and reign of sin. You are now in and under the rule and reign of righteousness.

Don't attempt to win a battle and loose a "war." We need to continue to preach and proclaim God's standards and yes, also the penalty and consequences for violating those standards. Preach the gospel. Share the love of God.

Remember, the Supreme Court ruling did not change a thing.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:10, NKJV) See, nothing has changed! God's standards, laws, or as one blog put it, God's opinion is the same - it has not changed nor been trumped.

If a man or a woman suppresses or spurns or subverts the truth, laws, standards, or opinions of God so be it. The penalty for doing so remains the same. And that should break our heart. Even if we say with God a hearty Amen, it should be tears in our eyes and compassion in our heart for those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will be dammed forever.

Besides, if you like that passage from Paul, don't forget verse eleven:

"And such were some of you." Please don't be self-righteous or unbiblically angry - you once also were dammed and banned from the kingdom of heaven. "But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11, NKJV)

Wow! I was once in bondage to the master of sin, in slavery to sin. I was once in and under the rule and reign of sin. But now I am justified. I am dead to the rule and reign of sin. I am dead, no longer a man in Adam. I am in Christ, a man of Christ. I am now in the rule and reign of Christ. (No, I do not believe I am now sinless or that I don't sin)

Our message to the Supreme Court and to any sinner, heterosexual or homosexual, is that God is God and is holy, righteous, just, and yes merciful. Repent or you will perish. Remember, 

"Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalms 126:6, NKJV)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Good Soil of Sin

Over the last forty (40) years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty (40) years.


Sin stems from:

  • a contempt of God's person
  • a despising of God's glory
  • a preference of things (rather than God)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Paul, I think I know how you feel

We have all heard at one time or another a trite but well meaning sentiment reduced in a single statement. We may have even verbalized this statement ourselves. I have no doubt that in almost every circumstance and situation it was meant to be a comfort to the one whom it was said. What sentiment am I speaking of? I know how you feel.

With no criticism intended to those who have felt compelled to utter these words, I hope to share a few thoughts of my heart.

Paul wrote, "I am speaking the truth in Christ - I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit - that I have great sorrow and unceasing anquish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsman according to the flesh." (Romans 9:1-2, ESV)

I have been reading and meditating through Paul's letter to the congregations in Rome for the past several months. I will be finishing up chapter six in the next few days. For weeks now I am been reveling in the doctrine of justification. 

There was a time where every believer in the pew and every preacher in the pulpit knew the extreme importance of this doctrine. A. W. Pink wrote, "There was a time, not so long ago, when the blessed truth of justification was one of the best known doctrines of the Christian faith, when it was regularly  expounded by the preachers and when the rank and file of church-goers were familiar with its leading aspects." 1

It seems today this is as far from the truth as it can be. This great doctrine of the reformation is at best blurred and twisted, and at worst denied. What would Paul think?

From what I have adduced from days and days of wading through these first six chapters of this letter, I have concluded, that Paul felt this doctrine was so vital that he went to great lengths to show how the denial and perversion of justification by the Jews was the foremost reason that the Jews were rejected by God. Paul in both his letters to the Romans and to the Galatians defended this doctrine. Not only did Paul vigorously defend the doctrine of justification he disputed with those who attacked this bible doctrine. He maintained that the subversion or rejection of this doctrine was fatal to the sinner.

My heart is broken for those who today in one form or another deny this great teaching of the Bible. In some small almost unimaginable way, I could say to Paul I know how you feel. 

Countless thousands of human beings deny the fullness and efficaciousness of this great doctrine. They either flat out deny this truth or they attempt to circumvent it by their own efforts.

If the church today is going to have any hope of a revival (which I don't think it will) it will be due to the effectual preaching of the doctrine of justification. I can only hope and fervently pray for individual believers and small pockets of congregations be reformed and visited by the Holy Spirit as they expound once again this great doctrine.

1 The Doctrines of Election and Justification, A. W. Pink, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), p.185

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Blessed Doctrine of Justification

Sunday Sermon...

Some sermons are long and some are short but to be effective they must contain Spirit-filled power and soul wrenching truth. I believe this paragraph written by A. W. Pink qualifies as a Spirit-filled and soul wrenching sermon of truth.

"When God Himself becomes a living reality unto the soul, when His awful majesty, ineffable holiness, inflexible justice, and sovereign authority, are really perceived, even though most inadequately, indifference to His claims now gives place to a serious concern. When there is a due sense of the greatness of our apostasy from God, of the depravity of our nature, of the power and vileness of sin, of the spirituality and strictness of the law, and of the everlasting burnings awaiting God's enemies, the awakened soul cries out, 'Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams. or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born form many transgressions, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?'" (Micah 6:6, 7) Then it is that the poor soul cries out, 'How then can a man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" (Job 25:4) And it is in the blessed doctrine which is now before us that we are taught the method whereby a sinner may obtain peace with his Maker and rise to the possession of eternal life."

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Root of Holiness

"Prayer - secret, fervent, believing prayer - lies at the  root of all personal holiness."

-- William Carey

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kel-Tech PF 9 Blog

My funny bone was tickled rather vigorously a couple days ago when a Portland (OR) TV station linked a story of a controversial neighbor block in Milwaukee, OR. I don't have a Glock for my Block, but I thought it was only fair to post my own sign regarding the Gospel-driven Disciples as a warning!

This is a Kel-Tech PF 9 Blog

We don't call 911 either!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Am Not A Kanye

"Yesterday, Kanye West's latest album Yeezus dropped with the third track titled, 'I Am A God' (Feat. God)." The song has already sparked reaction and has been likened to John Lennon's remarks about the Beatles being 'more popular than Jesus.' But maybe Kanye's song is something we identify with more than we'd like to admit?" (Odd Thomas in Resurgence Blog)

Kanye's song includes the blasphemous and ludicrous lines:

I'm not the most high,
but I'm a close high.

Apparently Odd Thomas is telling us not to be so quick to be offended and angry at Kanye or his so called "song." Odd Thomas writes, "As we survey the culture and pass judgment, it is easy to bypass the issues of our own hearts (Jer, 17:9). The tings in the culture that offend us most can often act as a mirror into our own souls."

After some fluff and filler Odd Thomas encourages us to "repent of our own idolatry and look to the one who truly sits high above the heavens on his eternal throne. So when the radio plays 'I Am a God' fifty times a day, remember your idolatry. Remember we are a Kanye, and remember the length to which God went to save us from our sins."

First, let me say that I think I understand what Odd Thomas may be trying to say with his article. There is no doubt that believers fall into sin, even the grossest of sins such as idolatry. Anytime that we exalt something over God we are guilty of idolatry. I believe that we can use situations and circumstances like these to check our own "spiritual temperature."

Second, I am offended not by Kanye's lyrics or song. As one that is in bondage to sin Kanye is responding in the only way that he is able. I am not surprised by his "statement," I am grieved. Grieved by the fact that as a prisoner of sin, held in bondage, and ruled by sin this is his worldview. Yes, I feel righteous indignation that God's character is maligned by such sentiment.

I do take offense at the fact that Odd Thomas wants me to think I am "a Kanye." I dare say I think that Odd Thomas truly is sincere and believes what he blogged. He thinks that we are Kanyes at worst and yet forgiven by Christ's shed blood at best .

No, Odd Thomas, I am not a schizophrenic. Romans 6:6 says very clearly that I am dead. I was crucified with Christ. The old man was put to death.

"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Romans 6:6, Geneva Bible, 1599)

Knowing this, that our old man was crucified. Paul did not write "is crucified" or "will be crucified." Paul used an aorist or past tense. The action (crucifixion) is in the past. It has happened. Why were we crucified? So that the body of sin might be destroyed, or better, disannulled, be rendered void or ineffective.

What does Paul mean by "old man?" These words have caused more people to expound bad theology and to work themselves into a frenzy in trying to kill something that is already dead. People throughout history have tried to kill off or get rid of "the old man."

First of all, Paul does not mean the sinful or carnal nature and all its propensities towards sin. Paul is not saying the sin nature was crucified. Second, to debug an old theological theory, he did not mean the old man to be our "old moral self prior to being born again." What does Paul mean?

If you look carefully at the context which begins at chapter five and verse twelve it becomes crystal clear. The old man that Paul refers to is that man that I use to be in Adam. I was a man in Adam but look at the context clearly, I am now a man in Christ. The old man was what I once was but which I am no longer.

When I was born I was born into Adam and Adam's race. I "inherited" all of the characteristics of a man in Adam. This included the fact that sin and the penalty for sin, death, was attached to me. I was under the rule or reign of Adam.

As a Christian I am no longer in Adam. Why? Romans chapter six and verse three, "Know ye not,. that all we which have been baptized into Jesus Christ, have been baptized into his death."

I, a man in Adam died when I was baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ's death. I am now a man of Christ. I am under the rule and reign and sphere of Jesus Christ. I am not under the rule and reign of Adam. I died with Christ, my old man, my Adamic nature, the man I was by birth was joined and united to was crucified together with Christ.

What I was in Adam, my old humanity, the man that was born under the law, who was born in sin, who was born under condemnation, the man that sinned with Adam, and as a result earned all the consequences of Adam's sin, that man who was under the wrath and condemnation of God died with Christ! Hallelujah!

I am no longer that man. I am a new man in Christ.

So what does Galatians 5:24 mean? Paul tells us very clearly that we have to put to death (crucify) the flesh with its affections and lusts. That has not been crucified or put to death. The sin nature with all of its propensities is still active and alive. The old man means the old humanity or the man that I was in Adam.

You need to note several things at this point.

First, as a new man in Christ by our new birth, we are freed from the penalty of sin, death, and the power of sin. We have been removed from the bondage, from the rule and reign of sin. We are no longer apart of the sphere governed or ruled by all that is Adam. Why? We are a new creature. 

Second, we have not been removed from the presence of sin. We are told more than once to kill, mortify, or crucify the flesh. We are never told to crucify the old man. The old man that I was in Adam has died once and forever.

Third, this is why Paul tells us to reckon or consider ourselves to be dead to the rule and reign of the sphere of Adam. And we are to reckon or consider ourselves alive to the rule and reign of Christ.

Fourth, the man that you were in Adam has gone out of existence, he has no reality. We need to stop living as if we were in that sphere or realm and begin living in the realm and sphere that we are now placed in Christ.

Fifth, this does not mean that we will not be involved in an on-going warfare with the sin nature that still resides in our flesh. The battle with sin continues. Sin and death still reigns in our body of flesh.

See, when Adam sinned, sin gained a complete mastery over Adam. Sin dominated him, sin was in control. Those in Adam are under the rule and reign of sin. The appetites control those who are in Adam and they have no recourse.

When you are in Christ things are different. We are dead to sin as a realm or reign. Unfortunately sin is still in my mortal body, in my "members" as Paul calls them influencing the lusts and appetites of the flesh.

What has all this to do with our disagreement with Odd Thomas? I am glad you asked! First of all, we are not a "God." Odd Thomas knows that and you and I know that. In reading and studying Romans six I am also not a Kanye. Kanye is in Adam. He is in the realm, the sphere, the rule and the reign of Adam. As a man in Adam, Kayne, among other things is in fact an idolater. 

I am not in Adam nor am I an idolater. As a man in Christ however, the appetites and lusts which remain in my flesh at times lure and entice me to satisfy those lusts and appetites which include idolatry. Even thought I am not in bondage to sin and nor am I ruled by it, there are times I do "give into it" and I sin. I am sure more than once as a man in Christ I have been guilty of idolatry.

I think I know what Odd Thomas wanted to say and accomplish. I do need to check my heart and my life and make sure that there is nothing in my life that leads to envy or covetousness which is idolatry.  

I was a Kanye. I am a Christian. Like Paul, I too cry out often to be delivered from the body of this death.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Metcalf's Mark Milestone!

Metcalf’s Celebrate 40th Wedding Anniversary 

Gregg and Irene Metcalf of Kelso, WA celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on June 18th, 2013, on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Dinner Train, Engine #15.

Gregg and Irene met in Mexican-American history class at Andrew Hill High School, San Jose, CA. Irene was a junior and Gregg was a freshman. Irene is the former Irene Hernandez Torres.

Gregg observed Irene in class on day and turned to a friend and said, “I am going to marry that girl.” They went “steady” in high school.

The couple was married on June 18th, 1973 at the Tar Landing Baptist Church, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The bride is the daughter of the late Rudolph “Paul” and Lupe Torres of San Jose, CA. The groom is the son of Glenn and Evelyn Metcalf of Modesto, CA.

The couple made their home in San Jose, CA for two years following Gregg’s honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps @ MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina.

In August 1978 the couple moved to Los Angeles (Pomona, then West Covina) California in order to attend Bible College. Gregg is a graduate of Shasta Bible College in Redding, CA. Gregg has served as an assistant pastor and senior pastor in churches in California and Washington. Gregg spent many years in the Car Business as both Salesman and Sales Manager and in the Mortgage Industry, eventually owning his own Mortgage brokerage. Irene worked briefly as an assembly worker in the Silicon Valley. She has been a homemaker throughout their marriage. The couple now resides in Kelso, WA.

The couple raised four daughters, Shannon (Vancouver, WA), Sonja (Portland, OR), Sharon (Joilet, IL), and Stacy (Vancouver, WA). They now have four grandchildren, Madilynn, Gregory, Brytanny, and Diontre.

Monday, June 17, 2013

"In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, and in water is bacteria."

Now you know why I love a good Merlot! 

--Ben Franklin

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Good Days...Bad Days - God Is Always Gracious

"Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace."

--- Jerry Bridges

Friday, June 14, 2013

We Double-dare you? You have got to be kidding, right?

Here is one more "stupid pet-trick" to log in your journal of what's wrong with the church today. Apparently an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, Erik Stanley challenged
pastors across the nation to "Preach Politics" on what he has dubbed "Freedom Sunday (June 9th, 2013.)

First, let me say I missed this little "tid-bit" somehow and was unaware of this latest challenge to the church. Second, I would have given almost anything to have been able to preach this past Sunday. Why, so that I could preach politics? Absolutely not! I would have taken a "double-dare" to preach the Word of God.

Stanley wanted pastors to "sign-up" and preach in order to encourage the IRS to lodge complaints against pastors so that the Alliance Defending Freedom could take their cases to Federal Courts. Why? Stanley and the ADF want to challenge and overturn the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment prohibits pastors from speaking on politics from the pulpit. 

I am not saying that as preachers that we should not preach what is contained in the Word of God. Issues such as marriage, purity, homosexuality, abortion, death-penalty, holiness, and such should be preached and taught. I am a great supporter and proponent of preaching all of God's Word. I am also not saying that we as American's cannot or should not utilize the rights and opportunities that we have as citizens.

The pulpit however is not the place for politics. The pulpit is to proclaim the word of God accurately and powerfully. If a theme or text is "dubbed" as political we are still called upon by God to preach it and let the "chips" fall where they may. 

I shudder to think that pastors may need to be "double-dared" to preach the word of God. I shudder to think that we may have a repeat or resurgence of the Fallwellian "Moral Majority." 

What is my suggestion for Mr. Erik Stanely and the Alliance Defending Freedom? Forget trying to sign up pastors for such a challenge (however according to approximately 1,000 pastors did sign up) and demanding that they preach "politics." Challenge pastors to accurately, prayerfully, and powerfully exegete and exposit biblical texts. Then, when a pastor is charged with violating the Johnson Amendment defend him. I abhor any idea that would use the pulpit for political purposes, even the overturning of a bad amendment.

Stanley is quoted as saying, "Yet every day that pastors are intimidated into silence on issues like life, liberty, the family, marriage is another day the cultural erosion continues unchecked." No Mr. Stanley, a true pastor, a real shepherd would never be intimidated nor silenced when he came to a text that contained God's revelation. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Christ Alone

Theological Thursdays

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12, NKJV)

Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. This is a Latin phrase that literally means, "outside the church there is no salvation." This statement is commonly attributed to Cyprian in the third century. This statement is connected to another dogmatic position of Cyprian, "You cannot have God for your Father unless you have the church for your Mother. His position which overtook much of Christendom was that   the church was like an ark. Anyone outside of the ark could not be saved.

The theology of this phrase is directed towards those who do not accept the discipline, hierarchy, and sacraments of the Roman Catholic church. Therefore the phrase was applied to any who were considered to be "schismatics."

Among those who affirmed this position was Augustine. In 1442 Pope Boniface VIII upheld this position based on the Council of Florence. It was applied during the Reformation period to any and all who separated from the Church at Rome.

It is interesting that as Universalists are elected as Pope that some wiggle room has been introduced to extra ecclesiam nulla salus. After Vatican II some attempts have been made to suggest the possibility of salvation outside of the Roman Catholic church by Catholic theologians.

The sad truth is that there is no salvation in Roman Catholic doctrine. Sadly, the Roman position on justification and atonement places salvation out of reach.

The scripture is clear. Jesus Christ and Christ alone is the means by which atonement is made for men. God declares men to be just by faith in the atoning work of Christ. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus is to be soundly rejected.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Art" Student

Over the last forty (40) years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty (40) years.


May I learn the holy art of abiding in thee; of being in the world and not of it, of making everything not only consistent with, but conducive to my "religion."

Sunday, June 9, 2013

God is Good

"God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of Him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows, but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean."

-- Johnathan Edwards,
The Works of Jonathan Edwards,  Vol. 17;
Sermons and Discourses, 1730-1733

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Blessings of Our Union with Christ

“Evangelism is not simply saying, ‘Come to Christ; He will do this, that, and the other for you.’ No! The glorious thing about salvation is that I am taken out of Adam, that have finished with him, and am dead to sin. I am in Christ, and all the blessings that come to me come because of my union with Christ.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wonderful Words of Life!

“From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and know that You are the living God.’” (John 6:66-69, NKJV)

The story goes that Fleming H. Revell, brother-in-law of D. L. Moody and a Christian publisher was going to launch a new Sunday School Paper. Revell wanted a song that would highlight the immediate focus of the new publication.

The name of the paper was to be Words of Life with its emphasis being the vital importance of studying God’s Word. Mr. Revell went to Philip Bliss and asked him to write a song for the paper giving him the text of John 6:66 as the basis.

Bliss worked on the project and wrote a song called Wonderful Words of Life. He was able to tie in the theme of the new paper in verses two and three.

It was a simple yet effective song. After the issue of the first publication the song was all but forgotten. Until one day when Revell gave a copy of the song to another gospel song writer, George Stebbins. Stebbins began using the song Wonderful Words of Life in his evangelistic meetings. He and his wife (Elma) would sing it as a duet. From that exposure Bliss’s song became popular.

Sing them over again to me, Wonderful words of life
Let me more of their beauty see, Wonderful words of life
Words of life and beauty, Teach me faith and duty,
Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life,
Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's A Miracle!

Teen, 17 Who Died In Christ,
Resurrected From the Dead

A San Jose, CA teenager who had been baptized into Christ Jesus and baptized into His death has been resurrected from the dead, Romans 6:4, 5 reported.

Gregory Dean Metcalf, 17, was convicted of his sin and offense against a righteous God after hearing a gospel message had been pronounced baptized into Christ’s death by the Holy Spirit.

Then, instantaneously Metcalf was resurrected to newness of life.

“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of his death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection…” (Romans 6:4, 5, NKJV)

Larry Harper, assistant pastor and Bus Director of United Baptist Church assisted the teen in understanding the gospel in his office on Wednesday evening, April 12th, 2972. Harper declared Metcalf’s resurrection from the dead as “Another miracle by the grace of God.”

Metcalf was led to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism (immersion) on Sunday morning, April 16th, 1972. He was encouraged to live his life worthy of the One who had translated him from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son.

“Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I am amazed, grateful, and humbled,” Metcalf said. “To God be the glory for ever and ever Amen,” he added.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How Dangerous Is My Job?

Over the last forty (40) years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty (40) years.


Let not my temporal occupation injure my spiritual concerns, or the cares of this life make me neglect the one thing needful.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Gregory Metcalf "Dead" at 17

Obituary Notice

Gregory Dean Metcalf

This is a late notice of a death that occurred in San Jose, CA on April 12, 1972. The decedent died as a result of actions that took place approximately April 14, AD 32 on Mt. Calvary, in the city of Jerusalem. 

"How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death" (Romans 6:2, 3 NKJV)

Local San Jose resident, Gregory Dean Metcalf, 17, was slain on April 12, 1972, at the United Baptist Church.

He was first born February 3, 1955 in Salem, Ohio into a life of bondage to sin and the desires of his flesh. He lived for 17 years as a prisoner to sin under the judgment and condemnation of God.

Gregory served himself, taking great pains to please his fleshly desires. He had no desire to fight against them and to seek better things such as the things of the Holy Spirit of God. His only thoughts were of himself and how he could pamper his flesh.

However, on April 12, 1972, on a Wednesday evening after a sound preaching of the gospel, Gregory was “killed” as the Holy Spirit applied the atoning work of Jesus Christ to his dead, lifeless soul. Gregory was born a second time, aka born again.

He was baptized into the death of Christ and at that time he was joined in union with Christ and was adopted into Jesus Christ. Gregory’s sin was imputed to Jesus Christ and the righteousness of Jesus Christ was imputed to him at that time.

Gregory is a member of the body of Christ. He is survived by Jesus Christ who is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, which provided Gregory with eternal life.

Gregory was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn F. Metcalf and Evelyn L. (Reed) Metcalf who also were born dead in trespasses and sin who now temporarily reside in Modesto, CA awaiting their relocation to the very presence of God in heaven where they will be forever more.

No memorial service is needed or requested since a great celebration; including singing by the angels of God occurred the moment Gregory by the gift of faith trusted Jesus Christ as his savior.

Arrangements are by our Sovereign God who in eternity past elected Gregory to salvation, provided a sure and certain efficacious sacrifice which pleased and appeased God the Father, and who irresistibly drew Gregory unto Himself by the Holy Spirit, and who now works to preserve Gregory until his death or the rapture.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Review: The Puritans: Their Origins and Sucessors

Title:  The Puritans:  Their Origins and Sucessors

Author:  Martyn Lloyd-Jones

First Copyright:  1987

Pages:  411

Type of Book:  Hardback

General Subject Matter:  Historical, Theological

Special Features:  None

Price:  $28.00

ISBN:  0-85151-496-0

This book is a collection of messages that were delivered by the now deceased Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Lloyd-Jones was a former pastor of Westminster Chapel and the key-note speaker of the Puritan and Westminster Conferences. These conferences ran from 1959-1978. This volume consists of nineteen messages.

The Conference began as interest in the writings of the English Puritans gained popularity amongst a group of students who were members of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union. These students developed an interest in the writings of the Puritans, particularly John Owen and Richard Baxter.

There is no particular theme to this book. Therefore  there is also no particular thesis to this book. Each message has its own theme and thesis.

There is no means or method of development as such since this again is not a book, but a collection of messages.

I found each message to be interesting and informative. I enjoyed reading them and actually learned quite a bit. Lloyd-Jones chose topics of interest, value, and historical significance to speak on during these conferences. The publishers chose nineteen of the best of these addresses for this collection.

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (20 December 1899 – 1 March 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London.

I heartily recommend this book to any reader. The wide variety, careful preparation, intelligence, and wit of Dr. Lloyd-Jones makes this a great read for anyone.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Is Your Soul Awake? Time to Rise and Shine!

Awake, my soul! stretch every nerve, And press with vigour on; A heavenly race demands thy zeal, And an immortal crown.

--Phillip Doddridge