Episode 243

Disciple Up # 243
Deconstructing Christianity – Nothing New
By Louie Marsh, 1-26-2022

Websites Used:

https://medium.com/backyard-theology/how-to-deconstruct-christianity-5a5bc498c86d

https://www.lffellowship.com/blog/2019/8/7/on-christian-deconstruction

https://churchleaders.com/news/413880-lecrae-deconstruction-isnt-a-bad-thing-if-it-leads-to-reconstruction.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quest_for_the_historical_Jesus

Introduction to this:

  • I heard about this so-called “deconstruction” movement just recently. I hadn’t known it was a big thing now days.
  • However, being old and having studied church history, both of which most deconstructionists can’t claim for themselves, I immediately recognized what was going on here.

A Little History:

 The idea of deconstructing your faith is anything but new. It’s been going on for centuries and has come in several waves. What we are seeing today is just the latest version of this.

Deconstructing the Deconstructionists:

https://medium.com/backyard-theology/how-to-deconstruct-christianity-5a5bc498c86d

The author is a self-described medium. That means he seeks to allow spirits to speak through him. Supposedly contacts the dead, etc.

What does the Bible say about mediums?  “31“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31, ESV)

19And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isaiah 8:19, ESV)

20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:20–21, ESV)

8But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”” (Revelation 21:8, ESV)

Keep this in mind as we go through this article.

Of course there are different Jesus’s running around the landscape. There always have been and always will be till the real one comes back again.

3But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” (2 Corinthians 11:3–4, ESV)

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Episode 209

Disciple Up # 209
Wrestling with Scripture
By Louie Marsh, 5-5-2021

 Intro. Excerpts from the article I’m discussing today, with a link to it below. Also some links to John Stott’s books are below as well. 

John Stott Would Want Us to Stop, Study, and Struggle

JOHN W. YATES III

APRIL 26, 2021

It was a bitterly cold January afternoon and rain was pinging sideways off the windows when John Stott emerged from his study. It was teatime, and a large pot was brewing on the small counter of the kitchenette of The Hermitage, Uncle John’s cozy living quarters in one of the old farm buildings at the Hookses, his rural retreat in Wales.

“Oh JY,” John said to me, wearily, rubbing his temples, “I have a terrible case of PIM.” His acronym stood for pain in the mind. It was his way of describing what it felt like to wrestle over a difficult writing project or a seemingly intractable problem, and it was a phrase I knew well after 18 months working as John’s study assistant.

Over tea, we discussed the progress he had made that day and the state of my research on the chapter he would tackle the following day. We also indulged in shortbread cookies (which were known to be an effective treatment for PIM). As he rose to return to work, he patted down the white tufts of hair he had disturbed at his temples and said.

“JY, there are certain tasks which cannot be done without acute pain in the mind. They are rarely fun, but always worthwhile.”

Another favorite acronym of John’s was BBC. He took delight in explaining that this did not stand for the British Broadcasting Corporation, but rather for balanced biblical Christianity. John was not afraid of taking an unpopular stance if Scripture required it. But he never rushed into an opinion. In his quest for a balanced and biblical Christianity, he worked tirelessly to understand every perspective on a topic before coming to a carefully considered judgment rooted in Scripture.

In an age of sound bites and Twitter feeds, many Christian leaders are so busy trying to keep up with current events that few of us take time to stop, to study, and to struggle for the sake of teaching God’s people. All too often, we take a side and stick to it without the discipline of listening or questioning our instincts. The thin veneer of our discipleship is showing cracks as a result.

In this complex and constantly changing world, we do not need more commentary. We need more pain in the mind. John was willing to endure this pain, not just in the quiet of his study, but also in the company of others. He understood that the work of preaching and teaching requires the steadfast suffering of careful thinking.

John Yates is the rector of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He served as John Stott’s study assistant from 1996 to 1999

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/april-web-only/john-stott-100-pain-in-mind-balanced-biblical-christianity.html

Some Books By John Stott

The Cross of Christ:

https://www.amazon.com/Cross-Christ-John-Stott/dp/083083320X/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=John+Stott&qid=1620083222&sr=8-2

The Message of the Sermon on the Mount:

https://www.amazon.com/Message-Sermon-Mount-Bible-Speaks/dp/0830824235/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=John+Stott&qid=1620083268&sr=8-10

Your Mind Matters:

https://www.amazon.com/Your-Mind-Matters-Christian-Classics/dp/0830834087/ref=sr_1_18?dchild=1&keywords=John+Stott&qid=1620083268&sr=8-18

Between Two Worlds: (excellent book on how to preach)

https://www.amazon.com/Between-Two-Worlds-John-Stott/dp/0802875521/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=John+Stott&qid=1620083268&sr=8-13

 

 

 

Episode 187

Disciple Up # 187
What About Repentance, Works & Salvation?
By Louie Marsh, 11-25-2020

Intro. Happy Thanksgiving!

An E-mail comes in:

Hello louie this is josh again and I have been struggling to understand this topic that I have came apon concerning ones salvation. The topic is a few questions, are we saved in just believing in christ or Is repentance required for salvation? Roman’s 10:9-13. In this passage Paul does not mention repentance as a need for salvation. Is believing enough or is there more we need to do to be saved?

What got me thinking about this was this video I watched on this topic, which I would like for you to watch and see if what his is saying is right

Mike, holdingfirmly channel on YouTube

If You Do Well Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOAdqrvjUn0&feature=youtu.be

“The Great deception among most Professed Christians is they refuse to recognize that Patient Continuance in Doing Well is the determining factor on whether or not they will enter the Kingdom of God. They think Salvation is a Package deal, that once they ‘receive Jesus forgiveness of past, present and future sins is assured and nothing they do or don’t do from that point forward has any bearing on the outcome of their inheritance of eternal life. Under the ‘not of works’, collective reasoning ‘doing well’ may be a by-product of Faith, but its never a necessity in that ‘NOT doing well will disqualify them form the Kingdom.”

Mistakes – “he told Cain to do well which he wouldn’t have done if he had a sin nature.” BUT Jesus regularly told people who were fallen to “go and sin not.” Plus later he says the whole structure of the Scriptures is God telling us to do well, but that contradicts which said about Cain.

“God expects an increase of His grace.”  What does that even mean? How can you or I increase God’s grace since that comes from him and is a part of him?

This is based on a misunderstanding of the Old Testament Covenants (yes, there were more than one) and the New Testament covenant of Jesus.

He only quotes part of this passage and then concludes that the disciples were able to deal with sin –

21And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”” (Matthew 20:21–23, ESV)

– when the passage proves the opposite! Great example of Is eisegesis – forming an opinion and then forcing it upon the text.

This man cannot properly interpret Scripture.

He either doesn’t know about or ignores one of the primary rules of interpretation of Scripture which is: You interpret the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. Not the other way around, which is what he does.

He points out that in the OT you had to work to be saved or in the kingdom, then he quotes Jesus to support this (mangling His words as seen above) and then concludes he’s right. He forgets or ignores that Jesus lived under the Old Covenant and spoke to people who lived under it too!

It’s not till He rises from the grave that the New Covenant takes effect.

They FAILED when they betrayed Christ!

I’m not saying he’s bad or evil or is deliberately trying to mislead. I am saying he’s wrong, woefully wrong and in a way that anyone who’s taken even ONE class on how to interpret the Bible ought to be able to see.

Josh’s Questions:

Are we saved in just believing in Christ or Is repentance required for salvation? Roman’s 10:9-13. In this passage Paul does not mention repentance as a need for salvation. Is believing enough or is there more we need to do to be saved?

  1. Does God expect an increase of his grace?
  2. Can you be saved in your sin by faith alone?
  3. Are there deeds required in faithfulness.

Watch out for Proof Texting

A proof text is a passage of scripture presented as proof for a theological doctrine, belief, or principle.  Proof texting (sometimes “proof-texting” or “proof texting”) is the practice of using isolated, out-of-context quotations from a document to establish a proposition in eisegesis (introducing one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases). Such quotes may not accurately reflect the original intent of the author, and a document quoted in such a manner, when read as a whole, may not support the proposition for which it was cited. The term has currency primarily in theological and exegetical circles.

8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”” (Romans 10:8–11, ESV)

Notice that this doesn’t mention repentance. So is it really necessary? Proof texters would say this proves it’s not important! But they taking the wrong approach. You need to look at all the verses on this subject and see what they say. Note that this verse doesn’t say you have to ask God to forgive your sins either.

Is that now something we don’t do?

Repentance is one of the things we do, along with believing, confessing and being baptized, that we do when we make Jesus the Lord of our lives.

  1. Does God expect an increase of his grace?

Honestly and sincerely I don’t know what this means.

20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” (Romans 5:20, ESV)

15For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15, ESV)

6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,” (Colossians 1:6, ESV)

  1. Can you be saved in your sin by faith alone?

I already answered this.

  1. Are there deeds required in faithfulness?

14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:14–19, ESV)

26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:26, ESV)

You aren’t saved by works, but your works prove your faith. That’s it and that’s all.

This guys “Doing Well” stuff has another fatal flaw in it that I’ve save for now – HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE DONE WELL ENOUGH TO BE SAVED?

 He gives no standard for us to look too. There’s nothing about that in the Bible. So you are left up on your own never being sure if you are accepted by God or not.

You don’t have to have read much of the NT to see that this kind of insecurity isn’t typical of the language used about salvation. If he’s right then no one can ever know they are saved since they cannot know if they done well enough.

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Episode 177

Disciple Up # 177
Greater Than – Hebrews Pt. 1 – Prologue
By Louie Marsh, 9-16-2020

Intro.

Prologue

Hebrews 1: 1-4

1  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4  having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV)

VERSE ONE:

1  Long ago,  – God has been communicating with mankind for a long, long time, nothing new about it.

 at many times He didn’t do it all at once but scattered the prophets and others throughout Israel’s history.

 and in many ways,

 This refers to the difference of the various revelations in contents and form. Not the different ways in which God imparted his revelations to the prophets, but the different ways in which he spoke by the prophets to the fathers: in one way through Moses, in another through Elijah, in others through Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc. At the founding of the Old Testament kingdom of God, the character of the revelation was elementary. Later it was of a character to appeal to a more matured spiritual sense, a deeper understanding and a higher conception of the law. The revelation differed according to the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of the covenant-people.   Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

10  so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:10 (ESV)

A very striking phrase. The adjective occurs only here, and means variegated. It is applied to pictures, flowers, garments. Ποίκιλον is used in the Septuagint of Joseph’s coat, Genesis 37:3. Through the Church God’s wisdom in its infinite variety is to be displayed—the many-tinted wisdom of God—in different modes of power, different characters, methods of training, providences, forms of organization,   Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

 God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

“In many ways.” Adverb from old adjective polutropos, in Philo, only here in N.T. The two adverbs together are “a sonorous hendiadys for ‘variously'” (Moffatt) as Chrysostom (diaphorōs). God spoke by dream, by direct voice, by signs, in different ways to different men (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, etc.). –  Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

VERSE TWO:

 2  but in these last days

Yes, we are living in the Last days and have been for over 2000 years.

16  But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17  “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18  even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16-18 (ESV)

he has spoken to us by his Son,

Hath spoken (elalēsen). First aorist indicative of laleō, the same verb as above, “did speak” in a final and full revelation – Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Note the absence of the article. Attention is directed, not to Christ’s divine personality, but to his filial relation. While the former revelation was given through a definite class, the prophets, the new revelation is given through one who is a son as distinguished from a prophet. He belongs to another category. The revelation was a son-revelation. See 2:10-18. Christ’s high priesthood is the central fact of the epistle, and his sonship is bound up with his priesthood… – Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

whom he appointed the heir of all things,

Hath appointed (ethēken). First aorist (kappa aorist) active of tithēmi, a timeless aorist.

Heir of all things (klēronomon pantōn). See Mark 12:6 for ho klēronomos in Christ’s parable, perhaps an allusion here to this parable (Moffatt). The idea of sonship easily passes into that of heirship (Galatians 4:7; Romans 8:17). See the claim of Christ in Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:18 even before the Ascension. –  Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

27  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matthew 11:27 (ESV)

through whom also he created the world. Hebrews 1:2 (ESV)

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (ESV)

VERSE THREE:

 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,

The word apaugasma, late substantive from apaugazō, to emit brightness (augē, augazō in 2 Cor. 4:4), here only in the N.T., but in Wisd. 7:26 and in Philo. It can mean either reflected brightness, refulgence (Calvin, Thayer) or effulgence (ray from an original light body) as the Greek fathers hold. Both senses are true of Christ in his relation to God as Jesus shows in plain language in John 12:45; John 14:9. “The writer is using metaphors which had already been applied to Wisdom and the Logos” (Moffatt). The meaning “effulgence” suits the context better, though it gives the idea of eternal generation of the Son (John 1:1), the term Father applied to God necessarily involving Son. See this same metaphor in 2 Cor. 4:6. – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Charaktēr is an old word from charassō, to cut, to scratch, to mark. It first was the agent (note ending = tēr) or tool that did the marking, then the mark or impress made, the exact reproduction, a meaning clearly expressed by charagma (Acts 17:29; Rev. 13:16-17). Menander had already used (Moffatt) charaktēr in the sense of our “character.” The word occurs in the inscriptions for “person” as well as for “exact reproduction” of a person. The word hupostasis for the being or essence of God “is a philosophical rather than a religious term” (Moffatt). – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

 and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Rend. maintaining. Upholding conveys too much the idea of the passive support of a burden. “The Son is not an Atlas, sustaining the dead weight of the world” (quoted by Westcott). Neither is the sense that of ruling or guiding, as Philo (De Cherub. § 11), who describes the divine word as “the steersman and pilot of the all.” It implies sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement; as Weiss puts it, “with the all in all its changes and transformations throughout the aeons.” It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

indicates that the work of purification was done by Christ personally, and was not something which he caused to be done by some other agent. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

Comp. Psalm 110:1, 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; Ephesians 1:20; Revelation 3:21. The verb denotes a solemn, formal act; the assumption of a position of dignity and authority The reference is to Christ’s ascension. In his exalted state he will still be bearing on all things toward their consummation, still dealing with sin as the great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary – Word Studies in the New Testament.

20  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:20 (ESV)

VERSE FOUR:

4  having become as much superior to angels

The informal and abrupt introduction of this topic goes to show that the writer was addressing Jewish Christians, who were familiar with the prominent part ascribed to angels in the O.T. economy, especially in the giving of the law. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

 as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs

The comparative only in Hebrews. In the sense of more excellent, only in later writers. Its earlier sense is different. The idea of difference is that which radically distinguishes it from κρείττων better. Here it presents the comparative of a comparative conception. The Son’s name differs from that of the angels, and is more different for good. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

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