Pharisee? Legalist?

A few years ago I wrote an article about passive Christianity. This article has proven to be one of the most searched and read articles on the site. But I want to take the thoughts of that article to a deeper level because I think it is important that Christians understand that we are not simply to just lay down and let falsehood go unchecked.

I hear all the time the words ‘legalist’ or ‘Pharisee’ being tossed at anyone who would dare accuse someone or some organization of having bad theology. But is this truly the case? We are told that we are to love and that nothing else matters. Is that true?   What does love even mean? Is it not possible to call out false teachings in love?

First let’s look at the Pharisees. Why did Jesus rebuke them? The Pharisees were teaching a doctrine of their own tradition. They had taken the Scriptures to a different level and added in their own rules and regulations that had no basis within the Scriputres but treated them the same. Jesus rebuked this practice as false teachings.

Matthew Chapter 23 shows Jesus going against these false teachings and practices and exposing them for what they were. He does this without apology. He is not nice  about it. He is blunt, to the point, and forceful.

Compare the above example with John 2:13-25. This is the first of two examples where Jesus goes on a tirade in the temple for the sins of the leaders and moneychangers. Once again, he was forceful. He was not in any way passive.

Now I want to be clear, we are not talking about going to the unsaved who do not know the Lord or the Scriptures and immediately start lambasting them with doctrine. Absolutely not! This is for members, or professing members, of the body who are putting forth a false gospel and false doctrine. These teachings lead to death and must be dealt with.

Titus 1:9 is clear that we are to hold to the sound doctrines and rebuke those who contradict them. Verse 13 not only says to rebuke them, but to rebuke them sharply. This is not a nice Christianity. This is not passive.

Legalism is not the same as correction. We are called to correct and to teach sound doctrine. We are not to let heresy go unchallenged. Do not let anyone put you down for standing up for the true Christian faith. Stand strong and be courageous.

Atheist gets her PhD in astronomy and astrophysics and finds evidence for God

David:

Articles re-blogged do not necessarily reflect the views of this site.

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

Christian apologist Terrell Clemmons tweeted this testimony by Sarah Salviander, a research scientist in astronomy and astrophysics at the prestigious University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Salviander writes:

I was born in the U.S., but grew up in Canada. My parents were socialists and political activists who thought British Columbia would be a better place for us to live, since it had the only socialist government in North America at the time. My parents were also atheists, though they eschewed that label in favor of “agnostic.” They were kind, loving, and moral, but religion played no part in my life. Instead, my childhood revolved around education, particularly science. I remember how important it was to my parents that my brother and I did well in school.

I just want to point out that I hope that all you Christian parents are taking seriously the obligation to…

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Without Excuse

There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity. This we take to be beyond controversy. To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, vol. 1, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 43.

Re-Framing Reformed Baptist Doctrine

David:

Articles re-blogged do not necessarily reflect the views of this site.

Originally posted on Reformedontheweb's Blog:

As a graduate of Westminster Seminary in California during the mid-1990s, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is some variant of, “What did you think of John Frame?” The question is unsurprising. By 1992, when I entered seminary, Frame was among the better-known professors in Escondido. Just a few years after I graduated he had also left Escondido after a prolonged and not very secret dispute with the Westminster administration – largely over the matter of worship. Then in 2011 he published The Escondido Theology, a wide-ranging attack on his former employers which suggested that Westminster Seminary in California has departed from Reformed tradition.

That such a colorful figure invites curiosity is not surprising. Furthermore, Frame is a thinker whose unique philosophical system and its accompanying linguistic usage is not immediately accessible to the reader. It is to be expected that I hear periodic questions about him…

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What Does It Mean to “Adorn the Doctrine of God”?

David:

Articles re-blogged do not always reflect the views of this site.

Originally posted on Rooted and Relevant:

I made some ripples yesterday with regards to my Facebook post.  I was seeking to address the very real problem I see in the church.  It seems that Christianity in general gets wrapped up in social issues of humanitarian effort and social justice that the true nature, mission and calling of the Church is either de-emphasized or missed entirely.

Not only is the Church for the believer (another topic altogether), but our mission is not to simply feed and clothe the world, and be advocates for social changes.  These are noble enterprises and ones that we should not turn our backs to, they are not the primary calling of the Church.

Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.”
– Titus…

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The Insecurity of Atheism

Atheists project themselves as highly educated and smarter than those of us who believe in God. They attack with a great force and usually resort to personal insults rather than honestly focusing on the issues. It seems to me that this is all rooted in insecurity.

The atheist knows God. In fact, there is no such thing as a true atheist because every man has an inherent knowledge of the Creator. When they deny that, they are kidding themselves. It is a coping mechanism.

The fact is that the atheist wants to be in control. They can’t fathom the thought that there is a God who calls the shots and in turn they reject the reality of his existence. They blind themselves willfully but remember, they know there is a God. They know that they are here for a purpose but they do not wish to fulfill those purposes because it is not to their inclination to do so.

Remember, we are all fallen. We all wish to run from God until we see the glory of his grace and mercy. So while the atheist denies all of that, it is simply because they do not want to be subject to the reality that exists.