Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What happens when I die?

The Bible teaches that everyone has sinned. That truth is evident. The Bible also teaches that when we sin, we break God’s universal law and offend our Creator. In so doing we have defied His authority and declared ourselves lord of our world. We have, in essence, become God’s enemy.

Since God is perfect, He cannot be in the presence of sin; He cannot be tainted with it. He is, in a very real sense, allergic to sin.

He has created a place for sinners, where His presence is not. The Bible calls this place hell. It is an eternal lake of fire, a bottomless pit, and outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. The Bible further teaches that the soul of man is everlasting. Therefore, without intervention on God’s part our soul, at death, enters an eternal hell.

And yet, the Bible has been called “God’s love letter to man.” Although God is holy and cannot be in the presence of sin, He does love the sinner and desires to have a relationship with him/her. Therefore, in order to provide a way for such a relationship, while maintaining His essence (His Holiness), the triune God devised a plan in eternity past. In this plan the second person of the Godhead, the Son - Jesus Christ, at the appointed time would leave His heavenly dwelling and come to earth to be born of a virgin, to live a perfect life (as a man), and to pay man’s penalty for sin. Jesus did so. Born of the virgin Mary, Jesus lived 33 years without sinning. Then in six hours on the cross He paid the eternally penalty for all men. Only an infinite God could do so, only man could die for man’s sin. Thus, the God man Jesus Christ.

A story from history helps to illuminate Christ taking our place.

At the turn of the 19th Century in a small one-street town in Arizona there lived a Blacksmith: a loner, who was avoided. One holiday, the entire citizenship, except for one man, had a celebration. The Blacksmith stayed in his shop, at the opposite end of town. During the festivities a child strayed near the shop. A lady looked toward the child and shrilled in terror. A coyote was eyeing the young lad. Everyone knew that a coyote this close to town, at mid-day, meant rabies. The coyote sprang for the child yet was snatched in mid-air by the Blacksmith who immediately broke its neck; yet the damage had been done as the unsung hero drew back his bloodstained arm. The blacksmith died a slow, painful death.

He had taken the lad’s place. Jesus took ours.

One might ask, “If Jesus died for every man does every man go to heaven?” No. If you were dying of thirst and I purchased water and offered it to you, you would still have to accept my gift.

The Bible teaches that in order to accept the free gift of salvation one must trust his life totally into God’s hand. It is not enough just to believe that Jesus dies on the cross for one’s sins and arose from the dead. One must believe that truth to the extent that he/she trust his/her live into His hand.

So, “what happens when I die?”

It depends. The Bible teaches, the moment we breathe our last breath our spirit will immediately go to one of two places. Either an eternal hell or an eternal heaven.

If it is your desire to go to heaven, then trust your life into God’s hands. It is as simple as accepting His gift and trusting Him. It can be done, by honestly praying: “God I confess that I am a sinner, I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, I believe that He appeased your anger, removed my sin and took my place, I believe He arose from the dead. Jesus come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. In Jesus name, Amen.”

The prayer does not save you, but rather the trusting of your life to God. If you did trust God with your life, please, leave a comment. I will get in touch with you and share what to expect with the wonderful changes God has begun in your life as well as some material to help you in your new relationship with Christ.
BR

108 comments:

volfan007 said...

brad,

amen.

volfan007

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
You did well. I hope ever lost person that reads your post will ask Jesus to save them. Maybe if they heard how we said yes to the Holy Spirit, their hearts could understand.

We were on the second row of church and I believe the Holy Spirit was calling my 10 year old twin brother and me to be saved. I don’t know how he knew what I was feeling because I hadn’t moved a muscle when he said, “Don’t go—there’s only one more verse.”
That verse was too long for me, and I gave the preacher my hand and said yes to everything he said.
I didn’t trust Jesus, but was crying because I felt sorry for myself not being a Christian.
My father prayed a long prayer and asked me to close the prayer. I was in a tight spot. I knew “Lay me down to sleep” wasn’t going to work. I finally came up with “Thank you for the sunshine”—end of prayer.
A few minutes later I was in line with a bunch of boys to be baptized. That may have started me being a ‘judge’ because some were pushing and acting up. I figured they weren’t any more saved than I was.
I hoped the baptizing would save me, but I only came up wet. For the longest, the Holy Spirit kept saying one word, “Lost.”
I got the mumps and my face looked like a basketball. I was isolated to the attic where I was alone with Him. At night I would cry and come downstairs telling a lie that my jaws were hurting. That got me away from His presence.
One night, my mother said, “Oh your jaws are hurting again”, but I said, “No Mama, I want to be saved.” She prayed and left saying for me to ask Jesus to save me.
I did and a peace came over me that has never departed. He never told me I was lost ever again.
My brother said, “If they don’t leave me alone, I’m never going to be a Christian”, but he changed his mind two years later at a summer camp led by Criswell..
Rex Ray

selahV said...

Brad: at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. selahV & eternity.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Reynolds,

I do not ask this to "trip you up" or anything - but does the Bible actually teach that "the moment we breathe our last breath our spirit will immediately go to one of two places. Either an eternal hell or an eternal heaven"?

I currently do not hold to a certain doctrine and I am by no means denying the reality of Heaven and Hell. I merely question what happens at the moment we die.

I suppose my questions stem from what will happen in the future. It seems to me that everyone (the saved and the lost) will be resurrected in the future (for the last judgment) and it is not until that judgment that those who have rejected Christ's free gift are cast into the lake of fire.

Things I know:
2 Corinthians 5:6-7 -
"while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord" & "prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord"

But this does not really help, because Paul does not specifically mention "death." Just what happens when we are "absent from the body" (whatever that means). A person who affirms Soul Sleep could just as easily affirm this text as a person who holds any other doctrine.

Luke 23:43 - "And He said to him, 'Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.'"

The word Paradise (παραδείσω˛) is only used two other times in the NT. It is the place that Paul recalls a man being caught up in (2 Cor. 12) and it is the Paradise of God (Rev. 2:7). The word occurs much more often in the LXX, but from a quick look it appears it is always translated as either garden or orchard not as heaven.

Matthew 13:40-42 & 49-50 -
In the Kingdom of Heaven parables, Jesus clearly states that at the End of the Age, angels will come and cast the unsaved into the Furnace of Fire.

So, I guess this is where I stand... for now. It may seem like I hold to a position, and I suppose I lean towards one - I just do not know what it is yet :).

God Bless,
Lew

volfan007 said...

brad,

amen.

the day i was saved was the best thing that ever happened in my life, and its more precious now than ever.

volfan007

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
Here we go again, huh? First, the analogy of water & salvation suffers one significant deficiency - with your water analogy, the person is alive enough to accept the water. In salvation, the person is spiritually DEAD - they CANNOT accept anything spiritual according to I Cor. 2:14.
Second, if salvation is by grace, and not by works, then saying a prayer - or even 'trusting' in God for that matter - cannot save us as they are both works. The prayer and the trust are responses to what God has already done - they HAVE to be, else salvation would be by works, no?

PS - please spare me the rhetoric about 'radical 5-pointers' Volfan - this has nothing to do with Calvinism - it has to do with understanding our spiritual condition before salvation.

Grace and peace to all,

PTL

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Reynolds,

I appreciate the post. As many hits as you no doubt receive, surely there would be among them one who does not know for sure what will happen to them when they vanish away...

If you get a moment away from your family, take a peek at my current post. There is an historical golden nugget on Baptism from the state of Georgia in 1788 I think you will find most interesting.

May your evening be filled with rest, my Brother. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Brother Brad,

It appears no one cares what happens to you when you die. I care!

In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?

:>)

Blessings,
Tim

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that, still growing and still excited and still changing! Praying someone will read and recieve!

Great post!

brad reynolds said...

Lew
Good question, I will return to it. I have a full plate currently but will be coming back to your question. It is a good question in the meantime for others to participate.

This is not really what the post is about but fair game


PTL
It has very much to do with reformed theology (five pointers), to deny such is revealing of presuppositions. Can you show me once when faith is equated with works…in Galatians Paul juxtapositions Faith with works. It is interesting that you see Faith as a work when Paul saw it as the opposite of works. Prayer is simply communication and I think one has to communicate with God concerning their Faith.

But alas, that was not what the post was about either, but fair game.


Tim
Romans 10:9-10


All,
Thanks…comments are great
BR

volfan007 said...

ptl,

being dead in our sins and separated from God does not mean that a person cannot respond to the calling of God.

volfan007

peter lumpkins said...

Dr Reynolds,

I am glad you responded to our Brother PTL. I'm a bit lost how exactly someone is supposed to be saved prior to being justified.

And, since I assume we accept the reformation sola of "justification by faith alone" how that could curiously mean "justification before faith because faith is a good work" reaches no part of my tiny little brain.

With you, I doubt the Apostle Paul would appreciate one's attributing to his view the equation of Faith = Works.

Grace to you. With that, I am...

Peter

Jim said...

Brad,

I wasn't planning on commenting on this blog b/c I didn't want to sound nit-picky. But since PTL brought it up and Peter is picking on him, I can't help myself.

Peter,

You said: "I'm a bit lost how exactly someone is supposed to be saved prior to being justified."

That's a straw man. This is not the position taken by those who are reformed. No one is saved before they are justified.

You also said: "how that could curiously mean "justification before faith because faith is a good work" reaches no part of my tiny little brain."

That is also a straw man. It is not the position of Calvinists that people are justified before faith.

Are y'all saying that although man can do no good works of himself, he CAN believe on his own? That man can make a move toward God on his own?

Tim,

Would you consider yourself a good person? :)

For God's Glory,

Jim

ps... Peter, no ill-will intended.

selahV said...

You know what Brad? I'm so glad I don't have to worry about what happens to me when I die. I know I'll be with Jesus, my sons--and Lord willing--with all the decendants I'm leaving behind. Nothing else matters...not the temperature, the size of my room in the mansion or the work He'll have for me for an eternity. Just glad I'll be in His presence and get to spend eternity being perfect. FINALLY. selahV

Mollie said...

My husband and I were just talking about spiritual death verses physical death. Adam died spiritually when he ate the fruit, but was still able to respond to God when God called to him. The prodigal son was "dead" when he was away from home and yet knew he could go back to his father to become alive. I've read that when one clings too tightly to the thought of spiritually dead being the same as total inability to even respond when God calls than babies and anyone who has a mental handicap would be spiritually dead and therefore unable to be saved. Maybe I'm not making sense with this, but I think that old analogy of spiritually dead being the same as physically dead takes one into some pretty dangerous territory in regards to what happens to babies who die in infancy. I know God called to me and I responded in faith. Faith is not a work. I can go to a complete stranger on the street and say "Now stranger I've decided that today I'd like to save you." stanger responds "Yes, I'd like to be saved." Is stanger saved? Absolutely not, stanger can say yes to every person he meets for the rest of his life but only God has the power to save. The work of salvation was done on the cross. It is finished!

brad reynolds said...

Mollie
Good thoughts!
BR

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
You probably expressed the belief of most Baptist when you wrote: “Then in six hours on the cross, He paid the eternally penalty for all men.”
This seems to conclude that Jesus didn’t go to hell for three days. “This day, you will be with me in Paradise”, and “It is finished” also seems to back that up. But “I have not ascended to my Father” tells us that Jesus was not in heaven those three days. The question arises: was Jesus ‘in a death sleep’ (Lew used the term ‘Soul sleep’) for three days, or did he actually suffer in hell for three days as the Holman Bible says:

Acts 2: 27 “You will not leave my soul in Hades, (Webster—Hades: colloq. Hell.)
Psalm 16:10 “For You will not abandon me to Sheol. (Webster—Sheol: The underworld; the abode of the dead; Hell; Hades.)

In the first place, Jesus could not talk ‘exactly’ since he said if you cannot understand earthly things, how can you understand heavenly things? If he had told his disciples he was going to Hell, their understanding would be, ‘What sin have you done?’ The same with “This day you will be with me in Paradise”; he could not say ‘You’re going to heaven and I’m going to hell. Also when he said, “It is finished”, he could not say, ‘It is finished as soon as I come back from hell.’

God used sufficient days to be complete. If Christ had raised Lazarus from the dead after 6 hours would people believe Lazarus was dead? They could not believe Jesus was dead in six hours—thus the spear.

The main proof that Jesus was in hell was the Garden. Jesus did not die with a smile as many had smiles that were torn apart by lions. Many have faced death with bravery—“I have one regret that I have only one life to give for my country.” Who was the bravest man that ever lived? Who had the greatest faith? Then why did he sweat drops of blood like a sissy worrying about dieing? He knew what hell was. He knew the absence of his Father. He knew every breath was a scream of pain for payback of every sin mankind has done.

Oh the love we have from God that he suffered the pain of his Son in hell.
Rex Ray

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Jim,

Greetings. As for "picking on PTL", my Brother, Jim, I haven't the slightest idea to that which you refer. I simply made a comment. But if your definition of "picking on" is equal to disputing an assertion, then I must plead guilty as charged.

Secondly, as for your "strawman" duo, Jim, I fear your are twice mistakken. First, I did not at all bring up "reformed" nor did I charge Calvinists with any position whatever. I dealt with PTL's assertion as it stood. Unfortunately you assumed I was arguing against Calvinism.

But wrongly assuming the postion of another and arguing against the wrongly perceived assumption is strangely similar to the old charge...ummm, what is it called?...it's right on the tip of my tongue...Oh yes! I think they call that a "strawman" or some such...

Next, read carefully these words posted, I assume, by PTL: "if salvation is by grace, and not by works, then saying a prayer - or even 'trusting' in God for that matter - cannot save us as they are both works."

If "trusting in God is a "good work," then, my Brother Jim, we've got problems with understanding the NT emphasis on faith as definitively NOT being a work. The Apostle Paul surely did not teach such. Is your belief, Jim, that the NT DOES teach faith = works?

Even more significantly, if one accepts the idea that faith IS a good work, it does no good to place it AFTER rebirth than before it. The Apostle says "therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God..." Again, one would be placing on the Apostle's lips "therefore, being justified by faith [that is, good works] we have peace with God..."

I trust your day goes well. With that, I am...

Peter

posttinebraelux said...

Mollie,
You are correct in your assertion that likening spiritual death to physical death raises deep and disturbing questions (i.e. what happens to babies). Do you know what happens to babies when they die? I've found the Bible to be rather silent on the issue. I do know that the ONLY way to salvation is through Christ, so, if all or any babies are saved, it is through a saving knowledge of Christ, no? Aside from that, there is quite a bit of speculation. As to the ability of one to respond to the gospel, if we believe that spiritual death is some 'almost dead' state - i.e. we can respond spiritually (to the Gospel call) if we really, really want to - then we MUST believe that we, as Christians, can 'persuade' those who are 'almost' spiritually dead to respond to the gospel.
- Please understand, I'm not being argumentative, I'm just trying to carry out the thought to it's logical conclusion. -
And if we believe that everyone has the ability to 'choose' Christ, then it is our obligation as Christians to 'persuade' everyone to be saved and salvation is then dependent on the oratory skills of the persuader and not on God's sovereignty, no? Where is God in all this? The 'choice' doctrine seems to me to be a very man-centered doctrine - 'man' choosing and 'man' persuading and God sitting on the sidelines 'hoping' that everyone will choose to be on His team. I know that analogy may seem a bit antagonistic - and I don't mean it that way - but sometimes hyperbole helps to illustrate a point.

Jim,
Thanks for the help man! :)

Brad,
You're exactly right - prayer is communication with God - something the lost person cannot do according to the Bible (John 9:31). And no, it's not about Calvinism - it's about attributing to God what is rightly His - namely His Glory for accomplishing His will in the manner He wishes to accomplish it. Does God call everyone? If so, He must be, by default, a Universalist because, according to my Bible, everyone He calls will be justified and glorified (Rom. 8:30).


Grace and peace to all,

PTL

Anonymous said...

Brother Jim,

I am not sure what your intent is of asking that question.

Allow me to answer it this way. When I look inside my self what do I see? Allow me to use the words of one who has said it much better than I.

"For that which I do I allow not: for that I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do."

You question of whether I consider myself a good person or not, I leave for you to decide. :>)

Blessings,
Tim

brad reynolds said...

PTL
While prayer is communication...surely you are not saying God's omniscient ears (anthropomorphism) are limited by man's redemption?
BR

Mollie said...

PTL Said:

You are correct in your assertion that likening spiritual death to physical death raises deep and disturbing questions (i.e. what happens to babies). Do you know what happens to babies when they die? I've found the Bible to be rather silent on the issue. I do know that the ONLY way to salvation is through Christ, so, if all or any babies are saved, it is through a saving knowledge of Christ, no? Aside from that, there is quite a bit of speculation. As to the ability of one to respond to the gospel, if we believe that spiritual death is some 'almost dead' state - i.e. we can respond spiritually (to the Gospel call) if we really, really want to - then we MUST believe that we, as Christians, can 'persuade' those who are 'almost' spiritually dead to respond to the gospel.
- Please understand, I'm not being argumentative, I'm just trying to carry out the thought to it's logical conclusion. -
And if we believe that everyone has the ability to 'choose' Christ, then it is our obligation as Christians to 'persuade' everyone to be saved and salvation is then dependent on the oratory skills of the persuader and not on God's sovereignty, no? Where is God in all this? The 'choice' doctrine seems to me to be a very man-centered doctrine - 'man' choosing and 'man' persuading and God sitting on the sidelines 'hoping' that everyone will choose to be on His team. I know that analogy may seem a bit antagonistic - and I don't mean it that way - but sometimes hyperbole helps to illustrate a point.

End quote

PTL, I pray I will not come as argumentative as that is not my intention.

To me the logical conclusion of believing that all those "spiritually dead" have total inability leaves no hope for any baby or someone of dimished capacity who dies. It is as you say that the Bible does not speak to this matter.

As to the rest of your response I believe you've presented what may be termed a "straw man" argument. I've so wanted to use that phrase! LOL! We are commanded as Christians to spread the gospel, but we are not responsible for how the gospel is received. Weren't the disciples told to "shake the dust off their feet" when those in a town didn't receive them? If anyone by faith receives the the message we share it is not because of our merits as an orator. We are as nothing, but the holy spirit is with us as we share the gospel. I believe it is the power of the Holy Spirit wooing a sinner to Jesus. Not anything I might say. Again I have nothing to do with it and the person responding in faith has not committed any work. God chose to offer us grace and mercy. God chooses to accept our faith. God is so sovereign that he gave man the choice. To say that he's not sovereign because he is not in charge of our choice is limiting God's sovereignty.

selahV said...

Brad: I am so glad I am me and not a lot of others. Not because I think I am better than anyone else, like the Pharisee looking down on the tax collector. Nay, because I am at peace with God. I trust Him completely that when I die I will see my baby Paul who lived but 23 hours after he was born. I trust that the "life" He began in my womb with two other babies, who did not grow past 3 months, will also be shown alive in heaven. I trust that though my imperfect 33-year-old son who was killed less than 2 years ago on Mother's Day will also be in heaven. (I expect him to be so busy dancing and praising Jesus, that he won't even notice I've arrived.)

When I called out to God in the darkness of my sin, seeing the brightness of His righteousness, He HEARD me. Was I still lost? Was I already saved? Was I an elect without a brain? I don't know. Will I be proven wrong in glory? Will others? I don't know. I'm just so happy that Jesus loved me enough to suffer for 6 hours on the cross. Where He went afterwards was God's business and His. I've always thought He spent the 3 days in HELL paying for my sins. But I have NO IOTA of proof for that. I think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego walking around with Jesus in the kings fire and figure if God can put them in that heat and bring them out, then He can deliver me whenever He wants whatever way he wants.

One man's interpretation in his idea of the Bible and the words of Jesus isn't conclusive enough for me. I'd rather rest in the Father's words that I not fear. That I must trust. That my faith is greater because I haven't seen than the apostles who did see.

Personally, if I were God, I would make all of us who claim to be His children spend 3 days in hell as a prerequisite to being born again. We might be a little more appreciative of all He has done for us, if we did. And we might see the reason He wants us to Go, teach and baptize.

Right after I was saved, I was sharing with a friend, BJ, about how wonderful it was to be free. A friend of hers was sitting in the room and never said a word. I didn't try to persuade her, Jane, to think like me or to do what I did. I didn't know I was suppose to. In fact, I never shared the whereabouts of when I was saved. I didn't invite her to church or anything. I was just excited to be telling my friend BJ about it all.

A week later Jane shows up at my door in the middle of the nite in a torrential rainstorm. She didn't know how she got there. She had never been to my house before. She said as she crossed the bridge, she couldn't even hold on to the steering wheel. Her fingers were twisted and unable to grip the wheel. Today, I figure she was totally under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and He had taken the wheel. I had no idea what to do with her. She begged me to share how to be saved. I called my pastor and he and his wife came down to my house in the middle of that torrential rainstorm and waded in kneedeep water in city streets to my door. They asked Jane how she got to my house when she didn't know where I lived. She said she didn't know. There was an old man cleaning drains and she asked him if he knew of anyone who lived there with a little boy and little girl. To this day, I do not know who directed her to my house.

I only know that she is a Christian and I didn't persuade. I just shared what Jesus had done in my life. That is only one of many stories the Lord has so graciously given me. God is amazing. He is miraculous. He is Sovereign and beyond our tiny little minds' comprehension. The more we study, the more He reveals. But I cannot believe He reveals to anyone to do anything but bring glory to Himself and to reach others for His glory.

His infinite wisdom is not our finite wisdom. His foreknowledge is not our hindsighted knowledge. We are so blessed he allows us to wiggle around down here and think we have answers. I bow to His words in Job. SelahV

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
I'm just quoting the Bible - it's not me saying it - it's John. As to how he meant it when he quoted the healed man, "now we know that God does not hear sinners", you'll have to take that up with John or Christ when, at some blessed time we see Him, "now dimly, but then face to face." What a glorious thought brother, no?

Grace to you and Godspeed on your journey,

PTL

posttinebraelux said...

Jim,
Feel free to discourse with brother Peter at will. As for myself, however, I must decline the temptation. Please know, however, that it is not due to a lack of understanding regarding grace and faith. Keep up the good work brother.

Grace and peace,

PTL

volfan007 said...

jim,

i hate to bust your bubble but many reformed people do teach that you have to be saved....then you can get saved. they do teach that you are regenerated, then you can repent and put your faith in Jesus.

also, we grow weary of hearing about that ole strawman. it seems that people like to use that feller when they dont like the arguement being presented.

volfan007

volfan007 said...

jim,

btw, when talking to peter about calvinism...maybe you ought to know that peter used to be a five point calvinist. and, i nearly became one, but the Lord rescued me from extreme calvinism.

volfan007

Jim said...

Peter,

A straw man argument is one in which a person misrepresents another's position so that it can easily refute it. This was not my intention.

Having said that, I wrongly assumed that you were speaking to reformed doctrine. I'm sorry.

As to the statement made by PTL: "if salvation is by grace, and not by works, then saying a prayer - or even 'trusting' in God for that matter - cannot save us as they are both works."

I don't completely agree with that. Unfortunately, I was quick to speak and slow to read. Trusting in God through Christ is a saving work... an action... to borrow a phrase, "a seeing and savoring of Christ."

Faith is wrought by God and comes from hearing the word of Christ.

Tim,

I'm sorry to you too. I had seen on your site (I think) a Way of the Master ad and when I saw your quote, "In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?," I thought it was from WOTM.

After submitting my comment I realized it was from FAITH, instead.

My question was simply a way of saying that I am a WOTM fan also.

Sorry folks. I'll try not to assume too much, and be clearer in my future comments.

Jim

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Jim,

Good morning, my Brother. Actually, I do not feel you need to apologize for your comments. I did not understand them to call for such. Nor, the comments you made to others that I can tell.

I would like to say something about the "strawman" fallacy that I have taken notice-- especially on the internet--for it is there one encounters it over and over again.

The image "strawman" or "scarecrow" originated in philospohical circles and many times was meant in humorous jest. But it usually was reserved and only used ocassionaly.

Unfortunately, not so when one gets to the internet. It is not uncommon for the charge to be made repeatedly.

More significantly, it does not necessarily mean that a person "misrepresents" another position in order to, in your words, Jim, "easily refute it." If that is the case, from my view, then a person is not guilty of a "strawman" but of deceit, or at least, insincerity.

I think of 'strawman' arguments most of the time in terms of mistakenness or sincere but premature estimations, etc. etc., which, most of the time, carries no baggage of insincerity and certainly not deceit.

May the Lord bless you today, Jim, in the way Jerry Clower used to say, reeeeeel gooood! With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Mollie,

Thank you for your summation and your words concerning infants. And, from my elementary understanding, very few theologians (post-Reformation) have tenaciously held that persons who die in infancy perish.

B.B. Warfield has an excellent essay on this. So does Al Mohler. The late Professor Ronald Nash wrote a book about it entitled "When a Baby Dies."

All three above argue that all persons who die in infancy are Elect. And, while many do not agree wholly with the framework of their argument, most evangelical theologians agrue to the same conclusion.

Well done. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Reynolds,

I am afraid you have been had. All your theology has now gone to the wind. The scripture cannot be broken. I checked it. It really does say "We know that God doesn't listen to sinners..." (John 9.31a). How that squares with the old publican who prays "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18.13) whom Jesus consequently said was "justified" (v.14) you are on your own to unravel , I'm afraid.

An even bigger problem for you, my Brother, now is this: since by sheer logic you are compelled to embrace the theology of the blind man when he says "we know that God doesn't listen to sinners..." in John 9.31a, you are equally forced to accept the theology of the blind man in John 9.31b, which unfortunately states: "but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He listens to him." I'm afraid now all your prayers will surely be based on good works. Happy working!

Dr. Reynolds, I do not envy you in trying to figure out how you'll get out of this maze you have fallen into.

Have a great day, my Brother. You stand a splendid example of how blogging hosts put up with folk like myself who, no doubt, try your patience somewhat. Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Jim said...

VolFan,

You said, "i hate to bust your bubble but many reformed people do teach that you have to be saved....then you can get saved. they do teach that you are regenerated, then you can repent and put your faith in Jesus.

Those are two different things. I don't know of any who teach you must be "saved" before you can get "saved." There may be some, but I don't know of any.

I agree with what you said second. When God gives new life to a person, that person then freely and willfully repents and trusts Christ.

BTW, I used not to be a calvinist. I'm glad also that God has kept me from extreme or hyper-calvinism. God is sovereign, man makes real choices.

Jim

Jim

TruthOfActs said...

PTL,
You are correct when you say, “The ONLY way to salvation is through Christ”, but the Bible speaks loud and clear when Jesus said, ‘Unless you become as a little child, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven’.

Therefore we have salvation when we become as a little child. Right? A little child has salvation because they have not reached the age of accountability. And certainly a baby would fit in the category of a child.

My uncle would argue that God knew which babies (if they had lived) would grow up to accept Jesus and go to heaven, but He knew which babies would reject Jesus (if they had lived) and they would not go to heaven.
He may have a point, but it’s too deep for me. I don’t want to say he’s wrong for that might lead us to believe it would be better to kill Muslim babies etc.

PTL, you said, “Salvation is then dependent on the oratory skills of the persuader and not on God’s sovereignty…where is God in all of this?”

The success of Paul’s preaching was not his oratory skills as shown by (2 Corinthians 10:10 Holman) “For it is said, His letters are weighty and powerful, but his physical presence is weak, and his public speaking is despicable.” (Old Living) “…You never heard a worse preacher.” (Wonder if he’d passed the IMB’s rules? Naw—physical unfit, baptized without presence of a church, and spoke in tongues.)

Paul’s success was obeying God’s Word, “If I be lifted up, I’ll draw all men to me.” The Holy Spirit draws men to God when they hear the Gospel.

Peter,
For someone who said he had forgotten geometry, you did quite well in saying “Faith = works.”
Faith is belief in action and obedience which produces works. Belief without action and obedience is not faith. “For grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God does not give junk. That’s why I have a problem with “Faith without works is dead.” James would be correct if he had said, ‘Belief without works is dead’ because faith is works. James followed his belief with, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24) “For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn’t shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)
ONLY FAITH IN JESUS triumphs over judgment and not our works!

If you want to argue a Christian can be lost and saved again, quote this verse: “Dear brothers, [Christians] if anyone has slipped away from God and no longer trust the Lord, [Lost by stopping works?] and someone helps him understand the Truth again, [Started works?] that person who brings him back to God [Saved twice?] will have saved a wandering soul from death. [Hell?] (James 5:24 Old Living Bible)

Selah,
Thank you for a wonderful testimony.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

What happens when I die? That is a wonderful question which deserves an answer. Jesus Christ did die for all mankind. And on the third day, Christ rose from the dead and through this resurrection all mankind will have their body and spirit reunited. Physical death has been conquered through Jesus Christ. The resurrection is a gift only through the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of our Heavenly Father. This blessing was part of our Heavenly Father’s plan from the beginning. We needed a Savior to help us overcome that Physical death and also the Spiritual Death we are currently living in.

But, where did Jesus go between his death and resurrection? Various places have been listed on this post, but I assure you He did not go to Hell. Christ did go to Paradise which is otherwise called the Spirit World. This is not Hell and no where is it taught that Christ went to Hell during this time. The teaching that Christ went to Hell would be completely incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Can an unclean spirit dwell in the presence of Christ? No unclean thing can dwell with our Savior.

Christ went to the Spirit World to organize the spirits that were already there. He met with the prophets of old; Adam, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc. to teach them concerning this phase of their lives and to organize them. The work that they were commanded to do is ongoing. It is their responsibility to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those spirits who have not had the opportunity to hear His gospel.

To SalahV: Yes, you will see your young children again in the Spirit World. You will see all of your children there. And your young children who did not have the opportunity to hear the gospel are being taught it now. And they will have the opportunity to accept it or reject it based on their own decision.

When we die we will go to the same place as Christ did. We will be in the Spirit World until Christ comes again and we are called forth in the resurrection and our body and spirit are reunited for eternity. Then, and only then, will we be judged according to the lives we lived on earth by the Anointed One. Did we obey His commandments as He commanded us to do?

Much has been said that ONLY through faith in Jesus Christ comes salvation; that actually how we live our lives has nothing to do with the hereafter. If all we have to do is say a little prayer and say we have accepted Christ in our lives, then why did Christ command us to be obedient to His commandments? Those commandments have nothing to do with anything if we are all saved by faith. Why do you believe in baptism if all one has to do is believe? Baptism, done with the proper priesthood authority, is the gate by which we enter to follow the strait and narrow path that leads to Christ and salvation (meaning living with Christ for eternity)

Having faith in Jesus Christ will move us to obey His commandments. He has commanded us to become as our Father in Heaven is perfect. This is only done by how righteous we become in our lives. James speaks plainly to this when he instructs us not to be hearers of the word only but to be a doer of the word. What is this word? To keep the commandments of Christ. James continues in Chapter 2 to instruct us that we can not be saved by faith alone. Faith moves us to do the good works, or in otherwise, we become like Christ.

To say there is only heaven and hell is too simplistic and not an accurate teaching of the gospel. There are degrees in heaven; bodies celestial, terrestrial and telestial. Of which at the final judgment day we will all be assigned according to our faith in Jesus Christ and by the works we have accomplished on this earth. Obedience to the commands of Christ is the reason we are here on this earth.

A lot of areas covered because there were a lot of topics on the blog, but ‘Where do I go when I die?’ is answered by Christ himself, Paradise, to be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jeffro said...

Brad,

I find it amusing that immediately after a post on teaching theology to youth, that you post an anthropocentric "gospel" presentation. This is evident in your referral to the Bible as "God's love letter to man," and your post title, "What happens when I die?"

Saying that the Bible is "God's love letter to man" speaks volumes about what you believe the content of the Bible is all about. Therefore, your theology proper is destroyed before you even begin. God speaks into space, time and history so that He might be glorified, so that He might be loved. So maybe the Bible is God's love letter to God, but not man. Again, as I asked before...please tell me who says this. I have seen one "Christian" author say it...Tommy Tenney, thus the quotations. Sadly, it is theology that you are teaching when you say this, but it is poor theology.

And further, would you please give Biblical evidence of the Gospel being preached so that people will know where they go when they die?

And one more question...why doesn't everyone desire to go to heaven? I haven't met anyone yet who doesn't...if they are serious. So why wouldn't everyone pray your little prayer so they can go?

God Bless

brad reynolds said...

Peter

As always you are on target. Thank you. I am not sure how I will recover from the dilemma:)


Jeffro,

Allow me to explain. When I use the word "letter" I am speaking of God's revelation to man (He need not reveal Himself to Himself, for He is in need of no revelation).

When I use the word Love, I am speaking of God's undeserved and unconditional agape whereby He loved the world to the degree that He gave His only begotten son.

When I speak of it being "God's" I am speaking or its origin.

That is what is meant by "God's love letter to man." Sorry for any confusion.
BR

posttinebraelux said...

Rex Ray,
You're 'spot on' to use a British idiom. I agree with everything you've said with the exception that I'm not sure I'd use Mat. 18:3 as a defense of saying that all babies go to heaven if they die before the age of accountability. I'm not sure that was the context of what Christ was saying.

Brad,
Unlike some others, I doubt you've 'been had.' I have the greatest confidence in your confidence regarding your convictions.

Grace to you brothers,

PTL

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Reynolds,

I was saved in 1977. I have heard the descriptive phrase of Scripture "God's love letter to man" from the beginning. I am unsure how it may qualify as a possible UPC phenomenon.

Nor did that phrase somehow poison my understanding of God, at least, as anyways I can tell. But wait! That very well may be the source of my nonCalvinism. it's at least worth a look see.

I trust your day is well fed with lots of grace. With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007 said...

scott,

are you a mormon?

volfan007

TruthOfActs said...

Scott, Scott, Scott,
Do you use a Catholic Bible? I wrote that much and decided to look up your blog. Ah, the ‘Book of Mormon’. That explains it all. I noticed for your favorite books, you didn’t list the Bible. You should read it more and believe the truth that it teaches. Don’t believe the devil’s lies (father of all liars), the ignorance, and stupidity of man that is also recorded in truth.

You referenced James’ instructions in Chapter 2 saying we cannot be saved by faith alone. I’ve already explained that verse in a previous comment.

James was a scoffer of his Brother until after the resurrection. He missed 3 years of college by the greatest teacher that ever lived. His schooling was the Jewish law. He was raised a Nazirite. He was the most honored man in Israel as he was the only one allowed in the ‘Holy Place’ daily to pray for the sins of the people as God commanded. His nickname was ‘The Just’. When he was martyred, the outcry of the people was so great; King Agrippa fired the high priest who ordered his execution. No wonder ‘his judgment’ was accepted over the apostles in Acts 15.
Most of this is recorded in the old ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’. James never realized his job of go-between man and God was done away with by Calvary and his Brother fulfilled the law, but clung to the Jewish laws. I believe his thoughts laid the foundation of Catholicism and still lead men astray like you.

Christians need James’ advice to live as Christ commanded, but not how they are saved or remain saved.

Scott, let’s agree that all men are going to live forever…either heaven or hell. Therefore your saying, “Physical death has been conquered through Jesus Christ” would mean a Christian would never die a physical death. That’s not true. The only death a Christian does NOT die is a spiritual death because he is going to die a physical death just like a lost man. A SPIRITUAL death and only death was the curse that Jesus bore at Calvary. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was not complaining the nails were hurting him. The ABSENCE of his Father—spiritually separation, literally burst his heart.

You said, “No where is it taught that Christ went to Hell during this time.” Did you not read my comment on this post on 1-8-07 3:56? I quote the Bible referring to him being in Hell in Acts 2:27 and Psalm 16:10.

You say, “The teaching that Christ went to Hell would be completely incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
“By his strips we are healed” is the symbol of his suffering for us. Did not God’s curse condemn us to Hell? Did Jesus not take our place? To say Jesus did not take God’s punishment for us in Hell is to belittle the pain it caused God to put him there. The pain it caused God for his Son to hang on a cross was just a drop in the bucket compared to Him being in Hell.

You say, “No unclean thing can dwell with our Savior.”

All the sin of history, present, and future was put on Jesus. Even though he was innocent, he took all the “unclean things” to Calvary and was punished in Hell as God avenges all sin there.

Scott, I know why you don’t want to believe Jesus went to Hell. Because it revokes the ridicules story of your saying,
“Christ went to the Spirit World to organize the spirits that were already there. He met with the prophets of old; Adam, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc. to teach them concerning this phase of their lives and to organized them. The work that they were commanded to do is ongoing. It is their responsibility to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those spirits who have not had the opportunity to hear His gospel.”

Using your thinking, we should hide the Gospel from the world and let the prophets teach them after they die.

Understand one thing, Scott, (Hebrews 9:27) “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
There’s no ‘second chance’ between death and judgment. The sad part of your story is I think you’re sincere.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Brother Jim

WOTM is something I am not familiar with. Can you help enlighten me?

Blessings,
Tim

TruthOfActs said...

Dear Peter,
I’m the president of the United States. I’m the ‘straw man’ of Rex Ray. I wish to inform you that you were selected as the outstanding Blogger of the year. However due to your thinking of ‘straw man’, you were passed over for Brad Reynolds who has not embarrassed himself on the subject as he has made no comment.

Webster: Straw man: A man of straw; hence, variously, a nonentity; a puppet; a perjured witness.

Straw men on the internet can say anything the hidden Blogger wants him to.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Greetings!

Tim, I am trained and very qualified in TWOTM Evangelism as I have all the books, material, and completed the on-line school as well as taught many groups this method in churches and youth groups. It is the only biblical method in my (and many others) view, and I have experience in all of them (FAITH, Sharing Jesus Without Fear...Four Spiritual Laws...Roman Road, etc, etc...). Anyway, I could write for days taking all of Dr. Reynolds space about TWOTM, but the easiest way to inform you about it would be to simply direct you to www.thewayofthemaster.com and make myself available to answer any specific questions you might have. I count myself available to do that. By the way, glancing at you blog, it seems you have a link to Living Waters. Perhaps you don't realize that Ray Comfort (who started Living Waters Ministries) is the same catalyst behind TWOTM. If this is correct, you already know about TWOTM, you just didn't know it. :) Enjoy!

Mission Man (I am a missionary with the IMB in a sensitive area.)

peter lumpkins said...

TruthofFacts,

I thank you for Websters but I usually don't touch the stuff. Also, if ytu beleive that faith = good works, you have my express permission.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Jim said...

Tim,

WOTM (Way of the Master) is an evangelism strategy by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. It is closely related to LivingWaters.com... the site where you got the counter that you have on your site (150,000 people will die today... etc).

Anonymous said...

My friend Mr. Rex Ray,

I'm sorry you take the Book of Mormon so lightly. That's ok. Everyone can have their opinion. I read your comments and basically, I don't agree with your understanding of scripture. Acts 2:27 is NOT saying that Christ was in hell. Sorry.

What are people doing from the time they die to the time of the resurrection and then judgment day? I repeat, they are being taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let's read 1 Peter 4:6, " For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."

Plainly, it says that the gospel will and is being preached to those who are dead.

That's ok if we disagree. But for you to dismiss the teachings of the Bible out of hand because you don't like the Book of Mormon... well, that just wouldn't be right.

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It preaches the same gospel as the Bible and hand in hand, all doubt about what the gospel of Jesus Christ is, goes away.

I'm not sure why someone who professes to believe in the gospel would not want to know these things.

What my previous post says is true. So is the information above about preaching to the dead. We also know that baptisms for these dead must be completed. That too is in the Bible.

I'm not trying to be contentious by any means. I do believe what I'm saying and it's not a sad story. If you would like to know more of about the story I'm sharing, please visit my website and I'll converse with you about it.

Best wishes...

Scott

ps, volfan007... yes I am.

selahV said...

Brad: How's April and Kelton?
selahV

brad reynolds said...

Selah

Thank you for asking. I am in Nigeria right now, but talked to April this morning. They are doing great. Kelton has gained 5 oz in 5 days so all is well. Mom is doing super and has family taking care of her. I spoke to my little boy this morning (I think he recognized my voice:)

I will see them Monday:)
BR

volfan007 said...

scott,


i could tell by the way you were writing that you were into the mormon religion, which is not a christian religion btw. scott, do you beleive that Jesus is God....not a god....but the one and only God of the universe? do you believe that the bible is Gods Word....His only Word to man? do you believe that salvation is by grace thru faith....and only by faith?

scott, if you answered no to those questions i asked above, then you are involved in a cult. to answer no to the questions above is a clear indication that someone is involved in a cult....a false religion. i would encourage you to truly seek out the truth in the bible. really seek to know Jesus...to know truth...the truth. scott, the only way to heaven is thru faith in Jesus...the Jesus of the bible. my prayer is that the Lord will open your eyes and your heart to see the truth...to know the truth....to know God in a personal, saving way.

volfan007

Jim said...

Scott,

You said, "1 Peter 4:6, " For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."

and

"Plainly, it says that the gospel will and is being preached to those who are dead."

No. It says that for this cause the gospel WAS PREACHED also to them that are dead. That verb is past tense. So, while I don't know exactly what it means, it appears that it was in the past.

You also said, "We also know that baptisms for these dead must be completed. That too is in the Bible."

Just because something is in the Bible doesn't mean it must be done. Paul was describing what the Corinthians DID, not saying what they SHOULD DO. We should be careful about applying descriptive passages as prescriptive commands.

Jim

selahV said...

Scott: Do you believe Jesus Christ is "THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life and no one comes to the Father except THROUGH" Him? Do you believe Jesus is God's ONLY begotten Son?
Also, do you believe a person can have the Bible and NOT the Book of Mormon and know Jesus and be saved?

Are you a preacher? elder? member? in your church? SelahV
P.S. "believe" to me is defined as: adhere to, cling to, rely on, trust in.

selahV said...

Brad: so glad to hear it. 5 more ounces! Of course he recognizes your voice! you're his daddy! He's heard you reading to him for months and talking to his mom the entire time he was being knitted together in her womb. selahV

selahV said...

Nigeria? What are you doing in Nigeria? God's mercy and grace for a safe return. SelahV

TruthOfActs said...

Scott,
1 Peter 4:6, “For this cause WAS the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”

There are two ways to look at the word “WAS”. WAS you’re great grandfather preached the Gospel before he died, or WAS your great grandfather preached the Gospel after he died?

You say people are preached the Gospel after they die, but it’s much more in keeping with the Great Commission for people to be preached the Gospel BEFORE they die.

“…that they might be judged…” means they will be judged if they accepted the Gospel or not.

“…, but live according to God…” means heaven or hell according to God’s judgment.

“…in the spirit” does not mean live in God’s Spirit, but means man’s spirit or soul will live in heaven or hell.

You say, “Plainly, it says that the gospel will and is being preached to those who are dead.”

The Bible says plainly: The gospel WAS preached to those who are dead.

You said, “James continues in Chapter 2 to instruct us that we can not be saved by faith alone. Faith moves us to do the good works, or in otherwise, we become like Christ.”

Your whole belief system is that man’s works can make him like Christ and in heaven he can be God like Christ. How do you explain, “All our works are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)

You say you don’t agree with MY understanding of Acts 2:27 that says the soul of Jesus was in hell. Do you also disagree with Webster who says that Hades is Hell?

You made no reply in my explanation that James didn’t know what he was talking about in saying “Faith without works is dead” and man cannot be saved by faith alone. Will you try to answer?

You made no reply to the Scripture, “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 2:27)
Will you explain how you twist the above Scripture into this? ‘As it is appointed unto men once to die, AND ARE TAUGHT THE GOSPEL, but after this the judgment.’

Scott, you’re so mixed up in how man is saved and the purpose of baptism, I feel it would be wasting my time to explain unless you are willing to learn from what I’ve written so far.

I try to answer your questions, but I will not converse very long with someone that does not try to answer mine.
Rex Ray

brad reynolds said...

Selah
I am in Nigeria teaching students. I want to be careful and thus cannot share all that God is doing (I would rather be extra secure for those who are here).

While some bloggers have taken this opportunity to mock the concept of holiness, their comments have not been deterred by the facts (which I have found is not unusual with many who have problems with the direction of the SBC). Nevertheless, I am here teaching students, not native pastors.

God has done a great work but again I am careful to guard those who remain. In fact, I would not have shared the country I was in, had it not already been shared on the WWW.

Thank you for your prayers. Kelton and mom are doing great!!! And I can't wait to see them Monday:)

I can't express the change that has occurred in me since I have become a father but those who have children understand:)
BR

Dull Iron said...

Volfan, you said to Scott "...my prayer is that the Lord will open your eyes and your heart to see the truth...to know the truth....to know God in a personal, saving way."

Did you make a typo?...Or did you mean to say that you are praying that Scott will study harder and wise up and finally make the right "decision" about Christ and salvation? Like so many others, your theology is not consistent with your prayer.

Your prayer, however, is right on. I will do that as well. Scott is a good example of someone who is DEAD in their sin (the worship of a false god, such as the cult of Mormonism) that only God could reach Him...just like everyone else who is DEAD in sin. We are in a heap of trouble if it is up to us to speak some words of wisdom to Scott in just the right way for him to finally "get it"!

GO GOD and please work in Scott's life so that he might know, worship, and serve the one true God of the Bible. Please work through the true Christians that might be in Scott's life and use the power of the gospel unto salvation as he hears it from them and sees it lived out in their daily walk with You. Amen!

Volfan - Instead of getting upset and charging back that "...all them there calvinists are down right wrong and I's be thinkin' we oughta make sure they don't have none of them there positions of authority in da SBC..." or some other nonsense that you and bubba bear throw around, just stop and think about it for a minute (or longer, if needed). I think (and hope) you are wise enough to see that your prayer is God centered and your theology is man centered. We will see.

Dull Iron

Anonymous said...

Br. Rex,

As I said before, I don't want to further our discussion on the good Doctor's blog.

The question was asked "What happens when I die?" I answered that question according to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know you and many others reject certain religions out of hand and that ok because it is based on your understanding of the scriptures. Again, I answered in connection with my understanding of the scriptures. I will still maintain that those things I have written above for all to see and read are correct teachings of the gospel of Christ.

I will answer all of your questions on my blog. If you would like to further the discussion of What happens when we die, I will add those answers to my blog today.

I don't want to take over this thread with our 2 way communication regarding doctrine of the gospel.

Scott

ps, Dr. Reynolds, if I understand it correctly, you recently had a baby with your wife. Congratulations! It is an experience of a lifetime, enjoy the ride!

RevBubbaBear said...

Dr. Brad,

Good to hear you is doing well in Nigeria. I is been prayin for you. That Baptist Blogger feller Ben sure seems out to smear your good name. Funny he got his facts all wrong aint it? I guess he dont know as much as he thinks he does. I noticed he must care about the persecuted church otherwise he would not post such things and endangerin the local Nigerian believers.

Prayin for you,

Bubba

SelahV said...

Brad: Description of a new Christian Father:
Tender Warrior
Armed with tenderness, courage, power and love. Tends to be far more dependent on his heavenly Father. And have keener understanding of his earthly one. Has a greater sense of existence--beyond any he's ever known. Recognizes he daydreams more, invisions the future with greater hope and finds himself smiling at the most unexpected times just because he knows his child exists.
It's a wonderful time. Blessings on you all.

What others think about what you are doing in Africa is inconsequential to what the Father knows you are doing. May God bless the reading of His Word and the delivery of it to the hearers before you. May your attempts at teaching be far reaching into the darkest recesses of the continent. Grace unto you and those seeking our Savior and those who need to seek. SelahV

brad reynolds said...

Bear,
I don't think Ben is trying to smear my name at all. He did get his facts a little wrong, but I do consider him a friend. I think he and I will disagree on much but I don't want to judge his motives.
BR


Selah,
Thank you and you are right. My wife and I seek to honor God and follow Him without worrying what mere man thinks. I believe God honors that. Thanks for your words.
BR

volfan007 said...

dull iron,

i said what i meant, and i meant what i said. no typos. salvation is a work of God in the heart of a man or woman. i believe that and i am not a five pointer. go figure.

volfan007

RevBubbaBear said...

Dr. Brad,

Thank you for explainin that you and Ben is friends. I was unaware. Perhaps the potshots on his site toward you are simply meant for humor sake. Good Deal. Maybe Ben just needs to mature a little.


Rex Ray,

Thank you for your kind words in the previous comment thread. I am beginin to think you and I might become friends. We do thank alike on several issues. I just can't agree with you that Innerrancy is of the Devil. I thanks you wrong on that one. Hay man loves you anyway.

Bubba

TruthOfActs said...

dddddddddddddddddddddddddScott,
I looked for your promised answers to my questions on your blog, but didn’t see any. All I saw was the “wonderful words” that suckered you into a cult. You had no intentions of answering our questions because you don’t have any answers. You only want to hook people into reading lies of the devil.

You spoke truth when you said: “I don’t want to further our discussion on the good Doctor’s blog”, because you’re embarrassed with you lack of answers.

You spoke untruth when you said: “I don’t want to takeover this thread with our 2 way communication regarding doctrine of the gospel.” Since your comments were on topic, the only reason you had for quitting was you were in a corner wearing a dunce cap.
Rex Ray

selahV said...

Dull Iron: If I were a person who did not know the Lord Jesus and I were a Mormon reading dialog from some on this site, I'd be thinking how arrogant some folks are who are trying to share their faith. While I do not agree with the Mormons. I do not agree with trashing someone else's prayer by giving a more theologically sound one of my own.
I don't understand you one whit, Mr. Dull Iron.
It's no wonder lost people are lost if they are spoken to in the manner in which some speak to them. Is this your way of evangelizing? selahV

Anonymous said...

Volfan007,

I can assure you that I am not in a cult.

We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. These are 3 distinct personages, not all 1 God. Can you show me in scripture where is says that they are? Matthew 3: 16-17 is just one example of the Bible showing us the 3 members of the Godhead are separate beings. To believe otherwise is in contradiction with the words of the Bible and the understanding of those who lived with Christ. After Christ was resurrected, didn't he warn them not to touch Him because he hadn't ascended to His Father yet? And into whose hands did He commend His spirit?

Jim, you said, "So, while I don't know exactly what it means, it appears that it was in the past." What if you could know EXACTLY what that means? What if someone said they could tell you, would you really want to know, would you believe them when they told you?

You also said, "Just because something is in the Bible doesn't mean it must be done." So the 10 commandments are out? How do you know what to do and what not to do according to the Bible?

selahV said...

Do you believe Jesus Christ is "THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life and no one comes to the Father except THROUGH" Him? Yes we do.

Do you believe Jesus is God's ONLY begotten Son? Yes we do.

Also, do you believe a person can have the Bible and NOT the Book of Mormon and know Jesus and be saved? What is your definition of being saved? To live with God and Jesus Christ at the end of the judgment, no. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. See (Ezekiel 37:15-17) The Book of Mormon is the stick of Joseph. Please also read Isaiah 29:4, 11-18. This also speaks of the Book of Mormon.

Are you a preacher? elder? member? in your church? Yes, I'm a member in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dull Iron, see above reference to cult.

I'm just curious what all of you are afraid of with the whole 'Mormon' thing? Why the onslaught of 'cult' attacks? I appreciate your prayers. Everyone can use all of the help that can get.

However, what I have written is true! The experience that Joseph Smith had is true. He saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in upstate New York. Why is that unbelievable? Why do all of you have different interpretations of the same Bible? Isn't there one Lord, one faith and one baptism? Do you really think that God is a god of disorganization? I tell you He isn't.

I again state that those who die go to the Spirit World. And IF they have not been taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, they WILL be taught it there to be judged according to men in the flesh. They will be judged the same way as you and me. We either obeyed the commandments or we didn't. We are on earth to show our obedience to all things Christ commands us.

In fact, my wife just went to Arizona last night to be with her best friend (who is not a Mormon) whose mother died as a result of injuries from an accident. She has been asking this very question for the past couple of weeks while her mother was in ICU. It has been very comforting to teach her the gospel of Jesus regarding the afterlife and families are for eternity, not just this life.

Again, I'd be happy to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all who want to know.

Peace to all of you!

Scott

TruthOfActs said...

Scott,
BTW, some Scripture you might read that would scare you to death if you could grasp the meaning that it applies to your cult would be:

1. Faith in Jesus plus nothing.
“We are not slave children, obligated to the Jewish laws, but children...acceptable to God because of our faith.” (Galatians 4:31) “We are saved by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.” (Romans 3:28) “…Abraham found favor with God by faith alone...” (Romans 4:4) “But didn’t he earn the right to heaven by all the good things he did? No, for being saved is a gift.” (Romans 4:12)
Jesus taught Paul that man was free from the law because believing in Him was a higher law. Paul wrote nearly one hundred Scriptures how man could have eternal life by God’s gift, faith, belief, or trust in Jesus.
2. Faith in Jesus plus works.
“You say the way to God is by faith alone plus nothing; well, I say that good works are important too...” (James 2:18) “Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works?”(James 2:21) “...by works a man is justified and not by faith only.”(James 2:24) “If you have been merciful, then God’s mercy toward you will win out over his judgment against you...mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (James 2:13)
James says our mercy can rejoice against God’s judgment. Did he know? “All our righteousness is as filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6) Was Abraham justified by works or faith? James was a Christian but could not give up the old laws for salvation.

JEWISH CHRISTIANS WORE ‘LIFE JACKETS’
God’s laws and blood sacrifices were life jackets on a sea of sin for Jews until His Son became the real sacrifice. Christians were on dry ground but the ‘faith plus works’ Jews kept their life jackets and insisted the Gentiles wear one. ‘Life Jackets’ were:
1. Believing Pharisees: “...must be circumcised and follow all the Jewish customs.” (Acts 15:52)
2. “...friends of James...who insisted that circumcision was necessary for salvation.” (Galatians 2:12)
3. Men...from Judia “...taught the brethren...‘Except ye be circumcised...ye cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1)
4. “Friends who think you have to obey the Jewish laws to be saved.” (Galatians 4:21)
5. “Many who walk along the Christian road who are really enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Philippians 3:18)
6. “There are many who say all Christians must obey the Jewish laws. It must be stopped.” (Titus 1:10, 11)
7. “You are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth about Christ.” (Galatians 1:7)
8. Thousands of Jews, James and elders: “Thou seest, brother, [Paul] how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law.” (Acts 21:20)
Paul tried to teach them: “The Jewish laws were our teacher and guide until Christ came to give us the right standing with God through our faith. But now that Christ has come, we don’t need those laws any longer to guard us and lead us to him. For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.”(Galatians 3:24-26) “He died to annul that whole system of Jewish laws.” (Galatians 2:15)

PAUL ARGUED WITH LIFE JACKETS
“Men from Judea [from James]...began to teach the Christians that unless they were circumcised, they couldn’t be saved. Paul argued with them at length.” (Acts 15:1,2) “...by reading the Scripture, I came to realize I could never find God’s favor by... obeying laws ...[but] by believing in Christ.” (Galatians 2:19) “You have been saved through trusting Christ. Even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God.” (Ephesians 2:8)


PAUL SPIED ON AND PERSECUTED BY LIFE JACKETS
“...I have faced grave dangers...from men who claim to be brothers in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:26) “...false brethren...who came to spy as to whether we obeyed the Jewish laws are not.”(Galatians 2:4) “We who are born of the Holy Spirit are persecuted by those who want us to keep the Jewish laws.”(Galatians 4:29) “...if I preached...Jewish laws are necessary for the plan of salvation, I’d be persecuted no more.”(Galatians 5:11) “Those teachers...who are trying to convince you to be circumcised are doing it to avoid the persecution they would get if they admitted the cross of Christ alone can save...” (Galatians 6:12-13) Paul was criticized: “Don’t bother about his letters. He sounds big but it’s all noise. You never heard a worse preacher” (2 Corinthians. 10:10) “...with tears in my eyes, there are many who walk along the Christian road who are really enemies of the cross of Christ.”(Philippians 3:18) “...false teachers...bring long letters of recommendation...” (2 Corinthians 3:1)

PAUL WAS DISMAYED
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the Jewish laws...have you gone completely crazy?” (Galatians 3:2-3) “You are following a different ‘way to heaven’ that doesn’t go to heaven at all.” (Galatians 1:6) “...now that God has found you, how can it be that you want to go back...to another poor, weak, useless religion of trying to get to heaven by obeying God’s laws? You are trying to find favor with God by what you do or don’t do on certain days or months or seasons...I fear for you.” (Galatians 4:9-11)
I believe those early Christians who obeyed rules became proud and lost their first love. This caused Jesus to say, “Go back to what you heard and believed at first...I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:3, 16)
By obeying Jewish laws, Gentiles were like a herd of cattle stampeding toward a cliff. “If trying to obey the Jewish laws never gave you spiritual life in the first place, why do you think that trying to obey them now will make you stronger Christians? (Galatians 2:3) Paul tried to turn the herd: “Watch out for those wicked men--dangerous dogs who say you must be circumcised to be saved.” (Philippians 3:2)
Paul yelled at men (cults?) he had taught true beliefs, but most were deceived into going over the cliff.
“It takes only one wrong person [James & Joseph Smith?] to infect all the others.” (Galatians 5:9)

WHERE DID PAUL’S AUTHORITY COME FROM?
“I solemnly swear that the way to heaven which I preach is not based on some mere human whim or dream. For my message come from no less a person than Jesus Christ himself, who told me what to say.” (Galatians 1:11-12)

WHERE DID JAMES’ AUTHORITY COME FROM?
“For these [traditions] have been preached against in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.” (Acts 15:21) James’ authority was tradition. What did Jesus think about tradition? “You are trampling under your feet God’s laws for the sake of tradition.” (Mark 7:9)

Paul had a final warning: “If anyone even an angel from heaven preaches any other way to be saved than the one we told you, let him forever be cursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

Scott, one might argue that Paul was talking only to Jews that believed the wrong way to be saved by doing works, but the Bible is just as real today as it was then and applies to you and me.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Just a thought...Dr. Reynolds - I know you don't operate a blog for a living and I appreciate all you must do in a days time, especially with a new baby. However, I must say that as a reader of your blog and the issues brought forth, I must say that with you having to screen each comment, it makes viewing your blog less than cozy...if you know what I mean. It takes away from the flow of the "debating" somewhat. I would suggest having an open line and then closing it off to those that don't abide by the rules...is that doable? I don't know. Just my worthless opinion and thought I would share it. This is something I have noticed that I am feeling.

Take care.

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
Volfan asked you to let comments be made automatically, but you said that got out of hand once before. (I don’t know what happened then.) As long as you have the time to post comments, the communication goes well, but when you are gone, there are spider webs all over the place. When commercials are longer than the action, people switch TV stations.

You have some good subjects to talk about, but when the owner of the one bat goes home, the ballgame is over. Maybe when you leave for a while you could put it on automatic, and switch it when you came back.
Rex Ray

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous

Thank you and I would love to have an open line. However, as an employee of the SBC, and having dealt with the abuses which took place here while I was in el Salvador; in consultation with colleagues, I have decided it is best for my Blog and my family and church and seminary to maintain the comment regulation.

I apologize for the inconvenience. Although myopinions are strictly my opinions and do not represent anyone or any institution, nevertheless, some still associate me with the church I pastor or other institutions. Further, if a comment is placed anonymously, some assume I had something to do with it, especially if it is unkind. Therefore, it is best for me to have this comment moderation enforced.

I hope this makes sense.

God Bless
BR

volfan007 said...

scott,

so, yall worship three gods?

also, who is God the Father in your opinion?

also, our Jesus is the Jesus of the bible. your jesus is someone else.

also, joseph smith was a fraud and a charlatan. that was proven in a court of law. he was a treasure hunter who turned religious when he saw what he could get out of it.

volfan007

Dull Iron said...

Salahv - Your emotional reply is error filled. I don't mean that arrogantly, as you say, but please stop and think about what you are typing. Let me break it down for you.

#1 You said..."If I were a person who did not know the Lord Jesus and I were a Mormon reading dialog from some on this site, I'd be thinking how arrogant some folks are who are trying to share their faith."

Frankly, I don't think it is overstating things to say there is a sense of arrogance in the fact that Christ is the ONLY way. Even you say above that Christ is THE way. Arrogance is your word, but I must admit that it has a sort of truth to it.

#2 You said, "While I do not agree with the Mormons. I do not agree with trashing someone else's prayer by giving a more theologically sound one of my own."

Emotion got the best of you here. Please relax and reread my reply. I said to volfan that "Your prayer, however, is right on." Is that "trashing"? Perhaps you don't know what "right on" means? It means it was a good, theologically sound prayer. Anyway, to make it even clearer for you, Volfan's prayer is precisely what I was NOT "trashing", to use your word. It is the inconsistency between his man-centered theology and his God-centered prayer that is worth pondering (perhaps?). If you have roamed this blog for any length of time, you know about this already. I was simply pointing out that clear inconsistency (clear to me anyway) and hoped for wisdom for him to see the difference. From his comment, I think he has missed it again. What's clear as day to some, is as clear as mud to others.

#3 You said, "I don't understand you one whit, Mr. Dull Iron.
It's no wonder lost people are lost if they are spoken to in the manner in which some speak to them. Is this your way of evangelizing?"

Do you sincerely think that is why people are lost?...is because of the way they are spoken to? Ouch! Again, emotion is getting the best of you, I think. Surely you don't think that. Do you know why people are lost?

Evangelism! Ah...my favorite!!! Thank you for opening the gate for me. I love Psalm 19:7 when it comes to evangelizing. Using the law as a mirror or schoolmaster for folks to see themselves against the holy standard they will be judged by, instead of them comparing themselves to other men and feeling good about themselves. Paul said "I would not have known sin, but by the law". People don't know what sin is. We shove grace down their throat when they don't even see their need for grace. "Oh, please accept Christ! He'll give you love, joy, peace, and happiness...and make your marriage better too." NONSENSE! It is not a matter of happiness. It's a matter of RIGHTEOUSNESS!!! With the law, God breaks the hard heart, and then with grace, He heals the broken heart. And here is the great part, He can do it ALL without me...BUT He gives me the unspeakable privilege of being used by Him to share that wonderful news with those who have ears to hear. What a thrill!

WOW! That was fun. Thanks Selahv! For more information on biblical evangelism, go to www.wayofthemaster.com

Volfan - Again, your answer is contorted. You mean salvation is only a "partial" work of God, don't you? After all, man has the final say.

selahV said...

Scott: Seems you have life and death all figured out. I was just asking out of curiosity. Don't see how you could believe what you say you believe and still believe The Book of Mormon. But that's your choice. Since I've visited with you and you seem uninterested in our thoughts, I've decided to listen to the Lord's words on the matter. Matthew 10:14. So I'll move right along and not bore you with my thoughts. selahV

Brad: So glad you're back. selahV

volfan007 said...

brad,

i wish that you would go to wade's blog and read his latest post on the firing of dr. kouda i believe her name is. i wish that you'd read it and give us your thoughts.

volfan007

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
We would agree that you have the right to control your blog anyway you want to.

BTW, do you see why the above statement could lead to a false conclusion? (Anyone not reading your previous statement might conclude you said the words that I agreed with. Well, that’s water under the bridge.)

I would not be making this comment if you had not said, “Further, if a comment is placed anonymously, some assume I had something to do with it, especially if it is unkind. Therefore, it is best for me to have this comment moderation enforced. I Hope this makes sense.”

No, it does not make any sense at all; if an anonymous comment is made on an OPEN line, and SOME might THINK you had something to do with it, BUT when an anonymous comment is made on a CLOSED line, ALL KNOW you had something to do with it.

Where is the logic?

And a CLOSED line has not kept all unkind comments off your blog as reading can prove.
Rex Ray

brad reynolds said...

Rex
Touche, you are right, I have allowed some of your unkind words to be posted, but in my opinion they did not go over the line. Concerning the rest of your comment, I'll just keep giving you rope:)
BR

brad reynolds said...

Volfan
I read the post today. I find it to be "business as usual" in the blogosphere.

Suffice it to say, it is misleading at best, professors are not guaranteed tenure.

Further, I know some of the Trustees at Southwestern. I trust them much more than I trust some bloggers who have been less than forthright here on this blog.

Further, they are Trustees, which means they are privy to information bloggers are not privy to.

Hope this helps
BR

selahV said...

Mr. Dull Iron: LOL! :) :))))
I'm so glad my comment gave you fuel for laughter and venting. I'm glad you had a thrill and are feeling better. :) God bless you brother. I can't remember what I said and why I said it anymore. And I don't wanna go back and find the thread...c'est la vie. So I think you are probably right, I spoke before I got over emotionalism. :) Not smart.
selahV

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rex,

Your comments are pretty nasty and untrue. The point of my comments were not to take up space on this blog with comments that were unrelated to the topic. I'm not afraid to answer any of your questions. It actually made me laugh reading your silly comments.

What Bible do you use? I use the King James Version and Isaiah 64:6 in my Bible reads, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags". Israel is humbly praying for the Second coming in this chapter. See verse 5, "Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness" How can someone work righteousness, by following the commandments of Jesus. We are all sinners and are in need of a Savior. Israel is recognizing her weaknesses. That's all.

Let's read Acts 2:27, "Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." So we have read it now we must know who is speaking. Peter is speaking here, (verse 14) and he is actually quoting David in Psalms 16 when David is pleading for his own soul. Pay close attention to verses 8-11 of the Psalm.

It most certainly isn't referring to the soul of Jesus Christ!

You question my comments on Hebrews 2:27, which is actually Hebrews 9:27. Sir, we are not immediately judged when we die. There is a time between death, the resurrection and judgment. Again, the gospel will be preached to those who are dead. I already clarified this for you so I won't repeat myself. You focus your efforts on the word WAS. So, on your standard who are the people that the word WAS is referring to? Please share! What happens to all of the people who have lived on the earth but never heard the gospel? What happens to them?

So you liked my wonderful words. Why thank you. I'm only quoting scripture and you apparently don't like them. Well my friend, as Christ said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heave. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in they name? and in they name have cast out devils? and in they name done many wonderful works? An then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

You want a reply about James. Here it is: The writer is generally thought of as the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1: 19), the son of Mary, and is mentioned in Acts 12: 17; Acts 15: 13; Gal. 2: 9. The epistle, which is addressed to the 12 tribes scattered abroad, was probably written from Jerusalem, but the date is not known. It may be one of the earlier epistles of the N.T. In the epistle are found some clearly stated items about practical religion, including the important advice of James 1: 5-6 that if one lacks wisdom, he should ask of God for help. This instructive passage inspired Joseph Smith to inquire of the Lord in 1820 as to the true church, and as a consequence the Father and the Son appeared to him and the dispensation of the fulness of times was launched (JS-H 1: 9-20). Among other important teachings of James are those that have to do with faith and works (ch. 2); the need to control the unruly tongue (ch. 3); an exhortation to patience (ch. 5); calling the elders for a blessing when sick (James 5: 14-16); and the desirability of being an instrument of conversion in the life of even one other person (James 5: 19-20).

I hope this satisfies your inquiry.

My friend Rex, you read your Bible but you do not understand your Bible. If you would like further enlightening, please continue to ask and I'll see what I can do.

Volfan007, No, we don't worship 3 gods. We worship Jesus Christ who is the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father. The other member of the Godhead is the Holy Ghost.

God the Father is our Eternal Father in Heaven. He is the Father of our spirits and is the creator of the plan of salvation. Through Jesus Christ, under the direction of God the Father, all things were created. I hope that answers your question. If not, I can provide you with more details.

You say your Jesus is not my Jesus but give no explanation how you come to this conclusion. Please share because I think our terminology is different which causes some confusion.

I won't even dignify your comments about Joseph Smith and the false accusations you perpetuate against him.

SelahV, You harshness belies your lovely pictures on your website. Do you know the answers to 3 simple questions: 1. Where did we come from? 2. Why are we here? 3. Where are we going? If that's what you mean when you blithely comment that I have death and life all figured out, then the answer is yes. I do know the answers to those questions and I have tried to share that information with you but you are the one who seems not to care about the answers. You casually dismiss the truthfulness of my comments saying you don't know how I believe what I do and still believe the Book of Mormon. Well, since many of my comments come from the Book of Mormon, I guess it would stand to reason that they are parallel. Please explain why I shouldn't believe the Book of Mormon holding the comments true that I have given. You referencing of Matt. 10:14 sent me right back on my mission in Japan. I laughed at the arrogance of those who quote that scripture and do so now.

If you want to converse on this subject or any other, I'd be happy to oblige. Mr. Rex says I quit on the conversation because I was wearing a dunce cap. Please spare me the insults and let's discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ and His teachings.

So, Mr. Rex, Volfan007 and SelahV,
please explain to all of us with pertinent and relevant scripture the answers to my 3 questions. I eagerly await your responses. In addition, please explain Isaiah 29 particularly verses 9 - 15. What is the book? What is the marvelous work and wonder?

Who is it that Jesus is referring to in John 7:16-17? Who is Jesus praying to in the great intercessory prayer in John 17, paying attention to all the references to the Father? Please don't tell me he is praying to himself!

Those who really want to know the true gospel of Jesus Christ will hear it and those who don't will continue to muddle around in the philosophies of men.

Anonymous said...

BR,

Your character speaks volumes. I praise God you were able to return safe to your wife and child. Godspeed to you, my brother.

Colin

selahV said...

Dull Iron: Why are people lost? Because they do not know Jesus. Why do you think they are lost?

And if ya could, tell me what you think Jesus meant by, "better a millstone be hung around someone;s neck and tossed in the sea than that they be found causing even one to stumble." (my paraphrase) too lazy to look it up.

hey Brad, why are people lost who aren't saved?

Everyone: why are people lost who aren't saved?

I don't think arrogance does anyone any good and I don't think Jesus would want us to be arrogant in our defense or sharing of His gospel message. What did Dull Iron just say to me? It's clear as mud. That much I do understand. Grace to all! selahV

TruthOfActs said...

Brad, you said Wade’s post was “business as usual”. Wouldn’t you say that from the 17th through the 19th, that 443 comments was a little more than “usual”?

Your response leads one to believe it was the trustees that removed Sheri Klouda. It was Page Patterson that did it. (The Trustees MAY NOT HAVE even known it was done until it was over.) How did you miss the main thing?

I though Ben Cole’s reply to Kevin Apperson was good:
Ben Cole said…,

Kevin Apperson, you were trained in Baptist polity better than this. Patterson does not have the prerogative to terminate an elected faculty member at Southwestern. This is true for several reasons:

1. The seminary bylaws provide that only the trustees can terminate an elected faculty member, tenured or non-tenured.

2. The seminary bylaws stipulate that the president is to execute the privileges of his office "in accord with and not contrary to" the BFM2000.

3. The BFM2000 speaks clearly about the office of "senior pastor," but it says nothing about the place of a seminary professor.

4. Sheri Klouda was anatomically female when she was hired. Presumably, she was anatomically female when she was asked to leave. Nothing changed about her. The only thing that changed is the administration.

5. Which is why bylaws and trustees govern an institution, not presidents and their theological "preferences." Presidents can change overnight (ask Ken Hemphill and Russell Dilday), but an institution must have a continuity of faculty to execute the charge assigned to it by Southern Baptists.

6. Accreditation guidelines from every major accrediting agency stipulate certain protections for elected faculty. Paige Patterson has exposed SWBTS to unnecessary accreditation review, which is unwise given SWBTS‘s choppy accreditation history in the last fifteen years.

7. Those of us who are calling for his ouster -- and so far I think I'm the only one who's scratching that surface -- are hardly in the dark about things. In fact, you yourself know more about what's happening at SWBTS than you did yesterday just because you read Wade's blog. If he hadn't told you what he did, you'd be less than half informed. In fact, you'd be uninformed. Surely you don't think Wade has done you a disservice by alerting you to a potential injustice to a fellow Southern Baptist?

8. There is a reason that Sheri Klouda was hired to teach two Baptist seminaries, and that she received presidential scholarships from Criswell and SWBTS. There is a reason that the trustees conferred upon her the status of tenure-track faculty. They trust her. If the trustees who are alone charged with the responsibility of electing faculty trust her to teach biblical languages, is it the province of Paige Patterson to supersede their trust?

In fact, Southern Baptists trust their trustees to choose SWBTS faculty more than they do Paige Patterson. That's why they're called "trustees," don't you imagine?

9. Were you aware that the "trustees" limited the appointment powers of Ken Hemphill when he was president because they didn't "trust" the president to make long-term appointments of adjunctive faculty members without their oversight? Or perhaps you didn't want to know that half of the story, either?

10. Do you think the faculty at SWBTS, who conferred upon Sheri Klouda a PhD in Old Testament, believed that she was qualified to teach "in accord with and not contrary to" the BFM2000? What about the trustees who authorized her degree? What about the administration who signed her diploma? Is Paige Patterson the only person whose judgment is to be trusted above all of theirs?

Finally, Kevin, I assure you that I do not engage in speculative theology or politics. Disagree with my opinions, which I offer as opinions. Offer your own to balance mine. But do not assert that I am engaging in a "farce of a trial" built on "presuppositions." Facts, my good man, are much better allies in a conflict of this nature than are opinions.

Your opinion is that Paige Patterson should be trusted. Mine is that he should be awarded his watch and provided a UHAUL.

But neither of those opinions has anything to do with the FACT that a woman is now without a job, facing bankruptcy, and dealing with a termination that even her colleagues -- several with whom I have spoken this very day -- believe her departure from SWBTS to be tragically handled by the administration of Paige Patterson, Craig Blaising, and David Allen.

Oh, did you know that some trustees were adamantly opposed to hiring Sheri Klouda? Did you know that David Allen was the trustee who forced her election through and cajoled his fellow trustees to go along without opposition? Did you know that he was soon thereafter elected as trustee chairman? Did you know that he was hired at SWBTS as theology dean when his term on the board of trustees expired? Did you know that he served as Sheri Klouda's supervisor in that capacity? Did you know two years after he advocated her election under the administration of Ken Hemphill that he advocated her dismissal under Paige Patterson?

These are not opinions, Kevin. These are facts confirmed by numerous sources including current and former trustees, as well as current and former faculty members.

Half truths, Kevin?

How about total fraud.

BSC
Friday, January 19, 2007

Rex Ray

Wade Burleson said...

Two quick thoughts Brad about Klouda:

(1). Have you ever heard of a SBC professor not granted tenure because she is a woman?

(2). Would you tell me how you know the SWBTS trustees know information, that we do not, about Dr. Klouda not being brought before them for tenure? My understanding, received today, is that the SWBTS trustees, including the chairman, have no knowledge as to why she was not being recommended for tenure, but your statement makes it seem as if you believe they have knowledge we don't. Could you elaborate, or were you just talking off the top of your head.

I hope your trip was a success in every sense of the word, and congratulations on your new child!

wade

brad reynolds said...

Wade

Thank you, the trip was great and Kelton is doing very well. We had some fun family time this morning.

Concerning your questions I will answer and ask you a couple.

1) Do you have evidence that she was not granted tenure because she was a woman. Do you have official documentation of such, or were “you just talking off the top of your head?”
2) It is common knowledge that Trustees are privy to information the rest of us are not privy to…that’s why they are Trustees and that’s why there are closed door sessions (surely you are familiar with such).

Now allow me to ask you some questions. You signed the BFM2K which states that it is our belief that the office of the pastor is reserved for men. Since you signed that, we shall assume (granted that is an assumption) you believe and affirm such. Therefore, would you employ a woman to teach men how to be pastors? If so please explain why and what rationale you would use? If not, then you agree in principle, with Dr. Patterson.

Second, I know Dr. Patterson and while he affirms that he believes Scripture teaches that women should not teach men Scriptures in the church, that does not imply that he believes such should be a part of the BFM, nor does it imply that he does not believe that women can have authority over men in the secular world.

I also, believe a woman should not teach a man in church and I teach such, based on Scripture; however, I have no problem with a woman president or boss (although I would have a problem if Hillary became President). To imply a link between his honest understanding of Scripture and the concept that women can never be over men in any area is purposeful misrepresentation and erroneous.

Now, obviously, you disagree with me on this, but I can work with you. However, don’t ask me to compromise what I am convinced Scripture teaches just because you may assume your interpretation is the only correct one.

Further, Please pardon me for not just accepting your word about “narrowing the tent.” The reason I do not is two-fold: 1) I know Dr. Patterson personally and know him to be a man of integrity; 2) I have seen your interaction here on this blog and you have shown to be less than honest (recall your accusation that I refused to post comments of yours, when I asked for evidence you claimed you had forgotten the comments (as if anyone who has been on the blogs for any length of time believes, as meticulous as you are, that you would forget such a thing); in reality we both know you falsely accused me and then rather than admitting it tried to gloss over it). Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

I hope this helps you understand why so many of us are very questionable about your hollow accusations of narrowing the tent.

Finally, I appreciate you making me an accurate prophet. Recall that I argued that those who disagree with who we are as SB, will move to emotional stories and attacking personalities rather than dealing with the issues. Thank you. In fact, I imagine those who disagree with who we are, will continue to speak about personalities and emotional stories rather than dealing with the issues.

Regarding the issues, perhaps you can tell us which seminaries, other than Richmond Seminary (which is CBF), have women teaching men in pastoral ministries, or for that matter Biblical Studies? In other words, how is Southwestern behaving differently from our other seminaries? And if it’s not, why would you single out Dr. Patterson? I think I answered my own question.

God Bless
BR

brad reynolds said...

Wade
One final question. You signed a statement affirming that if you felt someone was doing something wrong you would personally confront them.

Further, you have been a bright star calling for private confrontation before public confrontation. Thus, my question: Did you call and talk to Dr. Patterson about this privately before accusing him publicly?

In other words did you extend the same consideration to one of the architects of the conservative resurgence that you call for and extended to the pastor of the FBC Richmond? If not, you beg the question.
BR

Anonymous said...

Brad,

Here is a “copy” of the email (taken from the comments section of Burleson’s latest post) from Dr. McClain to the Dallas Morning News that certainly appears to infer that Burleson’s post did, in fact, contain at least some “inaccuracies”:

“There are two main issues I want to address. First, Dr. Klouda was not dismissed from SWBTS. Actually she did not have tenure and, like hundreds of professors around the US every year, was told that she would not be awarded tenure. She accepted another position while employed at SWBTS. She also requested that Wade Burleson not release the story, in part because of inaccuracies. Because of confidentiality concerns, I cannot comment directly upon many of the allegations that have been made about SWBTS. The second issue involves the desire of SWBTS to have only men teaching who are qualified to be pastors, or who have been pastors, in the disciplines of theology, biblical studies, homiletics, and pastoral ministries. This is in keeping, of course, with the statement of faith of the SBC that clearly says that the pastorate is reserved for men. It is a matter of freedom of religion in this country for a private institution to align itself with the majority views of its constituency. None of our seminaries to my knowledge have women teaching in Theology, Biblical Studies, Homiletics or Pastoral Ministries. SWBTS is simply coming in line with the others and with our statement of faith.”

God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I find it “curious,” as do others, that Hodge’s article in the Dallas Morning News makes no mention of your “assertion” that Dr. Patterson gave assurance to Dr. Klouda that she would be granted tenure. Are you saying, in your post, that Klouda told you that he personally gave her assurance that she would be granted tenure? Or, is there a link to an article that you can provide for us stating that he did so?

Clearly, the Baptist Press article – the one that you referred to in your post – says no such thing. In fact, it clearly states the opposite of that which you claim:

“Patterson was asked whether he would allow a woman to teach in the seminary’s school of theology. Noting that his wife, Dorothy, had served on the faculty at Southeastern Seminary teaching in the women’s studies program she developed within the division of theology, Patterson said that information provided ‘something of an answer.’ Earlier, the board unanimously elected her as a full professor without pay while having faculty benefits.

‘It would not be my purpose as a leader to do anything in the school of theology that would be something other than what I would want our churches to imitate.’ Expecting that ‘there are ample numbers of men who are well-qualified for those positions,’ Patterson said he plans to build the faculty with ‘God-called men.’ He said opportunities arise for women to teach in the areas of Christian education, ministry to women and children as well as music ministry.”

Thus, if you are relying upon that article to give credence to your claim that Patterson assured Klouda that she would be granted tenure, then you have clearly misrepresented his words and owe him a public apology. God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Wade Burleson said...

Brad,
Answer to your questions.

(1). Yes. Absolutely I have documentation. I never write what I write unless I can prove it. Why do you think the recommendation for my removal from the IMB was unanimously rescinded? :)

(2). Brad, now you are talking off the top of your head. How do you know the trustees were even aware that Sheri would be denied tenure track? I imagine Van McClain will acknowledge he has no idea why she was not given the privilege of defending tenure before the trustees.

Brad, teaching me the Bible is not equivalent of holding the office of pastor. If you read my post carefully you would see that this has been the view of the SBC since the passage of the BFM 2000. Former VP of the Executive Committee, Bill Merrill, says the same thing in a BP article about Ann Graham Lotz, a link on my post yesterday. Suzie Hawkins, wife of O.S. Hawkins, and a member of the BFM 2000 Committee says the same thing -- even stronger, saying the BFM 2000 does not forbid women 'preachers,' just women 'pastors.'

You, Brad, are not in sync with the BFM 2000 on this issue, according to the very people who helped write it.

Finally, about Dr. Patterson. I sure did contact him before I posted the article. I called him. I emailed him. I sent him the document. I asked him to correct any factual misrepresntation.

Thanks for asking.

He never responded.

Thanks for the questions. Any others will need to be given on my blog, since it is too difficult and time consuming to go between my blog and others.

I am grateful your trip to Africa was a success.

Have a great weekend.

Wade

volfan007 said...

brad,

amen and amen. i rejoice in the Lord just about every time you write something.

volfan007

volfan007 said...

scott,

you either worship three gods, or else you believe in the trinity? there is only one God of heaven and earth. there will only be one God thru out eternity, because there is only one God. He is made up of three, distinct persons. He is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. the three make up the one true God.

Jesus was praying to His Father when He prayed. they are distinct, separate beings, yet they are one God.

joseph smith was a liar and a fraud. he was a charlatan who used people for money, and women for sex. this was proven over and over again....even in a court of law.

scott, my friend, come out of that cult and turn to Jesus....the Jesus of the bible, who said that He was the truth, the way, and the life. turn from your works based salvation and turn to Jesus in faith. the bible teaches in ephesians that salvation is by grace thru faith.....not of works.

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

Wade

In light of the way you misrepresented me by calling me names like Landmarker I am not surprised Dr. Patterson did not respond. Further, because of past comments here I am truly not sure what to believe when you say something (fool me once…)

Forgive me, again for not just taking you at your word when you claim you have documentation, which states that she was not given tenure simply because she was a woman.

Concerning number 2, I never said such. I just said Trustees are privy to information we are not…surely you conquer.

My question was not in regards to the difference of teaching women Scripture and women pastors.

My question, which remains curiously unanswered, was in regards to using women to teach men how to pastor. Since you agree only men should pastor, then would you utilize women to teach men how to pastor? If so, that is interesting. If not, then again you agree in principle.

Further, you never responded as to why you singled out only one of our seminaries, (although I think the answer is obvious, now, for I know of no women teaching in pastoral ministries or biblical studies for that matter, in any of our seminaries – although you will find such at Richmond Seminary – it appears from your argument for such that you may be much more in “sync” there, my brother).

Finally, I am in sync with the BFM2000. No where does it declare that women should teach men the Bible…therefore for me to affirm that Scripture teaches “women are not to teach men the Scriptures in the local church” does not go against the BFM in any manner. To proclaim it does is a narrow interpretation of the BFM and actually narrows the tent.

Have a great weekend, and you, as well as your comments, are always welcome here.
BR

brad reynolds said...

JLG
Excellent observations
BR

selahV said...

Scott: You say: "You harshness belies your lovely pictures on your website." I apologize if my words revealed harshness. The intent of my words is like a person who cries "uncle". I simply have no other words to share with you that I believe can penetrate the impasse in which I find our dialog. That's it. I am sorry. I truly am. I confess, I do not understand the book of Mormon. Don't want to understand it. Have found some of the practices of Mormons do not parallel the scriptures. I may be wrong. Maybe I will go down to our local Latter Days Saints Church and have a chat with the local elders and see what I can turn up. Unfortunately, I feel as though I have inflamed you in such a way that any real communication between us may be simply batting flies. So, I'll just wander back into my hole and muddle around in the Word of God and leave the philosophies of men to you to chat with others about.

But I ask you the same questions you ask me: "Do you know the answers to 3 simple questions: 1. Where did we come from? 2. Why are we here? 3. Where are we going?"

When you said I "blithely comment that you have life and death all figured out"...I don't see that as a casual commenting on my part. It was my assessment of anything I had to say to you that made one iota of sense. Obviously I am inept at communicating. I hardly think I can add to your belief system. You do attest to having knowledge we do not have and understanding we cannot grasp, do you not? So how is my comments to you casual bland communique of your belief system? And given your affirmative answer "yes" then how can my assumption be anything but simple acceptance that you believe exactly as I stated?

"Casually dismiss?" No, not casually. Purposefully. I find it difficult to argue with someone about scripture, Scott. I don't like to argue. I try to understand. I simply stated what I feel. And I feel the parallels you say are so evident sorely lack in alignment. It's simply my opinion. I promise you this, though. First thing Monday morning I'm gonna go down to the public Library and check out the book of Mormon. And read it. Would that make you feel better?

My referencing Matthew 10:14 may be "laughable" to you. It is not to me. It's sad. Very very sad. I by no means want to think of you as someone who does not know Jesus and does not want the gospel. But I do know that my words are not being received by you and they are being misinterpreted by you as "harshness", "arrogant","blithe", "laughable" and "casually dismissive." What else can I do but move on, dear Scott? Is there really anything I have to say to you that won't inflame you more? Is there any softness in my words which can turn away your wrath? Is there any wisdom in my words you can discern? Are my blogs filled with pictures which belie my motives and heart and words? If you see me as pride-filled, haughty and laughably silly, then what else is there for me to say? Wouldn't you move on if someone said this to you? Maybe not. But I do not find this conversation at all edifying to you, to me, or to others. For this I apologize to my host, and the commenters on this site. But to have ignored your comments to me appeared to beg me answer you. I will not ignore anyone who sincerely wants me to dialog with them. But I don't really think you want that from me. Grace and peace be upon you and yours. May you find His grace sufficient to meet your needs as I most certainly do. SelahV

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
Here is today’s Dallas Morning News in the “Metro Section” by Sam Hodges—Staff Writer:

SOUTHERN BAPTISTS IN ROW OVER FEMALE TEACHER’S EXIT
Seminary case fuels debate on women’s role in theology programs.

Conservative Southern Baptists are fighting again, this time over whether women should be able to teach men in seminary theology programs.
They agree that the role of pastor is reserved for men, based on a verse in 1 Timothy in which the Apostle Paul says, “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man.”
But some conservatives say Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, under president Paige Patterson, wrongly applied the verse to remove from its faculty Sheri Klouda, who until last year had been teaching men Hebrew in the seminary’s school of theology.
The controversy is yet another sign that conservatives, who in the late 1970s and ‘80s united on a platform of biblical inerrancy while winning control of the Southern Baptist Convention, are seriously at odds.
Wade Burleson, an Oklahoma pastor and leader of dissident conservatives, this week used his blog to describe and decry the treatment of Dr. Klouda, who got her doctorate at Southwestern and was given a tenure-track position at the Fort Worth school in 2002.
“Sheri Klouda is not a pastor, she has not been ordained or licensed, she does not perform ministerial duties. She is a professor, for heaven’s sake,” Mr. Burleson said by phone Friday. “The same institution that conferred her degree and hired has now removed her for gender. To me, that is a very serious, ethical, moral breach.”
Dr. Patterson did not respond to request for comment. Speaking for the seminary instead was Van McClain, chairman of the Southwestern trustees.
He confirmed that Dr. Klouda was told she would not get tenure and was encouraged to find another job. He would not say why.
But Dr. McCain did say that Dr. Klouda’s hiring as a professor in the school of theology, which occurred before Dr. Patterson arrived in 2003, represented a “momentary lax of the parameters.”
Southwestern, he said, has gone back to its “traditional, confessional and biblical position” that women should not instruct men in theology or biblical languages.
Dr. Klouda, now teaching at Taylor University in Indiana, did not authorize Mr. Burleson to make her case public. But in a phone interview, she confirmed many details in his blog account.
“I don’t think it was right to hire me to do his job, to put me in the position where I, in good faith, assumed that I was working toward tenure, and then suddenly remove me without any cause other than gender,” she said.
Dr. Klouda said she was first informed on June 7, 2004, by an administrator she would not name, that she would not get tenure and should look for another job.
Later, she said, she spoke Dr. Patterson about the mater.
“He essentially said that his perspective and understanding in this regard was that in the teaching role in the school of theology, where we’re training pastors, those teachers should also be qualified to be pastors. Therefore, those teachers should be men,” she said.
Dr. Klouda said she was never given any reason other than her gender for not having her contract renewed. She said she and her husband had bought a house near the seminary, assuming she would be at Southwestern for many years.
“The house has not sold,” she said. “I pay this big house payment every month for nothing.”
Dr. McClain, the trustee, defended Southwestern’s treatment of Dr. Klouda.
“The administration was patient with her and allowed her to teach a full two years after she was told that she would not have tenure,: he said.
“During that time, she looked for a job, and the seminary even agreed to continue her support after her teaching responsibilities were over, so her family would have financial support. The seminary went far beyond anything that could be expressed as its duty or responsibility.”
Dr. Klouda earned degrees at Criswell College, with high honors, before enrolling at Southwestern. Even as a graduate student, she said, she taught Hebrew classes there on an adjunct basis.

Tacit Understanding
When she finished her doctorate, the trustees approved her appointment to the faculty, assigned to the school of theology. She said there was an unwritten understanding that she would teach language courses as opposed to more strictly theological courses.
The president then was Ken Hemphill. During his time at Southwestern, he said by phone, “There was not a policy where [women] would not be able to teach church history or the languages.”
Women have long taught at Southwestern outside the school of theology—in music and certain other areas. That continues. But under Dr. Patterson, the only woman still teaching in the field of theology is his wife, Dorothy. And she teaches women’s studies courses that aren’t attended by men. Dr. McCain said.
He added that precedent for women teaching theology in SBC seminaries is “extremely rare.”
“I do not know of any women teaching in any of the SBC seminaries presently in the area of theology or biblical languages,” Dr. McClain said. “In my estimation all of the seminaries have sought to be more consistent with most Southern Baptists’ understanding of Scripture on the matter.”
But Mr. Burleson said Southwestern had gone too far in decreeing that women shouldn’t be involved in the theological education of male pastors-in-training.
“What bothers me is the extraordinarily restrictive views of certain leaders in our convention regarding women,” he wrote on his blog.

Dallas Seminary
Among Dr. Klouda’s supporters is Eugene Merrill, a professor of Old Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. It too is a conservative evangelical seminary, though not Southern Baptist.
“Sheri is highly qualified to teach Hebrew,” he said.
Dr. Merrill said conservative seminaries, including his own, have struggled with whether the verse in 1 Timothy should keep women from teaching men training to be pastors.
He believes it shouldn’t, arguing that Paul was speaking about the local church, “not the broader academy, which didn’t exist in Paul’s time.”
Dr. Morrill said his view has gradually prevailed at DTS, where a woman is among the Hebrew teachers.
For more than a year, Mr. Burleson has used his blog to air concerns about the direction of the SBC. He said his overall concern is that the denomination is every more narrowly defining what it means to be a Baptist.
He and other “blogging Baptist” claimed credit for helping elect Frank Page, an underdog, small town pastor, as president of the SBC last summer.
Mr. Burleson said his account of Dr. Klouda and Southwestern has prompted hundreds of comments on his blog.
“This strikes a chord in the hearts of all Southern Baptists.”
E-mail samhodges@dallasnews.com

Rex Ray

selahV said...

Brad; What Happens When I Die? I will be at peace. True everlasting eternal peace. No more sorrow. No more tears. Struggling will be over. No more bickering...no more accusations, no more mistrust. Total absolute peace. Lord, how I wish Jesus would return. I am so selfish. So very selfish. selahV

brad reynolds said...

Selah

I can't really give a lot of details concerning my trip. I know you understand. Thank You.

Rex

As I asked Wade, how has Southwestern behaved differently from our other seminaries and if it has not then why single it out. The answer seems obvious.
BR

TruthOfActs said...

Brad.
You asked, “How has Southwestern behaved differently from our other seminaries and if it has not then why single it out? The answer seems obvious.”

The obvious answer is some people with a prejudice mind cannot see facts.

Facts:
1. Sheri Klouda was hired unanimously by Southwestern trustee board when Hemphill was president who stated: “There was not a policy where [women] would not be able to teach church history or the languages.”
2. The trustees in hiring Sheri did not violate any policy of the school.
3. The trustees never voted to change school policy that would prohibit Sheri from being hired.
4. Patterson told Sheri to find a job elsewhere.
5. Who will take responsibility for her dismissal?
6. Patterson won’t talk or reply to anyone.
7. Chairman of the trustee board tried to take the heat off Patterson, “Dr. Klouda’s hiring…represented a momentary lax of the parameters.”

“Momentary lax of the parameters”? Is that temporary insanity?

The question arises: Is Patterson an employee of the board, or is the board an employee of the man that gave them their jobs?

I don’t recall any other seminaries being in mess after mess as Southwestern. No wonder under the guidance of Patterson the school has dropped from #1 to #3.
Rex Ray

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
Regardless of whether one agrees with Dr. Patterson's position (removing an assumedly tenure-track professor because of adherance to his - and I assume others' - interpretation of the passage in I Tim.) or Mr. Burleson's position (that Dr. Clouda shouldn't have been removed), I think it is important for SB's to know about the situation. I will not comment on 'how' the issue was brought to the public, but I will say that I am glad that it was as I think that the direction of our seminaries is an important affair for lay sb's/local churches (the owners of the seminaries) to understand and be aware of.

Grace and peace brother,

PTL

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
You may find this as another ‘attack’ on you or you may find it as ‘a wake up call.’

We all seem to delight in pointing out the speck in the other guy’s eye, but what are we doing for the lost world?

I have Scott in mind. Here’s a man that’s going to hell and taking who knows how many with him unless they have put their faith in Christ and are not tying to heaven by their works. He has made 5 comments consisting of 3,038 words in spreading his theology.

Jim, Selahv, Volfan, and I have made 11 comments to convince him otherwise. I’ve made 2,483 words alone.

Brad, you’ve given us no praise, but you say “Excellent observation” to JLG in his attack against Wade.

You have made 3 ‘critical’ comments to Wade and zero words to Scott.

Do you have some explanation?

In a way this Scripture applies to all of us if we ignore a lost world,

“Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die. Don’t try to disclaim responsibility by saying you didn’t know about it. For God, who knows all hearts, knows yours, and he knows you knew! And he will reward everyone according to his deeds.” (Proverbs 24:11-12)

Scott, you may find our words silly and laugh, but by your own beliefs, you won’t get another chance once you leave this world for you’ve had the opportunity to understand the words you’ve read in the Bible.

I continue to ask prayers for my twin brother. He refused admittance to a hospital until a doctor told him he didn’t realize how close he was to death. This doctor told him after 3 months of valley fever he should be better but he was worse and they would look for something else. I’m going to be with him in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

SelahV, I hope you do go and speak with the missionaries or someone at the church. Conversing through the internet or through email is a horrible practice. No one can see the real intent of an individual unless they are actually speaking with them.
You asked me back my 3 questions and I will tell you that I do know the answers to these questions. I don’t say that with arrogance or conceit, but with surety and knowledge. That’s why I posted what I did in the beginning of this blog. It asked the question of what happens to us when we die. I answered and was immediately given the “cult” sign by everyone. However, I haven’t read one answer to that question yet on this blog. If you really want these answers, then let me know and I will do my best in answering you.
If all of the “Christian” churches use the same Bible, then why the varied teachings and why don’t they have the answers to these questions? You can go ask any pastor and they won’t be able to tell you these answers based on scripture. They will tell you their interpretation or what the “church” has come up with for an answer, but it will not be according to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Do you believe Christ to be the orchestrater of confusion and disarray? I don’t. I believe that there really is only one Lord, one faith and one baptism just as the scripture says. I don’t feel like I’m arguing with you. You and others have asked questions and I’m giving you the answers. Answers that apparently you and others don’t like.
I came to this sight to ask questions and gain understanding from the points of view of those who post about the ready dismissal of the Mormon baptism that was posted on one of the other commentaries. I did so in order to understand why it is that other “Christian” churches teach what they do. I gained a little insight but mostly it is all just hyperbole and nothing according to the Bible which everyone professes to believe.
I’ve been commenting with Jim on my website trying to understand even more about other churches and what they teach. You might want to take a look and see what we have been talking about.
If you want to get the Book of Mormon today, I think that is great. I hope that you read it with an open mind and with sincere prayer to know if it is true. If you have any questions, please ask and I’ll see what I can do. Invite the missionaries over and have a conversation with them and ask them questions. That’s why they are there. As I said before, this is a poor way to communicate things of such great importance.

brad reynolds said...

Rex

I posted your comment about SW, but you may want to check your facts about their falling from 1 to 3 (I assume you are speaking of FTE's). It is not unusual for bloggers to be wrong about the facts but we try to be right on this blog. Further, your continual attack an Dr. Patterson rings hollow to an individual who saw what his leadership did for Southeastern (taking its enrollment to levels it had never been before). Further, you still never explained how SW is different from our other seminaries (none of whom employ women to teach Biblical Studies).

Concerning Scott, I will gladly e-mail back and forth with him on these issues should he desire, furthermore, ya'll have done valiantly, so there was no need for my input. Moreover, I am not convinced that the best way I could convince him of truth is on a public blog. I have and continue to pray for him and I have shared the gospel (the very post to which we are commenting). But thank you for your encouragement and I confess I should be more diligent in sharing with others.

Concerning Wade and SBCpastor, they both specifically addressed me...while Scott seemed to be discussing with you and others.
BR

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I just read your comments about me going to hell. Please don't worry about me going to hell. Kind of an arrogant statement from one who continually misquotes scripture to serve his purpose. I'm definitely not perfect but I'm not going to hell.

Anyway, I answered all of your questions but you didn't answer any of mine. Why not? I eagerly await your answers using scripture for your understanding.

I don't take pride in refuting every one of your assertions as all I'm trying to do is gain understanding and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I told Selah, over the internet isn't the best way as it is slow and we are unable to understand ones true intentions.

However, I would love to see your answers to my questions. If Brad wants to jump in too, that would be fine.

I hope you enjoy the AZ weather as Mesa is my hometown. Go to Matta's on Main Street for some excellent Mexican food. Be sure to stop by the Mesa Temple on Main Street as well and go through the Visitor's Center. It could be very productive for you.

I truly hope your brother gets well soon.

Scott

TruthOfActs said...

Scott,
Thank you for caring about my brother. So far they’ve found and ulcer, and have given him blood. I’ll be there in about 7 hours, so this will probably be my last ‘shot’ at you for a while. HA Maybe Brad will take my place.

If I have counted right you have asked 9 questions. I will number them as I get to them but will discuss some of your comments as I go.

1. “What Bible do I use?” I use the KJ Bible and six other translations.

I asked you to explain Hebrews 9:27, (“And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment”), and you replied, “Sir, we are not immediately judged when we die. There is a time between death, the resurrection and judgment.”

Hey! You left out the part about the cow jumping over the moon. I mean, you did not even attempt to explain the meaning. In reality, you cut the verse out and threw it away. If we are going to be honest with each other, just say I don’t believe that verse.

2, “Who are the people that the word WAS is referring to?”
To make any sense out of this question, I will copy paste the Scripture and my answer as I’ve already answered it once. (1-13-07 12:57 AM)
1 Peter 4:6, “For this cause WAS the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”

There are two ways to look at the word “WAS”. WAS you’re great grandfather preached the Gospel before he died, or WAS your great grandfather preached the Gospel after he died?

You say people are preached the Gospel after they die, but it’s much more in keeping with the Great Commission for people to be preached the Gospel BEFORE they die.

“…that they might be judged…” means they will be judged if they accepted the Gospel or not.

“…, but live according to God…” means heaven or hell according to God’s judgment.

“…in the spirit” does not mean live in God’s Spirit, but means man’s spirit or soul will live in heaven or hell.

You say, “Plainly, it says that the gospel will and is being preached to those who are dead.”

The Bible says plainly: The gospel WAS preached to those who are dead.

If you want me to share more than I already have, I will. All the sins of man before Calvary were temporarily forgiven by the sacrifice of animals to those who tried to keep the law until Jesus became the real sacrifice. The sins before and after Calvary were paid by Jesus. The preaching of the old law was in a sense directed to the Gospel of Christ. Therefore all people who heard the law had the Gospel preached to them and the Gospel WAS preached to them that heard and are now dead.

3. “What happens to all of the people who have lived on the earth but never heard the gospel?” They go to hell. Thus the great commission.

4. “What happens to them” See answer above.

I’m sorry Scott, bit off more than I can chew. I’ve got one hour before the alarm goes off to drive to the airport.
Rex Ray

brad reynolds said...

Rex
Just wanted you to know I have been praying for your brother today.
BR

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I hope all is well with your brother in Phoenix and you can return home soon.

Would you please explain 1 Cor. 15:29, John 5:25-29 and 1 Peter 3:18-20?

These scriptures talk of baptism for the dead and those spirits who need to hear the gospel because they never had the chance.

Also, regarding your #3 answer, I hope you are not serious in how you answered. How can you say that your belief is a just belief when people have never even heard of Jesus Christ and you assign them to hell? Can you please provide scripture references for your belief?

Christ died for ALL mankind and their sins, not just those who profess a belief in Christ. All mankind is made alive because of Christ.

Your answer to me makes me believe that you don't think Christ is just and will dismiss people who never had the chance to hear about his gospel. I promise you my friend, this is an erroneous belief and teaching! And I'm not sure how you could believe is such an injustice!

volfan007 said...

Jesus is the only way to heaven. if anyone does not come to the Father thru Jesus, then they will go to hell.

all those who die outside of Jesus Christ will go to hell forever.

david

Scott said...

Volfan,

You are correct. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ. Jesus said so.

Can you explain/expand upon your comment that who dies outside of Christ goes to hell forever? What is your definition of 'outside' and can you give me your scripture references for your doctrine?

Scott

TruthOfActs said...

Scott,
I will continue to answer your 9 questions, but before I do, I want to back up and make a statement that I believe. You and others may jump on me for saying this, but here goes.

The curse of death that God put on man happened the day Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. They died just like God said they would, and that was a spiritual death only. Jesus did not pay for a physical death or Christians would never die a physical death. Christians never die a spiritual death. God planned from the beginning that man would die and then live again. If man was going to live forever on earth, the tree of life had no significance. God has never made two laws that contradict one another. One law (tree of life) did not contradict his law that man would die a physical death because God’s curse was never a physical death. Do you see what I’m saying? All are going to live forever—in heaven or hell.

Question 5: You ask an explanation of Isaiah 29 particularly verse 9-15.

This was prophecies concerning Judah how they would be conquered by their ignorance to see what was happening.

Question 6: What is the book?

The “book” is a metaphor that contains the future events of their destruction, but it is sealed to those that are learned. “To others” reminds me of my father (school principal) on the first day of school, telling my mother to have her class write one page on what they had done during the summer. She told him they couldn’t do that.
“Nonsense, I want everyone to start writing now and bring it to me when you’ve finished.”
This girl brought him her paper full of marks. He said, “Honey, what does this say?”
“I don’t know; I can’t read,” replied the first grader.
Scott, I know where you’re headed—you think this book refers to the Book of Mormon, but it really means my book “The Truth of Acts.” Thanks for bringing my attention to it.

Question 7: What is the marvelous work and wonder?

Verse 14: “…I will [do] a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish.” Scott, the marvelous work and wonder is as the New Living Bible says in verse 14: “Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools.”
Scott, I know you are hinting that the Book of Mormon is the marvelous work and wonder. How can you take a word here and a word there out of context, put them together, and make an ignorant theology?

Verse 13 (New Living Bible) should be a warning to all of us; “And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules.”
Jesus quotes this verse in Mark 7:7 “…They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.” Wake up Scott, Jesus is talking to all of us.

Question 8: Who is Jesus referring to in John: 16-17?

The Living Bible makes these verses very plain: “So Jesus told them, “I’m not teaching you my own thoughts, but those of God who sent me. If any of you really determines to do God’s will, then you will certainly know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.” Scott the short answer is: Jesus was referring to his Father.

Question 9: Who is Jesus praying to in John 17? (Please don’t tell me he is praying to himself.)

In the Living Bible, Jesus said “Father” 6 times, and “you” or “yours” (referring to God), 49 times. He was praying to God. What is the point of your question? How can you defend your question as NOT being an ignorant question?

Scott, Hebrews 6:1-2 ought to give you a clue that the Book of Mormon is not needed to give any needed information for Christians. “Let us stop going over the same old ground again and again, always teaching those first lessons about Christ…Surely we don’t need to speak further about the foolishness of trying to be saved by being good, or about the necessity of faith in God; you don’t need further instruction about baptism and spiritual gifts and the RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD AND ETERNAL JUDGMENT.”
That’s it Scott, what the Bible says is all God intended his children to have. You need to heed Scripture (Living Bible) such as in Colossians: “I am saying this because I am afraid that someone may fool you with smooth talk. (2:4)
“Don’t let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men’s thoughts and ideas, instead of what Christ has said.” (2:8)
“Don’t let anyone declare you lost when you refuse to worship angels, as they say you must. They [Smith?] have seen a vision, they say, and know you should. These proud men…have a very clever imagination.” (2:18)
“If you hear of people [Smith?] having visions and special messages from God…don’t believe them. Don’t be carried away and deceived regardless of what they say. (2 Thessalonians 2: 2-3)
“Evil men and false teacher will become worse and worse, deceiving many, they themselves having been deceived by Satan.” “They won’t listen to what the Bible says but will blithely follow their own misguided ideas.” [Book of Mormon?] (2 Timothy 3: 13 4:4)

I’m replying to your comment as you wrote it. You said for me not to worry about you going to hell. Let me ask you: Have you ever felt lost? (If not the Holy Spirit has never convicted you and you can never be saved until He does—No man comes to the Father unless I draw him.[not an exact quote]) Did you ask Jesus to save you? (If you have, you will be in heaven even in your ignorance—along with me and my ignorance in heaven.)

You say I misquote Scripture for my purpose, but you gave no example. Am I just supposed to believe you?
You say you have answered all my questions, but where have you written even one of my questions and gave a reply?
You say I didn’t answer any of your questions. But you asked me to explain 1 Peter 4:6, “For this cause WAS the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”

I did a copy—paste on my answer: There are two ways to look at the word “WAS”. WAS your great grandfather preached the Gospel before he died, or WAS your great grandfather preached the Gospel after he died?

BTW, you never told me when your great grandfather WAS preached the gospel. Maybe that’s too far back—what about your grandfather or your father?

When my brother told me goodbye this week, he was so weak he never took a pillow off his head.
Rex Ray

volfan007 said...

scott,

all thru the nt we are taught that Jesus is the only way to heaven.... that we must come to the Father by grace thru faith(ephesians 2:8-10). and, those who die outside of Christ, or who die in thier sins, or who die without ever putting thier faith in Jesus as thier personal Lord and Savior, will go to hell forever.

matthew 18:8-9
matthew 23:33
matthew 25:46...notice that the punishment is everlasting..does not end.
2 thessalonians 1:8-10....once again...those who do not know God will be punished with everlasting punishment.
also, in the gospels, Jesus talks about weeping and gnashing of teeth for those thrown into hell. they will be weeping and gnashing thier teeth in pain.
revelation 20 is another chapter that discusses hell...the lake of fire...verse 10 talks about the punishment being forever and ever.

these are just a few out of hundreds in the nt that deal with hell being everlasting punishment...which the mormons deny. they teach that Jesus is the only way, and that those who die outside of Jesus, who refuse to repent and put thier faith in Jesus, will go to hell when they die...forever.

acts 10:43 is a great verse about being forgiven of our sins thru Jesus.
acts 13:38-39
and, the scriptures are so numerous about salvation being by grace thru faith....about Jesus being the way to heaven....about those who refuse to get saved going to hell forever...that if you read the nt you will see it so clear.

scott, i would encourage you to read the book of romans...without the mormon commentaries...and just let the Lord speak to your heart thru your reading His Word. if you are truly interested in the truth, that is.

david