Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Afraid of Islam

Here's a good indicator of one reason why American churches are so pitifully inept.

At the 57m31s mark of the latest episode of the Dividing Line, James White takes a call from someone who seems to be a pastor, asking in essence if it would be OK for him to expose his congregation to a scenario in which they would be reaching out to and coming into substantial contact with Muslims. He doesn't want to "open (his) congregation up too much to (Islam and the influence of the imam he just met)".

Are you kidding me? What are you afraid of? What power does Islam have? What truth does it possess that it didn't rip off the Bible? Who will bring these people the Gospel if not you?

And why don't you have confidence in your people? Why aren't you leading them to be strong in the faith and contend earnestly for it? How is it anything other than near-total failure on your part that you don't feel they are prepared to come into contact with lost people and talk to them about their religious beliefs? How do you think people grow in their ability to defend and explain the Bible if not through practice (Hebrews 5:13-14)? Do you think that if you don't do this, the people of this congregation won't be exposed to false religion and false worldviews in some other way that you can't hover over and sweep away with your cowardly hand-waving? What sort of example have you thus set for those who DO encounter the enemy's lies? Some will flee the battle. Others will scratch their heads and wonder why their pastor is so nervous about entertaining open and frank discussion about the defensibility and truth of the Christian faith.

And so what if exposure to a false religion is the provocation for some of "your people" to fall away? Wouldn't that mean they were never regenerate to begin with? Isn't it better that they leave your fellowship in open and visible rebellion to the King rather than stay in concealment as a false brother and a hidden reef at your love feasts (Jude 12) (that is, if you even do love feasts at your church) (hint: you should be)?

SO MUCH wrong with that call and that caller. God help him. He is walking in fear instead of walking in faith.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Steven Furtick is pretty sure God sinned

*Editorial Note: Pulpit & Pen continues in unrepentant sin and enabling of the ongoing sin of Jordan Hall. While it is my understanding that P&P does not plan to take down the content I contributed, any role I can play in reducing their traffic until they repent, I will. Thus I migrate this article here.

“Pastor” Steven Furtick just plain doesn’t understand such central truths about the Christian faith, like what Jesus Christ was doing on the cross. Apparently, and to the surprise to every single person familiar with the Bible throughout human history, “God broke the law for love” when Jesus died on the cross.

To be fair, though, what else should one expect from the man with such a well-established pattern of frequently saying nonsense, like “having faith in doubt“, and partaking in fruitless deeds of darkness like giving TD Jakes’ church $35K (which is, actually, pretty disappointing and a pittance compared to Tyler Perry’s publicly being “touched to give a million dollars”, but we can’t all be rock stars)?

I was friends with a guy in college who had a younger brother who had expressly abandoned the faith in which he had been raised. He had objections I wasn’t necessarily prepared at age 20 to defeat, one of which being that Jesus broke God’s law when He healed on the Sabbath. Furtick trumpets in this video that the Gospel is good news to the world, implying that he and his church preach it. One is left wondering when they do so, and if confronted with challenges and objections (which pretty much always happens if you’re actually preaching the Gospel to lost people, rather than just talking about it in the comfortable confines of your multi-million dollar building on Sunday morning), one wonders if Furtick would recommend we just shrug and agree with the skeptic. I mean, hey, we should just love people, right?

The likes of Deuteronomy 21:23, Galatians 3:13, Isaiah 53:10, Psalm 7:11, and Psalm 18:30 are enough to put this matter to rest.

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” –Matthew 5:17

Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. –Romans 3:27-31

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. –Romans 8:3-4

And if those don’t do it for you, consider that sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4-5). If God broke the law, then…doesn’t that mean He sinned?

At this point we should all be shocked and amazed when men such as Furtick get something right.