Walking The Tightrope

Being a fundamentalist today is like walking a tightrope. You’ve got to make it past Lordship Salvation without getting wrapped up in it.. You’ve got to make sure you’re a dispensationalist. You’ve got to avoid Ruckmanism/Pearlism/Hyles-ism/ Riplinger-ism. You’ve got to avoid THeological liberalism.

Every teaching tool you turn to, you’ve got to be careful. Many commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, harmonies, teaching tools of all kinds, are written by theological liberals.

Logos is the most serious Bible study tool I’ve ever owned. But I’ve got to wade through interviews of people who’ve uncovered “Startling new discoveries on salvation” on the homepage – and what it boils down to is, it’s a heretic with a new book Logos is triyng to sell. Logos runs it by their resident scholars, who are theological liberals, and they see nothing wrong with it, because they don’t believe ether.

Accordance is written by a woman who’s devised a great study tool, but it’s clear from her blog entries on the Accordance web site that she too is caught up in THeological Liberalism.

Bound up in ALL of this is CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and Roman Catholicism, because all Christian denominations should be one and united, despite serious doctrinal error and the basic facts that most people who claim to be Christian are not saved.

We need to be TOGETHER, and UNITED! It would be RUDE to tell someone who believes in Salvation by works that they’re hellbound! Why, it might make them feel bad!

“What about the eternity in hellfire part?”

“That’s not my responsibility.”

It IS your responsibility. If you partner with some theological liberal and don’t bother to tell him he’s hellbound, what will you say to him at the Great White Throne judgment when he says, “Why didn’t you say something?” Yes, you’re going into heaven. But he’s going to Hell. I have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that the resident scholar at Logos is not going to be with me in Heaven, but will be screaming in torments forever, in the lake of fire. So much so, that when his materials are free giveaways by Logos, when his classes are avialable, I avoid them like the plague. The same goes for NT Wright, and this new guy that looks so grim when he talks about his new discoveries about salvation being works oriented. The same goes for David Stern, the mis-translator and author of the Jewish New Testament translation. And CS Lewis. Etc.

I can understand why many IFB just lock themselves away with their King James and plug their ears. I’ve been tempted to do that myself. But I’m learning HUGE amounts about the Bible.

THe single hardest thing for me is, staying away from other translations, to stay away from other denominations. Wow, it would be GREAT to stop fighting, to stop swimming against the current. But we’re in the middle of the great falling away, the great apostasy. To give in is to join up, to help establish the wordwide faith that will help the Antichrist move into power. And I don’t want my eternity in heaven to be tainted with the knowledge that because I gave up, because I stopped fighting, I helped establish the Antichrist.

WAAAY too many people are going to have their eternity tempered with that realization. Way too many.

Don’t you be one of them.

How to find a Biblical Church

How to find a Biblical church.

In today’s world, finding a Biblical church sooner or later is going to become a necessity. The church you’re in right now probably has plans to turn into something that’s not a church, if they haven’t already.

The first thing you should ALWAYS do is ask to see the statement of faith. If they don’t have one on the website, be worried. A statement of faith nowadays has to be incredibly long, not a short little three paragraph thing.

  • What’s their stand on the Bible? Any Bible? The Message? Do they believe the Bible was inerrant and Inspired ONLY in the original manuscripts, or do they believe the one in your hands is inerrant and inspired?
  • What’s their stand on Salvation? I ask this becase literally, the most popular and famous Christian writer today – N. T. Wright – is preaching heresy, and so many Christians are dazzled by his writings that they’re not stopping to say “wait a minute…” Does this church believe salvation is a free gift of God and not of works, in accord with Eph. 2:8-9? Don’t assume they believe a Biblical message of salvation. If their altar call doesn’t mention Repentance… worry about it.
  • Do they baptize by immersion? If they teach baptism is not for today, avoid that church. I mentioned Jason Cooley a couple of times on this blog until I realized that was his stance, and now I reccommend people avoid him. If they offer you a choice, or baptize infants, leave that church.
  • Does it feel like a house of God, or a rock concert? I strongly feel that churches should play doctrinally strong hymns and not rock music for the service. While there are strong arguments for and against Christian contemprary music, there’s one thing you cannot deny – once a church makes a move for including modern music in its service, the doctrinal positions soon change. That’s not even a 70% type of statistic from what I’ve seen, that’s a 100% statistic. That alnoe should make you nervous. find me one church with a drummer, a bass player, and guitar solos that preaches the wrath of God against sinners and a literal eternity in burning fire and torment for anyone who is not born again. You can’t play half the service of universalist man-centered music and then preach a God centered message – it won’t last that way for long.
  • Do they preach a literal eternity in a fiery Hell for any who are not saved?
  • Do they accept EVERYONE who names the name of Christ as saved, despite evidence to the contrary?
  • Are the Deacons saved? Big question.
  • Are the walls painted black in the sanctuary? Really. I’m not kidding. There are several churches in my town whose walls are painted black, so that the light show works better.
  • Do they preach the whole word of God?
  • Do they make their doctrines based upon emotions, feelings, and what’s pleasing to the flesh – or do they base their doctrinal stand upon the Bible? THat’s a strong question nowadays. Believe it or not, David Cloud’s latest book makes the charge that Southern Baptists respond institutionally more by emotions than the word of God – and I can’t refute that.
  • Do they join hands with those who take unBiblical doctrines, or do they advocate Biblical separation from those in error?
  • Do they preach a Biblical pre-tribulation rapture, or do they assume somehow that there won’t be a rapture, or that “The Church” must go through part of or all of the Rapture? This is a big issue. Like the contemporary music issue, it’s the tip of the iceberg that something is wrong.

Okay, now let’s examine the other side of the issue.

  • Does the congregation look like they’re afraid to raise their eyes to look at the pastor?
  • If you try talking to someone before the service, do they cast a fearful eye at the pastor first before answering you?
  • Do the congregation member’s eyes pass by you as if you don’t exist? I learned in seminary that “As the congregation is, so is the Pastor first.” If the congregation ignores you, so wil the pastor.
  • Do they kick the homeless and needy out of the church – or does the Deacon pull them aside and give them money so they can get some real food? Big issue for me. I saw the Deacon in my old church pull a homeless man who was begging during the service out of the sancutary – and then empty his wallet into the man’s hands. That deacon remains my hero, dsepite my leaving that church. By the way, that Deacon was a military retiree, on a fixed income.
  • Is there a constant theme of, “you’re not getting this kind of Biblical truth anywhere else!”
  • Does the church have pictures of Jack Hyles or Peter Ruckman prominantly displayed?

As we get farther and farther into the age of apostasy, it’s getting harder and harder to look for a Biblical church. So many churches are starting to remove denominational names from their church name (Baptist is not a denomination, but you know what I mean). And some are even removing the word “Church” from the name.

If they’re taking the word Church from the name… it’s a hint.

Use of the word Pharisee

I constantly encounter the word Pharisee by Christians, mostly Evangelicals. Recently, I encountered a hyper-grace believer on this blog, who was quick to try to subtly worm her way in by asking questions, subtly finding a way to slam Fundamentalists, and seized on that as a chance to argue with me that I was a Pharisee, full of works, because I wrote about… repentance and prayer.

Okay, Let me translate the word Pharisee for my Gentile readers, and let’s see if you understand how that word sits in my ears.

“Fundamentalist narrow minded Pharisee!”

In my ears means, “You Bible believing Jew!”


You know, It’s been many years since I was called “Jew Boy” in school. Anti-Semitism still reigns in today’s society. Obama’s America in the last years of the reign of his regime had institutionalized Jew Hating. Schools of higher education were encouraged to be racist – against Jews. They used phrases to disguise it – “Divestiture”, “Censure”, “Israel”.

What it amounted to is that America has become increasingly intolerant, in the name of tolerance.

It’s bad enough I have to endure that from the unsaved, but to have my Christian brothers and sisters routinely engage in antisemitism is too much.

When you call someone Pharisee, understand this – you are being a racist. You are being a bigot. You are being an anti-Semite. You’re being a Jew Hater.

in 2008, one night late at night, while reading a book by John MacArthur and searching for the truth, I broke under the weight of my guilt over sin, and I cried out to God to save me from Hell. I called upon Jesus Christ in desperate need, and He answered. At that moment, my heritage ceased to be of importance. yet it’s thrown in my face over and over again.

We as Christians should not be racist. You should not say hurtful words. Don’t you think, if you call someone a Pharisee, you might have to explain that to Jesus Christ? When God says Israel is the apple of His eye, don’t you think you might want to be cautious about that?

When God says those who bless the seed of Abraham shall be blessed and those who curse Abraham’s seed will be cursed… you might want to be more careful?

You Gentiles reading this, understand this – you are a wild olive branch, grafted onto the vine of Israel. You’re joined into the vine along with me. We’re together. You have to live in the same place I do – forever, and ever, and ever.

Christians as a whole have examined their racism, realized its a sin, and repented of it. Except where the Jew is concerned. You look at someone who embraces the Bible as God’s instructions, and you snarl, “Jew!”

You say “Pharisee”, but I hear “Jew.” And it’s right back to 6th grade, and people shouting Jew Boy, and doing the Sieg Heil salute in my face, and shouting “Heil Hitler” as they spit on me.

I’ve gotten over that – certainly 6th Grade was a long time ago. But that feeling comes back when I hear Christians say, “Pharisee”.

To explain it, the Sadducee party disappeared in AD 70 with the destruction of the Temple. The only group to survive was the Pharisees. Jews today are the heirs of the Pharisees, and certainly it took a long time to break free of the mindset of the Chassidic teachings I’d learned, the Orthodox lifestyle. Seriously, it took a long time for me to be able to cut my fingernails without water nearby (if you don’t understand that, it’ll take too long to explain).

If you want to call me Fundamentalist, that’s fine. If you want to call me a literalist, someone who believes the Bible literally, that’s great! If you think I’m self-righteous, say that!

But anti-Semitism should NEVER be in the mouths of Christians. NEVER. If you harbor any anti-Semitic thoughts, pray about them. It’s like all sins we struggle with.

Don’t ever call anyone a Pharisee ever again.

Being a Christian – Prayer Part 2

prayingYesterday, we examined the first two of how to pray, using the ACTS acronym.

WE did adoration and confession. Now is thanksgiving.

So, how do you find which Psalm is a thanksgiving psalm? Well, in the King James… they usually tell you!

“A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David. I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, And give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast Made my mountain to stand strong: Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. I cried to thee, O LORD; And unto the LORD I made supplication. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.” (Psalm 30, KJV)

Again, using what we learned yesterday… we’re going to take single verses, and make them personal.

“Lord, I thiank you that your anger endures only for a moment.” Sounds harsh? LIsten, if you took a good 5 minutes and went through your life, and thought about God’s restraint against sin, how He should have punished you every time you sinned (but didn’t)… you’d have no problem praying that.

“Lord, I thank you that you have kept me alive.” You know, how many close calls have you had? I’ve had several. More than my fair share. Remember that time you just changed lanes in your car, then looked in the rearview mirror and eralized how close you came to driving into a semi truck? Remember that time you got the flu, and lived? Some people don’t. When I was a kid, some new sinus medication came out that they never tested, and somehow the FDA never realized it. I took it, and had serious chest pains for several minutes. Later that week, the news reported they took it off the market… because it was killing people from heart attacks.

Yeah, that’s a good prayer to pray.

Now, let’s move to supplication. THis part, we’re all experts in. I don’t need to teach you this. Just remember, prayer is not about “gimme gimme gimme”. Prayer should be about spending time with God. Believe it or not… human beings are designed to praise God. It is what we’re designed for, besides tending His creation. We should be caring for animals (part of our design), caring for gardens (part of our design), and praising God (part of our design).

This is the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes I praise God for the universe He made. Sometimes I praise God for snow. I just had a dream where we got three feet of snow, something I’ve actually lived through. It was wonderful. Except it took until late May for all that snow to melt.

Sometimes I praise God for the ocean. A house on a good rocky shore would be a wonderful place to live.

These are your prayers. I’ve given you some ideas. Run with them!

Being a Christian – Prayer

devotionalMost Christians are completely lost when it comes to prayer. It seems like really there’s no books that instruct us on how to pray. Well, E. M. Bounds wrote on prayer a lot… but I don’t know… I never really read his books and thought, yeah, that’s the key.

And recently I was researching more of the Word Faith movement, so I watched the entire Strange Fire conference by John MacArthur, for which I should get a medal, because I stayed awake during all the speakers, and… that was tough. But MacArthur made a throwaway comment that the writings of E. M. Bounds were Higher Life… which I never noticed! Was EVERYTHING that Broadman published in its first 20 years all Higher Life???

The biggest two changes in my doctrine that really opened the Bible for me was becoming King James Only…and local church only. The King James Only carried with it the understanding the Bible interprets itself, and is all sufficient. So, where do we go to learn how to pray?


“Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: For praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: Sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; Play skilfully with a loud noise. For the word of the LORD is right; And all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: He layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, The thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; And the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The LORD looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh Upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: A mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: Neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, Upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, Because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, According as we hope in thee.” (Psalm 33, KJV)

Take a SINGLE VERSE from this Psalm, and work it into your prayers. “Lord, let all the earth Fear you.”

Wow. Easy, huh?

Then, when you can remember that, let’s alternate that with a different verse… but remember to turn it personal. “Lord, I praise you… your counsel standeth forever, O my king.”

“Lord, your word is right, and all your works are done in truth.”

Remember from the other day, we’re using the ACTS acronym of Tim LaHeye. Adore, confess, thanksgiving, supplication. Right now, we’re in the Adoration phase. The idea here is to GIVE GOD HIS DUE. REally simple concept.

David did this, Asaph, the sons of Korah, Moses… if they all did this in some form or another, then its an example.

“Lord, you love righteousness and judgment.”

“By your words were the heavens made.”


Now you need to start taking some verses and adding them in for confession of sin. For this, really, it’s sufficient to say, “Lord, I have sinned before thee. Please forgive me, and help me to grow stronger as a Christian, that I might not sin before thee.”

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old Through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: My moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, And mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, Or as the mule, which have no understanding: Whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, Lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: But he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: And shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” (Psalm 32:1–11, KJV)

“Lord, I will not hide my iniquity from you.” That’s a good thing to pray. You can’t hide your iniquity. But by praying this, you’re taking responsibility for sin.

“Lord, I acknowledge my sin before thee.” Seems to say the same thing? Exactly. That’s called parallellism. If it’s okay for David to do it, you can too.

Tomorrow, we’ll do the next two.

Being a Christian – Sanctification.

bibleMany years ago, the Higher Life/Holiness movement produced a book called “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life”. It’s still sold for a couple of dollars in the cutout “Cheap book” bins at Christian book stores.

Countless millions have been led astray by her books. Speak in tongues? Your tongues speaking is an indirect result of her book. Why? That book influenced Frank Sandford, THE mover and shaker in Christianity who’s confused doctrine directly led to the Charismatic movement.

Why do I mention the “Christian’s Secret of a happy life?”

Because Hannah Whitehall Smith had not the slightest idea that there’s a difference between salvation… and sanctification. Literally, she uses the word Sanctification when she means salvation throughout the book!

She obviously was completely confused, and understood salvation to be a process – which it is not. The salvation by faith through grace part seems to compeltely miss her and pass her by – instead, she’s focused on salvation by how you live your life. Or perhaps, she thought of salvation as God’s gift, but you had to maintain it or lose it. Since they were moving in Methodist circles, that’s most likely what it was. I’m hoping for her sake she finally understood salvation.

Why do I bring this up? Most christians make the same mistake, but in the other direction. They assume since they get saved…

…you’re done. That’s it. No more growth.

Those are the same Christians who don’t read their Bibles.

Let me explain sanctification. Salvation is getting saved – free gift, nothing you do, all you do is accept it. No works involved. Ssanctification is “becoming holy” or “Set apart for Holy use”.

“But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: The LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” (Psalm 4:3–4, KJV)

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2, KJV)

ἀφορίζω aphoridzo is the word in Greek. It basically means to set aside, to pull from a group. YOU are set aside for holy use.

ἁγιάζω Hagazio is the word here for Sanctify. The word means to set apart, to make holy.

The two words together give us the sense. You are set apart from the rest of humanity, separated by salvation. After that comes the process of becoming holy, for holy use.

forget all the Catholic interpretations! EVERY Christian is set aside for holy use. And so, you must grow in the Lord. That’s Sanctification. Making yourself holy.

So, how do you do that?

The last two days, we discussed what to write down in your daily studies. Tim LaHeye in his book on How to Study The Bible For Yourself included in his example sheets of what to write down one thing in particular: “A command to keep” or “a timeless principle.”

The Bible is the word for today (John 10:9) – oh, wait, I borrowed someone else’s catchphrase. sorry. Anyway, the point here is, those commands in the new testament actually outnumber the ones in the old. Many are repetitions of the other. Let’s try a command (gasp, LEGALISM!!!!):

Love one another.

Oh. Really? That’s all?

Buddy, when’s the last time you tried being loving to today’s Christians? Man, they will cut you up and spit you out! I try to act in love when speaking to other Christians – the thing I keep finding is (to borrow 19th Century terminology) we have a lot of professors of Christ, verses possessors of Christ.

The most loving thing you can do once you become aware is to tell a professor of Christ is they are not a possessor of Christ. Seriously. “I have a lot of questions about whether or not you’re saved.”

That’s a heavy thing to tell someone.

What other highly legalistic things are Christians required to do.

Pray without ceasing. Be alwayss in prayer. Ya know, it’s kind of hard to sin while you’re in a constant conversation with God. I’m sure most of us can manage to do it, but… try it. I’ve often said, the only way to get some Baptists to pray is put food in front of them.

“You… legalist!”

Forgive one another.

Hm! Let’s tackle some of the other ones. “Study to shew thyself approved.”

Witness. Pray. Give to charity. Tithe. And start putting the old man of sin to death.

If we start taking just one of these verses a week, and try working on it, perhaps we’ll all stop being baby Christians… and grow into what the Lord needs us to be.

I’m aware there’s a growing group of supposed Christians who teach Christians should not do ANYTHING, and call it Free Grace or hypergrace. It’s a serious error. It borders on heresy, because…

The Apostles wanted to see the fruit of salvation before they baptized you. If you’re not showing any fruit of salvation… They didn’t let you join the church. Because you’d be a professor of Jesus Christ, and not a possessor.


Being a Pastor 5 and Being a Christian – Bible Study 2

Yesterday I gave a really-way-too-brief explanation on how to combine your devotional reading and Bible Study.

Let’s detail how to do this. Some people simply want to read their Bible without distraction. If that’s your case, then you may want to try reading your Bible readings FIRST, THEN doing your study.

I can keep track of the flow easily as I study. At first, I tried the “read then study”, but I guess over the years I’ve been too interested in the details, and started studying as I read. If you’re this kind of person, great! Start your reading and study at the same time.

The way I’ve got it in yesterday’s article is a whopper. It’ll take you a while every day to study like that. If you want to try… you’re really going to progress in your knowledge of the Bible and your walk as a Christian. If on the other hand you just don’t have the time to committ like that, then… get Cooktimer, and set it for 15 minutes. Cooktimer is a small program that quite simply just counts down.

“What things should I add to my study notefile?”

Let me remind everyone that different Bible programs use different names for notefiles. There’s user books in Quickverse and Wordsearch. There’s commentary in Theword. There’s Study Notes in E-Sword (I presume most of you are using E-Sword as your main program). Scripturepad in Bible Analyzer. It doesn’t matter what it’s called, you just need some way to make your notes, commentary, etc on your study.

So, what should you add to your notes? Overall impressions. A summary of what the chapter is about. What’s its theme? I gave a suggestion of things you should be taking notes of yesterday.

For example, today in my readings…

“And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.” (Genesis 35:1, KJV)

I noted that the second use of “God” in that verse is El in Hebrew.

“But Deborah Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Beth-el under an oak: and the name of it was called Allon-bachuth.” (Genesis 35:8, KJV)

I noted that Allon-Bachuth means “great tree of weeping”.

Got a place name? Look it up. Is there a measurement or weight? write down how much it is.

For highlighting your text in Bible programs, it’s important to highlight something so that important words stand out at a glance. Quick, what was created on what day of creation? Highlighting can help those words to stand out. In the Sermon on the mount, I used two different highlight colors to differentiate the “Blassed are you when…” and the reward “for yours is the…”. This way at a glance, I’m seeing the distinctions in the Bible.

I am so craving potato chips right now it’s not funny.