Creeds, Statements, and Confessions

I heard this on the White Horse Inn, and I thought it was brilliant in how it sums up American Christianity.

“I believe in God who once was Almighty, but sovereignly chose not to be sovereign.

And in Jesus, my personLordandSavior, Who loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life, Who came into my heart when I asked him to, and is now seated at the right ventricle of my belief in him, Who walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way, and tells me I am his own, Who shall come again with secrecy to rapture us outta’ here, Whose kingdom shall last exactly one thousand years;

And in the Holy Ghost, who did some weird stuff at Pentecost, but doesn’t do much more anymore except speak to the hearts of individual believers.

And I believe in this local, independent, and powerless church, insofar as it is in line with my personal interpretation of the Bible and does stuff I like; in one Believer’s baptism for the public proof of my decision for Christ; and in giving my personal testimony for soul winning.

And I look for the identity of the Antichrist, and know that the Last Days are upon us.

– Ay-men”

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The MERRY CHRISTIAN that many are trying is very anti-Christmas. Check out the latest White Horse Inn evaluating the Theology of popular Christmas carols:

Hosted by Adriel Sanchez, Kim Riddlebarger, Michael Horton, and Rod Rosenbladt
Have you ever taken the time to really listen to and think about the lyrics of the various Christmas carols that you hear on the radio and in the shopping malls at this time of year? On this program the hosts will do just that as they consider popular songs like “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to more traditional carols such as “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night.” Finally, they’ll explore the theology expressed in the world’s first Christmas carols recorded for us in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke.

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<<< CLICK HERE to listen >>>>

The Word Made Flesh 

The LIGONIER STATEMENT
on CHRISTOLOGY

We confess the mystery and wonder of God made flesh and rejoice in our great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

With the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son created all things, sustains all things, and makes all things new. Truly God, He became truly man, two natures in one person.

He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment.

For us, He kept the Law, atoned for sin, and satisfied God’s wrath. He took our filthy rags and gave us His righteous robe.

He is our Prophet, Priest, and King, building His church, interceding for us, and reigning over all things.

Jesus Christ is Lord; we praise His holy Name forever.

Amen.

<<< Learn More by Clicking HERE to navigate to the source page >>>

Father, we confess that we are sinners and that we have sinned. We are guilty of having itching ears. We have failed to receive and proclaim the truth; we have wandered off into myths; we have listened to and preached a false a gospel of self-improvement, self-reliance, and self-righteousness because it suited our passions. We cry to you now for mercy and forgiveness. Fill our hearts and minds with a passion for the gospel of redemption through Christ alone. Teach us to be faithful witnesses of your grace and to serve each other humbly, compassionately and faithfully. In the name of our crucified and risen Savior. AMEN.

MattWalshProfilePicThe above is from a corporate confession of sins that is a part of my church’s worship service that we recite on occasion. Every time I recite this confession in worship I always think how it is fitting for us “flag-waving” “American” Christian.

For the most part, our country is a country of churches made up with heretics, and Joel Osteen fits this persona well. My prayer is that true Christians in this nations would cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness.

Below is a hook to a post by Matt Walsh, which is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant on Americans and we love heretics. Enjoy:

Joel Osteen and his wife are heretics, and that’s why America loves them

Video surfaced a few days ago of Victoria Osteen, wife of famed “pastor” Joel Osteen, saying some rather heretical things to the “congregation” at Lakewood “Church.”

Sidebar: I’m only one sentence into this post and already I’ve been forced to use sarcastic quotes three times. For simplicity’s sake, I will, from here on out, drop the quotes with the understanding that the quotes are implied. Joel Osteen is only a pastor because anyone can call themselves a pastor these days, and his church is only a church because anything can call itself a church these days. I happen to be of the old fashioned school of thought that believes a pastor should be, in some ways, distinguishable from Tony Robbins or Oprah, and a church should be, in some ways, distinguishable from a basketball arena on game day. I’m not saying that all churches need to be adorned with stained glass windows and incense (although I’m a fan of both), but I am saying that maybe all churches should have, like, a cross or something somewhere, maybe. God forbid a house of worship be arranged in such a way as to make it clear that we are specifically worshipping Jesus Christ and not the smiley fellow on stage giving the vaguely spiritual pep talk.

In the clip, Mrs. Osteen implores the audience to “realize that when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God… we’re doing it for ourselves.” As her proud husband nods approvingly, Osteen continues. “Do good for your own self. Do it because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God, really — you’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?

Amen! What wonderful blasphemy! Worship God for yourself. Do good works for yourself. Take up your cross, suffer the slings and arrows of the Enemy, and die with Christ for yourself. (OK, she didn’t say that last part, but only because the Osteens have a strict “don’t talk about Jesus” preaching policy).

In more primitive times they burned heretics at the stake. Now we greet the blasphemers with . . . 

Read more at the Matt Walsh Blog.

Time to rethink the difference between worship and ‘National Holidays’

Proving that my grandfather was right when he told me I don’t have the sense God gave baby chickens, I’d like to say a few words on the slightly controversial subject of flags in the sanctuary. Three words, to be precise: take them out. Or, leave them out. Whichever you prefer.

Having perhaps won that bid for your attention, allow me to elaborate. Many churches believe that displaying the American and Christian flags in the sanctuary honors both God and our country, placing love of country within the context of love of God. Flags in the sanctuary can also represent the freedom we enjoy to worship as we feel led, and they can help us remember those who died in defense of that and our other freedoms. All of these are unequivocally good and worthy goals. I want to be entirely clear on that point: when Christians display their country’s flag in the sanctuary, it is because they want to say things that we as Christians need to say.

We just need to find another way to say them.

Why? Because the sanctuary is where worship takes place, and we need to remember the reason we come together for Christian worship in the first place. Worship is that moment when we devote our whole selves to God, when we set aside the distractions of the week and focus our attention solely on God. For that period we seek God and God alone, forgetting all the other things that compromise our mindfulness of God’s presence the rest of our time.

When we decide what symbols to place in the sanctuary, we ask whether they will contribute to that mindfulness. Actually, the church has had a majority and a minority opinion on this question. The majority point of view—embodied in the great Gothic cathedrals of medieval Europe—says that we place symbols of Christian faith in the sanctuary to help focus our minds and hearts on God. Elements like crosses, doves, and the various Trinitarian symbols serve as visual and tactile reminders of God’s presence in our midst.

<<< Click HERE to continue to read on the source page >>>

I’ll never forget the look on the Sunday-school superintendent’s face when I took my son – a 2nd grade Sunday-schooler – withdrew him from the Sunday-school. I took a look at what he had colored that morning and it was a picture of a Midwestern backyard where there was leaves all over the place and a rake leaned against the garage and you could see mother with a stack of dishes, washing dishes. And the caption underneath it was, ‘What do you think Johnny could do right now to show how much he loves Jesus.’ And, I said, ‘That’s it! He’s out.’ And the blessed little lady said, ‘Do you mind telling me why you want your son out of our Sunday-school?’ And, I said, ‘Because you’re going to make an atheist out of him; it’s just going to take a few years.’ And, she had no idea what that was about, but Sunday-school can be dangerous.” – Dr. Rod Rosenbladt

<<< Click HERE to listen to the source >>>

I WANT MY readers clear that I am a deacon in a Presbyterian church. However, I am NOT a member in the PCUSA. My membership is with the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America), and we are Presbyterian body that does embrace our historic Reformation beliefs and fully affirm our historic confessions (like our Westminster Confession of Faith).

Many of us in confessional Presbyterian denominations consider PCUSA not a true Christian denomination anymore, and the PCUSA is losing membership FAST because they have embraced theological liberalism, which is distinct from political liberalism, (but not by much).

Below is an article of an example of those who are leaving this denomination, and sadly many other are wanting to follow:

(RNS) Members of one of the largest congregations in the Presbyterian Church (USA) have voted to leave the denomination, despite facing an $8.89 million cost for leaving.  

Menlo Park Presbyterian is based in the San Francisco Bay area and led by well-known author and pastor John Ortberg. It is the ninth-largest PCUSA church, with about 4,000 members, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  

The motion to leave the PCUSA was approved by 93 percent of the church’s members who voted, with 2,024 ballots in favor of the motion and 158 ballots opposed, according to . . .

<< Click HERE to continue reading at the sources website >>

THE PASTOR OF the church that I attend (and I am a member of) has approach me about leading a youth group. It will be a small group, and is needed because some of the children in the church are not children anymore. I agreed to do it (with another friend in the church), and I thought before I start the group that I need to write out a vision statement of what I think should be the focus of our new youth group. I have done youth groups before, and I intend NOT make the same mistakes I did years ago.

The first thing I decided is to NOT call it a youth group, because youth groups tend keep kids forever immature in the faith with endless parties, games, and pizza. They grow up, and as adults they go to churches that has worship services like giant youth group parties. I believe that a youth group should be gear to assist them to become men and women that have a strong foundation in the faith that hunger for solid food of the word instead of the weak milk that a lot churches serves them.

Below is what I wrote out for a youth group that I believe will be pleasing to God. BTW, I am calling it Young Adults Discipleship Group instead of youth group and I think below will be a good explanation of why ::

 

Young Adults Group Vision (v 1.1)

  • The Young Adults Discipleship Group will be Christ centered, cross focused.
  • The primary emphasis will be on the gospel and discipleship as we in the Reformed faith understand it, and as it is expressed in the five Solas (Sola scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria).
  • Discipleship will include teaching a solid foundation in the faith; moving from the milk to solid food of the word (Hebrews 5:12-14).
  • Discipleship will be encouraging maturity as our young people move into adulthood. As we grow, we need to put away childish ways (1 Corinthians 13:11).
  • Scripture says that we are “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 ESV). The Young Adults Discipleship Group will have their minds challenged.
  • Apologetic will be stressed and discussed. Our young people will be presented with persuasive argument of our faith, and will be challenged to think about these arguments, and learn to articulate our faith better. As Peter instructed us that we should in our “hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
  • Since there will be apologetic discussions, those in the Young Adults Discipleship Group ARE permitted to ask questions, even if a question(s) is challenging to for the leaders to answer. Engaging honest questions are welcome in our group because we “prefer to appeal to” (Philemon 1:9) our young people by giving solid answers to questions instead of dictating to our young people WHAT to believe.
  • The Young Adults Discipleship Group is an extension of the pastor’s catechism Sunday school class, which we will be building on this foundation.
  • The purpose of the Young Adults Discipleship Group is to NOT segregate them into a sub group of our church. The young adults will be encouraged to worship, fellowship, edify with all ages of our congregation. They will learn what it means to be a part to the church universal, which include the old, young, past, present, future, and all nationalities.

A VERY INTERESTING story on World Mag site about Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales that brings back memories of my Christian Bookstore days.

Vischer acknowledge that looking . . .

“back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity [emphasis mine]. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, ‘Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so,’ or ‘Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!’ But that isn’t Christianity, it’s morality.”

I really hope that this trend of thinking continues within American Christianity because the so-called “christian” media promoted Christianity as morality for so many years most believe that Christianity is about morals, AND DON’T GET ME STARTED WITH MCGEE AND ME. UGH!

Click HERE to read the entire article >>>

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I know that I haven’t been been blogging for a while. I am so busy with life but I still tell myself that I will get back to posting to After Skubalon, Light’s blog.

I recently got a notification that the Radio/Podcast broadcast Sinners and Saints is back. I posted their two now podcast on this site for your enjoyments:

Episode One::


Episode Two::

Father, we confess that we are sinners and that we have sinned… We are guilty of having itching ears. We have failed to receive and proclaim the truth; we have wandered off into myths; we have listened to and preached a false a gospel of self-improvement, self-reliance, and self-righteousness because it suited our passions. We cry to you now for mercy and forgiveness. Fill our hearts and minds with a passion for the gospel of redemption through Christ alone. Teach us to be faithful witnesses of your grace and to serve each other humbly, compassionately and faithfully. In the name of our crucified and risen Savior. AMEN.

I’VE HEARD VERY little about Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. He is a pastor of a church that is considered to be a “Reformed Christian megachurch.” I am not sure that I like the wording of “Reformed Christian megachurch, but I will go with it since it is from Wikipedia.

Driscoll has been getting a reputation from religious (and non-religious) media as the cussing preacher, and when I heard that my interest in him peaked. I immediately had to ask myself, “What did he say that causes so many people to call him the cussing preacher?”

What I have discovered, by doing a Google search, that apparently he had used words in his sermons that most of the moralistic Christians in America would think is inappropriate for a minster of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be using, EVER (since we pressure pastors to be more moral than the rest of us), and one those words apparently was the dreaded “f” word. Personally I find this interesting since the title of this blog is of a “cuss” word (skubalon) that was written by the Apostle Paul that will now be with us for all eternity.

On this blog, let me state for the record that I don’t give a rat-ass about what some would believe to be profane words that should never be delivered in a sermon. I am more concerned about the orthodoxy of the theology of the one who is delivering the sermon (meaning is it Reformed?).

What I find so amazing that more controversy has been stirred up about the “language” in a minister’s sermon than the blatant heresies of guys like Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Pat Robertson, or Joyce Myers (to name a few)!

During the holiday weekend I took some time to listen to some of his sermons and one of the key points in many of his sermons is the seriousness of his sins (and our) before a holy God. Definitely more than in an Osteen “sermon,” which in Osteen case is zero. You would be lucky if Christ is even mentioned at all in an Osteen’s sermon, unless he needs a moral illustration.

Mark draws a very bleak verbal picture of our sinful condition, and I imagine that his harsh vocabulary is used to make it even clearer to his congregation of the seriousness our sins. I am sure this kind of “language” is really offensive to a false Christianity of What Would Jesus Do.

I often thought what sermons would be like if Martin Luther was alive and preaching in America today. I bet some of his sermons would knock us (out of our seats)—I could of said “off our asses,” and what I have heard and read about Martin Luther is that Luther didn’t shy away from what he thought needed to be said, or restrain his vocabulary. Mark Driscoll may be mild compared to a Luther sermon.

I also think that Driscoll made good points on how profane the Bible is (video below). In fact, I think if today’s moralistic Christians (yesterday’s fundamentalist) were truly honest they would not be able to give the Bible an R rating. The Bible is NOT a nice book of moral guidance. The Bible is God’s pronouncement how profane and offensive we are to Him and in many places it is proclaimed in very clear “vulgar” vocabulary and how Christ had to become a curse in order to redeem His people.

I also think that Driscoll’s frank vocabulary is particularly communicating the truth of our sins to the men in his congregation (and podcast audience) who need to hear it in a way that has not been watered down by a Christianity that has been so feminized. In the end, I think that many Christian men will appreciate the brute honestly. I just hope that they are not singing the Jesus is my boyfriend music (praise and worship). BTW – He also reminds me of Steve Jobs when he comes out to preach in casual clothing.

The one point that I always like to make is that Christianity is NOT a mode of behavior but it is a message that is to believe. The true mark of a true church is the word properly preached and the sacraments properly administered. I also want to make it clear I haven’t heard enough from him to determine that his theology is orthodox but I have a few Reformed blogger friends who like him and listen to his podcast.

If the “harsh” language is getting the truth of God’s word to his hearers and the sacraments are properly administered to hypocritical Christians then all have to say to that is “Fuckin’ Aye.”

<< Click HERE to listen to the Internet Monk’s
valid criticism of Mark Driscoll >>

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About Me

Marboro
Greeting Friends,

My name is Timothy but I will be known as Timotheus on this blog. I am a Reformed Christian man living in Charleston, West Virginia (USA).

My blog will have entries of my personal, theological, philosophical, and political views from a Reformed perspective (or as I currently understand it).

To learn more about Reformed Theology read the article Reformed Theology by the late James Montgomery Boice by CLICKING HERE!.


If you wish to read more about ME please CLICK HERE!