Saturday, September 12, 2009

Regeneration to the EXTREME!! pt 1

What? Can the TRUTHS of regeneration be token to an extreme? Certainly they can and certainly they have been. Recovering and reteaching faulty and supressed doctrines can be tricky business, yet it MUST be done. Regeneration is one of those doctrines, which has suffered much throughout the history of the church.
There are TODAY many who are proclaiming the truths that TRUE conversion brings forth FRUIT and that without such fruit there is NO conversion. Bold proclamation against a water-downed and/or 'carnal Christian' gospel is absolutely NECESSARY today because the disease of these heresies is widespread!
The PROBLEM however is that there are an ever-increasing multitude of believers who in their zeal to defend the abuses of these teachings have only caused simliar grief to the people of God by putting burdens upon the people of God which He hasn't put there! The audacity of a preacher to think they can give assurance to someone because they walked an aisle, received immersion, or signed a card is blasphemous, YET the same carelessness and hard-hearteness towards God's sheep is present, when some zealous preacher describes conversion to such a degree that would leave a great chunk of true believers feeling as though they were lost.
Such a subject needs GREAT care, it needs a FEARFUL handling of the scriptures, and most importantly we must REST in the fact that there ARE limits to what we can call true conversion!
This legalistic approach to fruits following conversion, for some, only go as far as the pulpit. I've seen preachers 'attempt' to preach 'hard' messages filled with absolutes (If you aren't 100% sold out then you're LOST' 'If Jesus doesn't control every thought then you're LOST' 'If you don't pray and read scriptures everyday then you're LOST' 'If you don't witness everyday then you're LOST') but then express a low view of conversion when it comes to their own church, OR even a very BALANCED and BIBLICAL conviction when it comes to counselling their sheep'!
Please don't be blinded by the fact you like 'hard' preaching, I've been in places where 'hard' preaching was absolutely worshipped (and that by hypocrites!!!!). The only fire we should want is the kind Lloyd-Jones spoke of 'THEOLOGY on FIRE' (real preaching)!
John Macarthur, Paul Washer, Albert Martin, have grealty effected many people for the glory of God by clearly and carefully teaching the truths of conversion. Such are men (like Jeff Noblit and Jono Sims) that address these matters with a clear zeal for truth accompanied by a very compassionate concern for the people of God----> THERE MUST BE BOTH!!!!
Yet the same may not be said of the 'followers' or 'listeners' of such men, when they begin to do the same but also begin to get carried away by their own feelings and in turn make true conversion to look just a little bit more dramatic then it is.
It must be admitted that among the Puritans there were those who did just that (it must be noted that 'the Puritans' can include a very broad community-and that when people say 'the Puritans' they usually mean those which were faithful to truth and practice), now WHY did some PURITANS have this problem? Because they were addressing the same problems we are!

Allow me to leave this subject with a sermon that has come to mind (though I would suggest careful listening to the preachers I've listed by asking 'what do they say and NOT say, and what examples do they use?)
Albert Martin addressing PURITAN EVANGELISM

2 comments:

Bobby Mosteller

Amen Julius,


I haven't been able to blog much but I had a chance to get on tonight and I am very glad to have read this....

I have been rolling these things around in my head as well. I recently had this very discussion with my pastor. How there are a lot of good things going on but it seems we can damage believers in trying to always be prophetic and forget that Christians still have issues.

This issue needs to be addressed more. I see a strong tendency, not with Paul washer, but those of us who listen to him, and others like him, to forget the context of much of what he says....We can become very motivated but we can do more damage than good if we are not careful.

I think a lot of times we can become reactionary and in order to combat easy believeism, "carnal" Christianity etc. we fall on the other side of the horse and end up hurting the sheep that are struggling with sin, coming out of bad teaching etc. by putting forth a standard that the Gospel doesn't even put forth.

Well said my man....

Bm

Julius Mickel

Thank you for this response, I would love to hear Brother Pauls response/thoughts on such an issue.
I absolutely LOVE the 'snapshot vs videocamera' analogy he uses.
There must be fear, compassion and HONESTY. As I'm sure you've seen when people do this they also put up a front that they've never lived up to (and then in private they beg your prayers of 'mercy' though they give none to others).

Ah! the constant battle against such pride, may God deliver us.

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