Sunday, August 30, 2009

The "lion" sought consolation and got it, but is it good for an eternity?

Ted Kennedy, who was buried yesterday, wrote a letter to the pope some months before his death and got an answer.

If you read it close, it might seem Kennedy's letter is that of a youngster who is seeking some reassurance from his father that he will fare ok in the next life.

As Kennedy puts it, “I know that I have been an imperfect being, but with the help of my faith, I have tried to right my path.”

Yes, sadly, Mr. Kennedy had decided that somehow—he himself could “right his own path.”

Without writing anything that would show remorse, sorrow, or repentance for his stand in favor of abortion, Kennedy instead simply promised the pope that any health care package would include assurances that health care workers would not have to participate in abortions or other procedures that went against their consciences.

Kennedy then offers the pope highlights from his career in the Senate that he obviously expects the pope to appreciate--maybe the things he did to "right his path": “I want you to know, Your Holiness, that in my nearly 50 years of elective office, I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I've worked to welcome the immigrant, fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty and fought to end war…”

And so to the very end, we see that Senator Kennedy, the so-called “Lion of the Senate” thought quite highly of himself—though he still apparently wanted some confirmation from the pope of his work to "right his path."

And, despite Kennedy’s pro-abortion track record, the pope apparently responded with just that, a letter of great consolation that avoided the subject of abortion altogether:

“His Holiness prays that in the days ahead you may be sustained in faith and hope, and granted the precious grace of joyful surrender to the will of God our merciful Father. He invokes upon you the consolation and peace promised by the Risen Savior to all who share in His sufferings and trust in His promise of eternal life.

"The pope then commended Kennedy and his family to “the loving intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of wisdom, comfort and strength in the Lord.”

And so another Roman Catholic dies, is buried with great pomp and circumstance, after insisting he did things to help make him right with God. All of which the pope confirms by indicating that was the way that Kennedy shared in Christ’s sufferings, which coupled with trust in Christ, should clear the way to eternal life.

It’s just more evidence that what the pope said last November about faith alone for salvation was no more than talk, and countless Roman Catholics die daily trusting in their own works coupled with some help (perhaps a little mercy) from Christ.

This so-called “gospel” that they preach and use to assure each other, is no gospel at all, because it allows and promotes the addition of our own works to the only work that actually saves true believers—that of Christ’s death on the cross. As long as it mixes our works with Christ’s works for salvation, it is a false gospel, which condemns all who preach it, according to Galatians 1:8-9 and offers no real comfort to those who hear it.

Ted Kennedy went to his grave apparently believing he had done some work that would help him enter heaven. Will you go to your death believing that lie too? Turn now to the true Christ, the true God who alone has saved all who put their trust in him alone! --bro. Jim

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

From the Heidleberg Catechism...

The Lord's Supper...

Question 75. How does the Lord's Supper remind and assure you that you share in the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross and in all his gifts?

Answer. In this way: Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and to drink of this cup. He has thereby promised: First, as surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup shared with me, so surely his body was offered and broken for me and his blood was shed for me. Second, as surely as I receive from the hand of the one who serves and actually taste the bread and the cup of the Lord which are given me as sure signs of the body and blood of Christ, so surely he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life with his crucified body and shed blood.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Paul Exhorts us to an alternative lifestyle

Eph 5:15-20

Brothers and sisters:Watch carefully how you live,not as foolish persons but as wise,making the most of the opportunity,because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance,but try to understand what is the will of the Lord. And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery,but be filled with the Spirit,addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts,giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Marcus C. Grodi Religionist or Rascal

by Miles McKee

Mr. Marcus Grodi, a former Protestant minister who claims to be more of a pastor than a scholar, converted some years ago to Roman Catholicism. One can read his testimony at the ‘Coming Home Network International’.

He’s a genial fellow with a venomous bite who earnestly believes that all Bible believers should convert to Rome. And Mr. Grodi has more than a passing interest in assisting in this conversion process. He, in fact, heads the slick and well funded Coming Home Network which has helped dupe numbers of the ill-informed to join the ranks of the “Mother Church”.

Let’s take a look at the highlights of this tale of woe, this testimony of his and see if any sense can be made of it.His childhood, he says, “was that of the typical American baby-boomer. I was taught to love Jesus and go to church on Sunday.” How excellent to have had these early advantages! Would that he had actually learned to love Jesus, then he would have not betrayed Him in later days! But we must continue with his story. After a season of teenage rebellion he says he, “experienced a radical re-conversion to Jesus Christ and made a recommitment to Christ, accepting him as my Lord and Savior, praying that he would help me fulfill the mission in life he had chosen for me. The more I sought through prayer and study to follow Jesus and confirm my life to his will, the more I felt an aching sense of longing to devote my life entirely to serving him.” -----The ache was not the moving of the Spirit, otherwise he would have not exchanged it for a passion to serve Rome.

Eventually, Mr. Grodi became a Presbyterian minister but he was soon, “faced with a host of confusing theological and administrative questions. There were exegetical dilemmas over how to correctly interpret difficult biblical passages and also liturgical decisions that could easily divide a congregation. My seminary studies had not adequately prepared me to deal with this morass of options”.

Mr. Grodi-was hard done by! He thinks nothing of attacking his former seminary. Of course, I have no way of knowing what studies he pursued, but he is saying that his seminary did not ground him in Scriptures! But, even if this is so, it begs the question as to why, as a “dedicated follower of Jesus” he didn’t have the initiative to search the Scriptures for himself? Could it be that Mr. Grodi has always been the type of man who wants everything explained to him? Everything must have its tidy box? This, perhaps, is his favorite song,
“My church knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow!”

Lacking consistent answers, he began to view the break from Papal Rome, by the Reformers, as being more an act of anarchy than of freedom. It seems his attraction to Rome is that he supposes they have a system where everyone is uniform. He doesn’t like the fact that there are different ways of looking at things within the Bible believing world. In other words, he sees a danger and weakness in the freedom to think. He wants unvaried and standardized answers for everything. He could, of course, have found that consistency of thought in the Communist party but, since he is a theist, he doubtless found that to be an unsuitable solution.

He says he even found the “how to” books on his shelf didn’t help him! Well slap my back and call me Fred! Is he serious? We must ask, what was a minister of the Gospel doing reading “how to” books? He would have been better occupied searching the Scriptures but then again it was his low view of Scripture that got him into his mess. He even says that the best advice he could get from other ministers was to ‘reinvent the wheel’--whatever that means--and says that this, “reinvent the wheel as often as you need to” mentality--- is at the heart of Protestantism’s pastoral ethos.” To call what he says drivel and poppycock is an understatement. Mr. Grodi would have done well to read and absorb, ‘The Reformed Pastor’ by Richard Baxter or any of the other excellent works on Pastoral Ministry by solid Bible believing writers.

As I read of Mr. Grodi running frantically from this one to that one, I was reminded of the time that John the Baptist stood with two of his disciples and looked at Jesus as he walked. Then John said, “Behold the lamb of God.” Had Mr. Grodi spent more time looking upon Jesus and beholding the lamb, he would have found more help than he got from all his “to-ing and fro-ing.” But then again we learn from this passage that to look upon Jesus we have to stand still. That means all fleshly activity has to stop. It means we must, “not put our trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3), for our “help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). But Mr. Grodi was too busy to stand still!

Mr. Grodi then tells us the next thing that began to breach his Bible believing defenses was that he saw there were many differences amongst Bible believers. He discovered that beliefs held by Calvin, Knox and the Puritans clashed in some respects with those held by Lutherans, Baptists, and Anglicans. Why this should be an earth shattering problem is a mystery. Rule one of human existence—“Not everyone will see things the same way.” Among Bible believers there are varying ideas of Church Government, modes and subjects of baptism and other such matters. But Mr. Grodi fails to mention there is agreement on the essential matters such as salvation being in Christ Alone. There is widespread agreement that justifying righteousness that is imputed, not infused, that Christ is fully God and fully man and many other fundamental doctrines. It is obvious that Mr. Grodi was looking for a well-packaged system that had no room for dissent. His yearning was not for more of Jesus but for someone to tell him what to do.

Mr. Grodi is either naive or dishonest for he implies that Papal Rome is undivided! But is this true? What about Hans Kung and other dissidents? But doubtless Grodi would discount this kind of dissent for the likes of Hans Kung do not set the rules. They are not in power. The rules of Rome come from the top down! And how do we get the appearance of uniformity of belief? Why, that is a simple matter! Enforce the rules. Remove any Bishop who doesn’t play ball and replace him with one who will. It has happened many times! The truth is, there is huge disagreement among the Catholic rank and file over many issues and practices in Rome. Mr. Grodi does not notice this, and if he is being honest with us in what he says, we must conclude him, therefore, to be living in a delusion. Does he actually think, in face of the facts, which state otherwise, that Rome gains uniformity of thought by the work of the Holy Spirit? If that is the case, what need had she for the Inquisition or its present day and active successor, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Mr. Grodi then says, “The true disciple, --- is willing to give up everything, even his own life, if necessary, to follow the Lord.” He then goes on to makes an astonishing and outlandish claim that Protestants are incapable of making good disciples! He says, concerning his former church, “The irony was that my Protestant theology made me impotent to call them to radical discipleship, and it made them impotent to hear and heed the call.” We would be the soul of generosity if we were to say that Mr. Grodi is, at this stage, only one sandwich short of a picnic! So, no Bible believers, if Mr. Grodi is accurate, was ever a committed disciple of Jesus Christ? What about Cranmer? I seem to remember Archbishop Cranmer being burnt at the stake by the servants of the Pope. His crime? Holding to Christ alone as the Savior. He was given an opportunity to recant but said to all assembled, "And as for the Pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy and Antichrist, with all his false doctrine.” After this Cranmer was taken to be burned at the stake. According to Foxe’s Book of martyrs,

“Then was an iron chain tied about Cranmer and fire set unto him. When the wood was kindled and the fire began to burn near him, he stretched forth his right hand, which had signed his recantation, into the flames, and there held it so the people might see it burnt to a coal before his body was touched. In short, he was so patient and constant in the midst of his tortures, that he seemed to move no more than the stake to which he was bound; his eyes were lifted up to heaven, and often he said, so long as his voice would suffer him, "this unworthy right hand!" and often using the words of Stephen, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," till the fury of the flames putting him to silence, he gave up the ghost. (The Book of Act and Monuments, Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe – 1563)

So no Bible believers can make a good disciple? Mr. Grodi has obviously never heard of Adoniram Judson who sacrificed his entire life to bring the Gospel of Grace to Burma. And what of C.T. Studd who gave away his wealth and dedicated his life for the cause of Christ in Africa? And I suppose he has never heard of Moravians who sold themselves into slavery so that they could get the Gospel to other slaves. And what of David Brainard, Hudson Taylor, David Livingstone, John Patton, William Carey, James Chalmers and a countless host of others who spent and gave their lives for the cause of Jesus? Yet according to Grodi, no Bible believers can make a good disciple for Jesus. Mr. Grodi, Mr. Grodi! Don’t embarrass yourself by saying such silly and outlandish things!

As I read through more of his meandering denial of Biblical truth, I was tempted to feel sorry for this twisting and beleaguered soul —But I, instead, heeded the wisdom of the old hymn which says, “Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin”— So Mr. Grodi gets no sympathy from me. How does one feel sorrow for a dangerous man? But one is almost tempted to do so because, unlike the brash and narcissistic Scott Hahn, this man, Grodi, seems very genuine and mild. But alas, he is lethal in that, on the surface, he’s so plausible. However, look underneath and see that he oozes an insidious and sinister poison which if swallowed will lead away from Christ.

Another thing I noticed when I read and re-read his testimony was that his concept of God is very under-developed and immature. Whereas, Scott Hahn was busy discovering the God who is the head of the family, Grodi, is laboring under a system where God is the examiner. God is, according to Mr. Grodi, as it were, minutely examining each word spoken. Mr. Grodi does not seem to realize that yes, while we should strive for accuracy; there is no one infallible, that is an attribute of God, “let God be true, but every man a liar…”. (Romans 3:4) Mr. Grodi seems, however, to be unaware that God is more concerned with examining the motives of our hearts. Psalm 51:6 says,

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” When, therefore, we give an account for our ministry the thoughts and the intents of the heart will be revealed.
Don’t get me wrong; we should strive to proclaim the truth which is in Christ Jesus. But Mr. Grodi seems to think that, while God is a God of precision, He requires the same exact precision in every thing we say as ministers. This is a terrible bondage under which to labor, and quite frankly this theory could unhinge those who adhere to it. Is this, in fact, what happened to Mr. Grodi? Imagine the bondage of having to know whether the tenth hour referred to in John’s Gospel 1:39 was 4 PM or 10 AM! It was either one or the other depending on whether the writer is following the Jewish or Roman clock. Is God going to get incensed if we get that one wrong? I say no!

But Mr. Grodi, over sensitive soul that he is, fretted over the lack of mandated denominational guidelines. He didn’t know what to wear in church or what to sing or how much to involve the congregation. Again we must observe, Mr. Grodi, even though a Presbyterian, was tailor made for Rome. He likes the fact that Rome makes the rules and thus the rule makers are the ones responsible to God! If he becomes a Papist, the pressure will be off when it comes to answering to ‘God the School Master’ who is meticulously checking and re-checking his work. How wrong he was!

Mr. Grodi worried about the lack of denominational mandates. He ought rather to have occupied himself with the Bible mandate to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). Grodi is at this stage yearning for a religious system to guide him--he is a perfect fit for Rome.

But Mr. Grodi next becomes vexed by theological questions. He says, “I remember standing beside the hospital bed of a man who was near death after suffering a heart attack. His distraught wife asked me, ‘Is my husband going to heaven?’ All I could do was mouth some sort of pious but vague “we-must-trust-in-the-Lord” reassurance about her husband’s salvation. She may have been comforted but I was tormented by her tearful plea. After all, as a Reformed pastor I believed John Calvin’s doctrines of predestination and perseverance of the saints. This man had given his life to Christ, he had been regenerated, and was confident that he was one of God’s elect. But was he?”

This is pitiful! Much as we appreciate and value many of the things John Calvin taught, Calvinism saves no one! The Great Commission was to go into the world and preach that Gospel not Calvinism! If Mr. Grodi knew the Gospel he could have told his parishioners to cast themselves, in simple faith, upon the Lord Jesus Christ and His doing and dying. Mr. Grodi could have told them that in Christ Jesus alone there is washing and cleansing from the filth of sin by His blood. He could have assured them that in Christ alone we are clothed with a righteousness, which allows us to appear before God fully, freely, and forever accepted. He could have declared that the salvation we need is finished, and complete in Christ (Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 2:10), and is received by faith alone. Mr. Grodi should have further warned them not to look to anything within themselves or in any church to help prepare them for death, for salvation is all in Christ.

Furthermore, Mr. Grodi would have done well to tell his anxious enquirers the same thing that the Rev. Dr Winslow told his. He said, “Cast yourself, in childlike faith, upon that atonement - Christ dying for the ungodly, (Rom. 5:6) - and you are saved! Justification is a poor, law-condemned, self-condemned, self-destroyed sinner, wrapping himself by faith in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, ‘which is unto all, and upon all them that believe,’ (Rom. 3:22). He, then, is justified, and is prepared to die, and he only, who casts from him the garment of his own righteousness, and runs into this blessed ‘City of Refuge’ - the Lord Jesus - and hides himself there from the ‘revenger of blood,’ exclaiming, in the language of triumphant faith, ‘There is NOW NO CONDEMNATION to them that are in Christ Jesus,' (Rom. 8:1).

Look to Jesus, then, for a contrite heart -----look to Jesus for a clean heart-look to Jesus for a believing heart-----look to Jesus for a loving heart-----and Jesus will give you all. -----God is prepared to accept you in His blessed Son, and for His sake He will cast all your sins behind His back, and take you to glory when you die. Never was Jesus known to reject a poor sinner that came to Him empty and, with ‘nothing to pay.' God will glorify His free grace in your salvation, and will therefore save you, just as you are, ‘without money and without price,' (Isa. 65:1). ----- Cast yourself at the feet of Jesus, and if you perish, perish there! Oh no! perish you never will, for He has said, 'Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,' (John 6:37). 'Come unto ME,' (Matt. 11:28), is His blessed invitation.

Let your reply be, ‘Lord, I come! I come! I come! I entwine my feeble, trembling arms of faith around Thy cross, around Thyself, and if I die, I will die, cleaving, clinging, looking unto Thee!' So act and believe, and you need not fear to die. Looking at the Saviour in the face, you can look at death in the face, exclaiming with good old Simeon, 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,' (Luke 2:29). May we, through rich, free, and sovereign grace, meet in heaven, and unite together in exclaiming, ‘Worthy is the Lamb; for He was slain for us!” (Rev. 5:12). Rev. Dr Winslow (Quoted in, ‘The Blood of Jesus’, by Rev William Reid)

Mr. Grodi seems to have been devoid of Gospel understanding and truth. He never once indicates that at any time he has grasped the Gospel or that the Gospel has grasped him. His whole basis of following Jesus has been based on his subjective commitment and decision and learning a set of Reformed doctrines. Therefore, he eventually decided to stop masquerading as preacher of the Gospel and unmask himself as a Roman Catholic decisionist.
Mr. Grodi, instead of finding his answers in Christ and His Gospel, says:
“I was deeply unsettled by the knowledge that no matter how earnestly he may have thought he was predestined for heaven (it’s interesting that all who preach the doctrine of predestination firmly believe they themselves are one of the elect), and no matter how sincerely those around him believed he was, he may not have gone to heaven.”

Apart from the obvious instruction given by Peter that each one of us are to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10), it seems that Mr. Grodi made the fatal error of reckoning his acceptance before God to be based upon his doctrine and theological system. He has since traded Reformed doctrines for Roman Catholic ones and somehow thinks that his Justification before God is now complete. He seems to have entirely missed the only one who can save, Jesus the Christ!

He tells us that he now, “found it harder to give clear, confident answers to the “Will my husband go to heaven?” kinds of questions my parishioners asked.” Notice how fast he is becoming like a priest. He feels he must be the one with all the answers. Instead of taking his people to the Scripture to discover the Gospel, Mr. Grodi sees nothing amiss when his people look to him as the arbiter of all truth in this matter of salvation. He then goes on to say,

“Every Protestant pastor I knew had a different set of criteria that he listed as “necessary” for salvation.”

Nonsense! What exaggerated and embellished twaddle! The only Bible believing ministers who are confused about salvation are those, who like Mr. Grodi, have rejected the Bible as their final authority in matters of faith and practice! He then goes on to say,

“As a Calvinist I believed that if one publicly accepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior, one is saved by grace through faith.”
Mr. Grodi, where is the Scripture that says such nonsense? Jesus only saves publicly? Then Mr. Grodi was troubled when he considered the worldly, sinful lifestyles deceased members of his congregation had lived. Of course you know where this is leading. It is leading to the baseless and erroneous charge that Bible Believers are antinomian (against the law). Roman Catholics have always charged Bible believers with careless and unholy living because of holding to justification by grace through faith. But neither Reformed nor non-Reformed believers teach that believers can live like the devil! Mr. Grodi knows this! Mr. Grodi knows that Bible believers believe that good works are seen as a result and evidence of Salvation. In fact Luther’s friend Melanchthon said, “We are saved by faith alone but the faith which saves is never alone.” Roman Catholics on the other hand, are saved, they say, by their works which come from grace. According to their teaching, it is not the grace but the works which come from grace that save them! Thus they make a mock of Ephesians 2:8-9 which plainly states, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast.”

Mr. Grodi then goes into a long discourse called, ‘Consider the sparrows” which climaxes by telling us how he received guidance from a sparrow evacuating its bowels on his head. Isn’t it wonderful to know that he was guided by falling and targeted excrement? I don’t joke he really believes this! When I read this I was reminded of an old Irish saying which goes like this, “Deep down he is very shallow!” Doubtless, Mr. Grodi rejoices that pigs don’t fly in Ohio or wherever it was he was living at the time.

But in spite of the best efforts of the birds of the air, Mr. Grodi still knew his situation was not right. He began to think that what he needed was a bigger church with a bigger budget and a bigger staff. As he says, “Surely, then I’d be happy.”--And by such a written admission we can see what is in this man’s heart! He is living for himself and for his happiness but not for the glory of God. So much for his attack on the poor flawed and fractured Bible Believers who can never have enough commitment to make real disciples for Christ. Here we see that it is Mr. Grodi himself who has the problem with discipleship. It is no wonder that Jesus taught us to ‘judge not’ lest we, as is evident in Mr. Grodi’s case, be found guilty of the very same things we judge others for.

So, now we find Mr. Grodi pastoring a “bigger-is-better” church. “I thought,” he tells us, “(this) would satisfy my restless heart.” But alas, no! The sheep of his pasture were backsliders in heart and his frustrations began to grow. What did he expect? Sheep have an inbuilt capacity to stray and do stupid things. But, Mr. Grodi no doubt felt that Calvin and his followers were responsible for this lack of commitment and spirituality and could lay no blame on indwelling sin which remains in the heart of every one who follows the Lord.

Next he gives us a most confused and illogical story of how certain liberal Bible believers ministers failed to follow the Scripture concerning addressing God as Father and were suggesting the use of “Mother” or some other such nonsense. He describes how he, there and then, became aware of the “anarchistic principle that lies at the center of Protestantism.” He explains:

“These liberals (grievously wrong as they were in their scheme to reduce God to the mere functions of “creator,” “redeemer,” and “sanctifier,” instead of the Persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), were just being good Protestants. They were simply following the course of protest mapped out for them by their theological ancestors Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other Reformers. The Reformation maxim of “I will not abide by a teaching unless I believe it is correct and biblical” was being invoked by these liberal Protestants in favor of their protest against masculine names for God.”

Where did they find anything in the Bible telling them to invoke God as Mother! Come on, Mr. Grodi, your logic is unintelligent and foolish. You say you defended the invocation of God as Father from the Bible----your opponents did not. Yet you say that, by not following the Bible, they were simply following the Bible believing maxim of only following teaching that can be established by the Bible. This is confusion twice confounded!

Furthermore, it is painfully obvious that these men, whom Grodi incorrectly states were following Reformation principles, were anti-Bible liberals. That they happened to be masquerading as Bible believing ministers ought not to call the Reformation into question. It’s incomprehensible! Why, when a bunch of imposters calling themselves Bible believers refuse the authority of Scripture does Mr. Grodi join a church that has little or no regard for the Scriptures? The Church of Rome equal devotion and reverence for Tradition as she has for Scripture, in her own words,

“As a result the [Roman Catholic] Church...does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” Paragraph 82 Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)

Mr. Grodi would have done well to have obeyed the Bible and have had nothing to do with those Bible deniers who equally love their Tradition. He should have practiced the biblical doctrine of separation. Notice again how he is critical of those who do not take the Bible seriously, yet affords himself the luxury of ignoring the Bible’s admonition:
“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18.) Living in such willful disobedience, it is no wonder he was so available to deception!

He then begins to feel convicted about ministering in a denomination, which advocated the murder of the unborn. It’s about time he’s asking himself this question. However, had he but understood ‘Biblical Separation’, he could not, in the first place, have been with any church who advocated the murder of babies.
He then tells us, “I knew I was leaving Presbyterianism but I had no idea which was the “right” denomination.”

The right denomination? He has embraced the error of the one true church. There are so many who claim to be the one true Church that it is tiresome to listen to them. I’d love to hear representatives from Rome, the Orthodox Church, The Church of Christ International and the United Pentecostal Church debate their presuppositions in a room. They all claim to be the one true church and tell us the ‘True Church’ has a geographic center. And, in a way, they are geographically correct. This is not to say that the true church is centered in Rome, or Moscow, or somewhere in the United States; the ‘True Church’ is centered in Jesus Christ. Wherever He is, there is the location of the true church.

But eventually, through Scott Hahn, further studies, and a lot of study, he came to the conclusion that sola scriptura (Scripture alone) and sola fide (justification by faith alone) were on very shaky biblical ground, and he decided to become a follower of the “infallible” Pope and his teaching power called, ‘magisterium’. They had the real truth and consistency of belief.

Of course, he doesn’t seem to consider that if the teaching of the Roman Church is infallible, that must mean that she has never changed her position on any matter. Yet, once upon a time they didn’t hold to the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven but now they do--that’s quite a change for men who always get it right!

Furthermore, if the Pope is infallible, then it stands to reason that all Popes must have been infallible. Yet in church history we discover that at the Sixth Ecumenical Council, held in A.D. 680-681, a Bishop of Rome, Pope Honorius, was condemned for having embraced and promoted heretical teachings. This pope had embraced and promoted the heresy that Christ had only one will, the divine. This error, properly known as montheletism, does violence to the dual nature of Christ in that it totally disregards the fact that, as the divine/human savior, Christ Jesus, had two wills. So did Pope Honorius speak infallibly on matters of faith? He should have done so, if the “successor to Peter” is infallible.

Furthermore, the Council of Trent condemned popes Innocent I and Galacius I. There goes apostolic succession out the window, never mind infallibility. Mr. Grodi’s search for a consistency of belief and a deposit of truth in the Roman communion can be found as easily as a blind man can find a black cat in a dark room.

Surely, if Papal Rome is the guardian of the truth and has such a stalwart record of consistency of belief, we should expect her to have been constant and unswerving in her doctrine of Papal infallibility. However, this nonsensical doctrine was not officially adopted until the First Vatican Counsel of 1870. It was an old idea, which had been resisted by, surprise, surprise, many of the popes. For example Pope “John XXII did not want to hear about his own infallibility, he viewed it an improper restriction of his rights as a sovereign, and in the bull Qui quorundam (1324) condemned the Franciscan doctrine of papal infallibility as the work of the devil.” (How the Pope Became Infallible by Roman Catholic historian Bernard Hasler pages 36 and 37)

Why did such as Pope John XXII resist the idea of infallibility? Because they thought that the idea of papal infallibility could actually limit Papal power! Think about it, if infallibility was introduced, popes could not just run around the place overthrowing what other popes had decreed. And just who originally came up with the brainchild of papal infallibility? Again, surprise, surprise, it was the invention of one Peter Olivi, a Franciscan who was more than once accused of heresy. Olivi liked the idea of papal infallibility because he wanted to ensure that future popes would not overthrow a ruling, favorable to his view of poverty, made by Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280).

Yet Mr. Grodi seems to be beguiled as he appeals to an imaginary tradition of unwavering change.

Mr. Grodi goes on to drool on his great discovery that the Bible believers arguments against the primacy of Peter weren’t Biblical. As usual, this former Protestant glaringly advertises his ignorance of the Bible. He should have known these following scriptural reasons, which show beyond argument that the Primacy of Peter is just another invention in the long and damnable line of Papal fables.

Reason One: Christ taught that all the apostles were equal. Matthew 23:8, 'Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ; and ye are all brethren.” All brethren! That means they were all equal! But of course the disciples, like modern Romanists didn’t get it and actually competed with each other for ascendancy and pre-eminence. But just so that there should be no confusion concerning what he had taught, Jesus stepped in and said, 'Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and their great ones exercise authority upon them' ( Mark 10:43). 'But so shall it not be among you; but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister' (Mark 10:44). How is it that Rome ignores these Scriptures and demands we believe that Peter was supreme?

Reason Two: Peter had every chance to tell us all about how he was the main man. After all, he wrote two epistles and is thought to have dictated Mark’s Gospel. But nowhere in his writings does he mention that he is the chief bishop. In fact, he says just the opposite when he writes, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ” (1 Peter 5:1). If Rome is right about him he should have written, “The elders among you I exhort, who am the vicar of Christ and his representative upon the earth.”Reason Three: One does not send a pope to check out a situation! Yet Peter was sent by the other apostles to Samaria: “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John.” (Acts 8:14) When is the last time you heard of the Cardinals sending the Pope to check whether or not there had been a move of the Spirit--or anything else for that matter?

Reason Four: A council of the apostles and brethren was held at Jerusalem (Acts 15:6-29) Peter was in attendance and spoke and yet everyone, including Peter, bowed to James’ ruling on that occasion. The thing to further notice is that, when they sent out a reply from the council, Peter again, was not given the Primacy. Note what the Bible says, “And they wrote letters by them after this manner; the apostles and elders and brethren send greeting”(Acts 15:23)If Peter had been the Vicar of Christ, our Lord’s visible substitute on earth, then the whole Council of Jerusalem should have been condemned because (a) Peter was not given his due place and honor in that they followed James’ ruling, and (b) in the subsequent ruling there was no mention of Peter’s superior place. Is it any wonder that Rome refuses to take her doctrine from Scripture alone? She cannot afford to, as it exposes her as fraudulent and deceitful in her telling of history.

Reason Five: The apostle Paul would be very surprised to discover that Peter had somehow managed to usurp him as the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul relates how when, “James, Peter, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision” (Galatians 2:9). Notice how Peter was to minister to the Jews (the circumcision). But Rome was a gentile church in a gentile city. What business, therefore, had Peter exercising supremacy there? None! Furthermore, Paul claims that it is he, not Peter who has the ‘care of all the churches’” (2 Corinthians 11:28); yet Rome claims this role for Peter and his successors. This claim is the kind of error, which happens when the Bible is willfully rejected as the final authority.

Reason Six: Galatians 2:9 says, “James, a pillar, Peter, the foundation and John, another pillar” Woops! Does it really say that? It should do so if Mr. Grodi is correct about the primacy of Peter. But I misquoted that Scripture. Here’s what it actually says, “James, Peter, and John, who seemed to be pillars.” Peter was a pillar, not the foundation. Reason Seven: Paul withstood Peter to the face, because he was to be blamed (Galatians 2:11). Paul dare not have done this if Peter was the actual Vicar of Christ! And if Peter were the Vicar of Christ, he would have done nothing worthy of rebuke!Reason Eight: When Paul lists the ascension gifts which the Lord gave to the Church in Ephesians 4:11, there is no mention of the role, primacy, or supremacy of Peter! Had the Holy Spirit known of the role of the Vicar of Christ, He would surely have mentioned it. If Rome is correct about Peter, Ephesians 4:11 should read, “And he gave the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome to be first, foremost and chief among you. He is the substitute for the Lord Jesus here on earth. As the prince of Apostles, he is the Holy Father, the way, the truth, and the life, the father of princes and kings and the Great High Priest (Supreme Pontiff) of the Universal Church.”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Q & A with Brother Mike Gowens, Primitive Baptist Church

Online -

Q: I have been studying Romans 3:22 for a number of weeks, off and on, trying to settle on an answer. I have not had any insight as of yet. My brother is a universalist and this is his crutch verse that all will be saved. The part of the verse is the two “all's” worded "...unto all and upon all them that believe:...". Your thoughts please.

A: The "But now" in the previous verse (v. 21) signals a contrast to those who attempt to be made righteous by keeping the law. It suggests that since Christ came and died, God has "manifested" (this is a key word) his way of making sinners righteous.

If you connect this verse with Rom 1:17, you will note that Paul understands the Gospel of Christ to be the means by which God "reveals" or "manifests" his way of making sinners righteous, i.e. through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. God's "revelation" was restricted to the Jewish people under the Old Covenant, "BUT NOW" it is opened up "UNTO ALL

The former distinctions between Jew/Gentile are now obsolete. Since God has a people among the Gentiles as well as among the Jews, He has been pleased to make the revelation of redemption known to them as well. In this, the initial promise to Abraham that "In thee shall ALL THE NATIONS [note: not just his own natural descendants] be blessed" is fulfilled (cf. Rom. 4:2ff; Gal. 3).

In other words, the Abrahamic Covenant was intended to be international in scope. When one distinguishes between the FACT of redemption and the REVELATION or manifestation of redemption, as between the objective reality and the subjective awareness, it becomes clear why Paul finds it necessary to emphasize that the former class distinctions between people no longer, i.e.
since Christ, exist. All believers in Jesus Christ, not just Abraham's physical descendants, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or gender, may rejoice in the good news that God has made His people righteous by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. So, the passage is not talking about the objective fact of eternal salvation, but the subjective manifestation of that fact in the gospel – a gospel that is available to “all”

God’s children, regardless of their ethnicity. It's not an easy passage, but it is important to grasp the central theme. I hope my ramblings help a little. God bless.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Misusing verse for their own purposes

The verse below has been used by those who claim “Christ died for all men—believers as well as those who reject him forever” by insisting that the verse indicates Christ died to buy (bought) everlasting life even for false prophets and teachers. Is that really what it means? Not so said Herman Hoeksema as he answered the question before going onto his reward.

Denying The Lord That Bought Them Question — From a reader in Jenison, Michigan I received the following question:"I have a problem understanding II Peter 2:1 in the light of sovereign election.

The text is: 'But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.' "It would seem that those who 'even deny the Lord that bought them . . .' cannot have been bought in the first place, since they are false teachers or hypocrites. Please explain."

Reply — My questioner is basically correct when he views his problem in the light of sovereign election. More specifically, of course, the question comes down to this: does this passage teach a falling away of the saints, that is, a falling away of those whom Christ bought by His atoning death? But basically it is a question of sovereign election: for Christ died for those given unto Him by sovereign election. Hence, ultimately the question becomes: can God's election be rendered ineffectual?

And my questioner recognizes that the latter is impossible, in the light of Scripture. Hence, how must this passage be explained? There are two possible explanations. 1) We may follow the rendering of the King James Version, and then, as my questioner suggests, the explanation lies in the fact that these false teachers are hypocrites. That is, they are outwardly and according to their profession members of the church. They are of those who profess with the mouth that the Lord bought them, that is, atoned for them. But in process of time they become manifest as false teachers, who then deny the very Lord Whom they once professed to be the Lord Who bought them. They never had been bought by the Lord: for as Canons V, 8 puts it, "the merit, intercession, and preservation of Christ cannot be rendered ineffectual." But they once professed to be Christians, to have been bought by the Lord; and later they deny by their heresies that very Lord. If we adopt this explanation, then the text says nothing as to the specific nature of their heresy, except that it is a denial of the Lord.

2) It is also possible to read the text as follows: ". . . even denying the-having-bought-them-Lord." Or: " . . . even denying that the Lord bought them." In that case, the text purposes to specify the extent of the damnable heresies of these false teachers. They even deny that the Lord bought them, deny the atonement. Then these false teachers are pictured as teaching a salvation by works, rather than by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Personally, I am inclined toward this interpretation for various reasons. But whatever explanation is adopted, it must certainly be emphasized that this passage does not teach a falling away of the saints, that is, of the elect.

--(the late, great) Herman Hoeksema, Protestant Reformed Christian Church