Problems with Total Depravity or Inability

Problems with Total Depravity or Inability examines the flaws and errors of Total Depravity (really total inability). Problems with Total Depravity or Inability

Introduction to Problems with Total Depravity or Inability

Let’s make this as simple as we can so that people can understand us. Calvinism wishes to totally remove all concepts of moral activity for Christians. Say what they may say about holiness, sanctification, and leaving off sinning, the truth of the matter is that their teachings (if believed and followed lead their followers) push people strongly down the road of moral inactivity to a state of spiritual bankruptcy. There is no other alternative if you follow Calvinism. You may not be as advanced as “a 5 pointer”, but you are on the same road, no matter what you say or think. Problems with Total Depravity or Inability Continue reading

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The Narrow Road versus Broad

The Narrow Road versus Broad is a short article about the contrast of the two roads by Jesus.

By David Cox

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A study on False Prophets and Teachers

A study on False Prophets and Teachers is excerpted from some good old books about false prophets and teachers.

taken from http://www.sounddoctrine.net/apologetics.html

A cult becomes destructive when:

¨      It isolates members from family and friends.

¨      The group interferes with an individual’s ability to think freely.

¨      A charismatic figure dominates the group, claiming to have a direct line to God or some secret knowledge that makes the group elite.

¨      The cult persuades members that the group goal is more important than individual needs, using guilt and shame to keep followers from questioning doctrine.

¨      The leader instills fear that something dreadful will happen to anyone who leaves.

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What do false prophets want?

What do false prophets want? These are reflective, meditative thoughts about false prophets in our churches. What is it that a false teacher seeks when he or she takes the place of a real pastor?

What a true man of God seeks out of the ministry

We need to begin with the positive. First of all, a true man of God is called by God to be a minister and serve God. It is assumed that God will provide for him and his family, but that most probably will not “get rich” in the ministry. Anybody that goes into the ministry to get rich is just wrong and misguided.

There is the divine calling, and then there is the satisfaction that a true man of God is blessing others in his labors. A true man of God is not self-centered and concerned always and foremost with his own benefits and blessing back to him. This is very distinctive. A man of God really likes blessings back to him but from blessing others. A false prophet is concerned not with “spiritual type” blessings but with other things, like cold hard cash, fame and glory, and an unhealthy zeal for power and control.

What do false prophets want? Money, riches

For the vast majority of these False prophets what they want is money. They dream of riches. You can tell that the preacher is a false prophet because he is always talking and preaching and teaching about money and riches and well-being.

Christians are not given to glory in pleasure and luxuries in this life, but to use everything God gives us to work for heaven. Their working premise is “I am a beloved child of God, therefore God wants to give me all my desires.” What happened to suffer with Christ as a child of God, so that we can reign in glory (heaven) with Him? No, they don’t like to accept the thought that we are here to suffer, and much more than just what happens to us, that is God’s will for our lives! The idea that God would send poverty to one of his children like Lazarus and the rich man is beyond their abilities to capture. They defend their line of thought with, “Well Lazarus didn’t take opportunities that God offered to him obviously.”

We turn to the story of Ruth or Job, and the suffering and poverty in both cases were parts of God’s plans for those people. The false prophet cannot understand that. He is blinded to all such things in God’s will, and he can only see riches and health. This “blindness” is because of a single factor, the false prophet wants to use God to advance the false prophet’s will and desires, and not God’s.

But just survey what you hear typically from your preacher in a year. Men of God do preach on money and possessions. They should. That is of God. But the underlying idea is not to make you rich but to correctly, biblically steward what you have from God. The preacher should receive something for his labors. But to make him wealthy is unwise. Consider, would you think God would be happier if you gave your preacher a liveable salary and then $250,000 more? or Would God be happier if you paid 5 more ministers to come in as evangelists? or missionaries? or pastors to minister to the needs of your own church (like old folks pastor, teens, or even Christian school teachers)?

A false prophet will press the church on giving that money to him instead of more workers.

What do false prophets want? Power and Glory

A second driving force in false prophets is to look or after the money to power and glory. I say after money because once a false prophet gets a salary that will make him rich, he is not satisfied with “just” that, but he also wants total control of the lives of those in his power (congregation).

This actually begins in the pulpit. The false prophet tells other people what the Bible says they should do, but very subtly that changes to his own interpretation of the Bible as becoming infallible. No one can countermand his positions and commandments. To do so is to oppose God himself. (The false prophet stepping aside at this moment telling you that he is just God’s mouthpiece, and your opposition is to God.)

But the point here is how does God speak to us (his children), to the church? It probably is not by the visions of the pastor. This is how the false prophet wants God’s people to believe, it is through his vision alone.

God first of all speaks to us through the Scriptures. If there is a commandment of God to do something for us in the New Testament age, then it is legitimate to press the church to do it. We should pray, read our Bibles, and study our Bibles, witness, be holy, etc. There is nothing wrong with a pastor or preacher emphasizing these things. But when the preacher starts to press the church people for things that are not exactly for us, then we see where the congregation begins to be used by God. If the preacher can convince the congregation to give “in goodwill”, then maybe it is of God. But so many times there are voices of descent and opposition. Wise leaders go very slowly when a goodly portion of people “are not onboard.”

If the pastor cannot pay for a new building project out of his own pocket, both from a money standpoint and willingness to sacrifice standpoint, then he must depend on his church to shoulder the burden across all of them. So if they don’t see why, he should go very slow or just put it off. His “power” is actually shared with the other church leaders and pillars. Convince your people then see if they want to go down that road.

I have personally seen the destruction of unwise pastors over the years. They have gotten churches into million-dollar building programs, and the majority of the church tithers left, and those who didn’t leave had to shoulder the financial chaos. Without a doubt, the foolish pastor that got the church into this situation also leaves. The name of the Lord is drug through the mud. Why all of this? Very simply. The false prophet wanted people to see his name associated with a huge building with lots of people and more, for that pastor’s personal glory.

So what happens to evangelism, to Bible teaching, to prayer in these churches. 1) People leave, and often innocent good laborers for the Lord leave the church. 2) Prayer changes from prayer for salvation, prayer for healing, prayer for missionaries, to pray that we make the monthly payment on the new building. 3) Finances go from missions and staff to mortgage payments. In other words, they effectively destroyed the ministry of that church. Short of putting all the key members into jail, how else can you destroy a church so well?

What do false prophets want? Sex, Control over the lives of others

There are cases of false prophets taking advantage of women in their churches. When the pastor gets ideas of authority, and by that, I mean “HIS” authority over the other members of the church, then they entertain ideas of pleasure with other men’s wives or daughters.

What is incredible here is that there are actually churches, and people in these churches that defend these false prophets after it comes to light that they had sex with other women.

Conclusion

It is not difficult to evaluate and see what are the main points of focus of a pastor. Some pray and want their congregations to also pray with them. Others want to back missions. Others want to evangelize their communities. All of these focuses are valid and perhaps they are all wrong if they do not at least partially focus on the others. But when a pastor focuses on money, his authority, or the greatness of he and his church instead of Christ and God’s people, then something is wrong. Distance is the only good solution here.

Read Tracts about False Prophets and the True Man of God

More Articles on False Prophets and False Teacher

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The Pentecostal Fascination with Demons

The Pentecostal Fascination with Demons is actually a mark of modern Pentecostalism. They promote their movement because of this “sign.” As a preacher and pastor, I can half-way accept the old Methodism, that tried to seek holiness in their membership. I can accept even the Nazarene and old school Pentecostals which went down that same erroneous path as John Wesley in Methodism. But modern Pentecostals are just too radical for me.

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The Reality of Demons

The Reality of Demons is a simple fact of life. We should not focus on demons, but they are real and around us and fighting against us. As humans, we have to deal with their influences upon us, our lives, and the lives of those around us.

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“Mary, Mother of God”

Catholics propose that Mary, Mother of God, is of special worship and reverence. It is wrong to worship her. The Bible indicates that she was special because Christ was incarnated through her, but beyond that point, there is no worship for her.

Introduction

Mary is not the center of focus in Scripture. If you were to not know anything about the Bible at all, and you were to study religion as the Roman Catholics present it, you would deduce that Mary is the center of Christianity. Walk into one of their churches and you see Mary’s image plastered all over everything. Although there are other saints and Jesus’ image around also, Mary’s image will be there many times more than Jesus’ image or any other biblical person.

But if we study the Scriptures, this is just not the case. References to Mary or even the incarnation at all are scarce, with the emphasis not on the virgin mother, but on God incarnate. Mary is very central in the Incarnation in the Gospels, and even at that, only Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels even relate the incarnation mentioning Mary.  In Acts, she is mentioned in being among the disciples waiting for the day of Pentecost, but after that, she basically totally disappears from the pages of Scripture.

All this reinforces the idea that Mary is not the center of Scripture. When we apply the same principles to Jesus Christ, we find central importance and priority of Jesus Christ from Genesis through Revelation, with references to the Savior in almost every chapter of the Bible, and abundant references within most books of the Bible.

So why would a person or group de-emphasize Jesus as Savior, to replace His importance with some other person? This is the basic tactic of false religion to pervert the Gospel (which the Gospel is totally Jesus Christ and nothing Mary) so that they can claim to be the unique professors of what they call “truth.” They grab authority asserting that they are the only true religion, but they cannot account for the contrast and disparity between their doctrines and practices and what the Bible defines. Continue reading

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Calvinism Enoch pleased God Total Depravity

Calvinism Enoch pleased God Total Depravity. In this post, we examine the Calvinist position of man’s total depravity. This is the first in a series. Calvinism Enoch pleased God Total Depravity

Let’s do a quick analysis of this topic. First of all, if nobody can in any wise ever do anything that pleases God, then why try? Why not just live in our sins, and “enjoy” our sins to the best we can? Secondly, if the Bible teaches that nobody ever has ever done anything good at all, an extremist position carrying as far as you logically can, then why does the Bible say that certain people pleased God with their actions and lives? If Calvinist’s Total Depravity is right, then the Bible would contradict itself.

Thirdly, as with all cults and false religions, they redefine the meaning of words. Nobody who has read the Bible would deny that it presents man as a sinner. That is not the question at hand, do people sin? Yes. But the problem that the Calvinist spins in his web is more complex. Does mankind or any particular example of a personal sin as much as any human is capable of sinning? Can you extend that then that every human ever born is the extreme example of sin? Now we are just getting into befuddling the clear. NO! We see examples of gross sin, and not every human who ever lived has sinned to that extreme.

Where is the point then? Calvinists push the biblical doctrine of the sinfulness of man to extremes that the Bible does not say. This is just as wrong as flat out refusing that anybody has ever sinned. The Bible declares that no man has any good works that God respects in order to trade those “good works” for eternity in heaven. This is very different from Total Depravity. Calvinism Enoch pleased God Total Depravity

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Sacraments or Ordinances?

Sacraments or Ordinances? Are we to believe that specific ceremonial actions are going to save us?

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Christ’s Atonement in Catholicism

Christ’s Atonement in Catholicism shows that Roman Catholicism has a wrong concept of Christ’s work, and it is seen in various doctrinal beliefs and practices. They do not believe in the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement in the single act of dying on the cross, but rather it is like a single major event within many other events.

Christ’s Atonement in Catholicism

by David Cox

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