Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Marvin Heiman Won't Answer Simple Questions

Why is it that sinless perfectionists give themselves so easily to intellectual dishonesty and sin when they are questioned? I thought they were perfect. Guess not.

Sadly, @Cry Aloud, Marvin Heiman, an immature and hateful street preacher in the Nashville area, has decided that he loves division from Christians and self-exaltation rather than honest engagement and work to try to labor through hard questions with those who profess Christ.

Are you perfect in every thought word and deed?
Cry Aloud
+Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN Mike, we have already had this discussion.
Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN
+Cry Aloud yes I do realize that I was looking for a possible public profession of your perfection
Cry Aloud
+Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN Almost every time I preach Mike. I am perfect in Christ Jesus. I am perfectly obedient to Christ. I know that is difficult for a lot of people to understand, but it is possible to choose not to sin.
Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN
+Cry Aloud So your not perfect? Almost perfect isn't perfect, yes?
Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN
+Cry Aloud or are you saying you publicly confess your perfection in thought word and deed almost every time you preach?
Cry Aloud
+Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN You are putting words in my mouth Mike. I never used the word almost. Now, I am done here.
Cry Aloud
+Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN Yes.
Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN
+Cry Aloud //almost every time I preach// Thank you for clarifying that you profess to be perfect in thought word and deed almost every time you preach.
Cry Aloud
+Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN And you profess to be a sinner don't you Mike?
Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN
+Cry Aloud daily in need of Gods grace and mercy, yes. Ask my wife if I'm perfect, she'll testify I am not. Willfully walking in sin? No. Perfect? I discover more and more each day just how far from Gods perfection I am. Now call me to repentance for not maintaining sinless perfectionism.
Cry Aloud
+Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN You are free to believe the way you want Mike, and I am free to believe the way I want. I am not interested in an endless debate, so I will walk away. I will tell you to repent, and believe the Gospel.
+Cry Aloud Clarity of speech is a virtue, Marvin. So is patience. You are saying, aren't you, that you love God perfectly every second of every day for a significant period of time? And you love your neighbor as yourself every second of every day? Not had a flash of unjustified anger? Not a second of a scrap of lust? Pride is sin. You keep saying that you are perfect. How is that not pride?
Cry Aloud
+Rhology I am perfect in Christ, not in of myself. who am I speaking with?
+Cry Aloud You can see my avatar very clearly, I presume. I don't see how you answered my questions. Could you please answer them? Thank you in advance. I'm confident that someone who is perfect will 1) assume the best about professing believers 2) answer honestly 3) answer scripturally 4) answer humbly 5) answer directly, as someone who loves truth and has apparently been perfected. So I'm sure I can count on the perfection of Christ to come through in your answer. Thanks!
Cry Aloud
+Rhology I did answer you, I am perfect in Christ. That would be morally and biblically. I choose not to sin, and so can you.
+Cry Aloud Would you please answer each of my questions with a yes or no and any qualification and elaboration you may choose? 1) You love God perfectly every second of every day? 2) You love your neighbor as yourself every second of every day? 3) Not had a flash of unjustified anger? 4) Not a second of a scrap of lust? 5) Pride is sin. You keep saying that you are perfect. How is that not pride? Thank you again for answering in a way that reflects Christ's perfection. Please answer directly rather than beating around the bush as "I am perfect in Christ" does.
Cry Aloud
+Rhology I did answer your questions. I gave you one answer for your five questions. You never answered my question. Who am I speaking with? Not your YT name, but your real name.
Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN
+Cry Aloud I am perfect in Christ as well I think we mean different things by that
Cry Aloud
+Abolitionist Society of Sumner County, TN For once, we agree.
+Cry Aloud I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to answer directly each of the questions in turn. Honestly, "I am perfect in Christ" is subject to a significant amount of interpretation. Different people mean different things by that sort of phrase. Please simply answer my questions directly. My name is Alan. Howdy. Who I am is completely unimportant, however. What matters here is ideas and adherence to the Bible. Once again, I thank you in advance for answering my questions directly.
Cry Aloud
+Rhology I will expound on my answer by saying this, that each and every day I choose not to sin. Now another question for you Alan, are you a sinner?
+Cry Aloud I'm sorry, you didn't answer my questions. Please, I have asked you with as much kindness and openness as I know how. I don't feel like you're answering with honesty and openness yourself. Would not a perfect man answer honestly and openly? Please simply answer my questions directly, and I will be happy to dialogue with you as well. I need to see some fruit of your profession of perfection, however.
Cry Aloud
+Rhology My answer is above. You just don't like the answer. I am awaiting an answer to my question, are you a sinner?
+Cry Aloud No sir, with all due respect, it's not that I don't like your answer. It's that you did not actually answer. I have asked you forthrightly, openly, and honestly to answer each question in a straightforward and honest manner. I should think a perfectly sanctified person would have no problem giving a loving and kind and honest answer to an inquirer. Please demonstrate what perfect patience looks like and how 1 Cor 13 says that love hopes all things and believes all things. Since you have no reason to think that I stand opposed to you or to the truth, please demonstrate perfect love and answer the questions in a straightforward way. Thank you again in advance for demonstrating what it looks like for a perfect person to engage in substantive dialogue with an honest questioner.
Cry Aloud
+Rhology I guess we will end the dialog here, I have answered your questions and you refuse to answer mine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

President of Focus On The Family Assumes a Papist Into Heaven

*Editorial Note: Pulpit & Pen continues in unrepentant sin and enabling of the ongoing sin of Jordan Hall. While it is my understanding that P&P does not plan to take down the content I contributed, any role I can play in reducing their traffic until they repent, I will. Thus I migrate this article here. 

Focus on the Family is an influential organisation with a highly-regarded voice in many professing Christian circles, despite their recent foray into amazing sinful stupidity by legitimising and promoting the deployment of chemical weaponry against helpless victims. Call that an error of orthopraxy.

Now let’s take a look at a recent error of orthodoxy on their part and ask ourselves: What is it that defines Christianity? The obvious answer is the Word of God. What is the single most important message therein? The Gospel. The Gospel, I would argue, is comprised of more than simply an explanation of the principle that was famously (re)iterated in the Protestant Reformation – sola fide, justification by faith alone. It is something more, but it is certainly not less.

Now, as you are no doubt aware, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, thought by many to be a conservative stalwart and a major ally of Christian values in the United States, has passed out of this life. Online eulogies abound for the man. It is always important to hold fast to the Word of God in times of grief, loss, or insecurity about one’s individual or national future. This is especially true of people in positions of leadership and influence, as many people look to them for guidance in such circumstances.

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, has commented on Scalia’s passing.
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, called the judge’s death “a blow to all Americans who believe in the rule of law and his adherence to an originalist’s view of the Constitution.”
The court’s longest serving member was “one of the greatest jurists of our age,” Daly said. “He was a terrific thinker with a fluid pen. Most importantly, he was a devout believer in Jesus Christ. Many of the nation’s most impressive attorneys stood before him. Now, the justice stands before the ultimate Judge of the world,” he continued, adding that he “attempted to save our Constitution. Now, his faith in his Lord and Savior has saved him.”
My intention here is not to make any comment on the eternal state of the late Justice Scalia. Let us simply note that Scalia was a professing Roman Catholic until the day of his death. The Roman Catholic Church explicitly and clearly repudiates the doctrine of justification by faith alone. It may be that individual Roman Catholics differ in good faith from the Church’s official teaching. Still others may be ignorant. While it is difficult to imagine that such a learned man as Scalia could have been ignorant of the matter or willfully inconsistent so as to accept sola fide as well as the unjustifiability of many Roman practices such as prayer to the dead, veneration of images and statues, subjugating the Scripture to the authority of the Magisterium in a de facto sense, and the blasphemous Mass, but continue to participate in the Roman Church, it is technically possible. One must be open to the fact that none of us actually know the heart of another, which is why God is the ultimate Judge and you and I are not.
That said, we must understand that the fruits of his life did not reflect an undeniable, exemplary, and undiluted devotion to the biblical Gospel. (Had it done so or approached it, he would have called the Roman Church to repentance and left it long ago.) Therefore, we must not speak with such certainty about where he is today. This is, one might say, a properly nuanced view.
So why does Daly, who is supposed to uphold the Gospel as his primary job function, assume Scalia through the pearly gates without any pause or hesitation? Daly might cite certain of Scalia’s more private correspondences as evidence of his second birth such as the following, written to a Presbyterian minister:
even when the deceased was an admirable person—indeed, especially when the deceased was an admirable person—praise for his virtues can cause us to forget that we are praying for, and giving thanks for, God’s inexplicable mercy to a sinner. (My goodness, that seems more like a Presbyterian thought than a Catholic one!)
Indeed it does seem more of a Reformation thought than a Roman one. What sort of confidence should that give anyone to pontificate with any certainty on whether such a man loved Jesus more than the faulty traditions of man that comprise so much of Roman doctrine and practice? And if someone does glibly take a firm position on the matter with misplaced confidence, what confidence ought we have in his reliability?

Friday, February 12, 2016

February at the Abortuary

It still is lonely work. It's hard to believe someone out there thinks that Christians are obsessed with abortion. Ain't seen the fruit of that obsession.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Village Church Says the Gospel is an Agenda

*Editorial Note: Pulpit & Pen continues in unrepentant sin and enabling of the ongoing sin of Jordan Hall. While it is my understanding that P&P does not plan to take down the content I contributed, any role I can play in reducing their traffic until they repent, I will. Thus I migrate this article here.

It is always disturbing to find Christians who carry the name, label, or implication that they are Bible-believing, conservative, and doctrinally orthodox but who mess up in significant ways when given a visible platform. Obviously not all such mistakes approach the gravity of heresy, but truth-loving people should speak up to correct errors either way, if nothing else for the sake of those who might be led astray into perhaps even greater error once they have been badly influenced.

The Village Church’s blog features a recent attempt at an even-handed discussion of outreach to Muslim people in one’s local area, by one Sarah Long, a Ministry Assistant in Spiritual Formation at TVC’s Plano Campus. It would seem to be her first foray into blogging, but unfortunately while some of her insights are helpful, others are typical lackadaisical, sub-biblical, squishy evangelical advice toward how Christians are to attempt to reach the lost for Christ, thus matching the sub-biblical quality of TVC’s multi-campus ecclesiological organisation.

Particularly disturbing is the looming, though to be fair, unstated, spectre of the Insider Movement that is growing in popularity among the foreign missions community toward Muslims. The IM is a product of excessive grasping onto perceived common ground and accommodation of Islam, which leads to, among other things, the so-called Camel Method of evangelism, where the Christian leads a Muslim through the Qur’an to find truths about Jesus as the main preliminary form of discussing Jesus’ identity, telling converts to Christ from Islam that they should continue to perform the five times daily salat prayers in the mosque though praying to Jesus, or removing the phrase “Son of God” from New Testament translations. This is not to say TVC endorses the Insider Movement, but the thoughts by Mrs. Long definitely indicate these tendencies.
Particularly worrisome to me is the fact that Mrs. Long was invited to speak in a mosque. Why would a mosque invite someone to address them? Did they have no fear that she would testify boldly of the Gospel of Jesus, which makes exclusive claims that are incompatible with the claims of Islam? Were they justified in that confidence? Hopefully Mrs. Long defied those expectations, but the idea that she was invited to speak on “how He motivates me to stand against discrimination, hate crimes and oppression” remains problematic.

Why is it that a follower of Jesus stands against those things? Because Jesus is Lord! Further, Mrs. Long unfortunately seems to have ceded ground to modern political correctness in differentiating certain crimes as worse than others because they are from “hate”. It is certainly strange and unbiblical to imply that some crimes are motivated by hate whereas others are not.

Let me discuss two other serious problems in her offering. She recommends that upon visiting one’s local mosque, one should “(t)alk about Jesus, but carry no agenda. Human souls are not projects, and it takes time to build trust in any relationship.” While it is certainly true that souls are not projects, sharing the Gospel and calling people to eternal life and repentance of sin is not a business venture. It is the very mandate from the Lord Jesus Himself – Matthew 28:19-20 and Luke 24:45-49. The obvious implication is that having an “agenda” is a bad thing, but giving people the message that they need more desperately and urgently than any other message is not a bad agenda. It is the agenda of the Lord Jesus, of His apostles and prophets, which He Himself commanded as our main mission. Where did Jesus or His apostles or prophets take time to “build trust” before sharing the truth with anyone? Can anyone show me even one example thereof in the Scripture? Where did they command such a thing? Reading through the Scripture, one finds in fact the precise opposite – the command is urgent and the example is very one-sidedly in favor of urgent, direct, and precipitous proclamations of repentance and the kingdom of God.

Take for example Mark 1:14-15 –
“Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'”

If you are fully convinced that people who die without Christ are headed for an eternity in Hell and that repentance and faith in Christ is the only rescue, how is it loving to withhold this soul-saving message for even an instant with someone you’re trying to befriend? Imagine that Mrs. Long withheld her Gospel proclamation for three years while she “built a relationship” with a Muslim woman, and that at the end of the three years, she finally told this woman about Jesus. Imagine this is what the woman has been waiting for, the Gospel resonates deeply within her soul, and she is converted on the spot. Imagine the woman then begins to read the Gospels and sees the way Jesus interacted with people He’d never met before. Imagine what her rebuke could very easily be toward Mrs. Long – “You knew about Jesus this whole time, you knew I needed Him more than anything else in the whole world and that I was blinded and lost in sin, and you never tried to free me from my chains? What kind of friend are you? How can you consistently claim to hold Jesus in first place in your life? Were you just faking it for three years, pretending to be my friend, not actually sharing with me who you are and what you love?”

And that’s the happiest ending. Imagine the perhaps dozens of lost people with whom Mrs. Long could have shared the Gospel but chose not to because she was “building a relationship” with them, and maybe those relationships didn’t work out or the lost people died before Mrs. Long thought it would be appropriate to fulfill the Great Commission toward them. Does she not share in the guilt of their eternal condemnation, for deliberately withholding the truth when she didn’t have to?

The second major problem here:
Follow the Spirit’s lead, not your agenda.
The Spirit has led, in His Word. What more leading does anyone need?

Far too easily in our limp-wristed churchianity, the “leading of the Spirit” is a baptised translation of “what you feel like doing”. Sharing the Gospel can be hard. It can lead to discomfort. It can lead to people rejecting you. It can cost you potential friendships that could have been founded on something other than Jesus and open and honest communication (which, otherwise stated, is a shallow and worthless relationship). In this sense, Mrs. Long’s article is misleading and actually negative, for her meaning is “talk about the lost person’s need for repentance if you feel like it”, but she couches it in such pious-sounding language that the reader can feel like they have a good excuse for ignoring the commands and urgency of the Scripture. Mrs. Long continues:
New relationships are not the place to debate in-depth theology.
So claims Mrs. Long. Perhaps someone should have told Jesus before He messed up His conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.

Mrs. Long gives some good advice in the article that I don’t mean to minimise. By all means, mature Christians ought to take time to visit the local mosque and to read the Qur’an so as to lend credibility to their outreach to Muslim neighbors and friends. It’s definitely not as engrossing a read as the latest Koontz novel or something, but it’s much more useful. By all means, we must regularly reflect both inwardly and outwardly on the myriad failures of Western culture to demonstrate Jesus’ lordship, and we must be living out that repentance so that we may bear testimony of it to a watching and lost world. We must reach out in love to lost people. We must learn about cultural differences. Yes, all of that is true.

People need the Gospel. Do not deprive them of the light that is within you, even if someone on staff at one satellite campus of a big evangelical organisation tells you to hide your light under a bushel.

Matthew 5:13-16 –
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Take your light to the lost people. Tell them about Jesus. Don’t hide behind fear of being perceived of having an “agenda”. The Gospel is too pressing.