Christian Denominations

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I put a tag on this of "Pentecostal" since "Oneness" nearly always belongs to Pentecostal these day.

"You're a mom, but you're also a daughter...these are different roles you play at different times, depending on the circumstance.

It breaks down:

1) the Father is Jesus' Father. If Jesus and His Father are the same person, I am my own mother. I am not my mother.

2) Jesus is the Son if God. I also am not my own daughter.

Where "mom" is the same person, relating to different people...

The Trinity is different persons relating to the same creation.

A good Wiki page, giving both sides

The first two issues show the main Cessationist concerns about charismata and reveal the underlying rationale for Cessationism. The sections below describe what kind of disagreements emerge between Cessationism and Continuationism in their respective understandings of the gifts, and further issues then arising from these disagreements. Different understandings of charismata give rise to various tensions in the dispute.

White Horse Inn weighed in a couple of years ago:

Particularly in the wake of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements, this question has divided Christians into two camps: cessationists (believing that the gifts of healing, prophecy, and tongues have ceased) and non-cessationists. Non-cessationists find no exegetical reason to distinguish some of these gifts and offices from others in terms of their perpetuity. However, cessationists hold that the New Testament itself makes a distinction between the foundation-laying era of the apostles and the era of building the church on their completed foundation (1 Cor 3:10-11). Although the New Testament establishes the offices of pastors/teachers, elders, and deacons, it does not establish perpetual prophetic or apostolic offices with their attendant sign-gifts. With this in mind, we must examine each gift in question.

Reformedpresbytery.org has a position paper quoting Calvin:

... concerning Prophets, I have before showed out of Justin Martyr (Dial. cum Tryph. Jud.) that, in his days, their were still some in the church who had an extraordinary gift of prophecy, and such there have been also in other places, and at other times; of which there might be diverse instances given.

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Overheard:

As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. (John 18:6)

As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. This is the main one falling backward to the ground is slain in the spirit. Itsa phrase used by pentecoastal denominations to describe falling backward under t he power of the holy spirit . this scripture mainly supports it but here 2 more

I would suggest that moving backward and (then) falling down is not the same as "falling backward." Moreover, it does not suggest even a hint at an altered state of consciousness.

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying...

There! See? Slain in the Spirit!

And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord (1 Kings 8:10-11

We,, I couldn't stand to be put in the cold yesterday, but I wasn't slain in the Spirit.

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I was at a work site the other day and picked up a leaflet with the title "(Way More Than) 100 Things Every Religious Liberal Should Know"

My first thought was: Why is this church trying to limit the audience? Okay, maybe I read more into that than I need to...but then, the next paragraph

(A list of terms and ideas that every religious liberal should know, to be religiously literate.)

So they iterated twice, that the list is for religious liberals (a discussion for another day)

I'm a long way from liberal, but I'm pretty religiously literate. There are nearly 200 terms on this list and I'm at least passingly familiar with many, if not most of them.

Since (every/this) New Year brings (another) commitment to blog on a regular basis, I'm uploading the list now, with the intent of exploring/blogging about them later

...continue reading

“There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD , Micaiah the son of Imlah ; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil

I was talking the other day about modern day "prophets" - if all they ever "hear" from God are good things, chances are you're listening to somebody who wants to tickle your itching ears

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Jonathan Dodson, Resurgence blog, references a book, "God Is Not One," by  Stephen Prothero.

The basis of the book is good - but if we are going to compare religions that don't look very much like Christianity, I believe it is even more important to look at religions that DO look very much like Christianity.

On Page 12 of his book, Prothero writes:

And so it goes with all the world's religions.  Christians align themselves with Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, and fast-growing Mormonism may well be emerging as Christianity's fourth way.

This is a problem.  Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism have a few things in common, that Mormonism does not share.

  • The Trinity
  • Christ as eternally existent, not a created being
  • the mortality of man (we do not become gods, with our own planets
  • God the Father as eternally existent, not a created being
  • salvation by grace (compared to "we are saved by grace AFTER ALL THAT WE HAVE DONE."

Mormonism is not Christianity.  To blur that line, to put the gospel on that line...believing in a 'different Jesus' - Mormonism's Jesus - could have eternal consequences.

via a post at The Resurgence.

The paragraph from "Church Planter"

“One of the common errors of young men who surrender to ministry is to simply adopt the model of a church Macthat they have experienced or idolized. A similar mistake is to blindly accept the ministry philosophy and practice of a ministry hero. The man who is experiencing head confirmation is thoughtful about his own philosophy of ministry, his own ministry style, his own theological beliefs, his own unique gifts, abilities, and desires. In short, there is uniqueness to the way he wants to do ministry.”

John MacArthur's take:

Notice that Darrin Patrick himself summarizes and restates the point he is making, and it is about “uniqueness” in “the way he wants to do ministry.” He seems to suggest that everything about one’s ministry (Patrick expressly includes “his own theological beliefs“) needs to be self-styled and individualistic.

Is that really what Patrick is saying?

He could simply have been saying that when a man is called to ministry, everything he considers should be with thoughtfulness.

Is being thoughtful about my own theology mean that I'm being "self-styled and individualistic?  No - it means that the more thoughtful I am about my study, the more I work out my salvation, the more time and care I put into it, the more I make the faith of my fathers...my own.

As the White Horse Inn guys say:

Know what you believe...and why.

A while ago, I read an interview with Rob Bell.  He - as a pastor - embraced the mystery.  He wasn't sure what he believed and he was okay with that.

My thought at the time was something to the effect of - If HE doesn't even know what he believes, why on EARTH would I trust him to teach me what I should believe?

God BLESS His men who are willing to be thoughtful (Patrick's word) about their own theology.

Repeating MacArthur:

He seems to suggest that everything about one’s ministry...needs to be self-styled and individualistic.

No.  I'm going to go further than MacArthur did in his quote.

In short, there is uniqueness to the way he wants to do ministry.  Unlike many young men who know much about what they are against and little about what they are for, the man who is experiencing head confirmation things through very carefully and deliberately, what am I for with my life and ministry?  What are my specific burdens for the church?  How can I best serve the church in these areas?

If you read in context, the uniqueness that Patrick is writing about is not 'make it up as you go along' theology...

Patrick is urging men who feel called to the ministry to thoughtfully discover their own path, their own gifts, their own burdens, their own service...all of these given to them by God.

I doubt that MacArthur would really urge young men to jump into ministry without being thoughtful about their own theology - at least I hope not.

Or is it "preach the way I preach, believe all the minutia that I believe, do it the way I do it" and it'll all be good.

From the Vatican:

1° With due regard for can. 1378 of the Code of Canon Law, both the one who attempts to confer sacred ordination on a woman, and she who attempts to receive sacred ordination, incurs a  latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.

and

§ 1. The more grave delicts against morals which are reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are:

1° the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years; in this case, a person who habitually lacks the use of reason is to be considered equivalent to a minor.

2° the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric of pornographic images of minors under the age of fourteen, for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means or using whatever technology;

§ 2. A cleric who commits the delicts mentioned above in § 1 is to be punished according to the gravity of his crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition.

On first glance, it would seem as though the Vatican is reserving the more severe punishment for ordaining women, rather than child rape.

I think I see it a little bit differently.  With this wording, Rome has the opportunity to deal with both of these issues in a right way...whether that happens remains to be seen, since they don't exactly have the greatest track record of dealing with pedophiles.

The first (ordaining of women) is punishable with excommunication.  "We're done, you're gone, it's over."  The people involved are no longer under the authority of Rome and Rome has no hold over them, spiritually or earthly.

The second (sex with a minor) may be punishable with defrocking and being turned over to the secular authorities.  This means that there will be earthly consequences (prison, perhaps) and they may no longer be in a leadership position within the church.

This also means that (unlike excommunication) they are still under the authority of Rome, which means that the Vatican can have some direction and it leaves the door open for repentance...penance...forgiveness...restoration.

To me, keeping these offenders under the authority of Rome keeps them accountable...and keeps Rome accountable.

As I listened to Issues Etc. on closed communion, I heard the message come through loud and clear...we must be in lockstep on the smallest of doctrines, or you are a false teacher.

The speaker also added that the reason for closed communion is that those who do not believe in the "real presence" of Christ in the elements are not able to "discern the body" - Lutherans defining "the body" as the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the communion elements, other Protestants defining "the body" as being able to discern whether or not the "self"/person partaking of the supper is a part of the body of Christ (the church).

I cannot see that. Scripture tells us to examine ourselves, it does not tell the church leadership to examine the flock.

The "selfish" reason I cannot see it is that I will not belong to a congregation that would deny my parents access to the meal that Christ gave us, because they are not in total agreement on doctrine.