December 21, 2007

The Heretic in Me: Jeremy Myers' Plea or Pronouncement?

Dear Guests:

In a comment in the thread under The Technical Meaning of “THE GOSPEL” Part 3 I posted the following to Matthew,

We are witnessing from men in the ‘Crossless’ camp a doctrinal-erosion-in-progress that can be seen through (their) own writings.” (12/20/07 @ 5:00pm)

I had not realized that just a day earlier the nature of my comment had already been realized in the starkest terms. If you will go to Grace Evangelical Society (GES) staff member Jeremy Myers’ personal blog, Till He Comes, you will find an article titled, The Heretic in Me.

In his article Jeremy reveals,
Long held doctrines that I’ve held unswervingly to for years and years are beginning to teeter in my mind.”
For example he writes,
But just as one person’s garbage is another person’s treasure, so also, one person’s heresy is another person’s cardinal doctrine. But I find these days that I have fewer and fewer cardinal doctrines…I do not hold to these things as firm as I once did.”

What are these “cardinal doctrines” that Jeremy no longer holds to? He lists six, including “the literal six day, 24 hour creation,” and a “future seven day Tribulation.”

Even Antonio da Rosa, who holds to the most extreme views of the Zane Hodges “Crossless” gospel, expressed grave concern to Jeremy. Antonio wrote,
When I read your (Jeremy’s) list, my stomach began to turn, literally. I began to get sick in my stomach, literally.”
Toward the end of his article Myers writes,
There is not a church in the country that would hire a pastor who has doubts about this list of doctrines.”
Who or what has lead Myers to the brink of what he acknowledged is viewed as heresy? Myers notes author/speaker Donald Miller’s book Blue Lake Jazz as a source that has contributed to his shifting positions.

Is it possible Myers is simply expressing more of what he has been lead to believe under the teaching of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin? Has Bob Wilkin contributed to the list of “cardinal doctrines” that Myers has noted he is now “shifting” his position on?

These are not mere nuances on minor doctrines. These are serious issues that Myers raises about his personal theology. He is “shifting” on major doctrinal truths.

Would it be wise for the remaining members of the GES to take note of where Myers is headed, especially since he is on staff at the GES? Do the positions Myers is suggesting he has adopted (or about to embrace) reflect the doctrinal position of GES Executive Director Bob Wilkin? Shouldn't Myers be taken under wing by someone who can help him recover to a balanced biblical position?

In Acts 18:24-28 we see the episode where Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos aside and “expound unto him the way of God more perfectly.” Shouldn’t someone take Jeremy aside for the same purpose? Someone has taken him aside and the obvious detrimental ramifications of what has been introduced to him are coming to the fore.

Myers is on staff at the GES. Why is Myers in a leadership capacity with the GES when he has admitted to having lost his theological moorings? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to encourage Myers to step down until such time he finds his doctrinal footing once again?

Until Myers can (if ever) be recovered he should not be among the leadership of any church or para-church organization in evangelical circles. Was Myers thrust into the GES leadership before he had grown from a “novice” (1 Tim. 3:6)?

No one, possibly not even Myers, may fully understand why he posted The Heretic in Me article. Is it a plea for help? Could it be his initial pronouncement of an adoption of what most across a broad spectrum of evangelical Christianity would call a radical departure from “the faith once delivered” on several levels?

These questions, for now, remain unanswered. What we know with certainty, however, is that Jeremy Myers is on shaky theological ground, and he may teeter to the point of toppling into gross heresy, if he has not already done so.

Jeremy is, in my opinion, one of the young men who has become a genuine tragedy and casualty of the teachings of Zane Hodges & Bob Wilkin.


LM

68 comments:

  1. Dear Jeremy:
    Having Just read the list of doctrines that you may be in transition or questioning, I would like to speak primarily in your defense, and to your comfort.

    Too many evangelicals have a "list of doctrines" to be defended, but lack the theological maturity to prioritize them beyond the level of a third grader. If everyone in the church raises their eyebrows, and sucks in air saying "Oh" in mock shock, it must be heresy!

    Doctrine is like a pyramid. On top, the capstone, are those essential to salvation. The biggest heretical movements are those that deny or undermine such doctrines. Men cannot be saved without knowledge of the diety of Christ, His atoning death as the God-man, His resurrection, or the freeness of God's offer. To deny these doctrines is, shall we say, "First Level Heresy."

    Just below the capstone are multiple "Second level doctrines." That is, Doctrines absolutely essential for valid and vital Christian experience, and the erosion of which will hurt just about everything except the salvation of the believer.

    Let's take, for example, God's command for holiness. Assuming spiritual life is a doctrine rather than a practice, a carnal believer is like having Michael Jordan sitting on the bench with a swollen knee. Or the Trinity. Although one can be saved by believing in modalistic monarchiasm (believing that Jesus, the Father and The Holy Spirit are all the same person just operating in different "modes" at different times), one who falls into the Sebalian heresy will never experience vital Christian worship of the God who has revealed Himself progressively throughout History as a Tri-Une God.

    If we go "down the pyramid," I think that reasonable men may differ on what "level" a doctrine (or heresy) should fall. Had I only read about the charismatic movement on an intellectual level, it would seem to me to be just a "blip on the radar screen," near the bottom of the pyramid.(E.g. "Who cares if, sometimes, when someone prays, he deludes himself into thinking that making random practiced sounds and calls it a "gift" of the Holy Spirit?"

    However, it is my view of church history, not simply Bible doctrine, that makes me place the charasmatic issue far nearer the top of the pyramid than the bottom. I have seen the ABSOLUTE DEVESTATION this doctrine has done to churches, and its ability to hold men in absolute spiritual slavery, isolating them from the teaching of the Word of God, including, all too often, enslaving charismatics who have no evidence of having ever come to trust in Christ alone as one's savior.

    Finally, on the bottm tier, such as whether the letter to the Galatians was written to North Galatia or South Galatia. This is certainly a doctrine to be investigated, but, mercifully, I don't know of too many churches that will close their communion table to you if you hold the South Galatia theory and they hold the North Galatia theory. (I hope I have not started the next great tempest in tea pot--smile)

    Before we begin throwing around the word "heresy," I believe we must look at a specific doctrine, and ask where it truly ought to be on the doctrinal pyramid scale.

    As far as a literal six day creation? Denying that the univerise came into existance ex-nihilo is serious heresy. If the laws of quantum physics could burp into existence the universe, then there is not even a Creator God! One cannot affirm the divinity of Jesus unto Salvation if He does not believe there even IS a creator God! When heresy grows to this extent, it is back at the capstone . . . eroding the salvation of mankind by denying the divinity of Christ.

    Of again, if complex life forms from virus to man are simply the chance product of a mixing bowl, again, they are denying that Jesus is the Creator, and therefore, denying his divinity. They cannot be saved. Therefore, I put RADICAL EVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT in the top capstone of the pyramid.

    ON the other hand, what if someone believes in "thiestic evolution." Oh, you'll hear me wail like a stuck pig, but I do believe such a person can still be saved. His worship of God will never be healthy, because His view of God is a weak kneed sneak who couldnt create in a spectacular way, but had to sneek it in through means that could reasonably appear natural. Nevertheless, such a person can be saved.

    Much further down the pyramid on the creation question is the literalness of the six days of creation as 24 hour entities. It does not belong on the level of a complete denail of God's creative ability over matter and life.

    It is not even as big a heresy as thiestic evolution.

    It is much lower on the pyramid. And if someone can't see that, they are willfully blind. Whether it is third tier doctrinal dispute, or a 15th tier doctrincal dispute, that is open to discussion. But it is not first or even second.

    But I would personally vote for putting it pretty far down the pyramid. It is, like the north-galatia / south-galatia question, legitimagely a doctrinal question with few ramafications beyond the doctrine itself. Men of able minds on both sides of the debate will acknowledge that the term "day" can oftentimes within Scripture, mean "period" or "epoch." The only real defense of the 24 hour day that I know of is that: "there are no cases in Scripture wherein the word "Yom" ("day") used in conjunction wtih an ordinal ("First," "Second," etc.) is a non-literal day.) O.K. So if I fall outside that pattern, and believe that the uniqueness of the Genesis account makes it reasonable to believe that the use of an ordinal with the word "Yom" references an epoch, and not a 24 hour day, does that make me a heretic?

    Men, we must not only contend for the truth, we should have some capacity to prioritize the doctrines over which honest men can disagree. If we don't, a debate about ANY doctrine becomes an emotional name calling session, usually giving off more heat than light.

    To have an argument over heresy, you must not simply argue over a doctrinal issue, you must put a value on the specific question under discussion and demonstrate that it rises to the level of heresy.

    I will address two of the doctrines Jeremy has questioned. One I will agree with him, and the other I will disagree.

    As far as "the church" as it is found today, I think Jeremy is right. I read the New Testament to formulate my idea of the local church, and then watch Rick Warren and Bill Hybles. I heard with my own ears, this is not hearsay, Bill Hybles in one of his cheerleading talks on "leadership," say "a leader has to know how to hire well, and how to fire well." He then said, "I don't hire people who are unhappy or unemployed. There's a reason for both!" I wanted to vomit. Bill Hybles may well have uttered the most disgusting sermon I have ever heard!
    Yes, Jeremy, if I look at the church today, and then read Scripture on the doctrine of the church, I want to weap! I have sat through ordination services where you CANNOT become a deacon or elder unless you tithe! First, Jesus told me not to know let my left hand know what my right hand is doing! The only way some draconian pastor knows his entire elder board and deacon board is tithing is because he has spiritually corrupted them from secret giving, in direct contravention to the teachings of Christ. And in terms of where this lies on the pyramid? He has defrauded them of THEIR ENTIRE REWARD for that giving. That is despicable.

    Yet, go to the local church, and ask to see their "widow's list." The pastor will look at you and say "our WHAT?" Sorry my friends, the WIDOWS LIST is in the Bible. So why don't churches teach or practic this at a time when the church should be TITHING back to its own needy. I guess Reverand "Bring-In-The-Tithe" never quite got around to that verse though, did he?

    Yes, Jeremy, I share your disgust for the institutional church. It is a joke. I hope that for each of us, that does not dissuade us from seeking to find a solid church, and seeking to help transform it where it is weak.

    Whether one's complaint against the local church is heresy or a great prophetic call to return to scripture is case dependent. No man with a whit of spirituality could conceivably find fault with you questioning the local church found today, unless there were some specific content by which that statement coudl be further weighed and evaluated. I will not raise my eyebrows in and suck in air in mock shock simply to gain the approval of my theologial peers. If something is not a heresy, it is not a heresy.

    Finally, Jeremy, I would leave you with a bit of positive encouragement. There are many books of the OT that I never read becasue I find them boaring and hard. But in His mercy, God has made the Book of Daniel one of my favorate and most readable books in the Bibile. I read it very frequently. I have also taught on the 69 week prophecy often. Each time I do so, I re-calculate the numbers from scratch, following the calculation along every step of the way. And I am alwasy left with my jaw agape.

    I am confident that there are many cherished beliefs of pre-millennialism that NEED to be thrown off. (I'll name one later). But as for the fundamental structure of the 7 year tribulation, each time I see how literally the first sixty nine weeks unfold, I realize I cannot intellectually abandon a literal 70th week if I cannot disprove the literalness of the first sixty nine weeks of the prophecy.

    Jeremy, there are times I'm low on my faith, as any honest man. But I have immovable anchors set in scripture, and I am tied to them on tether lines. I can wander where I like in the bounds of such tethers and not be a heretic. (There are many wierdos out there who are not heretics). But there are certain boundaries that take me beyond reason, and therefore, beyond conscience.

    On the other hand, I'll help you by challenging an oft-repeated "doctrine" of pre-millennialiam right now: Please show me where in Scripture it teaches that the economy of the antichrist will be "a cashless society." I have a sam's club card. But getting in to buy stuff does not mean that I can buy it without cash or credit.

    The proibition against buying or selling is achieved through the name or mark or number of the beast. But that name, number, or mark is never said to be the vehicle through which the transaction will be achieved.

    Will it include a cashless society? Will the marks include having microprocessors in our foreheads or the back of our hands? Perhaps. But this is NOT DOCTRINE. It is SPECULATION IN VIEW OF A CONFLUENCE OF FACTORS.

    Well, I hope I have offered a mediating place to start, so that more light than heat may be given off.

    Hebrews warns, "Let us give more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away." Jeremy, may God give you and I both
    the wisdom to recognize the spiritual anchors of steal, and distinguish them from anchors fabricated from plastic. And may he strengthen our feebleness to remain tethered to those anchors of steel.

    Before we judge ourselves or others too harshly, let's ask ourselves where we are on the pyramid.

    God Bless,
    Elijah

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  2. This is just another symptom of the root problem organizations like the GES run their followers into.

    Instead of holding to the Truth of the Word they hold particular doctrines... at one point I'm sure Jeremy said if ever I question the validity of a 6 day creation as recorded in the inerrant Bible someone kick me in the head... hard. But today he says this is a leaning tower for him.. it might fall it might not.

    That's like saying, I'm not sure if Jesus was really dead for 3 days or not.. maybe it was just poetry...

    When one has been taught that it's ok to chip away at the Gospel is it any wonder they feel more and more comfortable chipping away at the rest of the Word?

    If the Bible truly is supposed to be inerrant then if it's wrong about Creation then it's wrong about everything. And do we need to get into the fact that any other type of "creation" other than what is recorded in Gen undermines the Gospel?

    This is yet again an attack on the Gospel of Christ. The Body of Christ needs to mark these people, especially their teachers, and discipline them ASAP.

    We need to protect the fruitfulness of the remnant as the great falling away happens before our eyes.

    Kev

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  3. Lou, you said that Jeremy has "acknowledged" that he is considering "heresy". I think his "acknowledgement" is tongue-in-cheek, more like he thinks that OTHERS would consider it possible heresy. And I would have to agree that I don't see the items he listed as heretical. If someone were to hold the opposite view of me on say, whether or not Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 are describing Satan's fall, I can't say they are a heretic.

    Also, I'm not sure that he shouldn't be in the GES leadership simply because he's considering changing his views on these things. Maybe he shouldn't be. What exactly does he do at GES? I guess I'm thinking that the GES is basically an organization that promotes faith alone in Christ alone, the extreme view. I don't really see how Jeremy's views on the Tribulation or OT prophetical hermenutics would affect that. But maybe they would be affected somehow.

    However, I do have some concern for this "questioning" that Jeremy is doing. I noted this in my comment on his blog as well. Jeremy and I are products of the same generation, and our generation as a whole tends to question things, especially traditional things. It certainly isn't wrong to question Christianity, I actually hope that my sons WILL question Christianity because my husband and I are ready with the answers (because we've questioned it too!). I want them to "own" their beliefs, so that when they go to college and beyond and are confronted with various assaults on Christianity and truth, they can say, "here's why I believe (x)" rather than "well, I was always taught (x)", which we are seeing simply doesn't fly anymore.

    So I see that a strength of our generation is questioning. But I also see that same questioning can become a weakness, especially among Christians. It's sort of a "bad-boy" mentality, as if whoever questions the most things and is the LEAST traditional is best. Questioning is "in", but answers are "out". I am concerned that Jeremy could fall into the trap of questioning because it's the thing to do, but either refusing answers (because then you're not questioning anymore!) or accepting whatever answers aren't "traditional" for the simple reason that they aren't traditional. It is bad to hold to beliefs ONLY because they are traditional, but it is just as bad to cast off beliefs ONLY because they are traditional. "Tradition" becomes the plague to be avoided at all costs, and I am concerned that Jeremy is falling into this trap.

    You asked if Wilkin/Hodges had contributed to Jeremy's current "shift" in theology. I don't know what the views of those men are on the issues Jeremy has raised. However, I do think that they contributed by causing him to question something he had always assumed (that to be saved you have to believe in Jesus' death/rez/deity). If they have talked to him about these other things, I don't know. But I am sure they had some effect by virtue of their shift on the required content of saving faith, and Jeremy's acceptance of that shift.

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  4. Kevl:

    One man sent me this reaction.

    That is very sad. Where will it all end? When the truth of the Gospel is undermined, the plug on the sink is pulled and its just a matter of time that other biblical truths go down the drain.

    We are indeed seeing an on-going downward spiral among the men who hold to the Zane Hodges "Crossless" gospel.


    LM

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  5. Lou, if you want to accuse the GES of falling into doctrinal error beyond the specific issue of the 'crossless gospel', you need to cite more than the example of one man.

    Could we attack Billy Graham and Youth for Christ on the basis of Charles Templeton's departure from the faith?

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  6. Matthew:

    Many have cited the Hodges/Wilkin errors on repentance and "punitive" the Judgment Seat of Christ. Those are two among others that could be cited as "doctrnal errors" in addition to the "Crossless" gospel.

    I believe I questioned whether or not Wilkin and/or Hidges have contributed to Myer's "teetering" on these issues.

    Do Hodges & Wilkin hold the views that Myers' is struggling with? Maybe you could ask them to confirm or deny this.

    Wilkins's pattern is to ignore any drect questions to him at the GES or other FG blogs. Maybe you will have better luck.

    Thanks,


    Lou

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  7. Rachel:

    Thanks for the extended comments. I have very little time, at work right now, and on a short break.

    I read Jeremy's use of "heretic" in first person.
    At the end he says he knows he'd be out as pastor of a church for holding/expressing these views.

    The key is where is he headed since he is wavering. If you are leaning away from long held beliefs in certain "cardinal doctrines," you are leaning toward something else

    The Tribulation for example: He wrote that he is leaning away from, "a future seven-year Tribulation." Is he leaning toward Preterism? (A variant of Christian eschatology which holds that some or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the Last Days (or End Times) refer to events which actually happened in the first century after Christ's birth.)

    If he were on staff at your local church, and expressed his lean toward Preterism, is it possible you might be calling for a meeting of the leadership at your church (following the Matthew 18 approach)?


    LM

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  8. Lou, I do not consider Hodges and Wilkin's views on repetance to be errors.

    I very much doubt that Hodges and Wilkin hold controversial views on the majority of issues that Jeremy Myers lists.

    A change of position from Hodges on the timing of the tribulation and the fall of Satan would I think be a considerable change of direction in his theology.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

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  9. Matthew, we've been talking for months specifically about all the problems with the GES theological system.

    I'm sure Lou, I or anyone else could list many people who have been affected. The largest majority being those sitting in pews who seldom ever open their Bibles. Because some have creeped in unawares as it were.

    What Lou has shown here, is a dreadful example of where this loose theology and lack of discernment leads. It's an example, a very telling example, not a total expose.

    Here is a man who formerly held to some pretty basic truths, who has been led to question these same now. There is no theology above scrutiny and that is true. However, when a person is no longer sure of what is true that is not a symptom of the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit at all. Because He does not lead us to uncertainty. He came to lead us into all Truth.

    How does this affect me personally? When I'm engaging Lordship types I have to fight both their error and the error of the GES now at the same time. And this is spreading. The uneducated, unstudied accept what "leaders" say because the "leaders" are supposed to know. That's why teachers will be held to a higher standard. I caution you of any further involvement in that movement. Not that I am better.. I am not. But because I hope to see you all the more fruitful with GOOD fruit.

    Kev

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  10. Matthew:

    You wrote, “I do not consider Hodges and Wilkin's views on repentance to be errors.”

    The Hodges no repentance for salvation is another one of his extremes. It is error! It is held by a very narrow circle of men in the FG movement. Even Dr. Bing, in his LS dissertation, cautioned about Hodges’ view.

    I wrote on this… Is There Such a Thing as Repentance in the “Crossless” Gospel?

    You wrote, “I very much doubt that Hodges and Wilkin hold controversial views on the majority of issues that Jeremy Myers lists.

    Do you know that? Do you think either Hodges or Wilkin would say one way or the other if you ask? If Wilkins keeps to his pattern he will not answer any questions about his personal beliefs on this or the “Crossless” gospel.

    You wrote, “A change of position from Hodges on the timing of the tribulation and the fall of Satan would I think be a considerable change of direction in his theology.”

    Do you refer to Myers and/or Hodges? Why not ask for clarification from both? Do you think either will give you a clear, unvarnished answer? Why don’t you ask Jeremy if he is “leaning” toward Preterism. That is a fair question; isn’t it? I’m sure you are aware that there has been a resurgence of Preterism in various circles.


    LM

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  11. If you read the books that Zane Hodges has written so far, you will find that he approaches eschatology from a position that is broadly similar to that held by the majority of Pre-Tribulational Dispensationalists.

    Joseph Dillow, whose conclusions on the punitive aspect of the judgment seat of Christ is endorsed by Hodges and GES. If you read his excellent work 'The Reogn of the Servant Kings', you will find that he is wholeheartedly Dispensational in his approach to eschatology (though I would disagree with his view of the New Covenant).

    Zane Hodges has written some wonderful books and his views on faith and repentance are highly sound and consistent. If he abandoned Dispensationalism I would naturally be very disappointed, but as I have no reason to think that he might, I am not going to lose any sleep over it.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

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  12. Matthew:

    Thanks for stopping by again.

    I want to reiterate that your opinion of Hodges being sound on faith and repentance is shared by a very narrow circle of Hodges loyalists.

    In the opinion of many FG men Hodges, Dillow and espcially Faust have gone off into error on the Judgment Seat of Christ. Have they departed from classic dispensationalism? This is reviewed in Hodges, Dillow and the GES: Are They Promoting a Brand New Dispensationalism?

    You note that even if Hodges has departed from classic Dispensationalism it is no big deal to you.

    I trust my guests are recognizing the pattern with you, which I addressed in another thread. You don't seem to care where Hodges (and Wilkin) go because you have made whatever Hodges says the test and final authority for faith and practice. For you, Antonio and other GES sympathizers it is whatever Hodges says, goes.

    Jeremy Myers is going off into who knows what kind of strange teachings. IMO, he is probably headed for Preterism. Just a hunch, but I think it will appeal to him. Ask him if he is leaning toward Preterism. Do you think Jeremy will give you an answer if you put that question to him?

    I want to challenge you again. Do the research! Contact Wilkin and ask him point blank where he is on the issues that Myers say he is "leaning." I'll hazard to guess you will NOT get a clear, unvarnished answer from either Hodges or Wilkin.

    As I suggested above try the same with Myers. Ask Jeremy to explain in specific terms in what direction he is leaning. Ask him in the thread under his Heretic in Me article. Myers has already dodged one question over specifics. Maybe you will have better luck.


    LM

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  13. Matthew:

    Will you make a public commitment in this thread to contact Hodges, Wilkin and Myers directly and ask about these “leaning issues?

    Will you commit to reporting back on whether or not they gave you a clear, unequivocal answer to your questions?


    LM

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  14. Here is the end of Zeller's article that I linked above.


    Actually there is nothing new under the sun. What men such as Hodges, Dillow and Wilkin are promoting is not new doctrine at all. They are merely reviving the old "overcomer" movement, which was led primarily by Robert Govett (1813-1901), and also by David Panton (1870-1955), George Henry Lang (1874-1958), George Pember (1837-1910), Watchman Nee (1903-1972), etc.

    These men all divide true Christians into two distinct groups and they all teach some form of kingdom exclusion. Some of these men believed in a partial rapture. Hodges, Dillow and Wilkin do not go to the extremes of some of these men (especially when it comes to millennial punishment), but they do share a common theological framework with them.

    It's interesting that Schoettle Publishing Company (NC) published Joseph Dillow's book, The Reign of the Servant Kings, the very same publisher that has published books by Govett, Lang, Panton, Pember, and more recently even the abominable book by J.D. Faust (The Rod--Will God Spare It?) which teaches that multitudes of saved people will taste of the second death and then be tortured in Hades for a thousand years! Dillow avoids the dangerous extremes of Faust, and yet he shares the same basic theological framework of Faust and these other men.

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  15. Lou,

    You said,

    "If he were on staff at your local church, and expressed his lean toward Preterism, is it possible you might be calling for a meeting of the leadership at your church (following the Matthew 18 approach)?"

    I suppose it's possible I would do that, but highly unlikely. As you might have seen in my comment on Jeremy's blog, I'm not necessarily opposed to preterism. I'm not currently a preterist, but I see some of their points and am considering it (perhaps like Jeremy). It seems that "preterism" is kind of a bad word in these circles. I was not aware of this? Is there some reason that preterism is so undesirable? Either way though, if one of our pastors said he was leaning toward preterism, it would certainly stand out because that is opposite of our church's official position. But I wouldn't find it particularly bothersome in and of itself.

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  16. Kevl,

    You said,

    "There is no theology above scrutiny and that is true. However, when a person is no longer sure of what is true that is not a symptom of the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit at all. Because He does not lead us to uncertainty. He came to lead us into all Truth."

    You seem to be saying that it's okay for someone to "scrutinize" theology as long as they are still sure that it is correct. Isn't this what we find so difficult about Muslims, Mormons, etc.? That it is really hard to get them to question the truth of what they've been taught? I'm not saying we should constantly be questioning and never hold to truth, but what if you're wrong? What if most of prophecy was fulfilled by 70 AD and the "Tribulation" has already happened? What if the only reason you are a futurist is because that's what you've always believed? As I cautioned Jeremy, the questioner should always be ready and willing to accept whatever the truth is, whether it is a change from what (s)he previously held or not. But how can you accurately "scrutinize" your theology if you are certain that your theology is true? I do not see it as a bad thing if Jeremy is unsure of the truth of certain doctrines at the moment, as long as he pursues the truth in an honest fashion.

    Kevl, you said that "the Holy Spirit does not lead us to uncertainty". But if we hold to wrong theology, then perhaps the HS WILL lead us to uncertainty about those wrong beliefs in order to eventually lead us to the TRUTH of what we should believe.

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  17. Matthew,

    You said,

    "A change of position from Hodges on the timing of the tribulation and the fall of Satan would I think be a considerable change of direction in his theology."

    Could you explain what you mean by a "change of position" on "the fall of Satan"? What kind of change of position on Satan's fall do you think (or know) that Jeremy is considering? All I've seen is that he is simply considering the possibility that the Ez. and Is. passages aren't talking about Satan. That wouldn't mean that Satan did NOT fall like that, nor would it indicate some sort of significant change in how he views Satan. How would a change in the interpretation of those two passages necessitate a "considerable change of direction in his theology"?

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  18. I understand what it's like to have doubts and question things, but I've noticed a certain attitude in Myer's comments and other GES advocates that is really troubling. The attitude is that what they have to say is so important that even the heresies they are toying with should be broadcast over the internet.

    In his message, Jeremy indicated that he wishes to hold conversations about these issues some new website for Free Grace Churches. By doing that, he is playing "devil's advocate" both metaphorically and literally. He's going to have to say things like "I don't see much evidence for a 7-year tribulation, 6-day creation, ect. What do you think?" If he acknowledges these are possible heresies and hasn't settled on them himself, why wouldn't he want to keep these issues private until he comes to a conclusion? To seek council from a pastor or teacher is one thing, but for the "teaching ministry of Jeremy Myers" to raise these doubts for the general public seeking a Free Grace Church is inexcusable and evil.

    The injunction of James 3 is important:

    James 3:1-6
    My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

    I've noticed the same attitude from Antonio da Rosa. He wasn't expressing doctrinal doubts, but he pridefully thought what he had to say was so important that it didn't even matter if it came from the Spirit. I'm thinking of a post where he said something along the lines of "I know I'll probably regret this later, but I'm going to say it..." Later he acknowledged he shouldn't have spoken that way and claimed to have repented, but he kept that post up anyway because he thought there was "value" in it.

    The body of Christ doesn't need the "value" of any of our comments. Before we say something we should be more careful to make sure it comes from the Word of God and the Spirit of God.

    - Greg

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  19. Hi Greg/Rachel:

    I was at the Black Hawks game tonight. Won 3-2 over Edmonton. Full house, great game. Sorry I was away and not able to get your comments up earlier.


    Lou

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  20. Rachel:

    Here is a short definition of Preterism.

    Preterism is the belief that all Bible prophecies, including those concerned with the Second Coming of Jesus, the Resurrection of the Dead, the Rapture, the Judgment and the arrival of the Kingdom of God, came to fulfillment in a.d. 70 at the destruction of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem as predicted by Jesus in Luke 21.

    Preterism means- past in fulfillment.

    Have the events mentioned above already taken place in AD 70?

    The Rapture, His Second Coming are future things, not recorded historical events. Since His ascension, has Jesus returned to Jerusalem to rule and reign?

    For me that settles the Preterism question.


    LM

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  21. Greg:

    I agree with your assessment of Jeremy’s actions. He is doctrinally unsettled in the first place, appears headed for some radical views, and he is acting in the most reckless manner by putting his lean toward heresy on public display to incite discussion.

    It just might be that he has adopted these so-called heresies he vaguely refers to. Maybe he is actually opening a new teaching ministry by encouraging discussion on the subject.

    I recall Antonio alleging he had repented of some especially vitriolic articles he had written. This was right after Dr. Bing had spoken to him on the phone. As you noted, however, and I notated as well: Antonio never took the offensive articles/comments down.


    Lou

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  22. Hey Lou,

    Hope you had fun at the game! Glad your team won. :)

    Regarding preterism, just making sure you know there are actually two versions of preterism, the one you described here is referred to as "full" preterism. "Partial" preterists consider "full" preterism to be heresy, due to its denial of the resurrection. Whereas partial preterists believe the Second Coming, resurrection, and a few other events are still future.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Rachel:

    Thanks, I am aware of both, but I chose to show how far it can go. IMO, if someone goes partial, full preterism could follow.

    In any event, I do not believe either stands the test of Scripture.


    Lou

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  24. Rachel, I was thinking of a more radical shift than simply the interpretation of Ezekiel 28.

    Maybe if he came up with some totally new theory about the identity of Satan (like there is more than one Satan or that he does not exist). Something heretical along those lines.

    God Bless

    Matthew

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  25. Lou, why should I contact Zane Hodges?

    I am sure the man has far better things to do than answer letters from me.

    I have read most of his books and they are excellent.

    If he writes a new book and it says some bad things, I will stop recommending him. But until I know he has abandoned sound theology I have absolutely no reason to worry about him. I am not his pastor.

    Do you write letters to Mal Couch checking that his theology is still soundly Dispensational?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

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  26. Matthew:

    You and Antonio da Rosa follow and accept, to my knowledge, every teaching of Zane Hodges. I will say it again; you men give every appearance that Zane Hodges is your final authority for doctrine and practice.

    FWIW, I have and do contact men that have some influence on me. If and when doctrinal concerns come up with someone close, or I am uncertain where he is on major doctrines, I contact him. (BTW, I never heard of Mal Couch)

    In October I asked for and had one of those in-person meetings with a well-known man in my camp. He was very gracious and we got some issues cleared up. And I can tell you that the men I have contacted never resented my call or e-mail. They have been more than happy to discuss their doctrinal position(s).

    One exception, MacArthur would not, and Nathan Busenitz told me that MacArthur would not respond to any questions.

    You wrote, “I am sure the man has far better things to do than answer letters from me.”

    Matthew, that is a cop out! So, you just don't care what direction Hodges has or may have gone? Is it possible you would rather not know? How about Wilkin or Myers?

    Certainly Myers has raised red flags with his Heretic in Me article; wouldn’t you agree? Even da Rosa said he was sickened by what Myers wrote.

    Is friendship, and agreement on the “Crossless” gospel, going to be the reason you are going to give Jeremy a pass? Shouldn’t you at least try to help him from falling into the potentially gross errors that he may be leaning toward?

    As for Wilkin: His track record was well established when he deleted the two articles at the old GES blog, and lost his nerve for the debate he (Wilkin) had been calling for over the summer months when Ron Shea posted his Open Challenge to accept Wilkins's demand for a debate.


    LM

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  27. Rachel,

    I agree fully with 1 Thess 5:21 We should test all things and anything that isn't true should be tossed out. We should be convinced and fully persuaded in the things we claim to be true.

    I test, and am willing to have tested, all my theology. And I am perfectly willing to throw any part of it out.

    Yet when a man can make a list of important fundamental doctrinal topics and state he's not sure about them.... this doesn't speak of testing and purifying. It speaks of what is warned of in Eph 4:14

    Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.


    Kev

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  28. I have been hearing the Hell-may-not-equal-torture view for some time from some fairly conservative sources. This is, or should be, alarming. Yes it's somewhere on the proverbial slippery slope to Liberalism. If Hell is merely "separation from God", that doesn't sound so bad to those who've tried to stay as far from God as possible in this life. It fits none of Christ's descriptions of Hell, even if they are metaphorical. If flames are metaphorical ... then metaphors for what? Something like flames ... or something not so bad after all?

    Should we be surprised that someone who has thrown repentance out of salvation now questions some doctrines not immediately tied to soteriology? Should we be surprised when someone who has defined repentance down to a "mere change of mind" throws it out of salvation entirely? In short, should we be surprised when someone who denies the power of godliness begins to lose the forms thereof as well?

    Salvation by Jesus Christ is a thorough, life-changing thing. Accept no substitutes!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Daniel:

    What you have been reading on Hell is not exactly a new view in evangelical circles.

    My first encounter with the teaching that hell may not be a place of eternal, literal torment came from some views expressed by the old Radio Bible Class (RBC).

    Here are some excerpts from a biography of RBC that discusses some of the doctrinal slides RBS has taken. See Radio Bible Class for the full report.


    Radio Bible Class (renamed RBC Ministries in 1994) was founded in 1938 (as Detroit Bible Class) by former physician and pastor, strict separatist, fundamentalist, and critic of Catholicism, Dr. Martin R. De Haan (1891-1965). It is currently run out of Grand Rapids, Michigan by Dr. De Haan's grandson, Mart II. (Dr. De Haan's son Richard ran the ministry from 1965-1985, and nephew Dennis edited RBC's daily devotional booklet Our Daily Bread until 1996.)

    [If my memory serves, Dennis De Haan was the first and only one of M. R. De Haan's family followers who began teaching the non-literal view of Hell.]

    It has become fashionable in our day for neo-evangelicals to deny or question the doctrine of a literal fire in hell. John Stott, F.F. Bruce, Philip Hughes, Clark Pinnock, and Billy Graham are but a few that have fallen into this trap. In 1991, in a Discovery Series booklet written by RBC's Herb Vander Lugt (What Does the Bible Say About Hell?), we have another denial, i.e., the fire is only "symbolic" and "Unscriptural and repulsive overstatements about hell have turned some people away from the gospel." Some other tidbits of erroneous doctrine in this booklet:

    We must be careful that we do not go beyond the Scriptures and portray hell as a place where all the lost will scream in pain forever and forever” (p. 24); “It is perhaps wise for us to avoid excessive speculation about the suffering of hell” (p. 25); “Some who never hear the gospel become conscious of their sinfulness, abandon all efforts to earn God's favor, and cry out for forgiveness” (‘respected evangelical,’ Sir Norman Anderson, p. 27 [Anderson equates them with the Jew of the Old Testament and argues both are saved without hearing of Christ.]); “So should we portray hell as a literal furnace of fire where all the lost will scream in pain throughout all eternity? The church Fathers, Luther, Calvin, all the classical theologians, and present day leaders like Francis Schaefer and J.I. Packer say an emphatic ‘no’” (pp. 28,29).

    However, it is certain that the Bible teaches a literal hell unlike that which RBC is setting forth here. Over the past several years, the tendency among the so-called “evangelical” crowd has been to play down the awful reality of what the Bible says about hell. It takes a strong view of sin to maintain belief in the Biblical truth about hell. RBC, like our generation of easy-believism “Christians,” takes a light view of sin, so in their eyes, hell is not as serious. (Source: Summer 1999, The Gist.)


    LM

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  30. I’ll have more you later, but Hodges goes even further into error on repentance that you may not have come to realize.

    Hodges wrote a booklet tiled Harmony With God. In that book he makes clear that for him repentance is NOT a condition of salvation, but only a way for the believer to maintain a harmonious relationship with God.

    There’s more. Hodges also teaches that repentance does not involve a “change of mind.”

    Many very fine grace people have held that the view the apostle John, at least in his Gospel, regarded repentance as a ‘change of mind’ that turned one from unbelief to faith in Christ. However, it is impossible to find such a doctrine of repentance anywhere in John’s writings. Is there any place in Scripture where repentance is a ‘change of mind’?”

    This is on the far extreme of the Free Grace community. It is the position Matthew accepts and finds no error in it. Matthew says, “Zane Hodges has written some wonderful books and his views on faith and repentance are highly sound and consistent.”

    The Hodges/GES views are NOT biblically sound and definitely NOT consistent. Wilkin and the followers of Hodges have changed their position on faith and repentance because Hodges told them they were wrong.

    Hodges, Wilkin, Myers and da Rosa dismiss the necessity of belief in the deity of Jesus Christ, they have to wrench the doctrine of repentance out of shape as well.

    Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Acts 20:21).

    But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance,” (Acts 26:20).

    The Bible clearly teaches that the lost must repent (“change the mind” toward God for salvation. Hodges and his followers dismiss this because they dismiss the necessity of belief in the Deity, the God Head of Jesus Christ.

    These men have many absurd twists and abuses of Scripture. All of these doctrinal aberrations are for the sole purpose of defending the “Crossless” gospel of Zane Hodges.


    LM

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  31. Lou, I would not say I blindly follow Zane Hodges.

    I disagree with him about the relation of the Christian to the New Covenant. I believe his view of the New Covenant is too close to Progressive Dispensationalism.

    I believe he also holds to the Pre-Trib rapture of the church, which I disagree with.

    I have absolutely no reason to think that Zane Hodges has departed in any way from doctrinal orthodoxy (leaving aside his views in faith and repentance).

    So what if Jeremy Myers may be departing from orthodoxy. If Antonio is bothered by this, it is likely enough that Zane Hodges would be too.

    Billy Graham was associated for a time with Charles Templeton, who became a liberal and eventually an agnostic. Should we judge Billy Graham's orthodoxy on the basis of his one-time association with Templeton (that is not to say that some aspects of Graham's ministry should not be criticised)?

    Likewise, that Jeremy Myers is associated with Zane Hodges proves nothing.

    This may change. If Myers rejected some major doctrine and Hodges continued to associate with him, then I think there is a genuine problem. But this has not happened so far.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

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  32. Matthew:

    In regard to the “Crossless” gospel you do in fact follow in lock step. You not only follow the Hodges major assumptions, but all the collateral damage he does to Scripture such as with the Lord’s titles and repentance.

    The Hodges, Wilkin, GES interpretation of the Gospel is a radical departure from a balanced, orthodox interpretation of the Scriptures.

    You wrote, “So what if Jeremy Myers may be departing from orthodoxy.”

    That makes my point; you just don’t care. You are willing to look the other way on any additional dangerous doctrinal turns Myers may be making. The glue is the “Crossless” gospel. As long as he holds that view, it seems you’ll look the other way.

    (Myers has already adopted the heretical Zane Hodges “Crossless” view of the gospel, but he appears to be headed for more of the same.)

    Don’t you have any more care than, “So what” for a brother in Christ who is headed for a spiritual/doctrinal meltdown?


    LM

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  33. Matthew:

    You referenced Graham and Templeton:

    Charles Templeton (1915-2001) was an itinerant Evangelist and for a time was a close friend of Billy Graham. Templeton and Graham founded Youth for Christ International.

    Templeton began to question the biblical account of Creation, just like Jeremy Myers is now.

    Templeton eventually fell into deep apostasy, became an atheist, but well before that he left working along side and/or in cooperation with Graham. Graham has pretty much erased Templeton from his (Graham’s) personal history.

    You refer to Billy Graham’s “one time association with Templeton.” That is as naïve a statement in regard to the compromises of Billy Graham I have heard in many years.

    In the left column of my blog I recommend The Tragedy of Compromise. This was written by the late Dr. Ernest Pickering (Rose’s former pastor). Within its pages is a clear documentation of the downward spiral of Billy Graham.

    I happened to have personally known one of Graham’s Bible college teachers (Dr. Monroe Parker) who tried for years, but in vain, to help Graham turn back for his compromise with Catholicism and several other sad decisions Graham made in his youth.

    I heard Dr. Parker speak of Graham in tears over his (Graham’s) slide into gross error.


    LM

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  34. Matthew:

    Let me ask again, why don’t you contact Hodges, Wilkin and Myers yourself and get some clear answers?


    LM

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  35. Lou,
    I assume since you are publicly discussing the man's personal convictions or alterations thereof with such alarm, that you have emailed him or called him on the phone with your worry?

    ...that you have prayed for him for many hours first?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Rose:

    You are well aware, because I have posted it, that I have prayed for Jeremy and the other GES sympathizers to be recovered from the heretical views of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin. I have prayed that you will not succumb to their teachings and become the latest casualty of the “Crossless” gospel, because of your close association and friendship with them.

    Now you are trying to run interference for Matthew who will not lift so much as a finger out of concern for a man (Jeremy) in his camp who, by the way, is wearing his “leaning” to heresy on his shirt sleeves (personal blog).

    Furthermore, you are well aware that Jeremy blocks me and select others from his and any GES blogs. I have also e-mailed him at least 5+ times on previous issues, and have not received any reply.

    Jeremy’s track record is very clear. He will not reply to any legitimate doctrinal queries because it exposes him and he wants none of it. He did it with Greg and me at my blog. After he was exposed by Rachel as a hypocrite over his alleged “indecision” on the death and resurrection issue, he ditched Rachel and Stephen at their Pursuit blog. Jeremy has an established track record of dodging questions and everyone in these discussions knows it.

    Jon Perreault just asked Jeremy for some clarification of the Heretic in Me article at Jeremy’s Till He Comes blog. Keeping in form Jeremy dodged the questions Jon asked.

    Jeremy is one your “friends.” Have you called or e-mailed him to question where he is headed? Have you? I’ll guess you have not, because like Matthew you really don’t want to know where he is headed, if in fact it is another heresy like the “Crossless” gospel. And if he holds to form, he will not answer in clear, unvarnished terms.

    How do you discuss doctrinal issues when men like Jeremy block comments, refuse to speak on or reply to legitimate questions in the first place?

    You are becoming an even more passionate apologist for all things da Rosa, Myers and GES. You are looking more and more like a New Evangelical in your approach to the teachers of false doctrine. Let’s all get along at the expense of Scripture is your cry. You view those of us who follow the biblical mandates to contend for the faith (Jude 3), mark and avoid (Rom. 16:17) the teachers of false doctrine as trouble makers. That is the classic example of the New Evangelical, and IMO, you are slowly becoming one. As I noted above I have prayed that you will stop and turn back from the direction you are headed.

    Your former pastor, Dr. Pickering, would have never tolerated the things coming for these men that you are embracing and defending.


    LM

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  37. Like I said, there are legitmate cricisms that can be made about Billy Graham's ministry.

    "Let me ask again, why don’t you contact Hodges, Wilkin and Myers yourself and get some clear answers?"

    Answers to what question?

    I am really not sure what it is that you think I should ask them.

    To my knowledge, Zane Hodges is not questioning any major doctrines.

    If I come to have reason for concern about his doctrine, I may well seek to contact him.

    As for Jeremy Myers, I do not really know much about him. I trust Antonio to have much to say to him and trust Antonio's judgment on that.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

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  38. Rose:

    You have more than once posted comments to me that had all the appearance of an ulterior motive. The “LP/broken record” bit was the latest until today.

    The comment I published from you above was the latest example. That was no simple comment. Any objective reader can see that you are trying to demonize me for “contending,” while at the same time you wink at the teachings (you allege to disagree with) of the “Crossless” men you have befriended, as well as Jeremy’s seeming move to new heresies.

    Furthermore, it is disingenuous for you to say that you have not been acting as an apologist and publicist for the GES men, especially Antonio da Rosa. You go out of your way to take up any perceived offense, doctrinal or otherwise where Antonio is concerned. This alliance you have with Antonio is a subject noted by many in and out of the FG camp.

    It is beyond question that your sharpest comments are reserved for those who have taken a biblical, militant stand against the “Crossless” gospel and the men who are teaching it.

    You have been willing to overlook the false teachings of the GES men for the sake of friendship and unity. That is the defining characteristic of the New Evangelical and you are becoming a prime example.

    I will not post either of your pending comments because they are more of the same from your last.

    I will reiterate, that your former pastor, Dr. Pickering, never would have tolerated what you are tolerating and defending.

    You may have at one time held to the biblical convictions on separation and contending for the faith Dr. Pickering lived and taught. It is, however, clear when it comes to the “Crossless” gospel you don’t anymore.


    LM

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  39. Lou,
    I am amazed that you won't post either of those comments! What was offensive in them? I am stating that I am *not* Jeremy's friend. I am Antonio's friend and Matthew's, in that you are correct.

    I am becoming concerned over your motivation, here, brother, that you would attack me like this and then not let my comment of explanation come through. What gives?

    Should I open a post at my blog with the two comments that you wouldn't let through to show anyone who may visit yours just how "motovated: you are to paint a wrong picture of me, Lou? I will see what you will do - I will give you a couple of hours to decide.

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  40. Matthew:

    We have been round the horn on whether or not you care what doctrinal direction Myers is head. You said, “So what,” which means you don’t care. We can leave it at that.

    I suggest you contact Hodges/Wilkin to see if any of where Myers is headed originated with them or could be headed off by them.

    Do as you will.


    LM

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  41. Rose:

    I posted that one so my guests to see you giving me a two-hour ultimatum. I am NOT going to publish your two comments here. Go ahead and post the comments I rejected.

    Where is your sense of outrage when da Rosa blocks comments? Where is the outrage when da Rosa blocks, edits and then replies to his twisted version of the original comment so that he can refute it (like he did to Stephen a few weeks ago)?

    All you are doing is providing more evidence of your acting on behalf of and in preferecne to the GES faction of the FG community.

    You are showing New Evangelical tendencies when it comes to the “Crossless” gospel of the GES.


    LM

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  42. I have never ever ever had a comment blocked on any blog ever, so I have never had any sense of personal outrage about it before. No, not ever.
    (is that one offensive? I will be curious to see.)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Rose:

    The personal outrage issue I raised has to do with how you take it personally, but could not care less that Antonio not only blocks comments routinely, but will edit them to attack a Straw Man of his own creation.

    Even in this post I allowed it serves as another of example of how when it comes to Antonio, you look the other way. It is your pattern.

    Now, that is enough of dealing with the personal concerns you have over comments being rejected.

    If you want to add something to the subject of this article, you may post. Otherwise, take your personal issues to your own blog.


    LM

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  44. Lou,

    I saw Jeremy Myer's (JM) original within a day or so of when it was posted and I have to say I was disappointed but not surprised. I believe there are three issues here which are related but not the same:

    1) What is the source of JM's downward spiral into heresy (he was indeed being sarcastic but that doesn't make the statement untrue)?
    2) Where does the Grace Evalgelical Society need to draw the line?
    3) If JM has already crossed that line, should GES handle it publicly or in private?

    What is the source of JM's downward spiral into heresy?
    In JMs post when he said that some people would blame his change on seminary I would certainly count myself among them. JM is a student at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) which has been losing its way for some time now. DTS is heavily into progressive dispensationalism (PD) as opposed to the classical dispensationalism (CD) which DTS had been known for in previous generations. My guess is that most of JM's heretical ideas are being advanced by different PD scholars and are getting a positive reception at DTS.

    I believe this quote by Dr. H. Wayne House gives a good flavor of what is happening:

    It has become apparent to me that though progressive dispensationalists who were "bred" on traditional dispensationalism might retain much of the system, younger scholars taught by them will not be so tied to these dispensational components and eventually many will move toward historical premillennialism or, at times, outright amillennialism. This concern of mine has been realized in different way.

    Danger of Progressive Dispensationalsim to Pre-Millennial Theology: Reflections of a Pre-Progressive Dispensationalist

    I am of the opinion that DTS is at fault for the changes in JM's positions.

    Where does the Grace Evalgelical Society (GES) need to draw the line?
    I am not sure where the line should be drawn. I have tracked down the GES Affirmation of Belief which is fairly short and contains nothing that is in conflict with JM's post. They do have a footnote which states: Grace Evangelical Society is firmly committed to the fundamental doctrines of the historic Christian faith. Not all of those doctrines are delineated in this affirmation of belief. The "fundamental doctrines of the historic Christian faith" that GES adheres to could include almost anything or almost nothing.

    Also, I tracked down Dallas Theological Seminary Core Beliefs, part of which says:

    While our faculty and board annually affirm their agreement with the full doctrinal statement (below), students need only agree with these seven essentials:
    - the Trinity
    - the full deity and humanity of Christ
    - the spiritual lostness of the human race
    - the substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ
    - salvation by faith alone in Christ alone
    - the physical return of Christ
    - the authority and inerrancy of Scripture.


    Compare this to JM's list of heresies:

    - A literal, six-day-24-hour creation 6000 years ago. (Was Moses really writing a scientific treatise?)
    - “Messianic” prophecy in the Old Testament. (It’s not all about Jesus. But see #3 below).
    - Biblical Hermeneutics. (It’s all about Jesus, even the entire OT.)
    - A future seven-year Tribulation. (I am having trouble finding good evidence for this.)
    - Church. (The way we “do church” today is at best ineffective, and possibly sinful.)
    - Eternal, conscious torment in hell. (I am NOT a universalist or an annihilationist. I’m just not sure hell=torture.)
    - The fall of Satan and his angels. (The Bible doesn’t explain when or how this happened…anywhere).


    Notice how careful JM was to make sure he didn't post anything that contradicted the seven essentials that DTS students must agree to.

    Should GES move against someone who holds to both their Affirmation of Belief as well as their seminary's Core Beliefs? Frankly, the bigger question to me is why did GES hire someone from DTS in the first place? This really is not a rhetorical question on my part, I can come up with explanations which reflect well or poorly on GES management.

    If JM has already crossed that line, should GES handle it publicly or in private?
    If JM has crossed the line and embraced doctrines which GES considers to be heretical how should they handle the situation? If they do choose to discuss this with JM they should do so in private and not make this known to the outside world. If there is no hope for reconciliation between GES and JM and they go their separate ways, I am still not sure that GES should make a public pronouncement other that clarifying their Affirmation of Belief.

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  45. Glenn:

    You wrote, "If JM has already crossed that line, should GES handle it publicly or in private?"

    As others have noted Jeremy, inexplicably, went public with these leanings of his.

    It would, therefore, in my mind, necessitate a public handling.

    What I mean by that is that (IF) and after private discussions the matter should be adressed publicly by the GES.


    LM

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  46. This is a question to all who've said (or haven't said yet, but agree) that based on Jeremy's post, he is sliding or leaning toward accepting heresy: which of the doctrines/points on Jeremy's list that you think he is leaning toward do you consider heresy?

    I'll be honest, it really surprises me that any of his list would be considered heresy, but maybe I'm missing something. And related to that, can a person who believes heresy (a heretic) be a Christian?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Rachel:

    When I read Jeremy’s list I see definite potential for heresy. Especially so on Creation, the Tribulation and Hell.

    I think many here are well aware of the extreme views that are out there for each one each of these doctrines.

    Jeremy talks about “leaning, not holding firm, teetering.” My question would be what are you (Jeremy) teetering toward? Jon P asked Jeremy a question along those lines at Till He Comes and Jeremy, keeping in form, dodged it.

    That aside, as far as I am concerned he is already in heresy by his attachment to the Zane Hodges “Crossless” gospel. These latest “leanings,” depending on where these leanings take him, may only put him deeper into heresy.

    I guess for me one for me one of the most puzzling questions is why he would even post such an article.


    LM

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  48. To All:

    I wanted to keep Greg's comment from above fresh. So, I am repeating it here for its relevancy.


    I understand what it's like to have doubts and question things, but I've noticed a certain attitude in Myer's comments and other GES advocates that is really troubling. The attitude is that what they have to say is so important that even the heresies they are toying with should be broadcast over the internet.

    In his message, Jeremy indicated that he wishes to hold conversations about these issues some new website for Free Grace Churches. By doing that, he is playing "devil's advocate" both metaphorically and literally. He's going to have to say things like "I don't see much evidence for a 7-year tribulation, 6-day creation, ect. What do you think?" If he acknowledges these are possible heresies and hasn't settled on them himself, why wouldn't he want to keep these issues private until he comes to a conclusion? To seek council from a pastor or teacher is one thing, but for the "teaching ministry of Jeremy Myers" to raise these doubts for the general public seeking a Free Grace Church is inexcusable and evil.

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  49. Hi Rachel,

    I was using the word heretic because Jeremy used it, it would appear, as a badge of honor. Frankly, I think he is silly to do so and I shouldn't go along with such things. I looked up the definition of heretic using the Meriam-Webster online dictionary which defines it as:

    1: a dissenter from established religious dogma; especially : a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church who disavows a revealed truth
    2: one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine


    Jeremy is currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary and the positions he is questioning have been central to the classic dispensationalist teaching that DTS used to be famous for. So, Jeremy would be a heretic given the beliefs and doctrines advanced by C.I. Scofield (founder of DTS) and his successor Lewis Sperry Chafer. Jeremy knows this and was, I believe, being flippant.

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  50. Lou:

    Rose said:

    >I have never ever ever had a comment blocked on any blog ever, so I have never had any sense of personal outrage about it before.<

    There is something that concerns me about this statement. I dont wish to get in the middle of this, but I do encourage you to be careful here in dialoging with Rose. I see a pattern emerging and in the past I felt like I had a problem as I was made to feel bad in the same sense Rose is making you feel guilty here and I sort of got into this same kind of thing with Rose about 2 years ago and had to block some of her comments and she blocked some of mine. It was no secret to all who blogged at the time and I felt like this kind of accusatory rhetoric and representation would subside but I feel bad now as if I have perhaps fed it by apologizing for blocking her and getting into a heated discussion with her in the past. All of our reputations should be handled with great care. That is all I need to say...I just encourage you to be careful here in your dialogue with her. Do not retaliate in any way and give this to the Lord. Perhaps it may be best that you have blocked dialogue with her and just give her a best wish or something. These are emotional issues that are coming into the forum I believe that trace themself into things that I believe may call for counseling of some kind. This blogisphere is getting pretty intense for many and our children need us most. I will say Lou, that I agree with your position doctrinally in regards to the cross and am thankful that you are warning others of this drift that seems to be occuring into apostacy. I do not know your motives any farther than that but it does seem to me that you are concerned about truth. Men and women out here in the blogsiphere, I encourage you in these debates not to let your emotions and the way you feel about people to circumvent your identity with the truth and to be careful in taking sides. I have paid dearly for it in the past and have had to learn the hard way and wish to be honest here, but this kind of thing is very unhealthy when it occurs in any of our lives.

    I am a little nervous about posting this but I really felt it needed to be said. I will let you decide if you should allow this comment Lou. I encourage you all to keep this discussion honest.

    Thanks as well Lou for posting this. I had no clue that some in the FG community were drifting this far into unbelief. It greatly further concerns me.

    I think we all need to get on our knees and take a deep breath and call out to God. This should make us all want to weep.

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  51. Brian:

    Thanks for the note.

    You'll notice above that I did cut this discussion with Rose off. She took it to her blog and it am not in the least concerned with that.

    I have not, and do not intend to get dragged into the emotional side of and/or personality contests that often accompany these doctrinal issues.

    My remarks about what I perceive as Rose's New Evangelical tendencies with the "Crossless" camp are based on objective observation, pure and simple. They are rational, unemotional concerns, and I stand by those remarks.

    My greatest concern is the defense of the Gospel. That has been my sole motive in the LS and the "Crossless" gospel debates.

    I'll have more for you in the morning.


    Lou

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  52. Rachel:

    At Till He Comes you posted the following to Jeremy. I'll be interested to see if you get an answer. I'd be especially interested to know if he will explain exactly what he is "leaning" toward since he is "leaning" away from previously held beliefs. Would you please let us know if and when Jeremy does reply to you?

    Thanks,


    Lou

    Jeremy:

    I’m wondering, if you listed for us here the doctrines you are considering changing your mind on, why wouldn’t you discuss your ideas about them here as well? If you think there are some “compelling reasons” to change your views, then why wouldn’t you share them here, and others can see them and either change as well or possibly present “compelling” reasons from the other side? It does seem kind of like “hit-and-run” for you to post that you are considering changing on some major issues, but then potentially not give any reasons as to why.

    The question has been raised, why did you post your potential changes-of-mind publicly? As I’ve noted, I am also considering changing on some of the points you listed, and while I’m not hiding that fact, I’m also not broadcasting it to everyone either. Perhaps your answer as to why you posted this will help explain why you might not post your reasons for changing.

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  53. Lou,

    Bhedr is right. He did, a long time ago, delete some of my comments. I forgot all about that incident. (It was an honest ommission.)

    I am figuring that you won't publish this comment, but I just want to tell you that I really mean you no trouble. I only made the post at my blog because I felt like you were giving the impression that I said something terrible. See ya.

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  54. Thanks for your respectable response Lou. This is a serious issue and I encourage you not to get sidetracted. There have been 3others out here in the blogisphere who have shared with me similar incidents that I will not elaborate on, but I do encourage everyone to stay on topic and be as biblical as possible without turning this important discussion into he said, she said.

    May your passion for who Christ is and what He has done for us in his death, burial and resurrection never subside and may we all endeavor to handle things in a gentle way that most often comes unaturally for us and especially for me unless I am abiding in the Vine and drawing from His strength that I do not honestly have and that is the secret to all of this that will carry us further into a love for our Lord, His truth and a love for one another. Paul tells us in the book of Corinthians not to pit one against another, yet we are also warned in the book of Jude of certain realities and tendencies that those who begin to embrace heresy have...as well as in the books of Peter and may we snatch with fear hating the garment, yet keep ourself in the Love of the eternal God born in the flesh who came to die on our behalf and give us life through His blood.

    Love in Christ,

    Brian

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  55. Lou,

    I know you and I are on different sides of the L/S Calvinist fence. Not trying to stoke any fires here, but... I would sit and listen to a well reasoned presentation from a partial preterist. Some of the things Mr. Meyers is pondering is not all that earth shaking, IMHO. The Dispensationalists do not have a corner on truth. To go against Dispy eschatology does not a heretic make.

    On another note: I do admire your courageous stand against the "cross-less gospel". I'm saddened to watch good people get sucked down into it while they vigorously defend those who promote it. I do not understand the cult-like grip that system has on people. To see people follow Hodges/Wilkin as they reinvent truth about regeneration and repentance and conversion while going great lengths to preserve their peculiar ideas about unbelieving believers... Sickening. Sad.

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  56. Brian:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    It is a careful balance between passion for defending the gospel, and passion for passion’s sake. Written communication often seems stiff and can appear harsh. I try to write in certain terms.

    When I have to write difficult things I try to do so plainly and unemotionally. Unfortunately, when you write those things the heart and concern is not readily apparent to the recipient, and that is usually because they are at first stung by what they read.

    I have offered to speak to folks on the phone just so they can hear me say the same words that I write, but in the tone that they were meant to be received in.

    I have had to handle quite a few VERY difficult situations in the business place and Christina ministry spheres. So, I am quite accustomed to reasonable, unemotional discussion under difficult circumstances.

    What I have noted from many of the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel is a very thin skin. They often portray any rejection/refutation of their theology as a personal attack on Hodges or some other GES man. Frequently they turn a doctrinal discussion into a personality clash and employ political gamesmanship. IMO, that is part of their defense mechanism. The do not want to be pinned down on what they truly believe. There was some of that in my LS debates, but not nearly as many incidents as with the “Crossless” men and far less ferocity.

    Thanks again for the helpful words. I will remind myself to speak the truth in love.


    Lou

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  57. Mark:

    Thanks for the notes, I appreciate your comments.

    I am willing to read or listen to a “partial preterist.” I’m just not going to go there personally. I especially fear for those who start out “partial” but move to full Preterism.

    Reinventing truth is exactly what Hodges and Wilkin are and have been doing. It is sad to see younger evangelicals being drawn into these egregious errors.

    Kind regards,


    Lou

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  58. Yes Lou:

    When I first started blogging out here I thought it was more of a forum like My Space or chat rooms and I have had to learn the hard way that certain rules of order are in need of out here. That is not to say that people are not free to carry on in that forum, but to make use of it in My Space or facebook may be more helpful. I think it is good for all of us to take pause and think on this. We all need to grow some in this I think.

    But clearly this was made more of by the other party. As far as I can tell, you have not been over there and some of these bait and switch tactics need to be dropped. It is not helpful in helping us all grow in truth.

    This forum is as serious as Church relationships though and alliances that have been formed are affecting people all over the country for better or worse and the cross hangs in the balance of political whim and personal affections that seem to have grown over the years. We need to all think long and hard on this. There must be a line and when it comes to removing the cross from the gospel call then it was long ago time to seperate in order that the other disorderly brethren who have started to be beguiled by this to be ashamed and repent. We do not compromise the cross or dabble in this area or romanticise sympathies of heresy. That is where the seeds begin.

    Well said Mark btw. I agree totally.

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  59. Brian:

    Thought provoking comments you made.

    This was of special interest to me, "This forum is as serious as Church relationships though and alliances that have been formed are affecting people all over the country for better or worse and the cross hangs in the balance of political whim and personal affections that seem to have grown over the years."

    Ironic you just posted that.

    One of the offended parties wrote this (which I excerpt from a longer comment) at Rose's blog.

    "Mr. Martuneac may need to remember that a blog is a blog, not a church. We are friends that invite others into our world of opinions and ideas."

    That person also sent me a private note, and we are interacting. Here is a portion of what I sent (I don't think my posting this violates a trust because I am keeping his e-mail to me confidential),

    Blogs are not church, but there are affiliations/fellowships in these blogs. Why do you think we all link to and recommend other sites. Did you notice that when I came out against the Hodges gospel all the GES friendly sites that once linked to my blog for the LS debates dropped their link to me? I don't care, but it tells you something. Rose does not link to my blog either; why is that? Is it possible because I took a stand against the teaching of her ‘friends’ interpretation of the Gospel? Plus, she does not list links to any of the FG blogs that take an opposing view of the ‘Crossless’ gospel. The Pursuit of Truth; Free Grace, Free Speech; Grace Family Journal blogs are not in her Blogosphere Comrades listing. What this infers is that Rose has chosen which side of the ‘Crossless’ debate to affiliate with and support, at least on a practical level.”

    I've read other GES sympathizers use the, “This is not church,” argument. It is, however, undeniable that these blogs are forming alliances and in regard to aligning with the teachers of the heretical Hodges interpretation of the Gospel it is a violation of the biblical mandates to separate from disobedient brethren who teach false doctrine and refuse to be corrected.

    I have posted at a few of the GES blogs, but my goal has been to be a voice for the fence sitters and lurkers. That is the same reason I have and will post at some pro-LS sites or the generic discussion boards.

    It would be tragic for even one more believer to be deceived by the “Crossless” teachings of Hodges, Wilkin, Myers or da Rosa. Many of us reject the “Crossless” interpretation, but cooperative efforts with these teachers of a false gospel only serve to legitimize them and their aberrant teaching.


    Lou

    PS: I don't get your meaning on the “bait and switch” comment. Can you explain that one?

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  60. Bhedr wrote the following and posted it in the Wilkin (Hodges) No Longer Relevant thread. His notes are somewhat more fitting here, so I have pasted them for everyone's attention.


    This is a very serious issue and not something to be teasing or joking about and the other party is admitting as much in their comments. I had already read the church excuse and that is why I commented in the other thread. This is what I meant by bait and switch. They admit to teasing and trying to be funny and then they switch from the teasing mode and try to be serious in using the excuse that does not hold water all the while guilting you for taking this seriously and not understanding their sense of humor. They expect you to abide by differant terms. It is bait and switch and some others are getting burned out here. Please be careful in your dialoguing even by email.

    Let us pray that these brothers and sisters in Christ awaken to the seriousness of this "crossless" gospel and drift into heresy and stop using it as an opportunity to tease or bait and switch. At this point I encourage you to stop dialoguing unless the other party is repentant. There are others who have come to me heartbroken because of getting involved in these email disputes and my heart began to break as well as grieve because I did not do something about this in the past but rather gave place to this behaviour that is dividing the body with envy and strife and calling it humor. Jesus did not encourage this type of thing, nor is this the fruit of the Spirit.

    This is all I am going to do for I do not wish to get any more involved. The reason I warn is because I get concerned that I don't then someone else a few months from now will be burned in a similar way. Even over non doctrinal issues did Paul and Barnabas seperate and it was for the good and God used it. I think we are discovering that we are having irreconcialable differances and it is probably long overdue that folks part ways or more and more people will become beguiled by this "crossless" gospel that begins to explore all the possibilities that exist outside of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    12/28/2007 3:33 PM

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  61. Special note to Rose’s husband, John:

    John,

    On Dec. 27th you began a cordial e-mail dialogue with me, to which I replied. In that e-mail reply from me I explained and documented why I have noted what I firmly believe are Rose’s New Evangelical leanings when it comes to the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel. You responded with a promise to continue that dialogue. I followed with two brief additions.

    In your initial e-mail to me you asked that we keep that dialogue confidential, which I have, of course, been agreeable to. In the meantime, Rose opened an article and thread to air her personal problem and offense with my having blocked two of her comments. I have no problem with that, and had no intention of participating in that thread.

    However, for a second day in a row it appears you have shut down and/or are electronically blocking any further e-mail communication with me. I’d like to give you benefit of the doubt, but it appears you are not going to follow-up on your promise to correspond with me to at least seek a better understanding.

    Furthermore, the thread Rose began to air her personal problems with having two comments blocked has been closed to comments by her. As noted above, I had no intention of participating in that thread, but I find the timing of both your cutting off our e-mail dialogue and Rose having shut off the comments in her thread curious.

    These actions are not the actions of a man who was seeking resolution of differences or at least trying to gain a better understanding of differences. Ironically, I have to refer you once again to your former pastor, Dr. Pickering. IMO, this would not have been his method of conflict resolution.

    Ironically, the kind of action you and Rose have taken is exactly what the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel are famous for. Wilkin deleting entire articles and threads, Myers blocking his blog threads and e-mail, da Rosa with all of the above and worse.

    If you are going to behave in this fashion I may publish my e-mails to you about the concerns I raised with you in regard to Rose acting for and on behalf of the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel. I would do that so there can be an open airing and exchange of the dialogue you initiated with me. It is not my intention to drag out the issue, but simply:

    1) Give it a fair airing so that Rose can come to grips with her acting on behalf and in defense of the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel.

    2) Let others who were exposed to the problem Rose had with my blocking her two comments gain a clear picture of the New Evangelical tendencies I have noted in Rose’s interaction with the “Crossless” advocates, for their own consideration.

    I am going to reiterate here that IMO, based on the documented actions of Rose on behalf, and in defense of the “Crossless” advocates, she has demonstrated New Evangelical tendencies in this particular doctrinal debate.

    With that said, I encourage you to follow up on your stated commitment to our personal dialogue. If you can explain how I may have misunderstood Rose’s action on behalf and in defense of the “Crossless” advocates I’d be happy to give you a fair hearing.

    Kind regards,


    LM

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  62. This is Deja Vu for me Lou. I have experienced this same back hand you are now. You may not get the response and the sympathy they are getting from the many others that side with them, and at times you may get hit by some in the Lordship crowd, but I encourage you to find that quiet place and contentment that you first found at the cross and be encouraged that as we abide in Him, we do not need any praise and accolades from man or need to find fulfillment in getting others to side with us, but to instead find the great truth that when we find our fulfillment with God alone, then we are a majority.

    One day we will understand it all. I encourage you to seek His face in these quiet and lonely places....and keep that armour on.

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  63. Lou,
    John sent you an email Friday, December 28, 2007 5:56 PM.

    Did you not get it?

    Sometimes our ISP gets blocked, being a small-time ISP.

    He says to tell you that he has not gotten anything further from you since he sent that.

    We will re-send it from my work email - it usually never gets blocked.

    Ironically, the kind of action you and Rose have taken is exactly what the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel are famous for. Wilkin deleting entire articles and threads, Myers blocking his blog threads and e-mail, da Rosa with all of the above and worse.

    John sent you the email and we are sorry you did not get it. After I re-send it, you will see that the reason I shut down the comments on my blog was for peaceful reasons and not the kind of thing you refer to above. You don't have to publish this comment.

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  64. Brian:

    I appreciate your genuine concern. I am not losing any sleep or getting more grey over this episode.

    As one grows older in years and with the Lord you become more patient, much less likely to react and develop a thicker hide.

    I draw my strength and encouragement from the Word and Spirit of God.

    My reputation and motives belong to God, and God knows the truth.

    Yours faithfully,


    Lou

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  65. Hi Brian:

    I suggest we leave off discussing your past concerns with other bloggers. I can see it has some lingering sting for you.

    I am in the process of sorting the issue out in a fair and biblical manner and I would not want to have that side tracked.

    Thanks,


    Lou

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  66. Rose:

    I sent John two very brief clarifying e-mails since the first. I just sent another e-mail. I trust it will be received.


    LM

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  67. Ok thats fine Lou. I understand why you would see my motives as being a lingering sting with an axe to grind of some kind but its no problem to me as my Lord knows my motives as well. I am not concerned with emotional issues in this. I am concerned with how others have gotten hurt since that time and I had a concern for you as well, but since you are already learned and advanced in this then I will leave off if my posts are a stumbling block to you. I am not joining any sides but I am thankful for the truths you have laid out here and continue to encourage you to contend for the faith. Whatever the outcome you are coming on the side of truth and not relational issues and that is what I was encouraging you in.

    I dont get as much involved in these debate blogs as I once did, but I do feel for those getting burned out here, but since you are doing fine then I am encouraged that you are keeping that vertical look intact.

    Love in Christ,

    Brian

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  68. Hi Brian:

    I was not questioning motive. I just want to move on with to the "bigger fish to fry" issues, so to speak,

    You are always welcome here.


    Lou

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