January 28, 2014

Al Mohler: “So Much for Sola Scriptura

Last week Pastor Brian Ernsberger published a new article on yet another ecumenical compromise by Dr. Albert Mohler.
“There is a serious problem when men who supposedly stand firmly on the self-sufficiency of the Scriptures go off into human reasoning to justify their positions/actions. So much for Sola Scriptura being the call words of evangelicals…. [Al] Mohler has betrayed the very basic, the primary distinctive that Baptists have clung to for centuries, that the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice.”
I invite you to read Mohler’s Homo Ratio at Parsings of a Preacher.


LM

Site Publisher’s Commentary:
Dr. Al Mohler has crossed a line that irrefutably shows he is and has been a New Evangelical, masquerading as a so-called “conservative” evangelical. Pastor Ernsberger’s article documents Al Mohler’s latest and most egregious betrayal of the Word of God to date.

The Mormon Church, its leadership and membership are deadly enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ, (Phil 3:18). The doctrine of the God Makers is responsible for countless millions of souls in or on the way to the Hell’s eternal fire. Mohler’s betrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word and the Church is only the latest in a long line of egregious errors and compromises on his resume. 
2001 Billy Graham Crusade
  • ·      Sat as chairman for the 2001 Billy Graham Crusade in Louisville.
  • ·      Signed the Manhattan Declaration, and has never biblically repented of it.
  • ·      Embraced the ministry of Rick Warren.
  • ·      Joined Hands with the Mormon Church.
  • ·      Endorsed RAP Music for the church.*
Al Mohler has, furthermore, praised the Vatican and the Pope.

“I also appreciate the spiritual concern reflected in this document. The artificial and deadly dangerous game of ecumenical confusion has obscured issues of grave concern for our souls. I truly believe that Pope Benedict and the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith are concerned for our evangelical souls and our evangelical congregations...I actually appreciate the Pope’s concern.” (R. Albert Mohler, (from Albert Mohler.com) Courage and Controversy: The Vatican Takes on Feminism, August 4, 2004. [accesed Feb. 5, 2013.]
For years Dr. Kevin Bauder (to a similar extent Dr. Dave Doran) has been heaping “lavish praise” on Al Mohler and other alleged “conservative” evangelicals. For example for having signed the Manhattan Declaration Kevin declared that to be merely, “a single episode…one time inconsistency,” which was in fact another in an already well established line of ecumenical compromises. When Dr. Bauder does not give cover for or excuse these things, he ignores them, and he has happily worked in cooperative effort with Mohler. So, here we are, yet again with another serious compromise by Al Mohler.

In October/Nov 2013 Kevin Bauder gave his thumbs up to and excused Al Mohler for having, in an official capacity, spoken at The Mormon Church’s Brigham Young University (BYU).  He wrote,
“In short, nothing in Mohler’s appearance at BYU violates any of the Bible’s teachings about ecclesiastical separation. Mohler did not transgress any biblical precept or violate any biblical principle by speaking to Mormons, nor did he somehow betray his calling when, in an academic role, he chose to address cultural and intellectual issues instead of preaching a sermon. No legitimate, biblical criticism can be directed at Mohler in this instance.” (In the Nick of Time: Mohler, Mormonism & Militancy, 10/25/13)
That reaction is reminiscent of, and in keeping with how Dr. Dave Doran redefined biblical separation for  academic contexts.” See, Is There a Second Definition for “Separation” in Academic Contexts? This novel redefinition of authentic biblical separation is how men, who claim to be “militant” separatists, neuter and side step biblical commands to have their fellowship with compromisers and/or the unbelieving.  This is a mantra of the new wave of New Evangelicalism being circulated in Baptist circles.

Pastor Ernsberger wrote,
“The Mormon Church stands diametrically opposed to everything a Christian holds as Truth. They are indeed an enemy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Any kind of accommodation of Mormonism will only enrich Mormonism’s positions to the detriment of the Truth….”
Following Mohler’s signing the Manhattan Declaration, embracing Rick Warren and speaking at BYU this was simply the next logical step for him.  IMO, what biblical restraints Al Mohler might have had at one time he no longer does. There will be more of this from him, much more.

Isn’t it high time for Kevin Bauder, who alleges absolute fidelity to the entire Word of God, to speak out as decisively against Mohler’s betrayal of the Scriptures as he has these past years in “lavish praise” of Al Mohler?  No honest Bible-believing Christian can honestly, and in good conscience tolerate, allow for, ignore or excuse Al Mohler for this latest betrayal of God’s Word. Because he has shown no previous proclivity to do otherwise I suspect Kevin Bauder will once again choose to ignore or excuse Al Mohler’s embrace of the Mormon Church.

Al Mohler has crossed biblical lines that demand obedience to the Lord’s commands:
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us…. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother, (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15).
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple, (Romans 16:17-18).
There is no subjective decision left to be made with Al Mohler. There is no more room for benefit of the doubt to be given. No chalking this up to a novice in the ministry.  Since as early as 2001 we have a consistent pattern of Al Mohler committing numerous ecumenical compromises and/or betrayals of God’s Word.


LM

*Over a month ago Dr. Kevin Bauder promised to comment on Mohler’s RAP issue. We’re still watching and waiting.

January 13, 2014

Taking Responsibility

This country in which I live continues to plunge toward moral, economic, and spiritual disaster.  In the world of the unregenerate, this would be no surprise; professing Christianity, however, is complicit to this looming tragedy, and no one wants to take responsibility.  The liberal mind bent on change has no measuring device.  It continues to create problems and generate difficulty for society, but is not willing to grasp or admit its error.  For some strange reason, liberals seem to think that more moral degeneracy will make things better.  The answers they offer are limited to the physical and the temporary, using such things as money to make things right.  In the end, this human- based system refuses to take responsibility for the suffering it creates.

On the other side of the coin is professing Christianity.  The problem here is that this crowd tends to be filled with unregenerate souls who have only a pretense of any true Christianity.  In the end, their charade provides no room to bear responsibility for the misuse of scripture and the practice of polishing liberal ideas.

The real focus of this article, however, would be those of us who are true believers, who understand that Christianity is not a thing - it is a life.  It is impossible to possess the gift of eternal life without its manifesting itself in the way we live.  Our words and actions should betray the life within us.  No one should have to search for evidence in our lives of the presence of the Holy Spirit; it is impossible to hide such power and reality.  We are not talking about perfection - that is God’s work; rather, this is about our spiritual life, the existence of which is undeniable.  The true believer must be careful.  This fleshly house in which we live can fail, and that failure is what this discussion is all about.

THE ROOT OF RESPONSIBILITY

We love to shift blame.  It all began in the Garden: it was her fault; no, it was the serpent’s fault.  We all know better, so let’s face facts.  The growing disaster in our nation lies at the feet of believers.  Those of us who have tried to follow the clear teaching of scripture should have known better.  It is time to stop the denial and get on with our responsibility.  That means we will have to openly deal with those who claim the name of Christ, but who rewrite the Bible to cover their shame and disobedience.

The only way to begin work on this responsibility is to admit we have failed.  It means that we need to go back to the Eternal Word of God and let the text speak for itself.  This is something you will not get in the plethora of so-called evangelical publications now available.  We talk to each other, but seldom to the flawed society.  It appears that very soon speaking the truth of scripture is going to bring persecution.  For the believer, it is time for the whole counsel of God to be broadcast to the whole of society.  Stop hiding that truth under a bushel - take your responsibility.

SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES

In our busy world, we tend to become lazy.  We let everyone else develop our doctrine and then take little time to search the scriptures to see if what they opine is actually true. Almost daily now, those who should know better quote “false teachers” without any disclaimer.  The end result is that our listeners go to the writings of these same people and become buried in false teaching.  This is only one reason why we are responsible for the decline of a nation that is fueled by error; you can't share truths with a corrupt society when you don't even know the truth yourself!
One of the major reasons we have failed to communicate truth to our culture is the compromise of evangelical leaders.
We are told repeatedly that we are to stay silent in the open market.  The idea is that we need to have "hands off" when it comes to political subjects.  Now, that might be true if you are talking about political parties and candidates, but it is a serious error if you mean the discussing of biblical truths.  For the true believer to be quiet about abortion, sodomy, and other moral issues is patent disobedience to a Holy God.  God is the only one who has the answers to these questions, and we need to be willing to say what God says.  People in our culture are deceived because they go about sharing their ignorance while we are told to be deaf and dumb when it comes to truth.

SO LET’S TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

We need to ignore ridicule from those whose father is the devil; we belong smack-dab at the center of any discussion on a subject to which God has spoken.  Followers of Satan need to be chided for their human theories and destructive opinions, and we must ignore leaders who scold us for saying what God has said.  If they choose to be cowards who are fearful of truth, we must not be caught up in their deadly silence.  Even if some true believers are fearful to enter into public discussion, we need to do our best to serve the Lord with courage and wisdom.

Liberalism is smart, but it definitely is not wise.  Liberals’ ability to debate is often disguised as right, when in fact it is merely foolish.  Moderate evangelicals talk a good game, giving themselves to love, the gospel, and going about doing “good”.
They don’t have time to stand firm or to dirty their white gloves with discussions, which are included in the whole counsel of God.
That arrogance doesn’t fool the wise true believer, though. Sure, those things may be good, but it amounts to disobedience if that is all one does with the great task God has given.  May we repent of our responsibility in the matter of national failure and move forward with true responsibility.


Shepherd’s Staff is prepared by Clay Nuttall, D. Min

SHEPHERD’S STAFF – January, 2014
A communication service of Shepherd's Basic Care, for those committed to the authority and sufficiency of the Bible.  Shepherd's Basic Care is a ministry of information and encouragement to pastors, missionaries, and churches.

January 2, 2014

Archival Series: Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page

In each of the three editions of Dr. John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus there is a single page that summarizes one of the most egregious errors of the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel.

The page I refer to appears in the original and revised versions (pp. 218 and 252 respectively). In the 20th Anniversary edition, you will turn to page 250 and read,

One of the most comprehensive invitations to salvation in all the epistles comes in James 4:7-10... The invitation in 4:7-10 is directed at those who are not saved...
This is the passage Dr. MacArthur refers to as an “invitation to salvation.”

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up,” (James 4:7-10).
At this point I want to remind my readers that the crux of the Lordship Salvation controversy is with the requirement for salvation, NOT what should be the natural results of a genuine conversion. In this section on the James passage MacArthur is making his application to, “those who are not saved.”

Is the epistle of James, “
directed at those who are not saved?” The epistle begins, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy…,” (James 1:1-2). “Brethren” appears approximately 190 times in the New Testament, and when does appear it is used almost exclusively in reference to born again Christians.

Dr. MacArthur views the carnality that James addresses as though it proves these “
brethren,” were never saved in the first place. He views them as “sinners…unregenerate…in desperate need of God’s (saving) grace.” MacArthur’s answer to the problem is that they need to be born again. He goes on to delineate what he believes are the ten “imperatives” for the reception of eternal life. The saving message to “sinners,” the “unregenerate,” according to MacArthur is,
...submit yourself to God (salvation); resist the devil (transferring allegiance); draw near to God (intimacy of relationship); cleanse your hands (repentance); purify your hearts (confession); be miserable, mourn, weep and let your laughter and joy be turned to gloom (sorrow). The final imperative summarizes the mentality of those who are converted: ‘Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord’.”
If MacArthur’s statement was shared as instruction to Christians on how they should live wisely as born again disciples of Jesus Christ that would be a fair application of what he wrote. He is, however, stating what he believes are the necessary conditions of saving faith that results in a lost man becoming a Christian.

What we have in this single page (250) of
The Gospel According to Jesus is the Lordship’s classic error of failing to distinguish between the doctrines of salvation and discipleship. Lordship Salvation frontloads faith with commitment to the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) one would expect of a mature born again Christian.

Do we find salvation by the grace of God through faith in Christ (
Eph. 2:8-9) anywhere in James 4:7-10? No, we do not, because James is addressing “brethren” some of whom behaved as “carnal” Christians.

The example from page 250 of
The Gospel According to Jesus typifies and exemplifies the error of Lordship Salvation. The crux of the Lordship controversy is contained in the three paragraphs of that single page. That one page is all one needs to know about John MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation to realize he has changed the terms of the Gospel into a non-saving, man-centered message that corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates the grace of God.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain,” (Gal. 2:21).

LM


Site Publisher Addendum (01/02/14): 
This article has been among the top three most read and recommended articles since the inception of this blog in 2006. I brought it back again because we must never forget that Lordship Salvation (LS) is an egregious heretical error on the Gospel of grace. LS must be exposed, refuted and its advocates marked so that they may be avoided (Rom. 16:17-18).

For additional reading on the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel please proceed to any of the following articles.

John MacArthur’s Discipleship Gospel

How Does the Lordship Advocate Define Repentance?

Lordship’s “Turn from Sin” FOR Salvation

Can God Given Faith Be Defective?

Is Lordship Salvation a "Barter" System?

John MacArthur’s Mandatory Performance Guidelines for “Lordship” Salvation

Ominous Signs of Lordship’s Coming Storm

An Example of Lordship’s Man-Centered Message