Oh really? Prophet Piper strikes again

UPDATE II:

Based on the advise of my friend Nick I decided to stop any further commenting on this site, due to the double blogging that is going on I am locking this one as it stands. If you have any further comments, opinions or what not please post them at GreyCoats.  All posts that were here are no longer readable, but you are not missing much, most of it was posted as well at GreyCoats.  I don’t know if any other way to stop further commenting, and keep what was posted.  So this was the most simple thing to do.

URL    : http://rdtwot.wordpress.com
Comment:
Robert,

Honestly, if I were you, I’d go into every comment that these folks from the ‘greycoats’ left here that was also left on their blog, and just edit it to a link to their original comment over there.  This double-blog commenting is strange.

The great danger of double blog commenting around the blogosphere is that it often attempts to say the same thing twice, in two places, so apparently twice as many people can see it.  This is not the blogging way, and will result eventually in the petering out of poorly founded comments (twice!) or in the development of heretical comments to smooth over the differences.

Just some advice from me to you. 😉

UPDATE:

For those of you just joining, Devin and I have cleared up our misunderstanding, and we have both apologized. There is good dialog going on here, and at his blog, so feel free to still join in. And it looks like I found another blog that I will visit often.

For the record, in case you are wondering, I am still not a fan of John Piper 😉

I just read this post, and I have to say that it really bothered me. Most of my friends that visit here are not Charismatic or Pentecostal, and yet we find great fellowship with each other. Most of you that read my blogs know that I am a diligent student of the word, love God, and strive to understand all orthodox positions, and heterodox views as well.

This post is from The Grey Coats and this is what he said in regards to a quotes from John Piper from 1985:

Today I found a gem of a quote from John Piper on the Charismatic movement that I believe has really come to pass today. – devinasheville

This is the quote from Prophet Piper that he is referring to:

The great danger of the charismatic movement around the world today (with all the good I see in it) is that it often attempts to preserve fellowship among believers on the basis of a shared experience rather than on the basis of shared theology. This is not the biblical way, and will result eventually in the petering out of poorly founded experience or in the development of heretical theology to smooth over the differences.

Oh really? You have got to be kidding that this guy would actually think that this has come true today. What planet is he living in? I know that there are factions of extreme Pentecostals/Charismatics, but don’t tell me that you don’t have those in your camps either? For God’s sake I even have some family members that I wish I didn’t have.

Anyhow, what are your thoughts? I posted a reply at his site, but I don’t think that I was as kind as I normally am. I apologize for my sarcasm at his site.

Inquiring minds want to know…

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27 Responses

  1. I say that the proof is in the pudding. The guy should try to show how he thinks this has come to pass.

  2. And here was your super respectful response to our post:

    “The great danger in John Piper is that he pontificates and the rest us just bow down.

    I am a Charismatic/Pentecostal for 28 years and just have problems with what he said. What’s the point? How does he know this? I don’t remember him ever asking me if that is true? What Charismatics is he talking to?

    Anyhow, it’s this sort of basis ignorant rhetoric that only fuels antagonisms among Christians.

    Was he right? No. He is dead wrong. You are going to have factions, and heterodox, and heresy in all denominations, so why single out Charismatics?. To think that Piper does not make mistakes, or misunderstands certain portions of the bible, is to assume he is the Pope.

    Long live Pope Piper! Sorry about sarcasm it just gets old, to here these assumptions.”

    And here is my response to that:

    You certainly cannot make a rational argument from that quote that can validate your feelings about Piper pontificating himself. I would even argue that you can’t take any words of any of his messages to prove such a thing.

    Does everybody have to ask a charismatic what they think about the movement in order to confirm one’s own opinion of the movement?

    I would guess that Piper has personally seen and been involved in the Charismatic movement, I mean, come on bro, it’s not hard to find faults in the movement as a whole. I know not every charismatic is the same in practice, or even belief. You shouldn’t get so bent out of shape about an opinion about a movement that you are involved in. Rather, you should be able to rationally defend whatever piece of the movement you are a part of.

    Ignorant rhetoric? Show me how that is rhetoric? Show me how it is ignorant? Have you not noticed the truth of his quote?

    Piper isn’t singling out Charismatics in the sense you speak of, I suggest listening to the whole sermon, or reading the whole manuscript to see what he means. He’s basically saying that the Charismatic movement could easily base fellowship on experience rather than doctrinal consistency.

    Also, dude, nobody ever said Piper is right about everything, or anything that you have accused us of.

    Calm down, please.

  3. Dear devinasheville,

    I am calm, I am not so much as bothered by what Piper said, in as much as I am bothered by what you said. “That you have found a gem…, and that it has come to pass.”

    All the Piper fans just seem to be hanging on every word he says. Hey I like the guy, and I even own some of is books.

    Anyhow I posted on your blog as well, feel free to explain what you meant by “..That you have found a gem…, and that it has come to pass.”

    I am curious to hear you out. I just don’t agree with you that it has come to pass.

  4. I think Dr. Piper very respectfully expressed his concern with the Charismatic movement. He pointed out that he saw a great deal of good in the movement and Piper himself is not a cessationist. As to the inaccuracy of his quote (that, by the way, was made in 1985) I can point you to several charismatic churches within 10 miles of where I live that have fallen into precisely what he assumed would happen. It is not an indictment on every Charismatic believer, but a warning to what can happen when the extreme overcomes the biblical view. Piper was respectful in his quote and I’m not so sure that the sarcasm in your post was an adequate response.

    Please note, I am not a huge Piper fan. I am heavily reformed, but I differ from Dr. Piper quite often.

  5. Chris,

    I hear you and I won’t disagree with anything that you are saying. But I can say just about the same thing about Methodist, Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, etc. What is the point? Is just to single out Charismatics? And again, I was honestly more bothered by the writers statement “..That I have found a gem…, and that it has come to pass.” A gem, so much is implied with that poor choice of words.

    If he had presented it as an open question, it would have called for more of an irenic call to discussion. Again I do apologize for going crazy in my sarcasm. I was not hiding my post form his blog either so I don’t see the point in him reposting it here. I linked it to his blog so that the readers here can see my rant and rage.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. You’re right about the problems all over. I’m Baptist and sometimes desperately wish that I wasn’t. I certainly dont wish any negative press on any denomination and I try not to wife beat (bashing the bride of Christ). We’re all messed up and thank God for His regeneration and saving work.

  7. Chris,

    that’s my point. We all have warts, but we are the body of Christ. Anyhow, I am sure I overreacted but I just get tired of reading the same silly accusations.

    Read some of Roger Olson’s books, not sure where to start check out my book tab, I have two listed there that are really good. He was raised a Pentecostal, but is now an ordained Baptist, and teaches at a Baptist seminary. I really enjoy his work, and his openness

  8. Typical. Didn’t I just post about the incompatibility of Reformed theology and charismatic giftings? 🙂 Piper is merely repeating what those in the Reformed tradition have done before him. Like Berkhof said – if the Catholics imprisoned the Spirit in the church, then the Reformed tradition imprisoned the Spirit in the Word. Only “Word” here really means propositional doctrines that conform to Reformed interpretation. So, Piper, like all Reformists, will always choose to uphold the Word (by which he means Reformed doctrine) over against Spirit everytime. That way he maintains a continualist stance yet can always trump charismatic excess with what he considers “sound” theology. His main motivation? Fear of excess.

    That quote hasn’t come to pass at all and people who think that it has live in a bubble.

    Robert’s right – please go read Olson…

  9. Sam,

    I was hoping that you chat it on this a bit. I have apologized because I should have responded in a more respectful manner. But I just get tired of hearing the same miscommunicated myths. They seem to focus on a very narrow extreme of Pentecostals/Charismatics, and then just make a blanket statement. I said this before, every camp of Christianity has it’s extremes, so why single out Pentecostals. Just clump the all together and call them extreme Christians.

    They would benefit from reading Roger Olson’s books.

    Also, I agree for those of you that have not read Sam’s posting on “Spiritual Gifts and Reformed Theology: Can They Co-exist?” I recommend reading it and see what he has to say.

  10. ‘So, Piper, like all Reformists, will always choose to uphold the Word (by which he means Reformed doctrine) over against Spirit everytime.’

    Is that what John Piper means by ‘Word’?

  11. Here is my response to Robert’s longer response from my site. If people want further discussion with me I would prefer that it be done over at my blog because I check it more, and I forget things very easily.

    Yeah bro, you know how we all bust our guns out when a harsh disagreement pops up, that sort of comes with the territory, I have no hard feelings for ya, and by the looks of your blog you seem like a good dude.

    “It just sounds so silly to me when I hear “…I believer it really has come to pass today”. I would appreciate to hear why you think this?”

    I think much of the disconnect that you and I have in our opinions is that I wasn’t really specific in the post about the charismatic circles that I refer to when I use the word “charismatic”. For most regular viewers of the blog, it is sort of presupposed that we are not talking about the people who just believe in the spiritual gifts. I have no problem with the gifts whatsoever, there are bigger issues that terrorize a person’s faith, primarily the gospel. With that said, I think that my point, and Piper’s point *I am not speaking on his behalf here* is easily proven given the context of which charismatic circles I apply his statement to. Perhaps it is just the charismatic environment that I have been a part of which is mostly in North Carolina, and all over California, but of course that doesn’t mean every person who believes in the gifts in these areas, but many churches would fall into my categorization. When I say “charismatic” I speak more of the 3rd wave charismatic movement. With movements there is always some madness that happens, the reformation had some loony tunes, of course the charismatic movement will too. But the cause of the craziness in the charismatic movement, I think, is unity by experience over-riding contemplative doctrinal teaching. Again, let me beat this horse dead, this does not apply to every person who believes in the spiritual gifts.

    When an entire fellowship is in unison exercising spiritual gifts, if you join in on the fun, then you are accepted as a member of the body of Christ. I posted a video of the week a while back showing the “Jesus Culture” crew that is involved with Bethel at Redding displaying the example that I just gave. If you go on Youtube and look up “Jesus Culture”, or any of the “Fire Tunnel” drive thru experience trains you’ll see what I mean. With that I see other proofs of Piper’s quote. Walk into a Family Christian Store and walk to the Charismatic section, and you may find JP Moreland and TD Jakes on the same shelf. One being an awesome apologist and teacher, the other being a Trinity-denying heretic. Not to mention Benny Hinn, and other hucksters who are accepted as sound teachers in many places who would associate themselves with the charismatic movement as a whole.

    So if you just believe in the gifts, and sound doctrine (which I believe you do) then the quote does not apply to you, or anyone like you. I can say concering those not like you about the quote, if the shoe fits…. wear it.

    “I feel just the opposite. I think that Pentecostals and Charismatics have gone the other direction. One only need to look at Reformed Charismatics, JP Moreland who I love and appreciate as well.”

    Again, my bad on not clarifying what I was directly applying the quote to. I have a lot of respect for the Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations that unite around the core essentials of Christianity. But my critiques are pointed at the churches that may have sound doctrine on paper, but in the pulpit… anyone that claims to be some sort of prophet or whatever is given free reign in the name of the spiritual gifts. I have seen in my own experience (and I’m only 23, so I would guess that I’m not the only one who has seen this) I know my fellow contributors Jarrod and Nathaniel have seen this also (cuz they were with me). Somebody who seems serious about the gifts, especially “the prophetic”, and I mean, unrelenting about them shows up to a church, or meets the pastor somewhere and gets allowed to speak, because they speak with “real power”, and then it turns out that they are universalists, and dont believe the Bible is inerrant, or whatever else that falls under the banner of heresy… If you haven’t seen that sort of thing, I’m glad, because it royally jacks up congregations. Also, for those of you fellow grey coats out there that have spoken with people who are steeped in the dark side of the charismatic movement, what is it you hear from them when you speak concern about their pastors, or their favorite teachers? Isn’t it usually something revolving around the gifts? We can go more into this if you don’t feel I’ve done your question justice. Again, please know I am pinpointing the dangerous teachers in the charismatic movement.

    “I just think that it is sad in this day to continue to propagate such things as this. Again not to mention Calvary Chapel, they are Pentecostal as well. I am not denying that there are crazies out there, but you all have to admit that we all have them in all of our circles. Again, what’s the point of such a statement? If it is just to be controversial then fine.”

    You’re right, they are in every circle, but some circles are much greater than others. As a reformed believer, I know there are some hyper-calvinists out there, and the kjv only reformed baptists, and the new perspectivism guys… but not as many that is associated with the charismatic world. There aren’t any fringe reformed folks with numerous television networks. I think this is from a strict caution that pastors have to run through, and a deep care for the Gospel. Again, not that there aren’t many pastors within the charismatic movement that care about the good things, but my understanding about many grassroots charismatic churches it seems to be a little more “care-free” when it comes to protecting congregations. Also, the whole politically correct era that we face now doesn’t help either, hence the thousands of totally blown liberal churches out there.

    “But aren’t there more current concerns such as emerging churches? Aren’t these mostly evangelicals? Has all of the academic mania driven them to search for something more than just mental Godly exercise? Just a thought? I think there is good in what they are seeking to accomplish.”

    We tackle that stuff too, but we started out with a great concern for those who are overlooked within christendom today, as in, the thousands of teenagers, and others that are a part of a sometimes scary 3rd wave charismatic group that is associated with the Kansas City Prophets, and nobody wants to stand up against these guys because they’re relevant, and have cool experiential worship that involves the gifts.

  12. Sam:

    You would fit in great over at my blog, because from my view, you’re the one in the bubble.

    Hopefully my lengthy response to Robert will clear up your summary of my post as well.

  13. Sam, Nick, and I are the few, the proud Pentecostal. 😉 Oh, and we joke a lot around here, and lots of sarcasm. Keeps thing fun, friendly, and interesting.

  14. One thing, if you have questions, concerns, issues with Sam’s posting “Spiritual Gifts and Reformed Theology: Can They Co-exist?”, please place your remarks, and comments over there, that’s where they rightfully belong, it’s the right thing to do. He put a lot of work into that. So much that I am still digesting it.

    Thanks.

  15. Not a Piper fan… YET!

    Just kidding.

  16. devinasheville –

    “But the cause of the craziness in the charismatic movement, I think, is unity by experience over-riding contemplative doctrinal teaching…
    Bethel at Redding displaying the example that I just gave…or any of the “Fire Tunnel” drive thru experience trains you’ll see what I mean. With that I see other proofs of Piper’s quote…
    shows up to a church, or meets the pastor somewhere and gets allowed to speak, because they speak with “real power”, and then it turns out that they are universalists, and dont believe the Bible is inerrant, or whatever else that falls under the banner of heresy…
    There aren’t any fringe reformed folks with numerous television networks. I think this is from a strict caution that pastors have to run through, and a deep care for the Gospel. Again, not that there aren’t many pastors within the charismatic movement that care about the good things, but my understanding about many grassroots charismatic churches it seems to be a little more “care-free” when it comes to protecting congregations.”

    Wow. Those assumptions make me angry. It makes little sense for me to try an unconvince you of these judgments. You seem to have already made up your mind, which is unfortunate. Things are rarely so black and white and some of the conjecture in your comments is not only uninformed, it’s condescending to charismatic Christians. It sounds like you’re looking down your nose at the people you are talking about – people who have helped thousands of others find Jesus.

    I’m not sure where you are getting your information from, but if you’re looking for proof of Piper’s quote from people who think like Piper, you’re always gonna find it. I don’t like all the things charismatics do, but I’m not going to waste my time pointing out all their faults when they’ve taken the world by storm as the largest Protestant grouping ever. By contrast, Reformed denominations are decreasing yearly. So, either everyone else is “doctrinally” deceived or there is more going on here than can be discerned from Piper’s statement. Please, keep reading and searching for a better, more respectful place for experience in the Christian walk.

    Sam

  17. “Wow. Those assumptions make me angry.”

    That was not any intention of mine.

    “It makes little sense for me to try an unconvince you of these judgments. You seem to have already made up your mind, which is unfortunate.”

    And I’m condescending? My judgment’s aren’t harsh, or rash, attempt to prove me otherwise so we can get to the heart of the matter. I said over and over again that I’m not against good and sound charismatics, but the evidence is overwhelming that the most abuse done in the church today is from the UNSOUND charismatics that lead congregations into mental tyranny that makes them believe whatever voice they hear in their head, and don’t emphasize scriptural proving.

    “Things are rarely so black and white and some of the conjecture in your comments is not only uninformed,”

    I thought that I made it pretty clear that I know there are good teachers who believe in the spiritual gifts, so if I am uninformed, please prove it.

    “it’s condescending to charismatic Christians. It sounds like you’re looking down your nose at the people you are talking about – people who have helped thousands of others find Jesus.”

    A couple things there.. what I’ve seen within the movement I can back up, and I think I already have in my earlier response to Robert, so until you can prove my statements utterly false, then I just have to sit around and read your allegations. If you could live with me for a week you could see that the majority of my friends are charismatics, and I fellowship with them all the time, BUT they are not the fringe heretical folks that disguise themselves as charismatic Christians like the Copelands, and TD Jakes. I sincerely don’t look down on charismatics since my theology would probably heavily fall in the charismatic category, but not to the extent that the bad guys in the movement have. Perhaps you should define what you mean when you say charismatic. And the whole thing about guilt tripping me over all the ones who helped others find Jesus simply isn’t true, because I have already, over and over again, acknowledged that the people who help others find the real, biblical Jesus, I’m all for them. I want more of them, whether they be Pentecostal, or Episcopalian the church today should take whatever it can get.

    “I’m not sure where you are getting your information from, but if you’re looking for proof of Piper’s quote from people who think like Piper, you’re always gonna find it.”

    Trust me man, not everyone at my blog thinks like Piper, fish through the comment threads and you’ll see… Also, can we get off the whole anti-Piper kick? Do you think that you know how Piper thinks? Even if somebody else would have said the quote in the same Piper did, then I would have used it, so please deal with my thoughts rather than a pastor we’ll probably both never meet.

    “I don’t like all the things charismatics do, but I’m not going to waste my time pointing out all their faults when they’ve taken the world by storm as the largest Protestant grouping ever.”

    I’m not pointing out all their faults, and I obviously don’t believe that I or the other contributors of my blog are wasting our time, go through the comments at my blog and ask people if they are benefited from our site, you’ll be surprised by all the people who have thanked us. Our thrust has nothing to do with people’s beliefs in the gifts in general, it is all about the gospel, and biblical teaching being the center, and even being the center of the practice of the gifts. We long for responses from those within the part of the movement that we are showing concern for, and we like to be challenged on what we say because it refines everyone involved whether we come to agreement or not. Also, numbers don’t exactly prove doctrinal truths or anything, so we can’t lean on that sort of thing, but I am thankful that there are many Christians in general still in the world.

    “By contrast, Reformed denominations are decreasing yearly.”

    This is a logical fallacy, does might make right? Really, at the end of the day within Christendom, does the largest denomination win? I think what is important is who teaches the Bible the most consistently, and true to the text, and defensibly. I won’t even say who is the best or who isn’t but I just have to point out that the in contrast argument you used falls to pieces. Perhaps when Christ was on his way to be crucified and most of the disciples ditched Him the Jews were the true guys in God’s eyes cuz there were more of them? I mean they believed in the same book right?

    “So, either everyone else is “doctrinally” deceived or there is more going on here than can be discerned from Piper’s statement.”

    Honestly bro, what I’m catching from you is a pretty agro bias against Piper, or reformed baptists or something, because I haven’t called all charismatics deceived or anything of the sorts, and anyone can come in and read what I’ve said and not pull the weighty accusations that you’ve pulled from it. I have no doubt that there is more going on than can be discerned from some little quote. But is the quote what really gets at you? I ask because you haven’t substantiated, or rebutted anything that I have presented.

    “Please, keep reading and searching for a better, more respectful place for experience in the Christian walk.”

    Better and more respectful? I honestly don’t know how to take that advice from you. If you knew me in person I’m sure that you would see that I’m respectful in all of my doctrinal disagreements with others, you can even ask all of the flat out real deal cult members in downtown Asheville where I live if I’m respectful in these matters, and I don’t say that to pontificate (sorry Rob I’m gonna use that word a lot now 🙂 myself, rather to just emphasize how words on blogs can be taken, us over at the greycoats blog have learned all about those instances before.

    God bless, and please go through our site and feel free to critique, and tell us your concerns, we really do want to hear it, and think about it.

    in Christ, our Only.
    Devin Murphy

  18. Dude, Robert… are you a skateboarder????????????

  19. Sam,

    Actually, there is a reformed resurgence amoung young evangelicals! I place an exclaimation point because I’m finding that more and more people my age are holding to the reformed doctrine…and that excites me. Irrelevant to the overall discussion, but exciting none the less.

    I think the answer to your debate is the Sovereign Grace association started by C.J. Mahaney. Its a charismatic/reformed association and a few of my friends attend a church in Athens, GA and dig it. Not my cup of tea through and through, but seems to be the good balance to find resolve in this post.

  20. Devin,

    yeah man I still skateboard. Dude, I am from California, that’s all we do around here 😉 When I was teenager me and my bros would catch the bus with our boogie boards, and surf all day long. When we didn’t have money for the bus, we skateboarded all day long.

    I just bought one earlier this year, I hadn’t skateboard in over 20 years, and I bought one for my son, and he would not let me use it so I bought my own and started skating again. It’s like I had never stopped. I can’t do any of the new tricks, and I am too old to take any chance for fear of breaking something.

    But I can still do a mean 360!

    Devin, Sam is very cool, hear him out man, he is not coming down on you, I don’t want to speak for Sam, but honestly people are just not careful when they condemn P/C’s, and we usually sit on the outside don’t speak up, because we don’t want to engage in what is for the most part a waste of time.

    I know what you are saying, but even then I still ask why? What is the end goal? I am all for learning, and I love to teach God’s word (and so is Sam he is working on his Doctorate), but I am not willing to jam my brothers in Christ just because they are different or maybe a bit crazy? Paul being a Jew, was always ticked off at his bros, especially Peter, sounds like he almost cursed him.

    I am not happy when I see the extremes, but outsider looking in, they don’t see them, they see us. The body of Christ, all of us, warts and all. The whole book of Philippians is about unity, that is why that one scriptures remains on my blog, it’s not for the visitors, it’s for me to remind me what kind of attitude I should have, cuz Lord knows I need it everyday. Had I read it before I went off on your site, I would have not posted at all, and just ignored it.

    Paul knew very well the extremes and the wrong motivation of others, but yet he was able to say:

    “Some, to be sure, preach Christ out of envy and strife, but others out of good will. 16 These do so out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely, seeking to cause [me] trouble in my imprisonment. 18 What does it matter? Just that in every way, whether out of false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed. And in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice”

    Anyhow, you can critique and give me a lecture on the finer theological meaning of this or you can see an attitude that is much more forgiving, and compassionate, and greatly lacking among Christians. Again I ask What does it Matter?

    Alright dude, I enjoy your dialog, I hope that we can remain friends, and each of grow a bit from all of this.

    Later,
    RJ

  21. “Devin,

    yeah man I still skateboard. Dude, I am from California, that’s all we do around here 😉 When I was teenager me and my bros would catch the bus with our boogie boards, and surf all day long. When we didn’t have money for the bus, we skateboarded all day long.

    I just bought one earlier this year, I hadn’t skateboard in over 20 years, and I bought one for my son, and he would not let me use it so I bought my own and started skating again. It’s like I had never stopped. I can’t do any of the new tricks, and I am too old to take any chance for fear of breaking something.

    But I can still do a mean 360!”

    All of that is friggin awesome! I skate too, and am really involved with the local skate scene here.

    “Devin, Sam is very cool, hear him out man, he is not coming down on you, I don’t want to speak for Sam, but honestly people are just not careful when they condemn P/C’s, and we usually sit on the outside don’t speak up, because we don’t want to engage in what is for the most part a waste of time.”

    I have no doubt that Sam is a cool guy, but I can’t just listen to him when he hasn’t sufficiently answered my claims, rather, he has only said they’re wrong without challenging them. Nobody from my blog is condemning P/C’s, so I shouldn’t get the licks for people who do.

    “I know what you are saying, but even then I still ask why? What is the end goal? I am all for learning, and I love to teach God’s word (and so is Sam he is working on his Doctorate), but I am not willing to jam my brothers in Christ just because they are different or maybe a bit crazy? Paul being a Jew, was always ticked off at his bros, especially Peter, sounds like he almost cursed him.”

    The end goal has many facets, the first being edification in the Gospel, that is the primary goal of all things Christian. Along with that comes learning, I love to teach the word too, I’m beginning teaching through 1st John on Sunday. I’m happy that Sam is pursuing his doctorate. that is much more than I’ll ever attain. Recently after seeing the links to Gregory Boyd on Sam’s site, I am wondering if he leans towards open theism, that will really base a lot of my thoughts about what he is saying, but I can’t speak presumptuously. Plus, I’m cool with the a bit crazy, along with sound doctrine, but without a sound grounding of fellowship in the Gospel of Christ, then there is no brotherhood at all. I’m not jamming anybody, I’m just responding to things waged against me. I know Sam is your friend, so please don’t take this stuff personally.

    “I am not happy when I see the extremes, but outsider looking in, they don’t see them, they see us. The body of Christ, all of us, warts and all. The whole book of Philippians is about unity, that is why that one scriptures remains on my blog, it’s not for the visitors, it’s for me to remind me what kind of attitude I should have, cuz Lord knows I need it everyday. Had I read it before I went off on your site, I would have not posted at all, and just ignored it.”

    Outsider’s looking in is one thing, but think about those believing false doctrine but are accepted in the general Christian community, and are on the inside, and believe it’s all ok. That scares me as much as the unbelievers see. Plus lets remember Christ’s words, that we will be hated because of His name. We have to be for real about sound doctrine, and reasonably teaching the implications and damage that false doctrine can bring into the mix. My attitude is to glorify God (as best as humanly possible), and we can’t remain silent about everything just because it’s in the realm of Christianity. Like my good buddy Zack Hensley said once “I’m a heart guy”. I think that I am too. All Christian fellowship in the context of the Phillipians passage, and all through 1st John, the Gospel, and the true Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of fellowship, we can’t deviate from that. in any way. Unity revolves around scriptural consistency on the core essentials. I say all of that to show that our attitudes are to be grounded in humility, and guarding our heritage who is Christ.

    “Paul knew very well the extremes and the wrong motivation of others, but yet he was able to say:

    “Some, to be sure, preach Christ out of envy and strife, but others out of good will. 16 These do so out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely, seeking to cause [me] trouble in my imprisonment. 18 What does it matter? Just that in every way, whether out of false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed. And in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice” ”

    I take a lot of comfort in those verses also, but it’s hard to see that the people Paul is talking about were preaching false doctrine, motives out of mockery are often speaking the same messages as the ones they are mocking to inflict more pain on Paul. If they were to preach something contrary to Paul’s teachings, then Paul would say they were, and the hearers of the other guys wouldn’t associate them with Paul. At least that what naturally comes to my mind when reading the verses.

    “Anyhow, you can critique and give me a lecture on the finer theological meaning of this or you can see an attitude that is much more forgiving, and compassionate, and greatly lacking among Christians. Again I ask What does it Matter?”

    Why can’t I agree that a forgiving and compassionate attitude is lacking greatly among Christians, and provide a word, grounded in God’s Word, which still hasn’t been proven false. I hold no unforgiveness in my heart towards the charismatic movement, Also not against the blatant cult guys who are all over the world defacing the very God that we adore. Check out all the other stuff on my blog, and please don’t categorize me as some head-hunter.

    What does it matter? The Gospel matters. It is of 1st importance. When my stuff is responded to with scripture, and preferably out of a good motive and heart.

    For anyone to write somebody off because of a presumed emotion behind a criticism rather than a factual, articulated response.

    To be real with ya man, I don’t apologize for any of my responses to you or Sam except for our initial, first reactions.

    much love in Christ, our Only.
    -Devin

  22. Robert,

    May I ask your opinion on this example?

    I come to your church as a supposed known Prophet of God and I have already told the world previously that a certain event is going to happen and it is going to be a “doosey “and be an event that will be worse than most people realize. I even give a time period for this even.

    Time comes and goes and the event doesn’t happen. The prophetic word does not come to pass.

    Since then I have been invited to speak at your church and in my extremely passonate search for God I find that I have a gift of being able to touch you, usually on the forehead, and we begin to travel “in the spirit” to other locations. I feel led to share this “experience” with you being the senior pastor and some other folks in the church and touch you and we travel in the same manner. I give prophetic words and I proof them with a scripture here or there and I begin to speak to the congregation of things that don’t necessarily match up with the scriptures but rather make the scriptures match up to my “experiences”. My experiences become more important and I line up all of my scriptures with my experiences because I believe God is giving me a new paradigm or changing my understanding of christianity in my generation.

    At this point (as a visiting speaker/prophet) am I teaching poor doctrine or a different Jesus? Am I in line with the scriptures? Am I beginning to get involved in mysticism? Have I taken your church someplace unscriptural, extra-biblical and or is the “experiences” that we are having in my visit to your church even of the Lord? And after I have left ,your church begins to have “manifestation” of the supernatural based off of the night that I have visited. It begins a “revival” with-in the church?

    How would you look at this moment of “experience”?

  23. Tim,

    I am always uncomfortable when people begin to behave in extreme ways that are clearly against scripture. The Toronto blessing came and went and I was never affected, nor did I or my church ever participate. The laughing revival came and went I never participated, neither did my church, nor was I affected by it, but it was the most amusing thing I had ever seen (video) in my life. (bubble up, bubble up) 😉

    I will let my past experience answer your question.

    Devin,

    my man, I don’t apologize for my responses either, except for my initial one and I think we are cool on that.

    Look dude I get what you do, and I understand why you feel the way you do. I guess for me, I am focused on what is happening in my church, and how I best serve the people that God has placed in my sphere of influence. I don’t go looking at other churches trying to correct their doctrines, I feel that there are enough apologetics folks out there that are doing a fine job, and maybe you feel this is where you should devote your time on. I don’t, I did when I was younger, questioning everything, taking my stand, on issues that just were not happening in my church.

    If my church is confronted with false doctrine, then yes I will and do confront it. I don’t have the time to monitor what is going on in every church that claims Christianity. Maybe that is what you feel obligated to do, more power to you. I spend a great deal of my time helping people, praying with them, instructing them, worshiping and loving God. Plus I work a full time job, I am the Assistant Pastor at my church, I am the director of our Bible Institute, I have a 14 year old son, I am married, see what I mean?

    That is where we part, you feel horrified by what you see, and I don’t even know what is going on because I am not looking for it. When I am confronted with it I deal with it, but I just don’t have the time nor the strength to go looking for it. Read the life of Gregory Nazianzus, he was one of the early church fathers. He was about 30 years younger that Athanasius, and they were both dealing with the teachings of Arian. Anyhow, I like Gregory’s approach, he loved his solitude, prayer, and contemplative life, and so do I, but when confronted he always dealt with it.

    Alright man, I think I am done on this issue, these are like the longest post I have written. Hey one last thing. Just some advise, next time you post something and you mention P/C’s you might want to write a small disclaimer, unless you are looking to make more friends 😉

  24. Thanks

  25. Robert,

    Listen, you seem like a pretty good guy. We here at thegreycoats always appreciate dissent. But I have to wonder if it is you or your buddy Sam who really has the bone to pick with Reformed Theology. So far we’ve heard a lot from him second hand through you–he’s apparently been a major influence in your life. Even so, I can’t help but sincerely warn you to count the cost which abandoning a classic view of divine foreknowledge brings, especially when revamped under an open theistic framework. Open theism is on the cusp of a major infiltration into the evangelical mainstream. Interestingly enough, it does go hand in hand with many emergent types and also members of the prophetic/prayer movement.

    That notwithstanding, the epistemological foundations of both the openess of God and the Process Theology of John B. Cobb Jr. are surprisingly similar. An Open View of God ultimately borrows from the same source as the basic views of Process Theology. They are both tributaries of another thought stream. The philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead has been a potent factor first in Process theology, but also to some degree in an Open View of God.

    At first glance the two approaches of Open Theism and Process Theology may not seem so similar. This may in part be due to the attempt by some Open Theists to distance themselves from Process thought. In spite of this, when compared, the philosophical underpinnings of each formulation have much in common. With that said it can be seen that the Process Theology of the mid 20th century has opened the door for a more conservative reformulation known as Open Theism. Although Open theism has gained some approval in evangelical circles its critics are still many and its fruit is still undeveloped. While Process theology has found a home in liberal wings of the church and pluralistic understandings, Open Theism is actively seeking adoption into the evangelical mainstream. Before this happens it would be wise to pay thorough going attention to the philosophy of Whitehead and the direction in which Process thought has already taken the study of theology.

    Anyway, Uh, thanks for the ‘great advice’ concerning tolerant handling of open theist positions. You really gave us youngsters our comeuppance. But, I’m going to have to cry foul on your blog etiquette. First you drop in with accusations, then you apologize–profusely–and now you are back with an endorsement of a heterodox teaching due to your personal relationship with one of its promoters. You tell us you can’t answer any more questions. But, If my blog record serves me right you’ve been the one with the questions.

    Robert asked:

    What’s the point? How does he know this? I don’t remember him ever asking me if that is true? What Charismatics is he talking to? But aren’t there more current concerns such as emerging churches? Aren’t these mostly evangelicals? Has all of the academic mania driven them to search for something more than just mental Godly exercise? Do the Assemblies of God, or Foursquare, or Vineyards, or Calvary Chapel teach heretical theology? Are they all petering out poorly founded experiences?

    I hope you will return to thegreycoats and even continue to ask questions. Moreover, perhaps your friend Sam will take some time off from his dissertation to drop by since he’s been the ghost in this discussion. At any rate, blessings and happy super-hero viewing.

  26. I responded over at their blog, if you want to read my response. The link is at the top of the page.

  27. Robert,

    Honestly, if I were you, I’d go into every comment that these folks from the ‘greycoats’ left here that was also left on their blog, and just edit it to a link to their original comment over there. This double-blog commenting is strange.

    The great danger of double blog commenting around the blogosphere is that it often attempts to say the same thing twice, in two places, so apparently twice as many people can see it. This is not the blogging way, and will result eventually in the petering out of poorly founded comments (twice!) or in the development of heretical comments to smooth over the differences.

    Just some advice from me to you. 😉

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