Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Day I'm Praying and Working to See

"One day by God's grace we may have churches full of Christians who can discuss, apply, and live the doctrinal teaching of the Bible as readily as they can discuss the details of their own jobs or hobbies--or the fortunes of their favorite sports team or television program."

~Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine, 14


M.A.C. said...

Hello Joshua,

I hope you don't mind answering a couple of questions I am asking all believers everywhere;

Do you believe that God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to start a new religion called Christianity?

And if yes. Where is the text in the bible that supports the popular Christian belief that God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to start a new religion called Christianity?

Josh said...

Hi, MAC.
No, I don't believe God sent Jesus to start a new religion called "Christianity." I would object to that idea on two counts. First, Jesus didn't start anything new. Rather, he completed what was promised/predicted in God's covenants with Abraham, David, and the nation of Israel. Second, the name "Christianity" isn't part of God's intention, best I can tell from the Scriptures, although it does fit for a faith that centers on Jesus the Christ.
Interesting question.

M.A.C. said...

Hi Josh,

So if there is no scriptural evidence that proves Jesus was sent to start a new religion called Christianity. Do you think there is a danger for all the denominations at the judgment seat of Christ?

Consider; Matthew 7

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Sounds like Jesus is talking about church folk here.

Josh said...

The Sermon on the Mount - of which Matthew 7 is a part - was addressed to Jesus' disciples, yes. But "Christian" denominations came well after Jesus' return to heaven, so it's hard for me to see how this passage "is a danger for all the denominations." What are you driving at?

M.A.C. said...


The point is apparent in the text and the words of Jesus. He warns against self-deception and a mere verbal profession of his Lordship without obedience to the word of God. Regardless of when denominational divergence came it is completely outside the will of God.

Consider Jesus' prayer at
JOHN 17: 20-26;

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

Sectarianism is sin and for salvation to be full we must repent of our sin fully.

Do you think there is a danger for all the denominations at the judgment seat of Christ if they have not repented of their sin?

Josh said...

OK, MAC, now I think I see where you're coming from. Yes, I agree that sectarianism is sin, and anyone who willfully persists in sin is headed down a dangerous road. But something about your comments makes me think you and I might not agree fully on some of the points you're raising.

For one thing, no one merits salvation by his/her perfect repentance. In fact, if Jeremiah 17:9 is true, we literally cannot repent fully for all our sin because we don't understand our own heart and its wickedness fully. Thankfully, we aren't saved by repentance. We are saved by Jesus; and the really good news is that His death atones for both the imperfect lives and the incomplete repentance of repentant sinners who look to Him in faith.

In addition, I still don't see how denominations are in jeopardy at the judgment. Speaking practically, how would that work? I mean, how would Jesus punish a denomination? ...or reward one? Don't you think, rather, that PEOPLE are judged, not denominations (and other organizations)?

And finally, how would you suggest Christians handle doctrinal error in their midst? My question aims to make the point that sectarianism is not the only way to be unbiblical in how we relate to other Christians. Embracing a false gospel is a sin as grievous as sectarianism, don't you think?

M.A.C. said...

Hi Josh,

If, is pretty weak language my friend. The Lord knows the heart, He tests the mind.

Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed it is our helper against the deceitfulness of the heart.

Repentance is the key ingredient my friend. If you do not repent you are not saved. Jesus could die one thousand times and you would still not be saved unless you repent. God commands us to repent. For Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation. You can find that in 2 Corinthians.

Notice the progression from repentance to salvation.

Here are some more verses on repentance for you to consider Josh.

Mark 2:17
Luke 13:1-9
Acts 3:19-20
Acts 17:24-31
2 Corinthians 7:10

Denominations are about money, bucks and cash. I challenge denominations to give up their tax status and make there business about Salvation through repentance for real.

People make up denominations and not everyone in any particular denomination is not saved for real. Remember the parable of the wheat and the tares you can find it at Matthew 13:24-30

Embracing a false gospel as you have plainly shown here. By your thankfulness that you don't need to repent to gain your salvation is definitely a problem.

My mission is to the church and my intentions are completely solicitous towards denominations.

Josh said...

I agree with you that repentance is required as part of a saving response to the gospel. Turning from sin, recognizing Jesus' Lordship, the whole enchilada. No quarrel from me there.

Your answers to my other two points aren't clear to me. I realize that not every person in every Christian denomination is a genuine believer, but I don't see how that applies to your question about whether denominations are in danger at the judgment. How can Jesus punish a denomination?

I also didn't understand your answer to my question about how Christians should handle false teaching in their midst.

M.A.C. said...


I will answer both questions in sequential order.

Denominational judgment, in the book of Revelation there are seven (7) churches mentioned. Although there are currently thousands of Christian denominations. They are commonly referred to as "The Seven Churches Of The Apocalypse"

Of those seven most Christian denominations will fall into one of the seven. Unless they are a cult.

1. The Loveless Church is instructed to; "Do the works you did at first" and the criticism is; Love for Christ no longer fervent. 2:1-7

2. The Persecuted Church is instructed to; "Be faithful until death" No criticism. 2:8-11

3. The Compromising Church is instructed to; "Repent" and the criticism is; tolerates immorality, idolatry and heresies. 2:12-17

4. The Corrupt Church is instructed that; "Judgment is coming and to keep the faith" and the criticism is; Tolerates cult of idolatry and immorality. 2:18-29

5. The Dead Church is instructed to: "Repent and strengthen what remains" and the criticism is; It's a dead church. 3:1-6

6. The Faithful Church is instructed to; "Keep the faith" no criticism. 3:7-13

7. The Lukewarm Church is instructed to; "Be zealous and repent" and the criticism is it is indifferent. 3:14-22

These churches are representative of the churches at the time and all subsequent generations. Any church can chose to be "The Faithful Church".

My message is to repent and turn from sectarianism which is sin. My challenge is to give up your tax status and make your business Christ centered not about money. Make it about love to see others saved.

False teaching is problematic and has much to do with indifference, ignorance, laziness, sloth and the fact that not many Christians or professing Christians actually read the word of God. Make God first above all things in your life.

Consider the walk of a true believer. 2 Peter 1:5-11 shows the walk of the true believer of Jesus Christ. Add to your Faith Virtue, to Virtue Knowledge, to Knowledge Self-control, to Self-control Perseverance, to Perseverance Godliness, to Godliness Brotherly Kindness, to Brotherly Kindness Love.

I'm still on perseverance and I started nine years ago.

Exhortation to live up to the calling that Christ called us too. Help others with their ministry's. There are numerous ways get involved do something. Don't sit on your hands get up and do something right now. Feed the poor, start a savings group that teaches poor people to save money. Be socialist like Jesus was.

I could go on and on but I'm not going to. I'm sure you got the picture.


The Lord bless and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

M.A.C. said...


Another way to get around false teaching is to understand the existence of the law. The law was designed to show us our short comings as we attempt to enter the Kingdom of heaven. And to create the Godly sorrow that must exist for salvation to works in us and through us to those who would hear us on the topic.

Anonymous said...

What the HECK?

Josh said...

Yep. My thoughts exactly.

M.A.C. said...

I guess talking about Christianity is something that makes you say a watered down version of WTF.

Anonymous you may as well go all the way next time nobody knows who you are anyway. Unless you are, nah!

Josh I asked questions you asked questions. We had dialogue. But all along you didn't care about what we are talking about. Is that what you mean by "Yep. My thoughts exactly."?

Josh said...

No, no! I cared! It was just a strange dialogue. I don't think I've ever encountered someone with your viewpoints. No offense intended, MAC.

M.A.C. said...



Perhaps you should search your viewpoints before you point out mine as strange.

I am not offended, I am hurt by your remark.

Josh said...

I'm grieved that my remark hurt you personally. I found your views strange, but you personally appear from our discussion to be respectful, earnest, and caring. The benediction you included in one of your comments conveyed spontaneous goodwill toward me, and I was blessed by that. Please don't fear that if I find your views odd, I find you odd, too. Your concern over denominations seemed to come out of the blue, as did your initial question about whether Jesus came to start a new religion. I didn't have experiential categories for those questions; thus, the views you represented were strange to me, foreign, odd.

I'm not a zealous advocate of denominations - the church I attend with my family is non-denom. But I am a very zealous advocate for the purity of the gospel, and that stance has important ramifications for how one handles error and pursues the unity described in John 17. I was trying to explore some of those ramifications with you, but the conversation didn't ever go in a direction I anticipated. Your answers always caught me off guard. Again, "strange" is the word that comes to mind. Not "evil" or "ignorant" or "crazy." Just foreign to me.

I'd be happy to continue the dialogue, but perhaps it would be helpful to me if you explained where you are coming from with these concerns about denominations. Why all the alarm? It would also be interesting to me to learn the story of your own conversion and theological development. Who discipled you? How have your theological ideas been formed? But perhaps we should take up the next chapter of our dialogue via email...?

Grace and peace to you, MAC.

M.A.C. said...

Hi Josh

Click here for MY TESTIMONY

My testimony explains a lot but I am also influenced by facts. See Facts or Fiction...

And if you would like to continue by email no problem. You can find my email address on my blog.