[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Heresy Hunting of Militant Fundamentalism

by Antonio da Rosa

Today I bumped two really good articles by Matthew. Please read them, as they are very good:

Does God possess the power to make contrary choices?

A Sermon on Acts 19

Lou Martuneac seems to think that there is some major rift in Free Grace Theology. He believes it is fractured. The funny thing is that only he and a small handful of militant and cultish fundamentalists are making a stink causing themselves to be foolish spectacles to the Christian world. Charles Ryrie and Earl Radmacher are giants in the Free Grace movement. They remain friends of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin, and although they may disagree with these men on certain items, they do not believe them to be preaching any heresy. Furthermore, men such as Charlie Bing and Fred Lybrand, who are on the executive board of the Free Grace Alliance, do not believe that Zane and Bob preach a false gospel either.

In reality, Lou wants to have a fracture. He is the boy who cries wolf. It seems to me and others whom I have talked to that in some bizarre way this is how Lou gets his purpose and enjoyment out of life. His behavior and activities in the blogosphere reminds me of this verse, "They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service" (John 16:2). Lou believes that he is on a mission from God, thinking that he offers God service. But in reality, he does not show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom (Jas 3:13). I am finding his comments everywhere on the internet spewing venom in his quest to character assasinate his opponents. He has become the blogosphere's gossip and busybody!

Lou is always out on the heresy hunt as a militant and strict fundamentalist. Those who are impartial, like Bob Topartzer, a fundamentalist himself (and an ex theology prof from an accredited seminary), who was quoted in a post a few days ago, have sought to understand Free Grace theology before making a judgement. Bob Topartzer is neither Free Grace nor Lordship, but understands that quotes are part of major contexts, and also that ideas surrounding the exact minimum content of saving faith is something that has been discussed for years. See his beautiful and commendable article: A Response to Lou Martuneac by a Gentleman

Lou wishes to speak of a fracture. The only real fracture is in his mind. The name-worthy leaders in the Free Grace world do not think there is. The sad thing is that Lou is not Free Grace at all. His view on repentance precludes him from being Free Grace. In all reality, Lou is a soft-Lordship Salvation proponent.

Antonio,

These are some very interesting thoughts and insights. I think you are onto something here.

I bought a copy of Lou's book "In Defense of the Gospel" hoping that it would be sort of a layman's version of Charlie Bing's "Lordship Salvation" classic.

I took both books to work with me hoping to study up on the subject of repentance before teaching on the subject. I began by reading the chapter on repentance in Lou's book. I thought it was confusing, weak, and yes, somewhat Lordship. The more I read, the more confused I became! "Is Lou Lordship or Free Grace?" I wondered. I actually had to read Charlie Bing's chapter on repentance to get the correct answers! [by Jonathan Perreault]


Jonathan Perreault wrote the above statement after reading Lou Martuneac's book and primer on soft-Lordship Salvation theology. He left it in a thread which showed that Lou Martuneac is not part of Free Grace theology. Here is part of that message:

Just about a year ago, the Pulpit Magazine, which is a web-magazine done by John MacArthur and associates, put out a series on Lordship Salvation. During this time, Lou Martuneac highly advertised his book and spent a considerable amount of time in discussions happening in the comments threads of these posts.

Nathan Busenitz, the managing editor of the Pulpit Magazine, read Lou Martuneac's book, and he had this to say about it:

After reading his book, I am convinced that Lou Martuneac is, in actuality, a proponent of Lordship Salvation.

There, I said it.

I know, I know… this is probably not what most of you expected to read...

But it’s true… after reading his book, I’m convinced... the repentance Lou promotes is, essentially, the repentance of lordship advocates. Thus, because he sees it as necessary to saving faith, I am left with only one conclusion:

Whether he realizes it or not, Lou Martuneac is teaching a lordship gospel.


I can see where Nathan gets this. Lou Martuneac's definition of repentance is the same as Lordship Salvation. Here are some quotes from Lou Martuneac's book (remember, Lou regards repentance as necessary for eternal salvation):

“Repentance is an attitude that always results in action. ...Biblical repentance will produce a change of life evidenced by a new behavior as one yields to the working of God’s Spirit” (pp. 111-112).

“...biblical repentance... [is] [w]hen a man understands that he is a sinner, and makes a definite, on-purpose decision to confess that sin, and turn from the old ways...” (p. 121).

“Good works... are a by-product of repentance and saving faith. They are the evidences of genuine repentance and an unceasing gratitude for God’s mercy” (p. 123).

Lou Martuneac's comments about repentance could be found in any textbook advocating Lordship Salvation. Repentance has always been a huge battleground in the discussion between Lordship Salvation and Free Grace Theology. But Lou Martuneac sides with the Lordship Salvationist.


Let us end this post showing the great gulf fixed between Free Grace theology advocates and Lou Martuneac.


Lou Martuneac versus ALL Free Grace Theology leaders:

Is a willingness to give up one’s known sins (prostitution, smoking, etc.) required for salvation?

Lou Martuneac would say yes. Here is his answer in case you missed it. Lou Martuneac says, “If a person expressed their intention to hang on to their sin I would stop right there. I would not attempt to lead them to pray for God to save them. That person is far from biblical repentance." (Posted on August 18, 2006)

How would those in Free Grace community, even with the differences in the definition on repentance, answer the question, “Is a willingness to give up one’s known sins required for salvation?”

Charles Ryrie says no. He says, “I do not need to be willing to give up smoking in order to be saved.” (So Great Salvation page 39). “Is repentance a condition for receiving eternal life?...No, if it means to be sorry for sin or even to resolve to turn from sin, for these things will not save.” (SGS page 99).

Zane Hodges says no. He says, “Thus to repent is to rediscover our direction and to experience true "life" in harmony with our Maker. But repentance is not the means by which we acquire eternal life." (Absolutely Free Chapter 12)

Charles Bing says no. He says, “If it is asserted that repentance means resolving to forsake all known sin, then the absurd scenario emerges in which it would be best to keep people ignorant of their sins when preaching the gospel.”

Ron Shea says no. He says, “Accordingly, we deny that saving repentance is ever directed to sin, either by way of sorrow for one's sins, or the resolution or promise to "turn" from them.” http://cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27

A. Ray Stanford says no. He says, “preachers have been going about earnestly trying to get men to quit their sinning, or at least to work up a genuine sorrow for sin. But is this the divinely appointed task of Christians--to get men to change their ways? No! This kind of preaching often leads to form of self-righteousness and self-reformation—not to salvation.” (Handbook of Personal Evangelism page 80)

G. Michael Cocoris says no. He says, “Repentance means a change of mind or attitude; it does not include tears or turning. To define repentance as being sorry for sin or turning from sin is dangerous, because it could cause people to think that they could do something that could in some way help them obtain salvation.” (“Repentance: The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible” Pt. 2)

Joseph Dillow says no. He says, “their [lordship salvation] view is that a man must resolve to turn from all known sin and follow Christ absolutely. It seems that works enter through the front door, and another gospel is taught.” (emphasis mine) (The Reign of the Servant Kings page 10).

GES says no. Its affirmation of beliefs say, “No act of obedience, preceding or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered part of, faith as a condition for receiving everlasting life” (emphasis mine).

Lewis Sperry Chafer and John Walvoord would have said no. “The divine message is not “believe and pray,” “believe and confess sin,” “believe and confess Christ,” “believe and be baptized,” “believe and repent,” or “believe and make restitution.” These six added subjects are mentioned in Scripture, and there they have their full intended meaning; but if they were as essential to salvation as believing they would never be omitted from any passage wherein the way to be saved is stated.” (emphasis mine). (Major Bible Themes page 187)

Dennis Rokser says no. "We reject the many contemporary phrases that are often stated as necessary responses or conditions to the Gospel for someone to be saved. Such statements include: ... 'repent of or confess your sins,'"

Lou Martuneac’s position that one needs to be willing to give up a known sinful habit (eg. prostitution) is outside the circle of those who advocate a Free Grace view of the Gospel.


Lou is spreading discord among brethren by his misquoting, character assasinations, exaggerations, misrepresentations, and his purposeful misunderstandings. This passage in the book of Proverbs ought to give Lou pause to consider:

Prov 6:12-19

A worthless person, a wicked man,
Walks with a perverse mouth;
13 He winks with his eyes,
He shuffles his feet,
He points with his fingers;
14 Perversity is in his heart,
He devises evil continually,
He sows discord.
15 Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly;
Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.

16 These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
NKJV

47 Comments:

  • Antonio,

    You are correct in quoting me in reference to Lou's book, but ironically, in this case you fail to acknowledge that "quotes are part of major contexts". Concerning this, i'm sure you understand that Lou has since clarified his views on repentance and is revising his book.

    I'd like to address your post by addressing it's title: "Heresy Hunting of Militant Fundamentalism".

    Is heresy a serious issue?

    Is heresy something Christians should fight?

    Is heresy to be condoned or condemned?

    Please take a moment to consider these important and relevent rhetorical questions as they reveal your unscriptural mentality.

    Please take a moment to consider the following Scriptures:

    "And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them" (Acts 15:2)

    "And after there had been much debate" (Acts 15:7)


    This sounds unloving. This sounds "Militant". This sounds like Paul was "Militant" against "Heresy". This sounds like Paul was "Militant" for fundamental truths like the Gospel.

    "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made your overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears." (Acts 20:28-31)

    This sounds like "Heresy Hunting". This sounds like Paul was a "Heresy Hunter" for false teachers in the Church.

    "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?" (Gal. 3:1)

    This language sounds unloving. This language sounds "Militant". This sounds like Paul used "Militant" language against "Heresy".

    "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints" (Eph. 6:17-18)

    This sounds like "Heresy Hunting of Militant Fundamentalism". This sounds like Paul encouraged "Heresy Hunting of Militant Fundamentalism".

    "fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith, among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme." (1 Tim. 1:18b-20)

    This sounds like "Heresy Hunting of Militant Fundamentalism" naming names. This sounds like Paul encouraged "Heresy Hunting of Militant Fundamentalism" naming names.

    "Fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tim. 6:12a)

    This sounds like "Militant Fundamentalism" is commanded by God.

    "No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier." (2 Tim. 2:4)

    This sounds like "Militant Fundamentalism" pleases God.

    "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 3)

    This sounds like "Heresy Hunting of Militant Fundamentalism" especially "about our common salvation" is urged upon all Christians.

    It's all making sense to me now! Who doesn't like the heresy hunters? The hunted heretics!

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Monday, May 19, 2008 9:06:00 PM  

  • Antonio, I was horrified when I read Lou Martuneac's comments about giving up prostitution.

    Not only is it theologically wrong but highly judgmental. Does he have any idea about the social obstacles involved in breaking free from a life of prostitution and drug abuse? Its not like changing denomination from the Methodists to the Presbyterians; there are all kinds of challenges for such individuals. I know this because I work in drug rehab.

    Antonio, with regard to Charles Ryrie, has he made any comments or statements with regard to Zane Hodges? I would be interested to know.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matt

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:35:00 AM  

  • jp: [a whole bunch of scripture]

    and summed it up
    Who doesn't like the heresy hunters? The hunted heretics!

    A powerful response from scripture JP. Certainly the Bible teaches that we are to be on the lookout for threats to doctrinal purity. Of course, we are also to be on the lookout for opps to witness -- I don't go looking for conflict per se, as if it's something I am "hoping" for, but it's not biblical to avoid such conflict either - we are to face it and stand firm when necessary.

    Stephen

    By Blogger knetknight, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:05:00 AM  

  • antonio: Charles Ryrie and Earl Radmacher are giants in the Free Grace movement. They remain friends of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin, and although they may disagree with these men on certain items, they do not believe them to be preaching any heresy.

    ..Charlie Bing... Fred Lybrand...


    Interesting perhaps but not compelling as it is well understood that it sometimes takes new blood to break the bonds of the establishment. That's not to say these men are bad men, just that it is not difficult to see how long established personal relationships could stand in the way of their objectivity to some degree. Even so, their opinion, in terms of faithfulness to my own conscience and observation to biblical truth, is irrelevant. The list of men you provide are not inspired sources of truth -- they are to be respected for sure but they are not unquestionable and I doubt they'd want me to see it any other way.

    Stephen

    By Blogger knetknight, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:15:00 AM  

  • df: I was horrified...
    I don't know the full context of Lou's statement, Antonio only said it was "Posted on August 18, 2006" Where?, I would appreciate a link. I'm not doubting Antonio's base quote, but I won't judge a man's words out of their context, not even those with whom I staunchly disagree. And, as JP has pointed out, Lou has since clarified his position on repentance anyway and is rewriting that and other portions of his book. I have not consulted Lou, but it is my opinion that Antonio's quotes, even if historically true and contextually accurate for their time, are outdated by more recent information.

    That said, it is an interesting point as to whether I would present the Gospel to someone who indicated that they intended to continue in their known sin. I have to admit that I would feel some mental conflict doing that -- but, assuming the person was willing to listen, I'd yield my conflict and present the gospel to them anyway; Repentance (as turn from sin) is certainly desired (even "normal") but not required. Now, I suspect you may disagree with me that repentance as even a "change of mind" is required but then I like something Rose~ said awhile ago (and I'm paraphrasing from memory since I can't find the exact quote) "[meaningful context]... they include it whether they say so or not".

    All that said, I've not experienced an actual situation where someone who was receptive to the gospel was simultaneously indicating that they intended to continue in their known sin so I've not had to "live out" what we're discussing. Your response indicates that perhaps you have and I am interested in you fleshing that out if you care to share some specifics.

    Stephen

    By Blogger knetknight, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:21:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    Please consider this Scripture as in the same vein as my previous comment. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:1-4:

    "I solemnly chareg you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to juge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with the "promise-only gospel], they will accumulate for themselves teachers [like Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin] in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."

    Intersting that a "myth" is exactly what Zane Hodges admits to be teaching! Hodges writes:

    "Let me begin with a strange scenario. Try to imagine an unsaved person marooned on a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean." ("How to Lead People to Christ: Pt. 1")

    Let's return for a moment to that deserted island in the Pacific Ocean that I invented in my previous article. My hypothetical unsaved man has just read the words of Jesus in Johnn 6:47..." ("How to Lead People to Christ: Pt. 2")

    In 1 Timothy 4:1-7 the apostle Paul solemnly commands Christians to follow his example of "Militant Fundamentalism" in "Heresy Hunting". He solemnly commands Christians to "reprove, rebuke, exhort" against false teachers advocating doctrinal deviations like the ear tickling doctrine of Zane Hodges' "promise-only gospel" myth!

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:53:00 AM  

  • As a point of discussion: Is there a meaningful difference between:

    A) Someone who intends to continue in known sin
    VS
    B) Someone who continues in their sin because it's what they know?

    As I see it:
    A) may continue being a prostitute even if a viable non-sinful option is presented.

    B) may continue being a prostitute (because it's what they know) until a viable non-sinful alternative is presented.

    So far as I am concerned, neither scenario should preclude us from presenting the gospel. It's just a talking point as I wonder if Matthew (or anyone really), in his experience, sees a meaningful distinction.

    Stephen

    By Blogger knetknight, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 9:10:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    Here is what I was referring to when I mentioned that Lou has already changed his view on repentance which he will incorporate into the revised version of his book. In a post from September 19, 2007 titled "What Is Biblical Repentance?", Lou writes:

    ==========================

    The following is from the revised and expanded edition of In Defense of the Gospel. The revised edition of my book will be released by the publisher toward the end of this year.

    "Repentance is a change of mind where one recognizes he is a sinner before a just and holy God. When he agrees with the convincing and convicting work of the Holy Spirit that he is a sinner (John 16:8-9) and transfers his dependence to the Lord for his salvation—he has biblically repented. Biblical repentance is a change of mind that should produce the fruit of a change in direction from self and sin toward God. The fruit that should follow is distinct from repentance itself. This change of mind is what Acts 20:21 describes as, 'repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.'"

    The chapter on repentance, from which this portion is lifted, is 15 pages in length.
    ===========================

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 10:46:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    You've quoted several people at various times who you say may disagree with Wilkin/Hodges but don't think they are teaching "heresy". Of course, it's all about definitions, but I'm not sure I would say they are teaching "heresy" either.

    However, clearly they teach a different gospel than I do. If I say that the lost must believe certain things to be born again, and you disagree, then we obviously have conflicting messages that we require the lost to assent to. These cannot be harmonized. Indeed, when someone posted on your blog essentially asking how to be born again, you deleted Stephen's answer. You recognize that the saving message you present and the one we present are NOT the same.

    While we think that you have unnecessarily subtracted from the gospel, you've made it clear that you think we have unnecessarily added to the gospel. Surely you agree that neither one is acceptable. You've also made it clear that you think there are cases where we could actually keep people from being born again because they do not believe certain things that we think are required. Shouldn't you (and all other CG advocates) be bothered by this? Shouldn't you be warning others about our "false gospel"? Why would you sit back and allow us to potentially keep people from Christ by our "false gospel"? If you truly believe you are right, and that people may very possibly die and go to hell as a direct result of an insistence that they believe something that you think is NOT necessary for them to be born again, then why in the world wouldn't you be out warning people of such a "false gospel"?

    Lou is doing exactly what he should be doing. He believes he is right, and therefore does what he can to ensure that not even one more person falls into what he considers (and I agree) a false gospel. If you believe you are right, then you should be doing the same.


    P.S. What in the world is "militant fundamentalism", and how does such a term apply to Lou, or even myself? Methinks you know not of which you speak and are trying to sensationalize.

    By Blogger Rachel, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 2:14:00 PM  

  • According to GES I would be preaching a false saving message if I told the sinner he must personally believe not only in Christ, but also in his death for our sins and resurrection.

    Antonio and GES preach another saving message other than this (believe in Jesus for eternal life). So one of us two groups (Lou, Ryrie, Radmacher, Rokser, Stegall, Bing, Lybrand versus GES. ) is clearly heretical.

    You cannot have two gospels.

    So Antonio can call this heresy-mongering all he wants, but logically, since you cannot have two gospels according to Galatians 1, one of us is absolutely heretical.

    Again, friends or no friends someone is clearly heretical. It’s either GES or it’s the rest. You cannot have two gospels.

    Naz

    By Blogger Naz, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:03:00 PM  

  • from Naz: "So Antonio can call this heresy-mongering all he wants, but logically, since you cannot have two gospels according to Galatians 1, one of us is absolutely heretical."

    Looker: There is at least one other possibility. You are all heretical. (and lost)

    I just thought of one more. Universalism is true and these heresies doesn't matter.

    I'll bet there are some others possibilities too.

    By Blogger Looker4522, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:49:00 PM  

  • I think that 2nd Timothy 4:1-7 is being written to a pastor about his ministry to his flock and is directed to Timothy's influence within the lives of his flock. I don't view this as a general order to Christians regarding how they ought to interact with other Christians (or so-called Christians if they think they aren't) around the world. I see it as an individual (not corporate) instruction which is most appropriately taken on by others in a similar role. Pastors ought to be keeping a watch on their congregations and responding within their congregational ministry. I wouldn't view this as a command for Christians in general to get on the internet, satellite tv, short wave radio or start a world-wide snail mail campaign to refute heresies. From what I've read of Stephen and Rachel's recounting of their church's interaction with Bob Wilkin, I'd say that is what the 2nd Tim passage applies to.

    Since many of those publicly speaking out against what I'll call the simple faith alone gospel are not pastors to those supporting it, I don't think the passage applies.

    With that said, correct away when you are driven to do so - I have and see nothing wrong with it.

    The only problem I see in this whole debate is that it has become far less about discussion of specific Bible passages and too much about those involved and their relationships to each other.

    Jon posted a passage supporting his position and I gave my understanding of it. That is how it ought to go. He and I may not agree, but that doesn't mean we ought to have a flame war.

    By Blogger Looker4522, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 5:21:00 PM  

  • Looker:

    In 1 Timothy 6:21, Paul closes his letter with the words, "Grace be with you". In Greek, the word "you" is plural. Although Paul is writing to Timothy, he expects the letter to be read to the entire congregation. Paul's first letter to Timothy was not a private letter. The epistle of 2 Timothy was also intended for public use. This is seen from 2 Timothy 4:22b, where the apostle Paul closes his letter by writing, "Grace be with you". In Greek, the word "you" is plural, indicating that Paul intended this letter to be read before the church. Obviously it must be admitted that although this was a public letter, certain parts are addressed specifically to Timothy (e.g. 2 Tim. 4:22a, "The Lord be with your spirit". The word "your" is singular in the Greek, indicating that this statement is addressed specifically to Timothy.)

    I have found quite a lot of evidence to support my belief that 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus were not only addressed to individuals (i.e. Timothy, Titus, and various other pastors), but to congregations as well.

    First, we must realize that the Pastoral Epistles are canonical books of the Bible. In his book "The Journey from Texts to Translations", Dr. Wegner has said, "the early church needed to know how to recognize canonicity". He describes how four principles were derived for determining the New Testament canon:

    1. Was the book written by an apostle?

    2. Did it agree with the canon of truth? Wegner writes that the canon of truth was "a body of apostolic teaching by which the truth of other teaching could be evaluated until the written word was completed".

    3. Did it enjoy universal acceptance?

    4. Does it have a self-authenticating nature?

    Obviously we know that Paul's Pastoral Epistles qualify as being canonical. Let us examine how Paul's pastoral letters enjoyed "universal acceptance".

    There is evidence, even from the New Testament itself, that Paul's letters were being collected and accepted as God's Word. In 1 Thess. 2:13 Paul writes:

    "And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe."

    The apostle Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:15-16:

    "and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unlearned distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

    Here we see that:

    1. Paul's letters were accepted by the churches as God's Word.

    2. Paul's letters were perfectly familiar to Peter's audience, even though they were "scattered throughout Ponus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" (1 Pt. 1:1; 2 Pt. 3:1).

    3. Paul's letters were regarded as Scripture even by other apostles.

    In giving you all this information I am simply pointing out that 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus are the inspired words of God and are thus canonical. Thus, the four principles that determine the canonicity of a book are true of the Pastoral Epistles! This means that 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus "enjoyed universal acceptance", even as we have seen evidenced from the Biblical text. Even though Paul's epistles to Timothy and Titus were addressed to these individuals, they were being read to the churches! In 1 Timothy 4:11 Paul commands Timothy to "Prescribe and teach these things". Paul says, "Tell the church!" This obviously includes what Paul says to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3:

    "Remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines" (cf. 1 Tim. 1:5, 1:18, 4:11, 5:7, 6:13, 6:17).

    Additionally, in 1 Timothy 4:13 Paul writes:

    "Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching".

    2 Timothy is much the same. In 2 Timothy 1:13-14 Paul writes:

    "Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."

    In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul writes:

    "And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also."

    2 Timothy 2:14 reads:

    "Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers."

    Then in 2 Timothy 2:25 Paul writes:

    "with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth."

    Finally, in 2 Timothy 4:1-2 Paul commands Timothy:

    "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be reading in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction."

    Biblically, 1st and 2nd Timothy clearly do support public rebuke and exhortation against false teaching, first by the apostle Paul who then charges Timothy to "instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrine" (1 Tim. 1:3) and "reprove, rebuke, exhort" (2 Tim. 4:2), and then Timothy passes this apostolic charge along to his entire congregation through the public reading of the epistle, and then Paul's letter is circulated to other churches as well and the process continues.

    As we have seen, the churches of the NT publicly read Scripture during the services. Are we to conclude (after reading the testimony of 1 Thess. 2:13 and 2 Pt. 3:15-16, and after knowing the inspired and canonical nature of the Pastoral Epistles, and thus that they were universally accepted - even at that time by the churches and apostles) that the epistles of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus were not being read in the churches? This would be foolishness.

    I am by no means the only one to advocate this truth. I don't think I am overstating the case when I say that Moody Bible Institute has one of the best Christian libraries in the midwest. While on campus at Moody Bible Institue I assure you I consulted a plethora of books on this subject and found not one in disagreement with my position. I will quote but a few. Theologian William Kelly writes the following concerning 1 Timothy 6:21 in his commentary called "An Exposition of the First Epistle To Timothy":

    "'Grace be with you;' so the most ancient copies say, though one might have expected [the singular] 'thee' as in most manuscripts and some of weight. But compare the closing words of the Second Epistle. There it is the more striking, because they follow a strictly individual prayer that the Lord should be with Timothy's spirit. Yet I am not aware of a single MS. [manuscript] there that favours the singular, and scarce any version save the Peschito Syriac. The comparison appears to confirm the judgment of Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, as to the close of the First Epistle. The benediction is of few words, but, as ever, weighty. Timothy did surely need grace, and the grace of the Lord would be sufficient for him; but it is the common need, the unfailing support, of all others, who therefore are not forgotten, even in a confidential communication to a tried fellow-servant." (italics added)

    In "The Bible Knowledge Commentary", edited by leading theologians John Walvoord and Roy Zuck, Litfin writes similarly concerning 1 Timothy 6:21 (with application to 2 Timothy):

    "Paul closed his letter with the simple benediction, Grace be with you. 'You' is in the plural, however, no doubt indicating Paul's awareness that this letter would be read widely in the churches (cf. Col. 4:18; 2 Tim. 4:22; Titus 3:15).

    By contrast, you wrote:

    "I think that 2nd Timothy 4:1-7 is being written to a pastor about his ministry to his flock and is directed to Timothy's influence within the lives of his flock. I don't view this as a general order to Christians regarding how they ought to interact with other Christians (or so-called Christians if they think they aren't) around the world. I see it as an individual (not corporate) instruction which is most appropriately taken on by others in a similar role.", etc.

    I do not believe your position agrees with the Greek New Testament, Biblical commentaries, or Greek scholars. After researching this subject I will continue to affirm my position as Biblical. Do you think you can come to agree?

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 7:48:00 PM  

  • JP, Thanks for that reply. There is a lot of information in there which may come in handy for future use.

    I will read this more thoroughly perhaps tomorrow. I admit I don't see how the issue of the realization that 2nd Timothy would be a publicly read document means that instructions to a pastor in a pastoral role are thereby given to anyone hearing the document.

    It is my conviction that Scripture is often "universalized" beyond its original intent by some in order to bring about application and relevance to the current audience. Based on your background which you give some hint of here, I am sure you have seen such things many times. With this in mind, I consider whether this text applies to all Christians everywhere, or is it more limited in scope. Canonicity and public use of the epistle, which I would consent to even without your fine explanation, don't really lead to me to the assumption that these specific instructions (II Tim 4:1-7)were intended for everyone everywhere. (unless the hearers understood their pastor ought to be doing this - in this fashion it could be "universalized")

    Unfortunately, you have a lot here to digest, and it will have to wait. Thank you for your obvious effort.

    Oops. One last question which you may be able to ascertain more quickly than I since Biblical languages are not my thing. Are the instructions in the passage in question in a plural form or are they singular?

    By Blogger Looker4522, at Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:40:00 PM  

  • Antonio writes, "Lou Martuneac seems to think that there is some major rift in Free Grace Theology. He believes it is fractured."

    Antonio, why is there a Free Grace Alliance?

    Matthew, was it wrong for Jesus to tell the woman caught in adultery to "go and sin no more"? Was that a "highly judgmental" of Him to ask that? It seems as though many of the charges of false presentations of the Gospel and high demands of obedience before faith actually find their genesis in Jesus Himself. For example, the rich young ruler.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at Wednesday, May 21, 2008 5:51:00 AM  

  • Looker,

    I understand that I wrote at length. It was simply because I had dealt with this issue once before while at MBI. You brought up a good question. Paul is speaking to Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:1-5 and uses singular nouns and verbs. But I do not believe this fact in and of itself falsifies my arguments. It is interesting to note that the "you" in 1 Tim. 4:1 is supplied by translators and not in the Greek. Thus, Paul simply says: "I solemnly charge in the presence of God..." I believe that although Paul is addressing Timothy in the passage, there is a broader application to all Christians. I believe this for a number of reasons:

    1. 2 Tim. 2:2. This verse teaches that the truths Paul sets forth in 1 and 2 Timothy have a broader application than Timothy and are to be passed on to others.

    2. 2 Tim. 2:14. This verse is a charge similar to 2 Tim. 4:1. (Pronouns supplied by translators.) Here in 2 Tim. 2:14 Paul tells Timothy that the solemn charge has a broader application.

    3. 2 Tim. 3:16-17. As "Scripture" (cf. 2 Pt. 3:15-16), Paul's Pastoral Epistles are profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, not only for Timothy, but for all Christians individually and corporately. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 is virtually parallel to Paul's words in 2 Tim. 4:2!Christians can use the Scriptures of 1 and 2 Timothy for these express purposes, and for "every good work" (2 Tim. 3:17b).

    4. 2 Tim. 4:22. Paul's bendediction is inclusive of Timothy ("The Lord be with your spirit") and the entire church ("Grace be with you") - and by application all Christians.

    These verses give some context to Paul's words in 2 Timothy 4:1-5. Although Paul is addressing Timothy in the passage, there is a broader application to all Christians.

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:29:00 AM  

  • Jonathan Moorhead,

    Thanks for visiting.

    You ask, why is there a Free Grace Alliance? You should do your homework and read why from Charlie Bing himself. In a nutshell, the FGA and the GES have different purposes. The FGA is to connect people, the GES is to inform people.

    As a matter of fact, Earl Radmacher is the founding President of the FGA. His soteriology parallels Zane Hodges. He liberally quotes Zane and Bob Wilkin in his book "Salvation" which came out in the early 2000s. Earl attended the 2005 GES southern California regional conference with his son and fellowshipped with Bob and Zane Hodges.

    Lou is incorrect and misinformed when he states that the FGA was created because of the doctrine of the GES.

    Earl Radmacher, founding president of the FGA, has a soteriology that parallels Zane, and is a very good friend and ally of Zane Hodges, as evidenced by his continuing to support Zane and his liberal quotations of Zane in his soteriological book.

    Lou's claims about the FGA are unfounded and are based not on a scintilla of evidence.

    Do you have evidence to the contrary, Jon?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:08:00 PM  

  • Antonio said:

    "You ask, why is there a Free Grace Alliance? You should do your homework and read why from Charlie Bing himself."

    Would you please be so kind as to supply a link?

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Wednesday, May 21, 2008 7:23:00 PM  

  • Jonanthan, our Lord certainly makes those demand.

    Whether receiving eternal life is conditional upon meeting such great demands is another question.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, May 22, 2008 12:42:00 AM  

  • Jonathan Perrault,
    I am truly surprised at you. I had thought you at one time to be a very reasonable person on the blogosphere. I just read your comment on Moorhead's blog. Who are you to say that someone has a "seared conscience"? I wish you would think about how preposterous that sounds to say someone has a "seared conscience" over a nuance of doctrinal disagreement. I say this to you here because I am a member of this blog and I don't want to clutter up someone else's blog with my opinion of your comment. I already had a say about Lou M over there. You are becoming a lot like him in the nature of your comments. Where is the grace? It dissapoints me!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, May 23, 2008 10:10:00 AM  

  • Rose, you would never "clutter up" my blog - you are always welcome! In response to your charge against Jonathan P. and Lou, I have to wonder: where was that concern for "grace" when Antonio charged me and others with such hateful things in the past? Why were you silent then? You seem to have a double standard for when grace is to be expected in speech. And I suppose I have fallen into the trap I was speaking about at the Moor - talking about tone instead of substance.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at Friday, May 23, 2008 12:43:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Friday, May 23, 2008 1:48:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    You are preaching your "opinion", I am preaching the "truth" of God's "Word" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 4:1-4). The Scriptures are clear:

    "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears." (Acts 20:29-31)

    "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron" (1 Tim. 4:1-2).

    "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths." (2 Tim. 4:1-4)

    By defending da Rosa, you are defending "doctrines of demons", "myths", and heresy. As the apostle Paul pleaded with the Galatian Christians concerning their acceptance of a perverted gospel, I plead with you: "O foolish Christian, who has bewitched you?"

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Friday, May 23, 2008 1:59:00 PM  

  • Wow! The witch hunt and crusade!

    I would suggest that with the same measure that one metes it will be measured back to them.

    It is my contention that some scriptures that have been appealed to might very well apply to those who use them in their offense.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, May 23, 2008 7:08:00 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    please inform us of the "hateful" things that I have charged you and others with.

    Remember, the operative word here is "hateful"

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, May 23, 2008 7:09:00 PM  

  • Matthew,

    I think your answer to Jonathan's questions were spot on.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, May 23, 2008 7:11:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Friday, May 23, 2008 8:10:00 PM  

  • My last comment to "Jonathan" was to Jonathan Moorhead.

    Furthermore, a guest has decided to break the rules of this blog and his comment was deleted.

    You are welcomed to comment here. But you will behave and in Christian character make your opinions known.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, May 23, 2008 8:18:00 PM  

  • J. Moorhead,
    I didn't want to clutter up your blog with what was more on the matter of "tone" - that is why I posted this over here. Obviously, Lou M wants to run things in that comment thread so my intentions were over-ruled. Oh well.

    As to your thoughts on Antonio's past behaviour, my lack of response to it and how that relates to this: I understand that Antonio has been less than sensitive at times. When he made a post here with your name on it I was very dissapointed and you're right - I did not publicly state such. Had he kept carrying on, believe me I would have.

    This is quite a different situation though. Lou has been doing this like a machine for months now. I can't remember Antonio ever doing anything to another person as what is going on here. Lou M emails people incessantly carrying on about Antonio etc... poisoning people against him.

    Antonio's comments and posts from the past were nothing like this.

    Count the number of comments Lou has left on your one post alone. Look at them. Every one of them is meant to demean him and overpower anything the brother might have to say for himself. It really is disgusting to me.

    Furthermore, I have explained myself myriads of times to Lou M and he still says things like I must be a NE or have embraced heresy. He doesn't listen to anyone. He just wants to isolate and kill. I have at times, found myself in agreement with some of what he has had to say, but then he did things that were so hateful it made my skin crawl. For example, Antonio was going on a mission trip to India last fall. While he was away, Lou posted things about the brother on his mission blog and criticed a statement he made in a prayer request. Here the guy is halfway around the world teling people about Jesus and Lou leaves critical and aggressive comments on his mission blog (that was there to ask for prayer) for his wife and kids to read while he was away.

    J. Moorhead,
    Is this really the kind of person who you want to allow to rule the day on your blog? Not me. That is why I asked him to stop commenting on Roses Reasonings. Brian too.

    I leave one or two comments expressing my opinion and then Brian comes in and wants to cast a pall on me personally, once again. This is another thing that makes me vomit. Anytime I express displeasure on the blogosphere for these things, Brian leaves comments of a personal nature against me. Looking at his comment he admits to attacking you, bu then tries to deflect more blame on me for sending him some email. BTW, I never would have congratulated him for "hammering you." If I ever sent such an email it probably would have been appreciating the points he was making as, at that time, he was NON-CALVINIST - which was -and still is- where a lot of my passion lies.

    See the whole thing just turns me off. It is nasty. When unsaved people see how we Christians are so willing to bite and devour one another, they would have every right to wonder why? Why would anyone ever want to study the Bible? if that is what kind of "love" and "wisdom" it produces.

    This nonsense makes me sick. Deabating theology is great, but pronouncing bloggers who are orthodox in their beliefs to be heretics and to have seared consciences is just beyond the scope of what is acceptable.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 7:02:00 AM  

  • JP,
    I am not "preaching" my opinion. I was expressng it. I am sad about your foray into this awful way of conducting yourself.

    We are told to speak the truth in love. That is *not* an opinion.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 7:04:00 AM  

  • Rose:

    I used the word "preaching" for both of us. In itself it has no negative connotations. The substance of your "preaching" is the issue. Your last comment confirms in my mind that you are "expressing" your "opinion" by "preaching". If you feel uncomfortable with this inherently Biblical word, that is definately a concern. In your last comment you said:

    "This nonsense makes me sick. Deabating theology is great, but pronouncing bloggers who are orthodox in their beliefs to be heretics and to have seared consciences is just beyond the scope of what is acceptable."

    Thank you for sharing your opinion, but the Spirit of God used the Word of God. Why not use it next time? It is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 8:45:00 AM  

  • Rose:

    Please read my lengthy, detailed, and Biblical initial comments in this thread in response you your implication that I (and others) are not speaking the truth in love. You will notice that we are actually quite Biblical in our approach as the apostle Paul himself was a "Heresy Hunting . . . Militant Fundamentalis[t]" - in love of course.

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 8:50:00 AM  

  • JP,
    What do you think it means to speak the truth "in love"? I was weaned as a young Christian on the teaching of a man that always talked about "love" being a willingness to tell the truth "even if it hurts people." He really did not love anyone. He has no ue for the people around him but to analyze and repudiate them. He was ever so willing to judge others' actions and worse, motives, as he thought he knew what made everyone around him tick. There was no love. I remember when I came to the realization that if he was right and "truth" was the same as "love" then "speaking the truth in love" would be pretty redundant. So I ask you: what does "speaking the truth in love" mean? A good way to answer that would be to tell me what speaking the truth without love looks like. What is the difference between speaking the truth in love and speaking the truth without love?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 10:01:00 AM  

  • Brian,
    Since you are reading here as well I will tell you that I thought we had reconciled! ...but then you began your sharp comments about me again around the blogosphere a few months back. I tried to ignore it, unsure what I had done to you to provoke the renewed interest in carrying on about me, but you kept on. The written record is there. I did not start this with you. I made no comments about you until you had gone on for several months. To me it was all in the past and I had forgotten much of it. I even forgot how I deleted some of your comments so long ago - that is how much I thought we had reconciled about all the trouble between us. Remember? ...you are the one who started this up again with me. That is all I have to say about you. I have better things to do than carry on trying to come to an understanding with someone who doesn't want to come to an understanding. I have wasted way too much of my precious time already. Just pretend I am dead, OK? The end.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 10:10:00 AM  

  • Rose:

    Paul says: "The goal of this command [that certain men not teach false doctrines, v. 3] is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Tim. 1:5). Love is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5). Therefore, speaking the truth in love in is exactly what Paul says about. Love is not necessarily an emotion. Sorry have to go to Memorial Day plans . . . more later.

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 10:17:00 AM  

  • Have a nice memorial day and remember that you did not answer my question at all, JP. Furthermore, I would never say that "love" in the phrase "speak the truth in love" is an emotion. Never have, never would.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 11:19:00 AM  

  • Rose, thank you for your comments. I honestly don't remember the trinitarian debate at all - either from thick skin or thin memory.

    Antonio, I don't know how helpful it would be for me to chronicle all of your comments in the past, or how many blogs you have been banned from. One of your posts that come to mind is "A Study in Contrasts" or something like that (even your friends wrote against you for how you treated me, remember?). That aside, you have NOT done that in our recent debate - and for that I commend you and thank you. As I said at the Moor, we covered a lot of good ground because of this.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:25:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    As I understand your question(s) to me, they are:

    1. You would like me to tell you what "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15) means.

    2. You would like me to tell you what "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15) doesn't mean.

    These are both good questions and my answers are as follows:

    1. The "love" Paul is talking about is agape love. It is self-sacrificing love, it has another person's best interests at heart, it is God's love.

    So what does it mean to speak the truth in love? It means speaking God's truth with God's love. It means speaking God's truth in a way that has another's best interests at heart. It means telling people God's truth even if they don't like it. It means telling people God's truth even if it will offend them. It means telling people God's truth regardless of what other they will think. It means telling people God's truth even if they misunderstand you. By way of illustration, it means telling people they are sinners destined for Hell and in need of salvation provided by the finished work of Christ on the cross (Jn. 20:19-23). It means telling people how they are not saved (Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5). It means telling people they are not saved by doing good works. It means telling people they are not saved by believing in the Da Vinci Code "Jesus". It means telling people they are not saved by a "Jesus...of the imagination", or an Allah named "Jesus". It means telling people the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation even if it offends them (1 Cor. 1:23; Gal. 5:11). It means "instructing certain men not to teach strange doctrines, not to pay attention to myths" (1 Tim. 1:3-4a, 5). It means speaking God's truth instead of personal experience.

    The Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest example of one who "spoke the truth in love". Jesus spoke more on Hell than He did on heaven. Why? Because He didn't want people to go there. He told the pharisees the truth, and He warned others of them. In love, Jesus described the pharisees as a "brood of vipers". In love, Jesus pronounced "woe" upon the pharisees and their false teachings. In love, Jesus cleansed the temple. In spite of His love, the world still hated Jesus and crucified Him. In this regard, the written Word is no different than the Living Word: If you want your "ears tickled" the Bible is not the book for you.

    Speaking the truth in love means warning those you care about of danger. It means telling a loved one they really do have cancer. It means disciplining your child. It means seeking to please God, not seeking to please men (Gal. 1:10). It means naming names (1 Tim. 1:19-20, 2 Tim. 2:17-18).

    Are we to show God' love and mercy to the world? Absolutely! But part of that is declaring what God has said, and calling sin, sin.

    2. What does speaking the truth in love not mean? Speaking the truth in love does not mean everyone will like us. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we attempt to "tickle" people's ears (2 Tim. 4:3). Speaking the truth in love does not mean we water down God's truth to make it more acceptable to others. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we compromise the truth. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we try to please men. Speaking the truth in love does not mean everyone will understand us. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we accept false teaching. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we unite in error. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we place personal relationships above the truth of God's Word. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we will always be perceived as loving.

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:42:00 PM  

  • JP,
    I asked you what does it look like to speak the truth WITHOUT love.

    I will now read the rest of your comment and comment back if I see anything that helps answer that question, otherwise I will consider it unanswered yet.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 7:23:00 AM  

  • I read your whole comment now and I know where you are coming from. You have said a lot of good and true things in there.

    I still want to know what you think it means to speak the truth (yes, the truth, not a compromised version, not a watered down gospel, but the truth as you see it, JP) without love. What would that be like?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 7:28:00 AM  

  • J. Moorhead,
    I am glad you understand. I don't remember every detail of things in the past either. I respect you.
    Thank you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 7:29:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    I apologize if I misunderstood your question or did't answer it directly. As I understand it, you want to know what it looks like to speak the truth without love.

    Well, speaking the truth without love would mean that the truth is spoken from the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16-21), not the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Paul refers to those who speak the truth without love in Phil. 1:15-18:

    "Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice."

    Paul says that these people who speak the truth without love speak "in pretense". Therefore, I think it would be difficult for many people to perceive a lack of love in their speaking. I think some people who speak the truth without love are very deceptive and put on a good show. Because we cannot see a person's heart I think sometimes it is difficult to tell whether or not someone is speaking the truth without love, especially if they are speaking the truth (as in Phil. 1:15-18). Either way, Paul rejoiced in the fact that the truth of the Gospel was being proclaimed.

    1 Cor. 13:1-3 is another passage to consider in this discussion. 1 Cor. 13 is set in the context of the Corinthians' misuse of spiritual gifts, and therefore v.1 probably refers to the gift of tongues, and v.2 to other spiritual gifts. There seems to be a personal focus to these verses:

    "If I [use my spiritual gift] but do not have love, it profits me nothing."

    So combining the truths of Phil. 1:15-18 and 1 Cor. 13:1-3, I understand Paul to be saying that Christians can definately speak the truth without love. The good news is that they are speaking the truth to others. The bad news is that they are not spiritually profited themselves.

    Hope that answers the question!

    JP

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 8:09:00 PM  

  • Hmm... In reading a great deal here and at Free Grace Theology and at Mr. Martuneac's site and Rose's site and even some at Mr. Moorhead & Mr. Perreault's sites, I see no evidence of love in the way Mr. Martuneac has conducted himself. I have seen evidence of graciousness in Mr. Moorhead's comments and have seen a shift from that to a marked lack of it on the part of Mr. Perreault. And yes, I have seen Mr. de Rosa and Rose lose their tempers on occasion, too. ;-) But I must say, they were, from my point of view, mightily provoked. I have tried to resist being provoked on their behalf. I guess this comment is evidence that I failed. :-)

    But I have to say that if Mr. Martuneac wished to persuade me to his point of view, he would have to change his tone considerably. Hmm... I left a single comment on Mr. de Rosa's blog stating that I liked what he had written. And... you guessed it. I got an email from Mr. Martuneac warning me of the dangers of the 'Crossless Gospel.' He provided links to articles for my edification. I read them. I was not edified. I was mostly just saddened.

    To be honest, it feels more like bullying than debate. I am neither Free Grace, Lordship, Calvinist, or even (I hope I am sensing correctly) Baptist. Hopefully, that doesn't mean I am not saved.

    Sincerely,
    Katherine Gunn

    By Blogger Katherine Gunn, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 6:47:00 PM  

  • Katherine Gunn,

    Thanks for your input. Lou Martuneac is the blogosphere busibody who will answer for such at the Bema Seat of Christ. He is "proud, ... obsessed with disputes... from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, [and] useless wranglings of men..." (1 Tim 6:4-5)

    I do hope that you stick around and grace us often with both your visiting and participation of our blogs.

    The Lord bless you and yours!

    sincerely,

    Antonio G. da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 8:00:00 PM  

  • And Katherine,

    If you can say that you have eternal life simply through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I consider you saved and my sister.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 8:02:00 PM  

  • Antonio~

    I have eternal life ONLY in Christ. I am saved. Thank you. I admit to being a bit sarcastic in my comment. :-)

    I will continue to read here and at Rose's and your sites.

    I consider you my brother.

    Katherine

    By Blogger Katherine Gunn, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 8:43:00 PM  

  • Hmm... pondering the things that have been said in the various threads and blogs on this issue...

    I have a question for those who believe that Antonio's 'doctrine' is heretical:

    There are many denominations out here. Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Church Of Christ, Church Of God, Methodist, Weslyan, Christian Church, Nazarene, etc., etc....

    Do you think that any one (or all) of these various doctrines are heretical? Why or why not? If so, why are you not standing against them and exposing them, as well? If your purpose is really rooting out heresy, why the narrow focus?

    Genuinely curious,
    Katherine

    By Blogger Katherine Gunn, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 9:59:00 PM  

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