A Sidekick's Blog

Theology Thursday: Five Myths about the Ancient Heresy of Gnosticism

June 23, 2017
Leave a Comment

Gnosticism was kinda like the mysticism of the modern-day Charismatic movement, always seeking greater and “deeper” experiences “in the Spirit.” Surely a doctrine of demons!

keachfan

Written by Michael J. Kruger on December 20, 2016

In the world of biblical studies, at least among some critical scholars, Gnosticism has been the darling for sometime now. Especially since the discovery of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” at Nag Hammadi in 1945, scholars have sung the praises of this alternative version of Christianity.

Gnosticism was a heretical version of Christianity that burst on the scene primarily in the second century and gave the orthodox Christians a run for their money. And it seems that some scholars look back and wish that the Gnostics had prevailed.

After all, it is argued, traditional Christianity was narrow, dogmatic, intolerant, elitist, and mean-spirited, whereas Gnosticism was open-minded, all-welcoming, tolerant and loving. Given this choice, which would you choose?

While this narrative about free-spirited Gnosticism being sorely oppressed by those mean and uptight orthodox Christians might sound rhetorically compelling, it simply isn’t borne out…

View original post 880 more words


Posted in Uncategorized

Finally

June 5, 2017
Leave a Comment

Last night my lovely bride and I finally joined a church we can both agree on, and the adventure begins anew towards mutual growth on common ground.


DNC Affiliates Increase Involvement In Seth Rich Case After Wheeler Claims 

May 27, 2017
Leave a Comment

Source: DNC Affiliates Increase Involvement In Seth Rich Case After Wheeler Claims 


Posted in Uncategorized

Presbyterian Again

May 24, 2017
Leave a Comment

I guess it was about 2 years ago that I left a Presbyterian Church in America – henceforth PCA church for a Reformed Baptist church that was truly Reformed, not a mixture of Eastern Orthodox liturgy with popular evangelicalism and secret flirtations among the staff with the writings of N.T. Wright. I explained in a blog post why I became a Baptist. Now, I find myself back in a PCA church – and with the blessing of the Elders at my former Baptist church! Not due to doctrinal differences (which do still matter), but because my bride and I need to be of the same mind and under the same spiritual headship. We had been getting some marriage counseling. Everyone should! It’s very helpful to avoid self-deception and making me aware of way I was hurting my family without even knowing it. At a certain point, because church is central and vital to making the best of a Christian marriage, and because my wife wouldn’t join my church (why is not relevant to this post), I asked the Elders about looking elsewhere, even though I had a vital role in worship there. It is with their blessing that my wife and I – together – are joining with a PCA church here in town. None of the fancy Orthodox-inspired liturgy, no flirtations with damnable heresies, and the Lord’s Supper every week (I have always wished for that)! A chance at real friendships is part of the reason God is moving us there too, I think. It just wasn’t possible without both of us being committed to the same church.

In the post linked above, I cited three differences between Reformed Baptists and their Presbyterian brethren. In my situation now I’m having to give them a second look, especially since we’re joining this new church and expect to be more than just “regular attenders.”

Hermeneutics:

“Baptists don’t deuce,” my former pastor told me in explaining the difference. But to reach some of the conclusions they have reached, they had to have deduced them “by necessary consequence” even though not contained, per se, in the Scriptures. Baptism, for example, which they define as immersion only, forbidding any other mode. In Scripture there are multiple baptisms, and not all of them by immersion. “The Greek word baptizo means ‘to immerse,'” they say, yet I can’t find independent proof of that claim from anyone but Baptist scholars who simply assert it as fact. Applying the sacrament only to believers is also deduced, since creating a type-and-shadow relationship between physical birth and spiritual birth (regeneration) also requires deduction beyond what is strictly contained in the Scriptures. The Scriptures themselves draw a parallel between Old Testament circumcision and New Testament covenant baptism. One of my favorite little Baptist deductions is drawn from 1 Peter 3:18-21, in which Baptists must deduce that “baptism now saves you” means “only believers should be baptized.” Two Old Testament events are compared to baptism (besides covenant baptism): Noah’s flood (in the 1 Peter 3 passage), and the flight from Egypt (1st Corinthians 10:1-4). In both of those events, I say with a wry but sincerely friendly smile, the people of God were sprinkled, and it was the enemies of God who were immersed! Oops…

Covenant:

The covenants of God with Adam, with Moses, with David – are eternal, even though ancient Israel as it was in Moses’ time and David’s time is long gone. Baptists separate them, reasonably so, into Old (type and shadow) and New (reality prefigured by type and shadow). But Christ fulfilled the Covenants rather than doing away with them. There remains one everlasting Covenant of Grace, which existed even before Creation itself, as the Three Persons of the Godhead covenanted together to redeem a people for God from the fallen race of Adam. Type and shadow are certainly demonstrable from the Scriptures, but they do not represent separate covenants, nor separate people.

The Regulative Principle of Worship

Since the baptism of the children of believers is not expressly and explicitly commanded in the New Testament, Baptists are wise to refer to the Regulative Principle as their main argument for not practicing covenant (“infant”) baptism. We are, however, expressly and explicitly commanded not to neglect the traditions of the Apostles (2 Thes 3:6, 25). The validity of custom is asserted “for those who wish to be contentious,” in 1st Cor. 11:16. So I’m not sure the RP truly applies when it comes to baptism.

A lot of Baptist ways of thinking and applying the Word will remain with me as long as I live, and I’m grateful for it!

But – omygosh, my friends – I’m a Presbyterian. Again.


Christianity Ill-Defined by a Cult Member

May 1, 2017
Leave a Comment

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FGlennBeck%2Fvideos%2F10155275081493188%2F&show_text=0&width=400

“If everything that is called Christianity in these days is Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity. A name applied indiscriminately to everything designates nothing.” B.B. Warfield His wife called with a report that set him off, enough for him to postpone his back-stage, dressing-room lunch in order to record a nearly…

via Glenn Beck’s Mormonized Rant Against Christianity — Pulpit & Pen


Posted in Uncategorized

An Apology to the Eastern Orthodox

April 23, 2017
Leave a Comment

As the owner and president of Pulpit & Pen, I feel that I need to issue a public apology to the Eastern Orthodox community in regards to my managing editor’s recent words. In a series of posts, Pulpit & Pen editor, Jeff Maples, took it upon himself to essentially anathematize the Bible Answer Man, Hank…

via An Apology to the Eastern Orthodox Community — Pulpit & Pen


Posted in Uncategorized

One Speed: Deliberate.

March 2, 2017
Leave a Comment

For most of the last couple of years I have worked as a delivery driver for FedEx Ground/Home Delivery. Unlike the FedEx Express drivers who work directly for FedEx, we Ground/Home Delivery guys are contracted to FedEx. Drivers work for a contractor who buys the right to service certain territories and routes. I wear a FedEx uniform but I work for the Contractor. I actually have worked for two Contractors.

The first hired me for a very busy city route and eventually replaced me because I am “too slow.” Even after months on that route, which I came to know very well, I couldn’t get up to 100+ stops a day, because I’m “too slow.”

The second contractor I worked for, over 8 months, couldn’t find a place for me after having trained me on a half-dozen routes but never leaving me on a route long enough to really become familiar with it. Then complained that I’m “too slow.” They waited, of course, until after peak season to let me go.

Too slow.

Yes, I’m slow. I have only one speed: DELIBERATE. I am concerned first and foremost with accuracy and customer service. If that takes a little longer, fine with me. Speed comes later, with familiarity of the route and finding the most efficient way to run it. But mis-delivered packages and disputed deliveries take more time to correct than just being careful to be accurate and deliver good service. Train me for a route and leave me there long enough to become familiar with it, and my speed will naturally get faster.

Now starting with a third Contractor, who supposedly understands my “weakness” and who supposedly agrees that it’s actually a good thing to deliver good customer service, accurately and carefully, even if it takes more time for the first 3 or four months while I learn the route.

God, I hope so.


The Apostasy Continues

February 19, 2017
Leave a Comment

Where do you draw the charismatic line? 30 years ago nobody would’ve given this question much thought because it was easy to answer. People either liked Benny Hinn or thought he was crazy. People thought Kathryn Kuhlman was a great woman of God or a dramatic fraud. People were largely conservative, or charismatic. They either…

via Stop Calling Error “Anointed” — Pulpit & Pen


Posted in Uncategorized

No More Mozilla

February 15, 2017
Leave a Comment

I have enjoyed a three-year love affair with Seamonkey and it was awesome. Mozilla took the old and wonderful Netscape Internet Suite (browser, email client, etc all in one) and resurrected it as Seamonkey. It seemed a low-priority project compared to Firefox and Thunderbird, but it was much lighter and faster for the first two of the three years I enjoyed it. Having far fewer lines of code than it’s siblings, it was small, sleek, and powerful.

Then one day someone at Mozilla dared to express a politically-incorrect personal opinion and Mozilla responded by firing him.

I’ve been loooking for a good FOSS alternative to Seamonkey ever since. Even if I disagreed with the opinion expressed, I would do no less than this, to protest in my little quiet way, the censorship Mozilla imposed on a good man, and the fear they’ve inflicted on others who work there, which stifles their freedom of expression as well.

It took some time to find anything as close to awesome as Seamonkey that wasn’t either buggy or patent-encumbered. The Xfce projects wonderful little Midori browser finally quit crashing on me at random, and the latest version of Geary seems to finally be behaving itself now. It too crashed at random, especially while composing e-mail. K-Mail is far more limited, and Claws Mail needs an external editor to send anything but plain text.

But it looks like the very latest versions of Geary (rumors of it’s demise are false by the way) and Midori have rid themselves of those annoying crashes.

At last I have my replacement for Mozilla’s Seamonkey. It’s sad to even have to look elsewhere, but just on principle, for whatever it’s worth, my little protest.

Goodbye, Mozilla.


A True Church is More

January 30, 2017
Leave a Comment

According to Ligonier, the marks of the true church are:

Pure preaching of the gospel,
Pure administration of the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and
Church discipline.

But of course, a true church ought to be more than just these. It is a place where disciples are made. It is a place where the people become a family and friendships are forged that make discipleship – and pure gospel preaching, pure sacraments, and church discipline possible.

Friendship is absolutely vital. One can belong to any church with these three marks and still never become a disciple if he or she is not open to the risk and joy of forging real friendships. We can call each other “brothers and sisters in Christ” without ever learning the real meaning of the common bond we share under our Father God and Elder Brother Jesus Christ.

That’s the hard part. In every church I have ever been a part of, with the exception of two in my childhood, I have forged no friendships at all. Lots of acquaintances, lots of people that I shared a lot in common with (music ministry, youth trips, mission trips, etc), but no friendships that fostered real discipleship to Christ. I’m lonely as can be, surrounded by people who call me “brother” but with whom I share nothing but handshakes and casual conversation once or twice a week.

I can’t say I ever really learned how to make friends, or even to be a friend.

At my age I wonder if it’s too late now.


Next Page »