Quick Thought: My Response to Mark Driscoll on Cessationism and the Trinity

Thinking-Man

The Strange Fire conference is in full swing, and clips are being unloaded all over the blogosphere.  The Charismatic movement has met a little resistance and the war is now raging.  Not all the Evangelical leaders have weighed in, but one prominent one has weighed in:  Mark Driscoll.  Here’s a quote from this article:

In a cessationist tribe, the functional Trinity is sometimes the Father, Son, and Holy Bible: the Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures through human authors, and then it’s like he’s been on vacation ever since.

Fairly “in your face”, but not surprising for Mark Driscoll.  Cessationists, at least in practice, are not Trinitarians.  Well, what can you say?  He’s a pastor of a megachurch and an expert theological matters like the Trinity, right?

You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words?  Well, they lie.  This one is worth a million:

MacDonald and Jakes.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “I thought I was a Trinitarian but I guess I’m wrong!” Unger

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45 thoughts on “Quick Thought: My Response to Mark Driscoll on Cessationism and the Trinity

  1. Well, Mark Driscoll strange bedfellow with Oneness. The last I heard cessationist is liken to Atheist. He is a clever man but it’s Hard to take him seriously.

  2. God forgive me if I come off the wrong way, but I just cannot help sensing something sinister about Driscoll overall. Even when he’s saying something that’s absolutely right it still sounds wrong coming from him. He just does not strike me as one of stellar godly sensibilities.

  3. Key word here would be the “functional” Trinity bit. I’ve heard him riff on this before and I think the point is valid. I know in my experience, many hard cessationists take a view of growth, change and the Christian life that jives more or less with what he is saying here. Essentially, what other tribes would say happens through the empowering and ongoing work of the Holy Spirit would be framed by cessationist tribes as almost exclusively happening by or through Scripture. I don’t think Driscoll is even saying that its all bad, but rather highlighting how different tribes in evangelicalism approach the function of the Holy Spirit differently. He’s making an appeal for greater unity in the Church on these issues – in his trademark sarcastic fashion.

    • Anthony, I gotcha and I did catch the “functional” aspect.

      Funny thing is that he says in the article “In more fundamental tribes, the Holy Spirit has two primary ministries: to write the Bible and convict us of sin. Basically, you are a nail, the Bible is a hammer, and the Holy Spirit’s job is to pound you. In charismatic tribes, the fruit of the Spirit is emphasized: the Holy Spirit is the one who causes our character to become more like Jesus’ as we pray and worship passionately.”

      That’s simply untrue in an outrageous fashion. He’s taking American, Southern, Legalistic, KJV-Onlyist, Independent Fundamentalism and equating it with Cessationism. All the hard Cessationist churches that I’ve ever been associated with openly profess and believe that “the Holy Spirit is the one who causes our character to become more like Jesus’ as we pray and worship passionately.”

      • I think Driscoll has a fair point. Correct me if I’m wrong, but cessationism as I understand it holds that the Holy Spirit today no longer performs all the functions we see described in the early church or indeed as Jesus explicitly promised his disciples. In that sense it seems that cessationists do see the church as running on two out of three cylinders.

  4. Since I don’t follow Driscoll, do you know if he has ever come out to speak against TD Jakes’ modalism? Incredibly ironic nevertheless that he could say this about Cessationists with the comment about the Holy Spirit having gone on vacation being a total caricature of the Cessationist’s view. Driscoll doesn’t CEASE to amaze me with what he says even after all these years

  5. Nice job, posting a picture with no context. Do you not know that Pastor Driscoll confronted Pastor Jakes (in a loving Christ-like way) about his Oneness background? Maybe a little research would be good before you post. A quick web search would have given you enough context to show you that your picture is not worth a million words. In fact, it’s not even worth 1.

    • …yeah. He confronted him, then rolled over and let Jakes dance circles around him. I watched Elephant Room 2 as well. “…but I call it Pauline…” Remember that line?

      Did you atch Elephant Room 2?

  6. What I find strange is that personally in my experience (just for the Charismatics reading this – lol) is that I have learnt more about the Holy Spirit from John MacArthur, Sproul, Lawson and the true reformed mob than any where else. If you listen to these guys, and not just at a conference where time is limited you get to understand that they believe nothing happens without the power of the Holy Spirit. They just don’t attribute wackerdoodle theology and actions to Him and it offends wackerdoddles.
    I spent almost 20 years defending what John is preaching against, and sadly he is right as are the others at the conference. I was involved in The Foursquare, AOG and Vineyard in that time and also trained as a DHT (Devine Healing Technician) with JGLM. I help plant churches and poured my life into it wholeheartedly. How do you think I felt when God pulled the rug out from under me after proclaiming, teaching and admonishing those under my care all that time only to realize that the majority of what I taught and believed was not to be found in the light of the Gospel. I was totally shattered and left in despair until through His Spirit I was strengthened, given hope and understood that it all had its purpose not only in my life but also others who may have been led astray by falsehood. My heart breaks for those brothers and sisters who are caught in this and I can only hope and pray that God in his mercy would open there eyes to see and ears to hear.

    Erik,
    an Ex-Wackerdoodle…

    • Eric
      I also spent many years in W of F as a follower and later as a teacher. When I finally realized the unbiblical nature of much of the doctrine, I was grieved at the time I had lost and the error I had participated in. I felt the years were a total loss, yet God has graciously put them to good use. I can now help those within the movement as one who has experienced what they have, and the absolute necessity of sound teaching has been driven home for me with a clarity that I may not have seen otherwise.

    • Eric, I understand. Been there and done it. I was a prophet also…
      To me the Charismatics are the biggest cult bordering on the occult.
      Thank God for leading me out of darkness into His wonderful light!

    • From one wackier doodle to another, I hear ya brother!
      After 12 years in charismania movement God graciously saved me and set my feet on the solid ground of sola scriptura.

  7. At the risk of sounding the wrong way, I was in the late 80′s a specialist in the Word of Faith cult with Copeland, Hagan and Capps as my poster children. I might have been the foremost expert in this country at least on that movement. I was 24 years old and Dr. James White before he was Dr. was then 26 when he had me on 2 weeks in a row on his dividing line program discussing this topic. It was still a weekly radio show. then. I really do not say that to name drop, but only to lend credibility to my claim.

    They have utterly and fatally false doctrines of God, creation, man, the fall, Satan, the covenants, the incarnation, the atonement, the resurrection, salvation, regeneration and the Christian life. The whole name it n claim it thing is only an outworking of a horrifically heretical systematic (yes systematic) theology.

    Point? MacArthur is wrong in his cessationism. I love the guy, but I just know better. While I’m sure very MUCH truth will be proclaimed at this conference and I DO agree that much and maybe even most of what is called “charismatic” Christianity is undiluted jack assery to be sure. HOWEVER, the belief that biblical miracles answering to every scriptural standard do NOT occur today, is exegetically and expositionally faulty AND I have firsthand knowledge of such miracles.

    I mean for example as in born with kneecaps facing each other instead of forward. Unable to walk and a man lays his hands on a nine year old boy who answers the preacher that yes, he DOES believe Jesus can make him whole and instantly before everyone’s eyes his knees move around to the front of his legs. He’s been normal ever since. One of the very VERY few miracle stories I absolutely would swear in court happened in an Assembly of God church in Minnesota in 1979. (No it wasn’t me). The interesting thing is, he told me it was the ADULTS who gasped and were flipped out. He, being just a young lad who had been taught that this is what God does in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, he was joyous, but not especially amazed.

    I knew this guy for a year before he showed me the picture kept in his wallet. You would NEVER imagine those could be the same legs. I have another good one if anybody’s interested.

    • Tiribulus,

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but you were an expert on the Word (of) Faith movement, therefore MacArthur is wrong about cessationism in general?

      After reading the rest of your post, I would simply have 2 questions:

      1. What IS the scriptural standard for biblical miracles?

      2. Why do you think a cessationist like myself would have any problem affirming your example about the kneecaps?

      I’ve witness far more extravagant miracles than that, involving broken bones with accompanying x-rays, and I’m a hard and aggressive cessationist.

      Methinks your understanding of cessationism may not be as accurate as you may have been led to believe.

      Cessationists believe in the supernatural work of God, including physical healing.

      • Forgive me for not being clearer. My point about the Word of Faith movement, which is a central component of charismaticism, was to say that I substantially agree with MacArthur, but what he’s wrong about, or so I thought, was the denial of the supernatural in answer to prayer for today.

        I have not looked into a formal definition of “cessationism” and the ones I’ve known would sooner credit the devil with the supernatural than God so you may be right about my lack of a good definition. It hasn’t been a major area of research.

        • No worries. It’s part of the confusion in the whole debate. The categories are unclear and the sides are somewhat fuzzy…

          …and there’s imposters on either side who only add confusion to everything!

  8. Mennoknight –

    Nice name, by the way. I’ve come to really appreciate the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition over the past years. I had a very close Mennonite friend who served in our leadership team.

    Yes, I agree that much of what Driscoll says can feel wrong just with tone, etc. Of course, even as people like Team Pyro lambasted him for his ticker-tape vision of prophetic words, I’m not so put off by what many in the west call “odd” happenings. I’m always struck when I read in Scripture that folks walked around nude, married a sexually unfaithful woman, cooked bread over poop, Jesus used spit & mud to heal, Jesus sat with prostitutes, handkerchiefs were used for healing, etc. But we all have those whom we appreciate for varying reasons. I, for one, would look to Sam Storms to offer better feedback than Driscoll.

    I think my struggle with engaging with cessationists, at least as you are sharing about yourself (as there are many variations, just like there are with continuationists), I feel too many times this kind of statement comes forth like a get-out-of-jail-free card: Of course we believe God does miracles. All cessationists believe that. But then the argument comes that we are not to expect them, seek them, and any that are out there are not that real. It can feel like a bit of having your cake and eating it, too.

    Still, I was quite interested in your comment above: I’ve witnessed far more extravagant miracles than that, involving broken bones with accompanying x-rays, and I’m a hard and aggressive cessationist.

    The main thing is the caveat “far more“. If you had said you’d witnessed 1 or 2 extravagant miracles, it would seem in line with your overall perspective. But “far more“? I don’t know how many would point to the number “far more“, but this doesn’t seem to line up with the label “hard and aggressive cessationist“.

    Blessings.

    • Thanks for the comment Scott. I’m glad you’ve had a positive friendship with a Mennonite! I’ll number my responses only for the purpose of order and clarity:

      1. Are you arguing for “odd” happenings to be frequent and normal? If memory serves, every one of your examples seemed to occur as an exception (and often singular exception) to the normal pattern of life. I’m probably misunderstanding you, so feel free to clarify.

      2. “I feel too many times this kind of statement comes forth like a get-out-of-jail-free card: Of course we believe God does miracles. All cessationists believe that. But then the argument comes that we are not to expect them, seek them, and any that are out there are not that real. It can feel like a bit of having your cake and eating it, too.”

      Well, I try to follow the biblical example, and part of that is the example of frequency. Miracles were not the norm throughout scripture, and even in Acts the period in which they regularly occured was relatively short (a few decades).

      You say that I’m having my cake and eating it too…but from my side of the fence it looks like charismatics expect every single cupboard in the house to be filled with cake.

      3. “Far more” modified the word “extravagant”. It was not a reference to frequency.

      Blessings.

      • Hey Menno –

        Sorry I was a bit delayed in coming back with more interaction. Also, I forgot to add that my best man comes from a Mennonite background. Again, I’m liking these guys more and more. You’re still up in the air, though. 😉

        I might clump together your points 1 and 2, only in the sense of “frequency argument”. Here’s the thing I think we forget. In Acts, Christians were still a very small group. I’m not exactly sure if we can predict what the number was by the last writings of the NT, but I’d guess the max would have been 50,000 (and that might be generous). Now, think of today, where estimates are somewhere around 2 billion Christians on planet Earth. That’s a big difference. So I think the frequency argument “from Scripture” doesn’t fully follow through, since we’re talking about a gigantic difference. From that perspective, I suppose we could argue that, because the Gospels don’t record an enormous amount of miracles (though they record plenty enough), then we shouldn’t expect so many post-resurrection (i.e., in the book of Acts & references in the epistles). But that’s just it, we moved from one to twelve to 120 to 3,000 to 10,000, etc. And, as John adds at the end of his Gospel, I suppose if we recorded all of them, we’d be filling a library – in the later part of the first century and today.

        Now, what I will add is that we, not you but we in general, kind of narrow these down to an individualized or smaller perspective. So we start adding up how many we’ve seen in our smaller church context or in one person’s life or in our own life, or even within our small sector of the world. But, again, we’re looking at a sweeping movement across multiple cultures, peoples, nations and continents. This thing is much bigger than my slice of the pie – this thing is HUGE.

        The same could be considered with the “odd” experiences. When you’ve mainly got 1 or 2 folks carrying the majority of ministry across the varying generations told of in Scripture, you’d expect a very small amount. How many out-of-the-box things can Moses do? How many out-of-the-box things can Samuel do? How many out-of-the-box things can Elijah do? How many out-of-the-box things can Jesus do?

        But you start moving forward, and you see a larger group begin to form. So, maybe Jesus could be identified with a few stranger circumstances (though I think much of what he did was strange in the eyes of the elite leaders), but you move into Acts and right from the beginning something strange is happening – speaking in tongues not learned and people think these guys are drunk. They must have looked very, very odd. Buildings shaking, teleporting(?), Spirit falling on a family before Peter can finish his sermon, handkerchiefs and aprons healing, people going blind at the spoken word, etc. We’re not even sure if Jesus did some of these specific strange things.

        Now, I’m not advocating we just go bonkers. I’m simply noting if there are 2 billion Christians around the world, I’d expect a bit more of those out-of-the-box happenings than when there were 1 or 2 focused prophets or even a few thousand followers of Christ. I’ve seen some interesting things in my life, and honestly, I think some of them were forced or manipulated. I don’t think this unequivocally denotes any out-of-the-box occurrences as wrong or evil. But I am pretty certain that nice and tidy western evangelicalism doesn’t have the corner-market on how these things are supposed to play out in our services and on the streets.

        In the end, I think we’ve got to consider appropriation of numbers in thinking through the whole frequency argument, even with strange happenings.

        Thanks for your interaction.

  9. I was going to ask for a definition of cessationism myself. I’ve not had the occasion as I say, to question the one I’ve always known. I’m more than happy to be wrong when I am.

      • Ya know what I really hate? I hate it when somebody says: “Well, I can’t see myself as fully in either one of these camps.” Because it’s usually due to the fact they are convictionless weaklings who can’t take a stand on ANYthing. However, depending on a couple even more precise definitions, I would actually be more on the cessationist side. Where I’m not sure which foot goes where is that I KNOW God has stamped his thoughts on my mind. I’ve never heard a “voice” and I’ve never written anything down. Don’t even know if I could, but there have been times that I still remember when I absolutely KNOW he was “talking” to me. I wouldn’t have thought of these things in a million years at a million dollars a minute. Tremendous Christ glorifying fruit has been the result and is still becoming the result in one case.

        Not precisely verbal. Fully formed thoughts, as I say “stamped”, fully formed on my mind (heart?) We speak and write in sentences proceeding in linguistic increments a bit at a time when communicating with one another. This is not that. It’s whole packages of content that simply ARE in my mind. I have been told it had to be demons. Demons that build godly biblical character and set paths for future commitments through which myself and numerous of God’s saints have been blessed with Jesus being exatled at every turn? Still are?

        I don’t know that I’d use the term “proposition” but there it is. (I do know what formal propositional knowledge AND revelation are when used theologically and philosophically)

        • Tiribulus, we actually probably agree on this stuff but vocabulary is getting in the way. I’ve responded to someone else regarding the difference between “guidance” and “prophecy” before, so I’ll just quote myself:

          “Propositional communication” is simply the communication of clear and definite propositions. It’s claiming that God is communicating definite statements as opposed to guiding through providence or directing the conscience. The difference is the difference between:

          Propositional Communication

          a. “Lyndon, this is the Lord speaking. Go to Wal-Mart, buy some MC Hammer pants, and go to Tiribulus’ house!”

          Providential Guidance

          b. “I don’t understand why, but I feel compelled to buy some MC Hammer pants…I wonder what Tiribulus is doing? I think I’ll head over and show him my MC Hammer pants!”

          Anyone who claims that (a) happens to them in any audible, unconscious or visually hallucinatory way is explicitly claiming to function as, and therefore be, a prophet of God.

          Anyone who claims that (b) happens to them in their conscience or “heart”, is experiencing the guidance of the Lord that is normative for Christians.

          If (a) happens and you don’t do it, you’re inescapably sinning.

          If (b) happens and you don’t do it, you’re not inescapably sinning.

          *****

          Here’s another example:

          If God tells me to go and do something and I don’t, I’m necessarily sinning. If God tells me to eat a burrito in front of me, but instead I’m responding to you while it gets cold, then once I post this I need to repent.

          If God guides me to go and do something and you I don’t, I’m not necessarily sinning. I feel that I should eat the burrito in front of me, but instead I’m responding to you while it gets cold. I’m not absolutely certain that the Lord wants me to eat the burrito, since he didn’t explicitly tell me to, but since he provided a free burrito for me and I love burritos, I think it’s highly likely that he gave it to me for the purpose of rejoicing in his providence and eating. If I don’t eat it right now, I don’t have to repent.

          There’s a subtle difference there. I hope that helps articulate the idea a little more.

    • I think I did. Don’t take it personal if responses take a day or two or three. I’ve got a conference a Bible study to write for Friday, a conference on Saturday, and a whole lot of other stuff on my plate. I’ll try to get around to responding within 3 days, max, though my responses might be fairly short and to the point.

      • Here’s an example. I went through an extended period of terrible drunken backsliding AFTER I had rather extensive bible knowledge and had been in the Lord several years. (I’ve been back in His arms and moving forward for the last 8)

        One afternoon (about 12 years ago or so) I was drunk. Having treated my wife like garbage I went downstairs with the bottle of vodka. Pretty much along with B above I on a whim put the Petra song “Godpleaser” on the computer I had down there. I loved that song when Jesus was new to me. I raised that bottle of clear liquid toward my mouth and I stopped and looked at it for a minute. I knew it owned me. I was demoralized and ashamed. The song was playing. “Don’t wanna be a manpleaser, I wanna be a Godpleaser, I just want to do the things that please my Father’s heart

        I started to cry. I hated what I had become. No lights or anything, but I became aware of the overwhelming presence of God in that room. Grieved, but loving and merciful. No communication at that point, but I knew he was there. I yelled at Him.

        “WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME!!! I’M FILTHY AND LOATHSOME!! DON”T YOU UNDERSTAND? I AM NO GOOD!!

        I “heard” deep inside, without actual words Him answering me:

        “I know you’re no good. You’re not ready yet and you’re going to do this the hard way, but I have things for you to do. You WILL do them. Your robe and your ring will be waiting for you my son”

        The conviction was ferocious. I drank myself almost to death that day to escape it. My sat by me as I was barely breathing. She almost called an ambulance.

        I drank like that for a few more years. One Saturday morning I woke up with a vicious hangover. Eyes burning, head splitting, barely aware I was alive. I managed to sit up on the couch. Same as before. No actual words, but the inescapable awareness of crystal clear information I was thinking whether I wanted to or not.

        “As of this day I have made you free. You will NEVER drink alcohol again. I have taken it from you”

        One might be forgiven for assuming this to be the drunken delusions of an impaired mind, but this coming March will be 8 years and I have not had a single meaningful temptation to drink since that last time. I was in such servile bondage to alcohol I could not imagine any more what life would be like without it. I wasn’t even asking to get sober. It was a sovereign work of in which I was the passive recipient.

        I’m almost embarrassed. This is again, it seems a mixture of the 2. A and B.

        • Thanks for sharing, Tiribulus.

          That’s a pretty serious story, and I’ll try to help make sense of what happened for you.

          Let’s look at the facts:

          1. You were sinning.
          2. You listened to something that convicted you.
          3. You were aware that you were sinning.
          4. You admit that you didn’t hear an audible voice.
          5. You had an amazingly heavy and clear impression/conviction regarding your sin.
          6. You ran from the conviction and attempted to escape the weight that was weighing on you (whatever that was – guilt, shame, conviction, etc.).
          7. Years later, you wok up and had another impression/conviction/whatever in your mind.
          8. From that point on, you stopped sinning and have remained righteous in that area for eight years.

          If I’m reading you correctly, then I’d say fairly confidently that it was (b) and not (a).

          – The sin was the drinking, not disobeying what you felt God “told” you.
          – The impression that God gave you wasn’t any sort of command, so there wasn’t really anything to obey…in fact the “message” you received/felt didn’t even directly address your sin at all (if I’m understanding correct).
          – Whatever it was that you felt/heard in your heart, it didn’t actually tell you anything you didn’t already know from the scripture..but it did leave you hanging on what to do.
          – From what you tell me, your alcoholism just disappeared.

          So I have two thoughts in response. One short and one long:

          1. Everyone has experiences akin to that in their Christian walk.

          You’re struggling with sin and God just orchestrates something amazing through a series of events that are too good to be coincidence (like 100x too good). I’ve talked to people, the Lord has laid something on my heart (which really means that the Holy Spirit has prodded my conscience), and I’ve asked them a question where I brought up some pain in their life that they were hiding and, when I asked about it, they almost fell over. When I was younger, in a time of serious distress, the Lord orchestrated some “coincidences” that weren’t propositional but definitely answered the questions that I had.

          Every Christian experiences the providential guiding of the Holy Spirit and the providential provision of the Lord in their lives. That doesn’t make you a prophet, and if the Lord “speaks” to you (like actually talks to you like we’re talking to each other), then you’re a prophet.

          2. I’ve heard that story in Charismatic Circles a lot and it often has a bad ending.

          You’re probably older than me, brother, so I don’t want to talk down to you. That being said, it sounds like you’ve fallen into a rather dangerous trap that ensnares a whole lot of people.

          I don’t know what exactly did happen in those series of events, but based upon the limited facts that I know, I’d say that it sounds familiar and probably wasn’t God talking to you.

          Hold on. I’m not done.

          I’m not saying it was Satan talking to you either.

          I’d guess that it was some strange concoction of sin, conviction, imagination and the prodding of the Spirit that was going on.

          The reason that it doesn’t sound like it was God talking to you is that God never leaves sin unaddressed. If you search through the scriptures, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere that God the Son/God the Father/God the Spirit speaks to a desperate sinner and gives them an encouraging note without addressing their sin directly and commanding them to repent. It’s never “I love you my son…period”. It’s always “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins!” (Acts 2:38). Sin is always God’s #1 concern. He addresses the other concerns too, but sin is the ultimate and most significant problem.

          Your heart obviously knew that you were sinning, but our hearts are really deceptive (Jer. 17:9) and false prophecies in the Old Testament often came from the sinful imagination, not the Devil (i.e. Jer. 23:16, 23:26; Ez. 13:2-3).

          I’m not calling you a false prophet either. Please don’t hear that!

          I am saying that you knew that you wanted to please God, but sin wanted to keep on running it’s course. The conviction that came from the impression that you had was probably designed to drive you away from repentance, and it sounded like it worked. Years later, the second impression basically told you that you were all of a sudden *free* from sin, but not due to your own turning from sin.

          I’m guessing that these aren’t the only two “messages” you’ve ever got from God, and I’m guessing that there’s some subtle theology sneaking in the door with them that you probably would violently reject, if alerted to it and faced with the biblical teaching on the issue.

          Brother, the bad ending that I’ve seen a lot is this:

          People get softened up to the idea of “hearing” the voice of God over a long period of time. They get innocuous “messages” from sin/the flesh/Satan that are designed to distract and mislead, and that’s a sufficient goal for sin/the flesh/Satan. If you learn to trust those “messages” and start giving them weight, they become a source of authority for you that supplants the Scripture. Once that happens, false doctrine and sin start creeping in like crazy.

          This is scary and serious stuff because sin/the flesh/Satan are patient and really clever.

          I know of a lady who got innocuous “messages” for two decades, and eventually those messages became trusted because they’d never mislead her. All of a sudden, two decades later, God “tells” her to abandon her husband, sell their stuff, kidnap their kids and run away because he’s got something planned for her.

          By the time she realized what had happened, her life was utterly, abysmally ruined…and it only took a few days.

          I’ll maybe address this whole issue in a future post when I start dealing with exegetical issues and cessationism, but for the time being, I’d recommending pouring over 2 Peter 1:16-21 a few dozen times. It’s the passage in scripture that directly addresses this whole issue.

          I hope that at least prods you in a good direction, and I’m guessing that there will be some confusion.

          I’ll help as I am able.

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  11. “tale” That’s not very neighborly lol.
    I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been occupied with another guy, who says he’s a Mennonite here: http://tiribulus.net/wordpress/?p=142 A (feel free to participate in the original thread as I request there if so inclined)

    A few quick things.
    The only thing I’m wondering about is what precise terminology to hang on this. I am LIVING the work God is doing behind… whatever label somebody wants to put on my experiences with Him. (and there’s more though relatively infrequent))

    I must humbly assert my at least passable competence in the scriptures (you may be surprised) and would never entertain anything like your lady friend above. In fact, in my case it’s just the opposite. tiribulus@yahoo.com I’ll tell you about it. God will NEVER EVER contradict His written word.

    My sin was more than thoroughly and directly addressed. I KNEW I needed to repent and surrender my stiff necked self exalting will to His if I ever expected to be free to worship and please Him again. I was NOT encouraged. I was in the stranglehold of unbearable conviction. His suffocating holy presence did not further require that He specifically remind me that I was a drunken failure of a Christian, a man and a husband and father. It was infinitely more than evident.

    Let me say this. Something like this COULD be the enemy and my flesh. The devil will be more than happy to get me sober and take me back to church himself if it meant my being even more efficiently deceived this way than drunk. Yes, I do know that. I am no sooper saint, but let’s just say that if you knew me in real life you would dismiss this as a possibility.

    I have a feeling you’ll deny it, but I must also say that I sense a smidgen of intentionally suppressed irritation and condescension from you in this conversation. I am NOT in the least offended nor has it adversely affected my still high view of you. I’m just saying I sense it 😉

    • I changed “tale” to “story”. I wasn’t insinuating that you made something up.

      Feel free to assign a label to the experience, but you don’t have to either. God’s more concerned about obedience than right descriptions.

      I wasn’t suggesting that you’d entertain something so obviously unbiblical, but only using a gross and over-the-top example to demonstrate a point (though I can think of at least 2 dozen people where their divorces came as a prophecy from God…). God doesn’t contradict his written word, but sin/my flesh/Satan is far sneakier than me and convinces me of lies every day (though I repent of the ones I’m made aware of).

      I’m also not suggesting one thing or another about your repentance or the condition of your heart. I don’t know you nearly enough to even make an educated guess. I only offer ideas based on what I’ve worked through with other people in somewhat remotely similar situations.

      As for the “intentionally suppressed irritation and condescension from you in this conversation”, please point me to where that is and I’ll do my best to clean up whatever was misleading verbiage.

      I’m seriously ill, on heavy mind-altering medication, have two children under the age of two, and what you get in my comments is what I can pull out in 10 minutes or less (and first draft). I’m definitely not at my peak and I’m sure that comes out in ways that I’m oblivious to.

  12. “I’m seriously ill, on heavy mind-altering medication, have two children under the age of two, and what you get in my comments is what I can pull out in 10 minutes or less (and first draft). I’m definitely not at my peak and I’m sure that comes out in ways that I’m oblivious to.”
    Well may the Lord show Himself merciful and mighty on your behalf. I hope yu get well soon.

    I was not offend at all and it was just a “sense”. I can’t point to THAT and there IT is and I could be very wrong.

    “I’m also not suggesting one thing or another about your repentance or the condition of your heart. I don’t know you nearly enough to even make an educated guess.”
    But if you did know me well you could? Is that what you’re saying? I sure hope so, because despite what the tolerant non judgmental functional universalists of today try to tell us, yes it IS possible in very many cases to know with practical certainty that someone has never met Jesus for real.

  13. Scott says: ” if there are 2 billion Christians around the world,”
    If the scriptures are to be taken seriously at all, I doubt if 20% of those people have actually been raised from death in sin to new life in Christ, but that’s another topic.

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