We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, April 2, 2020

What About Mysticism?


Mysticism is the exaltation of subjective experience over objective truth....  How many times have you heard the plea for us to get rid of our "silly doctrine," and come together in unity?... [Doctrine] is the body of objective truth, the teaching of God's Word.  Doctrine is the only basis for evaluating spiritual experience.  This is why Satan wants to move us away from it.  Without doctrine, all you have to judge by are your own fickle feelings.

Bill Randles, Making War in the Heavenlies, p. 15

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Sentimental Journey

Last week I got a message from a person with a far-left ideology in his religious and political beliefs; he made fun of me and said it was childish for me to have Snoopy on my profile, implying a lack of credibility on my part because of it.

Well Snoopy is a very important part of my life, and is how I met my wife, so I keep a lot of comics with him as a pilot, he’s on my Facebook profile and there are a lot of Snoopy things all over our house.  Now let me tell you the story of how all this came about!

On July 29, 1974, my brother was heading home from Ft. Hood, TX, after getting out of the Army, so he stopped by Ft. Bragg on the way home to Springfield, OH, to take me with him.  It was my last leave (of 2 weeks), seven months before I got out of the Army.  This is a puzzle piece.

A year or so earlier my grandmother sent me a Snoopy pin as you see in the photo above (it is 1-inch high). She sent me that because she thought it would be appreciated since I was a pilot (I hold a commercial pilot license for single- and multi-engined airplanes, and helicopters; I also hold an  an instrument rating for airplanes.) I loved flying and intended to work as a pilot after I left service; I ended up as an air traffic controller instead, but I still kept flying, including flying skydivers, flying Civil Air Patrol missions, and ferrying planes. 

Anyway, I pinned it on my flight jacket sleeve-pocket. One day I was coming in the barracks as another guy was going out, and I got too close to the locker and Snoopy slid up underneath the edge and snapped off.  Puzzle piece two.

How about puzzle piece number three: I had become a Christian in January 1974 and began thinking about what I’d do when I left the Army (I entered active duty 6/17/70 and left the Army on 7/27/75). Part of that was thinking about marrying in the future and I began praying that the Lord would lead me to a wife! (He answered that prayer pretty quick!)

On July 31, 1974 I asked my grandmother where she got the pin, because I wanted to replace it.  She told me she got it from a card store at the mall.  Puzzle piece four.  

Now the rest of the story picks up the next day, August 1st.

The Springfield mall had two card stores: Hallmark, and The Card Cage.  I tried Hallmark first and had no luck. So I went to The Card Cage. Not having the pin with me, I described it to the cashier who had no idea what I was talking about. But a few feet away was Jill, putting stuff on a shelf and she said she knew where they were, having just put them away. So she took the other girl's place at the register after bringing me the pin. 

Just being friendly, Jill asked what I wanted the pin for (after all, it's not every day a 22-year-old guy wants a Snoopy pin!). I told her he was my wingman. 

Of course that got her curious and she asked what a wingman was, so I explained what it was and also said that I was a pilot. She immediately asked if I was based at Wright-Patterson AFB (20 min away) because I obviously had that military look, and she told me her dad worked there as a civilian engineer at Research & Development.

I told her I was a civilian pilot because the military didn't like my vision, but that I was indeed in the military - "A rompin', stompin', dancin', romancin', super-dooper U.S. paratrooper."  Great pickup line, eh?

Well that got her chuckling. I told her I was on leave visiting my mom and was heading out to Denver in a few days to visit my dad. She started talking about how she loved the mountains, and then we talked about various things for about 10 minutes; then she had customers and I left. 

Ah, but now I had a few days in town so I decided to ask her out, and the next day I showed up at the store and did just that. She told me she had to ask her parents and I could come back the next day!  It seems she was 18, had just graduated high school a couple months earlier, and was going to start college at Wright State in Dayton. She was somewhat taken aback by this older guy asking her out!

So the next day I met her again, and we went out that evening after she got off work.  And the next day, and the next day, and I never went to Colorado; spent two weeks dating her! (Not long after this she bought ear-rings identical to — but smaller than — the pin (you can barely make them out in this photo, taken 9/8/74).
When I went back to duty we began a long-distance relationship via daily letters and a weekly phone call. I was able to get a 3-day pass in September and bought a car (a blue 1972 Super Beetle) just to go see her. Got Columbus Day weekend off in October, a 4-day pass for Thanksgiving, and a 3-day pass for Christmas (10 hour drive, by the way).  And then didn't see her again until the day I got out. By then she had transferred to Ohio State. 

I decided to get a job in Columbus so as to be near her. I worked six weeks as a laborer in construction, then got a job with the main P.O. in Columbus working midnights and weekends (until the end of Sept 1978 when we moved to the Chicago area). Of course this made dating a bit difficult because we could only meet after school and before I left for work. Then of course Spring and Summer breaks she went home (1.5 hrs away) so we were back to long-distance relationships until we married on August 1, 1976 — she picked the day because it was the anniversary of our meeting.

Over the years the original pin I had which broke has been a fixture on the dashboard of my VW and then our cars; the one I bought from her eventually broke and became the 12 in a clock she embroidered and framed. A few years back we decided we wanted to see if there was a way to find those pins, which hadn’t been sold for decades, and we indeed found a couple brand new on e-bay. So now we both have one (the photo above has him on my dark blue wool sweater). Jill has also embroidered copies on both my denim jackets.

And now you know the rest of the story!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

What We Believe About God Matters


It does matter what we believe about God, about the Bible, and about what constitutes spiritual growth. Such doctrine dictates how we conduct and live our public and private lives.  If our beliefs on these matters are not solely focused and founded on Scripture without the infusion of human wisdom, carnal compromise, extra-biblical spiritual experiences, and unscriptural demand for physical manifestations, then, ultimately, our hidden life will openly manifest spiritual failures.

Phil Arms, Promise Keepers: Another Trojan Horse, p.99-100

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Emotionalism Cannot Be a Guide


We must judge teachings and practices, and these cannot be judged accurately apart from the Bible.  We must not judge something to be of God merely because it results in changed lives for the better, particularly when it is presented as a "new move" that all must accept.

If an individual's emotions are the most important activities of life, as they must be if by them alone one reaches God, then no person has any basis to complain against any emotion which another person cares to make supreme.  Emotion is supreme and is therefore its own and only judge.  The intellect is enjoined from interfering.  The emotionalist must therefore assert that there is no reason for selecting one emotion above another. The emotion which emotes most emotionally is on its own authority best and most valuable.

Gordon H. Clark, A Christian Philosophy of Education, p.148

Monday, March 23, 2020

What Produces Your Experience?


Experiences can be produced by psychological, physiological, or demonic phenomena.  The only real test for any experience is this: Does it square with the Word of God? 

John F. MacArthur, Jr, Charismatic Chaos, p.50

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Agglomeration

The Good - For Education and/or Edification
Great response to Beth Moore and her ilk.


Was Mary Magdalene Far from or Near the Cross? A Case Study in Gospel Differences.

Who is your Jesus?

The current perversion of John 8:1-11. Scripture-twisting to prepare for.


Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?  Short answer —NO!

HMMMM

More Wolves and False Teachings
The Church without a name; the Two by Twos.

A whole collection of articles proving what a false teacher is Michael Brown.

Steven Furtick and his Elevation Church are from hell.

More wackiness with Bethel Redding. Bethel healing rooms are cancelled due to the coronavirus. I guess you don’t need any more proof than that to know Bethel is a hot bed of false teachers and heretics. And don’t forget that one of their cadre is false prophet/teacher Kris Vallotton, who is really going off the deep end.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Experiences Grow From Belief


We are not to base what we believe on what we have experienced.  The reverse is true.  Our experiences will grow out of what we believe.  And we must continually examine and evaluate our experiences in light of the objective truth of God's precious Word.

John F. MacArthur, Jr, Charismatic Chaos, p.52

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Subjective Experience vs Objective Truth


There are only two basic approaches to biblical truth.  One is the historical, objective approach, which emphasizes God's action toward men and women as taught in Scripture.  The other is the personal, subjective approach, which emphasizes the human experience of God

John F. MacArthur, Jr, Charismatic Chaos, p.36

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Experience vs Scripture


There are two considerations:
1. Understanding of scripture
2. Experience in life.

If one places experience first, scripture gives way and one compromises his understanding of it. If scripture is placed first, God will show how the experience fits.  Our faith should provide a basis for our experiences.

Author unknown