Sunday, November 23, 2014

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

INFORMATION HIGHWAY HAS DETOURS

MISUNDERSTANDING, MISINTERPRETING, AND MISINFORMATION OF ARTICLES





Occasionally I read an article with which I disagree. Most of the time I say or do nothing because the writer, in my opinion, has a limited influence on those for whom God has given me some influence. In other words, I don't think they will hurt those I love. Occasionally however, I decide that someone must give an answer to something which could be harmful to those for whom I feel God has given me some influence. I usually wait to see if someone else will do it, but most of the time, they do not, so that is when I decide I must. 

Now, with that as a backdrop, I never go to another’s forum and state my disagreement. The reason I do not is because I want to show them the respect for the Blog or website that belongs to them. I do not attempt to inflict my disagreements on to readers who do not necessarily care what I say. However, if you choose to read what I post on my sites, then I feel the right to say what I deem to be true. It is your choice whether to go there or not.

When people vehemently disagree with me I sometimes wonder if they even read what I wrote. When I disagree with someone I always read the article several times. I then ask a few others, who I trust, to read it just to be sure I am not misunderstanding what they really said. It is so common for people to attack me based upon things I did not say, but that which they thought I said. So, I work extra at being objective to others.

I do not want to make that mistake with others. I want to be honest enough to interpret what another says in the way they intended. There are many "haters" on the internet, but there are some sincere people who are careless when responding to an article. Some are just looking for a fight, while others are looking for right. Having been attacked foolishly by responders, I decided to share what I think causes us to misinterpret another's writing. Here are my thoughts.

1. They miss the point of the message because they dislike the messenger.  It is a sad commentary when we are unable to filter messages and break them down into their least common denominator absent of our personal opinion about the person.  The dislike of the messenger can be so severe that their thoughts are not even worthy of consideration. The true test of an article is when it is put side by side with Bible principles.  Far too many friendships dictate the like of an article and too many dislike the messenger so much they automatically dislike the message.  I love to read, and I love to think about what I read. I fear that few actually think about what they read because of their prejudice towards the writer.

2. They miss the point because of their preconceived ideas of what they think someone means. When we begin to guess at motives we will automatically fail in any observation of substance in an article.  I do not know why people write what they write and neither do they know why I write what I write.  If we leave motives aside, we might actually be able to grasp the thrust of an article and be persuaded to reconsider the flaws in our own thinking.  We are so blinded by our likes and dislikes that solid productive interaction never gets to first base, let alone make it home.

3. They miss the point because they attach a man to a movement they dislike, and do not take heed to his actual words.  I understand the ones we associate with will have an impact on our belief system.  I understand the movement we are involved in will shape our thoughts, and show up in our writings. Influence is real and those whom we love and admire will affect our words. However, to be an independent thinker is critical to proper analysis of points of view and potential dangerous detours.   Movements create monuments and monuments are the end of the movements.  To be swept up in a movement without being able to critique the wave makers is a mistake.  It is the ability to spot destructive ideas that will keep us on the right road.  Do not discount warnings because of being attached to a movement.

4. They miss the point because they are disagreeable and want to find something with which to disagree. Some people just like to argue. If you were to tell them the sky was blue they would argue the point.  It is one thing to disagree and it is another thing to offer a thoughtful alternative with your disagreement.  When disagreements becomes hateful it ceases to be a viable dialogue. I can be angry and sin not.  I can hate sin without hating the sinner.  To become hateful suffocates interaction.

5. They miss the point because they just do not read the article or do so carelessly. Many times people have berated me after reading the header for an article.  Make sure you read the actual article from beginning to end.  It would be to your advantage to actually have read the words.  I would suggest you read it over and over and over in order to get past your bias.  A solid conclusion cannot be arrived at by casual reading.  If you are going to casually read it then make sure you do not comment on it.

6. They miss the point because they have an agenda and they judge everything by their agenda not the writer’s intent.  An agenda is not the problem.  It is what is on the agenda that can be the problem.  When the agenda dictates a forgone conclusion, there can be no growth or correction.  Never concede a papal attitude to writers who agree with your agenda.  Just because, in your opinion, they may be right most of the time does not make them right all of the time.  No one is infallible.  When you become unteachable you are unreachable.

7. They miss the point because they are dumb. I do not say that to be unkind, but because it is true. Some people just do not get it, and when trying to dialogue with some people I often am forced to conclude  that they are just too dumb to get it.  Casting your pearls before swine demands judgment as to what is the pearl and who is the swine.  Some people are unreachable with logic.  It is an absolute waste of time to attempt to reason with the unreasonable.

So, there you have it from one who has been the recipient of all of these and, I am sorry to say, been guilty of some of them from time to time.

Monday, November 17, 2014

PASTOR PAUL CHAPPELL ACCUSED OF PLAGIARISM?






A TEACHABLE MOMENT FOR ALL OF US


Pastor Paul Chappell

Recently someone sent me an article accusing Pastor Paul Chappell of plagiarism of an article “What Kind of Parent are You?” he posted March 9, 2010, on one of his blogs.  Supposedly Pastor Chappell copied most of an article from “Effective Parenting” from “Effective Parenting in a Defective World” published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Copyright @ 2006 by Chip Ingram.  


There was an innuendo of not only plagiarizing, but they noted that the original author was a former Mormon and thus creating suspicion about Pastor Chappell’s association with false doctrine.

Here are some thoughts on the matter:

  • Pastor Chappell was not claiming originality.  The truth is several of us have heard this in lecture form from others.  These men were merely using an outline they had learned somewhere earlier.  It is entirely possible that he did not even remember the original source.  I have 42 wide margin Bibles with thousands of outlines. 
  • Pastor Chappell was using the thoughts and not the actual writing.  He expounded on some thoughts that were very solid.  He did nothing to twist what was written.
  • Those who are attacking Pastor Chappell have ulterior motives.  These people are enemies of any independent Baptist.  They hate personal soul winning, personal standards, pastor led churches, old fashioned preaching, King James Bible position, independent Baptists, etc.

With that in mind may I make some suggestions:

  • Cite sources. All of us have been guilty of not doing this. It is better to cite too much than too little.
  • Be careful who you read from and who you draw from.  We all quote people, such as our forefathers who are not necessarily Christian, but it might be wise not to use materials from members such as possible cults or those who are not who you are.  Those you run with will come out in your spoken word or your written word.  Do not be surprised when someone calls your hand on it.
  • Take extra care especially in writing because much more scrutiny is going to be taken.  Your enemies cannot wait to find something wrong.  They spend more time scrutinizing than evangelizing.
  • Give credit where credit is due in your writings.  To cite another’s work is not wrong.  To not cite another’s work is wrong.
  • Go the extra mile and give credit to thoughts of others in your writings.  We are all a composite of many others who have preceded us.  None of us are self-made men or women.  We all are in debt to those who taught us in the past.  Many times we give thoughts that were given to us.  It is wise to give credit to whom credit is due.
  • Paraphrasing another’s words is still considered plagiarism.  All of us have written things that were deposited into the back of our minds in times past.  If all of us would stop and consider carefully what we put into print it would stop giving our enemies fodder.   I am nothing more than a composite of all of those great men who have gone before me.  I can’t help but think and speak the things I have heard. At this time it would be wise of us to slow down and think before we write. Our enemies are not looking out for our interests.  Their desire is to destroy.  
  • If you cannot admit where you got it then you should not use it.  Too many of our young leaders think that just because those who follow them do not run with FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, or Rick Warren, or John  C. Maxwell, etc., that no one will notice their use of those men’s teachings.  This is very dangerous indeed.

I am not suggesting that I agree with all of Pastor Chappell’s teachings, but I do not like someone attacking him for things that most are guilty of themselves.  Maybe this could be one of those teachable moments for all of us who put our words in print form, especially in this day and time of instant communication.  JUST A THOUGHT!

Friday, November 14, 2014

THE DECEPTIVE DOCTRINE OF CALVINISM

CALVINISM'S DECEPTIVE INVASION



One of the most divisive doctrinal invasions on the scene today is the debate over John Calvin and his theology.  It seems every generation has to contemplate and parley this issue.   It is kept alive where intellectualism has become the god of our so-called higher institutions.  The truth is God is more concerned about the simplicity in Christ and common man hearing Him gladly.

Calvinism is based on the theological beliefs and teaching of John Calvin (1509-1564), a leader of the Reformation period.  The truth is Calvin never thought of himself as a theologian.  However, many others did. Augustine first taught his extreme doctrines and then for about a thousand years no one found them in the Bible, until Calvin developed such a theology.

Salvation by grace, eternal salvation, without works, is a Bible doctrine. I believe John Calvin’s doctrine is a perversion by proud intellectuals who thus may try to excuse themselves from any spiritual accountability of not only going soul winning, but actually leading souls to Christ for salvation.

Calvinists usually outline their doctrinal position with the letters TULIP:

T for Total depravity of the sinner
U for Unconditional Election
L for limited Atonement
I for Irresistible Grace
P for Perseverance of the saints


TOTALLY DEPRAVED AND THUS INCAPABLE OF REPENTANCE


The doctrine that all are sinful being incapable of saving themselves or doing good without God’s help is certainly a truism.  However, it is certainly absolutely NOT true that some never could repent or that God leaves them intentionally without light or unable to be called.

Acts 17:30, “God…now commandeth all men every where to repent.”

Acts 11:18, “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

John 1:9, “That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

John 12:32, 33, “And I, if I be lifted from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”

Romans 1:18-21, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Psalm 19:1-4, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handwork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.  In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.”

Romans 2:11-16, “For there is no respect of persons with God.  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another,) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”

Romans 1:16, “the gospel of Christ…is the power of God unto salvation”

Titus 2:11, “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”


UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION


It is sad when some make election a whim of God whereby he saves some, compels them to be saved, and damns the rest whom He has decided He does not wish to save.  No, election is not “unconditional.”

Now comes the doctrine of election! God elected me to be in the ministry! God elected my son to be my pastor! Election is when you were saved first God commanded you to be baptized, join a local church, tithe and give offerings, and go soul winning, second His election is to put you into and area of ministry to others. In essence election has to do with you working for God. No one is elected for Heaven or elected for Hell. That is as much heresy as a bloodless religion is or a non-inspired Bible is!

When God saved me at age eleven at 132 E. Michigan Ave., Galesburg, Michigan in February of 1957 He cleared my record in Heaven, declared me justified or innocent, appeased Himself, court adjourned, He gave me a new creature, He gave me the Holy Spirit, He prepared a glorified body for me in Heaven, gave me an opportunity to fellowship with Him, preserved me for Heaven, and elected me to be in the ministry.

·      Israel was called an elect nation

 Romans chapters 9, 10, and 11 you find that Israel was not chosen for salvation but was chosen by God to do a unique work in the world. She was chosen by God to give us the Scriptures, give us the Messiah, and give us the local New Testament church. In Matthew chapter 10 all of the members of the first Baptist church of Jerusalem were all Jews. Israel was chosen by God to present the Gospel to the world.

 When God elected Israel to do all of that He was saying I need a nation to give the Scriptures too, the Messiah too, the local New Testament church too, and the Gospel too! God is not saying I have chosen Israel to go to Heaven and all the other nations to go to Hell. No, God elected Israel to do a particular work for Him on earth.


·      A local New Testament church is called


 II John 1:1, “The elder unto the elect lady…” The local New Testament church is called “…the elect lady…” Does that mean that everybody who’s a member of Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, Texas, is elected to go to Heaven? Oh, no! Election is not about going to Heaven or Hell in the Scriptures! The local church has been elected to be the instrument of the propagation of the Gospel in the Ark-La-Tex area.

Israel was elected for a particular work for God on earth. Longview Baptist Temple and every other local New Testament church is elected to spread the Gospel on earth. Election is when Dr. Bob Gray II was saved God said, “I’m going to elect Dr. Gray II to be the pastor of the Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, Texas.” At salvation God elected you to do what you are doing for God.

Here is the question! Your calling is to be a soul winner! Are you doing it? Your election is to do a specific work for God on earth at this very moment! Are you doing it?  

Israel was an elect nation. Elected to Heaven or Hell? No! Elected to give the world the Saviour, Scriptures, Gospel, and New Testament. The local New Testament church is the elect lady.” Elected to Heaven or Hell? No! Elected to give the Gospel to every human being on earth for God! This was not given to “Youth For Christ,” “Child Evangelism,” “Gideon’s,” “Campus Crusade,” “Bill Bright Ministries,” “The 700 Club,” or any Para-church organization. God has elected the local New Testament church not to Heaven or Hell, but to spread the Gospel to “every creature.”


·      The Apostles are called His elect


Does this mean that the Apostles are the only ones going to Heaven? No, thousands were saved and baptized during their day! Election cannot be referring to going to Heaven or Hell. The Apostles were the first ones chosen for a specific job on earth for God. They were chosen in a unique way to lead in spreading the Gospel to the world. Election is being chosen for leadership to spread the Gospel around the globe to every nation.


·      Paul the Apostle called God’s elect


Titus 1:1, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;” Paul calls himself a servant and an apostle with both being according to the faith of God’s elect.” He is saying God has elected him or chosen him to be a servant and an apostle. Paul was elected for Heaven? No! Paul elected to get saved and then God elected Paul to be a servant and an apostle.

II Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Our God does not want any one to go to Hell! Our God does not elect people to Heaven or Hell. He elects people to do a work on earth for God


·      Elect Angels


I Timothy 5:21, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels…” Are angels born again? No! Thus, this cannot be dealing with Heaven or Hell. Angels cannot be saved! What are angels? Messengers! What are they elected too? To be messengers!

Paul was elected to be an apostle to the Gentiles. He took the Gospel to the Western World. The Jewish nation was an elect nation to give us the Messiah, the Scriptures, the Gospel, and the local New Testament church. The local New Testament church is the elect body to spread the Gospel to the world. The angels have been elected as special messengers to help us spread the Gospel for God.

Election is a Sovereign act of God to do a specific work to spread the Gospel to the world for God. If God makes an act based on what you do then that is not a Sovereign decision by God. God cannot elect you to do something or be something you have already chosen. I did not choose to be a preacher and neither did any one else who is in the ministry.

All are commanded and called to be soul winners, but only a few are chosen to be the pastor, youth pastor, or bus director, etc. Just before Matthew 20:16 is the parable of Jesus sending forth labourers in to the vineyard. In dealing with those labourers He said, “few are chosen.” Thus, this doctrine of election has nothing to do with who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell but who works or who labors in a particular field.

John 15:16, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” God does not want you to be barren spiritually but fruitful spiritually. Jesus is saying the being “chosen” relates to the work in the vineyard. Every context of the word “elect” in the Scriptures has to do with work! God has elected you not to be a lazy hound dog! All of us are called to be a soul winner, but some are elected to be the principal, youth pastor, mission’s director, college president, or pastor, etc.

At salvation God took away our sins, decided not to record any future sins, put Jesus’ righteousness on our record, declared us justified, appeased Himself by Himself, declared the case closed with the court adjourned, set me aside for Heaven in the future, regenerated us, gave us a new creature, sent the Holy Spirit into us to convert us, reserved a new body in Heaven for him, made it possible for us to fellowship with God, preserved us by sealing us with the Holy Spirit, and then election is God giving us a specific work to do for Him!

·      ISRAEL WAS CALLED AN ELECT NATION
·      A LOCAL NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH IS CALLED “THE ELECT LADY”
·      THE APOSTLES ARE CALLED HIS ELECT
·      PAUL THE APOSTLE CALLED GOD’S ELECT
·      ELECT ANGELS
  

LIMITED ATONEMENT


This term in actuality means “limited love” or “limited grace” and is a slander against God Almighty. This doctrine is really the heart of Calvinism.  They are saying that Jesus Christ did not die for ALL men.  They are asserting that God made no provision for the unregenerate so they could have a hope of Heaven.  They are in essence claiming that God did not love all men enough to allow Christ to die for ALL.  They are declaring that grace is limited so it is “finite” instead of being “infinite.”

John 3:16, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son” He gave his Son for “whosoever” could believe if he chose to do so. No limited atonement in this verse.

John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” It is obvious here that He taketh away the sin of the WORLD.

John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”  No limited atonement here!

Romans 5:20, Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” The grace of God is infinite, much more than for those who will be saved, even much more than for all the sins of all the people in the world.  Romans 5:20 creates no limit on the atonement.

I Timothy 4:10, “…the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

Colossians 1:20, …having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”  This does not say a thing about accepting Christ, but it does speak of atonement for ALL and a peace treaty to bring to a climax the war between God and sinners. No limit on atonement here!


GOD’S GRACE IS NOT IRRESISTIBLE


The teaching here is that all who elected to be saved will be saved and they cannot resist this special limited grace.  Those will be saved when God calls. If this be true then it only makes sense on the opposite side of the coin that…

·      Those not elected are irresistibly damned and cannot be saved
·     Since God works irresistibly to save or damn Christians cannot affect it
·     Since it is irresistible Christians have no responsibility or burden

II Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

I Timothy 2:1, 3, 4, “all men,” “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Thus it is clear that God’s grace can be resisted.

Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.”  Jesus is saying I would and ye would not! Thus, His grace was and could and would be rejected.  It was not irresistible!

Proverbs 1:24, 25, “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof.”  “…did not choose the fear of the Lord.”

Galatians 2:21, I do not frustrate the grace of God?” The church at Galatia were teaching salvation by the law and frustrating the grace of God.

Genesis 6:3, My spirit shall not always strive with man.”



THE SAINTS DO FINALLY PERSEVERE


The “P” in TULIP is used for PERSEVERANCE of the saints.  If Calvin meant that Christians receive salvation by works then this is foreign to God’s Word. Christians do not always do right for they are trapped in their flesh. Our righteousness is the righteousness of Christ who bore our sins in His flesh.  He paid for all of our sins and gives eternal life freely to those who choose Christ.

This should be called “preservation” not “perseverance.”  The eternal security of the believer is a Bible doctrine.

John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed form death unto life.”

John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

II Timothy 1:12, “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

Calvinism is an unscriptural false doctrine that tends to flourish in intellectual pride and where there is disobedience to the command to win souls to Christ.  It is Satan’s attempt to kill and murder concern or compassion for souls.



Monday, November 10, 2014

ANGRY BIRDS VS FEMINIZATION OF FUNDAMENTALISTS





Sometimes I read an article that is not just dumb, but it is dangerously dumb. Such was an article sent to me this weekend.

Sometimes I think, we as Christians, want to gather around the campfire, hug each other, and sing Kumbaya, rather than standing passionately for that in which we believe. It is amazing that a person can judge a man's demeanor by what he writes on his Blog. He can be called an "angry bird" by someone who has apparently judged his motives and his spirit. I speak the truth and I speak it straight. Does that mean I am angry? Sometimes I am. Most of the time I am not. 

I write usually while sitting in my study thinking about what is happening in churches across this country. I am attacked, hated, slandered, vilified, lied about and treated with genuine contempt by many other Christians. Some of the most hateful things spoken to me come from the “angry bird man’s" followers. It is interesting that I take a firm position that has not changed in all these years yet I am the angry one, not those who attack me? If maintaining a position makes me an "Angry Bird" then count me in. 

Maybe we need more Angry Birds in the pulpits of our country. There was a day when a man that took a strong stand was not called angry, but courageous. I speak what I believe and I answer honestly those who reply in a decent manner. Yet, a man like me is considered an Angry Bird. Why? Because they don't like what I have to say. They are moving fundamentalism to the left and they want me to just let it happen. I refuse to let it happen! (By the way, I am certain if you asked him and he was honest, he would admit I am one of those to whom he is referring. In this case I don't mind wearing the shoe if it fits.)

When a preacher asserts that we are not to be angry at each other, he is deceiving himself, and those to whom he speaks. I get angry when I see Christians behaving like the world. I get angry when I see standards being attacked and called legalism. It's interesting that they they call us Angry Birds because we take a stand for the standards in which we have believed for our entire ministry. 

I get angry when soul winning is replaced by lifestyle evangelism. I get angry when heroes of the faith are minimized by the criticisms of a modern generation of independent Baptist preachers. I get angry when homosexuality is allowed to be practiced in churches across America. I get angry when topical preaching is ridiculed by the same men who say we shouldn't get angry. I get angry when men who turned on my hero Jack Hyles are invited to "honor" him at a homecoming conference at my Alma Mater. I get angry when men refuse to clarify their position on the King James Bible issue. I get angry when we are told to unite with people who have a different mission mindset than we do.

It was anger that caused men like Jack Hyles, Lee Roberson, Joe Boyd, Lester Roloff and John Rice to be kicked out of their local Baptist Associations. It was anger that caused John Rice to separate himself from Billy Graham when Billy Graham was cooperating with heretics. It was anger that led Jack Hyles to be excommunicated from the American Baptist Convention in Hammond, Indiana. 

It was anger that led to many of the denomination breakaways by great men of the past. It was anger that caused men in history to take a position against their own because their own had strayed from their original positions. When Dr. John R Rice was Editor of the Sword of the Lord it was called an angry paper, because Dr. Rice was a fighter. He was angry. 

But you say, "Dr. Gray the Bible says to be angry and sin not." Did you ever notice that people who compromise like to emphasize the end of that passage more than the beginning? Let's start from the context of the statement which is a command to be angry. It did not say sin not by not being angry. The command is to be angry. Perhaps the sin is not showing the anger in any way at all. Am I sinning if I overreact, or am I also sinning if I don’t react at all? It goes on to say let not the sun go down on your wrath. In other words act upon your anger immediately. Don't put it off till tomorrow and seethe over it. Do something about it. 

Again we go back to the premise which is a command to be angry. The idea was not to avoid sinning by never being angry, it is being angry and avoiding sinning. Pacifists love the not sinning part but ignore the be angry part. They ignore the part that says not to let the sun go down on your wrath because they think that means to get rid of your wrath entirely. Well, God has wrath and he cannot sin. What it really means is deal with the issue and move on.

So, when the Bible tells us to not make friendship with an angry man is the Bible contradicting itself? It commands us to be angry and then tells us not to be friends with an angry man. No, the Bible is telling us not to be friends with someone who is filled with anger. You hang around Bob Gray for just a little while and you'll know that Bob Gray is a happy man. I laugh a lot. I smile a lot. I play a lot. It just so happens that there are some things that I contend for. They do not make up my life. Ask my wife if Bob Gray is a happy man or an angry man, and I'm sure she'll tell you that Bob Gray is one of the least angry men she knows. I love life and I live it without being filled with anger.

The Bible says that an angry man stirs up strife. Does that mean that anyone who contends for the faith is an angry man? So, are we not to contend for what we believe is truth if it causes strife? Strife is a part of life, however it is speaking of one being angry just for the sake of being angry. We are commanded to be angry, so therefore we are to be angry, but not for the purpose of causing strife. Strife will come when you're angry, but it is not the goal. 

The truth is, the very article that was written about anger caused strife. It was negative in its tone. It was accusatory in its tone. Sounds to me like it was written to divide Christians from other Christians. I was attacked almost immediately by his followers who wanted to stick this article into my face. So, if we use his logic, we should avoid him. How silly. Truth causes strife, my friends. Strife surrounded our Lord, but our Lord never sought to stir up strife. There's so much nonsense being taught in the name of unity. When are we going to learn to discern what the scripture truly says rather than pulling a verse out of context like this particular writer did.

We need anger. Great wars are won by angry men. Ronald Reagan in anger said, "Tear down that wall." Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death." We could go on and on with such examples. We celebrate Veterans Day tomorrow. We celebrate people who gave their lives for causes that were fueled by anger against injustice and evil. God help us to stop being so afraid of anger, and be more afraid of error.


The Bible is filled with men who stood against their own in anger. Paul and Barnabas became angry with one another. Paul took an angry position against Peter. Jesus was angry when he said to Peter, "Get behind me Satan." The Bible says to “Be angry…” and it NEVER excludes it being with one of our own. In fact the Bible speaks of taking positions against our own when they are wrong. Beware of those who are never angry, for they don't care for their beliefs enough to get angry when those beliefs are violated.

What men of this ilk are saying is that we are not to be angry about the changes they are leading us too, but they can be angry at us for speaking up against where they are heading. They tell you not to listen to us while they demean the very ones they tell others not to listen to. When I cease to tell the truth, then stop listening to me. The fact that we stay angry at those who attempt to steer us away from truth, is what keeps us from steering too far away.  Is the issue the emotion or the truth?  People who hold dear to their hearts truth will be emotional about those who twist truth.

Academically there is usually a class average of “C”.  The reason is because there are certain number of “A’s” and a certain number of “F’s.”  If we want the class average to be higher then we need more “A’s” and less “F’s.”  When great men of the past were producing more “A’s” our average was high as a movement.  Have you listened to some of their sermons lately.  Compare them to the weak sermonettes for Christianettes of our day.  

When I read some of these neo-fundamentalist books and cover up the author’s name, I would think I was reading Rick Warren or Joel Osteen.  We now have a watered-down, milk-toast, and white-gloved type of fundamentalists who criticize those who produced “A’s”. They work harder at discrediting them than endorsing them.  Then we wonder why the class average is so low.  

We have some who are capturing the imagination of our youth by saying disparaging things about the outspoken Angry Birds. This reminds me of the Rodney King “Why can’t we just all get along?”  By the way I am not conditioned to find an issue over which to be angry, but I most certainly am conditioned to see one that is there.

Years ago there was a preacher who was known for his angry challenges towards preachers who were compromising. Quite frankly the man was despised by many. There were times when I even wondered if the positions he took were too strong and too unkind. Dr. Hyles was asked about this particular pastor, and he said, "We need men like him. They keep us in check. They pull us back from leaning away from the truth. They are the ones that stop us from compromising. While I may not always like their disposition I am more concerned that they are taking a strong position. We need them. They kept us straight." Dr. Hyles understood that there are times when we must be angry with our own.

I love my sons but when they disobeyed me I became angry, not to hurt them, but for their good. I loved my people when I was a pastor, but when they did something that was wrong I lovingly showed anger. Anger is a tool of warning. Anger is a method to avoid compromise. I cannot believe that any man of God would dare question the anger of other men of God over issues that they deem to be important. 

We don’t value anger in our preachers, but we want it in our politicians. I am an American! Barack Obama and the liberal Democrats are Americans. Am I supposed to not be angry with them because they are “one of our own"? I am angry at them. They may be my fellow Americans, but I am angry at their positions. I am angry at their compromise. I am angry at the stand for abortion. I want to put my vote behind angry politicians who will take a stand against them. I believe in anger. If that makes me an Angry Bird then so be it. 

Angry Birds unite. I would rather be an angry bird than a cowardly chicken. I would rather be an angry bird than a compromising peacock. The unity talk is a disguise for the fact that these people don't want anyone questioning the direction in which they are going. I got news for you. I'm questioning it. 

I question the compromising of standards. I question the compromising of the music in our churches. I question the doing away with the choir and emulating the Emerging Church crowd with a simulated Worship Team concept. I question the compromising of our preaching. I question the attacking and using stylistic terms to describe sermons.  I question the back room scandalization of Jack Hyles and other great men while publicly and hypocritically endorsing them. I question the lack of aggressive soul winning. It is time for some anger in our pulpits. 

Sincerely,













Bob Gray Sr.
Ps. 84:11

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE?

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE?




Unconditional love actually has some conditions. If you say, "I love my wife unconditionally," are you giving her permission to abuse that love by repeatedly being unfaithful to you? Are you saying that no matter what she does, you will allow her to live freely within your love? Absolutely not. 

What you are saying is that you have given her your love without conditions, however you expect her to reciprocate with some conditions such as remaining faithful. Unconditional love is in the giving. God loves us unconditionally, but then he adds conditions to that love, not conditions to receive his love, but to remain in his love. God expects us to respond to his unconditional love with our own love and obedience, not to abuse it. 

Unconditional love is not license to abuse that love, but liberty to live within it without first meeting conditions. You cannot live your life inside the unconditional love of God without conditions. The person living for the flesh is not living in the unconditional love they were given. "For the love of Christ constraineth us," sounds conditional to me. 

Unconditional love without conditions is impractical and impossible, because only by conditions can the unconditional love be fully enjoyed. God's love comes without conditions, but it's enjoyment is unquestionably conditional.

JUST A THOUGHT!