Heaven is For Real: Is Discernment Dead?

lemke

We have good reason to believe that discernment is floating dead atop the surface of the wide stream of American evangelicalism like a bloated corpse drifting with the current. As far as that goes, discernment may not be dead in America’s largest denomination, but it is certainly dying. An example for your consideration…

Dr. Steve Lemke, who can be seen here arguing the not-so-Traditionalist position in this PBS segment on Calvinism, is professor of religion and philosophy and serves as provost at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (SBC). According to the NOBTS website, Lemke’s teaching specialties include world religions, historical theology, soteriology and eschatology. In other words, Dr. Lemke is a learned man. And certainly, studying and teaching in the fields of theology, soteriology, and eschatology would make one well enough aware of the monumental Biblical challenges to the basic precept of Heaven is For Real and its subsequent assertions throughout. And to be charitable, Dr. Lemke says that he’s not read the book – and yet he all-the-more disturbingly seems to endorse it as providing “at least some evidence for there being ‘the other side’.”

He then credits ‘Gary H.’ from the bastion of sound theological teaching that is Liberty University. “Gary H” is Gary Habermas, apologist and professor at Liberty University. Interestingly enough, the director for the upcoming film Heaven is For Real recently spoke at Liberty University.

Visiting Liberty on March 26, director Randall Wallace spoke at their “convo” worship service and screened the film for the students. Wallace was originally only supposed to speak at the student assembly and show the film later to a few administrators, but students were so very excited by Wallace’s talk that Jerry Falwell Jr. invited eleven-hundred students to view the film also. The film is set to go public on April 16. The goal for the movie, as stated by Wallace, is to “put the nation back on track.”

However, the details of the book ought to strictly and immediately raise the red flag of discernment for even the most elementary of Christians – let alone those serving as provost of Southern Baptist seminaries. As the Berean Call points out, certain of the child’s supposed experiences (angels singing Jesus Loves Me to him; his sitting on Jesus’ lap; meeting John the Baptist and the angel, Gabriel; petting Jesus’ rainbow-colored horse, his descriptions of Jesus’ wounds and attire, including a crown with a pink diamond that Jesus wore, etc.), others are theologically problematic.

The child also describes everyone having wings, indistinguishable from angels. This might be expected from a child giving an image of Heaven from their fanciful imagination, but it is hardly acceptable from the vantage-point of Scripture. But instead of opining on the absolute ridiculous and unscriptural notion of returning from Heaven found in Heaven is For Real, just consider this clip from my friend, Justin Peters, discussing this on Brannon Howse’s program.

Now, keep in mind that the Apostle Paul speaks of himself “being caught up in the third Heaven” in 2 Corinthians 12:2 – and what does not follow is the Apostle Paul then explaining to us the interior decoration of Heaven, Jesus’ horse of many colors, or any other aspect of Heaven that God chose to not reveal in the written revealed Word of God. Neither was the Apostle Paul receiving this vision as an accidental, premature visit to Heaven from a near-death experience. Maybe we should take a hint.

What’s forgotten is that Burpo’s book (and Wallace’s movie by the same name, Heaven is for Real) is nothing new, novelty, or unique. Phil Johnson gives a good list of books with similar testimonies that have become so prominent in the evangelical marketplace that Tim Challies has come to call the genre “Heaven Tourism.” Johnson gives the list including My Journey to Heaven: What I Saw and How It Changed My Life, by Marvin J. Besteman; Flight to Heaven: A Plane Crash . . .A Lone Survivor . . .A Journey to Heaven—and Back, by Dale Black; To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story, by Mary Neal; 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life, by Don Piper; Nine Days In Heaven, by Dennis Prince; 23 Minutes In Hell: One Man’s Story About What He Saw, Heard, and Felt in that Place of Torment, by Bill Wiese.

Johnson writes:

This is not a totally new phenomenon…What’s different about the current crop of afterlife testimonies is that they are being eagerly sought and relentlessly cranked out by evangelical publishers…

These books are coming out with such frequency that it is virtually impossible to read and review them all. But that shouldn’t even be necessary. No true evangelical ought to be tempted to give such tales any credence whatsoever, no matter how popular they become. One major, obvious problem is that these books don’t even agree with one another. They give contradictory descriptions of heaven and thus cannot possibly have any cumulative long-term effect other than the sowing of confusion and doubt.

Johnson continues…

Why Christians who profess to believe the Bible would find these stories the least bit compelling is an utter mystery, but it is a sure sign that many in the evangelical movement have abandoned their evangelical convictions. Specifically, they have relinquished the principle of sola Scriptura and lost their confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture. Why else would they turn from clear biblical teaching on heaven and seek an alternative view in mystical experiences that bear no resemblance to what Scripture tells us?…

Evangelical readers’ discernment skills are at an all-time low, and that is why books like these proliferate. Despite the high profile, high sales figures, and high dollar amounts Christian publishers can milk from a trend such as this, it doesn’t bode well for the future of Christian publishing—or for the future of the evangelical movement.

Johnson is right. And one more thing – it certainly doesn’t bode well for Southern Baptists (or in particular, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) that its leaders haven’t rejected outright the premise of Heaven is For Real from the onset. It was only a few years ago that the Montana Southern Baptist Convention brought in Don Piper to shill his book, Ninety Minutes in Heaven. The problem is pandemic.

At the heart of it, our infatuation for these extra-biblical revelations don’t merely speak of our lack of discernment (although that’s frightening enough). Our infatuation for these extra-biblical revelations speak of our disinterest and disenchantment with the sufficient, written Word of God.

 

 

 

 


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151 Responses

  1. sethdunn88 says:

    Lemke is clearly talking about Near Death Experiences in general as evidence for the other side. He makes reference to Gary Habermas who has spoken at NOBTS about NDEs twice within the last couple of years. He is not endorsing Burpo’s experience in this statement.

    You should edit or retract.

  2. JD Hall says:

    Yeah. No. When someone asks you for your opinion about a clearly heretical book, you do not respond with “it does seem to provide some evidence for there being the other side.” You respond with, “…that book, and indeed the very concept, is dangerous.”

  3. chapmaned24 says:

    I think that the only thing that is dangerous here is not believing the child.

    • JD Hall says:

      Not believing we all have wings in Heaven? Heaven help us. Discernment may be dead after all.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        The child and his parents were on Fox and Friends yesterday morning. What frustrated the child is that no one believed him. I think you need to re-think your “theological” thinking, and humble yourself to this child and listen to him. Children are closer to God than adults are…that, I can assure you. I was raised in the “children should be seen and not heard” generation. I always hated that. Children have something to say, and the grown ups are too self centered to realize that.

      • JD, come on You gotta believe the boy over scripture, I mean experience trumps scripture right? I mean he is frustrated that people don’t believe him….. discernment is limping and dead in a few places….

  4. chapmaned24 says:

    What you are doing is calling the child a liar. That, to me, is dangerous.

  5. chapmaned24 says:

    @woodlandbaptist,
    What do you mean “over scripture”? We live in a society today that isn’t mentioned in scripture either. I guess that you don’t believe in computers, since, of course, it isn’t mentioned in scripture. Come to think of it, neither is Chalupa’s, or Toyota’s.

    But, if you really did know scripture, you would KNOW that we are a spirit, dressed in a body, and that the spirit, which is YOU, exists apart from the body at death. That is in the Bible very clearly and abundantly.

    Where do you go when you die? Just because the Apostle Paul did not describe what he saw, to the Corinthians does not mean that he didn’t tell others. He just chose not to write it down.

    We all know that Lazarus was raised from the dead. Why is Lazarus’ memoirs not written somewhere? Not a smidgen of Lazarus talking to anyone prior to his death, nor after he rose from the dead. Do you think that his experience is worthless as well? I’m sure that he spoke to people about his experience. But, since it isn’t written in the Bible, then you think that it is theologically unsound that he even had an experience?

    You people just have a lack of faith in the things that YOU cannot see with your own eyes. You are all doubting Thomas’. You have to see for yourself to believe it.

    I believe the child over you people, for sure.

  6. JD Hall says:

    You can believe that child over me ALL DAY LONG and it won’t at all offend me. But what you’re doing is believing the child over the written, revealed Word of God. So, here are some thoughts.

    1. It’s absurd to take the position “kids don’t lie.”
    2. It’s absurd not to consider that the parents are feeding this kid thoughts to for fame or notoriety (preacher’s son).
    3. You ask “why is Lazarus’ memoirs not written somewhere?” Bingo. What about Paul, who was transported to the third Heaven? Apparently, the Holy Spirit did not permit these men to entertain us with their adventures in the Great Beyond. Take a hint. And yet, Burpo is the one chosen by God to reveal the inner workings of Heaven to us? Forgive me for being incredulous.
    4. You castigate us for not having the same “faith” in the writings of this boy’s father and we should deserve for not having faith in the written Word of God. I’m not commanded to have faith in the writings of mere men. This is why yours is a Sufficiency problem.
    5. I (and others denying this abject and total nonsense) don’t lack faith in things we cannot see – I believe Jonah was swallowed by the whale and God carried Noah through the flood. I believe Jesus rose from the dead. I believe in lots of things – given me in Scripture – that I cannot see.

    So, here’s the thing – what I want you to do, instead of speaking emotionally (which you are doing), is to think analytically while watching Justin Peter’s video above and ask yourself if a testimony such as Burpo’s is flush with what we know in Scripture. At the end of the day it is the Bible – and not your emotional sensitivities, wishful thinking, hopeful optimism and general trust in the disposition of children that must settle matters of theology.

  7. chapmaned24 says:

    So, J. D. Hall, it must be recorded in the Bible before you believe it? You believe that Jesus rose from the dead, etc, because it is written in the Bible. I have no problem with that. But what about the things that happened that are not written in the Bible? You default to, “If it’s not written, I don’t believe it” mentality. I am glad that you don’t get offended, and I might add that I am not being emotional. No, J. D., I am being “spiritual”, while you want to be carnal.

    You want me to be analytical? What are the first 4 letters of that word? Being analytical isn’t being spiritual. It’s being carnal. There is much in the Bible that many claim that isn’t in the Bible. You claim that Paul “Neither was the Apostle Paul receiving this vision as an accidental, premature visit to Heaven from a near-death experience”.

    Not according to other experts in the field. He was stoned to death and dragged out of town 14 years prior to his “vision” of the third heaven, called Paradise. I know a man in Christ above 14 years ago…that was Paul’s stoning to DEATH and dragged out of town.

    He just never wrote his description down, so you don’t believe the child because you can’t read Paul’s description? How absurd. Paul wasn’t even going to mention that in the 12th Chapter, but in Chapter 11, he decided to engage in a little bit of FOLLY.

    Spiritual things are invisible. You cannot see it with eyes. If you don’t see it, you don’t believe it.

    Again, I believe an uneducated child over the educated experts any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

  8. JD Hall says:

    It must be recorded in Scripture for me to be required to believe it, and it must flush with Scripture for me to be allowed to believe it. I believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture, therefore this business is the very essence of chasing after myths (purported truths we can’t verify from Scripture) forbidden in 2 Timothy 4:4.

    By the way, I could convince my ten year old that she once visited Disney Land.

  9. chapmaned24 says:

    @woodlandbaptist,

    You have yet to lay out proof that he “contradicted” scripture.

    I’d love for you to have a near death experience, describing what you saw, and having the religious experts disagree with you. Then you might have empathy on the child.

    Some religious experts chalk it all up to a drug induced hallucination. I don’t believe those experts, either. I believe the testimony of the one who went thru the experience. You have the burden of proving the child wrong.

    Then, go tell the child that he is a liar. Accuse the child face to face. See what his answer to you is. I dare you.

    • My oh my…. read the scriptures that declare what heaven and Christ look like. He contradicts that. Along with a host of other theological problems I am sure you can locate yourself. No I don’t have the burden of proving a little boy with a big imagination wrong about a rainbow horse (oops. Isn’t that white in scripture) and unbibkical description of us having angle wings ( we will look like Christ not angels) etc etc.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Qutoe the scritpure woodland. You have not proven anything. You are the one calling the child a liar without proof. Yes, you have to prove it.

        Besides, Jesus said:
        Matthew 22:30
        For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

        What do angels look like to you?

        2 Kings 2:10-12
        10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

        11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

        12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.

        2 Kings 6:17
        And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

        In order for you to see the invisible, God must unblind you to see.

        I am quite certain that you would have called Elisha a liar, as well, laughing at his imagination about horses and chariots of fire.

        • No I wouldn’t call Elijah a liar because unlike the little boy his visions were recorded by God in this thing called the Bible …. and I am not doing your scripture homework for you if you can’t find where it describes heaven and Jesus too bad….the boy is either lying or being led to lie or is imagining or could well certainly have dreamed it. But his story does contridoct scripture….start in this book called Revelation …. its the last one there.

  10. chapmaned24 says:

    Well, J. D., Jesus said that he has much more to teach, but the Apostles just weren’t ready to hear it now. Also John said that not everything that Jesus did was recorded in scripture, and that if it was, it would take volumes of books to record them.

    So, I cannot conclude your “sufficiency” of scripture to tell the whole story. Some are allowed to see things that you are not allowed to see. And, I thank God that you cannot see the invisible. You are way too carnal for me.

  11. chapmaned24 says:

    Oh, and J. D., I would love for you to acknowledge that others do indeed believe that Paul had a Near Death Experience.

    You sort of skipped over that in your responses.

    Your statement that Paul did not have an NDE contradicts other claims that he did indeed have an NDE.

    Please acknowledge…for the record.

  12. JD Hall says:

    If you believe Paul had a near death experience, again, you are believing things not in the Text for no reason other than your fanciful imagination. And please consider, you’re calling me “carnal” not because I disbelieve the sufficient Word of God, but because I don’t believe the testimony of a family shilling a book. But in your latest post, again, you are bold in attacking the concept of sufficiency – may the world be witness to why this is an important debate. Also, you need a better church.

  13. chapmaned24 says:

    J. D. Hall, and Born,

    That is why we call it “NEAR DEATH”, rather than death. Besides, Lazarus was DEAD, and Jesus said so, before he raised Lazarus from the dead.

    John 11:14
    Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

    Was Lazarus Judged, Born? Obviously, your reference isn’t complete. In addition, there are other near death experiences listed in the Bible that Jesus raised from the dead, and Elijah also raised a boy from the dead.

    Were they all judged, Born?

    Just because their experiences were not recorded of what took place during their death does not negate out an experience.

    I will answer J. D. in this as well.

    If you read Jonah in the SPIRITUAL and stop thinking in the carnal realm, you will see that Jesus had an experience during his death. You will also find the same exhaustive description in 2 Samuel 22 and Psalms 18.

    And what is extremely funny is when I hear people like you assert such things as “nowhere in the bible will you find…”, when a more spiritual person has no problem in finding it. Only the carnal folks have a problem. Paul admonished the Corinthians of being too carnal and not spiritual enough for his taste.

    Besides, MANY theologians believe that Paul had a near death experience.

    Acts 14:19
    And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

    There is only one purpose to being stoned, and it has nothing to do with Mary Jane. That is the “biblical” reference that the theologians use.

    It’s in the Bible, J. D., so I believe it.

    You cannot see the invisible, J.D., unless God allows you to.

    I dare you to seek out this child and call him a liar to his face. I’ll bet you don’t have the guts. Chicken.

  14. chapmaned24 says:

    Woodland,

    You haven’t proven a thing. You are just all talk and no proof. You are accusing a child of being a liar without evidence.

    If you are prosecuting, the judge would throw your case out the window. At least the Devil had the guts to quote scripture to Jesus. He lost his case, but at least he tried. You show biblical ignorance if you can’t. It’s ironic that the Devil knows scripture, and you don’t. All you can say is that it is contradictory, without showing the contradiction, telling me to look it up. Dude, I know the Bible very well. I can scripture whip you any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. The only problem is, you don’t know scripture.

    • Nope…. actually you are mistaken ….along with being delusional read….adios

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Nope, woodland, you are a pastor that has no clue. When you die, you will see that all of your exegesis stuff was all for not. Exegesis is for the carnal folks. The spiritual stuff is hidden and must be dug up, and is not easily found. It is treasure.

        You are judging a little boy that you don’t even know. May God judge you with the same judgment.

        • JD Hall says:

          “Exegesis is for the carnal folks. The spiritual stuff is hidden and must be dug up, and is not easily found. It is treasure.”

          Please, please I beg you – find a church to disciple you.

        • The little boy no doubt is influenced by his parents and his imagination. Anything he says that is contrary to scripture is wrong, period. You do s lot of bragging and puffing up of yourself and make some mighty big claims against someone you have had a little interaction with on s blog which is great assumption on your part. “Dude”? You go on tooting your super spiritual horn and your charasmaniac unscriptural talk. And I’m not taking your bait to show you scriptures for it would most definatly be throwing pearls to a hog. Have a gods imagination day there sponge bob

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Woodland,

        You had said:
        “No I wouldn’t call Elijah a liar because unlike the little boy his visions were recorded by God in this thing called the Bible”

        My response:

        From the moment of the incident until the moment that it was written down in a Bible, yes you would have called Elisha a liar, and laughed at him.

        • JD Hall says:

          The difference is, we believe the Scripture is sufficient and therefore the cannon of revelation is closed. You are defending the parent’s vision as though it were inspired Writ. That is very, very, very disturbing.

  15. Sandy Manning says:

    JD, we are in a world of mess, aren’t we? I am stunned by the lack of discernment and the lack of understanding of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. The canon is closed and any “experiences” like visits to heaven or visions or “words” from the Lord contradict that. The WOF and NAR movements have entered the mainstream and this is what we get. The Seeker driven/Purpose driven movements have allowed people who aren’t qualified as pastors to bring their “leadership development emphasis” into the church and play fast and loose with the Scriptures so they can appeal to the goats. I went around and around with some people just yesterday about the problems of the Noah movie which they all thought was just great and very Biblical. What?! So I feel your pain. Maybe the commenters will go off on me for a bit and give you a reprieve!

    • Amen, and I have an assumption that one particular one here is not willing to submit to a local church because He knows more than even Gods revealed Word

      • chapmaned24 says:

        I submit to God…not man. Besides…I regularly go to two church’s on Sunday’s…not just one. Submit? That’s bondage. Christ set me free. I submit to Christ…not Church.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        JD

        Mark 10:41-43

        New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

        41 The other ten disciples heard about it. They became angry at James and John.

        42 Jesus called them together. He said, “You know about those who are rulers of the nations. They hold power over their people. Their high officials order them around. 43 Don’t be like that. Instead, anyone who wants to be important among you must be your servant.

        Jesus is my Shepherd. I shall not want. Jesus saves. Not man. Man is a mentor, not an authority freak.

        Luke 22:24-26

        New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

        24 They also started to argue. They disagreed about which of them was thought to be the most important person.

        25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the nations hold power over their people. And those who order them around call themselves Protectors. 26 But you must not be like that. Instead, the most important among you should be like the youngest. The one who rules should be like the one who serves.

        1 Peter 5:3
        Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.

        Obviously, your reference of Hebrews is discussing something totally different than what you present it as. You are not to lordship anything over any of those people that you watch over. You are supposed to serve them, by being a SPIRITUAL MENTOR, but you people wish to be a CARNAL all about rules and regulations power hungry fools. You people are supposed to be SPIRITUALLY WISE…not carnally minded. NEVER lord over anyone.

        This isn’t the first time that I have debated that reference. Male reformers have an ego problem, and so they want to control people. When you say the word “disciple”, what YOU really mean is discipline. I am sure that you are gung ho on discipline.

        Crack that whip, massa.

        • JD Hall says:

          First, you didn’t address Hebrews. You chose other Scriptures you think contradict Hebrews. This is sad, and speaks to your inability to use Scripture in the proper way.

          Secondly, you have made it very clear that you believe the Sufficiency of Scripture is “carnal.” I’m guessing that the two churches you go to are Word of Faith and charismatic, feeding you extra biblical revelation and shaming you with titles of “naysayer” and “backbiter” and “carnal” if you don’t believe their fanciful imaginations and additions to God’s revelation. Again, you butcher the Scripture and attack the very concept of church discipline – and no doubt tear pages out of the Word of God to do so in the process. Yes, my church does discipline. It’s an actual church. Real churches do discipline. For example, you would be disciplined for being lost and we would hand you over to satan, so that you could be taught.

      • Oopsy…..you forgot the verse before..1 Peter 5:2 KJV

        Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Likewise JD, you didn’t address my lordship references either.

        Jesus was tempted of the devil by quoting scripture. How did Jesus respond? By addressing the reference, or by quoting other scripture?

        No, JD, I believe that you are carnally minded. I do not believe that you are spiritual in any way, shape, or form.

        1 Corinthians 14:26
        How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

        A what? A revelation? Oh my. God forbid revelation, especially if that revelation isn’t already written. You people are very strange.

        Crack that whip, Massa.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        The word discipline is not even in the Bible, for you, oh, so, Bible is sufficient folks.

        Matthew 18 is all about forgiveness…if the person admits sin (BUT 2 OR THREE WITNESSES MUST CONVICT, IF PERSON DENIES THE CHARGE). How many witnesses do you require? ONE?

        The only recourse is to kick them out of the church, not discipline. Not stand in a corner, standing on one leg. And who decides? The pastor and elder board? NO…the WHOLE CHURCH BODY decides as a group. You people take that authority thing way too far from a biblical stand point.

        Discipline is NOT in the Bible for any Christian church member. Forgive, or kick out. Those are your only two choices.

        • JD Hall says:

          “Matthew 18 is all about forgiveness.” Did you miss the part where he’s kicked out of church? That’s what’s called “discipline.” I’ve never heard of a church making someone stand on one leg in the corner, and if this your impression of what church discipline is, then I’m guessing your experience with an actual New Testament church is approximately zero. In terms of congregational involvement in discipline, yes – this is how it ought be done. And yet, I’m willing to be the “churches” you attend don’t do that, either?

          Or how about the sexually immoral in 1 Corinthians 5, in which we are told to “purge the evil person from among you.” Never mind with all this Bible business. Another kid came up with a weird story he’d like to tell you…

      • chapmaned24 says:

        If I did have revelations, JD, I wouldn’t give any of them to you. Do not cast pearls before…

        Besides, revelations are supposed to EDIFY the church…not put them down, not make fun of them, not to berate them, not to call them liars.

        What do you do to EDIFY your church body?

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Wheat and Tares. God sorts them out at the Harvest.

        But with the KNOWLEDGE comes RESPONSIBILITY. If you KNOW what is going on, then you do something about it. PURGE, or FORGIVE.

        NOT discipline.

        Sufficiency of Scripture should teach you that the word discipline is not even in the Bible. And yet, you discipline.

        Discipleship is not about discipline. It’s about mentoring.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        JD said:

        “I preach and teach the Scripture, and do not chase after myths (2 Timothy 4:4).”

        My response:

        JD is so carnally minded that he wouldn’t know a myth from a Smith.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        JD said:
        “Right. So Christians have no need to discern Scriptural from UnScriptural. Got it.”

        Did I say that? No. I say that JD has no clue. I say that JD shouldn’t be a pastor, because he is not SPIRITUALLY mature. He is too carnally minded.

        The Bible tells us to look at the invisible things, the things that you cannot see, for they are eternal. That is spiritual thinking. But, JD is too carnal in his thinking, wanting to RULE OVER people’s lives, DICTATING to them how to live their lives. He somehow thinks that God gave him that authority to lord over them. Hogwash.

  16. Aaron says:

    That escalated quickly.

  17. Chapmaned24, Colton Burpo said the people had wings. Don Piper said they did not have wings, both went to heaven, allegedly. Who do you personally believe and why?

  18. JD Hall says:

    Don’t you go and inject your logic and critical reasoning skills into this conversation.

  19. David Gatch says:

    Excellent job!

    I’m a Pastor in central Louisiana, 15 miles east of Pineville, LA (and Louisiana College, so JD you know the climate of our state convention in which I serve.)

    There is no revelation apart from the Word of God.

    The question is: what is your final authority? As a Christian it should be the revealed Word of God. In fact, if your final authority is not the Word of God, then you are not a Christian. Why? Because experience, visions, and the like are subjective. Luke 24 sheds some light on this. It deals with encounters people had with the resurrected Lord Jesus – BUT, each encounter is founded on God’s Word. In verse 6, the women come to the tomb and found the tomb empty and they are frightened, but two angels tell them: “He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He SPOKE to you…” And they remembered His WORDS. When Jesus catches the two disciples headed back to Emmaus and then rebukes them. He didn’t rebuke them for not believing what they were seeing (Him with them) but what all the the prophets had spoken (then He interpreted all things about Himself from SCRIPTURE). Then – the resurrected Lord appeared to the disciples and told them: “Look at My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Touch Me and see…” You would think that if anything were enough for someone to believe it would be the resurrected Lord standing before you. But the Scripture says, “But while they still were amazed and unbelieving because of their joy…” (verse 39) Then He began to explain the Scriptures to them – and then comes the statement from Luke that is most vital for our understanding. Luke 24:45 – “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” He gave them understanding of the Scriptures, not a vision. They did not believe until The Lord gave them understanding of the Scriptures! “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

    There is no revelation apart from the Word of God.

  20. chapmaned24 says:

    So here we have a bunch of religious experts that have never been to heaven, and can judge from the scriptures alone what heaven does NOT look like. Wow. You people really make me sick.

    So, my first question to all of you “Bible is sufficient” folks is this:

    John 20:30
    And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

    What signs? It’s not written. But, there was witnesses of those signs. They just CHOSE not to write it down. So, it should be concluded that what is sufficient for you people is NOT THE WHOLE STORY.

    John 21:25
    And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

    John was a witness to things that you were not a witness to. He chose to not tell you. That should also tell you that you are not getting the WHOLE STORY.

    ***If scripture was oh, so, sufficient:

    John 16:13
    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    There would be no need for a Holy Spirit.

    John 16:12
    I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

    But, you people are all “Know-It-All’s”. You make me sick to my stomach.

    Yes, I believe a uneducated child giving a testimony of his experience over any of you educated adults, who have never seen heaven, any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

    He has more credibility than you people. None of you have ever had a near death experience, and until you do, then your word means nothing. You word is not sufficient.

    • I am glad we have cleared that up that scripture is not sufficient and that experience trumps the revealed Word for YOU. we now know the low esteem you place on the revealed Word and the high esteem you place on a 3 year old during surgery. By the way how do you know none of us have had a near death experience ? Assumption time once again. But of course your assumption trumps any revealed truth. Good day sponge bob

    • JD Hall says:

      That’s correct. The only thing we can know about Heaven is what’s revealed in Scripture. You accurately understand our position.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        And the testimony of those who have been there.

        The BRETHREN of Joseph made fun of his dreams, too. I’m sure if it was “written down” then they might have believed Joseph? Joseph revealed his dreams, and no one believed him. You people act like Josephs Brethren.

        Their actions are revealed in scripture.

        And you are mimicking them, by calling the child a liar, laughing at him, berating him.

        What’s next…selling him off to the Egyptians?

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Is the word Charismatic in the Bible? How about the word Hyper? I am an American. I am a Christian, which both mean that I am FREE.

        JD, I am spiritual. You are carnal.

        Spiritual are things that you cannot see. Carnal are those things which you can see.

        2 Corinthians 4:18

        King James Version (KJV)

        18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Ya..like you got better things to do? Like to dictate to people how to live their lives? Gotcha.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        That’s pretty common amongst you reform folks…calling fellow Christians heretics. Your history shows that you would have me burned at the stake. You’ll put up with the pagans just fine…just not other Christians. You people are very strange, indeed. Don’t worry…that’s the last you will hear from me.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        J. D. Hall said to me:
        “Go take some LSD…”

        Interesting that a Pastor would instruct to go take some dope, and sin against God. Where can I find this reference in the “sufficiency of scripture”?

      • chapmaned24 says:

        You are disgusting, J.D., suggesting that anyone sin against God. You are the one who wants people to OBEY you (Your Hebrews 13:17 reference). You should be ashamed of yourself. But I am sure that you are proud of yourself. You are sick in the head for your comment. You should repent for suggesting that anyone sin against God.

        You had said that taking drugs is less offensive? Really? God states that if you break ONE law of the law of Moses that you have broken all of the law of the Law of Moses.

        So, you want me to break all of the law. What is the punishment for breaking just ONE of the laws?

        You are disgusting, and again, you should not be a pastor. You don’t even know how to be a mentor. You want discipline (punishment), but not discipleship (mentoring).

        Everyone should know that you suggest people sin against God. You are of the devil. You are NOT a child of God.

  21. chapmaned24 says:

    Woodland,

    We all know that JESUS is the WORD, and that means that anything that JESUS states is TRUTH, whether it be written down, or not.

    I reject YOUR word on the word “WORD”.

    The definition of LOGOS is “SPOKEN” word, including thought….NOT “WRITTEN WORD”.

    We must give a logos when we die….ACCOUNT.

    You had said to me:
    ” make some mighty big claims against someone you have had a little interaction with”

    And my response is the same to you about a little boy.

    Ed

  22. chapmaned24 says:

    Woodland,

    If you have had an NDE, then please, do tell, so that you cannot accuse me of assuming. If you haven’t, then I stand by what I said. If you have, you would have already said so.

    • JD Hall says:

      What if I told you I had a near death experience and Jesus has a horn on his head like a unicorn. Would you believe me? How dare you not believe me!

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Did you?

        If not, I would tell you to not quit your day job, but I would LOVE for you to quit you day job. You make fun of and berate a child. How dare you? But then again…I’m not surprised by you reform he-men, woman haters, with control issues.

        If not, then SHUT UP about hypotheticals. You make fun of what you are ignorant of. You berate believers. How dare you? How dare you call yourself a pastor? QUIT you day job.

  23. chapmaned24 says:

    Woodland,

    You had said:
    “experience trumps the revealed Word for YOU.”

    Yes…key word is “Revealed”, meaning that not everything is revealed.

    Again, not everything is revealed in scripture. Hello?

  24. chapmaned24 says:

    Woodland,

    If you have had an experience, please tell the world what you saw. Or are you afraid that no one would believe you? I think I would much rather assume that you are a liar, and let you assume that the little boy is a liar.

    Also, as SCRIPTURE STATES itself…not everything has been revealed.

    Acts 21:10-11
    10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.

    11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

    Notice in that reference we are already in the NT. A PROPHET stating “THUS SAITH THE HOLY SPIRIT”

    That means that the HOLY SPIRIT speaks to a PROPHET that REVEALS God’s Word (NOT WRITTEN SCRIPTURE).

    All Christians have the Holy Spirit. But God had to REVEAL something to other Christians, and he chose to REVEAL that something to a PROPHET, and let the PROPHET reveal it by saying “THUS SAITH THE HOLY SPIRIT”.

    Yes, there are prophets after Jesus was taken up, REVEALING things to OTHER Christians via a PROPHET. And yes, there are prophets in the Church today.

    That should tell you that the HOLY SPIRIT is, revealing things to people that are NOT WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE.

    And we all know that the Holy Spirit only states what Jesus tells Him.

    But, in the case of this little boy, GIVE YOUR TESTIMONY, and have your testimony trump his. Let’s see if your testimony holds any water.

    Or, better yet…have a meeting with this little boy, and compare testimonies. But stop calling the child a liar, based on YOUR sufficiency of scripture.

    You call yourself a Pastor, then I would suggest that you listen and to speak to this little boy, and hear him out, before you judge him.

    Judge not lest ye be judged. You judged him a liar. You judged that he was coached. You judged that his parents had something to do with it.

    And yet, you can’t prove a thing. SPEAK TO HIM. FACE TO FACE. I don’t think that you have the guts. CHICKEN!

    • Lol… your juvinle attempts to command me to do as you say is sad…. my experience was real and through the years what think and thought about it has benn sub consciencly affected by what I heard and thought over and over

      • And I did not see Jesus by the way

      • chapmaned24 says:

        No, Woodland, I think it is your juvenile attempts to judge.

        All I am asking for you to do is to talk to this little boy. Is that so difficult? You are a pastor for crying out loud. You claim to have an NDE.

        A nice conversation over lunch or something with him, just to talk, and to compare. Reveal to him what you saw and heard. I am not really asking you to reveal to the world. I was being sarcastic…my normal speak…but in all sincerity…talk to him about your experience, and strike up a relationship with him.

        See and hear from the horses mouth, instead of all this second hand stuff.

        Obviously, what you saw and heard was NOT written in the Word of God, either. You both have something in common.

        I think it would help YOU if you did that, rather than being judgmental towards a child. That is the dumbest thing ever.

        Besides…I KNOW some who have had NDE’s. Most are not able to communicate what they saw, or heard. But some are. A friend of mine saw hell. He never was taught about God. He didn’t go there for judgment…but for a showing of it. God asked him why he deserved to be in heaven. He didn’t have an answer. God sent him back into his body on earth.

        He went from a heathen to a Christian in nothing flat, after he recovered. But he saw much. He just isn’t able to communicate in English what he saw. That is when he showed me 2 Cor 12.

        But to call that child an outright coached liar is beyond the pale of any pastor. You could have just said, “Well, that is what God allowed him to see” and just left it at that. But no…you people want to demonize this kid, as if he is from the pit of hell.

        That is where I draw the line with you strange religious experts who don’t have a clue.

    • Probably not possible but I wouldn’t be against talking with him…. my stance on the scriptures wouldn’t change though. And my experience wasn’t extra biblical revelation, though I look back and see it as comfort if anything other than 3 days in a coma.

    • JD Hall says:

      …are we assuming that the boy actually thought this up? I’m pretty sure it would be the parents, and not the child, that are whoring out a near death experience for fame and notoriety. Nobody’s blaming the boy here. He’s the sad victim of American evangelicalism that doesn’t adhere to the Sufficiency of Scripture.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Your comment shows that you are totally ignorant of any facts. All you are doing is spinning it. You are making accusations without merit. You are calling him a victim and accusing the parents. Accusing is the devils job.

        You people have a twisted view of what “Sufficiency of Scripture” is all about.

        Dreams and Visions and revelations are NOT ALLOWED in your realm of belief, unless it happened in the Bible days. You people’s version of sufficiency of scripture is very strange to say the least, because Christians today have dreams and visions and revelations…but you call those people heretics. Good to know that the cult of reformation exists.

  25. Born4Battle says:

    ” Accusing is the devils job.”

    Ed’s words, as he ‘accuses’ those who hold to the doctrines of the Reformation. I also should apologize for Ed, since I think he wandered over here because I reblogged what I think to be an important topic for thinking Christians – the sufficiency of Scripture in light of a pandemic of receiving just about anything and everything extra-Biblical as added revelation.

    • chapmaned24 says:

      Born, I can prove my case. I’m quite certain that you reform folks would have a hard time with the movie, “God’s Not Dead”, which I have seen 4 times now. In the movie, it discusses that we, the people, get to decide to chose to believe. It’s title was based on the NEWSBOYS song of the same title, who also are in the movie, as well as the Duck Dynasty guy, too, who makes 2 cameo appearances in the movie.

      I’m quite sure that you would say that the band members of Newsboys are heretics, as well, oh, and let’s not forget about the Duck Dynasty guy, too. Is he a heretic because he believes that man has a choice to decide? You people are great at name calling to Christians. Yep…if people do not adhere to YOUR interpretations, you resort to calling them heretics. You reform folks are all about power and control. People with control issues dictating to people how to live their lives. Tyranny.

      In the end, the atheist CHOSE to believe, as he was dying. The PASTOR told him that he had a FINAL CHOICE before he died.

      Yep…you people are all about making fun of others, calling them liars. You call that Christian? I don’t. You might as well belong to the Fred Phelps church.

      • sethdunn88 says:

        I’m not in the “reform” crowd, but I do want to say something about the movie “God’s Not Dead.”

        I minored in philosophy at the University of GA, I have 18 hours of philosophy credit hours. I teach at a secular university and have spoken to one of the philosophy professors there, who is the president of the GA philosophical society.

        The entire premise of that movie is absurd. No professor would ever make his students sign a paper saying “God is dead” in order to pass a philosophy class and keep his job.

        Instead of watching movies made about Newsboys songs, I encourage people to read an apologetics book for themselves and step into the real world and do apologetics. Ridiculous books, like “Heaven is for Real” cause people to have to engage in Christian apologetics when nonbelievers accuse Christians of being naive for buying such books in droves. I gather, that is why Steve Lemke was asked about the book in the first place.

        I attend the school where Steve Lemke teaches where I am majoring in Christian Apologetics. I hope more people will pick up books by Christian apologists instead of forking over $40 to see the same movie 4 times. $40 would by several good books by William Lane Craig, for example. By the way…he’s not in the “reform” camp.

        With regards to Phil Robertson, his church teaches that the act of water baptism brings salvation. That is why he is criticized. It’s not about Calvinism.

      • JD Hall says:

        Actually, the Robertsons believing in baptismal regeneration is of more concern than having the Ordo Salutis confused.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Seth,

        Did you happen to stay thru the movie credits at the end of the movie? It shows many many many many universities having lawsuits against Christians. It lists each one of the Universities by name, and where they are in litigation. This is prevalent in many public schools as well.

        So, while you state that the premise is false, I disagree. That was the whole point of the movie being produced, to show that there is legal issues surrounding Universities persecuting Christians.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        And, as a very solid Christian friend of mine, my brother in law, told me today, as I told him about this blog…he said, “Well, they have the right to be wrong.”

      • Born4Battle says:

        Well, there you go again revealing your real issues with the Sovereignty of God in salvation.

  26. sethdunn88 says:

    I have not seen the movie (so I wouldn’t have seen the credits). I am only commenting on the specific premise about the professor. I am not denying that Christians have been sued.

    http://gsethdunn.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/gods-not-dead-i-know-that-and-ill-keep-my-ten-dollars/

    • chapmaned24 says:

      Well, Seth, I have no problem of paying ten dollars. What I have a problem with is the price of pop corn, not the movie ticket.

      I can also see that you are not a news junkie, as I am. If you were, you would really see that there are indeed professors that are the ones with tenure who are propagating the anti-Christian problems. Yes, it is professors. Maybe not at your university, but yes, at universities, professors are the problem. The premise of the movie is true. Again, maybe not at your university, but yes, at universities across the nation.

      • sethdunn88 says:

        Don’t get me started on the popcorn…

        I get my daily news from All Mohler’s “The Briefing” podcast. He certainly reports on matters if Christian persecution. They are out there.

        I challenge you, though, to cite one documented case of a philosophy professor failing a student for refusing to deny God’s existence.

      • Born4Battle says:

        Ed,

        If by ‘premise of the movie’ you mean ‘heaven is real’, some might assert that the premise ‘should’ be true at every Christian institutoin of higher learning, should it not? If by premise you mean that the visions of heaven by a young child are real, then you might want to apply a bit of intelligent thought to your premise. Once again Ed, you have made an assertion without definition, and therefore completely useless to thoughtful discourse.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Born4Battle,

        You are confused. The subject of this section is the movie “God’s Not Dead”.

        But, it’s not my problem if the interior of heaven is not discussed at higher learning institutions. I cannot stand college educated theologians. You should know that. Dr. such and such means nothing to me, unless he has a stethoscope around his neck.

        Ed

    • chapmaned24 says:

      Seth,

      You seem to be ignorant of world events if you limit your news source to a biased pod cast.

      You want me to do what?

      I suggest that you see the movie…pay the dog gone Ten Dollars…and see the many colleges in the credits at the end of the movie.

      By you suggesting that I provide you with any information just tells me that you are not interested. So be it if you are not interested. It also makes it sound that if it didn’t happen at your college, that it doesn’t exist. You sound isolated.

      Ed

  27. Of the Bereans;
    Acts 17:11 KJV
    “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
    Notice they measured these things against the “scriptures” , the written Word of God they had to test the truthfulness. Not experience or anything outside of revealed written Word.
    Test for this book/movie or anything like it should be the same.

    • chapmaned24 says:

      Woodland,

      Nice to know that you reference the Bereans here, but NOT noting that the ONLY scriptures was the Law and the Prophets.

      The NT was not even written yet.

      The Bereans could not search the book of James or Timothy, now could they? Nor could they research the book of Revelation, either.

      So, if “sufficiency of scripture” is by the standard of the law and the prophets for the Bereans, then lets ditch the NT, and just stick with the Law and the Prophets.

      Ed

  28. Vincent says:

    I, myself, grew up in a charismatic AoG church and it took me years of listening to Brannon Howse and those in the same camp to finally have my eyes opened. I still have plenty of friends like Chapmaned24, who refuse to believe anything when it comes to the sufficiency of scripture, mainly because it is not even an afterthought at these churches. It is not discussed and less and less is the Bible preached in context. You mostly get life lessons in these churches or a whole lot of emotional experiences. I thank the Lord every day that my eyes were opened and I now go to a baptist church that preaches the Word in context and in order. I used to get excited about those worldly things too, now I shake my head when I see how off the Biblical mark they are. The Bible is the plumb line we must measure all things against. If you don’t have that then you will fall for anything.

    • chapmaned24 says:

      Vincent,

      You will never discover spiritual things by looking at carnal context. I am not a fan of expository preaching. Anyone can do that without a preacher. A preacher is supposed to preach spiritual things. We all can read. It don’t take a preacher for that.

      A preacher is for those who don’t have a bible. And if all a preacher is TEACHING is expository, then no one will ever learn anything spiritual.

      Eyes are supposed to be opened to the spiritual. The blind will see the carnal only. Having your eyes opened means that you see things in the Bible that most are not able to see.

      Do you understand what I am getting at? You don’t need a preacher behind a pulpit “reading” the word in context and order. YOU can do that on your own by reading it yourself each and every night before going to bed. Besides…you should have read the whole bible cover to cover already by now, without a preacher. If you have…you should MOVE ON to bigger and better things, that no man can teach you. You will see things in the Bible that preachers can’t see, refuse to see, and make fun of you for your testimony of seeing. They will tell you that you are delusional…but you know better. Today’s preachers lack spiritual understanding…but they sure tout their education, as if they really know something that you don’t.

      If you understand what I am saying, please reconsider your eyes being opened.

      Ed

      • With that space cadet response of how you find the spiritual” , I recant calling you delusional, you are dangerous. Dangerous to lead young weak immature believers into some mystical, semi nostoic, anti-scriptural direction which is demonic. You have moved from delusional to out right heresy now. Congragulations Ed, you may need to back up to the Cross instead professing yourself wise ( as you do) and proving yourself a fool. And since you have unveiled fully your heretical, anti scripture, pro new revelation manure pile, I bid you good day and adios till such time as you repent for spitting on the Word Of God He has given us. Rant all you like …. rage against God…. it won’t work Ed…….

  29. Vincent says:

    Chapmaned , I spent 30 years living it the way you described. Then I grew up spiritually and started investing 2-4 hours each day really studying the the Bible, the history and the reasoning behind the theology. The more I learned, the more I could how in error my previous way of thinking was. Trust me I went kicking and screaming. No one can force you to understand this, I pray the Holy Spirit guides you into understanding.

    • chapmaned24 says:

      Vincent,

      It doesn’t sound to me that you even believe that the Holy Spirit is the one who guides. Isn’t that a bit “out there” for you to believe? Besides, I believe in the supernatural, and NDE’s. If I had a dime for everytime that someone said, “I used to believe like you”, I would be a rich man. But, just as you claim for yourself, I too, invested many hours in the day studying the Bible, and I (NOT JUST ME) conclude what I conclude, and I will not be moved, nor will I change my mind, kicking and screaming. The Pharisees is a great example of accusations thrown at Jesus as someone who “hath the devil” because he performed a miracle. Well, I believe in miracles. I believe in the supernatural. I believe in angels intervening in things on this earth. I will not accuse a little boy of lying, when I believe him. In the movie, there were many skeptics…including the church board. They were more concerned with the “here and now”.

      Ed

      • Vincent says:

        You sure showed me Ed, 30 years in the Pentecostal and Assemblies of God churches I attended and loved were all figments of my imagination. Thanks for setting me straight, here’s your dime. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes, it’s very hard to shut them now and go back to that world. You just keep your eyes shut tight , fingers in your ears…I’m sure it will all work out for you,

  30. Born4Battle says:

    Sorry for my confusion, Ed. I tend to zero in on the subject of blogs, rather than the rabbit trails that erupt. Concerning God is Not Dead, I don’t need the Newsboys to tell me that, nor do I need to go to a movie to learn that. I suppose I should congratulate you for successfully derailing the original intent of the post. I don’t think you ever got to the issue of the discrepancies between Don Piper’s account and the child’s account of heaven. You are good at that – changing the subject. You have also made very clear that you depend on the voices in your own head, and those voices reign supreme, Tell us, Ed. if we are to rely on the voices in our heads, how do we know whose voices are real when they don’t agree?

    • chapmaned24 says:

      Well, Born, I don’t need to see the Movie Rocky to know that Rocky wins the fight, either. But seeing a movie is fun. You might want to try it sometime. You get popcorn and candy and a soda…maybe a hotdog, too. Or do you not believe in going to the movies, either? In regards to the sovereignty of God, that is where your religion is faulty. Your definition of the sovereignty of God is much different than the actual sovereignty of God. You have a catch phrase called “irresistible Grace”. Well, on the other side of that is irresistible damnation. But you don’t talk much about that. Your religion spends much time talking out of both sides of your mouth, in that God ordained the evil acts that we do, but it’s all our fault. We are judged for what God ordained? That is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is the God of your imagination.

      My point of mentioning the News Boys is that they do NOT believe in what YOU believe in. And YOU Calvinist Reformers would call them heretics, and all sorts of other bad names. If they don’t believe what you believe, then they are not Christians, according to your beliefs. They are not Calvinists.

      Anyway, I saw the movie, and the claims made by the people here are not true. The boy did not say, in the movie, anything about people having wings. And, in regards to a horse, all he said was that Jesus had a horse. In regards to what Jesus looked like, he said that Jesus had marks on his hands and feet. And, when his dad showed him a picture that a girl had painted of Jesus from HER experience in heaven, the boy said, “That’s him”.

      So, I don’t need to compare anything between the boy, or Don Piper.

      Ed

      • Born4Battle says:

        It’s really sad that what scripture tells us of heaven is not enough. Why professing Christians go nuts over extra Biblical imaginings is beyond me. I also take eternal matters a bit more seriously than ‘popcorn & soda’ material. I’ve nothing else to say ab out your delirious ramblings of John Calvin.

      • chapmaned24 says:

        Born,

        It’s really sad that you have no desire to know more. We do not see it as “extra biblical”. We see it as expounding.

        It’s really sad that you draw a line in the sand about going to see a movie about God. You are no fun.

        I suppose you have never seen the Charlton Heston movie, “The Ten Commandments” due to your taking “religion” oh so serious, huh?

        You do not take eternal matters serious at all. Eternal things are things that are “invisible”. God created the INVISIBLE things, too.

        2 Corinthians 4:18
        While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

        The lesson that I take from THIS blog and your mindset is that if you can’t see it, you don’t believe it. In other words, if it isn’t written, you deny it. God created the invisible things, too. Just because YOU can’t see the invisible, doesn’t mean that others haven’t, or that they have a great imagination. It just means that God allowed them to see, and hasn’t allowed you to see.

        Well, deny it all you want. I believe the boy.

        Ed

  31. Jimmy Justice says:

    Hi all

    Very interesting convo here. And quite heated.

    Way back on April 9, 2014 JD Hall wrote.
    It “must be” recorded in Scripture for me to be required to believe it, and it must flush with Scripture for me to be allowed to believe it. I believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture…”

    And, for me also, I have a hard time believing something not in the scriptures.

    JD, seems you, and others here, earn a living as a pastor.
    But, If, Scripture is Sufficient, why do we need pastors?

    And, can you explain why, in the scriptures, there does not seem to be anyone, except Jesus, who calls them self pastor, shepherd? Nor anyone who has the title pastor, shepherd? Nor anyone who is hired, or fired, as a pastor, shepherd?

    If someone says they are called to be a pastor, shepherd?
    Shouldn’t there be at least one example, in the scriptures?
    Where one of his disciples was called to be a pastor, shepherd?

    • JD Hall says:

      “JD, seems you, and others here, earn a living as a pastor.
      But, If, Scripture is Sufficient, why do we need pastors?”

      Short answer: Because the Scripture, which is sufficient, tells us have appointed in each church elders/pastors/bishops/shepherds.

      “And, can you explain why, in the scriptures, there does not seem to be anyone, except Jesus, who calls them self pastor, shepherd? Nor anyone who has the title pastor, shepherd? Nor anyone who is hired, or fired, as a pastor, shepherd?”

      I’d like to throw out a whole plethora of Scriptures explicitly stating this, but I think it would benefit you to open it and read it for yourself. Start in the epistles. If after a serious self-inquiry of about a week and you can’t find this in Scripture, ask me again and I’ll show you the passages directly. It’s plainly there. I’m not being sarcastic – consult the Scripture and see that it’s plainly there again and again. If you can’t find it, let me know and I’ll give you the references directly.

      • Jimmy Justice says:

        JD

        I have done some research, checked out some scriptures, about pastor, shepherds.

        In the NT the word pastors, plural, is only once, in Eph 4:11. You probably know the Greek word here is poimen, which means shepherd. When I check The Strongs Concordance on my computer, I find poimen is 18 times in the KJV, NT.

        Shepherd – Strongs #4166 – poimen – poy-mane’
        KJV – shepherd 15, Shepherd 2, pastor 1; 18

        As I checked all 18 verses with poimen, shepherd, I did not find anyone, other then Jesus, not one of His Disciples, who *called them self shepherd,* poimen. Nope, not one of His Disciples.

        As I checked all 18 verses with poimen, shepherd, I did not find one of his Disciples, *who called another of His Disciples, shepherd,* poimen. Nope, not one of His Disciples.

        As I checked all 18 verses with poimen, shepherd, I did not find one of his Disciples, *who had the TITLE shepherd,* poimen. Nope, not one of His Disciples.
        ———-

        The only one I could find in the NT who referred to them self as shepherd, is Jesus.

        John 10:14, is Jesus referring to Him self as – the good shepherd.
        “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

        John 10:16, is Jesus referring to Him self as – the one shepherd.
        “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
        them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;
        and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
        ————

        The only one I could find in the NT referred to with the TITLE Shepherd, is Jesus.

        1 Pet 2:25
        “For ye were as sheep going astray;
        but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”

        1Pet 5:4
        And when the chief Shepherd shall appear,
        ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
        ———–

        No, I could not find one of His Disciples, who called them self poimen, shepherd.
        No, I could not find one of His Disciples, who had taken the TITLE poimen, shepherd.

        After I asked you about. “… other then Jesus, …in the scriptures…”
        “… who calls them self pastor, shepherd?
        “… who has the TITLE pastor, shepherd?
        “… who is hired, or fired, as a pastor, shepherd?”

        You answered
        “I’d like to throw out a whole plethora of Scriptures explicitly stating this…”

        Now, plethora, is a lot, an overabundance, a large or excessive amount of something.

        But, if would you just give a few scriptures? We could go on from there.

        Thanks

  32. Jimmy Justice says:

    woodlandbaptist

    Way back on April 14, 2014, you wrote.
    “Notice they measured these things against the “scriptures” , *the written Word of God* they had to test the truthfulness. Not experience or anything outside of revealed *written Word.*

    And, woodlandbaptist, on April 12, 2014, you write.
    “Amen, and I have an assumption that one particular one here is not willing *to submit to a local church* because He knows more than even Gods revealed Word.”

    Can you please explain, from the scriptures, *the written Word of God,* what is this *local church?* You talk about? And how I, or any believer, could recognize this “local church?” What does it look like? From *the written Word of God?*

    And how someone, a believer, is able *to submit to a local church?* From *the written Word of God?*

    And, can you show me from *the written Word of God?*
    Where anyone actually did *submit to a local church?*
    And How they did that?

      • Jimmy Justice says:

        JD

        Yup – serious.

        woodlandbaptist wrote,
        “Notice they measured these things against the “scriptures” , *the written Word of God*”

        And, I can’t seem to find anyone “willing” *to submit to a local church* “Written” in the scriptures.
        And was wondering; Is that something woodlandbaptist “added” to the scriptures?

        And, I can’t even find *local church* – “Written” in my KJV.
        Much less, *to submit to a local church*

        It seems to me, from my experience anyway, when folks use words and terms not in the Bible, then folks can make up anything they like about that term. Hard to know what they are talking about and No way to check it out from the Bible. So, I wanted to find out what woodlandbaptist thought that term meant for him.
        Thanks

  33. Born4Battle says:

    Ed,

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16-17

    Nothing else need be said at this point.

  34. I think its clear that Jimmy Justice is a troll. Move along folks, nothing to see here!

  35. Jimmy Justice says:

    JD

    You answered this question.
    “JD, seems you, and others here, earn a living as a pastor.
    But, If, Scripture is Sufficient, why do we need pastors?”

    With this.
    “Short answer: Because the Scripture, which is sufficient, tells us have appointed in each church elders/pastors/bishops/shepherds.”

    Was wondering – Where can you find this, in the scriptures? The “Written” word?”
    “have appointed **in each church** elders/pastors/bishops/shepherds.”

    Now, I can find, 1 Tim 3:1-7, mentioning Bishops, overseers, but no pastor, shepherds.

    And, I can find Titus 1:5-8, mentioning elders and Bishops, but no pastor, shepherds.

    In fact, no where in the letters of 1st Tim, or Titus, is poimen, shepherd, mentioned. Not once.

    Where did you learn that if it is not “Written” from the scriptures, *the written Word of God?*

    And Titus 1:5, says “and ordain elders in EVERY CITY,”
    But, Titus does not say, as you have said, – **have appointed in each church**.”

    Titus 1:5-8 KJV
    For this cause left I thee in Crete,
    that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting,
    and **ordain elders in every city, ** as I had appointed thee:
    If any be blameless, the husband of one wife,
    having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
    For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God;
    not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
    But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

    This might sound a liitle pickey to some who have never questioned this before…
    But, we are also discussing here what JD has said “Way back on April 9, 2014.”

    “It “must be” recorded in Scripture for me to be required to believe it, and it must flush with Scripture for me to be allowed to believe it. I believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture…”

    And, I can not find, in the “Written” word…
    ““have appointed **in each church** elders/pastors/bishops/shepherds.”

    Are these some of those “Extra-Biblical Revelations” you mention at the end of your post?

    “Our infatuation for these extra-biblical revelations speak of our disinterest and disenchantment with the sufficient, written Word of God.”

    • Vincent says:

      Jimmy J , I think you are arguing semantics. You are trying to make a point by using the English translated words. I think you should read up on what the original Greek words mean and how they relate to the word pastor. Try learning a little.

      • JD Hall says:

        It’s kind of like saying, “Nowhere does the Greek Bible mention hell” – and you’re like, of course it doesn’t. Hell is an English word. Hopefully, this individual spends some more time in study and if I remember, I’ll respond in about a week to give them some more time to read the Text.

  36. Jimmy Justice says:

    Vincent

    I’m glad we’re in agreement here when you say…
    “I think you are arguing semantics.”- Absolutely – Here’s a definition of semantics…
    ———-

    Semantics |səˈmantiks| plural noun [usu. treated as sing. ]
    The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with **meaning.**

    There are a number of branches and subbranches of semantics, including formal semantics, which studies **the logical aspects of meaning,** such as sense, reference, implication, and logical form, lexical semantics, which studies word meanings and word relations, and conceptual semantics, which studies the cognitive structure of meaning. **The meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text.**
    ———-

    So when someone writes…
    “It “must be” recorded in Scripture for me to be required to believe it,”

    And then writes, adheres to, promotes, words and terms, not in the Bible.

    I become concerned with “meaning.” – And I’m willing to argue Semantics.

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

  37. Jimmy Justice says:

    Vincent

    Semantics are important to me. The * Words* in the Bible are important to me. And, “The meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text,” are important to me. Especially when “Today’s Corrupt Religious System” tells me something is “Biblical.” I want to check it out. And I found lots of, errr, stuff, told to me was “Biblical,” BUT, was NOT in the Bible. Don’t know about you – BUT – I’ve been deceived by those who called themselves pastor/leader/elder/overseer. A Lot. 🙁

    The Bible warned me about “Shepherd/Leaders.” And how they would lead me astray.
    But, I had to learn the hard way. 🙁 Thru much pain, tears, and “Spiritual Abuse.”

    Jer 50:6 KJV
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    Jer 23:2 KJV
    …thus saith the LORD God of Israel against ”The Pastors” that feed my people;
    Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them:

    Isa 3:12 KJV
    …O my people, *they which lead thee* cause thee to err,
    and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Isa 9:16 KJV
    For *the leaders* of this people cause them to err;
    and they that are led of them are destroyed.
    ———-

    Adrienne Lehrer, Ph.D., Prof. of Linguistics, Univ. of Arizona, says…
    “Semantics is the name for the scientific study of the meaning of words and sentences. Semantics is closely associated with the disciplines of linguistics, logic, and philosophy.
    ———–

    Yes – Semantics are important to me. 😉
    The *Words* in the Bible are important to me. 😉
    **The meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text.** are important to me. 😉

    And, in my experience, many pastor/leaders today say one thing and do another.

    Mt 23:3 KJV
    All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do;
    but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

  38. Jimmy Justice says:

    So Vincent

    Maybe you would like to answer these questions I’ve asked before. – Because…

    —–

    No, I could not find one of His Disciples, who called them self poimen, shepherd.
    No, I could not find one of His Disciples, who had taken the TITLE poimen, shepherd.

    “… other then Jesus, …in the scriptures…”
    Can you name one of His Disciples – “… who calls them self pastor, shepherd?
    Can you name one of His Disciples – “… who has the TITLE pastor, shepherd?
    Can you name one of His Disciples – “… who is hired, or fired, as a pastor, shepherd?”
    ——-

    The only one I can find in the “Written” word of God…
    Who is referred to as – Shepherd – Leader – Reverend – Is Jesus…

    Are today’s pastor/leader/reverends taking the NAME of the Lord thy God?
    And taking that NAME in VAIN?

    Ex 20:7
    Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;
    for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    If not now? – When?

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  39. Vincent says:

    The word “pastor” comes from a Latin word which means shepherd. The New Testament presents two offices that constitute church leadership—elder/overseer and deacon.
    In Acts 20:28, Paul said to the Ephesian elders, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Notice that Paul is telling the elders (office) to be shepherds (function or role) over the church.

    In the New Testament, the words pastor, elder and overseer can be used interchangeably, with each word providing a different emphasis on what contribution the leaders make to the Body of Christ.

    Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/pastor-office.html#ixzz30JEhCXEW

    • Jimmy Justice says:

      Vincent

      Thanks for the response. And I’m familiar with, as you write…
      “The word “pastor” comes from a Latin word which means shepherd.”

      And I’m familiar with Acts 20:28. – BUT – When you write…
      “Notice that Paul is telling the elders (office) to be shepherds (function or role) over the church.”

      That is NOT saying that someone should be called, or have the TITLE – shepherd, or pastor.

      Those elders, in Acts 20:28, were nothing like today’s so-called shepherd, pastors.

      Because – In the Scriptures, the “Written” word of God…
      NOT one elder, NOT one of His Disciples, called themself pastor/shepherd.
      NOT one elder, NOT one of His Disciples, had, or took, the TITLE pastor/shepherd.
      NOT one elder, NOT one of His Disciples, called another elder, or disciple, pastor/shepherd.
      NOT one elder, NOT one of His Disciples, was hired or fired as a pastor.

      That’s why I asked you those simple questions –
      “… other then Jesus, …in the scriptures…”
      Can you name one of His Disciples – “… who calls them self pastor, shepherd?

      And, it seems we are in agreement again. 😉

      Because – In the Scriptures, the “Written” word of God…
      You can NOT name one of His Disciples who had the TITLE shepherd/pastor.
      And neither can I.

      And, the only one, I can find In the Scriptures, the “Written” word of God,
      That calls Himself Shepherd, that has the TITLE Shepherd – IS…

      {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

      • Jimmy Justice says:

        Vincent

        And, it depends on which Bible Version you use for Acts 20:28. 😉
        Yes – some versions say “shepherd the church of God.”
        Shepherd here is a VERB, poimeano. Shepherd here is NOT a TITLE.

        BUT – Other Versions do NOT say shepherd…
        RSV – “to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.
        ESV – “to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

        KJV – “to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
        ASV – “to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood.”
        1599 Geneva Bible- “to feed the Church of God which he hath purchased with that his own blood.”

        BBE – “to give food to the church of God, for which he gave his blood.”

        Close by where I live is a petting Zoo. Some animals, birds, snakes, are protected from the people by being in cages. Some animals, Buffaloes, Sheep, Goats, roam around in low, fenced in area’s. Over by the Sheep and Goats they have these machines where you put in a couple of quarters and out comes some food pellets. So, here I can “Care For,” “Feed,” and “Give Food “To,” the Sheep and the Goats.

        Now, does that give me the right to call myself, give myself the TITLE, “shepherd/pastor?”
        Especially when Jesus refers to Himself as – The “ONE” Shepherd? The GOOD Shepherd?
        And teaches that – “There is none good but “ONE,” that is, God.” Mark 10:18.

        And, WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones, His Disciples, His sons,
        Can shepherd, feed, care for – One Another – When WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, come together.

        WE, His Bride, His Kings and Priests, His Ambassadors, His Servnts, Those “Led” by the Spirit…
        Can, and are expected, to teach, to feed, to participate, when they come together…

        1Co 14:26
        How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
        every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, (Teaching)
        hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.
        Let all things be done unto edifying.

        Jer 50:6
        “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
        **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

        1 Pet 2:25
        For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
        BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

        I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

        {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  40. Jimmy Justice says:

    Vincent

    You write…
    “The New Testament presents two offices that constitute church leadership—elder/overseer and deacon.”

    “In the New Testament, the words pastor, elder and overseer can be used interchangeably,”

    Since we are also discussing “The Sufficiency of Scripture.”
    And – “It “must be” recorded in Scripture for me to be required to believe it,”

    1 – Where is it “Written” in the NT, about “church leadership?”
    2 – Where is it “Written” – “elder/overseer and deacon.” are “leaders?”
    3 – Where is it “Written” – “the words pastor, elder and overseer can be used interchangeably?”

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    If not now? – When?
    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  41. Jimmy Justice says:

    Vincent

    Seems Jesus, in the NT, has a unique take on leaders – For His Disciples – “ONE” 😉

    Haven’t you ever wondered? Why? In the Scriptures? The “Written” word of God?
    Jesus taught His Disciples, NOT to be called “Leaders?”
    For, you have “ONE” leader – The Christ?

    And NOT one of His Disciples called themself “Leader.”
    In the Scriptures, ALL of “His Disciples” called themselves “Servants.” 😉

    Mat 23:10-12 NASB – New American Standard Bible
    Do NOT be called leaders; for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.
    But the greatest among you shall be your “Servant”.
    Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled;
    and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

    The Message – Mat 23:10-12.
    And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them.
    There is only “ONE” Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
    **Do you want to stand out? – Then step down. – Be a servant.**
    If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you.
    But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

    If someone is “Ignoring” what Jesus taught His Disciples?
    If someone is “Opposing” what Jesus taught His Disciples?
    And, calls themself “Leader?”
    And, allows others to call them “Leader?”

    Are they one of His Disciples?

  42. Vincent says:

    A few things, whose calling pastors “Leader”? pastors are teachers of the Word of God, Jesus tells His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. The way you do that is by preaching and teaching. Second no one is questioning the headship of Jesus, he delegates jobs and gifts to the body of Christ via the Holy Spirit. Are you questioning Paul’s authority to setup the church system? I do agree a lot of modern “churches” do not follow the New Testament model of a church body, but don’t lump them all in one boat because they use modern words for the same offices. Lastly I have to question your faith in the Holy Scriptures if you are using the heretical “Message” translation, that thing is garbage.

  43. Born4Battle says:

    All it takes to understand the roles and responsibilities of leadership in the church is to read the book with about 8th grade (Jr. High) reading level. But then I’m a bit older than some in here and what was at one time an 8th grade reading level might now be college graduate level, if some of the demonstrated literacy skills in here are a valid indicator.

  44. stands for truth says:

    Wow! Some people are so gullible they will believe anyone with an “experience” over the Bible! That’s just mind-blowing!

  45. Jimmy Justice says:

    Vincent

    You ask…
    “A few things, whose calling pastors “Leader”? “

    Sorry – Maybe I mis-understood what you were saying.
    I could be wrong but it seems you, Vincent, are calling pastors – leader, or leadership.

    In one sentence you write..
    “two offices that constitute **church leadership**—elder/overseer and deacon.”

    Then, in another sentence you write…
    “pastor, elder and overseer can be used interchangeably,”

    So I thought you were saying, – If elder/overseers are “church leadership.”
    Then “pastors” are interchangeable with elder/overseer and pastors are also “church leadership.”

    That’s why I asked you April 30th.

    ————-

    You write…
    “The New Testament presents two offices that constitute church leadership—elder/overseer and deacon.”

    “In the New Testament, the words pastor, elder and overseer can be used interchangeably,”

    Since we are also discussing “The Sufficiency of Scripture.”
    And – “It “must be” recorded in Scripture for me to be required to believe it,”

    1 – Where is it “Written” in the NT, about “church leadership?”
    2 – Where is it “Written” – “elder/overseer and deacon.” are “leaders?”
    3 – Where is it “Written” – “the words pastor, elder and overseer can be used interchangeably?”

    ———–

    If I’m wrong, Please state plainly that you do not believe pastors are “church leadership.”

    And – You forgot to mention the scriptures….
    1 – Where is it “Written” in the NT, about “church leadership?”

    And – You forgot to mention the scriptures….
    “… other then Jesus, …in the scriptures…”
    Can you name one of His Disciples – “… who calls them self pastor, shepherd?

    Thanks

  46. Jimmy Justice says:

    Vincent

    And sorry that I referenced “The Message.” Yeah – That version is a hoot. I rarely look to it for study purposes – But – I thought this verse, Mat 23:10, about His Disciples NOT being called “Leaders” made some good points and sounded okay in “The Message.”

    I’ll reference some other versions and how they record that verse.

    King James Version
    Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

    New King James Version
    And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.

    J.B. Phillips New Testament
    And you must not let people call you ‘leaders’—you have only one leader, Christ!

    The Interlinear Bible
    Nor be called leaders, for one is your leader the Christ.

    Now, I believe this is an important verse especially when you say – “Jesus tells His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. The way you do that is by preaching and teaching.”

    Because, the very next verse, Jesus teaches His Disciples what they are to preach and teach.
    When attempting to make wanna-be Disciples of Jesus.

    Mat 28:19-20 NKJV
    Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…
    **teaching them to “observe” all things that I (Jesus) have commanded you**

    So, Jesus, wants His Disciples to teach and observe ALL things that Jesus commanded His Disciples.
    So, WE, His Disciples, can read the Gospels checking to see what Jesus commanded His Disciples.

    BUT  – Over the years, I’ve noticed most pastor/teacher/leader/reverends, “ignore” or “Twist,” what Jesus teaches His Disciples to teach wanna-be disciples. When they tell folks they are making Disciples of Jesus. 😉

    Because, no matter which version you use – Jesus teaches His Disciples…
    NOT to be called Master – NOT to be called Teacher – NOT to be called Leader.

    And I’ve never met a “pastor/leader/teacher/reverend” who teach wanna-be Disciples of Jesus…
    DO NOT to be called Master – DO NOT to be called Teacher – DO NOT to be called Leader.
    And – A whole bunch of other stuff Jesus taught His Disciples in the Gospels.

    Because, that’s why pastor/leader/teacher/reverends are Hired, Paid, to be – The Teacher – The Leader.

    And – How can a pastor/leader/teacher/reverends be making “Disciples of Jesus”???

    If they are NOT – **teaching them to “observe” all things that I (Jesus) have commanded you**???
    If they are NOT – teaching? – DO NOT to be called Teacher? – DO NOT to be called Leader?

    Because – Jesus, in the “Written” word says – The “ONE” Teacher – The “ONE” Leader – IS…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  47. Jimmy Justice says:

    Vincent

    You ask…
    “Are you questioning Paul’s authority to setup the church system?”

    Nope – I love Paul.

    But – Was Wondering…
    Since, as JD says – “It “must be” recorded in Scripture for me to be required to believe it,”
    Where is it “Written” in the scriptures, that Paul had authority to setup the church system?

    What I question is “the church of man” and the system man has set up.
    The 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation, the IRS calls church.

    Should one of His Disciples call an IRS $ Corporation – His Ekklesia, His Church?
    ———-

    Yup – I love Paul when he teaches WE, The Ekklesia of Jesus, His Church, ALL can, and are expected to participate. When WE, His Body, His sheep, come together, Yup – ALL can teach. 😉

    1 Cor 14:26 KJV
    How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
    **every one of you* hath a psalm, **hath a doctrine,** (Teaching)
    hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

    Yup – I love when Paul teaches WE, The Ekklesia of Jesus, His Church, are to submit one to another.

    Eph 5:21 KJV – Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

    Yup – I love Paul when he teaches WE, The Ekklesia of Jesus, His Church, in…
    Rom 8:14 KJV – Those “Led” by the Spirit are the sons of God. – NOT those “Led” by man.

    Yup – I love Paul when he teaches WE, The Ekklesia of Jesus, His Church, in…
    Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies,
    kindness, **humbleness of mind,** meekness, longsuffering;

    Humble – having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

    Hmmm? – Do you find many pastor/leader/elder/overseers exhibiting **humbleness of mind?**
    “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance?” 😉

    Yup – I love Paul when he teaches WE, The Ekklesia of Jesus, His Church, in…
    Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
    but **lowliness of mind** let each esteem other better than themselves.

    And **lowliness of mind** is the same Greek word as **humbleness of mind,**
    I like that Paul once again thinks WE, The Ekklesia of Jesus, His Church, should be…
    “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.”
    And, The Ekklesia of Jesus, His Church, are to “esteem other better than themselves.”

    Do you find many pastor/leader/elder/overseers, **esteeming others better than themselves?**

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

  48. Born4Battle says:

    So J.J., according to you everyone can teach. What have you to say about Eph 4:11 and does it have anything to say about who ‘should’ teach, or about different ministry gifts/services in the body of Christ? You seem to be anti-roles/responsibilities in church organization, and perhaps any organization at all! Can you think of any temporal organization that functions smoothly and effectively wothout some sort of organization? I for one cannot. Whether or not anyone in such a position serves in it humbly and with a servant’s heart (as we should) is not relevant to my question.

    • Jimmy Justice says:

      Born

      You write…
      “So J.J., according to you everyone can teach.”

      Nope – NOT according to me. 😉
      According to Paul in 1 Cor 14:26.

    • Jimmy Justice says:

      Born

      You write…
      “You seem to be anti-roles/responsibilities in church organization, and perhaps any organization at all!”

      Nope – NOT anti-roles/responsibilities for The Ekklesia of Jesus Christ: His Called Out Ones.
      ALL of WE, His Ekklesia, His Church, are to be His Kings and Priests, His Bride, His Servants, His sons, His Disciples, His Ambassadors, His Body.

      Now that’s a lot of roles/responsibilities for The Ekklesia of Jesus Christ: His Called Out Ones.

      And I love The Organization that Jesus set up. The Ekklesia of Jesus Christ.

      I like the Organizational Chart that Jesus described for The Ekklesia of Jesus Christ: His Disciples.
      In Mat 23:10 NASB, Jesus teaches His Disciples NOT to be called Leader.
      For you have “ONE” Leader – The Christ. And ALL His Disciples called themselves “Servants.”

      In John 10:16, Jesus, teaches He is The “ONE” Shepherd. The rest of His Church, are His Sheep.
      Jesus, He says, “My Sheep – Hear My Voice – I know them – and – They Follow Me. John 10:27.

      Nice and simple, a Two Layer Organizational Chart.
      Jesus on top “The “ONE” Leader” – Then, ALL His Disciples, on the bottom. “Servants.”
      Jesus on top “The “ONE” Shepherd” – Then, the rest of His Church, on the bottom, His Sheep.

      And – I like the Organizational Chart that Paul described for The Ekklesia of Jesus Christ: His Body.

      Jesus, He is the head of the Body, the Church. Col 1:18 – And, Jesus gets all the preeminence.

      Nice and simple, a Two Layer Organizational Chart for The Ekklesia of Jesus Christ. His Body.
      Jesus on the top layer “The Head” – Then the rest of us, His Church, on the bottom layer. “His Body,”

    • Jimmy Justice says:

      And Born

      Now, I have to admit, the way Jesus “organizes” the “organization” of…
      The Ekklesia of Jesus Christ, “His Body” Does NOT always make a lot of sense. 😉

      Do you know of any “temporal organizations” or “church organizations?”
      Who “Organize” their “Organization” like Jesus? Who openly Declare? And Display?

      1 – those members of the “organization” which seem to be weaker – “are necessary? Huh???
      2 – those members of the “organization” which **we think** to be LESS HONORABLE, on these
      we bestow GREATER honor; – I’ve never seen this in a 501 (c) 3, IRS Corporation, that the IRS calls church.
      3 – But God composed the “organization”, having given **GREATER HONOR** to that part which lacks it,**

      1 Corinthians 12:22-27 NKJV

      22 No, much rather, **those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.**
      23 And those members of the body which **we think** to be less honorable, on these
      we bestow **greater honor;** and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,
      24 but our presentable parts have no need.
      **But God composed the body, having given **greater honor** to that part which lacks it,**
      25 that there should be no schism in the body,
      but that the members should have the same care for one another.
      26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it;
      or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

      Yeah – I’ma-thinkin – Only Jesus can build His Church – His Way.
      1 – The weaker are necessary.
      2 – Bestowing GREATER honor on those **we think** to be LESS HONORABLE,
      3 – God, giveing **GREATER HONOR** to that part which lacks it,**

      I dare any “temporal organizations” or “church organizations”
      To “Organize” their “Organization” like Jesus?

      I double dare them… 😉

      His thoughts are Higher – His ways are Higher…
      Who cudda thunk of such a way to build an “organization?” – But…

      {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  49. Vincent says:

    Mat 23:10 is Jesus telling His disciples no to seek after titles of honor in order to avoid human pride. He is not telling them to not teach or lead others to Jesus.

    Romans 12:6-7 ESV
    Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;

    Teaching is a valid spiritual gift to exercise on the body of Christ. We should lead and we should teach if that is what the Lord calls us to do, the warning is against pride. I guess the difference is in what you mean by the term leader as in someone who is approved of God and studied in the ways of the Lord vs a totalitarian supreme leader type of character, there is quite a range under the same term.

  50. Jimmy Justice says:

    Vincent

    Thanks for continuing the conversation. 😉

    I almost agree here. 🙂 I have a little different understanding when you write…
    “Mat 23:10 is Jesus telling His disciples no to seek after titles of honor in order to avoid human pride.”

    Even though I agree, those who have TITLES today, fall victim to “human Pride.”
    And, fall victim to the Pride of Power, Profit, Prestige, Honor, Glory, Reputation, Recognition, etc…
    That comes with the “Title/Position” of today’s pastor/leader/reverend.
    And, this Power always Corrupts, even the best intentioned believers. 🙁

    “Titles” become “Idols” …….. “Idols” of the heart. Ezek 14:1-11

    And, It’s also “Written” WE, Hie Ekklesia, His Sheep, are NOT to give Flattering Titles unto man.

    Job 32:21 KJV
    Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person,
    neither let me give **Flattering Titles** unto man.
    For I know not to give **Flattering Titles;**
    in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

    Pro 29:5 KJV
    A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.

    **Flattering Titles* are a trap that many today fall victim to.

    BUT, remember our challenge – “It “must be” recorded in Scripture for me to be required to believe it,”
    Where is it “Written” in the scriptures, “not to seek after titles of honor in order to avoid human pride?”

    What I do find “Written” in Mat 23:10, is Jesus, teaching His Disciples…
    NOT to be called Leader – For a specific reason that is “Written.”
    And that reason is – “for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.”

    Jesus is “the “ONE” Leader. And the rest of WE, His Servants, are to remain “humble.”
    Leader, Is a High Place. Servant, is a low place. Humble.
    Humble = having a low or modest opinion of ones own importance.

    Mat 23:10-12 NASB – New American Standard Bible
    Do NOT be called leaders; for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.
    But the greatest among you shall be your “Servant”.
    Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled;
    and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

    And, I totally agree here when you write…
    “He is not telling them to not teach or lead others to Jesus.”

    Yup – the best leading WE, His Disciples, are to do…
    Is – Lead people to – The “ONE” Teacher – The “ONE” Leader”

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  51. Vincent says:

    I thinks we’ve gotten off topic here…:)
    I will say this you can’t lead without being a leader of sorts nor can you teach without being a teacher.True Jesus is our supreme leader and teacher, and we should not seek after titles for our own vain glory; But we should still humbly and faithfully preach, teach and lead people to Christ Jesus. If you don’t believe in the structure that has served this purpose for 2000 years now, then how do you think the Word of God has been working in the lives of the people for so long? How many lives have been saved by the body of Christ meeting in corporate worship and gatherings and then going into the world to preach the gospel using the Church building as a base of encouragement and equipping of saints? The gathering is to equip the saints for the work of ministry and the going forth to proclaim the Gospel. I don’t see how some false “churches” who use our template to enrich themselves invalidates the things we are commanded to do in scripture. No one is denying that Jesus Christ is our supreme leader by acknowledging those who are discipled in the ways of God and spend their lives passing this on to others so they can learn and grow also.

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