Friday, March 27, 2009

Arminian Version of Amazing Grace

I found this on The World from Our Window blog. You can access this site by means of the link to the right under the heading Sites Worth Seeing. Steve Camp is the author of this revision of Amazing Grace.

Amazing Graceworks! How sweet the sound
that saved a blissful bloke like me
I was kinda lost, but now I'm found
Was a bit blind, but now I see

Twas graceworks that taught my heart to cheer
the best that lied within;
And it was graceworks that calmed my fears
And conquered all my sin

Both God and I have done our part
To make redemption mine
My freewill faith removed my stoney heart
And earned me eternal life

So when we’ve been there ten thousand years
'Cause of all the graceworks we have done
We’ve no less days to share God's praise
Than when we first begun

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The following is taken from Arthur Sido's blog: (FYI, I will be attending the pre-conference as well as the main PCRT conference).

As a sponsor of CALVIN 500, an international event honoring Calvin in Geneva this July (see here), Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary will also be hosting a follow-up conference August 27-29 on the theme, "Calvin for the 21st Century." The conference will be held at the Prince Center in Grand Rapids, which offers first-class accommodations. The conference will feature nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers such as Jerry Bilkes, Ligon Duncan, Michael Haykin, Nelson Kloosterman, David Murray, Joseph Pipa, Neil Pronk, Donald Sinnema, Derek Thomas, and Cornel Venema. They will be addressing a variety of ways in which Calvin can assist us in understanding the Word of God, the love of God, the work of the Holy Spirit, redemption, reforming the church, ethics, the benefits of salvation, and reprobation.

Joel Beeke is also speaking. Should be a good one, and the price is right at $65 if you register by June 26th. I wonder if I can talk my wife into another conference this year?

As a special treat for book hounds, they are having a deal on books at the conference as well...

Our non-profit conference bookstore - Reformation Heritage Books - will sell many substantive titles at low prices. All RHB and Soli Deo Gloria titles will sell for 50% off the retail price! Don't forget to budget for books! Not only are you be able to purchase books at the conference center, you are welcome to visit RHB at their store located just minutes away.


Saturday, March 21, 2009



APRIL 25, 2009
(Formerly Curran Baptist Church)
2125 North M-65
Curran, Michigan
11.00 am - 3:00 pm
Lunch will be at 12:00 noon
There is a suggested donation of $10.00 each person to cover materials and lunch.We will need an actual count of those planning to attend.Conference materials and food need to be planned for. Please RSVP

"Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct" (Heb. 13:7).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

An excellent quote from Piper

. . .a Reformed position mainly means, God is really big, really strong, really powerful, really knowledgeable, really wise, really great, really weighty, and he is going to be big in this service, and we're going to make a big deal out of God here. There are a lot of born-again Arminian people who like that. It's because they don't see the implications of their theology.

- John Piper

(This quote is from a larger article responding to the question of how a Reformed-leaning pastor can function in an Arminian-leaning environment. I commend the entire article to you).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Reformed Search Engine

Just wanted to make everyone aware of a new internet resource. This link was just sent to me, and I haven't fully investigated it (nor am I sure how it exactly works). Essentially it appears to be an internet search engine specifically for all things "Reformed".

Use and enjoy!

- Josh Gelatt

Monday, March 9, 2009

He is Precious

Last week my wife and I had the pleasure once more of taking in an opera. As operas go except for only a few, they are tragic love affairs. Madam Butterfly, the opera we saw, is no exception it is a tragic love affair. A 15-year-old Japanese geisha girl is betrothed to an American Naval officer while stationed in Japan. She innocently accepts this American Consulate arranged marriage as an honorable union. A friend warns the naval officer “be careful she trusts you,” two times he is warned, “be careful she trusts you.”

Well, the naval officer ships off back home to the USA leaving his betrothed promising to return. For four years, this young woman now age 19 with a son waits for the return of her husband. She checks the harbor for American ships, visually she checks for the red, white and blue flag, the American flag. She has been blessed to be married to an American. Americans are honorable, and they don’t leave their wives.

Her marriage cost her dearly; her family disowned her when she chooses the religion of her husband and the customs of her husband. Struggling to provide food for herself and her child, her old profession comes to mind. No she says. She will not be anything but honorable. She will not return to dishonor. She has been freed from that. She will die of starvation before she will return to the geisha’s.

One day a ship arrives with an American Flag; it’s a naval ship. Excitedly, she gets her home ready for the return of her American husband. The wait was worth it after all. When the officers friend (the friend who warned “be careful she trusts you”) came from the harbor ahead of her husband and found her (former geisha girl) joyously busy being ready. The commonly accepted news (in the past) was horrifying for him to give. She was so innocent, so honest, so devoted. Madam Butterfly is confronted first by the wife of her American husband (The naval officer went back to America and married an American girl). The marriage of the geisha girl to the American Naval Officer meant nothing to him; this was convenience only. There is now no home for her son with his father. She, the geisha girl, takes her own life so her son can go with his father and have a mother and father.

Now, how on earth could any one be so cruel, so thoughtless? That poor geisha girl, but who really suffered here? My opinion is the real tragedy is about the deceiver. How can he live with what he did? How can he make it right? How many apologies can he give and everything be made okay? It can never be made okay in his case. His guilt resides with him forever. If his heart is so cold he has no guilt, then he is a wasted miserable man.

What happened to the girl is horrible; it is true, but she had honor. The man had no honor. To live without honor, I cannot imagine.

Sitting watching the end of this opera, my mind went to Peter. Check these words out:

Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, "This man was also with him." But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:54-62).

This is a well-known story; you know it I am sure. Check out the reaction of Jesus, “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” What do you suppose went through the mind of Peter? Did Peter have a soft heart? What miserable disappointment he must have had in his heart. How horribly cowardly Peter turned out to be (a coward like the sailor). How could he be forgiven for such a betrayal? Their eyes met. He promised so many times. He said I love you; you are the Christ he claimed. I will go with you to death Peter promised. What could Peter say looking into the eyes of Jesus? Horrified, I suppose. I would be.

Is there any way for Peter to be redeemed? I wonder if Peter thought so. I would imagine he thought he was finished. He did go away and wept bitterly. I am sure he thought he was finished. I am sure he thought he would have to live with this guilt for the rest of his life, and he would have except the one Peter was dealing with had the power to forgive, regenerate, and cleanse. He cleanses from all unrighteousness. I believe the reaction by most to the Peter denying Jesus history is "poor Jesus." Peter treated Him unfairly. I think it was much different than that. I believe that Peter was the victim. He had no escape from his failure. He turned against the Lord, and Peter lost all creditability. Peter must have felt there was no hope for himself.

Here is what Peter learned in his bitter weeping:

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” and“A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy (1-Peter 2:7-10 ).

Peter in his weeping found Jesus to be precious; he believed. No longer was he disobedient. He no longer rejected Jesus. No longer was Jesus an offense. No longer was he disobedient to the Word. He became supported by the Word of God. He could now say he was a chosen generation, a royal priesthood of a holy nation, even God’s own special person, who was called out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Jesus sees all of us. We all are in or were in darkness. We need to repent and trust Him. Not as one who is offensive, but trust Him as the Savior who promises forgiveness of all sins and promises life everlasting. A new life not free of hardship but a life of unbelievable joy.

Always love Jesus.

Ken Clouse
Lay Leader
North Michigan Reformation society

Monday, March 2, 2009

Do we need 2 Chronicles 7:14?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

One of the first verses of Scripture I learned early in my Christian life was the one above. It was in Bible School, Central Bible College, Springfield, Mo. (1959) This verse was drilled home to everyone, everyday, all the time. I, a new Christian, wondered what this was all about. Why the emphasis? I could not imagine a Christian needing this verse of Scripture tattooed on their forearm, their forehead, their hand, their tongue, on their brain and everywhere else.

A Christian being delivered from death and brought to life surely doesn't need to be reminded of the saving power of our Lord Jesus every day all the time does he?
Since those days I discovered the preciousness of the above Scripture. Many, many times I have used the verse above. Many, many times I have turned to God when I felt like doing the other. Thank God, by His power, His providence, I called upon him again and again. Believe me, He has always been there (I know, some would say "right He is there", well, yes He is there, He is really there, for sure).

No book on positive thinking, of bondage breaking, of a great awakening, of post modernism, of the next reformation, of being purpose driven, or an emergent manifesto has had an effect on my life like 2 Chronicles 7:14 has. Yes I am His; yes, He has healed me, and yes I have had to humble myself, pray, and call on His Name. And, yes, He has made me well from my sickness this fallow ground, this heart that still needs work on.

This I know for sure, I would not trade being a Christian. I would not trade knowing God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit even if it meant adding one moment to my life here.

I drive by the spot where I became a Christian periodically. Each time a joy, a tearful joy comes to my heart. I cannot speak. I am overwhelmed at this regeneration I received that day. The day I first talked with God I remember like it was yesterday.

The following is an alert from a man burdened over the direction of the Assemblies of God denomination, the denominational school where 2 Chronicles 7:14 was drilled in my head.

This is hard to believe. A denomination committed to the Scriptures has decided being committed to Scripture is not enough or necessary. Should 2 Chronicles be tattooed on our hand, forearm, forehead, tongue, our brain? Yes, very definitely, it should. God forgive us of our sins, our churches, our pastors, our seminaries. Our theologians have disregarded Your Word. The Assemblies of God, full of the Holy Ghost people, are dependent on anything but the Holy Ghost today.

Contemplative Prayers Seminars at Central Assembly

Greetings in the Name of Our LORD Jesus Christ,

It has been reported to me by very recent members of Central Assembly of God, our flagship church, the church where many of the A/G bigwigs attend, that Pastor Jim Bradford has hosted a Willow Creek 40 Days of Prayer seminar AND that he has scheduled a highly visible proponent of contemplative prayer to speak at Central Assembly. In fact, I verified with Central Assembly's own web site that Pastor Bradford is "so excited" to present Brennan Manning in conference starting January 30th , 2009. Just pay 25 bucks and you too can be part of this exclusive event!

NOTE: Brennan Manning's engagement at Central was cancelled 'due to [his] eye surgery.' You can verify this at Mr. Manning's own web site, I have a screen capture of Manning's event web page as proof. And the point is not whether the event was held at Central but that it was even scheduled in the first place.

I can only logically conclude one of two things here: first, I would have to question Jim Bradford's discernment, or second, I would wonder whether Jim Bradford is not a dupe of the Rick Warrens, Brian McLarens and Earl Crepses out there, but rather a fellow disciple of the New Age (Old Hinduism). Neither alternative would be good. In the first case, a shepherd who has no warning bells go off when a wolf is near, is a danger to his flock and ought to be replaced. But, in this instance, Jim Bradford is inviting the wolf right into his sheepfold. In the second case, we have a hireling fattening his flock for the wholesale kill by Satan himself. God will not allow the introduction of Hinduism (an age old practice of inviting demons to enter into one's empty mind and daily activities) into our churches without punishment.

Why do I say Hinduism? Because contemplative prayer is simply a 21st century renaming of Transcendental Meditation, the Hindu practice of clearing one's mind to allow demons to enter in and "speak" Contemplative prayer (CP) is putting oneself into a trance. NOWHERE in the Bible is there any mention of putting oneself into a trance. The ONLY trances mentioned are those induced by God Himself! In CP, the practitioner EMPTIES their mind. When God puts us into a trance, He FILLS our mind with His thoughts and His WORD. Think on this: in nature, whose boundaries were set by God at Creation, any empty vessel makes itself prone to be filled by the next and nearest opportunity. For instance, a city built below sea level is fine as long as the levies that surround it hold. But, as in Katrina and New Orleans, when the levies broke, the sea rushed in and mixed with the sewage creating uninhabitable space. And finally, emptying our minds is disobedience to God's command in Philippians 4:8 to "THINK on these things" referring to a list of traits which concretely describe the character of God Himself. Scripturally, I could go on and on.

Jim Bradford, you have polluted God's house and for that you will be judged. There will be consequences just like those listed in several places in Jeremiah for the pastors who lead His people astray. Please repent before your soul is required of you. I'd hate to be in your shoes if you died without repentance. And then God listed all the souls who were making Hell their eternal abode because you chose to follow another gospel besides the one outlined by Jesus Christ and Paul. And you influenced those souls into Hell.

What is it Jim? A big job or a bad judgment? Heady numbers or Hell next? Leadership books or learning your Bible? Read the story of Nathan the prophet talking to King David about murdering Uriah so he can commit adultery with Uriah's wife. Nathan's punchline to King David is eternally applicable to the man who has everything from God but decides that isn't good enough and gets sloppy in his walk. Jim Bradford, YOU are the man!

Members of Central Assembly, are you going to allow a man who converses with demons (Brennan Manning), and will be encouraging you to do so as well (clever servant of the Serpent [Mr. Manning won't say that is what he is doing or that you will be doing] he'll wrap his whole speech around Jesus, love and peace and emotionally appealing stories--all the while telling you damnable lies), to enter Central Assembly? Are you going to continue to retain as your pastor someone who either can't discern the truth from a lie or is living a lie right from your pulpit? God will not hold you guiltless if you do nothing! And for some of you, walking away without saying anything to the board, the pastor, and your pew neighbors is tantamount to doing nothing since you will be feeding your fellow congregation members to the wolves. I'm not saying don't leave. Central was way down the New Age path even before this. I'm am saying, if God is speaking to you to speak to "them" before you leave, then you must obey. Are you even listening for God's "still, small voice"? Or are we all more loyal to our churches and our A/G leadership than to God?

Even So Quickly Come LORD Jesus!


Ken Clouse
Lay Leader
N.E. Mi. Ref. Soc.