Inconsistency, Hypocrisy, and Clueless

Unless the Obedience Boys have figured out a way to make Wesleyan perfectionism a reality, all Christians struggle with the Lutheran paradox of being simultaneously a saint and a sinner (sorry to those professors of Christianity who need Vatican validation for sainthood). That paradox means that all Christians in their honest moments admit to struggling with and yield to sin. Which makes Christians inconsistent at least to outsiders. How can these people, the lament goes, who constantly prattle on about the moral law not see that they are immoral themselves? There’s a point in that somewhere, just as there is in stories about the guhzillions of pounds of CO2 that participants in the Climate Change Convention produced. But the impossibility of perfection in this life does not prevent either pastors or legislators from calling people to follow God’s law any more than the reality of political corruption prevents voters from voting for “good” candidates.

A measure of hypocrisy is part and parcel of the Christian life. Christians may be overly afflicted with temptations to promote sanctity all the while knowing that sanctification is a battle in which the believer always comes up short in a glass-completely-full-kind-of way.

But to go out of your way to oppose sinfulness in others while you yourself know you are guilty of the very sinfulness to which you object seems to be in a different category. 2k has regularly received opposition from those who think it leads to antinomianism, a disregard for God’s moral law. The reason runs something like this: if you can follow God’s law on Sunday but don’t need to the rest of the week, or if you strive to be holy as a Christian but not as a plumber, then you undermine the authority of God’s law in all areas of life.

But what happens if you are making that case against 2k at the very same time that you are knowingly violating God’s law? Is that hypocrisy? Or is it some other kind of disorder?

If, for instance, I were in the process of embezzling funds from an organization because finances on the home front were tight, wouldn’t it be foolish (aside from hypocritical) to become a champion of upholding the eighth commandment? Sure, I might still think others are sinful to steal, and if I’m an embezzling church officer I might would still vote to convict someone brought up on charges for stealing. But would I go out of my way in a public manner to identify stealing as a great form of wickedness? Would I write a series of blogposts about a sin I believe is responsible for destroying the church’s witness all the while I am guilty of that sin? Mightn’t I want instead to lay low? Wouldn’t I at least know that now — during this time of personal financial crisis — is not the occasion to stand atop the moral soapbox and point the finger?

We have a word for hypocrisy. What is the word for such lack of self-awareness? Clueless?

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39 thoughts on “Inconsistency, Hypocrisy, and Clueless

  1. (sorry to those professors of Christianity who need Vatican validation for sainthood)

    Much better that Calvinists declare themselves saints. How very nice for you.

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  2. John Murray–“God works in us and we also work. But the relation is that because God works we work” Murray’s understanding is that a Christian cannot claim anything good “in and of himself”. But what relevance does the imperative have in proving the inevitability of better morality after regeneration?

    John Murray—“What the apostle is urging is the necessity of working out our own salvation, and the encouragement he supplies is the assurance that it is God himself who works in us” Unless Murray assumes the command to be given to those who now have the ability to perform the command in some sense, then the command is irrelevant to prove the increased ability of the regenerate.

    John Murray –“God’s working in us is not suspended because we work, nor our working suspended because God works. Neither is the relation strictly one of co-operation as if God did his part and we did ours so that the conjunction or co-ordination of both produced the required result”. This is synergism not in justification but synergism in the obedience which hypocrites profess gives them assurance of justification.

    I agree with Ed Boehl (The Reformed Doctrine of Justification). If conforming into the image of Christ is truly the work of the Holy Spirit, then it is difficult to claim a a new ability in justified and regenerate persons. The regenerate person is not given an improved ability from the Holy Spirit to obey God. This does not deny that the regenerate man bears fruit. Nor does this deny that the Holy Spirit sometimes enables justified born of God persons to overcome sin. However, it not the case that this ability to obey is now found within justified sinners (so that now the antithesis between law and grace has been overcome, and they work 100 percent while God works 100 percent)

    “Woe is me…” (Isaiah. 6:5)

    “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job. 42:5, 6).

    I used to be the worst of sinners but no longer (1 Timothy 1:15)

    Peter—, “depart from me, for I am a sinful man (Luke. 5:8)

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  3. “Much better that Calvinists declare themselves saints. How very nice for you.”

    Actually Christ declares us saints while you have no assurance because you depend on your works. How very sad for you.

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  4. I participated in the ordination of a young man to ministry in 2002, including laying on of hands.

    He became nationally known among the YRR due to his exceptional speaking gifts and attractive personality.

    He was caught in adultery not too long ago, having been involved with the woman for years. The seasoned elders of his church did an amazing job of requiring not only his immediate stepping down, but caring for the church and the man and his family.

    What is it about sex that makes us all hypocrites to some degree? While this man was in adultery, he hosted conferences on marriage and preached through Song of Solomon to his church, extolling the virtues of monogamy.

    He was reformed (small r) and knew the place of the law in the believer’s life. Definitely not clueless.

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  5. This is an excellent post. But it applies not just to Christians, but to all who are concerned with acceptable behavior and even for those who are concerned for social justice. I know for myself that when protesting the injustices practiced by whatever group we are protesting against, I am often reminded of how I’ve treated others unfairly. This tempers how I protest. It means that I should try to protest against some group in the way that I would want them to protest against me if they saw reason to. That the first goal of the protest is to win the person over rather than to set the group up as a target. Failure to apply the golden rule in protesting was one of the major faults of my fellow Occupy Wall Street members.

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  6. DG: If, I were in the process of embezzling funds .. mightn’t I want instead to lay low?
    DG: A measure of hypocrisy is part and parcel of the Christian life.

    lay low, DG? –do you mean stop being ‘in the process” and repent
    and ‘a measure’ make me think…is there a Biblical scale of ‘cluelessness’…like maybe from dead-clueless; to repentant-clueless, to unrepentant-clueless and which Biblical story (egs) fits where?

    Rev 3: 18 I advise you to buy …eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.

    John 9: 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

    Isaiah 29 Be delayed and wait, Blind yourselves and be blind..”13 Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,..”15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, And whose deeds are done in a dark place, and they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”16 You turn things around!

    Matthew 6: 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

    2 Samuel 5 Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. ”..7 Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! .. 13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” ..

    2 Cor 7: 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.

    DG: Christians may be overly afflicted with temptations to promote sanctity

    Overly afflicted DG? Where in the Bible? 🙂 I think you point has been ‘shrugs’ are not option?

    James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

    Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

    and clueless indeed? Richard :I vote “clueless”–a misunderstanding of the place and function of the law in a believer’s life.

    sin ?
    whatever
    right?
    sheesh

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  7. No one of note: caught in adultery not too long ago, having been involved with the woman for years.
    The seasoned elders of his church did an amazing job of requiring his immediate stepping down

    hmm, involved for years and requiring immediate stepping down, don’t seem to go together NOON. Actually clueless or conveniently clueless for ‘years’.

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  8. Ali, does your quote of 2 Samuel 12:5-7 not prove Dr. Hart’s point?

    You know, where we, like David, are often outraged over another’s sin as we conveniently bypass our own. Anyway, thanks for the proof text.

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  9. DG: I’m due back on planet earth.

    when? so we can prepare 🙂

    DG ali, right. You never sin so you don’t have to worry about rationalizing it or covering it up.

    oh, are you saying us sinners are supposed to rationalize and cover up? we should worry about that for sure ’cause the Lord already knows and every hidden thing will come to light, or in others words there is thing from Him ; ‘course there can be hidden things with man and probably the more we value man-pleasing, the more the desire to ‘cover up’. We have our reputations you know and other self interests can be at stake -.eg money, power, position, etc

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  10. Ali,

    hmm, involved for years and requiring immediate stepping down, don’t seem to go together NOON. Actually clueless or conveniently clueless for ‘years’.

    What? Are you saying that it is impossible for a man to have an affair for years and keep it completely hidden from everyone except God?

    An affair was discovered and the man was removed from ministry immediately upon discovery. What more do you want?

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  11. Odd that the usual suspect who covers 2k for Christian Renewal did not comment on this:

    VanDrunen also said there is not particularly Christian way to conduct work — no Christian way to change diapers,he offered as an example, or to pilot a plane, although there are standards of excellence to which both believers and unbelievers can aspire.

    Where’s Dr. Kloosterman when the neo-Calvinists need him?

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  12. DGH,

    Wouldn’t I at least know that now — during this time of personal financial crisis — is not the occasion to stand atop the moral soapbox and point the finger?

    I think that this is a way for public figures to convince themselves and to also disassociate their behavior from their identity. If they say it vociferously enough then it will change this hideous sin in my life. A more potentially insidious angle is people are trying to throw gullible people off their scent. I believe that latter is less prevalent, but the former happens frequently.

    Two popular level examples are Ted Haggard and Josh Duggar (though I believe that most Christians encounter this to one degree or another). Both men were hopeless hypocrites. I think their bombastic rhetoric was disassociative. I think the internal conversation is, “If I just confess loudly enough that “X” is sin, then I will be justified. That’s not really me committing sin ‘X!’ The real me condemns that behavior. I’m justified because at least when I commit ‘X’ I acknowledge it is sin.”

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  13. Thanks Robert.

    The man is regenerate, quite broken, quite committed to living the rest of his days in repentance caring for his wife and children.

    And that speaks better of submission to the cross of Christ than his ministry did, which was actually impressive.

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  14. Ali, wow…… way to jump right into the judgement seat without knowing any of the parties involved or the particulars. Boy if you could have only been there when the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus. You could have set things straight. Hmmm….and our Lord was so merciful.

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  15. Robert: Ali,What? Are you saying that it is impossible for a man to have an affair for years and keep it completely hidden from everyone except God? An affair was discovered and the man was removed from ministry immediately upon discovery. What more do you want?

    what one would want is to think that it would be nearly impossible to go on for years unsuspected ; the deceitfulness of sin hardens hearts and progressively so; that is dangerous for us all, but when it is a shepherd, how sorrowful for the impact to sheep. While only the Lord knows it all and has it all under control, one can still ponder what made it possible –ponder systems of accountability, diminished fellowship of believers, convenient cluelessness, diminished spiritual discernment, and more I can’t think of right this moment, and particularly so in the American celebrity self-promotion; consumeristic; entertainment; feel-good; all-about-me; diminished view of God’s majesty and holiness church culture

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  16. “That’s a lie. So where does that leave you, St. Greg?”
    That leaves me justified and saved by the perfect righteousness of Christ; his active and passive obedience. My good works are resultative. Guilt, grace, gratitude and no infusing of grace meshing with imperfect love of sinful man.

    Keep working your own righteous TVD, you’re a fool. The gospel is there, just forget about what you think you can/should do.

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  17. Excellent Post, Dr. Hart. I do hope that the Obedience Boys are tuning in. You are dead on. We are all hypocritical more than we even know, or would probably care to know, and even so, God is at work within us conforming us to His image. Knowledge of our own hypocrisy produces the true humility, which doesn’t advertise itself as such, but does ‘lay low’ in a posture of prostration and dependence upon the One who is able and willing to change our vile nature, and give us the desire to persevere after Him. The use of the Law is not omitted in any of it’s three purposes, but when it is invoked by us to warn others, we know that we of all people are the worst law-breakers, and our admission of the same is what draws others to Christ, giving them the hope, when we present the Gospel.

    The sharp-contrast/difference occurs with those who believe they are making significant progress in the pursuit of holiness and are not aware of how deeply infected they are with their sinful nature. That, coupled with not understanding 2K, or rightly understanding that we are no longer under the Sinai Covenant, produces a toxic, flammable, and destructive mixture in such a person who has this type of disposition. That is the Obedience Boy, defined, in my view, and I was formerly like them – not by design, but by being badly taught. Being Charismatic at that time in my life didn’t help either.

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  18. St. Greg
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
    “That’s a lie. So where does that leave you, St. Greg?”
    That leaves me justified and saved by the perfect righteousness of Christ

    You better hope so. But you shouldn’t be so sure if you’re going to keep lying about people without regret or apology. Rather “antinomian,” I believe you people call it.

    Forgive the rest of us when you presume to call yourselves “saints.”

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  19. Isn’t this what makes the Good News the ‘Good News’? And this is the hard part for the Obedience Boys – that no matter sins a saint may fall into, and whatever decline in reputation and standing may result afterwards in this life, the Good News is that this very same saint is promised Christ’s obedience to the law and perfect righteousness forever.

    Of course we’re admonished from scripture not to use God’s grace to us in Christ as a license to sin, and I find no conflict between God’s grace to us in Christ and that admonition. I’m so glad it’s there, as a friend and guide, so to me, it is a double-comfort. Understanding God’s grace produces such a gratitude and deep appreciation, and increased love for God and honoring Christ.

    When I sat under the thunderings of those who talked holiness, making progress, super-accountability, and looking inward to check on our progress, I just resented it and wanted out, because all I ever came up with was ‘not enough’ – ‘do better’ – ‘you can always improve your serve’. That’s perfectionism. By contrast, when I sat under the teaching of one who rightly understood this issue of how deeply tainted and hypocritical we all are (workings of sin in the heart) and was totally dependent on God’s grace for all in all, the message pointing us to our Savior and His redemption, love, electing us to salvation, and predetermined plan for our lives was and is so hopeful, even when sin got everything all fouled up – it would not and will not thwart God’s plan in any way.

    It is possible (in this day and age of social media-internet) to be falsely accused in such a way that you could not recover completely from it this side of heaven. In principle, isn’t this the same thing that the early Christians suffered under the superstitious Romans, especially Nero? Whom all Christians were instructed from scripture to honor? Heaven and the promises of Christ were surely, and are today, surely a great comfort to God’s people.

    Q.E.D.

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  20. Semper Reformanda: not rightly understanding that we are no longer under the Sinai Covenant produces a toxic, flammable, and destructive mixture in such a person who has this type of disposition.

    oh, you mean, are you talking about those highly valuing, e.g, the 4th commandment

    and you’re right – is there any excuse for not knowing about the new covenant –it’s so very plain in scripture – one just has to read, study, pray, believe; but sure, one can us whatever excuse they want about that, and even employ Adam’s age-old blame-shifting tactic .

    Jeremiah31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

    Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says,“BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD,WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH;9 NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD. 10 “FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 11 “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM. 12 “FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.”
    13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

    Hebrews 10: 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,16 “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” He then says, 17 “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

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  21. oh, and Semper Reformanda, not to truncate His word…

    Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive]what was promised.37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

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  22. Ali,

    what one would want is to think that it would be nearly impossible to go on for years unsuspected ;

    Or, people never suspect because the perpetrator is good at leading a double life, or any behavior that might cause suspicion wasn’t all that overt and friends were giving him the benefit of the doubt, you know, like Christians should. There are many, many people who live double lives and aren’t caught until years later.

    the deceitfulness of sin hardens hearts and progressively so; that is dangerous for us all, but when it is a shepherd, how sorrowful for the impact to sheep.

    Sure.

    While only the Lord knows it all and has it all under control, one can still ponder what made it possible –ponder systems of accountability, diminished fellowship of believers, convenient cluelessness, diminished spiritual discernment, and more I can’t think of right this moment, and particularly so in the American celebrity self-promotion; consumeristic; entertainment; feel-good; all-about-me; diminished view of God’s majesty and holiness church culture

    Yeah, one can look back and ask. But one should not assume that the elders in question were somehow derelict. People aren’t perfect and some individuals are just really good at pulling the wool over one’s eyes.

    Don’t knock the session. When they discovered the affair, they dealt with it appropriately. They aren’t infinite, and it’s not their fault he had an affair or even that it went undiscovered for so long. No one is saying, “Man, we knew for sure he was an adulterer and just kept it under wraps.”

    And BTW, accountability and other such things work only as well as the person is willing to disclose and be honest. If a person is good at hiding himself, he can get away with a lot. That’s part of the deceitfulness of sin as well.

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  23. Robert: Yeah, one can look back and ask.

    No, Robert, I believe the Lord says not ‘can’ but ‘must’, don’t you.

    He is teaching, instructing, growing, preparing His bride toward a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Don’t you love the Lord thru Paul: “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”

    I am not knocking anything. I believe it is encouragement in the way the Lord asks. And don’t you hear the Lord asking the church to feel the weight of His high calling, and particularly of shepherds. His church – to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory. Again, don’t you love the Lord thru Paul: “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”

    Have a good day and btw, I appreciate your teaching here.

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  24. Ali,

    Appreciate your comments; I would look forward to replying later on, if I may, as I’m unable to reply in full just now, but to say I understand where you’re coming from, and several years ago, I would have replied to a Semper Reformanda exactly like you did, and use the same texts to make my point. The reason I did so was to make sure that I was not denying or turning back (working for my salvation – and I was redeemed, just didn’t understand how I was – make sense??) instead of resting upon the Faithful One, who said that he would never leave me nor forsake me. Michael Horton did a splendid exposition of this text on the White Horse Inn and you might be able to still listen to it or read it. It dealt with the aspect of the visible and invisible church, and how the text applied. God bless you.

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  25. Ali,

    I’m glad to expound more than my previous post, but upon reflection, I think what I wrote essentially expresses my thoughts. I would also recommend reading ‘ The Pearl of Christian Comfort ‘ by Petrus Dathenus. Difficult texts are explained and brought out by Dathenus to the very afflicted Christian in the narrative.

    I would consider myself as identifying with the afflicted believer in that book, even now, and likely, until death; even though I have been extremely comforted, my sinful nature does not cease to find new things to be anxious/fretting/worried/accusing about what I haven’t done, haven’t done right, didn’t do with a right heart or right motivation, lukewarmness, sinfulness in general encompassing several areas, diet, physical fitness, amount of reading I should do, how much of the Bible I’ve read/not read, prayer, serving others, family life, devotionals (lack of, personally & family-wise) even though I desire and try to………etc., etc., and etc. And as the advertisement for the 80’s greatest hits album goes, this and much, much more.

    By the way, I like Alice Cooper in ‘excerpt form’ (I saw his show in 78 – King of the Silver Screen tour), and always have, even after confessing it as sin when I was younger – I do like to listen to a number of his songs, among other artists, that I was told were sinful to listen to when I was ‘Eighteen’. (weak pun), sorry.

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  26. Semper Reformanda; thanks for worrying about me, but I think I’m ok. I know you’re thinking many of His people ‘just don’t get it’ and it’s true we’re all forgetting to ‘get something’ unless our minds are continually renewed by His word, by His Spirit ( Eph 4:23; Rom 12:2). Have I remembered to mention how important that is?

    Anyway, I am sorry: “ your sinful nature does not cease to find new things to be anxious/fretting/worried/accusing about what I haven’t done, haven’t done right, didn’t do with a right heart or right motivation, lukewarmness, sinfulness in general encompassing several areas, diet, physical fitness, amount of reading I should do, how much of the Bible I’ve read/not read, prayer, serving others, family life, devotionals (lack of, personally & family-wise) even though I desire and try to………etc., etc., and etc.”

    but – hello – that’s part of what sinful nature does, and why we are told to walk by the Spirit Who is alwys setting us straight,by His word, by His Spirit and also through prayer, so, SR….
    Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.

    Although, alternately, you can wait until next Sunday, when you can rely on that certain right word from the pulpit from that exact right person (you know, one of those few who gets it), to comfort you, but I wouldn’t recommend it – Jesus is better and is 24/7.

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  27. cw:There it is. Get thee to the garden alone. While the dew is still on the roses.

    aw, cw, there is no one but yourself to blame for me forced to send you songs 🙂

    dew? Who has begotten the drops of dew? Job 38:28

    [dew @ .10; .50, 1.00 and more]

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  28. Is it too late to recognize Ali as the patron/matron saint of the Old Life Bar? Obviously she is without sin and able to see into the hidden sins of others, what a gift……

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  29. Notice that all Christians after baptism ,and or a salvation experience, still recognize that their sins and shortcoming still belong to them even though Jesus died?
    Since we continue to sin and have guilty consciences, this means that we need continual forgiveness, and is why the evangelical goes to God in the scripture and prayer and sometimes bible studies where there is occasion to cleanse consciences by confessing(sharing); the Reformed looks to Jesus’s in the finish work of Christ( they say yet still feel guilt) which is really the Holy Spirit pushing them to remember the mercy of the cross because of God’s love. So we all know that we have to go to the garden or make some kind of internal oriention towards Jesus. In this way everyone is Catholic.
    All of us have had our past sins removed by the same event that removes our sins today ( when we repent). Mercy and forgiveness are always flowing from Jesus’s side. But we have free wills and like Gollum still have a part to play for good or for ill.
    This is where the sacraments of the church come in. They are helps of grace because we are still on this journey where sin and the devil are real threats for everyone of us.

    Kyrie eleison

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  30. Susan,

    Mercy and forgiveness are always flowing from Jesus’s side.

    Except for those mortal sins that you forgot about, never recognize as such, etc. Are you absolutely sure that you’ve confessed every mortal sin you have committed after conversion?

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  31. Hey Robert,
    I am sure I confessed every mortal sin. Doesn’t Jesus forgive all your grave sins? We’re talking about a God who loves us and is seeking us.
    We do have to learn to become objective about what is sin and what isn’t so that our consciences are properly formed.
    Even that you continue to confess your sins is at least proof that you don’t rest under the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. Where you find rest is in God’s mercy, mercy you are reminded of when you look to the cross.

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  32. Semper ReformandaYou’re welcome Ali.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEhjFKunNW0I think this says (Clint’s last line) it best………

    Haha. Clint sure was young there; he should have left it at that -I’ll have to remember him now always for his crazy talking-to-the empty- chair incident a few years back

    Anyway. Misjudged you? Don’t think I’ve even judged you; but am befuddled -Are there actually those in the reformed community who think you can earn your salvation?

    And sorry, you know I have to include some Bible verse, coming to mind when that guy says “You’re either for us or against us”, Jesus saying a similar thing, which I’ve wondered about understanding more fully….Mark 9 40 For he who is not against us is for us.

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  33. Dr. Hart,
    Thank you for the link. Mr. Shishko is an amazing man, and his son Jonathan is a kind godly minister. I look forward to reading the paper.

    Like

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