• An Idiot Confesses

    My confession is weak and incomplete. Though I try and make a habit of actually going through the motions on a regular basis, I don’t seem to be getting much better at it.

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  • Fear

    “Would you rather be feared or respected? I’d rather be feared, because when you are feared, respect is automatic”

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  • Repentance Under The Microscope

    We have a tendency to put a person’s repentance under the microscope in order to determine if it is genuine or not. Are they really sorry? Let’s take a look… Have they wept enough, felt ashamed enough, did they use the word “sin” enough, and so on.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Letter to a Mormon

Hey! Hope all is well. For misc reasons, I will not be able to meet with you guys anytime soon. 

But like you, I think it is important to share God with people that do not know Him. I appreciate your zeal to share what you hold as truth.  

Since our 1st meeting & in general I have viewed a few of the doctrines that Mormons hold as true. In this e-mail I'd like to address a claim you made, "that the gospel was lost, & had to be restored". 

I think if you truly compare your claim "the gospel was lost after the time of Jesus", you will see that in actuality you are saying the gospel has been lost since the torah (books of Moses).   

I will explain why.
The old testament is riddled with passages that say:

Isaiah 44:6
 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.

Isaiah 43:10
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.

Isaiah 44:8
Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”

At no pt is it stated or viewed by the Jewish community as "He is just the God of this world". Scripture makes clear that there is no equal or peer to to God at all. "From eternity to eternity"

The common phrase I hear is "if interpreted correctly".  The problem with this is that scripture is clear and for 1,000s of years the Jewish people never viewed it as "1 God of this world". And, during the old testament times God talked through prophets frequently. Since God cares about His people having a correct view of Him and not worshipping false gods, why is this "error" never addresses until Joesph Smith? (Rhetorical question) 
I assume we would agree, a correct view of God is of the utmost importance, so to say God would send prophet, after prophet, after prophet, and never address it is not logical. 

I pray you are still reading my letter. 
Considering Joesph Smith a prophet per your faith states:

"We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil,"
Section under: God an Exalted man

Scripture clearly states that God has always been God. At no pt was He ever not God. "Before me there was no God & there be none after me". 
The Book of Mormon also contradicts this statement. 

When we sat and broke bread, your response was "he is not talking about the Father. Yet J Smith clearly states: "He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did"
" for I am going to tell you how God came to be God"

As I attempted to show you with a few passages, is that you are actually claiming that believers have been lost not since after Jesus, but from the beginning. This notion of "more than 1 God" and "man becoming God" makes Moses & the God in the Bible a lie. As I mentioned earlier, this notion can not be written off as "Christian lost their way", because Jewish context has always been there is 1 God, no more, no less. 

I pray you truly consider these things. Their is no example in scripture of a "prophet" or "apostle" asserting more than 1 god in the universe every. God sent numerous prophets & none addressed this view on 1 God from all eternity to eternity as an error. This is a serious matter. Knowing the God revealed the 66 books is a major, life impacting, destiny effecting topic. 

Oh, one last thing to think about. The claim to be able to be like God sounds a lot like the original sin of Adam. "and you will be like God" Gen 3:5

I hope you not only pray a out these things but turn to the bible & dig into the scriptures & perhaps research Old testament/pre 1st century  perspective on God. 

Please know that I am a Christian only because it's true. Not for any other reason. Iv explored & studied other religious systems like Islam and others while in college & out of college. I say this inform you that I understand it is difficult to consider "i could be wrong. Let me honestly reconsider & research unbiasedly"

I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eye witnesses during the lifetime of other eye witnesses.  They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophesies and claim that their writings are divine rather than human in origin.”
Quoted is based on 2 Peter 1:16-21

Please consider &
May the odds forever be in your favor. 

Ha ha ha ha. Jus kidding
But do consider, & peace be with you

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fear of God

Fear Of God
By: Lex
One of my favorite quotes is:
“Would you rather be feared or respected? I’d rather be feared, because when you are feared, respect is automatic.”

I vividly remember my first attempt at trying to share the Gospel. Religion class was an every semester thing at my high school so conversation about the faith was not a rare thing.
And if the fear of God is the beginning of all knowledge, I must admit, “I’m a bad Christian.”

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” – Proverbs 9:10

While working out in my friend’s garage, he confessed his doubts about God. He rattled about the ills of the world, the atrocities in the Bible, and the concept of “only believing to not go to hell.” I was caught off guard, to be honest.

The non-existent catechism of my childhood from various non-denom and Baptist churches had me ill-prepared. I mean, I could have recited an altar call, but this was not the time. I knew one thing, and one thing only, “Christ came and died for us because of his love for us.” So that is what I professed.

To be honest, I totally ignored the fear of God angle. I talked about his loving actions and how operating out of fear is not a good posture. I was not a believer due to being afraid, so how could I promote that? I practiced basketball constantly, not because I was scared of it, but because I loved winning and loved the game. Everything I was passionate about was geared out of love and not fear. Even today this dynamic is true. I do not cheat on my wife because I am scared, but because I love her.

Needless to say, my first evangelism task did not go well. I presented a solid case, but the ills of the world and evil done by Christians, like the Crusades, were too much of a hill to climb. But I cannot say that I learned from this trial, because I still have the same overall tact today.

“We love because he first loved us” – 1 John 4:19 ”

In a conversation, I look for the first exit ramp to get to “Christ crucified.” God coming in flesh, to fullfill the law, to die, and then to rise, all for us. Such love, such mercy, such compassion!

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends” – John 15:13

The context of this passage is not directly applicable to Christ loving us, but this is exactly what he did—he freely laid his life down for us. Maybe one day I will focus more on wrath, judgement day, hell, etc… I doubt it though.

Grace, Peace, and Mercy!

Chk out our podcast (http://www.sinnersleague.com/p/episodes.html)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Nothing good in me

Happy New Year! First I want to thank you readers for growing with me over the last year. I’m really thankful for getting to know the handful of you that have connected with me. Thank you so much for sharing my articles as well. Lets just jump in shall we?

I’m a pretty upbeat guy. I like to roll with the punches and just be happy. But another side of me, seems to feed off negativity, I can be happy all day long but the moment someone is negative in front me; it becomes like an addiction for me and I have to get more of it. 

I am reminded of the words of Paul here in Romans:

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Romans 7:15-25 ESV

I can be doing great. Reading my bible daily, being a good husband and father, loving God and loving people. But then suddenly like a huge boulder falling off a mountain, I am struck with negativity. The enemy, Lucifer if you will ;), comes at me with many fiery darts just screaming horrible thoughts against people that love me.  But you know what? None of those things matter, it’s not about what I’m doing that makes the enemy come at me like a roaring lion. 

It's all about who I am to the creator of the universe. I am a child of the most a high God. Scripture is pretty clear about the men of God who battled depression, struggles with lust, struggle with fear of man, or even hatred toward our fellow brethren. I am not alone in this and neither are you. 

If you struggle with this, understand that God is for you. If you have surrendered your life to Christ abide in Him. Yes the devil will come after you, yes even you will become your own worse in enemy. But I am here to tell you right now in the name of Jesus Christ that He will perfect the work  which He began in you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Jeremiah 29:11 and Idolatry

Let's discuss Idolatry a moment shall we?

Before we dive too far in, I realized at the bottom of this article I might be coming off too strong. I'm not trying to point fingers. I am trying to point to a higher calling of unity even if we are completely right about our theology. I respect theologians. I enjoy the teachings of many reformed teachers, and a good number of  Pentecostal teachers. I believe scripture is sufficient for our foundation and fully believe Christ alone brings our salvation. I will not bend on those, but I also believe in showing grace to those in error.

Idolatry is a big deal to God the Father. He is a gracious Father and loves His own- even when we don't love Him. But when it comes to idolatry God isn't too fond of being yours or my second best.

What is idolatry? A simple search pulls up admiration, worship, reverence of someone or something else.

God simply says NOT to have any other gods before Him. Seems simple enough doesn't it?

In the Church today we, like the ancient Israelites in the past, have our idols that need knocked over and destroyed. One being the idolatry of intellect.

Some call it the cage stage, some call it being religious, others call it being a sound theologian. Some call it being a Pharisee.

We need theology. We need to study God and we need to have basic knowledge of who he is and who are to Him.

However a good number of us are guilty of searching the scriptures because in *them *we think we have eternal life. Yet refuse to go to Christ who gives life. We sit on our keyboards, or next to the water coolers at work, waiting on someone anyone to be wrong.

We come out arms swinging at those who claim Jeremiah 29:11 was written for them.

When in fact God does have a Hope and a future for us. That Hope is found in Glory. Theology matters. It truly does, without a proper study of God we wouldn't have any idea what our identity is in Him or why God would send his Son to die on a cross for our sins. Without a proper theology we wouldn't know our sins have been washed clean and we made a new creation in Christ.

But without humility we are nothing more than intellectual snobs. Pushing our brothers and sisters further and further into error and scripture says it is harder to win a brother over than a strong city.

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:9-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Institutionalized or Reconciled

In my "Intro to Corrections" class, we talk about prisoners being institutionalized (person, especially a long-term patient or prisoner made apathetic and dependent after a long period in an institution.) They have a dress code, they have a schedule they must follow or face consequences, and too often when a prisoner is released they cannot transition back into society because they have been institutionalized. However there are exceptions to this, some prisoners do great at rejoining the world; some simply trade one institution for another. For example, a prisoner took classes in prison as a rehabilitative process offered (often required) so when he was released he continued higher education and eventually received his master’s and became a professor. 
Now let’s talk about church, when a sinner comes to Christ, often they join a fellowship that simply changes their behavior -- instead of actually dealing with the problem. That problem is SIN. Coming to Christ is not a behavior modification process where you change your clothes, go to meetings three times a week, and call it Christianity. 

Following Christ is so much more than just exchanging one institution for another one. When Jesus died for our sins, it was to reconcile us back to fellowship with the Father. If the point of Christianity was to modify behavior, there would have been no need for Christ to die, because we already had Moses and the law (that’s not to say Christ abolished the law, because it is written He came to fulfill the law). Instead, it's a complete and total life change, inside and out, that reconciles us with our Lord.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:1-11 ESV
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:15-23 ESV

Aaron Jeffries 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Why I Love Being Confessional

By Lex Lutheran

I love being confessional. There is a sense of unity that I really cannot describe: Resources, tradition (calm down "non-denominational denomination" readers) and a defined line which does not change on a whim. 
(Please check out our podcast Episode: http://www.sinnersleague.com/p/episodes.html)
I have conversed with many fellow Christians that are not from a confessional back ground and when I ask a detailed question, I typically get the "No Habla EspaƱol?" face. A simple question of, "So, what does the law of God do?", turns into a scattered conversation about things ranging from Mt. Sinai to "quenching the spirit." One test I like to do is ask two people from the same non-confessional church or denomination the exact same question about their church’s stance on a theological topic at separate times; the answers are rarely the same. When I bring up the difference when we are all together, it results in a, “lets ask the pastor/elder” or a family member.  There's nothing wrong with not knowing an answer to a question, but to not have a readily accessible resource is problematic.  On the contrary, a person in a confessional church can and should point to their confession. Hopefully they know the answer, but to always have a book that summarizes doctrinal points of the bible is extremely edifying and helpful. I always recommend talking to a pastor or an elder, so please do not misunderstand.  But having a confession, you will already know what the pastor believes even as he's able to explain it to you in context and in depth.

Another thing I have noticed in the non-Confessional church is that almost everything is up to the pastors’ discretion. Many people are sitting under their pastor’s leadership with no clue about their doctrinal position on issues like original sin, role of good works, or sacraments. I have cousin that talked to his pastor about his friend that would not accept Christ after several conversations over the years. The pastor informed him that some people were not meant/decreed to be saved. If you notice the lay person was speaking from an Arminian thought process while the pastor spoke ‘kind of/sort of’ from a reformed position.  He had no idea that the pastor held this position and it infuriated him. All he knew about his non-denomination denomination church was its vague statement of faith page, and sporadic parts of sermons over the years.

One of the problems with relying solely on asking your pastor on a random Wednesday is that he may not be prepared or have the answer at his fingertips.  A confession has been analyzed, rebuked, affirmed and compared to scripture over hundreds of years. In addition, a confession is not compiled by one person locked away by himself. A common misconception of Lutheranism and Classic Calvinism is that people assume it is just a compilation of John Calvin's or Martin Luther’s thoughts, as if we are professing loyalty to them. In actuality, the non-confessional church falls more in line with this accusation than the confessional churches.  We do not confess the totality of Martin Luther’s works, but we confess the Book of Concord, which is comprised of numerous parts, written by numerous theologians, all based upon and referring directly to Scripture.  Centuries worth of debates and analyzing of the confessions ensure that it is stands on a platform of sound orthodox Christianity. This can be unlike the view of many non-confessional pastors. The view of an interpretation of scripture that he conveys to members question may or not have been analyzed by anybody except his wife or a close friend.

One of the biggest complaints people have about the confessions is that the members of a confessional church reference it more than the bible in some cases. I understand how this can be a concern if a person is not aware that each part of the confession is based upon scripture.  A key thing to remember is that the collective of people that studied and compiled the confessions all believed in Sola Scriptura.  Many over them were key in debates versus Rome in that era.  An example is the Apology of the Augsburg confession; this is a response to Rome’s complaints and rebuke of the original Augsburg confession.  This fact alone shows that a major part of the confession has been tried and tested for biblical accuracy.

I am sure there are many other reasons why people love to be a member of confessional churches. The last reason I will mention is that no matter what city I go to, I know what to expect when I enter a church with my confession. Sure there are pastors that may stray from the biblical truths, but that concern is far less than what I would have at a non-confessional church. With the current state of Christianity, I am scared to recommend non-denominational churches to people that I know in our cities, because the chances are they will go into a church that does not know how to separate Law & Gospel, rely heavily on work righteousness or will find a church where the only time you hear the Gospel is at the altar call. This is a big problem in Christianity today.  The truth is that whether we are in a confessional church or non-confessional church, we are called to be Bereans.  We should test everything by the Word of God.  I pray that your church is faithful to God’s Word and that the resources are there for everyone to ensure that sound doctrine is being taught.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

cut to the Heart, and You're to Blame

Please check out our Podcast: The Sinners League

By Shirley Decker

"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." Acts 7:51 (KJV)
When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. Acts 7:53 (KJV)

Why the rage? The truth was too much for the heart. Is too much. The law is written into it and pokes that finger of Guilt over again. Bruising. Damaging. Killing. Truth approaches and the desire is to lash out from the pain. I don't rage because I'm innocent. I rage because I'm not and can't stand it. I want an excuse. I want the accusations to stop.

I'm a baddy
She's a baddy
Wouldn't you like to admit you're a baddy, too.

If I'm not that bad, why does the pride leap out of my chest in defense? All claws and teeth. Ready to strike.

Stay away, Spirit. Nothing to see here. Go away.
No, no no.
I am totally justified in my action, word, thought.
Do not come closer.
I'm good. I'm good. I'm good.
They're worse.
Have ya looked at the sin over there?
Pshh, this is nothin'
Seroiusly, don't come closer.

The law squeezes. Condemns. Holds a mirror, saying, "You've got a lot of something on that stiff neck of yours."
It's a hard thing to want to see.
But the gospel comes in.
Stops us cold on the road.

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Acts 9:1-5

Revealing the other side to our need. The cure. The Savior. The freedom.
It hushes the heart. Be still. Over and over, be still.

But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
Ephesians 4:7

Rev. C.H. Spurgeon (via spurgeon.org)

'And now, lastly, poor sinner, has sin made thee unfit for heaven? Grace shall render thee a fit companion for seraphs and the just made perfect. Thou who art to-day lost and destroyed by sin, shalt one day find thyself with a crown upon thy head, and a golden harp in thine hand, exalted to the throne of the Most High. Think, O drunkard, if thou repentest, there is a crown laid up for thee in heaven. Ye guiltiest, most lost and depraved, are ye condemned in your conscience by the law? Then I invite you, in my Master's name, to accept pardon through his blood. He suffered in your stead, he has atoned for your guilt and you are acquitted. Thou art an object of his eternal affection, the law is but a schoolmaster, to bring thee to Christ. Cast thyself on him. Fall into the arms of saving grace. No works are required, no fitness, no righteousness, no doings. Ye are complete in him who said, "It is finished.'

Relief flows in tears, not rage.