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Smith Springs, Nashville (Part I)

July 17 2003 at 12:55 PM
Anonymous  (no login)
from IP address 65.81.96.215

Smith Springs church of Christ Nashville

At least 2 elders have begun a extensive ministry
designed to defend Calvinism, which they call the
doctrines of grace. It has been promoted congregationally, as well as by radio, audio tapes, regular classes at a local denominational church,and the web (at engedi.org )

The mailing address for this organization (Blair Rd.in
LaVergne Tenn.) is also the home address for one of
these elders. One of their chief spokesmen, a former
pulpit minister a Smith Springs, is also a history
professor at Lipscomb University, Dr David Lawrence.
You are challenged to investigate this ministry and
see if you can tell any difference in their message
and the complete TULIP of Calvinism.

For a quick overview go to
http://www.engedi.org/devo/11.04.02
" " " " " /12.30.02
" " " " " /01.20.03
" " " " " /03.17.03


    
This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address 65.1.223.234 on Oct 18, 2008 12:00 AM


 
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AuthorReply
Kenneth Sublett
(no login)
63.84.81.4

Predestination

July 18 2003, 8:19 AM 

God picked Abraham for the purpose of being a blessing to ALL NATIONS. By going to Egypt the Israelites fell under the idolatry of the nations. Therefore, rather than being a blessing the Jews thought of themselves as PREDESTINATED. This meant, of course, that the NATIONS were NOT predestinated. This was not theology but arrogance. This was the MARK of their failure. Paul does not speak of the Gentiles as "dogs" but the victims of Jewish PREDESTINATION.

Paul shows the Gentiles who might feel INFERIOR that it was ALWAYS God's plan that the Jew and Gentile be one body. That is the MYSTERY of God's PRE-PLANNING. Because there was no MAN who could intercede God sent His RIGHT ARM as LORD to carry out His etrnal PLAN or predestinated purpose. When there is ONE BODY there will be ONE SPIRIT or the spirit of UNITY or ONENESS.

All people were God's people: the Jews were chosen for a SPECIAL PURPOSE and utterly failed because they substituted FAITH in their system for OBEDIENCE to the Word of God.

--Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
----Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:3
------And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, CALL upon his NAME, declare his doings among the PEOPLE, make mention that his name is exalted. Isaiah 12:4

--For the kingdom is the Lords: and he is the governor among the NATIONS. Psa 22:28

Jesus said that the Great Commission was to EVERY CREATURE because it is clear that God predestinated the Gentiles to be part of the ONE BODY having ONE SPIRIT.

--And he said unto them, TO ye into all the WORLD, and preach the gospel to EVERY creature. Mark 16:15 (creature does not mean Jews)

THERE IS NO LONGER JEW AND GENTILE SO SALVATION IS NOT CONDITIONED BY RACE BUT:

----HE that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but HE that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

The DIRECT STATEMENT of Jesus shows that the SAME GOSPEL was to be preached to ALL CREATURES.

--But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be WITNESSES unto me both
----in Jerusalem, and
----in all Judaea, and
----in Samaria, and
----unto the UTTERMOST (Gentiles) part of the earth. Ac.1:8

IN EPHESIANS ONE

--Having made known unto us the MYSTERY of his WILL, according to his GOOD pleasure which he hath PURPOSED in himself: Eph 1:9

NO, GOD'S GOOD PLEASURE IS NOT TO PREDESTINATE LITTLE BABIES TO HELL TO PROVE HOW POWERFUL HE IS.

----"God has told us his SECRET reason for sending Christ, a plan he decided on in MERCY long ago; Eph 1:9LIV

Contrary to the eternal superiority of the Jews, God ALWAYS intended them to be reconciled to the GENTILES. Only the SPIRIT of Christ in dying for ALL MANKIND had the power to persuade even Jewish apostles:

WHAT IS THAT PREDESTINATED MYSTERY?

--THAT in the DISPENSATION of the FULLNESS of times he might GATHER TOGETHER in ONE all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: Eph 1:10
----In whom ALSO WE have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: Eph 1:11

IN EPHESIANS CHAPTER TWO The Jews still made the Gentiles aliens and strangers but Paul proved that God's predestinated plan was for ONE BODY. The view of the Jews as superior and that of the Gentiles as inferior and without hope was NOT in God's Mind but in the minds of the two factions.

--That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: Eph 2:12
----But NOW, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off (Gentiles) are made NIGH by the blood of Christ. Eph 2:13
------For he is our PEACE, who hath made both ONE, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Eph 2:14
--------Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain ONE NEW MAN, so making peace; Eph 2:15

--And that he might reconcile both unto God in ONE BODY by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: Eph 2:16
----And came and preached peace to you (Ephesians) which were AFAR OFF, and to them that were NIGH (Jews). Eph 2:17
-----For through him we BOTH have access by ONE SPIRIT unto the Father. Eph 2:18

You cannot miss the fact that Paul did not speak of THE HOLY SPIRIT as a TRITHEIST person (a heresy) but the ONENESS spirit which is brought to the ONENESS BODY by the death of Christ. When Paul asked the name of this Spirit Lord, the answer was, "I AM JESUS OF NAZARETH." God's invitation is to WHOSOEVER WILL and not those whom I have already REDESTINATED so that the invitation is a cruel mocker.

Our problem is that we don't read the REST OF THE STORY.

Ken Sublett

 
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disappointed
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207.65.24.3

the oasis is a mirage

August 12 2003, 11:25 AM 

I will admit to being one of the people who got drawn into this neo-calvinist camp for a while thanks primarily to the influence of leaders and members at this congregation. They even helped influence one of my best friends to go on to a reformed seminary so he could understand this all better. I've heard they're still doing this today with some select college students. Calvinism, at least their new version, as clarified by R.C. Sproul (a modern author and lecturer who the Engedi leaders all hold in high regard) seemed to offer some pretty simple answers to some very complex questions, early on. But for every leak it seemed to patch a couple of new ones would start somewhere else. My biggest problems were their inconsistent word games with Bible concepts like chosen and dead in sin. It got even more complicated the deeper I got as I started to realize that my own pride factor would make it hard to admit that I, and some smart men I knew, could be mistaken.

When I raised some serious questions I would be told that I just needed to give it some time since these were such new ideas to me and so deep. They actually told me that 'you just have to give it some time.' I couldn't help but think of another time I'd heard that phrase: During my first weekend visit to my first college men's dorm I was stunned by the aroma. You know the mildewed towels, the sneaker odor, the gym clothes, etc. I asked my host how he stood it. His answer? 'You jut have to give it some time!'

Here's what I saw, and still see, in some of my friends /students who are still deep in this: when all you surround yourself with is this teaching - it's all you read, study, listen to, breathe, talk about, it's the only people you associate with - you just get to the saturation point where you don't even notice the haze in the room anymore; it becomes WHO you are. And it is really appealing to young people because it's advertised as NEW and DEEP. I finally realized that it is only deep like quicksand is deep.

One author expresses it this way: "The problem as I see it now is that I had gained my identity through an association with a particular historical tradition. I think it would have been appropriate to accuse me of being a Calvinist first and a Christian second. I never would have admitted it, but the fact is that this was true."

I beg those of you who may have doubts about this, open a window, open a door, open books from other deep theologians with the other viewpoint, for God's sake open all of God's Word! This new improved reformed stuff makes God much more like some cosmic czar from Greek mythology [fatalism] than what is revealed in the Bible. It goes right against the grain of the parable God's own son used to enlighten us about the true nature of his Father regarding a prodigal son: a God who is genuine enough to allow creatures, created in his image, to respond to him out of unmanipulated love (agape); and it is a misrepresentation to label this as some type of 'legalistic work'.

So here's my personal experience: this teaching is NOT an oasis of water; it is some sort of post-modern MIRAGE.


    
This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address 70.197.175.1 on Feb 25, 2013 8:07 PM


 
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Kenneth Sublett
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63.84.81.131

Mirage

August 12 2003, 5:13 PM 

One of the goals of postmodernism is to induce schizophrenia. I suggest that those who believe that ALL TRUTH got sucked into a black hole must have been brain washed in a cult before they believed that they and "church councils" now determine the HIDDEN dogmas in the Bible. I wonder about the council of the Episcopals?

What you are describing seems to be something you might have heard as Jones Town or Waco.

I noticed that Michael Mosss held a series of meetings at Sycamore church in Cookeville on SECURITY. Is he one of them? I noticed that in one of David's articles that he seemed to gloat over rescuing a student from another professor's denial of the Calvinistic I of the Tulip.

Did you find yourself an OUTCAST when your brain wouldn't wash any further?

Ken

 
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Anonymous
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67.42.150.74

Witness

August 22 2003, 3:27 PM 

From my associaton with a couple of Lipscomb students from Smith Springs, I had the chance, a few years back, to attend one of Engedi's off campus Bible studies (it was held in the home of one of the Eng. leaders.) After about 30 minutes it almost felt like I was watching a high school play - you know where everyone has memorized their lines they've been given beforehand, and they try so hard to make it sound unrehearsed. It became clear that of the dozen or so students there, that I was the only one who didn't know the words to the club song or the motto.

As long as everyone stayed with the expected verses & line everything went smoothly. It seemed so loical at first. "You do believe God is all powerful and all knowing, don't you?" (Well yes) "Then it only follows, doesn't it, that God already knows who will be in heaven eternally, so how could He NOT use his Sovereign (a favorite word of theirs) power to make sure that all the one's he's chosen will make it? You do know that nothing God plans can be thwared (another favorite word)- it tells us that in the Bible." The session almost had the pressure feeling of one of those time-share, condo sales pitches, and I really believe an observation that has already been made is true about Engedi: "most of the Calvinistic teaching are delivered in small doses so it is not possible to get a coherent picture."

My own Bible study lead me to see some real problems with of of their first major points - total depravity (Mr. Lawrence refers to 'depravity' often in his Short Studies Textual Studies, on their engedi.org web page; see Genesis, Romans, & John). Am I honestly supposed to believe that the Bereans, mentioned in Acts 17:11, were more noble because God had irrestibly chosen for this depraved group to understand, and want to study the Scriptures, but God chose, conversely, for the Thessalonicans to NOT have a desire to know the Truth? It just seemed to me that this line of logic is closer to ancient Mayan's in Mexico who had god's that demanded regular human sacrifieces to appease their desire for justice!

Another verse they mentioned was from Ezekiel. This very verse is the topic of www.engedi.org/04.07.03.html. Mr. Lawrence says Ezek. 14:9-11 is a major problem for those of us who belive that God has nothing to do with the "bad" things of life. What these guys have obviously chosen to stay blinded to is their major problem this raises: If God causes come of the 'bad' things, and God cause everthing (as they boldly teach), then God causes, always had, caused ALL 'bad' things, too. And I don't care how slick one gets with that politician double talk, or how divine & wise the medieval renaissance men chose to label themselves (see 'Divine Men's Club', in this forum), or how lofty, eloquent, verbose (and confusing) you get with the King's English (and his political aspirations), or how hard you scourge your own back with a leather strap while you chant 'God is not the author of sin' -- if you just shove their creedal theories into reverse and follow their logic back as far as you can go, you finally see where their teaching says that sin originated. (P.S. it wasn't Satan.) No wonder R. C. Sproul calls this their 'excruciating problem'. Since they teach that the will of man or angels only moves when given the desire by God, then the only way Lucifer & Adam (before the fall) could have sinned was for God to have given them that desire!

Welcome to the new 'joy and assurance'; be sure you read the fine print before you but!

OF COURSE Calvinists ALWAYS ignore the context: perhaps they are predestinated?.

And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Ezek 14:2

Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Ezek 14:3

Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God;
.....Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart,
.....and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face,
.....and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh
.....according to the multitude of his idols; Ezek 14:4

That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart,
.....because they are all estranged from me through THEIR idols. Ezek 14:5

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God;
.....Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols;
.....and turn away your faces from all your abominations. Ezek 14:6

Ezek 14:7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel,
.....which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart,
.....and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face,
.....and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me;
.....I the Lord will answer him by myself:

Ezek 14:8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing,
.....I the Lord have deceived that prophet,
.....and I will stretch out my hand upon him,
.....and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. Ezek 14:9

And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity:
..... the punishment of the prophet shall be even
.....as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; Ezek 14:10


So,since David Lawrence SPEAKS ON HIS OWN he will be assisted by God.


    
This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address 70.197.175.1 on Feb 25, 2013 8:19 PM


 
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Anonymous
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207.65.155.226

What's next on their agenda?

September 15 2003, 9:08 AM 

I became one to shun by the Engedi faithful when I challanged their claims about being "non-traditional". (Non-traditional in the Church of Christ, for sure but TOO traditional for even a lot of Presbyterian and Lutheran Churches out there.) Another reality I had was that, if their SYSTEM is right, then an old friend of mine who died, quite unrepentant, as a result of a sinful lifestyle, was in that position not so much due to his ungodly choices but because a Soverign God chose, before he was born, to NOT allow him saving faith and grace. Ditto for every family black sheep and the spouse of every woman out there who married a guy who had, to his dying day, no interest in spiritual matters. Too bad, God's wisdom predestined them only to punishment. Talk about a real nasty twist on the old phrase "there but for the grace of God go I" - straight to hell!

Its no wonder these reformers huddle together. Everyone around them who isn't chosen to understand "truth, justice, and the Systematic way" is probably in some damnable state and possibly not chosen for heaven. They just draw that circle tighter and tighter. Believe me, this is not your father's "blessed assurance".

So I'll let you in on a theory I have regarding HOW this group will attempt to slip carefully and quietly into the church. It'll be by two ways. First, the "we're not traditional" thing I've already mentioned but, secondly - late in the game - they've tried to hop onto the "no legalism in the church" bandwagon. I'm not kidding about this! I found one of the old church history tapes by Lawrence recently (most all of the tapes are so pro-presbyterian biased as to lack basic historical credibility). Here's how the legalism line is slipped in:

"The enemy is not people, the enemy is HUMANISM itself and that we deal with straight-forwardly. Now what am I talking about? What are some of the disquises that humanism can take!"
"An example: Legalism. LEGALISM is similar to moralism and usually uses moralism as a part of its system, but legalism is saying "man gains justification by keeping the law of God - keeping the commmandments of God." That's good, we are told to keep God's commandments. That sounds wonderful, 'Keep the commandments' but the problem is again, if I trust in what I'm doing - if I trust in keeping the commandments, then I'm not trusting in God, and the cross becomes unnecessary. And yet they will talk about obedience to God. Obedience is very important but it's YOUR obedience that YOU have done, by yourself. And then you have to say, when it's all said and done 'I DID IT', and that's dangerous."

"..The insistence on FREEWILL LIES AT THE HEART OF HUMANISM. When we say that man, not God makes the ultimate choice, basically, we're saying that "my will is stronger than God's". If God wants me saved, and I don't want to be saved, I'll win.''If God loves me' - you've heard people say this - 'I can walk away from God.' 'In a test of will between me and God, I'll win!"

[Forum note: notice how D.L. conveniently omits the other side of the coin: 'If God wants me to go to hell, there I'll go - nothing I can do about it' or 'If I want to be saved, but God has decided NOT to give me faith, before I was even born, then there is literally NO WAY for me to be saved, praise God!' Then their distorted logic forces them to respond by saying that a depraved person would never have a desire for God in the first place, so he'd never think to think such a thing. (I'm not making this up. That is how they will respond. I guess that shoots down Jesus' request for us to be light in a dark world - they are all blindfolded and can't even see us!)]

(D.L continues)
"thus man ultimately trusts in that choice to save him. 'I made the choice, I trust in the choice' and , as a STUDENT once said to me, if that's the case THE CHOICE ITSELF BECOMES A WORK and you're trusting in that work to save you. The ultimate end of HUMANISM IS DAMNATION - THAT'S WHERE IT LEADS TO." (Matthew 7:23 is next used as a proof text.)

(the tape ends with several questions posed by D.L.)

- "Is personal salvation of people the most important matter to God? (Be) careful how you answer that!"
- "Am I able to do ANYTHING without God's enabling grace?"
- "Are my beliefs shaped by what God has said, or by what I want to believe?"
- "Do I believe that in a contest of wills, my will shall prevail over God's?"
- "Do I believe that I am a Christian because I chose to be one?"
- "And WHAT, ultimately and finally, do I really trust in for my salvation?"

"I would suggest that at the bottom line, if you trust ANYTHING but the finshed work of Jesus Christ upon the cross, YOUR SALVATION IS IN SERIOUS JEOPARDY." (The tape ends, and fades to the orchestral musical theme song of Engedi)

[Forum notes: In other tapes they produce, they talk out of the other side of their mouth and say that they're "not questioning anyone's salvation"!
A couple of paraphrased scripture references probably also came to your mind in reponse to some of the questions raised:
- Joshua: CHOOSE ye this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
- Jesus: Oh Jerusalem...how I have longed to gather you as a hen gathers her chicks. BUT YOU WERE NOT WILLING.
So, let's re-submit one of his questions: 'Are my beliefs shaped by what God has said, or BY WHAT I WANT TO BELIEVE?'

So how will these teachings be introduced into the Churches of Christ? In a manner similar to the tactic that gays and lesbians have used to jump on the "No Discrimination!" bandwagon in our society, this group is trying to climb aboard the "No Legalism!" bandwagon in our churches. If this theory is accurate, then the first congregations they will probably target as prospects will be those with a recent history of embracing the themes of being 'Non-Traditional' or 'Non-Legalistic.' - - - Just watch and see.]


 
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Anon.
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4.152.174.204

Have they really not seen "The Passion of the Christ"?

May 5 2004, 6:58 PM 

In a devotional on the official Engedi website there is a recent (Spring 2004) Devotional thesis by D.Lawrence entitled The Effectiveness of God, Part 1: Introduction.

In it, he contrasts his personal views (which he always refers to as the biblical view, naturally) with the idea of a plan of salvation, as taught by the churches of Christ:
(referring to current misunderstandings regarding salvation) "A prevailing concept among Christians is that GOd is good and has a great plan for man, but because he has left it up to man whether or not her will accept the plan, God is likely to wind up disappointed. In the end, God's plan will be thwarted by many people, and it will wind up being ineffective for a great number of people it was intended to save."
(He then proposes several questions which, he implies, are all to answered with a resound "NO" based on the typical proof-texts, including as always, Ephesians 1:11) "Has God ever fained in what he set out to do? Is God ever ineffective? Has he ever left the accomplishments of his purposes in the hands of man? Has he made himself vulnerable?"
(The closing states) "These and other passages teach quite plainly that God's work is effective, that God has an eternal purpose and that he successfully works everything in accordance with it."

I still find it incredible that a man who claims to know the Word so thoroughly can't see some very plain teachings in the Word!
So let's rethink a couple of his posed questions:
1. HAS GOD EVER FAILED IN WHAT HE SET OUT TO DO? So from the beginning it was God's plan for people to become so wicked that he could drown most of them? That is what he set out to do? And it was his mission to have the Israelites having a big orgy while he etched the 10 commandments in stone?
God WANTED David to do his adultery / murder scenario?
2. Is God ever ineffective? Has anyone out there read the prevailing theme of the history of God's CHOSEN people in the Old Testament? Is it not a too-familiar theme of the message of the prophets being ineffective to the point that God was forced to send severe punishment on said people! And has this man simply cut out Matthew 23:37 from his Bible (in my Bible it's even in red letters!)
3. HAS HE MADE HIMSELF VULNERABLE? If anyone seriously answers that question as "NO" they must have not seen the movie "The Passion of the Christ", or at least they haven't read the book!

 
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Stu H.
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4.152.174.204

Have they really not seen "The Passion of the Christ"?

May 5 2004, 7:10 PM 

In a devotional on the official Engedi website there is a recent (Spring 2004) Devotional thesis by D.Lawrence entitled The Effectiveness of God, Part 1: Introduction.

In it, he contrasts his personal views (which he always refers to as the biblical view, naturally) with the idea of a plan of salvation, as taught by the churches of Christ:
(referring to current misunderstandings regarding salvation) "A prevailing concept among Christians is that God is good and has a great plan for man, but because he has left it up to man whether or not her will accept the plan, God is likely to wind up disappointed. In the end, God's plan will be thwarted by many people, and it will wind up being ineffective for a great number of people it was intended to save."
(He then proposes several questions which, he implies, are all to answered with a resounding "NO" based on the typical proof-texts, including as always, Ephesians 1:11)
"Has God ever failed in what he set out to do?
Is God ever ineffective?
Has he ever left the accomplishments of his purposes in the hands of man? Has he made himself vulnerable?"
(His closing states) "These and other passages teach quite plainly that God's work is effective, that God has an eternal purpose and that he successfully works everything in accordance with it."

I still find it incredible that a man who claims to know the Word so thoroughly can't see some very plain teachings in the Word!
So let's rethink a couple of his posed questions:
1. HAS GOD EVER FAILED IN WHAT HE SET OUT TO DO? So from the beginning it was God's plan for people to become so wicked that he could drown most of them? That is what he set out to do? And it was his mission to have the Israelites having a big orgy while he etched the 10 Commandments in stone?
God WANTED David to do his adultery / murder scenario? These were all some type of "accomplishment" of God? This was part of "everything" he wanted to occur?
2. IS GOD EVER INEFFECTIVE? Has anyone out there read the prevailing theme of the history of God's CHOSEN people in the Old Testament? Is it not a too-familiar theme of the message of God's selected voices, the prophets being ineffective to the point that God was forced to send severe punishment on said people! And has this man simply cut out Matthew 23:37 from his Bible (in my Bible it's even in red letters!)?
3. HAS HE MADE HIMSELF VULNERABLE? If anyone seriously answers that question as "NO" they must have not seen the movie "The Passion of the Christ", or at least they haven't read the book! It represents the EPITOME of vulnerability; focus on the words the next time you sing "He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels" - that WAS "making himself vulnerable"!



(resubmitted with typos corrected)

 
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Anon.
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65.1.103.179

You should have left the typos...

May 6 2004, 2:49 PM 

Your comments were no better spelled correctly. You still have no idea what Dr. Lawrence is saying. Keep spinning your wheels, you are definitely getting nowhere.

You do no good posting your comments here. You are always more than welcome to discuss any email devotional with Dr. Lawrence himself. He always tries to make himself accessible. Maybe then he can go further in addressing your concerns, and in a godly way.


 
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Anonymous
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63.84.81.128

Re: You should have left the typos...

May 6 2004, 7:01 PM 

Lawrence-5-Solas
http://www.engedi.org/devo/01.27.03.html

One of the charges of fist-person account is that the system is a cult: if you have a question they just "wear out the saints of God."

A sign of one under dominion is a constant denial that the leader said what everone knows the leader says. If Dr. Lawrence cannot deny his statements on the forum it is likely that you think that scripture can be TRUMPED by David when he pours out the out of context passages and YOU don't have the context hand.


The Five Solas: Soli Deo Gloria: To God Alone Be The Glory!
http://www.engedi.org/devo/03.17.03.html
By David Lawrence in red
    David Lawrence: It is only when we fully understand and personally believe that salvation is from first to last the exclusive work of God that we shall truly give God the glory.
    For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, [Or 'is from faith to faith'] just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." [d] Rom 1:17NIV

If you look at the other passages the subject is RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD REVEALED from faith to faith. Habbakuk didn't say what David Lawrence "interprets"
    Behold, his soul which is LIFTED UP is not upright in him: but the JUST shall live by his FAITH. Hab 2:4
    For therein is the righteousness of God REVEALED from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith Rom 1:17

They CAUSED the wrath of God
    Because that, when they KNEW GOD, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but BECAME vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was DARKKENED. Rom 1:21

There is not doubt-in spite of church councils-that we can DO things to bring down the wrath of God on our heads. This proves that God did not bring down His wrath from eternity past. A person who DOES RIGHT is righteous but they may not be SAVED in the sense which Jesus Christ made so clear that NO ONE can mistake it unless they are trying to drag you off into the spiritual bushes.

We KNOW that we cannot contribute to our SALVATION but Dr. Lawrence actually denies that GOD CAN CONTRIBUTE. He absolutely DEMANDS that God decreed who would burn in hell and the ELECT (meaning invited) is lost because, in effect, God cannot change His mind or Have Mercy on whom He will have mercy.
    David Lawrence: Yet Paul wrote "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
When you denounce the Spirit of Christ to say what He wanted said, and insist that church councils REVEAL what God COULD NOT reveal because everyone was too busy, then God sends you trong delusions. Then, you can quote Ephesian 2:8-9 and use it to deceive thousands of souls--yea, even infiltrate and divert colleges and churches--you are BLIND and cannot even "lift you your eyes" and read the first part of Ephesians.

There, any one whose eyes have not been blinded by God will clearly see that paul is speaking of BAPTISM as the SOWING FORTH of grace through faith down through time. I have tried to post Ephesians 2 and leave out the dozens of back up passages.

http://www.piney.com/Salvation.Grace.Faith.html

Ken Sublett

 
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Anon.
(no login)
207.69.140.33

Amazing!!!

May 6 2004, 10:41 PM 

You are absolutely amazing! You have a gift of being able to see "baptism" in EVERY passage in the Bible. I bet you could close your eyes, point to a verse in Habbakuk and get "baptism" out of it somehow. Instead of all of Scripture pointing to Christ, you have all of Scripture pointing to "baptism."

You, sir, are the one with the "strong dilusion."

 
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Tim Alexander
(no login)
12.76.247.117

Some questions

May 14 2004, 5:13 PM 

How much does God know and when did God know it?
Is the knowledge of God also the determination of God?
Can God be God and not know whatever can be known?

I will not classify myself as a 5-point Calvinist. I am quite comfortable being labeled a conservative evangelical. Reading with mixtures of disgust and amusement, I can only hope my good brother "Anon." will find a way to draw back from his ongoing puking contest with the pack of buzzards that generate the bulk of this web site.

I cast no stones at the Churches of Christ. This tradition is the tradition in which I learned to love the authority of the Bible and came to know Almighty God. I know my extended church family sparkles with good, kind, irenic, humble brethren.

However, those are not the people who saw away at this site. My brother is absolutely correct: every tradition does have its interpreation of truth. He is also right in that the admission of this fact is not an admission of the absence of any universal absolute truth. It is the apex of arrogance to walk around with a paper bag over your head and castigate others for failing to get out of your way. The people who write with such certitude about the crystal clear truth flowing from the fountain of the Restoration Movement are painfully, woefully, embarassingly ignorant of the context of that Movement.

The planks and platforms of the Restoration Movement that provided the theological rational for the existence of the Churches of Christ were dry rot to begin with and have long since been revealed as hopelessly inadequate. In that way, this pristine recovery of God's plan has no basis for continued survival. The sludge pumped out in this site in defense of the Movement is merely a failing attempt to perpetuate a necrotic institution. Just admit its rationale for existence is long since dead and move on.

I am glad the educational institutions are elevating their standards of theological learning and that the ripple effects are being felt in Churches of Christ across the land. It is long past time for such to happen. I long for the day when "our" institutions will hire and promote Bible faculty from other like-minded conservative traditions and more new wine is added to "our" mix.

This will be the last you hear from me. I hope my dear brother will listen to my plea and follow my example of shaking the dust off his feet and never visit this site again.

Tim Alexander
Minister, Smith Springs Church of Christ


 
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Kenneth Sublett
(no login)
63.84.81.18

Some Questions

May 15 2004, 11:23 AM 

    Alas for the day for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Joel 1:15

    Is not the meat (covenant) cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? Joel 1:16

    The seed is ROTTEN under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. Joel 1:17

    How do the beasts groan the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. Joel 1:18

    O Lord, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. Joel 1:19

    The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness. Joel 1:20

    BLOW ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; Joel 2:1

    A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. Joel 2:2

    A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. Joel 2:3

    The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Joel 2:4


Prophesies can be fulfilled many times.
    And the shapes of the locusts (Muses-musical or rhetorical PERFORMERS who drive away the FAITHFUL who have the MARK of the Word) were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. Rev 9:7
    Charles Spurgeon said: in "The Sword and the Trowel", 1880 ' "I am told that many in the Church of England preach against her own teaching. I know they do, and herein I rejoice in their enlightenment, but I question, gravely question, their morality.

    "To take oath that I sincerely assent and consent to a doctrine which I do not believe would to my conscience appear little short of PERJURY, if not absolute, DOWNRIGHT perjury; but those who do so must be judged by their Lord.

    "For me to take money for defending what I do not believe--for me to take the money of a church, and then to PREACH AGAINST what are most evidently its doctrines--I say for me to do this (I shall not judge the peculiar views of other men), for me or for any other simple, honest man to do so, would be an ATROCITY so great that, if I had perpetrated the deed, I should consider myself out of the PALE [boundaries] of TRUTHFULNESS, HONESTY, and common MORALITY.

    Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. It is our solemn conviction that there can be no real spiritual communion there should be no pretense of fellowship. Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin. As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate, but quitted the body at once. Since then my counsel has been, 'Come out from among them'. I have felt that no protest could be equal to that of distinct separation from known evil. That I might not stultify my testimony I have cut myself clear from those who err from the faith, and even from those who associate with them. Cost what it may to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty, but our duty." (15)

Charlton T. Lewis identifies DRY-ROT as what happens when a ship gets away from the water.

cares , em, e- (other cases appear not to be in use)

II. Trop., in RIDICULE, of old, withered persons: nemo illa- vivit carie cariosior, Afran. ap. Non. p. 21, 27; Turp. ib

Isn't it just wild that you are a MINISTER who is a co-conspirator but have never LARNED that the Bible and the totality of church history--especially note John Calvin--repudiates the idea of a HIRED MINISTER. Jesus repudiated the doctors of the Law and Paul claimed that the GOSPEL which is free cannot be preached except by those who, as Paul commanded Timothy, to WORK as Paul worked--to the point of travail--so that he could exercise charity in feeding the DESTITUTE:

http://www.piney.com/ChMinistry.html

For those who see "godliness as a means of financial gain--occupation--tithing is a terminal sin which rejects the sacrifice of Christ and THERE IS NO LAW OF GIVING. The message is that those who have PROSPERED during the week should give to those who were DESTITUTE.

http://www.piney.com/ LayByInStore.html

Can't you grasp the minimal ethic for a "christian" that to ride tandem on the backs of widows and the hard working people struggling to get health-care for their children, and then participate in chasing the OWNERS out of their houses like an invading skunk, and then RIDUCULING the beliefs of your EMPLOYER makes one worse than an Arab who is MUCH KINDER by sawing the people's head off?

The Campbells grasped what any literate person MIGHT grasp--If God in Christ had not blinded them--: that the CHURCH is a "school of Christ." Worship is, as Paul insisted, reading and dialoging the Word. No! The word is not preach but Dialog. Jesus went into the CITIES and preached but he went into the Synagogues to TEACH. Get it: Jesus the approved example.

If quoting the Bible is IGNORANCE then you must be a Lawrenceite who believes that God was incompetent and the "church" was too busy to REVEAL Calvinism which is the most evil dogma ever pushed onto mankind and depends on the preachery metod which can read "Salvation by Grace through Faith and cannot even SEE the first part of the chapter which uses words which define ONLY baptism.

Ken. Scripture says "give an answer" and not slander and lie about the urge to get back to the Bible as the eternal principle of God and denominations.

 
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Del
(no login)
207.65.228.197

Smith Springs Church of Christ?

May 15 2004, 5:41 PM 

Tim Alexander

You openly admit to being the preacher for the Smith Springs Church of Christ. Shame on you for being such a rude, revolting, repulsive and rampaging "Church of Christ Destroyer". This seems to be your type of name calling and ridicule. How could people sit and listen to you week after week if this is the ghist of your messages and style of delivery?

You sound like a very angry little boy who will do and say anything to get his way and a better paycheck even if it destroys a church that so many good and Bible sound Christians (the grey hairs)in past years built and maintained. Many of those "good folk" are to some degree responsible for providing, at one time, a christian education for you and other well intentioned young men only to see you stab them in the back.

Why do those in your playpen continue to "steal Churches" rather than work and raise the money to construct your own facilities and name it whatever you think is more appealing? I'll bet I know. It's easier and cheaper when you can steal the building and substantial number of those too old, feeble or easily mislead people that once were able to trust those who proclaimed the word of God, in it's purity.

How many "Good folk" have you and your present leaders driven off to look for a sound Church of Christ congregation unpolluted by divisive, sneaky, and destructive so-called Church of Christ preachers and elders?

God will judge you and all those like you who are more interested in "getting the Numbers" than preaching and teaching the truth and long held beliefs of the Church that was established long before radical, liberal and progressive "Christian" colleges and universities made their shift with little thought for anything other than additional money and numbers.

You said you would never visit this site again, but you will. Your type cannot resist putting down the Biblical Church of Christ in support of your apostasy. Shame on you for receiving a pay check for slandering the Church that Christ died for and for changing it into a meaningless denomination.

The Bible is very clear but you and those like you continue to wear very dark glasses looking for those scriptures or "no scriptures" to promote and defend your apostasy.

Shame on those who continue to listen to you and dish out the cash for your support. I know nothing of the Smith Springs church but this letter clearly defines the leaders attitude and direction towards failure and loss of many souls to the devil and his angels. It speaks volumes about your congregation, its biblically illiterat leaders and their goals of making the Church of Christ more like the worlds various religions rather than more like what it's founder had in his plans.

I know you will read this and would certainly like to see you tell the readers of this site why everyone should adopt your policies that obviously contradict the Biblical stand taken by those before you and your lberal ideas. Tell us, please, why anyone should want to be a member of the Church of Christ if it is no different than what the Baptise, pentecostal, methodist, etc. believe, teach and practice.

Any one can talk, preach and write in a hostile fashion such as is seen in your writings but is this really a mark or identifying characteristic of a Christian? I challenge you to reple to this without hostil, unchristian-like words and tell me and others why we should follow or adopt your teachings that so clearly contradict the Bible.

Del

 
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Anon.
(no login)
68.19.194.167

Yes, sir!

May 15 2004, 8:32 PM 

Tim,

I sit under your ministry on a weekly basis and am extremely blessed. Your words to me to leave these people to themselves and never visit this web site again will be heeded. This counsel to me is wise and a long time coming. I repent of my activity on this web site and the cowardly way that I have been responding without using my name.

I must go now. I have better things to do.

Jason Charlton

 
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anon.
(no login)
12.38.210.195

Angry little boy

May 29 2004, 12:39 PM 

We will probably have to get used to this type of rhetoric in our congregations if this new wave of change agents are allowed to have their way.
I attended a forum recently which discussed Calvinistic-based groups like Brother Hale's Engedi which are subverting our congregations with their version of what they insist is the Truth. A phrase was mention which seemed quite appropriate: Parasite. For many reasons, usually including fear and financial issues, these people lack the integrity required to claim public association with those that they share beliefs with, namely the Presbysterian church, (or at least one of the many splits in that denomination.) Instead they simply attempt to parasite off of our congregations, which they know, lack a common heritage with their version of Truth.

Those of us who, along with the majority of the Christian community at large, teach free-will, while being referred to by these people as "our Arminian brothers", have our teaching slanderously characterized as "trying to save yourself" and attempting to rob God of his glory, since only He will save whom he wants to save, etc., etc. (exact phrasing is explicit at the Engedi site) - - these save people demand that we accept them as "brothers"! I can't help but think of the saying, "with friends like this, who needs enemies?"

Yes, as a teacher, I can tell you it is indeed the angry little boys - the squeaky wheels - that often are heard the most, but it is never for any flattering reason.




 
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Ellis M.
(no login)
65.1.104.221

No stones?

June 4 2004, 2:23 PM 

Bro. Tim's says he doesn't want to cast stones?
It sounds like what he just means is "I like the church, I just can't stand its shallow beliefs, its unbiblical teachings, its rotten origin, its sordid history or what it now represents. Other than that, I'm fine with it and would love to serve as your minister. O.K.?"

Neurotic? That has to be one of the more neurotic compliments our fellowship has received lately.

Really Tim, why waste time with mere stones when your trunk full of hand grenades will do just fine?

 
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Smith Springs Member
(no login)
64.12.117.10

Stop Sensationalizing

July 11 2004, 8:27 PM 


I attend Smith Springs Church of Christ and not once have I ever heard Tim Alexander 'slander the Church that Christ died for' (if you are indeed refering to the Churches of Christ). Quite the opposite, he heaps generosity and love upon this tradition. I have actually heard him defend it on more than one occasion. I consider myself an old-school, traditionalist but find myself impressed by his willingness to re-evalute and re-think his former beliefs and education. You must remember that the members of every Church of Christ have a hand in selecting their elders and ministers. Tim is very straightforward, open and honest about his philosphy. It is not this covert plan at which you hint. We are not hostages, held at his mercy. I'm sure it's much more interesting to take that position, but it's just not the case. B

 
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Former Member
(no login)
170.143.252.32

Members Input

August 9 2004, 11:54 AM 

Contrary to what you wrote, the members apparently did not have a say so about hiring Tim Alexander. Other better qualified speakers with an actual degree in bible were passed over in favor of Tim by then elder Danny Hale (presumably because he shares the same doctrinal beliefs as Mr. Hale.

As to members selecting the elders that is not true as well. One deacon's name was "accidently" overlooked when names were submitted by individuals for the congregation's consideration. That man happened to follow the traditional "Church of Christ" belief of man having free will. He withdrew his membership from Smith Springs after that.

Tim - He took Romans out of context and screamed the part of "we are predestined" and said to the congregation " you believe what the bible says".


 
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Kenneth Sublett
(no login)
63.84.81.46

Re: Members Input

August 9 2004, 3:44 PM 

According to the Gnostic myth, through some tragic failure a spark of the divine was planted in some (but not all) persons and the memory of its divine origin erased. Humankind continued in its ignorant stupor until the high God had mercy and sent Christ to remind man of his true origin. Salvation, therefore, came through knowledge(gnosis) but this gnosis was more than just intellectual awareness of the divine origin of one's true self. Knowing for the Gnostic went beyond mental recall; it meant active reunion with one's divine source through all kinds of ecstatic experience--dreams, visions, speaking in tongues, etc. In this return to the divine source, one is liberated from the bodily prison (Roetzel, Calvin J., The Letters of Paul, John Knox Press, Atlanta, p. 83)

Not all men are created with similar destiny but eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say, is predestined either to life or death." (Insti. 111, Ch. 23).

By the decree of God for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated into everlasting life, and others foreordained into everlasting death. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished." (Confession of Faith, pp 23-24).



It is all paganism and refutes EVERY proof text they take out of context. Paul, in fact, Pauses in Romans to "preach" chapters 9 through 11. The Jews also believed that they were predestinated (Just terminal arrogance). If Paul was correct and PREDESTINATION meant that God offers salvation EVEN to Gentiles then surely either God or His Word failed. Paul blames the Jews for the failure. The examples of god picking certain people to carry out His plan had nothing to do with predestination to Hell or Heaven. They just FABRICATE this scam and the TONE proves that the goal is to take you captive so that when THEY make a decision YOU will believe that they are guided by a HOLY spirit: It is not holy.

Ken Sublett

 
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There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

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At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

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5 Godly Elders
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120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
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