Friday, June 27, 2008

Brennan Manning

**I guess I started writing this post back on February 22, 2008 and then forgot to finish it, so I'm finishing it and posting it now.**

Brennan Manning is an author of quite a few books. I've read a couple, and for the most part, I like them. Something he wrote even helped me get over my nervousness when flying!

But Brennan's writings seem to stir up controversy. You can find a lot of stuff on the internet where people are saying his writings are heretical and blasphemous. You can find more that say they are inspiring and uplifting.

One such controversial passage is in Brennan's book called "The Ragamuffin Gospel". He writes:

"The saved sinner is prostrate in adoration, lost in wonder and praise. He knows repentance is not what we do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven. It serves as an expression of gratitude rather than an effort to earn forgiveness. Thus the sequence of forgiveness and then repentance, rather than repentance and then forgiveness, is crucial for understanding the gospel of grace."

So what's the problem? I've read several people say that this passage is very wrong, even heretical. But is it? The critics have a problem with Brennan's assertion that forgiveness precedes repentance. I've been thinking about this, and it makes me wonder...

Isn't all sin actually already forgiven? Now, before you start calling me a heretic or whatever, lets examine things. I kind of feel that Brennan may be right in what he's saying. One thing I will say up front about this is that while I feel forgiveness may come before repentance, as Brennan suggests, I'm certain that salvation must follow repentance.

Let's look at scripture and see what it says. (Everything I quote is from NIV)

First, in Romans 6: 9-10 it says "9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God."

2 Corinthians 7:8-10 "8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Hebrews 10:11-18, 26-27 "11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16 "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." 17 Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin." And "26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God."

So I'm confused. Some verses seem to indicate that Jesus died once for all sin, which sorta implies that all sins are forgiven. Yet other verses indicate that if we keep on sinning, then no sacrifice for sins is left.

So which is it? Forgiveness, then Repentance and Salvation or Repentance then Forgiveness and Salvation?

Or is it different for the saved vs. the unsaved?

For the saved, is it that you have salvation, all your sins are already forgiven but when you do sin you repent in response to knowing you are forgiven, as Brennan seems to be indicating?

And for the unsaved, is it repentence then forgiveness and salvation?

Or is it that unrepented sin becomes unforgiven sin?

I really like what Brennan says in that quote, but I'm just not sure if it's right.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The erosion of America

*** WARNING *** The blog post mentioned below contains some foul language in it, and several of the replies do as well. The quote I'm using has a word in it, and I appologize in advance for it, but I think the point being made is a very important one.

I stumbled upon this blog. The title of this post caught my eye so I checked it out. I must say that despite the bad language used, this is a very interesting discussion.

Here's an excerpt from the main post.

So, the incident was that a cabin attendant was getting something from her
pocket and took out a crucifix at the same time (I believe there are some
regulations that prevent them from wearing either any form of jewellery of
religious based jewellery) which she discreetly put back into her pocket
after she located the item. However, the "passenger in question" instantly took offence to her "wielding 'that' religious icon while dealing with him." The whole heated discussion included snipes about how piq was always having to deal with God
being thrust into his face when he believed in something different. How his
life in the US in constantly disrupted by it. etc etc

This incident is an example of part of what's wrong with America these days. I'm going to expand this point to include not only religion, but other cultures as well.

It really is no wonder that other countries are beginning to not like Americans and are ridiculing us. Liberal Americans are all up-in-arms about political correctness and how things offend them. If you don't think like they do and do what they want you to do, they're going to take you to court to try to force you to be like them. So much for the 'land of the free'. Liberals are making this more the 'land of the asinine'. We've become the laughing stock of the world.

People sueing others because they get offended about something, like saying "Merry Christmas".

Little incidents like the one described above.

I really like what macphoto said in a reply: "What would happen if an American went to a Muslim nation and started bitching about Allah and all things Muslim being "thrown in their face?" Think the natives of that country would get a little defensive? And, they should. Its like being welcomed into somebody's home then complaining and being offended by the way they live."

Know what would probably happen if you went to Iran and compained about some Muslim thing? You'd probably either be put in jail or killed. Why is it that other countries are allowed to express their religious traditions, but here in America we're so concerned that someone might be offended, that everything must be supressed?

Suppose I moved to Saudi Arabia, and while there I said, "Gee, I don't like all this muslim stuff being thrust in my face. I think I'll complain!" Well, seeing as how Saudi Arabia is a muslim country build on muslim traditions and principles, and the majority of the people there are supposedly muslim... and since Islam is a radical religion and if you insult it in any way, you'll cause protests around the world, I'd be treading on thin ice. Again, I'd either be thrown in jail or killed.

Not so in America! Muslims come here from Saudi Arabia or where ever and say, "Gee, I don't like all this Christian stuff being thrust in my face! I think I'll complain! Better yet, I'll sue!" And America rolls over and says, "Sorry, didn't mean to offend! Despite the fact that this country was built on Christian traditions and principles, and the majority of people here are supposedly Christians...... and since Christianity teaches love and if you insult it in any way, you'll see Christians turning the other cheek, we'll surrender to your demands and supress our culture so you can have your culture here instead."

And it's not just in religious matters either. Now, this part is probably going to get people pointing at me, screaming, "RACIST!!" Which couldn't be further from the truth. I'm simply stating what I've observed from first-hand experience.

Now, since we've been invaded by Mexico, and undocumented (dare I say ILLEGAL) immigrants must be catered to, we have to change all our signs and packaging and welfare forms to be bilingual. So much for this being an English speaking country! You can't go to a fast food restaurant anymore without having to order in Spanish or point to the freaking picture of what you'd like to eat. Furthermore, they are trying to turn our neighborhoods into Mexican ghettos, just like where they came from. MORE THAN 50% of the kids in my son's 1st grade class were non-English speaking, undocumented immigrants! They had to have a bilingual teacher in that class to cater to the illegal kids! My own neighbors can't speak English. They have multiple families living in single-family homes. They don't take care of their yard or house. They don't take their Christmas lights down till the middle of FREAKING APRIL!!! (Ok, that could be some redneck influence, but you get the point). All the while leeching my tax dollars by getting food stamps and whatever other welfare assistance they are getting, despite the fact that they shouldn't even be in this country or be eligible for U.S. GOVERNMENT assistance.

I have a feeling I'll be writing more about this issue.....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Had to laugh!

When I read this on Brian Jone's blog (pastor of Christ's Church of the Valley in Collegeville, PA.), I just had to laugh:

Lisa gave me the best Father’s Day present ever – Jimmy Buffet tickets. We
went with friends of ours – Perry and Kelly Corda – and had a blast! Early this
year I went online and waited for hours to get tickets, but to no avail. Then
the Cordas called Thursday night and said that a friend needed to get rid of her
tickets at face value. Who says there is no verifiable proof of a benevolent
deity in the universe? Suck on that Richard Dawkins!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Be kind...

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle!