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Jim_Alaska last won the day on February 15

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About Jim_Alaska

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  1. Let's see...... a new member who, in his first post fully aligns with the Calivinst posts before him. It smacks of "bringing in the reinforcements" from another board. Fortunately folks like this end up shooting themselves in the foot all by themselves. They will eventually expose their agenda for what it is. This is the real "shallow thinking." It's interesting that the new guy uses the same borderline sarcastic and patronizing grammar as the person before him.
  2. Thank you Bro. Alan. This seems to be a subject that is only lightly touched upon. I am glad you enjoyed it and really appreciate your added comments.
  3. Bob, taking into consideration that you are new to this board, I would like to take a moment to provide you with some helpful information that you should have read in the board guidelines before posting. First of all there is a feature on these forums whereby members can determine the status of other members. An important feature is found in the left column, where you see a picture of the member. The member you replied to is a moderator, as evidenced by the title under her name. Moderators are here to moderate, keep order and make sure that these boards operate according to the wishes of the owner of the boards. We here at OB are not like other message boards where anything goes. The response you gave to Salyan, a moderator is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Our board moderators are not only here most of the time, but they are active on the board, unlike many other message boards. They are mature Christians that moderate with a light hand even though they have a difficult job to do. You sir, have openly defied two moderators with your reply that I quoted above. If a moderator tells you to "move it on", this is not a request or a suggestion that you can ignore at will. Since you are new here I am not going to give you an official warning point against your status, but I do want this to serve as a warning that such behavior will not be tolerated. Salyan has instructed you to "move on" and if you do not comply, you will be moved on without further notice.
  4. SPIRITUAL GROWTH, AS TAUGHT BY SCRIPTURE AND THE SCIENCE OF BOTANY By Jim Foley Text: “…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow” Matthew 6:28. INTRO: In this scripture Jesus gives us an object lesson as to what constitutes spiritual growth, and how it happens. Jesus made the lilies and He made me, and now he describes to me how both biological and spiritual growth takes place. People often create for themselves a great deal of anxiety because they assume there must be some formula they must rigorously conform to in order to make themselves grow spiritually. Spiritual growth is not a secret formula process we must discover for ourselves. Jesus points to the lilies of the field as an illustration of how natural and spontaneous both natural and spiritual growth is. When Jesus points us to the lilies of the field it is not simply an appeal for us to see and enjoy nature and admire its beauty. Everything in nature, as well as in scripture, is given to teach us a spiritual truth. Natural life and spiritual life are governed, as is everything God has made, by natural law. Now let’s take a close look at the lilies of the field, and let them teach us about growth, both natural and spiritual. The point we must consider is not just that they are there for us to admire, but rather to consider “how they grow,” as Jesus puts it in our text. Many Christians live with anxiety because they are trying to make themselves grow spiritually. The lilies grow without anxiety. Without taking conscious care or effort the lilies grow naturally into full beauty. There is no conscious toiling to weave the tissues of their leaves. Their complex tissues have spun themselves naturally and automatically. Jesus follows up by implying that we care-worn and anxious people need not fret about causing ourselves to grow. He implores us to “take no thought” about what we will eat or drink, or how we should be clothed. We mortals create ghosts in our minds and then worry about them. We allow ourselves to be controlled by circumstances rather than allowing God to perfectly order our life. All men and women who have just a little faith have learned the secret of a composed life in many respects, but when it comes to spiritual growth we do not seem to make the connection. Early on in our Christian lives we settle down at times in calm trust in God, trusting Him to provide the necessities of our bodies. Then by and by we begin to become anxious about spiritual growth, especially when someone tells us we must follow this or that formula if we are to grow spiritually. But how do the lilies grow? They grow by grace, and take no thought, because the growth comes naturally. How does a child of God grow spiritually? He also grows by grace. Yet as we are told by others how to do this, we start fretting about it, and the anxiety comes back. We then have transferred our anxiety from our bodies to our souls. Then our efforts at Christian growth seem only a succession of failures. Why does this happen? It happens because we forget the lesson of the lilies of the field. Strenuous efforts to grow spiritually are right in earnestness, but are wholly wrong in principle. In both the natural and spiritual realm there is but one principle for growth. That principle is the same for plant and animal, and for body and soul. If we would know that principle, look again and “consider the lilies, how they grow.” There are two characteristics of all growth. They are: 1. Spontaneousness 2. Mysteriousness First let us consider the spontaneous nature of spiritual growth. There are three categories by which we may seek for evidence of the spontaneous nature of both bodily and spiritual growth. The first category is Science. We need not be a rocket scientist to understand that the lilies grow of themselves. It is one of the most natural things in the world. They grow automatically and spontaneously, and that without trying, without fretting about it, or without having to think about it. Take for example a new born baby boy. He begins growing shortly after birth without being aware of it, and is so uncontaminated by the advice of others that it is all automatic. As he grows he eats because he is hungry, and the growth goes on without giving it a thought. He does not fret about the condition of growth, but has a habit of eating and so the result is that growth goes on automatically and naturally. The boy’s parents have no need to tell the boy to grow, for it is a law of nature that he will grow without having to give thought to any process. Well-meaning people may tell us that the formula for spiritual growth is more prayer, more self-denial, more good works, etc. These are all well and good, but are not the cause of spiritual growth, but the results of it, just as many of our activities in life increase as we grow into a greater and grater capacity for various and greater ventures. The scientific fact is that the soul grows as the lily grows, without trying and fretting and thinking about it. Another thing that teaches us that growth, both bodily and spiritually, is spontaneous and automatic is experience. Getting back to the example of the boy in the above illustration that grows without taking thought, experience teaches us that he cannot make himself grow no matter how hard he tries. Doesn’t scripture also tell us this fact? No person can add to his stature by taking thought. “And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?” Mat 6:27 The Christian’s life unfolds itself like the lily of the field, from a divine germ planted centrally in his nature, and it grows as naturally as a flower from its seed. Though this flower can be imitated, one can always tell the artificial flower from the real one. This is the distinction between the natural growth of the Christian principles in the life of the Christian, and the moral copy of it. The first is natural and the second is mechanical. There are many artificial Christians marching about in society like little tin soldiers, but little tin soldiers only mimic the real thing. In the natural world in which we live there are crystals that GROW and organisms that GROW, but there is a real and fundamental distinction between them. The distinction is that the crystal is DEAD, while the organism is ALIVE. The crystal increases, but the organism grows. The organism is from within, while the crystal simply adds new particles from the outside. This is the difference between the true Christian and the mere moralist. The moralist’s works are all an external put-on. The moralist’s so-called meritorious works are all external while the true Christian’s meritorious works are from an internal divine growth. It is the distinction between the true Christian and the hypocrite. Now the crystal may be ever so beautiful, but it lacks the vital principle of a living germ of divine life within. Another fact that we need consider is that salvation in the first instant is never connected directly with morality. This principle is totally foreign to the thinking of the merely religious pretender since he thinks of his put-on show of morality as earning him salvation. It is true that salvation does demand morality, but the problem is that it demands so much morality that the moralist can never reach up to that level. True salvation results in the perfection of the inner man, i.e., a Christ-like mind. Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: There must first be a spiritual awakening that can only be accomplished by God, then comes the natural, internal morality. The moralist, with his external morality, may go a long distance towards perfection, at least in the eyes of his neighbors, but he can never reach true moral perfection, and so he is lost, for God demands perfection in the inner man. Only true spiritual life in the inner man can be perfect, and that life in the inner man of all true Christians is "Christ in you, the hope of glory. And that divine life, i.e., “Christ in you,” is the germ that sparks spiritual growth in the inner man that produces true good works. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. Divine life always produces good works and so spiritual growth results because God has ordained it, and those ordained good works will flow out of, and give true evidence of, that natural automatic and spontaneous spiritual growth. Life develops according to its type and so out of the Christian’s inner man will flow “rivers of living water,” and “springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. It will be the most natural thing in the world. Growth is synonymous with a living, automatic process. The Christian is a new creature in Christ Jesus, and he adds cubits to his stature just as the old man (flesh) does, naturally. To use another scriptural metaphor he abides in the vine (Jesus), and because he abides in the vine, and not because he is toiling, but rather because he is growing, he brings forth fruit. Fruit is always because of growth and not growth because of the fruit. The fruits of the Christian’s character are not manufactured things, but living things that have grown from the secret germ. In short they are the fruits of the living Spirit. Now let’s consider the second great characteristic of growth: mysteriousness. The lily Jesus spoke of grew mysteriously. It pushed up its weight of stem and leaf in the teeth of gravity. How the flower does that, we know not, but observation tells us it does. Along the edges of asphalt paving one often sees plants break the pavement to reach up their leafy heads towards heaven. What mysterious force causes that? It is God who causes it to grow. God has put within the lily the nature to grow. Likewise when the soul rises slowly above the world and pushes up its virtues into the very teeth of sin and depravity, and displays the very image of Christ, it is then as natural for the lily to grow mysteriously from the seed to the flower. New Christians are often misled into believing the secret of spiritual growth is a strong will, a high ideal, a strong resolve to live virtuously, and the influence of Christian fellowship. We allow that the growth of a lily is a miracle, but then assert that a Christian must resort to self-imposed formulas to grow spiritually. We say the lily may grow naturally and spontaneously, but the Christian must fret and toil to grow spiritually. A man or woman may, by hard work and self-denial attain to a very high character, but this is not spiritual growth. If such efforts at self-improvement cause spiritual growth then spiritual growth is not mysterious. Jesus Himself spoke of the mysteriousness of spiritual birth and growth when He said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8. The fact that it is mysterious implies you cannot account for it on philosophical grounds such as a favorable Christian environment, charitable works, or efforts at self-improvement. The result of such thinking produces only artificial flowers. You can easily discern where that kind of religion comes from and where it goes. A lot of what passes for Christianity is formed by external influences, social opinions, and the voices of the world, which may be observed and explained. But the genuine thing comes only by the unseen power imparted by the mysterious thing we call the new birth. True Christians stand out from among the crowd, just as a real lily stands out from all the artificial ones, because of that unseen power that produces spiritual life in them, a life totally different from that lifeless counterfeit of the self-made that call themselves Christians. As long as anyone tries to manufacture his or her own spirituality, they can never be free from the pressure cooker of trying to measure up. They do not understand that the energies that produce spiritual growth, which results in spiritual improvement, are already there. That energy is the energy of the Omnipotent God Who fills their souls. If they are saved, growth moves them upward just as the lily grows upwards naturally by reason of the energy to grow that is inherent in their cells. When I was born of the Spirit of God I was hungry for the bread from heaven. That is also the natural result of being born again. It was a pleasure to “taste and see that the Lord was good.” I had “tasted the good word of God” and it made me want more. When one is born of the Spirit of God, growth is automatic. One need not even be thinking of that or even be aware of it. The only thing that can prevent growth in a Christian is not feeding on the word of God. But when one is born of the Spirit of God one has a craving for the bread from heaven, and so eating and growing will go on. When one is born again growing begins and continues. At first he is satisfied with the “sincere milk of the word.” I Peter 2:2. And as he grows spiritually he automatically develops a taste for the strong meat of the word. “Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age.” And so his spiritual growth continues until he becomes a mature Christian. The lily of the field grows spontaneously and mysteriously because that is naturally inherent in its nature. I believe the Lord was pointing out to us that those born of the Spirit of God will just as spontaneously and mysteriously do the same. Are you growing, or still working at it?
  5. Bro. bob, our local churches do have a monopoly on the truth as evidence by my Scripture quote above. As for name calling, where do you see any name calling in my reply? Jesus and Paul recorded what I quoted as Scripture, are you saying that Scripture that calls false teaching what it is, is name calling? Another observation: in your reply you seem to be categorizing Calvinism as "the truth", since you said that it falls into the category of "the truth". When it comes to the truth, I see no "secondary" truths, it is either truth or it is a lie, there is no middle ground between the truth and a lie. Let's get one other thing straight, I am not angry, neither is it anger when a person calls out false teaching. It just seems to me that liberals in general, (not pointing to you) will categorize any argument against their view as "anger". This is especially true in the political realm. You have indicated on your profile that you are Independent Baptist. Your argument in this thread in defense of MacArthur and Calvinism is not consistent with Independent Baptist belief and teaching. How do you reconcile the two opposites?
  6. Rat poison is an apt illustration in this instance. I have used this illustration in teaching about avoiding false teaching. Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. The Apostle Paul had no problem addressing things of this nature. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. The issue of following after, or reading after men of doubtful beliefs is exactly why I warned about this practice in another thread. It is dangerous and unnecessary to expose ourselves to teaching outside of our local churches. 1Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. As for " failing to evince a Christlike spirit ", I would submit this: Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? It would seem that a "Christ like spirit" would include warning against heresy. There are many times in Scripture that Christ was less than "gentle" when the issue was false teaching and teachers.
  7. OK, if Bro. Dave will not "rag on MacArthur" I will. I will also disagree with Bro. Dave where he said that MacArthur needs to be taken very carefully. I don't think he should be "taken" at all. Mac Arthur is and promotes Community Church. I mean this in the sense of a denomination, not something like a Community Baptist church. He is not Baptist and I would discourage any Baptist brethren from reading after him at all.
  8. While this topic and the references given may seem biblical and the right thing to do on the surface, I also think that the subject needs a word of caution. Certainly leaders need to, and should speak out against heretics and heretical teaching, we are instructed to do so in Scripture. My concern in this is simply; to what extent should we go to accomplish this? First I would affirm that it is of utmost importance for the leadership of a local church to take heed to weed out and identify both heretics and heretical teaching in their midst. But secondly I would caution against making a ministry out of it in relation to going outside of our local assemblies, specifically to search out heresy. To me, the exception to this would be when heresy from outside the local assembly begins to permeate our church, or some church members begin to be influenced by it. Most here know my position on exposing ourselves to teaching outside of our own church. Our members should not be going outside of the local church for their spiritual food. I know this can get a bit muddled and sticky because our members can be exposed to heresy through simple contact and interaction with other Christians and then bring up what they have heard in conversations with their own church members later. But I would consider this the exception, not the rule. Although I respect and for the most part agree with Bro. Morris, I think that his blanket premise here, in which he states that we should guard against and expose heretics and their teaching as it pertains to "individuals, churches, schools and other organizations", would, for the most part, require and undue amount of time and energy in searching out things of this nature. The examples that he gives of Apostles doing this very thing are valid in context. The Apostles were, for the most part charged with the task of establishing and confirming churches and leaders. The churches were new at that time and required guidance and protection. So I guess my thought lines run along the idea of, yes, it is good and scriptural to deal with the subject of heretics and heretical teaching and when found should be named, but we should not make a ministry of it, but expose it as it comes to light in our own sphere of influence or ministry.
  9. Thank you both Orval and Alan. Based on this information I will admit you to the IFB forum.
  10. I have closely examined the content of your church's website. It appears that your church is indeed an IFB church. In this context I will admit you to the IFB forum on this site. Since you are the first person I have admitted as an admin., please let me know if you have any problems in accessing the forum I admitted you to.
  11. No 1611, there is no option to reverse the order of posts. What I have done is to click the "mark site read" link at the bottom of the page before you leave the site. The next time you come back it will show you "unread content", by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.
  12. Unfortunately admission to closed forums is not automatic. For instance, for forums like the IFB we like to make sure that the member is actually an IFB. Can you confirm the name and location of your church and possibly a link to their website of there is one?
  13. I agree with HC and apologize for anything I have said or done in this thread to create confusion and add to the degradation of the thread. I also meant no indictment of 1611 in my replies to him.
  14. Well 1611, if you need a complete explanation I will explain exactly how it happened. First I hit the quote link, it opened a window with your text quoted in it. I did not wish to address the entire quote, only the section I was speaking to. I often do this when I only want to address one issue when there are several in the post. In the quote window I deleted the text that I did not want to address. When I put the cursor where I wanted to write I accidentally hit the "backspace." This jumped the cursor back into the quote window and deleted the whole quote. Now the only thing I could do was to go back to your post and edit it to copy only the text I wanted to address and make a new reply with it included. It has been my experience that if I try to copy the text you see on a page the text usually comes out really small, so I did it by editing instead. Even thought I am an admin there is no way to bring back text that has been deleted. This is why I apologized in my post. Again I am sorry for messing up your post, it was not my intention to cut out anything you said and no reason to. I suppose for safety reasons in the future I will just copy and paste the text from the page instead of editing and copying and taking the chance that this may happen again.
  15. We can certainly take this to another forum. But I do have to say in all honesty that we have at times questioned a new member's legitimacy, intentions and also asked them about their beliefs and the church that they attend. In any event Salyan, if you feel that this may be offensive you could create another thread and move these replies to it. I would not be opposed to this at all. I do see your point and admit that since you mentioned it I, myself, have second thoughts.