Sola Scriptura

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 4, 2020 1 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

The entire Gospel can be summarized in five statements: Our salvation is by “Grace Alone,” through “Faith Alone,” in “Christ Alone,” according to “Scripture Alone,” and for the “Glory of God Alone.” In the original Latin they are: “Sola Gratia,” “Sola Fide,” “Sola Christus,” “Sola Scriptura,” and “Sola Gloria Deus.” These statements were initially coined by Martin Luther during the Reformation, but they are central teachings that have been taught throughout the millennia in the church. While these statements are easy to learn and easy to memorize, the depths of them are inexhaustible. I am going to change the order of the statements around and do “Sola Scriptura” which is “Scripture Alone” first for two reasons: 1) this is the foundational tenant for which all other tenants get their base from, and 2) so that “Sola Christus,” (“Christ Alone”) is published on Christmas morning. So without further ado, let’s dig into “Sola Scriptura.”

First, here’s a little background into how and why Luther coined the phrase “Sola Scriptura.” He had come out of a Roman Catholic background, which at that time was selling indulgences (ultimately a fundraiser for the Sistine Chapel), and people could come to the church to buy an indulgence which would allow them “free sins” by confessing in advance. The practice then, as it is now, is that there are three authorities in the Roman Catholic Church: the Bible, the church Tradition, and the Magisterium, comprised of the Pope and his high council. What Luther realized is the Bible alone gives the authority to all things, not traditions or man-made council.

Todd Friel in his “Drive By Theology” teaching series with Steven Lawson makes the observation that many of the major creeds and confessionals that many churches use begin with the Bible. That means each tenant and statement don’t come from their church traditions or elder councils but from Scripture. I’ll go even further to state that unless we truly believe and operate with “Sola Scriptura,” we cannot believe the other major tenants of our creeds. How do we know that salvation is by grace alone? Simple, because Scripture teaches it. How do we know that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Simple, because Scripture teaches it. In everything, Scripture, the inspired, inerrant, sufficient, and superior Word of God, must be the standard. It must give the foundation. It must give the framework. You can see the Scripture and writings on that in the links provided.

Now the skeptic to this will quickly ask: “Are you a geo-centrist?” Just in the past few weeks, I have received this specific question from believers when I speak about Scripture being the authority. Where are they coming from? They are confusing numerous things here. First, the Bible never actually teaches geo-centrism. There is no set of verses that teaches the sun moves around the earth. All we have is observations from the people just as our modern weathermen speak. Yes, Joshua asked the sun to stand still. Does that teach geo-centrism? Actually no, it doesn’t, not any more than your weatherman giving us the sunrise and sunset times. But what are they really aiming at? They are suggesting that we actually use our “modern science” to interpret the Bible on this issue. And they use this with the intention of saying that we can’t use the Bible to dictate the history of the universe. It’s comparing apples to peanuts, not even similar enough to compare both topics to fruit. The geo-centrist debate is a scientific model we use with our observations NOW, and it has nothing to do with the historical account of Genesis. And Genesis is a historical account. The models of how it actually took place are secondary to this. So, the argument doesn’t actually do what they want it to do.

Now, the Bible does not give us the details of the galaxies or microbiology or Newton’s Laws or chemical reactions. It’s not a science book. And those who accuse me and those who believe the historical account of Genesis of trying to make it a science book need to learn what science is and what it isn’t. But that said, the Bible gives us the framework through which we are to see everything. Not every detail, but the framework. Anything outside that framework is not of God and not valid. So when the Bible gives the history of how long God took to create the universe and how much time has passed since and what kind of events took place (sin bringing death, a Global Flood, the Tower of Babel dispersion, the Plagues, the Exodus, the Conquest of Canaan, all the way through Jesus’ birth, death, burial, resurrection, and return), that means that all our studies MUST includes all these factors. If we do not take the Bible’s account as the primary authority, then we are not doing a Biblical study nor operating out of a Biblical worldview.

When I teach about worldviews, I address five major questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? Who am I? Where am I going? Who do I listen to? I make an emphasis that each of these questions MUST be answered from the Bible’s perspective or it is not a Biblical worldview. The depth of these questions is bottomless and each one is inseparable from the other. You will always answer one holistically with the others. Origins includes our views of creation, what’s wrong with the world, how did I get here, what is my personal background, etc. Purpose includes my reason for existing, my role in life, and where I belong. Identity is who I am as an individual and who I am in the collective. Destination includes where I am going in 5, 10, 20 years, heaven/hell, how will what is wrong be made right, etc. Authority deals with which voices I will listen to: parents, family, peers, teachers, elders, pastors, scientists, media, God/Bible, etc. If we are not answering these questions by the Bible, then we are missing something and our worldview will be broken, backwards, and more than just “wrong.”

Now, can we include other sources of authority? Science, psychology, math, history, literature, etc. The answer is “Yes!” Without question. However, each one of these must be submissive to what the Word of God teaches or it is a false authority. I love math and when practiced I can do calculus in my head. The Bible doesn’t teach calculus, but it does give the framework that enables calculus to work. That said, I also have learned this phrase: “Math doesn’t lie, but wrong equations do.” If the mathematical construct we derive is not based on the accounts given by Scripture, it is not a Biblical construct, nor will it likely produce anything of real value.

If Scripture does not explicitly talk about it, at the very least it cannot disagree with any statement the Bible makes. That’s why all “Deep Time” models suggesting millions to billions of years of the earth’s history are totally wrong. Not only are they merely mathematical constructs (no science is ever used to show Deep Time, only math is), but they are based on equations that purposefully and intentionally leave the Biblical account out of it, if not intentionally trying to refute it. These models directly contradict what is explicitly given in Scripture (6-day creation, only about 6000 years having passed, and a global flood) and were initially created for that purpose. So, any such model is not part of a Biblical worldview nor is it part of a practice of “Sola Scriptura.”

The Bible must be our authority – our first, foremost, and final authority. When anything is in conflict with the Bible, that anything must go for inspection first. Where is the flaw likely to be found – in the scientific models or the “interpretation” of Scripture? Frankly, I’ll hedge my bets that man’s opinions are the flawed ones, not the clear reading of Scripture. And I’ll be right every time, even when I am the one who doesn’t have the correct doctrine. I’ll be right that the Bible had it right every time. I am wrong often, that’s why I don’t put a lot of weight to my opinions, but I go by what Scripture says. And it is Scripture that teaches that our hope is by the Grace of God alone, and not by any of our efforts. That is for next week.

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The First Step to Oblivion

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 1, 2020 2 comments


by Chad Koons

Let’s just get this out of way: if you have embraced Universalism, LGBT inclusion into the Body of Christ, Progressive Christianity, the removal of Hell, or think fondly upon the deconstruction of one’s faith, then you’ve likely tripped over the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy to get there. Not only tripped over it, but perhaps yanked it out by the roots. Or maybe you just haven’t understood what it means or why it is important.

Now that I have your attention, let’s take a quick look at what “Biblical inerrancy” means and why your Christian life may depend upon it.

“'Inerrant' signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.” – The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

In simple terms, the doctrine of inerrancy states that the Bible is true, without error, and from God. We at Worldview Warriors believe that inerrancy applies to the original texts of Scripture (not necessarily the translations of the original language texts, as translations vary on several levels). We acknowledge that there are minor scribal variations that have occurred over time, but none that have affected its meaning. To believe this inerrancy is of primary importance to the life of every believer in Jesus Christ. If we remove this truth, we open the door to becoming weird at best and heretical at worst.

Do you believe that the Bible is “inerrant”? Not sure? Answer these questions:
1. Do you believe that the Bible gets some things wrong, that it may contain errors?
2. Do you doubt that the Bible is the authoritative “Word of God”?
3. Is the Bible old-fashioned, irrelevant, or needing to progress with modern times?
4. Is the Bible a product of human invention?
5. Are some events in the Bible fictitious stories?
6. Has the Bible been changed or adapted since it was originally written?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, then you have either intentionally or unintentionally rejected the inerrancy of Scripture. And yes, that is a huge problem. Although culture will not admit it for some reason, the slippery slope is very real. What you allow today will become the new standard tomorrow. Believing that the Bible is wrong in some way will lead us down a very dark and destructive path.

Many reject inerrancy because they think that they’ve stumbled upon an error. A skeptic may cite a few perceived issues such as grammatical misunderstandings, mathematical issues such as the measurements of Solomon’s Sea, or seemingly contradictory passages such as whether there were one or two demoniacs in the Gadarenes. These issues are quickly resolved with a little research, yet more often than not this begins the journey of doubt. This doubt, unless put into check, will lead to the idea that the Bible is not trustworthy, authoritative, or divine.

Most of the time, however, the supposed contradictions or errors are not the problem. When a person claims that the Bible is wrong, it’s usually because that person doesn’t like what the Bible has to say. They disagree with a particular passage and they become offended. Their emotion drives them to devalue the Bible, dismissing it as irrelevant, errant, or simply unrealistic. Rather than deal with the truth of the Word of God, they find it easier to write it off or seek to change it. This is when the more insidious roots begin to grow.

At odds with the Bible, many Christians will declare that we have “outgrown” the old-fashioned notions of Scripture, arguing that particular passages of the Bible are best disregarded or perhaps updated to coincide with our evolving modern times. Then along comes the many Christian teachers and philosophers who will support this divided mindset.

I think of Rob Bell’s infamous dismissal of the legitimacy of Scripture. In his opinion, the Bible is out of touch with modern man and therefore irrelevant to our current culture. Speaking of how culture has evolved, Bell stated, “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.” In Bell’s mind, Scripture is not the enduring Word of God. This, my friends, is where false teachers have introduced their own pet heresies, having long ago released themselves from the bonds of God’s eternal truth. Reinventing Scripture to suit their own positions, they make their followers twice the sons of Hell that they are.

I do not want you to be led astray, dear Child of God. Teachings of demons come through those who have rejected inerrancy. Go read 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

To quote the title of this blog post, the rejection of inerrancy seems to be the first step to oblivion. In my experience, it is the gateway through which all sorts of false doctrine burst forth. I’ve seen good people lose faith or begin a journey of grave error after rejecting Biblical inerrancy. Do not become one of them.

To deny Biblical inerrancy is to make yourself the judge over Scripture. We are not privileged with the authority to break apart Scripture in attempts to pick and choose what is from God and what is not. The Word of God stands alone regardless of our approval. If we attempt to pick and choose, then we have become the judge over it. God forbid, Scripture is not ours to break. “The Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)

The Bible claims itself to be flawless; it is perfect. The authority of the Scripture is available through responsible and accurate translation of the original language writings. We possess these translations today. “And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6)

You would be correct to say that men wrote the Bible. However, they wrote only what the Lord had instructed them to write. Do not mistake human authorship with divine instruction. We also recognize that the Bible uses allegory and imagery; do not misinterpret this as error. The Bible can be trusted, and the authors wrote through the Spirit of God Himself. “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Finally, to deny inerrancy is to deny what God had already said about His own Scripture. To disagree with inerrancy is to set yourself at odds with God. The Bible truly is the Word of the Lord.” “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16)

If you are still on the fence, I implore you to take the time and effort required to wrestle through this. Listen outside of your current sphere of influence and discover the proofs of Biblical inerrancy from sources who believe it. Your Christian life depends upon it. Perhaps you already believe that the Bible is inerrant. If so, can you intelligently defend it? Take a few moments to digest the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. We must always have a strong defense of the inerrancy of Scripture.

For more on this topic, check out Ten Reasons to Believe the Bible by C.A. Wolcott.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Advent Reflections: Hope

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 30, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

Yesterday marked the first Sunday of the church season of Advent - the season where we celebrate the anticipation of the birth of Jesus on Christmas. Each Sunday of the Advent season has a theme traditionally associated with it, and this year, I will write on each of those themes as we go through this season.

The theme for this first week of Advent is hope. What exactly is hope? Hope can be interpreted in two main ways. One definition for hope is a desire that something we would like to happen, or an expectation that we would like to be fulfilled. A second definition for hope is the knowledge that something will happen for certain. Do you see the difference there? Sometimes, hope is just wishing something would happen; other times, hope is knowing that something will happen and waiting for it expectantly, though we may or may not know exactly when it will happen. The difference is in the degree of certainty we have.

We often hope for things in this life without certainty. Perhaps I hope my job will go smoothly this week; I do not know for certain that will happen, but I hope so. Perhaps I hope there will be a chocolate cake magically waiting for me in my kitchen; that’s unlikely, but a girl can hope, right? These are things that we may want to happen, but they’re not necessarily certain.

The hope that is given to us in the Scriptures, and that we focus on during this Advent season, is one of certainty. When we put our hope in God’s promises, we know He will fulfill them. He may not fulfill His promises in the way we would like Him to, but they will always be fulfilled according to His perfect plan and purpose and to give Him glory.

As we think about hope, take a look at a few passages from Scripture that encompass this idea:

“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” (Psalm 119:114)

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (Ephesians 1:18)

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” (Psalm 130:5-7)

There are many more passages in Scripture that point to the certain hope that we have in God. Do you see the difference in these passages between a hope that might happen and a hope that is certain?

Having a hope that is in uncertain things will cause a sense of uncertainty and anxiety in our lives. Instead, hope in the Lord, for He is faithful. He has shown us time and time again through His Word and through His working in our lives that He is worthy of our hope, and He will fulfill HIs promises.

Let me share a story to illustrate this from my own life. In 2010, I graduated from seminary with my Master of Divinity degree. Since not long after then, I desired to pursue another degree, whether it would be another master’s degree or a doctorate. I hoped it would happen, but year after year it didn’t, for a variety of reasons. In 2017, I had a moment of hope when I was told that a doctorate could be possible for me, but then that hope was shot down by some other life factors.

In the early summer of 2020, that hope was reignited in my life, and I began to see how God had been working in my life over the past 10 years to align everything that needed to happen to make my hope a reality. Throughout the summer, God kept revealing more and more how He had been working to make this happen - but in His timing rather than my own. For years, my hope was uncertain, but I kept hoping in the God of certainty and waiting on His plan. In September 2020, I began classes toward my Doctor of Ministry degree. Now, I have the certain hope that God will continue working in my life to sustain me on this journey that He so clearly has prepared for me.

What are you hoping for in your life? Is it a hope of uncertainty or a hope of certainty? Put your hope in the God of certainty that He will keep His promises to you. God promised to send His Son to earth to be born of a woman, live a sinless life, die an atoning death to take on the punishment that we deserve, and be raised again to reign in glory. We know with certainty that all of that happened some 2000 years ago, and every promise God has made has been fulfilled in Jesus. We can truly put our hope in Him, and I encourage you to do so this Advent season.

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The Holy Spirit: Revealer of Christ

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 27, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I wrote about the ministry of the Holy Spirit and how one of His jobs is to reveal, explain, and teach the meaning of Scripture. But this is all to lead to His ultimate and primary job: to reveal Jesus Christ. The real Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, very few people in this country are left who know who He truly is, so let’s look into how the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus.

How is Jesus spoken of in the church or ministry? What kinds of jobs and roles does Jesus have? Many churches have this view of Jesus as being a “divine butler.” He is there to serve you, love you, care for you, come to your rescue, and give you your heart’s desire. This is a “genie” type of Jesus. Others have this view of a mere facilitator. He sets up the process but lets it run its course on its own and doesn’t interfere with what man wishes to do, except for when man wants him to come. A while back I wrote a three post series on “Another Jesus” and you can see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here. If the church or ministry speaks of “another Jesus,” the Holy Spirit is not there.

Is the True Jesus revealed? Not the lovely, fluffy, shampoo model, but the real Jesus? The One whose eyes are ablaze when sin abounds. The One who stoops down to care for the broken and the weak. The One who calls out the self-proclaimed “educated” for their hypocrisy. The One who has compassion on the hungry. The One who stands for truth like a soldier in battle. The One who forgave an adulteress caught in the act and a thief dying next to him. The One who obeyed the Law perfectly but had no regard for the traditions held beyond that. The One who gives a call to all to come follow Him but doesn’t chase after those who reject Him. The One who came to save the world, not to condemn it, yet will bring judgment on those who reject the Son and stand condemned already. Is this the Jesus taught at your church? Or at the ministries you follow? Is this the Jesus taught by me, or the rest of us at the Worldview Warriors ministry? Test us, too, to see if we pass.

Is Jesus just a good teacher or is He the Son of God? Was Jesus a prophet or God come in the flesh? Is Jesus the Messiah or is he just one manifestation of a greater “spiritual energy” that all religions find in common (most of the “Progressive Christianity” churches follow Richard Rohr who teaches this, for the record. See “American Gospel: Christ Crucified” for details.). Do we have the right Jesus? This is why it is so important to know Scripture so we can test and approve/reject what we hear.

Who gets the glory in the preaching? Whom is the message about? Many churches today do not preach about the greatest of God, but about how special man is that God had to come to save us because of how precious we are. There is partial truth to that, but in reality, Jesus didn’t come to die for our sins so we can go to heaven because we are so special to Him. He died voluntarily, fully submitted to the will of the Father, and for the glory of God alone. It’s not about us at all. If the Holy Spirit is involved in your church, it will be about God and not about you.

Does the church wink at sin or does it call out sin? One of the primary jobs of the Holy Spirit is to reveal and expose sin, individually and corporately. How does your church speak about sin? There are three ways people do it today: 1) don’t speak of it at all, 2) sin is a barrier between you and God’s blessing, or 3) sin is a treasonous act against a thrice-holy God. Unless your church takes this third position and calls sin for what it is, the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with your church. When the pastor and the church leadership refuse to address sin, they do so in rebellion against God. A low view of sin reveals a low view of God. Now, I’m not talking about “fire and brimstone” preaching, though there are times where there is a place for that. I’m talking about describing what sin is, what sin does, and what the consequences of sin are, and letting the Holy Spirit do the convicting. There are preachers, however, who refuse to speak against sin and are proud of it. The Holy Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with said people, unless He is working against them.

The relationship between God and sin are inversely proportional to each other. The greater the view of God, the greater the disdain for sin. The less we take sin seriously, the less we’ll take God seriously. The Holy Spirit will convict His people of sin. It will be specific. He will tell you exactly what you did wrong. He also will tell you what you need to do to rectify the situation. He won’t condemn you, giving you no hope. But He will deal with the sin in your heart. If you are reading Scripture and you realize you have sinned against God because a passage “leaps out to you” that you were certain wasn’t there before, that is the Holy Spirit speaking to you. If you heed His word, life will still have hardships, but they certainly will be easier to manage.

The Holy Spirit does not speak much of itself. If a church/ministry always emphasizes the Holy Spirit through miracles and power, be wary, because the Holy Spirit may have nothing to do with them. But if that church/ministry is all about Jesus, you can safely say the Holy Spirit is working in that ministry.

Is the Holy Spirit in your church? Is He in your life? Use these tests to evaluate yourself. There are others, but this is what I have to offer on this topic. May we be guided by the Holy Spirit to rid ourselves of sin, to have a high view of Scripture, to read and understand Scripture correctly, to lift high the name of Jesus, and to live lives holy and separated unto God.

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Sources of Authority

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 23, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

Everyone has different people or things in their life that they consider to be an authority. Each source of authority can have little or a lot of weight in life, depending on how much we count on them to advise and inform our worldview.

The question is, how do we know what to believe? What authorities are true, and which are false? Every person has different sources of authority in their life, whether they realize it or not. Our sources of authority inform our worldview, and they determine your beliefs and actions.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have different sources of authority than those who do not follow Jesus. We should definitely see the triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as an authority. The Bible is also an authority. But what about your church congregation or denomination? Your pastor? Your family? Those traditional things that you do because you’ve always done them?

Today, I want to look at our sources of authority through the illustration of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. This is a way to picture what emphasis we place on each of the sources of authority in our lives. The four sides of this quadrilateral are Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience. These four areas show us how we gain information about God, and how we know what to believe about Him.

This quadrilateral shows all of these sources as being even, but that’s not usually the case. Each person relies on each of these aspects in varying amounts. This is often, but not always, determined by a person’s upbringing.

For example, this is what my personal quadrilateral looks like:

As you read below about what each of these sides mean, ponder what your quadrilateral might look like.

Scripture
The Bible, or the Holy Scriptures, are commonly considered to be the “norming norm” for Christians - the ultimate source of authority. There are many reasons for this, and you can read about some of them here. The Bible is an attempt to describe the unknowable God in human language. We need to constantly be looking at the context of any passage and its language for the best interpretation of it. Christians will always have diverse understandings of Scripture, but we need to remember that it’s ok to disagree on the parts of it that don’t matter for salvation.

Tradition
Tradition here does not refer to tradition in the sense of always doing things the same way or doing the same things in a repeated pattern. Here, it refers to those who have gone before us - great church fathers like Augustine, Athanasius, Irenaeus, Martin Luther, John Wesley, etc. The word tradition has different meanings to Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, and Protestants. The Protestant Reformation in the 1500s brought the idea of tradition as spiritual baggage, as the focus was on Scripture Alone. But, if tradition is completely rejected, the church will be shaped solely according to personal desires. Tradition helps us put our beliefs in the proper perspective of the whole of history. However, there is also a danger any time tradition is too rigid that the moving of the Spirit cannot be seen.

Reason
Reason is our God-given ability to think through things in a logical manner. It is a necessary gift, and it is very much a part of who we are. Being created in God’s image gives us this ability to think for ourselves, however if reason goes too far, then it becomes rationalism and there’s no room left for accepting things on faith. It’s important to understand where the boundary is between reason and faith. We need to think logically and reasonably, but we also need to allow God’s Spirit room to help us grow.

Experience
The idea of experience is that we know and learn about God first though our personal experiences. These can be good or bad. For example, if you experienced a loving father growing up, then your idea of God as Father is a good one; but if you experienced an abusive or uncaring father growing up, then you’ll have a negative view of God as Father. The danger with experience is that it can result in heresy (anything outside of the accepted Scriptural tradition), and it can distort our beliefs of God if it becomes our primary source of authority. When we focus primarily on experience and reason, we may end up with relativism where we believe that my truth is the same as The Truth.

So, knowing all of this, what does your quadrilateral look like? Where do you place more or less authority? Consider what you allow to be an authority in your life, and where God may want you to place authority.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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The Holy Spirit: Teacher and Upholder of Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 20, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

The least talked about member of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. There are two reasons for this: 1) the misuse of Him, thus many avoid talking about him, and 2) the Holy Spirit Himself doesn’t talk about Himself. But how can you tell if the Holy Spirit is truly active in your church? With so many fakes and counterfeits out there, what is real? Can we know? Today, I want to share some tests we can use to see if a church has the Holy Spirit active in it, or if the service is just a ploy, a game, or an emotional high.

First, when we examine the tests for being a Christian as found in 1 John (see my two blog posts for this: Part 1, Part 2), he is talking about an overall style of life, not necessarily absolute perfection. The ONLY person to ever live a perfect life is Jesus Christ. And not once has any local church congregation ever held 100% correct doctrine. So, as I examine several tests we can use to see if your local congregation is actually being led by the Holy Spirit or not, I’m not calling for perfection here.

Second, as I examine these tests, I am ALSO not going to insist that there must be a massive revival going on either. Many of these are fake, but God does indeed give what can be called a “mercy drop.” I’m talking about the day-in, day-out working of the Holy Spirit in a congregation. So, while what I am talking about may include such moves when many people get saved and miracles happen and entire communities repent and cease sinning, I’m looking at what a normal church that is following the Holy Spirit should look like in their normal circumstances.

The Holy Spirit has multiple jobs in this age of the church. One of His primary jobs is to reveal the message and clarity of Scripture. I am amazed at how many people can read Scripture and quote it but miss the whole point, including Christians. Again, I’m not talking about getting 100% correct doctrine. We at Worldview Warriors believe and teach that the Scriptures are divinely inspired. That means that the prompting, intention, and cohesion of Scripture came from God, specifically from the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to be God-breathed. Those who are not saved, who have not been born again, will not understand Scripture. They literally cannot understand it. They are not capable of it because the things of God are spiritually discerned, and they are foolishness to those who are perishing. But when the born again person reads the Scripture, they have the Holy Spirit with them, illuminating and explaining it. Sadly, very few people know the difference between a personal opinion about the text and the Holy Spirit’s revelation about it.

The Holy Spirit only speaks one message from Scripture as well. There is only one correct interpretation. My favorite quote from my favorite sermon starts with this: “Did you know the Word of God says one thing? It doesn’t say 20 things. It doesn’t say 2000 things. It says one. God doesn’t stutter!” If two people are studying Scripture and getting two very different ideas about the text, then one or both of them aren’t listening to the Holy Spirit. Now, due to people’s personalities and learning styles, they may approach the same truth from a different angle, but it’s still obviously the same truth. The Holy Spirit may give one person a logical explanation and another person a picture or image, but it will still be the same truth. The Holy Spirit never gives contradictory messages.

The Holy Spirit speaks well of Scripture. It always speaks of Scripture as being the first, foremost, highest, and ultimate authority on every topic it touches on. Jesus operated by the Holy Spirit and knew the Scripture. He didn’t appeal to emotions. He didn’t appeal to the teachings of this person or that person. He appealed to Scripture. “Have you not read?” A little secret on this: all Scripture reveals Jesus in some way, shape, or form. Jesus is the Word of God in living flesh. He is the Message, so all Scripture points to Him.

That said, if you hear a preacher that brings question to the Word of God, he not only doesn’t have the Holy Spirit with him, but he may be of the devil and a false plant there to deceive. Now, I’m not talking about “I’m not sure what this says.” I’m talking about any form of teaching that says “This is wrong.” I remember watching a video of a seminary professor who was teaching his class over Romans 5 and said Paul was making such a great case for sin and salvation until he brought Adam into the picture. He thought Paul was wrong for using Adam to explain how sin came to all men. Why? Because of his theistic evolution position, he didn’t believe Adam existed. That is a false teacher because he did not preach to defend and uphold and submit to Scripture. He taught to question, to marginalize, and to disbelieve the text of Scripture.

If you hear a preacher that does not put Scripture itself as the highest authority but appeals to the scholars of men, the “experts” of this world, and does not get his primary message and meaning from Scripture, he is not operating via the Holy Spirit. That said, any person that gives a “theme” message that itself is ultimately not derived from Scripture, but rather uses Scripture as a “proof text” is giving a false message. It is not of God. Those people take their ideas and look for a passage or an “interpretation” that can fit their idea instead of building their ideas from Scripture. That also said, if you come across a passage and you do not know what it means or what it says, don’t force it. Simply say, “I don’t know what this means, but what God says is true.” Keep it between you and God and only bring it up if you have to. Don’t serve uncooked meat. However, if the person you are listening to uses doubt upon Scripture as the basis of his message, let alone ministry, that person is of the devil.

The Holy Spirit’s primary job above all these is to speak about Jesus. He doesn’t reveal Himself; He speaks of Jesus. You can tell the Holy Spirit is in your ministry if He is revealing Jesus. More on that next week.

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A Household of Liberty vs. a Household of Law

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, November 18, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” - 1 John 5:3-4

When my wife and I began raising the children that God had given to us, we knew we wanted to at least strive to raise them up not only in Godly ways but for them to learn how to discern the Word of God to make good and right choices on their own. We came up with only 2 rules to follow in our home. Those rules were as follows:

1) Honor and obey God and your father and mother

2) Do not lie.

We taught first-time obedience to all of our children from a very young age.

By only having these two rules to follow, our home became a very permission giving household. Our children learned the importance of liberty versus fear, shame, and control. This also freed up my wife and me to be able to give our children grace when they might do something unwise or sinful, and we would allow God’s “special revelation” (natural law) to teach them the importance of benefits and consequences in decisions they would make.

We did our best to try and follow God’s example in the Garden of Eden. God only gave Adam and Eve one simple rule to follow: do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. If they did eat from it, they would eventually receive a consequence and they would surely die (Genesis 2:15-17). Everything else was fair game! Think about that for a moment. Nothing else was sinful. As it states in 1 John above, God’s commands are not burdensome. He desires for us to live without fear, shame, and control. God’s Word is very clear not to worry or to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6). God’s Word also tell fathers to not exasperate their children and to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Another thing my wife and I decided to implement in our household was the importance of first-time obedience and to administer discipline right away. Even if I would be relaxing in my easy chair after a hard day of work, it was my responsibility to get out of that easy chair and administer discipline, right away, if one of our children chose to disobey me or their mother. I could not be lazy, whine, or make up an excuse that I was too tired from a hard day to show our children love in this way. If we would let them get away with sinning now, how much more would that take place later in life? Our children learned that talking back to their mother or father was not honoring them and that this was not obeying us the first time we told them to do something, which was disobedience. This was a breaking of our first rule.

Discipline needed to be administered swiftly but lovingly. One way we chose not to exasperate our children was to make certain they knew why they were going to be disciplined for their action. This could literally take 30-60 minutes of our time to have a conversation with our child and talk out what had just taken place, allowing our child to understand that what they did was breaking not just our house rules but breaking God’s law as well. It was very important to us to instill this into our children to help them understand that as their parents we weren’t just making up rules willy-nilly but trying to honor and obey God ourselves. We would do this behind a closed door with just the one child who committed the offense, usually with just one parent. This helped our children to learn that they could trust us and that we were not going to embarrass them in front of others.

This also gave us the opportunity to allow our children to learn about the wonderful gift of grace. You see, my wife and I learned very early on that we couldn’t share with our children every single bad thing that might happen to them by making sinful or bad decisions. But, it gave us freedom to discuss things with them later and give them some grace after talking to one another so they could then have the liberty to make their own choice later on. So, sometimes we wouldn’t administer any discipline because they might have already learned the lesson needed to make a good and right choice on their own. After all, it really is about a heart issue, isn’t it?

Jason and his wife Jaya have been married since 1997 and have been blessed with 6 children, 2 boys and 4 girls. If the topic in this post interests you, check out Jason’s book on leaving a life of security for a life of liberty in “How Being Consistent Changed Everything.” You can get your own copy here.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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