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  1. I can recall that day when I first felt called by God through Jesus Christ; the miraculous events that led to a new heart wanting to know more about God and Jesus Christ. And within the first few days, I pored over the Gospel of Matthew (because, let's face it, it's the best book in the Bible, and I struggle with pride); there were beautiful words; in particular the Beautitudes--specifically the verse that says "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God,' as an overwhelming rush of desire to make things right with everyone I had wronged over the years came about...though I had thought that wasn't very many. But more than this, two little words were illuminated like nothing else. The words were "stop sinning." In context, it refers to a promiscuous woman caught in adultery; but what did I know, this was my first time reading I hadn't developed any sort of spiritual practice. I just read the Bible, and here were words I couldn't fathom. Stop sinning. The only Christian I knew said that my translation was hard to understand and the only thing that matters is if a church teaches the name Jesus. I couldn't help but wonder if that was true, what was the point of the entire book? I hadn't yet come to passages that mention even demons believe in Jesus. And in the face of this comment from my friend, the words "Stop sinning" kept resonating. I had no idea why. I knew there was something there...but I couldn't quite figure out what...surely we can't truly stop sinning and be perfect...so why was it there? Did the adulterous woman change into a perfect person after her encounter with Jesus? When I first looked at Paul, he seemed completely changed into a perfect being (mostly because I hadn't actually read the entire Bible at that time). So as I continued reading my Bible and looking for answers, I would make sure I "wouldn't sin" everywhere I went. If I saw a piece of trash in the park, you can rest assured I would stop dead in my tracks and make sure that park was "cleansed from all unrighteousness." And then "it" happened. I know the Bible says to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you...I assumed that meant non-believers. I had already experienced the mocking from my own immediate family for my newfound faith; so I thought this verse was reserved for them, and maybe some other haters...I never expected lifelong Christians to spew forth venomous hate...yet that's exactly what happened. I felt completely justified in what I had been "doing" and who I "was" because I "wasn't that bad." I hadn't cussed in years, didn't party, do any illegal substances, wasn't having sex, and was generally "the good kid who stayed out of trouble." By staying out of trouble, that means living in constant fear and rarely interacting with anybody. It's easy to be on your best behavior if you avoid everyone else's behavior. But then came people who believed they were saved by grace...but had no knowledge of repentance or righteousness. Nor did I. Once my friend's accusations hit me with insult after insult, basically rejecting me for things that were not even sin. I felt as though me, the little new Christian, was being persecuted by the Christians. And yet, rather then "restoring gently" I began reviling, trying to show my friend all the things the Bible said that said they were dead wrong! I felt justified, because I "hadn't done anything wrong." But I was devastated, I lost my family for my faith and lost my only Christian friend because of my faith...so all those "sins" I never did? I did them. Not only did I do them...I did them with all the other "so-called Christians." In one event, even the brother of my then friend by mere chance. I drank with them...sang worship songs while intoxicated beyond repair, smoked weed illegally, had sex with one of the church leader's daughters. I felt guilty...but nobody knew what repentance was there. When I went to college, the very first Bible Study they had was about repentance and forgiveness...and thats when I realized that justification does come from ourselves or other people; justification comes from faith in Jesus Christ alone...but faith is marked by obedience...and one they key elements to Jesus is that he is not only Savior, but LORD; if we have not made Him Lord, then there is no way to repent; it is only in recognizing His Godliness that we find pardon for our sin; and His ability to change our lives through that which He was revealed through His Word.
  2. Well yes and no. Generally I have believed that the Word teaches oneness, unity, and not division, and I am of the opinion that Dr. Cloud is promoting division (albeit he will never call it that). I suppose what is actually going on is that I have found most Calvinists are more devoted to their study of the Word than most other groups I have been a part of..and for this reason perhaps am more inclined to hear SCRIPTURALLY how to discern between both positive and negative teachings of Cloud. However, it should be noted that Cloud, in his video for necessary endings, states that God is separate from us post conversion, there by terminating the relationship aspect of Christianity, and claims that prayer and obedience do not work without psychological counseling of wise believers....one would assume him, a service for which he charges...these claims seemed awfully heretical to claim what God can and cannot do. Ultimately my goal here: discern on good biblical theology using the Word.
  3. Came out of an AofG church that was big on Henry Cloud, Dave Ramsey, and Andy Stanley, and towards the end if my time, implemented "boundaries" on me for personal dislike as opposed to church discipline--that resulted in me reviewing Henry Cloud in depth, and from everything I've seen, he appears to be a heretic, but as such I am open to correction biblically. Preferably Calvinist responses as I trust them to utilize the Word more carefully, but as long as we use the Word rightly that should be all that matters. I can go more in depth on what I believe to be heresy, but want to hear what others have to say.
  4. I had a conversation with a friend the other night, basically she told me why she left church and stopped believing, how she had all the right answers but didn't actually believe any of it (she had grown up Catholic tho), and how now she believes every religion is true for each person individually, and only believes Jesus existed as a historical, non-deistic man; and I knew if I was being biblical about things, I should have presented the Gospel, or at least defended why the Bible is true. I wish I could say it was because she was working and we were in public and I didn't want to raise a scene; but if I'm being honest even in private I probably wouldn't have defended it; it just made me realize that I'm still a). learning a lot of things and b). I've always had some mixed feelings about the Bible; in particular when it comes to homosexuality. I do not deny the Bible (at least the English translation) says it is sin; but I also don't understand why God would act so condescendingly towards a sin that is legitimately a struggle for the vast majority of those people. I think it would be very rare that a person says they are trying to be gay. I try to think how Jesus would handle something like this; and I don't think it would be through rebuke. I've also often wondered how we came to terms with casting out homosexuals, when in fact, in original Greek, and in the time period, the word didn't exist. The word that is used is arsenokotai, simply meaning male beds; typically used when referring to male prostitution; some reference the verse about men defiling the marriage bed by chasing after other men; but 2 things here; there is the possibility that the defiling came from the adultery/cheating itself, or because often times these acts were orgy sex parties; so there's no concrete point that homosexuality in and of itself is a sin. So why was this act deemed a sin? If we look at when the Bible was translated into English..1526 by William Tyndale, we discover that around this time, King Henry VIII is also issuing death warrants to many people for many reasons; to William Tyndale and Martin Luther for their protest against the Catholic church, as well as many death warrants for the act of homosexuality. But I see something very peculiar--in 1395, John Rykener was arrested for being a transvestite prostitute. Prior to this, King Edward the 11 was killed, and was regarded and remembered for his homosexual relationship with a man named Gaveston. So there is an issue here that was very likely a huge subculture of homosexuality within England just prior to Bible being translated. The act of prostitution is essentially a means, albeit a sinful means, of gaining money. These acts were often public and lewd. So it would make sense, that the first English translation of the Bible, would spew forth anti-homosexual translations of a term that seems to have only rejected premarital sex, prostitution, and possibly public indecency, but never the lone act of being a homosexual; but rather, perhaps the Bible was translated with anti-homosexual jargon due to a predisposition of negative views of the surrounding culture.
  5. It seems as though this concept of Boundaries, preached by Henry Cloud, is becoming incredibly widespread these days...I've had my suspicions, but could never quite articulate things well...however, this blog from someone who, to the best of my knowledge, seems to be Calvinist (not 100% sure), seems to put into words what I had trouble expressing. cloud visited his church and this is his review: http://thetrustworthyword.blogspot.com/2016/07/a-response-to-dr-henry-clouds-sermon-at.html
  6. What do you mean a-milennial? I think the issue of biblical knowledge is a case by case basis with each individual, however; they also seem to pull verses to reinforce their theology many times, rather than use the context of the biblical account.
  7. I'm not at all suggesting all Calvinists are unsaved. However I am concerned that they make bold claims about ones salvation, and seem to think that unless you believe exactly as they do, you cannot be saved. They pretty much declare everyone a heretic who does not conform to their teaching 100%
  8. Ok but irregardless of this, he was still the leader over a nation exercising capital punishment for heresy..it seems very clear that he authorized the death of anywhere between 38 to 78 people (albeit reasons unknown for every case), even if he himself did not do the killing. It's like saying Pontius Pilate didnt kill Jesus because he isnt the one that actually crucified him, but Scripture makes it clear Pilate is responsible. It still shows me there was no conviction by the Holy Spirit.
  9. Even this phrase agree to disagree was brought up, where the congregants said saying agree to disagree is sinful. They seem to say we must all believe the same thing or else it is sin. That's sort of why I'm hesitant about this church...it seems extremely prideful and self righteous.
  10. first off, I apologize if my tone was condescending; over text tone can be lost; I was trying to point out a flaw in the source material--yes it is true I missed the last paragraph, as I was probably blinded by the title of reformed answers and also church history sources that refer to a historical library known to be pro-Calvinist. I'm actually shocked someone could have read those sources and still come away disagreeing with Calvinism. However, while these documents perhaps partially explain what happened...there's still many deviations on this story...some Calvinists even say Calvin did not even authorize the murder of anybody-from walking alongside Calvinists, one thing they preach is Sola Scriptura--Scripture Alone; which is actually very good...however John Calvin used this method to justify his murders, as, from what I have read, says he used Leviticus's command to put to death as a command from God to kill heretics. So I'm just trying to process that conundrum;;;are there sources outside the Bible that can contribute to our spiritual growth, would be a way to put it.
  11. You're answering from a Reformed Theology website, which of course is going to skew the facts in favor of John Calvin...and even then does not support it's claim with evidence--nor does it mention any repentance on the part of John Calvin. Murder is murder, no matter what the law may say. This website is actually trying to defend that John Calvin murdered someone--again a lack of conviction of sin. Even if the other party is a heretic or wanted for murder, it does not negate your sinfulness nor make justification for your sin. The Bible states that we are not to take eye for an eye, but rather turn the other cheek. Granted, in the face of persecution this becomes increasingly difficult, I will attest to that, but nowhere does the Bible say one man's sin is grounds for our retaliation. If the President declared murder to be legal, that would not make murder biblical, even on the grounds of heresy. This actually specifically shows Calvin's tendency towards self-protection, nation-state protection, and doctrinal protection, over dying to self and laying down his life, as commanded by the Bible. Your argument is like McDonald's saying Burger King is bad because it has too many calories, and saying McDonald's is good by referring you to the McDonald's Calorie chart that lists calories and tells you it's amazing. This seems to be swaying me to the knowledge that either John Calvin could not possibly have been convicted by the Holy Spirit, or the doctrine that the Holy Spirit convicts the elect is unbiblical, or that conviction of the Holy Spirit is not grounds for judging the salvation of a man. Perhaps you could lead me to an unbiased source of the facts...perhaps a historical account written by someone without an agenda to convert to their theology?
  12. I'm not sure what youd like me to ask. You could interpret my question as a search for true biblical doctrine perhaps, but I would really like to know if Calvin killed, or even authorized the killing of people he claimed were heretics.
  13. I've been attending a Calvinist church (at first didn't know that's what it was); and at first they seemed loving...they seem to, at least from what I can see, have a decent knowledge of the Bible...although some concepts can be very confusing, such as predestination, election, and limited atonement. However, the Bible also says we will know a true follower by their fruit, as John MacArthur says on a Grace to You Podcast, it's how we recognize unbelievers. knowing them by their lifestyle---however there is also much in the Bible about discerning with brothers as well..the Bible says a man cannot hate his brother and claim to love God; it also says that the fruit of the spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness gentleness and self-control; and the works of the flesh are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,[ drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[ such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Yet, researching John Calvin, I've seen claims of him burning and killing people; some claim he killed as many as 78 people, while some claim he killed nobody--I cannot see evidence on either side of the argument. This is of great concern, because one of the main points of the Calvinists is that the Holy Spirit will convict believers and it is proof of their conversion--but if Calvin killed 78 people--or even approved of the killing of 78 people, heretical or not, then we would see that there is no conviction in his heart about the Bible's command to not murder, and to pray for his enemies. Furthermore, many Calvinists reject any teaching that does not 100% agree with theirs, and calls it heretical. However, we see in 1 John 4 that By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, in other words, even if someone perhaps misunderstands or misinterprets Scripture, but still professes Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected would not be a false prophet, at least this is what I see. But many Calvinists will look at people who preach Jesus and call them heretics. Thus, I am confused. I was given a link to a video by Sye Ten Bruggencate, and while I couldn't necessarily disagree with his biblical knowledge; and it was good he is preaching the Gospel- his behavior was deplorable and sinful and disrespectful, when trying to have a conversation with people. Another big issue the seemingly idolatrous nature of Calvinism to love and shout all Calvinist teachers, such as Sproul, Spurgeon, ; and modern-day leaders like Voddie Baucham, Jeff Durbin, and John MacArthur; But Paul warns of following men, saying some follow Paul, and others Apollos, but I follow Christ. Here we see a lot of following of biblical teachers referring to the Bible, and a myriad of people idolizing the teachers alongside their worship of Jesus. I really want to like this church, I really do...but I also want to love my neighbor in a way that honors Jesus, and I just don't think the way they do it does that, but perhaps some healthy debate could help clear the issues for me. This is a link to the video, I put the start time where he interacts in a debate forum. Edit: Video deleted - videos are only allowed in the video threads (there is a video section in the forums)
  14. In reference to being willing to change...all of us need to change something...nobody is perfect, we need each other's help. .Sometimes you don't recognize your sin and sometimes I don't recognize mine. If I can identify it, I can change it. If you can identify it, and gently point this out to me, I can then change. When nobody can point to where change is needed, even among church counsel, then perhaps we have a separate issue. Perhaps someone thinks something is sin when it is not. Perhaps someone thinks something is not sin when it is. This is why you need more than one pastor, more than two people, sometimes more than three people.
  15. Here are some references, though admittedly, only some of them are actual direct references to the author himself, while some are just stories of those who either dealt with the man or heard radio stories...so most would not consider it worthy evidence. The Youtube Videos, however, point to his use of one-sided arguments...in this video we see a caller badmouth her mother, and Henry Cloud supports her boundary, despite never talking to the mother. In the following website I would forward you to the comments, as it exemplifies my narrative of people's commentary on boundaries. While I certainly can't point you to any 100% fullproof source indicating their truthfulness, I would concede that there is enough witness testimony here to at least call his method of boundary-giving into question: http://pastor-ricks-musings.blogspot.com/ As for Henry Cloud saying people called him selfish, this is found here. Edited by George -- Placed the videos on the videos forum and linked to the page below.
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