Piper’s Perpetual Plummet!

I recognize some of our readers are not going to be pleased with this post, but we believe it is necessary to point out error when it occurs. Too many within evangelicalism hold some men in high regard to the point that they will accept all that individual states or preaches with no rebuke ever forthcoming for deviations into false doctrines or the acceptance of such. True believers would do well to remember that we must answer to our Lord Jesus Christ, and not to men. Men will fail, preachers will fall, evangelicals will decline into apostasy – and all of this will happen as the latter days come upon us. The apostle Paul made this clear in 2 Thessalonians 2.

Sadly, when evangelicals begin to slide, more times than not, the degree of the slope gets steeper rather than more shallow! For a long time, I have held a high regard for John Piper’s stand on the fundamentals of the faith. While I would not agree with him on a few issues, his doctrine has remained solid for years. I do not think that a great deal has changed that is until recently.

Despite the positions (language and sexual innuendos) that Mark Driscoll holds to and practices, John Piper continues to uphold this man as both a friend and as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. No public rebuke has been forthcoming from Dr. Piper at the degrading of the pulpit, but instead they continue to share ministry together.

Now the slope is getting steeper as John Piper openly endorses N.T. Wright and Douglas Wilson while sitting cozily with Mark Driscoll.

N.T. Wright holds to what is known as the New Perspective on Paul and in simple terms reaffirms the Roman Catholic teaching of salvation by works. N.T. Wright is teaching heresy and stands opposed to what the Reformation reaffirmed. Dr. Piper insists that N.T. Wright does not preach a false gospel but that he “preaches a very confusing gospel.” Dr. Piper is VERY wrong! The gospel is a simple message and what N.T. Wright teaches in the NPP is another gospel and one certainly not preached or taught by the apostle Paul. Let’s make this VERY clear — NPP rejects the doctrine of justification by faith alone AND IS HERESY!

Dr. Piper has also endorsed Douglas Wilson who holds to a teaching known as Federal Vision. In a nutshell, Federal Vision identifies the moral law of God to be the gospel. FV believes the moral law or The Ten Commandments can justify fallen sinful man by obedience to that law. FV confuses law and gospel. The apostle Paul made it clear that the law cannot be mixed with the gospel. Like NPP, FV is a teaching that is heresy! The law cannot be mixed with the gospel in order to obtain salvation or justification. It is by grace through faith alone, not by works.

Sadly, Dr. Piper for all he has done in the furtherance of the gospel is now mixing with and enthusiastically endorsing men who preach contrary to the Scriptures. Why he is doing this cannot be surmised. However, he is certainly showing a larger degree of latitude than would have been given by the apostles Paul, Peter, Jude, John, and James. The apostles of old would have put these men in the same camp as those they condemned in their epistles. These teachers spouting heresy should be shunned not embraced, and I believe Dr. Piper is showing a lack of wisdom and discernment in regards to both NT Wright and Douglas Wilson.

Galatians 3:21 – “Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.”

I include a link to A Gentle Rebuke to Brother John from R. Scott Clark. This has been very well written and addresses the problem far better than I could do.

In addition, a post on Christian Research Network gives further information along with accompanying video in regards to Dr. Piper’s invitation to bringing Douglas Wilson to preach at his conference. You can read and watch at this link to a Gentle (and not so gentle) Rebuke.

I am sad to see this plummet continuing especially in light of the wonderful gospel message that Dr. Piper has been preaching for years. Why would anybody who preaches justification by faith alone be willing to endorse such preaching? Why would he endorse men who openly hold to heresy? Finally, why would Dr. Piper be so ready and willing to bring a man like Douglas Wilson to preach along side of him?

THAT IS CONFUSION and certainly DOES NOT portray the truths of the simple plan of salvation made available to all who place their faith alone in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary!

Watching the Slide Continue With Great Sadness,
The Desert Pastor

42 thoughts on “Piper’s Perpetual Plummet!

  1. A.) I’ve been uneasy with Piper’s overly emotional approach to preaching.

    B.) I’ve been blessed with much of his teaching.

    C.) When any man strays, those who know and love him owe it to Christ to confront him with his error.

    Many thanks for bringing this forward so we will be more and more on guard against error.

    With a sad heart but a glad heart, for though men fail, Christ alone never will.

  2. Manfred,

    Thanks for your reply. I also want to reiterate that while he may be unwisely endorsing others teaching heresy, I do not consider Dr. Piper to be a heretic in anyway. I have gained much from Dr. Piper’s writing in the past particularly with regards to his book on missions.

    TDP

  3. I’d never heard of “Federal Vision” or “New Perspective on Paul” until the last few days. The thing that stood out to me was that we don’t need a new perspective on Paul.

    It’s really puzzling to me why Piper would want to fellowship with these guys. The problems with his association with Driscoll seems a little more subtle, but his association with these guys is clearly wrong. What is he thinking?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  4. Rachel says:

    I agree. I don’t get it either. It is sad, puzzling and disturbing. :/ I love his preaching and he’s had such great influence on so many.. May the Lord bless Dr. Piper with the truth and grant him wisdom in all things.

  5. Thanks for highlighting this DP as I saw the same watching a Red Beetle video on YouTube. Re. Piper, I have been incensed by his endorsement of Driscoll as it is beyond pale in my eyes as the Scriptures are patently clear as to the qualification of an elder. Here, I won’t beat a dead horse as to why Mark Driscoll misses the mark, yet why Piper does not see this or hold him accountable is totally unacceptable in my eyes.

    Along with this, I’m not sure why we should be surprised at how Federal Vision (i.e. Romanism cloaked) is gaining ground in the evangelical church and how men like Piper are falling prey to this nefarious enemy. He and many others are already advocates of Rome’s days/seasons of Advent, Lent, “christ” Mass, etc; which are nothing more than Papal traditions of men being taught as doctrine. Found of course no where in the Word as they are all inventions of Mother Rome now accepted by many as gospel truth even by those who preach with their lips Sola Scriptura. Yet these traditions are as far away from Sola Scriptura as law is from grace.

    And so the slide continues back to papa pope with his open arms welcoming back to Rome the scattered sheep. This slide will continue as long as the church denies Sola Scriptura in all matters of faith and practice. And likewise where men are esteemed more for their oration and eloquence than for their Scriptural fidelity.

  6. Matthew,

    I am not say he is falling prey to NPP anymore than hanging around Mark Driscoll means he is falling prey to cursing and using vulgar, sexual innuendos from the pulpit. What I am saying is that he is using a great lack of discernment in being so willing to openly endorse men who teach and believe either FV or NPP!

    Again let me clarify that I believe John Piper has written many good things and ministered well down through the years to the encouragement and admonition of many. This is why I do not understand why he is choosing the path that he is going.

  7. Matthew and Desert Pastor –
    I agree that John Piper may not necessarily be falling prey to adopting NPP/FV (the jury is still out) but the slide to Rome and the love of her outward adornments is clear w/o even considering NPP. This is why I mentioned the Romanism that is already accepted by John Piper and many others that hardly registers on the radar. Something which would sicken and grieve both the reformers and saints of old who stood boldly against the mother of harlots; many who died horrendous deaths for such stands during her reign of terror.

    My greatest concern is for those who follow John Piper and any man who is in such a major spotlight. Many will accept what he says, advocates and whom he welcomes into fellowship lock, stock and barrel because of all the good he has done. A prime example is with Driscoll where you will find countless folks defending clear violations of the Scripture that if done by a non-believer would be publicly decried. But since Mark is “reformed” all guard is dropped, the gate is opened and the heresy/blasphemy walks un-accosted into the church.

    This is why I am greatly concerned about John Piper. He is a shepherd and when one starts hanging out with those preaching heretical doctrine there is a problem. I view NPP/FW as a heretical doctrine that will lead many unsuspecting sheep to dine with wolves.

    I, like you, am in no way condemning Piper but this is no small issue and I hope there will be a major turn for John not only here but in other areas as well.

  8. brother Michael,

    Thanks for your comments. I agree wholeheartedly that this is no small issue, and also agree that it seems strange that just because somebody is “reformed” that makes them acceptable to mainstream evangelicalism. As stated, I believe both NPP and FV are heretical teachings and will only serve to divide the true church as so many other doctrines have in recent years, including false teachings like open theism.

    Having pastored in England for several years, I saw many churches fall away only to be caught back up in the arms of Rome! Very few had issues with such an adulterous marriage, even pastors who used to stand for the truth and would have held in high regard martyrs from centuries gone by. What a travesty!

  9. It probably deserves to be mentioned that N.T. Wright is an Anglican Bishop and thus not part of the Lutheran / Calvinist reformation at all. His doctrines, as far as I can tell, and as far as the Anglican church can tell are fully in keeping with the Anglican church and not heretical to his church. If you believe the Anglican church preaches a false gospel that’s just a rejection of the breadth of ecumenicalism that Piper has always stood for. It is not something recent to Piper at all.

  10. ... says:

    I feel I need to defend Piper on one thing. About NT Wright. Did anyone actually read Piper’s response to this man’s writing?
    I am asking about this book because it explains very well where people who condemn NT Wright go wrong in understanding what he says.
    I do not agree with NT Wright (neither does Piper) and absolutely despise his books but Piper was more balanced and he was able to point out NT Wright redefines everything and therefore for example the word ‘justification’ used in Wright’s books is not the traditional understanding.

    I think it is really important to see before we start saying NT is going back to Roman Catholicism.

    Still, I agree Piper should behave differently concerning other things mentioned in the article.

  11. ... says:

    CD-Host, i am anglican and there are many different views is this church.
    There are strong Calvinists among us. And there are those who are absolutely heretical on the other side. Just like with Baptists I guess. And no, NT Wright does not represent a traditional beliefs of the anglican church (at least not in his books).

    And just because reformation in England and Scotland happened after Luther does not mean it was worse or not influenced by him.

  12. Piper’s comments in that interview are pure skubelon; the man needs a serious spiritual intervention. It seems obvious to me that he either:

    a) believes his own hype, and apparently either no one loves him enough to pull him aside and rebuke him sharply;

    or else

    b) he’s simply oblivous to rebuke and correction.

    Pathetic.

    In Christ,
    CD

  13. DavidW –

    Do you honestly believe that somebody who is Old Earth has plummeted?

    Is that something we are to “earnestly contend for the faith” for?

    [fyi – Im Young Earth]

  14. DavidW says:

    Matthew:

    Good questions. Thank you for raising them, and I’ll try to answer them (to the best of my ability).

    Firstly, to believe in an “old earth” (billions of years) is to deny what God has said. Evening and morning = one day; the sun to rule the day and moon to rule the night, pretty well establishes a reference for how long a day is (same as it does today). And for each day, evening and morning remains as a consistent reference point. To say, infer, or entertain the possibility that these were not 6 literal days of creation is to basically call God a liar.

    Secondly, if the earth were billions of years old, and if ANY creatures died during that time, then death came before man sinned, thus nullifying what Scripture says (Rom. 5:12, etc.). Again, calling God a liar, since His word says death did not come until man sinned.

    Thirdly, six literal days was by God’s purposeful design to incorporate the Sabbath. “It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31:17)

    “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex.20:11)

    Thus, to cast doubt on what God has said, or to outright deny what God has said, is to be unfaithful to God and His word. It is to bear false witness against God Himself, and to call God a liar.

    “Is this something we are to “earnestly contend for the faith” for”?

    Well, Matthew, I think it is. “The Faith” has been reduced by some to the bare essentials of anywhere from the “4 Spiritual laws” to simply believing Jesus died for man’s sin. But does not The Faith involve the very person and character of the God in whom we worship, the God Who died for us and bought us(and why He did so)? If we deny what He has specifically said, especially on something so fundamental as His account of His own creation, are we not casting doubt on His word and thus His credibility?

    “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Ps. 138:2)

    I do not see where we have the liberty to pick and choose which parts of God’s word we choose to believe, and which parts we reject in favor of “leaving it up to scientists”. That would be rather absurd to say the least, wouldn’t it? We either take God at His word, all of it, or we don’t. We cannot preach righteousness, and falsehood as well, and be considered a faithful teacher of God’s word. Which is why Sola Scriptura is so important.

    Hope that answered your questions satisfactorily.

    Press on proclaiming the light of the Word down under, brother.

  15. DavidW,

    Thanks for your reply – very thorough and insightful.

    I agree with you obviously regarding the absolute certainty that the Scripture teaches a 6 literal day creation by YHWH……

    I just get a bit concerned with things like this – when people get all fired up and say that one who holds to such a position is either a) unsaved [see 5ptSalt latest post] or b) a heretical teacher

    Blessings to you brother

  16. David Terry says:

    ……Dr. Piper has also endorsed Douglas Wilson who holds to a teaching known as Federal Vision. In a nutshell, Federal Vision identifies the moral law of God to be the gospel. FV believes the moral law or The Ten Commandments can justify fallen sinful man by obedience to that law. FV confuses law and gospel. The apostle Paul made it clear that the law cannot be mixed with the gospel. Like NPP, FV is a teaching that is heresy! The law cannot be mixed with the gospel in order to obtain salvation or justification. It is by grace through faith alone, not by works…….

    Having read Douglas Wilson for years it was quite an eye opener to see that this statement is made of him. I would say your acusation flys in the face of everything of his I have read. And he writes a lot. Can you give specific links to where Wilson has written this, or produce two or more witness who have heard him say this?

    Not a link where someone says ” pastor Wilson believes …”

    I am sure that your friends here would ask the same thing of anyone who would ever accuse you of something that they thought seemed out of character for you.

  17. “……Dr. Piper has also endorsed Douglas Wilson.”

    DefCon has endorsed Paul Washer. When you clicked on his name on the DefCon website, on the left hand column under “The Preachers,” it took you, until recently (it looks like they’re having some problems with their site right now), to the HeartCry Missionary homepage, which had two of John Piper’s books recommended on that very same home page. If DefCon denounces Wilson, and Piper endorses Wilson, and DefCon denounces Piper, and DefCon endorses Washer, and Washer endorses Piper… this is getting confusing.

  18. David,

    Thanks for your comments and concerns. I would recommend the following links for starters in regards to Doug Wilson holding to the teaching of Federal Vision.

    http://www.federal-vision.com/?p=49

    http://www.federal-vision.com/resources/joint_FV_Statement.pdf

    http://www.federal-vision.com/?page_id=41

    I would recommend especially reading their position on “the means of grace” by which they are referring to both baptism and the Lord’s Supper. This is not historic Christianity but smacks of deep shades of Roman Catholicism.

    Feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

    The Desert Pastor

  19. MA,

    Speaking for only myself, “denouncing” aberrant doctrine and denouncing [or condemning] a person, or entire ministry are different things.

    As you’ve rightly pointed out here in the past, matters of “secondary separation” are inherently fraught with difficulty. Likewise it’s frequently difficult to define “endorsement”. Is speaking at the same conference as someone who holds questionable/aberrant doctrine an “endorsement”? Is selling a product by someone who holds questionable/aberrent doctrine an “endorsement”? Is failing to publicly denounce and separate from someone [or some ministry] who holds questionable/aberrant doctrine a tacit “endorsement” from silence? Is failure to publicly denounce and separate from someone [or some ministry] that fails to publicly denounce and separate from someone [or some ministry] who holds questionable/aberrant doctrine a tacit “endorsement” from silence? The implications are staggering.

    And before we can rightly take any of the aforementioned steps we must understand what is meant by “questionable/aberrant doctrine”. Many Presbyterian churches, for example, state in their by-laws (church constitution) that any teaching on the gifts of the spirit other than cessationism is error. Yet presumably R.C. Sproul would (and probably has although I’ve not researched it) speak at a conference, or endorse a product by C.J. Mahaney, a self-professed Reformed charismatic. Same for Sam Storms.

    I’m not couching a defense of any individual in this comment (e.g. Piper), as I’ve personally been, and remain, very critical of what appears to be his downward slide towards doctrinal compromise and pragmatism. I also firmly believe, based on my own personal study, that Doug Wilson and his muse N.T. Wright teach another gospel that is double-cursed by the inspired Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians. I don’t know anything about Tim Keller, but I read Mike Ratliff’s post liked at DefCon, and he set forth a case that John Piper and Tim Keller are both unregenerate (i.e. unbelievers). I also read 5ptsalt and Ken Silva’s missives on the subject since all three posts seem to be related. There’s clearly much to consider on such a weighty matter, especially when well respected and thoughtful believers express such serious doubts.

    With so much error running rampant in the churches it’s never wise as believers to place our trust in an arm of flesh and blindly follow any human teacher, because our head is Christ. Men’s words must be measured against the Word of God, the ultimate authority on all things pertaining to eternal life and godly living. Yet it’s at this point that so much confusion and divisiveness can occur, since individual believers are not infallible interpreters of scripture, and true, regenerate, blood-bought, born-again believers can and do disagree on a whole host of theological issues, sometimes heatedly and pointedly.

    For my part I look primarily at two things when considering whether a teacher is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; a false prophet as it were. I look closely at their Christology and their Soteriology. If anyone teaches another Christ other than the Christ of scripture, or teaches another way of salvation other than salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the true Christ of scripture alone, then they show themselves to be clearly and unambiguously outside the camp of Biblical orthodoxy.

    Many other teachings can be “hints” and “clues” about hidden apostasy, and the conversation of their lives is also a living testimony to their heart’s master, but one must consider that the best of men are men at best, and the boldest Christian on fire for the Lord today can, and frequently does, fall into miserable sin tomorrow. The difference here between a believer and an unbeliever is manifest, for the believer will repent and fly to the cross in mourning over his sin, whereas the unregenerate will justify his sin, and obstinately refuse to give it up, continuing in unbroken patterns of sin and rebellion against the Lord.

    May we honor our Lord and King and seek to glorify Him in all we do.

    In Christ,
    CD

  20. Jeff H says:

    “Atheism is the philosophy, both moral and ethical, most perfectly suited for a scientific civilization. If we work for the American Atheists today, Atheism will be ready to fill the void of Christianity’s demise when science and evolution triumph.

    Without a doubt, humans and civilization are in sore need of the intellectual cleanness and mental health of Atheism.”

    G. Richard Bozarth, “The Meaning of Evolution”,
    American Atheist, 20 Sept. 1979, p. 30
    _____________________________________

    “…The conclusion I have to come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution…
    Nay, the two laws are at war with each other…”

    Evolutionist, Sir Arthur Keith,
    Evolution and Ethics
    Keith wrote the forward to Darwin’s book for the 1959-100 year anniversary reprint.

  21. DavidW says:

    Jeff:

    Thank you brother! It’s truly tragic that the enemies of Christ can see the seriousness of this issue, while some of our “Christian leaders” slumber in apathy.

  22. David Terry says:

    Call me slow, I still don’t get it.

    Desert Pastor, thank you for responding. I have only read the FV profession that you linked. And it does have Wilsons name on the bottom. In this profession I first read…

    ” A Joint Federal Vision Profession ,Greetings in the Lord.

    Many of us who have signed this statement are also confessionally bound to the Three Forms of Unity or to the Westminster Confession of Faith. The following brief statement therefore should be understood as being in harmony with those other confessional commitments, a supplement to them, and not an example of generating another system of doctrine….”

    And under Reformed Catholicity I read….

    “Reformed Catholicity

    We affirm that justification is through faith in Jesus Christ, and not through works of the law, whether those works were revealed to us by God, or manufactured by man. Because we are justified through faith in Jesus alone, we believe that we have an obligation to be in fellowship with everyone that God has received into fellowship with Himself….”

    And under the sacrament of Baptism….

    ” ….We deny that baptism automatically guarantees that the baptized will share in the eschatological Church. We deny the common misunderstanding of baptismal regeneration—i.e. that an “effectual call” or rebirth is automatically wrought in the one baptized….”

    How do you climb over these black and white statements to arrive at your opinon…. “This is not historic Christianity but smacks of deep shades of Roman Catholicism.”

    Let alone arrive at the statements that were in the original article that caught my attention as being so off the wall as compared to what I have read from Mr Wilson for about four years or so…

    .. “Federal Vision identifies the moral law of God to be the gospel. FV believes the moral law or The Ten Commandments can justify fallen sinful man by obedience to that law. FV confuses law and gospel. The apostle Paul made it clear that the law cannot be mixed with the gospel. Like NPP, FV is a teaching that is heresy! The law cannot be mixed with the gospel in order to obtain salvation or justification. It is by grace through faith alone, not by works….”

    Whatever else some may be saying about FV, the men on the document have made a very orthodox starting point. I admit i only made it to page 5 in the profession. So maybe the smoking gun is hidden further in? I will watch the video soon and check out that third link I hope tomorrow.

  23. David,

    Thanks for your gracious replies. I must say that when an individual or doctrine is held in high esteem, their supporters come out in droves and normally in a way that does not permit the comments to be posted.

    Let me make a few links here that I would highly recommend along with a few comments.

    http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?601 – This is a brief article published in the Banner of Truth magazine.

    http://heidelblog.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/gentle-rebuke-brother-john/ – This article is quite lengthy with accompanying links, but highly recommended.

    The problem with FV is that they have long struggled to try and impress people with the fact that they are not different, but yet they continue to change the goalposts.

    Quote – “We affirm that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but rather so that the world through Him would be saved. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world—He is the Savior of the world. All the nations shall stream to Him, and His resting place shall be glorious. We affirm that prior to the second coming of our Lord Jesus, the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” – Bible does not teach this to be the case. No matter how hard those who hold to Reconstructionism or Dominion Theology, it does not change the fact that we are not called to rebuild a theocracy or theonomy before Christ returns.

    And then here, “We believe that the Church cannot be a faithful witness to His authority without calling all nations to submit themselves to Him through baptism, accepting their responsibility to obediently learn all that He has commanded us.” This is not what we are called to do. The nations cannot submit, only individuals and it is not through baptism. Baptism has NO saving merit as they claim. FV can word it anyway they want, but their own statement makes this clear in several passages. The responsibility to obey Christ only comes after salvation, not because a person was baptized. This is a classic case of the cart before the horse.

    Again on page 4 of the joint statement, under the heading of “Church” is without a doubt baptismal regeneration! Quote – “We affirm that membership in the one true Christian Church is visible and objective, and is the possession of everyone who has been baptized in the triune name and who has not been excommunicated by a lawful disciplinary action of the Church.” No, no, and NO again! Membership in the true bride of Christ is NOT in the possession of those who have been baptized and by those who have been excommunicated.

    I could speak much more on this, but others have written far more eloquently than I have or probably ever could on the problem. I look forward to your response.

    The Desert pastor

  24. David Terry says:

    Desert Pastor, thank you for the kindly words, I have to admit that I noticed the lack of defenders of Mr Wilson around here. I seem to be the only one who didn’t get the memo.

    And seeing your comment about Theonomy, boy did I wander into the wrong neighborhood.

    I have no dog in this FV fight, just thought it was bizarre what was said to be his position. Not wanting to get side tracked, I continue to look for the evidence behind the statement that Douglas Wilson believes….
    …”Federal Vision identifies the moral law of God to be the gospel. FV believes the moral law or The Ten Commandments can justify fallen sinful man by obedience to that law. FV confuses law and gospel….

    I did get to the video you linked to. And as you warned me…..” they have long struggled to try and impress people with the fact that they are not different…” so even though I was on my toes for his trickery, I still didn’t hear him say anything that would make me think he is smuggling in……” identifies the moral law of God to be the gospel. FV believes the moral law or The Ten Commandments can justify fallen sinful man by obedience to that law..”

    The third link was not Wilson, so I ignored it. There is no end to positions I hold that within a short period of time you will find people who will say things, that someone could then say, David believes XYZ too.

    On your last response to mine both of the articles you linked are not his. I looked at that page 4 and your radar must be a lot stronger than mine as I cannot join you in saying that it even tries to put forward the idea of….. “ Federal Vision identifies the moral law of God to be the gospel. FV believes the moral law or The Ten Commandments can justify fallen sinful man by obedience to that law….”

    And just a small correction, the Profession does not say what you say it says…. .” No, no, and NO again! Membership in the true bride of Christ is NOT in the possession of those who have been baptized and by those who have been excommunicated.”

    Look again when you get a chance.

    For those readers of this website who have never heard of Douglas Wilson, have they not been impressed with something that most of them will just take for granted. “ make a mental note to watch out for that Wilson guy”

    So far, it seems to me, his crime is that he didn’t sink when we threw him into the lake.

    I have enjoyed many of the postings here. I think CD had a good start to a more in depth posting further up on this thread… “Speaking for only myself, “denouncing” aberrant doctrine and denouncing [or condemning] a person, or entire ministry are different things….”

  25. Jeff H says:

    “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but the righteous shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4)

  26. David Terry says:

    Hey Jeff

    “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but the righteous shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4)

    No, I don’t think so. I do not think that the smearing of a brother in the Lord was a pride issue. I just know its easy to get wrapped up in what others say when you respect them, and sometimes we don’t always verify things that we assume “must be true”

    But if this Blog site is really serious about contending and defending for the faith, it has to include defending and contending for passages like 1 Tim 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.

    Again, if I knew any of you around here and heard someone make assertions that I thought were not true about you, I would try and defend you!

    The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 2 Tim 1:16-17

  27. Jeff H says:

    Hi David,

    Actually, I was not labeling Piper prideful. I was emphasizing the second half of that verse, that we are made just by our faith. The just live by faith.

    We are nothing… but through faith alone, in Christ alone, we are made just.

    I apologize for not being more clear in my post, that was a shortcoming on my part.

    I just know its easy to get wrapped up in what others say when you respect them, and sometimes we don’t always verify things that we assume “must be true”

    Too true!

    That’s why I like the old adage: “Trust! but verify.”

    : )

    Blessings,
    – Jeff H

  28. David Terry says:

    Thanks Jeff,

    None of what I have written concerned Piper. I dont know or have read anything from him.

    Part of the evidence brought up against Piper was Wilson. I know that when Wilson was invited to one of Pipers events, some of Pipers people went crazy. “How can you!”

    From wilsons neighborhood he also got raised eyebrows.

    From Wilsons blog through that whole string of events, wilson made clear that where he can, he wants to stand with the other parts of the larger body of Christ.

    There has been a trend for the body of Christ to seperate and separate in the pursuit of trying to be what God wants. We have now arrived at the place where it can become just you and your wife, and your not too sure about her.

    It can only be christ who unites us. We are in trouble if the uniting point is agreement about the errors of others.

  29. DavidW says:

    David Terry:

    What should a Christian’s focus be? To believe as everyone else does who claim to be Christians? To be in unity at all costs? To ignore error and just focus on the good? Or should it be to be obedient to God’s word (all of God’s word, not just the parts we like)?

    I’m disappointed after all that has been said in this thread, if the impression is given that our “uniting point is agreement about the errors of others”. Because that surely isn’t it.

    As followers of Christ, we do have some commands from He Whom we follow. One of those commands is to take note of those who bring division in the body of Christ (who is supposed to be a pure and undefiled bride) by their doctrine which is contrary to the true doctrine, and avoid them (Rom.16:17). Some twist this to say we should never bring division, as if disunity were the greater evil, but that is not what the verse is referring to. False teaching will disrupt the unity to the body, and those who bring false teaching must be noted and avoided.

    Paul is also crystal clear to the Galatians, that if even he, or even an angel from heaven, bring any other than the one true Gospel, they are to be accursed. Yes, we are united in Christ and His Gospel. But which Christ? Which Gospel. Paul warned of “another Gospel” and “another Jesus”. It is imperative that we identify what Gospel and what Jesus is being preached. The true must conform to the Scriptures.

    And there are many other commands we have been given regarding who to fellowship with, and who not to fellowship with. Who rebuke and who to exhort, etc.

    Exposing falsehood is not some power trip we are on. It is in the interest of maintaining the one true Faith in the midst of a torrential flood of error in today’s “Christendom”. As imperfect as we are, we attempt to do so out of love for Christ and His truth, and for the protection of the body of Christ.

  30. Jeff H says:

    David Terry,

    We are in trouble if the uniting point is agreement about the errors of others.

    Well, Houston, we have a problem.

    I think I’ll add to what DavidW wrote and ask you where do Benny Hinn, or Paul and Jan Crouch, or Kenneth Hagin, or Robert Tilton, or Kenneth Copeland, or…. fit in?

    Do you stand with them in the interest of ecumenism/unity?

    Are these fellow Christians?

    Does what they believe matter?

    Are they dangerous?

    How would you know?

    What is your standard?

    I know how I would answer all of these questions… how about you?

    In Christ,
    – Jeff H

  31. David Terry says:

    Steve, thank you for recommending and providing the link to Douglas Wilson and Steve Wilkens well researched monograph. (I love it when an article has enough footnotes to choke a horse, you can see for yourself if what someone has written is true or not) I too never cease to be disturbed at what an absolute propaganda job was given me by Caesars school system. ( they never used footnotes) I have only begun to read this butI am looking forward to sitting down at some point with it. Again thank you.

    I am amazed that my last comment has resulted in bright lights being shined into my face. No matter how many times” I look at what I wrote” I do not see anything there to warrant this reaction. I am being asked to account for what people speculate I might be thinking. When in the body of my posting I merely commented on sectarianism.

    Meanwhile the reason for my writing, was to ask about what someone actually did write.

  32. Jeff H says:

    David Terry,

    I am amazed that my last comment has resulted in bright lights being shined into my face. No matter how many times” I look at what I wrote” I do not see anything there to warrant this reaction. I am being asked to account for what people speculate I might be thinking.

    I’m sorry to see you cry victim here, but when you write provocative statements such as:

    There has been a trend for the body of Christ to seperate and separate in the pursuit of trying to be what God wants. We have now arrived at the place where it can become just you and your wife, and your not too sure about her.

    …that strike at the heart, charter and mission of a site called “Defending and Contending”, what did you expect?

    Are we to no longer defend and contend for the faith, discerning error (using Scripture as our standard), calling it such, and calling on the Body of Christ to separate from such as these?

    I’m not addressing Wilson specifically here, rather I am directing my comments to your sweeping hyperbole, where the road we’re on will inevitably lead us to label even our own spouse a heretic.

    That’s why I asked the questions I did… and your reply was a non-response.

    So, should Christians exercise biblical discernment and separate from wolves or not?

    If so, what process and standard does one use to accomplish the task?

    “My wife and I” want to know…

    – Jeff H

  33. David Terry says:

    From the above linked & recomended Wilson and Wilkens monograph “Southern Slavery
    As It Was”

    …to have a closed mind on this issue is to be cloaked in virtue….

    …Suppose a man presented himself for membership in your church. Upon inquiring as to what he did for a living, you learned that he was an abortionist. Should he be admitted into membership. Of course not.

    Now suppose this same church was moved back in time, and a man presented himself for membership along with three of his slaves. Now what do you do? If he is admitted to membership, then it is clear that abortion and slavery are not considered analogous. And if he is refused membership, then what are you going to do when he (his name was Philemon) goes back and tells the apostle Paul what you did to him?…

  34. Jeff H says:

    Yeah I read that already…

    So, what about answering the questions I asked you?

    Still waiting…

    – Jeff H

  35. brother Michael says:

    Not jumping into the fray per se, but rather adding an addendum to the comments above. This to say that although I have not done an extensive study of Federal Vision (FV), from what I have read, I am greatly troubled by it even as I was when I first heard about it. Why? Here is one key reason.

    …to a Federal Visionary, a Christian is someone who is a member of an external covenant with the Christian church. Probably most or all Federal Visionaries (as I call them) believe that baptism is what brings you into the New Covenant, just as circumcision brought Israelites into the Old Covenant. So in other words, a Christian is someone who is baptized into Christ, and who is therefore accountable to the church and her ministers. Federal Vision for the Average Joe

    This not speaking to believer’s baptism solely but largely infant “baptism.” So, if one were “baptized” by say the Roman Catholic religion as an infant, they are in fact, according to FV, a Christian as they have been “baptized into Christ.” We read:

    This means that Roman Catholics are Christians. Whoa! Wait, wait, wait. I didn’t say they were faithful Christians. But they have been baptized in Christ’s name and into His body. This means that we have some level of unity with them which we do not have with Joe Pagan down at the Pigsty Night Club. And we have that same tie with the Eastern church, the Orthodox Church … because they all still preach a triune Lord and administer the sacrament of baptism in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Ibid

    So we see it is not faith in Christ, belief in the gospel nor repentance from sin that identifies one with Christ Jesus, rather it is sprinkling as an infant by the apostate, anti-Christ religion of Rome (or the Orthodox church, etc.) that makes one a Christian. For it is baptism that “…visibly ties you to Christ, it washes you in some way and makes you part of the olive tree, a branch on the vine of Christ. Baptism isn’t just a rite; it buries us with Christ (Rom. 6:4).” Ibid

    Baptism washes an unregenerate sinner who has yet to place faith in Christ? By baptism an unregenerate person (FV state they do not believe in baptismal regeneration) is buried with Christ? How so? Are they also risen with Christ when still dead in trespasses and sins?

    Now you know at least in part the cause for my concern. When someone says Catholics are Christians there is a problem. If I were to take this to heart, I’d go back to the Nun I have been trying to share Christ and the true gospel with, and say, “ooops, I was wrong all along, you really are a Christian.” Now all you need to do is be “faithful” and “… keep God’s laws and live a life of obedience ending in eternal life.” Ibid

    I’d likewise have to say the same to myself for you see that according to Doug Wilson,

    …baptism [if done by an Orthodox church including Rome] means you are coventantally bound to Christ…[it further means that] you are returning to the faith now [if later in life you repent], you are not coming to the faith for the first time. You’ve been coventantally connected to Christ [via baptism], and now if you are believing in Jesus genuinely for the first time, then … your profession of your heart is going to match up with your baptism. Video Conversation with a Federal Vision Pastor

    That’s news to me! I was returning to Christ after my life laden with sin and the blasphemies of Rome. Same for all you other ex-Catholics out there who lived like the devil like I did; you really were in Christ but only later in life returned to him. That begs the question, what if, since I was in Christ in Rome via baptism, I returned to her? What if I went back to the Roman religion? If she made me a Christian via baptism, why can’t she now “complete” the work she begun?

    There is more to FV than this such as paedocommunion as I am finding in my studies. But this is enough for me to want no part of it regardless of any “good” that might be preached by her proponents.

    Resources for your study:

    http://www.federal-vision.com – FV website
    http://www.dougwils.com – Doug Wilson (signatory to FV)
    http://www.auburnavenue.org/ – Church where FV vision was formulated

    Also, check out Sermon Audio for messages on the subject (search for Federal Vision). I’m listening to one now by Alan Strange.

  36. T. I. Miller says:

    What do we do with the Ezek. 18 principle in such matters? The latter or last state of a man wipes out the former.
    Yet the perseverance of the saints is certain.
    John Pipers recent turn into apostate compatible teachings does not disqualify his entire earlier work. Nor does that earn him a pass for his current path.
    Paul Washer, I suspect like many pastors are so busy that it is impossible to keep current with all the false teachings and endorsements of all people.
    Allister Begg is a another such example. He spoke on invitation at a recent Moody conference that was decidedly promoting spiritual formation and Lectio Divina.
    We need to contact these men and fully inform them. If they persist then we there is cause for concern.

    It is no vice to boldly defend the faith.
    Keep up this good work.
    2 Tim. 2: 3,4

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