Posted by: reformbama | September 3, 2017

Why Is This Southern Baptist In An AOG Church?

dust

Cough, cough, cough. I should have taken some Benadryl before knocking the dust from the blog.
I realize this post will go all over the place, it has been awhile. I started this blog because all I wrote was programs for PLCs. Wanted to communicate with humans some.
It slowly turned into this. I still can’t write.

Well, like the title said this Southern Baptist boy finds himself in a AOG church. I wonder how that happened. Some little whim of mine or God?

I put myself in, for lack of better description, church timeout for awhile. Miserable time that was.

I think I may have found a church. A little worried about it. A denominational jump.
I like to think of myself as a Christian first, Baptist second. I have been aligned with the Baptist ever since I learned the word doctrine. Our doctrine lines up with each other comfortably.

Let me give you some background, not in depth, on Bucket Head, that’s me.

I was saved at the age of 11. After all the celebrations and welcome to the family stuff, I was stuffed into a Sunday school class, and colored and colored. This was before Veggie Tales, thank the Lord, so we colored. Very little “teaching”. You may need to know I was on a 10th grade reading level in first grade, so the your standard kid bible bored me with the pictures. I lasted as long as I could. So, I dropped out for a time.
Eventually my prowess in softball got me into a Presbyterian church. Just kidding, that is where my brother started going after he got married. I did play softball there. The few classes I attended were ok, preaching was good. Drifted away from there.

During these times, I did read the Bible. Some TV pastors kinda of got my attention but I soon realized something was off. They could not be reading what I am reading. That is when I realized that not pastors were real.

Fast forward to where I met my wife. If not for her I probably would not be where I am spiritually if not for her. Love you Baby. That is a post for another day.

Unfortunately, church was not a constant thing.
However, God stuck some friends in our lives. Some of the best people you will ever know.
Had a seasoned Christian I worked with introduce to books. Books on Theology. I love books. Never knew they existed. Never made it that far into the bookstore. He introduced me to John MacArthur.
I did not like JM at first. I spent the better part of a year trying to prove him wrong. I. Learned. A. Ton.
Not long after that My wife had someone placed in her path. We willcall her and her family The Pack.
We started going to church with The Pack. I learned more and more.

We became extremely active in this church. They had so many members they had to go to three services. First hour we taught yutes. I rotated as master teacher for the yutes and then led a group of teen boys for 2-3 years. We then went to worship service then we went to our adult SS class. Where the Pack leader and I co-taught.
I leave a few things out between the time we started at Saddleback wannabe to where we were teaching adults.
Around this time I felt the call to ministry, got ordained, the whole 9 yards.
I got to hang with the big dogs at the church.
Did the seminary thing online for about 4 months. That is another story.
Learned the secret handshake. They met with me one on one. Happy, happy.

Then the leadership brought the Purpose Driven Life to church. Oh, did I mention that I have a discernment radar, mega watts huge. I used to love it. Now, not so much. More on this latter. Like the saying goes “Ignorance is bliss” sometimes.
Not five pages in and my radar is going nuts. I read some reviews of trusted teachers and voice my concerns with leadership. I found myself black balled to a small degree. The Pack leader and I had to teach it. Had to teach it to my yutes.
Not long after that the Pack leader was asked to plant a church nearby. So the good cop to my bad cop was gone. I did not last long after that. I just left that church. Keep in mind a whole lot of stuff happened there and in my life that I will tell you one day. Just not on a blog.

We tried a few churches. Everyone happy to have us until we joined.
More to come on this at another time.

The pack leader and I meet again. He is teaching at a little church that sits in the shadow of a mega church. A bunch of old friends are attending there. The pastor there is smart. Doctrinally sound!
Not a single twinge on my discernment radar!
But, after time we never felt like we fit in there.

We stopped going. That is when I put myself in church timeout. I read, listened to sermons online, etc. The whole time pastors I followed online were screaming STOP!
Was not doing the wife and family any good. Sorry.
Then one of my nephews came apart on us after serving his country. Tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He became addicted. We got his son. He got better and got his son back. PRAISE GOD!
That did not happen overnight. Wish I could say it was easy.
That is where the AOG church comes in.
Da nephew was sent to celebrate recovery at this church. God used this church and the people in it to reach my nephew. Soli Deo Gloria.

He asked us to come visit. I RELUCTANTLY went. I have had issues in the past with the quotes on their outdoor sign at times. I may have blogged about it in back in the day.
(Easy now)
Walk in shake hands with the pastor. Seems nice. Service starts. I make sure my radar is on.
Songs were sung. Doctrinally sound ones. Then in the middle of worship one of pet peeves are stepped on. The stopping of worship for the meet and greet. Then the sermon. No radar blips. No Finney style altar call.

Time passes, nephew meets great girl, nephew proposes, she says yes.
The church has a bachelor day planned for the nephew. Breakfast at the church and then on to a member’s house to shoot guns. Had a great time. I got to know some of the guys mainly outside of church before knowing them in church. They are as real in the church and out of the church.
We attend the nephews wedding. We start going to church there.
Church is done a little different there.
There is only one paid staffer there and it is the book keeper. They don’t go title crazy.
They do have a leadership structure. If you want to know more, come visit.
I eventually find out that they are an AOG church. You could have fooled me.
I thought all the hand raising and clapping was from the copious amount of coffee they drink before service. Remember I am a Southern Baptist.

I have a one on one with the pastor. It goes great. He said he would not black ball me if I disagree with him. I told him I could be an irritant. He was good with that.

Go to church there a few more times. He steps on a few more of my pet peeves. (We will talk later) 🙂
I don’t care. He is solid where it counts.
He dis sneak in a Calvin quote for me in one service. That almost makes up for it. 🙂

Set up another one on one meet with the pastor again, love this guy, and he asks if he could bring someone else along. I say “So you are going to gang up on this Ol’ SB guy?” His response “We may be more Baptist than you think”.
I hope to have more one on ones with him.
Had another good meet. I think I am hooked.

 
This is a healing church. They are more focused on the community they are in than some other country.
They show more care for their members than I have seen in other churches in sometime.
Outstanding staff at this church.

I went through a time of hardly reading anything, save for intermittently reading the Bible.
Thanks to this church and God, that’s over I am again reading 2 to 3 books at a time again.

Plus, I am getting that itch to teach again.

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Posted by: reformbama | January 20, 2015

Is John Piper In A Popemance?

John Piper makes Tweet, someone questions it, some shoots back at the questioners.

Can open, worms everywhere.

Not going to go into the whole background, go to Tweeter and search #the15. I can’t do everything for you.

Here is the Tweet:

piper

That my friends set off a firestorm.
People are thinking Piper thinks the protestants are the same as Catholics or that he is in a Popemance.
Personally I don’t see the issue. It is a true statement. When you think of the Joel Osteen’s out there and all the other shysters out there then Da Pope makes sense.
Truth is truth, no matter who says it.
What about pastor’s that start at a small church and leaves that for a bigger one, then a bigger one…
With every rung equaling more money.

Now saying that John jumped ship over this Tweet seems ridiculous. I may be missing something.
That’s like someone that knows that I am an Auburn fan hears me yell Roll Tide because the Tide beat LSU thinks I
I am a Tide fan now.

I agree Piper has done some really questionable stuff, Ricky Boy Warren and Mark Driscol, but Piper wrote
a book about John Calvin so, like I said, don’t see a big issue with it.

I do wish John would clarify his statement, but I am not going to lose sleep on it, when there is a bigger issue at LifeWay.

Very busy of late so if you comment and I don’t approve it right away I am not blocking you.

Don’t you love it when people sin and hang their hat on the thought “It’s OK I’m not perfect just forgiven”.
While that is a true statement God does not want you to stay in your current state.

Matt Pitt and his cult followers keep saying what Matt did on purpose was a mistake. Evidently one he did not learn from
the first time. He gets in trouble for flashing a badge and like an idiot he goes out and gets another one and flashes it. Then like the “role model”
that he is, runs from the police.

Hey, if you know Matt Pitt send this link to him.

I borrowed this from the Cripplegate.

Sanctification: The Christian’s Pursuit of God-Given Holiness

by Mike Riccardi

SanctificationAs you are likely familiar with, there has been a fairly large-scale discussion taking place recently within evangelicalism surrounding the doctrine of sanctification. And that’s demonstrated that there is widespread confusion about what the doctrine of sanctification is, how it relates to our justification, and how God’s role and man’s role work alongside one another.

But if there’s a doctrine that we can’t afford to be confused about, it’s the doctrine of sanctification. And I say that because it’s where we all live. We all live in between the time of our past justification and our future glorification—in the present pursuit of Christlikeness. And so we need to get this right. If we are concerned to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel (Phil 1:27), if we desire to please the Lord in all respects (Col 1:10), if it’s our ambition to put the sanctifying power of Christ on display, then we need to be clear on how we go about growing in holiness.

So over the next few days, I want to look into what Scripture has to say about these issues, with the hope that I might be able to add something helpful to the discussion, and to help us align our thoughts with the biblical teaching on the matter.

 

Fundamentally Internal and Supernatural

The first truth about sanctification that we need to consider is that the believer’s growth in holiness is fundamentally internal and supernatural. We see this in Philippians 2:13, where Paul tells us explicitly that God is working in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. In the process of progressive sanctification, God is working in us not just to work, but also to will. He’s working even on our desires.

And 2 Corinthians 3:18 helps us with this concept as well. In that text, Paul speaks about our sanctification as a transformation into the image of the glory of Christ. He says that as we behold the glory of the Lord, we “are being transformed into that same image.” And that word, “transformed,” is metamorphóō, which is where we get the English term “metamorphosis.” But as every Greek dictionary will tell you, this word doesn’t merely refer to the outward form. Metamorphóō describes the inner transformation of the essence of a person—an inward change in fundamental character.

Romans 12:2 is another helpful verse on this subject. Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” There, our word “transformed” is used in contrast with the term “conformed,” which refers to a change in the outward behavior. TransformedSo the contrast is clear. Paul is saying: Don’t be conformed, outwardly, such that your behavior is indistinguishable from the world. Instead be transformed, from the inside out. And even here, we see that that transformation happens by the renewing of the mind—more internal language (cf. Eph 3:16; 4:23

The point of all of this is that holiness does not simply mean bringing our outward behavior into conformity to an external standard. Hypocrites can do that. The inward transformation of the mind—which is to say the character, or the affections—will indeed work itself out in external behavior, but the transformation begins internally.

The great Princeton theologian, Charles Hodge, puts it very helpfully. He says,

“sanctification…does not consist exclusively in a series of a new kind of acts. It is the making the tree good, in order that the fruit may be good. It involves an essential change of character. [Just] as regeneration is…a new birth, a new creation, a quickening or communicating a new life,…so sanctification in its essential nature is not holy acts, but such a change in the state of the soul, that sinful acts become more infrequent, and holy acts more and more habitual and controlling” (Systematic Theology, 3:226, emphases added).

This means that the holy person doesn’t merely “do what God commands,” though he certainly does that; the holy person “loves what God loves” and then acts in keeping with that renewed heart. As God works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, He inclines our hearts to treasure the glory of Christ. And as we behold Him with the eyes of our heart, our minds and our affections are renewed (2 Cor 3:18; cf. Rom 12:2), so that we love Him more and love sin less. We are transformed from the inside out.

Now if this weren’t so, and sanctification were simply a matter of performing external duties, then “Nike-sanctification” would make sense. You know: Just Do It. Try harder and be better. Bear down, grit your teeth, and give it the old college try. And though that’s a bit of a caricature, many Christians conceive of sanctification in a way that isn’t substantially different than that. And what you have there is the kind of moralistic externalism that depends—not on the power of the Spirit of God working within you—but on the strength of your own willpower, whether your heart is properly engaged or not.

And so if holiness was a fundamentally external thing, that could be one way to go. But because this dynamic of transformation is a fundamentally internal and supernatural work in the heart of man, in which God progressively conforms our affections to the affections of Christ, our pursuit of holiness looks a lot different. If sanctification is fundamentally internal and supernatural, we need to realize that we can’t directly effect that internal transformation in ourselves.

A Sovereign Work of the Spirit of God

And that brings us to a second point: Sanctification is a sovereign work of the Spirit of God. Philippians 2:13 says that clearly: “…it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Now, this only makes sense. If true sanctification is not merely external but is fundamentally internal and supernatural, then we must be dependent upon the One who supernaturally works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Which is why I believe it is not strictly accurate to say that sanctification is synergistic. See here for more on that.) That’s why, in these key texts on sanctification, you hear the passive voice being used a lot. In Romans 12:2, we are commanded—not to transform ourselves—but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, it doesn’t say, “Beholding, we transform ourselves,” but rather, “Beholding, we are being transformed.”

That’s why in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul ascribes the entire work of sanctification to God. And similarly, in the benediction of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the author tells us that the God of peace is working in us that we might do that which is pleasing in His sight. And so theologian Louis Berkhof rightly concludes that sanctification therefore “consists fundamentally in a divine operation in the soul” (Systematic Theology, 532).

And the Holy Spirit is the particular member of the Trinity that takes up this cause of sanctification. As John Murray says, “it is the peculiar prerogative and function of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ by taking of the things of Christ and showing them unto the people of God” (Redemption Accomplished and Applied, 148). He is “the Spirit of holiness” (Rom 1:4), who “sets His desire against the flesh” (Gal 5:17) and leads the believer into righteousness (Rom 8:12–14; Gal 5:16–18). The works of obedience that result from the transformation of the believer’s affections are called “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22–23). And in 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul tells us there that this whole process of transformation is “just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” And so we conclude with John Owen, that the Holy Spirit is “the efficient cause of all holiness and sanctification—quickening, enlightening, purifying the souls of his saints” (Communion with God, 2:199).

The Spirit Employs Means in Sanctifying the Believer

So, so far we’ve seen that (#1) sanctification is a fundamentally internal and supernatural work. And so it’s not something that we can accomplish directly in ourselves. Instead, (#2) sanctification is a sovereign work of the Spirit of God.

But that brings us to the famous question: if the internal and supernatural work of sanctification is properly said to be the Spirit’s work, what does the believer do? If the Holy Spirit is the agent of this great work of effecting holiness in the Christian, do we just sit back and do nothing? Are we entirely passive, dependent upon the sovereign whims of the Spirit to sanctify us as He pleases? Does it fall to us merely to “yield” and “surrender”—to “let go and let God”?

The answer to that question is: Absolutely not! As Philippians 2:12 and 13 says, it is precisely because of the sovereign work of the Spirit in us that we must pursue holiness by a diligent effort: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, because God is at work within you.” God’s work is not an excuse for us not to work; it is the very ground of our working. Peter says the same thing in 2 Peter 1. He tells us that God’s “divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3). He tells us that because of Christ’s work we have “escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Pet 1:4). And then he says, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue” (2 Pet 1:5). (Which is why I believe it is not strictly accurate to say that sanctification is monergistic. See here for more on that.)

And so on the one hand, sanctification is a sovereign work of the Spirit of God, and on the other hand believers are exhorted to work out our own salvation—to “pursue…the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14), to “put to death the deeds of the body” (Rom 8:13), and to “flee immorality” (1 Cor 6:18). Scripture even uses such active language as to exhort us to cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit (2 Cor 7:1).

So are we contradicting ourselves here? Do we just throw up our hands in confusion and attribute this to a divine mystery? No. I don’t believe we can afford to do that, and I don’t believe Scripture leaves us with no further light on the issue. See, while it’s unmistakable that the Spirit is the sovereign agent of sanctification, that fact in no way contradicts the reality that He effects this transformation through the use of means which the believer must appropriate.

So, sanctification is a fundamentally internal and supernatural work; and because of that it is a sovereign work of the Spirit of God. But, thirdly, the Holy Spirit employs means in sanctifying the believer. And sofar from being passive in the matter—so far from merely “yielding” or “surrendering”—we are to make every effort, as Peter says, to avail ourselves of the means through which the Spirit does His work.

I love the way the Scottish Puritan Henry Scougal illustrates this. He says,

“All the art and industry of man cannot form the smallest herb, or make a stalk of corn to grow in the field; it is the energy of nature, and the influences of heaven, which produce this effect; it is God ‘who causeth the grass to grow, and the herb for the service of man’ (Ps. 104:14); and yet nobody will say that the labours of the [farmer] are useless or unnecessary….” (The Life of God in the Soul of Man, 78–79).

You see, human beings can’t make grass grow. We can’t wave our hands and make the land sprout fruit and vegetables. That’s God’s work. But God has ordained that the earth yield its produce by means of the farmer’s labors. In the same way, we can’t change our own hearts to make ourselves more holy; sanctification is a supernatural, sovereign work of the Spirit of God. But God has ordained that the Spirit accomplish this glorious work through means. So when Scripture commands us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, it is commanding us to make diligent use of the means the Spirit employs in effecting our holiness. When Scripture uses a passive imperative, commanding us to have something done to us (like “be transformed”), it is commanding us to put ourselves in the way of those channels of grace that the Spirit uses to conform us to the image of Christ.

Tomorrow, we’ll spend some time looking into what Scripture has to say about five of those means of sanctification.

Posted by: reformbama | April 28, 2014

Looking for a home church part 2.

One thing about looking for a church home is that you have to find a small group, if you like the preaching. It’s hard to find a small group to go to. If you are lucky they are not age segregated, and you can shop around a little bit.
And if they are hopefully they don’t mind you going to a different age group.
Because you know, in most churches, to be qualified all you have to do is want to teach. That is where the canned LifeWay material comes in. All you have to do is read to the class with minimum study on your part.
Hopefully you wont get stuck in this class.

More to come …

Posted by: reformbama | April 27, 2014

Looking for a home church.

First thing if you have thin skin GO AWAY NOW! If you know me, you know I have ZERO tact. My words here may or may not be seasoned with jalapeno peppers. Shooting from the hip here. You have been warned.

I had thought I found me a church awhile back. The pastor is awesome. Solid. Knows what he is talking about. Not scared to preach the truth as one pastor at another church told me. My family and I never really felt comfortable. After the new of us coming wore off on the congregation I started feeling judged. I don’t wear a suit and my wife prefers pants. Not by everyone. So we just sorta eased off into never never land.

Since then, I have been in a stagnant place as far as looking for a new church. Way too long. It is always nagging me in the back of my head. Go find one and stay is constantly playing in my head. Deal with it. It’s hard to find a church because I have read beyond the LifeWay dribble and found there is more to church than a canned lesson. All SBC churches have to support the LifeWay machine. Lord help if you want to teach through the Bible and touch on election.
I have a high level of discernment which I wish I did not have. I wish I could have been a happy little ignorant congregant being spoon fed. I wish I could have been happy at the church in which I served for a long time started Purpose Driven Life.

Started looking at church websites tonight. They are all the same, only the names have changed. Pastors, on their church websites in the staff section, are bragging that they come from one of the fastest growing churches in ____________, and then say I am honored to HUMBLY serve you. What I think they  really mean is “I am just here til I get a little growth going more than the last guy and move on up the corporate ladder” Are they “selling” Christ or themselves?

More to come.

What a way to knock the dust off of the blog.

Keep in mind this comes from churches that I have experienced. So don’t get your panties in a wad and comment on here saying “We never do that! How dare you!”

When we consider Christ as the very incarnation of divine glory, it ought to put all our other passions into proper perspective. It ought to make us ashamed that our focus is so far off and we are not really passionate about the one thing that ought to excite us the most.

We imitate all the world’s passions. We invent gimmicks to try to win worldly people by appealing to whatever mania has captured our culture’s attention at the moment. We devote our energies and our emotions to things that are not even worthy of our attention. We do things to stir artificial passion—which is an especially sinister form of false worship.

Our passions should not need to be whipped up by spiritual cheerleaders and stadium chants. We shouldn’t have to be worked into an emotional state by hype and melodrama and musical manipulation. If we can get pumped to a fever pitch by some rock-star pastor’s antics rather than by the truth of the biblical message, then whatever we are feeling isn’t even a legitimate passion in the first place.

Ersatz enthusiasm and crass tomfoolery actually contradict the message we’re supposed to be proclaiming. With so many churches merely trying to entertain people, or lull them into a state of self-satisfaction, or simply gross them out, it’s no wonder the world is not being won to Christ but actually becoming steadily more hostile to Christianity.

By the way, the passions stirred by a clear vision of God’s glory aren’t necessarily warm and comforting. It’s not always a good feeling. In fact, it is much more likely that the first time someone catches a glimpse of God’s glory, the result will be intense fear. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). Do a study on this in Scripture and take note of how people usually respond when they first see God for who He is. They fall on their faces in sheer terror. Almost every time.

God’s glory also provokes profound amazement and wonder. Sometimes it’s delight and rejoicing. (Peter fell on his face and confessed his sin when he first began to realize who Jesus was. But he sounded almost giddy when he saw Christ’s glory unveiled on the Mount of Transfiguration.) All of those are legitimate emotions, and if they are real, they will make a lasting difference in us—something more than an impressive display of arm-raising and swaying with closed eyes during the song service; and something more credible than the pseudo-drunken behavior that has become such a plague in recent years.

Artificial religious enthusiasm is the bane of our age, and it’s a powerful detriment to the church’s testimony. There is perhaps no more reprehensible variey of raw hypocrisy.

On the other hand, if we really grasped and meditated on how the glory of God is revealed to us in Christ, we would never need any artificial gimmicks to stir our passions, and we certainly would never dream that we needed to try to make God seem “cooler” or more appealing than He actually is. ~ Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs

Posted by: reformbama | December 11, 2013

Lying Imposters

Stick Matt Pitt in there and that “pastor” that prophesied over him
“It is plain to the Christian that Mohammed, John Smith and Mrs. Eddy who pretended to be the recipients of special revelations from God, were lying impostors. Others who claim to have received any Divine communications of their own souls, over and above what is contained in or may be rightly deduced from God’s infallible Word, are themselves deceived, and on highly dangerous ground.” —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

Posted by: reformbama | December 9, 2013

Matt Pitt’s Hearing

Before I begin let me remind you of this.

I could not help but laugh at the pitiful defense that Matt’s lawyer threw out there.
The laughable excuse for why Matt flashed his badge, again. No doubt there now. Proof of probation violation.
Once again I have to ask the cult followers of Matt Pitt “What SANE man gets another badge when he has been previously arrested and found guilty for misusing one?” And y’all let this guy teach you?
Back to that excuse.
Little testified that when Pitt showed Lunsford and Vessels his honorary badge on June 15, it was “an attempt to show the character of who he was.” He said Pitt only showed the badge after the two men kept questioning them.

Yep, Matt showed his character of being a habitual badge flasher.

You know Matt could have done instead of flashing a badge and implying he is there on Jeffco business, maybe this.

“Hey sirs, I am Matt Pitt and I am a pastor just hanging out here with my cousin. My life is kinda hectic and I just need to get away from my cult, um I mean my groupies, no um, my flock and unwind. The BB gun is to protect us from snakes. What church do you go to? Are you for Alabama or Auburn? You should come check out my cult, um I mean Basement. Do you know the Lord, let me introduce myself. You see where I am going with this. Unless you are a basement leader and one of the cult followers.

But no, he  “showed him a police badge and told him to contact Randy Schlitz with the sheriff’s department.” (Does Schlitz even exist?) He could have just asked Vessels to call the guy and waited for them to talk and clear things up. But Pitt just slinks away on his ATV.

Then there is this nugget from Pitts lawyer “Penn said the men should have been able to see that it was an honorary badge.”. She just told us that Matt knew/knows what HONORARY means. How did she do that you may ask.? Read again why Little said Matt showed the badge. Put 2 and 2 together, GET IT? That means Matt knew it was honorary the whole flipping time, and that he abused the badge. So his whining about his little oath and letter misleading him is a show.
HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING THE WHOLE TIME! There was no misunderstanding.

More Later

 

The godly sorrow of repentance: Spurgeon’s notes on 2 Corinthians 7:10

 

2 Cor. 7:10—“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

Time was when inner experience was considered to be everything, and experimental preaching was the order of the day.
Now it is apt to be too much slighted.
Introspection was formerly pushed to the extreme of morbid self-searching; yet it ought not now to be utterly abandoned.
A correct diagnosis of disease is not everything, but yet it is valuable.
A sense of poverty cannot by itself enrich, but it may stimulate.
Sinners were unwisely influenced by certain ministries to look to their own feelings, many began to seek comfort from their own misery.
Now it is “only believe.” And rightly so: but we must discriminate.
There must be sorrow for sin working repentance.
Upon this point we must—

I.      REMOVE CERTAIN ERRONEOUS IDEAS WITH REGARD TO REPENTANCE AND SORROW FOR SIN.
Among popular delusions we must mention the suppositions—
1.      That mere sorrow of mind in reference to sin is repentance.
2.      That there can be repentance without sorrow for sin.
3.      That we must reach a certain point of wretchedness and horror, of else we are not truly penitent.
4.      That repentance happens to us once, and is then over.
5.      That repentance is a most unhappy feeling.
6.      That repentance must be mixed with unbelief, and embittered by the fear that mercy will be unable to meet our wretched case.

II.      DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE TWO SORROWS MENTIONED IN THE TEXT.
1.      The godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation is—
Sorrow for sin as committed against God.
Sorrow for sin arising out of an entire change of mind.
Sorrow for sin which joyfully accepts salvation by grace.
Sorrow for sin leading to future obedience.
Sorrow for sin which leads to perpetual perseverance in the ways of God. The ways of sin are forsaken because abhorred.
This kind of repentance is never repented of.
2.      The sorrow of the world is
Caused by shame at being found out;
Is attended by hard thoughts of God;
Leads to vexation and sullenness;
Incites to hardening of heart;
Lands the soul in despair.
Works death of the worst kind.
This needs to be repented of, for it is in itself sinful and terribly prolific of more sin.

III.      INDULGE OURSELVES IN GODLY SORROW FOR SIN.
Come, let us be filled with a wholesome grief that we
1.      Have broken a law, pure and perfect.
2.      Have disobeyed a gospel, divine and gracious.
3.      Have grieved a God, good and glorious.
4.      Have slighted Jesus, whose love is tender and boundless.
5.      Have been ungrateful, though loved, elected, redeemed, forgiven, justified, and soon to be glorified.
6.      Have been so foolish as to lose the joyous fellowship of the Spirit the raptures of communion with Jesus.
Let us confess all this, lie low at Jesus’ feet, wash his feet with tears, and love, yea, love ourselves away.

[Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). My Sermon Notes, Volumes 3 & 4: Matthew to Revelation (pp. 245–246). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.]

Posted by: reformbama | December 4, 2013

Why Will Basement Leaders Not Respond? They Can’t

Short answer is they can’t give response with out killing their conspiracy.
Recently after finally baiting Casey Holland, AKA Bird, into responding to me on Twitter, I had thought I got him to agree to meet me in person. Bird had a problem with my Tweets and I told him if he met with me I would stop. He said he would love to meet with me. However Bird would never take the step needed to arrange a meet. Bird chickened out, or lied or the cult leaders would not let him. I even stopped Tweeting to and about the cult and it’s members to show good will. I will be starting back.
Y’all should also see the Twitter rant Bird did against Cade Foster and the lame excuse he gave Cody Mandel when Cody called him on it.

A recent contact of mine has reached out to TJ Hursh, one of the Basement leaders. Twice. No response. Either TJ can’t make a rational response or he is not his own man and the cult leadership forbids him from responding.
They are not helping their cause by not responding and looks more cultish by the minute. With permission I am posting letter number two my contact has sent to TJ. First one is a lot like it.

Letter start here …

Quote “There is absolutely no reason that Matt should be in prison right now.”

Oh yes there is TJ. Most certainly there is.

TJ, I did not reply to this the first time you posted it. I actually called and left a message at the Basement, and also made a request for a returned call with both you and Casey Holland. I am a little surprised that

no one will return my calls. I thought that I had made it pretty clear that I was trying to be supportive.

As I told you before when we last spoke, I assume that when anyone posts something on a social media site, they are wanting it to be read and are inviting feedback and opinions. There are some concerns

I have about the text above, and I hope that no one is offended if I reply honestly and openly. My attempts to voice my concerns privately have obviously been ignored. If anyone reads what I say as an

attack, or thinks that I am mean spirited, then they truly do not know me or my intentions. I have told you that my writing style sometimes appears to be more harsh than I intend. I am not going to apologize

for that any longer. No one should have to apologize for being as honest as they can possibly be, caring very much about others, wanting to keep people safe, and helping people change in positive ways. I get

paid as a professional to do that TJ. I might just have a clue about a few things. Please take the time to read this and consider that I may be right on at least SOMETHING that I write. I have spent five hours

writing this. I hope you and your friends will take five minutes to read it.

TJ Quote “There is absolutely no reason that Matt should be in prison right now.”

I would like to offer the correction that Matt is not in Prison, he is in a County Jail. Comparing Shelby County Jail to a prison is like comparing a bar fight at Hooters to a fire fight in Fallujah. I have worked

inside both a jail and a prison. The loss of your freedom is the same, but that is where the similarities end. Jail is an unpleasant place, but to call it “prison” is to deny the horrors and depravity that are

present in the realities of the American prison system. Aggrandizing the situation by saying that Matt is in “prison” is the first thing that needs to be corrected in this difficult situation. Matt is in jail. He is safe.

He sees his family and makes phone calls. He eats lunch room food, has real toilet paper, and gets daily mail. Yes it’s bad, but it’s not even close to prison.

In my understanding of Civics and Society there is a clear reason that Matt should be in jail right now, and the recent act involving guns and four wheelers has very little to do with it. Matt was charged with a

misdemeanor last year, and plead guilty to the offense. He is in jail because of that conviction, period.

To say that Matt had no choice but to plead guilty last year is the ultimate in denial of responsibility.

No one takes away your freedom to choose what you do. Even God doesn’t do that to us. No self-respecting man would ever plead guilty to such a serious offense if he were completely innocent.

Matt was and is entitled to the full protection of society. He was entitled to a fair trial by a jury of his peers, and the burden of proof was clearly on the State. If he was advised by his attorney to plead

guilty to a lesser offense, it was because his attorney knew that substantial evidence against him was present, and conviction to a more serious crime was likely. To say that Matt is “completely innocent”

of the crime to which he pled guilty makes him appear to be a victim. Many people in society find it offensive when a convicted criminal, especially one that admitted his guilt in open court, attempts to

later blame everyone but themselves for their mistakes. Matt Pitt is not a victim of anything other than his own lack of understanding of what it means to be a law abiding citizen. In a civilized society, there

are consequences imposed for bad behavior, and accountability to the law making and law abiding majority is enforced. In the absence of such rule, society will descend into anarchy and the land will be

as described as Israel once was when there were no Judges or Law, and “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”

Apparently the current standards of the Church are much lower than the standards of society when it comes to conformity to societal law. This may be why Matt’s incarceration feels so wrong to his

followers. In the current Basement culture people are “not perfect, just forgiven.” While that sounds awesome and spiritual, think deeply about it for a moment. Under that logic a person can commit a

heinous crime, repent, and it simply goes away as if it never happened. What happens to the natural irrefutable law of sowing and reaping in that way of thinking? Does God simply throw out the laws of

nature that he created just because someone twists scripture to excuse themselves from accountability?

While I fully appreciate the fact that God forgives our sins, and spares us the penalty of the ultimate judgment that we deserve, I have yet to see a place in the Bible where the law of natural and logical

consequences for our actions is suspended. The wages of sin is still death. The blood of Jesus will cleanse the soul, but consequence of death for transgression has yet to be removed.

In fact, there are consequences for every action we take, both positive and negative. In society, incarceration is one possible consequence for antisocial behaviors. Matt is in jail right now because he

committed an act that had consequences attached. According to the Judge that was rightfully elected  to speak and decide for society, incarceration is exactly the consequence that Matt brought on himself

when he admitted that he had willfully and with knowledge violated society’s laws.

As an act of mercy by that same elected judge, and against the recommendations of many people in law enforcement that knew Matt well, Matt was given unsupervised probation. Probation is a massive

privilege, not a right. Society extends an offer of probation to allow a convicted criminal a chance to avoid the full severity of the consequences they have earned. Probation is society’s way of saying “ we

believe that you can do better if given another chance”, and giving someone who may have made a one time mistake a chance to prove them right.

The fact that probation was even considered for Matt is shocking. What no one seems to want to understand is that Matt had a fairly stained criminal past prior to his salvation experience. He has been

in jail before, and admits this freely. When someone is born again, God forgives them of all their past sins as if it had never happened. Society operates under a different set of rules, and does not have

a plan that includes pretending that what you did in the past doesn’t matter today. In society your criminal record follows you, and getting saved and doing good works does not erase it.

Matt is in jail today because his cumulative criminal record demanded punitive action once he proved that he was not going to abide by the terms of his probation. If the judge had ignored the past record

due to recent good behavior, he would have been guilty of bias and would have, and should have, been held accountable by the society he represents. The constitutional idea of a separation of Church and

State bars the Judiciary from considering Matt’s status as a religious leader in it’s application of the law.

The expectation from society in exchange for the mercy of probation is a demonstration from the convicted that they have accepted responsibility for their behaviors, have a desire to learn from their

mistakes, and intend to strive to function as law abiding citizens from that point forward.

I think that it is obvious to any rational human that Matt Pitt has not accepted responsibility for his actions. He blames society, concocts bizarre conspiracy theories, points fingers a media sources, and

blames critics, detractors and everyone else on the planet other than himself. He has not learned from his mistakes, as evidenced by him continuing to a carry a badge and declaring on a news interview

and to jail staff that he was indeed a police officer. He has failed to demonstrate that he fully submits himself to the governing authorities of our society. His lack of commitment to be a law abiding citizen

is certainly evident before his conversation experience at age twenty. Before that he repeatedly committed crimes, and by his own admission lived a criminal lifestyle complete with drug dealing, drug

use, distain for authority, truancy, theft, assault and only God knows what else. After his conversion at age 20 he has done wonderful things in the ministry, but the pattern of antisocial behaviors have only

been suppressed, not addressed. They have recently re-surfaced in obvious and undeniable ways. In the past two years alone Matt has repeatedly committing acts that are grounds for arrest. The amazing part

is that he is on record BRAGGING about some of the acts as if he should be rewarded for his complete disregard and distain for the laws of society. Matt has recently slandered respectable public officials

and law enforcement officers, refused to cooperate with police in their investigations of a citizen’s complaint, failed to obey the lawful commands of a peace officer, resisted arrest, attempted to elude

capture, refused to answer to an arrest warrant in a timely manner, refused to obtain simple permits for assembly or parade, refused to obey the orders of a an officer concerning unlawful assembly, repeatedly

ignored posted speed limits, misused prescription medications, gave false and misleading information to those that are influenced by him, and failed to report serious crimes and misdemeanors committed by

others under his leadership.

Yes TJ, Matt does deserve to be in jail right now. If you take out any positives he has done in ministry, what is left is a pattern of horrible delinquent and criminal behaviors that has endured for at least 17

years. The fact that he has done excellent things as a minister is completely irrelevant. There is no such thing “as credit for good deeds” when it comes to criminal behavior. I pray that Matt learns what is

expected of him as a citizen while he is detained, and makes the necessary corrections to his defection and destructive antisocial thinking. It would be a tragedy to lose Matt Pitt to his own self excusing

personality.

TJ Quote “You may want him in prison because it gives you a good feeling inside (and yes it is sick that someone even thinks that way)”

Correct TJ. Anyone that gets a good feeling inside because Matt Pitt is in jail is sick. No citizen that understands anything about the way our society works takes joy in another citizen being incarcerated.

If a fellow citizen is in jail, they are simply a burden on all tax payers, and they are unable to contribute their skills and abilities to the overall good of the community. We all lose something when one of us is in

jail. Despite the loss and expense, it is still necessary to enforce consequences in a uniform and unbiased manner. Our nation has worked for 200 years to devise a better way. So far nothing has been found to

replace the grossly ineffective penal system. The same system was in use as far back as history records.

The Bible doesn’t offer a better solution that I can see. Since we appear to agree that anyone that gets a “good feeling” from Matt being in jail is sick, can we assume that this is really not a issue?

Quote “I hope you know you would rather have Matt Pitt in jail and release murderers, drug dealers, rapists, and gang bangers every day on bond. “

Quote “I do have a problem however with holding an innocent man.”

In simple terms TJ, this called a Red Herring Fallacy. This argument about “rapists and murderers” is a diversion from the point, and is much easier to argue than is the real issue. In truth the “No Bond”

argument is a bold faced diversionary lie, and I suspect that the Basement leadership knows this by now. Surely at this point you must know it is a lie as well. Did you even read the long letter I sent to you? I am

at a loss why you are repeating this lie as if it were fact.

I have addressed this in a letter to you TJ. I asked for a reply, and got nothing. I am tempted to post the entire text of that letter here for all to see, but out of respect to you I will opt to maintain our private

communication. Vince Lovell has continued to propagate this lie to everyone that will listen as well. It is wrong, inaccurate, inflammatory, and it really needs to stop.

Fact: Matt Pitt was arrested on the night of August 20th, 2013. He was arrested with a warrant that was issued on August 14th, 2013, which is six days earlier. The warrant charged him with a crime in

Jefferson County – Felony Impersonating. He was arrested near Vulcan and was taken to the Jefferson County Jail. He BONDED OUT OF JAIL just a few hours later on this new charge. His bond was set at

$15,000.00, and he was out of jail within hours of being arrested. This is so important TJ. The second arrest for Impersonating on August 20, 2013 is an allegation only. Matt has not been tried or convicted

for this offense, and he is technically out on bond awaiting trial for this new charge. Matt is considered innocent of this crime until proven guilty. MATT IS NOT IN JAIL DUE TO THE ALLEGATIONS OF THIS

SECOND OFFENSE. Here is a quote from the news article at http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2013/08/

youth_pastor_matt_pitt_struggl.html

Quote “Pitt was released from the Jefferson County Jail just before 1 a.m. He was then picked up by Shelby County sheriff’s deputies where he is being held without bond.”

Matt is not accused of a new crime in Shelby County TJ, and the arrest in Jefferson County is not why he is in jail. Matt is in jail because his probation was revoked, and he is serving a one year sentence for a

crime he admitted that he committed. This article backs this up by saying “After Jefferson County issued the new warrant against Pitt, a writ of arrest was issued by Shelby County

authorities for probation revocation. The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office filed the motion on Aug. 14, the same day Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies obtained the felony warrant against Pitt.

In the newest Shelby County motion, prosecutors noted that Pitt pleaded guilty on Sept. 26, 2012 to attempting to impersonate a peace officer. He received a suspended 12-month sentence and was

placed on unsupervised probation for two years. As a condition of probation, Pitt was to obey all laws, according to the motion. New allegations against him by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the report

said, make him in direct violation of the conditions of probation.”

Matt Pitt is in jail tonight because he directly violated the conditions of his probation. He was given bond on the new charges. TJ, I have to tell you that a court has no choice but to believe someone when they

admit they did something illegal. Matt pled guilty, apologized, etc. Is Matt Pitt a liar? If he lied to the court and said that he did something that he really didn’t do, why should they believe him now when

he claims he is innocent? We can’t run a judicial system based on feeling and favorites. Justice must be equal, and honest. If someone pleads guilty to a crime they must face the same consequences no matter

who they are. Anything less is discrimination. In a fair system, nobody is special. Personal accountability for our actions is VITAL for credibility. I hope that Matt Pitts followers understand this eventually.

MATT PITT IS NOT BEING HELD WITHOUT BOND BASED ON AN ALLEGATION. Stop saying that, because it is a bold faced lie, and anyone with any common sense at all knows that.

TJ Quote “The fact is that Matt should not be held without bond in a county jail for such a sick accusation constructed to keep him in a cage with your tax dollars (4,000-5,000 a month) and get

away with it and unable to be released or even given a fair trial from a judge that looks logically at the evidence and hasn’t made up his mind before he even walked in the door to hear the case (keep

in mind I was IN the court room. Furthermore, if you try to say that Matt was convicted of a felony that is also false, because he was forced (by Mike Hale’s buddy and lawyer Curtis Gordon, who did not

even appear Matt’s court date) to plea guilty to a MISDEMEANOR, there is no felony.”

Wow TJ. I am concerned that many at the Basement are in for a shock very soon. If you think that you attended Matt’s TRIAL for the accusations stemming from the incident in Grayson Valley, you are

very wrong. What you attended was only a probation revocation hearing. Did you wonder why Matt’s attorney did not call any witnesses on Matt’s behalf? Could it be because he was NOT on trial for that

allegation?

Matt will likely face a trial at some time for the new charges that were brought against him. I suspect that those charges will be felony charges, and the chances of a sweet plea bargain deal are not going

to look promising. Matt could easily face YEARS in a real PRISON for the new charges. If you thing the situation is bad now, I cringe at what could come next. For some reason no one at the Basement seems

able or willing to understand that the incident at Grayson Valley and Matt’s current incarceration are only casually connected. Matt violated the terms of his probation in ways that are almost mind boggling.

The four wheeler incident was nothing compared to his blatant disregard of the requests of detectives to simply TALK TO THEM about the incident. When you are on probation, you really shouldn’t refuse to

even TALK to a detective. I will be surprised if Matt doesn’t end up getting serious prison time for the last allegations. That can of worms hasn’t even been opened yet.

TJ Quote “Lastly, think on this, if Matt in fact actually HAD done something, odds are he would have been released already because currently everyone walking out of jail is guilty.”

That’s an irrational argument TJ. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Matt pled guilty. That’s proof.

TJ Quote “Pre-Trial Residential Release… figure that one out!”

If Matt is released from Jail early, and he likely will be, I would assume that he will be free until his court date. He has already been tried and convicted and is serving a sentence for one crime in Shelby

County. He has already bonded out for the new charges in Jefferson County. His new charges have not come up for trial yet. Since he is presumed innocent of these charges, he should easily get his freedom

once released from Shelby County. I doubt that they will even require an ankle bracelet since he is a nonviolent offender.

Quote “Matt should not cost Shelby County tax payers thousands of dollars a month for a judge and some old cronies to prove a political point or for whatever reason that they have him detained for.”

Matt is not “detained” TJ. He is serving a sentence for a crime that he admitted committing. I find it fairly offensive to accuse our elected officials of having impure motives and/or political reasons for

enforcing a sentence on Matt Pitt. Are you aware that charges of corruption are serious crimes that if  true, could result in federal charges against the Judge and the D.A.? I am not sure if you are aware, but

accusing a seated Judge of improper conduct is about as serious as it gets. I hope that you have some facts to back up your insinuations, since you could face real problems if someone decided to take action

against you for defamation. I personally am offended by the allegations that a seated judge would commit a criminal act without some type of evidence presented to prove it. I know the D.A. (Robbie

Owen) personally. He is a man of the very highest character. He is my friend, and he is more honest than anyone I have communicated with that is connected to the Basement. In my opinion you owe him and

the judge he serves a written apology for even suggesting that they are corrupt.

TJ Quote “Key points to remember in this case before you cast your own judgment.”

– Matt was given an honorary badge by Sheriff Mike Hale thru JT Smallwood – there pictures and videos of this event.

– Regarding June 15, it was a PELLET gun in the woods, no law broken by having one on a 4 wheeler in the wood

– Brandon Vessels has said under oath on the stand that Matt never said he worked or was a deputy  with Jefferson County, he was told to call someone to verify he was in fact Matt Pitt

– Matt was arrested TWO MONTHS after the alleged incident!! even escorted by county and city deputies and officers as we marched down to the lawn for the third consecutive year in downtown

Birmingham

Nobody disputes any of this, and it means nothing TJ. All are Red Herring arguments. The gun has nothing to do with this. Its about a BADGE, not a pellet gun. The fact that Matt was arrested two months

after the allegations shows just how much time the county spent trying to get Matt to cooperate with them and to AVOID having to arrest him. Matt refused to cooperate. And the march in downtown B’ham

– just curious, did anyone get a permit to hold a march? If no, why not?

It’s time to stop this crusade to Free Matt Pitt TJ, and instead work to encourage Matt to accept responsibility for his behaviors, work to restore his credibility through genuine repentance and

contrition, and let something good come from this disaster. Stop defending Matt and help him TJ. Please do what is right and HELP MATT PITT. Hold him accountable. Love him. Stick by him. Encourage him.

Visit him. But HELP HIM by looking truth in the eye, holding him accountable, being solid in your faith, and whatever you do DON’T DROWN YOURSELF trying to save a man that refuses to grab the life ring.

HELP MATT PITT. That’s what needs to be on a T- Shirt.

I love you TJ Hursh. Don’t doubt that for a second. Call me if you want to talk more. TJ

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