Home > Brandenburg, Culture > Culture Decay—But Who Cares? part one

Culture Decay—But Who Cares? part one

March 13, 2008

I drove by a billboard several years ago that was probably sponsored by the American Dental Association.  It read:  “Ignore Your Teeth; They’ll Go Away.”  I snickered.  I’m not laughing about cultural decay though, because I want to keep a Christian culture.  But if we ignore it, it will go away too.

This last week somebody sent me a DVD produced by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, entitled, “Genesis the Key to Reclaiming Our Culture.”  I haven’t watched it yet, but on the cover (and you can see this by clicking on the DVD after going to the link provided) is a photograph of a girl with multiple piercings in her nose and her arms wrapped around the tattooed right arm of an older male, her head also planted on his shoulder.  I guess Ken Ham thinks that something in this picture isn’t right, so he believes it illustrates that culture needs reclaiming.  I showed the photo to my wife and I asked her what she thought was wrong with it.  Her first words were:  “It’s extreme.”  I said, “But I want something Scriptural.  What verse would you use to tell me what’s wrong with it?  Why is it ‘extreme’?”  She paused and wrinkled up her face a little.  I added, “It’s not that easy to get a verse that makes a direct statement about these types of things.  Because of that, many evangelicals and even now fundamentalists believe it is acceptable.”  And Ken Ham is probably in the conservative evangelical category akin to the late Henry Morris.  Yet, he thinks that this was the appropriate picture to choose to portray a wayward culture.

I agree with Ken Ham.  Something’s wrong in his cover photo.  Something’s even worse in the picture of evangelicalism and fundamentalism today.  The Christian culture decays all around and few seem to care.  With all of my exegetical, observational, and analytical abilities, I want to diagnose what’s wrong.

LOVE OF SELF

As we get closer to the end, 2 Timothy 3:2 says that “men shall be lovers of their own selves.”  We’ve arrived.  Men love themselves, including in churches.  The world’s culture, and this isn’t new, has always been about self.  The world pushes the pampering of self, elevating me to number one.

We can see the conflicts between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of me in 2 Peter 1:4:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

When the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature, he escapes the corruption that is in the world through lust.  “Lust” is that desire to please self.  The world is corrupted by its desire for self-gratification.  You’ve heard of the Copernican theory, that says that the world revolves around the sun.  The world has more than a theory, more a conviction, that the world revolves around self.

Like I said, we knew self dominates the world, but what’s different is that now Christians are also about self.  A lot of terrain on the Christian blogosphere is dedicated to defense of selfish pursuits.  They have staked out their love of booze, the movie theater, dance, rock music, dating touching, and a casual dress philosophy.  These are all activities, which have historically been rejected by Christians, but not anymore.

Did you notice in 2 Peter 1:4 that at the moment of one’s justification, the believer escapes a world corrupted through lust.  He escapes one culture for another culture and the one he escapes has been corrupted through feeding self.  What undergirds the culture of the world is a philosophy that centers on self.  Since he escapes it, he is no longer of it and that is a direct result of his partaking of the divine nature.

Paul describes this attitude of self interest that captivates the unbeliever in Philippians 3:19:

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

Saved people are not about getting what they want.  They are not disposed with the same things the world is.  They are described earlier in Philippians 3 in v. 3 and are the polar opposite of those in v. 19.

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Genuine believers have won the battle where it counts the most, on the inside, and this sincerity is characterized by the three qualities Paul lists here.  These are the cultures in conflict.  One sincerely seeks after God, rejoicing in Christ, not following at all the leadership of his own desires.  The other minds earthly things, dragged along by his appetites (his belly).

The man with the heavenly citizenship (Philippians 3:20) sees no advantages to fitting in with the world.  Tattoos are not about God.  Piercings are not about God.  A sensual rhythm isn’t about God.  The buzz from a Budweiser isn’t about God.  What kind of dress will make me most comfortable isn’t about God.  The tidal wave of entertainment pounding from the big screen of a theater isn’t about God.  Jazz music, let alone rap, rock, and hip, is not about God.  Marketing the church by shortening, humoring, and providing an easy-reader, remedial version of Scripture isn’t about God (please keep reading multiple version users).  Those are all about self.

I turned on the live stream of the Shepherd’s Conference from Grace Community Church and John MacArthur in Southern California.  It was the one message I would have time to tune in.  I expected to hear Albert Mohler, but they showed the music before hand.  The Master’s Chorale came on first.  I perked up.  I could see them only from the distant camera, but they were very modestly and conservatively dressed.  They looked reverent.  I smiled in hopeful anticipation.  I’m going to mention only their second number, because it was an arrangement that mainly utilized jazz, ragtime and blues, components to communicate a theological message supposedly to God.  I’m confident that God rejected the song, so that it never got further than the ceiling of the auditorium.  Why?  The jazz composition wasn’t about God.  It was about about having fun and feeling good.  The message of the words were corrupted by lust, a whole dimension of life that the professing believers were to have escaped.

What was the worst for me was that they syncretized.  The belly god yanked the holy, godly words through the sewer culture.  The last chord of the song was unresolved.  My son, who walked in on it at the very beginning, groaned, and I cried, “What?!?!”  And then, “Are you kidding me?”  I asked, “Did you hear that?!?”  And he groaned again.  He understood it.  He heard the same stuff from some squirrely godless teenagers a few weeks before at the California All State band.  He walked out on that because it was spiritually septic.

The earth was without form and void.  Tohu Bohu.  That’s the Hebrew in Genesis 1:2.  A play on words.  The ending of the Master’s Chorale song was empty and shapeless too.  God hadn’t come through to give completion and fulfillment.  They ended tohu bohu.  God didn’t move through the song. It wasn’t good.  When God is done with something, it’s good, and this wasn’t.  I understand a Buddhist leaning on that form of communication, but not a true worshiper of God.

So why?  Why did they do it?  Self.  It felt good.  They looked enlightened according to earthly wisdom.  “Did you hear that?  That sounded just like a real group; you know, the ones in the world.”  That has become, in so many cases, the standard for Christians.  They imitate the world.  They mind earthly things.  They hear something they like and do it—the lust of the flesh.

The defense for the belly god?  “Scripture doesn’t say it’s wrong!”  And, “so you’re saying that we can’t have fun?!  We can’t enjoy anything?!”  Meats for the belly and belly for meats.  “People got emotional in Scripture, didn’t they?  So emotion is good, so rock music is good.”  They’ll drink to that.  They’ll smoke a cigar to that.  “Spurgeon would have!

We can take the individual aspects of earthly things and by convincing ourselves that each part is acceptable, persuade ourselves that so is the whole. “Barley’s fine, right?”  “Drums are in the Bible, right?”  What guides the pursuit, however, is what led Solomon along in Ecclesiastes.  It’s altogether vanity.

Professing Christians and their churches follow after self and call it grace.  That same pattern is found in the apostates of 2 Peter 2 and 3.  They walk after their own lusts.  They offer men temporal things, just like the world.  In so doing, they make merchandise of them.  They return and then lead others to the pollution of this world, promising liberty, but entangling men again in what God had saved them from.

God the Appetite

Instead of worshiping God in the spirit, professing Christians focus on fleshly pursuits, like booze and big-time entertainment.  They justify it by saying it’s not in the Bible, but, of course, neither are crack pipes.  What leads them along are their personal appetites.  For a Judaizer of that day, it was his own fleshly accomplishment, but that’s not all it was for people in the time Paul wrote Philippians.

Many Gentiles of the day in the Roman Empire were Gnostics who had a dualistic philosophy.  The philosophy said spirit is good and matter is evil. The influence was that we are Christians in the spirit.  Body is matter, is evil, therefore, what your body does doesn’t matter at all.  It’s inconsequential  Since it is going to be evil no matter what you do with it, just feed it. That belief went right into what was called in theology antinomianism, which is right in the contemporary libertinism of today which disconnects what we look and sound and act like from who we are on the inside.

Glory in their Shame

Being led along by something other than God, their appetite, their glory becomes their shame.  They revel in the things that they should be ashamed of.  They are proud of their fleshiness.  They stamp liberty on it, but it is their own belly dance.  We’ve lost shame for these kinds of things, for improprieties and selfish pursuits.  Now evangelicals brag about them.  Everything’s the same as the world, except they’re forgiven.

Mind Earthly Things

I really do get worldliness.  I get entanglements with the affairs of this life.  It’s the struggle that Paul describes in Romans 7, one, however, that we have won.  We’ve been delivered and God keeps on saving us.  He didn’t release us from the bondage for us to be trapped by fleshly pursuits.

You’re right if you say that the Bible says nothing about lathering our head with juicy hair care products.  It doesn’t, so we should just leave it alone, right?  Why leave it alone when it cries for attention?  A teenage boy with glistening locks wants someone to look.  I’m not thinking that it is this forty-five year old man, but it’s someone.  I have one question for him.  You know what it is.  “Why?”  He can keep wearing it, but it sends the wrong message for a Christian.  He’s got to fit into his state college campus and they require conformity to their philosophies or at least he thinks they do.  Or it’s what he perceives that girl that works at the hardware check-out might like, the busty one with the tight top and shorts.  His hair communicates a compatibility to her view of the world.  His piercing is a whole other story.

I could squeeze all the jell from his hair and lube the wheels of my car and I don’t think he’ll be an inch closer to God.  So yes, the insides matter the most, but his outsides are also wrong.  They conform to the world.  His externals haven’t been transformed by the renewing of his mind.  His body isn’t a living sacrifice and isn’t acceptable to God.  In addition to his spiritual feebleness, he’s also not fashioning himself in a godly manner.

As I look to Christ’s return, because He is coming back, I will set my affections on things above.  That up look will manifest itself in my outward adornment as well as my choice of activities.  I’ll gird up my loins like a man and be done with lesser things.  The things of earth will dim in the light of God’s glory and grace.

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Categories: Brandenburg, Culture
  1. March 15, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Dear Pastor Kent,

    I agree with you, many Christians so easily flow with the waves of this world. I remember once a group of Christian friends decided to meetup to watch Football Match and brought dozen of Beer Cans !! Is it that we don’t have enough to pray about when we get together or is it that we should be able to fulfill our heart’s desire of having fun and entertainment. I am not against watching football matches but what happened to Holiness. And what do we talk about when when we participate in entertainments to fulfill lust of our flesh.

    We must discern the things we can do with the help of scriptures (Bible).

    Regards,
    Gagan

  2. 100% Jack Hyles
    March 15, 2008 at 10:10 am

    It looks like Hylots aren’t the only ones who struggle with grammar and spelling. Thanks though for the definition of “scriptures.”

  3. Andrew
    March 15, 2008 at 11:13 am

    WHAT AN AWESOME, POIGNIANT MESSAGE!!!…I USED TO LOVE TO LISTEN TO METALLICA, DISTURBED, SEVENDUST, GODSMACK, AND RAMMSTEIN. NOW I LISTEN TO HYMNS TIUMPHANT, MAJESTY AND GLORY..PRODUCED BY BILLY RAY HEARN. I’M FREE NOW!……IT’S ONLY BEEN 2-3 MONTHS…I WAS A ROCK ADDICT!!! …IT’S SO HARD TO FIND GOOD MUSIC…W/OUT THE ROCK BEAT. ALL CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD BE AS EXHILARATING LIKE THIS! T0 ALL “CONTEMPERARY MUSIC” FANS, BEWARE OF ROMANS 14. I GET NAUSCIOUS JUST OVERHEARING SOME OF THAT “DUNG”. REMINDING ME OF MY PAST.

  4. James
    March 15, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I agree that some have poor knowledge of english but does that disqualifies them from expressing themselves to our american brothers.

  5. March 15, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Gagan or James,

    You can disregard the comment of 100% Jack Hyles. He doesn’t represent this site and he’s bitter. Actually there was nothing grammatically wrong with “scriptures” as you used it, so don’t pay attention to what he said. Thanks for visiting.

  6. 100% Jack Hyles
    March 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Not bitter, just making the same observation that you made about “Hylots.” A quick perusal of this site reveals that many of those who post favorably are nothing more than lackies who probably ride the short bus. C’mon, you have to admit that most of the time they don’t add anything to the discussion, this is evidenced by the followup comments of you moderators that mostly consist of “thanks for visiting” or “good insight.”

  7. March 15, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Here’s someone who says he’s 100% lackie calling others lackies. Anyone 100% Hyles has no credibility with me and should be ashamed of himself. Please don’t comment here unless you have something to say about our topic.

  8. March 15, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    I take exception to this:

    …but what’s different is that now Christians are also about self. A lot of terrain on the Christian blogosphere is dedicated to defense of selfish pursuits. They have staked out their love of booze, the movie theater, dance, rock music, dating touching, and a casual dress philosophy. These are all activities, which have historically been rejected by Christians, but not anymore.

    Yes, I was linked to from the words “rock music”. Of course I haven’t applauded secular rock music in general, but rather, the use of the rock sound in completely Christian songs. I think songs are a complete package, the music and words fit together. And I don’t think the “rock beat” in and of itself is Scripturally wrong.

    What bothers me, however, is this statement: “A lot of terrain on the Christian blogosphere is dedicated to defense of selfish pursuits.” This statement reads motives in to people who defend any of the activities mentioned in the next sentence. Anyone making a Scriptural case for alcohol (as I have done), or the use of contemporary music, is said to be merely defending their own selfish pursuit. Never mind the Scripture cited or anything. I’m right you’re wrong and that’s that. To judge motives and basically say any defense is just some forced attempt at rationalizing their preferred selfish desires, is unChristian and unkind.

    Also, the next statement makes it seem that the links are universally promoting this issue and just are all about living it up in that area, when in fact, many of the links do nothing of the kind. The theater link, and the casual dressing, link, are just making some arguments and reasoning about the issue in a fair manner that doesn’t disparage those who differ with them. The alcohol link isn’t even a defense of alcohol, rather a few thoughts about the SBC’s actions with regard to the recent adoption of a resolution against alcohol. My page of music links does not reflect in your face sentiments like “sing hard CCM rock to the top of your lungs no matter what anyone thinks” and “secular grunge is great, who needs Christian lyrics”. Rather it is a defense of some of CCM (the more doctrinally rich and deep, spiritually moving songs), and the principal of using secular music with a Christian message.

    The dating link is not an explicit endorsement of an anything goes dating philosophy. It is just some inference drawn from a picture on a church website of a guy and girl touching each other. I surely wouldn’t adopt an anything goes philosophy, touch all you want, mentality, nor do many conservative evangelicals. Likewise, the link about dancing doesn’t reflect the vast majority of conservative evangelicals in their views on dancing. My church would never host such an event, and I would not approve of it either.

    I understand you differ with the positions you mentioned. But you beg the question and try to poison the well when you claim that only self-interest (carnally motivated at that) brings people to conclude as they do on these issues.

  9. March 15, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    I knew that was coming 🙂

  10. March 15, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    What part or aspect did you know was coming, and do you agree?

    Even if all I wrote was that one quote, let alone the first part of a longer article, let alone the whole article, which is clearly not yet finished (“part one”)?

  11. March 16, 2008 at 4:55 am

    I didn’t even read Bob’s comment or exception yet. I just knew that he would come over and say something. And that it would be the longest comment so far.

  12. Gary Johnson
    March 16, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Bob,

    Most of the sins that you are defending is why the Lord saved me and made me a new creature, the old things are passed away. (alcohol, theater, rock music, dating).

    Ye must be born again.

  13. March 16, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Bob,

    According to 1 Corinthians 14 (part of the Scriptures, in case 100% Hyles was wondering) states that the sound of the trumpet communicates a message, and that message can be uncertain or certain. That is, the music itself, without any words has meaning. If the music has no meaning or affect, why aren’t the discos and dance clubs using music from hymns with secular words to them? It is because, as many rock experts insist that rock music has as its root message sex and rebellion. Consider the following quotes:

    “Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body’s rhythms” (Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention, Life, June 28, 1968).

    “That’s what rock is all about–sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!” (Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss, interview, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987).

    “Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% sex” (John Oates of the rock duo Hall & Oates, Circus, Jan. 31, 1976).

    “Rock ‘n’ roll is pagan and primitive, and very jungle, and that’s how it should be!” (Malcolm McLaren, punk rock manager, Rock, August 1983).

    Rock music in its very design was proposed to evoke a carnal, sensual, and even devilish response in the hearer. Now you think you can combine that with Christian words to evangelize the lost or edify Christians. That is just impossible. It doesn’t meet the scriptural standard of “spiritual songs” of Ephesians 5:19.

  14. March 16, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Kent,

    Your point is so very true. The devil gave up on getting the majority to follow the guy in a red suit and pitch fork over to the Temple of Set for a Hate-God service. But, he has been very successful in getting our culture to forget about God. The only thing left is to magnify and satisfy self. Rick Warren makes no apologies for his seeker sensitive services. The stated goal is to make the visitors feel at home. The goal is no longer to make the visitor feel welcome, it is to make them feel good. Give them their music, give them shorter sermons, give them everything we can twist Scripture to justify. The problem is the visitors then accept a god made in the image of Rick Warren or Bill Hybels or many others, instead of the True God as seen in Scriptures and in the glory of his holy people.

  15. March 16, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Bob,

    I think Kent relied on generalities, similar to the way you do when you describe us and our doctrine/practice as “man-centered.” One might also jump to the conclusion that you are attempting to “poison the well” (which is a form of ad hominem). No doubt, you will have a lengthy explanation for why yours is “good” and Kent’s “evil.” (That will ironically manage to ignore the fact that you have a problem with most things Kent says).

    Ad hominem, in case you weren’t aware, is not forbidden in Scripture. So, in using ad hominem, one might say that we are excercising our liberty in Christ, in which case all evangelicals should applaud and determine to tolerate. Of course, we would not say that we are using our liberty in Christ, so much as we are imitating the fella who said, “The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.”

    Really now, somebody should have given that guy a link to The Nizkor Project.

  16. March 16, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for coming over Bob. You are welcome to comment and you did keep it on thread, unlike 100% Hyles. Speaking of which, I made bold, broad statements about Hyles during Hyles/Schaap month and you seemed to agree with those.

    All I did was make a propositional presentation. I proposed a point and then went about to prove it. I’m not finished proving it obviousy, but I did make some points that would essentially ruin what you said. However, your comment fits the standard fare, I’m afraid, for worldly evangelicals.

    If what I did is begging the question, then every lawyer begs the question when he makes his opening statement. I think some do beg the question, but you can’t really determine that until after the evidence is presented. And you would also need to refute the evidence. As far as judging motives, what verse do you have that says that we can’t judge motives? I’m convinced that sometimes it is right to judge motives. Samson and Delilah weren’t getting together for personal devotions. Samson did it for himself and because of lust. A common thread in all the topics I mentioned in the quote material was self and lust, and I went on to prove the point. I also mentioned historical opposition. I also linked to everything so that everyone could read it for themselves. They also can read my whole article again to see that you are false.

    I think if you went through your own comment, you would find several fallacies. For instance, I never said anything about “sing hard CCM to the top of your lungs.” That’s called a red herring or a straw man.

    By the way, if rock music is an acceptable genre of music even mixed with “Christian” words, then I don’t see how you could have a problem with secular rock music that had non-scriptural words. You say then that your church wouldn’t host such a dance as I linked, and yet your pastor fellowships and preaches at Mars Hill with Driscoll. He hasn’t publically repudiated Mars Hill for having this function, but given his approval with his presence. Isn’t a picture of unmarried teens with hands and bodies touching an example of dating touching? I wanted to link to The Master’s College site where they have pictures of college students with hands on each other. If this is in the promotional material, right out in public, what is acceptable in private?

  17. March 16, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Don,

    I don’t want to get into a debate on music, that topic has been thoroughly hashed out in the comment threads on my blog (if you follow Kent’s link, you’ll come across lots of discussion in the pertinent articles, with Kent countering my positions). Music, communicates but isn’t specific enough by itself to encite sinful actions (ie to become Morally evil) on its own. Associations, lyrics, and other factors such as culture, come into play. Certain or uncertain sound is not a direct segue (spelling) into music is either moral or immoral by itself.

    Re: alcohol, anyone want to look at Deut. 14:26 and conclude that drinking alcohol is universally sinful?

    Again, I really have a lot on my plate right now and can’t get into a huge debate.

    Kent and Dave,

    I understand your point. You guys understand where I’m coming from. Generalizing can be ill used. And I’m sure I’m guilty at times (I work hard not to overgeneralize). As far as a verse, there’s the one about not judging a matter before you hear it. I know you’ve heard it, but you make it seem as if no one else should listen in on the matter, but just take your word.

    I’m really rushed. I wanted to make a point and just contribute on that one issue. I’ve done that, and you all have answered.

    Blessings to all in Christ,

    Bob

  18. March 17, 2008 at 12:53 am

    We’ve reached a period in world history where we must tolerate another position just because it exists, because the only genuine conviction is toleration. As I read through the Bible, I hear a lot of excuses in Scripture and the people giving them think they’re legitimate arguments. Then God or His spokesman puts them down. This occurs again and again. I see your comment as a deflection, Bob.

    Regarding Deuteronomy 14:26, a booze consumer as yourself will likely not like my argument. To start with, it doesn’t say anything about drinking alcohol. With that being said, I’ve made a very normal argument made against almost any standard by a worldly evangelical. But I’m going to give you more. I actually made an argument over at beer-drinker Douglas Wilson’s blog against this. I’ll cut and paste.

    I recognize people kill people and drunks kill people, but I don’t ingest guns and bullets. Somebody drinks beer and, as strong drink, it immediately begins altering decision making. You say, “Not me.” I would argue that, but even if it doesn’t, it will in the life of someone else who won’t stop before he’s out-of-control. Then he beats his wife or gets in a car and kills someone. I will not be brought under the power of any. I will not cause my brother to stumble. I will not support the beer industry, even in jest.

    There were no distilled liquors in Bible times, and shekar, the Hebrew word often translated “strong drink,” actually refers to wines made from fruits other than grapes. Scripture strongly prohibits actual strong drink. Dt. 14:26 is a moot point for beer-drinkers, since it is talking merely about tithing on two different types of drink. It does not justify alcohol consumption. According to the American Medical Association: “There is no minimum (blood-alcohol concentration) which can be set at which there will be absolutely no effect.” The immediate effects of alcohol can be described as follows: “The action of the brain is slowed down causing changes in inhibitions, judgement and self control,” and these effects begin with the very first drink. Ethyl alcohol [grain alcohol or ethanol], made by fermentation of sugar with yeast, is the main ingredient in all alcoholic beverages and is a habit-forming narcotic drug. Even if a person insists that he can drink “moderately” without getting addicted, he cannot both drink and unhypocritically encourage others (who may get addicted) not to drink. Many Biblical principles are violated by drinking beer (Rom. 14:21; Prov. 20:1; 31:4; Is. 5:22; etc). I don’t understand how it is addressed so jocularly here—it affects credibility.

    The exact nature of drinks is not clearly indicated in the Bible itself. Both yayin and shekar are used to describe what we know at times from the context to be inebriating drinks. Shekar can mean “barley beer” in the Akkadian cognate, and also in the Hebrew Bible when joined with the word for wine. The term shekar in some of its variations, at least, does not uniformly or necessarily refer to a state of intoxication, or even to an inebriating beverage. What we see as intoxicating beverage, we see from the context in which yayin or shekar is used. Sometimes when drinking certain beverages, water was added, so that what would get one drunk undiluted would not do so diluted. We can’t always know when they were imbibed diluted or undiluted. In references which are less plain, we should rely for doctrine those verses that are more clear. We should not assume that God permits us to drink something intoxicating and addictive when we have Proverbs 20:1, 31:4; Isaiah 5:11, 22; 1 Corinthians 6:12. Gill writes concerning Proverbs 20:1, “Strong drink not only disturbs the brain, and puts the spirits in a ferment, so that a man rages within, but it sets him a raving and quarrelling with his company, and everybody he meets with; such generally get into broils and contentions.”

    I never had anyone answer my argument.

  19. March 17, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I doubt (out loud, for Bob’s sake) that any two Christians will agree on each and every particular when it comes to the things of the world. Even Kent and I disagree on a particular or two (strange as that may sound). Some we have discussed, some we have not. I don’t have a problem with hashing out the details, striving for a Scriptural standard on issues.

    That being said, Kent’s article dealt with broad areas that our culture has made acceptable, Christians once resisted but now have compromised. Since Bob has chosen to join this position, I understand his need to defend it. I’m not really sure whether Bob would agree with this next statement, so I will throw it up in the air to see if he’ll oblige us all with a swing.

    In general, self-love, self-gratification, self-centeredness, and selfishness characterizes the modern evangelical church and the modern fundamentalist church.

    The question would be, do you agree with that statement.

    I ask because I believe that this was Kent’s point — at least, that’s the way I took it. He gave some particular examples. There are literally hundreds to choose from. His choice in the particulars can of course be debated. Similar to how, when I teach my children about selfishness, and use for an example the time my son knocked my daughter upside the head, he certainly can debate whether it was selfishness that caused him to do it. But the point, generally speaking, still stands. And generally speaking, Kent is right. I am amazed at the carnality that surrounds us, and I believe that Christians are to blame for the cultural decay that engulfs this nation. Until we repent, our nation will continue to slouch towards Gomorrah.

  20. bobby
    March 17, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Brothers,

    Like Dave, I agree with the point of the post.

    This may be another issue, but Dave’s last line is similar to things I’ve heard all my life and I’d like to ask something about it.

    Question: If the NT churches repent in this regard will the nation cease to slouch towards Gomorrah? Do you believe that if God’s people get right then the nation will too? I tend to lean towards the belief that we should repent as God’s people because God said to, and that America may or may not turn back from her filthiness. I’m sure you get the point in spite of my lack of really formulating these questions and thoughts well. Unfortunately I’m very tired and unable to think very clearly at the time. I’ll get some sleep and come back to see if you understand what I’m saying and if you have a response.

  21. March 17, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I’m not trying to be purposefully diplomatic, although I love unity. Everyone together now: “I love unity.” See, Jackhammer loves unity. My read on what Dave wrote logically doesn’t conclude that a nation will get right with God if churches repent. We can’t however, hope that the nation won’t continue to slouch if we don’t repent. I think it is a good question to ask, Bobby, and worth considering. I don’t think I right now can conclude one way or another. 2 Chron. 7:14 seems to say “yes,” but Matthew 7:13, 14 might say “no.”

  22. March 18, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Great points here, and worth fleshing out. I agree that we as believers and churches must repent because God says to, and not in order to “get our nation to repent.” It is worth noting that repentance that is motivated by a desire to get the other guy to repent is a half-way repentance that will neither please God nor get the desired affect.

    The point I am making is that our nation will not repent until WE do. In other words, there is no hope for national repentance so long as God’s people will not humble themselves. Until we repent, they won’t.

  23. March 18, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Bob Hayton – “Of course I haven’t applauded secular rock music in general, but rather, the use of the rock sound in completely Christian songs.”

    If you approve the use of rock music in Christian churches, then 100% Hyles isn’t the only one who who should be ashamed of himself.

  24. bobby
    March 18, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Dave,

    I see what you mean. That makes sense. Believers need to repent. If they do there might be hope of a national repentance. If they don’t there is no hope.

  25. Thomas Ross
    March 19, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Dear Bob Hayton,

    I haven’t heard from you in a long time. Please check out my websites:

    http://faithalonesaves.googlepages.com/salvation
    http://thross7.googlepages.com/home

    you can check out my wedding pics at:

    http://agapekaiphilia.blogspot.com

    I would encourage you to carefully consider Bible Studies #5-7 at my website. I fear it is likely that you have never come to Christ in the way described in Bible study #5, by genuine repentant faith, and that is why you have rejected so much truth for the world.

    Love in Christ,

    Thomas Ross

  26. David
    March 21, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Heres a $10,000 challenge to the first Hammerhead who can prove their false (works) doctrine of repentance,but remember I also must be allowed to reply.

    Mr.100% Hyles
    Let me warn you,First Baptist had it’s hayday when Hyles was her pastor.Now shes another apostate with queers running down the halls.

  27. David
    March 21, 2008 at 4:47 am

    See,the code of YELLOW

  28. David
    March 21, 2008 at 5:08 am

    Make it $50,000

    Whats the matter,apostates,if your god be god then serve him but if the Lord be God then serve Him.

    But you’ll remain at the councel of gods and in your reprobate state.
    teaching the lie that the cults teach,….that salvation is conditioned by works…….yes,your false repentance doctrine.

    I already know you’ll delete this,even if I raise it to $100,000 cuz men who wear dresses will never box.

    So,lets raise the debate challenge to $200,000

    For the folks who might see this before it’s deleted,I debated these Hammerhead queers,when I beat them and exposed them for the apostates they are,they blacklisted me……….why,because people are offended by the Truth,just ask the Hammerheads,if you can catch them before they fly back to the cage.

  29. 100% Hyles
    March 21, 2008 at 5:43 am

    David, David, David—-you’re not fooling anyone. We know you are writing from your mommy’s basement, you can’t even afford your own house, how are you going to come up with $200000? Mononpoly money doesn’t count

  30. March 21, 2008 at 7:46 am

    You all can read the convincing debate at this link on our hardly used discussion boards.

  31. March 21, 2008 at 9:19 am

    I have to say that I would enjoy, albeit briefly, two philosophical Hyles types going after one another with one ad hominem after another, until within a few minutes, we get to “my dad can beat up your dad.”

  32. March 22, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Maybe we can classify that as “Debate Decay,” personally, I think Truth Decay would be better – I mean about the two philosophical Hyles type going after one another.

  33. March 22, 2008 at 9:08 am

    philosophical Hyles types — the classic oxymoron.

  34. David
    March 22, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Actually my mother died 16 years ago!
    My father left before I was born!
    Also,I am a home improvement contracter,and my house is mine!
    But it don’t surprise me that you would say things you know nothing about!
    I’m not a Hyles or a Hylot and the only morons I see are the cowards who run this site.
    So anytime you folks wanna take your dress off and step,let me know!

  35. March 22, 2008 at 10:03 am

    My house are mine too!!!!!!

  36. March 22, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Oh boy, $10,000 smackaroos! Just to prove repentance is needed for Salvation! What a deal.

    OK….here is my shot at the 10K challenge:

    Jesus came into the world to save sinners. In the process, he calls sinners to repentance, hence repentance is necessary for Salvation.
    (see Matt.9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32).

    Is that proof enough? IF SO….do I qualify as a “Hammerhead?” and how may I recieve the money?

    Sorry Pastor Brandenburg I don’t wan to “HylesJack” I mean hijack your thread, but if I do win the moolah…I’ll split it with you, after the tithe and tax is taken out.

  37. March 22, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Don’t go personal check, Bill. Cashiers or Wired.

    I do believe that we should bring this discussion over to our discussion forum, since this post was not about repentance.

  38. David
    March 22, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    To clarify,my arguement is that repenting of sin or sins is not a condition of salvation.
    The Bible clearly shows this teaching is in error!
    Which means Jesus Christ would’nt teach that one must repent of sin or sins as a condition of salvation.
    Repenting of sin or sins is a works doctrine
    Jonah 3:10 God sees the works of the people,then goes on to explain that those works are repenting of sin
    Gal.3:10 Shows that those who are under the works of the law are under the curse….this is a quate from Deut 27:14-26 which is a list of the works of the law……..good works =things we are to do
    works of the law =things we are not to do
    Gal.2:16 says the works of the law can’t save us but that it is by FAITH
    Eph. 2:8-9 says we are not saved by works
    Salvation or the Gospel is always described in the Bible with one word….BELIEVE!
    1 Cor.3:11;Rom.1:16;Rom.4:5;3:26;10:16;10:13-14;1John5:1;John3;Eph.2:8-9………ect.

    Should people repent of sin?YES!
    Does America need to quit sinning?YES!But the fear of God is not in this place!!!!!!!

    Since almost every so called Christian church teaches repenting of sin is a condition to salvation,and every Cult teaches the same…..what makes you different?

  39. Thomas Ross
    March 23, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    David, please read Bible study #5-6 on http://faithalonesaves.googlepages.com/salvation, and then repent of your sin and your accursed false gospel and get saved. Please also take this discussion to the discussion board. You are not making your position look very good when you can’t do what the moderator of this site tells you to do and have your discussion in the correct place.

    Best wishes,

    Thomas Ross

  40. David
    March 23, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Ross,
    Funny, I never offered MY position but rather the Lord Jesus Christs position!!!!!!I’m sure He is not pleased with you calling His Gospel accursed….as His Word points out,those who live under the works of the law are the ones who are accursed!!!!
    I don’t need to get saved…..I GOT SAVED!!!!!!Many years ago.
    You are the one who needs the best wishes,for it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God….and the last time I checked,God don’t take kindly to people like you changing His word!

    Also,since I’m the one putting up the cash and the challenge for this debate,the yellow bellied moderator doesn’t get to choose the place!!!!!

    I am not concerned with what my postion looks like,nor have I offered you my position…..I come in the name of the living God!!!

    Before you face Him it is you who will need to repent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. 100% Hyles
    March 24, 2008 at 3:28 am

    All right, I see what the problem is here guys. Somebody let David get off the “short bus” a little too early. Get back on the short bus David and put your helmet back on while you are at it so you don’t hurt yourself.

  42. March 24, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    David,
    Calling the mod(s) “yellow bellied” and to think that you can choose the place for debate since you put up the money is pretty arrogant, and ignorant, especially since this is their cyberterritory. Besides, the discussion board is the designated place for “discussions.” In fact, I think the moderator is very gracious in allowing dissenting comments to linger, especially condesending ones.

    My apologies to Pastor B and Pastor JV since they obviously have been telling us to move to the discussion page. I repent in sackloth and ashes…woe is me. I’ll be watching further developments in the “hardly used” discussion boards.

    Belated Happy Resurrection Sunday greetings to Jackhammer and friends.

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