How do errors spring up so easily?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
I continue to muse on the question, Why does error spring up so [seemingly] easily amongst Bible-believing churches? Is it a judgment from God? In my reading, I came across "The Church's Visitation, by Richard Sibbes. In this sermon on I Peter 4:17-19, he takes up the subject of God's judgments and discipline of the Church. Embedded here, I think, are some of the answers I've been looking for.

Sibbes asks the question, "How may we know when some judgment is approaching?"

"The Scripture is wondrous full in the point. God usually, before any heavy judgment, visits a people with lesser judgments. His footsteps first appear in some small token of his displeasure; but if that prevails not, then he brings a greater.

Sign 1. 'This, and this have I done,' saith the Lord, 'and yet ye have not returned unto me.' Amos iv. 6,7. There be droppings before the ruin of a house. Lesser judgments make way for greater, as a little wedge makes way for a greater; and, therefore, where less afflictions prevail not, there cannot but be an expectation of greater. 'Why should I smite you any more? saith God; 'you fall away more and more,' Isa. i.5; that is, I must have a sweeping judgment to carry you clean away.

Sign 2. Again, usually before some great calamity God takes away worthy men, 'the councillor, and the captain, and the man of war,' Isa. iii. 2, 3. This is a fearful presage that God threateneth some destruction, for they are the pillars of the church and the strength of the world; they are those that make the times and places good wherein they live; for they keep away evil and do good by their example and by their prayers many ways. A good man is a common good. The city thrives the better as Solomon saith, for a righteous man, Prov. xi 10, 11, Eccles. ix. 15. Therefore, we have cause to rejoice in them, and it is an evil sign when such are removed. [ed.-compare reflections on Sibbes own death, by Catlin, in the Appendix to Memoir, pp. cxxxiii-v.]

Sign 3. God usually visits a people when some horrible crying sins reign amongst them, as (1) atheism. Beloved, God stands upon his prerogative then, when he is scarce known in the world; when they say, Where is God? God sees us not, &c. So, likewise (2), when idolatry prevails. This is spiritual adultery and a breach of covenant with God. Again, (3), when divisions grow amongst a people. Union is a preserver. Where there is dissension of judgment, there will soon be dissension of affections; and dissipation will be the end if we take not heed. For the most part, ecclesiastical dissensions end in civil; and therefore we see, before the destruction of Jerusalem, what a world of schisms and divisions were amongst the Jews. There were Pharisees and Sadducees, &c. It was the ruin of the ten tribes at length, the rent that Jeroboam caused in religion. It is a fearful sign of some great judgment to fall upon a church, when there is not a stopping of dissensions. They may be easily stopped at first, as waters in the beginning; but when they are once gotten into the very vital parts of the church and commonwealth, we may see the mischief, but it is hardly remedied.

Sign 4. Again, when sin goes with some evil circumstances and odious qualities, which aggravate the same in the sight of God, as when sin grows ripe, and abounds in a land or nation. At such a time as this a man may know there is some fearful judgment approaching.
Question: But when is sin ripe?
Ans. 1. When it is impudent; when men grow bold in sin, making it their whole course and trade of life. When men's wicked courses are their 'conversation,' they cannot tell how to do otherwise.
2. When sin grows common and spreads far. It is an ill plea to say. Others do so as well as I. Alas! the more sin, without fear or dread of the Almighty, as if men would dare the God of heaven to do his worst. Oh, beloved, such persons as go on still in their sins to provoke the Lord, do put a sword, as it were, into God's hands to destroy themselves.

The old world, you know, was very secure. No doubt, they mocked at holy Noah when he made the ark, as if he had been a doting old man. Notwithstanding, he foretold them of the wrath to come. And our Saviour, Christ, saith, 'Before the end of the world it shall be as in the days of Noah,' Mat. xxiv. 38. Beloved, God hath his 'old worlds' still. If we have the same course and security of sinning, we must look for the same judgments. And, therefore, compare times with times. If the times now answer former times, when God judged them, we may well expect the same fearful judgments to fall upon us.

Sign 5. Unfruitfulness threateneth a judgment upon a people. When God hath bestowed a great deal of cost and time, he looks we should answer his expectation in some measure. The fig tree in the gospel had some respite given it, by reason of the prayers of the vine-dresser; but afterward, when it brought forth no fruit, it was cut down and cast into the fire. Beloved, who amongst us would endure a barren tree in his garden? That which is not fit for fruit is most fit for fire. We can endure a barren tree in the wilderness, but not in our orchards. When God, the great husbandman in his church, sees that upon so great and continual cost bestowed upon us, we remain yet unfruitful, he will not suffer us long to cumber the ground of his church.

Sign 6. Again, decay in our first love is a sign of judgment approaching. God threatened the church of Ephesus to remove his candlestick from among them, for their 'decay in their first love,' Rev. ii. 4; that having surfeited of plenty and peace, he might recover her taste by dieting of her. Decay in love proceeds from disesteem in judgment; and God cannot endure his glorious gospel should be slighted, as not deserving the richest strain of our love. The Lord takes it better where there is but little strength and a striving to be better, than when there is great means of grace and knowledge, and no growth answerable, but rather a declining in goodness. I beseech you lay these things to heart. The Lord is much displeased when Christians are not so zealous as they should be; when there is not that sweet communion of saints among them, to strengthen and encourage one another in the ways of holiness as there might be; when there is not a beauty in their profession to allure and draw on others to a love and liking of the best things; when there is not a care to avoid all scandals that may weaken respect to good things, and bring an evil report on the ways of God; when they labor not with their whole hearts to serve the Lord in a cheerful manner, &c. The very not serving God answerable to encouragements, is a certain sign of ensuing danger, Deut. xxviii. 47.

Use. Therefore, I beseech you, let us look about us whether these be not the times wherein we live, that judgment must begin at the house of God. The Lord complains in Jeremiah, Jer. viii. 7, that the turtle and other silly creatures knew the time of their standing and removing, but his people did not know his judgments. Do the creatures know their times and seasons, and shall Christ complain that we know not the day of our visitation? What a shame is this! I beseech you, let us know and consider our times. If we have a time of sinning, God will have a time of punishing.
[extract from "The Church's Visitation", by Richard Sibbes, in his Works, I.379-380]
 

R Harris

Puritan Board Sophomore
Wayne,

Thanks for posting this, it is great material from a great puritan.

Yes, all the signs he list are definitely here. It is interesting that he does not mention the sign (maybe it is included in sign 3 or 4) of rejection of the proclamation that these signs are present.

To mention such things today risks the danger of one being labeled "negative," or "harsh," or "non-edifying," or even "nutcase." Such was obviously the case with the prophet Jeremiah.

However, it would be great if a surefire remedy could be recommended by him or others, but I have not seen it. This is why I stopped subscribing to the Chalcedon Report, Credenda Agenda, and other Reformed publications years ago. Month after month, or quarter after quarter, I would keep reading on how bad things are with the Church, but I never saw anyone come up with a strategic, detailed, step by step plan to turn things around. The silence was deafening. Yet, that is exactly what someone or some group needs to do. Time is running out.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
That is great stuff. I'm putting that up on the ol' blog.

I was just today contemplating the whole ARP/Erskine situation and reading some comments at brother Seth's blog. He mentioned the similarities with what happened at SBTS a generation ago. I was reading the famous convocation address by Roy Honeycutt where he announced a "holy war" on inerrantists, whom he described as "twentieth century Judaizers." This was not something sudden, but a progressive judgment, if you will. If we fail to keep the household of God clean, it will just get dirtier, until our Lord cleans it out Himself.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
How do errors spring up so easily?

We were warned in Acts 20 that wolves would arise from amongst us. I believe that God allows this to test each congregation to see if we will 'study to show ourself approved' or if we will let these people tickle our ears and lead us astray.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I would be careful to not see the Job's friends syndrome also. We can blame things on things that may not be true. We tend to see through our own eyes. Heresies raise up amongst us as St. Paul said because we need to see who is accepted.

1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
 

O'GodHowGreatThouArt

Puritan Board Sophomore
Timothy also made it known that such gross errors in theology were forthcoming, even though they're obviously wrong in the great majority of cases once scripture is studied.

2 Timothy 4:3 - ESV said:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths
In my opinion, the only reason we have "denominations" in the first place is because of a handful of people, who were lacking a strong background of biblical languages/exegesis and history, read a verse wrong and immediately came to a conclusion without verifying it through the above first as well as managing to convince others that buy into people too easily that it was truth.

My personal belief is that the following two facts regarding denominations are absolute in Christianity.

There is only one race: human.
There is only one denomination: Christ.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
How do errors spring up so easily?

We were warned in Acts 20 that wolves would arise from amongst us. I believe that God allows this to test each congregation to see if we will 'study to show ourself approved' or if we will let these people tickle our ears and lead us astray.
There are two issues, I think, and Rich points to the second that came to my mind when Wayne asked the OP. So I'll start with the second.

2) The people are NOT willing to study the Word of God and ask questions or confront their elders when they perceive error.

the first comes from the other direction and it's just as heinous if not more.

1) The shepherds are not willing to correct their sheep and confront error and teach their sheep a better way. Priscilla and Aquila had more guts than many pastors I know.

In this country the problem is particularly intense, because people have been brought up in the church to believe they are Lone Rangers and that what they hold to doctrinally is "between me and God". When elders think the same thing, we're in for trouble... and I think we are. Sheep, at the same time, don't think their elders are to be followed and listened to - so when elders go down a false path, if the sheep are even aware it's a false path, they're unwilling to or apathetic to deal with the issue.

We have a famine of the Word and a famine of obedience to the Word when it comes to sheep-shepherd relations. This contributes in both the directions above to foment error in the church coming from both leaders and laypeople alike.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
Let me refine the question, to be perfectly blunt: How can so many of the shepherds of the church go so astray within a single generation? Or to put it another way, what went wrong ten, twenty or perhaps thirty years ago? I don't think it is inappropriate to think this a judgment from God. If not, why not? (be specific.)
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
This is strictly a personal experience observation that may not apply often, but it is one thing I have noticed over the years.

You notice that in Eden, the devil talked to Eve first, and Adam was standing there with her when she ate, and then Adam listened to her and ate the fruit too. It is perfectly understandable that guys want conflict free relationships with their wives, and also -if pastors- with the church secretary and the leading women in the church and the other elders' wives.

I've seen churches with sound teaching from the pulpit, and then you get some influential woman that starts bringing in the whackiest junk, or listens to an accusation from Satan about somebody and starts believeing it and acting on it, and the husbands/pastors have two choices- capitulate, or resist and have a majorly upset woman on their hands. So they capitulate. Elders who should know better will allow stupid materials in a bible study or women speakers who just are not doctrinally any good, or not deal with a problem woman, and it is just conflict avoiding. In a culture where women have gotten more independent and more outspoken, I think part of the problem is with wives. I have heard some very tragic stories of messes in churches with guys who were otherwise decent pastors but they could not confront their wife, and when pastor's wife gets snotty or accusing or all into money or starts reading doctrinal trash, it can start to infect the church all over. And he begins to compromise, not in his sermons necessarily but in general. And dryness sets in and people are hungry and they go looking to feed on modern hype instead of old truth to fill the void.

We got an ad for a big Reformed leaders' conference a few years ago. It listed the great lectures and topics for the men, all sorts of terrific sounding workships. Then it had a list of what the women do- one day outlet shoppping, one day a ride on a boat on the river, a secular theatre show. I was ready to barf just reading it. We heard a sermon recently where the pastor laid it on thick to turn off the Christian TV as 95+% of it is trash and will ruin your mind and destroy you, and that study is for everybody and we all need to study. Not just guys, not just leaders.


The best churches I have been in have leader's wives who are solidly in union with their hub. Obviously they don't have the time to read and study as much as hub, but they are on the same wavelength. Same vibe. Not one foot in the world and one in the kingdom. It is so great when you are around marriages like that. they add strength to churches.

This may only be one small contributing factor to the problem, I am sure there are many other reasons, but I thought I'd say it for what it is worth. Feminism is really powerful in the culture. What is happening in the PCA with deaconesses and not ordaining men must be related. Guys have to be able to deal with furiously angry (or cold silent) female vibes and not capitulate. Love us enough to stand firm even when we throw a fit or withdraw.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Let me refine the question, to be perfectly blunt: How can so many of the shepherds of the church go so astray within a single generation?
They've always been there, but they've not been identified or called to task. The ARP and PCA troubles are perfect examples. All sort of rot have been tolerated in both those denominations for years. The ARP pastor who's been posting on the Erskine threads proved that totally. Whole generations that have missed basic Christian teaching.

So, why all the doom and gloom? Isn't this glad news? The church is cleaning house like never before in my life time, and it's exciting!
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
I'd put the OPC in there (obviously the PCUSA, EPC, etc.). If you were asking me. I'm not familiar with other denominations though.
 

bouletheou

Puritan Board Freshman
Wayne,

The shepherds go bad because the professors that teach them go bad and nobody has the ability or the cojones to deal with them. Read O Palmer Robertson's Current Justification Controversy published by the Trinity Foundation after 20+ years of suppression.

Assuming that Robertson is telling the truth, the behavior of the majority of the board, the faculty, and the president of Westminster Sem was appalling. So was the behavior of the Philadelphia Presbytery of the OPC.

I have no reason to think that things have gotten much better today wherever they are bad.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
The problem is men's hearts. We are sinful and want to appear justified. We want to bring God down to mans level and push man up to the level of God. It started with a perfectly created human named Adam and his wife named Eve. I don't think you can name a cause other than we are born in sin. The Church survives by the Grace of God and perseveres by the grace of God. Evil is our fault and grace is God's fault. If he chooses to let us slide into our sin that is just.
 

R Harris

Puritan Board Sophomore
Let me refine the question, to be perfectly blunt: How can so many of the shepherds of the church go so astray within a single generation? Or to put it another way, what went wrong ten, twenty or perhaps thirty years ago? I don't think it is inappropriate to think this a judgment from God. If not, why not? (be specific.)
Wayne, I don't think it is just 20 or 30 years. Read "The Seeds of Secularism" by Gary Scott Smith and "Fundamentalism and American Culture" by George Marsden. Both date the slide beginning at 1870, or basically just after the War Between the States.

The slide has definitely been incremental. Examples abound. I'll give two.

1. The raging debate of the Southern Presbyterian Church in the 1870s and 1880s was the use of musical instruments in the worship service. Now, just 4 generations later, no such debate or discussion even exists, except on websites like this one. It is not even on the radar screen of 99% of all Christians. Once the battle is lost, it is very hard to recover and go back.

2. The book "The Psalms in Worship", edited by John McNaugher and published in 1907, is an excellent book. All of the contributions in that book are examples of the pastors and theologians in that UPC denomination who were basically making a last ditch effort to save EP. It was successful until 1927, when EP was finally discarded. 25 years later, that denomination rejected most of the WCF, and essentially fell away.

Short of physical fighting and war or getting the State to intervene, I don't know what more these men could have done. Someone quoted the Timothy passage about men wanting to have their ears tickled and straying away from the faith, and that is exactly what has happened.

Several elders in our PCA church here left a year ago and are now involved in Anglicanism. How can this be? I do truly struggle with this.

Is this all a judgment of God? To an extent, yes. I believe that men who choose to rebel in this fashion are judged in the sense that they are left to their own "wisdom" to determine what is best - in other words, their sin of pride becomes their ultimate compass, as PuritanCovenanter basically stated above.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Not sure what you mean here (I think I do), but if I am right, that is obviously another thread and topic.
But you brought up musical instruments as an example of pollution tolerated in the church, so it's on topic if that's the case. You're in the PCA. Have you started any legal process to get them removed from your denomination? I can't read Wayne's mind, but given his employment I rather think things like Justification were on his mind rather than pianos. Perhaps we could clarify the type of errors we're speaking about.
 

R Harris

Puritan Board Sophomore
Not sure what you mean here (I think I do), but if I am right, that is obviously another thread and topic.
But you brought up musical instruments as an example of pollution tolerated in the church, so it's on topic if that's the case. You're in the PCA. Have you started any legal process to get them removed from your denomination? I can't read Wayne's mind, but given his employment I rather think things like Justification were on his mind rather than pianos. Perhaps we could clarify the type of errors we're speaking about.
My point was simply this: In the SPC, the non-use of instruments was the standard until the 1870s. Discussion had begun as early as the 1850s, but the intensity picked up after the war. Thornwell, Dabney, and Girardeau were the proponents of non-use, and they were opposed. Girardeau wrote his book, which has become a classic for the arguments of the position. But, they were overturned, and now we have what we have.

Same thing with the EP in the UPC. The position was oveturned, and it was downhill from there.

So once these "non-essential" positions were overturned, then lo and behold, the "major" issues started to be challenged decades later. Therefore, who is to say that eventually "justification by faith alone" won't become a moot point? Indeed, this is what has happened in many denominations.

Such is the process of incremental decline. What was a raging issue 100 years ago is considered laughable today and a "minor, quibble point", given the passage of time. That is the point I was trying to make, not necessarily the discussion of the doctrine itself.

And yes, while I have discussed EP and instrument usage with others at my church, I will not "home church" because of the issues. I try to be gracious about it.

But, we do sing psalms in the worship, although we are not EP. The pastors do agree with the fact that psalms should be sung, although not exclusively.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Same thing with the EP in the UPC. The position was oveturned, and it was downhill from there.

So once these "non-essential" positions were overturned, then lo and behold, the "major" issues started to be challenged decades later. Therefore, who is to say that eventually "justification by faith alone" won't become a moot point? Indeed, this is what has happened in many denominations.
Leaving aside any debate over whether using a piano is a sin during church or not, we then (or so it seems to me) need to define what standards, once dropped, lead to the rejection of the Reformed doctrine of justification.

Where do you get these standards? Are you appealing to tradition or to the Westminster Standards? Or what?

In other words, if I pointed to a correlation between the emergence of the Federal Vision or Emergent movement and renting church pews, or men's facial hair how could I prove my point? I think I could at least make a strong case if I pointed to something in the Three Forms or WS. So I'm asking by what principle do you correlate the playing of pianos with the erosion of Justification?
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
I do have in mind departure from the clear teaching of justification by grace alone through faith alone. And the 30 year figure could just as easily be 70 or 80, but in either case we would be looking back to the formation of both the OPC and the PCA. Yet both denominations now have in their midst men who cannot affirm a clear Reformed doctrine of justification.

There is a certain correctness in looking back to the 1869/70 reunion of the Old School and New School, because in that reunion, they failed to deal with the heart of the 1837 schism, and so carried the errors on into the next century. The 1903 revision of the Westminster Standards was another huge problem, as it allowed an influx of the Cumberland Presbyterians with their anti-Calvinistic theology.

But both of these factors are, or should be, a wash and not pertinent to the story of the conservative Presbyterian denominations in the 20th and 21st century.
With breaks from the mother church, the conservatives made a clear stand for the Reformed faith. And now just a few generations later, the conservative denominations have at root the selfsame problems that brought about the division of the PCUSA in 1837.

Musical organs [those infamous "engines of idolatry" (I always found a certain dark humor in that expression)] were not in view in the OP, though I have heard others put forward the idea that departure from EP was the root of greater theological descent. Still, I think if you (Randy) or someone else wanted to develop that argument, the proper thing to do would be to start another thread over in the EP forum (which is moderated, by the way, due to past heat on the subject).

I have some further thoughts, but for now we'll see how these comments push things along.
 

R Harris

Puritan Board Sophomore
Wayne, again the point is not one doctrinal position or another, but rather the process of INCREMENTALISM.

When you are at the top of the mountain, you don't descend into the valley in one single step - you go down in thousands of small, incremental steps. The frog will jump out of the pan if the heat is turned up suddenly and substantially, but will just sit there if the heat is turned up gradually.

I have no doubt incrementalism is what has lead us to the current environment. How God is worshipped in a corporate setting is merely one of many examples of the changes that have occurred over the last 150 years.

I am convinced that there is one overaching theme to it all, pretty similar to what PuritanCovenanter stated. The authority of the Scriptures has been discarded, and what we presuppositionally believe about any matter has taken precedence.

So, one after one, the chapters of the WCF are picked off (hence the "subscriptionist" debate going on), and then you are down to "least common denominator" Christianity - "believing in Jesus" - and now there is even debate about what that means!!

The solution to the problem is not easy nor evident. A good starting point would be for people to once again adopt the Berean position of "what saith the Scripture" rather than what saith my personal opinion or feeling, my elders or pastor, or what any denomination adopted as its belief 20, 30, or 100 years ago. It should always be the position of every believer to examine afresh their positions and "examine everything carefully," seeing whether the Scripture truly says such things.

Outside of that, it is difficult for me to develop a more detailed strategy.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
So, one after one, the chapters of the WCF are picked off (hence the "subscriptionist" debate going on), and then you are down to "least common denominator" Christianity - "believing in Jesus" - and now there is even debate about what that means!!
Which chapter of the WCF do you have to pick off to allow pianos?

The solution to the problem is not easy nor evident. A good starting point would be for people to once again adopt the Berean position of "what saith the Scripture" rather than what saith my personal opinion or feeling, my elders or pastor, or what any denomination adopted as its belief 20, 30, or 100 years ago
If you've ever spoken to an FVer, they use the exact same reasoning as you.
 

R Harris

Puritan Board Sophomore
Which chapter of the WCF do you have to pick off to allow pianos?
As I stated above, Tim, this is for another thread, or I would suggest you go through the numerous threads that have already been devoted to the issue. This isn't the place, and I don't have the energy to deal with it right now. Additionally, there are numerous books written for the position, the Girardeau book being one of the more frequently cited. Brian Schwertly has also written a very good book on the topic.

But again, this need not be the focus of this thread. I was merely citing one example of a strong denomination with strong theologians who held one position, the position was changed, and the old position has practically been completely forgotten. Now, descendants of that denomination are now dealing with more serious issues, having disposed of the "minor" ones long ago.

If you've ever spoken to an FVer, they use the exact same reasoning as you.
Well, if they claim to be believers, why shouldn't they? I don't hold to the FV, but if they think they have a scriptural case, then they need to sit down with those who don't think they have a scriptural case and DEBATE. It's that simple.

Let's use proper exegesis, hermeneutical principles, logic, etc., and see what pans out. I would really like to see more of this, but it doesn't happen. I have seen debates primarily in eschatology (e.g. Gentry/Demar vs. Ice/Hunt), but not so much in other doctrinal areas. I am sure there have been face to face debates on FV, I have just not seen them.

In many cases, the presuppositional biases are so strong that sometimes debate or discussion is a waste of time.

So, relating back to the thread, why is this so? Why have solid presuppositions been replaced with faulty ones which lead to God's disfavor?
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Another factor to add in is the explosion of communication. In the past 40 years, the ease of mass producing false teaching and broadcasting false teaching has grown exponentially. I have actually had false prophets get my e-mail from someone and start sending me letters, pdfs and links. Why is this a problem?

in my opinion, if you get a stronghold of people who believe in some junk doctrine (ie: positive confession), they run off an elder who opposes them (legit or underhandedly).
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Well, if they claim to be believers, why shouldn't they? I don't hold to the FV, but if they think they have a scriptural case, then they need to sit down with those who don't think they have a scriptural case and DEBATE. It's that simple.
We have. Top names in American Calvinism, including people right here on this board. And they won't submit. So we go back to the confessions rather than spend another 10 years throwing pearls before swine.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
If I may exercise my moderatorial powers, I'd like to see this recent back-and-forth cease. It's moving too quickly off the topic of this thread.

On the one hand, we have the Westminster Confession and Catechisms as a concise summary of what the Scriptures teach, and the elders of the church mutually agree to the uphold those Standards in that light. Thus there is no need to re-invent that wheel. A proper humility will defer to the wiser fathers of the Church in these matters.

At the same time, it is always commendable to take on a Berean attitude, searching the Scriptures with an intent to understand and come to a full conviction of Biblical truths. The fact that some errorists may try to claim the moral high ground, or hide behind such a claim, shouldn't deter us from ourselves properly searching the Scriptures in all things, nor should we ever think that just because someone wants to search the Scriptures in that way, that this necessarily makes them an errorist.

We are, each of us, desparately wicked, born in sin. And the moment we think we are something, sinful pride crouches at the door. The Reformed faith is clear about what is sound Biblical doctrine. Why have so many departed from it in these recent years?

Looking back at the summary provided by Sibbes, I would point specifically to his third point and suggest that God's judgment is upon the Church precisely because of the high incidence of immorality among the Church's leaders. Moreover, I would offer that the problems we are seeing in the Church today are but a lesser judgment, and that a greater judgment will come if there is not a wholesale repentance.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top