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atpollard

Calvinism spotted in a Pentacostal Church

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I didn't know where else to post this, but I am so excited that I may burst ...

 

Although those on-line tests to find the denomination whose beliefs most closely match your own have pegged me as a 100% match for 'Reformed Baptist', I have been attending and active in a small Pentacostal church (approximately 100 people on a Sunday) for over a decade. This past Sunday the message from the Pastor was on 'You have no Faith on your own, it is a gift from God" and today, Thursday, the message at the mid-week service from a member who is a retired pastor and invited to teach was on Ephesians 1 (the whole chapter) with an emphasis on Predestination, Election and Eternal Security.

 

So say what you want, the Holy Spirit is alive and well in at least one small Pentacostal Church.

To God be ALL the Glory and Honor and Praise, Forever.

Amen.

 

Arthur

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Some Pentecostals think you can lose your salvation a hundred times every day, once after each sin (how many times did Christ die?). But, once-saved-always-saved is popular, too (but, no take-backs, even though they think your initial salvation was your choice in the fist place). Yet, I don't think I've ever heard a Pentecostal come out and say our faith is our doing. It's more like something they never think about.

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I didn't know where else to post this, but I am so excited that I may burst ...

 

Although those on-line tests to find the denomination whose beliefs most closely match your own have pegged me as a 100% match for 'Reformed Baptist', I have been attending and active in a small Pentacostal church (approximately 100 people on a Sunday) for over a decade. This past Sunday the message from the Pastor was on 'You have no Faith on your own, it is a gift from God" and today, Thursday, the message at the mid-week service from a member who is a retired pastor and invited to teach was on Ephesians 1 (the whole chapter) with an emphasis on Predestination, Election and Eternal Security.

 

So say what you want, the Holy Spirit is alive and well in at least one small Pentacostal Church.

To God be ALL the Glory and Honor and Praise, Forever.

Amen.

 

Arthur

 

 

That's awesome!

 

You are blessed my friend. I too was part of a small Pentecostal church for years. Sadly the Lord allowed it to fall apart(he moved his faithful servants to new homes), due to corruption within the local denomination/church. I discovered the Reformed faith and now I am not sure where I fit anymore. My wife and I are planning on checking out local Presbyterian churches.

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That's awesome!

 

You are blessed my friend. I too was part of a small Pentecostal church for years. Sadly the Lord allowed it to fall apart(he moved his faithful servants to new homes), due to corruption within the local denomination/church. I discovered the Reformed faith and now I am not sure where I fit anymore. My wife and I are planning on checking out local Presbyterian churches.

 

Hi AWorkInProgress.

 

If you don't know already to stay away from the PCUSA, then if I may suggest that. Since you're wanting to discover the Reformed faith, I recommend the Orthodox Presbyterian Church or Presbyterian Church of America. The OPC's churches can be found using the locator on the OPC website: OPC

 

Be sure to write us about your experience in the General Faith category under Reformed/Presbyterian. I'm sure others can benefit from your experience.

 

God bless,

William

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I have not heard of Pentecostals being Calvinist as well, although, what you mentioned does not cover all the tenets of Calvinism. I definitely see a need for a balance, which is lacking on both sides in many churches. I absolutely agree that we are chosen, but also that we choose because God is calling us. My basic disagreement with Calvinism is over the issues of limited atonement and the idea that it is totally impossible for a believer to fall away. There are just so many times in scripture where we are told to endure to the end, to remain in Him, that I just don't see how we can say it is impossible for someone not to endure. We are secure, as long as we remain in Him, and no one will ever accidentally cease to remain. But considering that scriptures also predict a great apostasy to come, I think we are putting people at risk of becoming one of those who falls away if we teach the that it is impossible for this to happen, as they will then have a false sense of security.

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@DancingLady

In general, I don't think that Pentacostals are Calvinists. What they tend to have in common (outside of an emphasis on the charismata) is an independent local organization rather than a large, national or international denomination. So like ice cream, they come in lots of flavors. My local Pentacostal church is probably influenced by the Pastor's Moravian heritage and the Baptist expatriates that call it home. In general, it reaches out to and attracts people who would not step foot in most 'respectable' churches. We joke at the men's group that you have to work pretty hard to come in and confess a sin that someone in this room hasn't already done ... and probably done worse. So it may not be typical of Pentacostalism in general.

 

From my understanding of limited atonement, that is really a semantics disagreement. Both sides believe the same thing, they just 'hear' what the other side is saying wrong. I have no doubt that MANY will correct me if I get this wrong, but the two choices are:

1. Christ's death on the cross forgave all sin so EVERYONE is going to heaven.

2. CHrist's death on the cross forgave the sin of the saints so THEY are going to heaven.

That is the only limitation. All sin COULD be forgiven (Jesus death was suffient for the task) but not all sin WAS forgiven (some are going to hell). I strongly suspect that your objection is NOT that you believe that Jesus forgave all so everyone is going to heaven. So it is a problem with Calvinists doing a crappy job of articulating our beliefs.

 

Falling away is a point that I will yield to you scripturally. Not because I believe that you are correct, but because I believe that both positions are Biblically defensible. It is, in my opinion, a point upon which people of faith can agree to disagree until we get to heaven ... and I can say 'I told you so'. (I am just kidding). :)

 

I have a personal story about perseverance and faith. I came to Christianity from Athiesim and worse. My first few decades were a tumultuous walk, in which the possibility of falling away did not encourage me to draw near to God, but rather tormented me with constant doubts about whether I could make it and foolish, paralyzingly fears about 'the unpardonable sin' all birthed from a flawed understanding of this strange (OTHER) Triune God that had seized hold of me. For me, the beauty of Calvinism is the beauty that Luther found from WORKS. If it is ALL ABOUT GOD, then my job becomes to abide. To be loved. And as a child who is loved, I gain the freedom, from WORKS, freedom from FEAR, freedom from ME ... I am free to love as I have been loved.

 

So I, personally, prefer to risk a false sense of security to obtain the freedom to love over a false sense of guilt that drives me from the throne in fear.

Your Mileage May Vary.

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From my understanding of limited atonement, that is really a semantics disagreement. Both sides believe the same thing, they just 'hear' what the other side is saying wrong. I have no doubt that MANY will correct me if I get this wrong, but the two choices are:

1. Christ's death on the cross forgave all sin so EVERYONE is going to heaven.

2. CHrist's death on the cross forgave the sin of the saints so THEY are going to heaven.

That is the only limitation. All sin COULD be forgiven (Jesus death was suffient for the task) but not all sin WAS forgiven (some are going to hell). I strongly suspect that your objection is NOT that you believe that Jesus forgave all so everyone is going to heaven. So it is a problem with Calvinists doing a crappy job of articulating our beliefs.

 

 

Howdy atpollard and dancinglady,

 

Your first choice option is actually unlimited atonement where all are saved which is a belief held in Universalism.

 

Limited Atonement is believed by Arminians and Calvinist, but for different reasons. Arminians believe that the atonement is limited by man's choice. Calvinist argue the atonement is limited by design, though the blood of Christ was sufficient for the whole world it was only efficient for the Elect's sake (not a drop of blood was wasted in vain). Take John 3:19-20 for example, according to Luther, the bondage of the human heart that keeps it from coming to Christ is not that light is lacking, but that darkness is loved, and light is hated. This is a real bondage. These are real cannots, and they are the kind of cannots — the kind of inabilities — that are blameworthy, culpable. Because they are not things we are forced to do against our will; they are our will.

 

And, as you have mentioned the works of Luther tend to profess the Sovereignty of God, and the bondage of man's will. The Arminian belief in limited atonement by man's choice (free will), brings to question whether God is sovereign or man. If, from an Arminian's perspective, man's salvation is limited only by his choice, and God decides to save that man, and the man says no, then God is powerless. Man is therefore Sovereign and not God. However, this really misses the crux of the issue, the limitation isn't actually caused by man's choice, but his sinful nature which binds or limits his ability as found in the doctrine of Total Depravity.

 

I believe that both positions are Biblically defensible. It is, in my opinion, a point upon which people of faith can agree to disagree until we get to heaven ... and I can say 'I told you so'. (I am just kidding). smile.png

 

I'll leave one of Luther's writings to Erasmus as food for thought:

 

It is in the highest degree wholesome and necessary, for a Christian to know whether or not his will has anything to do in matters pertaining to salvation. Indeed let me tell you, that is the hinge on which our discussion turns. . . . For if I am ignorant of the nature, extent, and limits of what I can and must do with reference to God, I shall be equally ignorant and uncertain of the nature, extent, and limits of what God can and will do in me. . . . Now, if I am ignorant of God’s works and power, I am ignorant of God himself; and if I do not know God, I cannot worship, praise, give thanks, or serve Him, for I do not know how much I should attribute to myself and how much to Him. (quoted in Luther Selections, 179)

 

Erasmus believed that the fallen human will contributed its own decisive self-determining power to the act of faith and the pursuit of holiness was, in Luther’s mind, a perilous underestimation of the desperate condition of man without Christ.

 

God bless,

William

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Thanks for the input, William.

 

I have observed that most people who claim to object to "limited atonement" are objecting to what they believe is a claim in the insufficiency of Christ's offering as the 'limitation'. Frankly, that is a claim that I would also find objectionable. Once it is clarified that "limited" is really the opposite of "universal", then, as you point out, the Calvinist and Arminian positions are much closer than either is to Universalism.

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Thanks for the input, William.

 

I have observed that most people who claim to object to "limited atonement" are objecting to what they believe is a claim in the insufficiency of Christ's offering as the 'limitation'. Frankly, that is a claim that I would also find objectionable. Once it is clarified that "limited" is really the opposite of "universal", then, as you point out, the Calvinist and Arminian positions are much closer than either is to Universalism.

 

The ISSUE that seems to be prevalent in the Calvie position (however it's rationalized) which simply put, states that God arbitrarily Selected folks (romans 9) either "Before the fall" (Supralapsarianism) or immediately AFTER the fall (Infralapsarianism) unconditionally to be ELECT. (the "U" in Tulip)

 

And IF you are "Elect", then God WILL draw you to HIM, YOU WILL BE SAVED, AND You WILL persevere until you die. AND YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, OR OPTIONS IN THE MATTER. (the "I", and "P" in Tulip.

 

Antithetically, if you're NOT ELECT - then you WILL NOT be saved, and you will perish in hell when you die (the "L" in Tulip) - AND YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, OR OPTIONS IN THE MATTER.

 

Calvinists will bend over backwards to claim that none of the above is "Accurate", but in the final analysis, it still works out that it IS according to their systematic.

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Calvinists will bend over backwards to claim that none of the above is "Accurate", but in the final analysis, it still works out that it IS according to their systematic.

 

Hello Bob, and welcome to Christforums.

 

As to your post above you mean like this:

 

No one can come to me (Total Depravity)

unless the Father (Unconditional Election)

who sent me draws him. (Irr. Grace)

And I will raise him up (Limited Atonement)

on the last day. (Perseverance of the Saints)

 

And of course you have a choice, I know no Calvinist that argue man is without choice. So you're going to have to be more specific than that!

 

God bless,

William

 

 

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Hello Bob, and welcome to Christforums.

 

As to your post above you mean like this:

 

No one can come to me (Total Depravity)

unless the Father (Unconditional Election)

who sent me draws him. (Irr. Grace)

And I will raise him up (Limited Atonement)

on the last day. (Perseverance of the Saints)

 

And of course you have a choice, I know no Calvinist that argue man is without choice. So you're going to have to be more specific than that!

 

God bless,

William

 

 

How can there be a Choice if God's "Grace" is irresistable?? that would be a contradiction of terms. And in the case of those who Are NOT ELECT, how can there be a choice since Father doesn't draw.??

 

You apparently aren't aware of Calvinist "Sovereign Gracers".

 

And your version of "Calvinism" sounds just like standard "Arminianism".

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How can there be a Choice if God's "Grace" is irresistable?? that would be a contradiction of terms. And in the case of those who Are NOT ELECT, how can there be a choice since Father doesn't draw.??

 

You apparently aren't aware of Calvinist "Sovereign Gracers".

 

And your version of "Calvinism" sounds just like standard "Arminianism".

Hello and Welcome, Bob.

 

I thought of the same inherent contradiction when William listed "Irresistable" Grace and "choice" together without any further explanation.

However, I don't think I want to let you off the hook that easy either ... ;)

 

Jesus DID SAY (John 6:44) "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him."

Did he mean it?

Doesn't that land all of those same 'Calvinist' accusations right at Jesus' feet?

 

Does God draw EVERYONE? (Romans 11:7 "What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened,")

 

Can man RESIST the 'draw' of God? (sort of a slap in the face to omnipotent, isn't it? Isaiah 55:11 "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.")

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How can there be a Choice if God's "Grace" is irresistable?? that would be a contradiction of terms. And in the case of those who Are NOT ELECT, how can there be a choice since Father doesn't draw.??

 

G'day Bob,

 

Lemme give you a choice. You can choose to flap your arms like a bird and reach the heavens or you can stand there and not even try. Cross your arms and make pouty faces all day long. If you just stand there, you will be held accountable. Matter of fact even if you try you'll be held accountable. If you're a Pentecostal now raise your hands, spread them wide and clap! (excuse my humor). Just because you choose to try doesn't mean you're capable and successful. There are no participation awards given here. A human is limited by his nature in the bird example, just like the Depraved/Natural man is limited by his sin nature and can never reach heaven though he may choose to try.

 

Matter of fact, Jesus says man cannot see let alone enter the kingdom of heaven without regeneration first (monergism). And taking John 6:44 into the equation, he cannot even approach the object of our faith (Jesus Christ) without the Father first drawing them to Jesus.

 

The choice is clearly yours.

 

For clarification, Calvinist do not argue man is without choice. The bible clearly suggests man has choice, and even distinguishes between a will that is not compelled by Law (free will) and a will compelled by Law. However, Calvinist argue man does not have an autonomous or libertarian will. Clearly man has choice, and he is held accountable. Responsibility rests squarely on man's shoulders, though any opportunity may pass him over. That is, unless you'd like to bring the necessity of God's intervention on part of the Elect, Grace (effectual), or even the imputed Righteousness of Christ alone into the equation?

 

Soli Deo Gloria [ATTACH=CONFIG]n23862[/ATTACH]

 

 

God bless,

William

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Jesus says man cannot see let alone enter the kingdom of heaven without regeneration first (monergism).

 

Without Being BORN AGAIN of the Spirit (saved), that is, of course.

 

"Regeneration" is a "religious Buzz-Word" that means different things to different religious paradigms. There's no Question that one NOT BORN AGAIN / Not Christian is incapable of discerning the "kingdom of God.

 

And taking John 6:44 into the equation, he cannot even approach the object of our faith (Jesus Christ) without the Father first drawing them to Jesus.

 

BINGO!!! no "Drawing" no salvation. That's also a given.

 

Calvinist do not argue man is without choice.

 

Depends on which "Flavor of Calvinism" you're talking about. HARD LINE (Sovereign Gracer) Calvies certainly DO say the there's NO CHOICE, and the "L" and the "I" prove it.

 

The bible clearly suggests man has choice

 

True, as Arminians have taught all along, - BUT until there's "Conviction of SIN", there's no way in. HE convicts of SIN, and ONLY AT THAT TIME can you surrender and repent - OR Cut and run away back into death AS I did many times before the "last time".

 

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Without Being BORN AGAIN of the Spirit (saved), that is, of course. "Regeneration" is a religious Buzz-Word that means different things to different religious paradigms. There's no Question that one NOT BORN AGAIN / Not Christian is incapable of discerning the "kingdom of God.

 

So that there is no misunderstanding: https://www.christforums.org/forum/christian-community/apologetics-and-theology/3404-what-does-rebirth-born-again-born-from-above-or-regeneration-mean

 

God bless,

William

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And, of course since I'm NOT a Calvinist, I don't either subscribe to, or accept the Calvinist definition of the terminology, which will probably become a source of contention, should I continue on THIS forum any farther.

 

Personally, I'm Deathly tired of playing "Doctrinal Games" on forums like this, so I'll say my good-bys here and vacate.

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And, of course since I'm NOT a Calvinist, I don't either subscribe to, or accept the Calvinist definition of the terminology, which will probably become a source of contention, should I continue on THIS forum any farther.

 

Personally, I'm Deathly tired of playing "Doctrinal Games" on forums like this, so I'll say my good-bys here and vacate.

 

Good Luck finding what you are looking for.

 

I admit that I am disappointed that you made no effort to address the actual scripture presented and am slightly confused why someone would post a strong doctrinal statement and then complain that they don't want to talk about doctrine.

 

In any event, I wish you well.

Arthur

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I was born and raised in one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Canada, with the longest running Gospel TV program in North American history! This was my introduction to Calvinism in that church: Our pastor had preached a good sermon, but my Sunday school teacher's daughter, Naomi, a woman in her 20s, was visibly upset. So I

asked her why she seemed in such a bad mood. She replied that our pastor had just violated a cardinal tenet of Christian doctrine--eternal security. As a 12-year-old, I had never heard of this strange teaching! :) Later, I heard that a guest pastor at a nearby large Baptist church had given an altar call, during which he bellowed: "If you come to this altar and sincerely accept Christ as your Savior and Lord, you can curse God to His face as you leave, and you will still be saved!" I filed away in my youthful mind that one day I would refute this dangerous teaching.

 

I am now a retired United Methodist pastor and ex-Theology professor at a large Catholic university. As I read your OP, I recognized the real reason why I much prefer roses and lilies to tulips and I thought it would now be fun to fulfill my promise as a 12-year-old and start a thread on the Achilles' Heels of OSAS. Stay tuned for that thread.

 

But first, someone needs to thoroughly explore the Pentecostal doctrine of Spirit baptism and the ongoing legitimacy of the gifts of the Spirit. I will take on that task before I try to pluck the petal of OSAS from the garden of Calvinism.

'

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But first, someone needs to thoroughly explore the Pentecostal doctrine of Spirit baptism and the ongoing legitimacy of the gifts of the Spirit. I will take on that task before I try to pluck the petal of OSAS from the garden of Calvinism.

'

I look forward to both.

My only advice is to make sure you are refuting what Calvinism actually teaches rather than the bad charicture of 'Free Grace' that people like to slap the 'Calvinist' label on and then claim they have refuted Calvinism.

I look forward to hearing how the Holy Spirit is NOT a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephesians 1:3-14) and Jesus will lose some of them that the father sends to Him (John 6:40) and how others will slip through God's fingers (John 10:28-29).

 

[This is the real Calvinist/TULIP Perseverance of the Saints, not the 'Free Grace' tripe you heard as a 12 year old.]

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William,

 

What I was of course referring to was OSAS as an implication of 2 of the 5 tulip petals, total depravity and irresistible grace, both of which I will demonstrate can be soundly refuted by Scripture. At Fuller, I took a course on the Westminster Confession and was so appalled that this was one reason why I transferred to Princeton to complete my MDiv. I repeat: stay tuned for my detailed discussion of the many NT texts that refute OSAS after completing my more important thread on Spirit baptism.

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William: "My impression of Princeton is that they will let anyone in now-a-days."

 

You use "impression" as code for mindless bias. In fact, one of my parishioners that I recently helped get into Princeton was told that, for the first time, the majority of their MDiv students were non-Presbyterian. Why Presbyterian denominations complained about this, they were told that too few of their Presbyterian applicants could not compete academically with the non-Presbyterian applicants. My impression of Princeton MDiv students vs. their Fuller Seminary counterparts indicated that the Princeton students were generally far superior. Thus, no one, to my knowledge was accepted from Fuller into the Harvard PhD programs in Scripture and Theology, whereas Princeton was the most common source of successful admissions. So try not to pontificate on the basis of biased ignorance.

 

William: "As a Presbyterian I am saddened by what comes out of that institution given the vast amount of "liberalism"."

 

The quality of spiritual discussion in the Princeton cafeteria was more edifying and profound than what I experienced at Fuller with lots of solidly Princeton evangelicals participating.

 

 

William: "your other posts... point towards yourself and what you have done rather than towards God."

 

A premature cheap shot that conveniently ignores the fact that I am so far just laying a foundation for my future posts. Do you have the integrity to assess the Spirit baptism question from the perspective of someone who has actually been transformed by it. If so, watch the 3 videos I posted and educate yourself on what authentic mass moves of the Spirit are actually like.

If not, I will treat your posts with honest bluntness, when I'd much prefer that our conversations be nonjudgmental and respectful.

 

William: "How much emphasis and authority do you place on personal experience rather than Scripture?"

 

The inspiration of Scripture, Jesus' resurrection, and foundational biblical miracles must all be accepted by faith in the absence of proof. That faith can be dismissed as irrational apart from the convicting and confirming work of the Holy Spirit, which is of course experiential. So faith in God's Word and its miracles is only as valid as one's experience of the work of the Spirit which helps validate otherwise irrational theological assumptions for the authority of Scripture. Modern historiography is based on the principles of causality and analogy. So biblical miracles that are not confirmed by modern experience of the Spirit's power and activity are unworthy of credence. For that reason, Cessationist theology is one of the greatest enemies of a credible Christian apologetic. In my own case, if I had not had one particularly edifying tongues experience, I doubt I'd still be a Christian. That inconceivably potent experience of God's grace was able to trump all my at times crippling doubts about apparent biblical credibility problems.

 

 

 

 

 

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Willism,

 

In effect, what you are saying is, "Please don't educate me with the facts." You have created a strawman based on toxic negative experiences and refuse to consider the evidence of historical movements. Then let this sink in: I have absolutely no doubt that if you had experienced what I will report that I experienced, you would testify that this would your most important life-changing moment. How sad that a Christian site moderator would be so biased, judgmental, and snarky, even before a carefully thought out case in presented.

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William: "You already stated that the basis of your Christian identity is an extra-biblical experience. Not Scripture. You need not pound home the point that experience takes precedence over Sola Scriptura in your life."

 

Not only do you set up strawmen to avoid the hard work of critical thinking; you are blissfully ignorant of the standard philosophical distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions for epistemological claims. My faith in Scriptural authority was a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for my faith because I was plagued by apparent biblical myths, historical errors, and contradictions and because I saw nothing real in the Christian testimonies to God's grace. My experience of Spirit baptism was so obviously supernatural that it created the sufficient conditions for faith commitment in my life, empowering my doubts to lose their debilitating effect. Apart from the convicting and confirming ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is rightly dismissed as little more than the tribal dogmas of a violent people looking for ways to justify their violence and suffering through myths and fear tactics. But through the illumination of the Spirit, that negative perception, though logical enough, can be seen as deceptively flawed.

 

I will now post my testimony on my Spirit Baptism thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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William,

 

You are only too closed-minded to offer the courtesy of watching relevant videos; your bias also blinds you to what I have clearly said--that I will only refute OSAS from a biblical perspective AFTER I complete a project of far more practical importance, my thread on Spirit Baptism and Speaking in Tongues. Your lack of interest in this subject betrays a basic ignorance of New Testament pneumatology and I will carefully demonstrate that fact in that thread.

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You are only too closed-minded to offer the courtesy of watching relevant videos; your bias also blinds you to what I have clearly said--that I will only refute OSAS from a biblical perspective AFTER I complete a project of far more practical importance, my thread on Spirit Baptism and Speaking in Tongues. Your lack of interest in this subject betrays a basic ignorance of New Testament pneumatology and I will carefully demonstrate that fact in that thread.
All we have heard from you were boastful and prideful claims about how great you think you are, how special you think you are, and how smart you think you are. Everything you said was centered on you and no glory was given to God.

 

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