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    Theological controversies and disputes

    I found the following article in my Inbox today........

    Theological controversies and disputes

    (Letters of John Newton)
    I am not to expect others to see with my eyes! I am deeply convinced of the truth of John the Baptist's aphorism in John 3:27, "A man can receive nothing--except it be given him from Heaven." I well know, that the little measure of knowledge I have obtained in the things of God--has not been owing to my own wisdom and teachableness, but to God's goodness. Nor did I learn everything all at once--God has been pleased to exercise much patience towards me, for the past twenty-seven years--since He first gave me a desire of learning from Himself. He has graciously accommodated Himself to my weakness, borne with my mistakes, and helped me through innumerable prejudices, which, but for His mercy, would have been insuperable hindrances! I have therefore no right to be angry, impatient, or censorious to others, especially as I have still much to learn, and am so poorly influenced by what I seem to know!

    I am weary of theological controversies and disputes, and desire to choose for myself, and to point out to others, Mary's part--to sit at Jesus' feet, and to hear His words. I cannot, I must not, I dare not--be contentious! Only, as a witness for God, I am ready to bear my simple testimony to what I have known of His truth, whenever I am properly called to it.

    I can only say a hearty Amen to the above.

    Blessings in Christ always,

    Kevin .

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I want to publically apologise to Charles (Wildboar) for the posts I have written which has challenged his theological position. Though it is loving and correct to speak out against doctrine that I believe to be wrong, it has to be done on the basis of love.

    Some of the posts that I have written have not reflected the love of God, that grace is to produce, creating an inconsistency in my profession of faith in the Word of God, and upon the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that our lives are to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

    We win people by loving them. The thought of being judged for the way I have treated other Christians to the negative is not something I can bear.
    God knows who His elect are. We do not.

    May the Lord Bless you all as you seek to follow Him.

    Love in Christ,

    Kevin.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I have always affirmed what Scripture teaches regarding truth: those that teach false doctrines are either immature or unregenerate. Paul argued for the truth (sometimes heatedly and mockingly) for years in some places--the synogogues being some of them. Paul condemned the false teachers at times and I believe the Holy Spirit is still leading others do do so today. There is a time to cast down and a time to raise up--and God has everything well in hand as He works in His own to will and to do according to His good pleasure.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I apologize as well for all those times I have been unloving in my speech. We are not called just to speak the truth but to speak the truth in love. Sarcasm has its place when it makes the point more obvious but when used improperly it obscures. I think many people including myself like to use sarcasm out of sheer laziness--it keeps us from having to deal with the real issues and create a caricature of our opponent.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Kevin, I would only caution you on this one point:

    We win people by loving them.

    Though it is true that an obvious lack of love will destroy our witness, it is not true that because we show love our doctrine is correct (& I'm not claiming that you believe this). I have never met people who show more HUMAN love in a horizontal sense than those in the cultic sect in which I was brought up. In fact, they put the Protestants to shame in this regard. But they are still deceived and bound for damnation. They care not to examine and struggle with the truth of the gospel in all its implications, thinking instead that 'loving people in' to their caring and generous community is enough.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I think that if our high grace doctrine be true, then the love that grace produces will be seen by all. This has not been the case in my life. I have been so caught up in criticizing others for their "faulty" doctrine that I forgot to show the grace that should be evident in my life. As a result, I believe the Lord has led me back to my former church. I never heard anything that I thought was wrong yesterday, but even if there is, I am called to be salt and light. The doctrine that I believe should be seen as a good manifestation in my life, and not used as a football to tear down other Christians. Just think, there may be other believers that we may be judging harshly that will be our brothers and sisters in heaven. We need to remember that God knows who His elect are. We do not.

    I commend Charles for not being as harsh as me, who was harsh with him. That shows Christian maturity.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I have been thinking a lot about things. I can only have a loose affiliation with my last church. By that I mean visiting friends once in a while.

    I cannot go back on what I have learnt and I cannot be a hypocrite either. However, the abrupt way in which I left my last church meant that it was right for me to show my face. It wasn't easy. I think that is only fair and right. I know that you have written these things because you are concerned for me. I appreciate that. Please pray for me. This is the best thing you can do for me. I have not and will not be cutting ties with the Gospel Standard church I have been attending. They have been good to me, and I agree with all of their doctrine.

    Thank you again and God Bless!

    Love in Christ,

    Kevin.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post
    I have been thinking a lot about things. I can only have a loose affiliation with my last church. By that I mean visiting friends once in a while.

    I cannot go back on what I have learnt and I cannot be a hypocrite either. However, the abrupt way in which I left my last church meant that it was right for me to show my face. It wasn't easy. I think that is only fair and right. I know that you have written these things because you are concerned for me. I appreciate that. Please pray for me. This is the best thing you can do for me. I have not and will not be cutting ties with the Gospel Standard church I have been attending. They have been good to me, and I agree with all of their doctrine.
    Best wishes to you Kevin. I'm sure the Lord will lead you in the right direction.
    This is my signature.

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