Late Saturday Rant and Links

I’m in the process of redesigning my personal site and I’ll have you
know that ‘CSS only’ is ridiculously annoying. There are so many
factors to consider, duplicated by the fact that I don’t want it to
look like a blog. Tim Challies does a bang up job of working in css,
doubling my respect for his design skills. But for all those anti-table
fanatics out there…sorry guys but I’m thinking that I’m going to design
my personal site with some tables. There is a marginal difference in
actual load time and I am working under tight constraints.

Fanatics drive me nuts all across the board—from the wide eyed web guys
who proclaim the gospel of W3C standards while claiming the use of
tables heretical to the Christian who has a monopoly on truth. Can you
see it? A legion of online pundits who jump to (ridiculous) conclusions
and are quick to mark an opponent with (a) the unstudied or (b) the
heretic?

You know, it’s the reason I always claim the heretic label before
someone else gives it to me and “wins”. For instance, upon visiting an
online discussion regarding origins you’ll see labeling within two
comments. Any argument posed is laughed at and the commentator is held
up as a spectacle. Thing is I can understand it with the
unregenerate…after all they don’t have the Spirit of the Living God
working within them.
What I (partially) don’t understand is when a professing Believer does the same thing with any and all topics.

Conversing with some Arminians you get the charge thrown at you that
you’re a hyper-Calvinist. Conversing with some Calvinists you get the
charge that you’re Pelagian.

Forgive me, but how dare we? You see a fellow Believer speaking about
the grace and mercy of God and how Christ was given to make us more
than conquerors—not by our power but by His—and some of us have the
utter audacity to call that believer a follower of Pelagius?

“I’m not saying he’s a follower of Pelagius! But if you take what he’s
saying to it’s logical conclusion it’s called ‘being Pelagian’. See I
proved my point. That heresy has been dealt with hundreds of years ago!
Pelagius was a nice guy, but it was still a lie from the devil.”

You know what, if you take Calvinism to it’s logical conclusion it is
called fatalistic determinism. “Dispensationalism lead us to
antinomianism”? You know what, the opposite leads to bondage under the
law. If you want to the truth of it, I doubt any of us have it at one
hundred percent especially when we keep basing our theology on the
counterpoint of the theology of others. Be humble with your theology
knowing that it is immensely possible that you’re wrong while
simultaneously removing your strict labels.

You get that? I am convinced that the ages are ordered in
dispensations…but just because I am doesn’t mean that I’m required read
my Bible with the Left Behind books as a commentary. I am convinced
that Calvinism and Armininianism are wrong but that doesn’t make me
part of either camp as if there was nothing but the two choices. Folk
will say that there is no such thing as a 4 Point Calvinists. Doesn’t mean those persons are Arminian either. We’re Christians
and there are countless shades of misperception and misinterpretation
and misapplication as we are still in the flesh. The Holy Spirit works
in each of us but as Paul said: currently we are looking at a cloudy,
fuzzy mirror.

I think that we’re doing a huge mistake if we’re taking the beliefs of
men and making them adjectives. Look, it’s okay to describe a Christian
who is falling into sin as a “backsliding Christian”. It’s an
adjective. But we have the nasty habit of taking a "heresy" and slapping
it on as if it describes the Christian. And then when someone does use
an adjective (like Scoffield’s ‘carnal Christians’) we get into a
seething huff saying that there are only Christians and [X] is being
divisive.

I guess we wouldn’t have anything to talk about if we can’t say that
Scoffield was a babbler, that Calvin was a philosopher or that Jacob
Arminus was a heretic. Poor us. Heaven is going to be a horrendous
place if all these things are cleared up and we have nothing to talk
about because we spent seventy years over our idol of pet-topics.  

If you’re reading this and think I’m talking about you, drop it. I’m
not talking about any specific individual—it’s a texture of posts that
I’ve read spanning from the web-standards evangelist through the
sarcastic scientist and over past the part-time theologian. Lots of
people like to do a little heretic-stake-burning on the web. What
strikes me is that we still haven’t learned the lesson of history.
Catholics tortured heretics until they recanted or died. The Reformers
did the same. When will the next fires be ignited?

-r-

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