Movie Review: The American Gospel: Christ Alone


Producer: Brandon Kimber, Ralph McGreevy, Martin McGreevy, Shawn Rech, Greg Robb, Theresa Wylie
Director: Brandon Kimber
Writer: Brandon Kimber
Cast: Katherine Berger, Russell Berger, Marshall Brandon, Dan Burgoyne, Matt Chandler, Bryan Chapelle, R. Scott Clark, Ray Comfort, Kenneth Copeland, Sean Demars, Mark Fever, Michael Durham, Mike Gendron, J.D. Greear, Don Green, Jackie Hill-Perry Benny Hinn, Costi Hinn, Michael Horton, Phil Howell, Phil Johnson.

This documentary has been on my list of must see movies for quite some time now. I was finally able to watch the movie yesterday evening.

The plot of the documentary is simple: What is the core gospel of Christianity as defined by scripture and what does the American Gospel consist of and is it the same?

Here the American Gospel is defined broadly as the word-faith ministeries such as Joel Osteen’s ministry, Benny Hinn’s ministry, and others.

The documentary looks at the teachings of Christ and the apostles as found in the Bible and compares them to what the word-faith teachers regarding healing, suffering, and money. The contrast between scripture and them is obvious and radically different than what is espoused by the word-faith teachers.

I think this is an important film that needs to shown in every church to let church goers see exactly what is being fed to thousands of people everywhere that these programs are broadcasted. Whether you are in Mumbai, Abu Dhabi, or Billings Montana you can be bombarded by these heretical teaching. And the more people know what the real Gospel is and what it does and doesn’t do the better.

So go watch this movie, invite friends over and then talk with them about the Gospel.

Five stars

Theology Thursday: Why This Former Presbyterian Became a Baptist


It’s a long story, but an important one.  From the confusion and dismay of the Charismatic movement (look for future posts on that topic coming soon), it was the doctrines of the Reformation which brought me back to peaceful relationship with God and proper fear of Him.  Just as it was in the days leading up to the Protestant Reformation, so it is today in Christendom: The simple gospel of Christ had – and has again – become obscured behind corruption and superstition.  Newly Reformed and delighted to embrace and promote my new-found faith, and without a church home at the time, I joined a Presbyterian church, brought my family in, and had my very young children baptized.

But it didn’t take long before there were issues in our denomination – issues that most “ordinary parishioners” had no knowledge of and frankly, didn’t want to know about. Being a theologian at heart, however – and by the way I think every Christian ought to be – I read Reformed journals and web sites. Then later, as an officer in my PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) church, I thought it wise to keep an eye on what the PCA was doing.  Having been led far astray once before (as a Charismatic), I maintain a particular sense of watchfulness.  No matter how noble and pure a denomination may be at first, historically it takes only about 40 years for it to abandon it’s first principles to pursue wealth, popularity, and prestige.  The PCA itself was born out of such a controversy, and we saw it happen to the now completely apostate PCUSA which – incredibly – also claims the Westminster Confession of Faith as it’s doctrinal standard!

I am one among dozens who have blogged about doctrinal disaster in the PCA, and the apathetic “leave theology to the experts” mentality that has given harmful teachings a deep foothold in the denomination.  One PCA church had taken to a very formal, Anglican-style worship that borrows heavily from Eastern Orthodox forms and is very closely wedded to the “liturgical calendar.” During last year’s Advent season, the sanctuary was festooned with all the trappings of the Latin liturgy and the pastors took delight in the beauty of all the pomp and ceremony.  Asked to explain the Advent Candles (Why are there five candles? Why is one of the outside four a different color?  Why is the one in the middle called “the Christ candle?”), the pastor shrugged and simply admitted that he had no idea what the symbolism meant, but “isn’t it beautiful?”

My first thought:  Is this even a Reformed church anymore? shrug

Driven by an urgent sense that the Reformed faith has no biblical alternative, I decided from the bottom of my broken heart that it was time once again to search for a new church. My first impulse, naturally, was to look within my own denomination. But a moment’s thought changed my mind about that, since both of the PCA churches I had belonged to had either fallen prey to or completely ignored the heretical elephant in the room known as Federal Vision. Nearby is a Reformed Baptist church, though, and I thought it worth a look.  So for the next few Sundays I went there and enjoyed some of the sweetest worship among a group of simple, beautiful Berean-style scholarly folk who take the bible very seriously.  The worship liturgy was a simple, plain, joyful song service interspersed frequently with prayer and scripture readings, followed by a well-prepared exegesis of a portion of scripture.

“Well, they aren’t Presbyterians but  it is nevertheless always a good thing for me to take fresh measure of my beliefs,” I told myself.  What scared me a little was that part of me that longed to bring my heart-achy search for a Reformed church to a conclusion, and so was vulnerable to seeking justification for moving over to this Reformed Baptist church. To counter that tendency I determined to do nothing until I had read, absorbed, and debated these things with both Baptist and Presbyterian brothers. The trouble was finding people from either camp who are actually willing to be challenged in that way. I had been a Presbyterian for over two decades. Both of my adult children were raised in that tradition, both baptized as infants by sprinkling. If I was to make any big changes in my theology at this point in my life, I had darn well better have good solid reasons for doing it.

So I dove into books and on-line articles, listened to audio recordings of debate between Baptist and Presbyterian theologians, looking at questions through the eyes of both sides, and re-examined my own personal hermeneutics.  After several months of study, I have concluded that the differences between Presbyterians and Baptists come down to three very important things:

Number-1ab  Different hermeneutics:

Reformed believers are guided by one of two hermeneutics. Both usually lead to similar conclusions, but an important distinction exists between the two. And the deeper I go in my studies of the scriptures, the more the distinction seems to really matter.

The Presbyterian hermeneutic is described in the Westminster Confession of Faith this way:

The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture… (WCF 1:6, emphasis mine).

The Reformed Baptist hermeneutic sounds similar but it is different because it does not include deduction or “good consequence:”

The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture (London Baptist Confession 1:6, emphasis mine).

So what’s the difference? Both often lead to the same conclusion, as they do in the doctrine of the Trinity, for example. I have a silly, simplistic way of illustrating it: If one passage explicitly states that “all normal dogs have four legs,” and another explicitly states that “Spot is a normal dog,” then it is necessarily true that Spot has four legs even though that fact is not explicitly stated. The fact is contained in the book even though not explicitly. A Presbyterian might deduce that since there are other properties of normal dogs, such as two ears, a wet nose, and a wagging tail, then Spot must also have those qualities as well, even if the book doesn’t contain those things in its description of normal dogs. A Reformed Baptist could not reach that far, since two ears, a wet nose, and a wagging tail are not contained in the book’s description. While I realize that my silly simplistic illustration likely falls short of adequately describing the difference, I’m a simple country boy and receptive to correction if I really have misstated the difference. That’s just how I understand it.

It is that difference, I think, that accounts at least in part for the differences in Covenant Theology between Baptists and Presbyterians, and in the way that the two apply the Regulative Principle of Worship to the two ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Number-2ab   Different Covenantal Views:

Presbyterians view the Old and New Testaments as containing different administrations of the same covenant, which most refer to as the Covenant of Grace. They do this to preserve the continuity of Scripture between both Testaments. But to a Reformed Baptist, it isn’t necessary to preserve the continuity of the Testaments by describing the two as being “different administrations of one covenant.” The writer of Hebrews describes the Old Covenant as “type and shadow” of the New. The New fulfills the Old. But to a Baptist, the two are separate covenants altogether and while one prefigures the other, they apply to different groups of people and different points along the continuum of unfolding eschatology and progressive revelation:

  • First, the Old covenant was limited, under it’s different administrations, to one family, one race, one nation; whereas the New removes all such distinctions.
  • Second, the Old was temporal rather than eternal as the New covenant is.
  • Thirdly the Old was physical, geographical, and political, where the New is spiritual, universal, and “not of this world.”

Yet under the Old Testament, prefiguring the New, all who were eternally saved were saved just as they are in the New: By faith in One who was to come, the Seed promised to Abraham in the Old covenant, the Second Adam, the Mediator of – as the writer of Hebrews describes it – “a better covenant based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).”

Number-3ab  Different Applications of the Regulative Principle of Worship:

Both Reformed Baptists and Presbyterians subscribe to this principle, based on Sola Scriptura and described in the Westminster Confession of Faith in these terms:

…the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by Himself, and is so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshiped according to … any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture (WCF 21:1).

This principle has been reduced by many people to simply, “When it comes to the worship of God, whatever is not commanded is forbidden.” This is quite unlike the Lutheran and Anglican principle which is, to reduce it to it’s simplest form, “whatever is not forbidden is permitted in the worship of God.” This leads them to all sorts of human inventions that “help the people worship,” from drama and dance to more superstitious stuff like making the sign of the cross and assigning mystical properties to the elements in the Lord’s Supper and observing a liturgical calender. Superstition, by the way, I take to mean trying to please, appease, delight, or “reach” God by any means other than revealed in His written word.

Because the Old Testament is to be interpreted through the lens of the New Testament, and because of the difference in the two views of covenant theology, the Reformed Baptist does not see baptism as a New covenant “replacement” of Old covenant circumcision. And as there is no explicit command in the New Testament to baptize any but confessed believers, Baptists reject what Presbyterians call “covenant baptism” (or “infant baptism”). To a Presbyterian, the command to baptize the infant children of believers is “necessarily deduced ” by the examples of Old covenant circumcision and “household baptisms” in the New Testament.

These three differences combine to form the theological basis for both credobaptism (believer’s baptism) and paedobaptism (infant baptism). They also represent what my search “boiled down to.” To most people I know, none of this matters. One just goes to “whatever church makes them happy” as long as it adheres to “the essentials.” That can’t be enough for me. In fact it hasn’t been enough for me ever. Not because I’m “too nitpicky,” but because love demands the pursuit of the truest possible knowledge of God.

What these differences mean to me in particular:

The Baptist position seems more consistent (Presbyterians baptize babies yet keep them from the Supper until they can articulate their faith in an adult manner), and closer to Sola Scriptura because it insists upon not exceeding what is written no matter how flawlessly logical and reasonable it may seem to do so. And equally important, the Baptist view of the covenants, which preserves the continuity of Scripture without the confusing of merger of Old and New signs, shadows, and types, quite literally makes it impossible for the deadly toxic weeds of Federal Vision theology to grow in Baptist soil. Perhaps I wasn’t really a very good Presbyterian all those years. It is too easy for even their own theologians to become bewildered and confused by their hermeneutics, getting lost in the details. I tend to run in favor of those things which “are so clearly propounded and opened in Scripture that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain unto an sufficient understanding of them (WCF 1:7).”

He has Risen Indeed!


Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where helay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

Matthew 28:1-9

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Frenetic Good Friday


Well it has been awhile since I have done a Frenetic Friday post but let’s get to it.

In case you’re living under a rock or in denial this is what is referred to as Holy Week. And today is Good Friday, and more on that later. But I hope that you did notice that as is the norm the various “shows” on Christianity has appeared on various streaming services. The newest one that I noticed is Jesus: Countdown to Calvary made in 2018 and starring Hugh Bonneville. This is playing on Netflixs. And yes I watched and as expected the idea that Jesus was the divine Son of God or the fulfillment of prophecy was completely played down or not mentioned at all. What I did notice was how it was claimed that Jesus came proclaiming a message of, wait for it, “social justice”. I am not really surprised at this an neither should you be if you’ve been keeping up with any of the “social justice” debates that have been going on in Twitter and elsewhere. Just be aware that this and other messages of the same sort will be playing this time especially since Easter or the Sunday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus however you wish to refer to it draws near.

And speaking of heretical things have you heard about PreachersNSneakers? It is an Instagram account that has pictures of various “hipster” preachers and the expensive sneakers they are wearing. I am not talking about some $150 dollar Nikes here. No, how about $3000 for an off white pair of Jordan 1 from Europe. Or $1100 “Gucci” slippers?

I don’t mind a pastor being well dressed but I have to call into question exactly why do they need that expensive foot wear. What do you think where should this money have gone to?

And keeping with the Good Friday theme, as well as heretical notions a female Roman Catholic theologian has written a book called “Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril” In it Elizabeth Johnson maintains that Anselm‘s satisfaction theory of atonement was completely wrong. Johnson maintains that Anselm based it upon “the political system of the day” and that God’s mercy doesn’t call for a bloody and violent death for our sins. Basically atonement needs to be removed from what Christ did. <source>

Rather than have me bumble through why the atonement is necessary I shall point you to these resources:




And here is a list of resources from Monergism: Penal Substitutionary Atonement

And a list of resources from The Highway: TThe Atonement of Christ

Finally something from Toplady:

Goodnight.

Special Saturday night


Hello dear readers can you tell that it is getting closer to Christmas? Oh I don’t mean the congestion around the mall or the Amazon packages being stolen from the front porch. No I mean the attack against Jesus, and all things Christmas which leads us right to culture wars.

Yes here’s the first shot across the bow. An associate professor at Minnesota State University, Dr. Eric Spankle posted a tweet saying:

The Virgin birth story is about an all-knowing, all-powerful deity impregnating a human teen. There is no definition of consent that would include that scenario. Happy Holidays.*

When it was pointed out that in the scriptures Mary actually did give consent, (Luke 1:26-38) his response was:

The biblical god regularly punished disobedience. The power difference (deity vs mortal) and the potential for violence for saying “no” negates her “yes”. To put someone in this position is unethical abuse of power at best and grossly predatory at worst.

I will just put Mary’s response right here:
And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name. Luke 1:46-49

Obviously, Mary thought this was a blessing.

Now let’s turn from from the sublime to a couple examples of the ridiculous.

Do you recognize these vegetables?

These are the characters from the show called Veggie Tales. If you’re not familiar with these characters they are a bunch of vegetables that tell stories based upon Biblical foundations.

Well at one California college, Cal State San Marcos, in their “Whiteness Forum” an event that exposes the ” myriad of ways that white supremacy remains front and center in the U.S. social and political context.”

In this forum students pointed to the show Veggie Tales and said because the villians had obvious ethnic accents while the heroes didn’t Veggie Tales was promoting racism with the heroes being “white”.

Eric Metaxes former writer and narrator for Veggie Tales said this:

“All vegetables are part of one race, even though they are of many colors,” Metaxas said. “They are all descended from the same parents — the Adam and Eve of vegetables, who foolishly ate a forbidden fruit (irony?) and screwed everything up for all vegetables descended from them. At least I’m pretty sure that’s the story. *

Multiracial vegetables I weep for this generation.

And from one cartoon show to another.

Yes that is Herbie the dentist elf and Rudolph the red nose reindeer. This show was first released on December 6, 1964 and never mind how old I was. Anyway this cartoon has been a staple of the Christmas season for many years. And yet in a recent Huffington Post video Rudolph triggered them.

Some of the complaints are that Donner is an abusive father by the way he treats Rudolph, and sexist because he forbids his wife from joining him to hunt for Rudolph.

Santa is abusive and no diversely or inclusivity training evident and so an HR nightmare.

And that is the mildest of the responses to a 54 year old movie.

I wonder how soon it will be until Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is put on a list of banned movies never to be broadcasted again, or if allowed shown with a disclaimer warning parents. Or even more radical fed into a computer and all the wrongness taken out or changed. They’ll probably make the Abominable Snowman a vegan.

Well now we are moving from animation to current buzzwords.
Intersectionality is:

the theory that the overlap of various social identities, such as race, gender, and sexuality, contributes to the systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual

I know that you may have been staying up late at night wondering what your possible intersectionality score possibly could be. Well wonder no longer from our friends on the internet the intersectionality calculator has been made. Now you can look up your score and ease your mind. The Intersectionality Calculator.

And in just your wondering I got a thirteen.

And last but certainly not least a myth of Christmas debunked.

Jesus wasn’t born in a stable.

According to Ian Paul at psephizo.com because of medieval misunderstanding and a general ignorance of first century Israel the idea that Jesus was alone in some sort of stable/barn like structure surrounded by nothing more than animals with Joseph and Mary is completely wrong. In fact it is more than likely that he was surrounded by not just his parents but by Joseph and Mary’s extended family that had also traveled Bethlehem to be registered.

One of the more interesting points the article makes is that the animals were normally kept inside the same structure as the living quarters. See the drawing below.

As you can see the animals are kept in the lower level while the family occupy the floor above. It would have been in this upper level that Mary would have given birth surrounded by family.

Read the article here: Once more Jesus was not birn in a stable.

Good night.

Thursday Theology: Is the Dispensationalist my brother?


 

 
So John MacArthur was on the Ben Shapiro show,  click here if you want to watch it Ben Shapiro Sunday Special.

So around 52 minutes into the interview John MacArthur makes the statement that “supersessionism is a latent form of antisemitism” now let me be plain I agree with John MacArthur  partly, I don’t believe that the Church has replaced Israel.  But see it doesn’t end there John MacArthur believes that the Church and Israel are two distinct things or as Irwin Lutzer puts it:

Israel’s destiny is to be a separate people of God’s choosing, and the New Testament church stands as another avenue of His grace.*

Now there is a difference of opinion when it comes to those of us who hold to covenant theology (Presbyterian or Baptist) with regards to the Israel/Church distinction and needless to say they disagree with John MacArthur regarding this.  But this isn’t anything new.  John MacArthur has always believed this.  But every time he articulates this it is taken as a big surprise.

So the question is does this mean that I shouldn’t treat dispensationalists as  brother’s in Christ?  Does differing hermenuetics mean that one isn’t saved?

Well I don’t believe it does the dispensationalism that MacArthur holds to isn’t some radical form, and there are radical or hyper-dispensationalists, whose hermenuetics would cause me to question if they are preaching the gospel.  But I can’t say that about John MacArthur he has consistently preached the gospel, the true gospel so even if I disagree with him regarding his hermenuetic I can’t say that he isn’t my brother in Christ.  And I should treat other dispensationalists of MacArthur’s type the same.  They are our brothers in Christ and despite our disagreements we need to treat them as such.

 

 

Saturday Special


So someone on Twitter suggested doing this and I think it would be a good idea. It was pointed out that there are 24 chapters in the gospel of Luke. And if you read a chapter a day by Christmas you would have read the entire gospel. So as an Advent devotional, even though Advent starts tomorrow I invite you to join me in read the gospel of Luke.

Frenetic Friday


Since my insomnia is going full bore and I am occupied with the coming season this will probably be finished by Saturday morning instead of Friday night. But be that as it may I have a selection of articles for your perusal.

From the Daily Mail (Nov. 24, 2018) comes a new scientific research that suggests after a huge catastrophe,

that we sprang from a single pair of adults after a catastrophic event almost wiped out the human race.

These bar codes, or snippets of DNA that reside outside the nuclei of living cells, suggest that it’s not just people who could have come from a single pair of beings, but nine out of every 10 animal species, too

Just a single pair of adults after a great catastrophe I’ll just leave this here.

And while we are talking about ancient history this just in from Israel they have found Pontius Pilate’s ring.

The ring itself was found fifty years ago but with expert cleaning and microscopic examination the archeologist determined that “of Pilate” was inscribed on the ring in greek.

Let’s turn from history to present day.

This is John Allen Chau the young missionary that was killed on the North Sentinel Island. Now recently there has been a rash of articles both praising and damning this young man for his actions. But I think that Tim Challes has written a well crafted article that is worth reading about this missionary and what we should think about what he had done. Go here: On the death of John Allen Chau by Tim Challes

Yes it is time once again to go down into the trenches and prepare for another skirmish in the culture wars.

Our first report comes from Florida in particular the Chasco Middle School where a transgender “boy” is in the habit of walking into the boys locker room literally as their pants are down with no warning. The school officials instructed a male P.E. teacher to supervise the potentially undressed female in the locker room. Using common sense he refused to put himself in a position to “observe a nude or potentially undressed minor female”.

I would like to point out that a few years ago that if a “school official” had suggested that a male teacher must observe a nude minor the parents of the school district would have run him out of town on a rail. However in this case and the times being what they are the teacher was disciplined and sent to another school ” for not doing his job in the locker room”. The teacher has appealed his discipline and sought council. But keep in mind that with the “alphabet soup” activists that are driving the changes and controlling the NEA this sort of idiocy will become common place. < Source>

Yes that flag is flying once again but in an unexpected place. What place is that? Why the Evangelical Theological Society that is where! In an article at CBMW Colin Smothers critiques a paper entitled “Walking across Gender in the Spirit? The Vocation of the Church and the Transgendered Christian“. Now in full disclosure the author of the paper, Dr. Andy Draycott has publicly retracted the paper and has offered a public statement where he unequivocally affirms that God has created humans as male ad female.

Of course the question must be asked why would a society dedicated to Evangelical Theology even allow such a presentation?  And yet it appeared there.    Well I think that Colin  Smothers answers that question in his critique which you can read here

And this last bit of news I am unsure whether to put it under Robotic Over Lords or Culture Wars but since it is technology based and not real robotics lets keep it under culture.

No this isn’t a japanese version of “Tiny Dancer” this is a hologram of Hatsune Miku a virtual teenage girl who was “married”, yes I said  “married” to Akihiko Kondo, a 35-year-old middle school teacher in Tokyo.  Gatebox the company who provides the device also provided this demo video.

Now Gatebox issued a marriage license but it isn’t legal as Akihiko found out but he still went through with the ceremony which cost about $18,000  and was attended by his disproving family about forty guests in all.  I suppose he promised to love honor and keep her power supply charged.

Technology, we can make the girl of your dreams either virtually or in warm silicon.

Well that is it for Frenetic Friday good night.

Catechism


Q. Alas! what shall we little children do?

A. Either go on in your sins, or remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come (Eccl 12:1).

Q. Why do you mock us, to bid us go on in our sins? you had need pray for us that God would save us.

A. I do not mock you, but as the wise man does; and besides, I pray for you

and wish your salvation.

Q. How does the wise man mock us?

A. Thus; ‘Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment’

(Eccl 11:9).

Q. What a kind of mocking is this?

A. Such an one as is mixed with the greatest seriousness; as if he should say, yes, do, sinners, go on in your sins if you dare; do, live in your vanities,
but God will have a time to judge you for them.

Q. Is not this just as when my father bids me be naught if I will: but if I be naught he will beat me for it?

A. Yes; or like that saying of
Joshua, ‘If it seem evil unto you to serve the

Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve’;

serve your sins at your peril (Josh 24:15).

Q. Is it not best then for me to serve God?

A. Yes; for they that serve the devil must be where he is, and they that serve God and

Christ, must be where they are (John 12:26;
Matt 25:41).

Q. But when had I best begin to serve God?

A. Just now: ‘Remember NOW your Creator,’
NOW you have the gospel before you, NOW
your heart is tender and will be soon be broken.

Q. But if I follow my play and sports a little
longer, may I not come time enough?

A. I cannot promise thee that, for there be little graves in the churchyard; and who can tell but that thy young life is short; or if thou does live,

perhaps your day of grace may be as short as was Ishmael’s of old: read also Proverbs 1:24-26.

Q. But if I stay a little longer before I turn, I may have more wit to serve God than now I have, may I not?

A. If you stayest longer, you will have more sin, and perhaps less wit: for the

bigger sinner, the bigger fool (Prov 1:22).

Q. If I serve God sometimes, and my sin sometimes, how then?

A. ‘No man can serve two masters.’ You cannot serve God and your

sins (Matt 6:24). God saith, ‘My Son, give me your heart’ (Prov 23:26). Also your soul and
body are his; but the double-minded man is
forbidden to think that he shall receive any
thing of the Lord (1 Cor 6:20; James 1:7,8).

Q. Do you find many such little children as I am, serve God?

A. Not many; yet some I do, Samuel served him being a child (1 Sam 3:1).

When Josiah was young he began to seek after the God of his father David (2 Chron 34:3).
And how kindly did our Lord Jesus take it, to
see the little children run tripping before him, and crying, Hosannah to the Son of David?
(Matt 21:15,16).

Catechism


Q. When do I sin against preaching of the
Word?

A. When you refuse to hear God’s ministers, or hearing them, refuse to follow their wholesome doctrine (2 Chron 36:16; Jer
25:4-7, 35:15).

Q. When else do I sin against preaching of the Word?

A. When you mock, or despise, or reproach the ministers; also when you raise lies and scandals of them, or receive such lies or scandals raised; you then also sin against the preaching of the Word, when you persecute them that preach it, or are secretly glad to see them so used (2 Chron 30:1,10; Rom 3:8; Jer
20:10; 1 Thess 2:15,16).

Q. How will godly acquaintance greaten my sin?

A. When you sin against their counsels, warnings, or persuasions to the contrary; also when their lives and conversations are a reproof to you, and yet against all you will sin. Thus sinned Ishmael, Esau, Eli’s sons, Absalom and Judas, they had good company, good counsels, and a good life set before them by their godly acquaintance, but they sinned against all, and their judgment was the greater. Ishmael was cast away (Gen 21:10), Esau hated (Gal 4:30), Eli’s sons died suddenly (Mal 1:2; 1 Sam
2:25,34, 4:11), Absalom and Judas were both strangely hanged (2 Sam 18; Matt 27).

Q. Are sins thus heightened, distinguished from others by any special name?

A. Yes; they are called rebellion, and are compared to the sin of witchcraft (1 Sam 15:23), they are called willful sins (Heb 10:26), they are called briars and thorns, and they that bring them forth are ‘nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned’ ( Heb 6:7,8).

Q. Are there any other things that can make little sins great ones?

A. Yes; as when you sin against the judgments of God. As for example, you see the judgments of God come upon some for their transgressions, and you go on in their
iniquities; as also when you sin against the patience, long-suffering, and forbearance of God, this will make little sins great ones (Dan 5:21-24; Rom 2:4,5).

Q. Did ever God punish little children for sin against him?

A. Yes; when the flood came, he drowned all the little children that were in the old world: he also burned up all the little children which were in Sodom; and because upon a time the little children at Bethel mocked the prophet as hewas a going to worship God, God let loose two she-bears upon them, which tore forty and two of them to pieces (2 Kings 2:23,24)