Frank Schaeffer, former evangelical and son of theologian Francis Schaeffer, has explored a wide spectrum of “christianity” in his lifetime. From his strong evangelical roots and active involvement in the “Religious Right” to more recently endorsing Barack Obama for President and writing for the Huffington Post. In his article, he proposes the eradication of fundamentalism, but as Gary points out in todays’s show, everyone is a fundamentalist.
Dear Gary Demar. I almost always agree with you. However, you mention that obesity (which is medically defined as "30 lbs. over weight and more) is not a sin. But John Piper, Luther, Calvin, WCF Six Commandment, Rushdoony and others say that excess eating (obesity) to the point of endangeriing your health is a form of slow suicide and breaks the sixth commandment. In Gal. 5:19, Paul says, " and things like these," so that the list of sins is not exhaustive. The Bible does not mention drug addiction or other unrighteous practices as sin. We are given the Law and the Prophets, "the light of nature, and Christian prudence to identify sin according to the WCF. Please define "gluttony" so I will understand what it is you are saying. Also, I am aware that there are rare exceptions, as when someone is taking large doses of cortisone, steroids, or other drugs which cause you to retain huge amounts of fluid.
Franky Schaeffer is probably just sick and tired of people professing to be Christians. He's probably way too intellectual for most folk. His error is not seeking the Lord for the answers - he may not be saved in the first place. It's easy to be brought up in an "evangelical" family and assume salvation, which is an incredible assumption of pure ignorance or stupidity or both. Jesus never assumed anything, He also kept his mouth shut. So no one can judge; but if there is no discernment here but only assumptions based on Frank Schaeffer being an accomplished author and one who came forth from the loins of Francis Schaeffer, etc., being someone is no basis for spiritual authenticity or authority according to the Bible. Only our righteous acts, coming from a spotless life, is what GOD is looking for, and that is only done by HIM and our allegiance to HIM.
Friends, We have a U.S. Constitution, which has a First Amendment, which means you can believe any thing you want, even if, to some other kinds of believers, what you believe is quite foolish; and you can believe anything, and do almost anything, as long as you obey the laws of the land and do not interfere with the rights of others to believe as they will. In Erie PA Scott R. Harrington
Dear Ardnas: "Peter/rock is a play on the word "rock" in both Aramaic and Greek (petros/petra). This rock refers not to Peter per se, but to the "faith of his confession" (St. John Chrysostom). The true Rock is Christ Himself (1 Cor. 10:4), and the Church is built on the faithful confession of Christ" (ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE; page 1299, copyright 2008, Thomas Nelson). I Peter 2:5 "You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (NKJV). The Church is built upon the foundation of Christ the ROCK and the Apostles as rocks of the Church IN HIM. The Gospel comes from the Apostles, they preach Christ, but we don't know the Gospel apart from these other "rocks" of Christian Faith. In Erie Scott Harrington
Friends, Frank Schaeffer is now a Greek Orthodox Christian, but not all Greek Orthodox Christians think like him, or voted for Obama. But we need to understand why people like Frank are abandoning belief in the belief that the Holy Spirit proceeds also "and [from] the Son" (Filioque). Your website is within the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition. For more information on the Filioque from a Reformed-Presbyterian Christian (theologian), see: Torrance, Thomas F. (1976). Theology in Reconciliation. London, England: The Catholic Book Club God bless all of you in your quest for truth (Truth) [see John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:13]. In Erie PA Scott R. Harrington
Mr Harrington my Friend, I am not a Calvinist or an Armenianist., Those terns are an abomination to the integrity of the God's Word. I am a Biblecist and I never said that anyone referred to in Hebrews 6 fell away, I said they were never saved. I am also a saint because I believe in a faithfully follow Christ, as all Christians are saints. 1 Cor.1:2, Ephes.4:12, Romans 6:26-30 and many more.
Dear Ardnas, My quote of Matthew 16:18 is not error; I merely said the gates of hell will not prevail against Christ's Church, and that the gates of hell have never prevailed against Christ's Church. I never said anywhere in my post that St. Peter is "the Rock" spoken of in Matthew 16:18. What made you think that I did? Can you read more carefully, please! The real question each of us must find the true answer for is what is the Church against which the gates of hell (mouths of heretics) will not prevail. What, then, is the "one holy catholic and apostolic church" (2nd ecumenicla council, 381 AD)? Where is your local catholic church, and where can you find Jesus, where can you find the true eucharist in your town. Where are the elders of this church, and who is your local bishop? Once we begin to find the answer, only then can we start going to a true, New Testament church in our local area. I suggest the book "Becoming Orthodox; A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith. Fr. Peter E. Gillquist, Conciliar Press, Ben Lomond, CA, 1992 for more answers to this question. In Erie PA Scott R. Harrington
Dear fellow Christians, Just because Mr. Schaeffer made some kind of mistake in thinking by suggesting that homosexuals were created the way they are, does not mean we should not be charitable toward him. I believe that what he is daring to suggest is that their may be more to sin than homosexuality. What about all the other sins that heterosexuals commit? To reduce all of Christianity to a few moral platitudes, and to back it up by an extreme Calvinism, as Fred Phelps of Westboro baptist church does, and to slander the good name of our American Army and our American soldiers in the name of fighting homosexuality (in the military, in Sweden, in Canada, in America, in Ireland, etc.), is a false thing to be doing. In their zeal to love God with all of their hearts, some Christians are losing their minds in hating their neighbors (as themselves, I gather). Just because it makes some people feel good because they are not gay, it shouldn't blind these Christians to the fact that there are many sins we all commit as non-homosexuals. We are supposed to show Christian love to everyone, and that includes those who sin against human nature, as the gays surely do. In Erie Scott R. Harrington
Dear Gary, Some of your comments in your video re: Frank Schaeffer were spot on; but your comments that imply if one rejects fundamentalism, one goes into "insanity" (are you implying Mr. Schaeffer is not sane?) are a bit much. Rev. Fred Phelps is a Fundamentalist. Would you support his position, just because you said everyone is a fundamentalist? No, fundamentalism has a literal meaning: It refers only to the original books "The Fundamentals" published in the 1920s. "Rev." Phelps hates homosexuals, to the exclusion of all other kinds of sinners. Are we to believe, if we want to be "fundamentalist" and "Say what the Bible says", that homosexuality is the only sin? I think that is what Frank Schaeffer is trying to say. Religious bigotry is all Mr. Schaeffer is opposing, not fundamental Christian beliefs. Fundamentalism is typically bigoted, and that is not a bigoted thing to say; it is a fact. Just look at Southern Baptists support of slavery in the Confederacy. Based on the "Bible" (sic). In Erie Scott Harrington
Hey everybody. Part of the problem here with all of us is we are mixing into political debate. I am here not to state who is or is not a true Christian. That's God's job. But part of the problem is we ignore the U.S. Constitution, which forbids "religious tests" for office. . I opted out of this election, as the whole thing has gotten to be too polemic, with no search for common ground. McCain was to militaristic, and Obama was too liberal. I don't like either approach. Criticize and disagree with Mr. Schaeffer if you will over his choice of Obama; but don't defy the U.S. Constitution and make it a "religious test". It's against the spirit of our land for us to try and equate political views with theological views. We may have differing views on what true Christianity is, but it shouldn't defy the spirit of our U.S. Constitution, was written to prevent another Spanish Inquisition here in America. In Erie Scott Harrington
Dear ardnas, The "works of the law" by which no man is justified (Romans) are the old ceremonial law (temple rituals, animal sacrfices) and dietary laws (Leviticus), and no animal sacrifice of the Old Covenant saves, but only the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus our High Priest (Hebrews). I am sure you know the book of Hebrews, yes? The works that do not justify are Jewish temple works. The works that DO justify are New Covenant, Christ-led (Eph. 2:10) works (James chapter 2). Scott Harrington Erie
Dear Ardnas, The problem is that salvation is not a static, once-for-all decision event, but a lifelong struggle. It says in the Gospel, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." It does not say that one can be finally saved without enduring. It is possible to fall into sins, and so lose grace with God. Faith alone does not save. Works alone do not save. But faith "worketh through love". and without love and without works of love, faith is not saving faith. Hebrews 6:6 should be translated "And having fallen away ...." There is no "if" as in the Calvinist KJV (King James Version); there is no word "if" in the original Greek; these people had fallen away, back into Judaism. Faith without works is antinomianism. Faith by "works only" is Judaism. Scott Harrington Erie
Mr Harrington, Let's get back to the basics. Who is Jesus? He is God (first Chapter of John). He gave His life to save you from eternal death which you deserve. (Romans 6:23). He rose from the grave and sits on the right hand of God interceding for you. The only way to God is through Jesus ( John 14:6). Yes, faith without works is dead, but where does your faith lie. What works are you talking about? Unless your faith is in Christ alone, you can do all the works you want but since your faith is in the wrong things God will never recognize the works. God defines the works not you. What are his commanding works. Pray without ceasing. Study to show yourself approved so that others will know you are a Christian. Love you neighbor as yourself. Take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Those works gain you rewards in heaven but will not give you entrance into heaven. (Ephesians 2:8-9). I saw no judgment on whether Frank S. is or is not saved. in these messages. I saw only questions which were qualified with the fact that only God knows that. Yes, God has given Jesus the final say concerning whether you are or are not saved but I would wonder if you have condemned yourself by saying one should not criticize another Christian and then soundly admonishing such over and over again. Do you know for sure that you are going to Heaven? History lessons on men and churches of your persuasion are inconsequential. The reality of this intellectual approach is not in the image of God. Another thing. Christians are not protestants. They are children of God who are followers of Jesus and Jesus alone. They know the difference between Christianity and Religion. Protestants are not all Christians anymore than all cars are Toyotas. TRUTH Mr. Harrington. Nowhere in scripture is Peter referred to as the ROCK. The title only goes to our Lord. For starters. 2 Samuel 22:2, The Lord is my Rock. Psalm 19:14, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Isaiah 26:4, For in the Lord God we have and everlasting Rock. Your quote of Matthew 16:18 is error.Jesus, not Peter is the Rock. I pray for you.
Freiends, Lest you think Frank Schaeffer is devoid of truth, consider the following: "POLITICS REPLACES RELIGION The seeds of the modern secular, super-state big, government with limits -- ... were sown by French, then American humanists who believed in the power of reason and science to solve all mankind's problems. Protestants had created a vacuum of moral leadership by abandoning the ancient sacramental liturgies, apostolic hierarchy and Holy Tradition of historical Christianity. Ther nihilistic work was completed by their secularized disciples, the leaders of the French, then the American Enlightenment and Romantic movements. Having begun by abandoning Holy Tradition and patriarchal authority in the name of "individual liberty", the Protestants and their Enlightenment followers ironically ended up by shaping a world in which, absent Church authority, absolute power was inexorably vested in the ever-expanding, insatiable, secular state." Dancing Alone; pp. 134-135. Scott Harrington Erie PA
Friends, Evidently there were political issues and politics involved and trying to interefere in theological debates in the early Church. I believe the early Church era ended in 451 AD, with the Council of Chalcedon. After that was the Medieval age. For more on early Church theology and the context of politics (Roman emperors), read: Jenkins, Philip. (2010). Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years. New York: HarperOne, HarperCollinsPublishers. God bless you all and save you for Jesus' sake; God bless America. God bless the Church. Amen. In Erie PA Scott R. Harrington
Friends, I have one quick question to ask you: what are you disagreeing with: Frank Schaeffer's theology, his politcs, or both? I have no problem if you question his politics; so do I; I don't know why anyone would endorse Obama for President. But his theology is something distinct from that; if you read his book "Dancing Alone: The Quest for Orthodox Faith in the Age of False Religions", his theology is quite Christian. I don't understand his politics, but perhaps some of you don't understand Eastern Orthodoxy. And the Orthodox Church does not worship a "crazy" God, or in a crazy way (cf. John 15:26 for starters). Sincerely, Scott Harrington Erie PA
Friends, What I have been intending to say is that a fair and just criticism of someone should be legitimate. It is not legitimate to discuss in a Christian context the issue of politics, as if one's view of a person's spirituality is based solely on his politics. Disagree with Mr. Schaeffer if you will, when he endorse Mr. Obama. But don't have people writing in saying Mr. Schaeffer isn't "saved" or that he is "blind". Or that he is ignorant (of the Biblical Gospel). If you want to disagree with Mr. Schaeffer on something that matters, then say the True Gospel wasn't rediscovered until Martin Luther, and the things that Martin Luther believed are the same thing as the early Church believed. If you believe that you are wrong. The gates of hell never prevailed against the true Church (Matt. 16:18), so there was never a need for any Protestant Reformation. It was papal Rome, in believing in Filioque, that started the whole schism of endless divisions of Christians against each other, as the pope of Rome was the First Protesatnt when he said "and the Son" (Filioque). In Erie Scott Harrington
Dear friends, I will grant you one point. And this is just my opinion, not the Gospel. I would never vote for Barack Obama. Mr. Schaeffer endorse him, God only knows why. On this point, I would disagree with Frank, without criticizing him. I just think some of your readers are being too negative, when they call Frank "blind" and "unsaved". I would not do that about anyone; you may think I'm a hypocrite, but I would not say that any of you are blind or unsaved. That's Christ's job, if He would say that. In Erie Scott Harrington
Dear sirs, Have you actually read any of Frank Schaeffers books? (I have read some of your books, Mr. Gary DeMar. I like most of what you say). Although I believe full preterism is a heresy. (But I don't think you are a full preterist who believes Jesus Christ returned physically (or even "spirituallly") to earth in 70 A.D.). Anyway, is the real reason you don't like Frank Schaeffer is for his book "Dancing Alone: The Quest For Orthodox Faith in the Age of False Religions". Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1984; Regina Orthodox Press, 2001. That book criticizes Protestantism, and I gather you want to be some kind of Protestant. Sincerely, Scott Harrington
Note: I am defending Mr. Schaeffer, Not his politics. There is nothing hypocritical in what I said: It is hypocritical to equate politics with religion. That is all I was saying. Note: None of you criticized Mr. Schaeffer for his theology; you don't like his politics. I'm just saying that all Christians should believe that politics is not the Gospel. The Gospel is the Gospel. The politics is politics. I am saying it is very wrong for any of you to say, if you say, that how one votes is the Gospel. And Christians should be concerned about what is the Gospel, not who votes for who. Scott Harrington PS I don't care whether or not people listen. Obviously, you care that people vote the way you say they have to vote to be a "true Christian". And that is just plain wrong.
Friends, Here is the problem: "It is not an exaggeration to say that for Protestants -- Evangelical Protestants, at any rate -- the Bible is an "object" of faith. That is to say, Protestants do not merely believe what is written in the Bible; they believe "in" the Bible. For an Evangelical, this is axiomatic. /"The belief in the Bible as an "object" of faith an affirmattion, however, represents a radical departure from the faith of the early Church. ". ..." p. 201, THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church. Clark Carlton, Regina Orthodox Press, Salisbury, MA, 1997. Since we have separation of Church and State here in America, it is wrong to make politics a test of orthodoxy among Christians. Vote if you will; don't preach as if how one votes is the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. In Erie PA Scott Harrington
Dear sirs, The comment by "rextrent" is way off base. Frank Schaeffer believes Christ is God. But mr. rextrent said that Jesus Christ never said that He is God. Wrong. In St. John's Gospel, Christ says, "I and the Father are One", and He said, "Before Abraham was, I AM". And He said to the Pharisees, "Except ye believe that I AM He [i.e., GOD[, you shall die in your sins. There is more problem with commentators who write to this site who don't believe in Christ's Divinity. Mr. Schaeffer voted for Obama, I gather, and you (some of you) think this makes him a non-Christian, an unbeliever, some of you call him "blind", and he is "not saved." Shame on you people for being so judgmental. This kind of rhetoric is simply unacceptable in Christian America. Sincerely, Scott R. Harrington, Erie, PA
Dear friends, We should never let another believer judge us by who we do or do not vote for. There is far too much involvement of politics in the born again Protestant culture, and they seem to leave out all talk of the Gospel (Christ died to save sinners, of whom I am chief; Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by His death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowing Life). They care more for American Zionism, America as a "Promised Land", a "Shining City on a Hill", a Christian America, when not everyone in America needs to be a Christian to be a true American. While we should always pray for the salvation of the Jews, we should never forget the countless non-Christian Jews and other believers who inhabit America. We should not be criticizing our fellow believers for the way that they vote; this is a heartless, unchristian attitude to take toward anyone. Scott Harrington Erie PA
Dear friends, One of your commentators said, "It appears Frank Schaeffer is an unsaved man." Well, who is any human being to judge another human being's salvation; this is something only God Himself can/will (be able to) judge. Anyway, salvation depends on soteriology. The traditional Evangelical "faith without works" (Ephesians 2:8-9) [which according to St. James, "is dead") will have a man irrevocably "saved" by a "personal decision" to be saved by "being born again" simply by professing the name of Christ, and then life pretty much can continue on the same way as before one was "converted". This antinomianism of much of Protestant evangelicalism is not without note (notoriety) and moral problems. The problem really is Mr. Schaeffer still talks like "a born again Protestant", and says very little in his recent books about his conversion to Greek Orthodoxy (a religion totally different from Reformational Protestantism). In Erie PA USA Scott R. Harrington PS See my website St. Andrew of Valaam Association
Dear Reformed friends, Part of the problem in this debate is not Frank Schaeffer's Orthodoxy, but his Protestant-Evangelical background. If you read Frank Schaeffer's book "Dancing Alone," you will see how Protestantism and the Reformation lead to humanism and the secularization/politicization of Western Christian theology In another book we read: "That Luther and Calvin continued to believe in the doctrine of the Trinity and in the divine manhood of Christ is to their credit. What most Evangelicals fail to appreciate, however, is that they maintained their doctrinal orthodoxy in spite of "sola Scripture", not because of it. Within their own lifetimes they were confronted with the tainted fruit of their theological methods. The progressive liberalization of Protestantism and the corresponding abandonment of historic doctrine is not a betrayal of the Reformation, but rather its inevitable outcome". [page 186: THE WAY: WHy Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church. Clark Carlton, Regina Orthodox Press, Salisbury, MA, 1997.]. God bless all of you. In Erie PA USA Scott R. Harrington PS Please see my website Saint Andrew of Valaam Association
Dear friends, We should not be criticizing a fellow Christian. We should not be endorsing political candidates, or preaching jeremiad's against Pres. Obama just because he is too liberal (he is, but we should pray for him, not against him). Pres. Obama may be considered by some Americans to be an enemy of the people, but the Bible says we are to love our enemies, and to pray to God for them. We should not be criticizing Frank Schaeffer, a fellow Christian. (That doesn't mean we have to agree with him on politics). We should be aware that what got the Western churches into humanism (concern for this-worldliness and politics) was their commonplace endorsement of the dreaded "Filioque" clause wrongly added to the Nicene Creed (325/381 AD). My recommendation: Quit thinking about political issues, and study Biblical and historical Christian theology. See the article on the Filioque issue in the website Orthodox England Pre-Filioque Civilization and Post-Filioque Civilization www.orthodoxengland.org/uk/prefil.htm God bless America. In Erie PA Scott R. Harrington
Dear friends, I am sorry to hear that Frank Schaeffer has carried a lot of political baggage over from his days in the Protestant Evangelical Christian Right. It really doesn't matter whether he endorses Obama, McCain, or whoever. Christians shouldn't be telling each other who to vote for, or which candidate is a political messiah or an antichrist. There is far too much mixing of politics and religion, with politics prevailing over dogmatic theology. Historic Orthodox Christian dogmatic theology is apolitical. It merely asks Christians to pray for whoever is in political office, be he king, emperor, or president, or whatever. This does not mean Christians should not resist a dictator like a Hitler. There is nothing like that in America. The real sin in America is not with U.S. Presidents, but with U.S. Supreme Court, that was legislating rather interpreting the U.S. Constitution by the abominable Roe vs. Wade decision "legalizing" abortion. That is the real tragedy. We should be criticizing the Supreme Court, not criticizing Mr. Frank Schaeffer because he happens to like Pres. Obama. In Erie PA Scott R. Harrington
Dear Ardnas, Where are you reading in Hebrews 6 that these people were never saved; does Hebrews 6 say that anywere. St. Peter was saved, but he fell away; he did not fall away totally or fully, as did Judas Iscariot, but where does the Bible say anywhere that a saved person cannot fall away; doesn't it warn: "Let he who thinketh he standeth take heed, lest he fall." The idea that salvation cannot be lost is Calvinism. The idea that God causes some people to sin or to be predestined to hell is Calvinism (Westminster Confession of 1647 AD). Again, I am not saying that you personally are a Calvinist, but the idea that these people in Hebrews 6 were never saved seems to be a Calvinist reading into the holy Word of God. . To fall away when one was already fallen seems redundant. What these Judaizers in Heb. 6 were falling away was from God's grace and mercy, by committing their sin of Judaizing. In Erie Scott Harrington.
Dear Ardnas, Christ did call St. Peter "a rock", but not "THE Rock" in the sense that St. Peter himself is a foundation let alone the foundation of the Christian Church; it is St. Peter's faith in Christ as GOD that is the foundation of the True Church: all true Christians agree, "JESUS IS LORD", as St. Paul said. But St. Peter is called blessed by Christ, and therefore all Christians should call St. Peter blessed and honor St. Peter as a Saint of the Church. It's kind of the way we respect CHRIST'S judgment in choosing His own Apostles, and Christ loved them, so then, we should love the Apostles of Christ, too. It's just that the Popes of Rome are not the only successors of St. Peter; since they began confessing another Gospel in 1014 (by stating "and the Son" FILIOQUE), they are no longer successors of St. Peter. Scott Harrington Erie PA (I guess it's okay if I reply to myself, but I'm speaking to Mrs. Ardnas).
My Friend Mr Harrington, First of all those who are the subject of Hebrews Chapter 6 were not ever saved. There needs to discernment here between truth and rituals. These people availed themselves of the rituals tasting but never ingesting the Word. They were partakers of the Holy Spirit but never were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Their works were commendable but again, they were not saved. As the chapter continues we see that these people were being encouraged to better things, that is salvation and what is would mean for them. I am bought with a price 1Cor.20. therefore I belong to Christ. I am sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise who has give pledge to our inheritance. Ephes. 1:13 & 14. Jesus came not to abolish the law but to fulfill. Matt. 5:17&18 The law is still in effect. there is much more to the law than animal sacrifices and temple or church rituals which are insidentally still going on today. O course the shed blood of Christ has replaced the animal ritual sacrifice which was an ongoing practice until God provided the final Lamb. This negates the fact that works are part of our justification. God provided the only justification in shedding the blood of His Son Jesus. In Galatians 2:16 we are told man is not justified by works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus. In Titus 3:5 we are told that He saved us not on ;the basie of deeds but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Spiritual regeneration not physical).Therefore the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ that we may be justified by faith. Romans 6:14 says we are not under law but under grace. We are not saved because we continue in faith, we continue in faith because we are saved. Be careful where your trust lies. Trusting in works is putting yourself equal with God. It is saying I AM DOING something to be saved. It shatters the sovereignty of God.. Scripture says, there is none that doeth good no not one. When you present yourself to God and he throws all you works out, what happens then? NO, we are forever lost when we use works to get to heaven. Works of righteousness are for laying at His feet at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We will never get to that judgment seat unless we trust in Christ and Christ alone. Works will bring you to the Great White Throne Judgment because you are relying on yourself and not the sacrifice that Jesus made for you once and for all eternity. You are rejecting God's gift to you and you make Him a liar. Our faith in Christ is proven by what we believe about Him. One last verse I leave with you. 1 John 5:13. "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life. My total confidence is in Christ, not in what else I can or cannot do. He is my salvation and His promise is, as told in Hebrews, that He will never leave me or forsake me.
My meaning is "don't criticize based on politics". Judge fairly and justly, with sound reason. Don't bring temporary issues into the eternal debate, "What is the Gospel?" Theology is separate from politics, and you are trying to judge Frank Schaeffer based on politics, not theology. Well, no one is judge, you are right, you will agree God has the final word. But there is nothing wrong with criticizing others as long as it is merciful, just, true and fair. To bring in the fact that so many people hate Obama, and so, they hate anyone who likes Obama, is a bad thing. Obama will be out of office soon, we should all be patient and quit criticizing people on something like politics, it is not as important and Christian ethics and spirituality and theology, which is what we should be discussing in a forum like this. To equate political platforms with the Gospel is not only sub-Christian, it is un-American. True, it is wrong to support Obama's stand on abortion, and on this matter, Frank Schaeffer should be told the truth in love: you are mistaken on this, Frank. In Erie Scott Harrington
Dear Ardnas, I never said St. Peter is "the Rock"; the Rock is St. Peter's confession in Christ. Frank Schaeffer confesses the same Christ as the Orthodox Church, so we should not doubt his salvation just because he endorses Obama. He may be wrong about that, and still be saved. I believe I made it clear in my other posts that Christ is God. That's who that I say Jesus is. My faith is in Jesus, but how do we receive Jesus? As an individual Saviour, all on our own? Or do we need the ministry of some Church. After all, no man can baptize himself. True, we do not do all kinds of good works when we first come to Christ. But eventually, good works will flow from a (the) genuine Christian Faith. You are very right about one thing "God defines the works not you". God bless you. St. Peter is not the Rock. Christ is, and so is Orthodox Faith in Him (St. Matt. 16:18). Martin Luther changed the Bible, by adding the word "alone" to faith in Romans 3:28. St. James explains we are not saved by "faith alone". In Erie Scott Harrington
The words "Church militant" are not in the Creed of 381 AD. And this Creed is the catholic creed for all true Christians. It's the only creed all Christians should affirm. There is nothing militant about true Orthodox Christianity, which is something the sectarians don't understand. Do you want to believe what has been believe "always, everywhere, and by everyone" who is Christian, or do you want to follow only what was said after Martin Luther further divided Western Christendom from the Eastern Orthodox Church? I think we should only believe what all Christians have believed. Not all Christians believe what Protestants and Roman Catholics believe.
Christianity encompasses government of which the family, church and state are governments. Politics deals with State (i.e. civil) government. I never said people must vote one way or another. These are your exact words - "Dear friends, We should not be criticizing a fellow Christian."
Again, Scott, you continue to not heed your own words. To criticize Christians for criticizing Christians is hypocritical. Either it is ok to criticize other Christians or it isn't. If it isn't then you need to quit. P.S. you are speaking to crowd that obviously isn't listening. You seem to be only responding to yourself. You haven't engaged.
So I guess the apostle Paul should have kept his mouth closed in stead of rebuking fellow apostle Peter.
Yes, Mr Harrington I do hear you when you tell me to read carefully for the second time. You must read me carefully as well please. I know you said Peter is "a Rock". and if you will read again you will see that a used the word "a" as well as "the" when referring to what you said. I was making a point that Peter is not the corner stone or foundation for the church. I gave you verses to that truth. I trust in no man to be my foundation. Man, no matter who he might be is a sinner. Peter is unqualified to be the cornerstone because of that fact. If you believe Peter is the corner stone of the church, What is Christ to the church? A corner stone is of fundamental importance. It is on the corner stone that others rest. Without the corner stone the structure would fall. No, man cannot be my corner stone. Only God/Jesus can keep me from falling. He is building the church and He is the one who is holding it up, not Peter. One cannot equate Hebrew 6 to be interpreted that believers can lose their salvation. Scripture is abundantly clear that in affirming the Christian eternal security. That is Biblical regardless as to whether the Calvanists believe it or not.. John 3:15-16.36; 10:27-30,: Romans 8:35,37-39; Ephesians 1:12-14, Philippians 1:6 Hebrews 10:12-14, 1Peter1:1-3. Hebrews 6:9 Says that better things accompany salvation. These people could not have been saved. Of course Christians can fall away, but they can be brought back because they cannot lose their salvation. I gave you many, many verses. This intellectual approach to Scripture is sad when it negates the power of the Holy Spirit to control. We must read and interpret Scripture under the complete guidance of the Holy Spirit. I believe that when all believers get to heaven, we are going to have an awakening as to how wrong we are in many things.
My Friend Mr. Harrington, You read the traditions of your "church" into the word. Where is the scripture that says Peter is the corner stone? In fact Jesus is the corner stone. Ephesians 2:19-22, and 1 Peter 2:1-7. In both passages it is clear that Jesus Christ is the one who is being lifted up as the corner stone. Oh my, how could Peter be put in such a position as to overshadow our Savior. Never is Peter referred to as a or the Rock. Compare scripture with scripture, not what your "church" has in their doctrine. I seems that you take your church tradition or doctrine above Scripture.. Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me" John 14:6. Please do not give anyone else a position that is even suggesting undue importance. Peter was a man like you and me. He deserves no more than you and I receive, meaning that he has to pass through the same gate that we do. I dare say that, although Peter who was one of Jesus disciples and was used of God to write His word down for us as were others, raising His name to heights beyond intention is about as bad as raising John Calvin's name and others to such importance as has been done in some circles.today.
Dear Ardnas, It is true that Christians are kept by the power of GOD, and not by their own power. That does not mean St. James chapter 2 is false, because it says that we ARE "justified by works", and not by "faith alone". It also says (Scripture does) that we are to "WORK out our salvation with fear and trembling". Clearly, works ARE involved in the salvation process, and not separate from this. This is known as SYNERGY we are synergoi GOD's CO-WORKERS. God works our salvation, but we must WORK with Him; and GOD Himself is the Author and Finisher of our salvation. We never earn salvation by works, it is always a free gift: but it must be worked out to be real. In Erie Scott Harrington
Dear friend, Hebrews 6 doesn't say these people were never saved; it says "And having fallen away ..." What did they fall away from? God's grace. One does not fall away from falling away, if one is already fallen, one does not fall away from something good. Truly, these people who translated the KJV (King James) placed the the "if" because they were Calvinists, and Calvinism is heresy. Calvinism wrongly teaches that a saved person cannot fall from grace. Because a person doesn't lose his free will when he is saved, he can still fall into evil after he has tasted of God's mercy. That is why Scripture warns us NOT to fall away. In Erie Scott Harrington
Dear friend, Hebrews 6 does not say these were not Christians who were never saved. Judas Iscariot was a Christian, and he fell away. St. Peter was a Christian, and he sinned; he had later to be restored by God's grace. When one becomes a Christian, one does not lose one's free will. It is still possible for a Christian to sin. People do need to DO something to be saved: They need to believe in Jesus Christ, and that is DOING something (BELIEVING). Galatians clearly says that "faith worketh through love", and clearly we must love God, not "just believe in Him." You can quote the Bible all you want, but Calvinism has been declared to be a heresy by the Church. Just go on GOOGLE and read "The Confession of Dositheus". St. Dositheus clearly states that it is possible to misunderstand the Bible. We must read the Bible IN Church Tradition, not outside of it, otherwise we are doing private interpretation (St. Peter 2). St. James stresses we are "justified by works" and "not by faith alone." The works we are NOT justified by are Jewish works (animal sacrifices, dietary laws). In Erie Scott Harrington
My Friend Mr.. Harrington, I have four different translation of the Bible in front of me.. Not one of them uses the word "alone" in Romans 8:28. Three of the translations use "apart from" the law or observing the law. The other translation is the Douay Catholic version authorized by Pope Pius XII (and I believe Martin Luther was a Catholic). In that version the entire verse reads,"For we reckon that a man is justified by faith independently of the law." How is that Martin Luther changed the Catholic Bible when Catholics rejected his teachings? Absolutely not........no we cannot save ourselves. We are saved by trusting in the fact that Jesus shed His blood and took our sins through the gates of hell so that we would not have to be sent there when we die. Jesus saves us. Jesus and Jesus alone. Man cannot save because He is a sinner. Jesus is sinless. Baptism is a testimony to the fact that you have trusted in Jesus for your salvation. Baptism does not save you. For Baptism to save you it would be dependent on man. Who is God any how? He is sovereign above all. No man can put himself in charge of peoples salvation. The Church? The Church is not a building or a system. According to Scripture the church is people who follow Christ. God uses His people to spread the gospel but His people cannot save a person. . Back to Romans Chapter 3. Verses:22-27 clearly says that we have all sinned but we are justified by grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. Faith in the blood of Jesus for the remission of our sins was God's gift to us. If we believe in Jesus we are justified. How can we boast? By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,it is a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast." Ephes. 2:8-9 It is difficult in this forum to be complete in my answer to you. This will have to suffice.
Friend, To Criticize Christians for their criticism of other Christians based on politics alone is not hypocritical, it is called for and American, as we have a separation of Church and State, and by the U.S. Constitution, no "religious tests" for candidates for political office. To say that Frank Schaeffer is crazy or not a Christian because he voted for someone you don't approve of is not based on Christianity but on politics. The man may make a poor political choice without being viewed as some kind of non-believer. Give the man a break; there are too many Christians trying to force the kingdom of God on people through political, secular means. Christ will establish His kingdom when He comes; we are not meant to be "rulers of the people", but "salt and light". Obama and people like him will soon pass from the scene, so we should not worry so much about who votes for who. In Erie Scott Harrington
Dear AmericanVision: The Lord Jesus Christ said to St. Peter, "put down your sword". The religious right is not willing to separate itself from the sword of the American state. I cannot judge motives, but based on actions, of people like Rick Santorum, the Religious Right, whether Roman Catholic, or Evangelical Protestant, seems hellbent on eroding the wall of separation between church and state. From the teaching of Augustine of Hippo justifying religious violence, we see how dangerous it can be when the church and the state are allied in Western Europe: Spanish Inquisition; John Calvin's Geneva, etc. Thirty Years War. Salem Witch trials in America. Or what became America. I hope members of the religious right will repudiate Rick Santorum's claim that it makes him "vomit" to think there is a separation of church and state. History teaches us that people sometimes fail to learn from history. But I remember the Spanish Inquisition and John Calvin's Geneva. Some people would try to make it happen here in America, through political power, and taking over the Republican Party. I disagree with Frank Schaeffer regarding Pres. Barack Obama, but I don't think we should be politicizing religion here in America. The churches should stay out of politics, and no Christian should tell others how to vote. However, it is okay to vote for however/whoever you want to vote for. But it's not theology; it's mere opinion. The problem comes when we try to make politics into theology; Christianity is going to survive, regardless of who is President of the United States. Remember what Jesus Christ says, not what Pres. Obama or Mitt Romney says. Christ said, "And behold, lo! I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." Thank God for the Holy Spirit, not for November Presidential elections in the USA. Don't forget to vote, but, more important, to pray for the salvation of sinners in America, not for salvation by politics. Regardless of what happens in 2012, if people as Christians think it all depends upon the Republicans to get America back on the correct freedom-based capitalist course of conservatism, there is always 2016 to put a conservative in the White House to repair the damage done by our liberal/Marxist President Barack Obama. In Erie PA Scott R. Harrington
St. Paul wasn't discussing politics or who to vote for with St. Peter; he was debating theology and the specifics of Christian soteriology re: Jewish law and Christian grace. Scott Harrington PS I think Frank Schaeffer is misguided about Pres. Obama and his statements in "Crazy for God" where he seems to wonder whether there is a God; but I think we should be charitable toward him, and realize we have all sinned, and so we should forgive him for making a political mistake, if there is such a things. Everything is politics, but politics is not everything, somebody wisely said.
Criticize Frank Schaeffer on his politics if you will, but don't mix eggs. Politics is not as important as theology. I'm surprised some of you aren't saying Frank Schaeffer isn't a Christian because he is (became) Greek Orthodox, and Greek Orthodoxy is not Christian, but some kind of "unbiblical" (sic), pagan cult. Do any of you dare say that, and blaspheme against God? What's wrong is that Mr. Schaeffer is still talking politics like he's an evangelical Protestant, and all the the Protestants are interested in is anything religious that comes in a purely political form. Concern for dogmatic theology has gone out the window. By the way, the Greek Orthodox Church doesn't mix much into American politics. For more on a bigoted view of Eastern Orthodoxy, see: Dr. Robert A. Morey, "Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian?" Christian Scholars Press, Las Vegas, NV, 2007. PS By the way, St. Paul criticized St. Peter on a theological issue, not over his politics. You Reformed Christians are involved in politics, and secular matters, at the expense of focusing on historic, dogmatic theology. In Erie PA USA Scott R. Harrington
Dear Ardnas, Salvation is a gift. This is true. We cannot save ourselves. But the Bible must be quoted in context. One cannot quote Ephesians 2:8-9 and leave out Ephesians 2:10. Good works flow from being saved, not before one is saved. Salvation is a journey, and one is saved gradually, one grows "in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ". It is possible according to St. James to have faith, and not have works, and such faith is called "dead". Good works must be added to faith. Also, love is greater than faith (1 Cor. 13:13), so we must love God, not just believe in Him, to be saved. But we cannot save ourselves. We must, however, cooperate with God's grace by our faith which "worketh through love" (Galatians). What works do not justify that St. Paul was talking about was the ceremonial, sacrificial law of the Old Testament, animal sacrifice, dietary law, etc. Remember, it is possible to misunderstand St. Paut (St. Peter 2), so be careful about quoting (Romans) and (Ephesians 2:8-9 while leaving out Eph. 2:10). God bless you.
For someone who says we shouldn't criticize Christians you sure are doing a lot of criticizing of Christians yourself.
My Friend Mr. Harrington, I have not taken Ephesians 2:8&9 out of context. I am more than familiar with verse 10.It does not say that we can be saved by works, it just says we are to walk in them. I am also more than familiar with what James says about works. You said is yourself. "Works flow out of salvation not before one is saved.". It is as simple as that. Works do not save. But if you are saved your works will show it. We are saved by grace through faith. Works will not get us to heaven. They are only evidence that we are saved. Our works will be judged at the great white throne for rewards only and not for entrance into heaven. I ask you, how can you have assurance that you will go to heaven if you are trusting in your works? How do you know when you have done enough? How do you know if your works are the right works? We have a new covenant under God. We are not living in OT times. In 2 Cor.3:6 we are told that we are made adequate as servants of this new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. The law (works) cannot give life only the spirit can give life. The Lord is the spirit. It goes without saying that a head belief is not salvation. And you cannot have faith without love because God is love as we are told in I John. Now I am sure we both realize that the word "love" has been highly compromised. in today's world. We must be careful as to what is meant by "love" in the Biblical sense. I see no reference to OT sacrifices in the passages under discussion. The book of 2nd Peter was written to the sheep (believers). Chapt. 2 is about the sufferings of the saints and also the suffering of Jesus. It is proof that works do not save. Just verse 7 alone. God rescued Lot who was ungodly in his works and a compromiser with the world. The false teachers spoken of in the beginning of that chapter were never saved. . I leave you with this one thought. 2Cor.11:3 "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his craftiness, so ;;your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ".