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Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill He treasures up his bright designs, And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints fresh courage take, The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head.

Judge not the LORD by feeble sense, But trust him for his grace; Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; GOD is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain.

--William Cowper

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The Sin of the Monoculture: Romans 1:18-25

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

v.21, 22-23, &24-25 These three sets of verses all follow the same progression of events which Paul repeats three times in three different ways to nail this truth into our hearts and minds. First, knowledge of God, that has been made plain to them, is exchanged for a lie that God is like a created thing. This leads to an inherent failure to glorify God whom then gives them over to their sinful lusts. Idolatry is generally associated to the worship of images resembling birds and animals and reptiles; however, the first idol listed in verse 23 is one in an image resembling mortal man. While individuals do worship money and status, among other things, the most rampant form of idolatry involves worshiping a god that resembles mortal man.

The there are two specific idols I want to address the ecumenical/postmodern idol and the idol which has resulted through embracing the American dream. Sadly, the worship of these idols runs rampant in the “church.” Proponents of ecumenism have created a god who resembles mortal man in his tolerance and acceptance of sin. They say things like, “my Jesus would not send people to hell.” Your Jesus? As if, you can just create your own. God is not ecumenical (Isaiah 42:8, Luke 12:49-53). God does not tolerate or accept sin (Romans 2:5, Romans 8:8, 35-37). Salvation is found in Christ alone (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).

The result of the American dream is an idol whose main concern is the safety and comfort of man. Through embracing the American dream, the church has not only become idolatrous; but also created a god who is idolatrous as well, a god who worships man by placing a higher value on the safety, or comfort, of his creations rather than the advancement of his kingdom and his glory. God does not exist to make you safe (Matthew 10:37-39, John 21:19, Hebrews 11, 13:12-14). God created you for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). His purpose in your life is that you would glorify Him and teach others to glorify Him. God does not exist to make you healthy, wealthy, and prosperous. The idolatrous god of the American dream is a farce. God killed His Son in order to advance His Kingdom and Glorify His name. Why would He treat you any differently?

It is time to stop reinventing Christ and return to the Biblical Jesus, Biblical Christianity, and the Biblical purpose of the Church. Anything less is idolatrous.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Books Books Books

At the Together for the Gospel Blog, Albert Mohler posted some of his thoughts on reading books and while I try to keep everything here somewhat original I had to refer you on to read his post, Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books. I love books and I love to read so for me one of the saddest and most disturbing trends within among modern evangelicals and within America, as a whole, is a lack of reading. I think it is safe to say that the majority of reading that does occur is of the superficial fictional type that fails to stimulate deep thought. This is largely due to our incessant desire to be stimulated by the onslaught of vivid images provided by television and video games. I mainly read books on theology but I also enjoy reading books about WWII and Scotland; I find books on war particularly interesting because they remind me of what the Christian life is, a war for eternal freedom, and what this war requires, great sacrifice. On this theme, Erwin Raphael McManus said the following, “God’s Kingdom is a Kingdom of war. Not where we kill but where we are willing to let others kill us. Not where we hate but we are willing to embrace the hate of others. Not where we are violent but where we take the violence of the world upon ourselves and allow the love of God to prevail. I wonder how many of us actually believe God can prevail if we love the worst of sinners; if we extend our lives into the most dangerous situation in the world?”

Thursday, January 26, 2006


My First Book Review, Actually it is a Booklet Review

As I slowly read various books I plan to begin posting book reviews hoping to encourage you with, exhort you through, and expose you to the wisdom of Godly men.

Recently, I was given a copy of John M. Frame's short booklet Studying Theology as a Servant of Jesus. John M. Frame is the Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.

In his short (17 page) booklet he offers nine points of advice (including the conclusion) for “young theologians,” those just beginning to study theology. While the book is written to young and prospective seminarians is my hope that you would see the important role of theology in your own life. In its simplest form, theology is the study of God. More importantly, the theology you develop through your personal study of God is essentially the application of God’s Word to your life. I think this booklet offers solid advice to ensure that you study correctly, which should result in proper application to your life.

There are three important points that I would like to draw out of Frame's essay. First, theology is the study God and this is a spiritual pursuit. You cannot know God or grow in your knowledge of him apart from the redeeming work of Christ on the cross. Frame states the goal of this pursuit as such: “theology, as the application of God's Word to human life, is a spiritual task, and, as such, requires you to have a close walk with God and a willingness to do theology his way.” Your lifestyle reflects your theology if you do not live what you believe then you do not really believe it. While this is a spiritual pursuit, it will nonetheless require diligent study and much rigorous thought.

Second, theology, as the study of God, is a pursuit that results in increasing obedience and submission to Christ. Upon growing in ones mental understanding of God it naturally follows, that one will grow in obedience to God. For those of you who do not see this as a natural result consider this warning from Romans 2:4-5; “4Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.” Our hearts must not be hardened; but by the grace of God, in Christ, we must pray that our hearts be pierced by the Word and led into deeper obedience to God. Obedience must not be a rote process devoid of emotion. Our obedience must be a passionate and joyful obedience. The Puritans called this phenomenon “logic on fire;” which means that as we grown in our knowledge of God, theology, we must grow in our passionate love for God. A proper knowledge of God results in a proper and ever increasing love of God and love for God. A proper love of God and for God cannot exist without knowledge of Him (Romans 10:1-4).

Third, the study of God must be pursued with immense humility. As stated above you cannot know or grow in you understanding of God apart from Christ (I Corinthians 1:21, 30). Because of this man cannot boast as if he discovered or found God (I Corinthians 1:28-29). As you study theology you must constantly give thanks for and boast in the unfathomably gracious God that allows you to know, study, and obey Him (I Corinthians 1:31 & Galatians 6:14).

Implied in all of this is that the study of God must be a study of the Bible. God has so graciously blessed us with the undeserved privilege of reading His words and hearing Him speak in Scripture. We must never place human experience, scientific evidence, or any other knowledge gained from general revelation above what God has self-disclosed to us in Scripture.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Resolved Part 3

I have thought about all of the excellent sermons that we were able to hear at Resolved that I would love to share but I really want you to see the result of God’s Word and how it changes everything about life. Rick Holland began one of the sessions by telling the story of a young man named Ryan Gay who a week before the conference had gone to the doctor because of a very bad cough and was diagnosed with a very large cancerous tumor that was located in between his heart and left lung. Ryan immediately began aggressive Chemotherapy and was subsequently unable to travel across America to Resolved. Rick called Ryan so that we could all hear him and pray for him; upon Rick asking what we could pray for Ryan listed several things including his family, friends, and the conference and he never once mentioned himself. Of all the things that stuck in my mind after Resolved it was this when Rick asked Ryan how he was doing and Ryan’s reply was this, “God has shown me so much through this I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.” Of all the preaching and singing that occurred during the entire conference I think God was most glorified in those words. Life and the world look so different when Christ is your treasure. Oh that we would learn to treasure Christ like Ryan.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ Philippians 3:8

Friday, January 20, 2006


Resolved Part 2

I was going to write something here but I think we would be better served by listening to Jonathan Edwards. Below are his seventy resolutions, in their totality, that he penned at the young age of seventeen. These resolutions and many more of Jonathan Edwards works can be found at

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ's sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad's of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don't hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

21. Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

(Resolutions 1 through 21 written in on setting in New Haven in 1722)

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God's glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

26. Resolved, to east away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that in Prov. 20:6, "A faithful man who can find?" may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects. Dec.26, 1722.

34. Resolved, in narration's never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec.22 and 26, 1722.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord's day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.

39. Resolved, never to do anything that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or no; except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.

41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's, agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12. Jan.12, 1723.

44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. Jan.12, 1723.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan.12 and 13.1723.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5,1723.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May27, and July 13, 1723.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July ii, and July 13.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; "knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord." June 25 and July 13, 1723.

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. Jan.14' and July '3' 1723.

64. Resolved, when I find those "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those "breakings of soul for the longing it hath," of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear', of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton's 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. Aug. 17, 1723.

Resolved Part 1

I have not posted in a little over a week this is because Allison and I have been blessed with the awesome opportunity to visit one of my best friends Chase Sears, to visit The Master’s Seminary, and attend the Resolved in Los Angeles, California. Resolved is based around the seventy resolutions made by Jonathan Edwards at age seventeen. I highly recommend that you go to their website and view the trailer for Resolved 2006. Even more highly recommended is purchasing the MP3s or CDs of both Resolved 2005 and 2006 they contain some of the finest expository preaching you will ever hear and I guarantee it will change your life.

I plan to do several posts about Resolved but first I want to tell you about what impacted me the most at Resolved. Above all, of the excellent and passionate exposition, I was most affected by the conduct and personality of C. J. Mahaney, the founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries. He is by far the humblest person I have ever met and his humility is convicting. By watching and listening to him, I was able to see what true humility in a man of God looks like. This is rare but I am going to endorse a book I have not yet read. As soon as I can I will purchase and read Humility: True Greatness by C. J. Mahaney and I hope that you too would do likewise.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


The Threat of the Monoculture: Acts 4:7-12 & 18-20

7And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by him this man is standing before you well. 11This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

18So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

v.18 They could do whatever they wanted; they could speak and teach whatever they wanted to so long as it was not done in the name of Christ. Driven by ecumenism the monoculture must embrace every deity and yet acknowledge none, as antithetical as this might appear it is true. The ecumenical monoculture cannot acknowledge Christ as supreme over other Gods and in fact, because of Christ’s own claim to supremacy over all other gods the monoculture cannot acknowledge Him at all. Christ is, by His nature supreme; therefore, if the monoculture acknowledges Him it also acknowledges his supremacy. Because of this, the monoculture must oppose Christ.

v.19-20 Many within modern Christianity are being dictated to by the culture rather than transforming it, this is true of everything from music to church planting/growth models and preaching. In stark contrast to this unbiblical trend, Peter offers these words “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge.” Man’s opinion is inconsequential. Our chief concern, in any and every situation, is what is right in the sight of God. Above all else, our lives must be pleasing to God. Preaching a narrow-minded, exclusive, and foolish message is right in the eyes of God regardless of what society thinks.

v.12 This is the threat of the monoculture: that through abandoning sound doctrine and embracing suicidal ecumenism no one will be saved. Salvation is in Christ alone. There is salvation in no other belief system or deity and salvation cannot be earned through good works. A frequently asked question in response to this is “What about the man on the island who has never heard about Christ?” Apart from a man on a boat with a Bible, the man on the island has no hope; he cannot earn his salvation nor does his lack of knowledge about Christ exempt him from being held accountable for his sins. The offensive message of Christ must be preached lest everyone be like that man on the island with no access to the gospel and no hope for salvation.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Another Case to Keep an Eye On

Today, Albert Mohler’s website points out another legal challenge to Christian schools, to which we should all pay close attention. His article: A Case to Watch -- Another Challenge to Christian Schools can be read in its entirety here.