Open Air Preaching At Marietta Square – John Boruff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Problem With Christian Music – Josh Keefe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Ya Rile ‘Em – Vision

Cover of the song by Frank Black. Drop D.

Verse 1
       Am                                C
I’m seeing how boring it gets
7                                             Am    5
Back where the sun never sets
            C                             7
And a day is really two days
           Am                      C
I was feeling so tired inside
       7                                              Am      5
My eyes were stitched open so wide
              C                                7
It was making me kind of uptight
Am   C             7
         Oh yeah
Am  5     C     7
All   right

And the power man says
                 2  0  8
Don’t ya rile ’em
             2 0  3
Going asylum
                2  0  8
Don’t ya rile ’em
             2 0
Going asylum
       3    8  5
      10    7(x4)

Verse Instrumental

Verse 2
                 Am                                       C
I’ve been working my way back to sane
        7                                Am     5
It’s coming back to me again
C                              7
Old navigational ways
        Am                               C
But back in time where I belong
               7                                 Am    5
They’re playing my favorite song
             C               7
That whistling meteorite
Am C      7
Oh yeah
Am  5    C  7
All   right

Chorus x 2

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation – John Boruff

Based on the version sung by Ewan MacColl. Drop D – tabs 3 and 6 alternating throughout.

Fareweel to a’ our Scottish fame,
Fareweel our ancient glory;
Fareweel ev’n to the Scottish name,
Sae fam’d in martial story.
Now Sark rins over Solway sands,
An’ Tweed rins to the ocean,
To mark where England’s province stands-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro’ many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few,
For hireling traitor’s wages.
The English steel we could disdain,
Secure in valour’s station;
But English gold has been our bane –
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

O would, ere I had seen the day
That Treason thus could sell us,
My auld grey head had lien in clay,
Wi’ Bruce and loyal Wallace!
But pith and power, till my last hour,
I’ll mak this declaration;
We’re bought and sold for English gold-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Moral Law in the New Testament – John Boruff

The Three Uses of the Law

As far back as Martin Luther, Reformed theology said there are three uses for the law of God in Scripture. The first use of the law is to show men that they are condemned by it, as in Romans 3:20, the knowledge of sin comes by the law. The second use of the law is to show us how not to behave by condemning sins, as in the Ten Commandments: you shall not, you shall not, you shall not (Exodus 20). The third use of the law and I believe this is the most controversial, and it was only really underscored by certain Puritans like Richard Baxter and then amplified by John Wesley and the early Methodists: the third use of the law is the law that we find in the New Testament, which commands us what we ought to do with our lives: it serves as a moral guide for how we are to conduct ourselves, and is defined by positive commands and directions from Jesus and the apostles. I think that the best place to look for passages of Scripture like this are in the letters of Paul and other apostles, for which Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 serve as examples.

Lawless Baptistic Dispensationalism!

These are precious truths. They have often come under attack every time a preacher comes into a knowledge of them. Whenever a preacher comes to preach on this, immediately he is criticized by most others as preaching “works salvation.” These New Testament moral laws have often only been preached during times of revival by certain preachers, namely, John Wesley, Charles Finney, Leonard Ravenhill, and others who emphasized a Methodist sense of personal holiness. Popular evangelical theology has always sort of been Baptistic and leaned in the direction of dispensationalist theology. While I would consider a good number of people that are Baptistic Christians to be members of the body of Christ, I am still very uncomfortable with their teachings when it comes to the law of God. With the exception of the 1689 Baptist Confession, Baptists almost always have an antinomian dispensationalist view of the law of God. This is where you find a strong differentiation between the role of the law in the Old Testament and the role of the law in the New Testament, or in other words, they might say there’s a strong difference between the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace, or the law and the gospel, or law and grace: either way, they look at the Bible and they try to separate God’s commandments from the New Testament and the Christian life. They try to distance God’s law from the Christian life, as if it were something that only applied to the past and it does not apply today. Often times they will include the moral law along with the ceremonial law, and throw it all away into the distant past, which is a grave concern to me. They also do the same thing with miracles and spiritual gifts: cessationists always relegate such things to the faraway past, so they don’t have to apply those things to themselves today. So when you have people who are neither zealous for the law, nor for spiritual gifts, you can imagine how you end up with a pretty dead religion.

Dispensationalist antinomianism is probably the most popular form of evangelical Christianity. Most of the Baptist preachers on the radio preach it. Almost all of the leading preachers who are conservative evangelicals, featured in Christianity Today, they preach it. Most of the pastors in Southern Baptist churches preach it. And still also, many Pentecostal preachers preach it. It is truly one of the worst, most deplorable forms of theology that has ever been invented. Mainly because it overthrows the moral authority of the Bible in the Christian’s life without saying so explicitly. It allows people who say that they believe in the authority of Scripture, to turn around and say they don’t have to obey its commands, because that was only for people in the Old Testament days to worry about. Such false dichotomous thinking about the Old Testament versus the New Testament, was first invented by Marcion the gnostic heretic. He conceived that the god of the Old Testament was an evil, almost demonic being, whereas the god of the New Testament was one filled with grace, love, and forgiveness, and had no wrath for sin. Marcionites didn’t even use the Old Testament; they only used the New Testament with their warped interpretations. I think a lot of Baptists today are really Marcionites in spirit.

Modern day Baptistic antinomians hate open-air preaching, the mention of Hell, practical holiness, and anything to do with casting out demons: because they love their demons. They usually are naturalistic in their outlook and their biggest focus is on making friends. They watch the filthiest movies, make the dirtiest jokes, and excuse themselves all the way. They think that evangelism is equivalent to making friends with people who are non-Christians. I recently worked at a company where there were about three or four missionary young people from the Southern Baptist Church: and all of them used cuss words openly and flagrantly, the s-word, the a-word, the d-word, I think even the f-word, and they didn’t think anything was wrong with it. Whenever I hear somebody crying up words about how the law was just for the Old Testament, I want to say shut up! They’re going to have to answer to God for this: at the same time that they are distancing themselves from God, and grieving the Holy Spirit, they’re teaching others to do the same thing. They are teaching others to basically give up the fight against sin and show them Scriptures for why they think they’re right. It must be some kind of delusion, some satanically empowered deception, that makes them think they can allow people to take the Holy Bible, and twist it to such a degree, so they can make their lives anything other than holy. I can only agree with John Wesley when he says that the god of the Calvinism is more monstrous than the devil. The loveliest terms that any Calvinistic dispensationalist Baptist antinomian can use are the words legalism and legalist. They use these words very frequently, to empower themselves against people who see the truth for what it is: that Christians are called to obey the Word of God as it is plainly written. They like to blame them, and call them legalists in order to make themselves feel that they have the true faith. But with Wesley again, I can only agree with him when he says that he cannot find the word “legality” or legalism anywhere in his Bible.

In John Wesley’s sermons on “The Original, Nature, Property, and Use of the Law,” he shows the first, second, and third uses of the law; and essentially explains that the moral law of God continues in the New Testament, in light of the cross of Jesus, in light of justification by faith alone, that the moral law is used for our sanctification, not for our justification, but for our sanctification. The cross brings justification, but the moral law in the New Testament, which is found peppered throughout the letters of Paul, is for our sanctification: this is plainly clear to anyone who knows how to read. The law is holy!

Ephesians 4-5: An Example of the Moral Law

Ephesians 4:25 says that each of us must not use falsehood, but that we should speak truthfully to our neighbors: this is a reinforcement of the commandment not to bear false testimony against your neighbor. Ephesians 4:26 says that we should not let the sun go down while we are still angry, that we should not allow ourselves to become angry and hateful towards other people. Why? Because that could lead to murder, which again takes us back to the Ten Commandments. Ephesians 4:28 says that we should not steal, but we should work, doing something useful with our own hands: again this brings us back to the Ten Commandments, which says thou shalt not covet. Ephesians 4:29 says do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth: so this is definitely a law against profanity, cussing, sexual innuendos, or any sort of dirty joking. Again you could say this brings us back to the Ten Commandments, because it says thou shalt not use the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Ephesians 4:30 implies that people who break such laws grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Ephesians 4:31 takes us further and says that we should get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. I would sure hate to embrace a theology that says you’re not supposed to keep a commandment like that. Ephesians 4:32 says to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other. How does this not look like a direct positive command for how to get us to live our lives right? These are commands, these are laws, these are orders from the apostle: how can Christians do anything else than obey them as laws? Or at least try to? These are commands from God and they are found in the New Testament. They are laws against stealing, against lying, against profanity, against fighting, against anger, and against malice. I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, if you are an antinomian, and you believe that moral rules are not found in the New Testament, then what is the point of being a Christian? Is it just to be forgiven? If the whole goal of your religion is just to be forgiven, then are you implying that you can just steal, pick fights, and bully people; and still be in the state of salvation? I sure hope not.

Ephesians 5:3 says there should not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed. Ephesians 5:4 says there should be no obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking; it also says that there should be thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:5 says there should be no immoral, impure, or greedy person in the church, because such a man is an idolater, and he does not have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ: in other words, he is not saved. If you are an antinomian, and you think that immoral and greedy backsliders are still saved, then you are deceived. Ephesians 5:18 says not to get drunk on wine, which leads to partying. I think there’s definitely enough food for thought here. Whether or not you consider these Bible verses to be commandments, or laws, or simply moral guidelines, the fact of the matter is, these are imperative commands coming from an apostle that was inspired by God, writing with the authority of Scripture. I can’t stand to listen to the vain talk and sleepy babblings of Moody Church’s Warren Wiersbe, or any Baptistic preacher, who tries to relegate all commandments and laws to the period of the Old Testament. Such people are confused and should not be in a position of teaching others. They speak out of both sides of their mouths. For some amount of time they might say that there is no law of God today, and then later on they might say that there is a law of God today, and then overturn it once again, leaving you all confused. Finally Ephesians 5:6-7 says to let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient: and therefore do not be partners with them. Oh! Give me that old-time Wesleyan Methodism that preached the truth, plain and simple! And away with these confusing and lawless falsehoods! Popularity is no sign of the truth.

Further Reading

Thomas Oden’s John Wesley’s Scriptural Christianity, see p. 373: “Antinomianism”

Fletcher’s Checks to Antinomianism. Ed. Peter Wiseman. Beacon Hill, 1953.

Mark Jones’ Antinomianism

John Gerstner’s Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism. Wolgemuth & Hyatt Pub, 1991.

Daniel Steele’s A Substitute for Holiness: Antinomianism Revived. Schmul, 1980.

J. I. Packer’s Concise Theology, p. 178.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Counterfeit Charismatic Spirituality – John Boruff

A Summary of Errors (19:25ff)

1. Once Saved, Always Saved teaching / antinomian.

2. Cessationism (at least in practice).

3. Universalism / no preaching against cults.

4. Tacit consent of false preachers like Todd Bentley and Jim Bakker.

5. No lordship salvation, Hell, or evangelism.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Fight for Joy and Righteousness – John Boruff

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.                         – John 10:10

Joy nor righteousness by faith in Jesus can never be maintained constantly. But it can be acquired at times, as often as we choose to, to plead for the Holy Spirit’s grace to allow it to continue in our lives: “righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). The human will is not perfect, and it always needs the Holy Spirit’s assistance and presence, in order to maintain the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, righteousness, etc (Gal. 5:22).

Misery desires company and they that love it eat of its fruit. The Irish Christians used to call the devil “the Sorrow,” because his primary goal was to create misery or depression to such a point that people would despair not only of their earthly lives, as being a thing of joy, but also leading men to commit suicide: and that they would despair of eternal salvation. If we take this perspective, then having the joy of the Lord takes on not only an emotional state but also a state of spiritual warfare (Neh. 8:10). It is important that we do not allow the spirit of sorrow or, “the spirit of heaviness” as the Bible calls it, to come in and crowd in upon us. The Bible says that we should take on the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isa. 61:3).

The devil “comes not but for to kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10). John Wesley wrote a sermon once called “Heaviness Through Manifold Temptations.” I’m pretty sure it goes into these themes at greater length. If the devil is our enemy, then we should not be surprised if we find our thoughts and feelings come under attack by negative spirit forces. Those who suffer in mental hospitals from psychiatric disorders are only the most extreme cases, but the devil works upon the normal population in lesser degrees, and his work is still very real. We would be wise not to overnaturalize such things. Because if we do, then we will not recognize the need for naming the names of demon spirits, and praying for them to be cast out by calling on the name of Jesus at such times, which can be extremely effective (see John Eckhardt’s Demon Hit List). Just as God works in the natural circumstances of life, so also does the devil; and sometimes we give him a foothold. The greatest foothold that we can give the devil is that of anger at other people (Eph. 4:27). It’s important that we try to forgive people in our hearts, even when they have not apologized, and even when we cannot reconcile things with them socially. If we allow the sun to go down on our anger, then we will surely give the devil a foothold: opening ourselves up to psychological problems like nightmares, anxiety, and outbursts of rage.

In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress we see spiritual warfare played out in the life of Christian. Many times his warfare comes in the form of bad, negative thoughts that bring him to places like Doubting Castle, which is inhabited by the Giant Despair. We have to remember the promises of God: particularly the promises of the Gospel, so that we can set our minds back on the right things again. Only then can we get our feet back on the right track; and walk in step with the Holy Spirit.

“Laughter can conceal a heavy heart…a cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 14:13; 17:22). Although we should not give ourselves over to hysteria as they do in comedies, we should have a degree of comedy and good humor in our lives because God created it. But not as the ancient Greek comedians laid down for us, which creeped into English theaters, and American films and television. There you will only find men who are filled with sexual immorality, profanity, and blasphemy; and we should not allow our happiness to come from such things, because they grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:3-4). But we should have a sense of what is humorous; and take advantage of it when it comes: such things can create a sense of being resilient during the hardships of life. When friendships, family members, churches, ministers, companies, managers, and co-workers fail us. The humor that God has given us can sustain us while we are practicing our faith in Jesus. It is healthy and good to crack jokes provided that they are not profane or blasphemous. Then Christians can truly be good humored and experience emotional healing in their lives on a regular basis.

Ecclesiastes 3:4: there’s “a time to weep and a time to laugh.” If I did not guard my heart and fight for my own joy and happiness, then I tell you right now, I would be a defeated Christian. I would have an unhappy life. I would be depressed and miserable all of my days. And even though Paul says that if Christ is not raised then we of all men are the most miserable (1 Cor. 15:19), it does not mean that we of all men are the most miserable at all, because we know that Christ has risen; and we have reason to hope for eternal salvation. So that does not by any means allow for our earthly lives to be characterized by misery. Happiness cannot be a constant state; it is a gift from God for sure, and it’s always a temporary one. But even as it is a gift from God, Christians should take advantage of humor and happiness, whenever it presents itself as an opportunity, provided that it is not profane. This does not mean that dry, bland, vanilla Christian comedy is the answer. That is NOT what I’m talking about. What I am saying is, that Christians in general should allow themselves to be good humored and lighthearted enough to be able to have conversations that are humorous, while at the same time guarding themselves with moral seriousness. So many people have such a killjoy understanding of Christianity, that they can’t even enjoy their lives, while thinking of the Christian life. They think the Christian life is all about suffering and dragging your cross throughout life, but I like the ESV translation of Romans 5:3, which tells us to “rejoice in our sufferings.” Too many people are influenced by worldly concepts of humor like Mel Brooks, Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, and Mad TV to get any idea of what a good humored attitude looks like in the state of sanctification. And that is truly sad, because I believe that when Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10), He was including in that a sense of good humor. Jesus said, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21). If you are looking for it, you can even find humor in the gospels, like when Jesus refers to somebody having a beam in their eye (Matt. 7:3). This is actually a sarcastic, humorous parable against hypocritical judging. Don’t you think people at least snickered the first time they thought about a two-by-four sticking out of a man’s eye? Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter” (Gen. 21:6).

It’s not my objective to prove that Jesus was a comedian, because I don’t think He was. Neither were the apostles comedians. What I am saying though, is that there is evidence that they had a sense of humor; and there was a sharp difference between that and worldly humor. And I think that the false dichotomy, that people sometimes manufacture a joyless Christianity: that it is the devil’s design to hide from them true spiritual life, so they can see no other alternative but to go back to the way of the world. And so they forsake God, who is the Fountain of all true life; and they damn themselves. If any man thinks that Christianity is dull and lifeless, then he has yet to understand true Christianity. If you ever have the feeling that being a Christian does not make you emotionally happy, then something is wrong with your way of thinking. You would need an adjustment in your perspective. This doesn’t mean that Christianity is a religion of positive thinking, that ignores all the pains and troubles of this life. Jesus did say, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). But here we see that having good cheer comes from our our sense of Jesus’ overcoming the world, by faith in the cross, and His resurrection from the dead. And when we root and ground our faith in this thought, then we can have a good cheer: because Jesus said so.

Surrounding yourself with the right people and keeping yourself away from the wrong people is essential to this task. I can’t think of anywhere in the whole Bible that contradicts or overrides simple concepts like how friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God, or how Christ is not the friend of Belial, how darkness cannot fellowship with light, how we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and how blessed is the man who does not sit in the counsel of the ungodly nor in the seat of scoffers (James 4:4; 2 Cor. 6:14-15; Ps. 1:1). There’s nowhere in the whole Bible that contradicts or overrides such principles; and they are very serious ones. Wesley considered them, in his sermon, “A Call to Backsliders,” one of the main reasons why people backslide: hanging around ungodly, non-Christian people for fun. I also think that it’s a sign of backsliding when people embrace such people as friends, simply because they’re feeling down and they would like to have a little bit of comedy in their life. Pilgrim’s Progress also portrays this in the character of Mr. Worldly Wiseman. These people, not knowing the whole time that Jesus allows us to be good humored, and not knowing that sanctification is necessary for salvation, because it says “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14), and at the same time wanting this desire for comedy and friendship but overthrowing sanctification in the process: they end up laughing their way to Hell. I’ve been recently reading Daniel Jennings’ collection of The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley. It’s definitely an interesting book; it takes all of the charismatic elements from the works of John Wesley and compacts them into a convenient volume. There’s more than one occasion when someone is warned about something negative in the future in a dream from God; and then they share the dream with someone else; and “they’re laughed out of it”; he says this, meaning that they’re talked out of believing in the dream; and they irreverently laughed it away like a joke: only to find the next day that the dream becomes fulfilled, the warning was not heeded, and someone dies. It’s important to have good humor in our lives. Laughter is good medicine for the heart, but we also have to realize that when people stop fearing God, they are drinking in a poison and not taking their medicine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment