To divide, or not to.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Their_First_Quarrel,_Gibson.jpgToday we asked our listeners, what issues divide Christians that shouldn’t? What issues are worth dividing over? We also posed that question to our guest today,  No Compromise Radio‘s Mike Abendroth, to get a pastor’s perspective.  

Pastor Abendroth serves as pastor of Bethlehem Bible Church in Massachusetts, and is the founder and one of the voices of No Compromise Radio. NoCo’s biblical and provocative ministry offers podcasts as well as a YouTube Channel called NoCo 90, in which Pastor Mike delivers biblical truth in 90 seconds.  Mike’s passion is preaching the Bible in a verse-by-verse fashion and training other men to do the same. Mike is an adjunct professor of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of the book titled, Jesus Christ: The Prince of Preachers. Check out his new book, Things that go “Bump” in the church.


Today’s Episode: [powerpress] Subscribe (RSS | iTunes) Having trouble with this podcast? Click Here for tips. We are 100% Listener supported. Donate now! Want our news delivered? Get our WEEKLY WATCHMAN digest, published and sent to you every Friday!


 Here is an example of Pastor Abendroth’s No Compromise Radio program:

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12 Responses to To divide, or not to.

  1. unityinthetruth says:

    Although the guest speaker, Mike Abendroth makes some excellent points during the interview, it's too bad he's a very strong Calvinist. It's also too bad that Stand Up For The Truth has a 'Calvinistically' clear, albeit, unbiblical explanation of regeneration posted right underneath the article for all to see.

    What would be one issue I would leave a church over? Calvinism. Although, I most certainly would never break friendship over it. Having Godly friends who seek Christ first and love His Word above all else is key!

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    • standupwi says:

      We have guests on who are in Calvinist as well as Armenian camps – and every degree in between. I can feel strongly in one camp or another, but I don't break fellowship with those who are opposite of where I am. (I just think they're wrong! 😉 ) (that was snarkasm – no offense intended.)

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  2. unityinthetruth says:

    No prob. on the snarkasm. 🙂 My question here would be is choosing to keep fellowship with a person the same as allowing a central and arguably unbiblical doctrine to be positively promoted on the Stand Up For The Truth website for thousands to glean from?

    I would never break a friendship with a Calvinist, however the You Tube clip above is not simply a personal chat with a friend. It is a pastor authoritatively teaching to thousands of views what he believes is a central doctrinal truth. If God must regenerate men before they believe, then the logical conclusion would be that God only chooses some to be saved. This doctrine of unconditional election does not line up with God's Word. Even the title of the You Tube clip is quite biased – "Monergistic Regeneration Extols Sovereign Grace". Extol means to positively praise something. The opposite of extol would be to contemn. So this title could also be written, "Any Other Regeneration Condemns Grace".

    The heart of the doctrine mentioned in the You Tube clip has caused many to change their view of God, turning them from a biblical understanding to one that is taught in books written by men. In hopes of preventing any brothers or sisters from stumbling, I would lovingly ask that you prayerfully consider removing the teaching promoted above.

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    • Lora says:

      Part 1 Long before I owned a computer, or knew what Calvinism was, I learned how to study the scripture…not what others told me according to their denominational/historical perspectives. I was blessed to have the counsel and teaching of sound men of God who knew how to apply proper exegesis of the text. Ephesians 4 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
      I have read a great deal of what Calvinist themselves write, and heard what they say. In every instance, bar none, they use eisegeses and proof text to glean from the scripture, while taking verses out of context to make a point for Calvinism. They inject, and overlay, Calvinistic/Augustinian philosophical constructs to force the scripture to conform to their "unconditional election, irresistible grace, total depravity, etc"

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    • Lora says:

      Part 2: In the most basic, elementary study of Romans 9-11, it is apparent that Paul is speaking of Israel, not individuals.
      The above is just one example. Calvinism is based on the Gnostic philosophy of Augustine. Augustine was not a bible scholar, he knew neither Greek nor Hebrew. He laid the foundation for most of the Catholic Church; he brought his Gnostic philosophy with him when he became a Christian. This is simply history anyone can read. The true early church fathers, such as Iraneus, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, did not hold to the Gnosticism that Augustine embraced, and taught against it.
      But when one forces the scripture out of context, it can say whatever one wants it to. I highly recommend listening to The Signatures of Satan by Jacob Prasch : believersingracevideos.com/page3.php March 2013

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    • Ken says:

      FYI I am neither Calvinist nor Arminian, and I disagree with 9/10 of Calvinism's systematic theology, however from my reading of the objective word of God combined with my subjective salvation experience, I have come to agree that regeneration indeed does in fact precede faith.

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  3. Lora says:

    Please sit with pen and paper, and your Bible…be honest and examine what is said. We should do these things if we say we love the Word…if we claim we are Christ Jesus' possession, and are seekers of what is true.
    youtube.com/watch?v=4gmOTHNFH0o Election, Calvinism, Predestination: Scripture vs. Calvinism
    youtube.com/watch?v=kuW3juqkQ0U In Christ: Predestination According to Scripture
    Also, please listen to Jerry Walls, What is Wrong with Calvinsim: youtube.com/watch?v=Wt9ENcBoMRE There are 5 parts to this, very important to know what the Bible really says.

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  4. Lora says:

    part 1 of Calvinism comment:What is so sad about entering into a discussion with Calvinist is that they immediately try to pin on us the label of "Armenianist". This is not honest; I am a born again believer and student of the Bible for many years, and do not ascribe to "Armenianism." This is a tactic; Calvinsim uses the philisophical precepts of Calvinism for their arguments, and pull you into the argument using them…you cannot even discuss the issue on these terms; one must use the scripture and scripture alone.
    I highly recommend anyone who does not understand what Calvinism is, and what the scripture actually is saying, to listen to Pastor Kevin Thompson, as he addresses this subject. He knows the scripture very well, and brings to light just what Calvinism trys to assert, and what is really being said by the scripture.

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  5. unityinthetruth says:

    Lyn, yes Scripture says, "…The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. 2:14. The Scriptures do not however say men cannot at least choose to believe or reject the Gospel of God.

    To say men are dead so they cannot choose the Gospel is simply not logical. Death is not simply defined as cessation, but ultimately as separation. The day Adam and Eve sinned they died, yet lived for over 900 more years. Their bodies did not stop working the day they sinned, but they were separated from God. To say death is equal to inability like a dead physical body is physically unable to move is comparing apples and oranges.

    A dead body cannot do anything, so to be consistent, if we were dead in our sins like a body is dead, we would not be able to make any choices, good or bad. We'd have to conclude that we have ceased from making any choices. Instead, if spiritually dead means spiritually separated from God, then inability is no longer the necessary condition.

    Mankind is dead in sins, but it takes a redefinition of the word dead to mean unable. Again, attempting to make a direct/exact comparison between the physical cessation of a physical body and the spiritual condition of sinners, then to build a Scriptural doctrine based on that comparison is at best unwise.

    Regardless of the word study resource you use, "whosoever" is defined as "each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything". Jesus says, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on Me should not abide in darkness." John 12:46 Jesus says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. The Holy Spirit through Paul says, "Whosoever believeth on [Jesus] shall not be ashamed." Romans 9:33.

    God so loved the world that WHOSOEVER believes in Him will be saved. Interestingly, believing (John 12:46, etc.) and receiving (1 Cor. 2:14) are not always synonymous. Yes, all men have the choice to believe, yet only those who choose to believe the glorious Gospel will end up receiving those things spiritually discerned, "even the deep things of God." (1 Cor. 2:10)

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  6. unityinthetruth says:

    Lyn, also consider that In 1 John 2, the Holy Spirit through John writes, "[Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2 The word "whole" here means "all, whole, completely". Jesus is the complete satisfaction for the sins of the saints and the complete world. The word for "world" here is used 152 times in the New Testament and not once is it used to specifically describe the saints.

    There is obviously much more to this discussion, but for time I copied and pasted a more careful look at Ephesians 2:8-9: "Faith is not the gift—salvation (the subject of the entire passage) is the gift of God. Faith is a feminine noun, while the demonstrative pronoun that ( “ it is ” is not in the Greek) is neuter and could not refer to faith. The Greek will not permit “faith” to be the gift. Moreover, “your faith” (“according to your faith ” – Mt 9:29; Rom:1:8; 1 Cor:15:17, etc.) is found 24 times; “thy faith” 11 times; and the disciples are rebuked for not having faith, etc. These are odd expressions, if faith is not one's own but only from God.
    Calvinists emphasize “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me”(Jn:6:37)and “no man can come to me, except the Father…draw him” (v. 44). They forget that those given by and drawn by the Father still must come, take, eat, and drink of the water and bread of life, which is Christ. Throughout Scripture, the emphasis is upon coming of one’s own will. In John 6, the emphasis is upon believing, coming, eating, and drinking—clearly the responsibility of the person. Yes, the Father draws and gives, but to eat and drink requires an act of one’s will—God does not force-feed anyone." (https://www.thebereancall.org/content/september-2005-q-and-a-2)

    For those who have been taught Calvinist doctrine, please think carefully about the very nature of God. Regardless of how it shakes out, if you actually believe that God only chooses some to be saved, then you are saying that He literally desires billions, for whatever reason, to go to Hell. When you walk into the store or the park and look around you will see men, women, and children. If you have truly been born again by the Spirit of God, and God actually does only elect some to salvation, then you must, MUST see people the way He apparently does. You must even look at your own children and admit that God may not desire to allow some or even all of them to be saved. According to the doctrine of limited atonement and unconditional election, the Gospel of God is not good news to all mankind, it is only good for those who are supposedly regenerated by God. So to be honest, the Good News for the Calvinist is not "God so loved the world…" It is, "God so loved a few and the rest have no chance…" If this is the Gospel, then the Calvinist should be preaching this to others. After all, according to the Holy Spirit through Paul, the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Romans 1:16. The Calvinist should walk up to every man, woman, and child and say to them something like, "We are all sinners, and Jesus might have died for you if God supernaturally pours irresistible grace on you. Otherwise you cannot even understand what I'm saying right now."

    Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, did not take the view of only choosing some. He desired that all Israel would be saved. He said, "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." Romans 9:3. So are we really to conclude that Paul's desires were greater than his God's? Paul desired all Israel to be saved and yet God only desires a particular number of people to be saved all for His mysterious reasons.

    When I look at a crowd, I am broken for all the people, not merely some, desiring that all should come to know Jesus. Yet a consistent Calvinist would say God does not desire all men to be saved, only the elect. Scriptures like 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" are either marginalized or redefined based on Calvinistic presuppositions. This goes against Scripture and the Christian conscience.

    We obviously all believe we are letting God's Word speak for itself, but "God so loved the world" and "God so loved the elect" cannot both be true. We must all make a careful choice.

    For those caught up in these doctrines, please consider taking the time to watch an excellent video examining Calvinism in light of God's Word, history, and simple logic. You maybe have never heard Calvinism discussed this way before.

    See "What Love is This?" at :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8rVNF-e7rI

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  7. Josh Zepnick says:

    Lyn, you are exactly right about using God's Word over man's systems. Why do we not rightly divide God's Word (1 Timothy 2:15) and share the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20)? Just because some doctrines are tough to handle does not mean we should not believe and teach them. As far as the Gospel goes, as long as someone understands the fundamentals of the Gospel (Christ's atonement, burial, resurrection, bodily ascension, imputed righteousness, total depravity, necessity of faith alone and repentance for the new birth; if I missed something, forgive me), we should treat them as a fellow believer and not put up unnecessary walls; we may be wrong as well as them. There is enough to deal with from emergent teachings, new age infiltration, Roman Catholicism, easy believism, and a host of other ills plaguing the Church from within and without. Let us unify around Christ, as he desired in John 17.

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