Fast Slide to Apostasy

Posted December 18, 2020 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

I am convinced the PCA’s imminent demise and surrender to the progressives on the left is a result of God’s judgment against a denomination that refused to defend the true Gospel when it was under attack by Federal Visionsits on the right. Any denomination that refuses to discipline Federal Visionists like Peter Leithart, Steve Wilkins, and Jeff Meyers, as the PCA has, deserves to be lead by men identifying themselves with oxymoronic labels like “Gay Christian.”

Here are two more recent examples of the PCA’s worldly embrace:

The PCA’s Very Slippery Slope – Progressivism, Theological Liberalism, & the Gay Pastor

BHPC Fall Conference 2020, Session 5 Rev Patrick Hines

Why I Am A Clarkian

Posted November 2, 2020 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

Doug Douma, author of The Presbytieran Philosopher: The Authorized Biography of Gordan H. Clark, put together a little selection of folks explaining why they’re “Clarkians” or, more accuartely, Scripturalists . . . including yours truly. You can read the post on Doug’s blog, “A Place for Thoughts.

Clark Quick Quote

Posted September 23, 2020 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

“The process of the reductio must be explained to him. There are two parts to the process. First the apologete must show that the axioms of secularism result in self-contradiction. … Then, second, the apologete must exhibit the internal consistency of the Christian system. When these two points have been made clear, the Christian will urge the unbeliever to repudiate the axioms of secularism and accept God’s revelation. That is, the unbeliever will be asked to change his mind completely, to repent. This type of apologetic argument … [does not] deny that in fact repentance comes only as a gift from God” 

Karl Barth’s Theological Method, p. 110.

Nope …

Posted September 8, 2020 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

In 2008 Dr. John Robbins asked me to write a companion to his excellent, Can the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Be Saved. John went home to be with his Lord in August of that year. I don’t recall whether we had any conversations about what I came up with to fulfill his request, but in 2009 the Trinity Foundation published my little book regarding the future of the Presbyterian Church in America. At the time of publication many still held out hope that PCA could indeed be saved. However, the future of the PCA was sealed a couple of years later with the trials of leading Federal Vision shills Peter Leithart (Pacific Northwest Presbytery) and Jeffrey Meyers (Missouri Presbytery). Both these men were cleared of the serious charge of heresy . . . despite the PCA’s 2007 report condemning the Federal Vision as “contrary to the Westminster Standards” on a number of counts to include the doctrine of justification by belief alone.

While the writing was already on the wall in big red letters, it wasn’t until the General Assembly of the PCA upheld the lower courts decisions before even the most stubborn should have realized the fight for the PCA was over. If a church is unwilling to defend the purity and simplicity of the Gospel against counterfeit challengers like the Federal Vision, then it’s not much of a stretch to suspect they will tolerate a myriad of lesser departures from the faith, which is exactly what has happened to the PCA.

When I got the first proofs of my little book the original cover was of a woman’s praying hands. I suspect Dr. Robbins son in-law and new president of the Trinity Foundation, Tom Juodaitis, was one of those people who still held out hope for the PCA. I didn’t share that opinion and I asked Tom if he could find a cover more in line with the book’s main thesis. I asked if he could find a nice picture of a burnt out husk of church. I’m so glad he did. Today the PCA is a safe haven for Federal Visionists and continues its slide into complete apostasy. One recent example is that an openly homosexual Teaching Elder, Greg Johnson, one of the leaders in the so-called “Revoice” LBGTQ moment in the PCA (yes, there is an LBGTQ movement in the PCA), was cleared of all charges by the Missouri Presbytery (the same bankrupt Presbytery that cleared Federal Visonist Jeffrey Meyers who remains in the PCA as a pastor in “good standing“).

Earlier this year PCA pastor, Dewey Roberts, while a little late to the party, saw the writing on the wall and said farewell to the PCA which he served for 43 years. Roberts was one of the men fighting the Federal Vision and is the author of Historic Christianity and the Federal Vision: A Theological Analysis and Practical Evaluation (currently out of print). The PCA’s acceptance of openly homosexual Greg Johnson was the last of many straws that caused him to separate from a denomination which has long since lost its way. Roberts wrote:

There are people who say they are going to stay in the PCA and fight to reclaim it. Well, here is my advice. If you want to stay in the PCA and fight, make sure that you do not become a faithful reprover or zealous reformer. If you do, your presbytery and denomination will not like it. You will be persecuted. You might find your knees cut off from underneath you, figuratively speaking. The fact that homosexuality is such an issue in the PCA is an indication that the spirit of the world has already entered into this denomination. The spirit of the world does not like to be reproved and reformed. The PCA will let you stay and vote as long as you can accept the downward spiral without sounding too much of an alarm. But… the PCA does not want you to be a faithful reprover and zealous reformer.

Admittedly, there are still faithful pastors ministering under the radar in the PCA. Let’s call them stragglers. One of the most notable is Patrick Hines, pastor of Bridwell Heights Presbyterian Church in Kingsport, TN. A couple of days ago I listened to his podcast, Doug Wilson Chesterton & Tolkien where he demolishes one of Doug Wilson’s favorite strawmen; the assertion that we are not saved by our “doctrinal works.” Wilson has bamboozled quite a few churchmen with this misleading line of argument and uses it to defend his belief that Roman Catholics like G. K. Chesterton and J. R. R. Tolkien are residing in glory despite their rejection of the Gospel. Hines also has a number of other podcasts where he dismantles any notion that Doug Wilson is anything other than a Christ denying heretic of the first order . . . (and even through we all knew that, it’s still helpful to listen to how Hines dismantles Wilson and I wish the clueless James White — who defends Wilson — would listen to them). Hines also has a slew of excellent podcasts on the pro-homosexual “Revoice” movement in the PCA. All highly recommend.

Finally, if anyone is interested in a free copy of Can the Presbyterian Church in American Be Saved? you can find my email address in the “About” section of this blog and I’ll be happy to send you a copy provided you’re in the U.S. and as long as my cache of books holds out. Also, don’t expect it quickly. I’m not Amazon.

Federal Vision Is Not Dead (it just smells funny)

Posted January 5, 2020 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

not dead yet

Those familiar with the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail will remember the scene where Eric Idle is collecting plague consumed dead bodies on a cart while crying out like some old-time peanut vendor or carnival barker; “Bring out your dead!” Hearing the call a man appears carrying an elderly man on his shoulder who protests; “I’m not dead yet. I’m feeling better.” That’s the image I have when I see Federal Visionists like faux “pastor” Doug Wilson reemerge trying to reinvent himself as something other than what he is — a rank Christ-denying, Gospel-destroying first-class heretic, and charlatan.

Some will remember only a couple of years ago when Wilson claimed (falsely, of course) that he was no longer Federal Vision. Thankfully, many observers of Wilson noted that this so-called “mea culpa” and professed rejection of the Federal Vision was just another craftily constructed ruse designed to deceive the gullible and undiscerning. To others, mainly me, it was clear from the language in his original post that the Federal Vision label had perhaps caused more than a few Reformed parents to decide not to send their little Johnnys to Wilson’s New Saint Andrews College. Like most Reformed and Presbyterian elders, I’m sure Mr. and Mrs. Pew-On have no idea why the Federal Vision is a bad thing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to little Johnny’s eternal soul … and their wallets.

Read the rest of this post »

Gordon Clark On Right to Work

Posted November 1, 2019 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

This is from a booklet produced by the Chamber of Commerce in 1962:

1953_63_CCUSA_Pubs010-page-001

1953_63_CCUSA_Pubs010-page-018

1953_63_CCUSA_Pubs010-page-019

Clark Quick Quote

Posted October 25, 2019 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

John Robbins Quick Quote

Posted October 11, 2019 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

teresa

I saw this quote posted on a Facebook Clark page and decided to post it here only because it’s such a strong point that virtually no one ever makes.  How easy are we impressed by the so-called “good works” of others that it completely blinds us to the soul-destroying lies they teach and believe. 

The trees that are cut down and thrown into the fire in verse 19 are the men Jesus commands to depart from him in verse 23. They are the men who have done spectacular works in the name of Jesus on Earth. This implies, please note, that the fruit by which we are to know them is not primarily their works, perhaps not their works at all, but their doctrine, their teaching. We have become so accustomed to thinking of fruit as behavior that we have missed Jesus’ point in his warning against false prophets: They are recognized by their doctrine. What they teach is their fruit. That is why John gives us a doctrinal test in 2 John 1:7, 9-11.

See John’s full discussion of Matthew 7:15-20 go here.

Dear John …

Posted September 11, 2019 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

piper2

The two-tier scheme of salvation that posits initial justification by faith (or baptism) and final salvation on the last day by works done by faith, is a lie. Yet, this is exactly what is being advanced today by everyone from John Piper, to Doug Wilson and his Federal Vision friends (yep, they’re still around), to the big boy on the block, the Rome state-church.  That’s because all those who are justified by belief alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone will enter heaven completely apart from any works they will ever do  — no exceptions –and Jesus Christ our surety guarantees it.  Consider the following for R. Scott Clark:

It is being argued by some prominent evangelicals, who identify themselves as Reformed, that salvation is in two stages. They say that the first stage of salvation is justification by grace alone, through faith alone on the basis of Christ’s righteousness imputed. In their scheme, however, there is a second stage. This is where things become complicated.

Many who have read or listened to these teachers have only heard or read them speaking about the first stage of salvation and have assumed (as I did) that they are orthodox. This reading of their doctrine ignores, however, what these teachers are actually saying. It ignores the rest of what they are saying. In their scheme, justification by grace alone, through faith alone is only stage one. There is a stage two. Here is where the problems begin. The proponents of this view speak of “final salvation through works” (see the resource page below). So, in their view, there is an initial salv

ation and a final salvation. For them, our justification by grace alone, through faith alone, is just the beginning of the story.

This is not a way that the Protestant Reformers spoke about salvation nor is it the way that the Reformed Churches, in their confessions, speak about salvation. Following the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:8–10, they taught and confessed “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not from yourselves. It is the gift of God, not from works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Paul there clearly makes faith the instrument of our salvation and contrasts it with works. These are two distinct principles, faith and works (Rom 11:6). Further, Paul knows nothing of two stages of salvation. Paul did not say, “For you are initially saved through faith alone but you will be finally saved through your works. That thought never entered his mind.

The source of this two-stage doctrine of salvation is neither Paul nor the Reformers. It is Rome and some ostensible evangelicals who are dissatisfied with the Reformation account of Scripture. Rome says that we are initially justified through baptism but only finally justified by grace and cooperation with grace, which they call sanctification. In their scheme, we are only as justified as we are sanctified and we are never sufficiently sanctified in this life. Therefore, according to Rome, we are never actually justified in this life. They have formally condemned as presumptuous anyone who says that they are now justified by grace alone, through faith alone.

Some evangelical revisionists have, over the years, adopted and adapted this two-stage scheme and tried to tie that wagon to the Reformation. In so doing, they have created a kind of theological Frankenstein’s monster. Under their view, we are out on bond, provisionally free but awaiting trial. In their scheme, Christ has made it possible for us to be saved but he has not actually accomplished our salvation. We have yet to do our part, which will be part of the instrument of our “final salvation.”

That should satisfy no one who knows his Bible or his Reformed catechism.

Read the full article here.

 

 

John Robbins Quick Quote

Posted August 3, 2019 by Sean Gerety
Categories: Uncategorized

john-robbins

I have been thinking this week how the knee-jerk reaction to Gordon Clark’s simple definition of faith and saving faith is often misconstrued as some sort of “easy-believism.” For Clark, belief is the assent to an understood proposition. Saving belief is the assent to the understood propositions of the Gospel. What differentiates the two is not some additional psychological disposition or state of mind wrought in the believer thereby making the one saving and the other not. Instead, the difference between genuine saving belief from the non-saving very ordinary and ubiquitous variety (everyone believes an untold number of things from the mundane to the profound), is the meaning attached to the declarative sentences believed, or, simply, the propositions themselves. This isn’t to say that the one who understands and assents to the propositions of the Gospel won’t evidence their beliefs by their actions ala’ James 2, they will. Rather, it is to say that the act of believing itself is what saves a man and unites him to Christ as “the alone instrument of justification” and not the accompanying life the believer will necessarily lead — or struggle to lead — as a result.

In the answer to the question “What is Justifying Faith” the Westminster Confession Larger Catechism 72 makes this crystal clear.

Here is what Q. 72 says:

Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and word of God, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition, not only assents to the truth of the promise of the gospel, but receives and rests upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.

Now, consider the following explanation Dr. Robbin gave to Alan Strange in a letter he submitted to the OPC’s New Horizons magazine which they refused to publish:

Question 72 does indeed have a contrast in mind, but it is not contrasting assent with “receiving and resting,” as Dr. Strange mistakenly supposes. There are two reasons Dr. Strange’s contrast cannot be correct.

First, “receiving and resting” are figures of speech, and “assenting” is literal language. “Receiving and resting” mean “assenting.” Dr. Strange has made the common theological error of taking a figure of speech as literal. Incidentally, that is why he fails to offer any definition of “receiving and resting” that differentiates them from assent. In fact, they are not different, but metaphorical expressions of the literal word, “assent.”

The second reason that Q. 72 is not contrasting “assenting” with “receiving and resting” is that the authors of the Westminster Standards have a different contrast in mind. Reading the Standards with subjectivist presuppositions, Dr. Strange supposes they are contrasting differing psychologies of faith (assent vs. receiving and resting), when they are actually contrasting the truths believed. Psychology was not on the minds of the Westminster Assembly, but making clear what truths had to be believed in order to be saved was. Dr. Strange forgets that the word “faith” has two distinct meanings, one objective and one subjective. The Standards are contrasting belief in the “promise of the Gospel,” that is, in the truth of eternal life, with belief in the “righteousness [of Christ] for pardon of sin, and the accepting and accounting of his person righteous.” They are making clear that the sinner must not only believe in (assent to) salvation from sin and eternal life (which they call the “promise of the Gospel”), but that he must also believe in (assent to) the imputed righteousness of Christ in order to be saved. Their concern is that the proper object of faith is believed, not that some undefined and nebulous mental state must be added to belief in order to make it efficacious. Their message is that belief in eternal life and pardon from sin is not saving faith, but to that must be added belief in Christ and his righteousness as the sole means of obtaining eternal life.

The Westminster Standards clearly teach that the object of faith, Christ and his imputed righteousness, not our subjective mental state, is what saves us. Dr. Strange, like so many today, reads the Westminster Standards with his subjectivist glasses on, and thereby misses and misrepresents what they teach.

Therefore, Dr. Strange is completely wrong when he asserts that “Clark is clearly not within the Reformed tradition in defining faith itself as knowledge and assent alone.” Not only is Clark clearly within that tradition, but he is also the most accurate reporter of what Scripture teaches about saving faith. All your readers should read his book for themselves. [emphasis mine]


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