Protestanţi sau neoprotestanţi? That’s the question! Otniel Veres

Marius Silvesan de la Istoria Evanghelica semnalazea un articol scris de Otniel Veres si preluat de la Oglindanet o revista electronica.

Cuvintele au suflet
Otniel Vereş
Duminică, 30 Ianuarie 2011 00:00
Îmi amintesc perfect scena. Mă aflam, în urmă cu vreo doi ani, la un curs doctoral în Cluj-Napoca, iar profesorul care ţinea cursul, văzându-mă pentru prima dată, mă chestionează cu privire la subiectul disertaţiei mele. Îi spun că mă ocup de teologul american Carl F. H. Henry. Curios, cum era normal, deoarece nu auzise până atunci de el, întreabă: „Dar ăsta ce e?” Bănuind ce va urma, răspund: „Protestant.” Profesorul continuă investigaţia, iar eu îi spun că este vorba despre un teolog baptist. Moment în care faţa i se luminează, în sfârşit, şi spune cu o nestrămutată siguranţă şi ironie: „Păi da, voi toţi sunteţi protestanţi”, insinuând că lipsa prefixului neo– în faţa cuvântului protestant, când vine vorba de baptişti, este un fel de subterfugiu pentru a scăpa de posibila catalogare sectară prin ancorarea într-o tradiţie mai mare, mai veche şi mai solidă.
Sper că voi fi suficient de clar în rândurile care urmează pentru a nu întări o astfel de prejudecată. Personal, nu mă deranjează să fiu numit oricum, nici baftist, cum se mai poartă prin Bucureşti, nici sectar, nici pocăit, nici eretic. Singura motivaţie este clarificarea unui adevăr istoric, nerespectat în denumirea neoprotestant.
Încercaţi să-i spuneţi unui american sau unui vest-european nefamiliarizat cu realităţile religioase din estul Europei despre neoprotestanţii din România şi se va uita nedumerit la dumneavoastră, din simplul motiv că un astfel de concept nu există în aceste spaţii. În SUA, spre exemplu, tradiţia protestantă cuprinde absolut toate confesiunile care se identifică într-un fel sau altul, mai mult sau mai puţin cu moştenirea dogmatică a Reformei. Şi mai important este faptul că, în identificarea confesională protestantă, criteriul temporal nu joacă niciun rol. Cu alte cuvinte, nu are importanţă când a apărut o anumită denominaţie religioasă protestantă. Prin urmare protestanţi sunt luteranii, prezbiterienii, baptiştii (apăruţi în secolul XVII), metodiştii (secolul XVIII), penticostalii (începutul secolului XX), etc. Având în vedere că proliferarea, adesea frustrant de stufoasă, a mişcărilor religioase, se află în codul genetic al protestantismului, ne întrebăm ce ne-am face dacă am aplica acest criteriu temporal la fiecare nou apărută mişcare. Dacă baptiştii sunt neoprotestanţi, ce sunt atunci penticostalii, apăruţi la trei secole după? Neo-neo-protestanţi? Ca să nu pomenim direcţiile şi mai radicale născute pe filon protestant, cum ar fi aşa-numita Emergent Church (chiar dacă aceasta trece dincolo de graniţele confesionale ale protestantismului).
Extrem de sugestiv mi se pare următorul caz practic. Carl F. H. Henry, amintit mai sus, poate cel mai important teolog evanghelic al secolului XX, foloseşte în scrierile sale în mod constant şi deliberat termenul neoprotestant cu referire la teologia lui Barth, Bultmann, Brunner. Lucrurile se complică, deci, pentru că vă daţi seama ce ar însemna să spui în România că Barth sau Bultmann au fost neoprotestanţi. În cazul lui Henry, acesta „inventează” termenul pentru a descrie teologia protestantă dialectic-existenţialistă de pe continentul european, care se îndepărtase de ortodoxismul protestant.
Orice relevanţă sau justificare ar avea, aşadar, cuvântul neoprotestant, ea rămâne circumscrisă spaţiului european răsăritean, căutând să identifice confesiunile protestante apărute în aceste ţări mai ales în a doua jumătate a secolului XIX, spre deosebire de cele „clasice”: luterane, reformate, unitariene. Subliniem din nou însă, vorbim despre un criteriu temporal local, de circumstanţă, nu istoric, pentru că adesea se creează impresia că baptiştii, de pildă, au apărut în secolul XIX. Este necesară, prin urmare, o clarificare istorică telegrafică.
Trasarea precisă a rădăcinilor baptiste (şi în fapt a tuturor denominaţiilor confesionale născute din Reformă în această perioadă) este o reală şi dificilă provocare pentru orice istoric al creştinismului, dar liniile generale sunt relativ solid fixate. Astfel, baptiştii îşi au originea în Anglia şi Olanda începutului de secol XVII din mişcările de reformă generate de puritanism, separatism şi, probabil, anabaptism. Chiar dacă anumite influenţe dogmatice anabaptiste sunt neîndoielnice în teologia baptistă, înrădăcinarea istorică efectivă în anabaptismul continental rămâne disputată şi pe bună dreptate. Constituirea primei biserici baptiste a avut loc în 1609 la Amsterdam, sub conducerea lui John Smith, care fusese forţat să părăsească Anglia.
Uneori baptiştii din spaţiul autohton susţin calificarea baptiştilor ca neoprotestanţi în virtutea practicii baptiste a botezului adulţilor. Astfel, baptiştii sunt neoprotestanţi pentru că, spre deosebire de doctrina şi practica luterană sau calvinistă, au introdus botezul adulţilor. Punctul slab care şubrezeşte această argumentaţie este faptul că botezul adulţilor era deja practicat de anabaptişti (Zwingli fiind reprezentantul de seamă al acestora) când Reforma abia începea.
Amintesc, de asemenea, o altă tendinţă extremă venită chiar din partea unor istorici baptişti „pur-sânge” (în special americani), care au sărit pur şi simplu peste toate secolele de istorie creştină până în secolul I şi au respins orice mediere a vreunei tradiţii. Acum, să-mi fie iertat, chiar dacă pun un mare preţ pe tot ce identific scriptural în teologia baptistă (inclusiv botezul adulţilor ca urmare a credinţei personale), diferenţa calitativă între acest fel de argumentare şi cel care îl face aproape şi pe Burebista creştin ortodox („Suntem creştini de 2000 de ani”) nu este prea mare. În cazul acesta înseamnă că există nu trei tradiţii creştine majore (catolică, ortodoxă, protestantă), ci patru: catolică, ortodoxă, protestantă şi baptistă.
În concluzie, sunt baptiştii protestanţi? Indiferent cum privim problema, răspunsul este unul singur: Da. Ar fi suficient dacă ne-am opri la calificarea „negativă” a tuturor protestanţilor, anume faptul că nu sunt catolici. Cum spunea un teolog american în 1938, „protestantismul este acea formă a creştinismului care îşi exprimă viaţa pe solul unei civilizaţii emancipate de sub autoritatea Bisericii Catolice” (Wilhelm Pauck, „The Nature of Protestantism”, în revista Church History, vol. VI, nr. 1, 1937). Însă, trecând dincolo de această definire prin delimitare, ajungem la marile doctrine protestante care dau viaţă teologiei baptiste: justificarea prin credinţă, autoritatea finală a Scripturii, preoţia universală a credincioşilor. Pe lângă toate acestea, din punct de vedere istoric, puritanismul şi separatismul din care s-au născut baptiştii au făcut parte din Reforma protestantă. Dacă însă ar trebui să oferim o determinare mai precisă în cadrul protestantismului, în armonie cu actualele delimitări confesionale interprotestante, baptiştii trebuie integraţi în protestantismul evanghelic.
Reclame

‘Amintiri cu sfinti’ culese de Pastorul Daniel Branzai (4) Marturia lui Costache Ioanid si o cintare

Am obtinut permisiunea Pastorului Daniel Branzai sa postez o serie de articole preluate de la situl dinsului. Pastorul si scriitorul Daniel Branzai a publicat 4 volume sub titlul ‘Amintiri cu sfinti’ (Volumul 4 urmeaza sa apara de la tipar in urmatoarele luni)

Costache Ioanid –

Despre venirea lui Ioanid la Christos iata ce citim in marturia lui Christian Ioanid, fiul sau, asa cum a aparut ea in prefata volumului de poezii „Porumbite albe”:

Intr-o dupa amiaza de vara a anului 1940, pe o banca din parcul Carol din Bucuresti, blindul poet de mai tirziu citea cu nesat Sfinta Scriptura. Linga el, o doamna il urmareste cu discretie. Un copilas, cu ochii rotitori, ce se joaca prin preajma, ii atrage atentia doamnei ca vecinul ei citeste Biblia. Cu o „viclenie orientala”, doamna (Sabina Wurmbrand) intreaba: Ce carte cititi, domnule?” „Cea mai minunata carte din lume, doamna!” Urmeaza prezentari reciproce si invitatia de a participa la slujba din viitoarea duminica de la Biserica Luterana din strada Olteni. El nu stia nimic despre protestantism. La vremea aceea, Costache Ioanid era „greco-catolic”, ca si stramosii sai, si considera probabil aceasta apartenenta (chiar formala fiind) ca pe o necesitate traditionala. In rest, stia ca iudeii L-au rastignit pe Domnul Christos si de aceea sunt de dispretuit si vrednici de osinda. Cind, in duminica urmatoare, tatal meu s-a infiintat la aceasta biserica, nu mica i-a fost surpriza sa constate ca mai toti credinciosii erau evrei botezati, iar trei dintre cei patru pastori erau si ei evrei sadea: Richard Wurmbrand, Iancu Moscovici si Felix Iacobsohn. Contrariat de lipsa de ritual,Ioanid a fost in schimb fascinat de modul „obisnuit” de a vorbi, nedeclamativ si cu argumentatie luata din viata de toate zilele. In aceste conditii, continua sa se duca duminica de duminica la aceasta biserica si, destul de repede, este transformat launtric si botezat.

Bucuria acestei revelatii ii urmeaza o multime de intrebari, cele mai multe pline de candoare. De un farmec deosebit este una dintre ele, pusa pastorului Richard Wurmbrand: Spuneti-mi va rog, cum se pot impaca crestinismul, asa cum l-am acceptat eu acum, si doctrina legionara, in a carei valoare sociala purificatoare inca mai cred?

Raspunsul: „Probabil ca poate sa existe apropiere. Eu nu stiu pentru ca nu m-am gindit niciodata la asta. Ceea ce vreau sa-ti spun insa este faptul ca, devenind crestin adevarat, vei fi atit de ocupat incit nu vei mai avea vreme sa te gindesti la astfel de probleme!” Si asa a fost. (Amintiri cu sfinti, Volumul II P.111, autor Daniel Branzai)

In ciuda uriasului sau talent, Ioanid a fost un om smerit si simplu. Cine l-a urmarit de aproape a avut ocazia sa simta ca aceasta umilinta a lui, aceasta dorinta dupa anonimat era o urmare a dezbracarii de sine rezultate din intilnirea cu Dumnezeul care a venit sa moara pentru noi la Golgota. Sfintul Macarie obisnua sa spuna: „De dragul tau Dumnezeu S-a smerit pe Sine Insusi.” Ioanid a cintarit mult aceasta realitate si s-a hotarit sa traiasca pururi in umbra unei vinovatii personale a carei pedepsire a fost suspendata pe Calvar.

In prefata volumului de poezii „Porumbite albe”, Mircea Ciobanu scrie despre Costache Ioanid urmatoarele rinduri: (El) a facut multi pasi in adincimile simplitatii. El s-a retras, ca sa zicem asa, dinaintea oricarei ispite de a face vasul mai graitor decit continutul.Literatura romana nu poate gasi decit un singur exemplar asemanator – in poemele lui V. Voiculescu, cele din urma, in care gindul despre mintuire covirseste orice ispita de a cauta frumusetea in exterior.

Adevarata umilinta nu sta in a fi in stare sa spui: „Sunt nevrednic!”, ci in a le da dreptate celor care-ti spun de la obraz, in batjocura: „Esti nevrednic!” Ioanid a stiut mereu sa doreasca umilinta ca pe o acceptare a parerii lui Dumnezeu despre propria lui persoana. Asta nu l-a facut deloc neplacut sau nepotrivit celor din preajma. Dimpotriva!

Cu dinsul s-a adeverit inca odata zicala: „Daca vrei sa fii pretuit de oameni, nu te vorbi singur de bine.”

Cine l-a vazut inconjurat de oameni si mai ales de multimea tinerilor a dat dreptate celui care a observat ca „Cine fuge dupa glorie va fi ignorat de ea: cel ce, dimpotriva, se fereste de ea cu modestie, va fi imbratisat de easi laudat de toata lumea”. (Amintiri cu sfinti, Volumul II P.112, autor Daniel Branzai)

Puteti sa cititi Biografia lui Costache Ioanid si doua poezii aici. si

Amintiri cu sfinti (1) Richard si Sabina Wurmbrand

Amintiri cu sfinti (2) Iosif Ton

Amintiri cu sfinti (3) Richard Wurmbrand – de la Comunism la Hristos

Daniel Negrea – Ce dor frumos

COSTACHE IOANID

Arminianism – from Roger E. Olson’s book

I highly recommend this book. For anyone who has questions on what Arminian theology really stands for, this is a great resource:

Roger E. Olson’s book ‘Arminian Theology, Myths and Realities’.

About the Author – Roger E. Olson was born in  a Pentecostal preacher’s home. His parents and some of his aunts and uncles were pastors, missionaries, and denominational leaders (p 7). With a Ph.D. from Rice University, he is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He has authored 14 books.

From Olson’s Introduction we learn how and why he came to write this book:

„In the 1970’s  the resurgence in Calvinist theology was leading to a widespread  impression  among some evangelicals that Arminianism is at best subevangelical and at worst outright heresy (p 9). Throughout the 1980’s ad 1990’s the author discovered that his evangelical world was being affected by what one of his Reformed friends called „‘the revenge of the Calvinists”. Several evangelical authors and publications began to attack Arminian theology very caustically, and with misinformation and misrepresentation.Olson says,”I heard and read my own form of evangelicalism called „humanistic” and „more Catholic than Protestant” (p 8).

In the book, Olson has two aims. One is to „clear up confusion about Arminian theology and respond to the main myths and misconceptions about it that are widespread in evangelicalism” and the second aim is to „turn to history for correct definitions and not allowing popular usage to redefine good theological terms”. (P 10)

Olson on  Synergism and Monergism:

Arminianism derives from the name Jacob (James) Arminius (1560-1609). Jacob Arminius is remembered in the annals of church history as a controversial Dutch pastor and theologian who wrote numerous works, filling three large volumes, defending an evangelical form of synergism (belief in divine-human cooperation in salvation) against monergism (belief that God is the all-determining reality in salvation, which excludes free human participation). Arminius was certainly not the first synergist in Christian history; all of the Greek church fathers of the first Christian centuries and  many of the medieval Catholic theologians were synergists of some kind. (P14)Like most theological terms, synergism has multiple shades of meaning, not all of which are positive.

Then, Olson quotes Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560) who defined synergism as „any belief in human responsibility and the ability to freely accept or reject the grace of salvation. Because of Melanchthon’s influence on post-Luther Lutheranism, many Lutherans throughout Europe adopted a synergistic outlook on salvation, eschewing unconditional predestination and affirming that grace is resistible. Later Arminian theology spread to England and the American colonies, largely through the influence of John Wesley and the Methodists. Numerous denominations are devoted to Arminian theology. These include many Baptists and all Pentecostals, Restorationists(Churches of Christ and other denominations rooted in the revivals of Alexander Campbell), Methodists(including the large Holiness movement).(P 14)

Olson goes on to say:

‘”While both (Calvinism and Arminianism) are forms of Protestantism, they take very different approaches to the doctrines of salvation (soteriology). Both believe in salvation by grace through faith alone (sola gratia et fides) as opposed to salvation by grace through faith and good works. Both deny that any part of salvation can be based on human merit. Both affirm the sole supreme authority of Scripture (sola scriptura) and the priesthood of all believers. However, Arminians have always opposed belief in unconditional reprobation–God’s selection of some persons to spend eternity in hell. Because they oppose that, they also oppose unconditional election–the selection of persons out of the mass of sinners to be saved apart from anything God sees in them.”

Olson defines Calvinism:

„used to denote the shared soteriological beliefs of persons who reagard John Calvin (1509-1564) of Geneva as the greatest organizer and purveyor of biblical truth during the Protestant Reformation. Calvinism is that theology which emphasizes God’s absolute sovereignty as the all-determining reality, especially with regards to salvation. Most classical or high Calvinists agree that human beings are totally depraved (helpless to do anything spiritually good, including excercising a good will towardGod), unconditionally elected (predestined) to either salvation or damnation (although many Calvinists reject Calvin’s „horrible decree’ of reprobation), that Christ’s atoning death on the cross was meant only for the elect…Calvinism is the soteriological system stemming from Calvin, which is generally known under the rubric of TULIP (Total depravity,Unconditional election, Limited atonement,Irresistible grace, Perseverance of the saints).”

Then Olson defines Arminianism:

„It describes (Arminianism or Arminian theology) not so much a movement as an outlook on salvation (and other theological subjects) shared by people who differ on other matters…It… connotes that form of Protestant theology that rejects unconditional election (and especially unconditional reprobation), limited atonement, and irresistible grace because it affirms the character of God as compassionate, having universal love for the whole world and everyone in it, and extending grace-restored free will to accept or resist the grace of God, which leads to either eternal life or spiritual destruction. (Non liberal) Arminians do not deny total depravity (even if they prefer another term to denote human spiritual helplessness) or the absolute necessity of supernatural grace for even the first excercise of a good will toward God.”

Then, Roger Olson goes into an in-depth study of the (His)story of Armenianism (Pages 14-43),where he delves into the two key doctrines where Arminians  part company with classical Calvinists: The Remonstrance-the issues of providence and predestination. The Remonstrance is the Arminian foundational document, prepared by forty-three Dutch Reformed pastors and theologians after Arminius’ death in 1609. He also gives a thorough review of 18th through 20th century overview, citing persons such as John Wesley(p24), Jonathan Edwards opposition to Pelagianism that contributed to  the habit of American Calvinists equating Arminianism with a type of liberalizing modern theology. (p23)

Olson recommends one  other good book in his introduction:

‘a gem of Armenian soteriology’ -The Transforming Power of Grace (1993) by Methodist Thomas Oden.

Next week we will look at Myth #1 – Arminian Theology Is the Opposite of Calvinist/Reformed Theology.

Razbunarea omului nobil este iertarea si uitarea si Predica Iosif Ton.

Pe situl lui Marius Silvesan maxima zilei pentru 30/01/2011 este:

Razbunarea omului nobil este iertarea si uitarea. Schiller

Iata ce ne invata Domnul Isus despre dragoste, bunatate, mila si iertare.

Luca 6:27-38

27Dar Eu vă spun vouă, cari Mă ascultaţi: Iubiţi pe vrăjmaşii voştri, faceţi bine celor ce vă urăsc,

28binecuvîntaţi pe cei ce vă blastămă, rugaţi-vă pentru cei ce se poartă rău cu voi.

29Dacă te bate cineva peste o falcă, întoarce -i şi pe cealaltă. Dacă îţi ia cineva haina cu sila, nu -l opri să-ţi ia şi cămaşa.

30Oricui îţi cere, dă -i; şi celuice-ţi ia cu sila ale tale, nu i le cere înapoi.

31Ce voiţi să vă facă vouă oamenii, faceţi-le şi voi la fel.

32Dacă iubiţi pe cei ce vă iubesc, ce răsplată vi se cuvine? Şi păcătoşii iubesc pe cei ce -i iubesc pe ei.

33Dacă faceţi bine celor ce vă fac bine, ce răsplată vi se cuvine? Şi păcătoşii fac aşa.

34Şi dacă daţi cu împrumut acelora dela cari nădăjduiţi să luaţi înapoi, ce răsplată vi se cuvine? Şi păcătoşii dau cu împrumut păcătoşilor, ca să ia înapoi întocmai.

35Voi însă, iubiţi pe vrăjmaşii voştri, faceţi bine şi daţi cu împrumut, fără să nădăjduiţi ceva în schimb. Şi răsplata voastră va fi mare, şi veţi fi fiii Celui Prea Înalt; căci El este bun şi cu cei nemulţămitori şi cu cei răi.

36Fiţi dar milostivi, cum şi Tatăl vostru este milostiv.

37Nu judecaţi, şi nu veţi fi judecaţi; nu osîndiţi, şi nu veţi fi osîndiţi; iertaţi, şi vi se va ierta.

38Daţi, şi vi se va da; ba încă, vi se va turna în sîn o măsură bună, îndesată, clătinată, care se va vărsa pe deasupra. Căci cu ce măsură veţi măsura, cu aceea vi se va măsura.„

Romani 12:9-21

9Dragostea să fie fără prefăcătorie. Fie-vă groază de rău, şi lipiţi-vă tare de bine.

10Iubiţi-vă unii pe alţii cu o dragoste frăţească. În cinste, fiecare să dea întîietate altuia.

11În sîrguinţă, fiţi fără preget. Fiţi plini de rîvnă cu duhul. Slujiţi Domnului.

12Bucuraţi-vă în nădejde. Fiţi răbdători în necaz. Stăruiţi în rugăciune.

13Ajutaţi pe sfinţi, cînd sînt în nevoie. Fiţi primitori de oaspeţi.

14Binecuvîntaţi pe cei ce vă prigonesc: binecuvîntaţi şi nu blestemaţi.

15Bucuraţi-vă cu cei ce se bucură; plîngeţi cu ceice plîng.

16Aveţi aceleaşi simţiminte unii faţă de alţii. Nu umblaţi după lucrurile înalte, ci rămîneţi la cele smerite. Să nu vă socotiţi singuri înţelepţi.

17Nu întoarceţi nimănui rău pentru rău. Urmăriţi ce este bine, înaintea tuturor oamenilor.

18Dacă este cu putinţă, întrucît atîrnă de voi, trăiţi în pace cu toţi oamenii.

19Prea iubiţilor, nu vă răsbunaţi singuri; ci lăsaţi să se răzbune mînia lui Dumnezeu; căci este scris: ,,Răzbunarea este a Mea; Eu voi răsplăti„, zice Domnul.

20Dimpotrivă: dacă îi este foame vrăjmaşului tău, dă -i să mănînce; dacă -i este sete, dă -i să bea; căci dacă vei face astfel, vei grămădi cărbuni aprinşi pe capul lui.„

21Nu te lăsa biruit de rău, ci biruieşte răul prin bine.

De la ResurseCrestine:

 

Nelu (Ioan) Peia – Un mesaj despre Rugaciune, Ianuarie 2011

via AlfaOmegaTv.  Pe video veti viziona o introducere de 6 minute, dupa care Nelu Peia vorbeste despre ‘Rugaciune’:

Vizionati Nelu Peia – Lider Miscarea Strajerilor – Predica si Proorocie pentru Statele Unite,  Chicago din 23 Ianuarie,2011 aici:

Nelu Peia – Lider Strajeri, Predica la Chicago 21/01/2011 Biserica Philadelphia Romanian Church of God:

George Galis…o privire in trecut…sosirea in Statele Unite

Iata-ma in sfirsit in ultimul zbor spre tara mult dorita. Ma framantau gandurile daca Pavel Balos o sa ma astepte, daca nu el  cine, unde voi locui, ce fel de frati sunt in Chicago? Dar am contat pe Pavel stiindu-l ca fiind un frate bun si descurcaret. Prima impresie despre America m-a socat cind din avion la aterizarea spre New York, am privit zgariie norii  si orasul in toata splendoarea lui cu lumini feerice, ca intr-o lume de basm. Dupa ce am fost imbarcati pe un alt avion spre Chicago, emotiile mele cresteau, tot mai mult dar am reusit sa le stapinesc.

Biserica din Chicago Sud 1975

Odata sosit la Chicago, dezorientat am iesit si eu cu multimea de pasageri,si deodata din acea multime de oameni am auzit o voce care a zis cu glas  tare: Iata-l pe fratele Galis! Si dintr-odata vreo zece frati adunati in jurul meu au spus cu toti in cor: Bine ai venit frate Galis, apoi imediat dupa aceia un frate mai mic de statura si slabut pe care nu-l stiam, s-a apropiat de mine si mi-a spus: tu frate Galis vi sa locuiesti la mine  pana iti vine familia. Am aflat ca era Fr. Sima Onciu, care mi-a devenit cel mai bun prieten aici in USA.

Familiile Sima Onciu, Isfan,Strizu,Ramiant,Trifu

In seara aceia aveam o casa asigurata pana cind  imi va veni familia. Ce minunat este Dumnezeu, care implineste tot ce a promis. Aveam pregatit un pat in camera pentru mine, locuind in aceiasi camera cu Moise, care era fiul cel mai mare al fratelui Sima. Acolo am locuit timp de un an si mai bine, pana a venit si familia mea. Doua luni de zile au durat pana mi-am gasit un loc de munca, pe care Dumnezeu mi la dat, ca ajutor de intretinere la un bloc cu
apartamente de pe Strada Pine Grove cu Diversey. Acolo am lucrat timp de un an de zile, dupa care in  anul 1972 am fost angajat la Columbus Hospital de pe Lake View, de unde m-am si pensionat in anul 2002. Slava Sa-i fie adusa lui Dumnezeu si pentru aceasta mare binecuvantare pe care El mi-a dat-o pe tot timpul slujirii mele ca Pastor la Biserica Filadelfia, din data de 20 Septembrie 1973 pana in Octombrie 1984, cand am  predat biserica Pastorului Petru Lascau,dar la care am continuat sa slujesc in continuare ca Pastor Associat.De la familia Onciu am aflat caci noi

Aurel Damian, Ion Pinzaru, George Galis

ne aflam in partea de Sud a orasului Chicago, caci aici cartierele sunt asezate pe nationalitati astfel : In Sud se afla cartierul  de polonezi, iugoslavi, slovaci, afro-americani,   mexicani, iar in partea de Nord erau scotieni, germani, francezi, romani, unguri, italieni si o parte din spanioli. Fratii care au avut un impact puternic in viata mea aici in Chicago la inceput au fost frati romani din Banatul Iugoslav. Familiile: Onciu Sima, Trifu Valer, Ionel Ramaiantu si altii.

Cand eu am ajuns in Chicago, Biserica inca nu avea un locas propriu de inchinare , ci s-au rentat case de rugaciune unde noi ne adunam in timpul disponibil al acelor biserici. Biserica din South, cum se numea atunci, era plina de dragoste frateasca. Fratii erau primitori de oaspeti. La venirea mea s-a facut o masa de dragoste.

In Ianuarie 1972 am fost ales in comitetul bisericii. Am sa redau pentru invatatura celor ce vor citi aceste rinduri urmatoarea intamplare, acesta a fost primul meu test ca membru in comitetul bisericii. Pastorul ma imprumutase cu suma de 3000 de dolari ca sa-i pun in contul Ambasadei Romane de atunci la Contul Inundatiilor ce au avut loc in Romania in anul 1970. Consulul ne-a spus ca daca si voi simtiti cu tara si noi va vom ajuta sa va aduceti familiile cat mai repede. Adevarul este ca banii donati pentru acest cont au avut efect, caci familia mea a venit la un an dupa ce am complectat actele. Fratele Pastor cand mi-a dat banii mi-a spus: Ti-i las pana cand tu poti sa mi-i dai inapoi. Intre timp s-a ivit o discutie contradictorie intre Pastor si un frate din Biserica. Pentru caci ceialalti din comitet nu spuneau nimic, Pastorul m-a intrebat pe mine: D-ta ce zici am dreptate sau nu? Eu analizind problema am spus: Frate Pastor nu aveti dreptate. La care pastorul mi-a spus suparat : Sa-mi dai banii inapoi chiar acum. Dar bine fr. Pastor nu-i am acuma acesti bani. Nu ma intereseaza mi-a spus el.In momentul acela fratele caruia pe buna dreptate i-am aparat cauza dreapta, a scos un check  cu suma pe care o datoram fratelui Pastor. Pastorul a luat check-ul, si lucrurile s-au linistit. Nu la mult timp dupa acest incident fratele care mi-a imprumutat suma platindu-i Pastorului, are din nou un conflict cu un alt frate, si acuma el imi cere parerea daca are dreptate, dar de data aceasta era vinovat si ii spun: Ioane nu ai dreptate!  Suparat atunci el mi-a spus: Sa-mi dai banii inapoi chiar acum! Uimit de ce se intimpla, nu mai aveam cuvint, nu-mi venea sa cred ce auzeam. In acele momente de tacere si tensiune, fratele Pastor fiind acolo a inceput sa vorbeasca, zicind: Frate Galis acum vad ca esti un om al dreptatii, uite aici un check de 3000 de dolari ce-i datorezi. Imi pare rau de felul cum am procedat ultima oara si-ti cer iertarea, iar bani poti sa mi-i dai inapoi cind vei putea.

Totusi Biserica crestea numeric si se intarea in Domnul. In Biserica a mai venit dupa aceia si fratele Ioan Panzarul, un bun evanghelist si invatator care a stabilizat Biserica. In Biserica din South eram cateva familii cari aveam viziunea ca sa cumparam Locas de Inchinare in partea de Nord in mijlocul comunitati Romanesti, dar fratii din Banatul Iugoslav, aveau case si propietati in partea de sud, si ei au cautat si au cumparat o Biserica in sud pe 59 Streets, colt cu California. Noi le-am spus cand voi cumparati Biserica aici in South noi vom pleca pasnic si vom deschide o Biserica in Nord. Acest lucru s-a intimplat in mod pasnic: urmatoarele familii ne-am deslipit de fratii din South:Familia Ion Strizu, Samuila Isfan, George Galis, Petre Reman, Ghita Munteanu, Dorel Micula, Willy Reman, Nicolae Garneata, aceste familii si copiii totalizand 35 de suflete. Acest lucru s-a intamplat in luna Septembrie 1973. Urmeaza Bazele Bisericii din nord.

Familia Valer Trifu si Sima Onciu

Familia Valer Trifu

Sima si Lidia Onciu, Samuil Isfan, George Galis, Familia Negrau

Click pentru alte articole de George Galis:

George Galis Post – O privire in trecut… Romania

George Galis – o privire in trecut… Lagarul din Austria

George Galis…o privire in trecut…cum mi-am facut o biblioteca la virsta de 12 ani

George Galis interviu la Televiziunea Romana Internationala

Formatia Omega – Cintari ziditoare

Citeva cintari ale formatiei Omega, din care face parte familia unui bun prieten al fratelui Galis, Ion Curescu.

‘Ceru-ntreg te-asteapta’ solo Claudia Curescu

‘Iti multumesc Isuse’

‘Sfintenia Ta’

‘Riul vietii’ Solo – Adi Tise

Poezia ‘Dimineata’, autor Ion Curescu

Fratele Ion Curescu este un  prieten bun al familiei Galis; el este un om care-l iubeste pe Domnul Isus Hristos, si este un prieten adevarat.  Poezia aceasta este compusa de Ion Curescu, si apare in Volumul  I a cartii  sale  intitulate  –          PICURI DIN SUFLET.

Dimineata

Cind cerul isi deschide geana si apare linia dealului in zare,

Iar nori de neguri se retrag niciunde si din camara lui si soarele rasare,

Apare dimineata ca-ntr-o taina, cu ea parca se naste alta viata,

Cind dintre neguri mohorite ca-ntr-o haina, in suflet parca-mi da in soapta o povata.

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Vezi, suflete, cum se destrama neguri cind soarele zvicneste dupa dealuri?

La fel pacatul piere-atunci cind din poveri Isus iti face daruri.

De-abia atunci tu sti ce e povara, cind simti ca n-o mai ai in tine,

Atunci cunosti ce-i viata cea murdara, cind pacea lui Isus in tine vine.

.

Atunci, de-abia atunci cunosti pacatul, cind vine ceasul desteptarii.

Pina atunci ai stat in bezna, n-ai stiut ce-i ziua-n geana zarii.

De-abia atunci cind soarele strapunge cu razele-ntunericul din lume,

Atunci de-abia zaresti mormanul pacatului descoperit in tine.

.

Vezi, suflete, ce poate face Isus? Aduce pacatosul la viata

Din moarte-adusa prin Adamul vechi, ca soarele ce-aduce dimineata.

Ce dulce suna cintecul desteptarii!…Ca clinchetul ce-l duce clopotelul!

Il sorb precum tarina-absoarbe apa in clipele fierbinti ale-nserarii.

.

Frumoase-s zorile ce-apar pe bolta cind dup-o noapte grea aduc lumina!

Vezi suflete? Asa e Isus cind curata din tine vechea tina.

Cind cerul isi deschide geana si tainic iti sopteste despre viata

Atunci sa stii s-asculti: E Isus, alunga intunericul si-aduce dimineata!

Formatia Omega – solo Flaviu Mitaru

Generatii spre salvare‘ Formatia Omega, solo Flaviu Mitar

‘Voi veni’ Formatia Omega, solo Flaviu Mitar

Pleaca-ti genunchii‘ Formatia Omega, solo Flaviu Mitar

How to Get a Camel through a Needle’s Eye by John Piper

Click here to read entire message and to listen to the audio sermon at DesiringGod.org

April 30, 2000  by John Piper 

Matthew 19:16-30

And someone came to Him and said, „Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, „Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 Then he said to Him, „Which ones?” And Jesus said, „YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS; 19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 20 The young man said to Him, „All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21 Jesus said to him, „If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus said to His disciples, „Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 „Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, „Then who can be saved?” 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, „With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said to Him, „Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” 28 And Jesus said to them, „Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 „And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30 „But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.”

What Does „Salvation” Mean?

In Matthew 19:16-30 the issue is salvation. And that’s the issue for us. We want to pray toward 1500 people who are now lost being saved. So let’s notice, first, six different ways that salvation is described in this text.

1. Verse 16: „And someone came to Him and said, ‘Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?'” That’s the first description: „obtain [or have] eternal life.”

2. Verse 17b: Jesus says, „If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” The second way to express „salvation” is „enter into life.”

3. Verse 23: „Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.'” Third, you can describe salvation as „entering the kingdom of heaven.”

4. Verse 24: Again Jesus says, „It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” The fourth way to say it is „enter the kingdom of God.” There is no substantial difference between „kingdom of heaven” (verse 23) and „kingdom of God” (verse 24).

5. Verse 25: „When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, ‘Then who can be saved?'” There is the familiar word „saved.” So now we know „being saved” means here having eternal life and entering the kingdom of God. The opposite would be eternal death and separation from God – a place and a condition which Jesus more than anyone else in the Bible calls „Hell,” a place of great torment.

6. Verse 29: Jesus says to Peter, „Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” Here the future orientation of the passage becomes clear. „Salvation” means „inheriting eternal life” in the age to come.

This is what the rich young man was after. And it is what we are after. And it is what we want others to have through our lives and ministries. That is the goal of the „harvesting” half of 2000 by 2000. We believe eternal life is at stake in how people respond to Jesus. We want them to be saved and have eternal life and enter the kingdom of God and not be condemned on the Day of Judgment.

So now what does Jesus tell us about this salvation?

Humanly Impossible

The most striking thing he tells us is that the conversion that leads to this salvation is humanly impossible. And this is all the more striking because the question he is answering when he says this could easily have been answered without bringing up the issue of the impossibility of conversion.

Let’s look at this in the text. This young man, who wants eternal life, claims in verse 20 to keep the whole law that Jesus had summed up with „Love your neighbor as yourself” in verse 19: „All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” I don’t think Jesus agrees with this man’s self-assessment – namely that he loves his neighbor as himself.

And so, to expose the man’s love of money and his dependence on money, Jesus says in verse 21, „If you wish to be complete [or perfect], go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” If you want to be what you need to be and inherit eternal life, 1) unshackle your heart from your possessions, 2) have a heart for the poor, 3) treasure God in heaven, and 4) follow me (see also John 10:26-27).

But verse 22 says the young man „went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.” Jesus responded to this departure in verses 23-24: „Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. (24) Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” One thing is crystal clear: a camel cannot go through the eye of a needle. It is impossible. And if you have ever heard anyone say that this is a reference to a gate in the wall around Jerusalem which was so small that a camel had to get down low and take the load off its back, there is no such gate and the context will not allow such an interpretation.

Jesus interprets his own meaning in his response to what the disciples ask next. They are astonished and ask in verse 25, „Then who can be saved?” Now at this point Jesus has the golden opportunity to answer with something like: „The poor can be saved.” Or: „Believers can be saved.” Or: „Those who follow me can be saved.” But he does not say any of those. He follows through with the meaning of what he had just said about the camel and the needle’s eye. He says in verse 26, „With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

What is Jesus referring to when he says, „This is impossible”? The rich young man had just been unwilling to leave his possessions, and care for the poor and treasure God and follow Jesus. Jesus had said, See how hard it is for a rich man to be converted into a follower of mine. It’s as hard as a camel going through a needle’s eye. But then the disciples broaden the issue to everybody: „Who then can be saved?” And Jesus in essence says, „The point I am making about the rich is true for everybody. This is not a problem with money. It’s a problem with the human heart.” So he makes the broad general statement: „With people this is impossible.” That is, conversion for everyone is humanly impossible. Who then can be saved? Answer: No one -unless God intervenes to do what is humanly impossible.

But Can’t a Person Just Decide?

This is what Jesus meant in John 6:65, „No one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” It’s what Paul meant in Romans 8:7 where he said, „The mind of the flesh. . . does not submit to the law of God, for indeed it cannot.” And 1 Corinthians 2:14, „A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” And Ephesians 2:5, „We were dead in our trespasses and sins.” It is impossible for a dead man to be converted – unless God does the humanly impossible.

Now there is a kind of theology that says, Yes, with man conversion is impossible apart from God’s grace, but God makes it possible for everyone by a universal work of grace which he gives to all people everywhere. So, this view says, God overcomes the deadness of our fallen nature and makes all men able to believe.* So it would be impossible without this grace, but with this grace it is possible. And God has given it to everyone. And now the decisive act of conversion is our work, apart from any added work on God’s part.

But that interpretation won’t work in this text. Here is a rich man who loves his riches so much that he chooses to have them rather than to help the poor or have treasure in heaven or follow Jesus. When Jesus explains this tragic choice, what does he say? Does he say: God’s universal grace had overcome the hardness and rebellion of the man’s heart and made it possible for him to leave his riches and love the poor and treasure heaven and trust Jesus, but the man still did not do it? Is that his explanation for the man’ s not leaving his riches and following Jesus? No. That is not his explanation. His explanation of the man’s unwillingness to leave his riches and follow Christ is: With humans it is impossible.

It’s irrelevant in this text to argue that God makes faith possible for all men, and that the reason some don’t believe is merely their own independent liberty. It’s irrelevant because the issue here is why this one particular man does not use his so-called „liberty” to leave his riches and follow Christ. And what is Jesus’ explanation that this particular man, in this moment, would not leave his riches and follow Jesus? His answer is: With humans it is impossible. In other words, even if there is a universal grace that enlightens every man that comes into the world, what Jesus is explaining here is one particular man’s refusal to leave money and follow Jesus, even with such a universal grace. And his explanation for this man, even with such universal grace, is: He did not follow me because „with humans it is impossible.”

Therefore what Jesus means when he says in verse 26, „With God all things are possible,” is that God can and does effectually enable people to leave their riches and follow Christ. He does grant repentance, as Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:25. He does grant that we come to Christ (John 6:65). He does work in us the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8). He does the humanly impossible to convert sinners and bring them to eternal life.

What Will We Do With This Impossibility?

Now we as individuals and as a church stand at a fork in the road at this point in the message. 1) We can elevate our human reasonings above Scripture and say, „Well, if conversion is impossible with man, then I’m not going to pray or evangelize the lost. Because my mind tells me, What’s the point?” Or 2) we can submit to this word of Jesus and to the whole counsel of God in the Bible and say, „Because all things are possible with God, including the conversion of the hardest sinner and the most spiritually callous person we know, therefore we will pray to this all-powerful God for such conversions, and we will speak the gospel of Christ with great expectation that this is the very means God will use to do what is humanly impossible.”

There is no doubt which road we should take. It is the road of confident, God-centered, courageous, loving evangelism and prayer. „All things are possible with God” was spoken not only over $9 million; it was spoken over your wayward son and your unbelieving dad and self-sufficient brother, your alcoholic neighbor and the secular people you work with, Muslim Somalis of Minneapolis and your Jewish friends and the kids you go to school with.

Who can be saved? Are you going to stop with the words, „With man this is impossible”? Or will you go on and rejoice over the words, „But all things are possible with God.” Think of the hardest unbeliever you know – and then say with Jesus, „All things are possible with God.” Nobody is too hard for God to save. Therefore let us ask him to do it, and let us boldly fill our mouths with the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation.

I call you to three specific ways we can be about this as a congregation in the next eight months:

1. Join Dan Holst and the other prayer leaders and me each month for First Sunday Sunrise Prayer from 6:30 to 8:00 am. This will start next Sunday at 6:30 AM and continue on the first Sundays of the month for the rest of the year with a view to praying that God would do the impossible, not only to complete the pledges but to complete 2000 by 2000.

2. Join the staff and me for the usual First Tuesday Fast at 12:30 this Tuesday. We skip lunch and worship and pray from 12:30 to 1:00. Only now, we will enlarge the focus of the first Tuesday fasts and include our prayer that God would do these two impossible things – finishing the pledges and finishing 2000 by 2000.

3. Pray earnestly and expectantly – each of us – that God would grant us each to lead one person to Christ this year. Here I give you permission to do the math. If we long to see 1500 people profess faith in Christ this year, how many people do 1500 people have to win? One each.

With God all things are possible. Let’s believe it and let’s make it the basis of our prayer and our giving and our evangelism. Amen.

NOTES *Explaining the position of Arminianism, and of John Wesley in particular, Millard Erickson says, „This prevenient grace also makes it possible for any person to accept the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ.” Christian Theology, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985), p. 914. To see Wesley’s own words see the sermon, „On Working Out Our Own Salvation” section iii, paragraph 4 at .

© Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

On Working Out our own Salvation. John Wesley – Sermon #85

ON WORKING OUT OUR OWN SALVATION

„Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil. 2:12-13.

1. Some great truths, as the being and attributes of God, and the difference between moral good and evil, were known, in some measure, to the heathen world. The traces of them are to be found in all nations; So that, in some sense, it may be said to every child of man, „He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; even to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” With this truth he has, in some measure, „enlightened every one that cometh into the world.” And hereby they that „have not the law,” that have no written law, „are a law unto themselves.” They show „the work of the law,” – the substance of it, though not the letter, – „written in their hearts,” by the same hand which wrote the commandments on the tables of stone; „Their conscience also bearing them witness,” whether they act suitably thereto or not.

2. But there are two grand heads of doctrine, which contain many truths of the most important nature, of which the most enlightened Heathens in the ancient world were totally ignorant; as are also the most intelligent Heathens that are now on the face of the earth; I mean those which relate to the eternal Son of God, and the Spirit of God: To the Son, giving himself to be „a propitiation for the sins of the world;” and to the Spirit of God, renewing men in that image of God wherein they were created. For after all the pains which ingenious and learned men have taken (that great man, the Chevalier Ramsay, in particular) to find some resemblance of these truths in the immense rubbish of heathen authors, the resemblance is so exceeding faint, as not to be discerned but by a very lively imagination. Beside that, even this resemblance, faint as it was, is only to be found in the discourses of a very few; and those were the most improved and deeply-thinking men, in their several generations; while the innumerable multitudes that surrounded them were little better for the knowledge of the philosophers, but remained as totally ignorant even of these capital truths as were the beasts that perish.

3. Certain it is, that these truths were never known to the vulgar, the bulk of mankind, to the generality of men in any nation, till they were brought to light by the gospel. Nevertheless a spark of knowledge glimmering here and there, the whole earth was covered with darkness, till the Sun of Righteousness arose and scattered the shades of night. Since this day-spring from on high has appeared, a great light hath shined unto those who, till then, sat in darkness and in the shadow of death. And thousands of them in every age have known, „that God so loved the world, as to give his only Son, to the end that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And being entrusted with the oracles of God, they have known that God hath also given us his Holy Spirit, who „worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

4. How remarkable are those words of the Apostle, which precede these! „Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God,” – the incommunicable nature of God from eternity – „counted it no act of robbery,” – (that is the precise meaning of the word,) no invasion of any other’s prerogative, but his own unquestionable right, – „to be equal with God.” The word implies both the fullness and the supreme height of the Godhead; to which are opposed the two words, he emptied and he humbled himself. He „emptied himself” of that divine fullness, veiled his fullness from the eyes of men and angels; „taking,” and by that very act emptying himself, „the form of a servant; being made in the likeness of man,” a real man, like other men. „And being found in fashion as a man,” – a common man, without any peculiar beauty or excellency, – „he humbled himself” to a still greater degree, „becoming obedient” to God, though equal with him, „even unto death; yea, the death of the cross:” The greatest instance both of humiliation and obedience. [Phil. 2:5-11]

Having proposed the example of Christ, the Apostle exhorts them to secure the salvation which Christ hath purchased for them: „Wherefore, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

In these comprehensive words we may observe,

I. That grand truth, which ought never to be out of our of remembrance, „It is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.”

II. The improvement we ought to make of it: „Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

III. The connection between them: „It is God that worketh in you;” therefore „work out your own salvation.”

I. 1. First. We are to observe that great and important truth which ought never to be out of our remembrance: „It is God that worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” The meaning of these words may be made more plain by a small transposition of them: „It is God that of his good pleasure worketh in you both to will and to do.” This position of the words, connecting the phrase, of his good pleasure, with the word worketh, removes all imagination of merit from man, and gives God the whole glory of his own work. Otherwise, we might have had some room for boasting, as if it were our own desert, some goodness in us, or some good thing done by us, which first moved God to work. But this expression cuts off all such vain conceits, and clearly shows his motive to work lay wholly in himself-in his, own mere grace, in his unmerited mercy.

2. It is by this alone he is impelled to work in man both to will and to do. The expression is capable of two interpretations; both of which are unquestionably true. First, to will, may include the whole of inward, to do, the whole of outward, religion. And if it be thus understood, it implies, that it is God that worketh both inward and outward holiness. Secondly, ,to will, may imply every good desire; to do, whatever results therefrom. And then the sentence means, God breathes into us every good desire, and brings every good desire to good effect.

3. The original words, _~to ~thelein_ and _~to energein_, seem to favor the latter construction: _~to ~thelein_, which we render to will, plainly including every good desire, whether relating to our tempers, words, or actions; to inward or outward holiness. And _~to energein~~_, which we render to do, manifestly implies all that power from on high, all that energy which works in us every right disposition, and then furnishes us for every good word and work.

4. Nothing can so directly tend to hide pride from man as a deep, lasting conviction of this. For if we are thoroughly sensible that we have nothing which we have not received, how can we glory as if we had not received it? If we know and feel that the very first motion of good is from above, as well as the power which conducts it to the end; if it is God that not only infuses every good desire, but that accompanies and follows it, else it vanishes away; then it evidently follows, that „he who glorieth” must „glory in the Lord.”

II. 1. Proceed we now to the Second point: If God worketh in you, then work out your own salvation. The original word rendered, work out, implies the doing a thing thoroughly. Your own; for you yourselves must do this, or it will be left undone forever. Your own salvation: Salvation begins with what is usually termed (and very properly) preventing grace; including the first wish to please God, the first dawn of light concerning his will, and the first slight transient conviction of having sinned against him. All these imply some tendency toward life; some degree of salvation; the beginning of a deliverance from a blind, unfeeling heart, quite insensible of God and the things of God. Salvation is carried on by convincing grace, usually in Scripture termed repentance; which brings a larger measure of self-knowledge, and a farther deliverance from the heart of stone. Afterwards we experience the proper Christian salvation; whereby, „through grace,” we „are saved by faith;” consisting of those two grand branches, justification and sanctification. By justification we are saved from the guilt of sin, and restored to the favor of God; by sanctification we are saved from the power and root of sin, and restored to the image of God. All experience, as well as Scripture, shows this salvation to be both instantaneous and gradual. It begins the moment we are justified, in the holy, humble, gentle, patient love of God and man. It gradually increases from that moment, as „a grain of mustard-seed, which, at first, is the least of all seeds,” but afterwards puts forth large branches, and becomes a great tree; till, in another instant, the heart is cleansed, from all sin, and filled with pure love to God and man. But even that love increases more and more, till we „grow up in all things into him that is our Head;” till we attain „the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

2. But how are we to work out this salvation? The Apostle answers, „With fear and trembling.” There is another passage of St. Paul wherein the same expression occurs, which may give light to this: „Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh,” – according to the present state of things, although sensible that in a little time the servant will be free from his master, – „with fear and trembling.” This is a proverbial expression, which cannot be understood literally. For what master could bear, much less require, his servant to stand trembling and quaking before him? And the following words utterly exclude this meaning: „In singleness of heart;” with a single eye to the will and providence of God; „not with eye- service, as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” doing whatever they do as the will of God, and, therefore, with their might. (Eph. 6:5, etc..) It is easy to see that these strong expressions of the Apostle clearly imply two things: First, that everything be done with the utmost earnestness of spirit, and with all care and caution: (Perhaps more directly referring to the former word, _meta phobou~~~~_, with fear:) Secondly, that it be done with the utmost diligence, speed, punctuality, and exactness; not improbably referring to the latter word, _,meta tromou_, with trembling.

3. How easily may we transfer this to the business of life, the working out our own salvation! With the same temper, and in the same manner, that Christian servants serve their masters that are upon earth, let other Christians labor to serve their Master that is in heaven: that is, First, with the utmost earnestness of spirit, with all possible care and caution; and, secondly, with the utmost diligence, speed, punctuality, and exactness.

4. But what are the steps which the Scripture directs us to take, in the working out of our own salvation? The Prophet Isaiah gives us a general answer, touching the first steps which we are to take: „Cease to do evil; learn to do well.” If ever you desire that God should work in you that faith whereof cometh both present and eternal salvation, by the grace already given, fly from all sin as from the face of a serpent; carefully avoid every evil word and work; yea, abstain from all appearance of evil. And „learn to do well:” Be zealous of good works, of works of piety, as well as works of mercy; family prayer, and crying to God in secret. Fast in secret, and „your Father which seeth in secret, he will reward you openly.” „Search the Scriptures:” Hear them in public, read them in private, and meditate therein. At every opportunity, be a partaker of the Lord’s Supper. „Do this in remembrance of him: and he will meet you at his own table. Let your conversation be with the children of God; and see that it „be in grace, seasoned with salt.” As ye have time, do good unto all men; to their souls and to their bodies. And herein „be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” It then only remains that ye deny yourselves and take up your cross daily. Deny yourselves every pleasure which does not prepare you for taking pleasure in God, and willingly embrace every means of drawing near to God, though it be a cross, though it be grievous to flesh and blood. Thus when you have redemption in the blood of Christ, you will „go on to perfection;” till „walking in the light as he is in the light,” you are enabled to testify, that „he is faithful and just,” not only to „forgive” your „sins,” but to „cleanse” you from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9]

III. 1. „But,” say some, „what connection is there between the former and the latter clause of this sentence? Is there not rather a flat opposition between the one and the other? If it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do, what need is there of our working? Does not his working thus supersede the necessity of our working at all? Nay, does it not render our working impracticable, as well as unnecessary? For if we allow that God does all, what is there left for us to do?”

2. Such is the reasoning of flesh and blood. And, at first hearing, it is exceeding plausible. But it is not solid; as will evidently appear, if we consider the matter more deeply. We shall then see there is no opposition between these, „God works; therefore, do we work;” but, on the contrary, the closest connection; and that in two respects. For, First, God works; therefore you can work. Secondly, God works, therefore you must work.

3. First. God worketh in you; therefore you can work: Otherwise it would be impossible. If he did not work it would be impossible for you to work out your own salvation. „With man this is impossible,” saith our Lord, „for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Yea, it is impossible for any man, for any that is born of a woman, unless God work in him. Seeing all men are by nature not only sick, but „dead in trespasses and sins,” it is not possible for them to do anything well till God raises them from the dead. It was impossible for Lazarus to come forth, till the Lord had given him life. And it is equally impossible for us to come out of our sins, yea, or to make the least motion toward it, till He who hath all power in heaven and earth calls our dead souls into life.

4. Yet this is no excuse for those who continue in sin, and lay the blame upon their Maker, by saying, „It is God only that must quicken us; for we cannot quicken our own souls.” For allowing that all the souls of men are dead in sin by nature, this excuses none, seeing there is no man that is in a state of mere nature; there is no man, unless he has quenched the Spirit, that is wholly void of the grace of God. No man living is entirely destitute of what is vulgarly called natural conscience. But this is not natural: It is more properly termed preventing grace. Every man has a greater or less measure of this, which waiteth not for the call of man. Every one has, sooner or later, good desires; although the generality of men stifle them before they can strike deep root, or produce any considerable fruit. Everyone has some measure of that light, some faint glimmering ray, which, sooner or later, more or less, enlightens every man that cometh into the world. And every one, unless he be one of the small number whose conscience is seared as with a hot iron, feels more or less uneasy when he acts contrary to the light of his own conscience. So that no man sins because he has not grace, but because he does not use the grace which he hath.

5. Therefore inasmuch as God works in you, you are now able to work out your own salvation. Since he worketh in you of his own good pleasure, without any merit of yours, both to will and to do, it is possible for you to fulfil all righteousness. It is possible for you to „love God, because he hath first loved us;” and to „walk in love,” after the pattern of our great Master. We know, indeed, that word of his to be absolutely true: „Without me ye can do nothing.” But on the other hand, we know, every believer can say „I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me.”

6. Meantime let us remember that God has joined these together in the experience of every believer; and therefore we must take care, not to imagine they are ever to be put asunder. We must beware of that mock humility which teacheth us to say, in excuse for our wilful disobedience, „O, I can do nothing!” and stops there, without once naming the grace of God. Pray, think twice. Consider what you say. I hope you wrong yourself; for if it be really true that you can do nothing, then you have no faith. And if you have not faith, you are in a wretched condition: You are not in a state of salvation. Surely it is not so. You can do something, through Christ strengthening you. Stir up the spark of grace which is now in you, and he will give you more grace.

7. Secondly, God worketh in you; therefore you must work: You must be „workers together with him,” (they are the very words of the Apostle,) otherwise he will cease working. The general rule on which his gracious dispensations invariably proceed is this: „Unto him that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not,” – that does not improve the grace already given, – „shall be taken away what he assuredly hath.” (So the words ought to be rendered.) Even St. Augustine, who is generally supposed to favor the contrary doctrine, makes that just remark, _Qui fecit nos sine nobis, non salvabit nos sine nobis_:+ „He that made us without ourselves, will not save us without ourselves.” He will not save us unless we „save ourselves from this untoward generation;” unless we ourselves „fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life; „unless we „agonize to enter in at the strait gate,”deny ourselves, and take up our cross daily,” and labor by every possible means to „make our own calling and election sure.”

8. „Labor” then, brethren, „not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth to everlasting life.” Say with our blessed Lord, though in a somewhat different sense, „My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” In consideration that he still worketh in you, be never „weary of well-doing.” Go on, in virtue of the grace of God, preventing, accompanying, and following you, in „the work of faith, in the patience of hope, and in the labor of love.”Be ye steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” And „the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep,” (Jesus,) „make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever!”

 

Semnele Vremurilor – Uniunea Europeana si Turnul Babel – Pastorul Daniel Branzai

(Articol din seria „Biblia profetică“) de la blogul Semnele Vremurilor. autor Pastor Daniel Branzai.

În textul Bibliei, există trei semnificații ale termenului „lume”:

– lumea ca univers al creației lui Dumnezeu,

– lumea ca mulțime de oameni creați de Dumnezeu,

– lumea ca sistem de civilizație desprins de Dumnezeu și subordonat lui Satan.

In acest articol Daniel Branzai discuta  „Lumea” – ca sistem si da un exemplu contemporan:

Simbolistica Malefica In Cladirea Parlamentului European

Pastorul Branzai conclude: Uniunea Europeana, formata din 27 de tari, se doreste a fi un superstat puternic. Aceeasi soarta le asteapta si pe tarile americane si asiatice, care sunt gata pentru a se uni intr-o suprastructura puternica. Acestea sunt etapele inaintea crearii unicului guvern mondial, visul de secole al societatilor oculte, pentru a putea manipula intreaga lume cat mai usor. Cladirea Parlamentului European reprezinta un monument ce dezvaluie, prin simbolismul sau, ura fata de religiile actuale, instaurarea unei tiranii subtile, deci instaurarea Noii Ordini Mondiale.

CLICK  AICI  SI  CITESTE MAI DEPARTE  ARTICOLUL.

Eoghan Heaslip – Lord Have Mercy (via) Danut Manastareanu

A heartfelt prayer/song featured on Danut Manastereanu’s blog today.

Lord Have Mercy

Jesus, I’ve forgotten the words that You have spoken
Promises that burned within my heart have now grown dim
With a doubting heart I follow the paths of earthly wisdom
Forgive me for my unbelief
Renew the fire again

Chorus
Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy on me

have built an altar where I worship things of men
I have taken journeys that have drawn me far from You
Now I am returning to Your mercies ever flowing
Pardon my transgressions
Help me love You again

I have longed to know You and Your tender mercies
Like a river of forgiveness ever flowing without end
I bow my heart before You in the goodness of Your presence
Your grace forever shining
Like a beacon in the night

Reasons for God – Alvin Plantinga

Alvin Carl Plantinga (born November 15, 1932) is an American analytic philosopher, formerly the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and Christian apologetics. Plantinga is a Christian and known for applying the methods of analytic philosophy to defend orthodox Christian beliefs.

Plantinga is the author of a number of books, including God and Other Minds (1967), The Nature of Necessity (1974), and the „warrant” series culminating in Warranted Christian Belief (2000). He has delivered the Gifford Lectures three times, and was described by Time magazine in 1980 as „America’s leading orthodox Protestant philosopher of God.”[1]

Philosophical views

Notably, Plantiga has argued that some people can know that God exists as a basic belief, requiring no argument, similar to how people usually claim to know that other minds exist. He has also argued that there is no logical inconsistency between the existence of evil and the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, wholly good God.[25]

Problem of evil

Main article: Plantinga’s free will defense

In The Nature of Necessity, Plantinga presents his free will defense to the logical problem of evil. Plantinga’s aim is to show that the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, wholly good God is not inconsistent with the existence of evil, as many philosophers have argued.

In a truncated form, Plantinga’s argument is as follows: He argues that it is greater for a being to possess free will, as opposed to being non-free. And because a God cannot guarantee the benevolence of a truly free being without intervention or influence, thus removing free will, it follows that for a being to have true free will that they must be capable of moral evil else such a being would be only capable of moral good, which in itself is as Plantinga stated: „Entirely paradoxical”. Plantinga goes on to argue that a world with free will is more valuable then a world without such, therefore God has reason to create a world which has the capability of evil. Thus because of this the existence of evil counts „neither against God’s omnipotence nor against His goodness„, rather it is an error by the creature in their exercise of such freedom.[26]

According to Chad Meister, professor of philosophy at Bethel College, most contemporary philosophers accept Plantinga’s argument.[27] The problem of evil is now commonly framed in evidential form which does not involve the claim that God and evil are logically contradictory or inconsistent. However, some philosophers continue to defend the cogency of the logical problem of evil.[30]

Reformed epistemology

Plantinga’s contributions to epistemology include an argument which he dubs „Reformed epistemology„. According to Reformed epistemology, belief in God can be rational and justified even without arguments or evidence for the existence of God. More specifically, Plantinga argues that belief in God is properly basic, and due to a religious externalist epistemology, he claims belief in God could be justified independently of evidence. His externalist epistemology, called „Proper functionalism,” is a form of epistemological reliabilism.

Plantinga discusses his view of Reformed epistemology and Proper functionalism in a three volume series. In the first book of the trilogy, Warrant: The Current Debate, Plantinga introduces, analyzes, and criticizes 20th century developments in analytic epistemology, particularly the works of Chisholm, BonJour, Alston, Goldman, and others.

In the second book, Warrant and Proper Function, he introduces the notion of warrant as an alternative to justification and discusses topics like self-knowledge, memories, perception, and probability. Plantinga’s proper function account argues that as a necessary condition of having warrant is that one’s „belief-forming and belief-maintaining apparatus of powers” are functioning properly—”working the way it ought to work”.[31] Plantinga explains his argument for proper function with reference to a „design plan”, as well as an environment in which one’s cognitive equipment is optimal for use. Plantinga asserts that the design plan does not require a designer: „it is perhaps possible that evolution (undirected by God or anyone else) has somehow furnished us with our design plans”,[32] but the paradigm case of a design plan is like a technological product designed by a human being (like a radio or a wheel).

Plantinga seeks to defend this view of proper function against alternative views of proper function proposed by other philosophers which he groups together as ‘naturalistic’ including the ‘functional generalization’ view of John Pollock, the evolutionary/etiological account provided by Ruth Millikan, and a dispositional view held by John Bigelow and Robert Pargetter.[33] Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism is also discussed in the later chapters of Warrant and Proper Function.

In 2000, the third volume, Warranted Christian Belief, was published. Plantinga reintroduces his theory of warrant to ask whether Christian theistic belief can enjoy warrant. He argues that this is plausible. Notably, the book does not address whether or not Christian theism is true.

Modal ontological argument

Plantinga has expressed a modal logic version of the ontological argument in which he uses modal logic to develop, in a more rigorous and formal way, Norman Malcolm‘s and Charles Hartshorne‘s modal ontological arguments.

Evolutionary argument against naturalism

In Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism, he argues that the truth of evolution is an epistemic defeater for naturalism (i.e. if evolution is true, it undermines naturalism). His basic argument is that if evolution and naturalism are both true, human cognitive faculties evolved to produce beliefs that have survival value (maximizing one’s success at the four F’s: „feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing”), not necessarily to produce beliefs that are true. Thus, since human cognitive faculties are tuned to survival rather than truth in the naturalism-cum-evolution model, there is reason to doubt the veracity of the products of those same faculties, including naturalism and evolution themselves. On the other hand, if God created man „in his image” by way of an evolutionary process (or any other means), then Plantinga argues our faculties would probably be reliable.

The argument does not assume any necessary correlation (or uncorrelation) between true beliefs and survival. Making the contrary assumption—that there is in fact a relatively strong correlation between truth and survival—if human belief-forming apparatus evolved giving a survival advantage, then it ought to yield truth since true beliefs confer a survival advantage. Plantinga counters that, while there may be overlap between true beliefs and beliefs that contribute to survival, the two kinds of beliefs are not the same.

Position on evolution and Christianity

In the past, Plantinga has lent support to the intelligent design movement.[35] He was a member of the ‘Ad Hoc Origins Committee’ that supported Philip E. Johnson‘s book Darwin on Trial against palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould‘s high profile scathing review in Scientific American in 1992.[36] Plantinga also provided a back-cover endorsement of Johnson’s book.[37] He was a Fellow of the (now moribund) pro-intelligent design International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design,[38] and has presented at a number of intelligent design conferences.[39] He is among the charter signatories of the 2008 published „Evangelical Manifesto”.[40]

In a March 2010 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, philosopher of science Michael Ruse claims that Plantinga is an „open enthusiast of intelligent design.”[41] In a letter to the editor, Plantinga has the following response:

Like any Christian (and indeed any theist), I believe that the world has been created by God, and hence „intelligently designed.” The hallmark of intelligent design, however, is the claim that this can be shown scientifically; I’m dubious about that. …As far as I can see, God certainly could have used Darwinian processes to create the living world and direct it as he wanted to go; hence evolution as such does not imply that there is no direction in the history of life. What does have that implication is not evolutionary theory itself, but unguided evolution, the idea that neither God nor any other person has taken a hand in guiding, directing or orchestrating the course of evolution. But the scientific theory of evolution, sensibly enough, says nothing one way or the other about divine guidance. It doesn’t say that evolution is divinely guided; it also doesn’t say that it isn’t. Like almost any theist, I reject unguided evolution; but the contemporary scientific theory of evolution just as such—apart from philosophical or theological add-ons—doesn’t say that evolution is unguided. Like science in general, it makes no pronouncements on the existence or activity of God.[42]

(source)

Here is an excerpt from the video below, in which Professor Plantinga discusses evolution and naturalism:

What I say, is if you don’t believe in God and if you’re a naturalist and you also accept evolution, then you’ve got a reason to think that your faculties aren’t reliable. If you’re not like that,  like everybody, you just take it for granted that your faculties are reliable, that seems to me perfectly sensible.

The Difference Between Puritans and Evangelicals on Communion with God (via) Justin Taylor

Posted: 27 Jan 2011  by Justin Taylor on the Gospel Coalition Blog:

A convicting quote I return to again and again:

. . . whereas to the Puritans communion with God was a great thing, to evangelicals today it is a comparatively small thing.

The Puritans were concerned about communion with God in a way that we are not.

The measure of our unconcern is the little that we say about it.

When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology—but rarely of their daily experience of God.

Modern Christian books and magazines contain much about Christian doctrine, Christian standards, problems of Christian conduct, techniques of Christian service—but little about the inner realities of fellowship with God. Our sermons contain much sound doctrine—but little relating to the converse between the soul and the Saviour.

We do not spend much time, alone or together, in dwelling on the wonder of the fact that God and sinners have communion at all; no, we just take that for granted, and give our minds to other matters.

Thus we make it plain that communion with God is a small thing to us.

But how different were the Puritans! The whole aim of their ‘practical and experimental’ preaching and writing was to explore the reaches of the doctrine and practice of man’s communion with God.

—J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness (Crossway, 1994), p. 215 (chapter 12).

Iosif Ton – ‘Adevaratul Crestinism’

Matei 28:16-20

16Cei unsprezece ucenici s’au dus în Galilea, în muntele unde le poruncise Isus să meargă.17Cînd L-au văzut ei, I s’au închinat, dar unii s’au îndoit.18Isus S’a apropiat de ei, a vorbit cu ei, şi le -a zis: ,,Toată puterea Mi -a fost dată în cer şi pe pămînt.

19Duceţi-vă şi faceţi ucenici din toate neamurile, botezîndu -i în Numele Tatălui şi al Fiului şi al Sfîntului Duh.20Şi învăţaţi -i să păzească tot ce v’am poruncit. Şi iată că Eu sînt cu voi în toate zilele, pînă la sfîrşitul veacului. Amin

Evrei 5:9

9Şi după ce a fost făcut desăvîrşit, S’a făcut pentru toţi cei ce -L ascultă, urzitorul unei mîntuiri vecinice,

Luca 6:40

40Ucenicul nu este mai pe sus de învăţătorul lui; dar orice ucenic desăvîrşit va fi ca învăţătorul lui.

Matei 5 – Ioan 22

Predica din 2009 la Biserica Baptista, Portland, Oregon;  ResurseCrestine.ro

Cartile recomandate de Iosif Ton:

(Tags- Istoria Crestinismului, Anabaptistii, Martin Luter 1517,Anabaptistii (numiti rebotezatori) au aparut in 1525, Martin Luter despre botez (copii vs. adulti), Martin Luter -Mintuirea doar ca act juridic fara ca omului sa  i se ceara sa se schimbe, Isus rabinul, marea trimitere, Navigatorii, sigurante, carti recomandate, John MacArthur,Evanghelia dupa Isus, Evanghelia conform apostolilor, Dallas Willard,omitem si lasam afara invatatura Domnului Isus in marea trimitere)

Iosif Ton – Biserica conceputa de Hristos

Matei 16:18

Şi Eu îţi spun: tu eşti Petru (Greceşte: Petros.); şi pe această piatră (Greceşte: petra.) voi zidi Biserica Mea, şi porţile Locuinţei morţilor nu o vor birui.
Ioan 1.42; Efes 2.20; Apoc 21.14; Iov 38.17; Ps 9.13; Ps 107.18; Isa 38.10;
video de la resursecrestine.org.

Family series 5 – A Biblical Husband and Family by Paul Washer

You can also view/read :

Part 1  Be a man by Paul Washer

Part 2  Defining masculinity by Matt Chandler

Part 3  Husbands who love like Christ and the wives who submit to them by John Piper

Part 4  What is a wife’s responsibility in solving marital conflict? by John Piper

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