Gabi Zagrean – Iubiti-va unii pe altii

zagrean 2De cand am fost copii, cred ca ni L-am imaginat pe Dumnezeu in foarte multe moduri. Uneori, persoanele care ne-au ajutat sa ne formam imaginea au fost parintii nostri. Daca am avut parte de parinti extremi de severi si au fost si pocaiti, L-am perceput pe Dumnezeu ca un Dumnezeu foarte sever, aproape de un Dumnezeu pe care L-am numit dictator in fata caruia nu puteai sa misti.

Alteori am avut ocazia sa primim in mintea noastra, sa creionam in mintea noastra un Dumnezeu foarte liberal, care ingaduie orice, care tolereaza. Uneori tot prin prizma parintilor care au fost foarte, foarte buni si ne-am creionat in mintea noastra un Dumnezeu care ingaduie si accepta oricare lucru. Daca n-au fost parintii, au fost bisericile in care au crescut si au fost pastorii si predicatorii, care prin felul lor de a prezenta lucrurile, de multe ori ne-au ajutat sau ne-au incurcat sa ne gandim la Dumnezeu intr-un fel sau altul.

Trebuie sa tinem minte ca adevaratul Dumnezeu este Dumnezeul Scripturilor. Dumnezeu este tot ceea ce Biblia imi spune ca este. Uneori este greu sa ne scuturam de lucrurile care ni le-am adunat ani de zile.

Crestinismul nu este o filozofie, nu este o poveste frumoasa, ci crestinismul este o relatie a noastra cu Dumnezeu si unii cu ceilalti. Eu ma tem foarte tare de niste tipare care ni sunt dragi noua, in care cu efort si disciplina ne putem incadra aproape perfect si sa nu avem o legatura si o relatie cu Domnul nostru Isus Hristos. Ma tem de orice forma de religie care m-ar putea desparti de o religie cu Tatal, cu Isus Hristos si cu Duhul Sfant. Vorbesc de lucruri apropiate noua, care pot sa devina niste standarde pentru noi, care sa ne taie legatura noastra cu Domnul. Isus a vorbit vehement de treaba asta. De multe ori viata noastra nu este transformata aici, datorita atator sabloane in care am fost prinsi.


Stiri crestine 26 Ianuarie 2013 – Evanghelizare la inceput de an in Chisinau, Republica Moldova

mai multe stiri crestine gasiti pe site-ul
Din sumarul editiei:
– Un fost mafiot rus lupta acum pentru pacea din Rusia
– Orfanii tailandezi beneficiazi de ingrijire de tip familial
– Adoptiile copiilor din Rusia de catre familiile de americani au fost interzise
– Tinerii evanghelici din Statele Unite lupta pentru abolirea sclaviei moderne
– Gabby Douglas, campioana mondiala la gimnastica, vorbeste despre credinta ei in Dumnezeu
– Evanghelizare la inceput de an in Chisinau, Republica Moldova

Why false doctrine can make you happy

You can listen to the 5 min. podcast here-

John Piper (theologian)

John Piper (theologian) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The famous preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in a sermon on Philippians, said, „False doctrine makes joy in the Lord impossible.”  Pastor John, how would you articulate this connection between orthodoxy and joy? How does false doctrine make joy in the Lord impossible?

John Piper:

The key in that phrase is „in the Lord”. Joy in the Lord. False doctrine can make you very happy. If you don’t believe in hell, you might feel happier. If you don’t believe that you don’t have to not sleep around in the weekends and cheat on your wife, then you might have some brief surges of pleasure.

But, when he (Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones) says false doctrine makes joy in the Lord impossible, he’s articulating something really important, namely: The only joy that glorifies God is joy that based on a true view of God. If you have happiness because you see God the way He’s not, you might have happiness based on your doctrine, but your doctrine is false and God would not be honored by your happiness. It would be like a person who is thrilled- he’s watching his favorite football team and they’ve just crossed the goal line. And, „Yeah! Yeah!” he’s cheering his lungs out, when he realizes he ran the wrong way. He’s crossed the wrong goal line. He didn’t make 6 points, he lost. And so, that cheering isn’t honoring the team. It makes a fool out of the team.

So, false doctrine presents God, or His ways in a way that they’re not. And if we are happy by what God is not, then He’s not honored by our happiness. And so, right doctrine is in fact a way of  showing God and His ways as they really are, so that our joy can be in what is and then our joy is an honor to God. And God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. I don’t often say, but, I should say more often probably, that when I say that, that „God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”, it presumes that the God in whom we are satisfied is the true God. That we have true views of Him. And so, false views of God will prevent joy in the true God, and that’s the only joy that honors God.

Clearly, if you have a wrong view of salvation, you lose your joy forever. And that’s what was happening in the book of Galatians. They knew God, the Pharisees knew God, and Jesus said, „You’re children of hell, and you’re going there because your view of how to relate to God is upside down.” You think that God is impressed by your works for Him and that you can put Him in your debt. And you can’t. And Christians are those who bring a Gospel like that, so Paul says, „All happiness vanishes.” And that’s probably what Martyn Lloyd-Jones meant. All happiness is going to melt for those who follow a false Gospel.

I have been criticized sometimes for being a hedonist, a Christian hedonist because historic hedonism has often meant „pleasure becomes the criteria of what is right.” You discern what is right by what makes you happy. That’s never, ever been what I meant by hedonism. All I meant by Christian hedonism is „you are living to maximize your pleasure forever.” And that’s the biblical sense of why it’s right to pursue your happiness.  But yes, we must be very suspicious of making our pleasures the criteria of what is right or holy, or good, or true. You do it the other way around. You let the Bible decide what’s true, and then you labor to submit your heart to that so that you can find happiness in the truth, not determine what is true by what makes you happy.

Doug Wilson: Is the Protestant Church Fragmented

Ask Doug: You often hear members of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches criticize Protestants with the claim that the Protestant church is fragmented into myriad denominations and lacks the unity of one universal church. How is this not a legitimate objection?

Doug Wilson responds:

I think it would be a legitimate objection, or at least a legitimate point to consider, if it were any way close to being accurate. The problem is that it is not accurate. It’s one of those things that everyone knows ‘it ain’t so’. And you might say, „I drive around, and I see Protestant churches, etc. … But, in the polemical exchanges between Roman Catholic apologists and Protestant apologists , the figure 20,000 denominations is a routine sort of claim. If you trace the genealogy of that, if someone asked, ‘Where did that number come from , by the way? You can trace it back to the World Christian Encyclopedia, which is an exhaustive, demographic , and it’s not a polemical book. It’s just recording data.

If you look at that book, and you look at ‘apples to apples’, you find out that you don’t have anything close to 20,000 denominations over here, and the one true church over there. You can count denominations different ways. So, for example: Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches with an independent polity- if you’re counting in terms of jurisdiction, you’re gonna have a grossly disproportionate number that ratchets up. Also the number 20,000 (it’s over 20,000) comes from also including some non protestant groups (not recognized to be protestant, anyways). And the Protestant grouping, according to this rough cut would be closer to 8,000. Some might say, „Well, that’s still bad.” It is bad.

But, if you go to the ‘apples with apples’, where you group things according to traditions- like common practices, common liturgies, common doctrinal assumptions and so forth, and you drill down into the data, you find that among the orthodox there are 19 different traditions. Among protestants there are 21. And among Roman Catholics there are 16.  Within Roman Catholic would be like- Old Latin Rites Catholics, there are Sedevacantist Roman Catholics- Sedevacantists believe the Papal seat is currently vacant, etc.. So you’ve got this Roman Catholic grouping, and then you count all the traditions and streams within them, and then you compare those traditions and streams to a comparable set within Protestants, where you group the Presbyterians together, that kind of thing.

Basically, I think it’s fair to say that Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Protestants are all inhabiting the same basic world. There’s not a radical distinction between them. Unless you pull out the trump card that all sectarians always pull out: „Well, our body is unified, and it’s all you guys who are fragmented.”  You know, the „I’m doing okay, the rest of the army’s out of step.” If you do that, then of course, a lonely sectarian Church of Christ can say, „We’re it. We’re it, and we’re unified, and all you guys are fragmented.” But, that’s to win the argument by definition. That’s the argument of the sectarian.

And, I would go a step further. When I said that there were 21 Protestant streams, or traditions, over and against 19 Orthodox ones, and 16 Roman Catholic ones, that is not taking into account what you might call evangelicalismSo, there, the Protestanism would include liberal denominations. If you group the evangelicals together and look at what you might call practical catholicity, where they’re holding conferences together, there’s a great deal of crossover among evangelicals. In other words, the Roman Catholic Church has almost as many sub divisions and traditions as Protestantism. Almost, and significantly more than evangelicalism does. And then, what divisions do exist among evangelicals- you find Baptists and Presbyterians, and Methodists, and people from all different streams  showing up at the same conferences and buying the same books, and listening to the same radio stations, and so forth. So there’s  a great deal of functional catholicity among evangelical protestants.

Having said all this, I’m happy to say, „Okay, and we want to grow up into the unity of the faith, as Paul says in Romans 4. We’ve got  a lot of work to do. I’m not trying to hang a bronze plaque on the wall and say that we’ve arrived at the final unity of the faith. We certainly haven’t. But, if you examine the numbers carefully, you’re not dealing with this global embarrassment of thousands and thousands harping, snarking Protestants and a unified (Catholic) church right here. That’s simply not true.

Ask Doug: Is the Protestant Church Fragmented? from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

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