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Two Views on Salvation and Sanctification: A Debate Between Two Laymen in the Reformed Church and the Orthodox Faith

By The Moderator.

Social media often provides an opportunity for Christians of different denominations to share their views and describe their own walk with Christ. This discussion was originally written in response to a YouTube video, “Musical Aramaic rendition of the Our Father that moved the pope in Georgia” https://youtu.be/locW-9S00VU . It starts with BM (Reformed) showing gratitude for being part of the Christian tradition. EP, of the Orthodox faith, questions BM over this participation.

BM (Reformed): I am a Presbyterian and am blessed to listen to and participate in the living, ancient faith of Christianity. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Through your precious blood I plead to you. Amen.

 EP (Orthodox) Not as a presbyterian you aren’t. There is but one Body and although it is greviously wounded in schism, you are not part of that Body. I’m Orthodox, you worship a different god from us.

BM: The reformation only sought to make believers live faithfully like the first Christians, without unsubstantiated traditions. We believe in the triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We worship the same God, albeit in different ways. Let Jesus decide at the end of days whether you are correct.

EP:  Since you accept and know the consequence of your choice, I leave you to it. I would implore you to reconsider your position in love, but it may do no good. I would encourage you to look into your understanding of the Trinity to find it in the early church. Particularly the idea of the Father punishing the Son at the cross.

BM: Thank you for your sentiments – I hold the orthodox faith in high regard. My neighbour is Greek orthodox and he bemoans that where we live the nearest orthodox church is more than 100 miles away. I would be more concerned with the direction of the Roman Catholic Church. Traditional Catholics I know comment that the smoke of Satan is now in the Roman church and that an anti-pope is on the seat of Peter. Not to be a hypocrite, Protestantism, in general, is plunging into an abyss with liberal theology and woke ideology. Your thoughts?

EP: All the church is mired in corruption. The Orthodox Church too. The church is a living organism, the body of Christ made up of men. Both God and man at the same time. It is therefore incorruptible and [undefeatable]. I’m not an Orthodox who has a problem with the Latins as they hold to a basic teaching that I can still say is sound. In that schism I am humble that we sin against the Body of Christ by remaining in schism.
Although I may see error, I understand that I have a beam in my eye.

Do you believe the Father punished the Son at the cross for our transgressions?

Happy New Year!

BM: The Lamb of God was indeed sacrificed as an atonement for the sins of the faithful. Like an innocent man who asks the judge to take on the punishment of a convicted criminal in a court of law, Jesus paid the wages of sin on our behalf. As sinners we are unworthy and unable to save ourselves, but only through the redemption of Christ are we forgiven.

EP: That’s interesting, if different. Why do you think the Church which is the body of Christ can be corrupted by corrupt men?

BM: The church is not a building or a list of decrees. It is the community of believers. The corruption within the church demonstrates that the corrupt are not really within the church because if they truly believed they would not be corrupt. Though we are all sinners, the faithful believe and trust in the Lord for their salvation. The corrupt are nominal and neither believe nor trust in the Lord. Some say that they serve another master…. I suspect that the atheists and Luciferians have done much to ruin Christianity in general, yet the faithful will never turn from the Lord. The church will never fall in spite of the machinations of the evil and the corrupt.

EP: Matthew 13. The church is where the true doctrines are taught. There are good and bad men there in. The keys are given to apostles there is no gospel or doctrine other than the one they preached which is handed down in the Church. Romans 16:17-18

BM: Matthew 12:50 (LEB): For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Reformed churches have continued to use apostolic confessions for teaching and doctrine. Confessions are not intended to be innovations but faithful expositions of biblical and apostolic faith, consequently most Reformed churches are also creedal, subscribing to the Apostles creed and the Nicene Creed and, less commonly, the Athanasian. Apostolicity in the Reformed tradition is not invested in the office of bishop but in the confessions of the church.

EP: Yes indeed, but I’ve often heard people argue that one cannot do the will of the Father. Don’t you say you are saved by faith alone?

I don’t dispute you have good intentions. But ask your self this. Do you think that any apostles taught faith alone?

And that too is secondary to your perception of God who is a judge who demands justice punishing the innocent.

This is not our faith, certainly not doctrines of the apostles.

BM:
Faith alone:
Justified Solely by Faith in Christ. Basil of Caesarea: Let one who boasts boast in the Lord, that Christ has been made by God for us righteousness, wisdom, justification, redemption. This is perfect and pure boasting in God, when one is not proud on account of his own righteousness but knows that he is indeed unworthy of the true righteousness and is justified solely by faith in Christ. And Paul boasts that he despises his own righteousness, seeking that righteousness that is on account of Christ, which is the righteousness of God by faith. Sermon on Humility 22.

However, I also agree that you do not have faith if your works do not show your faith. Faith without works is dead. Even Luther, in his later years, acknowledged that he did not treat the epistles of James with the respect that they deserved.

James 2:18–20 (NKJV): 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

The case for original sin is apostolic, note the words of St Paul:
Romans 5:12–15 (NKJV): 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.


BM: *My thoughts – Though the idea that newly born and infants are without sin and innocent is disputed by the doctrine of original sin – it is a certainty that they are born into a fallen, sinful world and suffer the effects of sin. Is this just? Our knowledge concerning the will of God is incomplete and His ways are hidden to our understanding. What do the Church Fathers say to this?

 EP: Honestly I’m not sure I’d understand Basil as affirming faith alone. What he’s saying is that his justification is in Christ alone as opposed to his own righteousness, when he says “when one is not proud on account of his own righteousness”.

But that justification is like the justification of the unforgiving servant. You are justified by Christ only when the justifying grace transforms you into Christ and you do the Father’s will.

So in a sense justification is a free gift but it must be treasured and maintained or it is lost to us.

If it is by faith alone, we can never lose that justification because it remains Christ’s righteousness, but the gift once given is credited to us truly and we can and do squander it, until it is renewed in the sacrament of the confession.

In short we obviously accept justification by faith working through love, but never faith alone.

BM: Agreed, if we are justified in Christ, any works will be an expression of our redemption and lead to further sanctification. To say that we have salvation, yet live like a demon, is to deny both the truth and the Holy Spirit. We cannot perform any works of grace without faith – faith and works complement each other. Thanks for a decent, clarifying conversation.

EP: Well the way we see it is like this and I suppose the Catholics understand it the same way.

Justification and sanctification are both works of God our response to God’s justifying and sanctifying work is faith and works. So we would say that without that response Gods work is not applied to us.

BM:   The reformed tradition agrees with this [following] account of justification through the doctrine of irresistible grace:

Since grace is by definition undeserved by any person, Irresistible Grace teaches that when the Spirit of God is sent to change a person’s heart (John 3:3ff), that person cannot resist the change. This is when the Spirit of God applies the work of Christ to the soul. This does not mean that the person is unwilling to be changed because the Spirit of God is “fighting against them”, rather the Spirit changes the heart of stone to beat as a heart of flesh. The change opens the eyes of the spiritually blind to the work of Christ. It is that which the Spirit of God does on his own, previous to any act of man. The Spirit of God will accomplish what He is sent out to do and will not be frustrated in His work of changing the sinner’s heart.

Justification, through the works of Christ, lead and attest to the fruits of sanctification. However, I think Roman Catholics may tend to subordinate justification to sanctification. They may believe that we are justified to the degree that we are sanctified. This justifying grace enables us to cooperate with the Spirit in living a sanctified life—a process often called deification or divinization. The reformed church, however, believes that justification and sanctification are complementary, the work of the Holy Spirit and not subordinate to another.. . .

EP:  There isn’t in this a difference between the Catholic and the Orthodox position.

There are a couple of differences of understanding that need clarification, you see justification in merely an instant as a judge declaring a criminal just.

We see justification as a parent declaring an orphan to be a child and then justifying or making righteous the child by turning him truly from child of man to child of God. We see no difference between justification and sanctification since those who are justified are sanctified.

Think of God as the sun, His light and gravity draws us the planets close to Him. As we draw nearer we are more sanctified (receive light) and feel gravity (become justified) and are drawn ever closer. Elect are those who will eventually become one with the light.

In the same way as we respond in faith and works to Gods justifying energy we receive ever more justification and sanctification. The light of the Sun never changes but our hearts change as the old man of flesh is burnt away in the light and the new man lives gloriously.

See your view ultimately of John 3:3 seems to deny the role of the theandric [of or relating to the divine and human or their union or joint operation one and the same Christ, working both the divine and the human actions by one theandric operation] organism of the church as the body of Christ. You must be born again into the Body to receive TRUE doctrines that Paul left us in Romans 16:17-18.

In a sense when you affirm a monergistic Trinity [monergism is the view within Christian theology which holds that God works through the Holy Spirit to bring about the salvation of an individual through spiritual regeneration, regardless of the individual’s cooperation] it is not the Trinity revealed in the bible according to the doctrines given to us by the apostles that works together with men to save us. Indeed we all participate in the process of each other’s salvation united in Him.

For you the journey ends in a sense at your “born again moment” you had an epiphany like Peter has in Matthew 16. Sure that’s important it is a revelation. But it’s not the end of Peter’s journey, nor is it the start. The journey is in the body, the Church where these Truths are revealed. And the issue is, your “distinctives” from my perspective take you out of the body, a Body that is made up of fallen men, in schism, deeply wounded but where the simple truth of unity in Christ is upheld for all men who submit to being in the body. We may Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox yell heretic at each other, but all of us know, there is but one body and we must work ceaselessly to heal the grievous wounds endangering the lives of so many because of our stiff necks.

And why do I say that? Well I have much common ground with the latins and the orientals and we ourselves are far from perfect.

As for divinization lol, yes we believe theosis is the gospel. [Theosis, or deification, is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God.]

God is the creator, the source of life, to have “eternal life” we must be united to this source. When we are conformed to His image, we are united to the most Holy Trinity.

Our baptism unites us to Christ (Romans 6). The liturgy unites us to Christ (Passover and John 6) confession and repentance unite us to Christ (John 3) united in the theandric organism of the Church. Even the schismed Church retains these truths, but not outside it. [Editor’s note: In orthodox churches, salvation depends on the use of rites and works of the individual. To ignore such works is to deny salvation].

I will only ask you this, does your understanding of the church, agree with Christs description of the kingdom in Matthew 13.

BM: Your description of justification and sanctification is glorious and I do believe that sanctification of the believer occurs as they grow closer to the Lord. However, the reformed view of justification is not one of degrees of being saved – it is all or it is nothing. The Christian remains saved through the imputed righteousness and grace of God – which is perfectly given to the believer. Once justified, the Christian cannot fall.
John 10:27–30 (NKJV): 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

The image of adoption also rings true in the reformed church – we are initially separate from Christ and slaves to sin until we are justified and adopted into His family:
Galatians 4:4–7 (NKJV): 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born  of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Now in regard to Matthew 13 and Romans 16:17-18:
Romans 16:17–18 (NKJV): 17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

Truly, I do believe in the truth of the parables of Matthew 13, and historically, the Catholic church, not the orthodox, has been accused of distorting doctrine and introducing foreign practices to that of the early church. With the practice of selling indulgences to “buy” salvation, the Catholic church displayed genuine greed and sought to “serve their belly by using smooth words”. As far as the reformers were concerned, the Catholic church were the crows preying on the seeds (hearers) that were sown.

As far as the reformed church is today, I am disappointed by the mega churches, Olsteen’s, Kenneth Copeland’s and even the recent scandal surrounding Ravi Zacharias!!! And the fragmentation of some churches into cults like the Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses are very concerning. There seems to be a fair share of lust, greed and corruption within Protestantism that is sickening. Ideally, a reunification of the church would be great! However, I hold grave concerns for Catholics as they seem to be deceived by some parts of their church. How far does the corruption extend? Only the Lord knows. Some in the Roman and Protestant churches are like Simon Magus, selling their lies in a holy office to decieve the simple.

EP:  That’s an interesting perspective to have. 

I tend to not focus on the behaviour of individuals in a particular congregation. I have issues with the Latins, but the issues are of a theological nature, and focus mostly on the nature of God. I don’t believe their soteriology [doctrine of salvation] is different from mine. I also tend to be careful about being critical of them because they are our brethren and one day in God’s good time they will join us again.

Selling indulgences is an abomination. The practice of indulgences is not by itself problematic for me, selling them is. Our Theology whilst expressed differently isn’t so at odds with their theology as perhaps yours is. We affirm the real presence, we affirm a post mortem cleansing process, we pray to the saints and hold the Most Blessed Theotokos [the designation of the Virgin Mary as mother of God] in the highest esteem within the Kingdom, as is her right. We venerate icons, so many many things they do, we do too, just differently. Even indulgences are not a problem for us. But I understand that for you these may be totally unacceptable. The issue is on those markers, we are much closer to them, than either of us is to you.

I suppose you believe the sheep will never lose their justification because it’s a legal declaration.

Yes, we see justification as both a declaration in the sense that we are adopted or given a new legal status under Christ, but we also see justification as God’s plan for us, as individuals, in the works that he has prepared for us in our lives to bring us into unity with the most Holy Trinity.

Everything we do, as believers is around the Church which is really a totally different concept for us, because in the Church we are truly united to Christ.


What if a person perseveres sin, not putting aside their man of flesh?

I suppose then the legal declaration cannot be undone in your mind.

Is there any sin that can unbind the legal declaration of justification in your mind?

For us, a person can even if they are adopted into the family, they can walk away from God. That is not to say we do not have a concept of the elect. The elect however are people who are within the gravitational field of the Sun, who having lost the man of flesh to the righteous fire of God, will persevere to the end.

That’s why 2 Peter 1:10 says make certain your election and calling, we are asked to do those works, the works burn up the old man, they are the works prepared by God that bring us into unity with Him, His plan for each of our lives, the purpose of our existence, and the burning up of the old man, allows the new man to shine forth gloriously.

To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of  divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in  moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in  knowledge, self-control, and in  self-control, perseverance, and in  perseverance, godliness, 7 and in  godliness, brotherly kindness, and in  brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these  are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For the one who lacks these  is blind  short-sighted, having forgotten  purification from his former sins.10 Therefore, brothers , be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

When the old man is put aside completely by the Grace of God, the new man desires nothing but unity with the most Holy Trinity. We are not burning up the old man, God is doing the burning, we are just following the path God laid out, and He says just walk the path and I will destroy the old man of flesh, you will not even desire sin.

And of course to be united to the giver of life, is to have eternal life.

I guess my question is how do you see unity with the most holy Trinity if a person perseveres in sin? You believe they are declared righteous but truly are not, yet to my mind they cannot be united to the most Holy Trinity in that manner. Do you see why I am confused?

BM: I will need to unpack your questions in a few parts:
Christians who are saved are always saved or persevere to the end in God’s grace.

John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

The nominal Christians who fail and leave the church were never part of the church and never saved. They paid lip service to the faith and never loved Christ or His works.

1 John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

Augustine declared that perseverance, like sovereign election and regeneration, is a gift of God given specifically to the elect. He says, “Who could be ordained to eternal life save by the gift of perseverance?” He also comments, “From Him, therefore, is given also perseverance in good even to the end.” And he says elsewhere, “These gifts, therefore, of God … are given to the elect who are called according to God’s purpose, among which gifts is both the beginning of belief and perseverance in the faith to the termination of this life.” Augustine saw that perseverance in the faith comes from God, a gift bestowed on the elect.

The sin that will not be forgiven is the unforgivable sin:
Matthew 12:31–32 (NKJV): 31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

In the very strictest meaning of the term, it means “unable to be forgiven.” But, technically speaking, God has the ability to forgive any sin if He so desires. So, when we call it the “unforgivable sin,” we mean by that that it is a sin that will in fact not be forgiven by God, not because God can’t do it but God won’t do it. That’s the warning that Jesus makes to those who are charging Him with doing His miracles by the power of Satan. He warns them that there is a sin that God will not forgive either in this world or in the world to come.

Regarding sanctification, note that there are two types of sanctification: definitive and progressive.

  1. Definitive Sanctification (1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11): In Romans 6 we see that we are (a) freed from the power of sin (Rom 6:2, 7); (b) enabled to live in newness of life under the reign of grace (Rom 6:4, 14); (c) unified with Christ in his resurrection (Rom 6:5); (d) made new creatures (Rom 6:6-8). While this sanctification coincides with our regeneration it does not leave us sinless in this world, as we are still being conformed to the image of God’s Son (Rom.  8:29 ). There is a struggle between the flesh and the Spirit that is the reality for the Christian (see Rom. 7).
  2. Progressive Sanctification (Psa.  19:12 ; Jas. 3:2): According to Paul, sin is dealt with over time by putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Rom.  8:13 ). Progressive sanctification is also seen in Colossians 3:1, 3 where there is affirmation that definitive sanctification has occurred (“you have been raised with Christ” and “now hidden with Christ in God”). But in Colossians 3:5, Paul advises that we must still consider sin to be dead to us (cf. Rom.  6:11 ; Col. 3:9-10; 2 Cor. 7:1). So we ARE sanctified and ARE BEING sanctified.

1 John 1:8–10 (NKJV): 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

We have all sinned and dishonored God (Rom.  3:23 ). Not Peter, not Paul, not John, not any one of the disciples was sinless. Paul says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil  3:12 ). When a saved person sins, he does not give up, but he repents and continues on in faith as he understands that it is God who working in him “to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil.  2:13 ). The elect press on as the Spirit continues to press on in them (Phil. 1:6;  3:20 -21).

The Canons of Dort give further explanation.

First Head, Article 12: The Assurance of Election
Assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election to salvation is given to the chosen in due time, though by various stages and in differing measure. Such assurance comes not by inquisitive searching into the hidden and deep things of God, but by noticing within themselves, with spiritual joy and holy delight, the unmistakable fruits of election pointed out in God’s Word – such as a true faith in Christ, a childlike fear of God, a godly sorrow for their sins, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, and so on.

Fifth Head, Article 9: The Assurance of This Preservation

Concerning this preservation of those chosen to salvation and concerning the perseverance of true believers in faith, believers themselves can and do become assured in accordance with the measure of their faith, by which they firmly believe that they are and always will remain true and living members of the church, and that they have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 1:13 ESV

EP:  Right I see. So you see justification as a legal declaration by God.

And then the elect persevere unto the end by Gods grace.

We would see the gift of perseverance as being specifically the gift of the man of flesh being burnt away. The man of flesh is opposed to God and the man of spirit tends to the Spirit. We persevere because the man of flesh no longer opposes Gods will. So inevitably the person will persevere.

How do you understand the gift? What has God changed in the believer?


What roll if any, does sanctification play in a man’s salvation?

Also is there a post mortem cleansing?

I suppose in a sense for you a post mortem cleansing isn’t necessary since you are justified by legal declaration.

Logically to me that would make sanctification an unnecessary process in your view since you have limited justification to a legal declaration.

Do you see salvation as merely a destination “going to heaven”? Rather than actual unity with the Divine in some respect?

BM: Good response! Personally, I do believe that the world has to thank the Catholic and Orthodox Saints and mystics for setting practical benchmarks and examples of holiness. To turn away from worldliness and strive to be holy – to be more like Christ – is to more certain of belonging within God’s family. There does need to be a greater focus on practical holiness and sanctification in the world and I applaud priests and preachers who lead by example. The only danger with the perseverance of the saints doctrine is that sinners may refuse to turn away from sin and smugly believe that they are saved regardless of what they do once they accept Christ. If one does not want to be like Christ, how can one ever be allowed into His family?

What has changed is the heart of the believer – while the old man dies, the newly born emerges. The heart of stone is replaced with a heart of flesh with the law of God written on their heart. With the change within heart, the eyes see with faith and old sinful habits start to die since they do not lead to the Heavenly Father. If one does not strive to sanctify oneself, then one must question one’s salvation. The sinful pig who does not want to change remains a pig of uncleanliness.

2 Peter 2:19–22 (NKJV): While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

As far as post mortem cleansing goes, true believers will be saved and allowed entry to Heaven, albeit the saints and holy people shall be rewarded and crowned with glory by the Heavenly Father. As for myself, I am making progress when I think back to my youth. Everyday though, I still cast myself into the hands of my Lord in surrender in the knowledge that I still fall short of His Will. I also appreciate the mystical union that holy people of faith have attained in this world and more than likely in Heaven. Perhaps the less holy will not be as close to the City of God.

Father Mark Goring, Catholic Priest, has a great prayer that I often refer to:
https://youtu.be/AyLD2qGbN_M

EP: Thanks for explaining your beliefs.

Do you have a concept of spiritual growth of a Christian?

You acknowledge a battle between the man of flesh and the man of spirit.

Since you say that God causes a true believer to persevere and I assume you take that to mean the true believers man of flesh is weakening over time.

I can’t see how you can see sanctification any differently than justification in your paradigm. They are both acts of God completely.

Since a single grave sin is a sign God never saved you and that you were in self delusion.

The flip side is to be so comfortable in your sin because you truly believe you are saved by your faith that you take your faith as licence to continue in that sin.

To me there isn’t, as far as I can tell a path to salvation in the system.

The implication of this is even deeper because it provides no comfort of possible redemption to the believer since it is God who has abandoned them if they are overly judgemental of themselves (I believe this was Martin Luther’s problem) or they are complacent about their sin ( if they do not examine themselves).

And quite simply election is really God destroying the man of flesh because he who is elect perseveres unto the end. This is real ontological change in the person.
I do not believe your conception of election involves God doing something in the believer, but rather a legal declaration.

I am if anything even more confused by how a person can believe in perseverance. And please forgive me when I say it reminds me of the story of the garden.

“You will surely not die”

3 Now the serpent(A) was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?(B)”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,(C) 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”(D)

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.(E) 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,(F) knowing good and evil.”

I hope you are not offended, I really believe your views have serious flaws. Please understand I say this in love.

Read Romans 2:13
13 (for (M)not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified

This is not to say that we are under the law, but rather we are under Christ and He will judge us as faithful disciples, judging the secrets of a mans heart as the apostle says.

We must take it all to Christ because He will judge the believer according to His laws (Matthew 25)

Also we should not believe that we should know that we have infallible knowledge of our salvation. Rather we hope and work out our salvation as God works in us.

I realize that what I am saying is synergistic. I understand that you cannot believe it because it is not the nature of God to work in that manner. That Is the reason why I do believe we do not worship the same God, or at least one of us is fundamentally flawed about what God has revealed about Himself, for me this is the crux of the issue, it isnt soteriology, but really triadology or who God is that is different between you and I, in the strictest sense only one of us is a christian.

Justification and sanctification are the same process and if you wish to stay in your church at least preach that they are the same thing because I do believe if you analyze your own belief you will realize even if you believe in God doing all the work, they don’t need to be separated and separating them is the original sin in the garden.

 BM: I too share similar thoughts towards your statements regarding your beliefs, as I believe that doctrinal errors exist in other Christian churches, particularly those who still follow Pelagius, (semi-pelagian or otherwise) or Arminianism. Please note that both Arminius and Pelagius were condemned as heretics and yet the Orthodox and Catholic maintain similar views. Never forget this scripture:

Mark 9:38–41 (NKJV): Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”
39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

You or I may be mistaken in doctrine, but if we do His Will, we surely belong to Him and therefore are Christians in His Name.

What assurance of salvation do you have if you believe that your hope will be lost with any or every error, and that any hope that you have may be imagined? If you sin and believed that you are no longer saved, you deny the eternal decrees of God, which denies His Word.

When God promises us everlasting life, that means that our life is not left in doubt, but will last forever, by the power of God.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 6:47 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

John 17:2 “… as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.”

Hebrews 9:12, 15 “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

Hope is inseparably connected with true faith. It is God’s guarantee that what we have believed will be fulfilled by God. “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Rom.  8:24 -25).

EP: God bless! Thank you for your charitable conversation.

BM: God bless you also and may the glory be to God.

Jude 24–25 (NKJV): 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.

Washington Prepares To Fail In Ukraine

This chapter will not end well for President Biden or Washington’s political class.

By Douglas MacGregor

It’s an indisputable fact: Washington leads the world in self-delusion.

Washington’s political class is poised to march into a hurricane of its own making in Ukraine, a perfect storm of foreign- and defense-policy blunders likely to plunge the American people into future crises and conflicts. Having refused to acknowledge Russia’s vital strategic interest in Ukraine, Washington now wants to subject Ukraine and the NATO alliance to a dangerous and unnecessary test by confronting Russian conventional military power. In turn, Washington and its allies now face a test—one that they could have avoided but are now likely to fail. First, the facts.


The Biden administration is spending $768.2 billion for national defense. Russia spends only $42.1 billion, less than the $48 billion spent by the Republic of Korea. Yet Russian ground forces are superior in capability and striking power to the U.S. Army and Marines, even if both countries’ ground forces were able to deploy to Ukraine.

Russia’s conventional-ground-force superiority stems, in part, from the strategic advantage of fighting close to Russia. Its potency is also a reflection of President Vladimir Putin’s insistence on fundamental defense reform and reorganization. The reform process involved years of struggle to expel old generals who resisted change and install new, resolute fighting forces, composed of young, single men with a profound sense of Russian patriotism and toughness. The policy has resulted in an operationally flexible grouping of smaller capability-based Russian fighting formations, designed to ruthlessly exploit the striking power of Russia’s rocket artillery, tactical ballistic missiles, and loitering munitions.

Far to the west and behind the Polish border sits an awkward collection of U.S. Army and NATO Ground Forces that, despite decades of cooperation, are still challenged to fight effectively as one force. In the last 20 years of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, most of America’s allies seldom had anything to contribute to our efforts, save a flag and inexperienced troops who were forced to operate under political restrictions. Thus, like the U.S. Army that leads them, the allied ground forces cling to the illusion that NATO can fight future conflicts on land the way Anglo-American allies did during World War II—with large, densely packed divisions, corps, and armies. These are lucrative targets for Russian strike formations.

Additionally, institutional policies to impose diversity and inclusion on the U.S. Armed Forces at the expense of demonstrated character, competence, and intelligence, demoralize our troops. As a result, the dedication, cohesion, and pride of achievement required to sustain America’s professional fighting force have been seriously damaged.

The implications are clear: A U.S.-Russian confrontation in Eastern Ukraine could easily resemble the 1940 Anglo-French experience, with the Wehrmacht provoking a serious backlash at home. Supply-chain bottlenecks, consumer-goods inflation, and soaring energy costs could all worsen if events in Ukraine spiral out of control. As more and more Americans wake up to falling standards of living, how will they react to yet another war for suspicious aims that have absolutely nothing to do with their own vital strategic interests, and make their daily lives even harder?

Reality is sitting on Ukraine’s eastern border, not in the South China Sea or in the strait of Taiwan, and there is ostensibly nothing Washington can do about it. The questions that should concern Washington’s political class are: Will NATO survive its ignominious retreat in the face of superior Russian military power? And, why is Washington conducting policy not from strength, but from weakness—a weakness thus far disguised by the outward show of military power against weak opponents without armies, air defenses, or air forces?

Nietzsche said, “War makes the victor stupid.” After 1991, America’s senior military and political leaders found many reasons to spend enormous sums on defense, but no reason to change the way U.S. forces fight, or to devise a national military strategy tied to tangible, concrete interests and the preservation of American national power.

As John Kenneth Galbraith warned, “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right.”

Washington’s corrupt and morally bankrupt leaders are walking into a minefield. If they embroil U.S. and allied forces in Ukraine, extraordinary discontent at home and abroad awaits them. However, like so many privileged classes before them, the Biden administration may prefer “complete destruction” rather than acknowledge that its most cherished beliefs are utter delusions. It’s safe to say that whatever happens in Ukraine, this chapter will not end well for President Biden or Washington’s political class.

Douglas Macgregor, Col. (ret.) is a senior fellow with The American Conservative, the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, a decorated combat veteran, and the author of five books.

Source: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/washington-prepares-to-fail-in-ukraine/

The Cassandra forecast: Biden’s 2022 global war

BY GRADY MEANS, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR

December has arrived and it’s time to forecast 2022. I’ll start the ball rolling by framing the most gloomy scenario: 2022 could mark the end of the world, via global war and nuclear exchanges.

Most Americans will find that forecast surprising and offensive. We tend to be optimistic Bayesians: If the sun rose today, certainly it will rise the same way tomorrow. But unfortunately, there are “Black Swan” events — unexpected shocks to the system that totally change the future.

And today we confront two Black Swans — Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Both are brilliant, experienced leaders. Putin has written extensively on his vision for Russia — for example, his Millennium Papers and his “PhD” dissertation on energy economics. Xi is similar. Both have consolidated power within brutal systems. Both are committed nationalists who see themselves as major historical figures. Both are men of action, willing to take large, calculated risks. And both likely understand that 2022 is the year they must act.




Putin is dedicated to the defense and rise of Russia. He seeks strategic territorial expansion, the destruction of NATO, and eventual political hegemony over Europe. The coming year could be the key stepping stone for his dreams. A first step would be invading Ukraine, giving Russia an economic boost and consolidating Black Sea strategic access. Russian troops are already massing on the border.

Xi envisions political hegemony over East Asia (and beyond). The next step would be the invasion and conquest of Taiwan, where he is upping military pressure. At the same time, Iran and its leaders dream of destroying Israel and gaining Middle East hegemony.

All of them recently have engaged in joint war games and all may be coming to believe that 2022 is their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The reason: President Biden.


New U.S. presidential administrations are always tested by global adversaries in the first year. The Biden administration failed miserably with the Chinese in Anchorage, with the Russians in Geneva, with Hamas after bribing them to cease their rocket attacks on Israel, with the world in Glasgow, and with Xi Jinping on a recent video-call.

The U.S. military displayed an astounding lack of leadership and judgment in the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Everyone has seen Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan in action.

Biden has destroyed American energy independence and endangered national security by making America dependent on foreign oil. He has failed miserably to deal with COVID and has been afraid to aggressively pursue the political dynamite of its origin, or whether it or its variants were released intentionally. The American media have ignored or excused these failures.

U.S. defense, intelligence and justice systems have been politicized. Congressional Intelligence and Armed Services committees have been corrupted, manufacturing now-exposed fictions such as the Trump-Russia hoax. Politics has been polarized by woke-ism, racial tension, climate change and Donald Trump.


America is at its weakest politically in decades. Our enemies have seen all they need to see. They will act before the American political equation changes next November. Winter is coming and that often is the time to attack.

Americans are always shocked when our enemies act. But Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi know that, to become true historical figures, they must act when the time is right. The problem for America is that our enemies may well act together.

Russia may launch an attack and invasion of Ukraine simultaneous with a coup attempt. To keep NATO off balance, Russia would reduce winter gas and oil shipments to Europe, which gets 30 percent of its oil and 40 percent of its gas from Russia. The U.S. cannot help Europe through emergency liquified natural gas or oil shipments, thanks to Biden.

China could simultaneously launch an invasion of Taiwan. Iran, through its Hezbollah and Hamas proxies, could launch an all-out assault on Israel and slow oil flowing through the Straits of Hormuz. Saudi Arabia could reduce or fully cut oil supplies to the U.S. and Europe — the Saudis made it clear during the start of the COVID pandemic, and more recently during America’s oil price spike, that they are not a true ally.

When the dust clears, Russia would control Ukraine, China would control Taiwan, Israel would be weakened, NATO would be staggered, and America’s military and world leadership status would be permanently diminished.


Except for the wild cards.

First among the wild cards is Biden. After globally advertising their advanced nuclear strategic delivery capability over the past year, our enemies may miscalculate that Biden would hesitate to respond. But, caught off guard and strategically weakened, Biden and his defense team might overreact to “prove” themselves. That would involve some direct action against China or Russia, or both. That is potentially a straight line to nuclear exchange.

From the Cold War to a hard freeze
Sunday shows preview: Officials, experts respond to omicron; Biden…
North Korea might decide, with America distracted, to launch a conventional, chemical or nuclear attack on South Korea. Israel, under an existential threat, might launch an all-out attack on Iran. Pakistan and India might decide that a distracted world is the time to settle their differences. An attack on Taiwan might bring in Japan. Boom.

The one thing that could stand in the way of these catastrophes is a brilliant, strong, capable and decisive White House — which, in 2022, will not be the case. Holiday greetings: DEFCON 2.

Grady Means is a writer (GradyMeans.com) and former corporate strategy consultant. He served in the White House as a policy assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Follow him on Twitter @gradymeans1.

Source: https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/584032-the-cassandra-forecast-bidens-2022-global-war

16 Common Phrases In The News And What They Actually Mean

Authored by The Babylon Bee

As everyone knows, the news media knows what’s best for us and they always tell the truth. The only problem is that they use really big and complicated words that we simple folk just don’t understand. How will you ever keep up? Well, don’t worry! We prepared this special translation guide just for you, so the next time you’re watching the news you’ll be able to follow along!

1) “Debunked conspiracy theory” = a completely factual event that is 100% true and we don’t like it

2) “This is dangerous misinformation” = we don’t really agree with it but people are still sharing it

3) “Farm animal bacterial infection treatment” = penicillin

4) “Conservative panelist” = guy who once voted for Ronald Reagan, possibly by mistake

5) “Super-spreader event” = gatherings of people we don’t like

6) “This is the end of democracy” = Trump said a thing

7) “Settled science” = a non-reviewed study by a possibly fictitious organization that just came out this morning

8) “Widespread outrage” = 3 people on Twitter got mad

9) “Racist statements” = literally means nothing

10) “Informal gathering of like-minded people that fosters a sense of camaraderie and community among friends and neighbors” = bread lines

11) “Zero” = anywhere from zero to several trillion

12) “Republicans pounce” = uh oh… a Democrat raped someone

13) “Mostly peaceful” = it was hyper-violent but we agree with it

14) “Racist dog whistle” = a super-secret whistle that only racists can hear and only we heard it

15) “Anonymous sources” = we totally made this up

16) “This is an apple” = this is a banana

https://babylonbee.com/news/the-babylon-bee-presents-the-official-mainstream-media-translator

7 Signs Your Friend Or Family Member Has Fallen Victim To The Woke Mind Virus

Authored by Brett Sinclair via TheFreeThoughtProject.com,

COVID is not the only virus sweeping the West, obsessively woke politics is running rampant with the most virulent variants emerging in newsrooms and colleges.

As an acquaintance of mine slowly succumbed, here’s what I observed.

There are certain traits that appear to be extremely common among people who are ‘woke’. Woke being now a common term for those among us who become righteously incensed with progressive social justice issues (typical of mainstream Western media imbibers or recent university graduates). Often, we can see this obsession manifesting in the form of aggressive protest activism – not just as a hobby, but at every social, private, and professional level of their lives. That is a ‘woke’ personality.

While there are well-known physical markers indicating a woke person (blue or purple hair, obesity, androgyny, wispy beards in men, annoying spectacles) I have for some time been a curious student of their habits and psychological mannerisms, which I have also noted, along with the physical traits, to have universal qualities.

I had until recently assumed that these universal personality traits were evidence of a condition existing in the person first (i.e smug over-confidence) which left them susceptible to ‘woke ideas’. But more and more anecdotal experience is teaching me that becoming woke, or contracting the ‘woke virus’, creates its own type of human psyche in the unsuspecting host, which is recognizable across many observable cases. It is my opinion that this psyche is the result of the mind-virus, and not necessarily a pre-existing quality. Thus, if true, this means wokeness itself reshapes the mind.

These qualities are:

  1. Smugness. An absolute, unwavering, and arrogantly condescending attitude toward all non-woke opinions. While a trait in itself, it is related to number 2.
  2. Lack of introspection. No trace of self-questioning or apparent inner monologue. No sense of fairness or understanding of relative opinion.
  3. Quickness to anger. Willingness to not only voice their opinion on any occasion, with anyone, even when outnumbered, but to do so angrily. A willingness to cut off any friend or family member who won’t comply with woke belief.
  4. Nihilist atheism. They will rant a lot about science, while at the same time ignoring science that doesn’t comply with their beliefs. They tend to assume you are dogmatically religious if you don’t agree with them. They will cling to a strongly negative nihilism believing that everything is ultimately hopeless, and that it is sardonic hubris to do or believe in anything (which ties into number 6).
  5. Dishonesty. They are willing to be openly dishonest to further their viral ideas. If they lose a point in an argument, they move on to a new point, never acknowledging or acquiescing that a point was lost. When all attack points are used, personal attacks begin. The past is a blank slate open to revision.
  6. Self-absorbed. This one took me a while to notice, but it seems a give-away idiosyncrasy that you are dealing with a woke-infection if the person has become abnormally self-centered, and in conversation, does not so much reciprocate, as talk about themselves, always positive or self-aggrandizing, often unrealistically. They may also insert self-pity, it seems to generally exacerbate a need for attention-seeking.
  7. Depression, low self-worth, anxiety. This one I also only noticed recently, it is likely the subconscious result of numbers 4 and 6 in particular. Any genuine personal questioning of the subject usually reveals deep worries and angst, and often mental health issues.

A recent experience with an acquaintance, a middle-aged woman who, through a new circle of friends, went from normal and apolitical to fully woke, permitted me to study changes (with a detached horror) as they occurred. Firstly, she began to exhibit extreme self-centeredness, as this new social peer group became important to her (I believe it was a ‘book club’). It began with her seemingly becoming incapable of talking about anything but herself. I had noticed that quality in other woke friends, and in many I could recall they were not previously like that, but this was the first adult person to transition slowly before my eyes, so I got out my clipboard and took notes.

She became somewhat manic, high-anxiety, more worrisome, and less healthy-seeming. Along with this came casual smug political remarks in polite conversation. It goes without saying there were constant, needy Facebook posts about woke politics, or herself, or the ideal combination: posts about herself woke-crusading. Now none of this was part of her personality previously, at all, despite woke politics being with us many years now. It began for her with a new circle of peers that she obviously wished to impress and is culminating currently in her friends and family seriously considering an intervention of psychological help, not because of the constant virtue-signaling, but for the other more self-destructive personality changes.

It reminds me of the science of psychopathy. I was very interested to learn in my youth, not just that psychopaths essentially have little or no emotional feeling, and certainly no empathy, but that they exist among us in high numbers. They don’t all become serial killers, but there are people you know who are psychopaths that you would never have guessed because they learn to mimic human behavior. Severe trauma in youth can appear to create psychopathy, so it can be an environmental condition.

I’m not saying woke people are psychos (though they both share the narcissism), I am saying psychological conditions can be created, and that the modern world, with its rampant materialist consumerism, dogmatic atheism and self-hating education system, is perhaps manufacturing a new human psyche, one both frail and fraught and in its own perverse way, merciless.

Watch as the virus spreads, watch and study and hope you have immunity.

Lukewarm Christianity – Separating the Sheep from the Goats

By the Moderator.

As the Day of the Lord approaches, Christians need to examine their life carefully – using the lens of the Lord’s Word and the working of His Spirit. We need to ask ourself – Are we really in the family of the Lord? Is my life on the path of growth in Christ and flourishing with the gifts of holiness? All gifts come from the Lord, yet have we used our gifts for His greater glory? Unfortunately, western society has now made it acceptable and legal that which was previously immoral and unacceptable in the eyes of our Saviour.

We are entering a time when Christians are being attacked – both spiritually and within a lonely demonic society. We are asked to accept values and laws that are contrary to traditional Christian life. One may be a lawful citizen, and yet in the same way, be a sinner and far from the love of Christ. If we do not examine our soul and faith carefully, we are at risk of being a worldly, lukewarm Christian.

Revelation 3:14–22 (NKJV): 14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”

Consider the following test:

10 Questions To See If You Are a Lukewarm “Christian”
1 – Do Cares & Worries of This Life Dominate Most of Your Thoughts & Conversations?
2 – Do You Practice Sin on a Regular Basis?
3 – Do You “Love” The Things of This World More Than God’s Word?
4 – Are You Too Busy for Jesus? What are Your Priorities?
5 – Do You Use God’s Name In Vain? (‘Oh My G-d?’)
6 – Do You Fail to Pray Earnestly & Pray for the Lost Who Will Spend Eternity in Hell?
7 – Do You Fail to Preach the Gospel on a Regular Basis? OR Do You Hinder Others?
8 – Are You Indifferent About Your Sin? What is Your Attitude?
9 – Do You Seek After Worldly Wealth & Fame vs Seeking First The Kingdom of God?
10-Do You Fail to Obey Jesus, and God’s Word Consistently?

Lukewarm Christian Test

Let us hear the Word and realise that the solution is clear, to anoint our eyes with the salve of the Word to see things as they truly are in our lives. We shall repent as we have become too comfortable with the immorality of the world and realise that we have become lukewarm and comfortable with these sins. Revelation 3:19 (NKJV): As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Examine yourself as though the Lord is judging you at the end of days. Every secret thought, word or deed will be seen and heard. There is nothing that can be hidden. The guilt may be raw, peeling away layers of self-justification and pride to show your heart as it truly is – in need of forgiveness. This may be quite upsetting if you have not relied on Christ alone and have become a satisfied in a life of mediocre sin. With genuine repentance and prayer, the grace of the Lord will comfort you and lead you onto the path of holiness.

1 Peter 4:1–6 (NKJV): 4 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

The Jesus Prayer

According to the Orthodox Church, this ancient simple prayer provides the necessary humility to approach the Lord (and burns demons!)

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Straight to Heaven Prayer / Prayer of Daily Neglects

(Roman Catholic version from Father Mark Goring)

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with all its love, all its sufferings and all its merits.

First — To expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Second — To purify the good I have done poorly this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Third — To supply for the good I ought to have done, and that I have neglected this day and all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

(Protestant version)

Almighty Father, I ask that my sins may be covered and washed away by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, whose atoning grace is sufficient for all eternity.

First — To forgive all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Second — To purify any good I have done poorly this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Third — To forgive my sins of omission, be they through ignorance or selfishness, all that I have neglected this day and all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

I ask these things through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Once we are forgiven, we also need to learn to forgive ourselves for falling into the luke-warmness of the world. If we are forgiven, yet cannot forgive ourselves, we deny the redemptive work and grace of Christ in our own life.

Jude 24–25 (NKJV): 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.

At the Crossroads….

By the Moderator.

In 2021, it is easy to imagine that western civilization is on the brink of major change, be it for the best or for the worst. Some developing concerns are forming and will arise to change humanity’s destiny.

The Mark of the Beast

As you are well aware, society is becoming increasingly divided. This division and subsequent demonization could result in persecution or even genocide.

Some Christians have postulated that this mark of differentiation, to deny business, free speech and freedom of movement, is found in the growing emphasis on the vaxxed and the un-vaxxed. Whilst I believe that the protection of one’s health and the health of the population is vital, I also don’t think that the vax is necessarily the mark of the Beast. However, the radical humanistic system surrounding this issue will no doubt give rise to ‘The Mark’.

I have heard violent rhetoric from both sides of the debate, with some liberals even demanding that the other side to be exterminated for the greater good of humanity. This is a dangerous development. With France introducing a ‘vax’ passport and other countries considering similar systems, this no doubt will be a way of controlling movement, business transactions and the freedom of speech.

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

Christian Persecution

The intellectual narcissism of the radical, leftist woke ideology will target Christians and conservatives because of its underlying unwillingness to acknowledge the merits of opposing views. This unwillingness is derived from a love of sin,  godlessness and self-worship. It can be seen by approving of segregation in schools and educating the youth that one race is evil while another is superior. This ignores completely the unity and equality humanity has as children of the Living God.

Instead, morality is denied and hatred is directed towards anyone that disapproves of neo-marxist views pertaining to race, gender, sexuality and history. Christians and conservatives are then positioned in the minds of the populace as inhuman and evil, even though they follow the Word of the Lord. Private and public organisations have moved to censor and socially punish those who deny or oppose the radical left. It is only a matter of time before the terrible ideals espoused in the movie, ‘The Purge’, are given creedence and the state sanctions the removal of Christians and conservatives.

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” (Revelation 14:8)

Mass polarisation and distrust against Christians and conservatives will be propagandised by the media and the government. By labelling them as “terrorists” and “white supremicists”, it will make it easier for the unthinking, godless public to hate them.

A War with Russia and China

Both Russia and China are working together and engaging in military exercises. The stated purpose is to “bring down US arrogance.”

The Chinese Communist Party spokesman said:

“China and Russia must unite a large number of developing countries to find the right opportunities and agendas to bring down US arrogance.

In this way, Western countries will realize that the United States is not all-powerful and always victorious. “

Statements by a Chinese General:
“This is the first time that the Russian Army has come to China for a strategic exercise.

It is also the fourth year in a row that Russia and China have been holding strategic exercises together.

This shows the strategic cooperation between Russia and China and the determination and ability of the two armies to ensure regional peace and stability.

This will promote the development of mutual trust between the two Armies

The two countries will set up a Joint Headquarters and join forces during the exercise.

In fact, in order to help the Russian forces to adapt quickly to the Chinese conditions, a Chinese accounting support company has made extensive preparations “.

13,000 Soldiers
The name of the exercise is “The Zapad / Interaction-2021” and is a combination of the large annual Russian military exercise “Zapad” and the Chinese “Interaction-2021”.

The exercise will take place from August 9-13 and will involve 13,000 troops from Russia and China. (Hal Turner 9th August).

There is no longer any denial that the US and west are the enemy to both China and Russia, who are angry over trade, political and territorial claims.

Perhaps the US and the west is this great city in Revelation 18:10):

“Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

What Shall We Do?

Revelation 14:7 states: “Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Shall we not fear our Lord, trust in Him and worship His Glory?

7 Signs Your Kid Might Be Learning CRT At School

More satire from the Babylon Bee: https://babylonbee.com/news/7-signs-your-kid-might-be-learning-crt-at-school

We all know that CRT is simply the honest teaching of American history. It’s also a niche legal theory that is only taught in college. It’s also an arbitrary label that racists use to slander everything they don’t like. It’s also the only way to make sure your elementary school kids don’t grow up thinking slavery is good. Wow! Are you confused? You probably are. Whiteness has that effect on people. We’re here to help.So how can you know your kids are being taught CRT in school?

Here are the 7 signs:

1) They call your boss to tell how racist you are: If your kid tries to get you canceled because you perpetuate systems of oppressive whiteness by treating all races equally–which is totally racist– they might be learning CRT.

2) They segregate all their stuffed animals by fur color: Kids who have been taught CRT know the value of creating segregated, decolonized spaces for their stuffies of color to play without white harassment.

3) They come home with purple hair and a ‘Kill All Men’ tattoo: This look is the standard issue for kids who believe all the tenets of CRT.

4) They try to get out of math homework by telling you math is racist: Well, it is. So why are you making them do it, you racist boomer?

5) They refuse to eat on Taco Tuesday due to cultural appropriation: Literally every white ally of social justice knows that enjoying any aspect of another culture that doesn’t belong to your own is racist. Segregate those cultures, Mom and Dad!

6) They ask all their minority classmates to bully them: Are they white? Then they deserve it!

7) They explain over dinner how Marxist ideology is a potent and effective tool for infiltrating all aspects of modern civilization– including culture, religion, economy, and government– in order to dismantle the established order and topple the bourgeois: Wow! so true! If your kid exhibits any of these signs, they’re on their way! Give them a salute, Comrade!

The Coming Totalitarian Persecution

Woke Ideology Mimics Precursors to Totalitarian Slaughter, Experts Say

BY PETR SVAB June 21, 2021 Updated: June 22, 2021


Some of the core tenets of the “woke” ideology spreading around the country mimic ideas used to justify many of the most horrendous atrocities of the past century, according to several experts.

A recently released documentary exploring the topic, called “Better Left Unsaid,” concludes that the self-identified “radical left” endorses four fundamental “truths” that they “hold to be self-evident,” noting that these tenets have also been used to justify and incite many of the worst massacres of the 20th century.

The first of the four claims is that “the world is best viewed through a group oppression narrative lens.”

The “woke” ideology is based on a set of quasi-Marxist theories that divide society into “oppressors” and the “oppressed” based on characteristics such as race, sex, class, or sexual proclivities. “Woke” is sometimes used interchangeably with Critical Race Theory (CRT), which is one of the more prominent ideologies that operate within this framework.

A scene from the documentary “Better Left Unsaid” by Curt Jaimungal. (Better Left Unsaid/Curt Jaimungal)

The second claim is that “evidence of oppression is the inequality between groups,” the documentary says. If the designated “oppressed” group does on average worse in some regard than the designated “oppressor” group, that is taken as virtually unassailable proof of “oppression.”

The third claim is that “peaceful dialog and understanding between the groups is impossible since the dominant group’s strategy is to retain its power.”

Woke theorists have posited that the “oppressed” have a uniquely valuable perspective on reality unavailable to the “oppressors.” Meanwhile, they say, “whiteness” or “white heteropatriarchy” can’t help but to try to maintain its “hegemony.” Even if it does things that benefit members of other groups, such as by abolishing slavery or giving women and blacks the right to vote, it’s still done out of self-interest and in order to further entrench its institutions and norms and thus ensure the “privilege” of its members.

A scene from the documentary “Better Left Unsaid” by Curt Jaimungal. (Better Left Unsaid/Curt Jaimungal)


Proponents of the ideology engage in dialogue between themselves, but with everybody else the communication is supposed to generally flow in one direction—that of acceptance of their views. Any challenge to the ideology is labeled as self-serving or even as an assault on the “oppressed.”

Finally, the ideology at least implicitly acknowledges that “because of the above, violence is justified to eradicate the inequities,” the documentary says.

“From my experience, they (to the degree they can be grouped together enough to call them ‘they’) tend to advocate for violence against those oppressing and equate it to laudatory behavior; hence, ‘punch a Nazi,’” author of the documentary, Curt Jaimungal, told The Epoch Times via email.

“I have catalogs of tweets, written statements, and videos of people ranging from students to [professors] explicitly calling for violence and downplaying the violence of those on the left when compared to the right,” he added, not because of intensity or frequency of such violence, but because of the so-called “nobleness of the extreme left’s position.”

These four tenets, Jaimungal demonstrated in the documentary, are common to many of the most brutal massacres and regimes of the 20th century, from the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany to communist China and the Rwandan genocide.

In each case, an entire class of society is painted as unfairly privileged and as such inherently oppressive, with little regard to specific actions of the individual members of the group. Meanwhile, disagreement with or mere disinterest in this classification is taken as support for the perceived oppression. With reconciliation through dialog taken off the table, the only remaining recourse is conflict—a “revolutionary” action where violence is seen as inevitable and, ultimately, preferable.

“Too few people know about the ceaseless carnage that took place under the masthead of the isomers of equity,” Jaimungal narrates in the documentary.

He said he avoided using examples of atrocities committed as a consequence of the totalitarian nature of the various regimes.

“I am careful to only list or only talk about the deaths associated with the philosophical doctrine of group guilt and class guilt,” he said.

Proponents of socialism commonly argue that the movements that led to these tragedies were commandeered or hijacked by people that didn’t really believe in the ideology. But they have tended to level the argument retrospectively, after they or their like-minded predecessors initially endorsed the movements and nascent regimes, the documentary points out. Also, proponents usually stop short of detailing how the next attempt will prevent any supposed nonbelievers from taking over.

Endorsements
The comparison between the preludes to past massacres and the current manifestations of the woke ideology is a fair one, as long as it’s not taken as an absolute, according to Erec Smith, associate professor of Rhetoric and Composition at York College of Pennsylvania.

“We’re not saying [a massacre] is definitely going to happen, but we need to be cognizant and remember our history and be careful about what’s going on here,” he told The Epoch Times.

Jaimungal’s conclusions were also recently endorsed by several scholars of totalitarianism, all of whom are critical of woke ideology. They were invited to comment on the film by Pat Kambhampati, chemistry professor and head of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship at McGill University in Canada.

“The same ideas that gave rise to Curt’s movie and the discussion of communism, we see a lot of parallels and isomorphisms taking place in the West and within academia,” he said during a May 31 panel discussion on topics raised by the documentary.

Janice Fiamengo, retired English professor at the University of Ottawa and self-declared anti-feminist, backed Jaimungal’s argument during the panel discussion. She was also featured in the film.

“As soon as one establishes these oppressor groups and oppressed groups, then when you are speaking supposedly on behalf of the oppressed, you can do nearly anything,” she said.

A scene from the documentary “Better Left Unsaid” by Curt Jaimungal featuring retired English professor, Janice Fiamengo. (Better Left Unsaid/Curt Jaimungal)



Gad Saad, evolutionary psychology professor at Concordia University, put forth the point during the panel that people professing utopian goals have a tendency toward eliminating those who oppose them.

“Utopians believe that the world could be a perfect place except for this one group that is stopping the world from becoming a perfect place,” he said.

Another panelist, retired New York University professor of liberal studies Michael Rectenwald, linked the woke ideology’s potential to unleash totalitarian force to its postmodern roots.

Postmodernism introduced the idea of fundamental relativism, professing that there is no objective truth, but instead the powers that be establish as true whatever is in their interest.

While the documentary notes that this notion is itself a “truth claim” and thus undermines its own validity, Rectenwald pointed out that adoption of the notion has serious real-life implications.

“The problem with this is not simply that we have no criteria for truth claims with this kind of notion, but rather it leaves open the possibility that when it has the requisite power behind it then anything can be asserted and can be asserted with force,” he said.

Michael Rectenwald, a former professor at New York University and author of “The Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom.” in New York City on Oct. 4, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)


He gave the example of the ideology behind the transgender movement sweeping through government institutions.

“The force of the state is behind it and they can say that if you don’t accept that your child is a boy or a girl when they are the other then you could go to jail for this … or you could lose custody of your child,” he said.

“So when my truth becomes as good or better than any objective truth then we get to this point where the requisite power is applied and therefore we get the kind of authoritarianism and totalitarianism that we saw in the Soviet Union where people were forced to maintain things they knew to be false.”

Memes of Survival
Jaimungal defended in his film not only physical truths, but argued that just as there are “preserved genes” in human DNA that stand virtually unchanged through time and would be catastrophic to meddle with, there are also “preserved memes”—ideas that stand true throughout history and are similarly crucial to maintain, timeless lessons one can find in many religious scriptures and ancient stories.

These ideas are ingrained in humans, but have also been “externalized,” meaning imprinted on the external world in the form of the written word, art, rituals, and so on, he says in the film.

“Our survival depends on these ‘externalized memes.’”

A scene from the documentary “Better Left Unsaid” by Curt Jaimungal. (Better Left Unsaid/Curt Jaimungal)


Clinical psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson touched upon this topic during the panel discussion, noting the damage to the Western mythos inflicted by certain scientific theories, particularly Darwinism, and the subsequent substitution of the religious underpinnings of Western culture by an ideological ersatz.

“I could say to the atheists among the group, you know, ‘You’re not too fond of religion. How are you feeling about its replacement?’” he said.

In an “intact culture” a person is “inculturated” by the age of about 18 into “a religious belief that saturates the entire culture,” he said.

“It’s granted to you, it gives you an identity, and that’s what your identity is.”

Western culture has become in this sense fragmented, he argued, as it now lacks such a comprehensive unifying ethos.

Students still come to universities with a “messianic” urge, craving an initiation of this sort, but what they’re offered instead is an ideology, which he described as “a parasite on an underlying religious structure.”

“A proper religious structure gives you a balanced view of the world, there’s characters for that negative part of nature, there’s characters for the positive part of nature, for the negative part of culture, for the positive part of culture. [It] gives you a view that enables you to look at the world and it’s existential permanences, I guess, in a manner that allows you to live a balanced life.”

Ideology, he said, doesn’t serve this purpose.

“You get indoctrinated into an ideology and you find where Satan is, you know, it’s not in you, it’s out there in the patriarchal oppressor, let’s say. And the thing about that is that it rings true mythologically and it is also true because every culture is oppressive to some degree and we’re all crushed as individuals by the dictates of arbitrary society. And kids get into the university and they’re taught this one-sided, lopsided doctrine with a utopian end and it matches their developmental needs perfectly,” he said.

If an ideology is accepted as an intimate part of one’s identity, it becomes difficult to let go of as it provides the person’s life meaning, Fiamengo noted.

“They would actually rather die than admit that they’re wrong,” she said.

Part of the solution, the panelists agreed, would be to restore universities to their original purpose of pursuing objective truth.

Update: The article has been edited for clarity.

Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab

Source: https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/woke-ideology-mimics-precursors-to-totalitarian-slaughter-experts-say_3865035.html?utm_source=morningbriefnoe&utm_medium=email2&utm_campaign=mb-2021-06-22&mktids=77672ec378aa798521e84091f8f8bd17&est=kjrV%2FN%2F6yVcoXPy%2BYlfFxdPUrk4fjdD91GOCmZCc7z8xR8gvm%2F9u0%2BNABa72cCld

The Revolt Against the Evil Woke Cult

How ‘Woke’ May Be Leading Us To Civil War
Authored by Roger Simon via The Epoch Times

Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/political/how-woke-may-be-leading-us-civil-war

The other day, I wrote that “woke” was the new conformism.

It is, of course, but I undersold it. It’s much more than that and more dangerous.

As Tal Bachman notes at Steynonline, it’s now our state religion, a state religion in a country that – constitutionally and for good reason – isn’t supposed to have one.

But “Wokism” is yet more than that, too. It’s a mass psychosis similar to many that have arisen throughout history when the masses followed leaders who, in their zeal or self-interest, took them to disastrous ends.

A good example was when the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola – in a 1497 version of “cancel culture” – swept up everything secular in Florence from some of the most extraordinary paintings and sculpture of all time to the works of Boccaccio and burned them in the so-called Bonfire of the Vanities.

Being Jewish, I am also reminded of the bizarre tale of Sabbatai Zevi, the 17th-century Sephardic rabbi who proclaimed himself the long-awaited true messiah of the Jews, garnered thousands of followers, and then ended up leaving them completely in the lurch when he converted to Islam. (Interestingly, Bachman writes that “wokism” resembles Islam structurally.)

Closer to our time, the great Italian director Federico Fellini, in his film “La Dolce Vita” (1960), shows us what seems like hundreds of people rushing about, tears streaming, trampling each other, believing reports that the Madonna has been sighted. As the scene progresses, the crowd grows, with more and more people convinced of the sighting.

Of course, what Fellini documents is more or less harmless—not so “woke.” This psychosis has a political dimension and the capability of changing a society, which it has already done.

Face Excommunication
“Woke” gains adherents much in the manner of “est”—the cult-like Erhard Seminars Training—that I attended in the 1970s at the behest of a movie producer interested in making a film about it. (It never happened.)

If you’re too in, you’re out.

For instance, several hundred people sat in a large conference room listening to the “training” for hours under instructions not to get up, even to go to the bathroom, until they raised their hands signaling they “got it” (i.e., effectively joined the cult). Nature’s calling being what it is, most eventually did.

Although operationally similar, “woke” is exponentially more perilous than the now-defunct est training. Our position in society, our livelihoods, and our children’s educations and futures are being held over our heads, not our mere use of a restroom.

An iron-fisted, ideologically extreme minority has our country under its thumb—play along or face ex-communication. This is stronger than anything in our history and almost identical to what we see and have seen in totalitarian countries.

Stop tolerating the intolerant!

It’s a psychosis approaching mass hallucination.

In Franco’s Spain, they shouted, “Viva la muerte!” (“Long live death!”) Here we are asked to proclaim just as loudly “Black Lives Matter,” to display signs saying as much on our lawns, although we never thought otherwise and always thought (naively, we are told) that all lives mattered.

All key aspects, most parts of them anyway, of our society “get it” as they did in est (i.e., now believe in ”woke”) or, yet more ominously, cynically say they do—the media, the corporations (“Better woke than broke!”), the government bureaucracy, the Democratic Party, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the military (yikes!), entertainment, the university system, the K–12 system, the medical community, the scientific community (incredibly), the religious community (sadly), and on and on.

All, to one extent or another, believe in “woke” except—the people.

Most of the people anyway.

Most of what used to be called the common men (or women) in the street roll their eyes at “woke”—including even some silent, but browbeaten, Democrats—and do their best to move on, although many realize that “woke” and its sister “social justice” are in essence euphemisms for an ideology far more totalitarian than any ever in control of this country, communism.

Rebellion Brewing
How long can this gaping dichotomy continue?

How long before they stop rolling their eyes?

A rebellion against “woke” is brewing, particularly in red states, some of which are banning or have already banned critical race theory in their schools, among other pushbacks. (Kudos to Rep. Mark Green, Republican of Tennessee and Iraq War veteran, for introducing legislation to block critical race theory training at U.S. military academies.)

But will that be enough against a federal government that lives and breathes this evil ideology and that is essentially governed by a homegrown politburo—the thought that Biden acts by himself is ludicrous—determined to impose it?

As this imposition increases, the “contradictions,” as the Marxists would say, are heightened.

What the extremist ideology of “woke” actually provokes is talk of—and not just talk—secession and even civil war.

Few of us have heard anything like that in our lifetimes. But now it’s real. We have been driven apart as never before. We have been awakened indeed.

Anything can happen and some of us, who would never have considered anything like secession and civil war, suddenly do—highly disturbing to us as those thoughts may be.

So why do we even tolerate “woke”?

Bachman gives us a quotation from Austrian philosopher Karl Popper that is remarkably apposite for our times:

“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

From Antifa to BLM (whose leader apparently identifies with the mass murderer Chairman Mao) to the willfully blind talking heads of left-wing cable TV, no one is as intolerant as the ”woke” folks. They break all domestic records in that regard.

Time to stop tolerating them.