Archive for the ‘Paul Washer’ Category

h1

Paul Washer: 10 Indictments against the American Church. Part One

November 5, 2008

Paul Washer: 10 Indictments against the American Church. Part One

I want to say first off I have nothing against Paul Washer. I believe him to be sincere and a man seeking after God’s heart. From my understanding he is Calvinist, which again to me is not an issue in the sense that I see him as not one that is of the DOCTRINES of grace variety rather being of the doctrines of GRACE variety.

Now saying that I hope the reader reads this with charity as I am not out to blast Paul Washer rather give a Biblical critic of his sermon the 10 Indictments against the American Church. In this I hope the reader goes to the scripture and not just accept what I say, or just accept what Paul Washer has presented.

I will say I admire his opening prayer. In it I hear a man who dares not be presumptuous. I appreciate the humility and can sense his love for the Church.

I will say I have had trouble listening to this sermon as I see it full of “works” instead of dependency on the Holy Spirit. In fact Paul sets the tone by saying, “We need revival. We need an awakening, but we cannot simply expect the Holy Spirit to come down and clean up all the mess we have made.” (1)

Now this is a huge concern and in this statement I fear that the tone is then shifted from the works of God by the Holy Spirit to the works of man and our own ability to bring revival and reformation. If we believe that to remove the Holy Spirit and to not depend on the Holy Spirit will bring reformation and revival, then we only fool ourselves and leave it in our own hands and out of God’s hands. This is much too serious to overlook that Paul Washer states this. I hope in his heart that he does not believe this as true yet as I look at the indictments I see that he then places all the responsibility on human efforts.

Indictment 1: A practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture.

In the core I agree with Paul, yet just reading and studying the bible is not enough. In fact by removing the Holy Spirit from the process, one cannot understand the Bible at all. For we are taught:

1 Cor 2: 12. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16. “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

One can only understand Spiritual things by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. For how can we understand without the revelation that comes by the Counselor of all things. (John 14: 15-17, 26) To remove the Holy Spirit from the equation is the most gravest mistake one can make in understanding the Scripture.

Interestingly, Paul sound a bit like many of those Paul’s followers hate. In this statement he sidesteps inherency:

“When you come to believe as a people that the Bible is inspired you have only fought half the battle because the question is not merely is the Bible inspired, is it inerrant. The major question following that that must be answered: Is the Bible sufficient or do we have to bring in every so called social science and cultural study in order to know how to run a church? That is a major question.” (2)

Now I agree with the statement as I see that we have been given all things needed for Godliness. Yet really is it the Bible that equips us with Godliness? If one looks at the scripture itself Peter states:

2 Peter 1:3. His (Jesus) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Note it is not the book, but the Person that equips us. Yes, the bible is one of the tools that Jesus uses to help us and exhort us, yet if we believe it is just the bible that leads us to all truth and believe that by just reading it we will be equipped to bring revival and reformation we only fool ourselves… in fact we deceive ourselves and fall into the very trap that Paul Washer warned about as Paul stated: “There is little need for the devil and evil men to oppose a man praying for revival unless he is also laboring for reformation. We have been given truth and we cannot simply do what is right in our own eyes and then expect the Holy Spirit to come down and bless our labors.” (3)

I do agree that we need be careful not to do what is right in our own eyes. There is danger in mere acceptance of doctrines often passed down as many are not of God but of man. Even in the traditional and most fundamentalist church man corrupts God’s truth with his own. While I agree we must return to Scripture to gain insight in how we must live, again I cannot emphasize enough that without the Holy Spirit it is works and results in nothing more than kindling and does nothing for the Kingdom of God. Using man’s own understanding leads us to only doing what is right in our own eyes. I have been victim and have witness the harshness of those who claim grace yet use worldly ways to bring their own understanding of godliness about. They care less about kindness and see only harsh and harmful words as the tools to bring down their supposed enemies. In this they lost sight of the Power of the Holy Spirit to bring real change in others lives.

The second indictment: An ignorance of God.

Paul Washer states: “Why the rampant sinning even among God’s people? A lack of the knowledge of the God, of God.”

I challenge this statement as though it is true in one sense, it is not the lack of the knowledge of God that sin runs rampant, it is the misunderstanding of the Life of Christ that is imparted to us for godlily living. We can have all the knowledge of God we can absorb, yet we are warned of knowledge: 1 Cor 8:1 “…We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” It is not more knowledge we need unless it is in the form of God’s love. To state that a lack of knowledge will cure sin is again deceiving ourselves and the Bible teaches that it can lead to pride which is sin… Also, Satan himself has much more knowledge of God and most Christians and is the father of all sin… yet one thing he lacks is love. It is the knowledge of God’s loving kindness and his great love for us as displayed by his Grace through Jesus Christ. Without the very Life of Christ in us, we are no better than an unbeliever as we lack the power to stop sinning. Yet even more there is a fundamental issue in Paul Washer’s understanding that is missing. Jesus is the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world. If one is in Christ, who has not sin, then we are without sin. Now on the outside we may still do wrong things and fail, yet in God’s eyes through Jesus we are pure as Jesus Himself. The issue is that without the Life of Christ we are only half way to the fullness of the Promise of salvation. One can accept forgiveness yet not realize that they need the Life of the Resurrected Christ which is eternal. One who thinks that all they need is forgiveness and never moves into the Life of Christ remains merely a forgiven dead man. Now, I believe God’s grace will cover much of our missing understanding, yet that is the reason many lack to power to stop their sin. They washed the outside of the cup and missed the inside and are still full of the same filth they started out with. This idea that we must “do” to make God move seems very strange coming from an Calvinist and more strange that other hard-line Calvinist do not stand up and call foul to the “do” list. I will try to get to the other indictments as I can.

Sermon Index Site Ten Indictments – A Historical 21st Century Message by Paul Washer
Sermon Audio Site Download MP3 (14.0MB)

References:

1. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) – Part 1 paragraph 6
2. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) – Part 1 paragraph 5
3. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) – Part 1 paragraph 6

h1

Paul Washer: 10 Indictments against the American Church. Part One

November 5, 2008

Paul Washer: 10 Indictments against the American Church. Part One

I want to say first off I have nothing against Paul Washer. I believe him to be sincere and a man seeking after God’s heart. From my understanding he is Calvinist, which again to me is not an issue in the sense that I see him as not one that is of the DOCTRINES of grace variety rather being of the doctrines of GRACE variety.

Now saying that I hope the reader reads this with charity as I am not out to blast Paul Washer rather give a Biblical critic of his sermon the 10 Indictments against the American Church. In this I hope the reader goes to the scripture and not just accept what I say, or just accept what Paul Washer has presented.

I will say I admire his opening prayer. In it I hear a man who dares not be presumptuous. I appreciate the humility and can sense his love for the Church.

I will say I have had trouble listening to this sermon as I see it full of “works” instead of dependency on the Holy Spirit. In fact Paul sets the tone by saying, “We need revival. We need an awakening, but we cannot simply expect the Holy Spirit to come down and clean up all the mess we have made.” (1)

Now this is a huge concern and in this statement I fear that the tone is then shifted from the works of God by the Holy Spirit to the works of man and our own ability to bring revival and reformation. If we believe that to remove the Holy Spirit and to not depend on the Holy Spirit will bring reformation and revival, then we only fool ourselves and leave it in our own hands and out of God’s hands. This is much too serious to overlook that Paul Washer states this. I hope in his heart that he does not believe this as true yet as I look at the indictments I see that he then places all the responsibility on human efforts.

Indictment 1: A practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture.

In the core I agree with Paul, yet just reading and studying the bible is not enough. In fact by removing the Holy Spirit from the process, one cannot understand the Bible at all. For we are taught:

1 Cor 2: 12. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16. “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

One can only understand Spiritual things by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. For how can we understand without the revelation that comes by the Counselor of all things. (John 14: 15-17, 26) To remove the Holy Spirit from the equation is the most gravest mistake one can make in understanding the Scripture.

Interestingly, Paul sound a bit like many of those Paul’s followers hate. In this statement he sidesteps inherency:

“When you come to believe as a people that the Bible is inspired you have only fought half the battle because the question is not merely is the Bible inspired, is it inerrant. The major question following that that must be answered: Is the Bible sufficient or do we have to bring in every so called social science and cultural study in order to know how to run a church? That is a major question.” (2)

Now I agree with the statement as I see that we have been given all things needed for Godliness. Yet really is it the Bible that equips us with Godliness? If one looks at the scripture itself Peter states:

2 Peter 1:3. His (Jesus) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Note it is not the book, but the Person that equips us. Yes, the bible is one of the tools that Jesus uses to help us and exhort us, yet if we believe it is just the bible that leads us to all truth and believe that by just reading it we will be equipped to bring revival and reformation we only fool ourselves… in fact we deceive ourselves and fall into the very trap that Paul Washer warned about as Paul stated: “There is little need for the devil and evil men to oppose a man praying for revival unless he is also laboring for reformation. We have been given truth and we cannot simply do what is right in our own eyes and then expect the Holy Spirit to come down and bless our labors.” (3)

I do agree that we need be careful not to do what is right in our own eyes. There is danger in mere acceptance of doctrines often passed down as many are not of God but of man. Even in the traditional and most fundamentalist church man corrupts God’s truth with his own. While I agree we must return to Scripture to gain insight in how we must live, again I cannot emphasize enough that without the Holy Spirit it is works and results in nothing more than kindling and does nothing for the Kingdom of God. Using man’s own understanding leads us to only doing what is right in our own eyes. I have been victim and have witness the harshness of those who claim grace yet use worldly ways to bring their own understanding of godliness about. They care less about kindness and see only harsh and harmful words as the tools to bring down their supposed enemies. In this they lost sight of the Power of the Holy Spirit to bring real change in others lives.

The second indictment: An ignorance of God.

Paul Washer states: “Why the rampant sinning even among God’s people? A lack of the knowledge of the God, of God.”

I challenge this statement as though it is true in one sense, it is not the lack of the knowledge of God that sin runs rampant, it is the misunderstanding of the Life of Christ that is imparted to us for godlily living. We can have all the knowledge of God we can absorb, yet we are warned of knowledge: 1 Cor 8:1 “…We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” It is not more knowledge we need unless it is in the form of God’s love. To state that a lack of knowledge will cure sin is again deceiving ourselves and the Bible teaches that it can lead to pride which is sin… Also, Satan himself has much more knowledge of God and most Christians and is the father of all sin… yet one thing he lacks is love. It is the knowledge of God’s loving kindness and his great love for us as displayed by his Grace through Jesus Christ. Without the very Life of Christ in us, we are no better than an unbeliever as we lack the power to stop sinning. Yet even more there is a fundamental issue in Paul Washer’s understanding that is missing. Jesus is the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world. If one is in Christ, who has not sin, then we are without sin. Now on the outside we may still do wrong things and fail, yet in God’s eyes through Jesus we are pure as Jesus Himself. The issue is that without the Life of Christ we are only half way to the fullness of the Promise of salvation. One can accept forgiveness yet not realize that they need the Life of the Resurrected Christ which is eternal. One who thinks that all they need is forgiveness and never moves into the Life of Christ remains merely a forgiven dead man. Now, I believe God’s grace will cover much of our missing understanding, yet that is the reason many lack to power to stop their sin. They washed the outside of the cup and missed the inside and are still full of the same filth they started out with. This idea that we must “do” to make God move seems very strange coming from an Calvinist and more strange that other hard-line Calvinist do not stand up and call foul to the “do” list. I will try to get to the other indictments as I can.

Sermon Index Site Ten Indictments – A Historical 21st Century Message by Paul Washer
Sermon Audio Site Download MP3 (14.0MB)

References:

1. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) – Part 1 paragraph 6
2. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) – Part 1 paragraph 5
3. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) – Part 1 paragraph 6