You are hereTruthVoice 2010: The Character of the Kingdom (Part 2)

TruthVoice 2010: The Character of the Kingdom (Part 2)

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By Virgil - Posted on 30 May 2010

This is the second part of Ward Fenley's presentation at TruthVoice 2010, in Dayton, Ohio. You can watch Part 1 below.

Video: 
flannery0's picture

Virgil,

So glad you made these videos available. They are sure to be a blessing to many. So sorry I missed the conference this year.

To all,

Just wanted to interject here amidst these other comments that I am thankful for the opportunity I've had to get to know Ward, and spend time with his family, and most of all I am thankful for the incalculably rich experience that teaching with him (and Shannon and Brian) through New Creation Ministries International has been, and continues to be.

If you watched the video and like what you've heard, please visit us at http://www.newcreationministries.tv .

If you watched the video and "came away with more questions than answers," then by all means, please visit us at http://www.newcreationministries.tv .

Tami Jelinek

Sam's picture

how does taking a potshot at Jason Bradfield mean practicing grace? I don't get it. Obviously, Jason was JUDGED for doing something WRONG, was he not?

KingNeb's picture

What did Ward say about me? I can't view these on the road.

thereignofchrist.com

Sam's picture

Jason, I just wrote to Roderick Edwards the following on his Preterist News website:

"Roderick,

I wrote what I did on Planet Preterist not having heard Ward’s lecture (I have just finished listening to both of them). I wrote what I did going off of what you said here: “Telling his audience not to be judgmental all the while taking snipes at his fellow hyperpreterists, Jason Bradfield and Mike Sullivan.” I saw no snipes at either. Maybe I missed it. He commented on Jason’s “raps” (but that was not a snipe – he was actually commenting on them as cool). As for Mike Sullivan, he didn’t say anything there, either. Maybe I missed it. He just mentioned Mike told him about time statements in the Bible, and Ward called him a heretic (back then in 1997, not now). So, if you can fill in more material that I may have missed, I will have to retract that statement, and tell folks on Planet Preterist why I wrote what I did, and apologize for reading you as a source, but not hearing the lecture first, thanks."

I await his response.

Sam's picture

Roderick's reply starts with the quote from the lecture: "“There is all this talk about who’s spiritual. Oh, the one who meditates. The one who chants. Or lays down a little tongue, you know with a rap beat or something. Jason Bradfield style. He’s a spiritual guy right? He gets on that Internet, he does his little Calvinistic raps; his preterist raps. Wow, he’s spiritual. What is true spirituality?” - Ward F.

I guess I could see this as "demeaning" to some extent. Knowing Jason, his "raps" are meant to be "spiritual" at all. They are comical. Jason is a fun guy. He has fun doing this kind of stuff. So, I am not sure of Ward's intent on bringing him up, or what "point" he was making. Jason never claimed that his raps were "spiritual". Perhaps this gets back to the other slam Ward gave Jason over trying to be "black" with his raps (someone might want to mention the Beastie Boys or Eminem to Ward). Either way, I don't think I owe any apology. Roderick, more or less, appears to have quoted Ward in context. Are we being judged now because we are not "spiritual" enough in Ward's eyes? I listened to both lectures, and could not really get the point - and, like Mickey D., came away with more questions than answers.

The problem with the Democrats (liberalism in general) is that they are trying to manifest the kingdom of God on earth - through earthly means (what Thielicke called Utopianizing God's Court). Since God has forgiven us and counts no crime against us, we, therefore, should act the same way with society as a whole and each other. This is to blend "in the world" with "not of the world" - which is always, in the Bible, kept dualistically distinct. Pacifism. Is this the ethic of Christianity?

Virgil's picture

Sam, now you of all people should know better than believing crap you read on the internet...especially considering the author.

Mick's picture

I also enjoyed meeting Ward in person. We chatted on Facebook once and I have read some of his articles on line. From those interactions I have found Ward to be a man of passion and seeker of the heart of God.

On the other hand I found his speech, Saturday evening lacking an appropriate balance. My fourteen year old son even noted that as we drove home from the conference, possibly because he has been “indoctrinated” by his mother and me. Ward spoke of his displeasure with his children, who are young; using “vulgar language” yet Ward continues to use it freely even we speaking from behind a podium. Second, He spoke effectively about our need to come along side of women who are pregnant, loving them, helping them and encouraging them to carry their babies to term, as if he was unaware of the ministries across the nation who do exactly that and which I have been involved with for almost 20 years. (Here is the link to the ministry http://www.womenscenter.org )In my office, I have all too often found myself counseling men and women of all ages who have use illegal drugs, contracted STI’s or had sex outside of a marriage; damaging their lives and the lives of those around them.(Here was a brief blog about one case http://blog.planetpreterist.com/index.php?itemid=326 )My response has been along the lines of I do not judge your actions, be on your way and sin no more. Too often, this was the element that was lacking in Ward’s speech; go on your way and sin no more. Even in Ward’s powerful testimony of his own life, he demonstrated his personal need to go on his way and sin no more; that is unless he continues to pursue the use of cocaine and extra-marital affairs, something he never stated or implied he was interested in doing. Yet Ward seemed to leave us with our only responsibility to our fellow man was to love them, implying that to be the image bearer of God does not require us to point to a better way of life. I Corinthians 13 tells us that faith hope and love remain. Faith, that God’s ways are the true ways of live regardless of what our culture may offer us, and hope that we can accurately be God’s image bearers in his creation, need to be included in any discussion of our responsibilities to our fellow man and God creation in general.

I may have said too much already, but just as Ward felt a need to speak what was his heart, I too cannot be still when given a forum to communicate what is on my heart. Finally, Psalm 36, David passes judgment on the heart of the wicked. It is not clear if this is after a period of self examination, after examining the evidence he had accumulated in the courts of his kingdom, or both. It is clear that after considering the love and righteousness of God, David did not want to visit or revisit, in his own heart, the arrogance of the wicked or the let the hand of wicked drive him from the presence of God. This gets back to Ward discussion of “God kicking us out.” I agree this is not an argument of Calvin verses Arminius, but the condition of my heart. Nothing forces me to love God and His ways and if my love grows cold, nothing forces me to continue to dwell in His Kingdom either. We need to heed the words of Jesus to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2.

Mickey

Mickey E. Denen

Virgil's picture

"My response has been along the lines of I do not judge your actions, be on your way and sin no more."

Mick..have you ever encountered someone who "sinned no more" after you told them not to? People still sin after God himself tells them to stop...why do you think they would stop because you or I ask them to stop?

Mick's picture

Of course I did say "sin no more."

Typically people undestand what they did was wrong by virtue of the consequences they were suffering. I would encourage them to choose another path.

Mickey E. Denen

Virgil's picture

Right, but if people understand their actions as sinful in light of their consequences, why do we find it necessary to tell them not to sin anymore, and how does that fall in line with Paul's words about meat sacrificed to idols? Or better yet, his speech on Mars Hill where he doesn't utter a single word about "sin no more" or about Jesus himself.

I like the way Sam Frost often puts it in these kinds of conversations: I am not God, Jesus, Paul or Peter...so how is it my place to decide what is and what is not sin, or even confront someone about it? Would it not be easier to just live my life the way I believe God intends for me to live it and let that serve as an example to those surrounding us?

Sam's picture

Virg,

Please don't lump me in with the "there is no more sin" crowd! What I meant by that is that I cannot convict of sin. However, I thank GOD, that people, through concern, pointed out my sin - vehemently. I thank God they never gave up on me (grace), but at the same time, refused to let me justify my actions. They were hounds of hell. Today, I am a better man for it. Sin is defined in the Law - and "sin is lawlessness". How can we point out (oops....POINT FINGERS) at the corruption of the government? Maybe we should just say to Reid, Pelosi, and Obama, "hey, man, peace and love....you are doing a great job, and who am I to point out your errors....peace, and be on your way, man." Do we just rubber stamp everything, Virg? "Do not let grace be a license for sin". I had to learn that the HARD way....

Mick's picture

I don't think you understand the context that I am discussing in my office. Often people have tears of regret in their eyes. They are looking for another way. I do not decide what is sin they come to me because their life is a mess and they looking for something better in life. I do not say "you sinner get out of here" or "you made your bed now sleep in it." They want solutions. I offer them.

An example might help.
Your daughter comes in to my office 10 years from now, she went out experimented with alcohol and in that moment of decreased inhibition decides to have sex with her boyfriend. Because it is rushed and she does not understand yet the relationship aspect of sex, it is a less than pleasing experience for her. She is afraid of STI and pregnancy, but worst of all she thinks of sex as no big deal (as I often point out to teens sex is a gift to humanity from God). At that point I try to instruct her in God's design for sexulity and point out there is a better way and encourage her to make a decision to save sex from this time forward for marriage.

Where is the judgmemnt?

Do you not see the element of go on your way and sin no more?

Notice I did not write her a script for a contraceptive and tell her to make sure she uses condoms. That is your job if that is what you want for your teenage daughter.

In this context I do not have the right to just live by example. I have a responsiblity to point to the way that God directs. He has asked us to be His light in the world; to point to another way; to bring healing to the nations.

Mickey E. Denen

Paige's picture

"My response has been along the lines of I do not judge your actions, be on your way and sin no more."

How does telling someone to "sin no more" square with *not* judging their actions?
That's confusing to me...

Paige

Mick's picture

Paige see my comment to Virgil above. I hope that helps.

Also see my comment regarding Psm 36 in original commnet. How can David in the Psalm or I in everday life not make a judgement if I have arrived at the conclusion I don't want "that" (outcome over there that is a direct consequence of a given action) to happen to me?

Why do you eat healthy? You judged that unhealhty eating causes an outcome you do not desire.

Why are you faithful to your husband? I submit you judged that behavior as something that was harmful to many people in the physical, emotional and spiritual realms.

When some one cuts you off on the highway (traveling too fast for the conditions on the road) and almost causes you to wreck threatening the life of your family, you judge that that other drivers actions as foolish and likely say a prayer of thanks as well as for the safety of the next family that encouters that driver.

People come in to my office everyday wanting to avoid the consequences of their actions and looking for answers. I must judge their former way of life as "wrong" and point them to another way. I do not have the luxury of dishonesty and say to them it is ok to continue on the path you are on so they can feel ok aobout themselves and their unwise choices.

Mickey E. Denen

Paige's picture

Mick,

I think it would be honest to actually say "I judge your actions." I think we can judge actions, without judging people, and it is something we do everyday, as you point out. Here is where I might differ from you, though. I think we can do all of the above without reigning down the added condemnation of "sin."

As a Dr., you have the privilege to speak into people's lives because they have asked you to do so by the very nature of needing your help, advice, services, etc. In your place, I might say to the teen with an STI, "If your aim was to avoid an STI, you missed. We know that certain behaviors carry a high risk for disease." Etc...And then you do what you know is right as a Dr. to do. This encounter can occur without leaving one feeling they are rejected by God, or separated from Him (as anyone familiar with the language and context of sin knows). As Paul pointed out, they were given the ministry of reconciliation. Their ministry (and I believe that we can have the same ministry today) was to point out to others that God had ALREADY reconciled them to Himself, NOT counting sin against them (2 Cor. 5:19). What I find has happened over time in my experience, is that evangelicalism has ignored this, and instead opted for a ministry of condemnation and separation.

Hope I've made myself clear. In the end, we all do what we individually understand is the best to do when dealing with the people God brings our way.

Paige

Mick's picture

I am sorry for the really "bad" pun. It has already been a long week already.

I never use the word sin in my office, indeed even with my children I speak of "missing the mark;" you know the literal meaning of the Hebrew word translated sin. Most exchanges end with a good understanding there is a better path and understanding; finishing with the statement, "I think no less of you." and a gentle hug or warm handshake. Indeed I point to reconciliation and never condemnation. I hope I have made myself more clearly understood as well.

As a side thought, one day, I look forward to actually having a "face to face" conversation with you. I think we would find most of the misunderstandings we have are due to the impersonal nature of this medium.

Mickey

Mickey E. Denen

Paige's picture

Mick,

Your kids are fortunate to have such a great Dad. I do think we are on the same "page". Thanks for the exchange, and one day a face to face would be very nice.

Paige

Sam's picture

The work of A.A., Mick, has built itself on this very principle. That is its success. "We welcome you" "keep coming back" "stop drinking" "we are always here for you, no matter how many rungs on the ladder you have fallen" "stop drinking".....this acceptance is the grace part. But, "grace" as a concept has necessarily attached to it, "sin". You cannot define "grace" and "mercy" apart from "sin". Can't be done. If one preaches "grace, grace, grace" they must ALSO preach "sin, sin, sin". Grace is amazing because sin is disgusting. All sin. One without the other is neither, biblically speaking....thanks for speaking up.....

JL's picture

Mickey,

Dead on.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

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