Dale McAlpine, sometime commenter here and fanatical street-preacher in these parts, has posted a tasteful little video on his web-site – that’s the smugly named Repent.com if you’re interested – called Are You Doing What Jesus Christ Says? Take a look at it over on Repent.com or on YouTube; it’s ludicrously melodramatic and wonderfully over the top. You’re sure to enjoy its typos and spelling mistakes too.
What’s remarkable about it apart from these things is that, despite its title, it makes little reference to what Jesus is supposed to have said. Instead, it’s all about how you’ll go to hell if you don’t repent and accept him as your saviour; but Jesus never said this. It says you’re a ‘vile, wretched, hell-deserving son or daughter of Adam’ – Jesus didn’t say this either. It also insists you should let his cross ‘disrupt the very centre and citadel of your life of self’ (whatever that means) and guess what? This wasn’t part of Jesus’ teaching either. In fact, none of these claims were part of his ‘good news’.
Of the things Jesus did say – go the extra mile, sell all you have to give to the poor, turn the other cheek, avoid judging so you won’t be judged, give to all who ask, give away your shirt as well as your coat, feed the hungry, visit the sick, clothe the naked and love your enemies – the video makes no mention. Funny that. Maybe that’s why we don’t see Christians doing them very often.
So, Christians – and Dale too – are you doing what Jesus said or are you, like the video, only interested in pointing out others’ supposed sins and shouting about how they need to join you in your delusional mumbo-jumbo?
Yes. Thought so.
Neil, I answered your comment on my website at http://www.UKRepent.com
You did, and then on the same day you deleted both your comment and mine. Is your faith so insecure you can’t deal with any dissent? Poor you.
I posted your comment in order to address your concerns, no need to thank me Neil, I removed your comment because I do not allow comments on the front page of my blog ….simples.
As I view your blog, comments do not appear on its front page; an extra click is required. I don’t care that you deleted my points, as well as your own, but it speaks very loudly of your insecurities.
Disclaimer: none of this is to support Dale of any other Christian
Actually, just to play devils advocate for a minute…. Jesus uses parables in Matthew 13 and 25. Those parables talk about hell and the condemnation of those who don’t find Yahweh and quit their evil deeds. Jesus even says in 25:40-43 that he’s going to be sending angels to pretty much fuck up most of humanity. In 13 he says he speaks in parables because only his boys get to know what’s going on. Combine it with Mark 4 (which Matthew was building off of) and you get the idea that Jesus spoke in parables to deliberately confuse people. He made it difficult for people to “find him” and then sent them to hell for it. I think a lot of people focus on Jesus in the way you do here, all the good things. But I personally think he was a misunderstood Jew of his time. He thought he was the messiah and his whole purpose was to protect “his father’s people” and bring wrath upon those who didn’t repent.
You ever read Fabricating Faith? It was an amazing pov on what Jesus was most likely all about.
You’re right, of course, Charlie. I wasn’t unaware of Jesus talking about Hell in the gospels when I wrote the post and I agree he was more unsavoury than Christians like to portray him. For all that, he did not say people would go to Hell for not believing in him as their saviour (which is essentially Paul’s gospel and that of today’s evangelicals). He consigned to hell those who a) weren’t Jewish, b) didn’t acknowledge the coming Kingdom of God and c) didn’t adjust their lives in readiness for it. This is a very different gospel – and yes, one he deliberately obfuscated – from that which was eventually fabricated around his failed mission.
I focused in the post on Jesus’ more positive outpourings for Dale’s benefit; Christians today generally disregard these in favour of all that blood-of-the-lamb, my-saviour-redeemeth-me, fire-and-brimstone cobblers, as in the video Dale posted.
I’ve not read ‘Fabricating Faith’ but will look it up. Enjoying Ehrman’s ‘Jesus Before the Gospels’ at the moment. He’s back on form with this one.
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Ah I see your point now. Sorry about the misreading. You’re absolutely right about all that. Since I’ve left the faith (or maybe even part of the reason I left) I’ve seen that Christianity is vastly more of a Pauline religion than a Christology.
Ah, the Fundamentalist Calvinist Al Martin. I listened to many of his sermons back in the day. The video was produced by Tim Conway and Grace Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. I was Tim’s pastor for a time.
Martin, in the space of four minutes contradicts himself. He preaches the Calvinistic gospel of do this and thou shalt live, but if you do these things you might still end up in hell–all praise to the electing grace of God.
Martin’s church in Montville, New Jersey was quite authoritian and spiritually abusive. I met one woman from there who was excommunicated because she moved to another state to take a new job. The elders said it wasn’t God’s will. She went anyway, so they marked (excommunicated) her, saying to all who crossed her paths that she was a publican and a heathen.
Thanks for this, Bruce. Perhaps Dale would like to comment on the video’s contradiction and on the shameful behaviour of the ‘true’ Christians who made it. I’ve referenced their web-site before now, where they describe themselves as ‘aggressively God-loving’ – I guess they’re half right.
“Perhaps Dale would like to comment on the video’s contradiction and on the shameful behaviour of the ‘true’ Christians who made it.”
There are no contradictions and since they are not here to give their side of the story and we only have Bruce’s record of events ….no I wouldn’t
Dale, I’m beginning to see how you go about making a point – you just deny the other person’s and return to your own agenda! You did it in your comment about sexual mores in the OT and here you are doing it again; Bruce pointed out the contradiction in the video you posted, you respond by denying it’s there. I’m guessing that really you’re not as knowledgeable as he is about the two doctrines in question.
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Calvinists can not know for sure they are saved. Since they must persevere to the end, they can not know for sure they are saved until they cross the finish line. And even then, they might lose out, having spent their lives deceived into thinking they were Christians. For all their talk about grace, Calvinists actually preach a works-based salvation. Is that not the essence of Martin’s sermon? Do this and thou shalt live? But then, maybe not. Maybe what you thought was the right path was actually wrong. Object? How dare you question the Sovereign God of the universe. He’s not obligated to save anyone. And so it goes…
Bruce said ~ “Calvinists can not know for sure they are saved” and “they can not know for sure they are saved until they cross the finish line.”
I’m a Calvinist and I know for certain that I am saved, when I die I will be welcomed into heaven and will not suffer for my sins for all eternity.
You also said ~ “Calvinists actually preach a works-based salvation”
Nonsense, please show me one quote in Church history where any true Christian was preaching a works based salvation.
Bruce, you were never a Christian but there is still opportunity for you to be saved, God has not took your life yet. Call upon Him and you shall be saved.
Answered as I thought you would. Martin’s sermon,taken to its logical conclusion, teaches that no one can know for sure that they are one of the elect. I have heard numerous Calvinistic preachers — myself included — preach this type of sermon. Such sermons are meant to challenge church members’ assurance of faith. The goal is to unsettle supposed pretenders, but their practical effect is causing good people to question whether they are really, really saved. Your buddy Tim Conway, along with preachers like Paul Washer and Al Martin, are experts at making people feel like Arminian dog shit on the bottom of Jesus’ sandals.
As to your last statement. Really Dale? You embarrass yourself by saying such things. I wish Evangelicals would make up their minds about my salvation. Either I once was saved and now I am lost (Arminians) I never was saved ( Calvinists) or I still am saved (once saved always saved Baptists).
Here’s what I know. I once was a Christian and now I am not. That Calvinist Jose Maldonado, pastor of Hillbern Drive Grace Baptist Church in San Antonio, had to preach a series of messages on my apostasy is telling. My story unsettles church members. Unable to wrap their minds around my story, they wonder if they too will fall from grace. I guess story my is having the same effect as Al Martin’s sermon. The difference is….my story shows people that there is a better way–no God and no Al Martins needed.
Thanks for letting me comment, Neil. I will return to my hovel now. 😀
Who exactly are you to label someone like that? I’m so sick of Christians telling people they weren’t a Christian. I was a Christian for decades, but when I left my former friends in the Calvinist and reformed camps couldn’t handle it so they said I was never a Christian. One kid who I actually discipled for a long period of time told me that. Are you kidding me? It’s time for a new theology.
(That was for you, Dale)
Bruce said this ~ ” I wish Evangelicals would make up their minds about my salvation. Either I once was saved and now I am lost (Arminians) I never was saved ( Calvinists) or I still am saved (once saved always saved Baptists).”
For someone that claims to have been a reformed “minister” of the Word of God, I cannot fathom how you missed such a simple teaching. Regardless what men say about your denial of the Gospel, we always come back to the Word of God as our final authority and here it is ~
1John 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.
Bruce also claims ~ “Here’s what I know. I once was a Christian and now I am not.”
A Christian is someone who has been born again, supernaturally transformed from a sin loving, God hating rebel, into someone who now loves the God once hated and hates the sin once loved. And since it is a work of God and not man, there can be no going back.
When an individual claims to be a Christian, what they are saying is they ‘know God.’
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they *know you the only true God*, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
And you cannot go from knowing God to not knowing Him.
Charlie ~ “Who exactly are you to label someone like that? I’m so sick of Christians telling people they weren’t a Christian. I was a Christian for decades,”
Again Charlie, becoming a Christian is a supernatural work of Almighty God, where He changes your heart and gives you knew desires. If this has never happened to you then you are not, nor ever have been a Christian.
2Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2Cor 5:18 All this is from God,…
Cry out to God, call upon Him while He is near, today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Repent and believe the Gospel.
I’m sure Bruce and Charlie will be able to answer you better than I can, Dale, but what you’re telling us is that the Magic you believe in always works and it is our fault that it didn’t for us.
But the Magic doesn’t work because Magic isn’t real. So Bruce, Charlie and I were not transformed by God, you’re right, but not because we failed to repent sufficiently or didn’t invite Jesus into our lives sincerely enough or weren’t born from above or whatever (we did all these things with great sincerity) but because there really is no God to transform anyone.
We were Christians; we believed enthusiastically in God’s Magic but we were deluding ourselves, as you are now deluding yourself, under intense pressure from the churches we belonged to. We made the Magic work (to the extent that it did) telling ourselves and being told by others, that God was indeed transforming us and doing mighty works within us. When we finally realised this was all an illusion, we woke from our self-deception and stopped being believers in Magic.
I know you won’t understand this, Dale, because you’re still under the spell yourself, but maybe one day…
Meanwhile, there’s no point in posting chunks from the Magic Book. We’ve seen through it. It won’t fool us again.
You are missing my point Dale. I can talk Calvinism and Reformed theology all day long. Shall we have a theological d**k measuring contest to see who knows more about Calvinism?
My point is that Calvinism is inconsistent, that at its most fundamental level it is a works-based religion. You can couch your arguments with all sorts of Calvinistic jargon and wow everyone with your understanding of soteriology and the various lapsarian views, but taking Martin’s sermon at face value, he preaches a gospel that says do THIS and thou shalt live. Martin believes that Christians should regularly examine themselves to make sure they are really, really, really in the faith. How does one determine if they are really, really, really in the faith? Their works. James, remember?
The craziness of the Calvinistic scheme is that a Christian can check all the right boxes and still end up in hell. They had an outward form of godliness, right? They were participants in common grace, but not the special grace God provides only for the elect.
Dale, I know you cannot wrap your mind around this, but your theology is immaterial. I know I was a Christian, as did everyone who called me pastor for 25 years. You can’t understand how this can be because your theology keeps you from seeing things as they are. To admit that I was once a Christian overthrows your precious doctrines of grace, and we can’t have that, right? Instead of contemplating why people deconvert, you take the lazy way out — they never were Christians.
I know nothing I can say will change your mind. Just know, that you are not helping your cause by dismissing and marginalizing those who walk/run away from Christianity. Perhaps instead of arguing theology, some soul searching might be in order. Why are some of the most spiritually and psychologically abused people I come in contact with people who were once part of Calvinistic churches? What is there in Calvinism — it’s soteriology, ecclesiology, and orthopraxy — that encourages abuse? Or you can keep debating the order of the decrees.