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  1. #41
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    Another definition from my above quoted source:

    HERESY (hehr’ eh ssee) An opinion or doctrine not in line with the accepted teaching of a church; the opposite of orthodoxy. Our English word is derived from a Greek word which has the basic idea of choice. In ancient classical Greek it was used predominantly to refer to the philosophical school to which one chose to belong. Later, it came to be associated with the teaching of philosophical schools.
    The word had a similar usage in Jewish writings. Josephus, a Jewish historian of the first century from whom we learn much of what we know about the Judaism of New Testament times, used the word to refer to the various Jewish parties (or schools of thought) such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. Jewish rabbis employed the term in a bad sense applying it to groups who had separated from the main stream of Jewish teaching.
    The word has several usages in the New Testament, but never has the technical sense of “heresy” as we understand it today. It may be classified as follows:
    1. Most frequently, especially in Acts, it has the same meaning as Josephus. In Acts 5:17, 15:5; and 26:5, where it refers to the Pharisees and Sadducees, it simply means party or sect.
    2. In Acts 24:14 and 28:22 it is used in a slightly derogatory sense, referring to Christians as they were viewed to be separatists or sectarians by the Jews. This usage conforms to that of the rabbis.
    3. Paul used the term to refer to groups which threatened the harmonious relations of the church. In 1 Corinthians 11:19, where he was writing about the disgraceful way in which the Corinthians were observing the Lord’s Supper, the word has to do with the outward manifestations of the factions he mentioned in verse 18. In Galatians 5:20, it is one of the works of the flesh and is in a grouping including strife, seditions, and envyings. It apparently has to do with people who choose to place their own desires above the fellowship of the church. Titus 3:10 speaks of a man who is a heretic. Since the context of the verse has to do with quarreling and dissension, the idea in this passage seems to be that of a fractious person.
    4. In 2 Peter 2:1 it comes closest to our meaning of the term. It clearly refers to false prophets who have denied the true teaching about Christ. Since the remainder of 2 Peter 2 refers to the immoral living of the false prophets, the word also refers to their decadent living. The reference to the heretic in Titus 3:10 may belong to this category since the verse mentions disputes about genealogies, a doctrinal matter.
    It is clear that in the New Testament, the concept of heresy had more to do with fellowship within the church than with doctrinal teachings. While the writers of the New Testament were certainly concerned about false teachings, they apparently were just as disturbed by improper attitudes.
    In the writings of Ignatius, a leader of the church in the early second century, the word takes on the technical meaning of a heresy. Most frequently in the writings of the early church fathers, the heresy about which they were concerned was Gnosticism, a teaching which denied that Jesus was fully human. See Christology; Error; Gnosticism.
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  2. #42
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    Adam, there some facets of dispensationalism that are more troubling than others. Old line (classical) dispensationalism, the type that Gerstner wrote against, is the worst offender. PD (progressive dispensationalism) may very well be the majority view at this point. The eschatological component of PD operates somewhat independent of soteriology. Wannabe (Joe Johnson) falls into that camp if I understand correctly. Joe is a Calvinist, like MacArthur. Tell me how MacArthur's self-described "leaky dispensational" theology negates his view of the Gospel.
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    Do progressive's believe that Christ came to set up an earthy Kingdom and failed?

    Do they believe that some of the bible was written for Jews and some to Christians? Meaning while we (Christians) can learn from all of the bible it's clearly not written directly to us (I am talking New Testament here too)

    Do they believe that a temple has to be rebuilt before Christ can return?

    If they believe those things (I have no idea if they do or not), is that Jesus, the one that these kind of ideas apply to, the Jesus Christ of scripture? Would he not be the false Messiah the Jews awaited thus rejecting the true Christ because He didn't do what they expected?

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    One thing I neglected to do is comment on why I posted the definition of Dispensational. I see it as a defective timetable which may confuse some about Christ's return and breaks down history according to someone's dreams. It is a template that the whole of scripture does not support.
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    The label of heretic has been thrown by many on this thread and that disappoints me. Personally, for me, the eschatology is a third or fourth tier issue when it comes to theology, albeit I know that eschatology touches every other part of one's theology and therefore affects and molds other parts. If anyone here wishes to say that men such as John MacArthur and Steve Lawson are heretics simply because they disagree with others about a third or fourth tier issue then they must do much heart searching and find what the gospel really is. The gospel in its simplest form is "deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all." 1 Timothy 1:15. Also, in 1 Timothy 3:16 Paul sums the gospel again when he says that
    "He who was revealed in the flesh,
    Was vindicated in the Spirit,
    Seen by angels,
    Proclaimed among the nations,
    Believed on in the world,
    Taken up in glory."

    This is the gospel and this is what is Orthodox and therefore most basic for saving faith. I would say that Orthodoxy=The Gospel. When we learn to love our brothers and sisters in Christ who have differing opinions on theological subjects that are not basic to the gospel then, and only then, can we begin to learn how to love Christ's Church the way He does.

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    they are definitely another gospel...the Jesus they teach of is different than that of scripture. His purpose is different, his means, and his future are all different. Even his present is different. They are looking for the Jesus that the pharisees were looking for. Yep, they missed it too.

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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by PastorTim View Post
    they are definitely another gospel...the Jesus they teach of is different than that of scripture. His purpose is different, his means, and his future are all different. Even his present is different. They are looking for the Jesus that the pharisees were looking for. Yep, they missed it too.

    Why have we become so afraid to call a spade a spade. Are we unsure and afraid of being wrong?
    If you are convinced that dispensationalists - of all stripes - are preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:8); you are entitled to your opinion. What you will not do is throw out the heresy label on this board, never mind this thread. You have a myopic view of what constitutes heresy. You would be well served to bone up on the term as defined throughout church history.

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  8. #48
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    Dispy bashing threads are often in vogue here on the PB. And they usually involve brushes too broad for anyone to handle and a major case of plankeye.

    One thing that we must be very careful of is the distinction between what is necessarily dispensational and what many dispensationalists teach. These are not synonymous. Yet they are often treated as such by the reformed community. And, just as often from those who "came out" of dispensationalism because they think what they came out of defines dispensationalism.

    Dispensationalism, at its core, does not deny the Gospel. However, I would readily admit that many dispensationalists do. And, I can see how the more classic perspective of dispensationalism points in a plan B/reactionary perspective in the work of the cross. That is unfortunate and dangerous to souls, but not necessary for dispensationalism. It must be realized that covenantalism also has its abominations, such as FV and baptismal regeneration (though the latter might be found in some fundy dispy churches, for entirely different reasons). The same broad brush paints both ways...

    Let's examine a few claims:
    • Radical division between church and Israel? Well, yea, some do make this claim. But is it necessary? No. The church involves all who are saved and salvation is only found in Christ. Israel is a people group God chose to work through in the world. Covenantalists see all prophesy involving Israel as fulfilled in the church. Dispensationalists still see many yet to be fulfilled, specifically in regard to land promises and the millennial kingdom. Heresy?
    • Secret rapture? I find this term odd. Any event where millions of people disappear is hardly a secret. It is worth mentioning that not all dispies are pretrib. There are those who are mid and post trib as well. I'm not even sure the 7 year tribulation period is necessary for dispensationalism, though some form of greater tribulation would certainly be. It is obviously the predominant position by far.
    • Parts of the Bible written to Jews, parts to Christians? Well, I would have to affirm that statement. However, before throwing stones at me, I would also assert that the entire Bible was written FOR all men. "To" and "for" are different thoughts. Was Ephesians written "to" Philippi? No, but it is just as applicable to God's people everywhere (for).
    • Sacrifices was dealt with well....
    • The "Margaret McDonald" argument is a straw man that should be abandoned. It's been dealt with by many and there are enough problems with the origins of classic dispensationalism to avoid such erroneous claims. As for Darby and Scoffield, well, I think they speak for themselves... a host of errors.
    • Denies that Christ has already set up his kingdom? Yes, it does. Of course, one of the people who made this observation also said, "It denies the effect of Jesus' work by awaiting the establishment of a kingdom that he already has done, albeit not completely yet." It's the already/not yet aspect of Christ's kingdom. A dispensationalist will claim that the kingdom has been established in that it resides in heaven and in those who belong to the kingdom of God. But, it has yet to be established on earth. This will happen in the millennial kingdom. Many "orthodox" theologians have taken this view, Spurgeon for one; and I think Ryle.


    And within this framework one was so bold as to assert confidently, "Nothing of dispensationalism is orthodoxy....nothing."

    Another claims "dispensationalism is a direct contradiction of the scriptures..."

    Another statement that deserves careful consideration, "If you deny the teachings of Jesus, such as expecting a new temple to be built with new sacrificial systems, an earthly rule inter aliaas the dispys teach we may therefore conclude, rather safely, that this same person believes different than the gospel." Really? And what if one claims that circumcision and baptism are the same thing? That'll split the PB in a hurry.

    The claim "we call one who believes all the truths of scripture a believer" condemns us all, for obvious reasons. Who believes them all? Is there one here who'll cast the first stone? According to this line of thought half the folks on the PB are not believers because some are credo and some paedo. Then some are post and some are amil, with a few premils scattered. We're getting down to very few are are true believers. If that's the measure of orthodoxy then there might be one believer in all the world... he's the only one who "believes all the truths of scripture." Anybody who disagrees is a heretic.

    With all this in view, how many are examining themselves in the process? Is this a case of the great wise man speaking thus with himself, "Oh thank you God for making me smarter than others and giving me great theological understanding; that I am not like this dispensationalist," while the dispy brother pounds his chest and simply cries out, "God, forgive me"? Or perhaps we are to look around at our vast reformed empire that we have built... (Daniel 4).

    The Pharisees of Jesus' time embraced the title of Pharisee. I wonder what title is embraced today that is parallel...

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    Since this is the PuritanBoard and we are basing our assumptions off the confessions and not on any other known religions or beliefs outside of the confessions, when I define orthodoxy I define it according to the confessions. Therefore, anything which is outside of the confessions is unorthodox. Mormonism is heresy. Dispensationalism is unorthodoxy. Dispensationalism is stuck in the OT as it were and has not come to see how God brought all that He did in the OT to fulfillment in the NT. For the dispensationalist, the church, although apart of God's family and no less considered as being needed, is just a parenthesis within God's plan. This is not what the church has always believed and certainly not what our confessions purport as being true. John M. preaches the Good News accurately and is a man of God. He goes wayward when be beings to talk about the Jews and the premillennial belief system and how during that during that time they will bring back animal sacrifices which will replace the Lord's Supper. He has the Jews living with Christ on earth for a 1000 years and Gentiles in heaven during that 1000yrs. So he separates the Body of Christ. Although he is not a heavy-ended dispy, the way he interprets many of the OT Scriptures leads to a dispy outcome which does effect the Good News to a certain degree. I listened to his "sermon" on this subject at one of his conferences and was disappointed at what he believes.
    Last edited by OPC'n; 09-09-2009 at 03:42 AM.
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    "The "Margaret McDonald" argument is a straw man that should be abandoned. It's been dealt with by many and there are enough problems with the origins of classic dispensationalism to avoid such erroneous claims."

    Why? A reliable Bible dictionary usually researches it's content.
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    Interestingly Sarah, my views fit within the LBC 44, which is clearly confessional. Also, other than sabbatarianism, which you are not in agreement with, is the only aspect of the LBC 89 that I am clearly in disagreement with. Not that you attacked me personally. But dispensationalism is not necessarily anti-confession. Of course, it cannot fit within the confines of the WCF. And, interestingly enough, many dispensationalists take a more strident stand on the Sabbath than many sabbatarians here would be comfortable with. And, upon reflection, I'm sure you are aware that JM would be disappointed in much that you assert.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Koster View Post
    "The "Margaret McDonald" argument is a straw man that should be abandoned. It's been dealt with by many and there are enough problems with the origins of classic dispensationalism to avoid such erroneous claims."

    Why? A reliable Bible dictionary usually researches it's content.
    I won't go deep into this. There is much reliable research on this available. A simple look at Wiki exposes it as a fraud. Samuel Tragelles started the lie and MacPherson, in his irresponsible treatment of Tragelles' assertions and dispensationalism, propagated and inflated it (I have an autographed copy of The Unbelievable Pre-trib Origin). Darby said that MacDonald's visions were of demonic origin. Furthermore, Darby's views on the rapture were written a few years before MacDonald's "visions." And MacDonald's visions were post-trib, not pre-trib. It's enough evidence to abandon the idea. Even if it were possible, and I don't think it is, why use it as a source when there is much about their teaching that is clearly unbiblical?
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    Since this is the PuritanBoard and we are basing our assumptions off the confessions and not on any other known religions or beliefs outside of the confessions, when I define orthodox I define it according to the confessions. Therefore, anything which is outside of the confessions is unorthodox. Mormonism is heresy. Dispensationalism is unorthodox. Dispensationalism is stuck in the OT as it were and has not come to see how God brought all that He did in the OT to fulfillment in the NT. For the dispensationalist, the church, although apart of God's family and no less considered as being needed, is just a parenthesis within God's plan. This is not what the church has always believed and certainly not what our confessions purport as being true. John M. preaches the Good News accurately and is a man of God. He goes wayward when be beings to talk about the Jews and the premillennial belief system and how during that during that time they will bring back animal sacrifices which will replace the Lord's Supper. He has the Jews living with Christ on earth for a 1000 years and Gentiles in heaven during that 1000yrs. So he separates the Body of Christ. Although he is not a heavy-ended dispy, the way he interprets many of the OT Scriptures leads to a dispy outcome which does effect the Good News to a certain degree. I listened to his "sermon" on this subject at one of his conferences and was disappointed at what he believes.
    Sarah,

    Most of us agree that dispensationalism is in error; but not every error rises to the level of heresy. Heresy is a serious charge. Heresy is reserved for those teachings that pervert the gospel. We're making much of Johnny Mac, but his dispensationalism does not pervert the gospel. He's a Calvinist! He shares the stage with R.C. Sproul because of his stand on the doctrines of grace. I disagree with his dispensational eschatology, but it does not rise to the level of heresy.

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    isn't there a difference between heresy and damnable heresy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herald View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    Since this is the PuritanBoard and we are basing our assumptions off the confessions and not on any other known religions or beliefs outside of the confessions, when I define orthodoxy I define it according to the confessions. Therefore, anything which is outside of the confessions is unorthodox. Mormonism is heresy. Dispensationalism is unorthodoxy. Dispensationalism is stuck in the OT as it were and has not come to see how God brought all that He did in the OT to fulfillment in the NT. For the dispensationalist, the church, although apart of God's family and no less considered as being needed, is just a parenthesis within God's plan. This is not what the church has always believed and certainly not what our confessions purport as being true. John M. preaches the Good News accurately and is a man of God. He goes wayward when be beings to talk about the Jews and the premillennial belief system and how during that during that time they will bring back animal sacrifices which will replace the Lord's Supper. He has the Jews living with Christ on earth for a 1000 years and Gentiles in heaven during that 1000yrs. So he separates the Body of Christ. Although he is not a heavy-ended dispy, the way he interprets many of the OT Scriptures leads to a dispy outcome which does effect the Good News to a certain degree. I listened to his "sermon" on this subject at one of his conferences and was disappointed at what he believes.
    Sarah,

    Most of us agree that dispensationalism is in error; but not every error rises to the level of heresy. Heresy is a serious charge. Heresy is reserved for those teachings that pervert the gospel. We're making much of Johnny Mac, but his dispensationalism does not pervert the gospel. He's a Calvinist! He shares the stage with R.C. Sproul because of his stand on the doctrines of grace. I disagree with his dispensational eschatology, but it does not rise to the level of heresy.

    When we are tempted to drop the "H" bomb; are we ready to pronounce the anathema of Gal. 1:8 on the person?
    I said Mormonism is heresy and dispensationalism is unorthodoxy. You have me confused with someone else. I never said that dispensationalism was heresy. You didn't read what I said....you read someone else's post and then placed what they said onto me. Please reread what I said.

    -----Added 9/8/2009 at 09:16:24 EST-----

    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    Interestingly Sarah, my views fit within the LBC 44, which is clearly confessional. Also, other than sabbatarianism, which you are not in agreement with, is the only aspect of the LBC 89 that I am clearly in disagreement with. Not that you attacked me personally. But dispensationalism is not necessarily anti-confession. Of course, it cannot fit within the confines of the WCF. And, interestingly enough, many dispensationalists take a more strident stand on the Sabbath than many sabbatarians here would be comfortable with. And, upon reflection, I'm sure you are aware that JM would be disappointed in much that you assert.
    I actually ascribe to the Sabbath now after a long conversation with Lane. My only dispute with it is the day change. So I indeed am unorthodox in this small area (change of day) but only unto debating its reason for the change of day. I still practice the Sabbath on Sundays but just don't understand how we could change it. Remember, I am saying that dispensationalism falls outside of orthodoxy not a person on the whole. JM very well may ascribe to most of the WCF in all aspects of his belief system except for his belief system in dispensationalism. Except for those who ascribe to the confessions 100%, the rest of us are unorthodox in one area or another. Some are greater errors than others. I was never placing persons completely outside of orthodox belief system only some of their belief systems. My first comment stated that nothing about dispensationalism was orthodox. I didn't say anyone who believes in dispensationalism was unorthodox......there's a great difference between those two statements.
    Last edited by OPC'n; 09-09-2009 at 03:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Herald View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    Since this is the PuritanBoard and we are basing our assumptions off the confessions and not on any other known religions or beliefs outside of the confessions, when I define orthodox I define it according to the confessions. Therefore, anything which is outside of the confessions is unorthodox. Mormonism is heresy. Dispensationalism is unorthodox. Dispensationalism is stuck in the OT as it were and has not come to see how God brought all that He did in the OT to fulfillment in the NT. For the dispensationalist, the church, although apart of God's family and no less considered as being needed, is just a parenthesis within God's plan. This is not what the church has always believed and certainly not what our confessions purport as being true. John M. preaches the Good News accurately and is a man of God. He goes wayward when be beings to talk about the Jews and the premillennial belief system and how during that during that time they will bring back animal sacrifices which will replace the Lord's Supper. He has the Jews living with Christ on earth for a 1000 years and Gentiles in heaven during that 1000yrs. So he separates the Body of Christ. Although he is not a heavy-ended dispy, the way he interprets many of the OT Scriptures leads to a dispy outcome which does effect the Good News to a certain degree. I listened to his "sermon" on this subject at one of his conferences and was disappointed at what he believes.
    Sarah,

    Most of us agree that dispensationalism is in error; but not every error rises to the level of heresy. Heresy is a serious charge. Heresy is reserved for those teachings that pervert the gospel. We're making much of Johnny Mac, but his dispensationalism does not pervert the gospel. He's a Calvinist! He shares the stage with R.C. Sproul because of his stand on the doctrines of grace. I disagree with his dispensational eschatology, but it does not rise to the level of heresy.

    When we are tempted to drop the "H" bomb; are we ready to pronounce the anathema of Gal. 1:8 on the person?
    I said Mormonism is heresy and dispensationalism is unorthodoxy. You have me confused with someone else. I never said that dispensationalism was heresy. You didn't read what I said....you read someone else's post and then placed what they said onto me. Please reread what I said.

    -----Added 9/8/2009 at 09:16:24 EST-----

    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    Interestingly Sarah, my views fit within the LBC 44, which is clearly confessional. Also, other than sabbatarianism, which you are not in agreement with, is the only aspect of the LBC 89 that I am clearly in disagreement with. Not that you attacked me personally. But dispensationalism is not necessarily anti-confession. Of course, it cannot fit within the confines of the WCF. And, interestingly enough, many dispensationalists take a more strident stand on the Sabbath than many sabbatarians here would be comfortable with. And, upon reflection, I'm sure you are aware that JM would be disappointed in much that you assert.
    I actually ascribe to the Sabbath now after a long conversation with Lane. My only dispute with it is the day change. So I indeed am unorthodox in this small area (change of day) but only unto debating it's reason for the change of day. I still practice the Sabbath on Sundays but just don't understand how we could change it. Remember, I am saying that dispensationalism falls outside of orthodoxy not a person on the whole. JM very well may ascribe to most of the WCF in all aspects of his belief system except for his belief system in dispensationalism. Except for those who ascribe to the confessions 100%, the rest of us are unorthodox in one area or another. Some are greater errors than others. I was never placing persons completely outside of orthodox belief system only some of their belief systems. My first comment stated that nothing about dispensationalism was orthodox. I didn't say anyone who believes in dispensationalism was unorthodox......there's a great difference between those two statements.
    Sarah, you're right. So many things going back and forth in this thread. Sorry about that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    My first comment stated that nothing about dispensationalism was orthodox.
    That was my point, really. What does "nothing" exclude? Nothing orthodox necessitates heresy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    My first comment stated that nothing about dispensationalism was orthodox.
    That was my point, really. What does "nothing" exclude? Nothing orthodox necessitates heresy.
    You would then have to give unorthodoxy and heresy the same definition. Although, they might come close in their definitions, I doubt most of us would say they are one and the same. Heresy is reserved for those who deny the Trinity, virgin birth etc they are not Christians. Unorthodoxy is reserved for those whose belief systems are confused on the understandings of the Bible.....Arminians would fall under unorthodox....they are Christians. A person who denies that Christ is the Son of God and is God the Son isn't confused they are just heretics. Someone who thinks that the church is a parenthesis is confused not a heretic. They misinterpret Scripture which we all do from time to time. In the end, heresy = non-christian and unorthodoxy = confused Christian on a certain belief.
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    "Nothing" includes the basic tenets of the Gospel. It's absolute. The basic tenets of the Gospel are within the confines of orthodoxy. I don't see how it could NOT be heresy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    "Nothing" includes the basic tenets of the Gospel. It's absolute. The basic tenets of the Gospel are within the confines of orthodoxy. I don't see how it could NOT be heresy.
    Before I comment I would need to know to which basic tenets you are referring? There are some dispensationalist who are rejected by the dispensational community bc that dispensationalist has fallen into heresy....but then that heretic would no longer really be a dispensationalist imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PastorTim View Post
    dispensationalism is a direct contradiction of the scriptures whilst at the same time using them for its defense. It denies the effect of Jesus' work by awaiting the establishment of a kingdom that he already has done, albeit not completely yet. This bad theology changes one's worldview and thus leads to bad politics.
    Therefore. IMHO, it is heresy and should be treated as such. (gotta match LOL). We dont attack viruses within Christendom because.....well, I dont know why. Maybe because it is so poular and is where the Christian money goes, much like we treat Catholicism as another denomination. Arminianism, at least, is merely just a theology of the immature and can be shown their errors and are thus not heretics. Their immaturity, however, does leave them prey to dispensationalism, even pentecostalism heresies.
    I personally have been taught that we should be very careful about bandying about the word heresy, in that if we call heresy what is not heresy, we come close to heresy ourselves. When we call something heresy, we are saying those that hold to such a position are outside the church ... that such a position not only is error, but is such serious error than those that believe it are lost. If we define the bounds of salvation more strictly than what God does, that is we make salvation some in addition to or take away some requirement of salvation, we are very close to not maintaining belief in what saves us, but are believing something else, and that is very close to another gospel.

    I am not willing to say that dispensationalism is a heresy, partly because it was not judged as such by several courts of the church that stated it was error (and barred those that held to it from church office). And while I understand it is not what I understand the scriptures to teach, I do not know that someone who is dispy would not trust the finished work of Christ for salvation and rest in him alone for his standing before God. While it is certain that I would hold the dispy as holding to error, and all error is serious, I do not believe they are heretics just on the basis of dispensationalism.
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    Based upon some of the posts I've read here:

    If Dispensationalism = different plan of redemption for different ages
    Then Dispensationalism does NOT = John 14:6
    Therefore Dispensationalism = heresy

    Is this a form of universalism? "Maybe God has his own dispensation for Buddhists and Muslims?"

    -----Added 9/8/2009 at 10:29:11 EST-----

    In saying the above in my previous post (merged)...I think that most dispy's simply don't know any other way. I grew up in churches that dabbled in it and thought the three eschatological views were pre trib, mid trib and post trib...seriously.


    I'm not saying the persons who hold to dispensationalism simply because its what they've been taught and don't really know anything else and are simply resistant to new ideas are heretics; I'm saying the idea and teaching is heretical based on my understanding of the word "heretical".

    I would say that those who know better, yet still teach it would be in the same camp as the FV folks.

    Now, I'll sit back and await the corrections.

    As a note...I'm basing the above on my understanding of what's been posted so far.
    Last edited by HokieAirman; 09-08-2009 at 09:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PastorTim View Post
    If we call one who believes all the truths of scripture a believer, what is one called wo does not believe? If they believe some of the truths and add new modern doctrine are they half-believers?or neo-believers?
    Tim,

    2. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. WCF 13.2
    Because there remains in you remnants of corruption in every part, including your knowledge of the scriptures and belief in them, so you must acknowledge that you do not believe all the truths of the scripture, in that you are mistaken in some cases, and your imperfection touches your belief in some places (at the very least). So by your argument above, you are calling yourself a heretic?

    If on the other hand it is not necessary that all the truth of scripture need be held perfectly (I certainly hope not, or none of us is saved) then there is error that is heresy, and error that is not heresy. I would be very careful to pronounce as heresy anything outside what the entire church has pronounced as heresy (the seven ecumenical councils would be a good place to see heresy defined). As such, I am willing to say JW are Arians (by their own mouths they claim such) and so have been condemned as heretics. There are other moderns that fit what the original councils said were heresy. But I do not believe dispensationalism is in there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    "Nothing" includes the basic tenets of the Gospel. It's absolute. The basic tenets of the Gospel are within the confines of orthodoxy. I don't see how it could NOT be heresy.
    Joe, I believe that Sarah is saying that nothing distinctive to Dispensationalism is orthodox, that is, correct Christian belief. I was strongly adverse to her first statement, but after reading her explanation, I pretty much agree. She is not saying that all the beliefs of DispensationalISTS are unorthodox, only those which constitute their DispensationalISM.
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    Charlie,
    Thanks. I hadn't thought of that. It's still a rather appalling statement though. For instance, does premillennialism fall into the realm of orthodoxy? Though not only in dispensationalism, it is a distinctive of it. So is a future for ethnic Israel, which many would argue is orthodox. It's certainly not a new concept. And even if someone disagrees with these being orthodox, the statement assumes that all that must be known about dispensationalism is known and is known not to be orthodoxy by the one making it. The absolute nature of the statement renders it moot, yet some jump on the dispy bashing bandwagon as the flames get fanned.
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    If you correctly define dispensationalism, it is the separating of God's ppl into two different groups. This is unique to dispensationalism. So nothing within this definition is orthodoxy. You cannot place the virgin birth into dispensationalism and include that in my statement of "nothing". The virgin birth isn't unique to dispensationalism, the trinity isn't unique to dispensationalism, etc. No one denomination or belief system can claim the Trinity or virgin birth etc as their own unique belief system bc they belong to Christianity. That's what defines Christianity among other things. Dispensationalism is defined as a division of God's ppl. Actually, there's a better definition that Keith Matthison gives but I can't remember it off the top of my head.
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    Your definition of dispensationalism is faulty. That's part of the problem. You take a possible tenet of the dispensational understanding of Israel and make it a major tenet. God's people are saved by Christ, period. Dispensationalism CAN affirm this, though not all dispensationalists do. If you want a proper definition of dispensationalism check here and here. Though I think Vlach's definition is too restrictive, meaning it entails too much, I defer to his expertise in the matter.

    - literal grammatico-historical hermeneutic
    - future for ethnic Israel
    - God's glory central
    That's really it. People attempt to put more labels on dispensationalism, but that's all that's necessary.


    Blessings,
    Last edited by Wannabee; 09-08-2009 at 11:40 PM.
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    I just know that Joe hides Hal Lindsey books under his bed. I noez it! Actually Joe, would you consider your dispensationalism to be on par with MacArthur? I'm trying to work through these issues but my church would be accurately labeled MacArthurite. I think your views are very similar to ours.

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    OK, if my definition is wrong what other belief system holds to the notion that God's ppl are divided? Is there any other belief system which believes this?. No, it's unique to dispensationalism. That is the major tenet of dispensationalism. The virgin birth is believed by dispensationalists but it isn't a belief system that they alone hold....all forms of true Christianity holds to the virgin birth. There are dispensationalists who hold to different doctrines (the 5 points, the Trinity, the virgin birth etc) but that isn't what makes them dispensationalists. Those same things are not what makes me OPC. Those things are what make me a Christian and them a Christian. I can't explain it any clearer. BTW, I'm not so arrogant and proud to think that I came up with that definition of dispensationalism. I have done quite a bit of reading on this matter myself on both sides of the fence.
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    According to Mathison's book, Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God?, there are three distinctives of dispensationalism according to Charles Ryrie and those distinctives are the following: 1) The distinction between Israel and the church, 2) A consistently literal intrepretation of Scripture, and 3) God's primary purpose is to glorify Himself.

    The following quotations are taken from Mathison's book, Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God?:

    "The only one of Ryrie's three distinctives of dispensationalism that has always been acknowledged as true is the distinction between Israel and the church. The particular dispensationalist understanding of this distinction is the heart of that system of theology. Dispensationalism may, therefore, be defined as that system of theology which sees a fundamental distinction between Israel and the church." (p. 8)

    "We must first note that if 'Israel' is defined as natural, national, or unbelieving Israel, then obviously 'Israel' is not the church. The political, ethnic nation of Israel is no more equivalent to the church than any nation is." (p. 38)

    "If however, we define 'Israel' as true Israel or Old Testament believers, we discover a different relationship. There is an organic, living relationship between Old Testament believers and New Testament believers. They are one body joined together under one head, the Lord Jesus Christ." (p. 39)
    Curt

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    1) The distinction between Israel and the church
    and while that sounds simple, and non too serious it is NOT simple and IS very serious.

    Having been a very, very hard core dispensationalist I feel I can speak to this. Again, not prepared to call it heresy but certainly unorthodox and very problematic the dispy's I grew up around and who taught me believe

    -God is the husband of Israel and Jesus is the husband of the Church

    -The sermon on the mount is for Jews not Christians

    -Christ does not reign now

    -The Jews rejected the Kingdom offered to them, it may not have surprised God, but at the same time they could have reacted differently than they did if those so chose to.

    -God has promises He must yet still fulfill for the Jews

    -The Millennium will look very much like Old Testament day as it will be "governed" as David governed

    -Jewish people today should be treated well, and blessed by as (saved or not) because of their status as Jews.

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    It has come to my attention that my assertions have been too blunt and less than gracious. Please forgive me for my impatience and lack of charity.

    Andrew, who told? Actually, I have a couple of Lindsey's books. They're interesting... but hardly theological masterpieces. I'm pretty close to MacArthur. The differences are small, though eschatologically speaking, I am not sure about a tribulation period of seven years and so am unsettled in regard to the rapture. I am decidedly a convinced premillennialist though.

    Sarah, you claim that dispensationalists "divide God's people." But the definition is different. As Bill said earlier, words have meaning. And the meaning of "seeing a distinction between Israel and the church" is much different than "dividing God's people." And, if you'll notice, Matthison's definition of dispensationalism is exactly the same as mine. Central to the disagreement (though hermeneutical differences exist and vary) is this statement, "Dispensationalism may, therefore, be defined as that system of theology which sees a fundamental distinction between Israel and the church." (p. 8) Thank you for the quote Curt.

    Adam has made some good observations in regard to what can be taught in dispensational churches. He also is clear that this is what he grew up around and was taught to believe. That DOES NOT mean that it is necessary for dispensationalism. This point must be clearly understood. On the Covenantal side, if I grew up in a FV church and became dispensational in my reaction against it, would it be credible for me to say that covenantalism equals FV? Of course not. But that is exactly what many here do when it comes to dispensationalism. If you're going to decry the evils that are inherent in dispensationalism then I strongly suggest sticking to the core of what it is, which is well defined in Curt's post above.

    Dispensationalism necessarily sees a distinction between the church and Israel. So do covenantalists, to a degree. When Moses addresses Israel, who is he talking to? The nation, regardless of whether they're true believers, or only those who believe? Somewhere Covenantalists draw a line. Dispensationalists don't. They see future promises for Israel yet to be fulfilled. But that doesn't mean that such promises are necessarily salvific in nature. It doesn't necessarily divide God's people into two distinct groups who are saved by different means. Some can and do make it say these things. And it is probably only within dispensationalism that such claims are made. But that does not mean that dispensationalism must teach those things. Again, this is central to the heart of this problem. Graciousness is cautioned here. Dispensationalism can just as readily teach that all who are saved by Christ are of the church, and there is no salvation outside of Christ. Israelites who are saved are of the church. But there are those who Israelite who are not of the church. Judas would be a good example. The spectrum is wide, I know. But it is what it is, so we should deal with it responsibly and graciously on its own terms, not those we impose upon it.

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    Joe Johnson
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    And as you read dispensationalists' material as I have, you quickly come to see that distinction is really dividing God's ppl. I've seen it in dispensationalists' work and Keith Matthison says the same in his book. So I'm not so sure you want to still agree with Matthison.
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    I probably don't agree with his conclusions. I do agree with the definition supplied, which he got from Ryrie. Beyond that, I'm sure he imposes the "division" aspect of it that is prevalent in several posts here.

    The spectrum of dispensationalism is wide. But the necessary definition is really a bit vague in specifics. It can include many perspectives within the distinction asserted between the church and Israel. And it is evident that much of what passes for dispensationalism denies much of what was classic about it 100 years ago. Often, it is apparent, what is argued against here is the more classic form, which was rightfully denied about 40 years ago. The start contrast between the two became less of a chasm and of a continuous distinction based on differences in spiritual/eternal and physical/land promises.
    I highly recommend reading chapters 6 & 7 of Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism. It will help alleviate much that is misunderstood regarding this matter. And, interestingly, the perspective becomes more centered on the kingdom of God as one continues digging. What is already and what is not yet?

    So, is dispensationalism orthodox? I suppose it depends upon whether or not seeing a distinction between Israel and the church can be considered orthodox. As much as many hate to admit it, this perspective is not new, nor is it only found within dispensationalism. The debate has been discussed recently here on the PB. So, is it? And who is to decide?
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    Joe, the point of his definition is to stop the dispensationalists from interjecting other definitions into dispensationalism which don't belong exclusively to dispensationalism. Notice that Ryrie places "A consistently literal intrepretation of Scripture, and 3) God's primary purpose is to glorify Himself" in the definition of dispensationalism which is inaccurate to do. Dispensationalists surely believe this as Christians but it isn't what defines dispensationalism. So when I say that nothing about dispensationalism is orthodoxy I'm not saying that "A consistently literal intrepretation of Scripture, and 3) God's primary purpose is to glorify Himself" is unorthodoxy because those two definitions belong to the Christian faith not to dispensationalism, not to OPC, not to Baptists, etc. Matthison states that the only accurate part of Ryrie's definition of dispensationalism is "The only one of Ryrie's three distinctives of dispensationalism that has always been acknowledged as true is the distinction between Israel and the church. The particular dispensationalist understanding of this distinction is the heart of that system of theology. Dispensationalism may, therefore, be defined as that system of theology which sees a fundamental distinction between Israel and the church." This has been my stance from the beginning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    I probably don't agree with his conclusions. I do agree with the definition supplied, which he got from Ryrie. Beyond that, I'm sure he imposes the "division" aspect of it that is prevalent in several posts here.

    The spectrum of dispensationalism is wide. But the necessary definition is really a bit vague in specifics. It can include many perspectives within the distinction asserted between the church and Israel. And it is evident that much of what passes for dispensationalism denies much of what was classic about it 100 years ago. Often, it is apparent, what is argued against here is the more classic form, which was rightfully denied about 40 years ago. The start contrast between the two became less of a chasm and of a continuous distinction based on differences in spiritual/eternal and physical/land promises.
    I highly recommend reading chapters 6 & 7 of Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism. It will help alleviate much that is misunderstood regarding this matter. And, interestingly, the perspective becomes more centered on the kingdom of God as one continues digging. What is already and what is not yet?

    So, is dispensationalism orthodox? I suppose it depends upon whether or not seeing a distinction between Israel and the church can be considered orthodox. As much as many hate to admit it, this perspective is not new, nor is it only found within dispensationalism. The debate has been discussed recently here on the PB. So, is it? And who is to decide?
    A question. Isn't it true that the view of a future conversion of a great host of ethnic Israel at the Second Advent was held by a number of prominent reformed teachers through the years? At issue is whether their conversion is seen as placing them in the church. If they are a separate people of God outside the church, then dispensationalism is in fact dividing the people of God.

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    Thanks Sarah. That is clear. Again, there is a major difference between dividing and seeing a distinction. Hamp seems to have grasped the significance of this; which is what the whole discussion probably boils down to.

    Hamp,
    Dispensationalism does not necessitate either perspective. Both perspectives fall within the confines of its definition. That is part of the challenge of discerning its orthodoxy. In fact, I would propose that dispensationalism cannot be narrowed enough to correctly assert whether if is orthodox or not. On that alone, perhaps it's best to say it isn't because of it's lack of definition; though many dispensationalists may be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    Interestingly Sarah, my views fit within the LBC 44, which is clearly confessional. Also, other than sabbatarianism, which you are not in agreement with, is the only aspect of the LBC 89 that I am clearly in disagreement with. Not that you attacked me personally. But dispensationalism is not necessarily anti-confession. Of course, it cannot fit within the confines of the WCF. And, interestingly enough, many dispensationalists take a more strident stand on the Sabbath than many sabbatarians here would be comfortable with. And, upon reflection, I'm sure you are aware that JM would be disappointed in much that you assert.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Koster View Post
    "The "Margaret McDonald" argument is a straw man that should be abandoned. It's been dealt with by many and there are enough problems with the origins of classic dispensationalism to avoid such erroneous claims."

    Why? A reliable Bible dictionary usually researches it's content.
    I won't go deep into this. There is much reliable research on this available. A simple look at Wiki exposes it as a fraud. Samuel Tragelles started the lie and MacPherson, in his irresponsible treatment of Tragelles' assertions and dispensationalism, propagated and inflated it (I have an autographed copy of The Unbelievable Pre-trib Origin). Darby said that MacDonald's visions were of demonic origin. Furthermore, Darby's views on the rapture were written a few years before MacDonald's "visions." And MacDonald's visions were post-trib, not pre-trib. It's enough evidence to abandon the idea. Even if it were possible, and I don't think it is, why use it as a source when there is much about their teaching that is clearly unbiblical?
    Let me share with you my concern about origins & why I relate them to doctrine. It states clearly in Acts 20 that people will arise from amongst us and distort the truth. When someone tries to introduce a "new truth", it can almost be guaranteed a distortion. The truths about Christ and redemption have all been laid out in scripture (as much as God wants revealed to us). Why even entertain these so called "new truths" when people try to circulate them. A good modern example of people trying to introduce "new truth" are the NAR (Wagner, Pierce, Jacobs, Sheets and the like) and the WoF crowd (Kenyon, Hagin,Crouch,Copeland and the like). It's exhausting to refute every point of error. It is simpler to look at the origin and not waste much time analyzing the whole thing.

    Also, I would trust Holman BD before Wiki.
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    I didn't hold Wiki as my source. I simply pointed out that even they (whoever "they" are) see the error and irresponsibility of what's been postulated in regard to the origins of dispensationalism. It discredits one's assertions when they rely on such disinformation. It's also why I mentioned that there is plenty to point out that's wrong about Darby and Scoffield's teaching to bother with such tenuous (graciously) assertions. One careful read of MacPherson's book shows how he jumps to conclusions and makes assertions in light of his perspective rather than sound evidence. I'd be interested in knowing Holman's source of information. It would be a surprise if it's not MacPherson.
    However, in light of what's happened in dispensationalism and its current distance from Darby and Scoffield, I don't know that it's entirely relevant to site the origins anyway.

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    I do not know, and I do not say, that a person cannot believe in Revelation and in evolution, too, for a man may believe that which is infinitely wise and also that which is only asinine. ~ CHS

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    are my posts showing? (lol)

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    "and Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,..." Matt 4:23

    Is denying this kingdom a denial of this gospel?
    Rev. Timothy P. Cotton
    Pastor, Truth and Way Ministries
    Culpeper, VA

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