Paul Washer mentions 20 percent of conservative reformed congregants saved

Discussion in 'Preaching' started by A.Joseph, Sep 21, 2018.

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  1. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Sophomore

    I really appreciate Paul Washer. I think he does a good job of establishing a dividing line between the convicted sinner and the almost saved.... He's made me reevaluate everything.
    Have I been just merely inconsistent and unproductive in my walk and devotion? or merely fooling myself? These are the things I've been asking myself. But the real answer might be that I'm asking the wrong questions. Maybe if I stop making it about me, I would be the kind of Christian Paul Washer recommends we are to be, God willing....
    Anyway, not sure I reference the quote 100% in the title of this thread. But this is a pretty powerful message:
  2. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I have really enjoyed him in the past, but sometimes he says things that seem to be meant as a shock factor, that may not be true. For example, saying 20 percent of the reformed are saved seems like a blanket sweeping judgment that is uncalled for. I think more charity would be fitting rather than a shocking unverifiable statement. But overall I've really been blessed by him!
  3. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    I used to think differently, but studying through the differences between the OT and the NT, I no longer believe it's the "remnant" in the church that are saved in the NT. I believe Scripture teaches that is one of the differences in the new covenant (Jeremiah 31). Then it was the remnant, but now it's the majority.

    I like Paul Washer. We need his teaching on the nature and necessity of regeneration. But we also need the comforts of grace for God's people.
  4. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    What precisely does it mean to be “almost saved?” You are either saved or you’re not. I also appreciate Washer, but at times he seems to flirt awfully close to denying sola fide.
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I would ask how he knows that? Of course, he can't know that. He hasn't surveyed every Reformed congregation (further, that raises the question if baptists are Reformed).
  6. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    When I read this, I thought of Matthew Mead's work, The Almost Christian Discovered. I would charitably assume that Paul Washer is dealing with the same idea (though I haven't listened to the whole sermon).
  7. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Sophomore

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  8. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Just an FYI
    I am not sticking up for Paul's 20% My only point is that your requirement to estimate a percentage saved is not realistic or necessary. Statistics don't work that way. Here's an article by the Scientific American that explains that a sample size of only 1,004 people would represent the views of all adult Americans with just a 3.0% error. Increasing the sample size to 2,000 polled would only slightly improve the results. It has to do with the math that produces bell curve graff showing that expanding a sample size beyond the accepted norm yields a radically reduced change in your results.
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    That's fair, so I repeat my OP: how does Washer know? He can't.
  10. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Would that method apply to the number of those saved in a church? It might work for representing political views or finding out how people like their eggs. I'm no mathematician, though, so feel free to point out where I might be wrong. Of course, we shouldn't even be trying to calculate the number of those who are truly saved. I'd really have to wonder what the criteria would be.
  11. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I wonder how much Washer's baptistic ecclesiology plays into this. Only the elect are church members, and since we can visibly identify church members (and presumably those who aren't), then we can know who is saved.
  12. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Every time that I have watched him, he seems to be overreacting to the concept of just having an alter call and asking Jesus into your heart, and now am saved and secured forever. He to me tends to be at times too much into the Law and not enough into the grace of God.
  13. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Actually, its that only the elect and saved are really part of the NC, as among church membership are bost lost and saved.
  14. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    The Bible states that God knows His own, but we cannot know other than ourselves who are really saved or not.
  15. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Precisely, which is why Washer is so wrong.
  16. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    I would cite 1 Perter 4:18 as a consideration to Washer's comment:

    1 Peter 4:18
    18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
  17. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Actually, the elect are enemies of God until the time when they are regenerated; prior to that, they remain in the external portion of the church and remain under the condemnation of the C of Works.
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  18. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    I would assume he is considering the fact that the road to destruction is wide and the path to heaven, much thinner than we might be led to believe....which is sobering to me. I have been known to say that we can drive a sharp line down the middle of any church we walk into.
  19. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Once saved, there would still be lost and saved in the Church memebership ranks, but just saved in the NC.
  20. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Should be a much higher percentage of the saved among those attending a church then those outside in the world though.
  21. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    You guys...

    Paul is employing rhetorical hyperbole. His point is, "there are many in our churches who think they're saved, and they aren't." Don't strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. Sheesh.
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  22. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    I appreciate Washer, and I believe his preaching (specifically, his “Shocking Youth Measage” of 2002) was the primary instrument God used to save me. I will never deny that. However, sometimes he says things that make me wonder why he said them and to what end they were intended, like the one time he seemed (to me) to rail against superhero movies because they are fictitious.
  23. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Are you saying there can be "saved and lost" under the category of "once saved"?
  24. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    I was trained and served as an elder in the OPC for years. I wouldn't dare consider a project of judging between true and false sheep. When God said to Samuel, "for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart," (1 Samuel 16:7b) this was not so much a rebuke of Samuel, but, rather a statement of what is the case. Man is limited to outward appearance, i.e., a profession of faith. And since we can't see the heart, it would be sinful to try to do so. This truth was perhaps the most essential lesson I learned as an elder.
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  25. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    The person would be saved, and there would be both saved and lost among the church membership roles
  26. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Senior

    Is Brother Washer right to teach "everybody talking about heaven ain't going there?" Yes, God's Word makes this point. Is he right to challenge listeners as to whether they are truly resting and trusting in Christ? Yes, the Bible does the same. How about marks of a true Christian and grounds of assurance? Yes, again, Scriptures do.

    But listen to this sermon (and almost all of his) and you'll hear much talk about the expressions of particular emotions (weeping, especially) as being expected, if not necessary, for true Christians. He needs carefully to read Edwards's Religious Affections and see the distinctions that Edwards makes ("affections" aren't emotions simpliciter). I cite someone that I know he respects; Washer's discussion of this is far less careful than Edwards's.

    In general, for all he does that is good and helpful, this dear brother seems to address the matters of the faith too much through the lens of his own spiritual experience. Thus his reading of Scripture is not sufficiently focused on Christ and the gospel and too much on our apprehension of it (he needs more of an emphasis on historia salutis and a bit less on ordo salutis).

    This leads him to be less charitable than he should be: he sees the evident shortcomings of Christian professors and concludes that perhaps they are not really Christians. Some are probably not. Others are likely weak Christians. Rather than trying to distinguish he should challenge all, whatever their profession, to trust Christ and to manifest that trust in a life of obedience. It's a little too easy, and too easy on preachers, to conclude that all who may seriously struggle are probably not Christians.

    As I said, this is a bit too facile and is not in accord with the historic Reformed view of the iudicium caritatis (the judgment of charity): I accept your orthodox profession and outward obedience, requiring neither particular religious experience nor a narrative of grace relating such. I am not saying that Paul Washer requires such explicitly, yet he speaks so much of the expression of "religious emotion" and of the details of his own and others' personal religious experience(s) that one might well infer that such is necessary. More could be said, but I'll stop here for now.

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  27. LilyG

    LilyG Puritan Board Freshman

    Whatever his intentions, Paul Washer's method of preaching seems to be - find assurance primarily by examining yourself (rather than looking to Christ's work), and beating up consciences without comforting with the gospel.
  28. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Sophomore

    I've heard Alister Begg make similar distinctions, even my dear former opc pastor ...

    I'm not starting this thread to stir up anxiety, but look at all the young, restless and reformed whose correct theology has ultimately left them cold. If we believe in perseverance why are so many falling prey to the spirit of the times? I'm sure there are distinctions between fruitful Christians, Christians who show less fruit but still saved, and those who are merely seeking an insurance policy and see no need for a true and radical change and deliverance from their sin and unbelief ...they are not the least uncomfortable in the midst of unbelievers.
    As for myself, it is not till I've been afflicted do I understand how low Jesus truly ranks... My self love just begs for a good chastisement sometimes...
    God is good, regardless.

    "True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light: yet are they never so utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived; and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair."
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  29. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    We will never have a full assurance of our salvation though if we look at us and not upon the Cross.
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