Archive for the ‘Albert Barnes’ Category

Godly Tolerance and Intolerance / Ungodly Tolerance and Intolerance

June 28, 2014

“The views among the pagan ‘prohibiting’ the exercise of a certain kind of religion. According to the prevailing views, no mode of religion could be tolerated which would maintain that “all” the gods that were worshipped were false. Religion was supposed to be identified with the best interests of the state, and was recognized by the laws, and protected by the laws. To deny the claim, therefore, of any and of all the gods that were worshipped; to maintain that all were false alike; to call on men to forsake their idols, and to embrace a new religion – all this was regarded as an attack on the state. This was the attitude which Christianity assumed toward the religions of the Roman empire, and it was this which led to the fiery persecutions which prevailed there. While Rome could consistently tolerate any form of idolatry that would recognize the religion established by the state, it could not tolerate a system which maintained that “all” idolatry was wrong. It would allow another god to be placed in the Pantheon, but it could not recognize a system which woud remove every god from that temple. Christianity, then, made war on the system of idolatry that prevailed in the Roman empire in two respects: in proclaiming a “purer” religion, denouncing all the corruptions which idolatry had engendered, and which it countenanced; and in denying altogether that the gods which were worshipped were true gods – thus arraying itself against the laws, the priesthood, the venerable institutions, and all the passions and prejudices of the people. (Emphasis added)

– Albert Barnes

 

Revelation 2:2 “I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can’t tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false.

Revelation 2:20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate your woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

 

“Post-modernism’s veneration of tolerance is its most obvious feature. But the version of ‘tolerance‘ peddled by post-modernists is actually a twisted and dangerous corruption of true virtue. Incidentally, tolerance is never mentioned in the Bible as a virtue, except in the sense of patience, forbearance, and longsuffering (cf. Ephesians 4:2) In fact, the contemporary notion of tolerance is a pathetically feeble concept compared to the love Scripture commands Christians to show even to their enemies. Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you’ (Luke 6:27-28; cf. vv. 29-36). When our grandparents spoke of tolerance as a virtue, they had something like that in mind. The word used to mean respecting people and treating them kindly even when we believe they are wrong. But the post-modern notion of tolerance means we must never regard anyone else’s opinions as ‘wrong.’ Biblical tolerance is for people; post-modern tolerance is for ideas. Accepting every belief as equally valid is hardly a real virtue, but it is about the kind of only “virtue” post-modernism knows anything about… Predictably, the beatification of post-modern tolerance has had a disastrous effect on real virtue in our society. In this age of tolerance, what was once forbidden is now encouraged…One major exception to that rule stands out starkly: it is OK for post-modernists to be intolerant of those who claim they know the truth — particularly biblical Christians.” (Emphasis added)

– John MacArthur

 

“A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads ‘Thou shalt not disagree;’ and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins ‘Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything.’ It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences. The blessing of God is promised to the peacemaker, but the religious negotiator has better watch his step. Darkness and light can never be brought together by talk. Some things are not negotiable.” (Emphasis added)

– A. W. Tozer

 

“We should no more tolerate false doctrine that we would tolerate sin.” (Emphasis added)

– J. C. Ryle

 

“New Evangelicalism is characterized by a repudiation of separation, by a love for positivism and by a repudiation of the more negative aspects of biblical Christianity, by a judge-not philosophy, by a dislike of doctrinal controversy, by exalting love and unity above doctrine, by a desire for intellectual respectability, by pride of scholarship, by an attitude of anti-fundamentalism, by the division of biblical truth into categories of important and not important, by a general mood of softness and tolerance, of a desire for a less strict Christianity, and of a weariness with theological fighting” (Emphasis added)

– David Cloud

 

“But this is the position of the people of God—the Bible is the most intolerant book in all the world and the most intolerant teacher that ever addressed Himself to an audience was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Now Jesus Christ demonstrated the vast difference between being charitable and being tolerant. Christ was so charitable that in His great heart, He was willing to weep over sinners; He took in all the people of the world and was willing to die for those who hated Him.

But even with that kind of love and charity, Jesus was so intolerant that He taught, ‘If you are not on my side, then you are against me; if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.’ He did not leave any middle ground to accommodate the neutral folks who preach tolerance. Christ leaves no middle ground, no place in between.

Tolerance easily becomes a matter of cowardice if spiritual principles are involved and if the Bible is ignored. Suppose we take the position of tolerance and compromise on the issue of salvation. ‘Everyone come to Christ and be saved, if you want to; but if you do not want to be saved, maybe there is some other way that we can find for you. We want you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ if you will, but if you do not want to, then we will try to find a possibility that God will have some other way for you.’

So tolerance is a spreading disease that is eating away at the absolutes of divine revelation and the unchanging truths of the Bible. But tolerance must not be tolerated by the true Christian, even when it costs them misunderstanding or alienation from friends, family, and this world.” (Emphasis Added)

– A. W. Tozer

 

“Some … are so timid that when truth is revealed they find it difficult to accept and wind up tolerating error or ignorance for fear of offending someone.” (Emphasis added)

– Evangelist Chuck Cofty

 

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

I reckon besides just fear, many of those who tolerate false doctrine are people who have lack of biblical concern, being in a state of indifference or apathy and even leniency. Those who have tolerance towards false or unsound doctrine, really have a lack of or no biblical convictions.

Yet even worse than just toleration, we see those unifying with those preaching and promoting unsound doctrine all around us today.

Rather than tolerating and unifying with sin and error, we should separate from it! Those that are promoting errors of false doctrine, we should mark them and avoid them and not receive them in our homes, nor bid them God speed.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

2 John 1:9-11 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 

“I am convinced that a committed Christian will show a zealous concern for the cause of Christ. He or she will live daily with a set of spiritual convictions taken from the Bible. He or she will be one of the toughest to move—along with a God-given humility—in his or her stand for Christ. Why, then, have Christian ministers so largely departed from exhortations to love righteousness with a great, overwhelming love, and to hate iniquity with a deep, compelling revulsion?

People remark how favored the church is in this country. It does not have to face persecution and rejection. If the truth were known, our freedom from persecution is because we have taken the easy, the popular way. If we would love righteousness until it became an overpowering passion, if we would renounce everything that is evil, our day of popularity and pleasantness would quickly end. The world would soon turn on us.

We are too nice! We are too tolerant! We are too anxious to be popular! We are too quick to make excuses for sin in its many forms! If I could stir Christians around me to love God and hate sin, even to the point of being a bit of a nuisance, I would rejoice. If some Christian were to call me for counsel saying he or she is being persecuted for Jesus’ sake, I would say with feeling, ‘Thank God!'” (Emphasis added)

– A. W. TOZER

 

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

 

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Neglect not your Opportunities

February 14, 2014

“Don’t lose your opportunity and inherit an eternity of shame and regrets hereafter.”

– C.T. Studd

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

“Most of the calamities of life are caused by simple neglect. By neglect of education, children grow up in ignorance; by neglect, a farm grows up to weeds and briars ; by neglect, a house goes to decay; by neglect of sowing, a man will have ho harvest; by neglect of reaping, the harvest would rot in the fields. No worldly interest can prosper where there is neglect; and why may it not be so in religion? There is nothing in earthly affairs, that is valuable, that will not be ruined if it is not attended to; and why may it not be so with the concerns of the soul? …. Let no one infer, therefore, that because he is not a drunkard, or an adulterer, or a murderer, that therefore he will be saved. Such an inference would be as irrational as it would be for a man to infer, that because he is not a murderer his farm will produce a harvest, or that because he is not an adulterer, therefore his merchandise will take care of itself. Salvation would be worth nothing if it cost no effort; and there will be no salvation where no effort is put forth. … [Salvation] is great, because it saves from great dangers. The danger of an eternal hell besets the path of each one. All do not see it; and all will not believe it when told of it. But this danger hovers over the path of every mortal. The danger of an eternal hell! Salvation from everlasting burnings! Deliverance from unending ruin! Surely that salvation must be great which shall save from such a doom! If that salvation is neglected, that danger still hangs over each and every man. The gospel did not create that danger it came to deliver from it.”

– Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Luke 13:23-24 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

“To ‘strive‘, is to be diligent in the use of means; to search the Scriptures with care; to attend on the preaching of the word with constancy, neglecting no opportunity; to pray earnestly for spiritual light, knowledge, and grace; to contend with every enemy that opposes the salvation of the soul, as sin, Satan, and the world; to bear all reproaches and persecutions, and press through all difficulties, for the prize of the incorruptible crown: the metaphor seems to be taken from the striving, wrestling, and combat in the Olympic games, for a corruptible crown:”

– John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

Strive. Literally, agonize. The word is taken from the Grecian Games. In their races, and wrestlings, and various athletic exercises, they strove or agonized, or put forth all their powers to gain the victory. … So Jesus says that we should strive to enter in; and he means by it that we should be diligent, be active, be earnest; that we should make it our first and chief business to overcome our sinful propensities, and to endeavour to enter into heaven.”

– Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Transgress the tradition of the Elders?

February 14, 2014

Transgress the tradition of the Elders?

Matthew 15:1-3 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

“They regarded external purity as of much more importance than the purity of the heart. They had many foolish rules about it: as, the quantity of water that was to be used; the way in which it should be applied; the number of times it should be changed; the number of those that might wash at a time, etc. These foolish rules our Saviour did not think it proper to regard; and this was the reason why they found fault with him.”

– Albert Barnes, originally published 1832-1872.

“Wash had nothing to do with physical hygiene but referred to ceremonial rinsing. The purpose was to remove the ritual defilement caused by having touched something unclean, such as a dead body or a Gentile. Some of the rabbis even taught that a certain demon named Shibtah attached itself to people’s hands while they slept and that, if he were not ceremonially washed away, he would actually enter the body through the food handled by defiled hands.”

– John MacArthur

“Just as Roman Catholics look to church dogma to discover what Scripture “really means,” most Jews of Jesus’ day looked to the tradition of the elders. In much the same way, many Protestants give more authority to the pronouncements of their denomination than to the Bible.”

– John MacArthur