Archive for the ‘J. C. Ryle’ 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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SYMPTOMS OF FALSE TEACHING

April 9, 2014

Many things combine to make the present increase of false doctrine especially dangerous.

1.) There is an undeniable zeal in some teachers of error—their “earnestness” makes many people think they must be right.

2.) There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge—many think that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe to listen to.

3.) There is a general tendency to completely free and independent thinking today—many like to prove their independence of judgment by believing the newest ideas, which are nothing but novelties.

4.) There is a wide-spread desire to appear kind, loving, and open-minded—many seem half-ashamed to say that anybody can be wrong or is a false teacher.

5.) There is always a portion of half-truth taught by modern false teachers–they are always using scriptural words and phrases, but with unscriptural meaning.

6.) There is a public craving for a more sensational and entertaining worship—people are impatient with the more inward and invisible work of God within the hearts of men.

7.) There is a superficial readiness all around to believe anyone who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, forgetting that Satan often masquerades himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians:11:14).

8.) There is a wide-spread ignorance among professing Christians—every heretic who speaks well is surely believed, and anyone who doubts him is called narrow-minded and unloving.

All these are especially symptoms of our times. I challenge any honest and observant person to deny them. These tend to make the assaults of false doctrine today especially dangerous and make it even more important to say loudly, “Do not be carried away with strange doctrine!”

– J C Ryle

FALSE DOCTRINE TOLERATED WITHOUT CONTROVERSY???

April 4, 2014

It is hard enough to fight the devil, the world and the flesh, without private differences in our own camp. But there is one thing that is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine tolerated…and permitted….There are times when controversy is not only a duty but also a benefit, and it is a plain scriptural duty to “ contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.”

The apostle Paul…was beaten with rods, stoned and left for dead, chained and left in a dungeon, dragged before magistrates, barely escaped assassination, and so pronounced in him were [his convictions] that it came to a point when the unbelieving Jews of Thessalonica declared: “ These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.

God pity those pastors and Christian leaders whose main objective is the growth of their organizations and whose main concern is lest their “boats be rocked.” THEY MAY ESCAPE CONTROVERSY , BUT THEY WILL NOT ESCAPE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST [emphasis his].

– J C Ryle

James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

1 Timothy 1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

1 Thessalonians 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

1 Timothy 1:18-20 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

 

 

BENEFITS OF SICKNESS

March 15, 2014
The following message on the benefits of sickness is by the late J.C. Ryle (1816-1900):

1) Sickness helps to remind men of death. The most live as if they were never going to die. They follow business, or pleasure, or politics, or science, as if earth was their eternal home. They plan and scheme for the future, like the rich fool in the parable, as if they had a long lease on life, and were not tenants at will. A heavy illness sometimes goes far to dispel these delusions. It awakens men from their day-dreams, and reminds them that they have to die as well as to live. Now this I say emphatically is a mighty good.

(2) Sickness helps to make men think seriously of God, and their souls, and the world to come. The most in their days of health can find no time for such thoughts. They dislike them. They put them away. They count them troublesome and disagreeable. Now a severe disease has sometimes a wonderful power of mustering and rallying these thoughts, and bringing them up before the eyes of a man’s soul. Even a wicked king like Benhadad, when sick, could think of Elisha (2 Kings 8:8). Even heathen sailors, when death was in sight, were afraid, and “cried every man to his god” (Jonah 1:5). Surely anything that helps to make men think is good.
(3) Sickness helps to soften men’s hearts, and teach them wisdom. The natural heart is as hard as a stone. It can see no good in anything which is not of this life, and o happiness excepting in the world. A long illness sometimes goes far to correct these ideas. It exposes the emptiness and hollowness of what the world calls “good” things, and teaches us to hold them with a loose hand. The man of business finds that money alone is not everything the heart requires. The woman of the world finds that costly apparel, and novel-reading, and the reports of balls and operas, are miserable comforters in a sick room. Surely anything that obliges us to alter our weights and measures of earthly things is a real good.
(4) Sickness helps to level and humble us. We are all naturally proud and high-minded. Few, even of the poorest, are free from the infection. Few are to be found who do not look down on somebody else, and secretly flatter themselves that they are “not as other men.” A sick bed is a mighty tamer of such thoughts as these. It forces on us the mighty truth that we are all poor worms, that we “dwell in houses of clay,” and are “crushed before the moth” (Job 4:19); and that kings and subjects, masters and servants, rich and poor, are all dying creatures, and will soon stand side by side at the bar of God. In the sight of the coffin and the grave it is not easy to be proud. Surely anything that teaches that lesson is good.
(5) Finally, sickness helps to try men’s religion, of what sort it is. There are not many on earth who have no religion at all. Yet few have a religion that will bear inspection. Most are content with traditions received from their fathers, and can render no reason of the hope that is in them. Now disease is sometimes most useful to a man in exposing the utter worthlessness of his soul’s foundation. It often shows him that he has nothing solid under his feet, and nothing firm under his hand. It makes him find out that, although he may have had a form of religion, he has been all his life worshipping “an unknown God.” Many a creed looks well on the smooth waters of health, which turns out utterly unsound and useless on the rough waves of the sick bed. The storms of winter often bring out the defects in a man’s dwelling, and sickness often exposes the gracelessness of a man’s soul. Surely anything that makes us find out the real character of our faith is a good.

GRADUAL SPIRITUAL GROWTH

March 14, 2014

Gradual growth in grace, growth in knowledge, growth in faith, growth in love, growth in holiness, growth in humility, growth in spiritual-mindedness – all this I see clearly taught and urged in Scripture, and clearly exemplified in the lives of many of God’s saints. But sudden, instantaneous leaps from conversion to consecration I fail to see in the Bible.”

– J. C. Ryle

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

2 Peter 1:5-8 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

THE FIGHT OF THE CHRISTIAN

March 7, 2014

The true Christian is called to be a soldier, and must behave as such from the day of his conversion to the day of his death. He is not meant to live a life of religious ease, indolence, and security. He must never imagine for a moment that he can sleep and doze along the way to heaven, like one travelling in an easy carriage. If he takes his standard of Christianity from the children of this world, he may be content with such notions; but he will find no countenance for them in the Word of God. If the Bible is the rule of his faith and practice, he will find his course laid down very plainly in this matter. He must ‘fight.’…

 … The principal fight of the Christian is with the world, the flesh, and the devil. These are his never-dying foes. These are the three chief enemies against whom he must wage war. Unless he gets the victory over these three, all other victories are useless and vain. If he had a nature like an angel, and were not a fallen creature, the warfare would not be so essential. But with a corrupt heart, a busy devil, and an ensnaring world, he must either ‘fight’ or be lost.” (Emphasis added)

– J.C. Ryle

The Danger of Christian Complacency

February 24, 2014

“Mark what I say. If you want to do good in these times, you must throw aside indecision, and take up a distinct, sharply–cut, doctrinal religion. If you believe little, those to whom you try to do good will believe nothing. The victories of Christianity, wherever they have been won, have been won by distinct doctrinal theology; by telling men roundly of Christ’s vicarious death and sacrifice; by showing them Christ’s substitution on the cross, and His precious blood; by teaching them justification by faith, and bidding them believe on a crucified Savior; by preaching ruin by sin, redemption by Christ, regeneration by the Spirit; by lifting up the brazen serpent; by telling them to look and live—to believe, repent, and be converted. This—this is the only teaching which for centuries God had honored with success, and is honoring at the present day both at home and abroad.

It is doctrine—doctrine, clear, ringing doctrine which, like the ram’s horn at Jericho casts down the opposition of the devil and sin. Let us cling to decided doctrinal views, whatever some may please to say in these times, and we shall do well for ourselves, well for others, and well for Christ’s cause in the world.” (emphasis added)

– J C Ryle

IS THERE ANY CROSS IN YOUR CHRISTIANITY?

February 21, 2014

“Are you making any sacrifices? Does your religion cost you anything? I put it to your conscience in all affection and tenderness. Are you, like Moses, preferring God to the world, or not? Are you willing to give up anything which keeps you back from God, or are you clinging to the Egypt of the world, and saying to yourself, “I must have it, I must have it: I cannot tear myself away”? Is there any cross in your Christianity? Are there any sharp corners in your religion, anything that ever jars and comes in collision with the earthly-mindedness around you? Or is all smooth and rounded off, and comfortably fitted into custom and fashion? Do you know anything of the afflictions of the gospel? Is your faith and practice ever a subject of scorn and reproach? Are you thought a fool by anyone because of your soul? Have you left Pharaoh’s daughter, and heartily joined the people of God? Are you venturing all on Christ? Search and see.”

– J.C. Ryle

Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

HOW FALSE DOCTRINE COMES UPON MAN:

February 17, 2014

“False doctrine does not meet men face to face, and proclaim that it is false. It does not blow a trumpet before it, and endeavor openly to turn us away from the truth… It approaches us secretly, quietly, insidiously, plausibly, and in such a way as to disarm man’s suspicion and throw him off guard. It is the wolf in sheep’s clothing, and Satan in the garb of an angel of light.”

– J.C. Ryle

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Mark 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Luke 20:46-47 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Holiness

February 14, 2014

“The holiest person is … one who is most conscious of what sin is.”

– Oswald Chambers

“Wrong views about holiness are generally traceable to wrong views about human corruption.”

– J. C. Ryle

“Holiness is not an experience you have; holiness is keeping the law of God.”

– D Martyn Lloyd-Jones