Facing Argument Tricks Contending For The Truth

In contending against false teaching over the years,  I have tried my best to show the whole counsel of the Word of God concerning the true gospel and Christology.  Yet the defenders of the false gospel such as hyper grace gospel usually resorted to the following argument tricks.

I am contending for the gospel and Christology truth because it concerns eternal life and death and I will be most uncharitable not to try to bring back those who have wandered from the truth and will face the second death.  I am always wondering even if the defenders of the false gospel and false Christology are to wear me down with the following argument tricks, what profit is there for them ?

(The definition of the terms are gleaned from various internet sources such as Wikipedia.)

1.  Red Herring.  It is a kind of fallacy that is an irrelevant topic introduced in the argument to divert the attention of readers from the original issue.

2. Argumentum Ad Hominem. It is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

3. The Straw Man Argument. It deliberately misrepresents and weakens the argument of the opposing side by leaving out key points of an opposing argument, quoting a person’s words out of context, or presenting a particular person’s poor defense as the entire defense of an opposing side.

4. Weak Analogy Argument. It is used to prove or disprove an argument, but the analogy is too dissimilar to be effective, that is, unlike the argument more than it is like the argument.

 

Evangelism Through Giving Out Tracts

I still believe in this old fashioned way of evangelism.   The Good News gospel about Christ is by itself the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.  Rom 1:16. NLT.

Several years ago,  I went to the Sunday morning worship service of a church to meet up with an old classmate.  After the service,  an Indian man approached me and gave me a hug.   I had no Indian close friend so I was pleasantly surprised.  He even remembered my name.

He told me that I was the guy who gave him a gospel tract when I went giving out tracts in the Orchard Road area many years ago.

Praise the Lord for this old fashioned and effective way of evangelism.  Worldly wisdom will view such ways as weak and foolish but it is the power of God at work that really matters.

God (deliberately) chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.  1 Cor 1:27-29 NLT.

Getting ready to start this evangelism effort again this weekend in the vicinity of the church I currently help out.  I have written this tract to show the Chinese that our ancient forebears had this knowledge of one and only Triune God all along through history as evidenced in our written language, customs and philosophies.

May God bless our harvesting labour in the field.  And God willing,  may He bless and avail the labourers to bring forth this tract to the whole nation and beyond.

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Hyper Grace Belief Is Illegitimate Faith

By grace, one is saved by faith alone in Christ Jesus.  Eph 2:8.

What is faith ? Faith is believing in God. Abraham believed in God and it was counted to him as righteousness. * (See Note below)  James 2:23. But the demons also believe in God and shudder even. James 2:19.

So what is the difference ?  The difference is between legitimate and illegitimate faith.

Abraham believed in God and obeyed His commandments, even to uproot Himself from Ur and was willing to sacrifice his son. It was heart belief on the part of Abraham and he acted proving his faith. While the demons believed in their intellect only and they not only do not obey God’s commandments but wreck havoc on God’s Kingdom even.

What if Abraham said, “Lord, I believe You” but rubbished obeying God’s commands to leave Ur or to sacrifice his son, is that still faith ?

What do the hyper grace believers believe ? Is their faith legitimate when they rubbish obeying God’s commandments ? When they sin, they do not even worry about it and dismiss it altogether like the demons. What action is there on their part to prove that they believe in God when they belittle and do not want to obey God’s commandments like the demons ?

They believe repentance is just a change of mind. The demons do not need to change their minds. They know what God can do except they do not want to obey God. Legitimate faith will have action to prove it is true. Obedience to the guidance and training of the Spirit of God is that action that leads to transformed lives.

Jesus our Lord gave His commission to us to make disciples of all nations and teaching them to obey every commandment of His. Do the hyper grace believers obey ? They are proliferating half truth leaving out the obedience of the commandments of Jesus. What is the difference between their action and the action of demons in luring people to ignore obeying God’s commandments ?

By rubbishing obeying God’s commandments,  do they truly love Jesus ?   For Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”   John 14:15.  Or is it another Jesus that they believe in ?   I believe a child can discern easily.

End Note :

*   Gal 3: 7-9, 14

Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith…14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

But it is important to note that salvation is not obtained through works of the Law but through faith alone in Christ Jesus lest I am accused of preaching salvation by works.  It is a world of  difference between compliance of the Jewish Law, Halakha, and obedience to God’s commandments proving our love of Jesus and our faith.  For clarity,  kindly read this post :  http://www.jcmanifesto.org/on-law-works-and-faith-works/

 

Psalms 122 詩 篇 122

Psalms 122 : 6,9

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May they prosper who love you.

Because of the house of the Lord our God
I will seek your good.

詩 篇 122 : 6,9

你 们 要 为 耶 路 撒 冷 来 求 平 安 

你 们 要 为 耶 路 撒 冷 来 求 平 安 

爱 你 的 人 必 然 兴 旺

爱 你 的 人 必 然 兴 旺

我 要 为 你 求 福

因 神 的 殿 的 缘 故 

你 们 要 为 耶 路 撒 冷 来 求 平 安 

你 们 要 为 耶 路 撒 冷 来 求 平 安 

爱 你 的 人 必 然 兴 旺

Sectarian Spirit

Mark 9:38-40
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.  For the one who is not against us is for us.

Prior to these verses, we saw the immaturity of the disciples in failing to cast out demons and arguing who was the greatest.  And now they possessed a sectarian spirit.

Today, there are some evangelicals who will go around discrediting all charismatics as though they belong to the devil. Some charismatics are merely doing great works in the mighty name of our Lord in casting out demons or prophesying for the good of Christendom. Yet they are discredited like as though they are preaching a false gospel or living in sin.

(Side note :  I say some charismatics and not all because I am also disgusted with pagan-like signs and wonders which may be demonic in nature. Such abuse should not be the reason to discredit all charismatics and all spiritual gifts.)

It seemed to me in the above Scriptural passage that the only qualm was those casting out demons were not a team with the apostles. That was all. Jesus our Lord had clearly said that these people who did mighty works in His name were not damaging His name and would surely not speak ill of Him.

(Side note :  Though I agree that the signs and wonders performed by the apostles were to substantiate their apostleship,  we saw from this Scriptural passage that others, not traveling with Jesus our Lord and the apostles, could also perform mighty works in His name which our Lord did not deny.)

On the contrary, I am wondering today if those, who harbor such critical sectarian spirit, are being influenced by the enemy instead to deprive God of the glory for such works. Matt 5:16.

We must have a good balanced stance. Like for the gift of prophecy, do not despise straightaway. Test all of them and hold fast what is good as exhorted by Scripture. 1 Thess 5:20-21.

 

On Law-works And Faith-works

Rom 4: 2-5
For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.

James 2: 21-23
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.

On the cursory reading of these 2 passages, they seem to contradict each other. But if we delve further into the wider context of these 2 passages, we will soon realize that the Works mentioned are different. I will call the Works in Romans as Law-works while that in James as Faith-works.

In Romans, Paul was addressing the Jews who might still be trying to earn their salvation by law-works in keeping the Halakha, the Jewish Law, which includes 613 prohibitions so devised as to comply with the Mosaic Law, the Ten Commandments. But we read in Phil 3:4-6 that Paul could be blameless in keeping this Jewish Law like many Pharisees at that time and yet he persecuted the church. The Pharisees could keep the Jewish Law meticulously yet their hearts were not repentant – they were lovers of money, mean-spirited and self righteous. They could go through the physical circumcision meticulously but their hearts were not circumcised.

In James, James was not talking about keeping this Jewish Law but about Action or Faith-works which will prove that Faith is legitimate. He quoted 2 examples of legitimate faith in Abraham and Rahab. One was about to perform child sacrifice and the other committed treason – not good works exactly. But their action proved that they believed God and it was counted to them as righteousness.

Reminiscing My First Evangelistic Mission Foray

Just reminiscing the first evangelistic mission foray into the mission field with little or no experience in 2009.

A fellow ministry worker and I were called on this first mission to evangelize a nearby region which we had no idea that it would be the most hostile place to the Good News in this part of the world.

We partnered with a local missionary who acted as our coordinator and translator.  After one year of training, we told the believers to form a fellowship or church.   We supplemented the income of the leaders to enable them to gather all new believers for regular fellowship meeting.

As the group grew to the size of 105 members by the grace of God,  we decided to help them with their livelihood by implementing two projects –  goat rearing and manufacturing of fish boxes.

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Reminiscing Ad-hoc Ministry Of Officiating Services

After God gave me a turning point in 2001,  I waited on the Lord for several years before He opened doors for my present ministry in galvanizing churches in the region to fulfill the Manifesto of Christ in the end times.  In between,  I was willing to serve in whatever ministry my service was required.

Just reminiscing the times when I was called to officiate  a Sunday worship service in a nursing home once a month alone and funeral wake service whenever the bereaved families were not able to afford such services.   I would be the MC, guitarist, worship leader and preacher all rolled into one including preparing and printing of order of worship pamphlets.

There were also cases when some churches refused to baptize new believers until they finished the baptism classes or for some other obscure reasons.  But these new believers were dying and could not wait and somehow I was approached to do it.

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The Three Common Hyper Grace Promises

I have noticed that most of the sermons given by the false hyper grace teachers revolve around these 3 promises.

  1. Believe you shall have and you shall have.
  2. No harm will befall you as God will protect you.
  3. You shall possess all possessions as you praise and worship Jesus.

On the surface of these rhetorical maxims,  they seem to be great promises of God for being in Christ Jesus.

But such “promises”  will actually contradict the whole counsel of the Word of God that suffering is part and parcel of life of a Christian.  John 15:18-19; 2 Tim 3:12;  1 Pet 4:12;  Heb 12:7-11; Acts 14:22;  1 Thess 3:2-3.

If you examine these rhetorical maxims a little deeper,  you will notice that these promises are not of God but actually of the devil.  The devil actually tempted Jesus our Lord with these same 3 promises which we will always be tempted the same till the end of times.

  1. If you are a child of God, you can ask for anything and it will be done for you. Matt 4:3.
  2. If you are a child of God, no harm will befall you as God will protect you.   Matt 4:6
  3. If you are a child of God, all possessions in this world will be yours.  Matt 4:8-9.

It was the same perennial  3 temptation that Eve was deceived –  the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.  1 John 2:15-16.

How deceptive are these false hyper grace teachers !    Be warned that in these last days,  these agents will masquerade as apostles of Christ and servants of righteousness but juxtapose fatal gospel error in their teaching.

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Observing The Lord’s Supper At The Garden Tomb

What a blessed and meaningful finale of my pilgrimage to observe the Lord’s Supper at the Garden Tomb.

The tour guide shared convincing proof that the Garden Tomb was very likely the place where Jesus our Lord was buried.

Firstly,  our Lord was likely to be crucified in a high human traffic place that the Romans would like the inhabitants to see the fate of criminals just outside the city walls in a place called Golgotha which mean the place of the skull.   A picture of the place before last year showed a face of a skull before the nose bridge was destroyed by snow.

Secondly,  the tomb was in a rich man’s garden as a wine press was discovered.

Thirdly,  the tomb was constructed in such a way with people entering the tomb could see the body to the right with light coming in from a small window to the right of the tomb entrance.

All the evidence in the Garden Tomb fitted the description given in the Bible.

I was given the honor to serve the Lord’s Supper there.  I administered in Chinese as the tour group is mostly from mainland China.

I shared that the best way to remember our Lord’s death till He comes again is to honor and love Him by obeying His commandment to love one another and to make disciples and teach them to do the same.

I have always believed in the unity of the Body of Christ.  I have no reservation to serve with any brother or sister regardless whether he or she is an evangelical or charismatic; or of any denomination, race or language.   I prayed for unity in this respect.   As the Day is drawing near,  I prayed for vigilance in staying watchful in the coming treacherous times.

In a moment of silence examining ourselves,  I prayed quietly by myself that I will be bold to share the gospel to the majority of the unsaved Chinese population, the largest ethnic group,  in my country by sharing and giving out the gospel tract that I have written for this purpose.  And that God will send laborers from all local churches to join me.  All glory and honor  to Jesus our Lord !

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