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Author Topic: Franklin Graham wrong to question Obama's Christianity  (Read 1011 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 14, 2011, 04:45:36 PM »

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Any Christian will tell you: If a person verbally professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that person is considered saved. No ifs, ands or buts. That's when the conversation should end.

Thought the Orthodox here would get a kick out of it.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/05/14/martin.franklin.graham/index.html?hpt=C2

Quote
"For him, going to church means he's a Christian. For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith, and we have trusted him as our Lord and Savior. That's the definition of a Christian. It's not as to what church you are a member of. A membership doesn't make you Christian."

There's a great Chesterton quote that standing in Church doesn't make you a Christian insomuch that standing in your garage makes you a car.
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 04:49:58 PM »

Many will say to me Lord, Lord....
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 04:55:07 PM »

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Any Christian will tell you: If a person verbally professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that person is considered saved. No ifs, ands or buts. That's when the conversation should end.

Thought the Orthodox here would get a kick out of it.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/05/14/martin.franklin.graham/index.html?hpt=C2

Quote
"For him, going to church means he's a Christian. For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith, and we have trusted him as our Lord and Savior. That's the definition of a Christian. It's not as to what church you are a member of. A membership doesn't make you Christian."

There's a great Chesterton quote that standing in Church doesn't make you a Christian insomuch that standing in your garage makes you a car.
Okay. Undecided So, what's your point?
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2011, 05:52:02 PM »

"Any Christian will tell you..."  You know, the ironic part is is that his statement is literally not in any way able to be considered logical.  Orthodox profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Orthodox do NOT teach that that alone makes you saved "No ifs, ands, or buts."  They do not say that "That's when the conversation should end."  Therefore, he is either saying Orthodox are not really Christian, in which case he just violated his own rule about who is a Christian, or he is saying they do not really believe that there is more to salvation, in which case he is delusional or an idiot.
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2011, 05:55:29 PM »

Many will say to me Lord, Lord....

Beat me to it!
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2011, 06:47:07 PM »

Protestants are so funny. Yes, going to church doesn't make you a Christian. But neither does "verbal profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior"!
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2011, 07:23:35 PM »


...but, every car, in order to function as designed, needs to stop by the gas-station and get refueled.

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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2011, 07:26:49 PM »


...but, every car, in order to function as designed, needs to stop by the gas-station and get refueled.



Sure!

The point I am trying to make is that one group is being portrayed as if they think going to church alone makes one Christian, and their opponents are claiming that verbal confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior alone makes one Christian, while in reality neither are true.
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2011, 10:26:30 PM »

Protestants are so funny. Yes, going to church doesn't make you a Christian. But neither does "verbal profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior"!
Do Protestants really believe that?
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 10:29:04 PM »

Some evangelicals don't believe that one is really saved unless you were in the exact same manner as them. It seems uncharitable to judge someone that way, because you don't know what's in their heart- but God does.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2011, 10:31:26 PM »

Protestants are so funny. Yes, going to church doesn't make you a Christian. But neither does "verbal profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior"!
Do Protestants really believe that?

Some do, not all.

Rom 10:10
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2011, 10:45:14 PM »

Protestants are so funny. Yes, going to church doesn't make you a Christian. But neither does "verbal profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior"!
Do Protestants really believe that?

For some, all you have to do is walk that Romans Road, and agree to whatever the pastor says at the altar call.

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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2011, 11:12:26 PM »

Protestants are so funny. Yes, going to church doesn't make you a Christian. But neither does "verbal profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior"!
Do Protestants really believe that?
Lutherans don't; Luther held that true faith resulted in fruitbearing, and that faith could wither and die.
Classical Calvinists don't; they hold that those predestined via decree to election are also predestined to sanctification and glorification.
Wesleyan-Arminians obviously don't.

The so-called "Free Grace" Dispensationalists (e.g. Zane Hodges) do, and many "eclectic" so-called non-denominationals do.
The "free grace" proponents frame the debate as if they alone are for "grace" (legal forgiveness of sins past and future on the basis of propositional acceptance and affirmation of Christ as "Savior" -"Lordship" to them is unnecessary) they brand most other soteriological views other than their own as  "Lordship salvation" which they claim is a form of "legalism."
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2011, 07:42:21 AM »

Hello xariskai,

Yet there are not too many Classical Calvinists or PURE Arminians anymore, are there?  I know that the Southern Baptists have a hybrid theology, that once you say the Sinner's Prayer  something to the effect of  "Lord Jesus, I believe you are who you said you are and there is no one like you.  I choose to make you the Lord of my Life, come into my heart and save me.  Amen."   then you are saved.  Anybody can say this prayer, and get "saved" but at the same time..  once you're saved you can't fall away because you're eternally secure.   No Calvinist predestination, yet eternal security is definitley there. 
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2011, 09:36:16 AM »

I wouldn't give much credence to Franklin Graham's pontifications about the status of President Obama's soul.

I think it helps if one has lived in the Deep South where there is a strong Southern Baptist piety and culture.  I have spent most of my life down here and I still don't understand the Southern Baptist need to judge and evaluate the souls of others. However, this is VERY typical of them. Some of them even go so far as to almost make a "hobby" out of judging whether other people are "really saved" as they would say. I think this makes them feel more "spiritual" and better about themselves.  I would take it with a grain of salt.

Growing up down here, I've heard Southern Baptists condemn Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox (if they know we even exist), Episcopalians and on occasion even "baby sprinkling" Presbyterians and Methodists. Generally, they are quite suspect at ANY form of liturgical Christianity. I have had them even when I was still a Lutheran that I was a mere "churchgoer" but that they were "saved" and "knew the Lord personally."  They can come across quiet smug at times and generally are very naive and rather uneducated about the other Christian groups that they condemn.

I have a standard response I learned from an Orthodox priest when they start finger-pointing at me and telling me I'm "not saved" and "going to hell":

My dear Baptist:  You would do well to try to see YOUR OWN sins and repent of them before the great and fearful day of judgment rather than to judge me and point out my shortcomings and imperfections. Now go in peace and work out your own salvation, rather than worrying about the salvation of others.

P.S.  Part of Franklin Graham's statement must be understood by the fact that the Southern Baptists can often (but not always) raise politics to the level of dogma.  Since Franklin is a Republican and Obama is a Democrat that means Obama's Christianity is immediately suspect in the eyes of many Southern Baptists who often cannot separate their Republican party allegiance from their brand of evangelical Christianity.

Many times I have bewildered Southern Baptists when they ask me political questions and want "THE Orthodox answer" and I tell them that politics is not dogma to us Orthodox and that there might we several different Orthodox perspectives on any given political issue. They just don't get it.
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2011, 11:50:09 PM »

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Any Christian will tell you: If a person verbally professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that person is considered saved. No ifs, ands or buts. That's when the conversation should end.

I believe from this is Roland Martin's opinion of what Christians believe, having read the opinion piece.  I do not know what Franklin Graham believes about this or about any thing else except that Frank Schaeffer makes him out to be a real jerk.
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2011, 12:40:47 AM »

Protestants are so funny. Yes, going to church doesn't make you a Christian. But neither does "verbal profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior"!
Do Protestants really believe that?

Not all of them do. Obviously more traditional, High Reform Protestants do not. But a good amount of the Low Reform, Evangelical types do.
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2011, 08:57:30 PM »

Protestants are so funny. Yes, going to church doesn't make you a Christian. But neither does "verbal profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior"!
Do Protestants really believe that?
Lutherans don't; Luther held that true faith resulted in fruitbearing, and that faith could wither and die.
Classical Calvinists don't; they hold that those predestined via decree to election are also predestined to sanctification and glorification.
Wesleyan-Arminians obviously don't.

The so-called "Free Grace" Dispensationalists (e.g. Zane Hodges) do, and many "eclectic" so-called non-denominationals do.
The "free grace" proponents frame the debate as if they alone are for "grace" (legal forgiveness of sins past and future on the basis of propositional acceptance and affirmation of Christ as "Savior" -"Lordship" to them is unnecessary) they brand most other soteriological views other than their own as  "Lordship salvation" which they claim is a form of "legalism."

Hello xariskai,

Yet there are not too many Classical Calvinists or PURE Arminians anymore, are there?  I know that the Southern Baptists have a hybrid theology, that once you say the Sinner's Prayer  something to the effect of  "Lord Jesus, I believe you are who you said you are and there is no one like you.  I choose to make you the Lord of my Life, come into my heart and save me.  Amen."   then you are saved.  Anybody can say this prayer, and get "saved" but at the same time..  once you're saved you can't fall away because you're eternally secure.   No Calvinist predestination, yet eternal security is definitley there.  
Protestantism is becoming more like a Build-a-Bear religion or a Smorgasbord than it ever was before. The single Grand Moment sinner's prayer salvation with eternal security isn't *uncommon* among Evangelicals, Baptists, Charismatics and Pentecostals and others, but neither is it so prevalent that it can be thought of as "the" defacto Protestant position (neither for that matter is it "the" default position within the SBC).

There are still plenty of Lutherans, Classical Calvinists, and Classical Arminians. Classical Arminians are found not just among Methodists and Wesleyans, but also in Assembly of God and Pentecostals (their seminaries often use textbooks by Arminian theologians, albeit in the churches themselves you can find practically anything). Also not mentioned are many other groups who are opposed to "cheap grace" for variegated reasons.

The SBC itself is a hybrid movement, though "hybrid theologies" (*plural*) rather than "hybrid theology" (*singular*) is a better descriptor. Southern Baptists identifying as 5-point Calvinists number approx. 10%, but of course many Classical Calvinists hang their hats elsewhere -not limited to the Presbyterian churches, and last year something of a "Calvinist revival" was being reported by Christianity Today within Evangelical and Baptist seminaries among what is presumably the next generation of leadership. Within the SBC mentioned above are Dispensationalists, Amyraldians, further deconstructed "X-point" Calvinists, alongside Christians whose theology is extremely ill-defined and/or undefined to a surprising degree (also those identifying as "non-denom" are growing, though these too tacitly if not explicitly are indebted to historical traditions to various degrees -it is never simply a question of tradition or no tradition even among those who reckon themselves pure biblicists). Many Southern Baptists would deny salvation is just "fire insurance," and would maintain any confession of Christ as Lord will be seen to have been a false confession if there was not genuine repentance (note the past tense is usually assumed by Baptists thought scripture has the continual present indicating a lifetime of repentance rather than a single Grand Moment) followed by a life of "lordship" -the usual line is those who repudiate their Christian confession and/or "walk" either "are eternally secure" or "were not really saved in the first place" depending on which Southern Baptist is being asked.

It would be wrong to suppose Baptist churches are not rife with "cheap grace" and Grand Moment salvation. Certainly the "accept him as your Savior and are eternally secure" mindset is not uncommon, but it isn't the whole story, and is, I think, inaccurate as an unqualified generalization.
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