A Brief Response to a friend concerning Christian Liberty and Evangelism

You wrote:

You did not respond to my conjecture that you are referring merely to the abuse of something as an excuse for avoiding it. If someone was falsely assured, it is the preacher who is in condemnation as a teacher (James 3:1).

First, you have now and before misquoted the statement. It goes as follows: “The abuse of something is not an argument against its proper use.” By the way, I am not the originator of that quote. It was written by someone (perhaps Luther) who certainly understood the extremes taken by some in order to avoid certain freedoms that we have in Christ.
Let me give you an example as to how that quote plays well with certain situations. One clear example is the often pulpit cry that drinking is associated with pagans therefore, as Christians we should not drink. This concept was also coincidentally an essential message of Charles Finney and other revivalists of the early 19th century. In this case, I plug in that quote immediately and say that since the Scriptures many times endorses or even demands the people of God to drink, then for the sake of Scriptures, drink (Psalm 104:15; Ecclesiastes 9:7). The abuse of some is not an argument against its proper use. In the case you used, I suggest that the quote cannot be used in that context. It contradicts its purpose. In other words, the abuse of something that is found in the Scriptures is not an argument against its proper use. However, I do not believe whether it be the invitational system, raising hands, walking down the aisle, or any of these Finneistic novelties in American evangelicalism are Scriptural, but rather are used to lead many to a false profession of faith and furthermore to guilt-bound “christianity.”

You went on to say:

Oh yeah, and my Dad was saved in an ice cream shop by a man who used the simple gospel via the four spiritual laws. Even though I have a pastor at my local body, he has been my pastor for almost 23 years. Indeed the four spiritual laws are the Truth and the gospel is simple, but it’s not merely an action one can claim to have taken, and we agree.

To this I would simply reply that I am not in any position to judge anyone’s conversion experience. The Four Spiritual Laws from my perspective do not contain an accurate representation of the gospel (though I am convinced it has been used for good, after all there are Scriptural quotations in them). It misleads the Christian to think wrongly of the concept of the Lordship of Christ by confusing categories of Christian experience (the false idea of “carnal Christianity is one o them). Thus, my contention is that this approach completely distorts Paul’s meaning in I Corinthians 3.

Finally, just a few corrections in order to help further dialogue. You mentioned a few strongly Reformed categories and distinctive such as Family Worship and Home Education. I deeply admire your parents for a strong emphasis on family and education. As I have come to know you and your family, it is evident that all of you have a strong passion for our Lord. However, family and education devoid of Reformed confessions and a strongly covenantal view of family denies the Reformed faith. As you may know Mennonites, the Amish, and others, also have a strong view of courting, family and so on; but yet they clearly deny the Reformed perspective on God’s sovereignty and Covenant Theology.
I hope this helps our future interaction…
Your brother in Christ.

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Christian Liberty, College and Seminary Friends, Family. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s