Are you frustrated when watching the various interviews of those in position and power being a question? It doesn’t matter your personal opinions or vantages; it happens almost anywhere there is a quest for understanding and/or transparency! Either the question is never answered, or the person engages in double-speak!
While we see this happen all the time in the political arena, disappointedly, it has been learned by those in position and power in ministries and local churches.
“the coin of the realm”
when it comes to being heard in ministry?
Numerous current articles address the decline in local church attendance. Some of them are frank enough to admit that one of the significant causes is the lack of credibility among ministry leaders and local church pastors. . We don’t “sit and listen” to people who aren’t credible! We flip the channel!
#1) Deflect: There are ways to deflect from the point which is being made. They never really answer the question asked or the point being made. Instead, they deflect! It is a control tactic to move the conversation in a different direction.
Regretfully, it is also a means for avoiding legitimate issues, arguments, points, and criticisms in the world of local church operations. All too often, you have to “ask 20 questions”  to reveal what has taken place, or what is the actual position of ministry leaders or pastors.
- They were less than above-board!
- Their credibility was questionable!
- They mislead the audience!
- They left out what was relevant!
- They deflect away from the question being asked!
The point, question, or criticism may be well-founded. Nevertheless, the control tactic of deflection can be used to avoid responding or answering the original question.
The FBI uses the phrase . . .
“Lack of Candor.”
That means they misdirected, deceived, or lied!
. . . . .
#2) Double-Speak: At other times, you may say to yourself — “This is theological double-speak!” They say one thing, and it contradicts what they have already said. It sounds like they hold one position and also an opposing position — at the same time!
Just add the word “And,” “Nevertheless,” or “However” to your statement. You can sound like you agree, while you disagree. At a later time, you can point to either statement as needed! You will be able to make the point you actually hold, while at the same time, you are able to include the point of view which is in alignment with that of the questioner, even if you disagree.
It is possible that the point, question, or criticism is well-founded. Nevertheless, double-speak can be used to cloud and fog up the issue so that the person is able to sound like he does believe in this, while denying it as well!
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Let me suggest that some ministry leaders and pastors may ultimately realize that what they see happening is the result of a battered & bruised respect & credibility
— at best — .
. . . . .
Other Information and Links:
1. RZIM / Dave Ramsey / newly elected President Ed Litton / multiple church and mission board coverups of immoral behavior and activity of its pastors and members / “me, not thee” / refusals by church leaders to address sinful behavior of their own children / et al. — as Julie Roys reports
2. Hypothetical Example:
Pastor, we all understand that the Bible speaks of “the elect” and clearly used the word “election.” Some argue that the election is based on God’s foreknowledge of all events in the future. Others argue that to foreknow means to have an established relationship from eternity past. Question: What points do you hold regarding what is called the 5 points of Calvinism — Total depravity, unmerited favor, limited atonement, irresistible grace, perseverance of the saints.
I hold to the doctrines of grace which state that no one would ever find the Lord on their own, and it was only by His grace that anyone would ever be saved from an eternity separated from God.
I understand that! We all agree on that, But what is your position about those 5 points?
Well, I don’t believe that God elected anyone to damnation. Everyone is on their way to an eternal separation with any action of God.
No, we agree; God does not elect anyone to eternal damnation. That is already our condition in Adam. But would you identify yourself as a 5-point Calvinist?
Well, I can tell you this, I am not a hyper-Calvinist.
Well, probably no one would claim to be a “hyper-Calvinist.” But that is not answering the question. What points do you hold to in regards to those 5 points?
Total Depravity: I believe that men are dead in their trespasses and sins. Mankind would never have found the Lord if he had not sought us and that it was by Grace alone, the unmerited favor of God that anyone is saved. God worked in our hearts and in our lives in such a way that He sought us out and spoke to our hearts in such a way that our blind eyes were opened, and we found His grace irresistible.
Yes . . . .? (pause)?
You and I know that most would not disagree with that. You know it is the other two most disputed points that have the greatest implications — theologically and practically.
I am not a hyper-Calvinist! My positions on limited atonement and perseverance of the saints are in the historical mainstream of biblical theology!
And what do you believe to be the historical and biblical mainstream positions?
Like most Bible-believing churches and pastors, we hold to the clear teaching of Scripture regarding those two points. Really, I am not a Calvinist, but a Biblicist. We need to be careful when we explain our positions else we can create a lot of misunderstanding. These are difficult and complex issues to answer without the time needed for an extensive presentation.
Yes, I would agree and . . . . ? What do you actually believe about the position of limited atonement and the perseverance of the saints.
Limited Atonement: While he came to seek and save all men, not all men would respond. Whosoever will, and those that will, have been saved by His work in their hearts from the foundation of the world.
Perseverance of the Saints: We both agree that if one is truly saved, he will persevere to the end. Once saved, always saved! And we also agree that there are false believers, those who thought they were believers but were not — as taught in the parable of the soils in. Matthew 13. There will be those who have failed the test and trials of being a true disciple and proven themselves to be actually lost.
I will come back to limited atonement.
But let me ask, didn’t the perfect life of Jesus — His perfect record — and the death of Jesus for the sins of mankind to those who exercised faith in His work — didn’t that cover those failures. Didn’t Jesus pay for those sinful failures in life as well?
Absolutely, Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow. Don’t misunderstand me. Let me be clear, I believe that all true believers will be saved. No one can lose their salvation! That is not what I am saying! But we both agree that the new birth will show itself! And if there is NO FRUIT, we should not assume we are genuine believers.
We both agree that if there is NO FRUIT — in as far as we can tell — that something is wrong with a salvation that does not include a change in thinking and living. But does NO FRUIT mean no failures throughout our Christian life? No back-sliding? No repeated inabilities to overcome sinful habits? Failing the tests and trials of life? Doubts and misgivings about the power, work, and ability of God to work in our lives? Failure to have a consistent life of Bible reading and prayer? Waywardness and wandering? Isn’t that all paid for on Calvary, by the righteous life of Jesus placed on our account?
Don’t misunderstand me. Again, I am not saying that we don’t sin and fail after we have called on His name. But we must not assume that one is saved if there is a pattern that is not consistent with our profession of faith. You can’t say a little prayer at some point in your life, or walk an aisle in a church, and think that something magical has happened in regards to your eternity!
But being born-again happens at a point in time, just like natural childbirth. Calling on the name of the Lord is also compared to a wedding — there was a point in time that the commitment took place — when you called on the name of the Lord and were saved — like in the book of Acts — the Philippian jailer, the Ethiopian eunuch.
Don’t misunderstand me. We are told to call upon the Lord, and I believe that. But nothing magical happens by repeating some prayer or walking an aisle in a church service of evangelistic campaign.
Do you think that when the Bible says in Acts that 3000 and 5000 who were added “to the church,” that those who professed Christ had real struggles then, and throughout their lives — having far less knowledge and understanding than we do today! — No less Old Testament saints who failed and floundered many times — Lot, Samson, Saul, David, Solomon?
I am not saying . . .
Sounds like you are saying. . . .
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