Reformed Theology on the Web

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A Critique of Discussion Boards

This article is written to discuss discussion boards. The purpose of all that one does should bring glory to God. If this is our main goal when we decide to write or decide to start a web site then we have fulfilled our chief end in this world. The first question of the Westminster Larger Catechism ask, "What is the chief and highest end of man?" Answer: "Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever." Also the scriptures teach us: "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.," 1 Corinthians 10:31.

But if our purpose is to make a name for ourselves or to exalt oneself in this world, then we have committed sin against the Lord.

I have in times past belonged to several online discussion boards. Since the word of the Lord commands me to test all things [1 Thess. 5:21], then that is what I have to do. I have found that though I joined these discussion boards for the glory of God, the discussion boards themselves were not towards this purpose. Therefore I am writing this to expose these glory seeking boards that do not bring honor to God.

One such board of which I belonged is called "Bible Forum on Webnet 77" . This board would moderate a person just for using the theological term "dispensationalism." According to the so-called God seeking moderators of this site, using this term is a no, no. They are so possessed with the purpose of not offending anyone that is a member that they actually restrict the knowledge of God inside the ‘world’ of their board. This is because they are glory seekers, but the glory they are seeking is not God’s glory, but their own. They are so concerned in not offending anyone with theological terms that I felt as if I was among the unbelieving world which always cries for religious tolerance. This board could easily be classified as one that espouses religious pluralism.

This board does not bring glory to God because it does not stand for truth. I recognize that some Christians adhere to dispensationalism, but this is not to say that the view of dispensationalism is true. [See my critique of it here] But the point is that I could not present a clear view of my position and argue against this view [in a respectable manner] because I was constantly being penalized for using the word dispensationalism. So my question is: "Does this board exist because the owner chooses to allow Christians to discuss topics that would bring them to greater knowledge of God while they glorify God or does it exist because the owner wanted to make a site that would attract large amounts of people and would rather glorify himself?" My guess is the later because of the over moderation of simple theological terms in order that religious tolerance can be displayed. Seems to me that this board has become to secular and chooses to uphold worldly philosophies instead of godly beliefs.

This part of my critique could be labeled:

So-Called Christians Mock Michael Jacksons Death

The second board of which I wish to critique is "The Puritan Board" . I was warned by the glory seeking moderators of this board that if I posted against them, then whatsoever judgment I make will be judged to me also. This sounds like the warnings of the Pentecostal-Charismatic bunch [see my discussion of them here and then follow through archive every Thursday thereafter]. They to threaten judgment against all who would examine their claims with scripture. [I was told that with what judgment I judge that I would be judged Matt 7.]  But as I stated above the Bible commands us to test all things [1 Thess. 5:21; 1 John 4:1].

First I want to deal with the accusation of these moderators. Is it true that a person can use scripture from the Bible as a threat against one who would examine their claims with scripture? The Pentecostal-Charismatic movement loves to use a scripture out of 1 Chronicles 16:22 "Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." Of course we see here in this scripture that God rebuked kings for Israel’s sake, but that does not mean that God always works that way. Therefore Pentecostals take this out of context.

But what about the moderators claim From "The Puritan Board?" Is it wrong to judge according to Matthew 7? I do not believe that Jesus is forbidding us not to judge. Here again a scripture has been taken from context to ward off those who would examine them with scripture. Paul commands the Corinthian Church in 1 Corinthians 6 to set someone in the church over two brethren to judge legal matters so that they do not defraud one another by going before unbelievers for judgment. He even tells the Corinthians that the saints shall judge the world. Also Jesus went on to tell the Pharisees in John 7:24 that when they judge, they ought to judge righteous judgment.

The proper interpretation of Matthew 7 is that when one judges they ought not to do it hypocritically. Jesus even says that first remove the beam from thine own eye and then you can see clearly to get the splinter from thy brothers eye. So Jesus is not warning against judging, but against hypocritical judgment. Also if one could not judge, examine, or discern what is right, then how could one obey Christ command later on in the same chapter of Matthew? In Matt 7:15 Jesus warns us to beware of false prophets. If one cannot judge who a false prophet is, then how could one even beware of them? My case is closed here. Those that resist being examined by God’s word will always twist scripture for their benefit. [Also I can’t understand someone being a moderator of a Christian board if they cannot properly interpret scripture. Matthew 7 was used against me, but as I have showed Matthew 7 does not make the claims that the moderator stated].

Now concerning this board, I was a member. But while being a member God was already dealing with my heart about discussion boards and their purpose. I was already feeling that I should write against the wasted time and over moderation of not only this board, but other  boards also. But it wasn’t until Michael Jackson’s death that I decided to do this.

This board allowed a discussion about Michael Jackson’s death to start. During this discussion some got to making fun and claiming that he was in Hell. I posted using the word of God in a kind respectable manner. But as usual when one begins to examine things with scripture it will usually be moderated. [You know that if they do not want me to examine their site with scripture, then certainly scripture does not hold high value there]. My post was deleted from the board and I received an infraction when I questioned this. But the jokes of those of whom I wrote against remained on the board. [These jokes have since been removed, but the claim that he is in Hell still remains. See Here].

Now I can understand these jokes being made if a Christian were new to the faith and did not know any better. But most of those who belong to the Puritan Board are seasoned so-called Christians. Not only that, but there are quite a few who hold PH.D.’s; TH.D.’s; D.D.’s; MDIV’s: etc... In other words they are educated in the things of God and ought to know better.

My purpose of this critique is not to defend Michael Jackson per se, but it is a shame when 94% of those who claim to be evangelicals [I assume everyone on this discussion board would make this claim; seeing that it is a Reformed board] do not even pay tithes [10%] to God, but are systematically robbing God. While Michael Jackson who was a billionaire gave away 300 million to the hungry, sick, poverty stricken, etc... which would amount to 30% of what he had. Yet these evangelicals want to mock him.

I know what the response would be: Yes he gave away that much to help the sick, poverty stricken, hungry, etc... but us 6% who do give; actually are giving to God and not to man. My reply is this: But did not Jesus state that except our righteousness exceed that of the scribes and pharisees we will not make it into heaven? Now I understand that we have Christ righteousness and we are just before God, but even R. C. Sproul says that there is a possibility here of Christ meaning a righteous life that lives before God without sin and that gives to the poor, sick, and hungry. You remember the Pharisees paid tithe of their plants like mint, anise and cummin. Jesus said that the Pharisees should have not omitted the weightier matters of the law like justice and mercy, while at the same time not forsaking their tithe.

Also Jesus stated that when he appeared that he would separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep get to go into the kingdom because they fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and visited the sick. But the goats did not do this so they go into everlasting punishment. Now dispensationalist interpret Matthew 25 as being the nations who helped the Jews during the tribulation and those who get to go into the millennium will be those who fed them through persecution during this tribulation. But most on the Puritan Board are Reformed. This means they believe as I do that there will be no millennium and that those of who Christ are separating are his people from the unbelievers. Therefore we have to interpret Matt 25 as speaking to the church of today. The church should be doing as Michael Jackson did. They should be feeding the hungry, helping the sick and so forth.

James 1:27 states: "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." Now let me say that I have shared this scripture with several ministers and they always argue that God did not command them to feed anyone, but to only preach the gospel. Yet James states plainly that pure religion that is undefiled before God is a religion that visits the fatherless and widows in their affliction. To visit someone in their affliction is to go to them with bread in your hand if they are hungry. You will be visiting them in that affliction. John Gill states concerning this verse: "not only to see them, and speak a word of comfort to them, but to communicate to them, and supply their wants, as they may require, and according to the ability God has given:" The Geneva Bible states: "The fourth: the true service of God exists in charity towards our neighbors, especially those who need the help of others (fatherless and widows), and purity of life. To care for them and to help them as much as we can."

So you see Michael Jackson would visit the orphanages and supply them with money to operate. He also stepped in and fed the hungry in Africa. He helped those who suffered during the Tsunami Hurricane a few years back. But those on the Puritan Board just set around mocking and making fun. Shame on them for sitting there and doing nothing.

You know how I know that most of those posting on this board or any Christian board is not doing what God asks of them? It is because they have 3453 posts and counting. If someone is posting that much, then it is clear that they are not doing anything, but sitting in front of their computer. For example see how many post "confessor" has. Click here.

Now concerning this board: I would say that they are biased against God’s word and if you join this board and use scripture to clear up a matter, then you will be censored. This board is highly biased against the use of scripture. For instance: I posted on a discussion of ministers being restored to office after an affair. I told those on the discussion that I had never personally committed this sin, but that my wife had. I told them that I forgave her and have went on with life. Can you believe that my post was deleted because they said that they cannot have this kind of talk on their board. It makes me wonder how they read the Bible and especially 2 Samuel 11 where David commits adultery. If God can include a testimony of David’s sin in his holy word, then certainly a discussion board could have the testimony of one on it. Unless however that board feels it is higher than God.

Anyway as I stated, I felt convicted about discussion boards before the topic of Michael Jackson came up and I repent of having wasted time sitting in front of them. [My post did not number in the thousands because I am very busy. I do not believe that I even had fifty].

But if someone is still searching for a board to chat on, I do not recommend the two discussion boards of which I have posted against for the simple fact that they do not glorify God.

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Martin Luther

If any man doth ascribe aught of salvation, even the very least, to the free-will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright. Martin Luther


Charles Spurgeon

If your religion does not make you holy, it will damn you. It is simply painted pageantry to go to hell in. Charles H. Spurgeon

 


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John Calvin

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