Good News at Life’s Choices

Good News at Life’s Choices

Good News at Life’s Choices

Planned Parenthood Videos

With the recent release of the Planned Parenthood videos by The Center for Medical Progress, the field of fetal tissue research is under scrutiny. As a spectator to several lengthy heated conversations on the subject, I couldn’t help but notice Pro-Life people seem incapable of articulating a good case against fetal tissue research. Why? Because they are more concerned about building a good case against abortion itself. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But please, people, recognize that it is a thing.

Perhaps one day I’ll write a blog post about abortion and fetal tissue research, but not today. Instead, I’d like to unapologetically take a page from the book of my Pro-Life friends and change the subject.

Is God Pro-Life?

Is God as Pro-Life as Christian, faith-based Pro-Life organizations? This might seem like a disrespectful question, since God is the Author of life, but if we examine traditional Christian doctrine, the question turns out to be not only legitimate but very consequential to the Pro-Life purpose. Planned Parenthood isn’t the only organization that needs to be in the hot seat. Many churches and Pro-Life organizations believe and teach a doctrine more horrifying than anything Planned Parenthood has done — eternal torment in Hell.

But first, here’s an update on the previous blog post. If you haven’t read it, please do so now. Otherwise you may be a little lost.

Life's Choices and The Florida Catholic

Photo by ELIZABETH WILSON, used with permission of FLORIDA CATHOLIC

I recently met with Marcia Daniel, Executive Director of Life’s Choices of Lake County, to gain clarity on some issues before writing this blog.

To both my relief and delight, Life’s Choices of Lake County does NOT require peer counselors to believe and teach the doctrine of eternal torment in Hell — something that happens behind the scenes in many Pro-Life ministries, which automatically excludes believers like me who reject the doctrine.

Marcia explained that procedures and practices have evolved over the past decade. Currently, peer counselors at Life’s Choices may use one of three “tools” to share their faith (none of which mention eternal torment in Hell), or they can choose not to use tools at all, and just tell their story in their own words.  The idea is to introduce each woman to the Maker of the baby inside her and invite her into a relationship with the Creator of all life.

Although I would not use any of these tools, I can see how they might be useful for someone who needs help articulating how they first came to understand Jesus Christ as so much more than just an influential historical figure — as the living Savior of the world Who makes Himself known in a very relevant, personal way to those who believe.

More good news about Life’s Choices

Among the many services Life’s Choices provides free of charge are ultrasounds, thanks to a dedicated group of Catholics.

The ultrasound machine was acquired through the assistance of four local Knights of Columbus councils… Over an 18-month period, the councils held dinners, cooked breakfasts, organized raffles and accepted donations to raise $14,250, which was then matched by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council to purchase the machine for the clinic. — Elizabeth Wilson, Florida Catholic article, “Ultrasound machine offers ‘window to the womb'”

The Apostles’ Creed

Life’s Choices’ board of directors decided to include the Apostle’s Creed as a statement of faith peer counselors can sign if it is more agreeable to them than the original Life’s Choices statement of faith. This demonstrates both a willingness and a practical application of that willingness to include Catholics, and other non-Protestant Christians who want to support the organization, regardless of denomination or differing opinions on peripheral issues.

You can read the Apostles’ Creed here. Interestingly, the earliest creed, recognized by all denominations, does not mention the doctrine of eternal torment in Hell. If you think this is irrelevant, be sure to read the upcoming blog post. The doctrine of eternal torment in Hell subtly yet effectively works against a foundational truth in Pro-Life ministry, that is, the value and dignity of human life.

Common go-to Pro-Life arguments include:
  • Life is a gift from God.
  • Unborn babies are defenseless. We need to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
  • Unborn babies are human beings. God forbids the killing of human beings (murder).
  • The Hippocratic Oath requires medical personnel to save, not destroy human life.
  • An unborn baby is aware and can feel pain.

Each of these arguments finds its basis in the idea that human life is inherently valuable.

“… this horrifying holocaust can be halted if those who value human life, worship the true God…”

— Hank Hanagraff, CRI

And with the above quote, we’ve now come full circle to that seemingly disrespectful question: Is God as Pro-Life as Christian, faith-based Pro-Life organizations? What about the “horrifying holocaust” of eternal torment in Hell? The next blog post will explore these questions.

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 10, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Alice, eternal torment in Hell is still human life as we would call it. Humans do NOT cease to exist when they die, but continue a form of life in a different way. Therefore God is pro-life. Just because GOD calls it the Second Death does not mean people cease to live. GOD calls the life of His believers Eternal Life which He also says is “abundant” life. So the life of the unbeliever is a dead vain life lacking abundance. It is easy to see then that since the unbeliever is living a dead or vain life, his after-life would be properly be called Second Death. Since the believer’s abundant life is lived in communion with and in active oversight of his Creator, it is obvious the unbelievers life is without communion, but only with God’s active oversight. The life of eternal torment is static existence without God’s active oversight, even though God’s presence is necessary to sustain all life. Once in the Lake of Fire the unbeliever cannot do himself or anyone else any harm or good, so God doesn’t need to exercise active oversight; all He needs to do is maintain his life as He does all life. The descriptions of life in the Lake of Fire is self-absorbed pain without regard for anybody else in the same predicament. There will be NO parties in those fires, nobody to heed your screaming. You will be in solitary pain and thirst. You will be basically ignored by God except for the power of everlasting existence. You will know everlasting aloneness with indescribable pain.

    But that’s not the real issue of Pro-Life, which is a function of mortality, so it has nothing to do with your eternal torment fetish. Again you push emotional words that do NOT connect. That’s deceit. You’re a bad, bad girl, Alice. The doctrine of eternal torment doesn’t not diminish the value of human life just because you make that claim without support. Human life was meant to be lived in obedience to God and mankind was made in the image of God to do that. It is the image of God that raises human life above that of animals and gives human life extreme worth. The final destiny of the person does NOT change his worth. You’re playing with emotional words deceitfully to support your lies.

  • Mary Vanderplas August 10, 2015 at 5:19 am

    It’s good to know that this organization is broadly ecumenical, that they’re open to receiving as volunteers persons from across the spectrum of Christian traditions and denominations, as is evidenced by their inclusion of the Apostles’ Creed as a choice of statement of belief for applicants. It’s good to know, too, that they don’t require would-be volunteers to endorse any particular doctrine concerning the final destiny of human beings and thus, as you say, that they don’t exclude persons like yourself, who reject the doctrine of eternal torment. I still question, though, their policy of having volunteers share their faith in Jesus Christ with everyone who comes to them for help. While this would be appropriate in working with those who are of Christian faith or who are open to hearing the Christian message, it would not, in my view, be appropriate for those who are of another faith or for those who are of no faith. It would be far better, in working with these women, to show respect for their faith or their freedom not to believe by refraining from any sort of evangelization. I suppose, though, that an argument can be made that if the organization bills themselves as Christian, those who go to them for help can and should expect to hear about the Christian faith. Still, in my view, it’s better to share the love of Christ by actions than by words with those who, for whatever reason, are not open.

    I think you’re right to question whether affirmation of the sacredness of persons is consistent with belief in eternal torment. It hardly seems right to decry the destruction of human life that abortion is on the grounds that human life is created by God in the divine image and is therefore sacred, while at the same time arguing that God torments eternally – infinitely for finite sins – the very beings he created to bear his image and likeness and whom he loves beyond telling. It might even be argued, given that there is no ambiguity as to the personhood of those who are, according to this doctrine, consigned to eternal torment (in contrast to abortion, where there is ambiguity regarding the personhood of the fetus), that belief in eternal torment is even more to be rejected than abortion is, on the grounds that eternal torment is wholly inconsistent with God’s inestimable valuing of and care for persons.

    • Lanny A. Eichert August 10, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      Poor pitiful Presbyterian Mary doesn’t even believe her religion’s Great Commission.

      • Mary Vanderplas August 11, 2015 at 5:40 am

        The Great Commission neither demands nor sanctions religious coercion. Respecting the right and freedom of people to choose when it comes to religion is part of loving them. It’s also consistent with our nation’s Founders’ intention of religious liberty.

        There are times and places (and ways) to speak a good word for Jesus; there are other times and places when acting in Jesus’ name to help heal and bring hope to the broken and hurting is the better way. This organization is clearly being the hands and feet of Jesus in their community.

        Poor pitiful religious people who think that the measure of their faithfulness is how many souls they “got saved.”

        • Lanny A. Eichert August 11, 2015 at 6:51 am

          Mary, it is sooo obvious you haven’t been saved because your eyes haven’t been opened to your sins. You have a theoretical knowledge of religious theology but no experience of the depth of your depravity. You are not able to say “I abhor myself” with any depth. When I had just entered my twenties I knew I was “dirty” before God and “felt” there was something “wrong” with me before God, but I could not “pin it down” to actually what it was. That reality didn’t come until some one showed me it from the Holy Bible and at the same time God illumined my mind. Mary, I had gone through catechism and had been so faithful in Sunday School that I had seven years of perfect SS attendance, but I didn’t have the realization of the depth of my sins. It takes confrontation for that to happen and just as Nathan had to confront King David for “murdering Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband” it takes “guts” for that to happen. Preaching the Gospel one-on-one requires “button holing” people and “getting down to brass tacks” dealing with the sin issue in their lives which is “core” to Jesus’ death and resurrection salvation. You don’t like the phraseology of “getting saved” because it pains you to realize after nearly your whole life it hasn’t happened to you though you have been so religious. God’s saints know religion is Satan’s best way of “side-tracking” people from realizing their sins and need of the Savour and filling them with twisted terms and language so they will fail to understand evangelical language and get the point. Since Jesus said to seek Him and you will find Him, you need to pray that; and perhaps God will answer by opening your heart to the truth you have so long not been able to see. Please, Mary, pray and seek Him.

          • Mary Vanderplas August 12, 2015 at 5:01 am

            So, how many lives have been changed by your “button-holing” and brainwashing people into adopting an attitude of self-loathing? How many people have been set free to love God and others as a result of your bludgeoning them with their sins and unworthiness before God? How many have become followers of Jesus Christ by your threats of hellfire and damnation for those who refuse to turn around? Don’t waste your time peddling your “depth-of-your-depravity” wares on me. I already know the God revealed in Jesus Christ – the loving, life-giving Lord, who works in his time and way to draw people to himself and transform them by the power of his grace. This God bears not the slightest resemblance to your quick-to-anger, vindictive deity who regards his human creatures as scum of the earth and requires that they grovel before the throne of grace to gain his acceptance. More fundamentalist garbage sold to the unwary…..

            The very last thing I need or seek is to become one of your “those-I-got-saved” conquests.

            • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2015 at 1:44 pm

              Mary, what happened to your Reformed tradition with its doctrine of Total Depravity? Did you jettison it for your God is Love perversion? All the Reformed Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists I know fear an awesomely holy God requiring holiness in His saints and if He doesn’t get seriously minded obedient saints He disciplines them severally or prematurely kills them. Such is seen in both 1 Corinthians 5: 5 and 11: 30. In five physical death is meant as also in eleven.

              For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? {1 Peter 4: 17}

              Now if church saints died for their sins, don’t you think God would severely punitively punish all unbelievers? Whatever happened after Noah completed the ark and after the Angel of the Lord got Lot out of Sodom and Gomorrah? The answer to 1 Peter 4: 17 is the everlasting Lake of Fire without remedy, just as the Bible leaves it in the end of the Book. Just like fire and brimstone destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

              How many, you asked, even after I have time and again quoted Matthew 7: 13, 14, 21 – 23, which is consistent with Total Depravity.

              Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

              Have you forgotten the Revelation 22: 18 and 19 threat the loving Lord Jesus {vs 20} made?

              For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

              That’s your condemnation, Mary, for manufacturing your own version of the true God. You’ve extremely changed His Bible. You badly need to repent and believe the fundamentals. Face it that you don’t like hearing about getting saved because you haven’t ever been saved; you’re just religious, which isn’t enough. Jesus said you MUST be born again and you know you aren’t. Seek and you will find. Pray for God to help you seek with all your heart, so that He may open your heart to the truth.

              • Mary Vanderplas August 13, 2015 at 5:19 am

                Total depravity means that we all are prone to evil and that even our best deeds are not without the corruption of sinful self-interest. It means that we are enslaved by sin and hence are incapable of being fully who God created us to be – people who love God and others wholeheartedly and allow ourselves to be loved – apart from God’s acting to liberate us. It does NOT mean that we can never do any good or that we shouldn’t even try to make the world better. Nor does it mean that we are worthless trash, no longer human, and contemptible in God’s sight. It does NOT warrant self-loathing or a condemnatory attitude toward fellow human beings.

                If you want to talk Reformed theology, I suggest that you get an education. Your comments betray any understanding of the Reformed doctrine of sin. The central emphasis of the Bible and of Christian faith is who we are as human beings created in the divine image and God’s acting in Christ to overcome sin and free us from it – not how terrible we are. Cherry-pick as many verses as you want to try to “prove” your perverse belief that God hates sinful human beings. The truth is that God acted in love to redeem his human creatures, whom he counted worth redeeming. And he loves beyond telling every last one of these ones he created in his image and acted to save. This is the GOOD NEWS of the gospel – Good News about which you, evidently, know nothing.

                • Lanny A. Eichert August 13, 2015 at 8:15 pm

                  Again, Mary, you betray your Reformed theology, because you ignore the several callings. Should I take your “He loves beyond telling every last one of these ones he created in his image and acted to save” as only the “elect” few of Matthew 7: 14? Don’t you know that though all are generally called to salvation, only a few are effectively called and given grace (which overcomes total depravity) to respond correctly? Certainly God saves all His Elect, but leaves the rest to their own condemnation. The Divine Potter (Romans 9) has the sovereign right to make vessels fitted for His wrath as well as His grace. The former He destroys and the latter He blesses. Remember, Mary, God didn’t create totally depraved people, rather they did it to themselves; therefore He has a just cause to be vengeful and poor out His wrath upon them. You jump to a wrong perspective thinking that God creates evil. He uses the propagation of evil people to further develope human history for His glory. Nebuchadnezzar learned that. He is, after all, the King of the universe which includes earth. Alice is always promoting the reign of God for the wrong reasons. You can’t be in line with Alice and Reformed theology, Mary, they are contradictory.

                  • Mary Vanderplas August 14, 2015 at 5:02 am

                    I never contended that “God creates evil” – a perverse notion that you accuse me of having simply to try to deflect attention from your own perverse “God-despises-sinners” doctrine. People sin by their own choice; sin isn’t a fate forced upon us. That we are enslaved by sin hardly means that God is responsible. Christian faith affirms, paradoxically, both that we are responsible and that we are not able not to sin.

                    The issue isn’t what a sovereign God could do if he so chose; it’s what God DID do, which is not arbitrarily choose some and reject others. God chose/chooses and wills the salvation of all. God acted in Christ for the salvation of every last human being, whom he created in his image and loves. God’s love is expressed as wrath against those who continue to live in opposition to him and his ways, because, loving parent that he is, he cannot let them get away with the self-destruction they bring upon themselves when they rebel against him and hurt others. Far from being an expression of God’s hatred, God’s wrath is the expression of his intense love for those he will not give up on. We can be assured that God’s final decision for every person will be both just and loving, and that he is perfectly capable of overcoming all human unbelief and disobedience in order to accomplish his will that all be saved.

                    I’m done reading your crap about God hating sinners. It’s just that: Crap. Fundamentalist garbage designed to scare people into turning from their ways to a cowering service of a tyrant-god. Sell your shitola somewhere else. Don’t imagine for a second that I’m stupid enough or gullible enough to buy it.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 14, 2015 at 5:12 am

                      You’ve made yourself a fantasy god, but the Real One will have you burning forever for your deliberate rejection of His perfect literal Holy Bible.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 15, 2015 at 12:00 am

                      Mary, I knew that statement could trip you up and I thought of explaining you might accuse ME in Romans 9 of having my (Potter) God create evil people. I think you can now understand the sentences that follow it. God in His sovereignty still provides for man’s freedom and yet moves them in their freedom to accomplish exactly what He has planned for human history.

                      Habakkuk had a problem with whom God accomplishes His ways by using wicked people to chastise more advantaged Israel, God’s chosen nation. See 1: 13
                      Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
                      God often used wicked nations to accomplish a good work in His elect nation of Israel. Those wicked people accomplished God’s work God’s way, so doesn’t that mean that totally depraved people are capable of doing good even when it means enslaving and killing Jews? However God didn’t reward them with eternal life, but rather with wrathful vengeance. You know Old Testament Bible history, don’t you? Well what do you think about Romans 1: 18 – 32 if it isn’t the same and we are seeing it happen in the U. S. A. today.

                      You wrote, “The issue isn’t what a sovereign God could do if he so chose; it’s what God DID do” and yet you are deliberately ignorant of human history being that less than 10 % of the world’s population has ever claimed to be Christians since the Ascension. Since God’s track record is to leave >90% lost and destined for the Lake of Fire, you should have serious doubts that God saves everybody He creates; and I mean very serious doubts, serious doubts that do more to support God hating sinners with a purple passion that pours out extremely severe wrath and destruction intended to be permanent and punitive and not the least bit remedial and temporary. You are not much different from the scoffers Peter mentions in 2 Peter 3: 5 – 7 where God using Peter’s pen says, “reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

                      “It’s what God DID do”
                      For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians 1: 21)
                      “It’s what God DID do” to ONLY those who believe. The historical percentage of those who won’t believe is > 90%, dear Mary, and that’s what His wisdom shows. Abraham said (Luke 16: 29 & 31), “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. You, Mary, are not even listening to “Moses and the prophets” and certainly not to Jesus at Matthew 7: 13 where He said “many” go to destruction, not life. God has clearly spoke of TWO kinds of people (believers and unbelievers) and never that the two become one people. Get it, Mary, get it. The majority burn forever in everlasting torment, while His elect few enter His kingdom in grace apart from works.

                      You’ve never engaged the totality of the saints’ sins removed, divorced, from them as far as the East is from the West nor the imputation of Jesus earthly righteousness to His saints. That divorce is permanent for all of time and eternity and so is that imputation. How can you think that I offer cowering service to a tyrant-god when I’ve explained such freedom from sin and the grace (gift) of divine righteousness that is mine by simple faith in His perfect literal Holy Bible? I am free, Free, absolutely free of dread and fear of condemnation in my service and full of holy confidence in the ability of God’s Holy Spirit to keep me IN THE WAY of righteousness. You know that from my previous posts and have been offended to the point of calling me horribly self-righteous. Tell me if you know anything about imputed righteousness. I’ve asked you to underlined Romans 4 where how to get righteousness is fully explained. You are not able to walk with God unless you are as good as God is. You’ve got to be on His level of goodness. So how do you get there?

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 16, 2015 at 5:51 am

                      Even if one assents to the idea of “imputed righteousness,” which I don’t, this idea doesn’t mean that believers no longer sin. The inclination to sin doesn’t just disappear when a person believes and is aware of having been made right with God. The Protestant Reformers taught simul justus et peccator – not the “saints-are-free-from-every-vestige-of-sin” nonsense that you preach. (Your own daily struggle – and failure – to live consistently as God commands should be enough to disabuse you of this ridiculous notion.) This is Protestantism 101.

                      I don’t agree with the idea of imputed righteousness. Since when can righteousness be transferred from one person to another? If God is just, how can it be that he treats those who are in fact guilty as though they are not guilty? God takes our sin seriously; he doesn’t just gloss over it as if it isn’t there. Justification by grace isn’t about guilty people being treated as not guilty; it’s about God working to make things right between us and to free us to become the persons we were created to be. It’s about guilty people being accepted, loved, forgiven – and set free to live the life that God calls us to live in relationship with him and others.

                      To affirm God’s sovereignty in human history and in the history of Israel does not mean that evil through which God works to accomplish his purposes is actually good. This is a perverse notion that has no grounding in the biblical witness. Even when God is portrayed as being at work through the nations to judge his rebellious people – e.g., through Babylon’s rise to power and defeat of Judah – nowhere is it said or implied that God approves of the evil that is committed. Just the opposite: the nations are pictured as being accountable to God. Moreover, God is pictured as being deeply pained by the judgment of his people, not as taking delight in it. As always, you twist the scriptures to make them say what the authors had no intention of saying. And you distort the Bible’s paradoxical affirmation of both divine sovereignty and human freedom-responsibility.

                      To conclude that the differences you observe between people when it comes to their acceptance or rejection of the gospel correspond to God’s choosing or rejecting is arrogantly presumptuous beyond belief. I don’t have anything more to say that I haven’t said repeatedly.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 17, 2015 at 1:33 am

                      Mary, you wrote, “Justification by grace isn’t about guilty people being treated as not guilty; it’s about God working ….” But, Mary, it is PAST tense for God’s saints. I am justifiED {Romans 8: 30 Aorist Active Indicative TWICE} {Romans 5: 1 & 9 Aorist Passive Participle} {1 Corinthians 6: 11 sanctified and justified are both Aorist Passive Indicative} Completed past action.

                      Haven’t you read Romans 4: 17b
                      God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
                      What do you think the word saint means? A holy one, a righteous one.
                      What does justify mean? Declare one just/righteous.

                      Romans 8: 32 – 34
                      He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

                      Since Romans 8: 1 begins with NO condemnation, why isn’t it obvious to you that God treats His believers as not guilty since He calls them righteous holy saints? Is God a Liar? What about the New Covenant statements, Hebrews 8: 12 & 10: 17
                      For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. & And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
                      Guilty people being treated as not guilty? It sure looks that way, won’t you agree?

                      Mary, the conflict of Romans 7: 7 – 23 is still in the Bible, simply put is the good I desire to do, I fail to do, but the evil I don’t want to do, I actually do. God did NOT remove the believer’s old sin nature the moment he got saved, but God ADDED a new nature, the divine nature, which is far more powerful than the old. The new believer learns to delight in the new and hate the old. That’s done by focusing on the blessings of full forgiveness {divorce} of all past, present, and future sins; and the imputation of the perfect life of Christ to his account. That’s FREEDOM from sin/sins and FREEDOM from trying to be righteous. That’s freedom to be spontaneously lead by God’s Holy Spirit without caring about rules/laws. It takes faith to live by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Faith is trusting that God’s Holy Spirit is actually leading him and that leading is indeed holy.

                      But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. {Hebrews 11: 6}

                      This is where you fail even though you know something of the actuality of the doctrine of imputation, you are refusing to assent to it. Instead of reconciling imputed righteousness and total depravity, you choose one over the other. Imputed righteousness is not earned or deserved, but is a pure grace gift to believers and the only way God could justify the ungodly. Forgiveness doesn’t justify because it only removes the negative and leaves a blank slate. Justification requires the addition of positive righteousness and the only thing that qualifies is Jesus’ righteousness. Now God does BOTH to His believer: He removes his sins, all of them, and then He adds the righteousness of Jesus. It is not a transfer because imputation doesn’t take away Jesus righteousness from Him. (In a father/son business the authority of the father is imputed to the son, but the father hasn’t lost any authority, while the son possesses all the authority of the father.) In this way God is able to treat His believers as not only not guilty, but also positively righteous and have them in perfect communion with Himself. God hides Himself from guilty sinners {Isaiah 59: 2} and they cannot commune with God.

                      As long as you refuse to assent to imputation of righteousness, you essentially attempt to gain your OWN righteousness and achieve worthiness and favor from God even though you describe it as partnership with God’s grace. You make God a partner with your sinful progress because you obviously claim communion with God in your IMPERFECTION, which is straight forwardly called sin. You have slandered the holiness of God. The only way around this problem is for God to have made man perfect by redemption at the very moment of conversion. Imputation is integral to justification. You leave it out and you result in a works salvation.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 17, 2015 at 5:20 am

                      My point was that God doesn’t just wink at sin, pretending that guilty sinners are not guilty. Justification is that God acted and acts in Christ to put things right between us and God, so that, knowing ourselves to be accepted, forgiven, loved, we are freed to become what we are not: persons who love God and neighbor wholeheartedly. Imputed righteousness is legal fiction: God closing his eyes to the truth about us, acting as if we’re okay when in fact we’re anything but. It’s a distortion of the doctrine of justification – which says that God acted in Christ to create a right relationship in spite of everything that’s wrong with us.

                      In any case, whether one believes that God pretends we’re okay or that he accepts us in spite of the fact that we’re not okay, the Reformers’ teaching of “simul justus et peccator” stands. Only if you define sin narrowly and moralistically as “all those bad things I don’t do” can you delude yourself into claiming that you’re free from every vestige of sin.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm

                      Mary, from R. C. Sproul’s site,
                      And so with this formula Luther was saying, in our justification we are one and the same time righteous or just, and sinners. Now if he would say that we are at the same time and in the same relationship just and sinners that would be a contradiction in terms. But that’s not what he was saying. He was saying from one perspective, in one sense, we are just. In another sense, from a different perspective, we are sinners; and how he defines that is simple. In and of ourselves, under the analysis of God’s scrutiny, we still have sin; we’re still sinners. But, by imputation and by faith in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is now transferred to our account, then we are considered just or righteous. This is the very heart of the gospel.

                      Just to be careful, Sproul uses “we” speaking of God’s believers, not every created person. Notice he includes imputation as integral to justification. Total justification is what God’s believers have “in Christ” but sin is what they have in the flesh. The Christian life is designed to be lived “in Christ” in God’s Holy Spirit and never in the flesh. Since God promised in the New Covenant to never remember His believers’ sins, neither should God’s believer remember his sins any more; his perspective is on the perfection God HAS (past tense) GIVEN him – to make it the reality of the remainder of his mortality since he received it at his conversion, the moment he stopped believing the wrong stuff and started believing the right stuff.

                      forgetting those things which are behind (my sins), and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Spirit-filled life), I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. {Philippians 3: 13b, 14}

                      No vestige of sin has any right to reign in God’s believer’s life, not even the rememberance of any sin. simul justus is the focus, not et peccator. et peccator keeps God’s believer humble, but simul justus fills God’s believer with great boldness to evangelize – button hole people with the Gospel of full release from sin with the freedom to actually live righteously.

                      Have you forgotten 1 John 1: 7’s last part? “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”
                      Or verse 9’s last part? “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
                      (“us” is only God’s believers, not every created person)

                      The Holy Spirit filled life is incapable of sinning, 1 John 3: 9
                      Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

                      Mary, “in one sense and in another sense” is the solution. God has given His believers a position or standing as sons of God in the same earthly perfection as Jesus. God has brought His believers into a child to parent relationship to handle the condition or state of their sanctification until the redemption of their bodies is completed at their resurrection.

                      O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. {Romans 7: 24b & 25a}

                      Again quoting Sproul
                      But at the heart of the gospel is a double-imputation. My sin is imputed to Jesus. His righteousness is imputed to me. And in this two-fold transaction we see that God, Who does not negotiate sin, Who doesn’t compromise His own integrity with our salvation, but rather punishes sin fully and really after it has been imputed to Jesus, retains His own righteousness, and so He is both just and the justifier, as the apostle tells us here. So my sin goes to Jesus, His righteousness comes to me in the sight of God.

                      Mary, you must assent to imputation of righteousness if you would believe the Gospel, otherwise yours is “another” gospel and a works salvation.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 18, 2015 at 5:13 am

                      I don’t agree with the explanation of justification that says we are “considered just or righteous.” Justification isn’t about God pretending that we’re not guilty – “transferring Jesus’ righteousness to our account” and on this basis considering us not guilty and declaring us morally perfect. It isn’t about legal fiction. It’s about God acting to make us right with him, to heal the relationship that is central to our lives as human beings made in his image and so to free us to become people who live wholeheartedly for God and others. Far from being integral to justification, imputed righteousness is, in my view, a myth, and reflects a distortion of the doctrine.

                      The Protestant Reformers knew that our being justified by grace through faith doesn’t mean that we stop being sinners. They knew that we are at the same time and in the same earthly existence both saints – those who are beloved, accepted, forgiven – and sinners – those who are prone to failing to be the persons God created us to be. This is what simul justus et peccator means. Hear it for what it says, instead of trying to explain away its meaning and instead of denying the inescapable reality of sin in your life.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 18, 2015 at 9:19 am

                      Mary, your doctrine of justification, which says that God acted in Christ to create a right relationship in spite of everything that’s wrong with us, makes you the one that answers the questios in Romans 8: 32 – 34

                      Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?

                      Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? I, Mary do. It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? I, Mary do.

                      Your charge against God’s elect is “everything that’s wrong with us” and you condemn with the same “everything that’s wrong with us.” God justified His elect, but you endeavor to dispute His perfect justification, which results in NO condemnation (verse 1). After God calls His elect righteous, holy, and saints, Mary declares “everything that’s wrong with us” making God a Liar concerning His elect.

                      Why does Ephesians 1: 6 say accepted in the beloved?

                      To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

                      Who is “the beloved”? What is it about the beloved that makes God’s saints acceptable?

                      Can’t you see imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ in this text?

                      Do you see “holy and without blame” in 1: 4 and that is “in him” Who is Jesus?

                      According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

                      Why then do you insist “everything that’s wrong with us” when God doesn’t?

                      I would tend to understand you might mean that justification means a slate blank without any sin, but soon as you add “everything that’s wrong with us” you just added sins to that blank slate again and undid God’s justification. Tell me how your justification works with our sins to make a righty relationship.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 19, 2015 at 5:05 am

                      Justification means that despite the fact that we are hopelessly messed up, God forgives and accepts us. Things are made right between us and God simply because he loves us, not because of anything we do or anything we are. God sees us as we really are and loves us anyway. There is no pretending on God’s part that we are something we’re not – no seeing us “as if” we are not guilty and declaring us to be morally perfect and thus worthy of being saved. Rather, God loves us just as we are and in doing so frees us to live as God calls us to live – loving God and others with our whole selves. Because of what God has done in justifying us, making us right with him, we are no longer alienated and hostile, no longer at war with God, no longer under the threat of judgment. We no longer have to try anxiously to justify ourselves – to prove to ourselves and others that we’re really okay even though we know deep down that we’re not – or to give up in self-condemning despair because we know we can’t.

                      This is all I have to say. It’s my view of justification – the liberating truth of God’s wholly unmerited love in Jesus Christ for guilty sinners.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 19, 2015 at 6:26 am

                      Mary, it appears that your concept of justification is all about God accepting us with “everything that’s wrong with us” without changing us in any way, yet you somehow include forgiveness as God’s whimsical act of love being part of the formula. Your justification has more to do with acceptance than it does with forgiveness and that acceptance based on love has a liberating effect enabling our love for God and one another. You seem to say the lack of acceptance stifles our ability to be good. You seem to mean God’s acceptance is what makes us right with Him and removes from us the threat of judgment. Justification for you doesn’t seem to have any judicial aspect even though you included the words forgiveness and judgment, but no relationship to the Cross. Your last statement seems to define justification merely as God’s whimsical love for guilty sinners.

                      What is forgiveness to you, Mary, if it doesn’t change “everything that’s wrong with us”? I had closed my previous post with “Tell me how your justification works with our sins to make a right relationship” and you hadn’t mentioned sins at all as you make heavy the concept of acceptance and acceptance is that right relationship seems to be your point.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 20, 2015 at 5:06 am

                      Justification has a personal dimension; it isn’t just about the cancellation of (deserved) punishment. It isn’t about guilty parties being seen as and falsely declared not guilty, being absolved of moral responsibility by a judge who is blind to their true condition. It isn’t just about sins and punishment; it’s about relationship. Where before there was alienation and hostility (on our part, not on God’s), now there is a restored relationship between us and God. Things are right between us because of what God in his love has done for us in Christ. The cross is the cost of love, the cost of forgiving us and making things right between us. The result of God’s act is that no longer are we weighed down by the guilt of our sins, no longer are we estranged from God and at war with him, no longer are we under the threat of judgment. We are free – free to become righteous, to meet the demands of a holy God – which are to live wholeheartedly for God and others. There is no legal fiction here, but God’s intentional (and costly) love, acceptance, and forgiveness enabling us to become what his justice requires.

                      It shouldn’t be any surprise to you that I don’t agree with everything that Reformed theology, traditionally conceived, teaches. The idea of imputed righteousness – and an understanding of justification that is narrowly focused on sins and punitive justice – is one of the things I have trouble with, for reasons I’ve stated.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 20, 2015 at 3:52 pm

                      Mary, if I were to ask you what your concept of grocery shopping is, would you describe all the meals with the why’s and how’s you would be able to prepare as a RESULT of that shopping? Yet that’s exactly what you are doing with Justification. You refuse the dictionary (lexicon) definition and describe the benefits. You can’t get the benefits without the action of the definition, dear lady. God cannot forgive sins on a whim because He is just and every sin must have its punishment paid. As you said, God cannot ignore sins. In order for God to forgive our sins, Christ had to substitute Himself in our place and take our punishment. He had to assume our sins and that means our sins had to be imputed to Him: they had to be charged to His account before He could be responsible for them and assume the penalty in His own body and soul. I know you know this and that it really is the imputation of our sins to Christ. You may not admit it, but you know that is the way it is. You stop there and consequently you make God’s believers with a blank slate rather than with holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord {Hebrews 12: 14}. One thief on the cross had no time to develope holy living and yet he was ushered into the presence of his Lord, so how did he get holiness, dear Mary, unless it was instantly imputed to him? If you know the first part is God imputing our sins to Christ and Romans 4 and the Confession declare the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to God’s believer, why will you not assent to it, except you hold out to establish your own righteousness and profane the Gospel of grace. God will GIVE you His righteousness if only you will believe it is His eternal program to do so. The just shall live by faith and that’s the only way to holiness, Mary. Believe or burn. Please, Mary, don’t stop half way. Believe the WHOLE Gospel. Partial faith is no faith at all. You’ve got to go ALL the way with God or you go nowhere with God.

                      Below I gave you Lanny A. Eichert August 19, 2015 at 8:10 pm
                      Mary, the New Testament Greek word most often translated justified is δικαιόω dikaioō
                      The meanings given under G1344 in Strong’s Lexicon
                      1) to render righteous or such he ought to be
                      2) to show exhibit,evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered
                      3) to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

                      Godliness is likeness to God in holiness without which no one is able to commune with God. God’s believers start with it as a pure gift from God and then by continuous faith in that imputed gift their practical lives work it out in practical behavior. Their security is in the judicial fact of double imputation accomplished by God and they progress in sanctification by 1 John 1: 9 as indicated in point V of the Westminster Confession. The Confession isn’t wrong. Mary is wrong in denying it. Is Mary more right than the whole church council? I ask the same question of Alice. Don’t be led astray by your feelings, because as I’ve demonstrated your feelings have distorted even the definition of a word.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 21, 2015 at 5:05 am

                      That you don’t agree with or like my definition of justification doesn’t mean I didn’t define it. Justification is God’s act of loving us, accepting us, forgiving us despite the fact that there is much that is wrong with us and in us. It is not God pretending that we are not guilty and declaring us to be morally perfect and therefore deserving of salvation. It is not, in other words, legal fiction.

                      Guilt isn’t transferrable any more than righteousness is. When was the last time an innocent person was allowed by a court of law to take the punishment for a convicted criminal? Even if this were to happen, would it change the fact that the convicted criminal is guilty? That God in Christ took the punishment for sin upon himself isn’t a matter of our guilt being transferred to him. It isn’t a matter of debts needing to be paid in order for justice to be done. It is, rather, a matter of an amazing, divine love that forgives debts and enables guilty sinners to live as forgiven ones.

                      The thief on the cross didn’t “get holiness.” What he got was the assurance that he was loved, accepted, and forgiven in spite of the fact that he was guilty. He was, as a result, free to stop defending himself or condemning himself and instead to accept himself as a forgiven sinner, a beloved child of God.

                      That I don’t agree that justification is a matter of God transferring to us the righteousness of Christ doesn’t mean that I try to establish my own worth and acceptability. I’ve already said more than a few times that it is God’s act alone – not anything we are or do – that makes us right with him. By God’s free grace in Christ we are declared and made right with God.

                      People are more than parties in a court of law. Accordingly, justification is more than a legal-moral concept; it is more than our being declared not guilty and escaping the penalty of our sins. There is a personal dimension: a reconciling change in the relationship between the forgiver and the forgiven.

                      The notion that Jesus took the punishment for sin upon himself to satisfy the justice of a Judge who is against us is unbiblical. If it’s appropriate to talk about justice being satisfied at all, it must be said that God in Jesus satisfied his just judgment against us by taking the punishment for sin upon God’s self. Jesus didn’t buy off an angry God. Jesus’ death expressed the love of God; in Jesus, God himself acted to fulfill the reconciliation between sinful humanity and God.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 21, 2015 at 5:11 am

                      In the fifth paragraph in my last post, I should have written that justification is more than our being falsely declared not guilty (the word “falsely” added).

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm

                      Mary, is the “much that is wrong with us and in us” a function of our violation of God’s law? {Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3: 4} Is it a legal function?
                      Compare your “That God in Christ took the punishment for sin upon himself isn’t a matter of our guilt being transferred to him” with “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” {1 Peter 2: 24}; “our sins in His own body” surely seems like a transference from us to Him, doesn’t it? Also “He shall bear their iniquities” {Isaiah 53: 11 last part} and the word “justify” occurs in that verse followed by the word “for” signifying justification is accomplished by Christ suffering the actual penalty for our sins and applied by the sure knowledge that He did so. Verse 5 “the chastisement of our peace was upon him” further establishes Substitutionary Atonement: Christ substituted Himself for us in judgment suffering the actual sentence for our sins. If Jesus didn’t pay our sin debt (sentence) God could not be just in forgiving His believers because His forgiveness would just be whimsical love without judicial merit. That’s where you are: human whimsical forgiveness based on emotion rather than reason, judicial reason. You reduce God to human levels of irrationality. Mary, sin is judicial misconduct and requires a judicial solution before forgiveness can be offered. God’s justice must be satisfied before He is able to offer mercy and grace. Since God knew before the ages Christ would take upon Himself all our sins with all its guilt and suffer the just penalty for it all, He could on that legal grounds administer mercy and grace, limited to the non-elect, but unlimited to His elect. His elect are reconciled as a result of being justified. Justification and reconciliation are distinctly different transactions accomplished by God.
                      Your idea of forgiveness involves no judicial punishment for the sin forgiven, yet in your idea God still holds that sin forever in remembrance. Is Isaiah 43: 25; Jeremiah 31: 34; Hebrews 8: 12 & 10: 17 wrong in saying God will not remember the sins of His New Covenant people?
                      Regardingthe thief on the cross is Hebrews 12: 14 also wrong in saying without holiness no man shall see the Lord?

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 22, 2015 at 6:20 am

                      “If Jesus didn’t pay our sin debt God could not be just in forgiving” you say. The fact is that there is nothing just about penal substitution. To punish the guilty is just. To punish the innocent, as Jesus undoubtedly was, is anything but just. If God intended to punish the Son through what was done to him by Pilate and the others, then God is not just in the sense of retributive justice. The theory of penal substitutionary atonement is a contradiction in itself. Moreover, to argue that our guilt was somehow transferred to Jesus (an incredible notion) is equally problematic in terms of an assertion of justice in any meaningful sense of the term. What happens to moral responsibility when the guilt of the guilty is simply transferred to another? Justice goes straight out the window. For you to assert that penal substitution is necessary for justice to be upheld is plainly ridiculous.

                      Granted, the Bible uses legal imagery to convey what happened in the cross of Christ. (It also uses other kinds of imagery: sacrificial, financial, military.) But whatever this imagery is meant to convey, it is NOT that certain legal requirements must be fulfilled, our sins must be paid for, in order for God to love and forgive us. The Bible teaches that God’s love for us is expressed in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us – not that his death secured God’s love and forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t something that must be wrung out of God. It is freely given by the One whose was willing to suffer with us and for us in the pain and alienation of our sin to show us his love. There is nothing whimsical about the forgiving love of God for sinners. It is an intentional, costly love that suffers with and for us – making things right between us and freeing us for a new beginning with God, others, and ourselves.

                      Sin is more than judicial misconduct. It has a personal dimension: messed-up relationships with God and others. There is no separating justification from reconciliation. God’s justifying grace in Christ doesn’t just enable our escape from a legal penalty; it heals the relationships that are at the heart of what’s wrong with us.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 22, 2015 at 12:53 pm

                      Mary, let’s go to the Dairy Queen; I’m buying! Mary says that’s unjust; I say that’s grace. Where’s the justice? BOTH treats are paid. Sure, it was unjust for me to pay the price of Mary’s treat, but it was just as just for Mary to eat her treat (because is was paid) as it was for me to eat my treat. Likewise it was unjust to Jesus to endure the Cross, but it was just for God to forgive me because my legal penalty was fully endured by Christ. God’s FORGIVENESS was made just by Christ’s gracious suffering for me.
                      Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. {Romans 3: 24 – 26}
                      Notice justification is by the grace of the redemption price paid by Jesus Christ, which was a satisfaction: God satisfied by Christ’s substitutionary suffering the sinner’s sentence for his sins.
                      He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. {Isaiah 53: 11}
                      Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. {1 Peter 2: 24}
                      But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. {Isaiah 53: 5}
                      I called you to reckon with these texts and the following, but you didn’t.
                      God’s forgiveness is so complete He calls it never again remembering, unlike our, I’ll forgive you, but I won’t forget it.
                      I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. {Isaiah 43: 25}
                      And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. {Jeremiah 31: 34}
                      For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. {Hebrews 8: 12}
                      And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. {Hebrews 10: 17}
                      AND #2) SINS NEVERMORE REMEMBERED?
                      Why won’t you assent to it, except you seek your own righteousness instead of Jesus’ imputed righteousness?
                      You wrote, To punish the guilty is just. Is that what you want: to be thrown as trash into the Lake of Fire? That’s the end result of your statement no matter which way you slice it. If Jesus wasn’t legally punished in your place, then you must be punished with everlasting torment. God cannot ignore His sentence against you on the basis of gracious love no matter the suffering of Christ at Pilate’s hand. Wow, did you miss the real suffering of Christ {Psalm 22: 1; Matthew 27: 46; Mark 15: 34} when He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” That’s the moment our guilt was imputed to Him and He bore our iniquities. Human brutality did not compare to God’s {Isaiah 53: 10} Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.
                      WHAT SAYS THESE SCRIPTURES, Mary? Will you continue to make excuses for God? Or will you at last believe that Jesus suffered and died in your place?

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 23, 2015 at 5:16 am

                      Stop skirting the issue. If the cross is God’s plan and is divine punishment – Jesus paying the legal penalty for our sins – then God is not just. There is no justice in the punishment of the innocent. There is a word for this: abuse. If a child commits an offense and the parent responds by punishing the offender’s sibling, would anyone in his right mind contend that the parent had acted justly? Even if the sibling had willingly asked to take the punishment for her guilty brother/sister, would this make the punishment of the innocent child fair or take away the guilt of the offender? Face it – penal substitution is nearly impossible to swallow. Likewise, the notion of our guilt being imputed to Christ so that we who in countless ways have turned from God and hurt others and destroyed ourselves are seen as not guilty renders utterly meaningless our being created as morally responsible agents. Again, say what you will about our guilt being transferred to Christ, but don’t insult the intelligence of readers by attaching the word “justice” to it. (The injustice of Jesus being punished for the sins of humanity hardly compares to the “injustice” of someone being treated to ice cream. Really???)

                      The Romans 3 text says nothing at all about divine justice being satisfied by Christ’s substitutionary suffering to pay the penalty for our sins. What it says is that God acted to provide the sacrifice; God took our sin and its painful consequences upon himself and thus overcame them. There is nothing here of the justice of an angry Judge needing to be satisfied before he can grant forgiveness. That notion is nothing less than pagan heresy. We are saved or redeemed from the sin that separates us from God, not from an angry God seeking retribution.

                      The Bible does not teach that the sacrifice of Jesus was a necessary condition for God to forgive us. It teaches that the cross was the supreme expression of God’s love for us, the demonstration of God’s willingness to take into his own self our pain and sin and alienation in order that we would know his forgiving love and be free to return his love and to love others and ourselves wholeheartedly. This is the gospel – God acted to make things right so that we are no longer burdened by guilt or alienated from God and hostile toward him. We are free!

                      Your god is small and legalistic, and begrudges love. This is hardly the God revealed in Jesus Christ – who loves us so much that he bore our sins and pain as the cost (not the condition) of our becoming whole.

                      I’m done on this. I’ve said all – and then some – I have to say.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 24, 2015 at 12:28 am

                      Skirting the issue, Mary? FORGIVENESS of sinners is made just by Christ suffering the sinners’ penalty. I didn’t say it was just that God punish Christ, but I did say it was gracious. My fifth line down beginning with “Likewise”, do you see it? God is just in justifying His believers because Jesus suffered their penalty in substitution satisfying God’s legal demand UPON THE SINNER. Isaiah 53: 11 bares witness with Romans 3: 24 – 26.

                      Mary, you wrote, “The Romans 3 text says nothing at all about divine justice being satisfied”, so what then is “a propitiation”? what is “declare his righteousness”? what is “the remission”? Show me that they are not about divine justice, please.

                      Up to now you’ve been trying to skirt 1 Peter 2: 24 even writing “God took our sin and its painful consequences upon himself” yet you will not write “in his own body on the tree” leaving your claim without any sure meaning, meaningless. When, where, and how did He overcome them, our sin and consequences? Your Jesus overcame our sin/consequences, but did NOT satisfy God’s just punishment against the guilty sinner for his sins, am I correct? You think that makes it possible for sinners to overcome their sins by following Jesus example? What exactly is Jesus’ example that they are supposed to follow? Remember Jesus was perfect in mortality and sinners are not, so what makes you think they have a chance to suceed? When He took our sins the way you think, did He cease to be perfect?

                      Further down you wrote, “God’s willingness to take into his own self our pain and sin and alienation in order that we would know his forgiving love and be free” without telling how that could possibly free a sinner in slavery to his sinful nature. You expect the simple knowledge of God’s love to free a man from the slavery of sin? Mary, I don’t think you have any concrete idea what God’s salvation is. You expect “Love conquers all”, but how you don’t know. God gave us a Book to tell us clearly how. Substitutionary Atonement taught in the perfect literal Holy Bible. Abraham offered Isaac, saved by the substitute ram caught in the thicket, received as raised from the dead. Poor Mary, unable to believe the Scriptures and be fundamentally born again.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

                      Mary, why in Leviticus 4 & 5 did the person bringing the animal sacrifice place his hands on the head of the animal? It was to identify himself and particularly his sin with the animal, transferring his sin to that animal in a figure, which figure is actualized in Jesus, the Lamb of God, our substitutionary sin-bearer. That animal died instead of the sinner. That animal died as a substitute. That innocent animal paid the sinners sentence of death for the sinner’s sin.

                      It was therefore necessary that the PATTERNS of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the HEAVENLY THINGS THEMSELVES with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into HEAVEN ITSELF, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
                      Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in once into the HOLY PLACE, having obtained eternal redemption for us. {Hebrews 9: 23, 24, & 12}
                      Whom God hath set forth to be a PROPITIATION through faith in HIS BLOOD, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God {Romans 3: 25}

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 24, 2015 at 1:30 am

                      Mary, WHY blood shed?
                      And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. {Hebrews 9: 22} Remission/forgiveness by God is impossible apart from blood and that’s a LEGAL requirement God places on it.
                      You, on the other hand, are not requiring any legal prerequisites for you to forgive anybody and that’s why you have blinders to Biblical salvation. You are interpreting the Bible according to your own sphere of life. When it comes to the things of God, you must learn His method of doing things. He requires Blood. Christianity is a bloody religion and many modern sophisticated people recoil from it for that reason. Nevertheless, God must have it His way and His way is by faith in the literal legal Blood of Jesus Christ shed for our sins. The only way to get there is by the literal imputation of our sins to Jesus’ human body, soul, and spirit. Please, I beg you to learn salvation God’s way not your modern liberal way. I hope you will see the sense in this.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 24, 2015 at 2:35 am

                      Mary, the Blood of Christ is active in Biblical eschatology, so Hebrews 9: 22 still applies now.
                      These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. {Revelation 7: 14}
                      And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. {Revelation 12: 11}

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 24, 2015 at 5:21 am

                      Penal substitution is premised on the idea that God is just and that the justice of God is such that it demands that wrongdoers be punished (i.e., retributive justice). But the theory posits that instead of punishing the guilty, God punished the innocent. There is in this theory an internal contradiction that you refuse to admit. The escape route – that Jesus was guilty because the sins of humanity were transferred to him – is equally problematic, totally sabotaging any idea of moral responsibility. This is my point – which you have not addressed. Punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty isn’t grace; it’s abuse. Only if one asserts that God himself in Jesus satisfied his just judgment against us by taking it on himself can it be said to be grace. It cannot be legitimately called grace if Jesus is put forward (even if he willingly assents) to satisfy the justice of an angry God – as you contend. It is God in his unfathomable love for us who acts to heal the alienation between sinful humanity and God.

                      Romans 3:25 says that Jesus’ blood is the sacrifice of atonement. It says also that God put forward Jesus – meaning that Jesus’ self-offering is God’s self-offering. There is nothing here of a sacrifice being necessary to satisfy the justice of God or to effect a change in God from hostility to love toward us. The notion of offering sacrifices to appease the angry gods is entirely pagan and has nothing to do with biblical faith. Jesus’ offering of himself was for the purpose of ending our hostility toward and alienation from God. The idea of the shedding of blood points to our guilt, to the seriousness of our sin, and our need for reconciliation. It emphasizes the depth of Jesus’/God’s love for us and the cost he was willing to pay to heal the alienation between us.

                      Jesus died to prove God’s love for us. He died to show us that even though we have offended God, he still loves us and forgives us and is willing to do what it takes to make things right between us. By his death, the alienation between us has been healed. In the cross, God took into his own self our pain and sin and alienation and nullified them, as it were, restoring the relationship between God and us. This is the good news of the gospel – the news that the God who has always loved us has created a new situation by which we have been brought near to God and are being made whole.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

                      Mary, I am well aware that you have a moral responsibility issue with Substitutionary Atonement and I had written a response to it, but I never posted it and deliberately deleted it, because the real issue is what the Scriptures say. That’s what I’ve been pushing you to reckon and you avoid it by attaching a higher priority to your human logic than God’s words. Faith is believing what God said even when we don’t understand it. {Hebrews 11: 8} By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. The answer is a simple question, Will you believe the spelt words of God’s perfect literal Holy Bible? Will you believe Isaiah 43: 25; 53: 5 & 11; Jeremiah 31: 34; Romans 3: 24 – 26; Hebrews 8: 12 & 10: 17; and 1 Peter 2: 24 as previously posted? You won’t because you won’t even believe the the Westminster Confession of Faith due to your logic.

                      Romans 3: 25 “set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood” is not effective where there is no faith to receive it, therefore the unbeliever is guilty under the Law. There’s your moral responsibility.

                      But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. {Galatians 3: 22 – 25} The Law concluded all under sin, but when a person is converted to Christ by faith, that new believer is removed from moral responsibility to the Law and placed under the Holy Spirit with his new heart into which God has placed His eternal moral absolutes. He has a new relationship to God now as a child and is so disciplined by God’s Holy Spirit. 1 John 1: 7 – 9 becomes his practical experience growing in holiness.

                      Mary, just because Jesus died doesn’t mean everybody’s going to heaven. Faith is required to believe it and make it effective. You appear to reject this knowledge and remain ignorant. Back to basics: Jesus became our substitute sin-bearer taking our punishment in our place so that all who receive it by faith will be set free from the guilt, penalty, and power of sin to live a spontaneously godly life. Those who don’t receive it are under the condemnation of the Law.So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. {Hebrew 9: 28} The reference to the second time without sin makes clear the He took our sins into His own body, soul, and spirit as per Isaiah 53: 11 and 1 Peter 1: 24 as our sin offering.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 25, 2015 at 1:09 am

                      Mary, your statement, “But the theory posits that instead of punishing the guilty, God punished the innocent” lacks completion. The Innocent by prearrangement accepted the plan of willfully substituting Himself in the legal place of the guilty. God is One and there is no possibility of disagreement within the Godhead.
                      Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. {John 10: 17 & 18}
                      For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit {1 Peter 3: 18}
                      Mary, you cannot divorce Jesus’ death from the context of substitutional legal propitiatory animal sacrifices of which His death is the antitype as the Scriptures make plain. His death was likewise substitutional, legal, and propitiatory. That’s the method God set in motion and Jesus fulfilled it. You have no right to deny it on a logical base. The Scriptures say that God does it this way. Believe it or burn.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 25, 2015 at 5:29 am

                      The real issue is that you don’t have an answer for the fact that your doctrine of penal substitution is a glaring contradiction in itself – stating that God is a God of retributive justice while at the same time averring that he acts in a way that is outrageously unjust. That the Son willingly accepted the punishment is irrelevant. As long as you see the death of Christ as the Son being punished in order to appease the wrath of God, God is unjust.

                      The real issue is that your perfect literal holy inerrant Bible apparently lacks the command to love God with our whole selves, including our MINDS – a command that makes it right and good to use our minds to understand the truth of God revealed in scripture and to question interpretations of God’s truth that are irrational.

                      The real issue is that you embrace legal fiction when it comes to what God in Christ has done for us – imagining that God pretends that we are not guilty based on an “exchange” of guilt and righteousness between Christ and believers. (Dream on – your imagining doesn’t change the reality that you are a sinner – simul justus et peccator.)

                      The real issue is that you have an impoverished understanding of God whereby his love and forgiveness are (grudgingly) given only on the condition that the legal penalty for our sins has been paid.

                      The real issue is that you see that death of Christ as a three-party transaction (Christ reconciling an angry God with sinful humanity) instead of as the two-party transaction that it was – the Judge taking the sentence on himself, the Priest sacrificing his own life – and therefore as an expression of God’s unlimited love that forgives debts more than a fulfillment of a legal demand that debts be paid.

                      The real issue is that your understanding of reconciliation is twisted, with God being the One who needs to be reconciled to us (and accordingly, Jesus’ self-offering being the means of appeasing God so that God is won over to our side) instead of our being in need of reconciliation (and Jesus’ self-offering being God’s gracious act to heal our alienation and hostility).

                      The real issue is that you reduce sin to “those bad things that people do” instead of seeing its personal dimension – i.e., the broken and twisted relationships that are the source of the bad things we do – and the thing about us that is most in need of healing and changing.

                      The real issue is that you read the poetic language of the Bible used to describe the self-offering of the Servant (Isaiah 53), which consists of both juridical (sin-punishment-reconciliation) and medical (disease-wound-healing) imagery, and which the church claimed for its faith in Jesus the Savior, and turn it into hard doctrinal explanation, a “theory of atonement.”

                      The real issue is that you turn faith into a requirement that must be fulfilled in order to make Christ’s sacrifice effective – thereby making salvation something that is earned instead of the free gift that it is.

                      The real issue is that you falsely imagine Christians who believe exactly as you believe as being able to live perfectly the life in Christ.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 25, 2015 at 6:34 pm

                      Mary, is God the supreme Judge of humanity? Is God’s judgment always just? Is it justice to lovingly forgive a guilty person and therein require no retribution? You accuse me of an unjust theology, but what about yours? Does your view of God violate justice by His forgiving without retribution? Is there full justice in your view of God? Isn’t it true that your view of God is void of retribution because of love and forgiveness? Why then are you in line with Alice’s everybody goes through the Lake of Fire? Because you agree with her that it is remedial and not punitive, isn’t that correct? Because you agree with her that everlasting has an end? Because you emotionally want it that way and ignore the perfect literal Holy Bible while advancing your own intellect, because you found friends among liberals. What is the foundation upon which you build your theology? Bottom line, isn’t it human wisdom?

                      Now I build mine on the perfect literal Holy Bible before the Judge of all the earth Who will not acquit the guilty {Nahum 1: 3 & Numbers 14: 18}. My God saves because Christ paid the penalty of God’s believers releasing them from retribution and securing for them paradise guaranteed because His Holy Spirit guarantees their holy endurance to the end. God’s believers are thus privileged to enjoy the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ unto them by grace as their perfection and guaranteed communion with their Lord God. (I had asked you to underline all the occurances of imputed righteousness and righteousness by/of faith in Romans 4.) God’s believer is MADE specifically God’s righteousness and claims to be as good as Jesus is. This is not pretend, but a real transaction received by faith.

                      For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. {2 Corinthians 5: 21}

                      See what you miss by not believing the Bible and having no sure foundation for your faith? Your salvation is never completed, but mine is forever done and guaranteed. You can’t claim Jesus’ words, “It is finished.”

                      Bottom line is you have NO salvation, but I do. You may change that by going to Alice’s dad’s Fundamental Baptist Church and learning the right theology and getting saved. It’s believe or burn. Please, Mary, stop being stubborn and learn from God the way of imputed righteousness. The Confession is not wrong.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 26, 2015 at 5:08 am

                      My understanding of God is void of retribution because God’s justice is a LOVING JUSTICE. It is not the justice of a legalistic judge or a vengeful tyrant. It is the justice of a parent who loves his child too much to let the child get away with the self-destruction he brings upon himself when he rebels and disobeys. The judgment of God is never for the purpose of seeking retribution but restoration and salvation – as the loving parent administers tough discipline for the purpose of calling the wayward child back from his self-destructive ways to a way of life and relationships that are life-enhancing. Your view of God as a legalistic judge who rigidly enforces the demands of the law without regard for the well-being of the law-breakers doesn’t square with the Bible’s picture of the merciful Judge whose compassion for his human creatures is expressed even in his exercising of judgment.

                      You read imputation and perfection into the biblical text. Paul is talking about God in Christ bearing our sin and its painful consequences, absorbing it into himself, so that we may go free and become free. He is not talking about sin or righteousness being imputed or transferred. The point is that Jesus’ death was the means of our restoration, ending the alienation and hostility/distrust of God that characterized humanity in its relationship to its Creator and freeing us for new relationships with God, others, and ourselves.

                      It isn’t just the “good” people like you and your kind who are justified; according to Romans 4:5, it’s the bad people, the ungodly, who are accepted and forgiven.

                      Lanny Eichert, font of spiritual wisdom, paragon of holiness, possessor of superior reasoning powers, at his brightest and best: “Mary, is God the supreme Judge of humanity?….Bottom line is you have NO salvation….” Yup, think I’ll run right over to your fundamentalist church so I can stop advancing my own intellect, get saved, and become just like you…..

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 26, 2015 at 10:38 am

                      Mary, WHEN did YOU go free and become free. Give me a certain date: day, month, year, when you became free. Became means you once were not free, but on a certain day you were free. Exactly when was that? Thereafter you were always free, right? Or do you mean you can go free any time you want and you can be free any time you want? So please list the day(s) you are free. Is my request too rigid and legalistic? When did God stop you from the self-destruction you were bringing upon yourself? Did God stop you or is He still trying to get you to stop?

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 26, 2015 at 5:57 pm

                      Mary, today’s news murderer of two news persons would not be justly sentenced by your loving God to everlasting torment in the Lake of Fire, would he? You don’t think your loving God would be just in applying everlasting retribution of torment in the Lake of Fire without remedy for this murderer?

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 27, 2015 at 3:11 am

                      Mary, when a person is set free from prison, it happens at a certain minute, hour, day, month, and year. What day were you made free by God’s salvation?

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 27, 2015 at 5:05 am

                      I’ve already said that this isn’t what God’s JUSTICE is. God’s justice is non-retributive. God doesn’t hate or will the destruction of anyone; he loves and wills the salvation of all. That God’s justice is a loving justice is shown in that the Judge took the sentence for our sins on himself, or stood with us in the destruction we bring on ourselves when we rebel against God and live contrary to God’s purposes. It isn’t for me or you or anyone to decide how God will judge this person or any other sinner. The only thing that can be said is that God’s judgment of this person and every person will be both just and loving.

                      If there is hope for me, then there is hope for this sinner. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All of us would be counted among the wicked destined for damnation if salvation depended on our perfect conformity to God’s law that we love God and our neighbors with our whole selves. Our only hope is that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. You delude yourself into thinking that you are somehow different from and superior to sinners. Wake up: self-righteous jerks who take delight in the thought of “those wicked people burning in hell” are as much in need of grace as murderers.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 27, 2015 at 5:06 am

                      I was set free 2,000 years ago – circa A.D. 33 – when Jesus of Nazareth, the sinless Son of God, died on the cross and rose again. (The exact date of his death isn’t known. The time of day was 3:00 p.m.) I entered the life of faith when I was a child (and later, when I was in graduate school, reaffirmed my trust in God’s love), receiving the gift of assurance of God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance setting me free. I am daily becoming free, experiencing the justifying and sanctifying grace of God forgiving my sins and enabling me to grow in the Christian life.

                      So, I don’t meet your fundamentalist criteria for being saved, right? The thing that will be trashed and burned in your Lake of Fire is your fundamentalist bull crap by which everyone but you (and your cronies) stands condemned.

                      I’m done wasting time engaging with you.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 27, 2015 at 9:37 am

                      Mary, I repeat
                      Lanny A. Eichert August 14, 2015 at 5:12 am
                      You’ve made yourself a fantasy god, but the Real One will have you burning forever for your deliberate rejection of His perfect literal Holy Bible.

                      You have no fundamental foundation, no truth, and no salvation, Mary. You’re irrecoverably doomed.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm

                      Mary, thank you for the extensive demonstration of how vague your ideas about God and salvation are thanks to your liberalism which allows you to disregard specific words of the Holy Bible and the Westminster Confession of Faith typical to Presbyterians. I had hoped you’d see your inability and need for certainty, which is so obvious to any reader of our dialogue.

                      Unlike yours, Fundamental Biblical Christianity has a solid foundation in the perfect literal spelt words of the Holy Bible, so that we, Fundies, are able to nail down with certainty exactly when individual salvation occurs and exactly what absolute everlasting changes occur at conversion. This certainty makes easy discerning who they are that are going to hell because they haven’t been born again since they haven’t yet stopped believing the wrong stuff and started believing the truth. I had wished through our dialogue you wouldn’t be one of them. In proper fashion I warn you: believe or burn.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm

                      Psalm 11
                      In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
                      For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
                      If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
                      The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
                      The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
                      Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
                      For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

                      **but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.**
                      **Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest**
                      **the portion of their cup**

                    • Lanny A. Eichert August 28, 2015 at 12:46 am

                      I wish to call the readers’ attention to Mary’s statement: “I entered the life of faith … receiving the gift … setting me free. I am daily becoming free ….” Am becoming is a continuous action present tense verb indicating she hasn’t yet gotten free. That does NOT sound like deliverance/salvation has taken place, but rather has been in progress for a long, long time and may never be completed in her mortal life-time. She’s still working on it. That also doesn’t look like much hope of success at her age.

                • Lanny A. Eichert August 14, 2015 at 4:11 am

                  Mary, (Amos 3: 3) Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Communion and fellowship with God requires man to be perfectly like God. God will accept no short-comings at all. To quote you, “we are enslaved by sin and hence are incapable of being fully who God created us to be.” And “even our best deeds are not without the corruption of sinful self-interest.” You also wrote, “apart from God’s acting to liberate us.” That’s conversion, dear lady. That’s being born again. That’s getting saved. There’s a human element in that and it is called faith which is man’s believing response to God’s provision of liberation: the Blood and the Cross. God is unable to save you without you receiving His gift, Jesus Christ as Lord of Mary on the intimate level. Then and only then will He remove your sins from you as far as the East is from the West and also charge to your account on His ledger book in heaven the righteousness of Jesus’ earthly life. Then and only then will you be fit to commune and fellowship with God. Forget any effort you would make to keep laws or rules because such works to establish your own righteousness instead of receiving God’s gift of Jesus righteousness which is the righteousness which is of faith.

                  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10: 3 & 4)

                  Mary, For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4: 3) Read the rest of the chapter and underline counted to him for righteousness, his faith is counted for righteousness, faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness, the righteousness of the faith, that righteousness might be imputed unto them also, the righteousness of faith, imputed to him for righteousness, it shall be imputed, if we believe on him. Mary, when you stop believing the wrong stuff about Jesus and start believing the right stuff, God will declare you righteous; that’s the only way to be justified and regenerated. You have to let go of everything and come to Jesus with nothing, no baggage of works-religion depending on God to make without sinful interest. It is God’s way or God’s wrath. And yes, His wrath burns hot against all who refuse to believe/trust only His Son for salvation.

                  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3: 36)

                  He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but THE WRATH OF GOD IS CONTINUALLY REMAINING ON HIM.

                  You are worthless trash as long as you are unbelieving and the wrath of God is continually remaining on you.

                • Lanny A. Eichert August 14, 2015 at 4:37 am

                  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;

                  He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

                  He hath loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword:

                  His truth is marching on.

                  Glory! glory! Hallelujah!

                  Hallelujah, the truth is His wrath is actively applied today to all unbelievers.

    • Alice Spicer August 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      I think I’m going to quote you in the upcoming blog post, Mary.

      • Mary Vanderplas August 11, 2015 at 5:41 am

        How nice. Thanks.

      • Stephen Helbig August 12, 2015 at 11:31 pm

        Mary, your comment above is truly one of the best I’ve seen in a while. A truly inspired response to the false preaching of “another gospel” spoken of by Paul and revealed in Jesus Christ! ~ It’s good to see the brightness of the armor of God being worn by you, and the readiness to answer every man that asks of the reason of the hope that is in you ~ Let your speech always be with grace, and if needed seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. ~ 🙂

  • Mary Vanderplas August 10, 2015 at 5:30 am

    How neat that they even do ultrasounds. Sounds like a wonderful organization that is doing great good.

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 10, 2015 at 6:16 am

    What a corrupt twosome you two, Alice & Mary, make unable to see the contrast between an innocent baby and an old settled unbelieving rebel against God. The latter deserves ET, but the former life.

    Have you forgotten that Moses’ and Elijah’s conversation with Jesus witnessed by His disciples ruins your Universal Reconciliation heresy because it proves conscious active up-to-date post-mortem awareness hundreds of years after departure from mortal life and the literalness of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, thus proving by Jesus’ own words people are burning in hell right now and never will get out. If they won’t hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they hear Jesus who rose from the dead. They will never choose to “hear” which is believe, which is the faith necessary to be saved; neither in this life nor the next. There’s no post-mortem salvation. Your heresy will not work. You haven’t yet nor will you ever be able to prove otherwise.

    • Alice Spicer August 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      I was under the impression that you believed babies to be born sinful (not innocent). Correct me if I am mistaken.

      • Lanny A. Eichert August 11, 2015 at 1:10 am

        “unaccountability” if you please
        Moses and Elijah still prove you all wrong, “Poor Sly Lying Alice”

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 10, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Alice, in the colleges where immature adult minds away from home for the first time think their sins will not be exposed have staff turning regret into rape for them. From a news article today:

    A Title IX officer at the school is quoted during a presentation she gave to the woman who later accused John Doe. The Title IX officer is alleged to have said “regret equals rape” and “went on to state her belief that this point was a new idea everyone, herself included, is starting to agree with.”

    What a show of women not taking responsibility for their own actions. They got themselves into compromising situations which they regret and accuse a man for their own indiscretions. It is a “new” idea which “everyone” is starting to agree with. Sure, put the blame on some one else. That’s VERY popular when you don’t like the results. Whether it is an unflattering reputation or a pregnancy.

    If the Biblical standard of virginity were taught at home and popularized in culture, young men would not have to fear proving themselves innocent solely based on an accusation. There’d also be a whole lot less fornication and adultery in society. But no, Alice says it “is the control and subjugation of women … through an overemphasis on the hymen.” So she volunteers at Life’s Choices to undo women’s freedom and rebellion against their Creator. Alice’s “overemphasis” statement leaves me to wonder if she and her children lost their virginity before they married because they value it so little and are void of Christian morality. Yes, void of Christian morality also means void of any meaningful Christianity at all.

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 11, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    From the news, Alice, which fits your no criticism stance,

    Requirements outlined in DJJ Policy 912, Section IV, Paragraph H, regarding the treatment of LGBTQI youth:
    The Kentucky regulation clearly states that volunteers working with juveniles “shall not refer to juveniles by using derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community. DJJ staff, volunteers, interns and contractors shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

    A blatantly abominable life style is acheiving protected status by the state one inch at a time.

    • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death {Romans 1: 32}
      KNOWING THE JUDGMENT OF GOD, that they which commit such things ARE WORTHY OF DEATH
      What things? The things the LGBTQI community does.
      The New Testament Holy Bible says “gays” are worthy of death and that’s God’s judgment of them.

      Why, Alice, will you not oppose and condemn them? God condemns them from Genesis through the Revelation.

      According to that last verse in Romans chapter one, the only good “gay” is a dead one.

      • Alice Spicer August 12, 2015 at 7:45 pm

        Because I am not God. Because I do unto others as I would have them do unto me. Because the Holy Bible condemns EVERYBODY.

        • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2015 at 7:51 pm

          Very poor answer, Alice, if you were a Christian agreeing with God and His Word at Romans 1: 32. You hate God’s words and refuse to agree with Him. He killed Ananias & Sapphira on the spot for tell a conceived lie. They were worthy of physical death just like “gays” are worthy of physical death. You better get in line with God’s values or you’ll burn forever in the L:ake of Fire just like Mary.

        • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2015 at 8:12 pm

          Alice, the Bible doesn’t condemn everybody; it justifies those who have the kind of faith Abraham had; which obviously you don’t have. There are only two classes of people in the world: God’s believers and Satan’s unbelievers, the saved and the lost, the righteous and the wicked. Too bad you’re in the wrong list. Get to your father’s church and learn rightly.

          • Alice Spicer August 16, 2015 at 10:31 pm

            It condemns everyone and justifies everyone. (Specifically, the Bible, as words on pages, doesn’t do these things, but explains or describes these things. The Law condemns, and the Word of God — Jesus Christ — justifies.)

            • Lanny A. Eichert August 16, 2015 at 11:42 pm

              Alice, unbelievers are never justified. Word of God — Jesus Christ — justifies ONLY believers. Everyone does NOT become believers.
              for the faith is not of all {2 Thessalonians 3: 2 YLT}
              all = ἀνθρώπων ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos

        • Lanny A. Eichert August 18, 2015 at 12:49 am

          Alice, have you been reading the exchanges between Mary and me because it should be of great interest to you what the Gospel of the Great Commission is to be preached at Life’s Choices. The heart of the gospel is a double-imputation. God’s believer’s sins are imputed to Jesus. His righteousness is imputed to God’s believer. And in this two-fold transaction God’s believer has all his sins removed, but not just to be left with a blank slate, because God adds to him Jesus righteousness. That should be interesting to you because Mary insists the doctrine of justification says that God acted in Christ to create a right relationship in spite of everything that’s wrong with us. As long as there’s anything wrong with us a right relationship cannot exist between us and Holy God. In Matthew 5: 48 Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” requiring that there be nothing wrong with us. As long as there could be something wrong with us then your Protestant Purgatory has possibilities, but since that is NOT the case with God’s believers because Jesus’ righteousness is counted, reckoned, imputed to their account, your idea of the Lake of Fire is useless. Your claim that believers go through the Lake of Fire as well as unbelievers is a total fabrication and you are proven a false teacher, Satan’s child, with no credibility, not even for your universal reconciliation heresy.

    • Alice Spicer August 12, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      It’s separation of church and state. That’s why we don’t see people being burned at the stake. It’s a good thing.

      • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        It is also denial of the Creator’s standards Who has greator authority than the state, unthinking Alice.

      • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2015 at 8:00 pm

        They are abnormal, deviant, sinful; and they can/should change their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s plain ordinary common sense. To protect them against getting help getting right is like letting them drink toxic waste. That’s not loving one another. When somebody is doing wrong, the loving thing is to correct them, not facilitate them.

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 19, 2015 at 1:01 am


    The Westminster Confession of Faith
    Chapter XI
    Of Justification
    I. Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies;[1] not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them,[2] they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.[3]

    II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification:[4] yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.[5]

    III. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real and full satisfaction to His Father’s justice in their behalf.[6] Yet, in as much as He was given by the Father for them;[7] and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead;[8] and both, freely, not for any thing in them; their justification is only of free grace;[9] that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.[10]

    IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,[11] and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:[12] nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.[13]

    V. God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified;[14] and although they can never fall from the state of justification,[15] yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.[16]

    VI. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.[17]

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 19, 2015 at 1:15 am


    Chapter 11: Of Justification
    1._____ Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.
    ( Romans 3:24; Romans 8:30; Romans 4:5-8; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31; Romans 5:17-19; Philippians 3:8, 9; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Romans 5:17 )

    2._____ Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.
    ( Romans 3:28; Galatians 5:6; James 2:17, 22, 26 )

    3._____ Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of himself in the blood of his cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in their behalf; yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
    ( Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Isaiah 53:5, 6; Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:26; Ephesians 1:6,7; Ephesians 2:7 )

    4._____ God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification; nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them.
    ( Galatians 3:8; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Timothy 2:6; Romans 4:25; Colossians 1:21,22; Titus 3:4-7 )

    5._____ God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified, and although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure; and in that condition they have not usually the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.
    ( Matthew 6:12; 1 John 1:7, 9; John 10:28; Psalms 89:31-33; Psalms 32:5; Psalms 51; Matthew 26:75 )

    6._____ The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.
    ( Galatians 3:9; Romans 4:22-24 )

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 19, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Mary, I’ve included two confessions above, the first of which is part of the P. C. A. framework to which you belong. Why then do you not assent to imputation of righteousness in justification?

    • Lanny A. Eichert August 19, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Mary, your PCUSA also references the Westminster Confession of Faith and I thought long ago our dialogues included references to it. The Confession centeralizes imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ to God’s believers as the method of God’s justification. Are you not in agreement?

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 19, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Mary, the New Testament Greek word most often translated justified is δικαιόω dikaioō
    The meanings given under G1344 in Strong’s Lexicon
    1) to render righteous or such he ought to be
    2) to show exhibit,evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered
    3) to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

    It appears you don’t agree with the lexicon or the Confession? Am I reading you correctly?

    • Lanny A. Eichert August 21, 2015 at 12:06 am

      from The Westminster Confession of Faith

      I. God … justifies … by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous.

      II. Receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification.

      III. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real and full satisfaction to His Father’s justice in their behalf…. His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead.

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 29, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Alice, what about your salvation; is it as liberal as Mary’s? Are you looking for forgiveness, acceptance, and freedom; but never getting them in one instantaneous total package for all the rest of time and eternity? If you are, return to your dad’s Fundamental Baptist Church. If not, you’ll forever rot in hell without remedy. Your current denial doesn’t change the truth of ET.

    • Lanny A. Eichert August 29, 2015 at 2:30 am

      **but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.**
      **Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest**
      see it in Psalm 11

    • Alice Spicer August 29, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      I remember a specific day in my childhood when I got “saved.” I didn’t want to go to hell. Fear was my motivation to repent. I also remember a specific day as an adult getting “born again.” I heard God telling me I belonged to Him, whether I liked it or not. Again, fear was my motivation to repent. Finally, I remember a day when God showed me that everyone belongs to Him, and all judgment is in the hands of Jesus Christ, Who says He will draw everyone to Himself. This assurance brought a great sense of relief, because I had spent over a decade coming to understand God’s real intentions toward humanity through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It also filled me with love toward God and everyone else. Even people like you, Lanny, who condemn and judge relentlessly. Turns out I was born again, again. With a wider perspective on my childhood and young adult years, I can distinguish where the fear came from and how misinformation clouded my view of God. He was with me all along, and He hasn’t changed, but I have, and I’m convinced that I’ve been His since the moment (if it can be called a moment) He conceived my existence, long before any earthly conception. The same rings true of the entire human race. We all are created for His pleasure. I suppose you’ll read this and say I’ll “rot in hell without remedy.” Thankfully judgment doesn’t belong to Lanny, it belongs to Jesus Christ, Who gave His life for me and for everyone, and Who will bring everyone into subjection through His conquering LOVE.

      • Lanny A. Eichert August 29, 2015 at 11:52 pm

        Alice, since you contradict Psalm 11 you should know something is radically wrong with what you believe has happened to you.

      • Lanny A. Eichert August 30, 2015 at 12:32 am

        The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. {Psalm 58: 3}

        Alice when I write, “You’ll rot in hell.” I am not condemning you, I am just repeating the judgmental warning of God’s entire perfect literal Holy Bible. Accusing me of assuming the power and authority of Final Judgment is the absurdity you, and many like you, use to minimize the absolute certainty of your doom. You doom is not prophesied by insignificant me, but by God’s Word, itself, in written form so that you have no excuse for not heeding His Bible. You will be judged for your distortion of simple texts and simple words for how you have complicated their meanings. Abraham believed God so simply and you make it so difficult that it could not possibly work. You know that and suggest non-linear time might make it possible. God has appointed the times and He told us in His perfect Book the chronology of events. Yours doesn’t work. Even the historical track record of the Gospel proves just the opposite. How many times must I tell you greater than ninety percent of the world’s historical population have died without any knowledge of the Gospel of salvation. By that demonstration of the Creator, He has shown you He had no intension of saving every morally responsible creature. And certainly the original purpose of the Lake of Fire being for the devil andhis angels, should make it plain and clear they are reserved for everlasting punishment/torment. If we wish the best for our children, but are powerless to change their lives and make the best happen; we being made in the image of God, what do you think that means for God? Human choice is His will and with it goes the responsibility to choose hell forever whether on purpose or by default. His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 7: 13, 14, 21 – 23 “the many” are destroyed by their own choice, but “the few” freely choose life and those choices are made in this mortality and at no other time. You try to escape that reality, which is openly defined as unbelief. You cannot please God in unbelief and therefore must suffer the everlasting consequence of ET, as you love to call it. Once you get there, you’ll no longer be fond of calling it that.

        But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. {Hebrews 11: 6}

        • Alice Spicer September 1, 2015 at 7:31 pm

          My salvation is also prophesied in the Bible, but you gloss over those words and choose the ones that better suit your view of me.

          • Lanny A. Eichert September 2, 2015 at 1:03 am

            Alice, you don’t even go to church, so you’re nowhere even near the ball field. You’re totally disconnected from God’s perfect literal Holy Bible. Look whose talking about what suits who? You’re waging a warfare of bitterness still. As I told Mary the Westminster Confession is not wrong.

            Chapter XXXIII
            Of the Last Judgment
            I. God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world, in righteousness, by Jesus Christ,[1] to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father.[2] In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged,[3] but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.[4]

            II. The end of God’s appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.[5]

            III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin; and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity:[6] so will He have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly, Amen.[7]

            • Lanny A. Eichert September 2, 2015 at 1:05 am

              the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.

      • Lanny A. Eichert August 30, 2015 at 1:47 am

        Alice, if God conceived your existence, long before He superintended your conception in your mother Marie’s womb, what were you doing between those two events? If you were His, what were you doing for Him? When did you turn against Him and needed saving? Or were you always against Him? If you were always against Him during that period, how could you be His? Or were you just potentially His? Existence means you had a progression of organized thoughts. Thoughts are actions, so what did you do during this period?

        Be a realist, Alice. You had no real existence; you are confusing God’s foreknowledge with existence. You’re making up fantasies as silly as reconciliation in the Lake of Fire, God’s trash bin where He throws out with out caring where it falls all unbelievers, whether men or angels.
        Greek βάλλω

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