Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Saddleback Church and the Case for Women in the Ministry of Teaching and Preaching


The Saddleback Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and

the Case for Women in the Ministry of Teaching and Preaching

We enthusiastically salute and strongly support the stand of the Saddleback Church established by Rick Warren for their stand on ordaining women pastors. As a result, the whole church was recently kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention (Perhaps someone should approach Rick Warren about affiliating with the Church of the Nazarene?) last February 2023. See

 This has been an age-old debate between Christian legalists and Christian core values defenders. I use these terms because the Southern Baptist Convention’s position is completely legalistic and un-Biblical in at least two major ways.

 First, they make mountains out of mole hills. More hermeneutically speaking, they cannot distinguish between the SHOUTS of God and the w-h-i-s-p-e-r-s of God in the Bible. It seems that to them every statement in the Bible has equal value, like allowing women to preach is right there equivalent to any of the Ten Commandments, for example. This mindset is preposterous and very misinformed. To be on the safe non-cultic side we have to let the SHOUTS of God interpret the whispers of God, not the other way around. It’s plain rational thinking.

 Second, they disregard the decidedly male chauvinist culture that made the statement and they completely disregard the rest of that same culture that the early church changed and practiced that allowed women leaders, women apostles and women prophets. They preach to a modern culture insisting on the LETTER of the LAW instead of the SPIRIT of the LAW. Yet these same people refuse to see what Christianity has done to slavery and polygamy, both ALLOWED BY THE LETTER of the LAW but no longer allowed as practice in the NEW CREATION of God which is the church of Christ. Hence, like most legalists, they are adamant about violations of the letter of the law and not the heart of it.  They are like Cain who sacrificed correctly (Genesis 4:7 LXX) but his heart was never right with God (1 John 3:12)

 This brings us to a very important explicit principle from Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5 which these groups of misinformed people always ignore or maybe cannot exegete properly.

These legalists, similar to the infamous Pharisees of Christ’s day, nitpicked on the disciples for disobeying the Sabbath laws. Now note that the Sabbath as explained in the Torah is part of the Ten Commandments, ALL WORK IS PROHIBITED. In the book of Numbers 15:32-36, one was even stoned to death for just “gathering sticks on the Sabbath day”! (Compare that to this thing about women is just mentioned in passing by Paul and we refuse to look at the context and culture.)

Technically, the disciples would be RIGHTLY stoned to death (something that they did to Stephen for alleged “blasphemy”). But what did Jesus do and SAY as a matter of principle????

 First, he cited the case of David violating the law against the “bread of the Presence” which is just outside the Holy of Holies. Second, he cites the “priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless”. So did Christ who is Yahweh change the LAW, meaning God changed his mind? The answer is YES and NO.

YES because the disciples were guilty of violation and yet they are now “guiltless”! NO because Christ is setting a key principle in understanding the Torah IN THE CONTEXT OF the New Creation. In fact, He came to “fulfill the Law and the Prophets”.

There are a hierarchy of laws where some laws pre-empt the other laws. That is a reality in our legal system and a reality in God’s order. In David’s case, hunger and satisfying hunger was a higher principle than maintaining a ritual. Jesus demonstrates here that the law is NOT ABSOLUTE over human need. This is where Christ declares, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). Besides, when St. Peter declares that believers are "a royal priesthood", does that apply ONLY to men? Was he talking only to men?

Second, Christ also shows that the law is NOT ABSOLUTE over service to God as Christ himself mentioned, “Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless?” (Matthew 12:5). The priests who serve God in the temple “necessarily” and “intentionally” violate some rules in order to accomplish the greater preoccupation to serve God, and Christ declares them “guiltless”.

Third and most important, the Lord is teaching the principle of the Law being our baseline for standards of order but he explicitly declared in Matthew 5:20, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness EXCEEDS that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” In this particular event, Christ follows up THAT SAME PRINCIPLE by stating it another way in Matthew 12:7, “if you had known what this means, ‘I desire MERCY, and NOT SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.  Where sacrifice represent the letter of the law or the legal requirements of the law, mercy is the spirit of Christlikeness that God expects of those who claim to be his followers. What is the point of ALL those Sacrifices in the Torah as it relates to Christ expecting MERCY instead of obedience to the performance of these sacrificial meals? FYI, Mercy is expected BEYOND any sacrifice of thanksgiving or sacrifice of praise, for that matter.


“The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.” These legalists who only look at the LETTER of the Law mean to divide and lessen the testimony of the church with only half the laborers by excluding women, obeying the LESSER law in favor of the more important one. It is similar to the “korban” teaching of Christ (Mark 7:1-13) where the Pharisees ignore one of the Ten Commandments just because their offering has been “korban” or committed to God. This sin of hypocrisy, Christ squarely condemns! We don’t ask you to forget the letter of the Law but Christ himself requires YOU to EXCEED it. Otherwise, “you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”! 

“Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

“‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me..."

 When people like John MacArthur tell outstanding teachers like Beth Moore  to “go home” we realize that people make mistakes, some BIG, some small, even with the best intentions no one is infallible except Christ Himself.

Yes, the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox churches practice the male-only tradition but even they are NOT INFALLIBLE too as PROVEN many times in history.

In conclusion, “It’s just a molehill, use your big foot to step on it”… the Spirit and NOT the Letter….?  Matthew 12:1-8? Are you listening…?

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)”

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Fallacies of Modern Christianity

 Saved by Faith alone?

There is ONLY ONE verse in ALL of Scripture that has the words "faith" and "alone" in one sentence: James 2:24 declares, "You see that a person is justified by works and NOT by faith alone".

Once saved, always saved? 

Then who is Christ condemning in Matthew 7:21-23 and Luke 13:23-39?

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not PROPHESY IN YOUR NAME, and CAST OUT DEMONS IN YOUR NAME, and DO MANY MIGHTY WORKS IN YOUR NAME?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’


All of these are gifts of the Spirit and can only be done by those who have the Holy Spirit. Yet, at at the judgment seat of Christ on Judgment Day, Christ will tell these believers who lost the Holy Spirit and their salvation, "I NEVER KNEW YOU, DEPART FROM ME!!!"

LESSON: Don't base your belief on a few isolated Scriptures and what other people tell you. Make sure you know the overview of Scripture including God's plan for his creation, how man (and angels) tried to ruin the plan, God's remedial steps to solve this and His overall plan up to his final redemption, restoration and reconciliation plan. Without that context, you're simply using the Bible as a book of wise sayings with nothing to do with your eternity.

BEST ADVICE FROM THE LORD: "STRIVE (requires great effort) to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able". Learn what this means and DO THE FATHER'S WILL!

BEST PAULINE ADVICE: "WORK OUT (requireS great effort) your salvation with fear (Greek: phobia) and trembling (Greek: quaking due to great fear)". Learn what this means and DO THE FATHER'S WILL!

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46. Salvation is free but IT REQUIRES GREAT EFFORT....THAT IS THROUGHLY BIBLICAL, THERE IS NO OTHER INTERPRETATION! Learn what this means and DO THE FATHER'S WILL!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Great American Christian Heresies

 Heresy: the “corruption of truth” has traditionally be known to be caused by the following:

  1. Teaching that deviates from the Apostles doctrine and that of the post-Apostolic church: “strange doctrine”
  2. Teaching that over-emphasizes a misinterpreted Bible principle even if it contradicts the rest of Scripture
  3. Teaching based on a mistranslation of Scripture or a disrespect for canonical tradition
Picking up from the above definition, let's follow this up by statements from the Holy fathers:

"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8-9

“Now all these heretics are of much later date than are the bishops to whom the apostles committed the churches. . . . It follows, then, as a matter of course, that these aforementioned heretics—since they are blind to the truth and deviate from the way—will walk in diverse roads. Therefore, the footsteps of their doctrines are scattered here and there without agreement or connection. In contrast, the path of those belonging to the church circumscribes the whole world, as possessing the sure tradition from the apostles”. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.548.

Therefore, on account of the heresies, the toil of discovery must be undertaken. Yet, we must not at all abandon [the truth]. Suppose that fruit were set before us. Some of it was real and ripe, and some was made of wax. However, the wax fruit was as much like the real as is possible. Would we abstain from both kinds of fruit merely because of the similarity? . . . Among garden-grown vegetables, weeds also spring up. Are the gardeners, then, to desist from gardening? Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.550.

  • “Once saved, always saved”
  • Prosperity Gospel
  • Altar replaced by the Pulpit as the center of worship and degrading the Eucharist to secondary importance
  • Vague definition of HOLINESS
The greatest heresy of western American Christianity is the unfounded belief on “once saved always saved”. It is definitely the direct opposite of Bible teaching and was propagated by the Gnostic heresy, followed up by Augustine’s teaching on predestination and further worsened by the Calvinist TULIP. Why we continue to use Latin theologians baffle me. Augustine was Greek-illiterate and created his theology entirely based on Jerome's Vulgate. Contrast his theology to that of the Greek Archbishop, John Chrysostom and it's night and day.

The second greatest heresy of the American church is the prosperity gospel. Focusing prayer, worship and the interpretation of Scripture on earthly concerns instead of the things of God. Clear direct opposite of the Matthew 6 teachings, especially Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:2; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-16 with "minds set on earthly things" Philippians 3:19. Also, Montanists were heretics in the early church who started the “word of faith” movement

The third greatest heresy of American Christianity is the replacement of the altar with the pulpit as the center of church worship and degrading the Eucharist to secondary importance. The early church believed that the Eucharist was actual food for immortality. The less we do it, the less we are prepared for eternity. The concept of Christ being actually present in the Eucharist has been replaced by symbolic ritual with no presence nor expectation of divine transformation.

The vague definition of holiness use words like sanctification, growth, perfection, etc. However, the early church definition of Holiness is plain SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD (Colossians 3:2; James 4:2-4; 1 John 2:15-17, living/walking by faith and not by sight. The world is the source of all evil and tribulation. Hence, any one was not allowed to be baptized as a believer if he has not renounced the world. Therefore, any believer claim to be Christian is totally false unless he has actually renounced the world. The martyrs are the clearest example. Remember, Hebrews 12:14 states that "without holiness, no one will ever see the Lord"

The Wesleyan tradition basically defines holiness as undivided attention to love God with ALL heart, ALL soul, ALL mind, and ALL strength and your neighbor as yourself. Obvious as this actually means if anyone diligently analyzes the meaning of the Great Commandment, most modern Christians seem to lack the correct understanding of the command.

Let me re-articulate it since obvious as it means during Wesley's time, it seems to escape modern Christians, especially western Christians (Roman version of Christianity, i.e, Roman Catholic to Reformation Protestantism, Roman Catholic to Anglican and all the resultant offspring of this branch of the Great Schism. And it is simply this...


If one love  God with ALL mind, ALL soul, ALL mind, and ALL strength there is nothing left of the love one  gives other than the love of self. But the Great Commandment continues to say that we need to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Hence there is absolutely no love left for anything else, especially love for the world!!!.  When this is true, one has reached holiness, in fact one has reached entire or full sanctification.

When one truly loves, his source of joy is always from what he loves! Love God alone and all your source of joy comes from God. Love the world, and that simply means you don't love God at all and St. John calls you, a liar. Also, your source of joy is something that is fleeting and passes away, that is why your joy is unstable.

  • Beware of the church you attend.
  • Beware of those radio and TV preachers that you listen to
Most popular American preachers are completely ignorant of Apostolic church tradition and therefore, so are the seminaries they came from and the churches that they lead.

Friday, July 29, 2022


 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. [Colossians 3:2]


A completely naked Brit gets into a taxi whose driver is a Chinese. He looks her up and down several times.

The worried woman asks: Have you never seen a naked woman?

The Chinese taxi driver replies:

- I'm not looking at you because you're naked. I'm worried because I look and look and I don't see where you have the money to pay me.


You must be like the Chinese! Focus on your business, not the distractions!

This is a good object lesson for Christians who pray, read the Bible, attend church or other means of grace. We get distracted by the world and our mind focuses on the trivial things below instead of the business of things above. We get to be Marthas instead of Marys focusing on the things of the world instead of the things of God. We get to be Esaus instead of Jacobs setting our eyes on small and temporary pleasures instead of the wide future of our eternal inheritance.

The Chinese man in the above story will refuse to drive for the naked lady unless there is proof of payment. Most of us would just drive while distracted.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

John 1:12 according to St. John Chrysostom

 John Chysostom explains the meaning of: 

“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” John 1:12 

Many modern Christians presume that we become children of God and our sonship is complete once we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. But why did Paul declare that WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR OUR ADOPTION as sons (Romans 8:23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5)? 

Let’s hear the interpretation of a Greek Archbishop from the 5th Century AD, historically known as the greatest preacher of the church after the time of the Apostles, St. John Chrysostom: 

Why then did he NOT say "He MADE THEM SONS of God," but instead said, "He GAVE THEM POWER to become sons of God"? To show that we need much zeal to keep the image of sonship impressed on us at Baptism, all through without spot or soil; and at the same time to show that no one shall be able to take this power from us, UNLESS WE ARE THE FIRST TO DEPRIVE OURSELVES OF IT. ... At the same time too he wishes to show, that not even does grace come upon any believer, but upon those who desire and take pains for it. For it lies in the power of these to become (His) children since if they do not themselves first make the choice, this power or right does not come upon them, nor have any effect. 

 Having therefore everywhere excluded compulsion and instead, pointing to (man's) voluntary choice and free power, he has said the same now. For even in these mystical blessings, IT IS, ON THE ONE HAND, GOD'S PART TO GIVE THE GRACE, AND MAN'S PART TO SUPPLY FAITH.... In order to preserve our purity, it is NOT sufficient for us merely to have been baptized and to have believed, but we must if we will continually enjoy this brightness, DISPLAY A LIFE WORTHY OF IT. This then is God's work in us. To have been born the mystical Birth, and to have been cleansed from all our former sins, comes from Baptism; BUT TO REMAIN FOR THE FUTURE PURE, NEVER AGAIN AFTER THIS TO ADMIT ANY STAIN BELONGS TO OUR OWN POWER AND DILIGENCE. 

 ...For there is no small fear, lest, having sometime defiled that beautiful robe by our complacency and transgressions, we be cast out from the inner room and bridal chamber, like the five foolish virgins, or him who had not on a wedding garment. [Matthew 25; Matthew 22] He too was one of the guests, for he had been invited; but because, after the invitation and so great an honor, he behaved with insolence towards Him who had invited him, hear what punishment he suffers, how pitiable, fit subject for many tears. For when he comes to partake of that splendid table, not only is he forbidden the least, but bound hand and foot alike, is carried into outer darkness, to undergo eternal and endless wailing and gnashing of teeth. Therefore, beloved, let not us either expect that faith is sufficient to us for salvation; for IF WE DO NOT SHOW FORTH A PURE LIFE, BUT COME CLOTHED WITH GARMENTS UNWORTHY OF THIS BLESSED CALLING, NOTHING HINDERS US FROM SUFFERING THE SAME AS THAT WRETCHED ONE. 

 ...He has done all His part. He has made the marriage, He has provided the table, He has sent men to call us, has received us when we came, and honored us with all other honor; but we, WHEN WE HAVE OFFERED INSULT TO HIM, TO THE COMPANY, AND TO THE WEDDING, BY OUR FILTHY GARMENTS, THAT IS, OUR IMPURE ACTIONS, are then with good cause cast out. It is to honor the marriage and the guests, that He drives off those bold and shameless persons; for were He to tolerate those clothed in such dirty garment, He would seem to be offering insult to the other believers who worked diligently to maintain their purity.

Friday, July 22, 2022



"We believe BUT we don't believe"

Most Christians believe in the Trinity, One God in Three Persons, The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Yet this truth is NOT VERY CLEAR from Scripture. There is no word "Trinity" in the Bible nor is there any explicit declaration of God as three-in-one.
So, why do we believe this truth? It is because of Holy Tradition (the writings of the bishops, pastors and deacons of the first 300 years after the Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.)
On the other hand, The Lord Himself declared to Nicodemus in John 3:5, "unless one is born of water and the Spirit he CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM of God."
Now, Holy Tradition is UNANIMOUS that to be "born of water" means to be baptized in water three times in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. THERE IS NO OTHER INTERPRETATION FROM HOLY TRADITION!
And yet, paradoxically, many modern western "American" Protestants ignore this and instead believe the new "invention" that it is enough to "pray to receive Christ" to become a child of God and inherit eternal life, because this is the way they present "their way to salvation"
This is a tragic dilemma because ETERNAL LIFE IS AT STAKE! What then is the foundation of our faith to claim that we have eternal life? Is it based on the Word of Christ or is it based on a Protestant "invented" formula which is nowhere in Scripture except some logical deduction from John 1:12?
If it is based on the word of God? Where does it say? You will find no such explicit declaration. On the other hand, Peter's Pentecost salvation message was "Repent and BE BAPTIZED for the removal of sins". There is no mention of prayer to receive Christ in order to enter the Kingdom!
In fact, water baptism was so mysteriously sacred to the Apostles that in Acts 19, Paul DID NOT ACCEPT the baptism of John the baptizer and the "believers" HAD TO BE REBAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS!
So why do modern American protestants make water baptism so optional that they postpone it based on convenience instead of the urgency of "saving someone from a burning building?"
Those of us who claim to be biblical, we seem to be the tragic opposite when it comes to the most important event in human life, that of entering the Kingdom of God!
Paradox it is but not a simple one. It might be a matter of life and death. In fact, it is a matter of ETERNAL LIFE or ETERNAL DEATH. Again, what is the foundation of your claim that you have eternal life? The word of Christ or some "invented" formula?
Think about that.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

A Critique of the Modern Wesleyan

 The following is copied from a personal note I gave to a Church of the Nazarene pastor. I have redacted the personal notes and left the principles intact.


"... pastors, especially Wesleyan pastors need to think about this. 

Modern American Wesleyans are following the Worship service of the Swiss Reformers and Baptists where the altar is replaced by the pulpit and the Eucharist is optional, where most of the worship is symbolic or imagined instead of the experience of the "real" presence of Christ, with the Eucharist treated as symbolic instead of the actual presence of Christ which transforms the partaker and brings him closer to the attainment of the divine nature and "feeding him towards immortality", the key being Christ not only present in spirit but his presence being transformational instead of symbolic.

John Wesley himself would tremble in his grave if he looked at the typical Nazarene service. Wesley would be quite familiar with the liturgical worship of the Methodists and yet he, like the early church fathers and the Greek fathers would conclude that Protestants "lack the fulness of grace in their assemblies" precisely because of what protestantism has invented and done to the altar and the Eucharist.

Something to think about and discuss if we have time. Just think, if Wesley went into the Worship service of a typical American Nazarene church, he would  feel very uncomfortable and probably ask, "Where is the experience of the actual presence?"

This does NOT in anyway condemn the modern service nor its informality but, comparing it with tradition, even the tradition of Wesley himself, they are more of informal Christian love feasts rather than the traditional way the early church modeled for us where the altar and the Eucharist was the center of all their worship.

SECOND NOTE (follow up on first)

"BTW, one thing controversial that we talked about was that "there is no salvation outside the apostolic and catholic church" according to the church fathers. What this actually meant was, the tradition of the post-Apostolic protects the doctrine of salvation, i.e., entrance into the kingdom of God and if we study and follow their example, it seems that many today think they are Christians and have eternal life because they "prayed to receive Christ" but that has never been the way for 1500 years until the Swiss reformers "altered the Gospel" and may even be guilty of the anathema of Galatians 1:8.

For 1000 years and even after the Great Schism of 1054, the church was unanimous that the center of Christian worship and koinonia is the Eucharist. They were also unanimous that to enter the kingdom of God you have to be "born of water" (crucifixion, death and burial in union with Christ in water baptism). Of course, "prayer to receive" is not even ANY solution in Scripture! So what is the certainty of salvation if the protestant invention is to be followed instead of what Christ CLEARLY declares AS NECESSARY?

People who indicate they want to follow Christ were called catechumens but were never allowed to join the Christian worship and especially partake of the Eucharist UNTIL they have been "born of water and the Spirit" according to the very command of Christ.

The issue was "Does a person really have eternal life or even claim to have it, if he has not followed the "way" prescribed by Christ himself to Nicodemus?" If not what is the basis for that claim, what is the foundation of that "faith"?


That faith would be based on a Protestant formula instead of the Biblical way prescribed by the Lord Himself!

That is clearly risking eternal life, don't you think?


The Church of the Nazarene of which I am personally affiliated with follows John Wesley's Methodist legacy as well as the hermeneutic methods analyzed by Dr. Albert Outler's Quadrilateral: Scripture, Tradition (ante-Nicene and Greek fathers ONLY, no Latin fathers at all), Reason and Experience (which includes double-inspiration, i.e., the understanding of Scripture by the reader is just as "inspired" as the inspiration of the writer necessitating holiness and the filling of the Spirit for correct exegesis). They span off from the Methodist church in the USA in 1908 as a protest against the emphasis of the Methodists on social gospel instead of the Apostles doctrine.

However, being American in origin, it has left the ecclesial practice of the post-Apostolic church and followed the worship service of the Swiss Reformers and modern American baptists.

This begs the question, "Am I in a true church, a compromised church, or an apostate church?"

John Wesley, being an Anglican, still had the altar and Eucharist in ecclesial worship similar to the early church. His worship services were liturgical similar to the early church, not spontaneous like the Swiss reformers and Baptists. John Wesley routinely did the sign of the cross, an early church practice indicating or confirming personal identification and sanctification on every occasion it is done.

Modern protestant churches routinely violate the necessity of the Eucharistic celebration in every Christian gathering or at least on the Lord's day according to John 6:52-58 clearly expressed by St. John the Theologian and very scholarly explained by Fr. John Behr in the following video: