The No Goofy Zone Discernment Ministry

The No Goofy Zone is a discernment ministry for saved born again Christians and all who are seeking the truth.We expose non-biblical trends in the church. We are making material available to advance understanding of issue's which endanger Christianity. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit.

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Location: Piqua, Ohio, United States

Former drummer for Gary Lewis and The Playboys and The Coasters. Tim has also played with Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs, Jeff Fenholt, SteveCamp among others. Tim founded The Simply Agape Project in 2001 to get free Christian music to the troops. Recordings have been made with Tim, and friends Alex Acuna, Abe Laboriel SR, Justo Almario,Steve Camp , Jared Ming and some wonderful Independant Christian artists.The Somebody Brave CD also features words of encouragment to the soldiers from Pastors, Moms, Dads, and Lt Col Brian Birdwell a Pentegon 9/11 survivor Tim is married to Donna Wirth and has four children Alan 25,Steven 23, Brittany 22, Bethany 21. Tim has played in numerous churchs as well as shows on TBN. Tim has also performed on JCTV on the show Generation Worship featuring worship leader Jared Ming. Tim has a book published worldwide titled "Pass The Plate And Let Us Prey" (My Search For Black and White Christianity in a Gray Nation)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fire Schools do we need them Part One-Does our lack of faith hinder God?

Usually I will start out with false teaching and than follow up with the truth of scripture. I'm starting this of with the truth of scripture.

The question is can our faith limit Gods power? If so we would need fire schools I guess for 65 dollars a person mind you. Wow free spiritual gifts (note the word free) for sale for only 65 a person and you wont just get one but multiple because we are going to teach you how to get and use these free gifts from God. Wow can someone jump up and SHOUT GLORY. What a deal of the century.
But can our faith limit God?
Last year I began to notice a common underlying theme and assumption in evangelical preachers which is: your faith is the limiting factor in God’s agency. Sunday after Sunday believers are exhorted to believe harder, perhaps coupled with prayer, that God will act to heal, to revive, to convert and save people and communities. But is it really our lack of faith (i.e. belief) which is holding God back?

The Gospels especially provide numerous convenient examples which would seem to support the idea that God cannot or doesn’t act miraculously unless people believe. Jesus is said to have done less miracles in towns which did not believe and we all know the expression, characteristic of various heeling's that “your faith has healed you” (e.g Mk 10:52). Less well known are the instances where someone is healed because of another person’s faith (the centurion’s servant in Mk 8, the lame man in Mk 2, Jairus’ daughter Mk 5). It would seem that someone, preferably nearby, needs to believe for miracles to occur!
Not, so. Jesus feeds the multitude twice though no one thought it possible (see John 6). Obviously Lazarus was raised when he was dead and past believing (though his sisters believed) but Jesus himself was raised by divine fiat when nobody believed it would happen. If we look closely we see that Jesus was indeed able to heal people in unbelieving villages by laying hands on them! (Mt 13:58; Mk 6:5) In fact, the evangelist does not say that he could not do miracles because of a lack of faith but simply that he did not
The idea that Jesus’ power is limited by man’s belief is rather absurd and arbitrary. In those cases where miracles were not forthcoming it seems more from Jesus’ own choice rather than him somehow being limited in agency. It is Jesus who tells the Pharisees that “no sign will be given”, the ball is always in His court! We may be limited to His Grace but His Grace is not limited by anything.
This has massive implications for our theology. Evangelical theology teaches that we must believe in order to be saved. Confusingly the word for “save” and the word for “heal” are the same in Greek but this should not allow us to project “your faith has healed you” onto our ideas of soteriology. It is always God who saves and His salvation is for everyone, regardless of whether they believe or not. Paul says it like this:
This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially those who believe (1 Tim 4:9-10)
Too many Christians are worried that their unbelieving friends and family are outside of God’s grace, power and salvation. At best, their hope and prayer is that God will open that person’s heart to believe so that they may be saved. I do not wish to deny that faith and salvation are related but simply note that the faith which saves is not something outside and external to God, something out of His control, preventing Him from saving us. I agree with the Calvinists here: God produces faith, salvation is wholly from God.
Calvinists teach that regeneration precedes faith which is the idea that God awakes the sinner “from death to life” before that person believes. God’s action is prior to the person’s decision to believe. Indeed, most Calvinists would deny that we choose to believe but that faith is from God. As N.T. Wright puts it, the hearer of the Gospel strangely finds themselves believing it, believing the absurd proclamation that Jesus is Lord!
If one considers this for a moment it makes much sense. Which of us chose to believe in God or in the Gospel or in the miraculous? Rather, we found that, at some point we did believe it. Did we produce this faith or was it God? I think it was God. Faith is a sign, an awareness, but not a condition of salvation which is by God’s grace and His faithfulness (Eph 2:8).

But this faith, this belief that something is true must be differentiated from other aspects of conversion such as repentance and trust unto obedience. We must indeed choose to turn from sin, to confess it, to strive to obey God and trust in his sovereign authority over us, even when it seems crazy. This wilful transfer of power from ourselves and our reason over to God is something we do not just once but daily. The liberation from sin described in Romans 6 and 7 is all about the struggle we have to obey our new master God and not the old master called “Sin”. God justifies, and just as Jesus defeated Sin and Death, so must we die “with” him in baptism (the choice to live to God) and defeat Sin (by not obeying it) and Death (by one day being raised to new life)
And so the problem is not the world’s lack of belief, this is something God can directly influence and something the atheists have picked up on. Many atheists are clear that if God wanted them to believe in Him or in the miraculous, he could simply “show up in power” and win people over. The apologist’s retort (which I used to offer) that people would still not believe is a stretch and definitely unbiblical. Many of Jesus signs were designed to evoke faith, the first followers were convinced Messianic followers because they saw the risen Lord. Faith comes from hearing and seeing God in action not from an effort of the imaginative will.
I would argue that the fact that God does not write “Jesus is Lord” in the clouds every morning, or send fire from heaven down on atheist conferences is good evidence that God’s primary focus and requirement is not on evoking belief unto salvation. We know that God wants everyone saved (1 Tim 2) but if unbelief stood in the way then God would be doing everything possible to combat unbelief. He would be equipping his Church to do miracles in order to convince unbelievers. But this is clearly not happening so it can’t be His strategy
What then, are we to conclude, with the Calvinists, that God does not intend everyone to be saved? No, we are to conclude that faith (i.e. belief) is not the condition for salvation but the evidence of salvation. When Paul says “if you believe in your heart that God raised him [Jesus] from the dead you will be saved” (Rom 10:9) he is not telling unbelievers what to do in order to be saved, but assuring believers (Romans is written to believers) that their belief is evidence of their future salvation. Belief provides assurance. Unbelievers, though they will ultimately be saved and brought under God’s reign in Jesus (Eph 1:10) are simply unaware of it.
This approach to belief and salvation is to be commended for the peace it offers believers. Who but an egoist can experience the peace of Jesus if they think those around them are destined for destruction? Who can rejoice that they are saved but that their family is not? But the peace that comes from knowing that God is the saviour of all, and that, as believers, we are privy to this plan, conquers all fear that we are not able to convert our neighbours. When we read that God’s salvation is for all who believe (Rom 1:16) we are misreading the text: God’s salvation is revealed to all who believe but it is for everyone (i.e. Jews and Greeks i.e non-Jews). God is the God of all, he is the Saviour of all, the Gospel is Good News for all!
And so evangelical preachers should switch from “have more faith” to “be more faithful” if they are to really expand the Gospel. Not only is “believe harder” preaching to the choir, it does not advance the Gospel. But if pastors would take courage to preach faithfulness in action, loving obedience and service, the reign of God would visibly extend and increase in power. When this happens, people will look on and believe the Gospel that Jesus is In Charge, that he Is Boss, that Jesus is Lord

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