Youth Targeted Calvinism?

What????!!!! There’s a conspiracy afoot to ‘target’ our young people with Calvinism? Whatever does that mean? Are young people being singled out (targeted) by wickedly smiling evil men in order to corrupt their little minds and hearts? Don’t laugh. It appears that in the ranks of Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) youth groups, that exact thing is happening today (probably minus the wicked evil smiling). There are youth ministers who are teaching Calvinistic doctrine to their charges, enticing them away from the traditional doctrines of their parents! The shame of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s an excerpt from the SBC Today website that explains it all (and it’s just Part 1):

“Southern Baptist youth groups are filled with young people converting away from the traditional doctrines held by their parents in favor of more Calvinistic views on salvation, church, culture and ministry. At first glance, this trend seems harmless. If anything, the students converting in spellbound droves to the doctrinal views of Calvinism take their faith far more seriously than their parents do. What Christian parent is going to oppose a movement that actually encourages their child to read the Bible and study theology?. . . And yet, there are legitimate reasons for traditional Southern Baptist parents and church youth group leaders to view this trend as a dangerous development. . . . .”

The rest of the article is filled with some of the standard arguments against Calvinism, but I’m not going there. These interesting arguments are followed by a discussion of the aforementioned ‘targeting’ of SBC youth by diabolically dangerous youth leaders.

The article makes much of the ‘traditional doctrines’ of parents. What tradition doctrines? The ones that replaced the earlier and very much ‘traditional’ doctrines of Sovereign Grace that marked the Protestant Reformation, and that endured until the late 1800’s? The traditions brought to the forefront in modern America by Pelagian heretic Charles Finney, who said that revival is nothing more than the proper use of human ‘means’? What if the ‘traditions of parents’ are in themselves unbiblical? Just sayin’.

Youth are ‘flocking to Calvinism in spellbound droves’? Who are these evil youth pastors, reincarnations of the Pied Piper of Hamlin? ‘Nuff said. Along with the ‘targeting’ remark, the ‘spellbound droves’ comment should telegraph to any average reader the bias of the author, Dr. Rick Patrick, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL

Frankly, I’m embarrassed for SBC Today. I’ll shut up now. You can read the article for yourself and come to your own conclusions. I can’t wait for Part 2.

The Holy Trinity and the Plan of Salvation

1. The Father’s designed it:

“She (Mary) will bear a son, and you (Joseph) shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

2. The Son accomplished it:

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” – (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

3. The Holy Spirit applies it to human hearts:

“And when he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” – John 16:8

The Lord opened her heart (Lydia’s) to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” – Acts 16:14

Any questions?

Morning Prayers

“There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard’” (Ps. 19:3), that is, the voice of the heavens – those natural preachers who proclaim the glory of God. Since this is so, it is a pity there should be nay speech or language where the voice of God’s worshippers should not be heard. Our voices should echo the voice of those natural preachers and ascribe glory to Him who makes “the morning and evening to rejoice” . Whatever others do, let Him hear our voices to this purpose in the morning. In the morning let us direct our praises unto him.

Matthew Henry, Experiencing God’s Presence, Whitaker House, p. 47

Why Evangelicals and Catholics Cannot be “Together” by Jordan Standridge

As the evangelical world in America seems rather excited about the Pope’s visit, I can’t help but remember how I felt when I discovered the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document (nf95i1-warrenpope-300x225ECT).

In 1995 the unthinkable happened. Well known evangelical pastors signed a document in which they joined themselves with Catholic priests and Philosophers, in an ecumenical fashion in order to promote the agreements over the disagreements that have plagued Protestants and Catholics for centuries dating back to the greats: Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Knox. They agreed to no longer “proselytize” each other, agreeing that Catholics are indeed brothers, and sisters in Christ.

This article was successful in its endeavor. The vast majority of Christians in America do not evangelize Catholics. Someone like me who has shed many tears over the deception of the Roman Catholic Church is seen as hateful. I totally understand the desire to believe people are saved. I also desperately want Roman Catholics to go to heaven, but we can’t let our desire for people to be saved or our desire to please men, lead us to cheer them on as they run towards hell. We must love them.

When I first found out about the ECT, I was shocked. I was fresh off the boat and never in a million years did I imagine such confusion over what seemed to be such a clear issue to me and any Italian believer. Most evangelical churches in Italy, many of which we would never step foot into, recognize this truth.

I wondered why there was such confusion in America, and I concluded that it must come down to the Easy-Belivism mentality. In America people believe that all you have to say is, “Jesus come into my heart”, and you are saved, and it doesn’t matter what you actually believe. The devil loves to comes as an angel of light.  He loves to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and as Spurgeon said, he has created a masterpiece with the Roman Catholic Church. Here are some of the reasons protestants and Roman Catholics will never agree (based on the RCC’s teaching) and why ultimately a Born again Christian who attends a Roman Catholic Church must come out and join God’s true Church.


It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the magisterum of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in their own way, under the action of the Holy Spirit, they all contribute affectively to the salvation of souls. – Catechism of the Catholic Church 95

Picture a company with three owners. They walk into a room they all have the same power. That’s what this is like in the RCC.
And although Scripture should trump any false interpretation in the RCC, the Pope and his cardinals, as well as tradition have undermined Scripture for centuries. God has not given man the right to alter His word, The Holy Spirit is in charge of illuminating the mind of His children and cause them to understand the truth. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us clearly that scripture is all we need to live a life that glorifies our Creator.

Baptismbaptism (1)

The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude – C of the C C 1257

Baptism…makes the neophyte “a new creature” an adopted son of God – C of the C C 1265

By baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin – C of the C C 1263

The only way to heaven in the Roman Catholic Church is through Baptism. Baptism cannot save anyone, especially a newborn. A baby cannot have faith. A baby cannot confess Jesus as Lord, he cannot believe the resurrection. Instead each human being at some point in their life must repent of their sin and trust in Jesus as savior and Lord (Romans 10:9).


I wrote about this last week. In summary a system that is works-based will always minimize sin. Sin will be easily overcome and in Roman Catholicism it is overcome through confession.

Salvation is found in the Roman Catholic Church alone

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION, – …it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: – Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation. C of the C C 846

It is in the Church that the fullness of the means of salvation has been deposited. C of the C C 824

This language holds people captive and forces people to trust in an institution rather than a savior. It brings fear in the hearts of those who question its veracity, and ultimately it causes a barrier between attenders and the hearing of the true saving gospel.

The Mass

As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which our Pasch has been sacrificed is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out. C of the C C 1364

In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. C of the C C 1367

The Bible Says that Christ Died Once and For all (1 Peter 3:18). He does not need to continue dying like the animals in the Old Testament sacrificial system. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The only reason he would need to continue dying would be if we needed our sins re-forgiven each week, or if we were trying to earn our salvation. In the Roman Catholic Church Jesus Christ is still on the cross and every week the Father crushes Him over and over again.

Eternal Life

The first commandment is also concerned with the sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption. C of the C C 2091

Presumption… hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit C of the C C 2092

Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification C of the C C 2010

Ultimately, as we see so clearly written by their own fingers, they believe that you must merit God’s forgiveness. It is not a free gift (Eph. 2:8-9). It is something that you must earn, and anyone who says they are on their way to heaven without having earned it over the course of many years, is presumptuous and disillusioned.

The Bible says in 1 John 5:13, “I have written these things so that you may know that you have eternal life”. It’s not something we must earn but it is a free gift. And we can have confidence in this life that we will be with Him the moment we die.

Our heart goes out to people stuck in this false system. Our desire is not to condemn but to bring the truth to these people. Sometimes you have to let people know they are lost before showing them how they can be found. If you wish to learn more about how to evangelize Roman Catholics here are 10 books I have benefited from to help you do just that.

The Pope or Christ – Who is the Church’s Head?

The fanfare is all over. The speeches to the U.S. Congress and to the U.N.have been given. The Mass was celebrated at Madison Square Garden and in Philadelphia with hundreds of thousands. And now Pope Francis is back at the Vatican after his historical visit to the U.S.

But the question that I would like to consider and that must be asked is: Who is the real Head of the Church – The Pope or Christ?

In his epistle to the Colossians where he highlights the supremacy of Christ, the apostle Paul categorically states in Scripture that Christ is the Head of the Church.

“And he is the head of the body, the church.”

Colossians 1:18

Who is the “he” referring to?

It is referring to the one in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.(Colossians 1:14)

It is referring to the one who is the image of the invisible God.(Colossians 1:15)

It is referring to the one who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.(Colossians 1:16-17)

It is referring to the one in whom all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell(Colossians 1:19)

It is referring to the one through whom there is reconciliation with God by His death(Colossians 1:20-22)

It is referring to God’s beloved Son!(Colossians 1:13)

Throughout church history, God raised up men to remind us once again that Christ, not the pope, is the head of the church. One such man was Martin Luther.

“I am persuaded that if at this time, St. Peter, in person, should preach all the articles of Holy Scripture, and only deny the pope’s authority, power, and primacy, and say, that the pope is not the head of all Christendom, they would cause him to be hanged.”

Martin Luther(Table Talk)

Another such man was Charles Spurgeon, who declared unequivocally the headship of Christ over His Church in a sermon entitled “The Head of the Church.”

“Of all the dreams whatever deluded men and probably of all blasphemies that were ever uttered, that has never been one which is more absurd and which is more fruitful in all manner of mischief than the idea that the Bishop of Rome can be the head of the church of Jesus Christ. No, these popes die and how could the church live if its head were dead? The true Head ever lives and the church ever liveth in Him.”

Charles Spurgeon

In yet another sermon entitled “Jesus is Lord”, Spurgeon drives the stake home in answering the question of who is the real head of the church.

“It is awful blasphemy for any man on earth to call himself Christ’s vicar and the head of the church, and it is a usurpation of the crown rights of King Jesus for any king or queen to be called the head of the church, for the true Church of Jesus Christ can have no head but Jesus Christ Himself.

Charles Spurgeon

Jesus Christ is the true Head of the Church because it is Christ Himself who loved the Church and gave Himself for her(Ephesians 5:25) Jesus Christ is the true Head of the Church not only because of his loving substitutionary atonement, but also because of His resurrection, conquering death, and because of His exaltation to the right hand of the Father, as head over all!

“that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 1:20-23


About the Author: Hariton Deligiannides

Pastor Hariton Deligiannides is the head of the elder board at Bethlehem Bible Church in West Boylston. Born in Greece, Hariton has a love for his culture and language. But his greatest love is the Lord Jesus Christ and serving Him. Married to Meta in 1996, they have 3 children, Isabella, Elizabeth and Zachary. Saved in 1985, Hariton attended Bethlehem Bible Church during his college days at WPI. He graduated Dallas Theological Seminary in 1992. He was on staff with the Navigators from 1993 to 2001, ministering in NY city. Then in 2001 he moved to Boston to church plant with the Southern Baptists. He was ordained to gospel ministry on June 21, 2003. He pastored Compass Community Church from 2001 to 2010. He joined Bethlehem Bible Church in 2010. Hariton‘s passions are theology, expository preaching and discipling men.

Evangelical ‘Popish’ Pronouncements?

Does that sound weird to you? If it does, consider the following:

The Roman Catholic church sprinkles water on a baby’s head and ‘pronounces’ him/her saved, unless later in life he/she commits mortal sin. It’s been called ‘baptismal’ regeneration’. Although Protestant evangelicals will not add works to faith for salvation, we give a little presentation to a poor lost sinner, ask him/her to make a decision for Jesus and ‘pronounce’ them saved based on him/her having made the right decision. It’s called ‘decisional’ regeneration.

The circumstances/scenario might be different, but one commonality seems to be present in them both. In the RC scenario, repentance is not part of the equation because babies aren’t in a position to realize anything about sin and can’t repent of anything. In the PE scenario, although the ‘target’ of the evangelistic encounter might be able to understand the nature and issue of sin which in most cases is mentioned, the need to repent of sin is missing in many gospel presentations.

What we do is spout off a few selected passages pointing out that there is a sin problem, that Jesus died because of it, and that he/she needs only to mentally assent to Jesus’ death for sin, ‘accept’ Jesus, or ask Him into the heart, and pronounce him/her, or some facsimile thereof, like “Your name is now written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!”, based on having said a little prayer and/or made a decision.

Now I am not saying that there was no true salvation in the PE encounter. The target of the encounter might well have somehow inwardly realized the depth of his/her sin, repented and believed the gospel message. I am saying that if the nature and gravity if sin was not addressed by the ‘evangelist’ the gospel presentation was incomplete.

And even if there was true salvation in spite of an incomplete gospel presentation, who are we, as evangelists’ to ‘pronounce’ anyone saved? Can we look into the sinner’s heart and discern if there was true acknowledgement of sin, repentance and genuine trust in Christ? God knows, Jesus knows, but do we know?

Food for thought.

“The King James Bible is the Truth!”

So states the title of a blog I stumbled upon as result of clicking the name of a commenter on a blog I occasionally visit.

The KJV Only author, in addition to inviting anyone who subscribed to any of the devil’s ‘PERversions’ to immediately leave his blog and never return, offered the following as the basis for his KJV position:

1. Only the King James Bible is the truth without error.

2. Only the King James Bible has been providentially preserved for hundreds of years.

3. Only the King James Bible has the power to convict souls and persuade people to be saved according to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (His death, burial and resurrection, 1Corinthians 15:3, 4 KJB).

4. All other versions are MAN-MADE, adding and/or subtracting from the KJB, which God strictly PROHIBITS in Revelation 22:18 and 19.

5. All other versions are COPYRIGHTED, meaning that they are printed to make money and no one else can use that copyright. Only the KJB has no copyright because GOD is the Author, and He wants us to share it freely with all men.

6. The Devil is the author of all these foul versions.

Noticeable in the above is a total lack of substantiation for any of the claims made concerning the KJV, a possible indicator that the blog author might be one of the rare possessors of a ‘mind like a steel trap’ (rusted shut).

There is nothing new in the above ‘KJV only’ assertions. Scholarly books and articles have been written soundly refuting them, most notable among them written by Dr. James White and Dan Wallace. I draw your attention to only two of them here.

Reason #4, that “All other versions are MAN-MADE. . .” claims ‘divine’ inspiration / authorship of the KJV, as divine as the original manuscripts penned by the authors of the Bible themselves. All KJVonly-ists do not subscribe to that notion. That the KJV was as ‘breathed out by God’ as the original manuscripts should seem to be a rather silly notion to any thinking adult, not to mention a lot of literate teenagers.

Reason #3 was new to me, although I am certain not one newly invented by a ‘steel trap mind” (Mr. STM) parroting what others have already postulated. Not only was it new to me, I find it more grievous than the rest.

Here’s the claim again:

“Only the King James Bible has the power to convict souls and persuade people to be saved according to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (His death, burial and resurrection, 1Corinthians 15:3, 4 KJB)”

To be fair, the definition of the gospel is correctly cited from 1 Corinthians 3-4:

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (KJV)

A quick search of those verses will show that just about every other translation defines the gospel exactly the same way! Think for a moment what that means Mr. STM is telling us. Assuming that STM agrees that the original manuscripts (which we do not have) were ‘breathed out by God’ (the KJV says so), STM would have us believe that a lost sinner could only be saved by reading, or having read to him the definition of the gospel from a 1611 KJV Bible! That, my friends, is beyond stupid!

The Apostle Paul provided the above definition of the gospel to Christians at Corinth. He also addressed the following to believers in Rome:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (KJV) (emphasis mine – I hope I don’t go to Hell for that)

This is where STM gets a little silly. Paul said he was not ashamed of the “gospel”, defined it as the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and said that the “gospel” is the power of God (to convict of sin and persuade people) unto salvation. In other words, the “power” is in the message, NOT in a particular English translation of the Bible. And again, we have numerous other English translations that define the gospel message exactly as does the KJV!

So according to STM, we can have the same message (the power for salvation), in the very same words, in multiple English translations, but nobody’s getting saved except when it’s read in/from the KJV!!!!!!!????????

Is that the absolute epitome of ignorance, audacity and arrogance? Don’t answer. I would have really liked to ask a few questions at STM’s blog post but comments were closed and he attitude toward anyone who would question his KJV idolatry wasn’t very kind. Yes, I said IDOLATRY.