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Alf's infamous but probably true quotes 5

written by: alf hickey

Election is grace, elected is pride

Indians should be paid a royalty every time a computer uses number 0.


This Arminian and Calvinist nonsense is just like Paul and Apollos- Get with Jesus folks rather than the Ideas of Men. That's what GOD commands, that's what he wants- Let's wake up hey ?

True, and teaching is important. But as I'm sure you guys believe, its the work of the Spirit in us that does the work. I was in a Prebyterian Church for 2 years, and must say I thought some of their doctrine way dodgy. I was brought up by a reformed evangelical father who was a deep theologian, but always pondered the scriptures personally and prayerfully. He could answer the tuff questions. But do go to the Bible. My problem is certain groups think they have the right doctrine. I was surprised to read in the end of Proverbs that the household was the woman's, the other day. Read it, just one word "her". The bible never ceases to surprise me ! Might look up the Hebrew though.

We are priming ourselves to interpret the scriptures with a human frame through Calvinism and this other stuff. How can one study with an open spiritual mind on our own with all this noise ? Or even talk to God in the wonderful mysticism of prayer. I'm not saying we shouldn't debate and argue for truth and build and teach each other, but if we are Sola Scriptura, read until you "don't get it." I think there is value in debate, even that it shows that there isn't just one perspective- it keeps our eyes open to truth. Fixatedness is common when we become "cooperation in the community." I suggest this is actually the reason DOCTRINE is NOT important in many of our churches. The club notion is more membership in OUR GROUP, rather than in CHRIST. There is a lot of pride in saying we have it right- I have to watch myself on this too. We do need to know how to give people a right answer.

I personally find that a creative response in line with scripture, helps to break down walls of mis and pre-conception- JESUS DID IT- He was a story man and His stories are crazy- out there- Look at the prophets- a lot of engineers and accountants there hey. Sadly creativity isn't a feature of "more reformed" groups in my experience. Look at who gets the good jobs and respect in Reformed churches and tell me if there isn't some strange prejudice operating.

And we know that isn't of GOD !

I personally think cessationists are filled with the worldly philosophy of Deism (The Clockwork Universe). They would generally argue for an impersonal God and would come from scientific, engineering or other left brain backgrounds. Basically seeing is believing- they have a problem with the supernatural. The other reason for their view is some interpretation of vague scriptures which seem to contradict (in their interpretation) other parts of the new testament.

One valid problem is the notion of the sufficiency of the blood. What is greater than the cross and eternal life to get rid of sin ? - With all the wonderful miracles, we still die "mortally," though we live eternally.

I noticed in this Florida business the word "Shaka" being used in the tongues. I first saw this word appear with Phil Pringle at Oxford falls. There was never an interpretation to my knowledge. I think tongues are sometimes just faddish hero worship. I feel as I did then, that cool words are just invented as catchwords. They fall short of the Pentecostal's claim to be an "angelic language" or even a person's "private language" between them and God. Certainly in scriptures, tongues is supposed to be supported by interpretation in public- but at how many Pentecostal churches do you see this happen ?

God can use Pente show, as much as Anglican pomp, but only if there is a sincere relationship that develops personally between the person and Christ through the Spirit. The great test of any "spiritual work" is if it glorifies The Lord Jesus Christ ultimately. I still think Phil Pringle is a great evangelist, he gives a basic Billy Graham style gospel appeal and people get saved. Just pray for the Pentecostal movement, that they are truly discipled to Jesus and not just a culture or club. I often heard people speak of church as their fix- I mean they work with a lot of druggies and try to replace the drug with Jesus- good ! But if church is just a fix, one must ask if the person knows Jesus for real 24/7, we should all ask that of ourselves, as the bible says, examine yourselves and see whether you are in the faith. Our institutions and doctrine can be fallible, but do we know Jesus ? There is the rub !

Works do certainly give reward in heaven. The scripture says by purely believing in Jesus you are saved. Read it. This is "a" notion of grace. Does God forgive one who might make the mistake of claiming works for salvation- there's plenty in the NT, that suggests that if one does not have the works, a transformed nature- "God never knew them." The maturity of faith is actually in putting the words into practice. Its a misnomer that maturity means "deeper doctrine," as many claim. I think these folks are just trying to make the role of "teacher" and teaching more important than it should be. The bible aint rocket science, and if it communicates poorly get a "Message." Luther translated it and so do so many others that it is made easy to understand- if we can't achieve that simplicity of delivering the message- woe to us !!!

I personally think that a Catholic person, accepts that Jesus died for their sins, says thankyou and lets the spirit into thier life- they are saved, and have a concept of grace- even if their church teaches works etc... Grace is embedded in the very notion that Jesus died for their sin. Should we punish ourselves for not doing what we should ? We don't have to, but how bastardly are we to spit on the grace given us, as we do every day. Its to be commended that Catholics get down on their knees in church and pray. Lets pray that they have a sincere relationship with Jesus, and this crazy Tridente Mass won't turn the faith back another 1000 years. The Catholic Church does a lot of things right like confession etc... sadly i went to a Catholic school once and a kid said- I can sin and the priest will forgive me in confession. Maybe they do understand grace, just with false mediation ! But we do the same in our Protestant Churches sadly.

Theology doesn't save us, its a childish faith in Jesus that saves, and the work of the Spirit within. As the scripture says, knowledge puffs up, but love builds up- yet How will they hear without a preacher.

When in the Pressie Church, some of the arguments used for Cessation, were things like: Oh the bible is sufficient, so we don't need these other things, then you hear of the idea that these things were for the early church and even they were part of the apostolic ministry only etc... Well I argue that the Apostolic ministry still exists because people see Jesus still (An apostle was one who saw Jesus)- there are many stories of this, in my family too, the one commonality is that He has a big nose !! Which is interesting because He could change His form if he wanted too.

They also consider these gifts etc as revelation, so they would see it to an adding to the scripture and quickly call on the curse at the end of Revelation. When I discussed the miraculous and "supernatural" phenomena, which I consider normal actually in the mission field, they would say things like "that's witchcraft, and would site some Puritain line from the Americas, witch burning and all- I am not kidding.

They are in pure denial of the supernatural and mystical- though mysticism is a normal part of Christian life- they are paranoid about that word- in fact most mainstream churches are paranoid about this word. But you look at very conservative Reformers, they used the word and accepted mysticism.
I tell these silly folk who are clearly ignorant of their own roots, that they are very mystical people, prayer is the most mystical thing we do as Christians, we talk directly to the creator- that's pretty amazing. They would have to erase some of their heroes too like Luther, John Bunyan and William Blake and many more at the top of their heroes list !

Jesus still appears to people, there are many stories of speaking in tongues with and supernatural interpretation or spontaneous language faculties. When my dad was in Afghanisthan they were witnessing Jesus to some Afghans speaking in English, and the Afghan's heard one of these folk in their own language.

You're right in saying that we are limitig God, but we are also bearing false witness, by claiming this stuff doesn't happen anymore. At the same time, scripture is authority, but even this requires spiritual interpretation. Ever asked God a question and a scripture hits you flat in the face ? Its too wacky at times to be caused by priming ? Others say that when you are close to God, coincidences happen.

We must be careful not to overvalue the supernatural, because we are told that the beast will even raise the dead. In India and in other places, miraculous healing is given via witch doctors/healers etc... some of this is demonic, and some just natural human gift to heal. At the end of the day, does it glorify Jesus, and we are told Jesus has the power.

There is the story of a face off in Africa between a witch doctor and a missionary, to out do the other, sort of like Moses and Pharaoh's priests/magicians, and who wins I wonder, Jesus man !

Deceivers will fool people, so at the end of the day, we have to apply the Jesus test about who gets the glory. Excellent point Derek, God can do anything he wants to, inside His justice and promises. I think God is a bit bored with the West, is this wrong ? I am bored !

People are Presbyterians for a number of reasons, one main reason being because they have Scottish Heritage. They generally carry a culture with them and add this to "faith." It shoul dbe the other way around, the bible speaks of "THE CHURCH IN A PLACE." So you have The Church in America etc... This Prebyterian or denominational thing is not an ideal model, but it "might" be part of God's sovereign plans.

We have to be careful for our reasons to attend a church. We should also not defend a church for the sake of our membership in it. We should also answer honestly and point to Christ rather than the institution.

When I evangelise personally, I put in disclaimers about the church, because it will generally let people down- and that's how it will always be- we are still sinners and still sinful- the bible would be lying otherwise. Someone in church said it well today: Christians aren't perfect just forgiven !

On Reformed. We have to be careful what we imply by Reformed. Calvin did some terrible things in the name of Christ and we shouldn't blindly just say he was a great role model. A lot of evil things have been done in the name of Calvin and come from his ideas. I love the idea of Reformation, and I don't like people stealing the word "Reformed."

Reformed should be like having an open mind like Luther and searching the gospels personally and seeking God's truth personally, so you can discern what is wrong with the institution and reform it. And better than that Reform one's self by the Word of God.

Someone said to me recently, that Reformed should be Reforming Church, because it is over a lifetime that we grow in Christ and are sanctified by the Spirit. I can see that this guy has gown in Christ since I first met him, that's wonderful.

Clarification above. The church will be perfected, at the end as the bride of Christ, perfect. Not just yet though.

Free grace is CONDITIONAL. A person who does not forgive, the bible says will not be forgiven, God will judge you with the same standard you judge others. I struggle with this, even to live at peace with all men. We certainly do earn rewards in heaven- read the scripture. But this is not to be likened to a Buddhist ladder on the way to Nirvana.

I disagree about your idea of freewill. There is nothing new under the sun (needs some interpretation), so people are always following and are slave to something. Apart from Christ they are a slave of Sin. In our view they do not desire freed will at all, but slavery to sin. The closest thing to free will is free grace as, we are no longer bound by strict legalism, but the Spirit naturally generates fruit as we work with Him.

Free will is not valued by people generally, our society has always been a pack of followers and preachers, its just what they are following and preaching. I believe the only way people will see Jesus is by freely seeking God with the Spirit working within. I doubt that a person who becomes a believer because their parents were Christians could sincerely call themself a believer (for now). They do not have a personal relationship with Christ. If this is what you mean by "free grace" like some of the supposed "Reformed" infant baptism ideas, I suggest you may have a problem.

Grace is not free, it cost Jesus a lot, and costs us our lives too, the price as the scripture says of being a disciple. Also remember that it has been suggested that it is Calvin's ideas that created the values of free speech, democracy etc... in the USA. An American literature book in high school, on the other hand, suggested it was Emerson and his Transcendentalist folk.

Pushing free grace (which I have no problem with) is one's own intellectual position. You claim:
"Why do people hate free grace and love free will? Because, a belief in God's sovereignty and thus a denial of our free will threatens our own religious experience and our own intellectual understanding of Faith."

Are you saying that your intellectual position stated above is in conflict with God's sovereignty ?

God's sovereignty in no way reduces our religious experience or intellectual understandings of faith. Both are part of His sovereign plan as illustrated in many places in scripture. God's sovereignty is that we have more spiritual experiences, life in its fulness. I think you have totally got God's sovereinty wrong. God's sovereignty is for us to have more experiences and have more choice- slavery to Christ is freedom, even freedom from death and sin.

Are you paranoid about religious (spiritual) experiences because you haven't had one ?? Some cognitive models suggest we can select out this stuff through conditioning or selective perception. You sure this hasn't happened to you ? I fail to see how you can have intimacy with Christ given that prayer and reading the bible are supposed to be "spiritual EXPERIENCES," as all of this existence is experience (from experience) !! Understanding God's sovereignty is also an experience.

Like I have said. God has no problem with choice, it in no way contradicts election, as both co-exist. You would have to be crazy not to accept that one chooses to do things, whether this is the Spirit working or one's motivation stimulating action. Still choice. Why is this agency important ? Because we are made in the image of God, and if we deny our choice and agency, we also cut off a great deal of the work we are supposed to be doing. We have power as believers, as the bible says, we will judge the angels. We have great value in the big scheme, because of what our saviour has done for us and the good plans he has prepared for us to do. We still do them, and from OUR PERSPECTIVE with agency and decision. To claim otherwise from "our perception," would be to claim that we are God, rather than gods as the scripture says.

I personally am sick of Christians using God's sovereignty as an excuse for sin and the injustice done against me and others.

If morality is defined by actions, one can certainly be forced to be immoral.

Anyone who agrees with Capitalism can't be moral or have integrity because they promote selfishness as a law.

They say never speak about religion, money, politics or sex. Well that's just about everything that one can talk about. British retentivity may want you to not speak at all.

We now live in a mad society that justifies psychopaths- why, we even have to take responsibility for the evil things done to us.

I am a playboy living in the Bahamas, with a trophy wife, Porsche and Ocean Yacht because I told people what they wanted to hear.

They'll say you're wrong, even those closest to you. It has a context they will say do disvalidate your suffering and let the oppressors win. Their freedom is lies, death, evil. Their freedom is a myth, a delusion.
As if they know your heart, and the bible is wrong- for the mouth does not speak what the heart is full of- some people don't speak at all, we are trained to lie from birth. Its how science defines intelligence (the ability to lie is the Turing test).

The best advice my dad gave me is, don't design for a church, don't do things for them. It just breeds jealousy. And then people say- wow what a great church, they're just dumdums. Institutions are always sinful, even churches. The quicker they realise that the easier it is for God to work.

Alf is wanting to be free from the oppression of money (its how they control you).

Some people think, that because they go to the right committees they have some special place, some special authority- are they mad.

Is applying for refugee status to a 3rd world country.

NO. The person who walked with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden in Iraq, was Jesus, John 1 says he was the creator of this Earth. If we follow the family trees in the bible back to Adam and Eve back to this time, that dates back a few thousand years. Jesus was always there, mortality according to scripture came after the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was eaten. A cheeky bugger could argue that they were mortal previously, and the fruit made them immortal, then God cursed them, but I'm not sure that's how it reads. As for the mortality of other animals- still thinking about that one, it seems everything became mortal at this point, even the earth itself. Good question boxing babe.

Just because you tell someone off, punch them even judge them, doesn't mean you don't love them, Jesus cursed humans with death- its why we die, doesn't mean He doesn't love us- with perfect love. Doesn't mean you're bitter with them- justice is justice. This world has little true justice, if it didn't we wouldn't need Jesus Christ. Thankfully God is still in charge and gets His will on earth as it is in heaven, for now corrupt humans have power, and as the bible says, "the oppressors have power on their side. " Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them." Ecclesiastes 4:1. God gets angry and judges oppressors, they are characterized by arrogance, lies. The bible says that "liberating justice will rise and healing" FROM those who revere His name. There are too many psycopathic despots in churches.

A leader is not a person who never sticks their head out, they tell it how it is, and they need to be able to take risks, even risks to the death. Jesus didn't dress up like a Pharisee, he just went to the temple in the one piece and just preached, he didn't tell people what they wanted to hear, he told the Pharisees and the "lackies," things they didn't want to hear, people often rejected or couldn't handle the words.

Christians have got to stop trying to be something they are not- we get angry, we get hurt, we are weak, we are human beings. The bible says when "...we are weak He is strong..." Christians have got to show folks that they are human beings- our love should make us stand out from the world. But you will find few Christians practicing true biblical charity. Christians are still sinful, we try to obey Christ, but we don't meet God's standard ever. We need to explain that- its not about us, its about Jesus ! I was happy to hear that I am not the only one who thinks Australia is still just a penal colony, there is a rising tide of people getting a raw deal from the law, government and work- this is not on in a democracy, and a very Jesus reform must happen soon- Christians should lead in a society, not be these sheltered passive pansies in committees that we are taught to be.

Recently in prayers, I have heard some strange ideas in church, "we pray for the more important people in our church," we pray for the "mediators" (used in the catholic sense). These people are respected leaders, but their basic doctrine seems way off. How does one tackle heresy in a church- when leaders are the ones pushing it ? : )

The bible says, love your enemies, pray for those who perecute you.
How are we to operate as Christians in a secular context. Do we just play doormat. I don't know, I have done this at various times in my life and have always wondered what to do with the warnings (I assume from God- I would pray and ask Him to defend me- I never did anything wrong) that manipulative people were on the prowl and the vultures are swooping. Let them eat or fight ? Peacemaking is not always possible. Vengeance is mine says the Lord. What my father finds, is the things that people accuse you of falsely, they becaome guilty of for real, or in their family. There is this pattern. You can love someone, but be a doormat, I don't think so.

Someone told me yesterday, that because I want God to avenge me, and want justice, I am playing God. This seems a contradiction when the person was in authority, misusing that authority with lies and institutional bullying. Like I have said before, that person is murdering me and God judges with the same standard they judge- so what can they expect- to die. God is no fairy tale, lovely dovey soft cookie monster. When David misused his authority, his baby died, the reason for Psam 50/51 after Nathan's scathing and condemnatory rebuke. When people lie and steal from God- Ananias and Sapphira- they die ! When Christians oppress other Christians, especially the struggling, with some sort of greater "importance" I can't say what God's judgement will be. God is no respecter of persons, the bible says, but His mercies are everlasting. But what does that mean ? : |

Jesus is alive, money is dead (metal, plastic, paper or electrons).

Old is cool cos God is cool.

I can't design, paint, write, engineer. What can I do, that is needed, that is necessary, when nature is so wonderful. Streams and springs to drink, rivers to wash, grass as carpet and sun for warmth. Animals to ride and play with, continuing variety and change. What can I make, create that has meaning ?

The only good thing about money is how disgusting it really is. All that disease carried person to person, little organisms weasling onto your hands, that guy or girl who scratched when you weren't looking. It helps increase our immunity, makes us stronger, as gross as it is.

Christian and Cultural reasons for namesake faith suggest to me, people can't handle the suffering or persecution from standing against the flow of the world. They lose sight of the way of Christ.

The roots argument is a good one, its a good rebuttal to an idea of mine that: tradition is just a contemporary idea that people get fixated on, I call rock music traditonal and old fashioned/dated now, let alone traditional church music, for example, yet if it helps you worship- great. Belief though is central, the root basis for the "faith."

The root of the faith is Christ. It was Jesus' love, mercy, and the freedom of salvation that Luther was on about, that kindled the protestant fire. Style is not so important- if roots means style, we miss the point I think. Style should merely serve best, the SINCERE desire to praise, repent, praise, remember, glorify and worship Jesus, and the daily works He inspires such as loving, giving to the poor, serving the brother in need.

I was trying to explain to someone the other day, that you can't "claim to be a Catholic" and be an "actively practicing, promoting homosexual." A Bahai, New Age type of thinking has emerged. The idea of right and wrong, sin and righteousness is eroded.

Where you can be more than one thing at the same time-maybe. It's a tough area to navigate. Many have lost the idea that God can do anything, that He is in charge and He created and sustains the world.

This is partly due to the previous generation I feel, who taught some values which were not biblical like career etc... A male divorcee yesterday claimed that, after they had children, His wife had no interest in Him, only for the kids, as if she had been taught how to be a mother but not a wife.

When we lose sight of spiritual roots, we start eroding our faith roots as if the two areas cross, in some attempt to socialise our kids. Are we victims of our own doing- not that I have kids ! What I try to do, is differentiate between created things, creation and God. Most of the things we create are pretty silly, even our laws at times push the boundaries of stupidity, these are our designs, we should learn early to treat them with "a questioning mind," even if we are instructed by scripture not to rebel against authorities.

Most youths now live for "career," according to what they say. But this career thing is just a design, like a car or a pen, it is as silly to live for this as say. defining your life by a "temptation" or tendency- homosexuality. We have let something sneak in more insideous than we imagine- yet this is not a new issue.

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