Faith Precedes Regeneration and Revelation Precedes Faith

Salvation begins with God revealing himself to man. Man cannot find God unless he reveals himself to man. God’s love for his creation is why there is a way for people to be saved from their just desert (John 3:16). Christ came into the world to save mankind, which means he had to pay for man’s sins (John 1:29). He also had to initiate the salvation opportunity on a personal level since man on his own will never pursue God (Rom 3:11). He did this by enlightening every person (John 1:9–13) and by drawing and calling individuals to salvation (John 6:44; 12:32) so that a person can by grace, trust in the person and work of Christ, which is the will and work of God (John 6:29).

It is after God reveals himself and enables mankind to believe that he gives man the command and opportunity to believe, which man does not have to do (Matt 11:20–24). If man does respond in faith to the revelation of God, God will respond by creating a new person (2 Cor 5:17). The work of regeneration is totally a work of God, as was the first creation. The order of salvation is revelation, faith, and regeneration. Continue reading →

Dr. Paige Patterson Falsely Accused, Again

Since Jennifer Lyell misrepresented Dr. Paige Patterson, as the Houston Chronicle article did, in the unveiling of her consensual sexual encounter, I thought I would post his letter to the Chronicle.

February 14, 2019

Mr. Steve Riley
Acting Editor
The Houston Chronicle
4747 Southwest Freeway
Houston, Texas 77027

Dear Mr. Editor:

For 42 years, I have said to each graduating class, “If you have not settled forever the issue of sexual purity, take your diploma tomorrow and leave church ministry altogether.”  I feel compelled to respond to the Houston Chronicle article in which I was cited.  In the case of Darrell Gilyard, Dr. Keith Eitel (now a dean at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Dr. Danny Akin (now president at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) worked directly with me to uncover and confirm Darrell’s unfaithfulness to Christ. Dr. Keith Eitel has film of the proceedings of Gilyard’s discipline at the Criswell College, and Gilyard was consequently expelled from school.  Dr. Akin accompanied me to Gilyard’s church to be certain that he resigned.  I called as many places as I knew where he was scheduled to preach and asked them to cancel his invitation.  Most did cancel, and he no longer speaks in Southern Baptist churches.

Further, letters exist in my file from the young woman at Southeastern thanking me for the way in which her situation was handled.  She now (more than a decade later) claims to have been raped.  According to Dr. Akin as quoted in a Baptist Press article, the term “rape” was not found in the report in her official student file, and there are no details of information being given to me or of my involvement in the matter.  Dr. Akin did confirm that my vice presidents had handled the matter properly as this was during the transition of my presidency to Southwestern.

Fort Worth Police records show that within seconds of receiving an allegation of rape at Southwestern by a female student wit h her mother present, I called the police.  They arrived in less than twenty minutes.  The young man – also a student – was immediately dismissed from the school.  The young woman was asked by me to file charges against him, and she refused.  The Southwestern trustees even confirmed in a public statement, “evidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse.”

Houston Chronicle reporters have slandered and totally misrepresented me, and in so doing have significantly harmed my ministry.  The events they report are tragic.  However, there is no reason to punish the innocent with the wicked. I applaud SBC president Dr. J.D. Greear for doing all that he can to bring this abrogation of righteousness and justice to a halt.  Anyone abusing a child, a woman, or any weaker person is wrong and marked by deviant behavior.  Anyone claiming to be a follower of Christ who acts in such a way or who protects one who preys upon another is both opprobrious and ignoble.  Anyone claiming to be a minister of the Gospel who is thus involved is reprehensible and should not continue in the ministry.

The facts are available to anyone who wishes to know the truth.  A good investigative reporter should study existing evidence to identify and bring to justice those who are guilty, being careful not to accuse one who has been completely cleared of the charges alleged.

Until He comes,

 

 

Paige Patterson
Dallas, Texas

CC: Mr. Shelby Sharpe, Attorney at Law

 

The Five Reasons for Church Discipline

I have led churches to practice church discipline for over thirty years now, and I do not see the need for church discipline to be any less today than in years past. If anything, the need has increased.

Church discipline can be understood as the biblical attitude and actions of the local church that enable her to preserve her submission to the head of the church in holiness, fellowship, testimony, mission, and doctrinal purity, with the purpose of maintaining a conducive atmosphere for following Christ and experiencing His presence and power. Church discipline includes the following purposes: redemption, correction, protection, purification, and justice. On a practical level, I would further distinguish between non-formal and formal discipline. Non-formal includes all aspects of the biblical teaching and practical application of church discipline up to public involvement of the full church body in either seeking repentance of the sinning brother or sister or removal from fellowship. Continue reading →

Church Discipline Requires a Tender Heart – Love Not Legalism

A biblical attitude is crucial to the whole process of church discipline. If the attitude of those implementing discipline is not right, then what God designed to be a beautiful act of selfless love is transformed into an ugly act of power, even if all the other instructions are followed to the letter. The offspring of that evil may shortly surface as a disuniting and judgmental spirit in the fellowship, or it may lay dormant until the next attempt to lead the church in discipline and then surface with a vengeance.[1] Continue reading →

The Right and Wrong of the Houston Chronicle’s Articles on “Abuse of Faith”

The Houston Chronicle helped in that it shed light on some abuses that were not taken seriously enough, hidden or ignored. These abuses are immeasurably tragic and trivializing of them is the tragedy of tragedies. I regret cover-ups of any human tragedies by churches, Christians, and leaders. I regret when churches fail to follow the biblical teaching on church discipline because it results in the sacrifice of righteousness and mercy toward the guilty and victims and because it results in the world having to expose such grievous sins in the church (Mt 18:15-20; Rm 16:17-18; 1 Co 5:1-13; Gal 6:1-2; 2 Thes 3:6-13). Consequently, sin in the church is not the actual travesty since we are all sinners. Rather, it is the church’s failure to follow Christ’s teaching for addressing it that is the epic failure. Continue reading →

Sanctioned Illegal Immigration is an Illegal Uncompassionate Mobocracy

Actively or passively facilitating or incentivizing illegal immigration only appears to be compassionate. In the long term, it is actually uncompassionate because it undermines legal immigration and fuels globalism, which deconstructs the USA as a sovereign nation, creates and perpetuates unnecessary border crises of suffering, promotes lawlessness, and it costs more to fund than securing the border and supporting only legal immigration.[1] Ultimately such misdirected compassion changes the culture of the USA into the very culture illegal immigrants left, an impoverished dictatorship or mobocracy, which benefits no one. Continue reading →

This New Year and Every Day I Ask God to…

Grant that I would confess unguardedly to You since You know my sin more fully than it shall ever be known by me (1 John 1:9).

Grant that I shall confess unhesitatingly and not suffer the loss of one moment of fellowship with You (1 Cor 1:9).

Grant that repentance would be seen as my ever-present friend that carries me back to you and not a distant stranger (Rom 2:4).

Grant that I think about dying to self a hundred times more than I think of living (1 Cor 15:31).

Grant that I pursue and choose humility like my Lord Jesus (Phil 2:8).

Grant that I decreasingly have to be humbled to conform me to Christ (Matt 26:75).

Grant that I cherish obscurity more than prominence (John 3:30).

Grant that my awareness of what you give me is never overshadowed by any sense of lack (Eph 1:3).

Grant that any sense of self-pity, lack, loss, or despondency would be conquered by gratefulness for not receiving what I deserve and receiving your blessings that I do not deserve (Eph 2:1-4).

Grant that I would daily live to influence people toward eternity with You (John 1:7).

Grant that sharing things with others would continually bridle the passion of my flesh to accumulate things for me (Matt 6:4).

Grant that sharing with others is more important to me than maintaining an inordinate sufficiency for me (Eph 4:28).

Grant that, come what may, I never fall out of love with You and Your Word (Rev 2:4).

Thank you, Lord!

The Paradox of Christmas

On Christmas, we give thanks and celebrate Christ humbling himself and being born a baby boy. That is the greatest gift and message of Christmas; may Christ humility, which made the Christmas message possible, be seen in us.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who . . . humbled Himself” (Phil 2:5, 8).

He who had no beginning was born.
He was born of a woman he created.
The served became the servant.
The sovereign became the sacrifice.
He came from the halls of heaven to the hell of Golgotha.
He became a part of his creation.
He was taught to eat, although he created the digestive system of humanity.
He was taught the ABCs, although he created all the languages.
He was taught to start and finish things, although he is the Alpha and Omega
He was taught to make animal harnesses out of trees he created.
He was taught how to make a wheel, although he created the earth a sphere.
He is the Lord of creation, yet he was called the Lord of Flies.
He is Truth, yet he was called a liar.
He is the King of Kings, yet he was denied the throne of Israel.
He exchanged the crown of glory for a crown of thorns.
He existed in eternity and was killed in time.
He who knew no sin became sin for us.
He was God but appeared as an ordinary man.
He who is life died.
He delivered man from God’s Judgement but not himself.
He is the light of the world, but he was buried in the darkness of God’s wrath.
He gave up the infinite and took on the average.
He endured the unthinkable.
He helped the ungrateful.
He delivered the unholy.
He sacrificed his sovereignty.
He sought true servanthood.
He sacrificed his self.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5–11).

“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).

The Christ of Christmas!

Calvinism Is of God and Extensivism (non-Calvinism) Is of Man: Really?

Although I do not accept Calvinism as reflective of God or his plan of salvation as depicted in Scripture, I do maintain the following. Whether God chose to save man according to the teachings of Calvinism or Extensivism, salvation is all by grace. I further believe he could have chosen either way; since, in either scenario, he would have sovereignly and freely chosen the plan including all of its components, each would be totally by grace; however, most Calvinists are not so kind regarding the possibility of Extensivism. Continue reading →

Understanding the Danger of Equating Social Justice with Biblical Justice

The following resources provide an understanding of the social justice movement of our day, and why many Christian leaders reject it as culturally defined. These resources expose and explain the basis of social justice ideology and vocabulary. The social justice movement is not sanitized just because it is accepted by some Christian leaders and uses Scripture, nor should it be confused with Biblical justice. Continue reading →