Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Death Of A Pope's Blog

This is an "official" farewell to my friend-in-internet, the Protestant Pope. To his blog, particularly.

Goodbye! And cheers!

Hope you'll find my selection of your exquisite works interesting, timely, and edifying!

Regulative Principle of Worship? (Protestant Pope)

Please see these posts (modern songs) from Daniel Chew and his contradictory post.

Coming from a person who disdains New Evangelical Calvinism (NEC) as seen in his "thesis" on the Credo500 blog, Daniel is playing right into the hands of the very people he has criticised!

This is how Daniel Chew describes himself
"I am a Reformed Christian standing firm on the Scriptures alone who owes much to the legacy of the Reformation, and desires to build further upon that firm foundation solidly expounding the Truths of Scripture. As a guideline, I subscribe to the 6 forms of unity (the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession of Faith, the Canons of the Synod of Dordt, the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Shorter and Larger Catechisms). To God be the glory alone!"

What "legacy of the Reformation" is Daniel talking about? The 5-points of Calvinism only?

Furthermore, Daniel makes the audacious claim to "subscribe to the 6 forms of unity" (very rare!) and hold to the "Regulative Principle of Worship"

How does that measure up with his love for modern songs, which are borrowed from the charismatics? I know the New Evangelical Calvinists are very much into that sort of thing (Piper and co.), wanting the best of both worlds - and doing very badly in both!

Some hard questions Daniel Chew need to address:

1) What 'regulates' his worship? Scripture or tradtion or taste?

2) 'Beautiful music' is how he describes his latest post under the heading 'song:'. Is that not the Church of Rome's position and the modern wishy-washy Christian? So what so unique about his brand of worship?

3) By the way, does his pastor/church (a supposedly PRCA supporter) approve of his form of regulative principle of worship?

Daniel has played right into the hands of the NECs and he is no different from the NECs. He talks about Biblical Separation, but rarely practice that. Except with those who are "watchmen of watchmen" (and all his "former friends"). If that is not double standards, what is?

A Rant about Another Rant... (From The Protestant Pope)

Dear Readers of this blog,

I have seen another attack from Daniel Chew, through his Credo500 blog. As much as the Credo500 blog has its good uses, the name of Daniel Chew co-organising has given it a bad name. Pity, the other contributors are good people.

Reminds us... "Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil." 1 Timothy 3:7 (ESV)

The leader (or wanna-be leader, as is the case of Daniel Chew) must be "well thought of by outsiders". Daniel Chew is not well thought of by "insiders" - let alone "outsiders". Daniel Chew ought to take heed to his opponents, as well as his 'supporters'. I fear that his 'supporters' are mainly faceless characters on blogsphere - whom he would happily call them FRIENDS, but reject his numerous Former Friends and opponents, calling them HERETICS, APOSTATES, etc. One wonder what standard he is using? Is that the Bible's standards for friends?

Back to the Credo500 blog conference. This last paragraph in Daniel's conclusion caught my attention -
"Right from the start, the conference was overshadowed by the specter of a few hate-filled bigots who continually post cowardly and slanderous comments using multiple pseudonyms. Through posting many times and under various pseudonyms like "Antithesis", "A Reader", "The Reader", "A friend", "Ming Liang", "Luther Lim", "Calvin Chan", "Anonymous" and possibly others ("Monica C", "Eng Kiat","Pistevo"?), these few people attempt to give the illusion of a large number of people. These few people continually violate our blog conference rules and persist in attempting to post comments even after being banned and having their comments deleted. They even try to turn brothers against each other, and nearly succeeded. In this respect, I am thankful to God that most people saw through the anti-Christian attitude exhibited by these bigots, and refuse to have anything to do with them. This episode also shows us the dangers in having such an open and public conference whereby heretics of all stripes can enter and attempt to hijack the conference. As we have heard through feedback, the presence of these people do deter others from commenting so as to avoid the toxic environment and at the same time avoid being targeted by these bigots. In the event that another such conference would be planned, we would most definitely take this into consideration so as to prevent a repeat of such attacks of the devil by his minions, and thus create a godly environment conducive to the discussion of the doctrines of God's Word."

A clear example of a person who should not be a pastor. Also a clear example of a bad writer (never mind that he has 'publish' a book and called himself an 'author'). Yes, yes, someone would say (prob Daniel himself) "A pastor must expose error!"... we can agree on that. But there is an occasion for that sort of thing. A conclusion to a conference (or manuscript) is to summarise the whole events, pointing out positives and providing encouragements. Problems encountered should be summarised and provide ways of improvments. To have a mud-slinging paragraph like the above, without knowing the people involved, or the issues dealt with (or left untouched, as is the case normally is!) is totally out-of-order.

  • Who are these hate-filled bigots?
  • Are they a few - with multiple pseudonymns?
  • How on earth does Daniel know these - as facts?
  • To delete comments because Daniel does not know the answer or feels it embarresses him - is also out-of-order. We have seen that during the Credo500 conference. Don't bother looking for these comments for proof - they are deleted, duh!

"They even try to turn brothers against each other, and nearly succeeded."
Actually, I can say that Daniel has turned against his own brother. The rest of us (AT and company) have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to turn brothers against each other!

Daniel Chew himself has already made a brother into another "former-friend". Welcome to the club, former friend of Daniel Chew.

[More to come]

Caught in the Act (aka How to be Inconsistent!) - From The Protestant Pope

[This issue is brought to my attention through one of the anonymous commentors. Thank you, whoever you are!]

This is quite embarressing. After all the serious Credo500 blog and all that talk about being "REFORMED" and "PURITAN" (even naming his blog "puritanreformed") , I see Daniel has just shot himself in the foot.

If you need more proof, read this - a description of himself...
"I am a Reformed Christian standing firm on the Scriptures alone who owes much to the legacy of the Reformation, and desires to build further upon that firm foundation solidly expounding the Truths of Scripture. As a guideline, I subscribe to the 6 forms of unity (the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession of Faith, the Canons of the Synod of Dordt, the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Shorter and Larger Catechisms)."

6 forms of unity! This makes Daniel more Reformed than Reformed, more Puritanical than the Puritans! With that in mind, please read on!

Daniel Chew is part of CERC, a church closely associated with the Protestant Reformed Churches of America (PRCA). You can call PRCA to be the right-wing (conservative) of all Calvinistic denominations. In fact, some have accused them of being Hyper Calvinistic (rightly or wrongly, I leave it to the consciences of my readers). That could explain why Daniel Chew has become one of their members. So far so good...

However, being the inconsistent person that he is, I believe Daniel Chew is quite fond of Redemption Hill Church. Look at this very short post. He called the pastor "My friend Simon" - oh dear, name-dropping and a friend... watch out Simon, he might find something unclean about you and you will be his "former-friend"!

Check out this post as well and its comments. This is the hilarious part - if you actually download the sermon and listen at around 17:53 you will hear this:

"Can someone give me a smile at the back there. Daniel Chew, why don't you give me a smile? Thank you... All right, make me feel a bit better." (this is also cited by a commentor, Beng)

This is hilarious! So Daniel was there at Redemption Hill Church on Sunday 8 March 2009! Does his Pastor at CERC know about this? What about the Elders at CERC?

He even mentioned in his post that he has met Pastor Simon Murphy over lunch (see the name-dropping?)... ah, fame at last!

Do my readers not see something wrong here? Has Daniel Chew ever promoted CERC's sermons? They exist, all nicely catalogued here. But why has Daniel Chew not said anything about his own local church's sermons? Has he ever done a bit of name-dropping of his OWN PASTOR? Is he a member of CERC or not? Perhaps I am missing something here! I feel sorry for Pastor Paul Goh, who is labouring faithfully for the Lord - only to have a member who is running around promoting some other church.

By the way, Daniel said that Redemption Hill is "a new church plant in Singapore which is properly Gospel-centered and part of the global resurgence in Calvinism." Really, is that so?
Is RHC the new bastion for Calvinism?
Is it consistent with Daniel Chew's beliefs (6 forms of unity and all that!)?

Redemption Hill Church http://redemptionhill.sg/
In their website, under
their FAQ section you read this...

"7. How are you different from other churches that identify themselves as being reformed?

A helpful way to summarize our convictions is that we hold to a reformed view of salvation. We believe that God is sovereign over all things, including the salvation of individual sinners, and that all things, including salvation, have as their ultimate goal the glory of God. Such a perspective keeps the gospel central and grace amazing. While we believe that traditional reformed theology generally represents Scripture well, our ultimate theological commitment is not to a particular system of theology, but to theology that is biblical. Theology is the pursuit of God that must lead us to deep reverence of Him, and love for Him. We certainly do not hold to some of the traditional reformed views, such as infant baptism and the cessation of the gifts."

So RHC is aa 5-pointer in salvation and that is it. Great! Is our Daniel "6 forms of unity" Chew happy about the lack of emphasis on Scripture ALONE and Infant Baptism? Goodness!

RHC also claims to be "...accountable to a team of men and women known as ‘New Covenant Ministries International’ (NCMI)."

What about the NCMI? To put it in a nutshell, they are an organisation that will sort out all the ills of the world and 'church'. Read their website - see for yourself. And they call themselves an "Apostolic/Prophetic team"! And Daniel has no problems with that? Goodness!

So on one hand, Daniel is against the "Neo-apostolicism" movement and the "New Evangelical Calvinism", YET he is very much involved with them! Is that INCONSISTENT OR WHAT!

PS: I have nothing against RHC and its pastor Simon Murphy. I applaud their work for Jesus in Singapore. My issues are with Daniel Chew who is very inconsistent, yet expects consistency from all Christians!

Misapplied verse: Ezekiel 3:17 (Protestant Pope)

"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me..." Ezekiel 3:17

I am no exegete, or theologian (even if I was, I would not say it in this blog!) - so I can only offer questions and possible answers to the verses that ODMers love to cite to justify their actions.
  • Is this watchman specific for the nation of Israel & for a specific time?
The ESV heading for this verse is "A Watchman for Israel". Strictly speaking, the watchman is specific for the nation of Israel during the OT. A cursory look in the bible will show that the word "watchman" only appears in the OT, for the nation of Israel. The watchman is to stand on a tower and call out if enemies (physical, literal) are close-by - like a guard on sentry duty. ODMers need to ask themselves - Is there scope for the NT to have watchman?
  • Is the watchman a term for specific Christians or for all Christians?
Daniel Chew has called himself a watchman in a letter that he wrote to the Campus Crusade community in the National University of Singapore.

He wrote "As someone who has been called by the Lord as a watchman, I would like to warn all of you of the incoming tide of heresy encroaching into the churches under the guise of ‘tolerance’."

Antithesis has in the past wrote a funny post about Daniel Chew's antics and his now infamous "NAME CARD"

Daniel is not alone in this matter.

Years ago, there was another famous Christian man who decided not only adopt the title of Watchman, but he actually changed his name to Watchman - Watchman Nee. Again, Watchman Nee also had similiar views about himself in his biography found on the Watchman Nee website:

At the moment of his salvation, all his previous planning became void and his future career was entirely abandoned. He testified, "From the evening I was saved, I began to have a new life, for the life of the eternal God had entered into me". Later, after being raised up by the Lord to carry out His commission, he adopted the new English name Watchman and the new Chinese name To-sheng, which means "watchman's rattle," for he considered himself a watchman raised up to sound a warning call in the dark night.

Note, the Lord promised His Spirit who would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Not some earthly Watchman - to warn us about the Lord's coming.

Ah, the ODMer will say - but what about pastors and teachers (Eph 4)? Do we dispense with them?

NO! Jesus appoints the means of saving people from their sins (preaching of Gospel and Work of Holy Spirit) and ALSO the means of keeping them from falling. How? By the Word of God (Bible) and the Pastors/teachers appointed in the church (Eph 4) to preach and uphold it. NOT some imaginary "Watchman".

Next, the ODMer will say, but what if the pastor/teacher is a heretic?

It is deplorable that churches have pastors/teachers who are heretics (or hold known heresies). Pastors are appointed by the Christians in the church to guard the flock of God, and for the church to realise later that the pastor to be a heretic is tragic. However, the Lord who builds His church will also guide His church. We know of men and women, who realising their pastor is a wolf in sheep's clothingm, have either left the church, and joined better churches OR brought it before the elders who may question and if necessary, remove the pastor who are teaching known heresy.

However, it is not the place of individual self-appointed watchman (or watchwoman) from outside stir up trouble (on blogs or discusssion boards) in other churches, just because they heard from so-and-so about the pastor in question.

If anything, the "watchman" should be within the church in question, who knows the pastor in question personally and deal with the issue with maturity, kindness, love - always seeking to restore, help, assist, rather than cause trouble.
  • Is there a ministry for the watchman?
There are those who believe that Christians ought to be watchmen. Some like Herescope would have us believe that there is a "ministry" for the watchman. For e.g.

"In case you get the impression from the previous articles that I am against any form of apologetics or discernment ministries – I am not. The ministry of a watchman is vitally important to the church. But, unfortunately, many have brought discredit to a crucial ministry by their bad attitude." Killing the Messenger, Herescope

"Watchmen who warn about impending danger have an important role throughout the Bible (Ezekiel 3:17, Acts 20:28-31). BUT, there is a huge difference between a watchman and a gossip. A watchman takes no delight in reporting the threat, while the gossip enjoys telling and re-telling the juicy stories of sin and failure. These gossips are just like the godless Athenians who “spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). Some who style themselves as “defenders of the faith,” take extreme delight in rehearsing the latest error. I have seen the glint in their eye as they play the latest DVD or as they sit around the table seeking to tell of some greater error than the previous speaker. Some rush to the keyboard to publish the latest juicy morsel as quickly and as widely as possible" Watchman or Gossip, Herescope

At least Herescope pays lip service to the fact that there is a difference between a watchman and a gossip. Personally, I think there is a very fine line between the 2, and the "watchmen" of today do not know (care about) the difference.

I have yet to find in the NT the ministry of a watchman. True Christians will have inbuilt discernment, as the Lord Himself has promised. Although we freely acknowledge that there will be some who for one reason or another lack discernment, the Lord's promise still holds true. To imagine that there is a specially (self-) appointed person called to be a watchman, like the OT prophets, is at best self-delusion.

Even the OT prophets did not come amongst the people of God with a shout "I am a Prophet, called of God!". They simply said "Thus says the Lord" and the God's people simply responded - some favourably, many unfavourably.

The problem with ODMers is their own lack of discernment, love or concern about the NT people of God. They latch onto some verses, imagined that God has appointed them to be a watchman, and then run along to churches creating trouble. Or they use their blogs to be "teachers", "watchman", etc....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Antithesis latest article and some thoughts on modern ordination (Protestant Pope)

Dear Esteemed readers of this blog (yes, both of you!),

Seeing how often Antithesis has hyperlinked my articles and vice versa, I thought I ought to keep this "tradition" going. But I do it, not out of obligation, but with the honest opinion that his latest article is very informative, good and thought-provoking.

Now, by saying so, I run into the following problem - AT might be Daniel Chew, and so I may have unwittingly given Daniel Chew a solid reason to enter the "solid"/"premier" Reformed seminary (his words, not mine!). AT, if you are Daniel in disguise, well....

At the risk of sounding like sour grapes, I offer more thoughts on Daniel's studies in the "solid" and "premier" seminary in USA. One has to make the assumption that Daniel hopes to be "ordained" - to have the prefix "Rev." - Rev. Daniel H Chew.

I hope to show that Daniel's route to ordination is at best, misguided - at worst, pragmatic.

The 'traditional' view of ordination is the local church identifies a man for the ministry (external call), who in turn has been exercise in his spirit, in that direction (internal call). The church/pastor encourages the man to preach (assess his gifts) and also observes him (assess his graces). This "check-and-balance" approach prevents those men who presume their calling, and encourages those who lack confidence in their calling. Once all that has been established, these men may be sent by the church to Bible college (optional, funds permitting), not just to receive instruction (that should be done daily, anyway, if the man is going to preach regularly) but also to instill a discipline and structure in the men, so that they are able to handle the rigours of the pastoral ministry.

After studies, the men are only just beginning - they still have to "earn their stripes", go out and preach to congregations, in the street corners, door-to-door work, visitations, etc. Perhaps then, some church might call him to be their pastor. They will be "ordained", "inducted" or "appointed".

Sadly, today this is largely turn on its head. Uncalled men can enter the ministry through the "back-door". Some Anglicans have done that in the past - middle-class Anglican families sent their sons to prestigious seminaries to pursue a BA/MA, as being a clergyman was deemed a respectable career choice (military and politics fall in the same category). Today, men who have yet to test their gifts and graces can enter the ministry using a similiar "back-door". I suggest the following route that Daniel Chew might take:

Daniel pours in his own money to enter a "solid", "premier" seminary
Daniel will ask his pastor to write an "reference" - which need not be one to demostrate the applicant's gifts and graces - just a reference to show that he can undertake a seminary degree course
Daniel enters seminary, and transfers church membership to a denomination that is linked with the seminary. After all, what better way to gain the "favour" of the church, by showing that he is a "seminary-student"?
Daniel preaches from time to time in various churches in the denomination - never mind the lack of unction from the Spirit, as long as he is a "seminary-student", he must OK, right?
After graduation, Daniel seeks ordination - the denomination tests him using the standard "ordination tests" that some place uses. Perhaps an interview or two, then hey presto! The now "seminary-graduate" is a "REV."!

Rev. Daniel H Chew leaves USA, returns to Singapore, and tells all these poor-ignorant Singaporean Christians why they must believe what HE believes... or else...

See what I mean by getting ordained using the "back-door" method?

Letter to Daniel Chew (Protestant Pope)

I really don't see a point in having a Twitter account and Blogger account when they are both doing the same thing - attacking fellow Christians online.

Chew: "Meet the New AODMers- Annoymous cowards sniping behind the safety of their keyboards, all inspired by that buffoon Antithesis."

I see the Christian LOVE oozing out of that one, don't you?

"New AODMers?" We are as new as the ODMers yourselves!

"Annoymous cowards sniping behind the safety of their keyboards..." - so are Online Discernment Ministers (including yourself, Daniel) any braver sniping behind the safety of your keyboard?

"...all inspired by that buffoon Antithesis." - what made you think people like myself are inspired by Antithesis? Who inspired you then?

Perhaps Daniel Chew has not read this yet?

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another...
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him...
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth...
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love....
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us....
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

(All taken from 1 John 3-4, ESV)

Exegete all you like, in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Chinese, whatever.... The plain old English says it clearly enough.

Dear Mr. Daniel Chew, I started this blog, not in partnership with Antithesis. I am trying to point out to you the follies of your Online Discernment Ministry - which is unbiblical, and not helpful to Christians - well, at least to the average Christian in general. Only fellow ODMers will support you, pat you on your back and love you for your "writings" - though most of us are confused and need help, guidance and prayer support.

As a fellow Christian, I will love you as a brother, even if you dislike people like me. But if you believe that Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 4:5) (people like myself... and you!) - then you might wish to reconsider your behaviour on blogsphere! If I cannot love a person like yourself, then it is best that I drop the "badge" of Christianity and live like a apostate - at least they have more "fun"!

With Christian love this Christmas season,