Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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?
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]
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!
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?
- Is the watchman a term for specific Christians or for all Christians?
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?
"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
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?
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,
An anonymous comment (1st comment) wrote in that post that Daniel Chew had a number of former friends. A follow up comment pointed out the number of one-time friends of Daniel Chew who have since disappeared - after having some "debates" with the Watchman, Author, Apologist of the Christian world (AT - Daniel's original post with his infamous name is now removed).
I decided to scan the blogsphere to look out for Daniel's former friends. My case-study is this blog - THE LIFE OF WORSHIP, by Wenxian - a Singaporean who no longer blogs. Let us follow - chronologically, their friendship and then falling out... it is a pattern between Daniel and his 'former-friends'. I have included some quotes in italics.
1) This is Wenxian's first post when he endorsed Daniel Chew's Blog - April 2006
"This is my friend's blog entry. I support what he has said in his blog entry. Daniel knows what he is saying and i have did my checking as well."
2) In June 2006, Wenxian and Daniel Chew were still FRIENDS!
"I thank the LORD... He has sent 3 people, filled by the Holy Spirit, to affirm me in my battle and help me affirm up my faith, to encourage me on this hard road of life i choose to walk in the LORD. I am thankful for brothers cyberranger and hedonese and daniel. Thank you LORD!"
3) From this post in Nov 2006, Wenxian had (or still is?) attended the same church as Daniel Chew. I wonder if he left it once he realise what kind of a character Daniel Chew is!
"Went to visit Daniel's church, CERC today. I must say that i am pleased with whats going on."
4) Here Wenxian states - in Aug 2007, what everyone suspects all along - that Daniel is a hypercalvinist! I sense the trouble has already before this post...
"Daniel a type-3 hypercalvinist?
I'm simply calling a spade a spade here. Failure to understand God's perceptive will and decreptive will? Thats really sad. What makes it really sad is that he (likely) became a type-3 hypercalvinist because he wants to oppose everything Rick Warren said in his 40day PDL book, which begins with: [God desires your salvation... God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life]... Either that or he can't bear to see himself wrong in in his angelfire website.. other reasons exist of course."
5) I am not sure about this post - dated Nov 2007, but it was obvious Daniel Chew had said something to offend Wenxian. But I was not going to pursue that line...
"I recently visited Daniel's blog and honestly, i quite regretted visiting it. yet i was also quite happy too. Its strange but being correct is a much more overwhelming feeling that being insulted/character-assasinated online. I simply proved the assessment i had of daniel all along. Of course i will not say it here, but its not good. I'm quite appalled a reformed christian actually behaves in this manner to a well-worded comment. It was neutral in stance in everyway. I couldn't believe it when i wrote the comment without a single fiery word."
6) Also this by Wenxian - dated Nov 2007. Here is clear that Wenxian has left the church that Daniel Chew attends, due to theological differences. Was it really due to theological differences or did Daniel's behaviour put him off?
"Anyway, as a personnal aside to daniel, if you won't listen to Brother Jenson, who has attended more church than you, served more than you and is much more mature than you - even IF [lets assume i am not] i am attending a church at the moment, you will not repent from your foolishness. So because you deny Brother Jenson's arguements (which i totally suscribe to), you deny yourself the same right of arguement against me when you use [the assumption that that i do not attend church, i.e. your ''i have done more than you so u don't have authority arguement''] against me.
Another thing. I am very grateful i didn't attend your church. I don't want to imagine myself trying to pull out from your church purely because of baptismal theological differences. This was my benefit of not attending church at that time. Imagined if i had committed to churches of your sort without analysis? I'll be doing it the same things as my previous church again! I was blind but now i see. I have no wish nor rush to jump back into blindness."
7) Finally check this out by Wenxian. Amazingly, in May 2008, Wenxian was sounding the call to watch the watchman! I have included Wenxian's entire post.
"I've been reflecting about 'watchmen' in certain protestant, reformed churches today. I was wondering what is it about 'watchmen' such as Daniel that made him call out Jenson as someone who disparages Scripture, even when:
1) Jenson affirms the full and sole authority of Scripture. (sola scriptura)
2) Jenson was clearly taken out of context and slandered.
Is it the correct way for Daniel to call out to Jenson and ask him to repent of something he did not do? Based on the sole proof that Daniel provided against Jenson in his blog, if taken into full context, Jenson was by no means disparaging scripture, even IF the clip (which Jenson remained silent) was sort of dispararing Scripture.
Is it therefore appropriate to assume the context of a person's heart and call the person to repent when in actual fact, the only thing Jenson did was that he did not follow Daniel's insistence to attack Edmund? [Daniel, why pray tell, must Jenson attack Edmund in the context of that post?]. Even if Edmund became rotten to the core later, it is not to be used as evidence against the 'fundamentalism is idolatry' post. Must a person attack another verbally in order to demonstrate allegance to the Lord?
Or has Daniel forgotten who Jesus chose: Mary or Martha? It is sufficient when people draw close to to the Lord.
Daniel has to learn to be humble and understand his position. While i do affirm the correctness of his analysis with Rick warren and the purpose driven movement, as well as against homosexuality, Daniel is not empowered by heaven or by powers on earth, to demand that 2 individuals speaking amongst themselves to fall out. Daniel is neither an elder nor a pastor (now). Even if Daniel is an elder or a pastor or a pope, it give him no right to bring two friends assunder (even if they associate on other terms and differ in theological opinions). That would clasify as 'Lording over the flock'.
I hope Daniel understands clearly that the reason why i dissociated from him, in retrospect, was not due to theology per se. Rather, it was his obnoxious behaviour and his willingness to interfere in events that have no need of his interference. In short, if Daniel had not interfered with my initial conversation with vincent and made his own comments, we would have parted amicably. Then again, i thank God i did not part with him well - i should stay clear of anything that pollutes me...
Additionally i hate people who have scant respect for other people's time. Such is a fruit of a person who thinks he is superior than other people and does not give people the benefit of the doubt nor respect.
I do not wish to be influenced by people who cannot inwardly manifest Christ in their lives. I have no wish to be a hypocrite. A person who cannot fix his inner man (ok thelogically its by god) but insists on not trusting God and trying to fix other men himself is in for a lot of trouble.
Another serious error is that he believes people can be neatly classified into various categories of heretics/etc. Erm no. Some may but mostly others will accept some things and reject others. To classify a person as a _________ and therefore use known arguements against this class of theology is plain foolishness! This means that Daniel has likely no wish to listen or discern if the person is (1) gently deluded (2) really believing in it (3) plain confused (4) not part of the theology at all! He once clasified me as a dispensationalist - yet John piper is a reformed theology baptist. Sighz.
If we go by the fruits of the spirit, Daniel sadly misses out on goodness, kindness, patience and self control. Well.. if God can make a Babylonian king eat grass, he can make fools out of people. Lets just leave everything to God for this guy. Honestly i had given up on him a long time ago.
Wouldn't it be better to just sit at the feet of Jesus and to draw close to Him? Isn't it enough?"
So I was informed by an anonymous reader and from comments over at Antithesis' blog that Daniel Chew is going to USA to pursue a seminary degree. He has since written a post entitled "A Transition"
I have quote in full (replacing a portion of Scripture that he quoted with a link) and made comments in italics:
Observant readers of mine may have noticed that I have seen that my city of residence have been changed, although that would not actually take effect until about one week's time. The fact of the matter is that I am going for theological studies in a solid Reformed seminary over there.
Anyway, here is a short sharing which I have prepared for a dinner with some of my extended family last night. It has undergone major revisions since the script was not fully thought-out at that time. Anyway, here it is.
I do not know if his extended family include a number of saved people, but the subsequent "sharing" would make little sense to the unsaved. There was no clear Gospel message, although the opportunity was there. A little advice to the new seminary student/would-be pastor: when the opportunity arise to proclaim the good news, take it.
In just a couple of days time, I would be flying off to the USA for theological studies. Why have I decided to do that?
Being saved by the grace of God, I desire to know Him more and to live for Him, giving my all (Rom. 12:1) to the one who saved me purely out of His own free choice to do so. As I grow in my walk, I became burdened with the shocking biblical illiteracy even among Christians who are ignorant of basic biblical doctrines, which coupled with an attitude of anti-intellectualism results in failure to function as the salt and light of the world. Instead, we have epitomized the reality of Eph. 4:14 – being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, and in this we glory in our shame, boasting to everyone of our ignorance by claiming to have “no creed but Christ”.
Those are not valid reasons to constitute a "call to the ministry". Does Daniel Chew expect to study for a MDiv/MTh and return to Singapore and deal with all the "Shocking biblical illiteracy" among Christians in Singapore?
Does one need to have a MDiv/MTh in order to function as salt and light of the world? Or to stop others from being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine?
Daniel, have you discern within yourself if you have the "internal" call to the ministry?
In the past three years, I have felt the calling to serve God full-time. Yet the call of God is not something that is emotion but that is of the Spirit. Through prayer and awaiting God’s timing, I am convinced of God’s guidance into this area and my giftings in this area have also been noted by fellow Christians. It is therefore my desire to learn more about God’s Word so as to be able to teach it properly for the building up of God’s people.
Yes, Daniel, but how do you know? Growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ is for every Christian, some grow faster than others. That does not constitute a "calling to serve God full-time".
How is Daniel convinced of God's guidance? Is his church recognising his gifts and calling? Has his pastor discern this as well? Have they given their hearty approval thereby providing Daniel with his "external" call? My guess is NO! That is probably a reason why he gave no indication of that.
His claim of "giftings" being "noted by fellow Christians" is questionable. Is that the church? His pastor? Or the 4-5 well-meaning friends who encouraged him along in his ambitions? Do his well-meaning friends themselves understand the Christian Ministry?
Yet in all this I must take note of the fact that service is ultimately not about me. God is totally sovereign and He does not need anyone to do His will. God does not need me or anyone else for that matter to do His work, for His arm is powerful to do all that He desires (Dan. 4:35). God can make a great nation from Moses without the need for the Israelites if He so chooses to (Ex. 32:10), and He can raise up children of Abraham from inanimate rocks and stones (Mt. 3:9, Lk. 3:8). No matter the need, God is always in control and lacks nothing from us.
We must not therefore think that God needs our services otherwise His plan will fail. Rather, God condescends to use us for His own glory, and it is our privilege to joyfully submit to Him and do His will for us.
God’s will is ultimately for His glory – for His name’s sake (Is. 48:2-11). God’s glory is of supreme importance to Himself, and it is because of His glory that He saves us, just like He promises to saves the rebellious Jews during the time of Isaiah. I must therefore also remember that the goal of all service is that God be supremely glorified, not about how much service I have rendered to God or how many people may benefit from what God may do through me. The prophet Jeremiah has little to show for His labor, yet He glorified God by proclaiming His Word as judgment against Judah for their rejection of God’s authority and His Law. Likewise, all that we do must be centered on God and His glory, not the needs of men, the Church or the World. What matters is faithfulness, not results.
So (1) God does not need me, and (2) God does not treasure what I can do (as if apart from the Lord I can do anything anyway). Yet it is my privilege to follow and offer my life up to this great God and my Savior, knowing that He will use this flawed life for His purpose, and that His purposes will stand. Amen.
The remainder of his post is rather abstract. No connection with the crux of the matter. Several questions just came off the top of my head:
- On what grounds is he studying at WSCal? Because he is an "informed Christian layman"? Or is it the fact that he is an "Apologist, Author, Watchman" (his infamous name-card post is now off his blog, but I think the name-card is still in existence)?
- On what grounds did WSCal accept his application?
- Did his pastor provide a reference, and if so, on what basis? Daniel's (real or imaginary) calling to the ministry? Or did his pastor just wrote a reference to say that Daniel is capable of studying theology?
- What about character reference? Who provided that? Is Daniel's character one that exemplifies 1 Tim 3, Titus 1?
- Has Daniel proven to himself (not just to others) that he has the gifts AND graces to enter (and stay in) the ministry?
- Has he (on an informal basis) taught the members of his church the doctrines of Scripture?
- Has the church given their hearty approval to those gifts and graces?
- Has God's Providence opened doors to him to preach/teach?
1) seminary studies (Which isn't cheap!);
2) wait for years for a church to call him as pastor;
3) if no calling, study to become a RE teacher in a school
3) if a calling a available...
a) pastor for few years, dry up (i.e. no more materials)... move onto next pastorate
b) pastor for few years, split church several times
c) pastor for few years, introduce modern gimmicks
d) people fed-up with poor spiritual preaching...leave
Daniel needs to realise that a MDiv/MTh is no guarantee that he will be a pastor, let alone a GOOD & FAITHFUL pastor. There is a lot more in the Christian Ministry than just trying to obtain a seminary degree.