I have a confession. I am a self-proclaimed Youtube fanatic. I honestly think it is one of the greatest inventions in modern-day technology. I love my God, music, theology, non-Christian arguments, true crime, and other educational items, so it's natural that I would be drawn to this site. Think about it, you couldn't attend that conference you've always dreamed of attending? No problem, Youtube is there to help! But I digress.
I recently clicked on a video of a retired pastor who posted several on-line bible studies, and the title of this particular video stated RC Sproul, John Piper, Paul Washer, and Sinclair Ferguson are false preachers because they teach "imputation." Very briefly, imputation applies to the righteousness of Christ, and the unrighteousness of man: We are not righteous in and of ourselves, so we are in desperate need of the righteousness of Christ imputed to/on us. It is the crux of the gospel message.
Anyway, I noticed there were only positive comments about the video, so I was a little skeptical. I gave him a listen, because, after all, maybe he has a valid point to tell. I watched it, but was not convinced, so I commented on the video. I was honestly not surprised when I saw that dearly beloved phrase pop up after commenting, "Your comment was submitted and is pending moderation." Well, since I am a firm believer in the necessity of imputation, and since my comment of disagreement pended moderation, I suspected I had 2 strikes against me before I ever stepped into the batters box. I doubted it would get posted into the comments section. But I never expected the reply I received from this friendly-on-the-screen retired pastor. I thought I'd post those comments for your enjoyment, and then I want to make a very brief observation at the end.
My initial comment: Because it was not approved, the comment on the video was not saved for my retrieval. I unfortunately only have our conversational replies that followed. Nevertheless, my initial (and polite, I must add) comment had to do with our need for the imputed righteousness of Christ. I have color coded the conversation for clarity: his replies are in red, while mine are yellowish-brown.
"The devil always challenge the ways of God. You sounds like the mouth piece of the devil. The servants of the devil will come pretending that they are servants of God according to 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. You qualify that also. So, knowing that you are a servant of the devil, let me answer your question. It works for me by the true grace of God, not by your grace which is lasciviousness, (Jude 1:4). You devil, not only you, but nobody can steal the righteousness of Jesus Christ. You foolishly think that righteousness is a commodity that can be stolen. And again, your work is not gospel, but it is demonic. Anyway, you will burn in hell with your god the devil. So, enjoy the world. You have nothing to do with me. BYE."
"First, allow me to thank you for your kind and gentle words. They are truly seasoned with salt and the grace about which you speak. If I wasn't a believer before, I certainly would be now with your eloquent and grace-filled words!
Second, I find it interesting that you fear approving my comment to be posted in the comments section of your video. I suspect by reading the other 7 comments that you only allow comments by those who agree with you. A telltale sign of a weak position is the fear of having that position challenged. It also super-imposes the notion that maybe you are what you seem to so freely proclaim others are. Hmmm???
Finally, I do truly pray that one day you will come to recognize you need Jesus Christ's righteousness, which can never be stolen (as you suggest), but is freely GIVEN to you at the foot of the Cross. You -- WE -- need it!
Thank you for your reply. I do appreciate the challenge.
P.S., The gospel is offensive enough in itself; It does not need offense added to it by name calling and idle threats. Those are merely ad hominem fallacies, and they only reveal foolishness and weakness."
"Reply to your first point. My intention is not to be a social worker or to be a religious deceiver. I tell the truth. Of course, it will tear the cover of a deceiver. Reply to your second point. I do not give the devil a platform. I do not stand for an election. I tell the liars to get lost. Your final point. You can pray all you wanted to your god the devil. You cannot steal the righteousness of anybody, since it is not a commodity. You don't even have common sense and that is why you had swallow this nonsense. The truth will hurt. Unless you repent, don't write to me again. As of now, your writing is filth. BYE."
"HI! What happens in your view when a person tries to keep the entire law by his/her own willpower and strength, and s/he stumbles under just one little part of it? I imagine you must hate that "Satanic" passage in James that calls someone a lawbreaker if s/he stumbles under just one part of the law. But that's exactly what we are apart from Jesus Christ and HIS righteousness -- lawbreakers. (James 2:10)
Oh yeah, and that crazy, devil-inspired Apostle Paul must have been confused, I suppose, when he suggested to the Galatians that "the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (Gal 3:19-29) Was Paul Satanically inspired, according to your view?
Now, I will agree with you that obedience is highly important. But obedience to the law does not save a sin-sick soul. That's where your view breaks down. See, I do my best to obey because I am His; I am not His because I do my best to obey. Doing my best would never ever be good enough to save me (or you). And that, my friend, is why I so desperately need Jesus. Praise God for the Cross of Christ!
In closing, please refrain from calling my God a devil. For my God is none other than Jesus Christ, Yahweh, the Alpha & Omega, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The Pharisees blasphemously said Jesus was filled with a devil when He performed miracles, and he chastised them. By calling Jesus the Devil, you place yourself in a blasphemous and perilous position."
"Demonic people always act like fools, you being one of them. But, they are not fools, but more so they are evil. That is why they chose to serve the devil, even to the extend they call the devil as Jesus Christ. I don't want to dialogue with the servants of the devil. So, this is the end of it. I told you to stop it, that proves that you will not stop it. So, from now on, I will not even open your mail. As soon as I see your address, I will delete your mail. Bye."
"Yeah, my wife told me I don't listen either, or something like that. I'm not sure, I wasn't paying attention. Anyway, I'm sorry you don't want to answer the questions, but would rather resort to mud-slinging. That's unfortunate. We could have had an intelligent conversation. Or maybe not."
True to his threat, he did not reply. But here's the point I want to make: If you're absolutely certain your position is the right one, wouldn't you invite dialogue -- even the disagreeable kind -- so you could convince your listener of the validity of your position? It does Christianity no good when we flippantly throw out Straw Man, Ad Hominem, or Red Herring (to name just a few of the common ones) fallacies/attacks when "defending" our position. I don't care if your disagreeing party is a skeptic, an atheist, or an adherent to another religion, do not resort to using these fallacies. Why? Because straw men always crumble easily, and you alone will be the one looking foolish.