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|3/20/2013||Point of View: Letters to the Editor|
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Letters to the Editor may not reflect the views or opinions of the Witness. Letters may be mailed, faxed or submitted using our online form. Only letters marked clearly for publication, signed with address will be considered for use. Letters are subject to editing. Please limit letters to 300 words.
Regarding the article, “J.D. Greear: Reducing justification by faith alone to ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ is corruption of doctrine” (March 7, 2013), Greear appears to have left out the one thing that Jesus said was necessary to see and enter the kingdom of God—the new birth.
Our Baptist Faith and Message (Article IV) says, “Regeneration, or the new birth is the work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.”
Greear says that saving faith produces a new nature. This seems to me to be contrary to our doctrinal statements that teach that repentance and faith are fruits of the new nature.
As long as pastors preach the Semi-Pelagian doctrine that repentance and faith produce the new birth, I fear our churches will be filled with those who have done all the pastor has told them to do and still have not experienced the new birth which Jesus said was absolutely necessary to enter the Kingdom.
In John 3, the new birth is described as personal, paramount, passive, powerful, providential, perceivable, and permanent. The historic Baptist confessions and the Baptist Faith and Message all state that repentance and faith are saving graces and are inevitable fruits of regeneration, not vice versa. This is consistent with the truth that God saves sinners. The triune God—the Father in election, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Spirit in regeneration, saves sinners. He doesn’t make sinners savable if they do something. As Jonah said, “Salvation is of the Lord.”
Lucius B. “Cap” Pooser
Mr. President, when visiting Israel, please remember that the $3 billion military aid to Israel requires that 75 percent must be spent with U.S. military contractors. So important is Israel's commitment that this $3 billion could almost come out of our defense budget. The U.S. spends $5 billion a year for our troops in Germany, Japan, and Korea. The Israeli foot soldier costs us nothing but would be at our command if requested.
Gen. George Kerean, former head of U.S. Air Force Intelligence, stated, “Israel is worth five CIAs with regard to passed-on intelligence to our country” and “this assistace was worth $50 to $60 billion in intelligence.”
Remember much of the intelligence used in our recent use of electronic warfare against Iran came from Israel. Two years ago, Israel set-back Iran's development of the nuclear bomb one year by using electronic warfare.
Remember Israel has three nuclear submarines (four more are under order). The missiles are capable of reaching every Arab capital. Also, Israel has nuclear planes in the air now and many more could be in flight in mere minutes.
Remember that Jews have lived in that land for 1500 years before the Roman Emperor changed the name to Palestine. Arabs also lived there, but the Palestinian Authority was formed four years before the 1967 war.
Finally, remember that many in Israel do not trust your words of commitment to them. Please, restore their faith in you. Remember, we need Israel!
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