Monthly Archives: February 2013

Quotes

Because others are smarter and wiser than I.  All quotes (not Bible verses) were found on the website effectualgrace.com.  All emphasis is mine.

Quotes…

…On Sin (because not only is it other people that sin, we also sin – GCMers included in the we.)

“If you really long to save men’s souls, you must tell them a great deal of disagreeable truth.” – C. H. Spurgeon

“As stewards of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we do no service to men by making light of sin, skirting around the issue, or avoiding it altogether. Men have only one problem: they are under the wrath of God because of their sin. To deny this is to deny one of the most foundational doctrines of Christianity. It is not unloving to tell men that they are sinners, but it is the grossest form of immorality not to tell them! In fact, God declares that their blood will be on our hands if we do not warn them of their sin and the coming judgment. To seek to preach the gospel without making sin an issue is like trying to heal the brokenness of people superficially, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.” – Paul Washer

“It is a sin when I place myself deliberately in the place of temptation… either because I enjoy the prospect or because I’m not determined enough in my desire to overcome it.” – Alistair Begg

“To cut off the sinner from all reliance upon himself, his merits and his powers; and throw him, naked and helpless, into the hands of the Holy Spirit to lead him to Christ in faith; should be the one great aim of the ministry.” – Ichabod S. Spencer

“Original sin is in us like our beard. We are shaved today and look clean; tomorrow our beard has grown again, nor does it cease growing while we remain on earth. In like manner original sin cannot be extirpated from us; it springs up in us as long as we live.” – Martin Luther

“We must learn where our personal weaknesses lie. Once they are identified, we must be ruthless in dealing with them. Earlier generations called this the “mortification of the flesh,” that is, pronouncing the death sentence upon sin and putting that sentence into daily effect by killing all that sets itself against God’s purpose in our lives.” – Alistair Begg, Made For His Pleasure, Moody Press, 1996, p. 33.

“The Bible teaches that man’s will is enslaved to sin, incapable of submitting to God’s law, and dependent upon God’s regenerating grace.” – Dr. James White

If I find “God knows my heart” to be a comforting rather than a frightening thought I do not know my own heart. – R.C. Sproul, Jr

“The human heart has so many crannies where vanity hides, so many holes where falsehood lurks, is so decked out with deceiving hypocrisy, that it often dupes itself.” – John Calvin, A Calvin Treasury. Christianity Today, v. 37, n. 4.

“It is easier to cry against one-thousand sins of others than to kill one of your own.” – John Flavel

No therapist, no psychiatrist can relieve you of guilt. He or she may help you to resolve feelings of false guilt that can arise for a variety of reasons. Prescription drugs may provide certain kinds of ease. But no therapy, no course of drugs, can deliver you from real guilt. Why? Because being guilty is not a medical condition or a chemical disorder. It is a spiritual reality. It concerns your standing before God. The psychiatrist cannot forgive you; the therapist cannot absolve you; the counselor cannot pardon you. But the message of the Gospel is this: God can forgive you, and He is willing to do so.” – Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

Grace means nothing to a person who does not know he is sinful and that such sinfulness means he is separated from God and damned. It is therefore pointless to preach grace until the impossible demands of the law and the reality of guilt before God are preached.” – John MacArthur

“The self-righteous never apologize.” – Leonard Ravenhill

“The way to eliminate shame associated with sin is to admit sin, be confident that God forgives sin, and engage in battle against it.” – Ed Welch

“It is not until the sunlight floods a room that the grime and dust are fully revealed. So, it is only as we really come into the presence of Him who is the light, that we are made aware of the filth and wickedness which indwell us, and which defile every part of our being.” – A. W. Pink

…On the Cross of Our Savior

The cross is the foundation of the Bible: If you have not yet found out that Christ crucified is the foundation of the whole volume, you have hitherto read your Bible to very little profit. Your religion is a heaven without a sun, an arch without a keystone, a compass without a needle, a clock without a spring or weights, a lamp without oil. It will not comfort you; it will not deliver your soul from hell.” – J.C. Ryle, Old Paths (London, 1977), p. 248.

“Learn to know Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing to him, and say, ‘Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin. You have taken upon yourself what is mine and given me what is yours. You have become what you were not so that I might become what I was not.’” – Martin Luther

My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, he is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what he has done, and in what he is now doing for me.” Charles Spurgeon

It is the Holy Spirit’s role to always turn our eyes to Jesus and away from ourselves, but Satan’s role is exactly the opposite, for he is constantly trying to make us think of ourselves rather than Christ. Satan insinuates, ‘Your sins are too many to be forgiven, you have no faith, you don’t repent enough, you will never be able to endure to the end, you don’t have the joy of God’s children, and your grasp on Jesus is weak and wavering.’ All these thoughts are about self, yet we will never find comfort or assurance by looking inside ourselves. The Holy Spirit turns our eyes away from self, telling us we are nothing – but that Christ is our “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).” C.S.

…On the Bible (because too many people read too many other books and not enough of their Bible.)

“If you do not love the Bible, you certainly do not love the God who gave it to us.” – C. H. Spurgeon

“I want people to fill their minds with passages of Scripture while they are well and strong, that they may have sure help in the day of need. I want them to be diligent in studying their Bibles, and becoming familiar with its contents, in order that the grand old Book may stand by them and talk with them when all earthly friends fail.” ~ J.C. Ryle

“Churches that depart from the Word will soon find that God has departed from them.” – Robert Godfrey (I would substitute churches with the words “Christian” websites.)

The Bible is the one Word of the one God about the one way of salvation through the one Savior, Jesus Christ.” – Graeme Goldsworthy

Let us resolve to talk more to believers about the Bible when we meet them. Alas, the conversation of Christians, when they do meet, is often sadly unprofitable! How many frivolous, and trifling, and uncharitable things are said! Let us bring out the Bible more, and it will help to drive the devil away, and keep our hearts in tune. Oh, that we may all strive so to walk together in this evil world; that Jesus may often draw near, and go with us, as He went with the two disciples journeying to Emmaus!” – J.C. Ryle

“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” — D.L. Moody

“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” – John Calvin

“If you find a professing Christian indifferent to his Bible, you may be sure that the very dust upon its cover will rise up in judgment against him.” – C. H. Spurgeon

Be masters of your Bibles, brethren. Whatever other works you have not searched, be at home with the writings of the prophets and apostles….” – C. H. Spurgeon

…On Repentance

“True repentance will entirely change you; the bias of your souls will be changed, then you will delight in God, in Christ, in His Law, and in His people.” – George Whitefield

…On Discernment

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.  (Galatians 1:6-9 ESV)

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.  (2 John 1:9-11 ESV)

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.  (Romans 16:17-18 ESV)

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
(Jude 1:4 ESV)

to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.  (Ephesians 4:12-16 ESV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.  (Hebrews 13:8-9 ESV)

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.  (1 Timothy 6:3-5 ESV)

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.  (Colossians 2:8 ESV)

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.  (2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV)

….On the Trials of Life

“All our afflictions, all our temptations are to make heaven more desirable, and earth more loathsome.” – George Whitefield

“Your trials, crosses, and conflicts are all temporary.” – J.C. Ryle

“Once you know the truth, this means following it, upholding it, and if necessary suffering for it.” – Aida Skripnikova

Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft

*Notes: I know this book polarizes people.  If you found this site because you love this book and you hate my critique of it, please don’t comment about how I must be an abusive man myself or that I am a woman who hates women.  There is enough of that on Amazon.com.  If you go there you will find many reviews of the book and in the comment section of the one star reviews is where you will find those kind of responses.  So all readers, if you are interested,  go there because you aren’t going to find that kind of nonsense here.
Second note, I do know there is abuse out there.  I do recommend leaving during physical abuse and even sometimes with verbal abuse (with the hope of reconciliation).  But bad communication skills are not abuse.
Fourth note, I tried not to get too personal.  I didn’t go into great detail because I don’t want to on the world wide web!
Fifth note, I have not read all of the book because…. (Update: by the time I had written this post, I had read most of the book – minus a page here and there.  As I have stated in the comments section, nothing in my review changed.) 

Head Explosion!!!

That is the way my family members felt when we tried to read, Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft.  This is a book my GCM sister read and loved.   This book was recommended to my sister by people on GCM.  It too has a cult-like following.  If you disagree with it and you are a man, it is because you are an abuser.  If you are a woman and hate the book it is because you have a low view of women (see my notes above about Amazon).

My sister wanted my parents to read it.  They tried.  My mom made the suggestion that all men should put duct tape over their mouths so they wouldn’t be accused of abuse.  My parents, my other sibling and myself, which makes a total of four of us, tried to read it.  None of us could make it the whole way through the book!

First of all, where are the footnotes?  As I was reading I kept wondering where Mr. Bancroft got his information.  Where are the footnotes for the studies he mentioned (page 26 for one example)?  How did he know what was myth and what was reality?  In a book like this you would think there would be footnotes!  Most often he based everything on his experience instead of any scientific study.  So wives who read this please keep in mind this is one man’s opinions and might not reflect reality.

My family got the impression that Mr. Bancroft believes only men are abusers (although he does state that women can be abusers, the reader is still left with that impression nonetheless).  He doesn’t know my sister!  While reading this book, my other family members could see my GCM sister in the abuser role.  We could easily sub he for she and she for he and so much of it fit their situation.  She was manipulative  and very controlling (especially through the separation and divorce).  Neither were very nice to the other during their entire marriage.  I would rather call them both sinners than abusers.  But if she wants to call him an abuser, I would have to call her one too.  She fits Mr. Bancroft’s descriptions of an abuser just as much as my brother-in-law.

The saddest part of this book is that it ruins families (the GCM website is not the only destructive thing in my sister’s life; however, it is where it started).  A Christian knows that salvation is not possible with man, but possible with God.  God works miracles in  the hearts of those who repent and put their trust in Christ.  But according to Bancroft, once an abuser always an abuser (of course his definition of abuse is anything that makes the woman upset! Why do I say this?  Page after page describes the different kinds of abusers.  By the time you get done any man will fit the abuser profile!  Actually, any woman too.  I know my sister fit at least 2 abuser profiles really well).  He will state that a man can change but quickly pulls that hope back from the reader.

Overall the woman is going to be left with little hope after reading this book.  “My experience with abusive men is that small or even medium-level improvements generally slip away over time…”  “Sometimes when a woman reports to me that her abusive partner has been doing better, it turns out that he hasn’t been doing anything at all.  He isn’t swearing at her or scaring her, but he also isn’t spending time with her, talking to her, or showing her any affection. (page 349).”  So not talking to your wife is abuse, gentlemen!  You better always show her affection, but not too much because then she will think all you want is one thing and that is abusive too!  Mr. Bancroft even says that the “abuser” may wait two years before he starts testing you.  So even though he is perfect for two years and starts to act in a way you don’t like after TWO years, it is him clearly being abusive?  It couldn’t possibly be that he is a sinner doing what a sinner does?  Where is the grace?  I can say with 100% confidence that the wife is not perfect either.   How can I say such a thing?  Because ALL humans sin!  We must do what Christ did: FORGIVE!  After two years your spouse does something you don’t like, it is not abuse!  No person can live up to the expectations in this book.  Nobody but Jesus is perfect!

This book should not be treated in high regards by any Christian.  It is dangerous in the wrong hands.  It leads to destruction instead of reconciliation.  It is very possible for a woman who is unhappy in her marriage to come away from this book thinking she is abused when in reality she just isn’t happy with her marriage.  Another reason a Christian should not read this book for marital advice; on page 87 Lundy says, “You may be sorely tempted to have a secret affair, since your partner shows you so little kindness or tenderness.  A positive sexual connection may be especially affirming to you, because of how sexually degrading the Drill Sergeant tends to be.  But cheating on him can be deadly if he catches you.  Consider holding off on seeing other men until you have gotten yourself safe.”  Does that sound like what a Christian should be doing?  If a Christian women is reading this book and already is getting the impression she is abused and she is in a low mental state, she may actually think it is important that she have a positive sexual connection – which of course would be adultery.  Where is the focus for the woman?  On having a satisfying sexual encounter.  Where should a Christian woman’s focus be?  On Christ.  On how to handle trials in a way that will be pleasing to Him amd not necessarily to self.

What does this book scream to people who know both the husband and wife well? Women are to be in control of EVERYTHING.  It makes a controlling woman even more controlling and if you don’t like it then you will be labeled as an abuser.  There is very little grace or forgiveness for a husband.

This book makes a woman paranoid.  My sister started to see abuse in everything my brother-in-law did and wrote (of course the GCM people encouraged that because that is what they do.  If you can’t see abuse they will help you find it!  Nice of them isn’t it?).  She would share e-mails with me from him and the only thing I saw is confusion on his part.  She didn’t want to hear that though.  She tried to twist things around.  She wanted to see abuse.  Her GCM friends already told her she was abused so obviously everything he did was abusive.

Again, as I have stated in a previous post, I want to emphasize to all readers: DO NOT GO TO GCM FORUMS WITH YOUR MARITAL PROBLEMS!!!!!  They will tell you, based on Mr. Bancroft’s book, that if you don’t support her 100% (and this means that if you say anything nice about the husband or if you say she has faults too) then she will be unable to talk to you because “you don’t understand” – the book says so (page 369).  You too will be cut out of her life for as long as she is in this cult-like place.

If you are unhappy in your marriage, http://www.rickthomas.net/ would be a great resource to start with.  I have been impressed with the articles I have read on this site.  Mr. Thomas is Christ centered in everything and that is hard to find in counseling!  They do have a recommended book list for marriage here.  I have not read any of them though.  If you think you are abused, they would be a great resource to start with.  They should be able to point you in the right direction.