2/25/2015

Homeschool or work from home job opportunity

My son is looking for a programmer to work with the company he is working for. It's a small company programming aps or some such. I've never been real clear smile emoticon
Anyway, looks like a opening level position for a programmer, great for a homeschooler or someone else who wants to work from home.:
https://quip.com/ZJlWAZXoU0T5
.. Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

2/07/2015

Render Unto Caesar -A Christian response to the vaccine controversy


My FB wall has been overwhelmed in the last few weeks by posts for and against vaccines. Altho, truth to tell, it isn't really 'pro' and 'anti' vaccine, per se. The real debate has concerned the morality of government force in regards to forcing people to take vaccines; versus the 'stupidity' of those who do not take them.

This has kind of distorted what we mean by 'pro- and 'anti'. If one is 'pro' most things, say, McDonalds, one likes to go there one's self. And, to a certain extent, one might be 'pro' convincing one's friends and the general public to go to McDonalds. And, similarly, if one is 'anti' McDonalds, one does not spend one's own money there, and may even object to having a friend do so. One might even be inclined to write nasty blog posts telling the general public why they shouldn't go.

And occasionally the 'anti' McDonalds might give some reason why they believe McDonalds (or WalMart) should be shut down by the government. But almost never does one have a 'pro' crowd that believes the government should force people to eat at McDonalds!

So the sides are interesting in this debate, and I find myself in a very interesting potion. My position, based on the various positions, as expressed on the web, is this: I am an 'anti-pro-vaxxer'.

I am not an 'anti-vaxxer' per se. I find the question of vaccines, for myself and my children, to be suitably complex and nuanced that that position does not describe me well. Nor can I call myself 'pro' vaccines: both for the reason that this implies something about my view of government force and, again, because I believe that the issues are sufficiently complex that that any such general term does not work.

However given the nature of the 'pro' vaccine argument, I feel comfortable describing myself as 'anti-pro-vaxxer'. Now to describe my view.

Render unto Caesar

But the first thing I have to do, when taking that position, is to list an exception. If we take the 'pro' vaccine position that government should force people to use vaccines, then there is an exception: government schools.

Not, I would haste to say, because they are *schools*, but because they are government. If the government is going to have a school, then the government really should get to set their own policy.

Of course, for those who know me, you will know this is not much of a concession, since I don't believe that government schools should exist. And, taking the risk of offending people who might otherwise agree with me, can we not see how ironic it is that anyone who is pushing the idea of the jurisdiction of parents in the giving or taking of vaccines should send their children to government schools; the single most damaging thing they can do to their children.

No liberty minded person should send their children to government schools: they are the country's greatest destroyer of liberty. No Christian should send their children to government schools: they are the country's greatest force against Christianity. No small government conservative should send their children to government schools: they are an indoctrination factory for government solutions.

But as far as vaccines, let the dead bury their dead. Let the government set the rules for the government schools, but get your children out of government schools, and get your tax money out of government schools.

The Jurisdiction of the Parent

But as far as the rest of the uses of government force, no, they should not be allowed to force vaccines. The first issue is the jurisdiction of the parent. Does God give to the government, or to the parent, the responsibility for the health care of the child?

OT Quarintine laws

On that specific issue, for this specific case, Doug Wilson of 'Blog and Mablog', put forward the idea that the Old Testament quarantine laws give the government jurisdiction in this issue. This use of the OT law is, obviously, very interesting to anyone who writes a blog entitled 'the Practical Theonomist', and so I read the article with curiosity. Unfortunately for this debate, or at least one side of it, Doug's analysis of the issue fails in three fundamental ways: a) It incorrectly address who would be covered by this issue b) It fails to correctly state the appropriate action and c)It misses the mark as far as jurisdiction.

Addressing these in reverse order:

-The law in question (Leviticus 13) actually address the individual and the church, not the government. It is the individual who is responsible for bringing himself forward, the priest who is responsible for determining if the law applies (including a seven day quarantine), and the individual, again, who is responsible for implimenting the law. The government does not appear anywhere in the law.

-The action of the law of the leper does not involve great government camps, or exclusion from schools, or anything of the like. The leper is to live 'outside the camp' until he is pronounced healed.

-And the action involves a completely different person. The law of the lepers, not to put too fine a point on it, involves lepers: those diagnosed with the disease. It does not involve those susceptible to the disease.
And even if it did, the current debate would still have it wrong. If we really were going to quarantine based on susceptibility to disease, then we would have to include all of these cases
1) Those who have not received the vaccine due to religious or philosophical objections.
2) Those who have not received the vaccine due to coming from overseas or the like
3) Those not yet eligible for the vaccine
4) Those who cannot revive the vaccine because of disease etc.
5) Those who received the vaccine but it did not 'take' and
6) Those who have compromised immune systems due to taking drugs or having cancer, etc.
7) Those who have just received the vaccine
8) Those who have the disease

And yet, of those groups, it is only groups (1) and (2) who are proposed to be quarantined; along with (in some cases) group (8). Altho in many cases the idea of quarantining group (8) is actively opposed, even called 'prejudice'. No reason is typically given for this distinction but, reading between the lines, the reason is because these people 'can help it'. In other words, it is a punishment in disguise, not a disease fighting plan.

If we really wanted a disease fighting plan, and really believed that the state had authority over our health, we would not start with such a trivial thing as the measles vaccine. Once we got done locking up everyone with Aids, TB, and the flu, we would start looking at infants who aren't breastfed, children who go to school or daycare, etc etc.

Prisoners dilemma


Another interesting part of this debate is that one side, the pro-vax side, literally puts forth contradictory arguments. They (or some of them) argue that vaccines are safe, harmless, and the like even while others (or the same people in different contexts) understand that vaccines are a variety of 'prisoners choice': that any given individual is better off not taking the vaccine, but that society as a whole is better off if everyone takes the vaccine.

Thus anti-vaxxers are accused of being 'stupid' in one thread (because they don't understand that vaccines are 'safe' and that their children will be 'better off' if they take them) and 'selfish' in another thread (acting for what is for the obvious good of their children, but leading to a society that is less well off). One can only hope that, eventually, the pro-vaxxers will make up their minds.

Conclusion


I believe that the Christian position in the vaccine debate is to be 'anti-pro-vaccine'. To recognize that it is to parents, not the state, that all health decisions are given concerning their children. To recognize that vaccines are different and different vaccines have, at different times and in different ways, different pro's and con's to them, and to allow individuals and families to make their own choice.

We need to realize that the state has no jurisdiction in this area. That if we are to make an analogy to the OT laws, these would need to concern only those who are diagnosed with the disease, and would need to involve the individual and the church, not the state...

But, to my 'anti-vaxxer' friends, let us please cease the debate as to the government schools! Just get your children out of them, and realize that, if we are going to have government schools, we need to let the government decide when, and how, and why our children should be educated. Which is why we shouldn't have government schools! And definitely shouldn't send our children there.



Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

1/09/2015

The Epiphenomenon of Laicite

The great irony of Islam's continued clashes with the Western way of life — whether its widespread riots over a YouTube video or the murderous actions of a crazed minority— is that it has revealed, to the surprise of everyone but Pope Emeritus Benedict, that modern secularism is a kind of epiphenomenon of Christendom.To borrow from G.K. Chesterton, secularism is the second fermentation, where the wine of Christianity becomes the vinegar of laïcité. Force either of them into the mouth of a Muslim guest, and he will spit it out.http://m.theweek.com/article/index/274629/the-charlie-hebdo-massacre-and-secularisms-problem-with-islam

 I agree with most of it, and find little surprising, but I have no idea what he is saying at the end, starting with, "...modern secularism is a kind of epiphenomenon of Christendom."Russel Gold

 The article is behind the WSJ paywall, but she makes a point that bears repeating. Over and over, we hear Western politicians bleet that this attack or that attack has nothing to do with Islam, despite the overwhelming evidence that it was perpetrated by Muslims shouting "Allahu Akbar" or otherwise making it clear that *they* believe that they are acting in the name of their faith.Hirsi Ali notes, "If there is a lesson to be drawn from such a grisly episode, it is that what we believe about Islam truly doesn’t matter. This type of violence, jihad, is what they, the Islamists, believe."If you are not a Muslim scholar, you have no business asserting what is or is not true Islam, and it isn't relevant. What matters is that there are a lot of people committing and urging violence in the name of Islam, whether or not they are correct.
Hirsi Ali continues, "Those responsible for the slaughter in Paris, just like the man who killed the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, are seeking to impose terror. And every time we give in to their vision of justified religious violence, we are giving them exactly what they want."
We are in a war; a war not of our choosing, but a war nonetheless. You win wars by persuading the others side to accept your terms rather than fight. By that standard, those who commit violence in the name of Islam (often referred to as "Islamists") are winning. Every concession we make, every time we urge one another not to do anything to "provoke" the Islamists,, makes us less and less capable of defending our way of life.
Many have pointed out the flaws in Western culture. Granted, we are imperfect. But compared to what the Islamists are offering, our way is spectacular. If we fail to recognize that and fail to defend ourselves, the micro-aggressions about which so many are complaining will be nothing compared to what women and minorities endure under in many Muslim nations.
Russel Gold

My friend, Russel Gold, and Orthodox Jew (and modern liberal) at times seems to me to be two different people. When speaking of conservative economic and some moral issues, he seems to be one person; when speaking of other issues a completely different person.
He can read and analyze the most bizarre NYT article with profound intelligence, but seems to go all to pieces (to quote AA Milne) when faced with GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, and the like.
In his mini-article review above he spends the majority of the time on a brilliant critique of the essential shallowness and ineffectiveness of Western culture, only to conclude that is 'flawed' but 'spectacular'.
And then he reacts to the 'the week' article by understanding everything but the conclusion.

What is meant by an 'epiphenomenon'?


I can't say I totally approve of the author's word choice here. It seems a bit over the top as far as word choice. I think I'll move the discussion into the realm of nuclear physics and biology call the issue one of a 'decay product' or 'waste product'.
A radioactive decay product is something that is produced by the decay of a given element. Uranium, or so I understand, spends most of its time becoming not-Uranium. You can Google it but there are a lot of other elements that Uranium 'decays into'. It loses very consituent bits: protons, neutrons, electrons, gluons, and the like and Uranium, left to itslef long enough, become Lead, or Carbon, or Boron or something.
Similarly in biology the body gathers together various interesting chemicals: sugar, oxygen, water, carbon, and the like, and waves its magic wand at them and produces energy for movement, or material for growth, or an interest in girls. But when that is over (not the interest in girls, which is permanent) there is some 'stuff' left over hanging around the cell, like empty soda cans and pizza boxes after the Super Bowl party. These are 'waste products'. (We will keep this article clean and not discuss what happens to them.)
Our author here is proposting that modern secularism, or 'laicite', is just such a waste product... of Christianity. (Note: Judaism has a similar waste product.)

A Complete Philosophy

For the purposes of this article I am going to oversimplify and say that the world contains several philosophies that are 'complete'. I will include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and, say, Buddhism just to name a few.
Dealing with these as philosophies we see that, for the most part, they are what can be called 'complete'. They deal with, and answer, all of the major philosophical questions: what is man, who is God, what is man's purpose in life, how did the world come into existence, what is it's purpose, and the like.
What the author above is proposing is that modern secularism is NOT a complete philosophy. That it consists of a combination of refusing to answer certain questions, and moral inertia left over from Christianity. That it consists of Christianity perverted and stripped of its vital elements.

Secularism

The very name of the philosophy reveals this essential weakness. The term 'secular' is one half of a division. The other half is 'sacred'. The major religions are filled with elaborate rules or explanations for what things are sacred, and which merely secular.
Secularism does two things. It reveals itself as half a philosophy by denying one half of a two part division. It deals only with the 'secular' and has no 'sacred'.
At the same time it emmasculates itself as a philosophy by this same denying of the sacred. It is the sacred which drives the force of all full philosophies. It is the sacred which cannot be blasphemed, it is the sacred which promises life, and hope, and peace, and joy. It is the sacred for which men will die.
Thus secularism is, in the end, no philosophy at all, just a waste product of one. And as such, it cannot survive. Modern movies like to do 'zombies' but biologists know the issue with them. Only life can produce movement, thought, goals, actions. The phrase 'dead man walking' is, outside of its metaphoric value, a contradiction in terms. It is the very vital spark that religions posses that allow them to 'live'; a spark that secularism is missing and that will, in the end, produce its death.





.. Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

12/27/2014

What laws are immoral?

I was asked on a FB thread the following question:

On principle, what laws are immoral in your book anyway?

To which my obvious answer is 'any man made laws'. Only God's laws are moral, obviously. All that man can do is attempt to order society by God's laws.



... Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

9/26/2014

Romans 7: Gadsby: Question 2




So, we're moving on to question two. In our first exchange he asked Gadsby's question one, and I answered. Then he answered my first question. That exchange went like this:

My question:


1) In telling the Gentiles that they must obey these four laws, I take it you are insisting that these were the only four they needed to follow? So you believe that James didn't think it important that the Gentile believers abstain from such things as murder, incest, theft, and bestiality? That only the believing Jews needed to be obedient to their parents? If so, why does James mention that the Gentiles had access to Moses read in the synagogues every Sabbath?
And does this only apply to Gentile believers? In Acts 21 James clearly states they weren't teaching Jewish believers to stop circumcising their children, so this must only apply to Gentiles?

His answer:


You won't like my answer. Acts 15 transitional. Gentiles did not have to come under the law but to avoid offence they had to avoid these public sins -- of course they had to keep the law they had as Gentiles (Rom. 2:14-15). The Gentiles weren't listening to Moses being read in the syngouges every sabbath! But the Jews were.

My response:

I think he might misread the reason why I don't 'like' his answer. He answers what I didn't ask, and doesn't answer what I did ask. I asked if it was only the four laws, and he didn't answer. I didn't ask if it was transitional, and he answered. I asked what the meaning of the part of the letter, to the Gentiles, meant that Moses was read in the Synagogue, and he just tells us that the Gentiles weren't listening.  But I'll leave it to the reader to see the disconnect between my question and his answer, and go on to Gadsby's second question:




2. I hope you will tell me what the apostle means in the first six verses of Romans 7, where he says that the believer is dead to the law, and free from the law; and let me know how that law can be his rule, when he is dead to it, and as free from it, as a woman is from her husband when she has him buried. Should you be disposed to say that the believer is dead to it as a COVENANT, but not as a RULE of life, you will no doubt, point to those scriptures which make a distinction between the law as a covenant and as a rule of life; for unless you do this, you will not move me.

Here is the text concerned:
7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

And now let's answer the question:

This is a fantastically easy question, since it is answered right in the text. We find in verse twenty two that Paul acknowledges that he delights in the law of God; and in verse 25 that he serves the law of God with his mind, while serving with his flesh the law of sin. We see that the law is spiritual, holy, just, and good. 

So the conclusion is clear: Christians serve the law. Not a comfortable thing for moderns to say.

But how then are we 'dead' to the law? How was it our husband, who died, that we should live to Christ?

Well, we find the answer in this and several other passages. We find, for example, that the law is a schoolteacher to lead us to Christ. We find that the law was brought in to show us our sin, to make it more sinful. And we find that we were, but are not, under the curse of the law. 

In this passage we find that the fruit of the law, before Christ, was to reveal sin (vs 7), to revive sin and kill us (vs 8-9),  to bring death (vs 10), make sin exceedingly sinful (vs 13), and the like. And yet, over and over again, Paul insists that the law was and is good, that the law was doing exactly what God designed it to do! How do we reconcile this?

The answer is in Christ. The law was full of cursings, for those that failed to keep it. The law was a yoke on the neck of the Jews, because they couldn't keep it. The law brought death and despair;  God' good, holy, righteous, and perfect law... because we were none of those things.

But Christ was able to keep the law, perfectly. And Christ, with His death, took the curse of the law on Himself, and thus away from us. Christ, by his death, reconciled us to the Father.

So our old husband is dead to us, by Christ's death. The curses of our old husband no longer apply. But let us keep in mind that that was our old husbands role. It was meant to bring us to Christ. To show to all sinners the depth and depravity of their sin, so that they might turn to Christ.

But those were good things! The law was, and is, holy and just and good. Thus the things that the law taught, and teaches, are good things. They are, indeed, perfect things. And Christ is the author of the law. We learn His will from the law. We learn what sin is from the law.

My Question


Turning now to my second question:

2) Why does Paul say that "22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:" and... "I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."?






















. Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

9/25/2014

UnMarried: the Review

Family Vision Films has come out with their long awaited movie “Unmarried : The Rise of Singleness”. This is a fantastically important film that everyone in the church should watch. It brings forward a huge problem in the church. Brings it forward and hammers it home, again and again.
Everyone should watch this film. The entire church, from the most frenetic liberals to the most staid conservatives; from the wildest charismatics to the chilliest of the reformed. The issue raised is a vital one.
An excerpt from my review of the movie.
.. Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

9/24/2014

Acts 15, the first question from Gadsby

I was challenged on  FB to answer this list of questions:

http://christmycovenant.com/?p=11418

and promised that, if I did, the blog author who posted them would reply to my questions. So, here's my shot at the first one:


Dear Gadsby,

You ask the question:

1. If the law is the believers rule of life, I shall thank you to tell me what is intended by the letter written by the apostles and elders, and sent to the believing Gentiles, as recorded in Acts 15, and shall expect you to explain the chapter.

I shall be glad to give you my opinion of the letter resolving the controversy in Acts 15, which is mentioned again, as I'm sure you know, in Acts 21.

The Situation

Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them,
The situation in Acts 15, as in so much of the New Testament, was of a New Testament church consisting of three types of believers. These would be those Jews which believed in Christ, those Gentiles who first looked to Judaism to understood God's will and then were converted to Christianity, and those believers who came straight from pagan idolatry. This led, obviously, to a difficult situation in the churches; with differing people having wildly differing background, levels of knowledge, and views of Christianity.

Into this  mix came another group of people, preaching a contemporary heresy. These people, the 'Judaizers', were teaching that Gentile believers, in order to be saved, had to become Jews. As you may know the rite to become a Jew includes two principle parts: circumcision and baptism. The believers were already baptized, so they lacked only circumcision to complete their conversion to Judaism. Circumcision and a commitment to keep the entire law of God: both those designed for all men and those specifically designated for the Jews.

Paul and those with him strenuously opposed these men. They recognized that God had promised that both Jews and Gentiles would be saved in the New Covenant. This promise being given in the Old Testament to no less a person than Abraham himself, and, indeed, given by shadow to Eve. So they preached that, no, it was not necessary for the Gentiles to be circumcised in order to be saved. Indeed, Paul preached strenuously that if someone became circumcised in order  to be saved, they by that very act rejected the salvation of Christ, which was and is by Grace alone, not works of the law.

The Solution



19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
This controversy was then taken to the church elders and apostles in Jerusalem, who sided with Paul. They made it abundantly clear that both Jews and Gentiles were valid members of the church. They went further than that and addressed some of the difficulties the church was facing with their mixed heritage.  Out of the entire law they picked four broad sections and stated that the Gentile believers needed to obey these immediately, namely: pollution of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

These were probably issues that were causing the most dissension in the church. They were not the ONLY laws that these Gentiles were to obey, the NT is full of Paul and other apostles speaking of dozens of other such laws. So these were probably the ones that were the most critical at this time. The Gentiles themselves knew many laws, being common to their society, such as incest, murder, disobedience to parents and the like. And as far as the rest of the laws they were obligated to keep, the letter  said, "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day." thus there was a method for learning.

The Irony



28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
It is ironic that anyone would bring this particular passage up as a way of denigrating the law, since it includes a list of four specific laws that the Gentiles must keep, laws that the Gentile world was known from differing from the Jewish law. (Indeed they still are, witness 'blood sausage' in Germany and the current acceptance of fornication.) And in the context of the New Testament it is difficult to imagine how the law could be denigrated either.

My Question



20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
So, for the defenders of the question, here, I have a question of my own:

1) In telling the Gentiles that they must obey these four laws, I take it you are insisting that these were the only four they needed to follow? So you believe that James didn't think it important that the Gentile believers abstain from such things as murder, incest, theft, and bestiality? That only the believing Jews needed to be obedient to their parents? If so, why does James mention that the Gentiles had access to Moses read in the synagogues every Sabbath?

And does this only apply to Gentile believers? In Acts 21 James clearly states they weren't teaching Jewish believers to stop circumcising their children, so this must only apply to Gentiles?

Awaiting your answer,
Vaughn Ohlman



.. Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

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