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.

9/02/2014

Case law, Statute Law, Fiat law... and Rape

When writing on issues of marriage and Scripture we commonly receive complains such as, "If you're going to obey Scripture then you would have to..." and they fill in the blank with their least favorite Biblical story or law.

One of these laws concerns the issue of  'rape'. The word 'rape' is not used in Scripture, but the concept occurs in a couple of places, one of which is in a series of laws concerning sexual activity.

Modern views concerning sexuality are so far from the Biblical ideals that these laws seem, to moderns, like something written by aliens. They have a tendency to basically just look at the entire Old Testament and say 'yuck', and then, when forced to examine a given law, see it in its least nuanced and most 'yucky' possibilities.

But the Scriptures do not present the law as 'yucky'. Even in the New Testament Paul calls the law 'holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.'  (Romans 7:12) and states that is is designed for unrighteous men. (I Timothy 1:9). So despite the fact that the law is very politically incorrect, our job, as Christians, is to view it through God's eyes and see it as, indeed, good.

Law


One of the big problems with looking at God's law is that we have a perverted and confused notion of what 'law' is. We have torn down all jurisdictions and authorities except for man's civil realm and the result is a perversion of our idea of what law is.
Biblically speaking there are three realms of jurisdiction: the family, the church, and the state. All three have authority, with the authority of the family being foundational to the other two.
And then, above all of these, there is God and His law. All other commandments, all other authorities, bow in submission to that law. Only that law is law. All other law is dependent on that law... commands outlining how that law is to be  implemented among a given jurisdiction.

Fiat Law

What we normally think of as 'law' is in fact unBiblical 'fiat law': law invented by man outside of any legitimate interpretation of God's law. It is no law at all and only represents God's law if it falls under Romans 13 as legitimate expressions of God's will for us via the rulers he has set up. To the extent it expands, limits, or contradicts God's actual law, it fails this test.

Case law vs Statute law

The next problem we have in understanding God's law is the issue of statute vs case law. This is a confusing subject, but not an unfamiliar one. Even man's fiat law operates with the idea of statute and case law as two differing types of law, two different ways of telling man how he should live.
A 'statute' law is what we normally think of as a law. God, or a legislature, writes something down in clear black and white terms. Thou shalt do this, thou shalt not do that.
A case law, on the other hand, is law derived from a particular case. Or, as we find it in the Torah, it is a case which explains a statute law.

Thou shalt not commit Adultery

So let me explain how I see this playing out in the case of rape in the Scriptures.
The Statute: Thou shalt not commit adultery
That is, I believe, the statute that covers all of sexual expression.  I could be wrong, Scripture doesn't label it as such, but I think the implication is clear. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Sexual expression has a place, and is forbidden outside of that place.
But what is that place? What happens if the law is violated? What exceptions are there? These issues, as I see is, are handled by the case law. Individual examples that give us the broad lines, that judges are then intended to work out.
The Scriptures had told the Israelites, "Honor the Sabbath". But it was up to Moses to decided exactly how to handle the case of the man who picked up sticks on the Sabbath.

The Case of Rape

So, when it comes to the question of rape, what do we find in the case laws? Well, most scholars agree that there are dozens of case law that control the issue of adultery (including incest and the like) but one of the clearest in the area of Rape is Deuteronomy 22:13-30

The problem in this text is that it deals with several different cases, none of which are exactly parallel. To the person looking for statute law, this is very confusing. Looked at from the standpoint of case law, however, I believe it all becomes clear.

Deuteronomy 22: 13-21 : The Case of the Hated Wife

Issues: Hatred in marriage, deception in betrothal, adultery, fornication, the role of the father in marriage, penalty for adultery/deception regarding virginity, importance of virginity, false accusation, proper trial procedure, penalty for false accusation.

Deuteronomy 22:22: Adultery

Issues: Adultery, penalty for adultery

Deuteronomy 22:23-27: Adultery and the Betrothed woman

Issues: Adultery, Betrothal, penalty for adultery, penalty for rape, evidence for rape, rape vs adultery

Deuteronomy 22: 28-29

Issues: Fornication, betrothal, bride price, role of the father in marriage.

So the way I believe these case laws work together is by searching, between them, for the principles that apply to the issue that we have at hand. I don't believe that every case is specifically laid out here, but I believe that all of the principles that we need are here.

So how would I see, for example, the issue of a married woman being raped. Looked at as statute law one either has to say that it isn't covered, or that she is to be killed! But looked at as case laws we discover:
1) The penalty for adultery is death, thus the man must die.
2) The woman is presumed to have been raped, not to have committed adultery, if the event happens outside the city.
3) The principle behind 'outside the city' would also apply to other situations where the woman was unable to cry out/resist (for example, the date rape drug).
4) The woman is required to resist when possible; her resistance is even assumed when it cannot be witnessed.
5) The woman who could have resisted but did not implicitly consented.
etc.

By seeing that the various laws place the 'betrothed' and 'married' woman in the same class, it is a no brainer to apply the same 'rape' rules to a married woman. But what about the unmarried woman who is not even betrothed. What should be the rules for raping her?

This is a harder case, but I believe the law is clear there, too. First of all, I don't believe that the law of fornication covers this case. In the law of fornication it seems clear that both the man and woman are guilty. We learn from the law of the hated wife that the girl must confess this act. If she does not do so, and her later husband finds her not to be a virgin, she is to be killed at her father's doorstep.
Which means that, at the very least, fornication plus deception is a death penalty offense. Given that illicit sex via force already mandates the death penalty in the case of the betrothed woman, and by implication for the married woman, I believe the summary of the case laws thus implies that fornication plus force yields death.
The case gets stronger when you see that many other forms of illicit sex also yeild death, even where both parties are willing; namely Sodomy and several forms of  incest (see Leviticus 20).
But there does seem to be at least one caveat implied in these and other texts. The only witness to the 'force' of the sexual encounter is the woman. And if she confesses to a voluntary sexual encounter, or refuses to testify against the man, it would seem that the other possibilities (bride price plus constrained marriage) would, instead, apply. Given the circumstances of the rape there might be (there historically have been) many girls who would choose marriage over the humiliation of admitting to having been raped.

Conclusion

This, then, is how I see the case laws as needing to be applied. Not as statutes which define law itself, but as cases which bring forward its principles. And I believe the best way to apply that principle in this case is by declaring that the forcible rape of an unmarried, unbetrothed, virgin girl can bring the death penalty, where the girl and her father insist on it.







.. 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.

8/16/2014

Forge II: Interview with Dennis Nielsen, Board Member, Forge Ministries

We have gotten off track today. The family is being weakened, marriage is being redefined, the church no longer speaks out about sin or repentance, the church no longer addresses the issues plaguing our country, and the state is reaching farther and farther into our lives.
We need to return to the true foundation: the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to confess our sins, repent, take our section just like the people in Nehemiah did, and begin laying the stones.
Each member of the body of Christ is essential in accomplishing God’s redemptive purpose. All of God’s people are needed to rebuild the walls!




We were pleased to be offered the opportunity to interview Dennis Neilsen, a board member[1] with 'Forge Ministries', to talk about their conference upcoming September 4-6, 2014.[2]
So, Dennis, tell us about yourself. How did you get involved with Forge?

My wife and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, have seven children, and have been homeschooling for over 20 years. While I have worked in the science/engineering field for over 20 years, my heart is in leading my family, serving my church, and ministering to homeschool parents who desire to disciple their own children.

It is my goal to glorify the Lord in all that I do.

I got involved with FORGE when Michael Moody approached me with a vision he had about forming a ministry that would provide conferences with compelling speakers and themes to educate parents so that they would be better equipped to disciple and teach their children. This vision resonated with me, and I committed to do what I could to assist him in forming this ministry.

Reading the Forge webpage it seems like this year’s Forge conference is designed to address several rather dramatic issues: the definition of marriage, the death of the family, sin, repentance, the issues plaguing our country, and the over reach of the state. How does this conference intend to address these issues? How do you see people's lives being changed as a result?

Kevin Swanson at 'Engage the Battle'
Building upon our 2013 “Engage the Battle” conference, we are excited to announce the 2014 FORGE Ministries Conference: “Rebuilding the Wall for a Godly Heritage”. At this conference we will dig deep into Nehemiah and speak to men, woman,
children, and families about returning to the foundation. We want to urge them to help rebuild the walls of the family, the church, and the community. These and many other issues are being addressed in sessions like: Rebuilding Generational Faithfulness; Secret Sin: A Breach in the Wall (a message on sin); Confession and Repentance: The People’s Example (a message on repentance); Christian Influence in Politics; and Wait Till It's Free: A Christian Analysis of Socialized Medicine.

What speakers are you going to have, and how do you see each one addressing these issues?


Two of the speakers we have lined up for this year’s conference are R.C. Sproul Jr. and Kevin Swanson. Some of the topics Mr. Sproul will be addressing are: how God works sovereignly through His people; the importance of rebuilding your section of the wall; and confession and repentance. Some of the topics Mr. Swanson will be addressing are: going back to the foundation of Jesus Christ; how to teach your children to worship God; and how to raise beautiful women of God. One of the sessions of the conference will be devoted to a panel discussion where the panel will address specific questions submitted by the attendees.[3]

What has the feedback been from the last conference? What are you going to 'fix' from last time, and what parts do you see as staying the same?

All the feedback I heard from last year’s conference was very positive. Some even stated that last year’s conference was the best conference they had ever attended. We find that very humbling because we know it was all the Lord’s doing. Others commented that the talks addressed issues that are plaguing our country.

One change we are making from last year’s conference is that we will be having more keynote talks and fewer breakout sessions. Another change we are making is that we have built into this year’s schedule “Fellowship Times” each day of the conference to provide families the opportunity to network with each other. [4]

What vendors are coming, and how do they fit into the goal of this year’s Forge conference?

A few of the exhibitors we will be having at this year’s conference include Chalcedon, Generations With Vision, and Highlands Ministry. The exhibitors are there to provide resources that will enhance and reinforce what people learn at the conference.[5]

In our interview with him last year, Michael mentioned that a lot of homeschoolers were 'losing' their children to the world, have you heard any news from that front? Are things getting better or worse?


God's Word: the only solution.
Things haven't changed and you could argue that some things have gotten worse. The only remedy for sin is a true turn in repentance, and a belief in Jesus Christ. Individuals and families need to return to the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ, confess their sins, repent, take their section of the wall just like the people in Nehemiah did, and begin laying the stones. All of God’s people are needed to rebuild the walls. Now is the time for families to take their section and start rebuilding.

So, what's next for Forge after this conference?

 We hope to be able to have another conference in 2015, but as always, we will do whatever the Lord directs us to do.

Well, our thanks to Dennis for submitting to this interview. We hope to be able to attend Forge this year, and hope to see a lot of our friends there. Our country, indeed our world, is undergoing a tremendous time of trial right now, and only God, with His law and His gospel, offer any hope for this hurting world.

We are particularly looking forward to seeing Colin Gunn's newest movie: Wait Till It's Free.

--
[1] http://www.forgeministries.org/about/meet-our-board/
[2] http://www.forgeministries.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Rebuilding-the-Wall-distribution-flyer-FULL.pdf
[3] http://www.forgeministries.org/events/2014-conference/2014-speakers/
[4] http://www.forgeministries.org/events/2014-conference/2014-schedule/
[5] http://www.forgeministries.org/events/2014-conference/2014-exhibitors/




. 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.

8/11/2014

Delete that video!!

Here's brilliance for you. Texas Judge Keith Dean, faced with video revealing his own incompetence and the utter barbarism of CPS, has ordered... the video be taken down. How convenient being a judge and just getting to make up the rules as you you.

From a theonomic standpoint it should be noted that CPS is an organization dedicated in opposition to God's law. From a constitutional standpoint it stands against every principle of American jurisprudence. But from the standpoint of the modern police state I suppose this stuff makes sense. Oppression works much better if it is hidden.






. 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, 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.

8/05/2014

In Defense of Patriarchy

It has been fascinating to me, and rather annoying, to watch the reaction of various commentators on the issue of Doug Phillips and his supposed 'patriarchy'. Let me be clear: Doug Phillips was no patriarch. Or, to put it more accurately and less generally:  Doug Phillips denied some of the fundamental principles of patriarchy as taught in Scripture and by the church historical.

What is Patriarchy?

The word 'patriarch' in its literal Greek is used in the following four verses:

Act_2:29  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 

Act_7:8  And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.
Act_7:9  And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, 

Heb_7:4  Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 

Taken at its most literal, then, the Scriptures only list fourteen patriarchs: Abraham, the twelve sons of Jacob, and David. I know of no one, however, who has ever  used that definition. The underlying meaning of the word is 'father-ruler' or 'lineage-ruler'.

One very impressive 'father ruler', one that receives an entire chapter of Scripture, is Jonadab the son of Rechab. God Himself brought the obedience of the sons of Rechab. Generation after generation of the sons of Jondad's sons obeyed his commands until, one day, God had them brought into the temple for a 'final exam'. God's own holy prophet, at the direct command of God Himself, offered them wine. and, based on their obedience to the command of their long, long dead great-great-grandfather... they declined.

And then God Himself congratulated them. Congratulated them. And blessed their father, their long, long dead great great grandfather, with a blessing almost unequaled in Scripture. God said:

Jer 35:18  And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:
Jer 35:19  Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever. 

Quite a blessing. There are few to match it in Scripture. But it needs to be mentioned that Doug Phillips did not believe it. That is, Doug Phillips specifically ascribed to documents which denied that a father had any authority of the Jer 35 type over his sons once they were married, let alone their great, great grandchildren. Doug Phillips was no patriarch.

Brotherly Opposition


One type of  reaction to Mr. Phillip's fall can be found in Chris Jeub's article 'Patriarchy has to go'. I find that article a bit amusing, too, since the title suggests that Mr. Jeub is just now, in the wake of the Doug Phillips scandal, coming to the reluctant realization that we need to jettison 'patriarchy'. The article itself, and the comments, makes it very clear that he left 'patriarchy' (even as Mr. Phillips taught it) a long time ago. It is therefore disingenuous for him to imply that Doug Phillip's fall called him to question patriarchy.

And, indeed, his blog makes it obvious that his current theology is not the sort to support the kind of difficult Biblical doctrine that patriarchy is. He lacks the commitment to Biblical inerrancy and sufficiency required to digest a difficult, counter-cultural, issue like patriarchy. He thus joins a list of others, such as Michael Farris, who, never supporters of the Biblical principles of father-headship in the first place, now basically feel free to say 'I told you so'.

As a result of their complete misunderstanding of the Biblical doctrine and church history on this issue, however, these types of blog posts are completely unhelpful in dealing with the sexual issue raised in the Doug Phillips case. If all they have to say is that the whole thing was caused by 'patriarchy', then they have nothing helpful to say. Patriarchy, as a  Biblical doctrine, is not going to go away. Indeed patriarchy, even as a human doctrine, arises again and again and brings civilizations to prominence.

Neither Fish nor Fowl

There are a lot of ways in which I respect Kevin Swanson, but his post on Patriarchy[1]  in the light of the Doug Phillips controversy is, at its best, sloppy. And it does, as a result, a great disservice to the discussion on patriarchy.

For example he starts out by saying:
I have never been a patriarchal-ist, and I’ve never called myself a patriarchal-ist, and here are a few reasons:
1. The Bible employs the Greek word “patriarchy” to refer to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Acts 2:29; 7:8,9;, Heb. 7:4), and I’m not Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. I’m some guy named Kevin Swanson. It would be arrogant for me to assume that I will bear the influence of men like this over the next 2000 years.

Just to start by being very pedantic, in the very verses he quotes, there are fourteen patriarchs listed, not three: Abraham, David, and the twelve son's of Jacob. Issac and Jacob are not mentioned as patriarchs[2]. But, as I say, pedantic. It doesn't bode well, however, for a post attempting to speak seriously about a Biblical issue when it begins by literally misquoting Scripture.

The serious point of contention in this first point is his equivocation between being called a patriarch in the Scriptures and being a 'patriarchalist' (ie one who believes in the Biblical doctrine of patriarchy). Anyone would be a fool who proclaimed themselves, in 2014, to be someone who would, three thousand or so years from now, have as many ancestors, or as much influence, as the fourteen  men listed in Scripture as patriarchs. But they would be equally a fool who rejected the concept of father-rule (patriarchy) merely on that basis. Patriarchy either is or isn't a Biblical doctrine, our own standing vis a vis being a patriarch is literally irrelevant.

Mr. Swanson goes on to say:

2. Actually, the Bible calls the husband (me), the “head” as Christ is head of the church (Eph. 5:23). This is clear biblical language, and for those still out there who believe the Bible, it’s okay to use biblical language.

Except for the word 'actually' this is a great statement. We can add it to the one above. Both 'patriarch' and 'head' are Biblical words. And I would argue they both represent the same concept, from different angles. The idea of 'head' is a very immediate concept. The husband is the 'head' of the wife. He is her direct leader, they are one flesh.

The patriarch is a much more distant leader. The word 'patria' is translated by Strongs as 'lineage' [3]. God said of Abraham:
Gen 18:19  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
 The patriarch 'leads' or 'rules' his entire lineage.

Mr. Swanson then says:

3. I don’t like movements that narrow applications and tout highly niched agendas. However I still cotton to any true Spirit-filled movement of God where there is a revival of biblical principles like fearing God and loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength (and sincerely endeavoring to learn and apply the commandments of God).
As a statement of what Mr. Swanson doesn't like, I suppose this is OK. However in a discussion of the Biblical doctrine of patriarchy, it is odd. Patriarchy is a doctrine, or a series of doctrines, not a movement. Vision Forum was a movement, I suppose. But when he talks about a 'Spirit filled revival of Biblical principles' he might be speaking specifically about the long held and now forgotten doctrines of father-leadership. Our world has few if any Rechab's or Jonadabs... and even fewer of their children.

The next part of his article is purely factual (basically 'people treat 'patriarchy' as a dirty word'). 

The part after that is a mere list of things that Mr. Swanson, with no Biblical support or even supporting arguments, states 'aren't sins'. I would agree with some, disagree with others, but none have any Biblical support given in the article.

Then he equally states a list of things he agrees with, again without Biblical support, however one might agree or disagree with some of them.

But in the second to last paragraph he brings forward a phrase that is dramatically unBiblical. The phrase 'nuclear family'. To summarize here something that I am more than willing to prove, Biblically, in a voluminous fashion: Scripture never speaks of, deals with, or even hints at, such a thing as a 'nuclear family'. The 'family' words in Scripture are hardly nuclear.

Hangers On

Another type of reaction  is the kind that didn't really learn anything from the great fall. An example of this might be Nathaniel Darnell's article on the subject. Basically, "Yes, Doug Phillips did the wrong thing, but we need to not talk about it much, and hope that Christian reconciliation goes on behind the scenes." While someone that should be expected to do the hard exegesis needed to learn from this situation, he instead takes refuge in the wholly inappropriate text of Matt 18.

The church cannot afford to merely sweep these scandals under the rug. These rugs, and all of the other rugs, need to be picked up, taken outside, and beaten. (I might be willing to suggest that Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, and some others should be taken outside and beaten.)

Conclusion

As much as the opponents of patriarchy would like to think so, Doug Phillip's moral failures did not represent an outworking of patriarchy, any more than Bill Clinton's moral failures represented a failure of constitutional government. As Bill Clinton didn't believe in the Constitution, so Doug Phillips rejected what the Scriptures have to say about patriarchy. Just as Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians and Greens have all used political advantage for sexual advantage, so have Reformed, Arminian, Baptists and Presbyterians. Sexual sin knows no denominational boundaries  nor any doctrinal ones. Powerful and charismatic leaders of all types have lured interns into compromising situations.

Two things need to happen in the wake of the Doug Phillip's scandal:

1) The church needs to examine how Scripture tells us to prevent/limit such things and
2) The church needs to examine how Scripture tells us such things should be dealt with.

I will go into more detail on both of those, but one note for the present is that (2) Biblically speaking, adds to (1). Having a grievous sin punished, and seen to be punished by the world and the church, is a good deterrent. We all know that our driving habits improve dramatically, or at least subtly, during the time immediately after we pass a police car with someone pulled over. Contrariwise, a failure to properly and publicly punish someone will lead to an increase in temptation for others tempted in the same way.
--
Notes

[1]  Patriarchy vs. The Biblical Word “Headship one should note that 'patriarchy' is a Biblical word and, to the best of my knowledge, 'headship' isn't

[2] I'm not saying they aren't patriarchs, by any means. I'm just saying that if we are literally going by these verses they aren't listed as patriarchs.

[3] G3965
πατριά
patria
pat-ree-ah'
As if feminine of a derivative of G3962; paternal descent, that is, (concretely) a group of families or a whole race (nation): - family, kindred, lineage.


. 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, 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.

Share It

Blog Archive