Letters with July Just Staring at Us

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Have You Read . . .?

Have you read American Nations by Colin Woodard.

Rocky

Rocky, yes I have. Enjoyed it very much. And along the same line, I thought Albion’s Seed was much more thorough and more detailed.

A Hard Spot

My husband is very familiar with Doug’s work, follows his line of thinking and had adopted a patriarchal view. I must say that in the beginning, and in listening to a few teachings from Doug I was sorely displeased. I do believe that I am in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship where my husband takes on more of a “dictatorship” role.
I have found a few times where Doug says that there are men that can “abuse” their power (machismo), and am so desperate for counseling. My husband will not listen to ANYONE as he is confident he is doing everything biblically and anyone who challenges him is wrong. (Maybe I’m wrong, and I’d love help understanding if so). We have 8 beautiful children and a lovely home but I’m on the verge of leaving. Please help?

JT

JT, very sorry that we can’t really help from this distance, but I would recommend two things. The first is that you should pray through a list of possibilities. 1. My husband is overtly breaking God’s law in how he treats me. 2. My husband doesn’t require anything sinful or unreasonable from me, but the way he does it sounds brittle or tinny to me. 3. I got my back up the first time he mentioned the word patriarchy, and I haven’t really given him a fair shake since. 4. I’m a feminist, actually. Pray through the list, being genuinely willing for any of them to reveal the source of the problem to you. When you feel confident that you know which one it is, ask your husband to take you in for some pastoral counseling. If he refuses, ask if you can go by yourself. If he says yes, go. If he says no, and if the problem is #1, then go anyway.

Membership Vows

Hope you are well. I appreciate the work you do. Quick question: we are going through the membership process at our church. We are not from a Reformed background (nondenominational evangelical and other low-church background) and are going through the membership process at our church (a Reformed Church). In the process, we have learned that there is an oath to be taken, and we are a bit apprehensive. It reads as follows: “Do you swear in the name of God to support the ministry of [Name] Church in its worship and work, submitting to its government and discipline, according to the Scriptures and defined by the Constitution of [Name] Church, while pursuing its purity and peace?” Now, obviously I want to do all these things, but I am a bit wary of oaths. I am former military, and feel that certain oaths and actions/inactions I took then were mistakes on my part, and I carry that with me now, not desiring to repeat such a mistake. So, is this normal/permissible at Reformed Churches? I find it uniquely disturbing that they say “In the Name of God,” which I am pretty sure is explicitly prohibited (or at least spoken against?) in the Bible on multiple occasions. It also seems silly, since the Constitution makes reference to the fact that the Bible is our primary source, and several other documents as secondary sources (Westminster, Heidelberg, etc), but there is very little doctrine in it, and it is mostly just admin and procedural stuff. Seems strange to take such a grave oath over that. On the other hand, it feels almost (and I know this is hyperbolic, but this is the gravity with which I take oaths now, especially ones that are “In the Name of God”) Fëanorian. And when I brought up these concerns, the Church was . . . Not receptive to my concerns about it. So it’s kind of a “submit or leave” kind of a deal and I’m a little nervous. And other people in the Church seem . . . Unconcerned about it. Am I being rebellious? I do not want to mislead my wife and children. Please advise.

Sarkis

Sarkis, yes, the practice of taking membership vows is standard in Reformed circles, and we have new members take them here at Christ Church. Christ does teach that we are not to take oaths lightly or frivolously, but with a solemn obligation like church membership it is fully appropriate. “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name” (Deuteronomy 6:13).

Definition Please

What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

Kyle

Kyle, it means to be in sync with His purposes and ways, as they are expressed for us in Scripture.

How to Respond?

I hope you are doing well. I’ve been listening to The Brothers Karamazov on Canon+ and I am simultaneously reading Mere Christendom. You mention The Grand Inquisitor section a few times in MC. I’m curious, if you put yourself in Alyosha Fyodorovitch’s shoes, and if Ivan was sitting in front of you delivering his “poem,” how would you respond?

ON

ON, I think that Alyosha’s response of kissing his brother was the right response. And I think the poem is a spleen with nowhere to vent. If there is a God, then this too will be put right. If there is no God, then the Grand Inquisitor has a point . . . because there is no point.

Definite Atonement

I have a question about limited/definite atonement/particular redemption as it relates to the Reformed view of the objectivity of the new covenant, and the Lutheran distinction between the perseverance of the elect, which is assured, and perseverance of the saints/regenerate, which is not.
In Hebrews 10:29, the author writes “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” This seems to say that those who were covered and sanctified by the blood of Christ and, by implication, those who Christ died or shed his blood for, can apostatize in the fullest sense; i.e. Christ died for someone who was not truly elect. I assume your response will be somewhere along the lines of “the person referenced in the above verse was sanctified by the blood of Christ in the sense that they were really connected to the covenant of grace by baptism but were not truly regenerate or elect.” My question is why is that explanation better or more biblical than the Lutheran position that Christ didn’t die just for the elect and that some of those whom Christ died for and whom were regenerate fell away because they were not elect?
The Lutheran explanation also seems to make better sense of the infamous Hebrews 6:4-6 passage: “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them AGAIN TO REPENTANCE, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
Also under the Reformed objective covenant position, it seems like those who were a part of the new covenant are covered by Christ’s sacrifice despite the fact that, under the Calvinist view, Christ didn’t die for them.
Clarity on and support for the Reformed position on these matters and passages would be much appreciated.
Thank you!

CC

CC, a big part of the problem is created by the assumption that Christ’s death was intended by God to accomplish only one thing, that being the salvation of the elect. The phrase “Christ died for” means that “Christ died with the intent that.” Whatever that intent was, given the nature of the counsels of God, had to have been fulfilled. If the intent was to set someone apart as a member of the visible church for a time, then that was fulfilled. But if you take it further, and say that the intent was to grant a (reversible) regeneration, you run afoul of the passages that say things like “He that began a good work in you, etc.”

The Masculine Mind

I heartily concur with your argument and conclusions in your recent (re)post of “Recovering the Masculine Mind”. Covenantalism is reality. All of life, in every sphere/jurisdiction—family, church, state—is about solemn oaths, sovereignly administered, with attendant blessings or cursings, under the headship of and representation by responsible, accountable, and (hopefully) able men of faith. However, I also recently read a post by brother/pastor Peter Leithart on the Theopolis Institute website, in which he openly challenged . . . yea, rejected . . . male representation of the household in the church, along with household voting. That post is here.
This is a matter of no small significance, and it thus seems to me that it’s worthy of further open engagement, especially with you two both being CREC pastors who have co-labored closely in times past, and who have both been instrumental in shaping the thoughts of so many of the brethren (and households) in Christ. Thank you.

Steven

Steven, slight correction. The linked article is by Mark Horne, not by Peter. And my response would be this. I think there is a bit of talking past each other. At Christ Church, membership is reckoned by individuals. Otherwise, discipline of individuals becomes an impossibility. So membership is for individuals, not by household. Quite a few years ago, we started with household membership, but discontinued that upon discovering how pastorally cumbersome it was. But we still vote by household. Voting is an act of government, and nobody lets their two-year-olds vote, and it is a good way for the church to recognize the reality of the household. And at Christ Church, women who are heads of their households, and we have a few, vote in our elections. Had Lydia been living here and not in Philippi, she would be a voting member.
After reading the blog post on Recovering the Masculine Mind. I would love to see my local church move in the direction of recognizing households in the realm of church governance. I do think there would be some members and elders who would be open to that type of change (I do think it would be a challenging move, but not one out of the realm of possibility). What practical steps can I be taking to help my church move in that direction? What books or resources are out there could I share with others on this topic? What are the pitfalls to watch out for? What are the most common hurdles that would need to be overcome in making a move like that?

Robert

Robert, I don’t know of any books, sorry. I would begin by simply raising it as a question for discussion, and seeing how that goes.

Troubling?

I recently re-watched an episode of Doug Wilson and Friends with Andrew Isker and decided to follow up by watching one of Andrews recent podcasts, as it discusses some of the same subject matter discussed in your conversation with him. I know this conversation is fairly long, but if you get the chance to watch this, I am wondering if you will have the same unsettled feeling as I did after watching. Unless I am way off, I am becoming concerned how this world view is reinterpreting history and the influence this might be having. Your brother in Christ,

Dwight

Dwight, sorry . . . time constraints prevent me from watching it. But I will say something generally. But I do believe that some of our guys on the right are walking into a trap, and toying with a form of radicalism that will (at best) only sideline them.

Deporting Illegals

I’ve been following you and your ecclesiastical fortress for some time now, and I have some questions about what you think about the immigration crisis and what the Christian view ought to be of dealing with the sojourner.
Specifically, I have a couple friends who are dangerously close to extreme right views on immigration, as in, wanting to kick out all immigrants, legal and illegal for the sake of preserving America. However, the Law in Leviticus and Exodus orders us not to oppress the sojourner, and while that might not apply to illegal immigrants, I have to think it is a betrayal of America’s soul as well as the Scriptures to deport legal immigrants because there’s too many of them.
I’m all for border protection, but how can we combat immigration tyranny from both the left and the right? Where does border protection end and tyranny start?

Kenneth

Kenneth, a good place to start would be through insisting that all legal immigrants are untouchable in any reforms adopted. You cannot have ex post facto enforcement regarding them. But deporting illegals is not oppression.

Eminent Domain

Was reading some of your posts about Christian civil disobedience, and the thought occurred to me to ask you about your views on eminent domain. A friend of mine recently had a large portion of her front yard forcefully repossessed in order to make room for a road project, and I realized that I had no idea what I would do if this ever happened, or threatened to happen, to me. How should a Christian defend his property from this kind of theft?

Peter

Peter, there is not much we can do at this juncture. The way our laws are currently structured, the system is ripe for abuse, and some wicked things have been done, and justified in the name of eminent domain. At the same time, I believe there needs to be some doctrine of eminent domain on the books for extreme cases (e.g. needing access for dam repairs).

Leading Through Differences

You have written in several places about the husband being responsible for everything that goes on in the household. He is responsible but not necessarily guilty when something goes wrong. I loved your captain of the ship example. That really helped me to understand the difference.
My question has to do with the execution of taking responsibility in the home and at the same time living with my wife in an understanding way but also not being exasperating to my children when they sin. I know that this is a really big topic and involves a lot, (and you have written a lot on it) and one area specifically that you have written on regarding this is repentance. I am trying to turn the ship around where I have led it off course . . .
Specifically with the issue of corporal discipline, if I have completely failed in this area and have not spanked my children at all or done it once or twice poorly (in anger) what practical steps would you advise me taking if my wife is against spanking. My children are ages 9, 7, and 3. I am not an absent father. I am home for dinner every evening, when I lead them in evening devotions, and I play with my children often. We are members in good standing at a local baptist church. I have thought I was doing a decent job in leading my family, but after reading several of your books I am beginning to see that I have abdicated in many ways…
I don’t want to be a tyrant . . . but I also want to be on the same page as my wife too . . . one of my problems is that I have feared upsetting my wife and so I have failed to obey God in disciplining my children well. I know that this is the equivalent to hating them . . . I want to love my children well though.
I guess really my question is how do I love my wife well in the midst of a huge difference of views. Do I just sit her down and tell her what I am going to do and then do it whether she likes it or not? Typically we talk through all big decisions and try to be on the same page. I am starting to see though that I am functionally an egalitarian when I have claimed complementarianism.
I want to be a Christian patriarch though!
Is it too late to make a change with my older children . . .?

Joshua

Joshua, no, it is not too late to make changes with your kids. But this is one where I would encourage you to work everything through with your wife first. Talk about it, read books together, and come to a conclusion. Settle on a plan. Don’t study indefinitely though. There may come a time when you need to start disciplining the kids without her full support. But labor to get to a place where she is willing to at least see how it goes, without opposing you.

Head Coverings

How can ministers claim they act like men, when they have allowed in silence a symbol in worship acknowledging that Christ is head of every man, to be taken down? Why did they allow this without teaching why? Why the silence? Is this a sad cultural irony, Silence=Death? Thank you.

Steve

Steve, I do agree with you that a shift in a custom of such long standing should have been accompanied with detailed Bible teaching on it. But how much of it was biblically required and how much human custom, and how much overlap there was between the two, is a different question. Differences of opinion there need not be the result of compromise.

Birth Certificates

This is in response to the article, Recovering the Masculine Mind. Jared Longshore has aptly pointed out in his book that a child’s father is, normally, whomever is presently married to his mother, and he has covenantal responsibility over the fruit of her womb. That would include any children she may have borne prior to the marriage. Adoption opens up other covenantal agreements, of course, but they are exceptional.
Now, it seems to me that the government-issued birth certificate gives the civil government the authority to determine who the parents of a child are, regardless of whether they are married or not. Furthermore the birth certificate establishes a direct legal relationship between the child and the state that assigns the parents as legal guardians, but ultimately bypasses their inherent covenantal authority before God.
In light of this, and based on what you wrote, would you encourage Christians to not obtain birth certificates for their children?
Thank you, and God bless your ministry!

Chris

Chris, I don’t think it is correct that birth certificates establish guardianship, particularly of the father. I think that such certificates are fine, if what you are doing is simply keeping track of people. Down the road, I believe that there ought to be a distinction on the birth certificate of legitimate and illegitimate.

Rutherford Speaks

I understand your parents are no longer living, but just wanted to let you know how much the book they put together has meant to us. That is The Loveliness of Christ, by Samuel Rutherford. My wife reads from it almost daily, and we often read passages together. BTW: Our first child was named Samuel Rutherford, but he only lived for two hours. One of the many, many written greetings we got from friends, after he passed away, included a quote from Samuel Rutherford of the 1600s. That’s how we first came across his writings. All the best to you.

Ben

Ben, yes. It is a wonderful little book.

Working Through the Pride Times

Hopefully this question reaches Pastor Doug. But I find myself working in a place that I believe God blessed me with. My company approached me today and asked if I would feel comfortable working for a day if they had a pride day. I didn’t really think it through and said yes and that I would abstain from any event. We’ll on my way home I thought more about and started to wonder what the answer would have been if I said no. Now I feel like I could have maybe prevented it. Should I be advocating to have the celebration canceled with letters to HR or if there be any other avenue? My train of thought is that if I believe God placed me here and that I should honer him in my work, then that would mean I want to do it every day. Including the day my company wants to dedicate to gay pride. Do I have a part to play here?

Mauro

Mauro, I wouldn’t worry about it. The thing you must avoid is participation in any events they hold, but I don’t believe you have an obligation to fight it. If you had the power to stop it, and you knew that you did, then of course you should. But that doesn’t sound like your situation.

The Curve Balls of History

I just want to begin with how influential your ministry in writing, blogging, and preaching has been on me. As a ninth grader at a classical Christian school, your work, Pastor Wilson, on topics ranging from optimistic eschatology to Trump as chemo to the prophetic insight of R.L. Dabney have been a great help. My question has to do with my recent completion of your excellent work Mere Christendom. Beforehand I read Stephen Wolfe’s (also excellent) The Case For Christian Nationalism, and out of all of the chapters in the book, the one that challenged, offended, and interested me the most was chapter 7 “The Christian Prince.” After some wrestling with the idea of the Christian Prince as Wolfe presents it , I came to the conclusion that his view was in continuity with the Scriptures and historic reformed doctrine. But after reading Mere Christendom, I came to wonder if you hold the same vision for the Christian ruler. Obviously you and Wolfe don’t see eye to eye on all topics (Theonomy, eschatology, pastors speaking on political issues etc .) Do you envision the ruler of American Christendom as a “World Shaker” who is the “Mediator of the temporal kingdom”? Really what I’m asking is whether you want a Machiavellian Barron Trump with the crown of Caesar or a kind of Postmill Presbyterian George Washington with a copy of Theonomy and Christian Ethics ?

Judah

Judah, there have certainly been those sorts of characters in church history, and I like them when they do well. But there have also been more than a few wannabees that have left kind of a mess behind them. Beware the up and comer who thinks he is going to be a world shaker. But with that said, I prefer the George Washington scenario, keeping in mind that as we look back at him, we see that he was in fact a Christian prince. And a world shaker.

The Catholic Problem

The Leak in the Tires of Classical Liberalism
A generic “Christ” is just as useless as a generic “god.” Especially for determining values and practices: be it of church, nation, or Christian School (which really should be under a Church, the pillar and buttress of the truth.)
I agree with your basis for why a Hindu . . . or anyone who is in denial of foundational reality . . . shouldn’t be holding office. Unfortunately, the books I have read promoting Christian Nationalism (Wolfe’s and Torba’s) ardently defend Catholicism as a legitimate expression of devotion to Christ and fully include them in what they mean by “Christian” in “Christian Nationalism.” While I know you believe the Catholic church is simply a wayward bride and not in apostasy (unless I misunderstood your position when you debated Dr. White), two points need to be made. First, (and much more briefly) our forefathers in the faith who wanted their nation to be devoted to Christ would find it incomprehensible to have the nation’s faith so ill-defined that papists were seen as equal partners. Any appeal to a Christianity that is defined by ancient creeds (one of which blatantly justifies idolatry) not only replaces the revelation of God’s authority, it misunderstands the point of the creeds. They were written to say that denial the doctrines in them made someone non-Christian. They were not written to say that as long as anyone held those doctrines they were a Christian no matter what else they professed. They were meant as minimum requirements, not (as they are used to do) maximum requirements.
If a Hindu or a Mormon could not hold office, a Catholic should not be able to either. And this seems to be the only consistent reformed and Protestant position. It is sheer hypocrisy to block a Mormon—who, while denying Christ’s deity still in their worship only address Jesus and God . . . while embracing Catholics who, while giving Christ his full deity, FUNCTIONALY deny it by worshiping others alongside him. Any attempt to claim it is not worship but veneration, or to split worship into dulia latria, is simply saying that as long as someone does not break the creeds, they can break the first commandment: Worship of God ALONE (not worship of God above all other worship.)
The list of issues could go on and on. Suffice to say, if believing in the True God matters, I could certainly see how Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists and even Dispensationalists (who, in both books, are treated much more as outsiders than Papists) all take part in a Christian Nation. I cannot fathom any possible defense for claiming the thinly-veiled Paganism of Catholicism can be allowed in and nation not be like Israel under Jeroboam. A Christian nation with God fashioned after their own imagination.

Luke

Luke, as far as America is concerned, I think our goal should be an Anglo-Protestant consensus. This is for some of the doctrinal reasons you state, and also for historical reasons. But when the Catholics defeated the Muslims at the battle of Malta, the Protestant queen of England had a medal struck in celebration. This was the same queen who celebrated the defeat of the Catholic Armada. History is tangled.
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Christopher
Christopher
28 days ago

Steven, I’m a member of the church Pastor Horne is assistant pastor at and asked him about that post. He said it was written many years ago but recently posted to Theopolis as they reposted his old blog. The post takes aim at household membership, and male only household voting, so I asked him about head of household voting in general. He said he doesn’t have a strong opinion on it, questioned democratic-style voting in general, and said it is hard to know the exact process the early church used. Our church is working on its constitution now and will… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Christopher
Steven
25 days ago
Reply to  Christopher

Thanks for the update, Christopher. I appreciate you providing this helpful clarification.

Ken B
Ken B
28 days ago

I appreciate the leaders of a church need to know for whom they are responsible, but requiring a membership oath? This reminds me of the old discipleship/shepherding error out of Fort Lauderdale in the 70’s and 80’s. Led to all sorts of abuse. Bowing and scraping to men, who for all practical purposes became mediators between believers and God much like Catholic priests. This concept of membership is imo absent from the pages of the NT. Personally I don’t even like the idea of signing something, and would never swear an oath, which Jesus forbids. A simple affirmation that you… Read more »

human
human
28 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

This is exactly how I feel. Why not just recognize people/families as part of the Body and move on? I think this especially fits in the modern world where church membership is all but meaningless anyway. How many times have you seen people get upset about something, run down the road, and simply join another church? It happens all the time.

Rob
Rob
27 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

Sarkis, I’m with you. It is interesting that to “join” the “invisible” church of God which is what is required for entrance into His kingdom all you need to do is confess the Lordship of Christ and believe in your heart but, to join a visible church you have to swear an oath or allegiance. I don’t see it in the new testament and there are ways that churches are instructed to handle discipline without such initiation. This is the argument I have made in the past about the “mysteriousness” of the reformed movement.

Ken
Ken
27 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

“Let your yes be yes and your no, no. Anything beyond this is from the evil one,” Jesus says, in a teaching as plain as any he ever gave. The theological contortions one has to perform in order to get to swearing oaths as an institutional practice for churches is quite a feat.

Jane
Jane
27 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

Does everyone objecting here have a problem with marriage?

human
human
27 days ago
Reply to  Jane

The Almighty instituted and ordained marriage, but men invented church membership.

Rob
Rob
27 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, Marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride, the church, not a member to the visible church and/or its code of conduct or confession/constitution. I’m a little cautious of confessions/constitutions that somehow “enlighten” scriptural authority. They can be helpful but taking an oath and swearing by God seems idolatrous.

Last edited 27 days ago by Rob
Ken B
Ken B
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

There is no verse in the NT that states that the church is the bride of Christ! I asked the family once if they knew one, and it went quiet for a long time …

Anonymous
Anonymous
26 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

Could you elaborate? The precise phrase may not be used, but Revelation 19:7, 21:2, & 21:9 all refer to the Church as a “bride” or the “wife of the Lamb [i.e., Christ]”. Paul also compares the husband/wife relationship to Christ and the Church. I don’t know how much clearer the NT could be?

Last edited 26 days ago by Anonymous
Jane
Jane
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I would argue that invoking the name of God is not the same as “swearing by God.” Everything we do should be in the name of God; making it explicit that we are doing so is not the same thing as “swearing by God.” There’s quite a different connotation. Also, separating this particular formulation’s “in the name of God” from the more general practice of membership vows (which are merely an explicit and public promise to do what God requires of all of us) might be helpful in sorting out this situation, if the “in the name of God” formulation… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Jane
Rob
Rob
26 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Sarkis was being asked to swear in the name of God to support the church he was joining and that is a tactic to hold his allegiance an earthly institution that may at some point go against his conscience, which Luther said was neither safe nor right. Every time he might be tempted to “test” the spirit of a matter in the church he may succumb to the fear of man knowing he swore to support, and without recourse, I guess. It’s very near to the kind of “conscience binding” tactics of the catholic church.

Last edited 26 days ago by Rob
Jane
Jane
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

What aspect of the vows as stated could go against anyone’s conscience legitimately? Nothing in that vow requires blind allegiance, it requires the general duty of those under authority to that authority, and the general duty of brothers to one another. Supporting a ministry sometimes *requires* testing and questioning it.

Again, I don’t see a problem with promising to do what the Bible requires, and there’s nothing in those vows not required by the Bible.

Ken B
Ken B
26 days ago
Reply to  Jane

I thought someone might bring that up! In my own case my marriage was based on the Anglican service book, and the vows/promises such as do you take N to be your lawful wedded wife were answered with yes, not an oath. This was sufficient to meet the legal niceties as you are entering a covenant (not a contract!). I can see no justification whatsoever for using oaths on becoming a church member in the institutional sense. I have in my time seen credible claims from those on the receiving end of abuse that such oaths or forms duly signed… Read more »

Jane
Jane
26 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

Okay, but either oaths are okay in principle or they’re not. I’m not saying the existence of marriage justifies every possible situation in which an oath might be made, but the argument that we can’t do this because it’s an oath and oaths are bad doesn’t fly. Oaths can be good, they can be bad.

The oath is not the problem here. If there’s a problem, it’s somewhere else.

Nathan
Nathan
25 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Agreed. And the the “don’t swear oaths” crowd often has no trouble with a distinction for legal contracts which are all over the place. Let scripture interpret scripture. Look at Peter swearing an oath to deny Christ. That’s the sort of thing in view with Jesus. Let your yes be yes doesn’t mean you can only agree to any sort of obligation with the single word “Yes”. It means don’t swear on your mother’s grave or the gold of the temple or, especially, the name of God. Don’t invoke the sacred to give your word weight. On this count, the… Read more »

John Middleton
John Middleton
28 days ago

Presbyterians who fantasize about an explicitly Christian polity that excludes Catholics might do well to look at the number of Catholics in America compared to the number of Presbyterians. Presbyterians, and Protestants generally, might consider the percentage of Roman Catholics in the Federal judiciary, in congress, and in positions of influence generally, before they start imagining themselves as the ones who would be elevated to power.

Jill L Smith
Jill L Smith
27 days ago
Reply to  John Middleton

I think that declaring people like Governors DeSantis and Greg Abbot ineligible for office on the grounds they are Catholics and therefore not Christian might doom the movement before it gets off the ground. After Unaffiliated/Religious Nones, Catholics are the second largest group in the US–and roughly half of them call themselves conservative and vote for the GOP. As you noted, Catholics are way over-represented in the legal profession and the judiciary. From what I’ve read, the Catholics who are most enthusiastic about establishing an explicitly Christian state are the Trad Catholics who aren’t necessarily in full communion with Rome.… Read more »

John Middleton
John Middleton
27 days ago
Reply to  Jill L Smith

If the Know Nothings couldn’t pull it off 170 years ago I wouldn’t give the project much chance now. If I were worried about Catholics I wouldn’t want to build a house that Catholics might well be the ones to occupy, especially knowing there are a few Catholics who entertain fantasies of their own. However, like you say, the most likely case would be (accelerated) fracturing of the republic.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
25 days ago
Reply to  Jill L Smith

As is typically the case, I find myself in something of an odd position. On the one hand, whenever I clearly express my objections to Catholic doctrine, this is generally on Twitter not here, last week excepted, I get overrun with Catholics condemning me to damnation and torture for suggesting they worship several constructions of man in addition to God. On the other hand, whenever I defend faithful Catholics as clearly and obviously saved Christians, more a part of the invisible Church than innumerable Protestants, I wind up in arguments with Protestants as I have on this board suggesting I’ve… Read more »

Zeph
28 days ago

In the US, the birth certificate is a major form of identification to prove citizenship. Not having it makes a person’s life a lot harder than it need be.

Last edited 28 days ago by Zeph
Jane
Jane
26 days ago
Reply to  Zeph

Also I doubt that the civil authority would be deterred from making rulings on who has legal obligations and duty of care for a child for whom it was in question, due to the lack of a birth certificate. I can’t imagine a judge saying, “This child has no birth certificate, whatever shall we do? Y’all figure it out on your own. And if you leave the child in the street, not our problem.” Either an investigation into the circumstances of the birth would ensue and a determination be made, or the state would simply default to taking custody.

John Middleton
John Middleton
26 days ago
Reply to  Jane

However, a birth certificate is a major form of identification and not having one will complicate life.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
28 days ago

Hey Luke, if you want to cast the papists into outer darkness, you’d have to do the same with a lot of evangelical churches for all the blatant heresies that they promote (e.g. health & wealth, TV evangelists–“touch the screen”, end time fantasists, pentecostal excesses too numerous to mention); but I’d want you to pay heed to what Doug said, because you also should be mindful that all the great Fathers of the Church were Catholics: how easily names like Ignatius, Augustine, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Polycarp, Cyprian, Ambrose, et al, trip off the evangelical tongue as if they were proto-Protestants. Nope!… Read more »

Luke Pride
Luke Pride
27 days ago

I have to disagree. Idolatry and denial of Christ’s atonement are not on par with the health and wealth “gospel.” (How many of them actually explicitly change the gospel?) Not all sins are equal. Explicitly worshiping other beings alongside God is a worse sin than an inaccurate view of wealth. I need to ask why, in your mind, Mormonism is not a Christian movement? Denial of Christ’s deity is a boundary that can’t be crossed… but giving worship owed to the Triune God to other beings leaves you with orthodoxy? Catholicism’s attacks on liberalism can be adopted just as liberalisms… Read more »

Jill L Smith
Jill L Smith
27 days ago
Reply to  Luke Pride

The Official Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the Atonement: “By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who “makes himself an offering for sin,” when “he bore the sin of many,” and who “shall make many to be accounted righteous,” for “he shall bear their iniquities.” Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father..Christ’s death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men . . . and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the… Read more »

Luke Pride
Luke Pride
27 days ago
Reply to  Jill L Smith

Jill, nothing is wrong with this section. It is the denial of the finished work of Christ through the “bloodless re-sacrifice” of Christ at every mass. Christ’s atonement was once-for-all (Hebrews 10:10.) In the context it is being compared to the repetitive sacrifices of the Old Testament. The RCC Mass makes the atonement a propitiatory sacrifice that needs to be repeated over and over again and guarantees nothing. I am aware there are some gymnastics done by the RCC to claim elsewise. However, the fact remains there is no possibility of peace with God. If shalom with God can be… Read more »

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
27 days ago
Reply to  Luke Pride

Luke, what you say here is in appalling ignorance of Catholic teaching about the Mass. It is simply NOT what the Catholic Church teaches. The Mass is not a bloodless “re-sacrifice” that “needs to be repeated over and over again.” It is absolutely not a “denial of the finished work of Christ”–quite the opposite. You seriously need to read official, credible Catholic theological resources because you are not in touch with reality here. It would be like me saying that Evangelicals believe that they can live how they please because they are justified by faith alone. Yours is a straw… Read more »

John Middleton
John Middleton
27 days ago

Well. Sadly there are antinomians within Evangelicalism. There are also Catholics with an incomplete understanding or distorted concept of Christianity. Look at what goes down in Latin America. Or who gets to call themself Catholic in North America.

Evangelicals and Catholics alike want to ask themselves “What is it about us?” Now to be fair to Evangelicals, whatever it is, Catholics have been doing it longer.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
26 days ago
Reply to  John Middleton

👍

Rob
Rob
27 days ago

“…. It would be like me saying that Evangelicals believe that they can live how they please because they are justified by faith alone.” I’m evangelical and I’m not saying any such thing. All you have to do is look at the head of the church over the centuries and see the whole body is corrupt. The leadership can’t even decide on the most basic moral teachings of scripture. I judge no individual members. That is for God to judge. But the organization and the history is fair game and wow, what a history. Most members are just going along… Read more »

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Rob, this just WASPish anti Catholic sectarian nonsense. The next thing you’ll be saying is that the Catholic Church teaches salvation by works.

Rob
Rob
26 days ago

Brendan, I would encourage you to read Dave Hunts book, “A Woman Rides The Beast.” It will either change your views or strengthen them. You will not be left neutral, I assure!

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Rob, Dave Hunt was just a popular speaker (a “prophecy expert” no less)–yet he had no qualifications in the area of theology or biblical studies–and thus no depth. I know of this book and its arguments, but I would be no more influenced by it than I would any of Hal Lindsey’s efforts. I, on the other hand, commended to you a book written by Eamon Duffy, a world renowned Cambridge historian, who will give you a non-partisan history of the papacy. I’d urge every evangelical thinker to read this. It’s very important that if you want to call down… Read more »

Rob
Rob
25 days ago

Dave Hunt is quite meticulous in his research and uses many sources. His convictions are not his solely. The cofounder of the Berean Call is an ex-catholic and is quite astute himself. Of course, there are many others, with the qualifications you require, that have written about the excesses. However, you really only need to watch the confusion that goes on and be intellectually honest with yourself, to have real questions. I have no problem holding the Methodists, who have falling off the wagon, to the same standard, or the baptists, or the Pentecostals. Pretty much all “organized” religion, and… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
25 days ago

Funny you should mention salvation by works, Brendan, because the Catholic Church does in fact teach it: Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 846: “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation.” CCC 980: “This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.” CCC 1129: “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.” CCC 1257: “The Lord himself… Read more »

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
25 days ago

This looks an impressive list, but you have whipped them clean out of the wider context in which the Council of Trent, Vatican II and the CCC address Protestant claims that Rome taught salvation by works. You’ve got things the wrong way around. All of the above points you highlight flow from and out of the salvation that God has procured for us by faith alone in Christ apart from works. They are evidences, proofs that we have been justified, but they are not the basis on which, nor the means by which are redeemed. Your above citations are notable… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
25 days ago

Clear and unambiguous teaching, huh? So, simultaneously claiming that “God has procured for us [salvation] by faith alone in Christ apart from works” and that “the Church”, “Penance”, “Baptism”, and “the Sacraments” are all “necessary for salvation” isn’t contradictory in any way, is it? Oh yeah, and claiming that “we can have merit in God’s sight ONLY because of God’s FREE plan to associate man with the work of his grace” and “Man’s merit is due to God” is EXACTLY THE SAME as saying “We can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life.”… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
24 days ago

If you had have quoted the statements that I did regarding justification alongside the ones in your list, you wouldn’t have tripped up. You tripped up because all the statements you cited regarding “works,” “merit,” the things “necessary for salvation,” etc., were not framed in the context of the other statements that sit alongside them, which root our justification, salvation, in the prevenient grace of God, and that the works, deeds, and rituals we participate in flow out of God’s love and grace as a free gift as a working out of and testimony our salvation and obedience to God.… Read more »

john k
john k
24 days ago

In what document does Roman Catholic “official theological teaching, [and] scholarly articulation of it” state that salvation is that which “God has procured for us by faith alone in Christ apart from works”? Don’t Catholics chide Luther for inserting “alone” after “faith” in his German translation of Romans 3:28? Don’t they continually cite James 2:24 (“a man is justified by works, and not by faith only”? It is quite Protestant to affirm that works are evidence of salvation, and not a means to being saved.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
24 days ago
Reply to  john k

Read my above answers.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
24 days ago

Brendan, the Catholic Church’s words are what they are, and no amount of “context” will ever bridge the gap between what is “evidence of salvation” and what is “necessary for salvation” — the latter of which are direct CCC quotes. I do not say this lightly: That institution is in grave danger because they are preaching a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). If the Catholic Church is, as you claim, also teaching salvation by grace alone, then it is talking out both sides of its mouth. There is no getting around this. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”… Read more »

Last edited 24 days ago by The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
23 days ago

I have learned not to trust or love institutions–or show them any affection–religious denominations in particular. I have to disagree with you on this point. In the sections I quoted to you it is clear that in Catholicism the way of salvation begins with prevenient grace and all the way up to the moment of our salvation it is God all the way down–no self-merit, no self-righteousness, no works of any kind. Yet you failed to cite the texts which make this explicit, even though they were on the very same page as the ones you quoted from (which to… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
23 days ago

Brendan, you are a darkly shining example of the adage, “There are none so blind as those who do not want to see.”

I wish you well.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
23 days ago

Thank you, my friend, for adverting to my wilful blindness, darkly shining. As a 14 yr old suffering from acute anxiety I picked up a Catholic children’s bible and came across Matthew 24 which I began to read. Before getting to the end of the chapter I had had a Damascus road conversion to Christ who lifted me out of the pit I was in by the sheer majesty of his power and glory and sovereignty over heaven and hell–and I got to have the burden of my sins forgiven at the same time. I was in a daze for… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
23 days ago

“Just keep asking yourself what God was doing in people’s lives during the 1,500 years before the Reformation” This is a uniquely Catholic misunderstanding. Protestants don’t consider the early Church as a different object from themselves. They consider themselves the more accurate continuation of the early Church. You can’t cite the early Church as evidence as the validity of modern Catholicism to a Protestant because the Protestant considers itself to be the inheritors of that credit, and that Catholics are profaning its legacy. I’m not trying to argue to you that’s the case. I’m not picking a fight. Its just… Read more »

Brendan
Brendan
23 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, thank you–and you are of course absolutely right–Protestants don’t see the early Church as being different from themselves because but only because they believe that the early Christians were proto-Protestants in terms of worship and theology!! But that isn’t the case, as any serious academic church historian will tell you. I certainly do not believe that there was a “perfect sequential line of papal succession” from Peter to Pope Francis–and neither does one of the world’s leading church historians and devout Catholic–Prof Eamon Duffy, former President of Magdalene College, Cambridge University. In his excellent volume Saints & Sinners: A… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
22 days ago
Reply to  Brendan

“ Protestants are way off the mark if they imagine that the Church in the early centuries was somehow free from “Roman” influence.” With respect, I think you’re missing the relevant part of the distinction. It isn’t that they don’t think early Christians had any Catholic inclinations. Its that they consider themselves part of the same group. I am originally from Washington State. I left Washington state in large part at being aghast at its wickedness. I have changed many aspects of my day to day living since leaving Washington state. Now suppose my friends and family from Washington wanted to… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
23 days ago

“ it is clear that in Catholicism the way of salvation begins with prevenient grace and all the way up to the moment of our salvation it is God all the way down–no self-merit, no self-righteousness, no works of any kind.” “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.” council of Trent. You are not going to resolve Catholicism… Read more »

Brendan
Brendan
23 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Yes, but your citation from the Council of Trent (a) ignores the prior statements of the council (which I lavishly quote above) to the effect that salvation is by faith alone, apart from our own works or merit; (b) ignores the fact that the council is merely emphasising James’ inspired word that we are justified by works, not by faith alone. In other words we demonstrate/prove to ourselves, to God and to the world, that our faith in Christ, our salvation by grace alone apart from works, is a reality–a testimony to the love and mercy of God. Anyone who… Read more »

Jill L Smith
Jill L Smith
27 days ago
Reply to  Luke Pride

That’s not quite accurate. The requirement to attend mass on Saturday evening or Sunday isn’t rooted in theology but in church discipline. A person who can’t attend mass because she is housebound still enjoys complete communion with God. Anyone who has a legitimate reason for missing mass is not considered to have sinned and lost fellowship with God. There are parishes in remote places that can offer mass only every few weeks because there aren’t enough priests. Those parishioners undoubtedly feel the loss acutely but not because their salvation depends on attending mass once a week. The church teaches that… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
23 days ago
Reply to  Jill L Smith

“ It means I’ve chosen my personal comfort over what is required of me a Catholic.” Here’s really where we get to sticky places. There is no coherent standard for what can or can’t become a requirement of you as a Catholic. If the Catholic church decided tomorrow that you had to wear a funny fish shaped hat to mass, or else you are a sinner, that the rule is absurd and has no basis in anything at all does not prevent them from doing so. It ultimately is simply the whims of those in charge. The Catholic has faith that… Read more »

Ree
Ree
27 days ago

I’m not on the same page as Luke Pride, but to say that the early church fathers were “Catholic” is certainly misleading if it’s meant to imply that they were Roman Catholics. That’s a ridiculously anachronistic notion, though Roman Catholic apologists claim it all the time.

Last edited 27 days ago by Ree
John Callaghan
John Callaghan
27 days ago
Reply to  Ree

If a stranger were to approach you in a parking lot and ask “Could you direct me to the nearest Catholic church?’, would you have any doubt as to which church he meant?

Everyone in 2024 understands what is meant by the question – as did everyone in the years 1924, 1424, 924 and 424.

Ree
Ree
27 days ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Pretty sure they didn’t have parking lots in 424 either.

Dave
Dave
27 days ago
Reply to  Ree

No parking lots? Where do you put your chariot or tie your donkey?

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
26 days ago
Reply to  Ree

That is a real difference. Parking lots next to Catholic churches are indeed a modern development which the Early Church Fathers would not recognize at all.

Fortunately, they would largely recognize the liturgy inside – the Kyrie Eleison, the Sanctus, the Eucharistic prayer and the Agnus Dei are mostly unchanged from the earliest centuries.

Rob
Rob
26 days ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

The layers upon layers that men have added to faith in Christ unfortunately clouds the mind from the simplicity of the gospel. Oh, that we could unravel some of mans attempts at pleasing God. I thank God for sending His Son whom could not tolerate all the pomp and circumstance of the religious of His day. He really does set men free.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
25 days ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Everyone in 2024 understands what you mean if you ask where all the fags are.

As did everyone in 1724.

That doesn’t imply that the two meanings are identical to one another. This is a deeply ridiculous argument.

Last edited 25 days ago by Justin Parris
John Callaghan
John Callaghan
25 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

The meanings of some words have changed over time. The meanings of many other words have not changed.

Is there any reason to believe the meaning of “Catholic Church” has changed over time?

John Middleton
John Middleton
25 days ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Yes. There are Protestants who recite the Apostles Creed, including the part about believing in the holy catholic Church. If they thought it meant what it has come to mean in common usage they wouldn’t say it.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
25 days ago
Reply to  John Middleton

More or less, what John said.

And obviously so.

I recite the Apostles Creed. I’m neither Catholic nor Reformed.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
27 days ago
Reply to  Ree

Ree, could you single out one of the church fathers I mentioned above and demonstrate to me that they weren’t Roman Catholic–take your pick. By “Roman Catholic” I mean church fathers who looked to the Bishop of Rome as their spiritual guide and upheld Catholic teaching.

Ree
Ree
27 days ago

I mean a lot more than that by Roman Catholic. I mean what people mean today. In other words, those early church fathers were obviously not Protestant (though some of their teachings were more in line with what we today call Protestant) but they weren’t Roman Catholic as we mean it today, either. It’s equivocating to say that they were Roman Catholic (or Catholic with the implication of Roman) and then to minimally define Roman Catholic.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
26 days ago
Reply to  Ree

Ree, I strongly urge you to buy Cambridge historian Eamon Duffy’s critically acclaimed, Saints & Sinners:A History of the Popes (Yale, 2006), you will be shocked at just how wide of the mark you are regarding the church fathers.

Ree
Ree
25 days ago

I don’t know what a book about the history of the popes would reveal to me about the church fathers that you think would change my mind, but I’ve read a fair bit of the Church Fathers on the subjects that pertain to Roman Catholicism, and particularly the portions that Roman Catholic apologists use to prop up their beliefs. They haven’t aligned at all.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
23 days ago

Condescension is not an argument.

If you want to make an argument, you have to make the argument. You can’t simply claim to be better read on the topic and start handing out homework.

If you think proving this issue is too large and impossible to make an argument for on a web forum, I’d say that’s pretty true. Which is why you probably shouldn’t have tried to make the argument in a manner and place in which it isn’t practically possible.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
22 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

There was nothing condescending in my post–nor did I claim to be better read. Precisely because I respected your engagement I recommended a highly regarded volume on the papacy (widely considered to be the best single volume) so that you could make up your own mind–why is that condescending? In your lengthy email response to Jill L Smith above you do the very thing you accuse me of. In my response to you I simply addressed the couple of issues you raised with me. That’s okay, isn’t it? You stated a) there was no evidence of a pure line of… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
22 days ago

“There was nothing condescending in my post–nor did I claim to be better read.” I’m not suggesting you were being snooty in tone or intention. Rather, it was the structure of your argument itself. I use the phrase “argument from condescension” whenever I run into someone on the internet running the “You should go read this book somewhere else and it will show that I’m right” defense. The problem is threefold. First, no one has agreed to the authority of whatever book you might claim. Without established authority, the author is just another person with an opinion. Even citing credentials… Read more »

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
22 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I’m scratching my head over your response. I didn’t initiate our conversation, I only replied to points you raised which were based on nothing else than your own take regarding justification in Catholic teaching. Why would you not be interested in my referencing passages from the CCC that you studiously omitted and which undermine your repeated statement that the RC church teaches salvation by works? Mentioned Karl Barth in case you didn’t know that he conceded (against the previous position he held) that the RC church does in fact teaching justification by faith alone. I told you where you could… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
22 days ago

“Why would you not be interested in my referencing passages from the CCC that you studiously omitted and which undermine your repeated statement that the RC church teaches salvation by works?” Between this statement and the one before it, I strongly suspect you’re confusing me with another poster? I have not engaged with you in an argument about RC teaching. Our first interaction was me criticizing an argument you gave to Ree, not an argument you gave to me. I did not “studiously omit” anything at all, and I haven’t made “repeated statements” on this topic whatsoever. I made a… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Justin Parris
Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
21 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I’ve spotted what happened. I posted comments to a person called “The Commentator Formerly Known As fp…” You responded to a comment I had made to him. You quoted what I said to Commentator: “Just keep asking yourself what God was doing in people’s lives during the 1,500 years before the Reformation” Then you wrote: This is a uniquely Catholic misunderstanding. It was to this comment of yours that I replied and out of which our conversation began. So there certainly was overlap in my thought between you and him, and in fact he never got back to answer the… Read more »

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
22 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

This is the kind of thing you should be addressing. Joint Lutheran-Catholic document on justification, which has also won the approval of other mainline Protestant denominations–a recognition that the RC does not teach salvation by works, but justification by faith alone. Something that Karl Barth also publicly came to accept.

https://lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.pdf

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
22 days ago

Your link doesn’t work.

Though this is a good example of Catholics not really understanding that others do not share their presuppositions.

Why on earth would I care what Lutherans or any other denomination thinks about Catholics? I do not consider Lutherans or any other denomination to be Spiritually or Doctrinally authoritative. You know this, you know I’m a Protestant. So why are you arguing to me as though I’m a Catholic and bow to a worldly organization? Mainline Protestant denominations get things wrong on a near constant basis. We call it Monday.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
22 days ago

I’ve put it in bold–see if this works

https://lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.pdf

Rob
Rob
27 days ago

“…. if you want to cast the papists into outer darkness, you’d have to do the same with a lot of evangelical churches for all the blatant heresies that they promote (e.g. health & wealth, TV evangelists–“touch the screen”, end time fantasists, pentecostal excesses too numerous to mention.” To which I say…… “OK, what’s your point?” To not expose one group because another group is also corrupt or sorely misguided just doesn’t make the argument any less true. As far as Catholic missionaries and translators go, the Bible has reached us in spite of the catholic church, not because of it.… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Rob
Andrew Lohr
Andrew Lohr
28 days ago

JT & re patriarchy, 3 other possibilities: (1) Tho I patriarch with the patriarchy of men and angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. (2) A command that’s not sinful might be unreasonable, or even stupid. (3) Or might be ignorant; men are required to know their wives and dwell together in knowledge.
(My poor husbandry tends in the other direction.)

Andrew Lohr
Andrew Lohr
28 days ago

Sarkis–do the church officers vow, or reaffirm their vow, in the name of God to teach only Godly doctrine and be as eager to improve as Paul was (Phpp 3)?

Jennifer Mugrage
27 days ago

JT,
Doug’s answer is good. One passage that has helped me: Prov. 31 says the virtuous woman’s husband has “conplete confidence in her.” So if hubby has zero confidence in you in a variety of minor areas – if, for example, he doesn’t trust you to load the dishwasher properly, though you have shown no signs of incompetence at this task – then he is not being a Prov. 31 husband and, furthermore, that is not normal.

Rob
Rob
27 days ago

Submission will not feel like submission in the proper husband/wife relationship. Trust and respect go hand in hand. The husband trusts the wife and the wife respects the husband. If the trust/respect aspect of the relationship gets down to the level of the “dishwasher” mentality it’s already out of hand and needs lots of work to raise the bar. Very doable but won’t happen overnight.

Last edited 27 days ago by Rob
Nathan
Nathan
25 days ago

@Joshua I was in the same boat. I failed to exercise loving and godly discipline of my young children because my wife was not on board. She is on board now, but most of our children are now too old for spanking. I would have struggled with Doug’s advice for you, personally. Maybe you don’t, but i thought i might add a helpful encouragement that this is part of “washing her with the Word” (Eph 5:26-27), leading her well and not treating her harshly with bluntly overruling her wishes and concerns about the children. If you don’t bring her with… Read more »