New Letters for a New Year

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So Let’s Talk About the Rigged Election, Shall We?

Regarding Hemingway and the 2020 setup, the big hole in your argument is that the GOP had a federal trifecta early on, and here in Georgia they still have a trifecta in state government. All of this would not be possible without this other partner in our political WWE. Here’s the voice of the Georgia GOP on matter of what happened in 2020:

Until the average GOP local activist leader who shares your concerns understands their own party’s part in this mess then the leftists will carry on.

Ricardo

Ricardo, Hemingway’s book deals with this well. She is particularly hard on Georgia Republicans.

You suggested in “An Election With More Rigging Than a Five-Masted Clipper Ship”—

Posted on Monday, January 3, 2022 by Douglas Wilson that someone should send to “:every state governor, every state attorney-general, every state secretary of state, and every state legislator…”.

Do you TRULY believe that they would read the book? I would be willing to buy 3 books for each of the 50 states’ top three leaders you mentioned. Right now the book is about $15 at Books A Million. Can you get them delivered?

I suspect the corrupt “leaders ” won’t bother. What we need is to prove that the votes were changed via software changes when the counting stopped between 1-3 am the day after Election Day. Who can prove that?

That’s what we need proven. And we need to prove who made the changes happen. Can we do that?

And, lastly, can we prevent the same thing from happening in the Mid-term elections this year?

I believe that only a concerted, coordinated disruption of the powers that be will stop the corruption. No one seems to up to that and so the status quo remains.

Kathryn

Kathryn, what I envisage would not depend on them reading the book, although some would. What politicians need is cover to say what many of them already know. What we need is a preference cascade, in other words. And then some of the things you mention could happen.

“One of the best things that could happen at this point would be for someone with big money to buy a copy of this book for every state governor, every state attorney-general, every state secretary of state, and every state legislator, and to have some intern hand-deliver each one.”

You think this would really be news to them? Really?

Jeff

Jeff, it would be news to some, refutation to others, and cover for others. But the main thing is that it would provide pressure for all.

Back Issues of Credenda

To the chief cook and bottle washer around here:

I have benefited greatly from your content, and I am grateful for the work you do.

To my knowledge, the only way one can come by an edition of Credenda magazine is by luck at a local used book store. Do you have an online archive or store?

Thank you.

Yours,

John

John, no, actually. Back issues of Credenda can be ordered through Canon Press.

Needed Help for Jennifer

My name is Melissa and I’ve been watching your sermons and updates online for some time and have been richly blessed by your work. I have deep respect for you as a leader in Christ and for the stalwart defense of the gospel that you have shown against the ungodly leadership in America today.

I am writing today on behalf of my friend, Jennifer Bridges. Her name will likely sound familiar to you. She was the nurse who spearheaded the lawsuit against Methodist Hospital in Houston after they were the first company in the United States to mandate the COVID vaccine for their employees. At present, this case has gone to the 5th circuit court of appeals, the same court who originally stayed the unconstitutional Biden OSHA mandate requiring all employers with 100 or more employees nationwide to compel their employees to receive the COVID vaccine. As this lawsuit moves forward, it stands as a beacon of hope for any employee of a private company who wishes to maintain autonomy over their own body and medical choices. Here is a Fox News Article with Jennifer’s story.

I am contacting you because we need help. We need support from people across this nation to stand up and make their voices heard saying that they do not support this governmental overreach. We need help to support the funding of this lawsuit so that it can continue to be fought, even going as far as the Supreme Court if need be. However, we can not do this alone.

Would you please consider hosting a speaking engagement/fundraiser through your ministry to help bring the awareness and financial support necessary to allow this lawsuit to continue to go forward?

I believe you have shown in your messages that you too believe that the government has overstepped and has trampled on the rights of it’s citizenry. I have heard your frustration as you pray for our divided and rebellious nation. We have seen ungodly leaders claim that people can change their gender on a whim, and who fight to be able to maintain the genocide of helpless babies being murdered in their mother’s womb. It is no surprise therefore, that we see our beloved country falling apart. As John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” We are the unfortunate generation to see exactly how true that is.

Finally, please join me in prayer over this nation that they will repent and awaken from their drugged and drunken state. Pray for favor over Christian candidates and that God will elevate Christian leaders as we approach another election season. Finally, please pray for our lawsuit, that God will grant us favor and will protect us from the increasingly oppressive reach of the federal government.

Please let me know if you can help us by hosting a speaking/fundraising event to help this lawsuit move forward.

Thank you for your time and your prayers,

Here is Jennifer’s website so you can learn a bit more about her

Melissa

Melissa, thanks for this and for all your labors on this. I am not really in a position to travel and speak at a fund-raising event, but I can encourage people to check out your links, and to help as they can.

Book Log

2021 was fantastic. Your reading log from the previous years inspired me to keep a log as well, and I hit 50 books this year. Looking forward to seeing your list from this year!

Wes

Wes, thanks. Coming soon.

Keller’s Tweet

It may be the case that you’re bombarded with this one, but I just wanted to make sure somebody mentioned to you Timothy Keller’s latest tweet, which reads: “The problem Christians and non-Christians both have: we think we really know what Christianity is about.”

This man should be strongly rebuked for the stumbling blocks of obscurity he continues to place in the way of sinners in need of the gospel, all in the name of woke tolerance. I’m of the opinion that you’re the man to do this in the public square.

God bless you as you fight the good fight.

Thanks,

Tim

Tim, thanks for the vote of confidence. And ironically, the tweet showed just how true it can be.

Reading Recommendations?

Greetings Doug, thank you for continuing to fight out cultural drift with biblical insights. In desiring to further establish solid ground beneath my feet in such things, I am wondering if you could recommend a couple of books that apply Old Testament wisdom, i.e. God’s law, to our current times? I have seen some of that in reading Ploductivity, and am looking for more. It is a strange feeling of firmness that seems to fight discouragement and depression, to read along this line. My soul could use a good dose. Sincere thanks,

Gordon

Gordon, if you need a bracing dose, try Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law. Don’t agree with everything, but a bracing dose is what you will get. I would also recommend Poythress and his book The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses.

Robert Alter?

Hey, I am curious if you have read Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible? If so, thoughts? I ask because I have noticed you and your son have some critiques of newer translations. Thanks for all you do.

CWB

CWB, I have read portions of his work in some of his commentary (e.g. The David Story). I like his work over all. And of course, the fact that he is a Jew and not a Christian means that you have to do a bit of the mutatis mutandis thing.

Calvinism and Girls

Dear Mr. Wilson,

First, I apologize if I got your salutation wrong. I know you likely don’t care, but I do.

Second, I thought most, if not all of what you said made a lot of sense, even to a sloven dispensationalist such as myself. (Then again, if I’m finding a lot to agree with . . . maybe there’s something wrong with you?). I digress.

But now to my main question, which has a glancing relationship to your topic. I wrote to you earlier. I am about to complete the legal part of my divorce in less than a week, having already settled in mediation. But the cancer has stricken in earlier stages along the way. No physical intimacy in years. No emotional in more than that. I have three children and have been sterilized. I am well remunerated for my low physical effort job although I am not above average compared to my peers. I’m 38 and the loneliness is crushing. While I have my children with me, I can crush rock with my fists, and spit nails after chewing on hematite, I become terse and maudlin when they leave. They are the best of me and I hope and pray that I honor the Lord with my stewardship of their childhoods.

I have been alone (and faithful) for a long time. I did not leave my wife. She left me. I don’t want to gargle the chainsaw again (meaning I think I know some of the things to run away from this time), so my question is more empirical: how will I know when I can start to pursue a relationship with someone again? I will concede the first point, because I agree with it, which is, when you are ready to marry. I agree. So assuming the necessary (the state says I’m single) and proper (the Bible allows for remarriage, as she has abandoned me—there is more, but that is not necessarily the point), when can I finally pursue companionship?

And are there any books that would fit me that are in the category of, “What [the heck] now?” Surely, if the first time around wasn’t fraught with particular dangers, I cannot imagine the second time. So many more things which bother me and demotivate me.

And this, just for your knowledge, was even more emotionally difficult after the mediation was “successful,” even though my uncle has even told me that not knowing anything that has transpired, he saw daggers coming from her eyes at me. “Hatred” was the word he used. And uncles are known truth sayers. I was looking forward to being able to not be under the microscope, but the enormous strain and fatigue must have finally unloaded on me. If you search for my name under my county’s judicial search, you’ll find a listing of actions enormously long.

Sincerely,

Brock

Brock, I obviously cannot give specific advice in that I don’t really know you or the situation. But here is some general advice. Find a good church (or remain if your church is solid). Plug into everything you can think of. Do that and wait for a year before you even think about another relationship. Make sure all the pieces have fallen out of the sky. At that point, begin praying specifically.

I found your post “Calvinism and Girls” very encouraging. I have been married for 14 years, and am not looking for dating advice, but the principles apply to life in general.

While considering if moving across the country is “God’s Will” for my family, I serendipitously (or providentially) find this episode on YouTube.

After reflecting, I have come to the conclusion, that trying to decipher the “Will of God” is little more that divination with Christian nomenclature attached to it. Growing up in an Arminian Baptist church this sort of mystic approach to decision-making was encouraged, while the “reckless abandon” approach of taking risk and trusting God was discouraged.

What is your advise for tackling the Sovereignty topic with close family that are staunchly Arminian and view Calvinism as an evil heresy?

K

K, the advice I would give regarding family is that you try to display the fruit of Calvinism before bringing in the topic of Calvinism. If possible, delay the topic. And when the topic arises, despite what you can do, speak to them in their language—that of testimony. Talk about trust and love, and freedom from worry.

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your article “Calvinism and Girls.” First of all, the title intrigued me—I am a girl, and also a Calvinist, and I was curious how you would tie both points together. A couple lines from the article made me laugh out loud: “This is why the difference between ‘sweet’ and ‘creepy’ is often an underlying doctrinal one,” and also, “Nothing like that is going to happen or, if it does, you need to check yourself into a hospital, the kind where they strap you into your chair.”

What I appreciate the most, however, is your encouragement to follow God’s will according to His Word, rather than searching out what we deem to be His will. I didn’t encounter that idea until I got to college. Growing up, I believed that God had a set path for me and I had to find that path, and if I didn’t, I would be lost. I really struggled with this as I was trying to decide which college to attend. All my friends went to visit college campuses and somehow just ‘knew’ which one was right for them. I had no idea! Eventually I came to the conclusion that I just had to pray about it and pick one using my best judgement. Which, of course, is the correct way to choose anything, but I didn’t know that at the time. I felt so much relief when, a few years later, I realized that God did have a set path for my life and all had to do to follow that path was what he commands of me in Scripture, to bring glory to His name by loving Jesus and loving others right where He’s placed me. Simple, but not often easy to execute.

Keep writing!

Your sister in Christ,

Hannah

Hannah, thanks very much.

“This means, not to put too fine a point on it, that you must marry a Christian (2 Cor. 6:14), a Christian who would not be disobeying God by marrying you (Luke 16:18), a Christian of sterling character (Prov. 31:30), a Christian whose personality gels well with yours (Amos 3:3), and a Christian whom you find sexually attractive (Prov. 5:19).”

Dear Pastor Wilson,

What happens when one thinks these are the case, gets married, and then they find out that they weren’t necessarily the case, particularly those last two?

Kind regards,

H

H, I am not saying this is true in your situation, but if the attraction was once there, and the personalities once gelled, the distance is a function of unresolved conflict and unconfessed sin. I would do a deep dive spiritual inventory in your own life, and if necessary, get spiritual counsel for the two of you.

Calvinism and Girls: So good been saying this for years

“i don’t think God is calling me to work at that place.” Translation: “i don’t wanna”—but you’ve articulated the reason with “the secret things of God”

Thank you.

Murk

Murk, thanks.

Re: Calvinism and Girls

I really didn’t think I’d write again but I wanted to tell you how wise your advice is.

I’m now 73. About 40 years ago I had been married for 10 years to a wonderful Christian woman. She always wanted to be a teacher and that is what she did. I never had that kind of certainty. During those 10 years I attempted college twice, quit the post office twice and had many jobs.

I was seeking God’s “perfect will” for my life.

After being hired by the post office a third time with the promise not to quit again I still struggled with wanting to know God’s will. Surely I was destined to be more than a mailman!

Then one night I had a most vivid dream. I was talking with God through my radio! My first thought was to ask those questions that troubled me.

As I prepared to ask why innocent children suffer I was made to understand that God knew and cared far deeper than I could comprehend. As I was thinking of my next question I was made to understand that my questions had an unstated predicate: If God exists . . .

My questions were couched in doubt and wanting to understand “the secret things that belong to God.” God exists! I was talking with Him. My doubts, though I still wrestle with some from time to time, are answered by: God exists.

Still, I asked God, “What is your will for my life?” I felt enveloped and submerged in a warm embrace of Love as He replied, “You are doing it.”

I then understood that His will was to follow Jesus. Everything else would unfold as I did that. I retired as a mailman. The other stuff was what was important.

Larry

Larry, thanks very much.

RE: Calvinism and Girls

You said, “Now I am not saying that this fellow is wise…”

Minor quibble: Kinda hard to argue with results. Given the thrust of the article, I’d be more inclined to give this fellow the benefit of the doubt. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and it would appear he was quick to learn and adjust when the fish weren’t biting. He knew what he wanted and had no problem pursuing it.

FP

FP, you are quite right about that possibility, and I have seen that kind of thing unfold also.

When young people are looking for “the One” what is it they are actually looking for? A perfect personality match? Just someone who gives them the warm fuzzies?

Josh

Josh, when people start looking for God to reveal something, and He doesn’t do it, they must either rethink their approach (as many do), or they must assign revelatory value to something they do experience, like the warm fuzzies. That happens also.

Always Something About COVID

I’m not writing in response to a particular blog, but more so Doug’s stance on COVID in general.

This week our church had numerous people contract COVID, including the Senior Pastor and the Worship Leader. The decision was made (in response) to cancel the in person service and do everything purely online.

Our church did this once before in May, and I was okay with it then because all the people who could feasibly run the service were out sick. It kinda made sense. However, this time there WERE people able and desirous to run an in-person service, and the decision was made to shut down anyway. We didn’t have to shut down, but we did. That disturbs me.

I am in a position of leadership in the church. I spoke up strongly about my concerns but my concerns were ultimately dismissed.

My question is how should I respond? I feel so strongly that this decision was wrong that I’m tempted to walk away altogether. However, that feels like a betrayal of long-standing relationships I have with others in leadership. I’m wondering if the best choice would be to use what influence I have to start teaching on why COVID shouldn’t determine our church decisions, playing the long game.

If Doug were in my shoes, what would he do? Thanks for taking the time to read, and thanks for all the extremely helpful insights you post.

B

B, some of this depends on how long they shut down for. But if I were in your shoes, I would seek permission from the leadership to teach on the subject as you have opportunity, and to circulate literature in the same way. If they say okay, then do that. If they refuse, then I think it is time to start praying about moving along. But like I say, it depends.

The Constitution Party

So this isn’t a letter and I doubt it is well written. It’s a question. :-) I just tried calling Canon Press and the mailbox is full and I couldn’t find an email. I’m wanting to ask Pastor Wilson a question. :-) I’m a homeschooling mom in Boise. We use some of your curricula. THANK YOU! Anyway, I wanted to ask a question to Pastor Wilson pretty please. What does he think of the Constitutional party? I saw a video today of someone switching from Republican to Constitutional Party as they believe the Republican Party is just as unconstitutional even though their platform is Constitutional. When asked about this, Republicans in the office say they have ‘discretion’ regarding the Republican Platform. What are the advantages/disadvantages of trying to fix the party or joining another? Is he willing to break down some of the voting choices here in Idaho and share the pros and cons? If not I understand, but wanted to ask. Thank you!!!

Kristen

Kristen, I have voted for Constitution Party candidates in the past, and I am in general agreement with their platform. But people are people everywhere you go, and sin gets into everything. So I would generally make my decisions based on the character of the individual candidate.

That Elusive Line

Have you figured out where the line is for elders between doing their required job and meddling in the lives of the flock?

Timothy

Timothy, the short answer is no, I haven’t. But my general approach is to meddle when there is black letter Scripture on it, and when it is a wisdom issue either wait for them to ask, or I ask them I might give them some input.

Good Assignment

My 15-year-old son is to memorize and deliver a historic speech for his Classical Conversations class. We enjoy all of your book recommendations and are curious if you have a favorite historical speech or speeches that we might consider.

Thank you!

Heather and Mathias

Heather and Mathias, I would vote for Patrick Henry’s “liberty or death” speech. Or Churchill’s “blood, sweat, and tears” speech.

Marriage

Doug, you have put out a lot of material on this subject, but what would you say to the critics—”if you are single and struggling sexually get married.”? Single guys struggling sexually are called to chastity while single, but what do you say to them about whether or not to pursue dating/courtship to help with this issue. I know there is a sliding scale on this spectrum with how severe the lust issue is, and there is not a one size fits all, but what qualifiers would you give to whether or not to use marriage during this struggle? Thanks, and keep up the good work.

M

M, I would say that a young man in bondage to lust needs to conquer that before pursuing a girl. I would also say that a young man who has no problem with lust should conquer that before pursuing a girl. A married sex life should be a great help in resisting lust, but it is a help, not a savior.

Some Exegetical Thoughts

I was listening to the eschatology lecture on You Tube and I wanted to pass this by you. Isaiah 65:17-25.

When I compare the Isaiah 65 scripture with the blessing of Deut 28, I am thinking that if the children of Israel had obeyed God after coming out of the exile, which were when these promises were given to them, they would have received these things in Isaiah 65. It was not the fullness of the New Heaven and New Earth because we see that there is still death within these promises of Isaiah 65. These promises given to them in Isaiah are (in it’s immediate context) promised to the Israelites coming out of exile from the Babylonian Empire. These promises are conditional according to the context of Isaiah in it’s fullness . . . they would receive these things if they obeyed the Lord (Deut 28/ Isa 65). Often God would break into this realm a “taste” of the final promises in the New Heaven and New Earth to come. We see much of that in Jesus’ ministry . . . healing, feeding people, casting out demons, etc. I believe that Isaiah 65 is just that. (We see a micro/macro thing going on here). Edenic promises (though not in it’s fullness because we see people dying at age 100) to the Israelites who are coming out of the exile if they walk in obedience . . . a type pointing to a greater reality of those promises to all Christians (whether Jew or Gentile) whose faith is evidenced by obedience and who will receive the new heaven and new earth because of Christ’s obedience. .These Promises to the exiles coming back into the land foreshadow a greater reality, a fuller and more perfect reality to come in the New heaven and New earth to those who are faithful in Christ. Isaiah 65 was promises of Eden restored, though not in it’s fullness yet then to Ethnic Israel if they obeyed (Deut 28 blessing), but a shadow, picture, type of what is to come for those in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile. Well, we know that when the Israelites came back into the land after the exile they didn’t obey God and therefore they didn’t receive these promises of Isaiah 65 which were the same blessings spoken of in Deut 28. The fullness of those promises then could be given to no other than Christ because He earned the promises through His obedience. Isaiah 65 also shows us how Israel failed because they never did receive those promises given to those who were coming out of exile. We receive them because of Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and Amen.

Therefore I don’t seen this as a “millenial” period nor do I see it as the final new heaven and new earth in it’s immediate context due to the fact that death still takes place. However I do see it as promises to ethnic Israel if they obeyed when the came out of exile and which they didn’t and so they never received those promises . . . and I do see it as pointing to a future reality of the New Heaven and New Earth to be given to believers at the consummation due to Christ’s obedience..

I would like to know your thought on what I just sent you.

Thanks and God Bless,

Sherry

Sherry, I think there is a lot in what you say, but I still want to fit Isaiah in as a promise of what will come to pass. When God’s people have been obedient in the past, for long or short periods of time, they have often experienced that “foretaste” that you mentioned. And that would be what Deuteronomy was promising—times of foretaste. But when Christ comes, He fulfilled all Israel’s obligations, and so a time is coming when Isaiah’s vision will be complete. But even that will not be the post-resurrection eternal state—because death is still a factor. It will remain that way until Christ returns and destroys the last enemy, death.

Help With a Train Wreck

Hello. I have been reading your site for a long time and I hope you can give me some direction. In short, I have made an absolute train-wreck of my Christian life.

I moved out on my own and became a Christian at 19, met a Christian girl shortly afterwards, and got married quickly (we have been married almost 30 years now). We immediately began butting heads over spiritual matters. I was new to the faith and she came from a charismatic/Jesus people background, and I soon found myself in her family’s church. I was uncomfortable with a lot of the practices, had a lot of questions, but not knowing what else to do I just went along. What I really wanted was to go out and find my own way and not just automatically follow my wife’s family. This caused resentment that only grew.

That church ended up like most of those places do: a series of splits and eventual nonexistence. But by that time I was much older and had served in various leadership capacities along the way. I was finally free from that church that I never wanted to be a part of, had no direction where to go next (with a young family at this point), and ended up doing about the worst thing I could have done: I started a church in my living room. My wife’s family naturally came along.

It started out with high ideals on my part, but went downhill quickly. There is a bit in THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH that comes to mind: Lewis says at some point in any organization there will come a time when there is less elbow room and all distinctions become sharper, etc. This happened in our group. I usually found myself the odd man out in any given theological context. I was never comfortable being isolated with no outside counsel or accountability, and I became unable to see it as a legitimate church or me as a legitimate pastor. I had started learning about different viewpoints and found Reformed ideas very convincing, but everyone else was still operating in the charismatic/Jesus people mindset. By the end of it we barely agreed on anything.

This little group (never more than a dozen or so at any given time) lasted about ten years and was the single worst experience of my life. When I finally shut it down my relationship with my wife’s family lay in ruins, and my wife and I were exhausted from years of disagreements. At this point we barely talk about God in any meaningful way, and the experience made Christianity off-putting to my children; they mainly associate God with problems and want nothing to do with it. Not only did I not lead my family in the right direction, but I led them squarely in the wrong one.

At this point we are not part of any church, though I have visited many places and genuinely tried: but there is never any peace about it and there never seems to be a place where we fit. I don’t want to be in a leadership role again (I see myself as unqualified at this point), but just want to be a part of the Body. But at this point it seems as if Christianity has been ruined. There is no joy in the faith for me and there hasn’t been for most of my Christian life. I have lost the respect of my wife in these matters and have so many regrets.

You have been a pastor for a long time and I’m sure you’ve heard of messes like this before. What must I do to put the pieces back together again, and how do I move forward?

Thank you for reading my letter.

Sincerely,

Lost

Lost, very sorry to hear all of this. Make a list of some individual Christians you know who are not “lost.” Note where they do to church, and pick one of those. Ignore whether or not you have “a peace” about it. Just go, sit in the back row, and ask God to begin working on you. Tell God to take His time. Tell your kids what you are doing and why, and tell them they are welcome to join you, but not required (depending on age). Do that for a couple years, and see what happens.

On the Kung Flu

I appreciate your consistency with the Chinavirus approach. I might be able to stomach more of the party line if Politburo admitted freely: “This is what we think now, but we may find out something different tomorrow. By the way, we should have called it a ‘shot’ instead of a vaccine (our bad), and we know it doesn’t prevent catching or transmitting the virus. We still think it’s better to have it than not, even though we now admit that a higher percentage than usual will have significant medical issues including death. In other words, we want you to take one for the team. We know masks don’t prevent transmission, but they do slow down transmission from ninnies, cretans, and dweebs who are careless about sneezing and coughing. We decided to quit making projections and concur with Niels Bohr’s learned observation: ‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.’ So our best advice now comes from Sgt Phil Esterhaus: ‘Let’s be careful out there.’”

Scott Adams has done a great job punching from the side in “Dilbert”. I commend his latest cartoon on the subject which is cloaked as a standard business situation. Dilbert’s reaction sums up the increasing awareness of the general population (i.e., people I know).

John

John, yes, and thanks.

Women Counseling

Hello! I am a young woman wanting to pursue certification as an ACBC counselor. As a woman I know that I would only counsel other women. I know counseling is a teaching role and I am deeply interested in teaching my sisters in Christ. Would it ever be the case that I would be overstepping by bounds as a woman in the church? Are the harder cases definitely in need of pastoral care? Thanks!

Andreina

Andreina, yes, there could be cases where a woman on the counseling staff of a church usurped the proper roles of a pastor. But the same thing could happen with male counselors as well. As long as she was only counseling women, such an overstepping of boundaries wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that she was female.

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Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago

A very happy new year to one and all!

Dave
Dave
4 months ago

Brock, try reading How To Be Free From Bitterness. It has helped folks to get out of the doldrums and get on with being a Christian.

https://ccmbooks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Bitterness2010.pdf

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

However hard it might be, I think Brock needs to consider whether in fact he can ever legitimately remarry. Jesus gave the ‘rule’ for example in Luke 16 Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. Evangelicals it seems to me spend far more time on arguing for exceptions than acknowledging the rule. Jesus made an exception, but does it apply to divorce only or divorce allowing remarriage? I think the permanent view of marriage is the correct one, even though it is a pastoral… Read more »

Gerry
Gerry
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Amen and amen

Thomas Bauer
Thomas Bauer
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

John Piper argues the position in even greater detail in “This Momentary Marraige” but he’s frankly just wrong. Christ provides this exception and Paul provides the remarriage exception in the event of an unbelieving spouse abandoning. RC Sproul has provided enough counter arguments, an easy one to find is in the “100 Essential Truths of the Christian Faith”.

Without knowing the details, it sounds like the latter case is in play.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Bauer

I used to believe the exception clause ‘except for immorality’ and desertion allowed divorce and remarriage. I have come to question this because these two exceptions in practice allow Christians to drive a coach and horses through the ‘rule’, which is what what God has joined together let not man put asunder (through divorce). I can think of a couple of well-known evangelicals in the UK who were driven back to reexamine scripture in the light of the parlous state of marriage in UK churches, and concluding the permanence of marriage is intended for Christians, it is not merely an… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I don’t know that I have a convincing argument, and I’m not even inclined to argue against your point. I do note that Jesus addressed “whoever divorces” not “whoever gets divorced by”. Of course there is the part about a divorced wife being forced to commit adultery. The big difference between then and now is that now it is far more often the woman who is doing the divorcing. The hard part for me is when I consider the plight of someone unwillingly divorced by their spouse under our “no fault” divorce law, especially if it is done to them… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken B: “Evangelicals it seems to me spend far more time on arguing for exceptions than acknowledging the rule.”

This from the guy who spent the better part of a discussion arguing for exceptions to wives submitting to their husbands.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago

Exactly. He’s tried to soften if not deny Paul and Peter’s commands multiple times, but becomes an absolutist when convenient. He’s also supported totalitarian COVID nonsense with “we gotta obey the authorities!” while not acknowledging Rom. 13 is more nuanced than husband/wife commands–and has plenty of OT and NT counterexamples to consider.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

The other thing that needs to stop immediately is this incessant smearing of evangelicals as a group, especially from other so-called “Christians”. It’s political, not religious, in nature.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago

I really wanted to reply to his smug wheat and tares comment a few weeks ago, but resisted the urge. I’m pretty sure tares = deplorables and non-Branch Covidians.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago

If you have ever been on the receiving end of abused authority (e.g. the shepherding/discipleship error) because of obey your leaders and submit to them or spent a lot of time with those who have, sometimes repeatedly in churches, then you would seek to qualify exactly what the relationship between leaders and members is, neither nullifying the Hebrews command nor allowing its misuse by those who do indeed ignore not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge. Given the likelihood of abuse going on in marriages today, including in the church, including evangelicals, including… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

You slay me, Ken B. It’s like you float through life, blissfully unaware that the person at whom you point the finger is the one staring right back at you in the mirror.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

“If you have ever been on the receiving end of abused authority (e.g. the shepherding/discipleship error) because of obey your leaders and submit to them or spent a lot of time with those who have” There’s no asterisk in the commandment absolving you of the responsibility in the event of the abuse. If anything, just the opposite. Scripture consistently holds as heroes those who diligently obey the Word in spite of abuse. Any asterisk applied is of your own invention, which is not particularly surprising, as inventing your own doctrine and holding others guilty of blaspheming against your will is kind of… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

This is someone who supports the mandatory vax…literally the state forcing a jab at gunpoint for a 99%+ survivable virus (that’s getting less deadly with new variants). We’re supposed to “obey and submit to” godless authorities mandating it, but apparently have a lot of latitude when it comes to obeying church leaders or Christian husbands. Of these groups, guess which one killed well over 100 million people in the last century? Hint: it wasn’t rowdy elders, corrupt priests or stuffy husbands.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera
Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

This is someone who supports the mandatory vax…literally the state forcing a jab at gunpoint … Codswallop. My position on vaccination is that under normal circumstances it should be a decision of the patient/citizen. In the pandemic I don’t see – in a central European context – that the state has much option but to make it mandatory. The unvaccinated are overwhelming the hospitals unnecessarily, and I have friends who have lost relatives with treatable illnesses due to withdrawal of treatment due to covid overload. It’s no joke. It’s not like flu. Mandatory vaccination can only be enforced with fines,… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Lotta misinformation in there, Mr. Argues-the-Exception. So then, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work: Ken B: “In the pandemic I don’t see…that the state has much option but to make it [the clot shot] mandatory.” Codswallop. There is no reason for the state to mandate a dangerous, ineffective, inadequately-tested, unnecessary shot. It is in their best interest not to mandate this poison. Ken B: “The unvaccinated are overwhelming the hospitals unnecessarily…” Codswallop. The numbers out of the UK, Ireland, and some U.S. states say otherwise — it’s the “vaccinated” going to the hospital. Besides, hospitals are “overwhelmed”… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Let me give you some asterisks, then. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. This is addressed to elders – still need to submit to them even when they build their own little empires? But because of false brethren secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage — to them we did not yield submission… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I’ve been in some of the most conservative circles in Christendom, and the “likely” abuse you speak of is way overblown. Please show me where popular Reformed/Evangelical leaders are overstating the authority of clergy or husbands. TGC, Tim Keller, etc. are much closer to your position. They practically apologize such authority exists and give plenty of loopholes and exceptions. You think wives submitting to husbands needs nuance,but can’t find such nuance in the Bible. Maybe Paul was joking about women being silent in the church as well. Being called a “sexist” must have been his greatest fear. Ex. 1:15-21, Daniel… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Maybe Paul was joking about women being silent in the church as well. Let me quote Will from last time’s letters regarding preaching against homosexuality next week: My minister assured me that she wouldn’t be preaching your hateful homophobic request. Neither would she be preaching about the dominance of men over women. But she would be preaching the Gospel of Jesus’ love for every human being. Here is my reply, and you can make of it what you will: This is precisely what 1 Tim 2 was designed to prevent. It is not unloving to point out the sinful nature… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

1) I’m glad you’re not as far gone as Will, whose feel-good progressive religion isn’t remotely Christian. However, you should wonder why you views on so many issues are similar to those of Will.

2) Yes, no human authority is absolute, but as I’ve demonstrated many times, obedience to the state (which you seem to revere much more than family/church authority) has numerous exceptions we don’t see with other types of authority. And generally, Christians leading churches and families are less prone to evil than godless states.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

You said above the “likely” abuse you speak of is way overblown and And generally, Christians leading churches and families are less prone to evil than godless states. The second sentence is probably generally true, but the first one isn’t. There was a time when I would have argued much as you do, abuse is being overblown. The shepherding error (‘delegated authority’ feeding male egos) involved intimidation and manipulation, but I don’t think immorality was a hallmark of it. It was though highly destructive. Over more recent years there has been scandal after scandal – Catholic ‘priests’, CJ Mahaney, Mark… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

You’ve proven nothing here. Out of 300,000+ churches in the U.S. (and many more in Europe), you listed a handful of cases. Driscoll loved to shame the men in his congregation, trying to get them to marry single women, etc. He had some issues, but despite the rotten Christianity Today hack job, it wasn’t “toxic masculinity.” And I never heard anyone in his church come to his (or Zacharias or Catholic priests’) case come to his defense using “headship” or “men’s rights.” That’s simply a take that fits your modern, feminist narrative. The bottom line is if you’re the type… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

You’ve proven nothing here. Out of 300,000+ churches in the U.S. (and many more in Europe), you listed a handful of cases.  The small list covered hundreds of thousands of cases from just the Catholic priesthood alone in both the States and Europe. In the German-speaking world the Catholic laity are incandescent with anger at what has gone on and been covered up. Thousands(?) more amongst Southern Baptists, and many victims in Anglican circles over the years. It’s now coming out as the men of authority in the hierarchy have lost the power to cover things up. There may only… Read more »

Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Are people actually worse abusers of authority than they were in Paul’s day, or was Paul missing the possibility of abuse when he didn’t nuance his writings when he first dictated them?

Neither seem likely to me. More likely, we are to take the words at face value as the baseline, and deal with the exceptions and abuses as they occur, rather than treating the words as only half-meaningful from the outset.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

The fact is that the new testament gives us nearly identical commands for submitting to civil authorities, wives submitting to husband’s, and submitting to overseers in the church. The same sentence constructions and verbs are used in each case and I think we should see these as very similar. The Bible further gives is a lot of narrative that helps to flesh out out what is commanded in less didactic format. For the state there are thing that Herrara pointed to, like the Hebrew midwives and the wise men with Herod. For wives we have Abigail and Nabal, Rebecca protecting… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I get really suspicious of insufferable know-it-alls who think they’re God’s gift to this blog with their via media solutions. Rom. 13 is far different from the other passages. Gordon Runyan has done a pretty good in his book explaining the nuances. Unlike passages on wives/husband and church authorities, Rom. 13 goes on to say much more, such as “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong…They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” But what if they’re not doing this, as is increasingly the case? What… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I get really suspicious of insufferable know-it-alls who think they’re God’s gift to this blog with their via media solutions.

Do you have any examples? …

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Demos – you wrote … who makes much of our duty to obey the state but doesn’t believe wives should obey their husband’s or parishioners should be under the submission of elders (KenB perhaps?). I very much believe it is all for today – the ‘women’ passages, marriage, spiritual gifts. I said above regarding the Heb 13 verse neither nullifying the Hebrews command nor allowing its misuse and repeated this to Justin None of this is a reason not to heed the Hebrews instruction, but then I have already said that. That’s two witnesses and this is now the third!… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

There is no command to be vaccinated, either.

When the state decides that not being vaccinated is evil, then the state is usurping God’s authority, for God and God alone determines what is good and evil.

Especially when the “vaccine” in question is not a vaccine.

If loving your neighbor as yourself is fulfilling the whole law, then it seems to me to be dubious to force others to get a dangerous and ineffective jab. As a matter of observation, those forcing seem always only ever interested in themselves and never show concern for their neighbor.

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago

B, you should consider starting a Bible study in your house and see what reaction you get. This could be one of those opportunities like Paul calling Peter to repentance. If not, then you will be thrown out, but don’t just take your ball and lead., You are a shepherd. Lead your sheep.

Mark H.
Mark H.
4 months ago

Gordon, you might also want to find Gary North’s Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus. In it he works his way through the individual laws and looks at how they might be applicable.

Sam Rutherford
Sam Rutherford
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark H.

Mark, I will second your recommendation. Gordon, this is a must read if you want to see how the law of God given to Moses is applicable to our situation, and how it might play itself out. I hope you read it and come out saying with the psalmist in #19: The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago

Heather and Mathias . Churchill’s Finest Hour speech is also very moving, the last paragraph or so. I don’t know if it would work if you are not British though. The We shall never surrender speech was one of his greatest, and makes reference to the ‘New World with all its might and power’, which I imagine would go down well with American audiences. My parent’s lived through the war and I remember my dad saying Churchill lifted moral enough to believe that imminent defeat could yet be averted. The St Crispin’s Day speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V is famous,… Read more »

Rachel
Rachel
4 months ago

What is the significance of the Gif? A violent clip of a bird being killed by a fast pitched baseball. Is it meant to be funny? Or clever? Or postmodern?

David J.
David J.
4 months ago

Brock: 10+ years ago I was in your situation — newly unwillingly divorced with children still at home, going back and forth between parents, after 29 years of marriage. For your mental and spiritual health, I recommend the national program Divorce Care, which likely has a chapter meeting in your area. It’s mainstream evangelical (i.e., not as theologically robust as I’d like; virtually no one in the two iterations I attended was as biblically conservative as I was), but it helped me demonstrably in dealing with my anger and hurt. If you have a strong local church, dig in there.… Read more »