“There are four kinds of speech that the Scriptures forbid . . . The problem with this simplistic take is that there are also righteous scriptural examples in each of these four categories.” I’m curious if drag falls into the same category—it’s rightly prohibited, but on the other hand I see humorists and satirists (classically Monty Python, certainly, but also more recently commentators such as JP) use it extremely effectively to skewer certain inflated sectors of society in desperate need of getting popped like a Chinese balloon, including even the sectors of society inclined to un-ironically dress up in drag.
Ian, right. The problem is the defense and embodiment of kink, and not an attack on kink.
Unusual Word, Unusual Compliment
Congrats on using the very Narnian word “scapegrace”. Keep on boxing the Lapsed Bear of Stormness until it becomes a reformed character!
grh, thanks very much.
My wife and I were recently told by our 19-year-old daughter that she is “gay” and has a girlfriend. We made mistakes as parents, but we tried. We read her the Bible. We took her to church. We tried, in spite of the fact that we did the best we knew how, we tried. We have also come to find out that when she is not home, she goes about pretending to be named “Phineas” (her name is Naomi, after my great-grandmother) and prefers he/they pronouns. We are heartbroken and, honestly, at a total loss.
She treats us like we are the enemy now. Our little girl, whom we have loved more than our own bodies for two decades, treats us like we are the bad guys because we won’t snap to and get with the program regarding this thing that she just recently dropped in our lap, which thing she already knew we could not accept. Aside from being firm in the truths of Scripture, while being as gentle as possible, and praying for her, what would you, albeit from afar, recommend that we do?
HD, very sorry for your heartbreak. What you mention is exactly what you should be doing. The only thing I would add is that you should be very specific in your prayers for her. Don’t just pray that she would repent (although that will be part of it, certainly). Be praying for specific things (e.g. that she would break up with her current girlfriend), and when that happens (without you saying anything), take it as a token for good (Ps. 86:17).
I have a dear family member who left his wife for another woman recently. He was, until a few months before, a minister, so strict judgment seems just here. And yes, the adulterous relationship seems clearly to have predated leaving ministry. He is openly grieved by all the consequences of this and, I believe, knows full well the hurt he has caused. He confesses he has sinned and failed us all (though those confessions are more general/vague than I would prefer). But he remains with the other woman. His wife has filed for divorce and been clear that she will not take him back, but the divorce will not be final for months. And in the meantime, he is also refusing to submit to any sort of church authority, restricting heavily whom he will even speak to on this. It feels very much like worldly sorrow to me, asking for our grace and forgiveness and ongoing relationship. But is this right for us to do without any clear evidence of true repentance or contrition? He claims no apostasy and sees himself as a fellow Christian. I think he sees the damage as done and un-doable, with no point in hurting yet another woman, whom he intends to marry. But it does not seem so to me. He ought at least wait for the divorce to be final, right? And confess his many sins here specifically? But to whom? He has left his church and town, and I do not know that he is in another.
Does 1 Cor 5 apply to close family here? Do we do church discipline in family and “not even eat with him” until he truly repents? And what when he does marry this woman? The family is split on how to handle this, which grieves me more still. I want peace with him, but i do not want peace with open, ongoing sin.
I would know your mind on this, if you are willing.
GBS, friends and family ought to apply friends and family sanctions. This would not be church discipline, because you are not a church. I am assuming from your letter that the church he was pastor of did not apply church discipline? What happened there? If they did, then the family should honor their discipline. If not, and if the family is of one mind, they ought to say (down the road when he is remarried) that he would only be welcome at family events if he has demonstrated a genuine repentance. And yes, an ongoing relationship with the other woman is ongoing adultery.
A Glory and a Covering
So, I just read For Glory and a Covering, and I was really encouraged by what you said about the covering of God. I also realized that C. S Lewis was quoting the Song of Solomon when he said the church was terrible as an army with banners! (Screwtape.) But the article got me thinking. What do you believe about women being required to wear head coverings in church? I believe the verses for that are 1 Corinthians 11, verses 4 and 5. “4. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head 5. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven” (KJV) Does this mean that a woman’s hair is her head covering, or that she should wear a head covering in church, or something else? This may be a very silly, self-evident question, but no one has been able to give me a straight answer as of yet.
LME, my understanding is that a woman’s hair is given to her for a covering (1 Cor. 11:15). But I have no objection when women supplement it with an artificial covering, as some women in our church do.
Concerning your new post, “For a Glory and a Covering”: What is the difference between the word κατακαλύπτω translated “covering” in 1 Corinthians 11:5, 6, and 7, and περιβόλαιον translated “covering” in v. 15? Is the different word usage relevant? Could it be that the covering in worship is different and supplemental to a woman’s long hair, which she wears whether or not she is in public worship?
From my study, it seems the first connotes a covering that goes overtop, and the second connotes something like a robe, a covering around the object. The second word is also used in Hebrews 1:12 and is translated “vesture” in the AV, or “robe” in the ESV, or “mantle” in NASB. How is this significant?
Looking forward to your answer!
CR, I wouldn’t want to press the distinction based on the use of two different words. I believe that women are to be covered when they pray or prophesy in a worship service, and God (and nature) has equipped them for that, and either word would indicate obedience. But as above, I don’t object to accessory coverings.
I have a couple questions regarding concupiscence:
1) It seems if we are continually confessing all our sinful desires we can wind up in a sort of catatonic self-righteous feedback loop: “Oops—I stared at that lingerie ad for two seconds; I need to confess.” “But I didn’t stare too long.” “Now I need to confess not being honest about my sin.” “Now I need to confess about how wearying it is to confess this sin.” “Now I need to confess waiting so long to confess my sinful desire.” “Now I need to confess not meaning my confession in earnest.” “Now I need to confess being late for my appointment.” It seems like if we were to continually patrol our inner thoughts for sinful desires, we would have an endless string of things to confess. This is what tortured Luther and his confessor—there was always one more thing to confess. Also, there is always the sinful desire that passes so fleetingly that we scarcely register it—and neglect to confess it. It seems like unfruitful morbid introspection. Our time would be better served working on putting on the armor of God by faithfully disciplining ourselves rather than worrying about all the flaming darts of desire that are continually coming our way.
2) It seems like sinful desires are the war that we all deal with, but the sinful actions are what we need to confess. If I am having a conversation with someone and I think “Good grief, this guy is an idiot. I should just roll my eyes and walk away,” this is a sinful desire. But another side of me, the faithful side I hope, will retort “No, you’re not being patient. He actually seems to have a good point. Hear him out.” If I listen and act on the first voice, then I need to confess my sin. If I listen to the second voice, then I have learned patience and there is no need to confess. Listening to the second voice shows that I am maturing and growing in the fruit of the Spirit, even though the first voice was still there. Perhaps as I mature further, the first voice will show up less often, but will likely show up every now and again.
I appreciate you addressing this topic—it’s an important one.
David, thanks and I agree. The only thing I would add is that we also have to include as “action” any kind of internal embrace or dalliance with the sin. Two seconds of whoa, watch your eyes is quite difference than half an hour of unmortified lust.
Modern Geneva Copyright
I was listening to the Plodcast, Episode 265, a few days ago, and in it you mentioned in the book review a few reason you use the KJV in your preaching and writing. The third reason mentioned (and the one I found most intriguing) is that this version of the Bible is in the Public Domain, and that you don’t necessarily like that the ESV or even the NKJV is owned by a particular company or person.
I recently purchased the New Testament set of the Modernized Geneva Bible and have been using it in my studies. I couldn’t help but notice that this text is of course, copyrighted by Canon Press. I’m curious how Canon Press will handle copyright issues with this text should an author like to quote extensively from it. Will you handle this differently from other publishing houses?
Thanks for your work!
Grace and Peace,
Dylan, yes, it will be handled differently. Permission to quote from it would be automatically granted, and not a lot of hassle.
Reverting to Factory Settings
You talk a lot about definitions, so I thought you might enjoy continuing to witness the libs grapple with the reality of redefining people (see link). It didn’t take them long to turn on each other and realize their own hypocrisy. After the long battle, they appear to think we can call a woman a “woman” again.
Chris, arguing with the way things are is kind of a losing proposition.
First, I would like to say thank you for all that you do. You have helped me in many ways in learning/maturing in the Lord. Furthermore, eschatology is such a profound interest of mine and has been since I was a child. I grew up with a pre-Mill belief, and I still do have that belief. With that said, I have spent a good amount of time studying Amillennialism and Post-Mill. I understand that you hold a Post-Mill view and I know a lot of the Puritans had the same view. I have many thoughts and questions regarding the Post-Mill view. One of your posts on Instagram explained that you believe that the book of Revelation holds events that are all in the past now. I understand all of what happened in 70A.D. regarding Jerusalem being conquered, and the abomination of desolation at that time, but doesn’t God have a pattern of foreshadowing in His Word that points to an ultimate event? With that question, how do you reconcile the Post-Mill view and the supposed Anti-Christ whom Paul talked about, and whom Christ is said to destroy in the book of Revelation? To add to this question, what are your thoughts of the current state of the world? With the Pre-Mill view, it seems that things seem to be aligning very similarly to a point of culmination in a one world order under one supreme leader, and of course, my thoughts are that this is where the Anti-Christ will rise and will soon come against Israel. I apologize for the multitude of questions, it is very captivating to me and I love to hear your opinions! Thank you again for all that you do and for your time.
Ryan, you are right. There are a lot of questions connected to your cluster of questions. Here are just a few comments. Antichrist is never mentioned in the book of Revelation. The beast and the antichrist are not the same. An antichrist is a false teacher within the church who denies the Incarnation. A beast is a persecuting civil authority. As for the state of the world, things have seemed really bad many times (e.g. in the middle of World War 2), but then the world went chugging right along.
Who are the ten kings in Daniel 7 and who is the little horn? The context makes it seem to be Nero however Nero was the 6th Emperor of Rome and not the 11th. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Jerry, this is an easy one. I haven’t done sufficient work in Daniel to say anything yet.
Street Level Apologetics
I was talking with a fellow on the job and in the course of the conversation he began scoffing against Christianity. I thought of the bit in Proverbs, about how we ought not answer a fool, and about the bit after where we should. I’ve always assumed it was Wisdom that would dictate which one to do in any given situation. I opted to stay quiet and in short order he had spoken his tuppence and was on his way. But afterward I began pondering what I would have said had he asked me why I believed in Jesus Christ, Christianity, the Bible, etc., and it dawned on me that I would have had absolutely no idea what to say or how to defend my position. I’ve been a Christian near 30 years, have been hanging around these parts about ten of those, have read the bulk of C.S. Lewis’s books multiple times, listened to hours of Schaeffer, Sproul, et al, and in the moment when it might have actually counted, I would have come up nil.
This has taken the wind out of me. The conclusion I’ve come to is that Christianity makes sense to me inside my own head and heart, but I don’t know what to say about it to others. I even find myself struggling to have meaningful conversations with my children about it, because once I start talking, it can and often does sound like nonsense and goes all wrong. It’s as if I have a script in my head that I read from, and as soon as someone asks me a question I don’t know the answer to, all goes awry.
I remember in the film Collision you said something about not being able to prepare for debates and things, but that it all builds over the course of a life. That doesn’t seem to have happened to me. Are some people just not debaters? But isn’t everyone called “answer for the hope they have,” etc.? I know you would have likely had much to say this to scoffer, but what should normal, everyday folk say? What are your thoughts, sir?
Grateful for your time…
CL, yes, it is true that not all are debaters, and you shouldn’t feel bad about that. But every Christian should be able to give an account of the hope that is in them. I suspect, from your letter, that you are in better shape than you think. Imagine that this guy you were talking to at work texted you and asked what you thought of his rant. Write him a letter. Get your thoughts in order. No need to send it.
The Polygamy Challenge
If you haven’t come across it, I’d recommend reading this.
I appreciate your work, and you get a lot right where many others fall short, especially in marriage/headship. But on polygyny, based on what I’ve read of yours I think you fall short where almost all other pastors do.
You mentioned in one of your posts 6 years or so ago that you think polygamy is soon on the horizon—well, I agree it’s never been closer with recent marriage law shifts and the culture the way it is.
However biblically, polygyny being the only form of poly that is exampled, regulated, and commanded in some cases. I believe, and I’m far from alone in the notion, that the Christian church is woefully wrong in both it’s historical teaching of the monogamy-only position, but will be woefully unprepared to teach the differences as to why a woman cannot have 3 husbands (when secular culture allows it legally) or 2 men and 2 women can all be in one big poly group . . . but what Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, Joash, and 30+ other men did in the Bible *wasn’t* right with God. The Church barely teaches that now, as most Pastors will not directly call it a sin, but paint it as sinful behavior nonetheless.
And since it wasn’t sinful then, and never made sinful in the NT, why a Christian woman cannot opt to join the family of her Christian sister, rather than spending her entire life alone, wasting her youth and fertility, never having even the option of a good Christian husband, when the answer of “well it’s illegal in the USA” no longer suffices.
You seem like the type of Pastor who is not afraid of controversial subjects, so that’s why I reached out. I’d love to hear your thoughts one way or another, God bless.
Dustin, just a couple of things. Marrying sisters while both were still alive was illegal under Old Testament law. And second, I think we at Christ Church are prepared to make all the distinctions we might need to make. When marriage law in the US goes completely to hell, and anybody can do what they want and call it marriage, we will still not accept sodomite marriages, or a woman with two husbands, or any other monstrosity. But a polygamous family could be accepted into membership, provided they agreed not to ever have the husband aspire to church office (because he is a chump), never to propagate their views to others, and never to compound the mess they have already made by taking additional wives.
The Very One
Is this perhaps the article aforementioned?
Cameron, yes, that’s it. Thanks for locating it.
A Book Recommendation, Always Welcome
I just came across reviews of “Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning” by Nigel Biggar. Here, here, and here.
It might not make your Book of the Month list, but the author is highly interested in intellectual honesty about the British Empire, analogous to your approach with the American Experiment. In fact, he has several similarities with you . . . which makes me wonder whether anyone has seen you two in the same room at the same time (like Batman and Bruce Wayne). If not, someone should arrange it to squelch the rumors.
John, thanks for the recommendation. But with a name like Nigel, and given his subject matter, I’ll bet his accent is a lot plummier than mine.
Thanks for everything you do, we appreciate your preaching and what you and your team produces. A small question if you have time for it:
How should Christians think about where to work in these times, and how should they determine when they need to part ways with a company? Many companies are now engaged in some activities that I don’t feel good supporting, but it is hard to know where to draw the line. How should someone think about working in a field such as big tech, eg. Google etc? A lot of the technologies are useful in themselves, but the companies are using them to manipulate or deliver harmful messaging, at least to some extent.
Andrew, I believe it is lawful to work for unbelievers, even though those unbelievers are going to use their proceeds in ways that are displeasing to God. It might grow in nuisance levels up to the point where you want to work elsewhere, which you should if you have opportunity. But I don’t believe separation is required unless the product being manufactured has no legitimate use—porn, crack cocaine, etc.
Can you recommend a good place to get a nicely bound copy of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
G, maybe here?
Too Many Opinions
It was a while back now that you posted a link to a short guide to how to study the Bible, that was written by your Dad. I have lost that link and would like to find that guide again, and save a copy this time so I can’t lose it again. Can you help me out?
Michael, I believe this is what you are talking about.
Discipline at Church?
Responding to your comment on ‘don’t discipline your kids at church.’ I’m a little perplexed to why you would advise this. I had young kids who at times misbehaved in church. With 52 church services per year, no manner of training at home is going to prevent a situation coming up at some point for kids in the 2-4 year old range.
I found it very simple to replicate the discipline process between home and church. Step out of church, find a quiet room, close the door, calm the child down, discuss the behavior, connect it to the gospel, exercise the discipline, bring restoration, go back into church. In my experience, if we waited until our child got home, they have completely forgotten about their sin and discipline is much less effective. So I would disagree with your, ‘don’t discipline at church’ statement, unless you provide some clarity.
Nate, I don’t believe we disagree. I was talking about not establishing your disciplinary regime at church. Do that at home. Course corrections at church, as you describe, is of course fine.
The Bill Murray/Dan Akroyd line was mine, on my Twitter account which is anonymous with a cartoon character avatar. Once upon a time it had my real name and face and it was possible to notice me, but around the 2016 election a few too many of my friends experienced real life harassment in response to their snarky twitter comments. The more this parade of descent into paganism persists, the more I feel something ground shaking is on its way. Every year we seem to creep closer to a utopia of Rousseauism. God’s reality doesn’t stand for that kind of nonsense. You can’t pull on the rubber band too long before it snaps back.
Hold on to your coat.
Justin, great line, and thanks for it. You are right about the rubber band. Hold on to more than your coat.
A Hard Line to Draw
Christ or Chemosh? What are the boundaries of what Christians are allowed to do (without fearing the loss of their salvation) in opposition to abortion and other government-sponsored evil?
Bruce, I would flip the question around, and worry about salvation if you don’t do something. I would begin by reading classical Protestant resistance theory, and I would seek out a community of like-minded Christians so that you are not making such decisions in isolation.
Yet Another Book Recommendation
I would like to recommend a book to you if you have not already read it: “The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification” by Walter Marshall (1628-1680). I put together my own little summary/introduction (below) to help introduce this book to some brothers at my church, etc. I think it is fairly on target.
To help get your attention I’ll “name drop” and mention (according to Joel Beeke) that John Murray said of this book: “The most important book on sanctification ever written,” and (apparently) J.I. Packer has written that it is among the best books written on the Reformed doctrine of sanctification.
Pastor Wilson, I believe what he says in this book resonates 95-100% with what you believe and teach based on what I’ve heard/read by you, and I believe Marshall’s understanding of sanctification is applicable to any Christian at any time, from “Pietists” to Post-Mil Kingdom Builders, etc.
The theme of The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by Walter Marshall (1628-1680) could be crudely summed up as (and I mean it very reverently) “how to be sanctified, in a Gospel way”.
In this book, Walter Marshall, with the sympathy and concern of a pastor, unassumingly and meticulously explains how to apply the Biblical teaching of sanctification into practice in one’s own heart and shoe leather, helpfully dealing with objections, exceptions, questions, obstacles, and problems, arising externally and internally.
In the course of the book, Marshall contrasts the true Biblical doctrine of Sanctification with various unbiblical approaches and errors including Antinomianism, Higher Life “let go and let God”, legalism, perfectionism, works righteousness, self-righteousness (and probably others I’m not familiar with) including the pitfall of (in any way) making a work out of faith and repentance. Yet what Walter Marshall lays out is nothing “new” or “gnostic” but the Biblical and Orthodox doctrine of Sanctification.
Joel Beeke’s modern introduction (1999), although helpful (and necessary), could be misleading of the tone or spirit of the book itself. His introduction comes off somewhat sterile and academic, dealing much with the “polemical” or “rebuttal” aspect of the book (which it indeed embodies). Whereas Marshall’s tone and spirit in the book itself is fervent, warm, pastoral, exhorting, and “lively”.
Marshall’s long sentences and densely packed thought sometimes present a challenge to determine his exact meaning (e.g. which antecedent does this pronoun or relative phrase refer back to?). Yet, it is evident that his teaching is lucid and settled in his own mind, and most of the time he can be understood with minimal effort. Incidentally, there is an occasional typo introduced in this reprint edition which the reader can often self-correct on the fly. But in spite of some difficulty in easily tracing his exact meaning in each and every phrase, nevertheless, the book clearly communicates thoroughly, effectively, and personably “how to be sanctified in Christ”; “How to follow Christ in a Gospel way”.
Because of Marshall’s very thorough and painstaking approach, it is not until Chapter 12 of the book’s 14 chapters that he actually gets to his discussion of the main practical “how-to” details of walking by the Spirit, or “practical” sanctification. For this reason, and because of Marshall’s unfamiliar and sometimes challenging style, if you find yourself bogged down in the early chapters, you might try jumping ahead to Chapter 10, 11, or 12; later going back to the beginning, where you might better appreciate his meticulous (and rich!!) foundation work in these earlier chapters.
Other books and teachings I’ve read/heard over the years on living the Christian life, which, though popular, God-honoring, and edifying, seem not to have advanced to Marshall’s depth of Biblical knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. This book plainly, clearly, and practically explains the real life, mysterious, “spiritual mechanics” of sanctification, walking in the spirit, the Christian life, etc. … beginning at the very foundations and building unto the fully functioning real world practical application of these realities, “connecting all the dots” along the way.
In summary, Marshall exhibits a depth and breadth of understanding of both the Biblical teaching of Sanctification (and Justification), as well as the diverse, often subtle activity of the human heart in applying (or misapplying) these Biblical truths to one’s own life. He handles these truths fluently and carefully as one who thoroughly understands the entire Biblical teaching of walking by faith in Christ, as if it were a very familiar thing to him in its entirety and explains it with a pastor’s warmth and concern.
Pastor Wilson I hope you will read this book and comment on it… and I will happily be glad to send you a copy out of my own pocket!
Robert, thanks for the recommendation. Already ordered it.
The thing that makes the premil last days view so widespread is that it seems obvious by just looking around. But keep in mind that has been the case throughout all times, and all the previous generations, though thoroughly convinced, all have something in common: they all got it wrong. This generation of premil people will do the same thing.
In the 1970s, the Soviet Union was the kingdom of the beast. Now it is Russia or the EU. The EU hypothesis, however, is based on the idea that Rome is and will always be the beast, the EU is probably fading, or at least becoming looser as a confederation. What’s more, many EU countries were not in the Roman Empire, and many parts of the Roman empire (North Africa and the levant) were never part of the EU, the first country to leave was the United Kingdom, and the parts where Brexit were popular (Wales and England) were part… Read more »
On the issue of polygamy, my wife and I were discussing this subject recently and her opinion of it is that it was a better institution than what is going on today. For instance, there is a somewhat famous Green Beret who talks about how bad he behaved when he was younger. He found out in the same week that he had gotten two girls pregnant. Both women were pregnant with daughters. My wife’s argument is it would have been better for those women and their daughters if he could have married both of them. The daughters would each have… Read more »
Islam allows men to have up to four wives at a time. I once had a conversation with a Muslim who lives in the Middle East, who told me that the only Muslims who actually practice polygamy are the ones wealthy enough to have a separate house for each wife. Putting all of them under the same roof would, in his words, be like living in Iraq.
I would imagine what is going on today also sometimes went on in polygamous societies. I doubt legalized polygamy would prevent it from continuing to happen in ours.
That wasn’t the point. Nothing can completely stop all sexual perversions in a society. The issue with polygamy is that in cases where sexual sin has already occurred it may be the best option for everyone involved, especially for the unborn children.
Unless we decide there really is nothing wrong with polygamy, we should not think we are correcting something by sanctioning and institutionalizing it. Rather, we are just adding another kind of wrong to to wrongs that already occur. I get it, the focus here is on the immediate bad situation, but we really should think beyond that. Would we only allow polygamous marriages in circumstances like our Green Beret’s? I’m not so sure we could restrict the practice to such narrow circumstances once we open that door. It would be hard to argue against polygamy generally, on principle, once we… Read more »
Polygamy is illegal here so any second “marriage” ceremony he and wife B have gone through is purely illusory. If a church wouldn’t admit to membership an adulterous husband with his wife, his girlfriend, and their assorted children, I’m not sure how it could admit someone who claims he is married to original wife A and wife B–who is in reality just his girlfriend even though all three adults are living under the same roof. As for the Green Beret’s predicament, the only benefit I can see is financial. I think most women would rather be working mothers than have… Read more »
I think Dustin, and Doug Wilson, are foreseeing a not too distant time when polygamy *is* legal. Since “Let people “love” whoever they want and marry whoever they love” doesn’t allow for a coherent argument against it, they may be right. For that reason, and because there are probably more Dustins in the church who are not so sure about monogamy only, it is true, the church needs to be prepared.
I think that might be rather nightmarish for the first wife, especially if she didn’t condone the adultery. “Darling, now that Susie has had my baby, I’m going to invite them to live with us. She can help you with the housework and be a sister to you. After all, I can’t afford to support two households so I’m sure you’ll be sensible about this.”
The issue I think of when I think about polygamy is when Abdul is converted, and the wives are legally married. Assuming the wives stay, how do we encourage the new brother to lead his house? Think Sudan, Pakistan, etc.
A tricky situation, to be sure. And the trickiness comes from a realization, as the OP said above, that Scripture is crystal clear on all sexual sins–rape, fornication, extra-marital adultery, incest, sodomy, transvestitism, and bestiality–except…not polygamy. Huh? From cover to cover, everything is pretty explicitly defined as forbidden…except polygamy. Not only is it not expressly forbidden, but it is actually codified into the Law with broad parameters of what may and may not be done inside one’s polygamous marriage. And then we’re given many examples of men–THE forefathers of our Faith–engaging in polygamy and standing uncondemned before God. And though… Read more »
And all the egalitarians, yes, there are people who think they are patriarchal but are egalitarian on this point, are going to have difficulty explaining why polygamy was allowed for men and not for women. A man could lawfully have multiple wives but it was never permitted for women to have multiple husbands. Why could a man bring his wife before the priests for the adultery test but there was no such provision for women to bring their husbands they suspected of committing adultery? These two issues point to the reality that what constituted the crime of adultery was different… Read more »
Clearly Jesus names lusting after a woman not your wife as the sin of adultery. Actually, the context makes clear that Jesus is only referring to the illicit sexual desire for another man’s wife that constitutes “adultery with her in his heart.” “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman [i.e., a married woman, since the context is clearly about “adultery”] to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28) There’s not a single verse… Read more »
If Scripture doesn’t actually forbid the practice, why do we? THAT is the question. I’m not confident the Church is ready (or able) to provide an answer that doesn’t ring of “just because…” Malachi, you’ve made some great points of which I’m in agreement. My two cents worth is that churches who still believe in the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture won’t be able to “provide and answer” against polygyny, because Scripture nowhere prohibits polygyny but rather regulates it within prescribed boundaries. I’m not even convinced that Paul was referring to polygyny with the qualification for elders and deacons to… Read more »
Pastor Wilson, Thanks for reading my letter and checking out “The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification” (by Walter Marshall).
Looking forward to reading/hearing any feedback/comments/review, etc.!
Doug, just a thought for your meditation; if the man should have his head uncovered during public worship because he is the Glory of God (which should be on display during worship) and a woman should have her head covered because she is the glory of man ( which should be covered during worship, hence the hair given to her for this purpose) shouldn’t the woman’s glory (her hair) be covered during worship? the principle applied to the man and the woman’s head (the correct covering of glory during worship) should apply to her glory too.
Polygamy: Another marker of third-world status.
Ironic that, 150 years after we told the Mormons “No”, it’s trying to ride back in on the coattails of homosexual not-marriage — that fake, gay contrivance the imperialistic, colonialist Western “elites” are desperately trying to impose on the third world.
Did you notice the picture of the German football team with their hands over their mouths during the world cup? This was because they and all other European teams had not been allowed to do the rainbow thing on their shirt.
To my mind an iconic picture that power has started to pass from the West to the East.
The other iconic picture will be Zelensky — a literal clown who is representative of everything wrong with the West — surrendering to Russia.
The people promoting it even look possessed–and not just the ones doing Satanic entertainment at the Grammy Awards.
Clown World ™ https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/14.0.0/svg/1f921.svg on Twitter: “Australia’s new Ambassador for Gender Equality https://t.co/taTFIaWcVJ” / Twitter
Can’t get my simple British head around this. Australia’s gender equality ambassador wants to promote said gender equality, then says she will defend the rights of women and girls.
Um, what happened to the men and boys? Or are they one of the ‘diverse genders’ who can be excluded?
Claiming to be wise, they became fools …
The same is true of supporting transgendered (often men who want to enter women’s bathrooms or sports) while in the next sentence defending women’s rights. Or when either feminists or the LGBTQ+ crowd align themselves with Muslims. We can circle back to the World Cup in Qatar to see how silly that is.
Yes, I’ve been trying to get proponents of transgenderism to see the G in LGBT contradicts the T. You can’t get them to think about this .
Did you see Nicola Sturgeon Scotland’s First Minister go to pieces when pressed on the question if transwomen are women why was there a dispute about allowing them into women’s prisons if they were guilty of sex crimes before so-called transition. Transwomen are women except when they are not!
And they say Christians only believe because they have abandoned reason. The irony. 🙂
The woke clearly have their own religion: It has gods like abortion and sexual degeneracy. It has liturgical practices like kneeling for BLM (also a form of never-ending penance as whites can never be absolved from collective racism) It has faith leaders like Obama. It has religious tokens like masks, Pride flags and Floyd statues. It has high holy months (we’re in one right now in the U.S.) and holidays like the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the Stonewall riots of 1969 (birth of “gay rights”) Faith is a must. You must believe inconvenient facts are a Russian hoax.… Read more »
Ryan, Postmillenialism doesn’t hold that everything in Revelation happened in the first century. That is Hyperpreterism.
To CL, at the very least, you would probably enjoy watching or listening to Voddie Baucham’s classic sermon ‘Why I Choose to Believe the Bible’
I am not a debater either, but it helps me solidify how to give an answer for my hope in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
Doug Wilson responded to Dustin’s comments by saying, “Marrying sisters while both were still alive was illegal under Old Testament law.” But that is not what God’s law actually says. “Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.” (Leviticus 18:18) This is a carefully qualified prohibition. It prohibits a man from taking a wife to her sister in order “to vex her” or create a “rivalry” between them. It does not prohibit a man from taking a wife to her sister if she consents to… Read more »
Jacob was a special situation. He had promised to marry one girl, and been tricked into marrying her big sister instead. It would have been better, perhaps, to marry two girls, sisters though they may be, than to either divorce Leah or break his promise to Rachel. It may be a stretch to say that polygamy is wrong in all times, in all places, and in every conceivable circumstance. But the ideal is monogamy, as Adam received just one wife, and as most polygamous families in the Bible had problems arising from that, and as clergymen should have only one… Read more »
James, the fact that Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah is irrelevant. If monogamy is the only lawful form of marriage authorized by God (it’s not), then Jacob marrying Rachel while still being married to Leah would have been unlawful and prohibited by God. Moreover, apart from Leah committing an act of sexual immorality against Jacob (Deuteronomy 24:1; Matthew 19:9), he had no lawful ground for divorcing her and would have been sinning if he did so. However, since polygyny is not an unlawful form of marriage forbidden by God, Jacob was perfectly justified in marrying Rachel and two female… Read more »
There is a difference between what is permitted and what is desirable. The Church is the bride of Christ in a symbolic sense, it makes no sense to me to say that Jesus is literally or symbolically married to you and me as individuals–that would be an abomination, as same-sex marriage is repeatedly condemned in scripture beyond a shadow of a doubt. Just because Jacob was probably justified in marrying Rachel in that rare circumstance, and that polygamy is better than divorce, doesn’t mean that any man may have two wives, just as Rahab lying doesn’t mean that lying is… Read more »
There is a difference between what is permitted and what is desirable. Since celibacy and monogamy and polygyny are all explicitly permitted in God’s law, then what is “desirable” is up to each individual to determine for their own lives. You don’t have the right to determine what’s desirable for another person. Period. The Church is the bride of Christ in a symbolic sense, it makes no sense to me to say that Jesus is literally or symbolically married to you and me as individuals–that would be an abomination, as same-sex marriage is repeatedly condemned in scripture beyond a shadow… Read more »
James, Roger’s M.O. is to justify the menage a trois he so feverishly fantasizes about. Nothing more.
Bravo! You win the prize for making the most inane and slanderous comment I’ve heard to date! Of course, the Biblical evidence for polygyny being a lawful and righteous form of marriage is so overwhelming and incontrovertible, what else could you be expected to do?
Please. The only time you come here is to defend your one pet issue, with both barrels blazing. It’s your fetish; own it.
And no, the Biblical evidence for polygyny being righteous is no more overwhelming and incontrovertible than the Biblical evidence for the righteousness of chattel slavery.
But hey, if you want the third world, then there’s a whole continent available for you to live out your third world fantasies. No one’s stopping you from moving there. Just be careful of the local wildlife, mosquitoes, lack of indoor plumbing, tribal chiefs, warlords, etc.
Well, apart from being rude and obnoxious, you are clearly incapable of drawing valid conclusions from the text of Scripture. Whether an activity is righteous or unrighteous is determined solely by God’s law (Romans 7:7; 1 John 3:4) not our own personal sentiments. And God’s law clearly authorizes chattel slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46), just as it authorizes polygyny (Exodus 21:7-11; Deuteronomy 21:15-17). Therefore, owning slaves or being married to more than one woman at the same time are righteous (i.e., lawful) not unrighteous (i.e., unlawful) activities. That’s basic logic, not rocket science!
Rude and obnoxious, huh? That’s some mighty rich sniveling coming from a guy calling those who disagree with him blasphemous. Last I checked pal, that goes way beyond rude and obnoxious. So then, Roger, if polygamy is as righteous as you say it is, then where’s the ringing endorsement from the text of Scripture? Every time polygamy is mentioned in the narrative, from Lamech to Abraham, Esau, Jacob, Elkanah, David, Solomon, and on down the list, it is portrayed in a negative light. If polygamy is so righteous and good, then why did God make only one helper, from one… Read more »
Rude and obnoxious, huh? That’s some mighty rich sniveling coming from a guy calling those who disagree with him blasphemous. Last I checked pal, that goes way beyond rude and obnoxious. Saying that our holy and righteous God portrays Himself as a blatant sinner in violation of His own moral law in Jeremiah 3 and Ezekiel 23, as some here are doing, is indeed blasphemous. If the shoe fits, wear it. And if pointing that out is somehow wrong in your estimation, then you need to apply the same standard to our Lord Jesus Christ, who called out the… Read more »
The Ninth Commandment does not permit us to make guesses about someone else’s motives and then treat them as facts. Your statement sounds plausible. It may even be true. But there is nowhere near enough evidence for you or anyone to consider it settled, or even to consider it the probable explanation. Therefore it is false witness, and you must not carry it around.
Roger’s interpretation is erroneous, and I think plainly so, as I just posted. But this post is sinful, and plainly so; you should repent.
“The Ninth Commandment does not permit us to make guesses about someone else’s motives and then treat them as facts.” So are you going to repent of the same here? https://dougwils.com/books-and-culture/s7-engaging-the-culture/letters-5-12-20-2-2-2-2-12-68.html#comment-255364 You made an assumption about fp and me “sympathizing with the sovereign citizen movement” out of thin air as neither of us even mentioned it. My comment about whether or not someone has to file for taxes had nothing to do with that. While you’re at it, you should probably re-read some things you said attacking anti-jabbers, who look wiser each passing day. I’m pretty sure you can find… Read more »
So are you going to repent of the same here? Yes*. Sorry it’s taken me so long. I didn’t realize it was still a live issue from last year until you brought it up, and then I needed to ask someone for confirmation. It was careless of me to push past my own cautions, and especially when there really wasn’t much insight there. So I’m sorry for that recklessness with the truth. *Qualifications in apologies are usually bad, but: I did not treat my guesses as facts. I stated guesses for no very good reason, and dwelt on them unduly,… Read more »
Lighten up, Francis. There’s no law against mocking the delusional.
Roger can dream all he wants about being on a tropical island, sitting in a comfy lawn chair, and being berated by two women à la Cedric the Entertainer to his little heart’s content, but it is weapons-grade stupidity to call such a fantasy righteous.
Who is “Francis”, or what is that an allusion to?
More to the point, I said nothing against mockery. I did refer to the Law against spreading ill-founded accusations. If something you did is against any part of the Law, it’s sin, regardless of whether it happens to not be against some other part of the Law. Mocking is not so protected that you can use it to get away with actions that would otherwise be sin.
(Doubling down on imagining highly specific unsavory things about someone else will not help.)
The use of Jacob (of all men!) as the prototype for marrying sisters without vexing them casts grave doubt on this exegesis. We know that Leah and Rachel were, in fact, vexed and jealous of each other. They spent all thirteen years before leaving Laban in back and forth striving, naming all their sons according to the changing fortunes of their struggle, and enlisting their chief handmaidens as concubines to gain advantage. So he undeniably did not obey this commandment, not even the neutered version of it being proposed. We also know that Jacob’s household maintained teraphim, in blatant violation… Read more »
The use of Jacob (of all men!) as the prototype for marrying sisters without vexing them casts grave doubt on this exegesis. We know that Leah and Rachel were, in fact, vexed and jealous of each other. They spent all thirteen years before leaving Laban in back and forth striving, naming all their sons according to the changing fortunes of their struggle, and enlisting their chief handmaidens as concubines to gain advantage. So he undeniably did not obey this commandment, not even the neutered version of it being proposed. I never claimed that strife and jealousy didn’t develop between Leah… Read more »
Most of this analysis rests on the highly questionable interpretation of “to vex her” or “as a rival” as being a limitation of the scope of the commandment, rather than an explanation of it. There is no clear justification for why such an astonishingly specific restriction is given in the context of so many other laws that are each, in fact, much less specific, most of which are focused on the inherent sinfulness of sexual relations with various close relatives. One can imagine that Jacob carefully considered the likelihood of rivalry, asked Leah and Rachel whether they would be okay… Read more »
I’m sorry for the delayed response, but I got quite busy over the past few days. Oh, come on. There is nothing sinful or unusually foolish about mistakenly interpreting events in the life of a Biblical saint as being universally righteous. It’s a perfectly understandable mistake to make, and calling it out just in case is not any kind of accusation. Not to get recursive, but given that I was just defending your motives, I would have hoped for a trifle more charity and a little more consideration of possible miscommunications before piling on with the accusations of hypocrisy around… Read more »
It seems to me the fact that the law had not yet been given is relevant here. Whether we ultimately decide that his marrying sisters was sinful or not, it is obvious that he was not breaking a law that did not yet exist.
Jane, I agree that the specific command in Leviticus 18:18 had not yet been explicitly given during Jacob’s lifetime. That is obvious. But the monogamy only doctrine is based upon a supposed “creation ordinance” or “law of monogamy” that applies to all men at all times in history. If that’s the correct interpretation of Genesis 2:21-24 (it’s not), then Abraham, Jacob, Gideon, Lamech, and a host of other godly men of the past would have been violating this supposed “law of monogamy” by marrying multiple women whether biological sisters or not. Moreover, they would have been living in life-long unrepentant… Read more »