We Needed Letters, and Lo, They Came

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Define Your Terms, Man

How would you define “your people”? Kinists want to define their people based on skin tone. They tend to use the verses you cited to support the idea that skin tone based racial categories must be preserved. This is obviously not what Scripture is teaching in the verses you cite. Also just because Scripture refers to nations doesn’t mean God is teaching we must preserve them in the form they currently are in. For example, at the time the New Testament was written Rome was a nation but was also an empire. Paul could be both an ethnic Jew and a citizen of Rome. He even used the benefits of Roman citizenship. However, it doesn’t appear he identified Rome as his people. This fact presents an issue with trying to apply honoring our parents to political boundaries. In our time and place the reality of how mixed we all are ethnically makes it difficult to apply honor father and mother to any ethnic category. On the issue of God’s command to disciple the nations, the context and point of the word nations seems to mean the world. It seems to be twisting the point of the Scripture that commands us to go out to all the world, meaning every nation, by claiming it means we need to identify our people for patriotism so we can apply the 5th commandment to whichever group we choose to identify as our people.

JSM

JSM, I would describe peoples, not define them. The problem with a apriori “definitions” is that the families of men are arranged differently. The Japanese are ethnically tight, and the Americans are a mutt. But every group to which a member of that group owes loyalty and respect is formed by covenant. To try to organize things by skin tone is simply absurd—like cataloging all the books in your library by color. All the blue books in this aisle, all the red ones here, and all the green ones over there. At the same time, libraries do contain sets, and they are all the same color.

Good Question

Hello…. what happened to this link?

There is nothing there anymore! Thanks.

Robert

Robert, your question is most reasonable. We are looking into it. It is probably gremlins.

Eschatology Gets Into Everything

I recently heard you mention your final catechism question and answer that you ask your grandkids every week: What’s the Bible ultimately getting at Kill the dragon and get the girl. I love the way that communicates deeply the eschatological goal of history in a way that is evocative, concise, and simple enough for a child, profound enough for an adult. Just curious, do you have any resources other than children’s books that specifically adorn that statement?

Jim

Jim, try to track down Gentry’s The Greatness of the Great Commission.

Let’s Talk About Education for a Bit

In light of Arizona’s bill opening a voucher to all gov’t school students potentially getting passage—any thoughts on a God-honoring and founding-principles-protecting way new schools may possibly use this Robinhood tax money that follows each student? Looks like the only state reqs for receiving the funds are to hold some kind of standardized test each year—and report aggregate scores only to parents, not the state. So, the state is not involved in the current form of the bill. Can an anti-state-support private school budget accordingly to use this money for good things that are expendable, and have a plan to operate without it should it ever get yanked away—in good conscience before God?

Desert Rat

DR, I would count on it getting yanked away. This is not being done to help out private education; it is being done to get some hooks into private education before it is too late for them. So the rules will change at some point. And if you think you have a plan to “disengage” when that happens, there will be financial pressures when the time comes not to do so—does your plan include layoffs? I can live with tuition tax credits, where parents keep their own money. But all vouchers are a trap.

With all these parents suddenly thrust into homeschooling, it seems there is not much that prepared them for it other than having been a student at some point. What resources would you recommend to either get parents prepared or get them up to speed if they are already doing it.

Russel

Russel, I would tell them to read, read, read. And then I would tell them to find a diligent group of like-minded parents in their area, and start hanging out with them. Classical Conversations would be a good place to start.

Young Earthery

Would you care to comment on the recent Wayne Grudem posted on Desiring God?

Jason

Jason, sure. I read his article, and was (surprise!) unpersuaded. The flexibility required to make room for an old earth is a flexibility that also makes room for the blood kinship between Adam and other critters. And it does not matter whether Grudem affirms that, what matters is that his method and approach make room for it.

Olive Branches

I’ve come to believe that the body of Christ is the new Israel—Israel died and was resurrected as one new man, Jew and Gentile—but how do we reconcile this with Paul calling Israel “God’s people” in Romans 11:1?

Jonty

Jonty, Paul toggles back and forth between two uses of Israel. There is the old Israel, who had the promises, and there is the new Israel, who had the fulfillment. The old Israel still has a place in God’s economy, as Paul argues later in chapter 11. They will be grafted back into the olive tree, and take to it more readily than the wild olive stock had done.

Sleeping Scripturally

Regarding an old post entitled “Your Sleep Will Be Sweet.” I searched up this post last week as I struggled with an inability to calm my mind and sleep. Thanks for this short piece that I think really gets to the heart of the issues that I have had/am having with falling asleep. The “letting go” that you mention is what I’m struggling with. Worries can keep me from sleeping, and then I add to that more worry about not being able to fall asleep which perpetuates the problem the next night. I confess this sin and attempt to avert my mind to other things, but it seems fruitless much of the time. My mind returns to the worry about sleep over and over again like a dog returns to it’s vomit.

I do see God at work as I confess this sin and attempt to be faithfully obedient in all areas of my life, yet I still struggle with how to truly and completely let go and rest my often overactive mind. To turn it off/down when it needs to be. In years past I have often thought of how much you and your family have on your plate and how trying some of those things are. I have often wondered how your mind is not constantly racing, including when you lie down. I am working on the practical suggestions you provide in the post, but wonder if you have any suggestions on how to completely and permanently let go of worry. Thanks for your hard work, my family’s life is impacted hugely by yours!

John

John, this is a huge subject, but I would start by fighting anxiety and worry in the daylight hours, when it has nothing to do with sleeping. Get victory there, and then move on.

The Case Against Western Civ

Uou and James Jordan appear to get along well and share a vision for the church despite any theological differences. I recently read his series of essays by the heading, “The Case Against Western Civilization (Parts 1-7).” Having just read some of your books on these topics (Angels in the Architecture and Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning), I was struck by how differently it seems you and Jordan view “western civilization,” especially as it pertains to cultural and educational retrieval. If you’ve read these essays, I’d be curious to know how you would respond to his arguments.

Thanks!

Caleb

Caleb, yes, we do differ on this. I have interacted with him a bit in the past, but I am not quite sure where. There may be something in my book The Case for Classical Christian Education. My basic argument is that when God grafted wild olive branches onto the tree of the Abrahamic covenant, it was because He wanted weird things to happen, which they promptly did.

Is there any difference between the Christian worldview and the Worldview of Classical Liberalism present in the founding of USA? Could we mix the two? or ‘christianize’ C. Liberalism? What is our position as protestants to C. liberalism? Are this two worldviews compatible? what could be said about the thesis of Patrick Deneen in his book Why liberalism failed?.

Juan

Juan, my view is that classical liberalism functions as a subset of the Christian worldview. It eventually collapses as a stand-alone worldview by itself. It is not big enough to contain Christianity, but Christianity can certainly contain it.

The Liberty Catechism

I like this liberty catechism, but there are a few items I offer as hopefully constructive criticism: Since 32 clarifies what is meant by the right of property, I think perhaps it is best for 29’s answer to be the classic “pursuit of happiness”, and for 32 to clarify in its answer that the pursuit of happiness means property rights

When the two concepts of rights are explained in 38-40 I would try and find a graceful way to work in their names of positive and negative liberties, to equip the reader to follow that breadcrumb.

Ian

Ian, thank you.

As a principle, I really like the idea of the liberty catechism and I think you are off to a fantastic start. This is something that I would use in my home school. Since you are in the tweaking stage, I hope someone will propose an amendment to #23. On my first listen, the term “helter-skelter” seemed to grate at me, not for its meaning but for its out-of-place-ness. I let it be for a few days and returned again to see if I still felt the same way. I do. While it may appropriately convey your meaning, it may convey it a little too personally. When I imagine children memorizing and repeating the catechism (as they should), I expect it to be a little more generic in voice while remaining precise. That said, I am wholly unqualified to recommend a suggestion, just merely a suggestion that an equally effective phrase be found.

Steph

Steph, let me put it this way. I think you are correct.

“45. Do a Christian people have the right to resist tyranny directly themselves? In an extremity, yes. But we are Christians, not anarchists, and we should seek to locate our resistance under the authority of lesser magistrates whenever possible.”

Consider the scenario where one magistrate says, “For your good and the benefit of society, you can’t sing Psalms in public, and any attempt to do so will cause your arrest and incarceration,” and Christians resist by a) assembling in public and singing Psalms anyway, and b) doing so by grounding our resistance to a higher magistrate, namely, the Constitution and the First Amendment codified therein.

Government might say, “Your basis for grounding is illegitimate; courts have decided that we have the authority to do as we have, and you do not have the authority to interpret or apply the Constitution outside the scope of judicially approved rulings.”

What then? I guess my question is, instead of lesser magistrates, I think we actually have the highest “human” magistrate possible in the form of the Constitution, except what to do when lesser entities say otherwise?

grh

grh, yes, but we do have an answer for their specially anointed interpreters. The reason for a written Constitution in the first place was so that all literate citizens could band together and keep an eye on the lawyers.

LOVE your Liberty Catechism. Its just what we need to advance our understanding of our national, covenantal relationship with God.

I have one year of teaching a 12th grade biblically-based course on government and economics. So I have just enough knowledge on this topic to be dangerous. With that understanding, I have some suggestions for the catechism that I offer at the link below. And a few explanatory comments that follow here.

One thing I noticed was that you did not use language explicitly covenantal language. Having been immersed in Dr. Gary North’s teachings on this, I feel compelled to offer some ideas on being more explicit on this. So I have.

But it is not just Dr. North that moves me this direction. Everywhere I turn, it seems I run into either R2K devotees, dispensationalists, and other evangelicals who seem to think that God has placed few (if any) obligations on how we run our government and shape the culture. And the language of the covenant is nowhere to be found in their vocabulary on this. So in addition to adding covenantal language, I also move up your language about obligations earlier in the catechism and tie it to your comments about rights.

This same rationale is why I took your answer to Question 46 and used it to replace your answer to Question 19. It seems to me the earlier we remind folks that God has laid out a plan for our civil government in Scripture the better.

I understand the focus on rogue agencies and the administrative state in Question 25, but thought the question and answer was better focused on all efforts to undermine biblical government throughout the three branches and at the state and local levels to.

On property rights, I thought it worthwhile to tie them to our delegated stewardship of God’s world.

On taxes, I agree with you on the 10% upper limit, but think applying the principles you are teaching here about the role of government also helps bring clarity to general and specific taxes that fund specific, unbiblical or unconstitutional spending. Also, I suggest that perhaps this question (33) might be moved up to follow Question 27.

On why these teachings seem to be such a novelty, I suggest it is important to note that “the leaders of the evangelical Reformed movement” have had some help in being false to Scripture and theology. While I agree we had a very Christian founding, the secularization of our political language and theory was already well underway by 1776 and 1788. I think this stating this helps, in addition to pointing to more modern evangelical Reformed movement, explain what has happened to our country over the last 250 years.

Finally, while I absolutely agree with the answer to Question 52, it seems to me ending the catechism on a more positive note about the path forward is a good thing. So, since I had an extra question available after combining Questions 19 and 46, I added such an ending.

Thank you again for this. We are already halfway through it in my home.

Bill

Bill, thanks for all the work.

A Sphere Sovereignty Primer

I want to say thank you for your ministry and books. I had an idea that I thought may be something you would be interested in, would you consider writing something short and digestible on sphere sovereignty? I thought something like C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves, but the Four Governments would be an awesome resource in these Statist times. The revelation that self government drives family government drives church government drives civil government is one that has opened my eyes to a lot.

Thank you again for you work. The Lord has used your work greatly to put some wind in my sails at growing in the Lord, pursuing a wife, marrying her, and starting the walk toward a godly household, and preparing what Christian education would look like.

With gratitude,

Cody

Cody, thanks. Good idea.

The Holy Spirit’s Personal Assistants

What help is there for those trying to deal with the consequences of their sin after they have repented and been made right with God? I guess I’m thinking that yes, there are consequences to sin, and one of those consequences seems to be that there are those who, because they are fallen creatures too, adopt the attitude of “There are consequences to sin and I’m going to make sure you experience every last one of them,” and I think I am having trouble dealing with that…

RS

RS, the only effective way to deal with these folks is to lean into the consequences they are trying to dish out. Say, “yes. What I did was very bad. Wicked, in fact.” Trying to argue with their self-appointed status as pay back artists only gives them more power.

Okay. Here Is a Question I Have Never Handled Before.

I am struggling on a issue I think needs to be addressed but am having troubles nailing down whether the people sinned or just have bad etiquette.

The individuals were visiting friends. The friends took the kids inside and the husband and wife found themselves swimming alone in the friends dugout. They decided this was a good time to have sex even though they ran the risk of being seen and were not in a place of real privacy. The friends do not know that this happened.

Is there places that are inappropriate to have sex with your spouse? Is something like this a sin or just unusual?

Any light on the issue would be helpful.

Steven

Steven, I would categorize this as a sin, but not a sexual sin. The sex part was lawful. The sin was the monstrously bad manners. If they had been discovered, what would their response have been? What would they have needed to apologize for? But because they were not discovered, they need only confess their foolishness to God, and resolve not to do anything like that again. It is a Golden Rule thing. Would they like their house guests to take their behavior in this as a general rule of what is acceptable?

The Darla Letters

Thank you so much for the Darla letters, they have been very helpful in thinking through matters of relationships as a young woman. I am a 23-year-old young woman who desperately wants to be married. There have been a few young men that I have been very interested in, but none that have ever been interested in me. I know that I struggle with introspection and am easily discouraged, and thus find myself often despairing over my deficiencies. I try to stay cheerful and hopeful, and to work on balancing self-improvement with focusing on Christ and not myself, but I find myself wondering if I am missing something, or if I just need to be told something like “honey, you just aren’t that pretty.” I’m growing weary of simply hearing “don’t worry, your time will come”.

Do you have any advice for young women in my situation, whose friends are all getting married and having babies, but find themselves without any suitors at all?

H

H, I would suggest two things to you. The first you already knew, and alluded to. Trust God, worship Him, walk in the Word, and so on. The second thing is that I would encourage you to travel a bit. Go to conferences. Branch out. Visit relatives, and stay over Sunday so you can visit their churches. Don’t chase anybody, but do show up.

In your latest Darla piece, you wrote “If you are forty and unmarried, is that situation to be preferred to being the wife of Bill? It is not just Bill v. John. It is also Bill v. ten years from now having yet another a glass of wine on your deck in the evening by yourself.” Why do we presume that unmarried people will be spending their evenings drinking wine and lounging around?

Might we lack a vision for what Christian women could be doing if they remain unmarried over the long run? Why do the mid-30s women in conservative Christian circles have a noticeable lack of accomplishments and skills under the belts? What exactly have they been doing for the past 1 5 years?

Andrew

Andrew, I think you are missing the point. I am aware of the pastoral plight that many unmarried young women are in, and the fact that they are plenty accomplished does not address their problem. Vocational accomplishment does not fill the same need in a woman that it does in a man. So now picture her on the back deck, with her glass of wine, having spent a long day inventing things and getting patents. She is still lonesome.

Three Cheers for Dobbs

Monday morning film room: Let me count the players who did something amazing on the Dobbs play The Almighty gets all the glory that injustice is no longer “framed by statute”; we don’t need to smudge His victory by putting our grubby little hands all over it. Still, it’s great fun to run it back and see who He used to do what on the play. McConnell threw some vicious blocks, Trump got people free to score, the GOP, the voters, etc. etc.

But in regards to your comment that Roe was overruled because Trump kept his word, I’d say that’s true to a point. But, he could’ve done his level best to appoint justices and then they could’ve chickened out or changed their minds or just plain choked. I think Roe was overruled because the justices kept their word . . . they got the ball across the goal line.

Thoughts?

Sports bar stool cheers,

Matt

Matt, agreed. They didn’t choke, and there was a clear opportunity to choke.. There was enormous pressure on them, and they held.

Nightmares and Kids

My wife just got off the phone with my son. He has been concerned about nightmares my grandaughter (9 yr) and her brothers (7 & 5) have been having. She asked him about family worship and he confessed to only spotty observations of prayers at bed and sometimes a bit of Bible. Alas, his father (that would be me) did not set as good an example as he should have. We were on and off with family worship, sometimes with the full Evening Prayer from the 1928 BCP, and sometimes from the Family Prayers section in the back of the 1928 BCP (we were attending an Anglican Church at the time). We now attend a PCA and he an ARP church. I went looking for recommendations in the Canon website for books on family worship that would be appropriate for his kids, but didn’t find anything I thought would fit the bill. Have you any recommendations for family worship materials for young families?

David

David, I think the strategy of filling their minds up with good things before bed is wise. For the ages of the kids you describe, I would recommend a Bible story book (say, Kevin DeYoung’s new one), and singing a few hymns and psalms before bed. Then dad should put his hand on their heads, and say a blessing.

Marrying a Divorced Woman

This isn’t in response to any particular post, but I’m seeking advice on divorce/remarriage which ends up being seeking advice on conscience.

I know you are on the sometimes divorce/sometimes remarriage side of the divorce/remarriage debate. I’ve never looked into it much, but have gravitated toward no divorce or remarriage due to what Jesus says. However, I recently ran into an old high school classmate that I’d like to pursue, but I found out she’s divorced. I don’t know enough about her situation yet, but at first glance it appears it may be an unbeliever leaving a believer like in 1 Cor 7. However, even in that passage it doesn’t explicitly say remarriage is permissible. Aren’t we in danger of reading remarriage into it?

So the conscience side of this is that I tend to have a sensitive conscience and have learned in recent years that my functioning ethic has been one of “holiness by avoidance”. When it comes to something like this issue which is not necessarily straight forward and where there is a more “liberal” side and a more “conservative” side I will automatically default to conservative because it seems safer. So in this case I’m not sure if I can go ahead with a clean conscience although I very much want to pursue her (and given my age a divorce scenario is much more likely than finding someone who’s never been married). I’m trying to be willing to do whatever I find the truth to be in the Word, but it sure is hard when a pretty lady comes along and I’m not getting any younger. But even then obedience is better than making an impulsive choice based on what I think will make me happy.

I know this is all from a distance and there are many variables that come into play, but looking for some advice.

Brad

Brad, right. You can’t change your theology because she’s cute. But you do need to change your theology, and that means reading and study. The reason you need to change your theology is that defaulting to the “stricter” view is not actually sticking close to the shore, and is the route to Pharisaism. Christ is the shore, not hard legalisms. Read, read, study, study, do it fast, and then pursue that girl.

A Hard Case

In reference to the “Respecting Husbands” YouTube video. My wife of over 18 years (we have 4 boys under the age of 14 together) has over the past year headed down the path of “deconstructing her faith.” I’d say she’s 3/4 to full blown woke at this point. She makes no clear stand on who Jesus is, what sin is, what repentance is, what heaven and hell might mean, etc. When we married she appeared to be a faithful follower of Jesus and we lined up pretty consistently across the board theologically. Her new “faith journey” has led to uncountable disagreements and daily friction. She has stopped talking with me about her financial, career and spiritual directions. She simply operates with me as little as possible. How do I faithfully serve and lead a woman who has no interest in associating with me and believes my role as such is actually wrong and abusive. I have been quiet and just basically go along to get along for a bit and speak up from time to time to keep things from getting “worse”. She believes if I do not support her career and life choices in and outside the home that I am being mean and abusive. Recently she has been excited about a career opportunity that I simply can’t get on board with and am not able to support because of financial limitations and the care of the children being sacrificed. So here’s the big question…HOW DO I SUPPORT AND LEAD SOMEONE WHOM I DISAGREE WITH SPIRITUALLY AND ACTUALLY BELIEVE IS MAKING DESTRUCTIVE DECISIONS IN OUR OUR MARRIAGE AND HOME. This is a wild ride and I want to be found faithful before God for caring for my wife nd children. Thanks in advance.

Richie

Richie, you can’t lead her in the day-to-day stuff, and you need to stop trying to. From what you describe, this can only end in one of two ways. Either you two get divorced, or she repents, down to the ground. You need to drive the situation to that decision point, but not by your manner of speaking with her. Every day, get alone with God and confess to Him the state of your family. You are the federal head of your home, and so tell God every day that your home is dysfunctional and messed up. Give it to Him to deal with. Then ask Him to bring everything to a head. Ask Him to bring it to the point where she must either leave or repent.

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Armin
Armin
4 months ago

The simplest defense of Christian Nationalism is simply to point out that the term “nation” implies shared origins (it comes from the Latin term for “birth”) and thus could be seen as a type of extended family. If it is valid for me to want my own immediate family to be normatively Christian, then it is also valid to want the same for my national family.

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago

David, something is going on that you don’t about. One kid with nightmares is one thing: three? Look for an outside source. Did a new boy move in next door? Is he picking on them? That sort of thing.

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago

Richie, talk to a lawyer, now. Don’t wait until she files for divorce. You will be labelled an abuser. The person who fires the first shot in court, usually wins.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say the person who files “usually” wins depending on by what margin you mean, but you definitely want to be the first to file. Think of where you live. Is there an area near you that you would NOT like this proceeding to take place? Because the person who files is picking the county where they file.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

I get what DW is saying and agree Richie should be praying. But is there a point where he should give her an ultimatum? Or talk to a lawyer like you said? What if it were a rebellious child whom you might need to kick out of your house? Or a fellow church member who was having a serious dispute with you? Would you simply pray and let God sort it out…or have some kind of plan or timeline?

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

You are fighting for who will primarily raise your kids. If it is as bad as he describes, then the marriage is already over.

Last edited 4 months ago by Zeph .
Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

The question I see it is of obligation. The Biblically sanctioned causes for divorce are fairly narrow. Having a lousy spouse is not by itself justification. Prediction that the spouse will eventually go over the deep end, accurate or not, is not by itself justification. I don’t consider myself a scholar on the topic, but great care must be taken. These broad impressions are thin to go full divorce, but neither can you do nothing. Although the strategist and hobbyist court follower in me says Richie should absolutely let his wife’s career take off and start spending more time with… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

You’re also taking a risk with the courts. Family law has been fraught with injustice for years. “If Americans understood how crooked their courts really are, they would not be surprised at the current travesties of justice… Commandeering the public justice system to wreak vengeance on our personal or political enemies did not start with judicial grandees sitting atop the commanding heights of our august federal courts.”
Divorce-Court Demolition – Chronicles (chroniclesmagazine.org

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

You don’t have to convince me on this point. My “file first” is predicated on an assessment that your other option is “receive notice”.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

No-one has asked the question why the wife in this instance has gone down the woke road. Does she perceive herself being treated as second class because she is a woman, is the church run by authoritarian or even control-freak elders? Does it cover up abuse? Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber both went off the rails as regards the faith, but both had a fundamentalist background, or at least an unthinking, wooden evangelical background – too much dogma and not enough charity? I am not saying backsliding can ever be justified, but when it occurs it might not necessarily… Read more »

Jsm
Jsm
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

When it comes to backsliding “Down to earth human reasons” are a cover for sinful rebellion against God.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Jsm

Absolutely. Plenty of people had less-than-perfect Evangelical backgrounds. Most didn’t end up like Nadia. That’s not “down to earth” human…it’s straight-from-hell insanity:
Nadia Bolz-Weber to Melt Purity Rings and Make Graven Image of Female Genitalia (pulpitandpen.org)

Last edited 4 months ago by C Herrera
Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

If a person is not in rebellion against God, that person seeks God’s help in faithfully dealing with whatever problems are afflicting her. Turning your back on God or rejecting His ways as a result of your perceptions of how bad things are is pretty much the definition of rebellion. With rare exceptions, adults don’t rebel against anything simply because they “feel rebellious” but because they think they have a better answer than the authority over them — in this case, God. God has answers for these situations, though not often easy ones; taking a different path than seeking Him… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Jane
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Hey, you know who else came from an unthinking, wooden fundamentalist background with too much dogma and not enough charity?

The apostle Paul. He turned out alright.

Of course, taking every opportunity to bash evangelicals isn’t unthinking, wooden, dogmatic, or uncharitable, now is it?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago

Of course, taking every opportunity to bash evangelicals isn’t unthinking, wooden, dogmatic, or uncharitable, now is it?”

What? Was it not a natural and rational conclusion resulting from total objectivity that the sinfulness of radical leftism are probably somehow conservatives’ fault?

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Heavens, no! Didn’t you learn in Sunday Struggle Session that there is no sinfulness in radical leftism? Because of this impure thought, we must now petition for purity and virtue. Cross yourself, and repeat after me three times:

Hail George Floyd, full of fentanyl, the Rev. Sharpton is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst felons… 

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago

I heard Hunter Biden was exposed to some fundamentalist teaching when he was young (not from his parents, of course). So all the international crime, whoring, drug abuse and selfie porn videos actually resulted from those nasty Evangelicals. Good on the FBI and DoJ for maintaining their absurd double standards and not going after him. “Down to earth human reasons” must be part of the woke indoctrination they received.

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

Word on the street is that the soon-to-be former President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka were raised in unthinking, wooden evangelicalism. After all, it was for “down to earth human reasons” that they banned chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, thereby starving their own people and driving up the price of everything, all while running up their country’s debt to stratospheric levels. And there you have it: Forced organic farming — it don’t get much more down-to-earth than that, do it? Yup, evangelicals caused this. Unthinking, wooden evangelicals. Next up, we’ll be hearing how a background in unthinking, wooden evangelicalism… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago

Nice one. It’s not ESG. Not the Great Reset. Not mythical green energy/ag forced on nations with no scientific rigor. It’s those darn fundamentalists again and COVID, which would be gone if we’d all just get our jabs.

Speaking of disastrous energy policies, George from last week’s “Letters” blog said they have 6-hour power outages during the day in South Africa. This is a good overview of such insane policies and the damage they’ve done in Sri Lanka, Ghana, S. Africa and Europe.
Tucker Carlson slams the green energy, ESG scam (rumble.com)

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago

The apostle Paul left Judaism behind. He discovered is wasn’t true, had been superceeded. He wasn’t abandonning a faith so much as embracing one.

I’m not bashing evangelicals – I’m bashing a subset who are unthinking, wooden, dogmatic and uncharitable. Phil Johnson’s sidekicks at Team Pyro would be examples of this – might agree with many of their arguments, but the arrogant attitude was dreadful. I cannot blame people for thinking if that is what Christianity is about, I’m not interested.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I’m not sure Christ would agree with your assessment that (paraphrased) “Paul left Judaism because it wasn’t true. “

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

So then, evangelism is true and hasn’t been superseded. Those hayseed hick fundies might actually know a thing or two.

So what happens when people walk away from truth? They embrace lies.

People come up with excuses all the time. Some of them get quite creative. Liars are like that.

In the end, it doesn’t matter. When woke Suzie Q stands before God, He’s not going to look at Team Pyro. And no “down to earth human reason” is going to save her then.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

“No-one has asked the question why the wife in this instance has gone down the woke road.” Because it isn’t relevant to the issue at hand. Its A) sinful regardless of motivation and B) highly highly unlikely to be reversed upon fixing said motivation. “, but when it occurs it might not necessarily be rebellion against God, it might be for more down to earth human reasons.” That you think having a relatable reason to want to sin makes the sin somehow not against God explains a whole lot of your thinking on a wide variety of topics. In short, nearly always… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

In the gospels Jesus said nothing directly about either abortion or homosexuality. He did say a great deal about marriage and divorce. He told his disciples not to divorce What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Further, a subsequent marriage is adultery. That is the ‘rule’ which needs to be taken on board before attempting to see if there are any exceptions to it, and whether they apply to divorce only or divorce and remarriage. I think we need to be careful when rightly pointing out the sin and evil in abortion and homosexuality outside the… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken, we’ve been through this before and you should know better. The Bible has plenty to say about homosexuality in the OT and NT. “Red letter” Christianity where only Jesus’ words are prioritized is progressive nonsense. Jesus himself emphasized the entire Word of God (Matt. 4:4, Matt. 5:18). From memory, Jesus addressed divorce twice, not “a great deal.” Once was in a reply to the Pharisees. The Bible also has plenty so say about murder (that would include abortion), and we know God considers us humans inside our mothers’ wombs (Ps. 139), the place where John the Baptist leaped upon… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by C Herrera
Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

You have missed the point which was this: I think we need to be careful when rightly pointing out the sin and evil in abortion and homosexuality outside the church that we cannot be accused of taking lightly what Jesus actually said about marriage inside the church. I don’t think Christians as a rule seek abortions nor are they active homosexuals – these are activities outside the church. You cannot expect the world to listen to legitimate criticism of such sins if inside the church the behaviour of the members drives a coach and horses through the teaching on marriage… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Even Jesus himself placed an acceptable condition.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

A wife who is backsliding or going woke would not be covered by Jesus’ exception.

This is not the place to rehearse all the many arguments about what the exception clauses in Matthew’s gospel mean, but they are exceptions to the rule.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

A wife who is backsliding or going woke would not be covered by Jesus’ exception.”

Obviously. I’ve said the same elsewhere. Your post taken at its own word did not acknowledge this, and instead insisted that all divorce is off the table. If it was omitted just because you thought it wasn’t relevant, fine, but you gave the distinct impression of not being aware of the detail you omitted.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

For clarity. I think you should start with the definition of marriage, only then look at divorce in the light of this. This will give two exceptions to the otherwise permanent nature of marriage, namely ‘unchastity’ (RSV) or a believer not being ‘bound’ to keep a marriage going where an unbelieving partner wishes to separate. The question of remarriage is the third thing to think about. I have come round to the indissolublist view of marriage – one flesh is created – but it is a view I wish were not there, I would prefer a less strict view. It… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

So

  • Very strict indissolublist view of marriage
  • Down-to-earth human reasons for backsliding, even if the sin isn’t excused, for those with fundamentalist backgrounds
  • Low view of male headship or (Heaven forbid) patriarchy based on many previous comments of yours

That’s some pretty serious cognitive dissonance. If I had such views, I’d never get married as a male, especially in a current Western society.

Last edited 4 months ago by C Herrera
Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Your analysis of the upshot of Ken B’s positions seems sound enough as far as it goes, but do you have anything to demonstrate an error in his thinking, or are you just pointing out the painful consequences of taking ideas seriously?

Don’t get me wrong, I do think there’s a case to be made for a much less onerous view of marriage, but you haven’t made that case. Just saying, “wow, that would be pretty tough to obey!” is not a case.

“All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it is given”, after all.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Tuggy

Well I don’t think there is much of an argument against Ken’s position on divorce. There aren’t many Biblically valid reasons to authorize one, although I think there’s a strong case he’s wrong about remarriage, it isn’t as relevant. The problem with the position on divorce isn’t the divorce, its everything else. I would want absolutely nothing to do with the institution if we lived in the world where sinful behavior was somehow not rebellious against God if the motivations are subjectively relatable. Ken posits a world where responsibilities are objective, but guilt is subjective. Hard no thanks from me.… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I don’t disagree with Ken’s position on divorce either, and don’t disagree that it is a serious issue in the church that is neglected and badly needs addressing. I do disagree that the issue precludes us from talking about any other sin. Anyway, here’s a what-do-you-think scenario: Suppose there is a woman who’s marriage has gone bad. They are both Christians. Let’s say they “tried” and it hasn’t mattered. Obviously there is sin involved, but no adultery, nothing we would understand as biblical grounds for divorce. The woman understands that too and so does not want to seek a divorce,… Read more »

Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I should have been clearer that I mostly agree with Ken’s limitations on divorce, but that it’s everything else I disagree with. (Although there seems to be a good reason to consider a valid, permanent excommunication, along with abandonment or unchastity, to be sufficient grounds for divorcing someone who is no longer apparently an unbeliever.)

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Tuggy

My point wasn’t to argue against his position. I’m not sure if I totally agree with him but concur there are far too many divorces among Christian couples today. And yes, there are only two Biblical grounds: sexual sin and abandonment. The latter has been particularly abused, as almost anything can be considered psychological abandonment. The porneia Jesus spoke of covers many sexual sins, but I think it’s been stretched a bit as well. If a man in a long-term sexless marriage is caught looking at porn, does that give the wife a “get out of marriage free” card? Or… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

If from the beginning marriage was indissoluble, and in the gospels Jesus reintroduced that for his disciples down through the ages, I wouldn’t regard that as onerous. Challenging yes! It would however account for the disciples’ reaction – The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.” My point about backsliders isn’t to say they are not sinning. I do think that is is possible for one believer of set of believers to cause another to stumble. Narrowminded bigotry, greed, abuse of authority, coving up abuse (hasn’t… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago

Steven, if your friends had been discovered by the hosts kids, there might be legal grounds for criminal charges of public indecency. There can be no expectation of privacy in that circumstance.

MEC
MEC
4 months ago

Sort of along the lines of the question from RS above…. How do you deal with someone who has sinned and has a “yeah that happened sorry and oh well” sort of attitude that seems to make light of the way what they’ve done? Or someone who says they’ve repented and made it right with God but it’s clear that sin has been repetitive over years despite saying each time they’ve repented and changed?

Jane
Jane
4 months ago

There are certainly some sets in libraries that are all the same color, but that is by no means a rule for sets of books. With a bit of surfing on Amazon, I discovered many well-known sets and series that are not all the same color. Encyclopedias are all the same color; box sets of The Chronicles of Narnia are not. I don’t know what this does to the underlying point, but IMO it weakens the analogy a bit. At least, I would point out that there are different ways of making “sets”, and at least in some cases, color… Read more »

Nellie Aspen
Nellie Aspen
4 months ago

To Andrew; I think you have a valid point there. I am nearing thirty, and have recently become engaged, for which I earnestly thank my Heavenly Father every morning. This relationship has been one of the greatest graces that God has granted me. That being said my life was fulfilling and purposeful before I met my fiancé. One passage that was quite an encouragement to me was Isaiah 54, especially verse 1: “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the… Read more »

Nathan
Nathan
4 months ago

Jason & Doug, I am constantly bemused by this debate over the “age of the earth”. Seems to me Wayne is right that the Bible seems unconcerned with telling us how old the earth is, but it sure seems to be saying how long ago it was created. Considering the God is the creator of not only space but time itself, it’s long seemed obvious to me that God created a universe with 13.8 billion years of history about 6000 years ago. Grudem addresses this “created, real age” briefly and poorly. He’s not thinking it thru well. Why would we… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

I used to believe the only way to understand Genesis 1 and 2 was to take everything literally – literal days of 24 hours. I’m not convinced of this any longer. This has nothing to do with Darwin, but re-reading the text itself. Thinking about accusations of contradictions within the first couple of chapters. I now take the days to be divine days of unspecified length. Whether this entails an old earth, I don’t know I have never studied the scientific arguments for this. I am inclined still to go for a ‘youngish’ earth, there is no need if you… Read more »

Nathan
Nathan
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

There is no need to bother over the length of the days of creation if you don’t make the odd assumption that the Creator of time itself would have to create time one second at a time in a single direction. He make literal days, take a literal, gapless six of them and in those days create all the time and age/history of the space/matter within them in any way He sees fit. It’s His story, He has the author’s prerogative to write it any way He pleases. If that means an old planet with a mature man and old… Read more »

Prince Asbel
4 months ago

On one hand, Richie, even though he’s the federal head of his home, may not bring things to a head himself. He must pray to God that some other person(s) will do it for him. Richie, you can’t lead her in the day-to-day stuff, and you need to stop trying to. From what you describe, this can only end in one of two ways. Either you two get divorced, or she repents, down to the ground. You need to drive the situation to that decision point, but not by your manner of speaking with her. Every day, get alone with… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by princeasbel