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'Theology Discussion Group'

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Total Messages Loaded: 358


Rod -:- Can someone explain this reference?? -:- Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 12:52:32 (PDT)
_
stan -:- Re: Can someone explain this reference? -:- Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 15:41:39 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: Can someone explain this reference? -:- Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 15:52:30 (PDT)
___ stan -:-
Re: Can someone explain this reference? -:- Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 16:02:03 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: Can someone explain this reference?? -:- Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 20:52:32 (PDT)

Brother Bret -:- Opinion On 1Tim.2:11-12 -:- Wed, Jun 28, 2000 at 20:17:10 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Opinion On 1Tim.2:11-12 -:- Thurs, Jun 29, 2000 at 07:50:03 (PDT)
__ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Opinion On 1Tim.2:11-12 -:- Thurs, Jun 29, 2000 at 15:12:04 (PDT)

Mark -:- Books on Evangelism -:- Mon, Jun 26, 2000 at 15:14:02 (PDT)
_
mebaser -:- Re: Books on Evangelism -:- Tues, Jun 27, 2000 at 11:15:22 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Books on Evangelism -:- Mon, Jun 26, 2000 at 21:42:40 (PDT)

Grace2me -:- Presby Church & Leavened Bread -:- Sun, Jun 25, 2000 at 21:05:32 (PDT)
_
Prestor John -:- Re: Presby Church & Leavened Bread -:- Mon, Jun 26, 2000 at 22:32:11 (PDT)

kevin -:- question on Greek -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 18:05:12 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: question on Greek -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 19:20:18 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: question on Greek -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 21:58:35 (PDT)
___ kevin -:-
john and rod -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 07:48:22 (PDT)
____ Eric -:-
Check out this link kevin -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 09:05:16 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:-
??????!! -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 11:03:01 (PDT)
______ Eric -:-
Now, now Rod... -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 12:51:12 (PDT)
_______ Rod -:-
Time to get real, Eric -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 13:47:45 (PDT)
________ Eric -:-
Reality Bites! :) -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 14:18:07 (PDT)
_________ Rod -:-
I am pretty much out of it, but... -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 15:46:13 (PDT)
__________ Eric -:-
I hope this will settle it... -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 17:50:28 (PDT)
___________ Rod -:-
I said I was through, but one thing. -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 19:37:53 (PDT)
____________ Eric -:-
Re: I said I was through, but one thing. -:- Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 05:40:35 (PDT)
_____________ Rod -:-
Good! Glad to hear it! :> -:- Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 13:55:42 (PDT)

Eric -:- Baptism question -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 08:03:22 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Baptism question -:- Sun, Jun 25, 2000 at 15:50:42 (PDT)
_ Prestor John -:-
Re: Baptism question -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 22:45:40 (PDT)
__ mebaser -:-
AMEN!!! (nt) -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 10:39:27 (PDT)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: Baptism question -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 19:30:15 (PDT)
__ Grace2Me -:-
Re: Baptism question -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 20:56:28 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: Baptism question -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 22:10:35 (PDT)

Tom -:- Phil. 2:5-11 -:- Wed, Jun 21, 2000 at 23:40:00 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Phil. 2:5-11 -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 19:55:38 (PDT)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Phil. 2:5-11 -:- Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 14:21:08 (PDT)
___ Diacone -:-
Re: Phil. 2:5-11 -:- Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 00:10:25 (PDT)
____ Tom -:-
Re: Phil. 2:5-11 -:- Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 15:11:08 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:-
Re: Phil. 2:5-11 -:- Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 17:54:54 (PDT)
______ Tom -:-
Re: Phil. 2:5-11 -:- Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 22:09:38 (PDT)
_ Tom -:-
Re: Phil. 2:5-11 -:- Wed, Jun 21, 2000 at 23:56:29 (PDT)
__ John P. -:-
Two Points -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 13:57:32 (PDT)

Pilgrim -:- M'Cheyne's 'Bible Reading Calendar' -:- Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 07:50:34 (PDT)

Joel H -:- Civil Disobedience -:- Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 13:14:58 (PDT)
_
Anne -:- Matt 6:5-6 -:- Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 09:22:59 (PDT)
__ Bro. Charles -:-
Re: Matt 6:5-6 -:- Sun, Jun 25, 2000 at 06:37:35 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: Matt 6:5-6 -:- Wed, Jun 21, 2000 at 12:23:51 (PDT)
___ Anne -:-
Re: Matt 6:5-6 -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 05:47:19 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: Matt 6:5-6 -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 08:25:37 (PDT)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Matt 6:5-6 -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 03:23:07 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: Matt 6:5-6 -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 05:43:30 (PDT)
_____ john hampshire -:-
Re: Matt 6:5-6 -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 18:12:20 (PDT)
______ Rod -:-
Praying within myself! :> -:- Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 19:11:33 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 22:42:42 (PDT)
_ Rod -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 16:15:58 (PDT)
__ Anne -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 17:57:06 (PDT)
___ Rod -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 22:56:25 (PDT)
____ Anne -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 05:28:01 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 10:50:40 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 07:30:39 (PDT)
______ Anne -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 09:08:06 (PDT)
_ Anne -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 13:46:20 (PDT)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 15:50:04 (PDT)
___ Tom -:-
Re: Civil Disobedience -:- Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 23:47:32 (PDT)

John 43 -:- 1 Tim. 4:10 -:- Sat, Jun 17, 2000 at 10:24:00 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: 1 Tim. 4:10 -:- Sun, Jun 18, 2000 at 08:51:55 (PDT)
_ Rod -:-
Re: 1 Tim. 4:10 -:- Sat, Jun 17, 2000 at 10:55:47 (PDT)

Five Sola -:- Dr James M. Boice goes to his Lord -:- Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 19:02:20 (PDT)
_
laz -:- Re: Dr James M. Boice goes to his Lord -:- Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 21:56:28 (PDT)
__ Linda -:-
Re: Dr James M. Boice goes to his Lord -:- Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 22:28:48 (PDT)

Rod -:- Fertility drugs and Christians -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 09:02:14 (PDT)
_
Anne -:- Re: Fertility drugs and Christians -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 12:01:24 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: Fertility drugs and Christians -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 12:27:36 (PDT)
___ Anne -:-
Re: Fertility drugs and Christians -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 12:58:15 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: Fertility drugs and Christians -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 13:46:09 (PDT)
_____ Anne -:-
Re: Fertility drugs and Christians -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 14:12:56 (PDT)
______ Tom -:-
Re: Fertility drugs and Christians -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 23:14:53 (PDT)
_______ john hampshire -:-
Re: Fertility drugs and Christians -:- Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 00:38:43 (PDT)

Joel H -:- Gambling -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 21:52:43 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Gambling -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 08:20:30 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: Gambling -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 08:47:27 (PDT)
_ Rod -:-
Re: Gambling -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 06:02:01 (PDT)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: Gambling -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 04:00:36 (PDT)
__ Eric -:-
Where did the Fundies come from? :) -:- Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 09:11:56 (PDT)
___ Rod -:-
Re: Where did the Fundies come from? :) -:- Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 15:42:01 (PDT)

Bro. Charles -:- Apostacy vs simple math -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 21:13:13 (PDT)
_
laz -:- Re: Apostacy vs simple math -:- Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 07:14:34 (PDT)
__ Bro. Charles -:-
Re: Apostacy vs simple math -:- Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 09:12:07 (PDT)
___ laz -:-
Re: Apostacy vs simple math -:- Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 21:50:36 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
The inner witness and knowledge of salvation. -:- Sat, Jun 17, 2000 at 09:34:27 (PDT)

kevin -:- 2 Peter 2:1 -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 16:03:02 (PDT)
_
Rod -:- Re: 2 Peter 2:1 -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 22:19:27 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: 2 Peter 2:1 -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 21:08:01 (PDT)
__ kevin -:-
Pilgrim and Rod thanks -:- Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 08:39:42 (PDT)

Five Sola -:- Dr. Boice update -:- Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 20:39:00 (PDT)

kevin -:- to John P. -:- Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 07:56:29 (PDT)
_
John P. -:- Re: to John P. -:- Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 14:47:05 (PDT)
__ John P. -:-
Re: to John P. -:- Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 14:50:17 (PDT)
___ kevin -:-
Re: to John P. -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 15:46:37 (PDT)
___ Tom -:-
Re: to John P. -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 00:00:55 (PDT)
____ John P. -:-
Re: to John P. -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 06:23:03 (PDT)
_____ kevin -:-
Re: to John P. -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 15:48:43 (PDT)

Chris -:- Election -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 20:44:37 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Election -:- Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 01:33:02 (PDT)
__ Chris -:-
Re: Election -:- Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 04:19:29 (PDT)

Tom -:- Personal note about WWJD -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 15:29:02 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Personal note about WWJD -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 17:27:29 (PDT)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Personal note about WWJD -:- Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 00:09:56 (PDT)
__ Chris -:-
Re: Personal note about WWJD -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 20:50:33 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Personal note about WWJD -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 21:50:53 (PDT)

Anne -:- Imprecations -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 14:22:47 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Imprecations -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 17:51:06 (PDT)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: Imprecations -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 17:10:59 (PDT)

Jerrold Lewis -:- Reformed Toleration -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 23:12:32 (PDT)
_
John P. -:- Re: Reformed Toleration -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 20:06:03 (PDT) _ Pilgrim -:- Re: Reformed Toleration -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 07:06:22 (PDT)

Rod -:- ''Jesus Day' -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 20:47:51 (PDT)
_
Tom -:- Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 11:17:28 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 12:32:47 (PDT)
___ Tom -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 14:17:16 (PDT)
____ Prestor John -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 19:38:12 (PDT)
_____ laz -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 06:37:42 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 00:09:32 (PDT)
______ Rod -:-
Thesauri and Daffynytions -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 07:30:04 (PDT)
______ Prestor John -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 06:24:24 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 13:06:48 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 14:52:48 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 21:03:25 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: ''Jesus Day' -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 00:07:52 (PDT)
___ stan -:-
Re: Come on Rod! -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 08:30:50 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: Come on Rod! -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 13:19:56 (PDT)
_____ stan -:-
Re: Come on Rod! -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 14:48:19 (PDT)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Come on Rod! -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 12:39:43 (PDT)
_____ stan -:-
Re: BIG :-) and amen! NT -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 13:05:36 (PDT)

JOwen -:- The Covenanters, PRCE, and SWRB -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 16:39:40 (PDT)
_
B.Riley -:- Re: The Covenanters, PRCE, and SWRB -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 10:58:24 (PDT)
__ JOwen -:-
Re: The Covenanters, PRCE, and SWRB -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 16:02:56 (PDT)

BRiley -:- Ecclesiastical Separation -:- Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 05:29:51 (PDT)
_
John P. -:- Re: Ecclesiastical Separation -:- Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 10:59:44 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: Ecclesiastical Separation -:- Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 17:01:21 (PDT)
___ John P. -:-
re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 00:44:35 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 02:40:34 (PDT)
_____ John P. -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 15:30:04 (PDT)
_____ B.Riley -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 13:49:10 (PDT)
______ Rod -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 00:32:42 (PDT)
_______ B.Riley -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 15:04:04 (PDT)
________ Rod -:-
Thank you! n/t -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 15:27:14 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 20:50:14 (PDT)
_______ John P. -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 19:19:54 (PDT)
________ Prestor John -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 20:31:06 (PDT)
_________ Rod -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 08:15:26 (PDT)
_______ B.Riley -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 14:55:37 (PDT)
______ Rod -:-
Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 15:00:34 (PDT)
__ John P. -:-
Re: Ecclesiastical Separation -:- Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 11:09:57 (PDT)
__ John P. -:-
:) I don't know how I do it. -:- Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 11:03:09 (PDT)

Tom -:- The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 13:21:14 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 13:53:13 (PDT)
__ Tom -:-
Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 14:54:39 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 16:01:24 (PDT)
____ Tom -:-
Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 23:33:22 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:-
Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 10:48:21 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 14:44:23 (PDT)
___ Tom -:-
Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 15:09:22 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 17:24:46 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:-
Re: The Arrogance of Preaching -:- Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 23:37:01 (PDT)

Jimmy -:- When God became Man -:- Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 07:00:57 (PDT)
_
Prestor John -:- Re: When God became Man -:- Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 20:56:26 (PDT)

Tom -:- Postmodernism -:- Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 00:09:28 (PDT)
__
Tom -:- Re: Postmodernism -:- Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 13:09:26 (PDT)
____ Tom N -:-
Re: Postmodernism -:- Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 18:45:47 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:-
Re: Postmodernism -:- Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 23:40:10 (PDT)

cousin Earl -:- The purpose of the Law -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 20:04:00 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: The purpose of the Law -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 21:36:55 (PDT)

kevin -:- openess of God and Dr. Boyd -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 16:26:45 (PDT)
_
stan -:- Re: Seems..... -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 20:04:26 (PDT)
_ Anne -:-
Re: openess of God and Dr. Boyd -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 18:26:16 (PDT)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: openess of God and Dr. Boyd -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 23:26:30 (PDT)
_ Rod -:-
Kevin, very interesting. Thanks.n/t -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 17:24:07 (PDT)
__ laz -:-
Yeah, thanks Kevin! n/t -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 06:03:29 (PDT)

Tom -:- Dr. D.James Kennedy -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 15:10:29 (PDT)
_
Linda -:- Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 19:37:53 (PDT)
__ Linda -:-
Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy -:- Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 19:43:38 (PDT)
___ Pat -:-
Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 04:07:08 (PDT)
___ Rod -:-
Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy -:- Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 01:46:17 (PDT)
_ laz -:-
Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 15:39:00 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 18:34:12 (PDT)

Jimmy -:- Thy Will Be Done? -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 14:33:56 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 23:42:48 (PDT)
__ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done?? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 06:54:40 (PDT)
___ Rod -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done?? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 08:29:44 (PDT)
____ Anne -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 10:54:57 (PDT)
____ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done?? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 10:23:49 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 00:00:06 (PDT)
______ Jimmy -:-
I've never even heard of Boyd (nt) -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 07:07:52 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done?????? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 14:59:39 (PDT)
______ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 17:17:05 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done?? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 12:53:59 (PDT)
______ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 13:41:40 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 18:05:10 (PDT)
________ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 19:38:57 (PDT)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 22:07:20 (PDT)
__________ Jimmy -:-
New Heaven New Earth? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 07:15:01 (PDT)
___________ john hampshire -:-
Re: New Heaven New Earth? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 22:14:03 (PDT)
___________ laz -:-
Re: New Heaven New Earth? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 08:00:46 (PDT)
____________ Jimmy -:-
Re: New Heaven New Earth? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 08:23:57 (PDT)
__________ Rod -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done?? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 05:39:34 (PDT)
___________ laz -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 06:41:29 (PDT)
___ monitor -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 08:14:59 (PDT)
____ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done?? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 09:42:54 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 13:16:44 (PDT)
______ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 13:57:12 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 18:21:58 (PDT)
________ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 19:46:17 (PDT)
_________ john hampshire -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 22:55:42 (PDT)
__________ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done??? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 07:59:11 (PDT)
___________ john hampshire -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 00:11:17 (PDT)
____________ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 06:47:41 (PDT)
__________ Rod -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done???? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 06:40:51 (PDT)
___________ Jimmy -:-
Yes, God has eyebrows :o) -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 10:42:58 (PDT)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 22:11:51 (PDT)
__________ Jimmy -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done?? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 07:25:49 (PDT)
__________ laz -:-
Re: Thy Will Be Done? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 06:24:54 (PDT)

Hail -:- Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 12:34:23 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Tongues in 1 Cor 14:14-15 [Part A] -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 18:31:26 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Cor 14:14-15 [Part B] -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 18:36:25 (PDT)
_ Prestor John -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 15:14:38 (PDT)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 20:24:45 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 19:18:05 (PDT)
___ Hail -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 05:42:05 (PDT)
____ Rod -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 06:55:21 (PDT)
_ Rod -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 13:32:46 (PDT)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 13:35:19 (PDT)
___ Rod -:-
Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 16:46:43 (PDT)

Prestor John -:- Pewsitters -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 01:10:49 (PDT)
_
stan -:- Re: Alright-something I relate to! -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 10:58:00 (PDT)

Rod -:- Inspired -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 12:56:37 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Biblico-Theologico Approach -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 13:51:48 (PDT)
__ Tom -:-
Thanks -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 14:53:54 (PDT)

Rod -:- The Infirm Man -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 09:56:36 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: The Infirm Man -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 17:31:48 (PDT)

john hampshire -:- Tres Dias -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 23:05:45 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Tres Dias -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 08:02:43 (PDT)
_ stan -:-
Re: Tres Dias -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 07:17:55 (PDT)

Anne -:- God's plans for the reprobate? -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 17:14:06 (PDT)
_
Chris -:- Re: God's plans for the reprobate? -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 21:01:12 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: God's plans for the reprobate? -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 17:36:58 (PDT)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: God's plans for the reprobate? -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 23:46:33 (PDT)
___ Chris -:-
Re: God's plans for the reprobate? -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 20:56:24 (PDT)
____ john hampshire -:-
Re: God's plans for the reprobate? -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 20:44:26 (PDT)
___ laz -:-
Re: God's plans for the reprobate? -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 05:38:10 (PDT)

Prestor John -:- Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Mon, May 29, 2000 at 11:33:46 (PDT)
_
Pat -:- Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 10:30:41 (PDT)
__ John P. -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 15:49:52 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:-
This AGAIN?????? -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 17:06:16 (PDT)
____ John P. -:-
Re: This AGAIN? -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 18:50:21 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: This AGAIN? -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 22:22:39 (PDT)
____ laz -:-
Re: This AGAIN? -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 17:12:03 (PDT)
_____ John P. -:-
Re: This AGAIN? -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 19:05:22 (PDT)
______ john hampshire -:-
Re: This AGAIN? -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 00:57:36 (PDT)
_______ John P. -:-
Re: This AGAIN? -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 13:24:24 (PDT)
__ Rod -:-
Good illustration! n/t -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 12:44:31 (PDT)
_ ttrails -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 01:37:22 (PDT)
__ Prestor John -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 20:28:59 (PDT)
_ Five Sola -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Mon, May 29, 2000 at 20:10:18 (PDT)
_ John P. -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Mon, May 29, 2000 at 18:06:29 (PDT)
__ Diacono -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 12:08:21 (PDT)
___ John P. -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 17:29:37 (PDT)
___ Tom.H -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 13:23:51 (PDT)
____ Diacono -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 06:49:59 (PDT)
_ John P. -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Mon, May 29, 2000 at 18:06:12 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 17:26:31 (PDT)
___ John P. -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 18:06:26 (PDT)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 07:57:03 (PDT)
_____ John P. -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 23:14:10 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 09:44:26 (PDT)
_______ John P. -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 23:45:59 (PDT)
________ Prestor John -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 15:40:37 (PDT)
_________ John P. -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 15:12:04 (PDT)
_________ Tom -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 23:22:42 (PDT)
________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 08:28:18 (PDT)
_________ John P. -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 15:33:27 (PDT)
__________ Pilgrim -:-
Early Church History REFUTES 'EP' -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 17:44:06 (PDT)
___________ John P. -:-
Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP' -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 18:31:30 (PDT)
____________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP' -:- Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 22:32:03 (PDT)
_____________ Tom -:-
Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP' -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 11:58:24 (PDT)
______________ John P. -:-
Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP' -:- Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 21:10:41 (PDT)
_______________ Prestor John -:-
Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP' -:- Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 00:03:19 (PDT)
_________ John P. -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 19:25:06 (PDT)
________ Rod -:-
Twisting every which way -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 07:41:28 (PDT)
_________ Tom -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 11:54:35 (PDT)
__________ Rod -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 14:39:21 (PDT)
__________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 12:35:25 (PDT)
___________ Tom -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 14:30:41 (PDT)
____________ John P. -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 20:14:29 (PDT)
____________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 19:44:59 (PDT)
_____________ john hampshire -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 22:23:29 (PDT)
______________ Rod -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 02:46:24 (PDT)
______________ Tom -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 00:17:52 (PDT)
_______________ Rod -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 03:19:53 (PDT)
________________ Tom -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 12:11:24 (PDT)
_________________ Rod -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 14:36:26 (PDT)
__________________ John P. -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 17:26:32 (PDT)
___________________ Rod -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 21:13:52 (PDT)
___________________ John P. -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 17:29:57 (PDT)
__________________ John P. -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 17:10:17 (PDT)
___________________ Rod -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 21:35:02 (PDT)
___________________ john hampshire -:-
Re: Twisting every which way -:- Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 20:28:53 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 13:10:58 (PDT)
______ John P. -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 17:49:58 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 19:39:38 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 17:11:52 (PDT)
_______ Tom -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Wed, May 31, 2000 at 23:27:19 (PDT)
________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Regulative Principle -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 07:08:27 (PDT)
____ John P. -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Tues, May 30, 2000 at 18:09:34 (PDT)
_____ Prestor John -:-
Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs -:- Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 21:27:49 (PDT)



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Subject: Can someone explain this reference?
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 12:52:32 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
From Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC, Ret., written probably sometime during the latter part of 1999: ''Curious how 'liberal' journalists cannot recount history without apologizing for it. I have never been able to understand the motive behind apologizing for something somebody else did.
Now we see some church group or other attempting to apologize to the Arabs for the Crusades. Maybe we should ask the Arabs to apologize for the conquest of Spain. Obviously a good many people have too little to do.'' [Italics added by me for emphasis.] Which 'church group' did this? I missed it. Cooper is a very opinionated man with whom I sometimes agree, sometimes disagree--in this case I feel he is absolutely correct.


Subject: Re: Can someone explain this reference?
From: stan
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 15:41:39 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Runs in my mind I heard on the news that the Pope apologized for that within the last year or so. Will see if I can find it. stan


Subject: Re: Can someone explain this reference?
From: Rod
To: stan
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 15:52:30 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
You know, stan, I figured it had to be the RCC. Thanks.


Subject: Re: Can someone explain this reference?
From: stan
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 16:02:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I didn't find anything about pope, though think he said something about it - may have been commenting on the following group??? http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/980908/1998090873.html http://www.duth.gr/maillist-archives/thrace/tl55/msg00057.html http://www.sltrib.com/1999/jul/07171999/Religion/8687.htm http://www.tennessean.com/sii/99/06/27/repent27.shtml http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/19990716.htm http://www.baptiststandard.com/8_4/pages/crusades.html http://www.wcicc.org/news/general/09.html Didn't read all this thought you might give us the synopsis ;-)


Subject: Re: Can someone explain this reference?
From: Rod
To: stan
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 20:52:32 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
stan, Identifying who these people are is not done. They are universally described as about '500 Christians.' One of the releases described them as 'mostly evangelical protestants, mainly from the U.S..' The other releases say they come from "around the world." My attitude toward them isn't very charitable. I'd probably have called them, 'about 500 loopy persons, self-described as ''Christians.''' The jury seems to still be out on that definition. One wonders (and doesn't find out) the origin of this 'movement.' Could it be an outgrowth of the 'Jesus Day?'


Subject: Opinion On 1Tim.2:11-12
From: Brother Bret
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 28, 2000 at 20:17:10 (PDT)
Email Address: Lovitz5@aol.com

Message:
Hi Everyone: Hope everyone is doing well. Currently I am preaching out if 1Timothy on Sunday Mornings. I coming up to verses 11 and 12, this Sunday Lord willing. Do you agree that this passage, along with 1Cor.11:3 and 14:34-35 teaches that women should not teach or have authority over the man in the local church. In addition (please at least respond to this one), it has been pointed out to me that in 1Tim.2:9-10 the word 'women' is plural, while in verses 11-12 'woman and man' are singular. Evidently, some believe that there is a reason for this distinction that it means 'husband and wife' and/or includes that a woman (especially unmarried)could teach and have authority over the man. In other passages such as Tit.2:5 and Eph.5:22 it seems that when the wife and husband are intended, the word 'own' is inserted. Would appreciate any insight you can offer, including from some of you who know Greek personally :^ ). Thanks.............Brother Bret Cornerstone Community Baptist Church www.ccbcfl.org


Subject: Re: Opinion On 1Tim.2:11-12
From: Pilgrim
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 29, 2000 at 07:50:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brother Bret, This should get you started at least :-):

The Role of Women in the Church

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Opinion On 1Tim.2:11-12
From: Brother Bret
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 29, 2000 at 15:12:04 (PDT)
Email Address: Lovitz5@aol.com

Message:
Brother Pilgrim: Thanks for sharing that 'open letter' with me/us. It was right to the point. But do have any comments, or do you know anyone who deals with the singular vs. plural in this passage? Thanks for your help. Tell the wife hello for me :^). Brother Bret P.S. Have you checked out our new church webpage? I still have 'The Highway' as one my links. Is that okay? BB


Subject: Books on Evangelism
From: Mark
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 26, 2000 at 15:14:02 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Please recomend some good books on personal and corporate evangelism. In christ, Mark


Subject: Re: Books on Evangelism
From: mebaser
To: Mark
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 27, 2000 at 11:15:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Please recomend some good books on personal and corporate evangelism. In christ, Mark
---
Hi Mark, Pilgrim has outlined a great selection for you. I have a few more books that you may consider as well. They are: EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE by Richard L. Pratt Jr. THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM by Robert E. Coleman The following books are by John MacArthur and all deal with the method of evangelism: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS FAITH WORKS ASHAMED OF THE GOSEL I hope this helps you. In Christ, mebaser


Subject: Re: Books on Evangelism
From: Pilgrim
To: Mark
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 26, 2000 at 21:42:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Mark, Here's a few although I'm not sure which are still in print: 1)
Tell the Truth by Will Metzger (IVP) 2) Reformed Evangelism by Morton Smith (online) Click Here 3) Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by Dr. J.I. Packer (IVP) 4) The Art of Man-Fishing by Thomas Boston (Baker Books) 5) The Grace of God in the Gospel by Cheeseman, Gardner, Sadgrove and Wright (Banner of Truth) 6) God-Centered Evangelism by R.B. Kuiper (Baker Books) 7) Explosive Evangelism by George Jaffrey, Jr. (online)Click Here 8) See also the other listings on this topic in Calvinism and the Reformed Faith. In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Presby Church & Leavened Bread
From: Grace2me
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 25, 2000 at 21:05:32 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello All: Recently while out of town, I visited a Presbyterian Church (PCA I believe) for the first time (I'm Baptist). I enjoyed the service very much and even used a couple of things for our service. However, when it was time for Communion which they have once a month, they used LEAVENED bread. What do some of you think about that? And do you think a Christian should patake of Communion when that happens? Thanks, Grace2Me


Subject: Re: Presby Church & Leavened Bread
From: Prestor John
To: Grace2me
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 26, 2000 at 22:32:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Grace2me: Now first of all I'm not a presbyterian (reformed baptist) but I have to ask you since you brought up the subject of what should be used during the Supper. Do you use those little cracker squares and grape juice? Since I believe that you are appealing to fact that the Passover called for unleaven bread do these crackers fit the bill? Does the grape juice? Seeing how that Jesus broke the bread and passed it around shouldn't we use matzohs (bread made especially for Passover) to really emulate what happened then? Shouldn't we use kosher wine instead of grape juice? Or is it that God chose ordinary elements (bread and wine) and used them as a means of grace so that we could be strengthened? If the latter is true it doesn't matter whether the bread is leavened or unleavened, or its wine or grape juice. What matters is that we celebrate the Supper in the right manner. Prestor John Servabo Fidem


Subject: question on Greek
From: kevin
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 18:05:12 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
An argument that Universalists use to defend their position rests in the meaning of the word that is translated 'eternal,' 'aoin.' It is argued that this word means age and not eternal. Now I have found some serious difficulties with translating the word as age, i.e. the sheep then go to and age of life, what must I do to get an age of life, etc. Now I have heard or read, don't recall which, that the Greek the NT is written in does not have a word that means eternal by today's definition. Hence the author's using forever and ever and everlasting to everlasting to get across the point of never ending. Now I am aware of the soteriological difficulties with this understanding of aoin, but my question is am I correct that the Greek had no word for eternal in the modern sense and that aoin was the best possible word to use? If this is so where could I get some documentation on the issue? Thanks again for ya'lls help. I even tried looking up aoin on the search engine here and it didn't have the word. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss


Subject: Re: question on Greek
From: john hampshire
To: kevin
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 19:20:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Kevin, >>>>I even tried looking up aoin on the search engine here and it didn't have the word. No, it wouldn't. But it does have aion (not aoin). Apparently the word origin is from the Greek meaning perpetually, incessantly and is translated in the KJV as 'alway', 'always', or 'ever'. Example 2Co 6:10 'As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing...'. Aion itself has a definition of 'for ever', 'perpetuity of time', 'an unbroken age', and 'eternity'. It is translated in the KJV as 'ever', 'evermore', 'age', or 'eternal'. An example is: 1Pe 1:25 'But the word of the Lord endureth for ever (aion)'. 2Co 11:31 ' The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for ever more, knoweth that I lie not.' It would be curious if Paul thought that the Lord Jesus Christ should be blessed only 'unto the age' rather than 'everlastingly'. The idea that aion is a duration of time with a beginning and end doesn't make much sense with Rev 11:15b 'The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.' How long will Christ reign? Forever! How long will the lost be in the Lake of Fire, 'and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever'(Rev20:10)? Forever! If we restrict the duration of 'hell' we must restrict the duration of Christ's reign. Besides, what does Rev 20:10 mean if we say the wicked are tormented 'to the ages of the ages'. Does that have meaning? The whole argument over the meaning of aion is manufactured to put an end to eternal punishment. There is no mystery until it is re-defined as 'to the ages of the ages'. Does God live forever? 'I did become dead, and, lo, I am living to the ages of the ages' (Rev 1:18). If 'ages of the ages' is limited (to get folks out of 'hell') then God's lifespan is limited too, unless we re-define the word to grant God eternal life but the wicked in 'hell' limited eternal death. Talking to those who hold to limited 'hell' is like talking to a brick wall, they have their minds made up. They are not really motivated by the meaning of Greek words, they personally cannot accept the idea of God punishing the wicked forever--it is not in their concept of God. They have fashioned their own god and cannot be convinced otherwise. john


Subject: Re: question on Greek
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 21:58:35 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Kevin, john, I don't personally know Greek, but I looked up Matthew 19:16 in at least 12 English versions. With the exception of Young's Literal Translation, they all rendered the verse essentially the same, the last two words being 'eternal life.' Only the YLT rendered it as you have suggested, Kevin, in your post. What does this say to us? Well, it says that, universally, (please pardon the pun, it was unintentional) the translators from several different times and places all interpreted it to mean the same thing, 'eternal.' What conclusions can we draw from that? Well, assuming that these were well educated and informed men, led by the Spirit, and knowledgeable of the Greek of the Bible, we can say, 'They are so overwhelmingly in agreement, this must be the accurate translation.' Or we could say, 'They were all duped.' We could say, 'Well, one team translated it 'eternal life' and all the rest just jumped on that bandwagon, not being careful scholars.' I ask you, based on the context of the entire Bible and the use of concepts of the Bible by the Holy Spirit of God Who inspired it, which is most likely? Is it likely that all these individuals and teams of scholars were all wrong? Or is it more likely that the aberrant group has taken advantage of a word and run with that to the intent of pushing their spurious agenda? As john pointed out, one of the synonyms and concepts involved in this Greek useage of the word is 'perpetuity.' That speaks powerfully of 'eternal' and 'everlasting,' it seems to me. The whole objection of the Universalists you have run across seems to have no foundation for causing us to doubt the intent and meaning of the Lord God.


Subject: john and rod
From: kevin
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 07:48:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thaks for the input. Sometimes one can get into the thick of a discussion on a topic and fail to see the forest for the trees. I have tried to avoid such an error, but alas, sinful creature that I am, I failed. Thank you again for your information and support. May we all continue to wrestle with scripture, like Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord, until we receive the blessing that God has in it for us. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss


Subject: Check out this link kevin
From: Eric
To: kevin
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 09:05:16 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
This link is to a site of the writing of Arthur Custance--a committed Calvinist. The page you will go to will be to a chapter in an online book dealing with the Doctrines of Grace. If I recall, he touches on this subject in this chapter, as well as the next. Read through both, and you will probably get a good answer, as well as some info relating to Universalism. God bless. http://www.custance.org/grace/ch18.html Custance Chapter 18 www.custance.org/grace/ch18.html


Subject: ??????!!
From: Rod
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 11:03:01 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Well, Eric, I know you wrote to Kevin, but I took the liberty of visiting the site and I have to say,
What a load of junk! Or maybe 'junque' would be the appropriate word, since he has so dressed it up with 'intellectualism.' I read as much as I could (quite a lot) before my stomach turned with his supposed knowledge and enlightenment, but truly revealed ignorance. It is revealed by several statements, but this one is the only one with which I'll deal directly: 'On two counts, therefore, it seems that some attempt ought to be made to justify the ways of God with men.' We do often offer explanations for the ways of God to those who question, and there are real and true explanations of the truth and justice, love and mercy, of God. But we should never seek to 'justify' the ways of God with men! Why? Very simply because, If God wants His ways justified, HE IS PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF DOING IT, and He has done it with all the revelation men need IN HIS INSPIRED WORD. The true believer and 'defender of the faith' does just that--he defends the faith as presented in the Bible based solely on Bible teaching and precepts, not on the ways of men, not in the ways of the (evil) world. If men who are lost or confused about the Bible can't understand that, it is because of one reason. That reason isn't that God hasn't adequately dealt with the issue in His Word; it is that they haven't had the revelation of the heart of faith from the Holy Spirit to receive that particular truth yet. That's very simple and the certain teaching of the Bible as I read it and God has given me to understand it. This author brings up the tired old presupposition that 'eternal' doesn't refer to a length of time or all the ages, but deals with 'quality' of punishment. May I point out to you and all that if this false logic is accepted, then no one can be a true 'five pointer' because the 'eternal life' which the Bible promises to the saved is by no means everlasting! We can conceivably enjoy the blessings and fellowship of God for an 'eternity of quality' (whatever that might mean!), but we wouldn't be assured of everlasting salvation and glorification, and presence with the Lord! If the punishment is temporary, then the adoption of sonship with God might not be forever either. Utterly ridiculous! More importantly, since God is described as "eternal," We could not even trust that even He is without beginning or end! The word 'saved' is not ever used as a temporary condition in the Bible. Similarly, the Bible makes it just as manifest that the punishment and separation from God of the lost is forever. That's the meaning of 'lost.' 'Saved,' is something a Christian, one placed by the direct action of God in Christ, IS. 'Is' is a continuous state, just as God is 'I AM,' a continuing state of perfection and all that He is at one time and forever. One is 'saved,' or one is 'lost.' The only ones not permanently lost are the predestined to be saved by the grace of God. The other day, Eric, in another thread, you poked fun at several of us for being 'fundy.' There are no true 'Fundamentalists' here, if I understand the term correctly. But you superimposed the term and meaning onto those of us who disagree with your liberal views. You have shown the same tendency in other posts over the months. Frankly, Eric, I think you could stand to ask the Lord God to give you a good dose of the 'fundamentalism' you ridicule. I honestly don't expect you to do that on your own, so I'm praying that He will do it in spite of your not asking, so that you may embrace the views you now find objectionable, but which are solidly based on Biblical truth. That is my sincere prayer for you.


Subject: Now, now Rod...
From: Eric
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 12:51:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Dear Brother Rod, Let me respond to a few of the points you made in your presumptuous post. First, I did not say that I endorsed Custance, only that he was a committed calvinist. I find some of the things he has to say interesting--sorry. Also, the article deals directly with the question kevin asked, and I thought it would be helpful to him in getting a handle on the different views on this issue. Second, you misrepresented the tone of the quote you referenced. Here you lifted one sentance from a 20+ chapter book, and used it to ridicule. Elsewhere Custance says that God does not need to justify man, but in a sense a Christian does need to be able to answer objections given by man. Funny, I heard the same thing by R.C. Sproul the other day. Third, your argument about the word eternal is with Custance, and not with me, as I have given no opinion on it, which interestingly enough, Custance does not come to any conclusions either. Fourth, my use of the term 'fundie' was made in jest--which by the way, I made perfectly clear. My post was that it is more of a heart issue, than an actual stewardship of resources issue, which by the way, nobody did tell me why spending $20.00 for a night of entertainment playing blackjack was worse than spending $20 watching a sporting event. Fifth, perhaps my other liberal views, of which the only one I can think of is that drinking alcohol in moderation is perfectly allowable for a Christian to do. Which somehow you found objectionable (I might have you confused with john hampshire, but from your tone, I doubt it). Sixth, if you want to pray that I turn into a fundamentalist, no thank you. Instead pray that I continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that I will refrain from presumptuously judging others. BTW, will you list for me the views that you want me to hold, just so that I can save you some time and make you aware of what I hold to, and what I don't. ***sheeesh!*** God bless.


Subject: Time to get real, Eric
From: Rod
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 13:47:45 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Eric, I will respond to your post. First, please don't address me as, 'dear brother Rod' piously and then ridicule me. I seem anything but 'dear' to you. First point: You wrote, 'Elsewhere Custance says that God does not need to justify man, but in a sense a Christian does need to be able to answer objections given by man. Funny, I heard the same thing by R.C. Sproul the other day.' Here is what Custance said, directly quoted and that quote I addressed and still stand by my statements, 'On two counts, therefore, it seems that some attempt ought to be made to justify the ways of God with men.' Now, compare my response: 'We do often offer explanations for the ways of God to those who question, and there are real and true explanations of the truth and justice, love and mercy, of God. But we should never seek to 'justify' the ways of God with men!' If Sproul thinks we should seek to 'justify the ways of God with men' in the same way Custance does, which I sincerely doubt, then he is wrong also. When we exegete Scripture, we don't offer rationalization and explain away God's actions; instead, we set forth the truth about those actions and we do it as Peter exhorted: 'If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God...' (1 Peter 4:11). We make no apologies for what the holy, just, merciful, gracious, almighty, Ancient of Days (perpetual and eternal) God does or pronounces. And we don't cheapen His Word with clever words and rhetoric. We glorify Him. And that sometimes offends certain folks. So be it, so long as we are seeking to truly magnify the Lord God and honor His truth. You, Eric, refer to my post as 'presumptuous.' My 'presumption' of what you mean by that is that I imposed Custance's beliefs onto you. Well, you do seem to sympathize with him somewhat and you certainly gave no indication in your first post that you didn't buy into his spiel. You invited that presumption, I think. And I think it is justifiable on the basis of such statements as this, in which you agree with Custance: 'Third, your argument about the word eternal is with Custance, and not with me, as I have given no opinion on it, which interestingly enough, Custance does not come to any conclusions either.' So, you see, "my argument" is with both of you who cannot and will not see that God means what He pronounces so definitely. And BTW, this is not a 'personality issue.' I am adamantly opposed to anyone who takes the orthodox and accepted meaning of the Bible and twists it out of shape. So, I actually have not an argument with you or your mentor, but with your refusing to handle God's Word with care and reverence on this issue. Again you err: 'Fourth, my use of the term 'fundie' was made in jest--which by the way, I made perfectly clear. My post was that it is more of a heart issue, than an actual stewardship of resources issue, which by the way, nobody did tell me why spending $20.00 for a night of entertainment playing blackjack was worse than spending $20 watching a sporting event.' Here is what you actually said, and it isn't exactly the same as you just portrayed it: 'What is the difference if somebody wants to spend $20.00 playing nickle slots or craps in a casino, as opposed to spending $20.00 watching a professional sports game. Is not the $20.00 spent for ultimately the same cause--entertainment? Or how about eating out at a restaurant, surely the meal would have been cheaper if made at home--why waste the money.' I have to point out that Pilgrim answered that question in his post above yours before you even asked it--a fact that I pointed out in response to your objection, asking you to please re-read Pilgrim's post. (I didn't question in either post that you were jesting, but I did and do think you were half serious in your 'jest.') Just so you won't be confused and impose views on me which aren't my own, here is another of your statements: 'Which somehow you found objectionable (I might have you confused with john hampshire, but from your tone, I doubt it).' This was spoken about what you describe as 'drinking alcohol in moderation.' I had an uncle by marriage who had a vastly different definition of 'moderation' than I. What is 'moderation' to one might be excess to you or vice-versa. Let me state my views on this
off topic subject, so you will know exactly where I stand. Before I was saved I drank heavily for a few months in college. I was 19 and thought it was wonderful that no one asked me for I.D.. I never, however, acquired a taste for alcohol in any form. I just don't enjoy it or what it does to me. I have had a few beers since being saved, probably less than 20 in thirty or so years--I am convinced I'm not going to hell because of drinking them and it wasn't sin for me. I don't, however, like to be around people who are drinking, whether in 'moderation' or not. I recognize legitimate differing Christians' convictions on the issue. For me, I choose not to do it. My wife thanked me the other day for that precise thing, saying that, though she was saved, she drank heavily for a time in her early twenties and was glad that we, together, didn't do it. I was touched. I have noticed that anyone who says, 'I can take it or leave it,' invariably "takes it." Bottom line: I don't like drinking for myself, or others. I don't condemn sincere Christians who don't think it is sin and who actually don't sin with it. I will avoid being with those who are drinking, whenever I conveniently can, Christian or not. You judged my stance on this issue by my 'tone.' Was that a bit presumptuous? :>) Your next statement: 'Sixth, if you want to pray that I turn into a fundamentalist, no thank you. Instead pray that I continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that I will refrain from presumptuously judging others.' If you read with discernment, that is exactly the kind of 'fundamentalism' I do wish for you and was trying to indicate I was praying for for you. That's something I made clear from my post for those who have eyes to see. Your final statement: 'BTW, will you list for me the views that you want me to hold, just so that I can save you some time and make you aware of what I hold to, and what I don't. ***sheeesh!*** ' Very snide of you, but okay, here it is: Believe the fundamental precepts which are clearly taught in the Bible and I will be pleased for you and can assure you, based on that Bible, that God will be pleased with you. Then you have the audacity to say, 'God bless.' Eric, This isn't personal with me, as it became for you. If you think I came on too strong, may God grant that I always come on strong in the face of such beliefs as Custance put forth. I'm not trying to offend, but to tell the truth. If you are offended, then I think you need to examine yourself. I will stand more firmly for basic issues such as 'eternity' than on many other things. This seems to be a very crucial issue for us to get straight. I regret that you don't recognize that and can't see fit to denounce Custance on it. I am praying for you in this regard in the manner in which I see fit, as God leads me.


Subject: Reality Bites! :)
From: Eric
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 14:18:07 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
That was the name of a movie by the way. Dear Rod, Are you not my brother in Christ? Also, ridicule is not what I was doing, and if it came across that way, then I apologize. I did get a little rankled by your post, I admit, I have a aversion to people who are quick to sanctimoniously judge others, Pharisees, especially Reformed ones make me sick! If that is not what you are doing, then again I apologize. However, you made no effort to soften the way you come across. It is real easy to say you are championing truth, and use it as an excuse to cover up poor manners. Now, on to your post. If you are so concerned with truth Rod, why would you call Custance my mentor? What views of Custance do I hold to, if any? You seem to be awfully indignant if someone makes an assumption about you, yet you are guilty of it in the same post. Also, what I said was, that I gave no opinion on Custances work, not that I HAVE no opinion on it, I can see how you might take this the wrong way though because of the rest of the sentance. I hope that clarifys. Perhaps you will apologize for your accusation that I do not hold God's word with care and reverance on this issue. Perhaps some, dare I say it, brotherly charity, is in order over a forum such as this, as these posts are so easily misconstrued. And yes, you did offend me, but you gave yourself an excuse for your behavior by claiming to be standing up for the Word of God, when that wasn't the issue at all. Now, will you please either retract your statement about my liberal views, or enumerate them for me. This isn't a personality issue for me either Rod, it is more about giving somebody the benefit of the doubt, or at least taking the time to clarify somebody's position before slandering them in public. I do like your last point though which basically says 'If I offended you, then you are the one with the problem.' And I sincerely say, God bless. It is easy for me to wish the best for, and love those who I might disagree with, only because Christ has poured so much grace into my life. When you really think about it, it puts a lot of things in perspective.


Subject: I am pretty much out of it, but...
From: Rod
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 15:46:13 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I did recognize the name of the movie, Eric. I'll answer you this time and then I'm leaving the topic to you. I believe you've missed my point both times. I called Custance your 'mentor' because you seem to admit you share his indecision on the most critical issue, the one I addressed in my first post to you here, the one on which the Word of God stands firm: 'Now, on to your post. If you are so concerned with truth Rod, why would you call Custance my mentor? What views of Custance do I hold to, if any? You seem to be awfully indignant if someone makes an assumption about you, yet you are guilty of it in the same post.' Here is what you said, and by not committing, as Custance does, you tacitly agree by not vehemently disagreeing with his heretical stance: 'Third, your argument about the word eternal is with Custance, and not with me,
as I have given no opinion on it, which interestingly enough, Custance does not come to any conclusions either.' That is your statement and stance. Your noncommittment to the truth of the declarations of the Bible about eternality is your stance. It is a distrust of the declarations of God. This is the pronouncement of God incarnate: 'And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life' (John 3:15; cp 16 where the 'not perish[ing]' is mentioned again for reinforcement). If you can read such statements as this and have no opinion on how long eternity is, then that is serious error on your part. The word 'perish' refers to 'utter destruction,' and complete ruin. Believers will 'never perish.' (John 10:28) There they are also said to have 'eternal life,' again the use of the word you don't affirm, in spite of the fact that it is coupled with 'never perishing,' or always possessing life in perpetuity. This is incomprehensible and indefensible. Who does 'perish?' 'While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled' (John 17:12). The word 'perdition' may be actually derived from the word 'perish' and it carries the connotation of utter ruin. Furthermore the word 'lost' in that verse is the same word translated 'perish' in the earlier verses referenced in John 3. So, we have the eternal lifers never perishing and the lost described as eternally perishing and in perdition, each carrying the same essential thought. Yet neither Custance nor you can commit to the length of time for these conditions. I'm sorry, I must condemn that lack of commitment in the strongest terms. So that is my reply to your statement: 'Perhaps you will apologize for your accusation that I do not hold God's word with care and reverance on this issue.' I can't see that you do hold it with care and reverence on this issue. Here is another statement which is inconsitent: 'I have a aversion to people who are quick to sanctimoniously judge others, Pharisees, especially Reformed ones make me sick! If that is not what you are doing, then again I apologize. However, you made no effort to soften the way you come across. It is real easy to say you are championing truth, and use it as an excuse to cover up poor manners.' I invite you to once again, Eric, look at what I've said. This is not personal. As for softening what I say, I don't think you would be served by that. I think you need truth and lots of it on this issue and why you have misjudged it. 'Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful' (Prov. 27:6). I don't think, if I have understood you right, you have any reason for being offended, except that you are espousing an indefinsible position and hurt that I don't accept it. This is not a 'negociable' issue, and I'm discussing issues, not personalities. Besies, the "reformed" people here don't accept me as one of their own--I'm not strictly "reformed," but a sovereign gracer.


Subject: I hope this will settle it...
From: Eric
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 17:50:28 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Rod, You wrote: >>> I invite you to once again, Eric, look at what I've said. This is not personal. As for softening what I say, I don't think you would be served by that. I think you need truth and lots of it on this issue and why you have misjudged it. Ok, I did, and here is what I saw. You will notice that you never did ask me what I believed concerning hell. And as far as softening goes, we don’t soften truth, we only soften the way we treat each other, and that includes giving somebody the benefit of the doubt until we ***KNOW*** what it is we are rebuking. >>>The other day, Eric, in another thread, you poked fun at several of us for being 'fundy.' There are no true 'Fundamentalists' here, if I understand the term correctly. But you superimposed the term and meaning onto those of us who disagree with your liberal views. You have shown the same tendency in other posts over the months. Frankly, Eric, I think you could stand to ask the Lord God to give you a good dose of the 'fundamentalism' you ridicule. I honestly don't expect you to do that on your own, so I'm praying that He will do it in spite of your not asking, so that you may embrace the views you now find objectionable, but which are solidly based on Biblical truth. That is my sincere prayer for you. I asked you to identify which liberal views I hold to, and you have failed to do so. Assumption #1 on which you were wrong. >>>You, Eric, refer to my post as 'presumptuous.' My 'presumption' of what you mean by that is that I imposed Custance's beliefs onto you. Well, you do seem to sympathize with him somewhat and you certainly gave no indication in your first post that you didn't buy into his spiel. You invited that presumption, I think. And I think it is justifiable on the basis of such statements as this, in which you agree with Custance: 'Third, your argument about the word eternal is with Custance, and not with me, as I have given no opinion on it, which interestingly enough, Custance does not come to any conclusions either.' So, you see, 'my argument' is with both of you who cannot and will not see that God means what He pronounces so definitely. I corrected your understanding of my position, and yet in the next post, you completely ignored my correction and continued with your wrong assumption. >>>And BTW, this is not a 'personality issue.' I am adamantly opposed to anyone who takes the orthodox and accepted meaning of the Bible and twists it out of shape. So, I actually have not an argument with you or your mentor, but with your refusing to handle God's Word with care and reverence on this issue. Another derogatory statement based upon your false assumption. >>>I called Custance your 'mentor' because you seem to admit you share his indecision on the most critical issue, the one I addressed in my first post to you here, the one on which the Word of God stands firm: >>>'Now, on to your post. If you are so concerned with truth Rod, why would you call Custance my mentor? What views of Custance do I hold to, if any? You seem to be awfully indignant if someone makes an assumption about you, yet you are guilty of it in the same post.' Here is what you said, and by not committing, as Custance does, you tacitly agree by not vehemently disagreeing with his heretical stance: 'Third, your argument about the word eternal is with Custance, and not with me, as I have given no opinion on it, which interestingly enough, Custance does not come to any conclusions either.' That is your statement and stance. Your noncommittment to the truth of the declarations of the Bible about eternality is your stance. It is a distrust of the declarations of God. I was very disappointed with this Rod, I specifically clarified my intent, and you disregarded it, and continued on with your false assumption. >>>I'm sorry, I must condemn that lack of commitment in the strongest terms. So that is my reply to your statement: 'Perhaps you will apologize for your accusation that I do not hold God's word with care and reverance on this issue.' I can't see that you do hold it with care and reverence on this issue. >>>I don't think, if I have understood you right, you have any reason for being offended, except that you are espousing an indefinsible position and hurt that I don't accept it. This is not a 'negociable' issue, and I'm discussing issues, not personalities. Rod, in all sincerity, you have not understood me right, nor asked if you have, you have only assumed wrongly, and then proceeded to run from there. Just so you know Rod, I do hold to hell as being a place of eternal, as in unending, torment. Why didn’t you ask me this in the first place? >>>Besies, the 'reformed' people here don't accept me as one of their own--I'm not strictly 'reformed,' but a sovereign gracer. Then you know of the attitude that I am fighting against, and perhaps you can see how someone might benefit from a little more Christian charity. I hope you see where I was coming from Rod, but from where I sit, you were awfully quick to assume. I do forgive you, and hold no ill will towards you at all. I can indeed call you my brother. May God continue to shine His grace upon you.


Subject: I said I was through, but one thing.
From: Rod
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 19:37:53 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
This is going nowhere. I'm very glad to hear you finally declare your position on eternality. I also call on you to denounce as heresy the notion that 'eternal' is not a length of time, but a 'quality,' not a 'quantity.' Here is what Custance says, 'It may well be that the quality of the punishment is, in any event, much more significant than the quantity of it.
Indeed the word eternal may have little if anything to do with quantity at all.' I added the italics. My contention about that is this: The quality of the punishment or reward is determined in large measure by the length of it, its 'quantity.' There is an old, obscene joke I remember from my pre-slavation days about a 'coffee break' in hell. But hell is unrelenting, everlasting, eternal in its awful fullness. That's a large part of why its so hellish. Here is another statement made in Custance's assertions: 'So we have to rethink what the word eternal really means in any given context in Scripture. Dean Farrar held that punishment is everlasting in effect, but limited in duration. He might perhaps have suggested with equal force that punishment is everlasting in experience also psychologically that is, but limited in reality. Punishment there surely must be, even if it is a form of remorse and self-inflicted. A moral universe without sanctions when its laws are disobeyed would be a moral chaos, not a moral cosmos.' Though there are degrees of punishment based on the grievousness of the sins committed, the fact, the over-riding fact, is that hell is unrelenting and constant in its scope. '...to go into hell, into the fire [of judgment] that shall never be quenched [speaking of both quality and quantity], where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched...to be cast into hell fire, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched' (Mark 9:43-48). Custance is equally wrong about this: 'but the issue has to be squarely faced anew in every generation, until some kind of understanding is achieved which will enable us to answer those who accuse God of injustice, and to do this without compromising the plan of salvation.' Every Christian knowing the basics of the faith knows that God can't be accused of injustice. That is, the charge won't stick and has no basis in fact. But one doesn't have to be a Christian long before he realizes that lost men will not, indeed, cannot be answered because, 'The carnal mind is enmity against God' (Rom. 8:7). No amount of proof or persuasion will move them. Only God can move them and that only by His merciful regneration, His grace. 'For it [the carnal mind] is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be." 'But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned' (1 Cor. 2:14). Those facts are why we put forth the truth about God from His Word before men. Because it is through the presentation of that holy truth that God chooses to work in regeneration and salvation, not because we seek to justify God. 'Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God' (Rom. 10:17). In seemingly missing that point, Custance greatly errs. He errs again and again because his foundational concepts are wrong. We aren't to try to "justify God," but we are to present His truth faithfully and to His glory, allowing Him to work in men's hearts and minds as He sees fit. Are we in agreement here, Eric? I certainly hope so. I'm stopping, not because I've run out of things to say about this, but because it seems useless to discuss such a ridiculous position as Custance holds.


Subject: Re: I said I was through, but one thing.
From: Eric
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 05:40:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Yes we are in agreement Rod, we always have been. I do think that it is a possibility that our concept of time will be radically changed after this life, but that is mere speculation. I think Jesus' words about hell make it quite clear to even a child that hell is a very very bad place that one should avoid, even if it costs a person an eye or a hand in the process. Also, Custance apologetic approach, as you preseted it, is unsound. IMHO, it is appropriate to present a logical, philosphically defensible Christian worldview, to an unbeliever, but that presentation will never change the heart. This discussion has been weighing on my mind last night, I am glad it is over. Take care Rod.


Subject: Good! Glad to hear it! :>) n/t
From: Rod
To: Eric
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 13:55:42 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:


Subject: Baptism question
From: Eric
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 08:03:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I am involved in a discussion with a Baptist, and he raised an interesting point. His comment was that the Reformed really are not consistent with their paedobaptism beliefs. He states that the Reformed use the accounts of household baptism to partly justify the baptising of infants, but don't consistently hold to the text. If they did, they would practice household baptism. Whereby if a man was converted to Christ, they would baptise his entire household. Does this happen in modern practice? If not, why not? I remember reading missionary accounts of this happening, but I can't place the sources. But I have not heard it happening recently. God bless.


Subject: Re: Baptism question
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 25, 2000 at 15:50:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,

I think I would disregard your 'Baptist' friend's argument as spurious and fabricated; a strawman at best for never have I heard (although it is surely possible for anything to be believed by some) of any Paedobaptist in history who baptized entire households regardless of who they were, nor have I ever read anything that would even suggest such a thing. The 'household baptisms' referred to consisted of baptizing all adults who professed faith and their children. No unbelieving adults are to be baptized. So tell your desperate Baptist crusader to 'try again'! :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Baptism question
From: Prestor John
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 22:45:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You know, I should stay out of this, really I should, but I get so tired of the Baptism issue. I also get tired of the concept that to be Reformed in your theology means that you must be a paedobaptist. After all the Baptists that signed the London Confession of 1689 were 'Reformed' in their theology. In fact Calvin that reformer said this:

Whether the person baptized is to be wholly immersed, and that whether once or thrice, or whether he is only to be sprinkled with water, is not of the least consequence: churches should be at liberty to adopt either according to the diversity of climates, although it is evident that the term baptize means to immerse, and that this was the form used by the primitive Church. Institutes Book IV 15:19

Here it is each church should baptize by the means that they see as fit and it should be left at that. Tell you Baptist friend that a Reformed Baptist (who immerses) says that he should leave the paedobaptists alone and concentrate on the essentials. Prestor John Servabo Fidem


Subject: AMEN!!! (nt)
From: mebaser
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 10:39:27 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:


Subject: Re: Baptism question
From: john hampshire
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 19:30:15 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I can hardly find a pastor who understands baptism by sprinkling as a valid mode, let alone a pastor who would be willing to baptize by sprinkling an entire family. Of course it is more difficult to baptize slaves today, but if you've got some, then by all means do so.(hehe) Immersion and Arminianism is the norm today. Don't know if 200 years ago families might have been baptized together, but I'm sure someone here knows. john


Subject: Re: Baptism question
From: Grace2Me
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 20:56:28 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Comparing Immersion with Arminianism, is like comparing apples and oranges :^ )


Subject: Re: Baptism question
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 22:10:35 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
As a sort of related item, several years ago I delivered a message on Sunday morning on 'Baptism.' Following that, a family of four presented themselves to the elders of the assembly for baptism, having been individually either a) not baptized yet (the children) or b) baptized by an RCC priest (the father, not sure about the mother). They were baptized soon thereafter as a family. (But this was not a 'reformed' assembly, though the preacher that day was a sovereign grace proponent.)


Subject: Phil. 2:5-11
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 21, 2000 at 23:40:00 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Hi I want to pick the brain of some of you scholars. Recently I read (and I quote) 'Phillipians 2:5-11 is a fragment of an ancient hymm of the Christian church...' Since I have never heard this before(that Paul was quoting from an ancient hymn)I thought I would check to see if it is true. Since my commentary doesn't have any information to confirm this. I thought who better than those on this board to do so? Also if these verses are a quote from an ancient hymn, where is that hymn located? I thought that if this portion of scripture, is a quote from an ancient hymn of the Christian church and that hymn was not from the Psalms. Then it could possibly put some closure to the arguement for exclusive Psalmody. At least as far as I am concerned. Tom


Subject: Re: Phil. 2:5-11
From: john hampshire
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 19:55:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>'Philippians 2:5-11 is a fragment of an ancient hymn of the Christian church... If Paul wrote Philippians in AD63 and Jesus died in AD33, the ancient hymn would be about 30 years old? Unless we expect it to be penned prior to Christ's arrival, in which case it would indeed be an amazing revelation and prophecy (hehe). Rather than being an ancient hymn it is well in keeping with Paul's writing style of digression and return. john


Subject: Re: Phil. 2:5-11
From: Tom
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 14:21:08 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
John I am not sure your reasoning for the hymn being 30 years old isn't sound. All that is required is that it be known to Paul's audience before he wrote the letter. I recieved the following applicable information from Dr. White about this matter: I'm sorry, I really don't have time to pursue this further with you. Basically, you need to do some homework if you find the issue that important. It is pretty much common knowledge and easily obtainable to anyone who puts forth minimal effort to do so. The 'hymn' does not exist outside of Phil. 2. You won't find it anywhere else. There is no ancient hymnal that we can expect to unearth. It's simply a recognition of the form of the text as being poetic. Nothing more. Personally, I am a little disapointed with Dr. White's answer. I can not understand why someone would say something as though it were fact, not just theory. Kind of reminds me of what evolutionists do. Though if it is proven that Philippians 2:5-11 isn't an quote from an ancient hymn of the Christian church. It doesn't destroy his whole synopsis. But it would certainly take away from what he is saying. Why would he want to do that? Tom


Subject: Re: Phil. 2:5-11
From: Diacone
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 00:10:25 (PDT)
Email Address: Diaconeo@ccnmail.com

Message:
Tom, I think that what John was saying is that it couldn't have been an ancient hymn if it was only 30 years old at most. Of coures, for us today it would be an ancient. I don't know where Dr. White came up with this, perhaps it was his own thinking. I do agree with John in that this pssible hymn is very much Pauline. If it was a hymn that he used in his letter, he tied it in very well with the rest of chapter two, which is a possiblility. I don't believe that though, I believe this passage to be strictly pauline doctrine. In Christ, Matthew


Subject: Re: Phil. 2:5-11
From: Tom
To: Diacone
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 15:11:08 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Matthew In case you are interested, so far the only information I have come up with from a commentary is: 'Philpians 2:5-11 expresses this great truth in a beautiful passage that many believe is an early Christian hymn, either quoted by Paul or original with him.' To me saying this, is a lot different than what Dr. White has said. Tom


Subject: Re: Phil. 2:5-11
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 17:54:54 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, I've not gotten into this until now for this reason: Though I've heard this claim made before, it isn't universally accepted, it appears. It is, so far as I can tell, a matter for the 'textural critics,' a highly developed capacity for the skill and exhaustive research. I don't think this is something for the casual reader or one who has not really applied himself to textural criticism for many years to determine. Two or three posters have pointed out how 'Pauline' the passage is and how uniquely it flows from one chapter into another without seeming to lose continuity. Of course, the Spirit of God could have made that happen. Hebrews sounds very 'Pauline' in many places to me, but his authorship of that Epistle is very much disputed. Peter, and particularly John, are very 'Pauline' in many cases due to their heavy emphasis on sovereign grace and its facets. Is it a old hymn or not? I don't know. I haven't seen any really conclusive evidence. If you find some, please alert us, but I'm afraid you may never know for certain..


Subject: Re: Phil. 2:5-11
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 22:09:38 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Rod Thanks for the information, I really am beginning to agree with you about this matter. I may never know the truth about this matter. I just recieved this information from someone. 'Like you, I have not found any evidence to support the claims of this Mr. White. John MacArthur says that this particular passage was 'sung' as a hymn by the church, but that is quite different than saying it came from an ancient hymn. All I know is that it is in the Bible, and it is inspired.' This of course adds something else to my research. Mainly, when was this passage first sung as a hymn by the church? If indeed it is true what John MacArthur says. Oh boy this gets better by the minute. (Notice the sarcasm). Anyway, I will let you know what I find out. Tom


Subject: Re: Phil. 2:5-11
From: Tom
To: all
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 21, 2000 at 23:56:29 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
By the way, I forgot to tell where I got the quote. It was by James R.White in an article called 'Beyond the Veil of Eternity: The Importance Of Phillipians 2:5-11 in Theology and Apologetics' In case you didn't know, James R.White is Reformed in theology. Not that it makes him right in this case. Tom


Subject: Two Points
From: John P.
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 13:57:32 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings Tom and All: Two
very brief points: (1) Yes, if that passage is a part of an ancient hymn (or the others that some people use), then that puts a closure to the exclusive Psalmody debate (at least probably). The problem is this: It is a purely arbitrary claim having no evidence, or copy of the rest of the hymn, to say that it is a hymn. In fact, come to think of it, even if it was a hymn, they would have to prove it to be used in public worship. But, I think that if Paul would have quoted a hymn like that in a letter to the churches, it would almost have to be evidence that exclusive Psalmody is false. But, there is no evidence that it is a hymn (unless of course, Paul isn't permitted to write with a lofty and sublime style when writing about the humiliation and exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ). In other words, there is no evidence. (2) This is for all of you waiting for the Jerrold L. versus John P. debate. I am writing a response to his two posts, but time is precious. I have a good portion completed, but I don't know when I will finish the rest, so please be patient. When the time comes when I post it, I will also email Mr. Lewis so that he knows that I have posted it. Love, John P.


Subject: M'Cheyne's 'Bible Reading Calendar'
From: Pilgrim
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 07:50:34 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
All,

Now on The Highway is Robert Murray M'Cheyne's 'Daily Bible Reading Calendar'. If you are not familiar with this gem, it's a scheduled arrangement of readings of the Scriptures that takes one and family through the entire Bible and the Psalms and New Testament twice. You can view it here: Daily Bible Reading Calendar And, a side note about using the SEARCH feature now on the home page; the use of 'quotes' for phrases will greatly enhance your results. Using the quotation marks on ANY Search Engine forces it to look for that exact phrase and not the individual words that make up the phrase. Thus, if you are getting results from a search that returns 300+ references and the majority of them are irrelevant to your original intent, then narrowing your search by being MORE specific and using the quotes can be of great help. BTW, this particular Search Engine is programmed to look for 'similar' words, ie., if you mispell a word, it will try and find it anyway. And lastly, be aware of variant spellings of words, eg., 'judgment and judgement'. You will get different results using these two words, :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Civil Disobedience
From: Joel H
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 13:14:58 (PDT)
Email Address: jh6@muw.edu

Message:
The Supreme Court ruled to make 'student led' prayer at public high school football games un-Constitutional (illegal) today. As Christians, how do we balance the desire to live a quiet and peaceable life (1 Tim 2:2) with laws that infringe on a Christian's convictions? More specifically, would it be a sin for a speaker, who is a Christian, to engage in civil disobedience and offer a prayer before a game? Would the Holy Spirit even urge a Christian to do something like that? When is civil disobedience a valid tool for a Christian? The apostles certainly broke government laws. What principles govern Christians in this matter? I would just like some help jump starting my thinking in this area. BTW, thanks for all comments on gambling. They were of great help to me! Joel H


Subject: Matt 6:5-6
From: Anne
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 09:22:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Someone just pointed this out on another board: 'And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.' He was right . . . . Christ
did address this very issue, and told us not to pray, ostentatiously, in public. As usual, though, we humans default to a 'Well, sure, but I didn't think He meant me!'POV. That should be inscribed on all our tombstones. Anne


Subject: Re: Matt 6:5-6
From: Bro. Charles
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 25, 2000 at 06:37:35 (PDT)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
I believe that in the 'CONTEXT' of the passage Jesus was speaking about how the Pharisees where 'praying standing in the synagogues and on the street corners TO BE SEEN OF MEN.' What He was saying is that don't do it to be boastful of your salvation. But, that is a very good point. We as Christens need to remember the 1st amendment to the constitution. :-) With Love in Christ Jesus, - Bro. Charles


Subject: Re: Matt 6:5-6
From: Rod
To: Anne
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 21, 2000 at 12:23:51 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Anne, The Pharisees almost never (probably never, as far as I can recall) come off looking good in the Lord Jesus' pronouncements. Hypocrisy is never acceptable, either in private or in public. Also, I think it's dangerous to assume that this addresses all forms of public prayer. If so, it would mean that prayer could only be offered by one individual in a 'closed room.' I don't think we should carry this pronouncement to extremes and eliminate all corproate prayer. There are prayers, the vast majority, I think, which should be offered in private. Rightly or wrongly, I'm almost always 'turned off' when someone suddenly offers a 'prayer' in a post on a bulletin board, for example. Maybe that's my personality and a flaw, but it just 'hits me wrong.'


Subject: Re: Matt 6:5-6
From: Anne
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 05:47:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I don't believe the Lord's intent was to slam all corporate worship, particularly in light of ' . . . where two or three are gathered in My name, etc.' So groups of believers may certainly pray together. But an open mike at a football game of a couple of public high schools can hardly be construed as a gathering of the elect, I fear. There are two completely separate issues at hand: 1) secular, constitutional law 2) God's laws Now as to the first, one can make a legitimate case that so long as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Wiccans, etc. all get their turn at that open mike, the First Amendment is upheld. As to the second, ISTM that the issue is whether or not God is willing to hear the prayers of nonbelievers. If He has an expansive, 'come one, come all' attitude about prayers from non-Christian sources, then by all means, we can grouse, grumble, and gripe about the Supreme Court decision. If, however, we believe that God wasn't pleased by those pagan religions' prayers in the past, and that hasn't changed His mind about it to date, then I can't think why Christians would support public prayer by pagan religions in public places. If the Almighty isn't pleased about it, why on earth are we trying to
encourage it? Very strange. Anne


Subject: Re: Matt 6:5-6
From: Rod
To: Anne
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 08:25:37 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Anne, I'm not discussing football games, per se, but the right of worship as one sees fit without the interference of a government which clearly has no Constitutional warrant to regulate such things. Please note that the Lord didn't forbid this Pharisee to do what he did. Or apparently even address him on the issue. He forbade His disciples the emulation of the hypocritical way in which he did it. There is a vast difference. The man had a right to pray as he desired, but the Lord granted him no efficacy in it. I'm not discussing prayer by unbelievers, but by believers solely, along with government interference where it has no authority. If anyone should regulate the games prayers, it is the state and local government and I'm certain their constitutions and charters give them no right to do so either. I'd ask that you also please take a look at my response to john h..


Subject: Re: Matt 6:5-6
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 03:23:07 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>Rightly or wrongly, I'm almost always 'turned off' when someone suddenly offers a 'prayer' in a post on a bulletin board, for example. Likewise, I'm usually turned-off by someone offering a prayer in public, at church, on TV, or anywhere. I think God intended prayer to be personal-- not for public consumption. I wonder if history has recorded when and who began the modern open prayer church movement (if it is a movement)? Have the churches always allowed public prayer (and prayer meetings), anyone know? john


Subject: Re: Matt 6:5-6
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 05:43:30 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Basically the only 'church history' I know is from the Bible. Confining myself to the NT, I find the Lord Jesus praying apart from a private manner on more than one occasion: Matt. 19:13-15 (strongly implied prayer; cp. Mark 10:16, where He 'blessed them'); John 11:41-42; John 17, a chapter of prayer among His Apostles to name a few instances. Now, we aren't the Lord Jesus and can't pray as He did, but we do have the example of corporate and public prayer from Him. 1 Cor. 11, particularly verses 4 and 11 seem to be very strong indications that prayer was a part of the worship service of that early church, especially since 'praying and prophesying' are mentioned by Paul in the same breath. 1 Tim. 2:8 also seems to be speaking of prayer within the context of a worship meeting. James 5:14 indicates corporate prayer, though not strictly 'public.' Verse 16 seems once again to indicate prayer in a meeting or gathering of the saints. Acts 1:14 indicates a strong presence of corporate prayer among the earliest believers, as well as assuredly individual prayers; cp. 2:42. Acts 12:5 has the 'church' offering 'prayer without ceasing' for Peter's deliverance; cp. verse 12 of that chapter and Acts 16:11. It seems to me, therefore, that public and corporate prayer are allowed and approved in Scripture, if not offered hypocritically. There are other passages where I think these forms of prayer are indicated, but it is difficult to prove precisely. May God preserve me and every other preacher/teacher of His Word from ever engaging in speaking to the saints and visitors without first offering a sincere prayer for the speaking and the hearing which will immediately follow. Just as the hypocritical Pharisee praying for the praise of men, so may those in public or corporate speaking, or singing, or praying, fall into sin similarly. It seems especially hard for performers of 'special music' not to get swelled heads, from the flattery of being chosen to perform and from the praise they receive. This doesn't honor the Lord or benefit the performer. It severely detracts from the worship of the saints. All that said, it is undeniable that the vast majority of prayer mentioned in the NT is of an individual and mostly private and semi-private nature. The Lord Jesus went off alone often to pray to His Father, and the admonition of the 'closed room' is designed to protect one praying from the sin of pride and public notice. It also seems undeniable to me that public and corporate prayer can be offered in a way which honors God and beneifts the hearers, instructing them how to pray by one gifted with the ability by the Spirit and directing their attention to the things of general concern and focus. I'm convinced that the Bible both allows and encourages that sort of prayer.


Subject: Re: Matt 6:5-6
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 18:12:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You might be correct, Jesus may have prayed in a public setting. However, I am not so sure it must be so, though I appreciate your work (and am always slightly amazed by the depth of research). 1. Matt 19:13-15, perhaps Jesus prayed aloud, or perhaps He prayed silently and then picked up the child and blessed them. He was asked to pray, for what purpose the people brought the children is not clear. He actually “laid his hands on them, and departed thence”, no mention of public prayer. Mark 10:17 says Jesus “blessed them”, which could be prayer but not necessarily. 2. John 11:41-42 “And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” I don’t think it was a prayer that Jesus said, though perhaps a public acknowledgment of the Father. He thanked the Father for hearing Him. Perhaps concerning His statement to Martha “if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” or earlier when he “groaned within Himself” (the actual prayer to the Father?). 3. John 17 is certainly a prayer to the Father and certainly meant for the disciples to hear and understand. It can also be said that this prayer was done apart from the world, for His chosen ones only, and as a conclusion and summation of His earthly ministry. This is the exception that doesn’t prove the rule. 4. 1 Cor 11 concerns head coverings while praying. Certainly prayer is a part of church worship, the question is should it be done aloud. In my way of thinking, the woman cannot pray to God while engaged in sin (disobedience to God’s rule). Prophesying (declaring God’s Word) is hypocritical when she rejects Gods order. So, she cannot be a witness to men or to God, she is disgraced in both directions. 5. 1 Tim 2:8 speaks to prayer “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men”. We can do all than as individuals to God without speaking aloud. 6. James 5:14 says: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him…”. It could be a public prayer by the elders, but the emphasis I see here is different. It is a prayer for salvation of the physically sick which will be forgiven their sins and saved. To this end Vs 16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”. It isn’t much physical healing that is accomplished. It is that many will be spiritually healed (Vs 19-20 equates prayer resulting in “fruit” and turning “a sinner from the error of his way” which will “save his soul from death”, which we know as the second death). 7. Acts 1:14 (or 2:42) may indicate public prayer “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” However, I doubt it. Would the women and Mary have been praying aloud before the disciples (men)? Certainly they were all praying with the same mind: That the Spirit would soon be poured out and God’s salvation plan should begin and that the Jews should be saved. 8. Acts 12:5 is interesting because Peter seems to have been rescued because “prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.” When Peter came to John’s mother’s house they were gathered and praying. I imagine a rather grim (due to the expectation that Peter would be executed) and silent vigil with meditation to the Lord. When Peter appeared at the door, the group would not believe he was free, “you are out of your mind!” was the response to the servant girl. I don’t see a group of super-charged Pentecostals praying out loud. Rather, they were likely very humbly entreating God for Peter’s safety each with no small amount of fear (they could be next). Thus, Peter’s escape was a great encouragement. 9. To quote one of the Christian luminaries: “It seems especially hard for performers of 'special music' not to get swelled heads”, to which I agree. It is even more difficult for performers of prayer heard by others not to be perplexed by those watching. I have witnessed the fear that comes with public prayer (like public speaking). It is a natural fear of looking foolish (which still doesn’t stop most people). When I am asked to pray publicly or join a prayer group, I politely decline (and often am badgered to give it a go, thinking I am shy). In my inner-man I can see and relate to the affirmation that a well-done prayer gets by the congregation—I just don’t like to see it or its affect on the prayee. It is ego. 10. So, in conclusion, I think it is not a policy of Jesus to have prayed aloud (except in a special circumstance). That prayer privately was the mode. That we should not pray openly (no matter how sincere the motivation); and that we should pray all the time (but please, not aloud). I can relate to one Reformed church I attended where the pastor let everyone pray silently for about ten minutes before he broke in with his own spoken prayer. It was really very comfortable to be in a room with some other Christians and pray together (silently), at least until the pastor broke the silence with his manufactured prayer (very irritating). 11. Lastly, I have seen too many unbiblical prayers and too many people trying to pray for maximum effect. It detracts from worship in a big way. Just like people who talk during a movie, it bugs me. I don’t want to hear someone else’s prayer. If the pastor wants to pray before the sermon or Bible study: Please pray silently with the congregation for a moment. Prayers broadcast in church and unbiblical church music are plagues on the church which I, for one, could do without. That’s just my opinion, of course. If you think I'm wrong, please pray for me, just don't do it out loud (hehe). john


Subject: Praying within myself! :>) (n/t)
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 22, 2000 at 19:11:33 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Pilgrim
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 22:42:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joel,

Personally, I couldn't care less what the Supreme Court of the U.S., or Canada rules concerning public prayer, etc. in state/government owned institutions. The government has the right to pass laws as they see fit concerning what and how things are to be conducted in THEIR facilities. There is no THEOCRACY on earth, and as far as I can tell, there never will be one before Christ returns nor afterwards [sorry all you Posties and Premillers out there, :-)]. Next stop: the New Heaven and New Earth where only righteousness dwells. Therefore, Ps 74:4 'Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.' In the days of Daniel, such 'laws' were also enacted to prevent prayer to the one true God. And Daniel complied as far as praying to God openly in public. But no government has the authority or power to forbid secret prayer and so Daniel prayed freely in his own home. And he stood against the rules of that day when they tried to forbid prayer altogether, except to the pagan gods. In the New Testament, we have another good example of the civil authorities forbidding any preaching in or of the name of Jesus Christ. This prohibition was again a universal one, which allowed no exceptions whatsoever. To such 'laws' the disciples refused to obey and replied,

Acts 4:18 'And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.'

The 'rule' I follow is this: I will comply with any and all laws passed by the government under which I am living at any particular time with the exception of any and all laws which transgress the LAW OF GOD. Thus I support 'civil disobedience' in principle and in practice. :-) Don't think it is always a 'black or white' decision either, for it surely isn't. There are situations where 'gray areas' exist and one must tread carefully, slowly and prayerfully before deciding to disobey a law of the land.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Rod
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 16:15:58 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I've read that prior to the U.S. Civil War (and possibly for sometime after) many people had the U.S. and their individual state's Constitutions memorized. Can we weak brained, but, Oh, so enlightened! men and women of today make any such claim? To our shame, not one in a hundred thousand could, I'd wager, if I were a betting man. I certainly couldn't, though I've read and studied the U.S. and Texas Constitutions somewhat. I'd even bet that most have not read the Constitution through and through even once, either federal or state. The First Amendment, the first of the so-called Bill of Rights states this: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.' Ask almost anyone what the First Amendment is about, he'll answer, 'Freedom of the press,' if he's a modern U.S. citizen! Woeful ignorance. There is nothing in there about the 'separation of Church and State' which we hear so much about. That expression came from a much later letter from Thomas Jeffereson in which he advocated a 'wall of separation' between Church and State because he feared the power of certain Baptists (supposedly, and probably, from the context). There is certainly nothing in that Amendment which says anything about public prayer. 'Religion' in those days was not used in the same sense as it is today, referring, properly, to different actual religions, but then it was universally used to designate differing Christian beliefs, such as Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, etc.. It didn't include such things as Hinduism, etc.. That was unheard of and unthinkable. Just a little perspective for you to consider.


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Anne
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 17:57:06 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. You are quite right that at the time this was penned, the founding fathers probably had no notion of Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. Heck, to them, Judaism was exotic. But just as we can't read into Scripture what we're sure the writers wish they'd said -- not that I am equating the Constitution with Holy Writ, of course! -- we also must stick to the words that were actually written down. And the word used was 'religion.' the fact that to them, that was defined as Christianity doesn't matter. They didn't say so explicitly. So all religions have been protected, historically. And case law is one of the foundations of American civil law. Prior judicial decisions carry immense weight with the Supreme Court, so the odds of them reversing an existing decision is virtually nonexistant. My point is that this is the hand we've been dealt, and we must now make the best of it, is all. Fortunately, since God is sovereign, we can be assured that somehow this is all part of His plan. A most comforting reflection! Ciao! Anne


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Rod
To: Anne
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 22:56:25 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Actually, Anne, there's no argument from me on this. I'm 57 years old and when I was a boy and young man, a Christian person who was devoted to the Lord was 'real religious.' It was the wrong word then and the wrong word when the Constitution was written. However, that doesn't negate the fact that there is
absolutely no mention of 'separation of Chruch and State' in the document, just the regulatory statement that Congress can't establish an official, national 'church.' The regulation was on government, not on worship. Today, the government regulates worship and religious activities and symbols, for good or for bad. It does seem to be contrary to the spirit of and the letter of the Constitution and promotes a goverenment of men, not law.


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Anne
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 05:28:01 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Now, you know, when I was in college a professor pointed out that the FF's were assuming that each state would have its own official 'religion' . . . . Maryland was Catholic, Pennsylvania was Quaker, etc. etc. When people came from England, they headed for the region dominated by their preferred denomination. Them having known nothing but state-sanctioned religion in England, he argued that it was their intent to forbid the
federal government from establishing an official religion, instead leaving that responsibility to the individual states. Reading the constitution, I'm not sure but what he might be right. To late now, though. Done's done. Pity. Anne


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Rod
To: Anne
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 10:50:40 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Anne, I'd heard that state religion thing before too, but, though it may be true, I personally have not researched it, but I've never run across any incidental documentation that anyone among the writings of any of the early 'Fathers' to substantiate it. It may be all over the place, but I just haven't personally seen it. The thing which
seems to lend credence to it is that there was a concept of 'sovereign states' which people today cannot fathom. Under the previous Articles of Confederation, the individual states were supreme in power; the central govt. weak and ineffective. The ideas about the exact role of the various states and the authority of the central govt. (federal government) were not completely thrashed out until the Civil War. Lincoln didn't send troops to put down the 'rebellion' because of slavery, but because he said he had taken 'a most solemn oath' to preserve the Union. Secession was the decisive issue, though slavery was a hot and emotional issue and a real fuse to ignite and fire the passions. This places the issue squarely in the realm of 'states' rights,' the right of an individual state to nullify a law of the U.S govt. and to withdraw from the Union if it disagreed with the actions of the federal government strongly enough and felt 'threatened' in its sovereign existence. It was a case of 'might makes right.' If the South had been able to gain a military victory, states' rights would have been extablished as supreme. Since the North won and through God's Providence the Union was preserved and the evil of slavery ended, states' rights is a virtually a dead issue. I may well be malinformed (I haven't studied any state government in detail, except Texas), but I know of no state whose constitution ever established a state religion as an 'official' thing. In fact, most, and I actually believe all, of the states had bills of rights very similar to the U.S. Amendments which guaranteed individual freedoms. There has been at least one de facto governing by a 'church,' however. The Mormon leadership ran and governed Utah according to their own dictates for decades. There were 'bumps' of federal resistance, but, for all practical purposes, it was a 'Church' dominated government. I'm not sure how deep the control still runs, but it is, at the very least, significant.


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Pilgrim
To: Anne
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 07:30:39 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anne,

Don't you see the hypocrisy of it all though? at least in the U.S. and Canada. But specifically in the U.S., there is permanently printed and minted on the currency the phrase, 'In God we Trust', which I believe was first used back in the very early part of the 19th century (1803?). The 'laws' enacted to protect the citizenry from those who would do IMMORAL and UNETHICAL acts against them were based upon biblical law, e.g., 'Thou shalt not steal,' 'Thou shalt not kill,' etc. Yet, the courts unanimously scream that they don't adjudicate nor allow 'morals' to enter into the system. 'It's about LAW, not MORALS!' Yet, this is so totally ignorant a statement, for to break a law, one is subject to 'punishment' and punishment is only rightly administered when it is administered upon one who has done WRONG! They have borrowed the morality (at least in the beginning and for a time thereafter) from the Christian system and yet deny the very essence of it. This anomaly shouldn't be too surprising, for those who are in the position to write, enact, administer and practice these laws are godless, unregenerate individuals who's main motivation is to defame and obliterate the name of God from the earth. Perhaps it should go unsaid, but I am of the opinion, that there are, with perhaps a half-dozen exceptions, no true Christians in the national government. There are to be sure, many who make a profession of faith (a la Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George Bush, Preston Manning, etc.) but there is far too much evidence to show that this profession is without substance, and their 'faith' is to be seen as spurious and they are self-deceived. Okay... enough!

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Anne
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 09:08:06 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Perhaps it should go unsaid, but I am of the opinion, that there are, with perhaps a half-dozen exceptions, no true Christians in the national government. Isn't that odd, I've been having a e-mail list discussion with someone about this very thing. Well, sort of. It is my contention that political office, particularly at the federal level, is no place for Christians. There is too much pressure to compromise one's principles in order to get elected in the first place, for starters. Then the 'system' requires a 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' modis operandi . . . . . that's hardly Scriptural, now is it? Political office teaches one that the end justifies the means, which mentality Paul denounced in no uncertain terms, though I'm darned if I can lay my hands on that verse now. Actually, to run for office at all requires a more-than-healthy ego, not to mention the hide of a rhinoceros when it comes to criticism. Quickly all criticism is discounted as being politically motivated, so that one becomes resistant to any rebuke, for any reason. This is not a Christian mindset. As you say, there are undoubtedly exceptions, but then there are also people who make their living hurling themselves out of cannons and off the top of five story buildings . . . . . just because a few can do it, doesn't mean it's sensible. ;-> And as to the objection that is trembling on everyone's fingertips, about 'If only non-Christians are in office, etc. etc.' I would point out that Almighty God finds it just as easy to make use of unrighteous tools (such as the Assyrians, and Jacob's brothers) as He does righteous ones. It's the individuals we need to work on, since they are the ones who elect the office holders. The politiciams pay attention to the voters, and will approve whatever agenda they desire. Which means . . . . evangelization, evangelization, and MORE evangelization! Trying to push God's agenda through the legislature when most of the populace is not Christian, is a fool's game. What strikes me is that if I have understood correctly, it took the apostles simply ages to reluctantly grasp that Christ was not planning upon marching onto Rome, banners waving and trumpets sounding, to Take Over The Corrupt Government. Today's American Christians seem to have the precise same expectation, except that we're the ones hoping to be waving those banners and blowing those trumpets, as we Take Over The Corrupt Government. Two thousand years later, and we still don't get it, do we? Anne


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Anne
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 13:46:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Trouble is,
all religious persuasions would have to be accommodated. Can you imagine the wall-eyed fit some Christians would pitch if there was a Wiccan student offering whatever type of prayer it is they say? To the Goddess, or some such foolishness? And the Catholics could lead everyone in the Hail Mary! The Muslim population is growing by leaps and bounds . . . . . mustn't forget them, and the prayers they would offer to Allah. So I think the Supreme Court did the right thing, considering the incredible religious diversity that prevails in America. I pray all the time, anyway. Don't need no student prayin' fer me at an open mike! Godspeed! Anne


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 15:50:04 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
There is the argument that all religions have to be given equal access. All religious-type public announcements (not just prayer) are therefore unconstitutional (or will be shortly) if everyone cannot be accommodated. Of course the argument is based on the idea that we must give all religions equal access. But why? The other argument would say, this nation was founded on Christianity, and in particular Puritan Calvinism. So, in keeping with the founding fathers desire for freedom of religion, and that religion being Christianity (Calvinism), we should allow free expression of Christian religion. If we go to Jerusalem, we dare not express Christianity. If we go to Iraq we dare not express Christianity. If we go to Canada, we are talking to moose and squirrel, so its not a problem. And now, if we go to the USA we dare not express Christianity. This decision has, or will, limit all religious expression in a public forum. While I'm not for public prayer anyway, I am for religious freedom, as long as it is loosely defined as Christian. Why is it unconstitutional to have a nativity scene at Christmas, to have a valentine card in 3rd grade class that says 'I love Jesus', to bring a Bible to school, or to have a Bible study after school (unless it is a Satanist class-- that's OK)? Who are these sensitive people who are so easily offended? Trial lawyers? ACLU lawyers? Secular Humanists? Liberals? Why are the folks most concerned with individual liberty the same ones so willing to force their viewpoint into law so as to remove freedom? Why does the mush-brained minority overrule the majority (who are not offended by Christian expression)? john


Subject: Re: Civil Disobedience
From: Tom
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2000 at 23:47:32 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
John I guess Pilgrim and I are either moose or squirrels,lol. Your comments about liberalism were very interesting. In my oppinion(for what its worth) it is the liberals who are the intolerant ones. Like Anne says, it is a good thing God is in control. Liberals argue that it is intolerant and inconsistant with the principles of a free and open society for Christians(and others)to claim that their moral and religious perspectives are correct and ought to be embraced by all citizens. However liberals are the ones who are being intolerant, for their perspective has it's own set of dogmas. It assumes for instance, a relativistic view of moral and religious knowledge. This assumption has shaped the way many people think about issues such as the one mentioned in this thread and other subjects like abortion, homosexuality, etc... Leading them to believe that a liberally tolerant posture concerning these issues, ought to be reflected in our laws and customs. They say that there is only one correct view on these issues and if one does not comply with it, one should face public ridicule and legal reprisals. Liberal tolerance is neither liberal or tolerant. Sorry for my little rant, I got a little off topic, lol. Tom


Subject: 1 Tim. 4:10
From: John 43
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 17, 2000 at 10:24:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
How do the calvinists handle that verse?


Subject: Re: 1 Tim. 4:10
From: Pilgrim
To: John 43
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 18, 2000 at 08:51:55 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John 43,

You asked, 'How do the calvinists handle that verse?' [referring to 1Timothy 4:10]. ANS: Biblically and rightly!   Rod's advice to you was correct as the use of the 'Search' feature on The Highway's home page would have given you this result and by clicking here: An Exegetical Study of 1Tim. 4:10 you can read it.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: 1 Tim. 4:10
From: Rod
To: John 43
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 17, 2000 at 10:55:47 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
This has been jdealt with here many times. What do you want to know specifically? Do you want to argue about it as an Arminain (the way it appears from your cryptic post)? Or are you a 'Calvinist' who is curious? Please give us more to go on. Click on the Highway logo at the top of the forum page and use the search engine to find out about resources here on 1 Tim. 4:10--probably will answer all your questions.


Subject: Dr James M. Boice goes to his Lord
From: Five Sola
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 19:02:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eight weeks after learning he had a fatal form of liver cancer, the Reverend Dr. James Montgomery Boice, 61, Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, died in his sleep on Thursday, June 15, 2000. A world-famous Bible teacher and statesman for Reformation theology, Boice had received his doctor's diagnosis on Good Friday, two hours before stepping into the pulpit to deliver a sermon on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. On May 7 he informed his congregation of his condition, asking them at one point, 'If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you'd change it, you'd make it worse. It wouldn't be as good.' Dr. Boice was pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church since 1968; during his 32 years it became a model for ministry in America's cities and the regular attendance grew from 350 to 1,200. Since 1969 he was the teacher on The Bible Study Hour radio broadcast over 238 stations, and was President of the program's parent organization, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Dr. Boice served as Chairman of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy from its founding in 1977 until the completion of its work in 1988. At the time of his death he served on the Board of Directors of Bible Study Fellowship International, the Huguenot Fellowship, and was Chairman of the Board of City Center Academy, a college preparatory high school for inner-city youth founded seventeen years ago by Dr. Boice and his wife. A prolific author, Dr. Boice wrote or contributed to over sixty books on the Bible and theology. Dr. Boice held degrees from Harvard University (A.B.), Princeton Theological Seminary (B.D.), the University of Basel, Switzerland (D. Theol.), and the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church (D.D., honorary). Dr. Boice was born on July 7, 1938, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Linda Ann Boice (nee McNamara); three daughters, Elizabeth Boice Dawson, Heather Louise Boice, and Jennifer Boice Rainer; his mother, Mrs. Jean S. Boice; three sisters, Judith Boice Casanova, Nancy Boice Zimmerman, and Elizabeth Boice McKinley; and three grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 23, the Reverend Eric Alexander of St. Andrews, Scotland, preaching. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, 1716 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, or to City Center Academy, 1701 Delancey Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103. http://www.alliancenet.org/boiceupdate.html


Subject: Re: Dr James M. Boice goes to his Lord
From: laz
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 21:56:28 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
FS - thanks for the update. I didn't know much about Dr. Boice except his work with ACE and the stuff he wrote in M.R. magazine...but I get the feeling the visible Church has lost a great man and a dear brother. But to think that no eye has seen, no ear heard, nor has it entered into the mind of men the things that he is experiencing RIGHT NOW in the presence of God and the saints of old! What an incredible thought!!! Nevertheless, may our heavenly and all-loving Father grant the Boice family and close friends His grace and peace at the passing of brother James. In Him, laz


Subject: Re: Dr James M. Boice goes to his Lord
From: Linda
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 20, 2000 at 22:28:48 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
From everything I saw, Dr. Boice was an extremely humble man. Somehow he managed to stand firmly on sound doctrine, he was a leader of leaders and a beloved pastor, he accomplished more that can be imagined, and he still refrained from the arrogance and critical spirit that often comes with knowing one is 'right.' He will be greatly missed. Linda


Subject: Fertility drugs and Christians
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 09:02:14 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
It may be that this has been dealt with before I came to the board, but I don't recall ever having seen it discussed. In spite of the fact that this is not an issue spoken of directly in the Bible and in spite of the fact that many couples will probably rise up and condemn me for questioning their use of these methods, I've always had the gut feeling that these were wrong. My most strenuous objection is based on the common occurrence of unnatural multiple births. Multiple births are pretty rare in society at large, unless these drugs are introduced, then they are seemingly common. It may be that the couples love all their babies; I'm certain they do, but is that really the issue? Is this practice and the related one of multiple artificial inseminations and implantations approved in Christianity (not just by some Christians)? I'm having a hard time giving it any approval, but I'll listen. I will, however, be a 'hard sell.' I think I should also mention that the doctors sometimes urge selective "reduction" of the pregnancies (abortions) so that the other babies have a chance to grow to more developed stages in the womb.


Subject: Re: Fertility drugs and Christians
From: Anne
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 12:01:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
My youngest sister is seeing an infertility specialist, and she is convinced that there is no moral difference between that and being treated for an illness, since it is trying to 'fix' something that is out of kilter. I grant you, however . . . . I've been perplexed by those who disapprove of artificial contraceptives of any sort, yet will give the 'all clear' to artificial conceptive methods. How do they differ? If contraception is frowned on, since they believe family size should be determined by God, then ought they not to assume that if something is awry, conceptionally speaking, it should be taken as an indication that probably God is saying 'no' to their having children? It's as if God is free to say 'yes' but not 'no.' They will
not take 'no' for an answer! BTW, this should not be taken as criticism of my sister, bless her heart. I pray God grants her heart's desire soon! Godspeed! Anne


Subject: Re: Fertility drugs and Christians
From: Rod
To: Anne
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 12:27:36 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Anne, I knew this would be a very sensititive subject, and I certainly don't want to offend. However, I don't think the measures I've described are 'like treating other illnesses.' In the one case, an existing life is being maintained, artificially, in varying degrees of benefit to the patient. In the other, a new life (or lives) is (are) being brought into existence. That makes a vast difference. It isn't, IMO, the same thing at all! OTOH, I would think that surgery to correct a physical problem causing lack of fertility for a man or a woman would be acceptable--that would be fixing something "out of kilter."


Subject: Re: Fertility drugs and Christians
From: Anne
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 12:58:15 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
. . . . a new life (or lives) is (are) being brought into existence. True, but then one thing that does cross my mind is that when the chips are down, God has not actually given us power over life and death. God's eternal sovereignty demands that He is in complete control over everyone's entrance to and exit from the planet. So no lives are brought into existance that He didn't intend to bring into existance. Try as we might, we can't sneak anyone in or out past Him! ;-> Mind you, this does not release people from their moral responsibility for their actions. Certainly not! Still, even in sinful actions, we aren't nearly as effective as we flatter ourselves that we are. Ciao! Anne


Subject: Re: Fertility drugs and Christians
From: Rod
To: Anne
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 13:46:09 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Anne, We're in basic agreement here. I tried to word that portion you quoted carefully. Notice that I didn't say humans were creating life, but that new life was being brought into existence. Through questionable manipulation. An Arminian of recent cyber acquaintance who kicked me off his board chided the likes of us for making God ultimately responsible for murder and abortion. While that's not strictly true in that He isn't morally responsible, He does ultimately stand behind every event and nothing happens without His approval--I stated that badly, but I trust all sovereign gracers will understand. So, yes, I'd have to say that he is responsible in a final sense without being the actual moral agent causing the sin. In that sense, people have power over life and death, but are not able to take life without sinning. I still maintain that this is a different arena from repairing a defective person. In my case, my legs were robbed to benefit my heart, but I don't see that as a moral issue. Hope this helps.


Subject: Re: Fertility drugs and Christians
From: Anne
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 14:12:56 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
An Arminian of recent cyber acquaintance who kicked me off his board chided the likes of us for making God ultimately responsible for murder and abortion. While that's not strictly true in that He isn't morally responsible, He does ultimately stand behind every event and nothing happens without His approval--I stated that badly, but I trust all sovereign gracers will understand. To be sure, I do! And it's a thought of immense comfort, I'd think, if one either did something ghastly in the past, or had someone do something ghastly to them. If a drunk driver is the effectual cause of a person's death, upon true, regenerate repentence the realization that the one's victim was destined to die at that time, and in that manner, must be the only way to stay sane. Like the Assyrians, who plundered and attacked the Israelis for their own purposes, but were, in fact, the instrument of God. In the same way, if the family of the victim learns of the killer's remorse, that same realization should enable them to forgive him or her more freely. God has numbered our days before the foundation of the earth! What a thought of enormous comfort to us all. At each moment, there are precisely as many people on the earth as God has ordained. No more, no fewer. Godspeed! Anne


Subject: Re: Fertility drugs and Christians
From: Tom
To: Anne
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 23:14:53 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Anne Indeed it is a comfort that our lives are in God's hands, not man or beast. At one time I did not see this truth, and I might have acted the way the Arminian board host did to Rod. But when one actually sees the truth about this issue, they wonder how they didn't see it before.:-) Tom


Subject: Re: Fertility drugs and Christians
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 00:38:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
How is taking fertility drugs, which adjust the levels of hormones in the body, different from taking birth control pills, which adjust the levels of hormones in the body -- preventing birth. Isn't it basically a desire to override what God appears to have ordained -- no children (or a potential birth). So, just like seeking medical solutions to extend life, it is a matter of motivation. We could seek to extend our life out of fear of dying and going to 'hell'; we can also do so to honor God by keeping the temple undefiled. We could seek to honor God by repairing damage to the body that prevents pregnancy, or we could selfishly seek to have children, desperately doing anything to fill some empty space within us (because no one loved us correctly-Dad). Isn't it a matter of inner-motivation that determines if we act with evil intentions or honorable ones? When it comes to preventing pregnancy, the opportunity for evil is too great. It would be a rare situation where the motivation to avoid pregnancy is not due to promiscuity, selfishness, fear, lust, or greed. Abortion is the offspring of 'family planning' and 'planned pregnancy'; its cousin is infanticide. Except God restrains evil, the same basic desires that churn in the mind of those who seek to avoid pregnancy also motivate those who go further in evil. The difference is in the degree of selfishness. That's how i see it. john


Subject: Gambling
From: Joel H
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 21:52:43 (PDT)
Email Address: jh6@muw.edu

Message:
John MacArthur just finished a series on gambling on the Grace to You radio broadcast, and I have been doing some thinking on the subject. I have some family who live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and sometimes when I go visit them on vacation....we go to a casino. I always thought it to be a matter of conscience, because I like to go to have a good time with friends and for recreation, not for greed. What do ya'll think? Joel H


Subject: Re: Gambling
From: Pilgrim
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 08:20:30 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joel,

John and Rod have hit on a very important reason why a Christian should avoid gambling; GREED! I would like to have to consider another aspect of why a Christian should not gamble. We know that the LORD God is the Sovereign LORD, Who governs all things by the counsel of His infinite wisdom and will. As I have looked at this subject of gambling, it seems unavoidable that to gamble is to deny His sovereignty by relying on what the world views as CHANCE. As Sproul humerously but rightly asks, 'What IS chance? Chance is no thing' It is synonymous with 'Fate', which is the random occurrence of all things, which produces no order or definite end. Therefore to gamble is to rely upon the 'possibility' that the thrown dice will roll and stop a certain way without guidance or purpose. To hope that that Jack will be dealt upon your 10 card so as to get '21' is to put one's trust in 'fate'. I am sure that as with most things of the world, there are some professing Christians who will try and 'baptize' gambling and sanctify it, thus incorporating it into Christ's Church. They might try and say that when they roll the dice, they are praying that God will 'bless' them and guide the dice to stop in such a way as to give them a winning combination. But there are so many exhortations which prohibit the consulting of 'witches', 'mediums,' 'necromancers,' etc. throughout the Scriptures that one would be hard pressed to be able to justify this type of reasoning. Is a Christian to put his trust in 'LUCK'? One other aspect which needs to be considered is 'Stewardship'. Is gambling a proper use of the money which God has given us? Knowing the 'odds' of winning; they are surely against it, is this not virtually throwing one's money away? A good example is the Lottery, which most states and throughout Canada the various Provinces sponsor. The 'odds' of winning the Lottery here are one in twenty-three million. Now putting this into perspective, if someone told you that you had the same 'odds' of making it to work alive today, would you take the 'chance' and drive to work this morning? :-) And where does this money go? Does it benefit the poor? feed the hungry? provide medical assistance to the ill? I think it is an illegitimate use of the LORD's gifts. I am sure that MacArthur had many more reasons or perhaps the same ones in his series on gambling. But these are a few that I have considered over the years. May they be 'food for thought'.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Gambling
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 08:47:27 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, I've lifted one of your statements out of the text above: 'One other aspect which needs to be considered is 'Stewardship'. Is gambling a proper use of the money which God has given us? Knowing the 'odds' of winning; they are surely against it, is this not virtually throwing one's money away?' Apparently you don't know the people I do. When they go to a casino, they NEVER LOSE! It's a wonder those places stay in business. My acquaintances should have 'cleaned them out' years ago! In fact, I've never talked to anyone who went to Vegas or any other gambling joint and came away a loser! I don't seek these people out, they're everywhere. Could it actually be that I shouldn't trust these people? (I hope you notice the heavy-laden sarcasm!) I tried to disuade a professed Christian friend from playing the lottery and going to casinos recently, but it was 'relaxation' for him and he justified it on the grounds of so many professed believers playing magazine sweeps and buying a million magazines to increase their chances of winning. Good 'theology!' I'm not saying it's connected, necessarily, but this man is apparently having an affair with another woman while professing to be trying to save his marriage. I have to talk to him about that too, at my earliest opportunity. (He led my astray when I learned of his impending divorce and gave me a false impression of trying to save the marriage.) There is actually, as you point out, an element of faithlessness and affrontry to God in games of 'chance.' Since there is really no chance and God is working 'all things together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose' (Rom. 8:28), such an attitude about 'chance' is really an insult. Once again, the churches aren't teaching proper theology or real Christians wouldn't be so universally tolerant of such vices.


Subject: Re: Gambling
From: Rod
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 06:02:01 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Joel, I personally wouldn't do it. There is nothing of the Lord I can see associated with action which is basically immoral for most participants and which, as john h says, and I'm certain John Mac said, is motivated by greed for nearly all of them. Factor in that such gambling is almost inevitably linked in some fashion with what is politiely called 'organized crime' (read 'mafia') in some way and attracts prostitution and many other sinful activities and it is all best avoided. Surely there is some other, wholesome, activity available to your family.


Subject: Re: Gambling
From: john hampshire
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 04:00:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I would say the motivation behind gambling IS greed. Who would go to a casino just to play cards or roll dice? How many people do you know spend a whole day rolling dice just to see what side comes up? It is the chance to get easy money that motivates those attracted to a casino (not to mention the pain-killing action of any distraction). Money holds the power of satisfying all your dreams, supposedly bringing happiness. It is the dream of those who live in misery, in hopelessness; oppressed by their own lousy life choices they seek an easy solution. By constantly envying everyone and anyone who has more (lusting and coveting what is not theirs) they fixate on being oppressed, rather than the foolish choices that brought them to ruin. Since there is a ton of pain waiting for those who self-analyze themselves, a inner-motivation propels the gambler away from inner-truth and toward the hope of instant success (and happiness) at the local casino. Why do Christians seek entertainment at casinos, bars, nightclubs, bingo halls, horse races, and poker tables (or card games in general where money is bet)? They suffer from the same need to escape, the same desire to be free of guilt, the same craving for easy happiness (I mean money). Gambling, coveting, lusting, envying: all fine Christian characteristics eh? john


Subject: Where did the Fundies come from? :)
From: Eric
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 09:11:56 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Just kidding of course. In regard to the stewardship issue. What is the difference if somebody wants to spend $20.00 playing nickle slots or craps in a casino, as opposed to spending $20.00 watching a professional sports game. Is not the $20.00 spent for ultimately the same cause--entertainment? Or how about eating out at a restaurant, surely the meal would have been cheaper if made at home--why waste the money. It seems that this is a heart issue. If one's desire is to try and get rich gambling, then it is wrong. If one wants the entertainment value, and can afford it, it probably is ok. BTW, I have never set foot in a casino. Just my $.02 God bless.


Subject: Re: Where did the Fundies come from? :)
From: Rod
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 15:42:01 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Eric, I'd urge you to re-read Pilgrim's post. When you eat at a resturant, the only chance imvolved is, Will the waiter spit in your food? Or, will the cook give you ptomaine poisoning. It's definitely not the same thing. There are no 'accidents' and no such thing as 'chance.' Also, by doing the other things you mention for the same money, you aren't associating with, and by that association giving tacit approval to, hard core and/or addicted gamblers. If that's 'fundy,' so be it.


Subject: Apostacy vs simple math
From: Bro. Charles
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 21:13:13 (PDT)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
I have seen that in other boards and occasionally on this one, that some hold to the belief of Apostacy of the TRUE believer. And believe also that witch is said in John 6;37-39 and 10:25-29 'My Father, witch is gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand'(John 10:29) 'And this is the Father's will witch hath sent me, that of all witch he hath given me I should loose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day' (6:39) That is to say that all that the Father gave to Jesus, Jesus shall loose none. We are agreed. According to the belief of apostacy of the TRUE believer. This is some simple math. If God gave to Jesus 5 true believers and 1 committed apostacy. How many are left??? Is it not simple math? Or, did Jesus lie when he said 'of all witch he hath given me I should loose nothing'?


Subject: Re: Apostacy vs simple math
From: laz
To: Bro. Charles
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 07:14:34 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
BC - the key is the big 'IF'....did God give Jesus five 'TRUE' believers? Obviously not, for only four remained.
1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. It was 'MADE MANIFEST',proven, that Judas was not one of 'THEM'...even though Jesus hand picked him. Judas, like Pharoah, was used of God for His sovereign purposes....Him having mercy/compassion on whom He will have mercy/compassion. blessings, laz


Subject: Re: Apostacy vs simple math
From: Bro. Charles
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 09:12:07 (PDT)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
Vary true. So, what you are saying is that Jesus was not given five 'TRUE' believers but only four. Seeing as that the one went away, therefore proving that the one was not truly saved to begin with? I to believe that Jesus did know that Judas was not one of them to begin with, and he chose him so that the prophecy will be fulfilled. It was written that The Christ would be betrayed, so technically Jesus could have been betrayed by any of the twelve if it would have been the Lord's will. Re: Blessings -Bro. Charles


Subject: Re: Apostacy vs simple math
From: laz
To: Bro. Charles
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 21:50:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
BC - the answer to your question is an emphatic 'yes' as that exactly and clearly what the Bible says. ;-) The Churches of America, even my church, have folks who seem 'right on the outside'...but in reality, they are something quite different. Then there are those who appear to be unsaved having fallen in gross sin...who are infact of the Elect.... Bottom Line: No one really knows 100% who's saved - except God. We can only judge by the confession, show of repentence, and subsequent and consistent fruit. In Him, laz


Subject: The inner witness and knowledge of salvation.
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 17, 2000 at 09:34:27 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
laz, One little nitpicking, but significant, point. I think the Bible indicates that the individual may know about himself (though many are deluded). Witness these words: 'By this
know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit' (1 John 4:13; cp. 3:24; 5:6; John 1:12). 'For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God [we have proof and inner witness]. For we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God' (Rom. 8:14-16). There are other passages which reinforce the concept that the individual can know for certain about himself through the inner witness of God the Spirit, though that assurance may be weakened and dampened when we 'grieve' and 'quench' the Spirit's witness. We can do that, but He will never leave us; He can't be 'extinguished' within a true child of God, else loss of salvation would be a reality. 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee' (Heb. 13:5; cp. Deut. 31:6) is a wonderful assurance for one indwelt by the Spirit of God and God Who does know can give that impartation of knowledge and assurance to His child by the witness of the Spirit Who leads that person into the truth about God and himself from the revealed Word. That is one of His main ministries to the true Chruch of Jesus Christ. I actually feel that I've told you nothing new, laz, and that you know and believe this too.


Subject: 2 Peter 2:1
From: kevin
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 16:03:02 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
Okay. I am aware that by posting this that I am more than likely preaching to the choir. But thanks to those who suffer through this with me. ON another board I have been discussing the topic verse 2 Peter 2:1 with a Wesley/Arminian. The issue is of course the part of denying the Lord who bought them. My understanding of the verse is that Peter, who just finished infroming his readers about the trustworthiness of the prophetc word is now going to warn them of false teachers. In this particular verse he is giving an example as to how to be aware of fales teachers, ie. they claim to be Christians but deny Jesus Christ. Another way I have viewed this verse is that this denying the Lord who bougbt them is an example of the heresay they are espousing. Now I do believe that both understandings are similar and almost identical. Then Peter continues in this verse to state that they, false teachers, are bringing on themselves swift destruction. Now my Arminian friend holds that the 'them' that the Lord bought and the 'themselves' who are moving into destrucion are the same people, the false teachers. I say that the 'them' that the Lord bought are the elect, and the 'themselves' are the false teachers. I reason this by the way 'even denying the Lord who bought them' is set apart by commas in the NKJV. It is my understanding that by doing so in a letter one is setting this out as a side note to the stream of thought and the sentence can move on with or without it and still make perfect sense. Which it does. Okay so help me here. any thoughts. Am I way out there? I have done some looking in Matthew Henry, Lloyd-Jones, and Calvin. But I do respect yall's help in the matter. I have asked him to exegete the verse for me, and I still await his reply (sometimes I feel I am the victim of the Arminian two-step and I don't feel like dancing). Thanks. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss


Subject: Re: 2 Peter 2:1
From: Rod
To: kevin
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 22:19:27 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Kevin, To me it seems at least likely that the key to this difficult passage is to consider that 'the Lord who bought them' refers not the to the purchase of their salvation by His blood, but the right of judgment by the shedding of His blood. We know the Lord Jesus is the 'righteous Judge' who will judge the believers to determine reward and the unbelievers at the second death, to determine punishment. This is part of His reward from His Father, to execute judgment on His enemies: 'The LORD said unto my LORD, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool' (Ps. 110:1), a verse quoted no less than six times in the NT, once in each of the Synoptic Gospels, once in Acts, and twice in Hebrews--seems significant, doesn't it? Compare, 'Ask of me, and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession' (Ps. 2:8). It's clear that He inherits both because He is God the Son, and because He has well-pleased His Father. He has bought His own with His blood and that blood; the significance of its cost; the power it contains to cleanse those under it and to damn those who are not afforded it and also have spurned it; all this buys him the right of judgment on His enemies as the inheritance from His Father, as well as the delight in those redeemed by that blood. This may be the best way to interpret that verse.


Subject: Re: 2 Peter 2:1
From: Pilgrim
To: kevin
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 21:08:01 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Kevin,

Using the newly added 'Search' feature on The Highway's home page; typing in 2Peter 2:1 resulted in exactly what you are looking for! .

Click here: Exegesis of 2Peter 2:1

At your service, Pilgrim


Subject: Pilgrim and Rod thanks
From: kevin
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 15, 2000 at 08:39:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thank you both for your input. Before I pursue the matter anymore I am simply going to await and find out how he understands and why he understands this passage the way he does. Was that a run-on sentence? In Him, kevin sdg sf ss


Subject: Dr. Boice update
From: Five Sola
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 20:39:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I have been posting these updates periodically on the prayer forum but I didn't know if everone goes there so I thought it good to add it here too. It looks as if God has decided to call this faithful servant home. Please add him, his family and church to your prayer list. He has had a positive affect on many people, possibly some of you. Boice update
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---

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---
-- God is showing mercy to Dr. Boice day by day and he is not suffering great pain but is resting quietly and peacefully at home. On Sunday, June 11, the congregation of Tenth Presbyterian Church was encouraged to praise God for Dr. Boice's life and ministry and to prepare for his death which may come soon. This is a time to grieve and also to trust in Christ's victory over death and in the hope of the resurrection. Five Sola


Subject: to John P.
From: kevin
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 07:56:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John P. I noticed your email address and memories of it came to mind. Have you in the past posted on the Calvinist Corner? In Him, kevin sdg sf ss


Subject: Re: to John P.
From: John P.
To: kevin
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 14:47:05 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Kevin, I don't know if I have ever posted on the Calvinist Corner. If I have, it was probably well over a year ago, since I haven't had time to do these debates for some time now. Formerly, when I participated in these forums, I generally posted at the reformed.org page, and occassionally on this forum. John P.


Subject: Re: to John P.
From: John P.
To: John P.
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 14:50:17 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Come to think of it, Kevin, if I posted there, it may have been more recent that I said - I don't remember exactly when I last participated in these. So (I don't know if you intended to do this, but...) if you intended to search through some archives there to see what I formerly posted, it is remotely possible that, if I posted there, it may have been about a year ago. John P.


Subject: Re: to John P.
From: kevin
To: John P.
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 15:46:37 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
John, It is just that your email address rang a bell for some reason. I think we may have met, if you will, on some other posting board at sometime. I included mine this time to see if maybe it is familiar to you. If it is hello again. If not hello. No real reason just curious. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss


Subject: Re: to John P.
From: Tom
To: John P.
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 00:00:55 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
John I believe about 6 months ago you posted in the Calvinist Corner(Matt Slick's site), on the subject of John Knox and the gifts. But I don't think you posted more than twice. Maybe that will jog your memory?;) Tom


Subject: Re: to John P.
From: John P.
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 06:23:03 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Thanks Tom. When I went to the site, I knew I recognized Matt Slick's name (and Penrod, too), but I just couldn't put my finger on why. I just didn't remember having to register - that must be new. :) John P. PS - just goes to show that you can lose your memory young. :)


Subject: Re: to John P.
From: kevin
To: John P.
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 15:48:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Yes Pennrod I met on the Universalism board about a monthy ago. A really nice guy but his theology needs some serious prayer. I have learned the hard way that the universalism issue is not my calling. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss


Subject: Election
From: Chris
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 20:44:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brethren, Lets consider this verse for a moment and reason together Romans 9:10-16 'And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.' My question would be, if God chose to Elect Jacob and showed Mercy and Compassion on him without any merit or work on Jacobs part, what does that say about you and me. Are we better than Jacob. Due to this fact was not God choosing the Nation of Israel to be His people out of all the kindreds of the World. Has not God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ done the same in this New Dispensation or Testament concerning His Church. Have we of our own free will chosen God or has election stayed true to the fact the God chose us? Like I said, lets reason together and let the chips fall where they may:O) Grace to you, Chris Tippett


Subject: Re: Election
From: john hampshire
To: Chris
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 01:33:02 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>'Due to this fact was not God choosing the Nation of Israel to be His people out of all the kindreds of the World'? No. He chose Jacob out of all the peoples of the world. Luk 22:29 'And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;'. And, 'And as the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.'(Acts 13:48) >>>>'Have we of our own free will chosen God or has election stayed true to the fact the God chose us?' God chose us. That was easy. john


Subject: Re: Election
From: Chris
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 04:19:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, Where do you think the Nation of Israel got its name and the children that would be the 12 tribes of Israel - Jacob of course:O) I am Glad that it was easy for ya:O)


Subject: Personal note about WWJD
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 15:29:02 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
I need some advice on how to approach my daughter about her WWJD bracelet. I know that she wears it because she genuinely wants to please her Lord. I also know that I need to use wisdom on this issue, on how I approach it, lest I be misunderstood by her. I would like her to read the article on the Highway, but I know that even if she did read it, it would be over her head. I also believe if I just ignore the issue, I would be ignoring my responcibilities as a father. I also know that her mother, thinks I am being nitpicky about the whole situation, believing that it is her heart that is most important in the issue. In other words, if I say anything at all, I may get the rath of my wife. But regardless of that, I got to do what I got to do. Your prayers and any advice would be appreciated. Tom


Subject: Re: Personal note about WWJD
From: john hampshire
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 17:27:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hellos Tom, The wrath of your wife? And why does that concern you? Rather than tell your daughter what she should do (or not do), or force the issue, simply explain what your beliefs are and why you don't accept the WWJD philosphy. For instance, you could say 'The true test of our living as Jesus lived, is not to imagine what He would do in our situation, but rather to be obedient to all of God's Law, which is the entire Bible, so that when confronted with choices, we model ourselves after the mind of God by being obedient to His expressed Word, thus eliminating the need to imagine what Jesus would do.' John 14:15 'If ye love me, keep my commandments'. John 14:21 'He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him'. Pr 19:13 'A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping'. Pr 27:15 'A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.' john


Subject: Re: Personal note about WWJD
From: Tom
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 00:09:56 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Thanks John When one is too close to a situation, it is my experience that often they can not see the obvious solution. I think this is one of those times. Tom


Subject: Re: Personal note about WWJD
From: Chris
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 20:50:33 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello, What Would Jesus Do? Walk With Jesus Daily and the Devil Just Wont Win:O) Chris


Subject: Re: Personal note about WWJD
From: Pilgrim
To: Chris
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 21:50:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello, What Would Jesus Do? Walk With Jesus Daily and the Devil Just Wont Win:O) Chris
---
Chris,

Hey, that's a catchy tune... but how do you play it? How about sharing some concrete examples of how we are to 'Walk With Jesus Daily'?? And could you apply this simple advice to the following?: What would Jesus do on the Christian Sabbath (Sunday)? that we should follow in His 'steps'? :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Imprecations
From: Anne
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 14:22:47 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
I've been reading an article about the imprecatory psalms . . . . . very interesting! However, I have a question -- just
who is supposed to call down God's judgment on His enemies? I mean, can any Christian do it? Or ought it to be a pastor? Or a church? The article says, for example: 'Political lobbying, petitioning, civil disobedience, advertisements, propaganda, and many other assorted devices have been used by the evangelical community in order to seek to establish justice and righteousness on this fallen earth. When will we see the ultimate fruitlessness of these methods and the humanistic presuppositions behind them and wield the weapon that God has graciously given us–direct access to His throne. Will the world ever tremble that Christians are praying? Or will our prayers always remain viewed by the unbelieving world as simply a placebo for the unenlightened? We place far too much emphasis on political manipulation and far too little on imprecatory invocation!' The author (Richard Vincent) leaves unclear whether such a prayer is to be prayed by a gathering of Christians, or by a solitary believer. Whatchall think? Godspeed! Anne The Imprecatory Psalms www.theocentric.com/originalarticles/imprecatory.html


Subject: Re: Imprecations
From: Pilgrim
To: Anne
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 17:51:06 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anne,

Funny you should mention this topic, for The Highway's Article of the Month deals with this specifically. The author, James E. Adams, wrote a book called War Psalms published by 'Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company' which I would highly recommend to you. It's an inexpensive paperback! :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Imprecations
From: john hampshire
To: Anne
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 17:10:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Psalm 141:10 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety. Psalm 104:35 35 But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD. The one explanation for what is called imprecatory psalms was not discussed in the article. They are accurate prayers for God's justice to be done, and that evil will not prosper; that the scales will be balanced. The day of God's wrath is Judgment Day, then the wicked will be snared and be found no more. With a few exception where God demonstrates His anger toward the wicked, and they were/are killed, they grow fat and prosper. We have no mandate to kill our enemies, but to love them, that is, warn them. The other problem here is the idea that if we did pray for localized annihilation of the wicked, God would jump. We just don't ask so God doesn't act. No need to mention how blasphemous it is to paint God as our henchman, who will kill our foes if we gather enough folks in a prayer group. Mr. Vincent has missed the whole point of prayer, not to mention the message of the gospel. Luke 9:54, 'And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did ? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. Looks like Mr. Vincent has forgotten what 'manner of spirit' he is. john


Subject: Reformed Toleration
From: Jerrold Lewis
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 23:12:32 (PDT)
Email Address: jer@atlas-it.com

Message:
Dear Mr.P, I am the author of the booklet you are saying is slanderous. I would like to engage you on the first portion of the book (the Solemn League and Covenant), and then the second portion (on the Marks of the True Church and the PRCE). Would you be in favor of debating me on it? If so, please tell me how the Solemn League and Covenant is owned by the Presbyterians of 1638-1649, their descendants, and none other? Why can’t a Reformed Congregationalist own it and interpret it just the same as a presbyterian? For that matter, why can’t ANY Presbyterian, Anglican, or Reformed Congregationalist own the Solemn League and Covenant and be a duly constituted church as to her “well being”. For that is the way it was when it was first subscribed to! “ All in the Three Kingdoms with the exception of Roman Catholics, Anabaptists, and a few Prelates swore to the Solemn League and Covenant. But there was a problem, not all who swore to it were of the same mind on its interpretation. So while there was unity against Popery, Erastianism, and Idolatry, there were strong disagreements in areas such as church government and the civil magistrate.” Please prove this wrong.


Subject: Re: Reformed Toleration
From: John P.
To: Jerrold Lewis
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 20:06:03 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Dear Mr. Lewis, Greetings. I hadn't realized that you posted this until earlier tonight, so I haven't responded yet. I'm sorry about the delay. Although I intend to respond to your questions on this board publicly, it may take me a while. I am taking a heavy load of courses this summer, while also preparing to get married. In fact, my posting so much last week, has caused me to be so short on time, that I am routinely awake into the middle of the night (2:00 or 3:00 AM). So, please understand that, although there may be delays, I at least intend on answering the questions you have already put forth (lest perhaps others think that I am ignoring them). For Christ's Crown and Covenant, John P.


Subject: Re: Reformed Toleration
From: Pilgrim
To: Jerrold Lewis
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 07:06:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Mr. Lewis,

I would like to personally welcome you to The Highway's 'Theology Discussion Forum'. Seeing that you are intimately acquainted with the PRCE, your comments, critcisms and knowledge of this group are certainly apropos. And I for one would like to encourage you to continue. May the LORD God richly bless you and give you a double portion of Elijah's mantel so as with power, you may ward off the fiery darts of the Evil One in his attempts to confuse and scatter the sheep.

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: ''Jesus Day'
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 20:47:51 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I just saw on a local newscast that a local church group had a ''Jesus Day'' today. The item featured was a free oil change for someone. The man interviewed as to why he was doing it said, 'We kinda ask the the question, ''What would Jesus do?'' Now, I'm not trying to bring this up again, knowing that we all discussed this some time ago and that, if I remember correctly there is an article or statement available here on the topic. I just thought this was interesting ''theology'' to present to people: The Lord Jesus went about changing oil for free to the public. Now, who knows what else the man said, but that ''sound bite'' sure made me want to 'prasie the Lord.' (Said, of course, with extreme sarcasm). That man may be a fine Christian and have a great witness. I don't want to sell him short, but the WWJD and the secular news presentation would never reveal that. No wonder people are confused theologically.


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 11:17:28 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Rod Personally, when I first heard the about WWJD I liked it. However after reading the messages some time back about the connotations behind WWJD, I soon changed my oppinion of it. That being said, I don't think a lot of people who use that saying realise the connotions behind it. They think they are just, being biblical, and although if I see a fellow believer use that saying, I try to show them the connotations behind it. I do like what some of them are thinking when they ask themselves that question. If more Christians would stop and think about what is the most biblical thing to do in a given cerumstance, before they acted. They would see more fruit manifested in their lives. Tom


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 12:32:47 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, You have some good points. I do think the whole thing goes back to the fact that, of the general Christian population, no one really knows their Bible and the preaching doesn't try to teach foundations and precepts, but is 'pop.' The reliance on image and gimicks to attract attendance rather than sound, biblical, expository preaching is where I think the fault lies. If the people won't stand sound preaching and teaching, then of what value is a full pew? 'Every church should be a theological school.' Of course, I'm a reactionary and a mossback, so what do I know? :>)


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 14:17:16 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Amen Rod! Scripture says to go into the world and make disciples. In order to make disciples one must spend time teaching converts. When you said''Every church should be a theological school.' It discribes that very process. Most Churches fail miserably at that. Mossback? Haven't heard that term before. My guess is that it means 'old school', am I correct? Tom


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Prestor John
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 13, 2000 at 19:38:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Noun: mossback 1. An elderly man Tom let me turn you on to a great little program its called WordWeb. Its a freeware [not a word Pilgrim, and if there is one it better be thrifty }:^P] program that is a dictionary/thesarus combined. 5 star ratings from Zdnet.
WordWeb Homepage Click on the link and download it. I use it all the time when I'm trying to come up with the right word. Prestor (not I'm not Scots but I am thrifty) John


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: laz
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 06:37:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
aaaah, WordWeb...what a great little program....got half my office using it! blessings, laz p.s. I love the synonyms it comes up with for expletives...most creative. hehehe


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Tom
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 00:09:32 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Thanks I did not think that mossback would be in the dictionary. Are you sure your definition is correct? mossback 1. An elderly man My Websters dictionary reads: n: an extreemly conservative person. Tom


Subject: Thesauri and Daffynytions
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 07:30:04 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, As might be evident by now, I meant 'mossback' in both senses of the word. :>)


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Prestor John
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 06:24:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Its the definition supplied by WordWeb take it for what its worth.


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 13:06:48 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,

Hey, you old 'mossback', hehehe... what do you know? Nothing more than what the prophets of God knew in their day I suppose, for they said:

Hos 4:6 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.' Hos 8:12 I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. 13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.' Isa 30:9 'That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: 11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.' 2Tim 4:2 'Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.'

I guess these men were 'mossbacks' too? :-) Praise the LORD for His 'mossbacks'!!

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 14:52:48 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, Yes, there are and always have been and always will be stalwarts of the faith. They also will most often be in the vast minority, due to the lack of Christianity which is authentic and the fact that there are a lot of itching ears out there with a lot of the kind of teachers who will scratch them. May God preserve us from that trap, not only of false teachers, but those who are kind and tenderhearted, but have no real heart for the real message of the Lord God. May He sharpen the tools of His servant-preachers and may He give them hearts of strength and courage to contend for the faith, 'the faith of God's elect and the the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness' (Titus 1:1). May we know, be strengthed, and be assured by: 'grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus, our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness; through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; by which are given unto us exceedingly great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption of the world through lust' (2 Peter 1:3-4). Knowing all this and seeing the power of God available to His own, how can we fail to delve deeper into His secrets to obtain the knowledge, and that which enables us to live and serve Him by the strengthening and increasing of our faith. 'Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God' (Rom. 10:17). It's sustaining, living-out faith, as well as saving faith, and there is only one place to get it, a proper attitude toward, and a saturation with, the revealed truth of the living God. We may have to watch out, Pilgrim, or one of us might take a definite stance on this issue! :>)


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 21:03:25 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,

On the news here this evening, there was also a short report of this 'Jesus Day' event. And from what was shown concerning the 'festivities' I could only think how insulting and dishonoring it was before God. 'What would Jesus do?' He would overturn their tables and concessions, make a whip of cords and drive them out of the city!! You said, 'No wonder people are confused theologically'. Perhaps you should have turned that statement around 180 degrees? 'Because of the theological confusion, no wonder people do what they do in the name of Jesus Christ'? :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: ''Jesus Day'
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 00:07:52 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
brother, That was actually what I was trying to say! :>) If that is what that church leadership is preaching (WWJD), it's membership is confused theologically and doing things in the Name of the Lord Jesus that are truly abominable. I think I must be becoming a 'grumpy old man.' The Nazarene group three blocks away, just as my wife and I were arranging our chairs to sit on the patio and look at the gorgeous evening without oppressive heat usual this time of year, began a rock concert which was terribly loud at our house. We both though it was coming from the backyard of the new neighbor who had moved in across the street, due to the intensity. My wife drove around the block to check out the source and it was the parking lot at the church building, two more blocks over. She told someone supposedly in charge about her impression and how she wound up there. The response was, 'It'll be over by nine.' The shebang had started at four and we heard the music and thought it was some kids practicing at the aformentioned house and that they had cranked up the intensity at seven. I suppose this was all in the Name of the Lord Jesus.


Subject: Re: Come on Rod!
From: stan
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 08:30:50 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
GET YOUR TERMINOLOGY STRAIGHT its this was all in the Name of the Lord JEEEEEESSSSSUUUUUSSSSS!!!!!!! You just don't know how to say it - your theology must be too tight and limited to get it right! ;-) Sounds like the Naz. are doing church the Burger King way! CBA article awhile back suggested the stuffy churches do church the McDonalds way - they serve up church the way they want to, but that we should consider doing it the Burger King way - 'Have it your way' They go into the neighborhoods and ask the lost what they like in church and go home and design a service that the lost will like. Told the cba congregation I was interim for, that if they really wanted to follow their groups leadership we should have mass on Sunday cuz we was in a strong Catholic area. Little comment was forthcoming on the article ;-) stan


Subject: Re: Come on Rod!
From: Rod
To: stan
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 13:19:56 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
stan the man, I must say I certainly have a problem with terminology and pronunciation and ofttimes reasoning. Being a BK (below knee) amputee on one leg, I have several 'right feet,' as opposed to those who have 'two left feet!' But often I have more than one of those in my mouth at the same time. (It's easier to get an unattached prosthetic foot in than an attached human one, requiring less contortion.) I'm certain of this, however, I detest using the term 'Jesus' alone, as I've said before and don't want to make a pain of myself by harping on it. I think that tendency in itself tends to lead to too much familiarity of a contemptible kind and a lack of reverence and awe. The 'Jesus Day' thing, before I even knew what it was and that it was an organized multinational thing, which was last night at 9:00, as soon as I heard the expression, a red flag. The Lord Jesus gets a 'day,' not a lifetime of commitment to loving service and celebration, as well as all the misinterpretations we've already spoken of. BTW, that was a crass remark about the 'mass on Sunday!' I, of course, being of sarcastic and unrefined nature, loved it!


Subject: Re: Come on Rod!
From: stan
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 14:48:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Agree much about the familiarity - it is a concentration on his human ministry to the exclusion often of all else! Sorry about the leg - not a real handy thing to happen. Have to admit I was thinking of saying something about benefit of not being able to get more than one foot in your mouth - had decided not to be politically incorrect - glad you were ;-) stan


Subject: Re: Come on Rod!
From: Pilgrim
To: stan
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 12:39:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Stan,

I remember using the 'Burger King' illustration many years ago in a sermon I was preaching, hehe. But I took it to its actual conclusion. The commercials usually showed a group of people in line ordering their burgers 'they way they liked them' while the Burger King employees joyfully smiled as they prepared the food. This was the focus of attention most gave to this commercial, just as the advertising agents had planned it. However, what most people never saw or remembered was these same people who were happily 'getting it their way' also had to make a short stop before being able to eat their food; this stop was at the cash register, where another grinning employee held out her hand to collect the money owed for the food that was ordered 'their way.' The words were never spoken, but they were doubtless in the mind of the cashier; 'Now it's our turn and all along we have had it OUR WAY. This is to be sure the modes operandi of the Evil One, for he deceives men, women and children into thinking that all of life is to be lived according to this lie, 'Have it YOUR WAY, but all along it's been HIS WAY. Thus at the end of the day, all will have to PAY for their self-serving choices, but not to the Devil, but to the Gracious God whom they ignored throughout their wicked lives.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: BIG :-) and amen! NT
From: stan
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 13:05:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:


Subject: The Covenanters, PRCE, and SWRB
From: JOwen
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 16:39:40 (PDT)
Email Address: jer@atlas-it.com

Message:
Dear John, I was a Covenanter, as well as an Ordination Candidate for the office of Teaching Elder in the Puritan Reformed Church. I was under personal tutelage of both Greg Barrow and Greg Price, so what I am about to say should hold some weight simply because I understand very well both the history and theology of the Covenanters. I pray that Christ will deliver all those trapped by the PRCE into a freedom undeserved. Direct Biblical Injunctions Not To Separate Even Over Nonessentials. Matthew 13:54 “When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue” (This was a backslidden Covenanted Nation—ergo occasional hearing). Mark 1:21 “Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.” (This was a backslidden Covenanted Nation- ergo occasional hearing). Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. (This was a backslidden Covenanted Nation- ergo occasional hearing). Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them. (Post cross ceremonial worship-ergo idolatry). Romans 15:5 “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus” Galatians 6:2 “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Ephesians 4:3 “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” A Couple Common Objections Answered A. Obj. But there is no such thing as a perfect church. This is proud and will certainly lead to division! This is the case in the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton as well! While Greg Barrow holds to a tredutionist position, Greg Price holds to a historisist view. Greg Barrow believes that the historisist view makes God the author of sin while Greg Price believes the tredutionist view is Lutheran and not Presbyterian. As we can see, this is a real dilemma. To hold the tredutionist position by implication means that the historisist view makes God the author of sin. This is quite a charge! Yet when confronted with this contradiction the session merely asserts that the tradutionist/historisist debate is not confessional and therefore is not an issue to divide over. What a fine display of how the Session puts historical documentation on par with scripture. But the logic does not follow. If “A” is truth, and “B” is “non-A” then “B” is sin. Either Barrow or Price is in an open sin, and therefore the one must testify against the sinning brother according to the Covenanter system. Just because the Westminster Confession of Faith does not speak directly to this issue does not mean that it is not a violation of unity-someone is sinning within their view. For it touches on the Covenant of Grace in so many ways. If scripture dictates a definite position on the issue of the origin of the soul it must be obeyed! One must repent or be left! Women’s apparel is another issue that the session is not in unity on. Head coverings are another issue that the session is not in unity on. A woman in the home is another issue that the session is not in unity on. Lawful entertainment is another issue that the session is not in unity on (T.V, board games, and the like). Infra/supra is another issue that the session is not in unity on. And I believe that the Lord’s Table is another issue that the session is not in unity on. There is a pretended unity on so many issues. You see my friend what you want is unity, as do we all, but you want to let mere men define how close all brethren must be in order to enjoy communion one with another. Is it not somewhat arbitrary and subjective to say that mere men must decide how the church militant will exercise unity? Should not that be left up to the scriptures? To add a vast amount of historical testimony to the terms given in the scriptures is simple despotism. Testimony of a Couple Reformed Folk of My Own Francis Turretin 'Disagreements are a prejudice under which the evangelical churches labor. But they cannot hinder them from retaining the name of true church, because they agree as to the foundation. And if any differences exist (which God wished to permit in order to prove our faith), they are about articles less necessary, in which there can be disagreement without touching the essence of saving religion: as the apostolic churches formerly had their differences and strains, as is evident from the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline epistles; nor where the eastern and western churches, the Latin and Greek, the African and Italian churches free from them, which did not on that account cease to be true churches. Again, the contentions and differences of the evangelicals are far less than those, which are agitated among the Romanists, who, as was seen before, frequently charge each other with heresy. Nor do we notice here the more rigid judgments of some of those who take their name from the great Luther, who, carried away by sinister prejudices, are accustomed to attack us. For however harshly they may have treated us, we do not cease to honor them with brotherly affection. And if, their prejudices and private affections being laid aside they would seriously examine the thing itself by the law of love, truth and Christian prudence, they would not be so much averse to a pious syncretism and reconciliation with us, or at least a mutual toleration, to which not a few of the more moderate among them are not indisposed. The Belgic Confession “The marks by which the true Church is known are these: If the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein; if it maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ; if church discipline is exercised in chastening of sin; in short, if all things are managed according to the pure Word of God, all things contrary thereto rejected, and Jesus Christ acknowledged as the only Head of the Church. Hereby the true Church may certainly be known, from which no man has a right to separate himself.” Wilhelmus à Brakel, one who the PRCE deems as a faithful witness of the Dutch Second Reformation condemns Edmonton’s practice when he says: “It is not sufficient merely to join the church, to remain with her for some time, and thereafter to separate from her. One ought never to break away from and leave her under the pretense that the church is degenerate, in order to establish a pure church, for: First, the Lord has never blessed such endeavors. There have always been those (in the first church, both prior to her oppression by the antichrist as well as since the time of the Reformation) who under this pretense have broken way from the church. The Lord, however, has always overturned such endeavors, and such undertakings have collapsed of themselves when the initial instigators died.” “Secondly, it is a dreadful sin to depart from the church for the purpose of establishing one which is better, for the church is one, being the body of Christ. To separate ourselves from the church is to separate from the people of Christ and thus from his body, thereby withdrawing from the confession of Christ and departing from the fellowship of the saints. If we indeed deem the church to be what she really is, we shall then cause schism in the body of Christ, grieve the godly, offend others, give cause for the blaspheming of God's Name, and caused the common church member to err. By a maintaining that the church is no church, we thereby deny the church of Christ and therefore are also guilty of the sins just mentioned. We thereby displease God, who will not leave this unavenged, regardless of how much we please and flatter ourselves.” “A Rebuke Toward Persons who Leave the Church to Establish a Purer Church”(Still Brakel). “Objection #5: A person must bear witness against the degeneracy of the church and there is no better way to do this, considering the sad condition of the church, then to separate oneself. In doing so one makes it evident that he considers the church to have been degenerated and that discipline is not exercised. In doing so ministers and elders will be rebuked and convicted that they are remiss in their duty and are the cause that the church is and remains in such a degenerate condition.” Does this not sound very familiar to a Covenanter? Greg Barrow says in his book “Covenanted Reformation Defended”, “We call upon all those who see the Scriptural principles being violated to separate from such schisms and work together with us toward one national covenanted unity and uniformity”. But what does Father Brakel say to Mr. Barrow? “Answer: This is nothing more than daydreaming. One must not do evil in order that good may come from it. This is not the way to bear witness against the degeneracy of the church; as such action is contrary to the ordinance of God. Rather, one bears witness to his own misunderstanding, imagination, tried, and inclination towards schism. The thought that the church can thereby be restored is nothing but imagination, while in fact it scatters the church.” Thomas Boston in his sermon The Evil and Danger of Schism: “The second argument is from our Lord's example, Luke 4:16, ‘And he came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.’ What corruptions were in the Jewish church in Christ's day, ye may find by reading the Gospels, as great, I dare say, as can in any measure of modesty be pretended to be in the Church of Scotland; and ye would remember they were a covenanted land as well as we; yet our Lord keeps church communion with them in the ordinances of God; though he joined not with them in their corruptions, he joined with them in the ordinances, and consequently it was no sin; and people may keep themselves from the guilt of corruptions in a church, and yet keep communion with a church wherein these corruptions are. Mark, that it was his custom to go to the synagogue in the place where he was brought up, for it plainly relates to his custom which be had while he lived a private man in Nazareth, seeing it appears from the context that this was the first time he was in Nazareth, after he had entered upon the public exercise of his ministry; which cuts off that exception, that Christ went thither only to preach to them. Nay, afterwards, did he not go to their solemn feasts? This he did also before, and we have plain scripture for his hearing their teachers, Luke 2:42, ‘And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, after the custom of the feast;’ and in the verse immediately preceding, it is said of holy Joseph and Mary, ‘they went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover,’ so far were they from separating. And in the 46th verse of that chapter, ‘They found him in the temple, in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.’' I would love to debate you John on any of the so-called issues that you might raise in order to prove the Covenanter position. I would challenge you to prove that the Covenanter position is the way of Christ and it alone. Praying for you, Jer.


Subject: Re: The Covenanters, PRCE, and SWRB
From: B.Riley
To: JOwen
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 10:58:24 (PDT)
Email Address: briley@accross.ac.uk

Message:
Dear John, I was a Covenanter, as well as an Ordination Candidate for the office of Teaching Elder in the Puritan Reformed Church. I was under personal tutelage of both Greg Barrow and Greg Price, so what I am about to say should hold some weight simply because I understand very well both the history and theology of the Covenanters. I pray that Christ will deliver all those trapped by the PRCE into a freedom undeserved. Direct Biblical Injunctions Not To Separate Even Over Nonessentials. Matthew 13:54 “When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue” (This was a backslidden Covenanted Nation—ergo occasional hearing). Mark 1:21 “Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.” (This was a backslidden Covenanted Nation- ergo occasional hearing). Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. (This was a backslidden Covenanted Nation- ergo occasional hearing). Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them. (Post cross ceremonial worship-ergo idolatry). Romans 15:5 “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus” Galatians 6:2 “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Ephesians 4:3 “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” A Couple Common Objections Answered A. Obj. But there is no such thing as a perfect church. This is proud and will certainly lead to division! This is the case in the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton as well! While Greg Barrow holds to a tredutionist position, Greg Price holds to a historisist view. Greg Barrow believes that the historisist view makes God the author of sin while Greg Price believes the tredutionist view is Lutheran and not Presbyterian. As we can see, this is a real dilemma. To hold the tredutionist position by implication means that the historisist view makes God the author of sin. This is quite a charge! Yet when confronted with this contradiction the session merely erts that the tradutionist/historisist debate is not confessional and therefore is not an issue to divide over. What a fine display of how the Session puts historical documentation on par with scripture. But the logic does not follow. If “A” is truth, and “B” is “non-A” then “B” is sin. Either Barrow or Price is in an open sin, and therefore the one must testify against the sinning brother according to the Covenanter system. Just because the Westminster Confession of Faith does not speak directly to this issue does not mean that it is not a violation of unity-someone is sinning within their view. For it touches on the Covenant of Grace in so many ways. If scripture dictates a definite position on the issue of the origin of the soul it must be obeyed! One must repent or be left! Women’s apparel is another issue that the session is not in unity on. Head coverings are another issue that the session is not in unity on. A woman in the home is another issue that the session is not in unity on. Lawful entertainment is another issue that the session is not in unity on (T.V, board games, and the like). Infra/supra is another issue that the session is not in unity on. And I believe that the Lord’s Table is another issue that the session is not in unity on. There is a pretended unity on so many issues. You see my friend what you want is unity, as do we all, but you want to let mere men define how close all brethren must be in order to enjoy communion one with another. Is it not somewhat arbitrary and subjective to say that mere men must decide how the church militant will exercise unity? Should not that be left up to the scriptures? To add a vast amount of historical testimony to the terms given in the scriptures is simple despotism. Testimony of a Couple Reformed Folk of My Own Francis Turretin 'Disagreements are a prejudice under which the evangelical churches labor. But they cannot hinder them from retaining the name of true church, because they agree as to the foundation. And if any differences exist (which God wished to permit in order to prove our faith), they are about articles less necessary, in which there can be disagreement without touching the essence of saving religion: as the apostolic churches formerly had their differences and strains, as is evident from the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline epistles; nor where the eastern and western churches, the Latin and Greek, the African and Italian churches free from them, which did not on that account cease to be true churches. Again, the contentions and differences of the evangelicals are far less than those, which are agitated among the Romanists, who, as was seen before, frequently charge each other with heresy. Nor do we notice here the more rigid judgments of some of those who take their name from the great Luther, who, carried away by sinister prejudices, are accustomed to attack us. For however harshly they may have treated us, we do not cease to honor them with brotherly affection. And if, their prejudices and private affections being laid aside they would seriously examine the thing itself by the law of love, truth and Christian prudence, they would not be so much averse to a pious syncretism and reconciliation with us, or at least a mutual toleration, to which not a few of the more moderate among them are not indisposed. The Belgic Confession “The marks by which the true Church is known are these: If the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein; if it maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ; if church discipline is exercised in chastening of sin; in short, if all things are managed according to the pure Word of God, all things contrary thereto rejected, and Jesus Christ acknowledged as the only Head of the Church. Hereby the true Church may certainly be known, from which no man has a right to separate himself.” Wilhelmus à Brakel, one who the PRCE deems as a faithful witness of the Dutch Second Reformation condemns Edmonton’s practice when he says: “It is not sufficient merely to join the church, to remain with her for some time, and thereafter to separate from her. One ought never to break away from and leave her under the pretense that the church is degenerate, in order to establish a pure church, for: First, the Lord has never blessed such endeavors. There have always been those (in the first church, both prior to her oppression by the antichrist as well as since the time of the Reformation) who under this pretense have broken way from the church. The Lord, however, has always overturned such endeavors, and such undertakings have collapsed of themselves when the initial instigators died.” “Secondly, it is a dreadful sin to depart from the church for the purpose of establishing one which is better, for the church is one, being the body of Christ. To separate ourselves from the church is to separate from the people of Christ and thus from his body, thereby withdrawing from the confession of Christ and departing from the fellowship of the saints. If we indeed deem the church to be what she really is, we shall then cause schism in the body of Christ, grieve the godly, offend others, give cause for the blaspheming of God's Name, and caused the common church member to err. By a maintaining that the church is no church, we thereby deny the church of Christ and therefore are also guilty of the sins just mentioned. We thereby displease God, who will not leave this unavenged, regardless of how much we please and flatter ourselves.” “A Rebuke Toward Persons who Leave the Church to Establish a Purer Church”(Still Brakel). “Objection #5: A person must bear witness against the degeneracy of the church and there is no better way to do this, considering the sad condition of the church, then to separate oneself. In doing so one makes it evident that he considers the church to have been degenerated and that discipline is not exercised. In doing so ministers and elders will be rebuked and convicted that they are remiss in their duty and are the cause that the church is and remains in such a degenerate condition.” Does this not sound very familiar to a Covenanter? Greg Barrow says in his book “Covenanted Reformation Defended”, “We call upon all those who see the Scriptural principles being violated to separate from such schisms and work together with us toward one national covenanted unity and uniformity”. But what does Father Brakel say to Mr. Barrow? “Answer: This is nothing more than daydreaming. One must not do in order that good may come from it. This is not the way to bear witness against the degeneracy of the church; as such action is contrary to the ordinance of God. Rather, one bears witness to his own misunderstanding, imagination, tried, and inclination towards schism. The thought that the church can thereby be restored is nothing but imagination, while in fact it scatters the church.” Thomas Boston in his sermon The and Danger of Schism: “The second argument is from our Lord's example, Luke 4:16, ‘And he came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.’ What corruptions were in the Jewish church in Christ's day, ye may find by reading the Gospels, as great, I dare say, as can in any measure of modesty be pretended to be in the Church of Scotland; and ye would remember they were a covenanted land as well as we; yet our Lord keeps church communion with them in the ordinances of God; though he joined not with them in their corruptions, he joined with them in the ordinances, and consequently it was no sin; and people may keep themselves from the guilt of corruptions in a church, and yet keep communion with a church wherein these corruptions are. Mark, that it was his custom to go to the synagogue in the place where he was brought up, for it plainly relates to his custom which be had while he lived a private man in Nazareth, seeing it appears from the context that this was the first time he was in Nazareth, after he had entered upon the public exercise of his ministry; which cuts off that exception, that Christ went thither only to preach to them. Nay, afterwards, did he not go to their solemn feasts? This he did also before, and we have plain scripture for his hearing their teachers, Luke 2:42, ‘And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, after the custom of the feast;’ and in the verse immediately preceding, it is said of holy Joseph and Mary, ‘they went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover,’ so far were they from separating. And in the 46th verse of that chapter, ‘They found him in the temple, in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.’' I would love to debate you John on any of the so-called issues that you might raise in order to prove the Covenanter position. I would challenge you to prove that the Covenanter position is the way of Christ and it alone. Praying for you, Jer.
---
My friend these people don't just want unity they are looking for uniformity, this is what the cults all want from it's members. it's is a very dangerous road to go down. Yours in the Lord B.Riley.


Subject: Re: The Covenanters, PRCE, and SWRB
From: JOwen
To: B.Riley
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 16:02:56 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brother, I could not agree more. I thank the Lord that His eternal purpose was to bring me and my family out of that bondage. God bless, Jerrold Lewis


Subject: Ecclesiastical Separation
From: B Riley
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 05:29:51 (PDT)
Email Address: briley@accross.ac.uk

Message:
ECCLESIASTICAL SEPARATION Please give me your veiws on this issue how far do we press separation with Denominations who have both Evangelical and Liberal churches,also Evangelical and Liberal Teachers in there colleges,should we be in such a Denomination or come out? should those of us who are in all Evangelical bodys call Ministers from mixed Denominations to share our pulpits. (would this be compromise)in veiw of Eph:5:11, 2Cor:14-18 1Tim 6:3-5. is it right? to remain in such Fellowships merely because they nominally retain ancient confessional standards, The argument is frequently put for example, that while the Church of England retain the 39 articales it would be schism to separate from it. however when the Reformers separated from Rome she avowed her acceptance of the ancient creeds of the church, but that did not make her a pure church, it merely denoted the fact that lying and falsehood were added to her other impurities. Calvin said 'if the Church is the Piller and Ground of Truth (1 Tim,3:15),it is certain that there is no church where lying and falsehood have usurped the ascendancy'. If that was true of Rome with her professed acceptance of the ancient creeds of the church, is it then? no less true of those once Protestant churches that are seeking reunion with an unrepentant Rome, or are open to all great doctrinal impurity. please then enlighten me more I would like to hear both sides, Yours in the Lord B.Riley.


Subject: Re: Ecclesiastical Separation
From: John P.
To: B Riley
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 10:59:44 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings, I don't have much time to engage in a long battle, and I know that what I am about to say will almost certainly provoke others to a long and engaged battle. Therefore, I will merely state my position (defended briefly by Scripture) and then recommend a Website or two for your benefit.
The Biblical View Concerning Separation I Arguing From Biblical Principles: A. The Christian Church is to be a visible Church, with a church government (1 Cor. 12:13,28; Acts 15; Eph. 4:11,12; &c.). B. The authority of the Church Government comes from Jesus Christ alone. Eph 4:8,11-12, 'Wherefore he saith, When he [Christ]ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men...11And he [Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.' C. Christ is the King of the Church (or Kingdom of God), and therefore alone has legislative powers, while all His ministers merely have the right to use those powers for the edification of the body (see Eph. 4 quote - 'for edification of the body.); 1 Tim 6:3, 'If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;' &c.; 2 Cor 10:8, 'For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:' &c.; Matthew 28:20, 'Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.' D. Thus, it follows that, if Christ is the King of the Church, has appointed His own ambassadors on this earth as subordinate to Him as King of the Church who alone has the right of legistlating new laws, then if follows that churches or ordained persons who confessionally are backslidden and are confessionally teaching that which is contrary to what Christ has legislated are usurping their authority and are committing treason against the King. In application of this principle, consider: If one was a member of a local congregation (let us say a PCA church), and they held to Biblical / Historical Postmillennialism, Biblical Worship, the original intent of the Westminster Confessional Standards concerning Covenanting / Antichrist / Civil Magistracy, &c. and were excommunicated by the session of that church because of holding to these confessional and - more importantly - Biblical attainments, then we must either say that the session lawfully has the authority of Christ (if we believe they are lawfully constituted) to excommunicate someone for holding what Christ has legislated. However, that is making Christ a minister of sin (Galatians 2:17); for that means Christ as King has approved of an excommunication which was sinful. Therefore, they cannot be considered a lawfully constituted session because Christ cannot be their King (They have usurped His Legislative authority). II Direct Biblical Injunctions To Separate Even Over Nonessentials. A. Rom 16:17, 'Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.' Note, those who teach doctrine or cause unnecessary offences contrary to that which we have learned from Scripture (whether or an 'essential' or a, 'nonessential') are to be marked and avoided if they are unrepentant. B. 1 Tim 6:3-5, 'If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ [our sole Legislator - JP], and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.' Note: The doctrines which Paul is referring to when he says, 'if any man teach otherwise,' are those throughout the whole epistle, but especially those immediately preceeding verse three where I began the quote. And what doctrines are those? Essentials? No. Verses one and two are speaking about the relationship between a master and his servant. 1 Timothy 6:1-3a,6b: 'Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise,...from such withdraw thyself,' &c. C. II Th 3:6,14-15, 'Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us....And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.' Note: In this passage, Paul is clearly commanding us to separate from people who only disagree about doctrines not essential to salvation; for he calls the people from whom we would be separating brothers. This epistle taught many things which were not essential, such as the (at that time) future falling away and antichrist, how to treat the brother who doesn't work (don't let him eat), &c. And yet Paul still says that, 'if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him,' &c. This is the same injunction as that of Romans 16:17 - namely mark them and avoid them: or, in other words, 'note that man, and have no company with him.' Therefore, we are not only permitted, but commanded, to separate from churches and brethren who, although they are to be considered Christian brothers, confessionally are backslidden or teach that which is contrary to God's word. II A Couple Common Objections A. Obj. But there is no such thing as a perfect church. This is proud and will certainly lead to division! Ans. It is true that there is no such thing as an absolutely perfect church; the church is composed of sinners made saints. However, simply because the individuals within the church will sin - even the elders - does not mean that the church as a whole (Confessionally) is backslidden or teaching that which is contrary to the truth. Just like you can't say that, because Bob and Tom are individually worse tennis players than Joe and Jim, they must therefore be a worse couples team. Sometimes people who are bad at tennis individually are the best team players. Likewise, just because the Church is made up of sinners, does not mean that the church as a whole necessarily must be erring confessionally. That is a fallacious conclusion. Besides, being skeptical and saying doubting whether or not what we believe is true is not an exemplification of humility; Christ was the most humble man that walked this earth and didn't doubt whether He was right or not. Secondly, it is true, that in times of apostacy, this understanding of separation will lead to divisions. However, whether the group divided from is larger or smaller if they are the ones erring from the truth, then they are the schismatics. As Samuel Rutherford wrote, 'When the greatest part of a Church maketh defection from the Truth, the lesser part remaining sound, the greatest part is the Church of Separatists.' (Samuel Rutherford, _The Due Right Of Presbyteries_, p. 255). Hence, Scriptures says: 'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil,' &c. (Exod 23:2). See Romans 16:17 again; division is sometimes necessary. B. Obj. But what about how Romans 14 teaches that the strong believer should bear with the weak? You would have them separate from the weak brother and live totally contrary to Christian charity! Ans. Simply because the Bible teaches that we are to separate even from brethren who are walking disorderly does not mean that Paul is contradicting himself in Romans 14. Rather, there are three things which need to be considered: (1) Romans 14 is speaking of the Jews in the church in Rome, who had Scripture to defend their practices, but which they had been correctly applying in their (or their parents) lives (prior to Christ's coming) - and Paul trusted that in time, they would overcome their weakness (Romans 14:4, 'Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.'); (2) They were not the leaders of the Church, nor were their errors confessionally held by the church but lovingingly born with until they came out of sin; (3) Paul had hopes that they would come out of their error and by no means saw them as obstinate; for if they had been obstinate, we have a different command concerning them: Titus 3:9-10, 'But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject,' &c. Therefore, separation from corrupt churches is completely consistent with a loving, patient, and merciful spirit to individual members in it. C. Obj. What about the corruption in the church or Corinth? Or even the churches to whom Jesus (by means of John) gave the letters in Asia? Ans. These churches were all lawfully consistituted and still had the lawfully ordained men (the apostles) caring for them, whether by letter or in person. Therefore, the errors in those churches were still subject to church discipline and correction (obviously - otherwise we wouldn't have letters from the lawfully ordained apostles to them). Therefore, again, although they were sinful and had sinners, they were lawfully constituted churches which were unlawful to separate from - even though there was a mixture of truth and error in them. No church is sinless. III Testimony of a Couple Reformed Folk John Calvin: 'Some one will therefore ask me what counsel I would like to give to a believer who thus dwells in some Egypt or Babylon *where he may not worship God purely*, but is forced by the common practice to accommodate himself to bad things. The first advice would be to leave [move towns - JP] if he could. . . . If someone has no way to depart, I would counsel him to consider whether it would be possible for him to abstain from all idolatry in order to preserve himself pure and spotless toward God in both body and soul. Then let him worship God *in private*, praying him to restore his poor church to its right estate' (John Calvin, _A Short Teatise_, pp.93,94). 'As for the babblers who ridicule us, wondering if one cannot get to paradise except by way of Geneva, I answer: would to God they had the courage to gather in the name of Jesus Christ wherever they are, and set up some sort of church, either in their houses or in those of their neighbors*, to do in their place what we do here in our temples! . . . And, whoever has no means of being in the Christian church, where God is worshipped purely, let him at least groan night and day, 'Thine altars, Lord; it is only thine altars that I desire, my God, my king!'' (John Calvin, _The Third Sermon_, On Psalm 27:4_, pp. 192,193). Francis Turretin: 'Christ alone has a right over the conscience, as the supreme and _anypeuthynos_ ('beyond human accountability') ruler. Pastors are ministers and interpreters of his will; therefore, the dependence and submission due to them rests wholly upon the dependence due to Christ by them (which is the rule and cause of that). Therefore, as long as pastors show themselves to be true ministers of God, believers ought to depend upon them on account of Christ;**but if it happens that they act like lords, not as ministers, and lead away from Christ and do not lead them to him; if, in order to depend upon them, the dependence and obedience due to Christ has to be violated, who will deny that we ought most justly (nay, indispensably) to secede from them in order that our union with Christ may remain safe and unimpaired ( Frances Turretin, _Institutes_, 3:245, emphases added). 'From Heb.13:17 nothing else can be garthered than that obedience is due to teachers, as long as they hear Christ themselves and speak the words of God. Otherwise if they lead us away from Christ, they ought to be anathema to us' (Frances Turretin, _Institutes of Elenctic Theology_, 3:289, emphases added). George Gillespie: 'Howbeit, even in such cases, when the consent of the church cannot be had to the execution of this discipline [excommunication from the Church - JP], faithful pastors and professors [professing believers - JP] must, **every one for his own part**, take heed that he have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but even reprove them. Yea, they ought, _in sensu negativo_[in a negative sense], excommunicate those who should be (but are not) excommunicated postively, which negative excommunication is not an ecclesiastical censure, but either a bare punishment, or a cautel [caution] and animadversion [warning]. And so says the Archbishop of Spalato, not only one brother may refuse to communicate with another, but a people, also, may refuse to communicate with their pastor, which he confirms by certain examples. But the public censure of positive excommunication should not be inflicted without the church's consent, for the reasons foresaid' (George Gillespie, _A Dispute Against The English Popish Ceremonies_, p.382,emphases and bracketed parts added). IV Conclusion We are not to be in a church which is confessionally teaching that which is contrary to the word of God. If we argue otherwise, then we need to return to Rome for the very reasons you appear to understand. If we can't leave a professing Christian Church if they claim to hold to original creeds (even if they totally abuse them and tear them out of their original context), then we ought not to have left Rome and we are the schismatics. I hope this helps. For further study (since I likely won't be back - that is why I anticipated some objections), see the following Web-page: - or click at the top of this page. Love, John P. Routinely: Sorry about typos. About Separation www.swrb.com/newslett/FREEBOOK/backslid.htm


Subject: Re: Ecclesiastical Separation
From: Rod
To: John P.
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 17:01:21 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
To all, I've had enough debate in my life that I don't desire it anymore. A concept like that in relation to me may cause some to scoff and doubt its veracity, but it is true. Nevertheless, we are called to uphold the teaching of the Bible and sound Biblical principles, the thing which John P claims he is trying to do, but regardless of his sincerity of purpose, he has drastically erred and made serious charges about the salvation of others several times, by name (Isaac Watts) and by implication, as in the charges against Arminians, saying that no one in Christ is lost, but that these Arminians are never in Christ in the first place. In his latest post, he singles out the 'PCA' claiming that it isn't Christ's approved organization and that the members are in sin due to their opposition to the group which John P supports. I was sent a statement (long) written by a man who is a person who left one body to join with the group which John P supports and adheres to the principles and dictates of. This man fled that group after a time because he became convinced and convicted that their preaching was focusing on the wrong topics and was aimed, among other questionable things, directly at proselytizing others in their former organization of church government, from which they had withdrawn. The reason for the group's formation is that, as John P has laid out, the others are not a truly governed body of the true Church of which the Lord Jesus Christ is Head. (You will notice that I capitalize 'Church' because the Church in the sense in which I have just used it, the one true Church, is the universal body of all who are in Christ by grace through faith.) This brings us full cycle, it appears to me. I have all along questioned the standard by which salvation is measured in his group's view. To my understanding this latest tirade appears to be an affirmation that there is one true governing body of the Church ordained by the Lord Jesus. All those outside that authority, the PCA, and presumably Baptists, Independents, and all other denominations and local church assemblies of whatever type meeting to worship the Lord Jesus Christ are in gross sin. I take it that includes everyone else here on the board. If our sin is that gross and we are never
and could not have ever been in attendance of a real local church under a duly ordained of Jesus Christ government, then it is entirely possible (probable?) that many, if not all, of us are indeed deluded and lost, being deceived about the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ and His standards. I could only wade through about half of this long post above, but I offer you this statement in a subheading of interpretation as most revealing of the mindest under examination: 'A. Rom 16:17, 'Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.' Note, those who teach doctrine or cause unnecessary offences contrary to that which we have learned from Scripture (whether or an 'essential' or a, 'nonessential') are to be marked and avoided if they are unrepentant.' Mark that last sentence well, it is paramount and key. '(whether an essential or a 'nonessential)' is the parenthetical insertion right before that they are 'to be marked out and avoided if they are unrepentant.' Now what are the implications of that? Well, it should be obvious to all that THERE ARE NO NONESSENTIALS AT ALL! Everything becomes essential to being a part of the true body of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we disagree with the statements of this group in any manner whatsoever in relation to their authority of government, we are to be shunned as unrepentant sinners! I can draw no other conclusion for that sweeping statement. It seems to smash each one of us who are submitted to the Lord Jesus, and have the salvation of grace by faith which He alone brings, right in the mouth. More than that, and uppermost, if I have seen this right, I must conclude that it is a direct affront to God the Father and the Son of God, Who use the actions of the Spirit of God to create a Christian. God alone decides what is 'essential' to salvation and Church membership. This is not about personalities or personal disputes as one here has claimed it might be. This is dealing, as I told him in reply, with Christianity 101, the very foundation of the 'faith which was once delivered unto the saints' (Jude 3). I don't see any need for long wrangling over this issue, though I'm certain John P will have a lot to say over it, as he has in past posts. The true intent of the group seems pretty obvious to me and is to be utterly rejected. (It's curious that dissenters are to be marked out and avoided by John P's group, but, though he has stated his position in other posts, he's still dealing with the board here. Is that true 'avoidance,' to keep retunring to the same old themes, to even deal with this board at all, when 'the call to the truth' has been issued? Could it be an attempt to win 'converts' to his group?) Offered for prayerful consideration.


Subject: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: John P.
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 00:44:35 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings. I have just spent well over an hour writing a response to Rod, but lost it when my computer locked-up. So, please bear with me as I seek to answer both accusations (which is sad that I even have to respond to them) and arguments. First, before I go on to defend myself, I would simply like to say that I am not fond of ever having to do this and - with rare exceptions - don't. Nevertheless, seeing as though B Riley may not have been following along recently as other issues have been debated, and therefore may believe Rod's slanders concerning me, I think I have a duty to not willfully allow people to believe that I am such a wretch that I have damned both Isaac Watts and all Arminians without exception. God forbid. I swear before ALMIGHTY GOD - before whom I will stand on that great day - that
(1) I do not necessarily believe Isaac Watts is anti-Trinitarian but was merely questioning whether or not the claims of another ordained man in church history were true (which claims were based on supposedly published quotes of Isaac Watts); (2) I do not believe that all Arminians without exception are unsaved - many are saved and merely are inconsistent in believing that they are saved by Christ alone while at the same time asserting that they chose Christ without any effectual call of God. So, please, Rod - brother, don't slander me this way. In previous posts, you have asked me to 'forthrightly' tell you what I believe concerning the salvation of Arminians. I answered in BOLD PRINT that, 'There is a possibility that professed Arminians have been and will be saved.' Therefore, it is simply slander for you to assert anything else, and you have a duty before God to repent of this malicious attack on my character. Again, I swear before God that I believe that there are people bearing the name 'Arminian' who will be in heaven; and that I believe that Isaac Watts may very well have not denied the Trinity - I just have to see the evidence that those quotes in which it appears he has denied the trinity were forged; until that time, I will neither finally indict Isaac Watts nor Gilbert M'Master (who wrote against him). To do so could possibly lead to my calling one who is evil, good; and good, evil. For, either one is an anti-Trinitarian, or the other is a liar / untrustworthy source. Having now said that, I would like to continue to the treatise which Rod has read against the church of which I am a member (PRC). In this 'treatise,' a gentleman who formerly was a member of our congregation (even in recent months), made many claims against us which were very strong and - sadly - very slanderous. The 'treatise' was an argument specifically against the PRC and for reformed toleration. In order to debunk his treatise of its credibility, I will simply quote it a few times and show how slanderous it is. He wrote, 'The Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton wants us to believe that with all the 'so-called' churches on the earth today, they are the only duly constituted one.” -Unless other denominations believe that Christ is the King of various denominations which doctrinally contradict one another, then, by their separating from these churches, they (by implication) are claiming themselves to be the only duly constituted church in the land. They simply aren’t saying it. So we are doing nothing different from other denominations except for being consistent with our separation by saying with our mouths and pens what we said by our actions. Furthermore, although we do believe that we are the only duly constituted church in the lands bound by the Covenants (National and Solemn League), this does not mean that we don’t believe that other churches are no churches at all. We make a distinction between a church which is a church in well-being (i.e. duly constituted) and a church which is merely a church in being (not duly constituted, but yet holding to the fundamentals of the faith). In churches which are merely churches in being and not duly constituted, we DO believe there can be genuine believers. In fact, we even believe there can be genuine believers in the church of Rome. So, although by JL’s scare quotes and adjectival “so-called” modifying these scare-quoted “churches,” he intimated that the PRC believes they are the only church in the world, the PRC believes that they are in fact churches in being (meaning they have Christians within their ranks and hold to the essentials of the faith) in spite of their not being duly constituted. So, we do not believe that we alone are members of the invisible church. This distinction is made by the reformers (hence they believed Rome was a church in one sense, but worthy of separation in another). John Calvin made this distinction well, albeit the language was different: “However when we categorically deny to the papists the title of the church, we do not for this reason impugn the existence of churches among them. Rather we are only contending about the true and lawful constitution of the church, required in the communion not only of the sacraments (which are signs of profession) but also especially of doctrine” (John Calvin, _Institutes of the Christian Religion_, Book 4.2.12, Translated by Ford Lewis Battles). As can be seen in this quote, Calvin saw fit to deny Rome the title of a church (thus, they are no church in well-being), while at the same time he believed that there was in existence among the papist assemblies those which he called “churches” (as to being, or, “existence”). Then he continued and said that those which are merely churches in being are opposed to those which have, “the true and lawful constitution of the church, required in the communion not only of the sacraments (which are sings of profession) but also especially of doctrine.” So, we are not innovators of this distinction - it was the very groundwork on which the reformers built their belief that they could separate from Rome while not being rebaptized in spite of the fact that Rome baptized them. So, the slander (or possibly merely a misrepresentation in this case) of JL in the above quote was this: he intimated that we do not believe any church is a church in any sense, but ours only - which is preposterous. The following quote of his is disheartening and slanderous, also: “It has long since been our criticism that Pastor Price is preaching for the conversion of the mainline Presbyterian or Reformed church member to the Covenanter position, rather than edifying the body of Christ and drawing sinners to the throne of grace.” -I have been under the preaching of Pastor Price now for about 1 1/2 years, and I find it amazing that JL would dare impugn the motives of this man whom I have never heard preach a sermon without preaching (to a greater or lesser extant) the simplicity of faith in Christ. True, some sermons deal with Covenanter distinctives; but some also deal with Calvinism; others, with Sabbath keeping; others, with prayer; &c. However, in each of them, he has preached Christ faithfully. In fact, since I have joined, in my town alone (where, originally, only two of us worshipped together), two other people have been converted to a simple faith in Jesus Christ under his preaching and a third is currently under great conviction of sin and could (Lord willing) soon understand and believe in his heart that Christ is willing and able to save him. How this could be happening without a person preaching in a manner that edifies the body and draws sinners to the throne of grace, is simply amazing! JL continued: “Unfortunately it is assumed by the PRCES by inference, that the audience in general is a converted audience, and is therefore not in need of urgent preaching against sin, the flesh, reprobation, election, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Moreover the general intent and design of each Lord's Day sermon is to set forth or clarify some forgotten Covenanter distinctive instead of a pure gospel message.” -This is heartbreaking. JL has simply devoured a man of God. Greg Price cares so much about the flock under him, that his wife has found him collapsed on the floor in his house (from exhaustion) because he spends night and day doing all that in him is to be a faithful shepherd. JL claims that all he preaches on is Covenanter Distinctives. I know for a fact that he does not only preach Covenanter Distinctives. In fact, we are currently in a series on the Gospel of Mark. Here is a list of most of the sermons I have heard him preach in the past months: “Joy in Christ” “The Parables of the Candle & the Seed” A series on, “The Parable of the Sower” “Reaching Out to the Lost” “Parable of the Mustard Seed” A series on, “Temptation (and Overcoming It)” “Overcoming Faith Verses Unbelief” “Christ’s Power Over Demons” “Whole-hearted Zeal” and, next week: “The Trial & Reward of Faith” How, from this list of sermons, JL has come to the conclusion that all we here about is, “how to convince your PCA neighbor they need to separate,” is rather bewildering. It is true, we believe PCA’ers ought to separate from their church, but we scarcely hear sermons on that subject (if I have ever heard the PCA mentioned in a sermon - which I don’t think I have). Most of the time, when Pastor Price gets into Covenanter distinctives, he does so in his evening lectures. JL continued (his slander): “The pulpit becomes a tool to promote, defend, and establish, Covenanter dogma rather than setting forth Christ. The Scriptures are not exegeted and applied to the hearer, but rather, becomes a set of pretexts for yet another distinction separating the Covenanter from the rest of the Reformed body.” -See the above refutation of this sad and slanderous claim. Greg Price is (as I said) going passage by passage through the Gospel of Mark, exegeting the passages with many similarities to other reformed theologians or commentators (such as Henry, Calvin, Rutherford, &c.). If you were to read what they say about these passages, you would have many similarities. That is not to say that Pastor Price has not deviated from them in any place, but merely to say that Pastor Price interprets Scripture for his people in a manner consistent with the historical reformed faith. So, again, what motivated JL to say this is beyond me. The only thing that I could possibly imagine is this: maybe he was a person who, in his zeal, rather than merely listening to the tapes in the current series being preached by our pastor, ordered tapes from SWRB which only were lectures on the distinctives of the church (and didn’t realize that they were lectures). I don’t know, but there must be some explanation - I find it hard to believe that any person professing Christ could blatantly lie as this would be. He continued: “I ask you dear brothers and sisters, do you know for sure that the Prince of the Puritans, John Owen, was apostate in the eyes of the mediator of the Covenant of Grace, Jesus Christ? The PRCE says he was?” -This is a sad slander, too. One time, in recent months, I was talking with a ruling elder of the PRCE (Greg Barrow). When talking with him, he brought to my attention John Owen. I suspect you all would be interested in knowing what he had to say? He recommended that I read one of his books because his writings are incredibly edifying and Gospel centered. JL appears to me to have misunderstood the PRC’s position concerning those outside of our body even while he was a member of our church. For, we do not believe every single non-member of our church is reprobate and / or an apostate from Jesus Christ. Certainly, we lamented the fact that Owen was an independent most of his life, but we were far from saying he was no brother in the faith. We commended him as a man of God whose writings were extremely edifying. Hence, it seems as though JL’s treatise is not a credible source to find out what our church believes. In fact, he has slandered our church. Finally, I would like to point out a contradiction in his treatise, just to show that he isn’t merely slanderous, he is also forgetful / illogical (in a matter of one paragraph, too). The following two quotes were in adjacent paragraphs (note the bold print): “The point to be made here is that if the sickness is not terminal, that is, if the doctrine does not touch the heart of the gospel message, if it does not strike at the very foundation of Christ’s work, his person or his office, we must regard the general end of glorifying God in this man, and bear his burden with him.” with, “It is with the assumption that the Covenanter view of the Solemn League and Covenant is true that Edmonton proceeds to encourage Christians to leave their churches. If it is not true, (that is, the Solemn League and Covenant was not agreed upon as to its meaning by all who subscribed to it) as I suggested in chapter one, on what basis may one separate? I am not speaking of separation from an Arminian church, or a Pentecostal church, I’m not even speaking of a Reformed Baptist church, for we aught to separate from them because of the obvious biblical anti-reforming reasons. On what grounds can we separate from a confessionally reformed church, a church that holds both in principle and practice the tenants of a major confession? I believe that there are no grounds for separation from such churches.” In the first quote, he says that the only reason to separate from another church is if their doctrine touches the heart of the gospel message. In the second quote, he says that we ought to separate even from Reformed Baptist churches for, “obvious anti-reforming reasons.” Either he is saying that our Reformed Baptist brethren have, with their doctrine, struck the heart of the gospel and are not saved, or he is contradicting himself. Lord willing, those Reformed Baptists out there will be Spirit-filled enough to bear with JL and assume the best for him (i.e. that he is contradicting himself rather than damning all Reformed Baptists). Thus, I don’t think anyone should consider what JL has to say in his treatise (as he calls it) against the PRC. If they are interested in finding out what we believe, they should talk to us, lest perhaps they believe lies. Continuing. Now I will return to what Rod wrote. I quote him: “Now what are the implications of that [my saying that we have reason to separate even over nonessentials - JP]? Well, it should be obvious to all that THERE ARE NO NONESSENTIALS AT ALL! Everything becomes essential to being a part of the true body of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we disagree with the statements of this group in any manner whatsoever in relation to their authority of government, we are to be shunned as unrepentant sinners! I can draw no other conclusion for that sweeping statement. It seems to smash each one of us who are submitted to the Lord Jesus, and have the salvation of grace by faith which He alone brings, right in the mouth. More than that, and uppermost, if I have seen this right, I must conclude that it is a direct affront to God the Father and the Son of God, Who use the actions of the Spirit of God to create a Christian. God alone decides what is 'essential' to salvation and Church membership.” -First off, it would have been nice if Rod could have read the rest of my post before saying that I have directly affronted God the Father and the Son of God, Who use the actions of the Spirit of God to create a Christian. Rod is fixed on believing that I think everyone but members of our church go to hell. Rod, brother, why are seeking to make me some evil cultist? For a third time, Before God, I swear that I do not believe only members of our church our saved. By the end of this post, I hope that Rod will come to grips with this (and maybe read a couple more paragraphs into my last post and see that Scripture calls those from whom we separate, “brothers,” if they hold to the essentials of the Christian faith - with which I gladly agree). Secondly, we don’t argue that all who are unrepentant in nonessentials are lost. Some are unrepentant because they are ignorant or oppose them because they sincerely believe contrary to us based on bad argumentation. Thankfully, God is a merciful God who, except in the cases of rejecting fundamentals of the faith or persistent willful (i.e. conscious of it) sin, can save anyone. Just think about it: somebody has to build on the foundation of Christ with wood, hay, and stubble - and clearly these people are still saved (albeit through fire - 1 Cor. 3). Thirdly, he wrote, “God alone decides what is ‘essential’ to salvation and Church membership.” Yes, He is. That is why we don’t determine who is saved, nor who are members of the invisible Church (which Rod appears to be referring to by the capital “C”). Continuing. Rod wrote, “This is not about personalities or personal disputes as one here has claimed it might be. This is dealing, as I told him in reply, with Christianity 101, the very foundation of the 'faith which was once delivered unto the saints' (Jude 3). I don't see any need for long wrangling over this issue, though I'm certain John P will have a lot to say over it, as he has in past posts. The true intent of the group seems pretty obvious to me and is to be utterly rejected.” -Rod, friend, you seem to be blind as a bat to what I am saying. This is an incredible thing for you to say if you haven’t even read all that I wrote. For you to say, “The true intent of the group seems pretty obvious to me and is to be utterly rejected,” when you don’t even listen to what I have to say about the group, nor even read the whole post I put on the board, is childish, unwise, and sinful. I have never said anything that would cause your salvation to be in question, nor to hint that I don’t count you a brother - yet you are fixed on believing I have damned you in my mind. That is ridiculous. You sound like a child who puts his hands on his ears, won’t listen to what his parents have to say even though it is good, and then pouts in a corner. Rod wrote, “(It's curious that dissenters are to be marked out and avoided by John P's group, but, though he has stated his position in other posts, he's still dealing with the board here. Is that true 'avoidance,' to keep returning to the same old themes, to even deal with this board at all, when 'the call to the truth' has been issued? Could it be an attempt to win 'converts' to his group?)” -First off, I don’t think (if I recall correctly) that at this board I have ever been on this “theme” before. So, it can’t be said that I am, “returning to the same old themes.” Secondly, if Rod would have read on in my post, he would have noticed that we are commanded to separate from brothers who walk disorderly by admonishing them - not ignoring them. So it is no problem that I am here in order to admonish my brothers to whom I have done nothing but try to love and be merciful. I realize that I have failed to make good word choices here and there, but my intent has always been to help. Thirdly, of course I am here to try to convince people that they should join us in seeking for a third reformation - I believe it is the truth taught in the Bible - why would I wish for you all to remain where I was? I suspect you also try to ‘convert’ people to Calvinism when they come preaching up Arminianism. That is what people do when they care about the truth - they desire others to join them. So, of course I would love to see you all join us in reforming the church and state, for the glory of Christ. I love you all, and will be praying for you. B Riley, I hope this has helped you thus far. I don't expect to be doing this much more unless necessitated by slander again. I am quite pressed for time, and this is wearing me out. :) But, the Lord's will be done. May God bless you as you search for the truth in Christ. Don't be bashful to email, either (that way I don't have to respond to everyone's objections at once - only yours if you have them). For Christ’s Crown and Covenant, John P.


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: Rod
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 02:40:34 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
To John P and all: I am not slandering you; you on the other hand are making the most serious accusations about the standards by which membership in the true Chruch of Jesus Christ is mesured, bringing into doubt, as I have clearly shown, the salvation of many and placing all others outside the realm of true church government who do not subscribe to your group's principle. That is not based on malice on my part, but on the testimony of your own statements. Here is an example of the way in which John P's posts demonstrate that they must be carefully and critically weighed or, otherwise, one will be misled as to his true meaning: '...There is a possibility that professed Arminians have been and will be saved.' Therefore, it is simply slander for you to assert anything else, and you have a duty before God to repent of this malicious attack on my character. Again, I swear before God that I believe that there are people bearing the name 'Arminian' who will be in heaven...' Now I have a duty before God, it is true! That duty is to point out truth and error and to be discerning whenever one brings out standards by which the measure of a 'true Christian' is established. John the Apostle said, 'Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits [against the truth of the Bible] whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world' (1 John 4:1). And the Bereans 'searched the scriptures daily' to prove Paul's teaching (Acts 17:11), which they obviously did prove. We can be no less discerning. There are no 'Apostle Pauls' on this board. Note in the above quote these 'wiggle words': '
professed Arminians' and ' people 'bearing the name 'Arminian.'' Here's exactly right, technically, but either deliberately or unwillingly wrong about his not really questioning the salvation of Arminians and declaring that those who actually are Arminain being in hell or headed that way if they don't repent and be saved. His actual statement which I quoted below in another thread and is still available in some ot the latter threads for all to see, I think, was essentially this: 'All who believe the Arminain gospel' are in hell and/or hellbound. Now the distinction is that he says that doesn't include 'professed Arminians' who aren't really Arminians. But the undeniable fact is that an 'Arminian' is one who holds to Arminianism, what he calls the 'Arminian gospel.' This is doublespeak. John P's second misinterpretation: 'Before God, I swear that I do not believe only members of our church our [sic] saved.' First of all, I'm not prepared at this point to call you 'brother.' I simply don't know, you may be, but I have many grave reservations. I do know that you are in deep and serious error, if you are my brother. Second, you have misrepresented my stance, which is this and is clear in the first post: I have said that you have questioned the authority under which all others are goverened as church bodies or local assemblies not denominationally affiliated by your statement that there are no 'nonessentials.' If there are none, there is no room for dissention from your group's positons on any subject. Those who do dissent are in deep sin and it may be presumed, since this is so serious a sin, that many, if not all, are very possibly lost. That is a far cry from what you just implied. Third misrepresentation: '-First off, I don’t think (if I recall correctly) that at this board I have ever been on this “theme” before. So, it can’t be said that I am, “returning to the same old themes.” From the start of your posting here you have brought into doubt the practices, statements, and salvation of others, as I have pointed out to you before, and you have stated and implied a standard of exclusivity which is clearly recognized as objectionable by the board owner and the board as a whole, it seems, if not every single participant. Sounds 'old' to me. And tiresome. Next questionable statement: 'Secondly, if Rod would have read on in my post, he would have noticed that we are commanded to separate from brothers who walk disorderly by admonishing them - not ignoring them. So it is no problem that I am here in order to admonish my brothers to whom I have done nothing but try to love and be merciful.' Noble sentiment. One hopes it's true, but one has to ask himself this: If the charge of 'proselytizing' among the other related church groups is true of John P's, then is he lovingly admonishing, or is he trying to bring others into that group? My question is, how do you 'avoid' someone without ignoring them and avoiding them? Do you continually come in among them and constantly bring out your own group's position with an eye toward bring others into it? One or two warnings should be sufficient, should it not? Yet John P's qualifying statement in his first post is: 'Note, those who teach doctrine or cause unnecessary offences contrary to that which we have learned from Scripture (whether or an 'essential' or a, 'nonessential') are to be marked and avoided if they are unrepentant [italics added by me for emphasis, Rod].' Hummm.... I hope that I can now be allowed to step back and let others take up this topic for awhile. There is a limit to how many times error can be tolerated and there are errors which can't be tolerated. This is not new and John P is still maintaining that he doesn't say things which he seems to me to be manifestly stating. One or both of us is wrong. May God help us all, not only John P and I, to seek not to 'win' a debate, but to stand in God's truth and solely for His honor.


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: John P.
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 15:30:04 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Dear Rod, This will be the second time in two posts that I have told you this: you need to repent of slandering me. In your last post, you didn't apologize - you just simply kept saying that I can't be trusted in spite of the fact that I deny those things of which you are accusing me. For a refutation of your last post, anyone can read my first post. However, I think I will just point out some of your errors very quickly here. After that, if you are unrepentant, then I will have to heed Paul's command: Titus 3:9-10, 'But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.' Very quickly: 1) You say that I don't believe any Arminians will be saved. What I am saying is that, of those who bear the name Arminian, we do not know who genuinely believes the Arminian doctrines (I don't know their hearts). Therefore, as far as man can tell, an Arminian is the
same thing as one that bears the name of an Arminian. OF THESE PEOPLE, SOME WILL BE IN HEAVEN. All that I am saying is that those who truly trust in their own work of choosing Christ will be damned - whether they bear the name of an Arminian, Calvinist, or Covenanter. So, YES! I do believe that Arminians will be saved. Let me give you a hypothetical example of a meeting with an Arminian. ME: 'Hi, sir. Do you believe in Arminianism or Calvinism?' ARMINIAN: 'I'm an Arminian.' ME: 'Oh, you are. How do you believe you are saved?' ARMINIAN: 'Only by Christ.' ME: 'Do ya? Alright. But don't you see the contradiction between believing your free will saves you and believing Christ alone saves you?' ARMINIAN: 'There is no contradiction - I only believe in Jesus Christ to save me; I'm too sinful to save myself. Yada yada yada.' ME: 'Oh, well then I guess I have no reason to doubt your salvation if your life has been changed. You should really consider, however, that you are being inconsistent; for, Calvinism glorifies God infinitely more than Arminianism. Yada yada yada.' Et Cetera. Rod, brother, please (if necessary) read that again. I believe they can be saved - so please don't say I believe otherwise. Secondly, you wrote, 'you have misrepresented my stance, which is this and is clear in the first post: I have said that you have questioned the authority under which all others are goverened as church bodies or local assemblies not denominationally affiliated by your statement that there are no 'nonessentials.'' Rod, I never said there were no 'nonessentials.' I said that we must separate from a church which confessionally errs, whether they err in an essential or a nonessential. By my saying that, I confessed that there was such a thing as a nonessential (notice that I distinguished the 'nonessential' from the 'essential'). How my confession that there is such a thing as a nonessential (for salvation) has been used by you to promote a claim that I do not believe there are nonessentials, is amazing. Again: I believe there are doctrines which are not essential to salvation; however, if a church is confessionally erring in these nonessentials, we still have to separate from them. This means that the people from whom we separate may very well be genuine believers - and I believe many are. So, please don't say I don't believe in nonessentials with respect to an individual's salvation. I do, however, believe there are no such thing as nonessentials when we are considering what a church officially confesses. That doesn't mean I believe that our (or any other) church knows everything - I just believe that what we confess in the standards of our church (the Westminster Standards), we are in agreement with the word of God. Next, Rod says concerning my 'proselytizing' that, 'If the charge of 'proselytizing' among the other related church groups is true of John P's, then is he lovingly admonishing, or is he trying to bring others into that group?' -Those two things (namely, lovingly admonishing and trying to bring others into that group) are perfectly consistent with one another. I am admonishing you to come out of your sin of fellowshipping at your current church. If I defend that adequately from Scripture, then that is love. (However, that could only be possible if you would read what I say before critiquing it and accusing me of affronting God the Father and the Son of God; otherwise you'll be a far cry from ever hearing any argument I present). Nevertheless, I'll leave everyone else to judge on the rest - and will rest only in God's judgment. If Rod doesn't repent in his next post, I will simply ignore him until he does (unless I accidently miswrote something and need to change it in order for him to more clearly understand what I meant). Love, John P. PS - B Rilely - Revelation 18:4 is a terrific verse to cite to demonstrate the duty of people who are God's people being in assemblies from which they are commanded to separate (if they don't desire to partake of their judgments in this life).


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: B.Riley
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 13:49:10 (PDT)
Email Address: briley@accross.ac.uk

Message:
To John P and all: I am not slandering you; you on the other hand are making the most serious accusations about the standards by which membership in the true Chruch of Jesus Christ is mesured, bringing into doubt, as I have clearly shown, the salvation of many and placing all others outside the realm of true church government who do not subscribe to your group's principle. That is not based on malice on my part, but on the testimony of your own statements. Here is an example of the way in which John P's posts demonstrate that they must be carefully and critically weighed or, otherwise, one will be misled as to his true meaning: '...There is a possibility that professed Arminians have been and will be saved.' Therefore, it is simply slander for you to ert anything else, and you have a duty before God to repent of this malicious attack on my character. Again, I swear before God that I believe that there are people bearing the name 'Arminian' who will be in heaven...' Now I have a duty before God, it is true! That duty is to point out truth and error and to be discerning whenever one brings out standards by which the measure of a 'true Christian' is established. John the Apostle said, 'Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits [against the truth of the Bible] whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world' (1 John 4:1). And the Bereans 'searched the scriptures daily' to prove Paul's teaching (Acts 17:11), which they obviously did prove. We can be no less discerning. There are no 'Apostle Pauls' on this board. Note in the above quote these 'wiggle words': '
professed Arminians' and ' people 'bearing the name 'Arminian.'' Here's exactly right, technically, but either deliberately or unwillingly wrong about his not really questioning the salvation of Arminians and declaring that those who actually are Arminain being in hell or headed that way if they don't repent and be saved. His actual statement which I quoted below in another thread and is still available in some ot the latter threads for all to see, I think, was essentially this: 'All who believe the Arminain gospel' are in hell and/or hellbound. Now the distinction is that he says that doesn't include 'professed Arminians' who aren't really Arminians. But the undeniable fact is that an 'Arminian' is one who holds to Arminianism, what he calls the 'Arminian gospel.' This is doublespeak. John P's second misinterpretation: 'Before God, I swear that I do not believe only members of our church our [sic] saved.' First of all, I'm not prepared at this point to call you 'brother.' I simply don't know, you may be, but I have many grave reservations. I do know that you are in deep and serious error, if you are my brother. Second, you have misrepresented my stance, which is this and is clear in the first post: I have said that you have questioned the authority under which all others are goverened as church bodies or local emblies not denominationally affiliated by your statement that there are no 'nonessentials.' If there are none, there is no room for dissention from your group's positons on any subject. Those who do dissent are in deep sin and it may be presumed, since this is so serious a sin, that many, if not all, are very possibly lost. That is a far cry from what you just implied. Third misrepresentation: '-First off, I don’t think (if I recall correctly) that at this board I have ever been on this “theme” before. So, it can’t be said that I am, “returning to the same old themes.” From the start of your posting here you have brought into doubt the practices, statements, and salvation of others, as I have pointed out to you before, and you have stated and implied a standard of exclusivity which is clearly recognized as objectionable by the board owner and the board as a whole, it seems, if not every single participant. Sounds 'old' to me. And tiresome. Next questionable statement: 'Secondly, if Rod would have read on in my post, he would have noticed that we are commanded to separate from brothers who walk disorderly by admonishing them - not ignoring them. So it is no problem that I am here in order to admonish my brothers to whom I have done nothing but try to love and be merciful.' Noble sentiment. One hopes it's true, but one has to ask himself this: If the charge of 'proselytizing' among the other related church groups is true of John P's, then is he lovingly admonishing, or is he trying to bring others into that group? My question is, how do you 'avoid' someone without ignoring them and avoiding them? Do you continually come in among them and constantly bring out your own group's position with an eye toward bring others into it? One or two warnings should be sufficient, should it not? Yet John P's qualifying statement in his first post is: 'Note, those who teach doctrine or cause unnecessary offences contrary to that which we have learned from Scripture (whether or an 'essential' or a, 'nonessential') are to be marked and avoided if they are unrepentant [italics added by me for emphasis, Rod].' Hummm.... I hope that I can now be allowed to step back and let others take up this topic for awhile. There is a limit to how many times error can be tolerated and there are errors which can't be tolerated. This is not new and John P is still maintaining that he doesn't say things which he seems to me to be manifestly stating. One or both of us is wrong. May God help us all, not only John P and I, to seek not to 'win' a debate, but to stand in God's truth and solely for His honor.
---
Rod. please don't think I believe that God can and only has used a Calvinist. I love all who love the Lord. And I to believe there are more than just tulips in the Lords garden. It is mixed (Liberal&Evangelical)Denominations that trouble me , and evangelicals (good men) that SEEM to just tolerate liberal teachers and leaders in it. How can God and belial sit down together. Do we or do we not come out from among them mixed denominations?(Rev:18:4),also is it right to share our pulpits with those who are evangelical ministers in them,if so please explain why? Yours in the Lord B.Riley


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: Rod
To: B.Riley
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 00:32:42 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I see from Pilgrim's post that I owe you an apology. I offer it most sincerely. I was confused by your quoting my post in your reply as I interpreted that fact in the wrong light, since it was a post on a much different course in its intent than your intent. I was misled by concentrating on John P's having no mixing of 'contaminating' doctrine from outside and your reference to coming out of midst of the 'mixed denominations.' I took you to be something you aren't, not seeing you here before that I recall. My thinking was inexcuseably clouded by allowing myself to have been distracted from your true question by my refocusing on the things I had said in the quoted post to John P and feeling that you were referring back to that issue, actually supporting that exclusive stance. That is why I answered as I did. At any rate, the proper person did answer your question, and in a manner which was excellent and certainly impossible for the likes of me to touch. I hope you stayed around for it in spite of my ineptitude in handling your query.


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: B.Riley
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 15:04:04 (PDT)
Email Address: briley@accross.ac.uk

Message:
Fully understood no problems been down john ps road before. Yours in the Lord B.Riley.


Subject: Thank you! n/t
From: Rod
To: B.Riley
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 15:27:14 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: Pilgrim
To: B.Riley
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 20:50:14 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Mr Riley,

First of all, it's great to see you back once again. I hope that the LORD has been gracious to you in all things and that you are continuing to grow in the knowledge and likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ. As you can clearly see, John P. belongs to a sectarian splinter group that believes that they are one of very few, if not the ONLY 'True Church' on earth because they adhere to a plethora of old Scottish writings and 'Covenants' which he and they view as being binding upon all professing Christians, or at least all those who are of Scottish, Irish and English decent (according to their web site). I and others adamantly disagree on biblical grounds and believe that this is nothing less than schism in the Body of Christ. John P. is quick to quote the apostle Paul where he wrote:

Rom 16:17 'Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.'

Note carefully, that it is John P. and the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton that are 'which cause divisions and offences'. The vast majority of those who participate on this forum have said on numerous occasions that we have indeed unity with our Calvinist brethren of various denominations. Never has it ever been intimated that they are not part of the VISIBLE church, never mind the INVISIBLE CHURCH. Secondly, it is even more important that Paul says that these 'divisions and offences' are the result of their being 'contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned. . .' Notice that it is a doctrinal problem. And this doctrinal problem is not just any doctrine a group or individual might esteem, but rather those doctrines which are to be found specifically in Scripture which ye have learned. Obviously, Paul is referring to what Scripture refers to as the faith (Acts 6:7; 13:8; Rom 1:5; Eph 4:13; Col 2:7; 1Tim 4:1; 6:10; Jude 1:3; et al), i.e., that body of doctrine which has been known as 'theology' in its various forms and which deals with the person and nature of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin and the fall, atonement, redemption, justification, sanctification, eschatology, etc. But John P. and his little group insert into Paul's words a meaning which was never intended. For they assert with all boldness that to be part of the 'true Church' on earth, one must give whole-hearted assent to these ancillary 'covenants, etc.' to which they ascribe. And further, if your particular congregation does not ascribe to these EXTRA BIBLICAL 'doctrines of men', then you are under a solemn obligation to separate from them. Further, those who are members of such groups, are partaking of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Table in a profane manner, for those who administer these things are 'outside the authority of the King'. Now, a more biblical approach to your question seems to me to be that what is stated in the Belgic Confession: Article XXIX:

We believe that we ought diligently and circumspectly to discern from the Word of God which is the true Church, since all sects which are in the world assume to themselves the name of the Church. But we speak not here of hypocrites, who are mixed in the Church with the good, yet are not of the Church, though externally in it; but we say that the body and communion of the true Church must be distinguished from all sects that call themselves the Church. The marks by which the true Church is known are these: If the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein; if it maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ; if church discipline is exercised in chastening [1] of sin; in short, if all things are managed according to the pure Word of God, all things contrary thereto rejected, and Jesus Christ acknowledged as the only Head of the Church. Hereby the true Church may certainly be known, from which no man has a right to separate himself.

What this Confession states, and remember this was written shortly after the Protestant Reformation (1561), is that there are basically 3 marks that distinguish the true church of Christ. 1) The pure preaching of the Gospel, 2) the right administration of the sacraments, and 3) proper church discipline. If a body of believers fails in any of these three items (think of a 3-legged stool), it falls and is no part of the true church. Now to apply this to your question directly. Denominations: If the officially documents/confession of that denomination is contrary to the doctrines of Scripture (theology) then it is no church. If a denomination fails to administer the sacraments aright, ignores them, or adds to them, it is no church. If a denomination fails to discipline its members who practice sin, then it is no church. It is true, that as a denomination makes the usual transition from conservatism to Liberalism and/or some form of Egalitarianism, there is a 'grey period' wherein the old accepted Confessions and Creeds are still given lip service and are the 'official standard' upon which the denomination stands. But in actuality, they deny them. It is my belief, that if the actual practice of the denomination is contrary to the accepted standards of religion and these practices are not scrutinized and discipline exercised upon those who are in violation, then point #3 is applicable and the denomination shows itself to be no church. Individual assemblies can be included here as well, I believe. Now what about a denomination that allows men to share pulpits where some of these men are Liberal in their theology or let's say do not adhere to the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, which are stated in a good many of the historical Reformed Confessions? For me, this is more of an individual assembly issue, rather than a denominational one. If I was a member of a local assembly that shared its pulpit with a Liberal man, then I would have to first approach the pastor and elders and issue a complaint that they have allowed 'the faith' to be compromised and exposed the sheep to the dangers of the enemy's deceit. If they would not hear this complaint, then I would then move up to the next level of authority that exists in that denomination, etc. If/when all avenues of judicial authority have been exhausted, and no discipline is rendered, then again, #3 of the 'marks of a true church' would be violated and they thereby show themselves to be no church. I also hold that no one who has by grace, come to the knowledge of the truth, which we call Calvinism has any right being a member in an Arminian church. For by being a member of such a church, one has voluntarily put himself/herself, under the authority of those who rule. Again, the process for separating from this type of church is similar to what I stated above, i.e., one must first go to those who are given the responsibility over the flock and make your objections known etc. After all avenues of appeal have been exhausted, and either repentance or discipline is seen, then one has the right, even obligated to separate from that body. I do believe there are some situations where there is no clear 'black and white' answer, but prayer and counsel are needed to be able to discern the right course of action; whether or not to separate or stay. If I have 'muddied the waters' in my attempt to answer your sincere questions, please come back and restate your question or ask further. :-)

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: John P.
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 19:19:54 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings brethren, I thought that I would take a moment to respond somewhat briefly to Pilgrim's post. I sincerely think that you all have simply thrown out a red herring, and everybody is chasing after it, while nobody is giving an argued response to what I put forth in my earlier post. Nevertheless, I still will comment on what Pilgrim has said: (1) Pilgrim wrote, 'As you can clearly see, John P. belongs to a sectarian splinter group that believes that they are one of very few, if not the ONLY 'True Church' on earth because they adhere to a plethora of old Scottish writings and 'Covenants' which he and they view as being binding upon all professing Christians, or at least all those who are of Scottish, Irish and English decent (according to their web site). I and others adamantly disagree on biblical grounds and believe that this is nothing less than schism in the Body of Christ.' (1) The covenants are binding on nations and churches which were bound in the mid-17th century because they are in agreement with the word of God. Every church has confessional standards to which they hold their members. Our claim is that there ought not to be two, three, or three-thousand denominations in a nation; but rather, that the church is to be one, and God's name one in the churches and nations of this world. It just so happens that nations which were colonies of England in the 17th century when King Charles II and many of the people of those lands over which he reigned (Scotland, England, and Ireland) swore the Solemn League and Covenant, they bound themselves and their descendants to uphold the Westminster Standards (the Covenant was sworn in 1650, as well as earlier dates). Now, if the objection to this is that people can bind their descendants to a covenant, then why was Israel in David's time punished for King Saul's breaking of the covenant Joshua made with the Gibeonites several hundred years and generations earlier? Furthermore, to deny the binding obligation of a covenant made in preceeding generations is a pernicious denial which would lead to the destruction of society - for, if covenants aren't of perpetual obligation (at least until their purpose is fulfilled, or they are lawfully repealed [which no lawful covenant with God can be]), then how can anyone find any comfort in any lawful civil covenants, treaties, &c. entered into by federal representatives from preceeding generations? They may don't even bind the other party to keep their word. Furthermore, is not the reason why we all were conceived in sin because we were bound by a covenant God made with Adam, and Adam broke that covenant? Is not the reason Moses took the bones of Joseph with him to the promised land the fact that Joseph made the children of Israel (centuries earlier) swear they would do so (Ex. 13:19)? What about the fact that no man can disannul even a man's covenant if it be confirmed (Galatians 3:15)? You see, brethren, if a covenant is a lawful covenant, then we are bound by it even if our fathers swore it. Now, back to the point, if a church (or nation, for that matter) is a habitually and wilfully covenant-breaking church, ought we not to separate from them? Absolutely. For, if we are bound to separate from a church which taught that servants aren't required to obey their masters (1 Timothy 6:1-5), then (
a fortiori) we are bound to separate over habitual and wilfull covenant breaking. Furthermore, if every denomination has separated from all other denominations because they believe there are significant enough grounds to over which they are to divide the body of Christ, then they, by their action of separating, are also claiming to be the only church (in well-being) in their nations. So this isn't something which we alone believe (even though we may be the only church which actually is willing to say what we have done). We affirm that other churches are churches in being (and therefore have believers), while we are simply claiming that our church alone (of those churches of which we know in the nations bound by the covenants) is a church in well-being. Pilgrim said that he and others adamantly disagree on biblical grounds; however, he nor they have given them. That is what is known as a proof surrogate (a claim that something is true without evidence to prove it). (2) Pilgrim wrote, 'Note carefully, that it is John P. and the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton that are 'which cause divisions and offences'. The vast majority of those who participate on this forum have said on numerous occasions that we have indeed unity with our Calvinist brethren of various denominations. Never has it ever been intimated that they are not part of the VISIBLE church, never mind the INVISIBLE CHURCH.' -If you have unity with your other brethren who are members of different denominations, it is a strange unity, because your denomination has ecclesiastically separated from those denominations in which your brethren are worshipping for some reason significant enough to them that warranted their dividing Christ's body. If you have unity, you ought not be worshipping in denominations which have separated from one another. Furthermore, we do not intimate that our Christian brethren in other denominations are not in the visible church; nor have we intimated that they are not in the invisible church. I straightly and forthrightly say that you, Rod, Tom, B Riley, and others in churches holding to the fundamentals of the faith - such as the apostle's creed, &c. - that I (and the PRC) believe you are in the visible church and, if genuinely converted (which I presume you are), the invisible church. (3) Thirdly, Pilgrim asserts that Paul is speaking of theological errors or doctrines which are devient from Scripture, as the grounds of separation in Romans 16:17, and not covenant breaking. The way Pilgrim has gone about showing that covenant-breaking is not a grounds of separation is, basically, to claim that the covenants are, ''EXTRA BIBLICAL' 'doctrines of men'' which have nothing to do with theology. What I am curious about is this: how can covenanting be something which is not a part of the Christian duty and doctrine, if Paul counts 'covenant-breakers' (*asunthetos*) as people among the grossest of sinners listed in Romans 1:31? To sin by covenant-breaking, implies that covenants can be still be made and, if lawful, are still binding. Besides, if all of those covenants entered into by the church and nations in the Old Covenant (whether the church in Israel, the nation of Israel or the nation of Tyre [Deut. 19; 2 Chron. 15:12-15; Nehemiah 9:38; Amos 1:9; &c.]) were not examples for nations and churches today, but were rather ceremonial and temporary, then what is their antitype? Under the New Covenant, has God taken away the blessings which accompany being a nation or church in covenant with Him? Is it something to be detested, to be married - as nations and whole churches - to our LORD? As the church, are we still the Bride of Christ? If we are, are we to be a bride without a covenant by which we, in union - all of us together -, join ourselves to our heavenly Bridegroom? It seems strange that, in the New Covenant, one of the greatest blessings of the Old would be taken away; and even stranger that social covenanting was a type which has no antitype. Furthermore, our covenants are not binding us to doctrines which are not Scriptural. I suspect that the denomination of which Pilgrim is a member has confessional standards to which (to a greater or lesser degree) each member and the ordained persons are obliged to agree to (as judicial documents). Are these to be shunned as 'EXTRA BIBLICAL' documents? Only if they disagree with the Bible. It is true, they are not inspired, but they can be in agreement with the word of God. Furthermore, I think that Pilgrim would be pretty upset if his denomination just decided to eliminate many chapters of this confession if they were lawful; in fact, according to the Belgic Confession of Faith, I suspect he would think it reason to separate from that backsliding communion which is eliminating Biblical truths they once held. In a covenanted nation, where all the churches at one time in history (which were not to be civilly punished according to the covenants) were Covenanted Presbyterian churches and held to biblical standards and covenants, then any church which has fallen from those attainments (in those nations) is a backsliding church, has cut away some of their lawful confessional standards, and is to be separated from as a church which has eliminated doctrines of Scripture from what they have already confessed. In addition to this, I would like to humbly correct Pigrim's understanding of the Belgic Confession. It isn't true that they would say that, (as Pilgrim wrote) 'If a denomination fails to administer the sacraments aright, ignores them, or adds to them, it is no church.' No, they would say that it is no church constitutionally lawful; but may be a church in being - and thus have believers amongst their ranks. That is why they considered the baptism of a Romanist priest a lawful baptism, not to be readministered - they believed the Romish church, which didn't adminster the sacraments aright, to be a church in being, though no church lawfully constituted. Thus, they believed there was grounds to separate from the church of Rome, in spite of accepting their baptism as legit. Other than that, though, I am thankful Pilgrim raised the Belgic Confession; it was a well-done document. In conclusion, I am sincerely happy to hear that Pilgrim believes that it is right to separate from Arminian churches; and I think, to a certain degree (though lacking in many significant respects), Pilgrim is correct in his view of separation. However, I think that he misunderstands covenanting and the covenanted reformation, and therefore, has been quick to speak against it without first discussing what we believe. We believe in Scripture alone as our infallible rule of faith and practice, and we believe the covenants are only lawful and binding since they are in agreement with the teachings of God's holy and infallible word. In other words, we are Reformed. Love, John P.


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: Prestor John
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 20:31:06 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John P: If that's brief, then I'm Charles Darwin's missing link. (Be nice Laz). I shall try to do where you have failed, ie: explain briefly. Let's take this statement here:

The covenants are binding on nations and churches which were bound in the mid-17th century because they are in agreement with the word of God. Every church has confessional standards to which they hold their members. Our claim is that there ought not to be two, three, or three-thousand denominations in a nation; but rather, that the church is to be one, and God's name one in the churches and nations of this world. ect...

Now you have made what I consider a glaringly obvious mistake in your assumptions. And that is thinking the covenants made by men with governments of men are the same as the covenants made by God. When reading of God's covenants with His people we find these statements: 'I will establish My covenant with you.'; 'And I will establish My covenant ';

God establishes these covenants not men. There is no evidence that any other covenant besides the New Covenant established by Christ is binding upon the church. Also there is no biblical support for a 'national' church. Ergo you bind yourself to extra-biblical documents, and traditions of men. And so you repeat the errors of the Roman Church. Prestor John


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: Rod
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 08:15:26 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
John, Simple, concise, painfully
OBVIOUS! Well done. The errors of this group are so numerous and so plain.


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: B.Riley
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 14:55:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Briley@accross.ac.uk

Message:
Thanks. I have never left you in spirit Pilgrim,but lets hope I have more time now to be with you in Body as well ha ha. Yours in the Lord B.Riley


Subject: Re: re:Ecclesiastical separation
From: Rod
To: B.Riley
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 15:00:34 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
B. Riley, There are those here whom you are
willingly among who are of the 'mixed denominations' of your definition. How, once again, is direct association and continued, endless wrangling helping you to separate yourselves from them/us? John P's irrefutable position: ''A. Rom 16:17, 'Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.' Note, those who teach doctrine or cause unnecessary offences contrary to that which we have learned from Scripture (whether or an 'essential' or a, 'nonessential') are to be marked and avoided if they are unrepentant.'' [Special emphasis of italics and boldening are added, Rod.]


Subject: Re: Ecclesiastical Separation
From: John P.
To: John P.
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 11:09:57 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Significant Correction: At one time I used the word 'schismatic' interchangeably with 'Separatist.' I'm sorry - there is difference and I didn't point that out. Schism is division within the body, while separation is dividing from the body. 'To avoid schism, we must separate.' Thanks. John P.


Subject: :) I don't know how I do it.
From: John P.
To: John P.
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 11:03:09 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
I don't know how I leave it in all italics so often! :) Ooops. Sorry, fella's.


Subject: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 13:21:14 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Do you agree or disagree with the following article? The Arrogance of Preaching Kenton C. Anderson, Ph.D Northwest Baptist Seminary, a member of the Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS) of Trinity Western University Langley, British Columbia, Canada Preaching appears arrogant to people overwhelmed by the limit ations of their perspective. That subjective humans could speak meaningfully of an objective God would be absurd were it not that God took the initiative to reveal himself. Perspective becomes an asset as the preacher bears witness to God in the flesh.
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-- Is there anything as arrogant as a preacher? While perhaps not up there with trash talking point guards or raving third world despots, preachers still are perceived as pompous in the mind of the average citizen. Preachers are too sure of themselves in a world where no one takes anything for granted and where no one is certain of anything. 'Don't preach at me, people say when they want to be particularly cutting. Preachers are always telling people what to believe and what to do with their lives implying that they have some privileged access to the truth. In postmodern times, such a claim is unforgivable. Surely it is arrogance to claim to know what is best for others and to be willing to proclaim these things to people en masse. During the 1997 Canadian federal election, national news columnist, Peter C. Newman found a particularly scathing way to criticize Reform party leader Preston Manning. Manning is 'a preacher, not a politician,' Newman said (Newman 1997, 51). The implication was obvious. Preachers are by nature intolerant, impatient, and arrogant. Preachers are 'know-it-alls', dangerous to the citizenry of an enlightened and pluralized public. Better Times How things have changed! Preachers were once respected as key sources in the common search for objective truth. Ever since Descartes, optimism reigned as people pursued final answers to ultimate issues. No question seemed large enough to withstand the assault of human reason. If the answer wasn't known it was only a matter of time. Every mystery could be solved by application of the formidable powers of the human mind. The scientific method was hailed as the tool which could unlock the very secrets of God. In this context preachers thundered. Giants of the pulpit like Charles Haddon Spurgeon and Dwight L. Moody came to prominence, commanding the attention of thousands who heard in them the voice of God. Even country preachers, often the most educated persons in town, were powerful voices in the community power structure. Consensus was forming around biblical values in the constant pursuit of meaning. The Bible was seen as a book of wisdom and a repository of truth. Expositors who examined the Scriptures with scientific diligence, offered people what they soughtÑa true word from God himself. Loss of Confidence Over time, however, such optimism faded. A purely objective sense of truth proved elusive. The more humanity learned, the less it seemed was known. For every question that was solved, multiple new conundrums were uncovered. The harder people pursued the goal of ultimate truth the more distant it appeared. The world is much less certain today. The neat order of the past has come undone and people sense a need to hedge their bets. New voices daily challenge the consensus leaving people feeling squeezed. Never before have individuals had to handle so much information in so little time. Technology insures that the amount of information offered increases as fast as the available response time decreases. The first casualty is confidence (Oden 1990, 46). Ideas that once seemed beyond question are now up for grabs. New alternatives to formerly unquestioned convictions raise doubt among people used to a much firmer footing. Judgement is reserved for the time being as people find themselves unwilling to choose between a multiplicity of options. Preaching suffers. Prophetic pulpiteers shouting 'thus saith the Lord' appear as caricatures of a newly unwanted dogmatism. The confidence of these preachers doesn't match the people's own experience. Preachers arrogantly deny the obvious complexity. They are caught out of their time, anachronisms dangerous to the fragile psyche of a world which has lost its confidence. The Problem of Perspective Or so it is assumed. In fact, many preachers struggle with the same lack of confidence as the people in the pew. Choosing between the variety of worldviews available in a multi-cultural context would require some favored vantage point from which objective evaluations could be made. Unfortunately, such an exalted viewpoint is denied. Even preachers are bound captive to their perspective and many of them know it. Every idea or event is evaluated through the grid of experience, education, conviction, and bias that necessarily forms around an individual in life. The preacher must function within the limits of time and space experiencing life one moment at a time, one place at a time. Such restrictions seriously limit point of view. Simply stated, people are finite. Brian Walsh and Richard Middleton put the problem well: How is it possible to judge the worldview of another person or group of people to be wrong when we realize that we have no privileged, universal access to truth and so can only pass judgment from the perspective of our own worldview? (Middleton and Walsh 1995,30) In the early hours after the death of the Princess of Wales, blame was fixed squarely on the paparazzi who had hounded Diana. The public was merciless in its condemnation of tabloid press photographers. Days later, blame shifted to the driver of the Princess's Mercedes who had been seriously impaired by alcohol and drugs. A week or two later, blame shifted again. Paint scratches on the Mercedes suggested that another car might have caused the tragedy. It soon became apparent that no one really knew what had happened in that tunnel. The only ones positioned properly to know the facts were dead, or in the case of the bodyguard, incapacitated. Determining the objective truth in this affair, so important to the public, proved unlikely due to the lack of anyone with the entire perspective. Are preachers any different? They trumpet their interpretation of the world as they see it, locked in the prison of their perspective. Fixed in space and time, are they any more able to speak about truth objectively? At best, they offer an educated guess. Yet a guess in the guise of a prescription abuses the people who must listen and live from within the strictures of their own vantage point. God has Spoken The postmodernists are partly right. Man's best reason could never conceive nor communicate the nature and will of God. Humanity could not imagine the objective truth about God. The best of human scholarship is not able to nullify the fact of man's finitude and fallenness. Even the idea that truth is objective, that it is separate and independent, scuttles the idea that man could discover it independently. Everything man touches is stained by his fingerprints. The moment one apprehends the truth, its objectivity is compromised. Except that God has spoken. Were the quest to know the truth solely the expression of human initiative and endeavor the enterprise would be doomed. The good news is that ultimately, this is God's project. God made it his purpose to make himself known to man. It is through his self-revelation that man discovers the truth that could never be known outside of God's own initiative. By revealing himself, God overcome the objective/sub-jective distinction, allowing humans locked in time and space the privilege to know the truth and be set free by it. Certainly, the preacher must work from within the confines of his or her perspective. This limitation is not fatal. John Carey, in his anthology, Eye-Witness to History, describes the difficulty inherent in the process of journalism. It is an axiom of modern critical theory that there are no accessible 'realities', only texts that relate to another intertextually. But even if he believes this, the good reporter must do everything in his power to counteract it, struggling to isolate the singularities that will make his account real for his readers Ñ not just something written, but something seen. (Carey 1987, xxxii) It can be helpful, in fact, to view the task of preaching as a kind of journalism. The preacher is a correspondent, describing the activity and message of God as personally seen and heard. Far from rejecting the preacher's subjective nature in pursuit of an esoteric objectivity, the preacher revels in his or her subjectivity. The preacher is an eye-witness, a participant in the earthy interplay of truth in the trenches. The preacher describes not what could never be known but what has been experienced first hand. Uncontent to point to disembodied truths which lay pristine and out of reach, the preacher describes that which we have heard, which we have seen with our hands, which we have looked at and our hands have touched (1 John 1:1). This witness inherent in preaching both acknowledges and overcomes the problem of perspective. Preaching revels in it. Authority is not bound by the restraints of the preacher's perspective but is released by it. (Long 1989, 44) God has stepped into space and time, permitting his perception by preacher and people. In preaching, then, the ultimate becomes accessible. A Disheveled Preaching This is the kind of preaching that will play with postmoderns. It is a disheveled kind of preaching, that is willing to mess with the mysteries and struggle with the sticking-points. It is an exciting brand of preaching that will not abide the tidy triteness of disembodied messages. This kind of preaching will not be content to offer a sermon under glass, safe and unassailable. Rather, this preaching is unafraid to listen to God and to wrestle with the implications of the message that results. Preaching might appear arrogant to those who are overwhelmed by the limitations of their perspective. The idea that a preacher could speak meaningfully of an objective God would be absurd were it not for the fact that God has spoken. God has taken the initiative to reveal himself in real time to the questions and concerns of preacher and people. Perspective is an asset as the preacher bears witness to the God who is present.


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 13:53:13 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,

If I have understood Mr. Hughes correctly, he's a bit off base here. It appears that he has abandoned the objectivity of TRUTH, and has been influenced by the Post-Modernism of our day which he attempts to criticize. In the last analysis, he says that preaching is more or less objectivity proclaimed through the preacher's subject experience. I find this all too familiar refrain as just a more academian way of echoing the way so many so-called 'Bible studies'are conducted. For example, a passage of Scripture is read and then each person 'shares what this Scripture means to me' It is rarely asked, 'What does this Scripture mean?' There is no wrestling with the text itself as it appears in its historical setting, nor with the inspired language used by the author. In other words, the 'historico-grammatico' methodology that has been the foundation of the church's hermeneutic is completely ignored. What becomes important is 'how the text affects the individual' rather than 'what God is actually saying in the text'! Thus Mr. Hughes is suggesting that out of the preacher's subjectivity of life, having 'studied the text as it applies to him', he then basically 'shares' his experience with his hearers. But to the contrary, an ordained man of God, who has been appointed to that lofty office of 'Preacher/Teacher' is commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to proclaim, 'Thus saith the LORD. . .' He is to open and break the 'Bread of Life' and feed the flock over which he has been appointed a under-shepherd. The very nature of the Scriptures, being of Divine origin, demands that anyone, but especially the Preacher 'study to show himself approved, a workman not having to be ashamed but rightly dividing the word of truth. He is to proclaim that great 'truth once delivered unto the saints'! The New Testament in many places testifies to its origin but more it also teaches us that there is indeed a 'body of object truth', or as Francis Schaeffer used to call it, 'True truth'! There is a set, objective repository of doctrine which is not subject to the subjectivity of the Preacher, nor anyone else. The apostle Paul never referred to preaching as 'arrogance', but rather 'foolishness' (1Cor 1:21). And if one carefully and rightly reads his words, it is not preaching itself that is 'foolishness' but the perception of the hearer who is fatally opposed to all objectivity and especially the object truths concerning God and righteousness. Therefore, the preacher is never to concern himself with how others perceive him, but only if he is faithful in proclaiming the OBJECT truths of the Scripture; confidently and boldly proclaiming to all, 'Thus saith the LORD. . .'!

In His Grace, Pilgrim 'Without absolutes revealed from without by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers.' - John Owen (1616-1683)


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 14:54:39 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Pilgrim Not to be nitpicky but it is Kenton C. Anderson, Ph.D that wrote that article not Mr. Hughes, heehe. Hey that kind of feels good to be able to say that to you for change and not the other way around, lol. You said: The apostle Paul never referred to preaching as 'arrogance', but rather 'foolishness' (1Cor 1:21). And if one carefully and rightly reads his words, it is not preaching itself that is 'foolishness' but the perception of the hearer who is fatally opposed to all objectivity and especially the object truths concerning God and righteousness. Although I agree with what you said, my understanding of what Dr.Anderson was saying was different. I understood him to say that from the perspective of the hearer preaching is arrogance. In a way if my understanding of what he said is correct, I can understand his point. To those whom God hasn't revealed truth to, the preaching of the gospel does sound arrogant. Preaching proclaims the gospel as though it is a fact, that seem a little arrogant, not to mention foolish. After all(so the world thinks)how can anyone know for absolute certain that they have the truth. Recently I heard Dr. Boice from ACE say in a sermon on which he was talking to a person next to him on a flight. Woman 'But that is just your oppinion...'. Dr. Boice, 'You are correct it is my oppinion. But is it true?' I think I am going to correspond with Dr. Anderson more to see what he meant in the article. Tom


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 16:01:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Thank you for pointing out my glaring error in referring to Mr. Anderson as 'Mr. Hughes'! :-) I'm losing it, hahaha! And when/if you do write to Mr. Anderson, tell Kent I said 'Hi'. In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 23:33:22 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Pilgrim It just ocurrured to me that you might know Kent Anderson. Since he lives very near you. I did indeed get a responce from him since I last posted. Here it is: Hi Tom, Well, your friend did misread me, quite badly, I'm afraid. However, I would have to take responsibility for that given that as the communicator I didn't get the job done in his case. I agree with everything he said. In fact I teach the same things he said with much the same language. I was not arguing that preaching was arrogance. Perhaps my point was too subtle for him. The title is a reference to the postmodern sense that preaching is an arrogant thing to do given this sense that objectivity is unavailable to us. My conviction is that we do have to be a lot more humble in our interpretations on two fronts. If we say 'this is what the text means' we ought to say it with humility as people who struggle to understand transcendent truth from our earthbound perspective. If we say 'this is what the text means to me' we have to be humble enough to appreciate that the challenge of interpretation is not to state what we get out of the text but what God is communicating through the text. As I said, yesterday, this is the most exciting part of preaching - God is speaking! It is the Objective word communicated through subjective forms and while that does get a little bit messy at times, I am convinced that it is sufficient given that it is God's project. My students will affirm that this view of preaching drives me to demand a full expository approach to the task. My desire that the listeners hear from God in my preaching (rather than hearing my opinions) compels me to preach the Bible! It may be of interest to know that I presented this paper to Haddon Robinson and a group of extremely conservative homileticians at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. The response was really quite positive. It was also written three years ago. I may have some more effective ways of stating some of things if I were to write it again today. Many of these ideas are about to be published by Kregel Publications in a book that will be coming out in January. Kregel is about as conservative as it gets, so I feel I'm on pretty safe ground. Thanks again for your interest, Kent


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 10:48:21 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Pilgrim By the way Kent thanked you for the challenge, and the said the challenge is always good for him. Tom


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 14:44:23 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, Thank you for emphasizing the 'foolishness' of preaching. I was goint to point that out myself. :>) In fact your whole concluding paragraph needs to be understood by every believer early on in the Christian walk. I quote it here to emphasize the importance of these truths: 'The apostle Paul never referred to preaching as 'arrogance', but rather 'foolishness' (1Cor 1:21). And if one carefully and rightly reads his words, it is not preaching itself that is 'foolishness' but the perception of the hearer who is fatally opposed to all objectivity and especially the object truths concerning God and righteousness. Therefore, the preacher is never to concern himself with how others perceive him, but only if he is faithful in proclaiming the OBJECT truths of the Scripture; confidently and boldly proclaiming to all, 'Thus saith the LORD. . .'!' I've heard that Luther wrote that everyone in his day wanted to portray himself as a 'doctor of divinity.' Do you know if this is true. This subject hits home pretty hard today because just yesterday I lost one of my best friends (apparently), a nonbeliever who deeply resented my stand about an apparently adulterous affair of a mutual friend who is a professed believer, but, nevertheless, seems to have fallen into this sin and still is associated with the 'other woman' in some capacity. My estranged friend's postion was that of the world, 'It's their business.' Once I cited the Biblical stance on the subject, he really got mad--'You shouldn't preach to your friends.' Well, I seem to have plenty of enemies because of my stance for the Lord and I try to tell them the truth of God also. :>)


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 15:09:22 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Your story kind of reminds me of a time I was used of God to restore another believer. In that case, I asked him if he truly believed the Bible to be the word of God? His responce was 'yes' I then gave him, scriptures to show how what he was doing is sin. I didn't give him my oppinion or anything else I just gave him the word of God. The reason I did so, is because it would be easy to say I have a self rightious attitude if I just gave my oppinion. But how can a believer argue against the Bible? Personally if you are interested in restoring your relationship with your unbelieving friend. Tell him/her that since the other person in question is a professing Christian, that person has basicly given you the permission to show biblical truth to him/her. If the shoe was on the other foot you would expect the same from them. Tom


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 17:24:46 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Unfortunately, this man is not speaking to me now. I presented the gospel to him before, asked him if he understood and some probing questions. He gave every indication that he grasped my meaning intellectually, but had no inclination to respond. He , for some reason unknown to me, hates 'church,' and his brother, a Baptist deacon, just mystifies him. He believes that the church keeps him from doing many activities on weekends which they used to enjoy together. I would have explained to him about the obligation to warn my professed brother (not much fruit there, so I don't know, though he made a profession at my witness when in a time of extreme turmoil). The nonbeliever really didn't give me much of a chance to go into it, immediately getting angry and calling my stance 'preposterous,' 'out of the realm of logic,' etc..


Subject: Re: The Arrogance of Preaching
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 08, 2000 at 23:37:01 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Rod I guess all that there is left to do is pray, and that is not a bad thing:-). Tom


Subject: When God became Man
From: Jimmy
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 07:00:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I've had the opportunity to read some of the other posts on this board and Stan in a reply to Kevin wrote:
'the false teachers are giving up on making man God and now are trying to make God man' I understand the intent of his statement but the first thought I had after reading it was that God made Himself Man. Jesus Christ, God, became Man, the God-Man. God chose to become a Man, I think that He did that for more than out salvation, I believe that God must have wanted to become Man for other reasons. Jesus Christ kept His human body, a resurrected one, but a human body none the less. The next thoughts that I had are the questions that I now present. How did God becoming Man effect the Trinity? Is Man now a part of the Trinity? Is the Trinity now no longer a Trinity? Did the Trinity always include humanity or is that something that happened when God became Man? I really don't want to be taken as being confrontational, these are brand new thoughts for me. Jimmy


Subject: Re: When God became Man
From: Prestor John
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 20:56:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You know Jimmy Augustine when confronted by Greeks asking about where God was when he wasn't creating the world said that God was creating hell for people who asked those kind of questions. Now I don't have enough time tonight to get in the whole of your particular blasphemy so I'll just hit the general spots. See your first problem is that the Triune God did not make himself into man. God the Son decided to assume

'the true human nature with all its infirmities, sin excepted; being conceived in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit without the means of man; and did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a true human soul, that He might be a real man. For since the soul was lost as well as the body, it was necessary that He should take both upon Him, to save both'.

So only God the Son assumed humanity not the entire triune Deity. And by the Son assuming human flesh it did not add to the triune Deity nor take from it. In regards to Christ keeping His mortal flesh (albeit in a glorified state) it is because he is the first born of the dead showing what is in store for all the elect.. Col. 1:18, Rev. 1:5. Prestor John Servabo Fidem


Subject: Postmodernism
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 00:09:28 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Can someone tell me what Postmodernism is, and if is the same as Modernism? I understand Dr.Francis Schafer(sp?) was very much opposed to Postmodernism, but I haven't as yet found anything about it on the web. Unless of course I wanted to buy and read a book on it. Tom


Subject: Re: Postmodernism
From: Tom
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 13:09:26 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Hi How would you answer a person that says something like' The Bible is objective truth, however as long as that truth is not misrepresented, it may be presented in a postmodern way.' Tom


Subject: Re: Postmodernism
From: Tom N
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 18:45:47 (PDT)
Email Address: tknick@juno.com

Message:
Hi How would you answer a person that says something like' The Bible is objective truth, however as long as that truth is not misrepresented, it may be presented in a postmodern way.' Tom
---
I'd say, 'How 'bout those (fill in local baseball team here)?' This might result in a conversation with a chance of making sense. ;) Seriously, postmodernism pulls the rug out from under everything, as you saw in that paper. Your friend would have a better time explaining totalitarianism in a democratic way, I think...
---
As I understand it, the term was first coined by whatever-pope was in charge in 1910 (i.e. it was first a Roman Catholic term), who was lamenting the decay of authority structures. For us, that would be the authority of the scriptures; for them, I guess it would be the authority of their traditions and papal hierarchy. I understood it to mean a shift in reference points: from objective truth to subjective truth, from objective standards of measurement to whatever one's ego perceives the truth to be. In that sense then, perhaps your friend's statement could be viable. One example that comes to mind might be Jesus and the woman at the well. Jesus could have hit her with all the authority structures (which she'd already been hit with, no doubt, all her life). Instead He chooses to address her felt needs - the thirst/hunger of her own soul to be understood, etc. I think He touched her ego without blasting her with truth and that He did it without compromising the truth.


Subject: Re: Postmodernism
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 23:40:10 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
What I said in my last letter was not a quote that a friend gave. It was my interpretation, of something he wrote. I am not sure, but I may have misunderstood him. I have been in further conversation with him and this is what he says, and I quote: I don't believe that it is a question of whether or not postmodernism is 'liberal' and modernism is 'conservative.' I don't believe those labels are all that helpful. Enlightenment modernism was not all that biblically friendly either in its humanist overconfidence. Both categories have helpful and harmful aspects to them. Modernity offers the confidence that we can access the truth in objective form by means of application of the rules of logic and the scientific method. Postmodernism offers the reminder that we are finite (and biblically we are fallen) individuals. As such our reason is tainted and our use of science is biased. No doubt this is true. In many ways, it is not a question of whether we are going to be modernists or postmodernists, but whether or not we are going to be biblical Christians in a modern or postmodern climate. To me, the question is not an issue of objective vs. subjective. Biblically speaking, the Object created us as subjects. When we embarked on the ultimate enlightenment project (the Tower of Babel), God knocked us down and scattered our languages. The limitations imposed by language, you may discover, is the biggest theme in postmodern literature. The good news is that man can still know objective truth, but only as the Object reveals it to the subject. The best example of this was in Jesus himself who was the Word become Flesh or the Object in subjective form. The Bible as the Word encased in words is another example of this subject/Object integration. We are not intelligent enough to make our own way to God. God is in the business of making his way to us. There is a strong bent in postmodern thinking toward the suggestion that there is no such thing as objective truth, or that there is no end or purpose in history. Obviously, I would reject those conclusions. If that were the case then everything would be solely a meaningless 'power game' and ultimately, as Francis Schaeffer said, we would all have to go out and kill ourselves. On the other hand, if the climate of postmodernism can humble us and remind us that we are fallen and finite creatures of a mysterious God who is making himself known to us and moving us toward his ultimate purposes, we will have a message for our day that could have tremendous power. I don't know if that helps you or confuses you, but that's my quick response,


Subject: The purpose of the Law
From: cousin Earl
To: pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 20:04:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I was in a discussion with someone today and it was about the purpose of the law. It is the school master that drives up to Christ. It reveals our sin. It is the expression of God. We should try to obey the law but not for acceptance by God but to please Him. Knowing when we try we will always fail and fall before Christ in thankfulness. Can you give me a better understanding of the law in words I can use in this discussion. Thank you Earl


Subject: Re: The purpose of the Law
From: Pilgrim
To: cousin Earl
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 21:36:55 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
cousin Earl,

For starters, here's a great quote by Thomas Watson:

'A gracious soul is glad of the law because it checks his sinful excesses. The heart would be ready to run wild in sin if it had not some blessed restraints put upon it by the law of God. He that loves God loves His law — the law of repentance, the law of self-denial. Many say they love God but they hate His laws. 'Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.' (Psa. ii. 3). God’s precepts are compared to cords, they bind men to their good behaviour; but the wicked think these cords too tight, therefore they say, Let us break them. They pretend to love Christ as a Saviour, but hate Him as a King. Christ tells us of His yoke (Matt. xi. 29). Sinners would have Christ put a crown upon their head, but not a yoke upon their neck. He were a strange king that should rule without laws.' — Thomas Watson

For further information and some great articles on the nature and use of the Law go here: Calvinism and the Reformed Faith Section. OR go to the home page of The Highway here: The Highway and scroll down just a bit and use the Search utility to find articles, sermons, etc. on the Law.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: openess of God and Dr. Boyd
From: kevin
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 16:26:45 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
I know this has been discussed some in the past but I thought I would share this email I received from Southern Baptist Seminary recently. If to at least see that there is a danger lurking in the shadows of evangelical Christendom and that for now the Southern Baptists are fighting it. Just a heads up. In Him, kevin sdg President's Office wrote: FIDELITAS Commentary on Theology and Culture R. Albert Mohler, Jr. June 1, 2000 Does God Give Bad Advice? The “Open” View of God Stakes its Ground What does God know, and when does He know it? This startling question lies at the heart of what may well become the hottest theological debate among evangelicals. The outcome will determine whether evangelicals remain committed to what the church has always believed about God, or veer off in favor of a more user-friendly deity. The current debate swirls around the arguments of Gregory A. Boyd, a theology professor at Bethel College and pastor of a large church in St. Paul, MN. A popular lecturer and a provocative writer, Boyd has become the focus of intense debate within the Baptist General Conference (with which Bethel College is affiliated), Baker Book House (his publisher), and the larger evangelical world. Boyd’s theological argument comes down to this: The Christian church has adopted a doctrine of God that is deeply rooted in Greek philosophy, is hopelessly irrelevant to contemporary life, and conflicts with biblical passages indicating that God changes his mind, and fails to know the future decisions of his free creatures. Joining the argument on behalf of the “openness of God,” Boyd insists that God simply cannot know what his creatures will decide to do in the future, for these decisions do not yet exist. There are some things God knows definitely, but He knows some aspects of the future “as possibly this way and possibly not that way.” Confused? Boyd’s proposal strikes at the heart of the omniscience of God, the affirmation that God perfectly knows all things—past, present, and future. The classical form of this doctrine, held by all branches of the church throughout the centuries, holds that God possesses exhaustive foreknowledge. Quite simply, there is nothing God does not know, and know perfectly. This understanding has been held by Roman Catholics and Protestants, and both Calvinists and Arminians. Boyd holds that this is incompatible with modern science and philosophy, as well as those passages of Scripture that present God as changing his mind. In God of the Possible, the recently-released summary of his argument, Boyd claims that his view—rather than the majority view—is faithful to the Bible and to the real needs of modern Christians. Most modern philosophers agree with the majority position of the church in affirming that if God perfectly knows the future, the future is settled and certain. The Bible certainly presents God as knowing the future, and in control of events as well as the final end of all things. This is precisely what Boyd rejects. He holds that “the future consists partly of settled realities and partly of unsettled realities.” God’s chosen future will eventually come to pass, at least in the big picture. Nevertheless, God does not “micromanage” the universe and control every aspect of reality. In order to make his argument, Boyd must redefine key theological terms. God’s omnipotence is now “flexible.” God must be ready with Plan B when Plan A fails. Claiming to be orthodox, Boyd must affirm both God’s omniscience and omnipotence. In order to do so, however, he must turn the words on their heads. God perfectly knows what He can know—which is a great deal, but not everything. Future decisions do not yet exist, so they cannot be known. God is omnipotent, but not in the sense that He controls everything. He is sovereign, but not in a comprehensive sense. Boyd argues that God is so sovereign He doesn’t have to be sovereign. Boyd’s challenge cannot be ignored. Has the church really misunderstood the Bible’s revelation about God’s power and attributes? Has the church followed Plato rather than Moses? Not hardly. Boyd emphasizes biblical passages that speak of God changing his mind as He works with his creatures. Most theologians, past and present, understand those passages as pictorial and metaphorical, like passages that speak of God’s hand or arm. Boyd insists that they be taken literally. To do so, he must ignore or reinterpret the overwhelming witness of the Bible to God’s unconditional sovereignty, absolute power, and perfectly exhaustive foreknowledge. What is left is a God more easily explained to modern Americans—who works with us “to truly change what might have been into what should be.” Boyd writes as a pastor, and his illustrations reveal the emptiness and danger of his proposal. He tells of Suzanne, a woman committed to missions in Taiwan, who felt God was leading her to marry a fine young man following the same call. Later, the man turned out to be an abusive adulterer who abandoned her, extinguishing her ministry to Taiwan. How can this be explained? Boyd told the woman that God was surprised and grieved by how this young man turned out. This is God cut down to size—a God who is well intended, but does not micromanage. He is ready with Plan B when Plan A fails. But, in the end, Boyd believes that God sometimes gives bad advice. Contrast that with the confession of Job: “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” The God of the Bible needs no Plan B. Openness Theology and The Denominations No Christian denomination or major body has ever embraced the “open” view of God promoted by Gregory A. Boyd, Clark H. Pinnock, and others. No historic confession or creed has ever limited the omniscience or omnipotence of God. The issue exploded within the Baptist General Conference this past year as John Piper, the influential pastor of Minneapolis’ Bethlehem Baptist Church attempted to get the BGC to add language affirming God’s exhaustive foreknowledge to the denomination’s Affirmation of Faith. Piper, joined by many concerned pastors, proposed that the BGC affirm that God “foreknows infallibly all that shall come to pass.” The bureaucracy of the BGC quickly moved to oppose the revision, arguing that the language was unnecessarily divisive. At last year’s annual meeting, held in St. Petersburg, FL, the BGC turned down Piper’s proposal by a 270-251 vote. Shortly after the vote, Gregory Boyd posted a statement on the internet celebrating the victory for his position, and boasting that the Baptist General Conference had become a “safe haven” for open theists. After causing an uproar, the statement disappeared from the web site. Meeting just prior to the BGC, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution affirming exhaustive foreknowledge. The SBC statement asserted that “we confess and proclaim that the omniscience of God extends to all creation and throughout all time, to all things actual and potential, even to the thoughts and actions of His conscious creatures, past, present, and future.” The resolution was adopted without registered opposition. Meeting this week in Orlando, FL, the SBC will act upon a proposed revision of its confession of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message. The proposal includes additional language affirming that God’s “perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures.” Fidelitas: Commentary on Theology and Culture is written by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. For further information, contact Fidelitas at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2825 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40280. Phone 502.897.4121. E-mail presoffice@sbts.edu.


Subject: Re: Seems.....
From: stan
To: kevin
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 20:04:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
the false teachers are giving up on making man God and now are trying to make God man :-(


Subject: Re: openess of God and Dr. Boyd
From: Anne
To: kevin
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 18:26:16 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
Boyd argues that God is so sovereign He doesn’t have to be sovereign. Huh? . He tells of Suzanne, a woman committed to missions in Taiwan, who felt God was leading her to marry a fine young man following the same call. Later, the man turned out to be an abusive adulterer who abandoned her, extinguishing her ministry to Taiwan. How can this be explained? Boyd told the woman that God was surprised and grieved by how this young man turned out. That's a horrifying notion! The idea of God being sorry for the pain I'm going through in the same way I'll be sorry for Charles this summer after he gets his braces (ouch!) is one thing . . . . . the idea of His commiserating with us because He wishes He could help, but doggone it, He just can't, is something else again. What the heck are we supposed to pray for, then? Ponies? Sheesh. Anne


Subject: Re: openess of God and Dr. Boyd
From: john hampshire
To: Anne
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 23:26:30 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I don't get this need to push 'openness', how does it help God or us? I suppose this is an attempt to explain why bad things happen to 'good' people. How can a marriage go wrong if 'God was leading her to marry'? The answer: God must have goofed! The correct answer: The lady goofed! Feelings are not an indicator of how to make a correct choice. Dr. Boyd may want to check the Scriptures for a verse that shows God 'surprised' by something. He is grieved by the evil that mankind has brought upon itself by its hatred for Him, but not surprised. This is a great doctrine for Pentecostals; they can stop blaming everything on lack of faith and start blaming God. Now when the healing doesn't occur, it isn't because faith was lacking, it's because God never saw the cancer coming and missed an opportunity. The 'openness' of Dr. Boyd's theory evidently is found in the number and size of the holes his theory contains. john


Subject: Kevin, very interesting. Thanks.n/t
From: Rod
To: kevin
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 17:24:07 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:


Subject: Yeah, thanks Kevin! n/t
From: laz
To: kev
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 06:03:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:


Subject: Dr. D.James Kennedy
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 15:10:29 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
I was wondering if anyone can tell me anything about Dr.D.James Kennedy. What I know about him is he is the founder and president of Evangelism Explosion and that he is Presbyterian. Something else that sort of warns me about him is that he is a faculty member of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. I am wondering what other information I could get about him? Would you recommend him a good Reformed teacher? I think I remember his name being used on this board before. Tom


Subject: Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy
From: Linda
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 19:37:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I haven't been to this site for quite a while and thought I'd see if anyone has mentioned Dr. James Montgomery Boice. He was recently diagnosed with liver cancer, and is already very close to going home to the Lord. He is pastor at Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia, a PCA church. I am a great admirer of his, and it is sad to lose one so young (54, I believe) who has contributed so much. In fact, he was instrumental in writing the Bible Study Fellowship study of Romans this year. He has preached on Romans for over nine years, I'm told...don't know exacts...and it is interesting that just at the end his work on earth is complete. But as for Dr. James Kennedy...also PCA, by the way. I have a friend in Christian leadership who was strongly Arminian who read books and articles but was finally persuaded by Dr. Kennedy's book Truly Transformed. In my opinion (and hers)he does a good job of discussing election, predestination, etc. It was the turning point for her. Blessings, Linda


Subject: Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy
From: Linda
To: Linda
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 19:43:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I forgot to mention that Dr. Boice is also chairman of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He was scheduled to speak this summer, as he often does, with R.C. Sproul and several others in Orlando.


Subject: Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy
From: Pat
To: Linda
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 04:07:08 (PDT)
Email Address: reform@worldspy.net

Message:
I have been getting updates on Boice about two aweek .I believe Boice is 63 years old .I read many of his books and listen to him weekly .I'm reading his Commentary on Acts and Foundations of the Christian Faith right now .Like you said his near to being with Lord his family is at his bedside . Pat Pat


Subject: Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy
From: Rod
To: Linda
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 01:46:17 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I remember being mildly shocked a few years ago when I heard a Calvinist list the names of those who were Calvinists of repute in our times and Dr. Kennedy was among them. I had listened to many of his radio addresses and television addresses. I would not have known from those sermon lectures that he was a Calvinist, as I recall. It's now been years since I heard him, but the addresses I heard were all pretty 'generic.' They were more concerned with whether George Washington was a Christian than Scripture, for one example. Now, I'm not saying that Washington and his orientation isn't important and doesn't have much bearing on many issues of the day, but I think laz and Pilgrim have identified the problem(s) of perception among many. Many of those lectures might be compared to a circus performer's open air act in summertime. There's a point here to begin, and a point there to get to, but there's a whole lot of showmanship and hot air in between! His oratory skills are prodigious, of course.


Subject: Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy
From: laz
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 15:39:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I listened to him on the radio for years...never figured he was 'reformed' at the time....though he is of the PCA. I grew tired of his constant 'preaching' on Americanism. The gospel easily gets lost when all you seem to care about is 'reclaiming America for Christ'. Is that the Great Commission...to get more 'christians' in Congress...to get prayer back into the schools....to see the 10 Commandments posted in courtrooms? What about reclaiming THE CHURCH!?!?!?!?! laz p.s. he did write an 'interesting' book on Astrology and the Bible....I gave it away a couple years ago....something about the Gospel being proclaimed in the stars (via the Zodiac).


Subject: Re: Dr. D.James Kennedy
From: Pilgrim
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 18:34:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,

Dr. D. James Kennedy is not someone I would recommend to people as a source for truth. He indeed gives assent to the doctrines of the Reformation, and I have heard him lecture/preach on at least one occasion where he was quite good. What I perceive with this man is a stark disparity between what he says he believes and everything else. The vast majority of his preaching is less than acceptable, IMHO. But my biggest criticism of the man is in fact with his book, Evangelism Explosion, which is nothing more than a Madison Avenue 'sales pitch', which distorts the Gospel to such a degree, that it is hardly recognizable, if in fact it even exists in the presentation at all. His church is something else again. I talked to a man who was making a world tour, looking to see where there were churches and resources to promote the Gospel of Christ as we of the Protestant Reformation know the Scriptures to teach. One of his stops was at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; home of Dr. D. James Kennedy. He said he was overwhelmed by the 'service' he attended. There was a stranger sitting beside him, who also was not from the United States and looked 'awe struck' as well. He leaned over to the man and said, 'What do you make of all this?' The stranger replied, 'Well, I'm not quite sure, but there is something that these Americans say that I think describes this very well: 'There's no business like show business!' :-) Enough said!

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 14:33:56 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
In the so-called 'Lord’s Prayer' Jesus tells us to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, but you seem to teach that God’s will and nothing but God’s will is being done on earth. That all the sin, and evil ( I’m assuming that you believe that there are evil actions) are due to God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven, this leaves me with a couple of questions. 1) Why does Jesus instruct us to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven if in fact only God’s will is already being done on earth? 2) If God’s will is already being done on earth as it is in heaven then am I to assume that heaven is also full of evil? That since the earth is full of evil according to God’s will then heaven must also be full of evil because the same God is willing? Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: john hampshire
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 23:42:48 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
1) Why does Jesus instruct us to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven if in fact only God’s will is already being done on earth? God's will is done on earth as it was beforehand decided in heaven. We are not praying to make God's will be done, but in joy that He is in control. Our real need for prayer is to align ourselves with God's will, it is one thing to know intellectually that God is running the show, and it is another thing to submit and not struggle. 2) If God’s will is already being done on earth as it is in heaven then am I to assume that heaven is also full of evil? That since the earth is full of evil according to God’s will then heaven must also be full of evil because the same God is willing There is a difference between God's will being first determined in heaven and then executed on earth and heaven being a mirror of earth. Evil exists on earth because God's plan allows it, and He has determined it to be necessary for His plan. While evil is done by men, it is God who permits them to do what is their unnatural inclination. While rebellion appears to be freedom, it is actually the out-working of God's plan so that even evil is ultimately used by God for good. God turns men's hearts left and right as He desires, and they arrogantly think they have decided things by themselves. 'For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills'. 'Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.' (Job 12:9-10) Job 12:16-19, 'With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are His. He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools. He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle. He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty. He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged. He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty. He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death. He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again. He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.' Despite fallen man's rejection of God's authority over them, and their endless struggle to be free, they are His and are used according to His predetermined unchanging plan (as it is already determined in Heaven). john


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 06:54:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, I’m sorry but your response is total nonsense to me, and I don’t mean that in a confrontational way :o) You absolutely contradict the words of the Lord Jesus Christ! Logically, if we are to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, the plain meaning is that God’s will is not being done on earth as it is in heaven. And, contrary to your statement, logically, if God’s will is being done on earth as it is being done in heaven, then earth does indeed mirror heaven and therefore heaven is also full of evil. Your quotes from Job have nothing to do with my questions and I really don’t want to take the time or the detour to cover them. Do I really need to quote all of the verses that tell us that God changes His Mind? Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Rod
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 08:29:44 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Jimmy, I'm not going to answer your question in detail questions in the original post in great detail, but I'd like to address one aspect of your reply to john: 'Do I really need to quote all of the verses that tell us that God changes His Mind?' No, you don't need to quote them. :>) Most folks here already know them, as they have been dealt with extensively and well here before. (Maybe a trip through the archives would be enlightening.) I would like to ask you to re-examine them yourself, reminding yourself that one of the identifiable attributes of God is that He is 'immutable,' being constantly, 'I Am' which signifies a state of remaining as He is and unchanging. It declares not being simply 'always existing,' but the same in every aspect throughout eternity. If He truly changes His mind and purpose, then He is not perfect, but, seeing and learning new things which surprise Him, He is forced to 'make it up as He goes.' The Bible flatly contradicts that both by implication and direct declaration. 'God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent. Hath he not spoken, and shall he not make it good?' (Num. 23:19). 'Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God [note the emphasis again on 'am'], and there is none like me, declaring the end
from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done [all the things which are not yet done], saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure...yes, I have spoknen it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it' (Isaiah 46:10-11). If you line up these statements with the ones which indicate that God 'repents' or changes His mind, then the Bible is contradictory if each is literally true. Scripture doesn't contradict itself. When God is spoken of as 'repenting,' it is an 'accomodation' for men, to help them understand that God is working His absolute will. If man had done thus and so, He would have executed judgement on them, as with the case of Jonah and Nineveh--he would have executed judgment if they hadn't repented, but it was His absolute will from the beginning that they would. He brought their change in heart through the warning that He would destroy them for sin. With the pronouncement came His empowerment to change their hearts and turn to Him--'So, then, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). It was His will to save those particular people all along, excuting judgment on a later generation which had turned away from Him again.


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Anne
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 10:54:57 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
I don't have a Bible at hand, so this is going to be off-the-cuff, but something that helped me grasp the points you have made (and made very well, BTW) was a bit in, I think, Jeremiah, where God instructed the prophet to tell the Israelis to behave in a particular way, then immediately told Jeremiah that the Israelis weren't going to do it, however, but were going to
this instead, and because they are going to disobey, He is going to punish them by doing that, yet He will eventually relent, and turn His face back to them. So God gives His command; immediately informs us that the people won't follow it; says what the resultant punishment will be; then concludes with the reassurance that the punishment won't last forever. In other bits of Scripture, the history is told more in a 'real time' basis; as it happens, so to speak. It's a matter of perspective, ISTM. Sorry this is so disjointed and not especially lucid! I know precisely what I mean, but am having a hard time putting it into words! Perhaps y'all have managed to cut through to the gist, though. ;-> Anne


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 10:23:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, You wrote: 'If He truly changes His mind and purpose, then He is not perfect, but, seeing and learning new things which surprise Him, He is forced to 'make it up as He goes.'' Your statement simply is not so, we cannot judge God's perfection. We have to accept the God of the Bible we cannot replace Him with the philosophical god of the Greeks and judge Him according to our idea of perfection. His ability to change is actually necessary for His perfection, otherwise you are left with a static god and not the dynamic God of the Bible. You quote Num.23:19 in defense of your argument. 'God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent. Hath he not spoken, and shall he not make it good?' This verse appears to contradict Jeremiah 18:7-10 Jer 18:7 [At what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy [it]; Jer 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. Jer 18:9 And [at what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant [it]; Jer 18:10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them. A close examination of the context of Num. 23:19 will show that God is not contradicting Jeremiah 18, nor is He making a broad, general statement, as in Jeremiah. In the historical context of Num. 23:19, Moses is leading Israel through Moab, and Balak tried to get Balaam to curse Israel for him. God pronounces this oracle through him: Num. 23:18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor: Num. 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Num. 23:20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. Num. 23:21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. Num. 23:22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Num. 23:23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought! Num. 23:24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. Moses is leading Israel to Palestine in fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. Here, Balak is trying to get an oracle from God to change this. But God, speaking through Balaam, tells Balak that no divination (v.23) is going to change this promise. God has made a covenant with the nation of Israel, and He is going to fulfill it, now. His mind is made up and He is not going to change. What we have is a specific promise being referred to, here. This verse does not say that God never changes His mind. It merely says that God is not going to change His mind in this situation, His mind is made up. This whole idea that God cannot change His mind limits God, diminishes God. God is in control, no matter what, He can handle it :o) Jimmy P.S. You wrote: 'I'm not going to answer your question in detail questions in the original post in great detail, …' I would really like a more detailed answer to my questions, I really am puzzled by the apparent contradiction between the words of Jesus Christ and your system of theology.


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Tom
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 00:00:06 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Jimmy You been reading Boyd? You sound like one of his disciples who believe in openness of God theology. See Kevin's post above. Tom


Subject: I've never even heard of Boyd (nt)
From: Jimmy
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 07:07:52 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Rod
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 14:59:39 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Jimmy, You wrote: '.S. You wrote: 'I'm not going to answer your question in detail questions in the original post in great detail, …' I would really like a more detailed answer to my questions, I really am puzzled by the apparent contradiction between the words of Jesus Christ and your system of theology.' I'm not going to answer your original questions, as I said, leaving that for others. I prefer this more basic issue of God changing His mind. Let's see if my theolgy really contradicts the Word of Jesus Christ. Actually the whole Bible is the Word of the Son of God, 'And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.' He was the Word of God from the beginning and, remember that God 'spoke' the creation into existence. Of His own will and volition as God, the Second Person of the trinity 'became flesh.' . Whatever is written in the Bible is the Father's truth, the Son's truth, and the Spirit's truth. It seems to me that your post strongly indicates that the words recorded as spoken directly by the Lord Jesus here on earth as more important and carrying more weight than any other part of the Bible. If so, that simply isn't true, all the Scripture being 'God breathed' or 'inspired by God' (2 Tim. 3:16). With that principle in mind, let's consider the Word of God, the Bible. In Malachi 3:6, we find this stark statement, the prophet speaking the words of the LORD God: 'For I am the LORD, I change not....' Now it's perfectly obvious that if one grows or gains anything, he is changed threby, becoming something more than he was. Yet your statements are in dirrect contradiction of that statement from the mouth of God to Malachi. You maintain that God
must change or He is not God, but 'a god.' Here is your summarizing conclusion on the matter: 'His ability to change is actually necessary for His perfection, otherwise you are left with a static god and not the dynamic God of the Bible.' God says, 'I change not!' You say, he must change. Guess Who I believe. Whether you realize it or not, your reasoning is based on a fallacious assumption. That is the old semi-Pelagan/Arminian contention that God can be fundamentally changed by man and his will. That effectively subjugates God to man, reducing Him to a subject governed by something outside Himself. It assumes also that men, or at least some humans have 'something good' in them which would make God desire them if they turn to Him of their own decision and without His direct enablement to do so. These things also contradict the express Word of God, the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ. The principle is expressed in Zechariah 4:6, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.' In Matthew 19:16-17, the Lord Jesus was asked, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?' The Lord Jesus replied, 'Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.' Paul makes many pronouncements to affirm that only God does good and is capable of good. Here are some descriptions of the man outside God and lost under the curse of sin, due to their being born of Adam's sinful race. 'In Adam all die,' Paul delares in 1 Cor. 15:21. And that is because, as the Lord Jesus pronounced, 'There is none good...but God.' 'As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God' (Rom.3:10-11). 'For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteouness' (Rom. 6:20). 'For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing' (Rom. 7:18). "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God' (Rom. 8:7-8). 'And you hath he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins' (Eph. 2:1). These passages and numerous more clearly establish that man, of himself, being dead, cannot please God. Yet faith is a good thing, good in the sense that it enables one having it to please God: 'But without faith it is impossible to please [God],' Hebrews 11:6 emphatically instructs. So faith is a 'good thing' on at least two levels: First, it pleases God, who is good; and second, it accomplishes something good for the benefit of the man having it, though it isn't desired by the natural and carnal man in any way, since he is evil, cursed, and lost. How, then, does one acquire faith? Is it created from a man whose mind is 'enmity agaisnt God' and nothing more? That cannot be because God has spoken to us in that only He is good and that 'there is none that seeketh after God.' The Word of God is again very plain in explaining this. 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot ente the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh [dead to God] and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit' (John 3:5-6). So,the person who is fleshly and dead to God cannot please God. He must be 'born of the Spirit,' regenerated by God. Then and only then is he able to, and is desirous of, turning to God in Christ Jesus. That spirit, that new life which is contrary to the flesh, is now able to turn to God in Christ and has that as its desire. For the first time, that person is able to hear with spiiritual ears the promise of God and make a decision of the new will to place faith in Jesus, the Lord. That is what Paul means when he states, 'Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.' Saving faith is granted because the person now hears and accepts his need for the Savior. And his faith continues to grow as God enables him by the use and knowledge of the Word. '...the children of God, even to them who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God' (John 1:12-13). 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not not of yourselves, it is the gift of God' (Eph. 2:8). 'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus...' (Eph. 2:10). 'Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.' (Rom. 8:9). It is by God that we are 'created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which he hath before ordained that we should walk in them' (Eph. 2:10). 'So, then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy' (Rom. (:16). We are, therefore, driven to the conclusion that God is not subject to the whims and desires of sinful man, but He has determined all things out of his sovereign will. There is no other way He could 'declare the end from the beginning' if He had to gain in knowledge. God doesn't change by gaining knowledge for He possesses all knowlege from the dawn of eternity. He directs and changes men; he is in no way subject to them.


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 17:17:05 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, YOU WROTE: 'In Malachi 3:6, we find this stark statement, the prophet speaking the words of the LORD God: 'For I am the LORD, I change not....'' It's really difficult for me to believe how you are trying to use this verse of Scripture, just look at the next verse! 'Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.' Mal. 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Mal. 3:6 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? This is talking about God in His Essence, not about change in His creation! This verse that you rely upon has nothing at all to do with the subject being discussed! This verse is about the covenant that God has determined to keep, He has not changed as the covenant keeper, because of that they have not been consumed even though they had broken their covenant with God. Nor do I say that God must change, but I most certainly maintain that God can still be in control while His creation changes. Nor is my reasoning based upon the Pelagan/Arminian contention that God can be fundamentally changed by man. I have never ever said any such thing. God is absolutely autonomous. God will do what He wants to do and no man can hinder Him. Then you get into 'salvation' as if I believe that a man can save himself in some way or another, that's not what I believe by any means at all. God saves, period. He does not require anything at all from man in order to save, that's His business. But to believe and to preach that all the evil that is in this world is here because of the will of God is contrary to Scripture. Jesus Christ told us to pray that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven because God's will is not now being done on this earth, wiggle as you might, the word of the Lord Jesus Christ is clear. Why you don't want to accept that is beyond me! Your incredible need to make God the author and cause of evil is very, very difficult for me to understand. Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 12:53:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,

How do you 'square' your view of God with the Scripture's testimony: 1) That God is Omniscient? What is your definition of Omniscience, if in your view that this is one of God's attributes? 2) What is your definition of Omnipotence/Sovereignty? 3) In regard to the Lord's Prayer where the Lord Christ tells His disciples to pray, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." What we are to learn here is that God's desire/will; His determinate counsel is that which governs heaven and we are to pray that likewise His eternal counsel will also be fulfilled on earth. There is no necessity that God's "plan" for the spiritual realm called "heaven" is the same as that which God has determined for the creatures and creation on earth. I can certainly determine that which is to happen (within my finite ability) in my business and in my home, but that they should be identical is certainly not true. God's will is certain for one person as much as it is for any other, but that "will" surely differs dramatically for each individual. There is again, no necessity that God's "will" be seen as some "cookie cutter" plan from which all things will come to pass.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 13:41:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Since the words 'Omniscient' and 'Sovereignty' do not appear in God's Infallible Word but are given definitions according to one's system of theology, or philosophical stance, there definition appears to change according to which religious group is defining them. Using the Bible to define 'sovereignty' I come to the conclusion that it primarily has to do with God's Kingdom and reign. Just as an earthly king makes decrees and people are punished if they disobey those decrees if they are caught doing so, God makes decrees, laws, and those that break them are punished. Unlike the earthly king, with 'omniscience' there is no chance that a person will not be caught breaking God's laws :o) As for the word 'omniscience' I take it to mean that God is 'all knowing' which means that God knows all that can be known at any given time. Just as 'omnipotent' means that God is all mighty, meaning that God can do all that can be done. 'Omnipotent' does not mean that God can do the obviously absurd, as in make a rock that He cannot move. In the same way 'omniscience' does not mean that God knows that which is not knowable. You wrote: ' There is no necessity that God's 'plan' for the spiritual realm called 'heaven' is the same as that which God has determined for the creatures and creation on earth.' I certainly agree with that statement except for the fact that Jesus said 'as it is in heaven' which means that heaven and earth would have to be alike if indeed God's will and only God's will is being done on this earth. You seem to be saying that God's will is not being done on this earth while saying at the same time that God's will and only God's will is being done on this earth. I find this very confusing. When taken in context, the plain truth seems to be that Jesus is saying that God's will is not being done on this earth. I certainly can't see where He changed the subject into that of God's 'eternal decrees.' Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 18:05:10 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,

Evidently either I failed to communicate the truth in a precise, profound, and/or cogent fashion, or you have a disability to understand simple things? But no matter! Again, 'on earth as it is in heaven' does not necessarily connote 'what', ie., the essence of God's will. It can and does mean 'how' God's will is fulfilled, i.e., with perfection for the glory of His name. We being finite creatures, which the infinite God-man created, was more than knowledgeable of man's limitations. No man is omniscient; even in the knowledge of himself he is lacking. Therefore we are instructed to pray that as God's will is being perfectly accomplished in the heavens and will be throughout eternity, so also we may come to understand His perfect will which is being accomplished here on earth. (cf. Col 1:9, 10). Now, your definition of 'omniscience' is cleverly worded so as to deceive the unwary. You said, 'As for the word 'omniscience' I take it to mean that God is 'all knowing' which means that God knows all that can be known at any given time.' Here you have bound God to time and history which forces me to conclude that God's 'omniscience' is in fact anything but 'omni'. It's a complete denial of the accepted definition of the word itself, especially as it applies to the biblical God. In fact the term 'omniscience' is never applied to a creature, but only to deity. And rightly so, for no finite creature is capable of possessing all knowledge. This limiting of God's knowledge is therefore a denial of deity; the Deity of the Scriptures. You said to Rod that God doesn't change, but the creation changes. However, this is a clearly self-contradictory, for if God 'gains in knowledge', then He does in fact 'change'. Therefore this 'god' does not possess 'aseity', but is rather dependent upon the very creation He brought into existence by His own sovereign will. You would thus have us believe that God created a creature which He had no idea about what this creature would do at any given time. You make God out to be a 'mad scientist' who tried and experiment by mixing a few elements together and then sat back and watched to see what would happen; and in fact is still sitting back taking notes. This is ludicrous. I see absolutely no difference in what you believe, which is clearly unbiblical and unChristian to say the least, and the people of Isaiah's day which God through him described thus:

Isa 44:9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. 10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. 12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. 14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. 15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. 16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: 17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. 18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. 19 And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? 20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

In His Grace, Pilgrim In His


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 19:38:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I have never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the string, nor the sharpest knife in the drawer :o) and perhaps it is difficult for me to understand 'simple things'. But you seem to believe that Jesus Christ was not such a good communicator :o) He told us to pray that God's will be done on earth at it is done in heaven. But you tell me that He really meant: '
on earth as it is in heaven' does not necessarily connote 'what', ie., the essence of God's will. It can and does mean 'how' God's will is fulfilled, i.e., with perfection for the glory of His name. We being finite creatures, which the infinite God-man created, was more than knowledgeable of man's limitations. No man is omniscient; even in the knowledge of himself he is lacking. Therefore we are instructed to pray that as God's will is being perfectly accomplished in the heavens and will be throughout eternity, so also we may come to understand His perfect will which is being accomplished here on earth.' With all due respect I truly believe that when Jesus Christ tells us to pray that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in my very simple understanding, He means that all the sin and evil we have on this world is contrary to the will of God. You wrote: 'However, this is a clearly self-contradictory, for if God 'gains in knowledge', then He does in fact 'change'.' I was using 'change' in reference to God's Essence, I'm fairly sure that you know that :o) A sinner can learn and learn but that knowledge does not change them, they are still sinners. Knowledge no more changes God's essential nature than knowledge can change a sinner into a saint. As for worshipping a god of my own making, I honestly do not believe that to be the case, you seem to hold on to a theological definition much more than I do. God for me is very much alive and active, not some static concept that is bound up in His own 'omniscience' (using that term in the way that you do). I don't understand how or why you pray? Since you believe that everything is predetermined, why pray? I guess you pray because it is predetermined that you will pray? You pray because you must, it is in the script that you must follow? I really do have trouble understanding your 'simple things.' Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 22:07:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,

I accept your self designation as not being 'the brightest bulb in the string and not the sharpest knife in the drawer'. Again, and for the last time, the perspicuity of the text is too hard to miss. 'on earth as it is in heaven' is quite clear in its meaning: 'In the same manner. . .' The vast differences between heaven and earth as the Scriptures reveal, clearly disallows your view. Where you get this idea (obviously from people like Boyd and/or Clark Pinnock the Apostate), that God is 'static' just because He has determined in His eternal counsels all things for His own glory. The fact that all things are providentially governed by His power and wisdom (cf. Col 1:17; Joh 5:17; Acts 17:28; Dan 4:35; etc.) mitigates against any accusation that He is 'static'! Personally, I cannot even begin to fathom the infinite nature of God's foreordination and providence, never mind the Triune God Himself. But it sounds like you have Him all figured out and put into a nice neat LITTLE box. :-) Lastly, you mentioned somewhere that God continues to 'create'? But this too is contrary to the explicit testimony of God Himself where after the fiat creation He is recorded as saying,

Gen 2:2 'And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.'

His ongoing 'work' is that of government, NOT creating 'ex nihilo', which was a singular act, never again to occur, at least we are not told that He will according to His Word.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: New Heaven New Earth?
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 07:15:01 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I have never read Boyd or Pinock, I have no idea who they are, but I will certainly read them now. It sounds like they may have broken free of the traditions of man. As for God still creating, if that were not so then nothing would exist. But even the Bible tells us that God will create a new heaven and earth. God rested on the 7th day but that does not mean that He retired! When Jesus Christ told us to pray that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven, it is very obvious as to what He meant. Jimmy


Subject: Re: New Heaven New Earth?
From: john hampshire
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 22:14:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
As a technical aside to this tired debate, I don't think we can say God is technically 'creating' today. Plants, animals, really all things pro-create. Matter is neither gained nor lost from God's creation (Einstein ya know). Initially God created from nothing what now is. What we see today as 'creating' is a recombination of existing matter. The new heavens and new earth, seem to me to be a creation in the truest sense since it will not be physically based on this universe nor composed of its substance (burned up with fire as it is). So God ceased from creating in Gen 2:2 and will not create again until after Judgment Day. I don't know if God creates a new spirit via regeneration in the sense of something entirely new, or rather gives life to what was spiritually dead and unable to effect good works. I know we are a new creation in Christ, but if personality dwells within our spirit we cannot become new in the fashion of never having been before, if you know what I'm getting at. Therefore, I don't see God creating anything today, though He gives life and oversees every detail to work out His plan accordingly. If I dreamed of building a house, and planned the whole thing out in my head from my youth, and then in my old age executed my plan; controlling each step just as I envisioned it in my mind all those years, until the completed project exactly matched my dream, I would be 'static' according to some. God is not inactive, but He does not change either. John


Subject: Re: New Heaven New Earth?
From: laz
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 08:00:46 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy - do go read Boyd, Pinnock and the rest of the lot of those
broken, snared and taken. Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. May my all knowing, all powerful and everpresent God who will infallibly and with no shadow of turning (static??) work all things out for my good be pleased to grant you eyes to see and ears to hear THE TRUTH of the matter - and not the vain imaginations of sinfully rebellious men who will not have God rule over them by the Word of His power. In the Lamb slain from before the foundations of the world, laz


Subject: Re: New Heaven New Earth?
From: Jimmy
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 08:23:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Laz, Do you know the titles of their books, so that I can look them up? You wrote:
May my all knowing, all powerful and everpresent God who will infallibly and with no shadow of turning (static??) work all things out for my good be pleased to grant you eyes to see and ears to hear THE TRUTH of the matter - and not the vain imaginations of sinfully rebellious men who will not have God rule over them by the Word of His power. You say that God works all things out for your good. Here, you are saying that God is active in your life, controling circumstances, in real time I assume, and yet you apparently also believe that your every thought and act has been predetermined. If that is the case then God does not need to work all things out for your good. Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 05:39:34 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, This is a good response. It's interesting that the only thing God now 'creates' is the new life in a person and, by that that gift, He is able to to deal with that person in His truth to the inevitable effect that he believes the truth of the Lord God concerning his sin and need of a graciously provided Savior. 'For we [believers, children of God] are his workmanship [having been regenerated and gifted with faith],
created in Christ Jesus...' (Eph. 2:10). Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new' (2 Cor. 5:17.


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: laz
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 06:41:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I'd also disagree with Jimmy by saying that we DO change as a result of acquired knowledge....for does not faith come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God? And do we not become more and more comformed to the image of Christ as we grow in the grace and KNOWLEDGE of Him? In otherwords, if God 'learns'...He grows in wisdom/knowledge...He has most undoubtedly CHANGED! laz p.s. I think it's also incorrect to base an entire NEW theology (or throw the historical one away) on ONE phrase 'they will be done on earth as it is in heaven'...especially when the interpretation is ladened with a glaring pretext. Aren't we to interpret scripture WITH scripture....and not based on logic, reason, science, feelings, etc...?


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: monitor
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 08:14:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, I’m sorry but your response is total nonsense to me, and I don’t mean that in a confrontational way :o) You absolutely contradict the words of the Lord Jesus Christ! Logically, if we are to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, the plain meaning is that God’s will is not being done on earth as it is in heaven. And, contrary to your statement, logically, if God’s will is being done on earth as it is being done in heaven, then earth does indeed mirror heaven and therefore heaven is also full of evil. Your quotes from Job have nothing to do with my questions and I really don’t want to take the time or the detour to cover them. Do I really need to quote all of the verses that tell us that God changes His Mind? Jimmy
---
....yes, Jimmy, humor us! ;-) monitor


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: monitor
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 09:42:54 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
There are many verses that give us direct statements about whether or not God repents, changes His mind. To say that God CAN'T repent puts limits on God that the Scriptures simply do not allow. Here are the verses that you ask for: Jer 18:7 [At what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy [it]; Jer 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. Jer 18:9 And [at what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant [it]; Jer 18:10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them. Because God CAN repent the prophets made their appeals to the nations of Israel and Judah to return to God. Jer 26:3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. Jer 26:13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you. Joel makes the same plea, in Joel 2:13-14 makes the same plea for them to return. Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he [is] gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Joel 2:14 Who knoweth [if] he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; [even] a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? God's willingness to change His mind and forgive those who turn to Him was the reason that Jonah ran away. Jonah 4:2: Jona 4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, [was] not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou [art] a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Because God can change His mind, Moses was able to intercede on behalf of Israel. Ex 32:12: Ex 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Ps 90:13 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. In direct answer to Moses' prayer: Ex. 32:14 'the LORD repented.' Ex 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. In Judges 2:18 we are told that the LORD repented because of their groanings. Judges 2:18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. When David sinned by conducting a census God changed His mind about destroying Jerusalem. 2Sa 24:16 And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite. The psalmist recounts God's working in the history of Israel: Ps 106:45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies. Ps 135:14 For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants. Jeremiah reminds Judah of God's dealings during the time of Hezekiah: Jer 26:19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls. After the fall of Judah, Jeremiah has received a word from God for those left behind telling them that God is sorry!: Jer 42:10 If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull [you] down, and I will plant you, and not pluck [you] up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Hosea tells of God's emotional ties to Israel, and how He desires to repent: Ho 11:8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? [how] shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? [how] shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. And Amos tells Israel about how God twice changed His mind and didn't bring a pronounced judgment upon them. He tells them that they may not be so lucky again. Amos 7:3 The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD. Amos 7:6 The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD. There are five verses in the Old Testament when God says that someone has gone to far for Him to repent and that God has no choice but to implement His judgement. Jer. 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it. Jer. 15:6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. Ezek. 24:14 I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD. Hos. 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. Zech. 8:14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not: The doctrine that teaches that God cannot repent, cannot change, puts limits on God that are not Scriptural, this doctrine actually does harm to the Biblically teaching of the Sovereignty of God. Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 13:16:44 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,

None of these passages teach that God 'changes His mind'; i.e., that He determines to do a certain thing, but then due to circumstances beyond his knowledge and control, which fallen men bring to pass, He then is forced to do something else which He had not originally planned on. This is akin to the story of the little Dutch boy who was perpetually sticking his fingers in the dike to keep the relentless water from breaking through. He had no idea where the next hold would be, nor how large it would be and further if he could in fact stop the water from coming through. It would be absurd to suggest that the little Dutch boy was 'Sovereign' in that situation, but rather he was at the 'mercy of fate', as it were. What these passages are teaching is that IF men meet certain conditions which the LORD God has set forth for them, then the judgment/blessing promised will be delivered. If not, then whatever was promised will also come to pass. God determines the 'means' as well as the 'end' and is therefore not subject to the ever changing, albeit predictable actions of fallen creatures. For the sake of argument, let's say that those men who physically were instrumental in the crucifixion of Christ had 'a change of heart' and decided not to put the Lord of Glory to death. Would not God then be seen as a liar, since all the prophecies concerning this event would have been proven false? The intricacies of all that took place in that event are overwhelming, e.g, even the very words recorded by the prophets were uttered by those involved. How do you explain the detail and accuracy of the prophecies concerning all future events if God is 'kinetic' due to the actions and determinations of men?

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 13:57:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Unlike the little Dutch boy, God can certainly handle any and all circumstances. He does not need to write everything out as a playwright does. He does not fear that His creation will get away from Him. Life is not a play that God has written and that we are simply acting out. God is the Creator, and He has never and never will cease from Creating. He is not static but ever creating. I most certainly must disagree with you about the passages of Scripture that show God changing His mind, they are very plain, so plain that even a child can understand there meaning. You wrote: 'For the sake of argument, let's say that those men who physically were instrumental in the crucifixion of Christ had 'a change of heart' and decided not to put the Lord of Glory to death. Would not God then be seen as a liar, since all the prophecies concerning this event would have been proven false? The intricacies of all that took place in that event are overwhelming, e.g, even the very words recorded by the prophets were uttered by those involved. How do you explain the detail and accuracy of the prophecies concerning all future events if God is 'kinetic' due to the actions and determinations of men?' I certainly have not said that God's a reactor, that He simply reacts to the actions of man. Just the opposite, the Bible teaches that God is active in His creation, if God says that something will come to pass, nothing can hinder it from coming to pass, nothing. But that does not mean that God must control every action of every individual. God brought about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, He gave His only begotten Son, it most certainly was not the work of man. God will do everything that He says that He will do, but that does not mean that He has already done it! You have a closed system, all that can be, is, all that is, is all that can be. God is simply not that way, He is the Creator and He will continue to Create because it is His Nature to do so :o) Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 18:21:58 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,

You wrote: 'God will do everything that He says that He will do, but that does not mean that He has already done it! Agreed! This is a true statement. And this is where the biblical doctrine of God's 'omniscience' (foreknowledge) is derived. Nothing does or can occur which God has not eternally determined. Thus His 'foreknowledge' does not become something 'kinetic' but rather intuitive, and eternally so. What God has determined to do is what He therefore KNOWS. And what He has foreordained and therefore knows is that which 'will surely come to pass:

Isa 46:9 'Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:'

In regards to the crucifixion, you also missed the entire point that is to be learned from it concerning the sovereignty of God. How so? Well, for the crucifixion to be certain and that all the prophecies concerning the incarnation of the Son of God leading up to His eventual murder, EVERYTHING, both organic and inorganic has to be under the direct control of Almighty God. One 'rogue molecule' would have completely eliminated the event and in fact humanity and its history. For very soon after the creation of the very first man, and after his transgression of the law of God, this promise was given, ' Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.' This 'proto-evangelium' was the seed prophesy of the coming of the Christ. And each and every individual who proceeded from that point on was instrumental in bringing about not only the eventual incarnation, but to be sure, all the details concerning the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of the incarnate Christ. Sir, it was 'set in stone'; the end and all that led up to that great event. As I asked you before now I ask again, How does your view of God and knowledge explain prophesy?

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 19:46:17 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, You wrote: 'Well, for the crucifixion to be certain and that all the prophecies concerning the incarnation of the Son of God leading up to His eventual murder, EVERYTHING, both organic and inorganic has to be under the direct control of Almighty God. One 'rogue molecule' would have completely eliminated the event and in fact humanity and its history. For very soon after the creation of the very first man, and after his transgression of the law of God, this promise was given, ' Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.'' That's simply not so, a 'rogue molecule' would not have eliminated the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That's nonsense and certainly not Scriptural. There is no mystery at all about how God brought about the prophecy given in Genesis. The whole Old Testament shows God working to fulfill that prophecy! That's what the Old Testament is all about. We are show exactly how God brought it about that His Son would end up on the cross. You ask:' As I asked you before now I ask again, How does your view of God and knowledge explain prophesy?' Easy, God says He is going to do something, that's prophecy. God then does what He said He was going to do. That's prophecy fulfilled! The Bible even shows us how God fulfilled many of His prophecies. Shows us how God did what He said He was going to do and most of the time the fulfillment of His prophecies does not take a direct route :o) He is dynamic in His creation, working His will, bringing about that which He desires. Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: john hampshire
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 22:55:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You said: 'I certainly have not said that God's a reactor, that He simply reacts to the actions of man. Just the opposite, the Bible teaches that God is active in His creation, if God says that something will come to pass, nothing can hinder it from coming to pass, nothing. But that does not mean that God must control every action of every individual.' I believe it is true that if God says something will come to pass, it will. So, in this small point we apparently can all agree. : ) Now, if you are to be born your parents were required to meet, and not only them but your grand-parents, and not only them but your great grand-parents, and not only them but also your great great grand-parents, and.... it does not end. Now where did all these people come from who each have parents? From Adam and Eve. So if just one person fails to produce offspring, no Pilgrim, no Jimmy, and no John, or worse no Redeemer. However, you have said 'but that does not mean that God must control every action of every individual'. Without too much effort we can that if God does not control all actions of all things, he cannot properly expect to have certain knowledge that anything will truly take place. It may seem that somehow, God being God and all, He should be able to control people without controlling EVERY action. Yet the very action He didn't control leads to ten results that need control, which lead each of those ten to ten more. It is an exponential increase in chaos. Small changes snowball into major problems, which God must continually fix. Like any process, if there is an error the error is compounded and leads to still greater errors. This leads to the next point. God's plan for mankind must be rather coarse, providing for only specific victories that God works to pull-off. The chaos that moves through His universe produces results that God must discount as unimportant and not apart of His Plan! Thus, God is able to get everything He Plans, but He cannot place all events and things into His Plan, some just will not happen (chaos again). He can guarantee that Jesus will be born, but not that He will be born at the right time (or some other result of chaos). Of course the solution to this inherent effect of God not controlling all things, is that God DOES control all things right down to the number of hairs on your head (or molecules in your body, including the ones that become cancerous). What is the objection to this? It makes God static, makes us pawns (robots), produces no reason for prayer, takes life out of our control, and makes God too different from us? Yet, are we robots? We make decision, it is unknown to us how God turns us, it all seems like we are doing it (just think back to Pharaoh, he was sure he was in-charge, but yet God raised him up just for that purpose and drowned him when He was finished using him). If we pray to get our way, then we don't understand. As you apparently believe, we do not pray to change God (I agree), thus prayer is to square us away with God's plan (God even can use our petition as part of His predetermined plan). God is not like us that He must decide, He knows the end from the beginning, and that is only possible because the end of all things is following God's set path (no chaos). Of course, Scripture is full of references to God repenting, changing His mind, promising to do something and then not doing when circumstances changed. It would seem the circumstance rule over God. But we know that in fact God rules over circumstances, such that, though He says He will surely destroy Ninevah or some person, or whatnot this statement is CONTINGENT on the city, person, or whatnot's reaction (which God also controls). Ninevah was not destroyed because they repented of their sin. Moreover, none other than God gave them that spirit of repentance (as He planned all along). And why? To teach Jonah a lesson, and to teach us. Either God rules over circumstances, or circumstances rule over God (in part or in whole). We can pretend God is LIKE an earthly sovereign who rules imperfectly and partially. That is why Caesars were murdered, they never saw that little chaos coming their way. But God is a sovereign ruler who sees it coming (causes it), and controls its coming, nothing moves or acts without His consent (not even Satan). It is easy to say God does not have to control people or things to get His way. It seems possible, until you examine the idea closely. Then it is clear, God must control every detail of His creation or He cannot be assured that He will get the desired results (unless you believe in an unlimited God with limited objectives). john


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 07:59:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, You wrote:
'Now, if you are to be born your parents were required to meet, and not only them but your grand-parents, and not only them but your great grand-parents, and not only them but also your great great grand-parents, and.... it does not end. Now where did all these people come from who each have parents? From Adam and Eve. So if just one person fails to produce offspring, no Pilgrim, no Jimmy, and no John, or worse no Redeemer.' Just read the Old Testament! It tells us exactly how God brought about the birth of Jesus Christ and it is not a very straight path, there were many hindrances but God said He would do it and He did. Nothing could stop Him. He did not have to write it all out before hand, create a bunch of actors that just acted out their parts so that He could do it, what would be the point of that? You wrote: 'However, you have said 'but that does not mean that God must control every action of every individual'. Without too much effort we can that if God does not control all actions of all things, he cannot properly expect to have certain knowledge that anything will truly take place. It may seem that somehow, God being God and all, He should be able to control people without controlling EVERY action. Yet the very action He didn't control leads to ten results that need control, which lead each of those ten to ten more. It is an exponential increase in chaos. Small changes snowball into major problems, which God must continually fix. Like any process, if there is an error the error is compounded and leads to still greater errors.' God is not static, God is active! Can't you see that? It's like you believe that God simply wrote a play and created a bunch of actors to act it out for Him. Do you think that all of this is just for God's entertainment? Perhaps it's the greatest play every, created for the entertainment of God and His angels? No, that is not the purpose of creation, God wants offspring and this is the way that He has chosen to get 'real' children. We don't even really exist until we are born again, birth is a coming into existence. I'm getting off subject, sorry. You say 'prayer is to square us away with God's plan' but that's not what the Bible teaches, just read the prayers of the Saints of the Bible. Most of them are very pragmatic, seeking God's help! You say that God tells us that He repents but that He doesn't really mean that, that He says stuff like that 'to teach Jonah a lesson, and to teach us' I ask, under your system of theology, why? We are but actors, actors created to act out our parts and we can do nothing but act out our part, we certainly can't learn anything, our script is written. The whole idea that we can learn implies that we can change, deviate from our script, but according to you, that's not possible. You wrote: 'Either God rules over circumstances, or circumstances rule over God (in part or in whole).' Even you recognize that God can rule over circumstances 'in part or in whole.' God certainly can and does rule over circumstances when and if He chooses to do so, that's the way that He fulfills His prophecies. You wrote: 'It is easy to say God does not have to control people or things to get His way. It seems possible, until you examine the idea closely. Then it is clear, God must control every detail of His creation or He cannot be assured that He will get the desired results (unless you believe in an unlimited God with limited objectives). ' It's simply not so, God does not have to control every action of every person 'to get His way.' That is such a limited notion of God! The Old Testament shows God getting His way in spite of the actions of man, time and time again we see God bringing good out of evil. Creation is far more than actors upon a stage, stuck in predetermined roles. God simply is not that limited. Jimmy P.S. I see that you probably meant that circumstances rule over God in part or in whole. No, circumstances can never rule over God in any way, shape, or form, but God can certainly choose not to change circumstances.


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: john hampshire
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 00:11:17 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, You are correct in saying nothing can stop God. (We agree again). What could stop God? Something greater or equal to God! Who is equal to God? Anyone whom He does not control has a freedom and life apart from God. If God were to let me do as I pleased for 10 minutes, then I would be my own God for 10 minutes. But I must have freedom of control, or my freedom does me no good. Freedom from God only has meaning if I can make my own choices. I cannot express my freedom unless I control my world apart from God's interference. Therefore, if God allows me to act unsupervised, I will rule my world with total sovereignty (under your system). Now I can't do all things or know all things, I'm not God, but where I can exert my influence (in my life) God will be powerless to thwart me. Total freedom for any human equates with being a god, manipulating God's creation as if we were God. In a way we become God's equal (if not above Him), if this were possible. I doubt you mean that God has a hands-off policy. You mean, I think, that God let's us go, then nudges us back in line where needed, to fulfill His Plan. You allow God the privilege to violate our will. Nevertheless, you don't want God to have advanced knowledge of how our will unfolds; God reacts to our acts. In those moments where we are free (under your system) to act and exert our will apart from God, we become little gods. We are elevated to god-level, then God steps in, slaps us down (violates our will) and lets us go again after He corrects our deviations. Under your system, during my moments of freedom, God's plan cannot be thwarted by that freedom. My freedom then is limited to acts that have no bearing on God's plan. For instance, I am free to wear plaid pants with red tennis shoes. But if in my freedom I failed to tie my red tennis shoes, and tripped on my shoelaces, falling headlong into an oncoming bus....God is surprised to find me dead!! Since God did not KNOW this would happen, He must find another means to produce my children. My little act of freedom has caused an irreversible problem for God--only I can create my children (with some help from my wife). God is forced to abandon plans to have those children born. However, they were supposed to be God's elect, their names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. God is in a pickle; my little freedom brought disaster to God's plan. Of course, if God knows the future, He would not allow me to trip (by not letting me wear those shoes, or by changing the bus schedule, or any number of options). God MUST know the future to avoid chaos. That's rule #1. God must manage every action of man that can impinge on His objectives. That's rule #2. If God's objective is conformity of the entire universe to His will at each moment in time, then God must control all details; no chaos is allowed in the entire universe. That's rule #3. If God has limited objectives to accomplish, then controls only those things that interfere with His few objectives. But if God does not know the future, experiencing it all 'real-time', how does He know which circumstances are going to produce a level of chaos that might alters His plan? He doesn't! If Plan A fails, He tries Plan B. There is never a guarantee of success. Even to say His objective was met after exhausting 247 failed plans is not saying much. As you said, 'The Old Testament shows God getting His way in spite of the actions of man, time and time again we see God bringing good out of evil.' Indeed this is so! What you don't see occurring are blind alleys, dead-ends, or failed plans. What you do see is an amazing providential arrangement of circumstances, which seem unlikely to succeed, but always do! What if Joseph's brothers stabbed him to death instead of throwing him in a well? Plan B?, there is no Plan B, God spared Joseph. God was not correcting chaos in His plan, he used Joseph's brothers hatred; manipulated circumstances to bring out jealousy. The level of control over all the events leading to Joseph becoming co-ruler of Egypt is unfathomable. All the 'actors' had to be on their mark at exactly the right time, or events would have changed. If this is true of Joseph, it is true of everybody. As you know and said, 'circumstances can never rule over God in any way'. You harbor the belief that God can allow some circumstances to go unchecked (chaos) and still bring about all God's mighty deeds. I have sought to show the impossibility of this, it simply cannot be. You believe I am limiting God, but I am actually allowing God to be God. You believe I am making mankind into actors on a stage, but I hope you can see that though we walk in the path that God has set before us, our journey is unknown to us. It is mankind (the elect especially) that react with amazement at God's unfolding plan, rather than God reacting with amazement at mankind's unfolding plan. I hope you 'see' these things. john


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 06:47:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, You wrote:
'If God were to let me do as I pleased for 10 minutes, then I would be my own God for 10 minutes.' If by this statement you mean that you would replace the God of the Bible for 10 minutes, you are absolutely wrong! You have none of God's attributes! Even your will is hindered by your inability! You may will whatever you want but that does not mean that you have the ability to carry out your will. You continue: Therefore, if God allows me to act unsupervised, I will rule my world with total sovereignty (under your system). Now I can't do all things or know all things, I'm not God, but where I can exert my influence (in my life) God will be powerless to thwart me. No one has said that God allows anyone to act unsupervised, supervision and force are not the same thing. Supervision and pre-programming are not the same. You wrote: 'Total freedom for any human equates with being a god, manipulating God's creation as if we were God. In a way we become God's equal (if not above Him), if this were possible.' There simply is no such thing as 'total freedom' for a finite being. You wrote: In those moments where we are free (under your system) to act and exert our will apart from God, we become little gods. We are elevated to god-level, then God steps in, slaps us down (violates our will) and lets us go again after He corrects our deviations. This is not what I'm saying at all. You seem to believe that being free makes one a god. That's ridiculous, a finite being cannot be free in the way that you are using that term only God is Free. God has made laws, the so-called laws of nature that every creature must abide by, we certainly cannot break those laws but we are free to use them. You asked: 'What if Joseph's brothers stabbed him to death instead of throwing him in a well? The resurrection of the dead is certainly not unheard of in the Old Testament! God is God, nothing can thwart His will. Nothing. God does not need a 'plan b.' God has no fear that His creation will get away from Him. God has no fear that finite beings can thwart Him. God has no need to make automatons, He is God and He is very active in His creation. You wrote: ' The level of control over all the events leading to Joseph becoming co-ruler of Egypt is unfathomable. All the 'actors' had to be on their mark at exactly the right time, or events would have changed. If this is true of Joseph, it is true of everybody. That's simply not so, God could have made Joseph co-ruler of Egypt anyway that He wanted to, the Bible tells us how He did it, but that certainly does not mean that that was the only way that He could have made Joseph co-ruler of Egypt. You truly do limit God in order to make Him fit your theology. You wrote: As you know and said, 'circumstances can never rule over God in any way'. You harbor the belief that God can allow some circumstances to go unchecked (chaos) and still bring about all God's mighty deeds.' I do not believe that God could only maintain control of His creation by writing a script and then creating people that could do nothing but act out that script. That's pointless, unless, of course, you believe that creation is simply a play, a form of entertainment for God and His angels. God is even the ruler of 'chaos' He fears nothing and certainly not the deeds of finite beings. You wrote: You believe I am limiting God, but I am actually allowing God to be God. You believe I am making mankind into actors on a stage… It's good of you to allow God to be God, but in fact you define God according to your theology. You do in fact limit God. You make it so that the only way that He can be Sovereign is my creating a creation that is totally pre-planned, totally programmed. Every act, every thought, pre-programmed. Each and every creature pre-programmed to act out a part in God's great play. Nothing is real, it's all just an act. Jimmy,


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 06:40:51 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
john, This is pretty long (unlike any of
my posts :>)), but as I hurredly read through it (got appointments), it seemed very good. Excellent analysis. If God has ears, and arms, and other human characteristics, as He is figuratively presented in the Scriptures for illustrative purposes, then can I assume He has eyebrows? As He gets these daily surprises about what is happening in His universe which is not under His total knowledge, in His plan, and, therefore, His absolute control, those huge eyebrows must shoot up from time to time in amazement. He then probably has to jump up from His (tarnished) throne and run to take steps to correct the actions which He did not foreknow. How ridiculous and insulting to God! "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of his own will" (Eph. 1:11). "And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For [because] whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son..." (Rom. 8:28-29). Are we to conclude that God doesn't control and direct the things which evil men do, confining Himself to certain things so that He can work things out as He goes, in simply a general way (john described it as a "coarse plan")? The Word of God says "all things." Is there any reason to make the assumption that "all things" really doesn't mean everything? That whatever evil men do was foreknown and ordained to come to pass so that His people would be benefited, as in the crucifixion? And that based on foreknowledge and predestination of the elect. Why do we rail against Him, devising our own plans for Him to accomplish His purposes. "But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, as it is in this day, TO SAVE many people alive" (Gen. 50:20).


Subject: Yes, God has eyebrows :o)
From: Jimmy
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 10:42:58 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, You wrote:
If God has ears, and arms, and other human characteristics, as He is figuratively presented in the Scriptures for illustrative purposes, then can I assume He has eyebrows?' Jesus Christ is God manifested in the flesh. Jesus Christ has a resurrected body. Jesus Christ does in fact have arms and legs. Yes, God has eyebrows! Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 22:11:51 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, Sorry friend, that's nonsense. Theoretically, every single man, woman and child could have resisted what God was trying to do to bring about fulfilled prophesy, and therefore not one of them would have been fulfilled. OR.. are you saying that God can and does violate the will of the creature? Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 07:25:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Most certainly God can and does 'violate' the will of the creature! That's a given. God's will prevails! None can stand against Him. He will have His way, not because it is all set in stone but because He is God. You have everything already done, we just go through the motions, it's all just an act, nothing is real. Jimmy


Subject: Re: Thy Will Be Done?
From: laz
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 06:24:54 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I was just thinking about that point. If God must be dynamic and have an open relationship with man in order for 'true love' to exist....and if God must make Himself ignorant of the future, even giving up control of it...then how could He have guaranteed that the Messiah would be born of the godly line of Seth, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob...David.....unless he compelled certain men and women to marry in accordance to strict protocol, thereby VIOLATING their sacred 'freewill'...which is apparently a violation of Openness' 'prime directive'. haha laz p.s. nice post, John H.!


Subject: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: Hail
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 12:34:23 (PDT)
Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

Message:
Before I begin, I must say that I am not a charismatic and believe with all confidence that the charismatic movement of today is unbiblical and a deception. Okay. I hope that some of you here will help clarify the following verses for me:

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. - 1 Corinthians 14:14-15

The charismatics often point toward these verses to defend the gibberish they say is 'praying in tongues.' Does the praying in tongues mentioned here differ with the speaking in tongues mentioned everywhere else? I know that all tongues in the Bible were verifiable languages unknown to the speaker, however, were tongues used for prayer also? I must be missing something here. Also, does the 'praying with the Spirit' and 'singing with the Spirit' have anything to do with tongues? I look forward to your replies. Hail


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Cor 14:14-15 [Part A]
From: Pilgrim
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 18:31:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Below is a comprehensive answer to your question, with the specific text exegeted by Dr. Richard Gaffin, Professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, from his book, Perspectives on Pentecost. Because of its length, I have broken it into two parts. This is part A:


Earlier in this chapter (section A) we noticed the sustained connection between prophecy and tongues in I Corinthians 14. Turning now to the other side of that tie we begin by examining what Paul says about (1) the origin and (2) the content of tongues. 1. The most pronounced indication of the origin of tongues is found in verse 14, which is usually translated: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” In exercising the gift of tongues the mind of the speaker is bypassed (“unfruitful”), at the very least in the sense that his mind is not used in the production of the speech, probably also in the sense that he himself does not understand what is being said, that is, does not apprehend it with his mind. Throughout this passage (vv. 15—19; cf. 7—11) the mind is the proper locus of language, if language is understood as the vehicle for intelligible communication; language is a capacity of the mind, and understanding and cognitive meaning are functions of the mind, or at least involve the mind. But Paul says that the mind of the tongues-speaker is not involved in what he says. Whether or not to exercise the gift as to time and place, but not the speaking itself, is subject to control by his mind (v. 28; cf. 19, 23). Verse 14, then, says either that the vocalization of the tongues-speaker involves the Spirit’s use of some aspect of his personality other than the mind or that his person is completely bypassed except for the utilization of his voice, his sound-producing mechanisms, by the Spirit. In various forms the first viewpoint is widely held today. According to this view tongues are not the words of the Holy Spirit but a Spirit-worked vocalizing of a volitional, yet non­intellective, preconceptual capacity in man, usually with the emphasis that tongues bring to expression the more primal, deeper levels of personality, that in man which is more genuinely and authentically human. Tongues enable one to express concerns resident in the deepest recesses of his being, concerns otherwise suppressed and inhibited by the superficialities of conceptualization and conventional language. In other words, this view, whether or not explicitly and consciously, takes “my spirit” (v. 14) anthropologically, as referring to the human spirit, spirit as an aspect of man. a. But this—what to many may seem self-evident—is one of the great, perhaps insuperable difficulties with this position exegetically. To take the contrast between “mind” and “spirit” in verses 14—19 as the contrast between the nonintellective, preconceptual and rational, cognitive sides of man is without support elsewhere in Paul. In fact, it is foreign not only to Paul but the entire New Testament teaching about man. Paul’s anthropology can be surveyed by means of the basic distinction between “the inner man” and “the outer man” (II Cor. 4:16; cf. Rom. 7:22; Eph. 3:16). In terms of this distinction, (human) “spirit” (pneuma) and “mind” (nous) both pertain to the inner man. As such, both terms overlap in meaning and have essentially the same reference, along with “heart” (kardia) and “soul” (sooka) Specifically, these terms refer to man’s “center,” what in his make-up most deeply determines his thinking and acting. For example, this overlap can be seen in Romans 1:9 (“. . . God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son . . . “), where Paul’s “service” of God with his spirit is realized in the (intelligible) word-ministry of gospel-preaching. As such it is but one instance of the “spiritual [rational, logikan] service” (Rom. 12:1) incumbent on all believers, which results from the “renewing of the mind” (v. 2). Again, Paul exhorts the Corinthians, for the sake of the gospel, to be united “in the same mind” (I Cor. 1:10; cf. vv. 13—17), while, in encouraging the Philippians to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel, he hopes to hear that they are standing firm “in one spirit,” contending “with one mind [sooka]' (Phil. 1:27). Ephesians 4:23 is particularly instructive: the comprehensive renewal realized by putting on the new man in Christ (v. 24) is renewal that takes place “in the spirit of your mind.” This expression can be read only as a compound­ing of anthropological terms (cf., e.g., I Thess. 5:23: “spirit and soul”) to emphasize the thorough transformation of the inner man. It shows that “spirit” and “mind” are basically synonymous (“the attitude of your minds,” NIV), or at least that they are not set over against each other as contrasting parts of the personality. Further, the center of man’s comprehensive searching and self-knowledge is his spirit, analogous to the activity of the Spirit of God in God (I Cor. 2:10f.). And the (intelligible) joint-witness of the Spirit with the believer’s spirit is that he is God’s child, result­ing in the (comprehensible) cry to God as Father (Rom. 8:15f.). Finally, the typical closing benediction, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Gal. 6:18; Phil. 4:23; II Tim. 4:22; Philem. 25), is directed not just to one aspect but to the whole man in terms of the integrating center of all his functions. The picture in the rest of the New Testament only confirms what we find in Paul (cf., e.g., Acts 18:25, where Apollos’ “fervency in spirit” is expressed by the intelligible activity of “speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus”): man’s spirit does not have functions in contrast to his mind, but is, like his mind, his inner life in its (intended) wholeness and integrity.

____________________________________________

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Cor 14:14-15 [Part B]
From: Pilgrim
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 18:36:25 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

PART B

"The view, then, that the contrast in I Corinthians 14:14 is between the cognitive and preconceptual sides of man is foreign to the New Testament. Where then does it come from? No doubt a number of factors explain such a widespread viewpoint, but a basic one, it seems to me, is its reaction against a secularized use of reason. The assertion of rational autonomy, which has become dominant in the West, especially since the Enlightenment, has now, in the twentieth century, been increasingly unmasked in its deepest intention and outworkings. It threatens to devour man and destroy his integrity, and so efforts are being made to offset and balance it by emphasizing the irrational and nonconceptual in man, for the recapture of the self in its wholeness. There is every biblical warrant for opposing this dehumanizing exercise of reason, as it works itself out, for instance, in a depersonalizing use of technology or an inappropriate and destructive application of mechanistic models to various areas of human experience. But the solution does not lie in building on the conviction that religious experience is essentially irrational and that man’s nonrational and preconceptual capacities are the proper sphere of the Spirit’s working, the locus of his direct activity in man. That conviction only compounds the confusion because it does not really challenge man’s rebellious pretensions to rational autonomy but at best only relativizes them. It makes room for religious experience but without recapturing the wholeness it is seeking, because it leaves reason essentially untouched and sec­ularized and so ends up only intensifying tensions and splits in human experience. The Bible wishes to know only of the whole man and his love for God, with mind as well as heart, soul, and strength (Mark 12:30), of the worshipful offering to God of the entire self (body), controlled by a renewed mind (Rom. 12:1f.). To be sure, the Bible also knows about the limitations of our language and conceptualizing capacities, particularly when it comes to God and ourselves and our inevitable relationship to him. The gift of salvation in Christ is “unspeakable,” indescribable, beyond words (II Cor. 9:15). The joy of Christians is “inexpressible” (I Peter 1:8); so too are aspects of God’s revelation (II Cor. 12:4). In their full scope his judgments are unsearchable and his ways cannot be fathomed (Rom. 11:33). But Scripture never gives any indication that the impenetrable greatness of God and the incomprehensible depths of his love are better grasped and articulated by some other, alleg­edly deeper aspect of personality than the mind with its language capacities. Man is more than his mind; he is not an intellectualistic machine. But this “more” is not inevitably in tension with the mind, nor does language necessarily distort or obscure the whole­ness of experience. The limitation that confronts us here is not that of one part of man (mind) relative to some other (spirit), but the limitations of the whole man, the creature, in all his functions before his Creator. b. But now if verse 14 does not contrast the mind of the believer with his (human) spirit, how then is it to be understood, particularly “my spirit prays”? The answer lies in recognizing that “spirit” in this clause, as well as its parallel occurrences in verses 15 and 16 (and v. 2), refers to the Holy Spirit. Admittedly, “my Spirit” (in the sense of the Holy Spirit) is difficult, at least the initial impression it makes. Considerations in the context, however, point to this as Paul’s intended meaning. A key is his immediately preceding use of “spirit” in verse 12a, translated literally: “since you are zealous of spirits.” The expression “zealous of spirits,” too, is an unusual one but is unquestionably a reference to the Holy Spirit, unless we take the doubtful position that Paul here reflects his view that the gifts are communicated to the church by angels or mediating spirits. The plural usage, in com­bination with “zealous,” refers to gifts, emphasizing that they are the Spirit’s gifts. The reference is to the plurality of the gifts of the Spirit in terms of the Spirit himself. This is the uniform sense of the standard English translations: “zealous of spiritual gifts” (KJV, NASB), “eager to have spiritual gifts” (NIV), “eager for gifts of the Spirit” (NEB), “eager for manifestations of the Spirit” (RSV). A similar plural usage is present later in the chapter: “Spirits of prophets are subject to prophets” (v. 32; cf. Rev. 22:6). The thought is not that each prophet is to control his own (human) spirit. For one thing, while “spirit” is more plausibly anthropological here than in verses 14—16, that is not likely, since else­where in the chapter Paul associates prophecy with intelligible speech that involves the mind (v. 19; cf. 6). Rather Paul is say­ing that the prophetic gift given to each prophet by the Spirit is subject to the control of the prophet. “It is for prophets to con­trol prophetic inspiration” (NEB). Again, as in verse 12, a particu­lar gift of the Spirit is referred to in terms of the Spirit himself. According to verse 2, “the one who speaks in a tongue . . . speaks mysteries by the Spirit.” Because an anthropological spirit is excluded in verses 14 and 32, the reference here is likewise not to the human spirit, but, as is more likely on other grounds anyway, the Holy Spirit. In verse 14, then, picking up and continuing the immediately preceding use of “spirit” (v. 12), Paul describes the gift of tongues as a particular, individual reception of the Holy Spirit himself by the speaker (“my Spirit,” “the Spirit in [given to] me”). The contrast in the verse is between the Holy Spirit and the mind of the recipient, between the Spirit’s activity in the gift of tongues and the inactivity of the recipient’s mind. The New English Bible has captured the thought here precisely, better than other translations:c “the Spirit in me prays, but my intellect lies fallow.” Conclusion: What Paul says about tongues-speaking shows its fully inspired origin in the sense that the words of the speaker are the words of the Holy Spirit. His speech capacities are so taken over by the Spirit that the words spoken are not his, except in the sense that his voice is employed. Involved is a form of inspiration that even “goes beyond” the full, comprehending utilization of the human subject that is usually the case in the high inspiration of the biblical writers. In terms of the pairing of tongues with prophecy, the overall contrast of the chapter is not the Spirit­actualized expression of one side of man (his spirit, the preconceptual) in distinction from the Spirit-actualized expression of another (his mind, the conceptual), but Spirit-worked speech (the words of the Spirit) which in the one case (prophecy) does, and in the other case (tongues) does not, utilize the speaker’s existing language (conceptual) capacities."


In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: Prestor John
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 15:14:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I would suggest you try this link for another view of what tongues may have been. It tends to knock the whole 'gibberish' thought out completely. A New Look at Tongues www.AllianceNet.org/pub/articles/zerhusen.tongues1.Acts.html


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: john hampshire
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 20:24:45 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
From the website: Instead, the disciples of Jesus began to prophesy in 'other tongues' with a boldness and authority given by the Holy Spirit. Other than what tongue? In this thoroughly Judean context, the place where a Judean diglossia would most likely exist, a reasonable conclusion is 'other than Hebrew' (the 'Holy Tongue'). So, with great effort, we learn that the 'other tongues' that was spoken on the feast of Pentecost was, get this: The language that the apostles normally spoke. Acts 2:4 'And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance'. In this context, and based on the website's definition of 'other tongues', we are amazed that this seemingly extraordinary event is nothing more than the Holy Spirit causing them to speak in their usual everyday language. WOW, that IS thrilling. This thrilling moment caused the news to spread everywhere and as Acts 2:7 says 'And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?' As the website says, what was really shocking was, 'They were not expecting to hear ordinary people boldly prophesying in the languages (Aramaic and Greek) in this situation.' Yes, that was a stunning moment that caused such a stir. The apostles were not speaking Hebrew when the Holy Spirit fell upon them. And somehow this is expected of 'ordinary people' who have the Holy Spirit fall upon them? Who says they crowd expected Hebrew to be spoken, why would they expect that? This shocking event caused the crowds to say in Acts 2:8, 'And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?'. According to the website, they were simply amazed that the apostles were speaking the common language of common men instead of Hebrew. Does that make any sense? You must first believe that 'every man' infers all the apostles together are speaking only Greek/Aramaic. Then you must believe that the crowd of devout men assembled all understood Hebrew (the language of their birth) and understood Greek/Aramaic (the language of the apostles). Acts 2:5 'And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.' These men came out of every nation; i.e., the known world. They all supposedly understood Greek/Aramaic according to the website and expected the unlearned apostles to speak in Hebrew. The only really amazing thing here is why anyone would expect common folk who spoke Greek/Aramaic as a matter of course, to speak in any language other than the one they knew. Now, that is amazing. Imagine the commotion that would ensue if I, knowing only English, were to preach to an assembly of folks from many nations-- in English. How shocking that would be (not much). The website's argument is based on the idea that it would indeed be shocking if, for instance, the Pope were to do the mass in English, when they were expecting Latin. Yet, should a crowd expect common Jews to speak in the language of common Jews? Yes. So where is the shock? There is none. Were they amazed because they didn't speak in Hebrew? No, the apostles were not learned men, they were not expected to conduct some ritual in some prescribed manner. It was extemporaneous speaking. The only thing that would shock people visiting Jerusalem from many foreign locations is to hear the apostles speaking in the language of their birth (not Hebrew), knowing the apostles were indeed unlearned men. This particular theory of Hebrew speaking being 'other languages' is too far fetched. The logical understanding is, in this case, the best. The apostles spoke in languages that were understood by folks from varied countries, and that was quite an amazing thing. john


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: Rod
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 19:18:05 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
John, This is an interesting article, but it raises some problems as well as attempting to solve some. The whole issue of 'tongues' is very troubling and divisive to the Chruch today. It is much misundertood and very emotional. There are a number of unresolved aspects of the situation of 'tongues,' apparently. The confusion arises from at least three things: one, there are at least four different words translated 'tongue' or 'tongues' in the NT that I can find; two, the people of Acts 2 listening to Peter were apparently all of the Jewish religion, while the other uses of tongues described in 1 Corinthians concerns the church, a mixture of Jews and Gentiles; third, the gift of 'tongues' was clearly associated by Paul with interpretation. We might also add that the Acts passage is the only one which I can recall offhand where hearing is emphasized so much. Paul places emphasis, not on 'hearing,' but comprehension, understanding. There are also several notable and interesting things about Acts 2, specifically. 1. Verse 3: '
cloven--this expression could mean that there was one central source of the 'tongues as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.' Presumably this refers to one source (the Spirit of God) for the 'tongue' which then split, but wasn't completely divided, in order to sit upon each of them. Highly symbolic, if a true interpretation of the phenomenon. The instance which was similar with the Gentiles in Acts 10 describes the circumstance as this: The Holy Spirit 'fell' upon the Gentiles and that group spoke in tongues (see Acts 10:44-48). In 11:15 Peter declares that 'the Holy Spiirt fell on them, as on us at the beginning.' There can be some question as to whether the 'tongues as of fire' appeared and the whole thing was exactly as the circumstance in Jerusalem at Pentecost, or if it means that they received the same empowerment as at that previous time as a witness and sign that they now had the Spirit of God within. Acts 15: 8 has Peter describing this same incident and doesn't emphasize the sign of tongues, but rather places stress on their being 'given the Holy Spirit, even as he did to us,' and then in the next verse he again underlines the fact that the important thing was that 'their hearts' were purified 'by faith.' 2. Acts 2:4 has the subject as the speaking of the believers in Christ Jesus. 3. The next verse lays stress on the diversity of the land of birth of the audience, calling them, 'devout men of every nation under heaven.' 4. Verse 6 notes that the miracle included an emphasis on the ability to hear by the witnesses 'in their own language.' This is a differently translated word, but it is the same word rendered 'tongue' in Acts 1:19, where it is referenced by the verse as 'their proper tongue.' 5. In the next verse, it is important to note that 'all those who speak' were Galileans.' This might mean that the Apostles were the speakers in tongues, not all the believers who followed them, since probably not every single believer was a Galilean. At any rate the fact that they were Galileans is notable. 6. Again, verse 8 specifically mentions the 'hearing' of the witnesses of this miracle--they understood the speakers without interpretation. 7. Verses 9-11 list the diversity of the origins of the men hearing, with verse 10 specifically noting that some of them weren't Jews by birth, but were 'proselytes.' And verse 11 again mentions the 'hearing' and the 'speaking.' 8. Finally, in verse 14, it may well be that Peter spoke in his general address a common language understood by all present, since the sign had been given and he now had their attention and interest. If not, it would seem to be a miracle of hearing if all the men heard him in their own native language. The text implies strongly that there was no 'tongues' speaking at this point--only Peter spoke. There is no indication that I can see that anyone else interpreted what he said, and it is unlikely that he paused and delivered every point in a different language. The 'common language' seems highly likely. Additionally, when he spoke of the previous incident of 'tongues,' in verse 18, the sign from the Lord, it was mentioned in conjunction with 'prophesying.' It has to be remembered that Paul stated that 'tongues [different word from that used in Acts 2] are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not; but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them who believe' (1 Cor. 14:22). Is that possibly that the reason these listeners accused them of being 'drunk?' And Paul earlier mention that 'the Jews require a sign' (1:22), noting in the previous verse that preaching the truth of God is 'foolishness' to those who aren't believers ( maybe denoting why these Jewish people accused them of being 'drunk' and presumably out of their heads?). Another interesting feature of the 'tongues' issue is that the phrase 'Hebrew tongue' is used in John 5:2, employing a different word from that of Acts 1:19 and 2:8. Yet in Acts 21:40, the 'Hebrew tongue' uses the same word for 'tongue' as in that book's second chapter, as it is in 22:2 and 26:14. Yet still a different word translated 'Hebrew tongue' is employed in Rev. 9:11, as well as 16:16. But the 'tongue' of Rev. 3:9 is the one Paul used with the Corinthians. All of which is no doubt significant, but leads to confusion. Also, it has to be noteworthy and illuminating that Paul mentions 'tongues' in association with 'interpretation' in 1 Corinthians, so that all hearing will understand. His indication is that the ability to use a 'tongue' is not necessarily accompanied by the gift of interpretation: 'Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?' (1 Cor. 12:30). Finally, let's recognize that the ability to speak in a language you've never learned would be a tremendous aid to a foreign missionary effort. But by contrast with that fact is this: Paul, in 1 Corinthians seems to be speaking, at least part of the time, of things done when the chruch is assembled. The context of Chapter 14 seems to demand that: 'Even so, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church' (14:12); 'Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown [unknown is not in the text, but italicized] tongue' (verse 19). All this must prompt serious study and prayer. I'm not satisfied that I understand all about 'tongues' in spite of having spent a lot of time debating some charismatics on the issue and reading the Word of God with prayer. I've read a few books and heard a couple of taped sermons on the subject. May God direct each of us to the truth.


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: Hail
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 05:42:05 (PDT)
Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

Message:
Rod, I read an article a while back that claimed a person in a foreign country was miraculously able to speak the language of that country for just a few moments in order to witness to one native there. I don't know how true this account is, but do you think it is possible that a miracle such as this can occur? I think it might be; however, it would
not be the gift of tongues which has ceased and is clearly intended for the edification of the church. Hail


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: Rod
To: Hail
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 06:55:21 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hail, This is a good question. I also have heard stories like this. The real question is, how valuable is the source? That is, is the one who relates the tale originally utterly reliable and are there others who can verify it? I have never heard anyone tell of such a thing in a way that it was possible to verify that this actually occurred. Is it like the 'urban/ rural legends' which sound good and as if they could have happened (maybe even
should have happened, according to human reasoning), but seem not to have been actual occurrences? I think your last statement is the correct approach: 'I think it might [my emphasis] be; however, it would not be the gift of tongues which has ceased and is clearly intended for the edification of the church.' I, too, believe that the 'sign gifts' ended during the time of or with the Apostles and 'Wherefore, tongues are for a sign...' (1 Cor. 14:22). Therefore, I am highly skeptical, though I won't absolutely rule out the 'miracle.' However, it would not be the Spirit's gift of 'tongues' as the early Church was given. The best thing to do, it seems, is to remain suspicious of such stories, admitting that God still does miracles, yet not in the same manner as the giving of sign gifts received variously from God's Spirit by individuals in the early Church.


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: Rod
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 13:32:46 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hail, 'Does the praying in tongues mentioned here differ with the speaking in tongues mentioned everywhere else?' I can see no reason to think this is a different useage of tongues than elsewhere, since you correctly, I think, state the truth on 'unknown tongues' ('unknown' not being in the original text, but being added by the KJV translators) when you say, 'I know that all tongues in the Bible were verifiable languages unknown to the speaker.' If that is the truth, we have to ask ourselves, Why would this single and particular usage be different? I can see no reason to change the intent and meaning suddenly. Verse 13 makes it clear that speaking in a language not understood and not interpreted profits no one. Verse 12 emphasizes that the use of this gift is for the 'edifying of the church,' as does the whole context of the chapters in which Paul is speaking of exercise of the gifts (cp. Eph. 4:11-16). 'Also, does the 'praying with the Spirit' and 'singing with the Spirit' have anything to do with tongues?' All things are to be done with a person's sincere spirit of worship of God, which can be done only if there is understanding of what is said, spoken, prayed. Otherwise, there is no 'edifying of the church,' as no one understands what is said. Comparing the next verse (16), 'Else, when thou bless with the spirit, how shall
he that occupieth the place of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks [i.e., he isn't edified, not comprehending], seeing he understandeth not what tho sayest.' It's very significant whether one perceives the word 'spirit' in this verse with a capital 'S' or a lower case 's.' One would mean that the Spirit of the Holy God is being mentioned, while the latter means that the person's spirit is being considered. I consulted the NIV, RSV, KJV, Darby's translation, and Young's literal translation and none of these capitalize the word 'spirit.' All of them interpret this to mean not the Spirit of God here, but the spirit of the individual. I rarely use the NIV, feeling that it is more a commentary than a translation at some points, but here it seems to capture the essence of the verse: 'If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say 'Amen' to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?' With the spirit of man lies no understanding if it is unclear what the person is saying, whether in 'speaking,' ' praying,' or 'singing.' After all, they all actually are 'speech' of various types, making this useage no different from the 'speaking' mentioned previously.


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 13:35:19 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
I am wondering what you make of 1 Cor.13:1 'Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels,...' What is 'angels' referring to? It sounds like an unknown tongue, does it not? Tom


Subject: Re: Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 16:46:43 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, Very quickly, the 'angels' of the Bible are messengers delivering the pronouncements of God. Not all the 'angels' of the Bible are spirit beings: 'For the priest's lips shall keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger [same word translated 'angel' in many other places] of the LORD of hosts' (Mal. 2:7). God's ability to deliver His people is described as His 'hand' not being 'shortened' in Is. 59:1. Now God is spirit, He doesn't really have a 'hand,' nor does He have a 'mouth' as portrayed in this verse. Neither do the spirit beings called "angels," to which you undoubtedly refer, have actual tongues to speak. They have to assume a human form and speak in the language of men in order to deliever God's direct mesage to them. Also, remember that not all 'angels' are the spirit beings who are holy angels of God. The same Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 13-14, 'For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel [messenger] of light.' Then, we have to consider the context of expressing 'love' Paul is using in 1 Cor. 13. The Lord Jesus stated this truth to His diciples as He instructed them: 'By this shall all
know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another' (John 13:35). Now, in that light, 1 Cor.13:1: 'Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as as sounding bronze, or a tinkling cymbal.' The message is not effective before men, no matter how eloquently delivered, having no convicting evidence that the 'messenger' is really of Christ. That evidence is in the loving concern the messenger of God delivers in that he is seeking the best for those hearing. Compare the following two verses, particularly 3, where Paul says that his acts, improperly motivated, though having the appearance of being 'good' in men's eyes, 'it profiteth me nothing.' As further illustration, when the angels appeared in the OT and the 'angel of the LORD' (whom I and others consider to the the pre-incarnate Son, the "Word") appeared, it was to deliver a message of good effect to work for the benefit of God's people. The same principle should be applied in examining the motivation of men representing the Lord Jesus. The Corinthians Paul is addressing are in serious error, misusing their spiritual gifts. In fact the whole of the epistle seems to be written with a view to admonish and correct them as its general thrust.


Subject: Pewsitters
From: Prestor John
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 01:10:49 (PDT)
Email Address: pdnelson@icehouse.net

Message:
Hello! Now before someone gets up in arms about this I have received permission from Pilgrim to post this information here and at the Open Forum. I would like to announce the opening of Pewsitters a reverent cartoon. Pewsitters follows the theme of Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. Pewsitters is set in the fictious university of Wittenberg, a Lutheran school where Mike, Janet, Professor Thumbscrew, and others learn and reside. There we see why humain frailities are laughable. I sincerely hope that you stop by and enjoy a laugh or two Prestor John Pewsitters www.pewsitters.com www.icehouse.net/pdnelson/pewsitters/pewsitters2.jpg


Subject: Re: Alright-something I relate to!
From: stan
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 10:58:00 (PDT)
Email Address: exscentric@hotmail.com

Message:
Always thought the term pews came from the dead flesh sitting in them ;-) stan ..


Subject: Inspired
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 12:56:37 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
In John P's objections to restricting singing in the chruches, his central argument seems to be that only the OT Psaltry contains inspred songs. As such, the psalms are the exclusive songs, hymns, what have you, to be voiced in the public worship. All others are to be avoided as they do not come directly from the Lord God. If that were indeed true, it seems to me that we would also have to restrict preaching and teaching severely, curtailing all but the inspired messages contained in the Word of God. That principle, carried to that extreme would mean that 'preaching' would consist solely of Bible reading or recitation of memorized passages, no exegesis, no illustrations, no further comment. Only then could we be certain that the messages delivered were inspired, containing no error, for there are no inspired preachers/writers today. Yet we routinely accept that men may speak concerning the Scriptures in sermons and lessons, without being confined to mere quotation. Since the purpose of hymns is both to glorify our God and to inform the singer/reader, there seems to be no practical difference between singing hymns
based on Scripture and its principles and listening to a sermon prepared by an uninspired man who bases his message on the prayerful seeking of the exact meaning of Scripture.


Subject: Re: Biblico-Theologico Approach
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 13:51:48 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, Amen!, brother.

A Biblical-theological understanding of the unfolding character of the history of redemption will see new songs and hymns composed with each chapter of God’s plan. When God executes His wrath or grace, it is time to compose new songs which celebrate these covenantal acts of God. This is why new songs are to be found in the historical books, before the Psalms and in the prophetic books after the Psalms. The mighty acts of God in every generation were put to music and sung. The people of God had the freedom to write new songs to praise God; they were never restricted to the Psalms. a. What did the people of God do before David was born? They composed songs as Miriam (Exod.15:20), Moses (Ps. 90) and Deborah (Judg. 5) did to celebrate the acts of God in their generations. b. How did David come to write the Psalms? There was no divine command for him to write the Psalms for worship services. Many of the Psalms were written for David’s personal edification when he was yet a shepherd boy. He had musical gifts and he had the freedom to exercise them in the public worship of God. If a sole psalmist would have been present when David introduced a few of his original songs into the worship service, he would have rejected David’s songs because Moses’ Psalm (Ps. 90) was the only Psalm which could have been sung. c. The presence of other authors included in the Psalms suggests that whoever had the gifts could exercise them for the good of God’s people. (See 1 Chron.15:22, where David hires a song writer, or 1 Chron.16, where David encouraged the priests to compose original vocal and instrumental music to praise God. d. After David, songs were composed to celebrate God’s mighty acts in each generation. (For example, see lsa. 5:1; 26:1; 42:10; Lamentations, etc.) To be sure, the people of God did not forget all the acts of God in ages past; they continued to sing all the old songs and hymns and Psalms from every generation. e. Even a careful reading of the Psalms will discover some Psalms which were written long after David. Some are even from the post-exile period. If the people of God were limited to David’s Psalms, why do we find Psalms from later periods included? The only answer is that the Psalms of David were not viewed as being the finalized hymnbook for the church. f. Finally, where in the Old Testament do we ever find a divine command to sing only the Psalms? There are examples of psalm singing but God never said to restrict ourselves to the Psalms. We are told to remember the acts of God in past generations but also we are told by God to sing new songs to celebrate the acts of God in our own generation (Pss. 33:3; 96:1; 98:1; etc.). The History of Redemption in the New Testament has the same unfolding character as the Old Testament. 1. The angels open up the age of the New Covenant with new songs, not old Psalms (Luke 2:13-14). These new songs celebrate the incarnation and the redemptive work of God the Son. It is apparent from the very beginning that the New Covenant will generate new songs of praise. 2. Mary celebrated God’s work within her by composing a glorious song of faith and confidence (Luke 1:46-55). Thus we begin the New Testament with original songs composed to celebrate the new acts of God in Christ Jesus. 3. Did not the crowds compose a new song to celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (Luke 19:37-38)? 4. Do we not find portions of several hymns recorded in the New Testament which show us that the early Christians composed new songs to celebrate the salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ? (cf. 1Cor 13; Eph 5:14; Col 1:15-20; 1Tim 3:16; 2Tim 2:11-14; Jam 1:17; Rev 1:5, 6; 15:3; etc.) 5. Did not the Corinthian Christians compose their own distinctively Christian songs when they shared with their fellow saints in public worship (1 Cor. 14:26)? 6. As the New Testament begins with angelic songs, so it closes with heavenly songs. It is important to ask, Are they singing only the Psalms? No! They sing new songs to God (Rev. 4:11; 5:9-14, etc.). The New Testament people had the freedom to compose new songs to celebrate the covenantal acts of God in their own generation. 7. Are we told in the New Testament to restrict ourselves to singing the Psalms in church services? No. There is not a single verse in the New Testament where we are-told to sing the Psalms, and only the Psalms, in the public worship of the gathered church.

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Thanks
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 14:53:54 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Thanks Rod and Pilgrim :-) I agree with you, unless God should shows me otherwise through His word. I think I am satified with the information I have read so far, to be reasonable sure on what to believe about the issue. I concider John. P to be a very dear brother in the Lord, but I will have to agree to disagree with him on this issue. I hope after he reads this post he feels the same way about me. Tom


Subject: The Infirm Man
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 09:56:36 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
To all: I'd be interested in your thoughts. How do you assess the 'infirm' man of John 5:1-16? What are the indications of his character, both before and after being healed?


Subject: Re: The Infirm Man
From: john hampshire
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 17:31:48 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
His character? Not much to go on. He was sick, too weak to move quickly. He was despairing, perhaps feeling in need of pity. He had no one to put him in the water. I suppose Jesus used this pool because it suitably represented the reason He was sent. Bethesda = 'house of mercy' or 'flowing water', certainly Jesus is the house of mercy out of which living water flows. He picked the sick man to heal because He was 1) One of the elect 2) infirmed 38 years 3) Unable to help himself 4) a good example of salvation 5) It was the Sabbath and the Jews would be suitably angry 6) He planned to use this event to increase the rage that would lead to His death 7) He could use this event to speak to the multitudes about the Father. After being healed the man was in the temple. Jesus warns him to sin not, lest something worse than his earlier infirmities fall upon him. As in: Heb 10:29 'How much severer (worse) punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?' The part of this account that I find remarkable is the account of the messenger of the Lord that would in certain seasons trouble the water allowing the first in to be healed. I have read that the troubling may have been subterraneous gas bubbles. It would seem that people thought that it was a messenger of the Lord, rather than actually an angel. If people were actually healed of all kinds of infirmities then it must have been a miracle just as stated. But I still have problem with spirit-beings stirring physical water. And for what purpose? It is an inconsistent idea that angels heal people. I must contend, having just convinced myself, that it was 'thought' there might be healings available at the pool, and many believed that if they went into the pool after seeing bubbles (assumed to be from God since all healing is from God) they would be healed. Sound more like superstition than reality; attributed to angels by the sick. I would think the sick man had placed his faith in a superstition, yet Christ showed him where the reality was. I will assume this one sick man, out of a multitude of sickly people was God's elected one, and after the healing he was healed both spiritually and physically. The warning to “sin not” seems not unique to that man, but applies to all. Though the man was healed spiritually (I assume), he was not exempt from living in obedience to God, which should be his inner-desire. There is no way for the sick man to know he was spiritually healed except he 'sin not'. And perhaps, his earlier sin involved drinking or sexual immorality that resulted in his 'sickness'. john


Subject: Tres Dias
From: john hampshire
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 23:05:45 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anyone familiar with the Tres Dias program? Theology is non-demoninational supposedly reaching out to all Christians or searchers. Any concerns with this organization? john


Subject: Re: Tres Dias
From: Pilgrim
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 08:02:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anyone familiar with the Tres Dias program? Theology is non-demoninational supposedly reaching out to all Christians or searchers. Any concerns with this organization? john
---
John,

Here's a quote from the web site Stan referenced, and found in their 'Essentials of Tres Dias'

TRES DIAS is based on the principles, the method, and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement initially proposed by Bishop Juan Hervas, Eduardo Bonnin and their fellow Christians. Each candidate goes through three phases of the TRES DIAS movement: the pre-weekend, the three-day weekend1 and the Fourth Day. TRES DIAS is a Christian ecumenical movement.

Enough said? hahaha

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Tres Dias
From: stan
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 07:17:55 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
http://www.tresdias.org/


Subject: God's plans for the reprobate?
From: Anne
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 17:14:06 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
Okay, riddle me this . . . . . I've been reading 'Knowing God' by J. I. Packer and he is talking about the plans God has for us, His adoptive children. But this set me thinking . . . . since God is omnipotent and omniscient, doesn't He, for all practical purposes, have a 'plan' for all His creatures, both elect and otherwise? How, precisely, do
our plans differ from those of the reprobate, except in our eventual eternal destinations? Anne


Subject: Re: God's plans for the reprobate?
From: Chris
To: Anne
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 21:01:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anne, Romans chapter 9:21-24, Those who are reprobate, fitted for destruction and those who are His sheep fitted for glory, 'Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Here we see Gods Purpose, Desire, and Good Pleasure:) Always and Forever


Subject: Re: God's plans for the reprobate?
From: Pilgrim
To: Anne
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 17:36:58 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Okay, riddle me this . . . . . I've been reading 'Knowing God' by J. I. Packer and he is talking about the plans God has for us, His adoptive children. But this set me thinking . . . . since God is omnipotent and omniscient, doesn't He, for all practical purposes, have a 'plan' for all His creatures, both elect and otherwise? How, precisely, do
our plans differ from those of the reprobate, except in our eventual eternal destinations? Anne
---
Anne,

One major thing that differs between God's 'plan' for the elect and His 'plan' for the reprobate, is that 'all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.' Within this 'all things' is also meant our Sanctification. We are always being 'conformed to the image of Christ' (Rom 8:29), made 'partakers of the divine nature' (Joh 1:12; 2Pet 1:4), and are destined to receive 'the inheritance of the saints' (Col 1:12; cf. Eph 1:11, 14, 18; Heb 9:15; 1Pet 1:4). In other words, after we have been made 'right' for heaven (Justification), we are then made 'fit' for heaven (Sanctification). :-)

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: God's plans for the reprobate?
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 23:46:33 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
How, precisely, do our plans differ from those of the reprobate, except in our eventual eternal destinations? No doubt our regeneration, calling, salvation, justification, sanctification, and eventual glorification differentiate us from the reprobate in a very real way. Still, God uses all mankind for His purposes, so we fit into His predetermined plans to the same degree. I think there is merit in reminding the unrepentant sinner that God indeed has a plan for him. It just gets sidetracked (distorted) by some into: 'Do you know God has a plan for your life, He wants you to be saved'. There is also the insidious distortion for believers too: 'Do you know God has a plan for your life, He wants you to be ________'. Fill in the blank with: Happy, healthy, wealthy, victorious, Spirit-filled, on and on. The implication here is that whatever God's plan may be, it can be 'activated' or 'altered' if we only ask. Hence, God has not one plan, but many plans for your life, depending upon your responses and choices. Or we can say then, based on this type of theology, God has no plan for your life... YOU are responsible for all that happens; God is waiting to help empower YOU! john


Subject: Re: God's plans for the reprobate?
From: Chris
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 20:56:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, Something hit me wrong when reading your post, 'There is also the insidious distortion for believers too: 'Do you know God has a plan for your life, He wants you to be ________'. Fill in the blank with: Happy, healthy, wealthy, victorious, Spirit-filled, on and on.' I will agree about the Happy, Healthy, Wealthy part, but definately not with the Victorious, Spiritfilled part. For it is Gods plan and purpose that we are walk reminded that in Jesus we are victorious and that we are to be Spirit-filled. Also I do want to say this, we must seek out what Gods purpose is for our life and Obey. That is our only Choice in the matter as BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. Besides, His Will will be done with our without us, right? Right! Always and Forever


Subject: Re: God's plans for the reprobate?
From: john hampshire
To: Chris
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 20:44:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I suppose it depends on your theology . Should we urge a believer to be 'spirit-filled' or victorious? By my definition, if we are regenerated, then we ARE Spirit-filled. To urge someone to be filled with the Spirit usually is a request that they demonstrate some outward manifestation, such as tongues, or other signs and wonders. The theology of the Pentecostal is built around the idea that God has miraculous gifts just waiting for you, all you have to do is have faith and ask. There is also the secondary accompanying belief that if you get enough spirit-filling, and don't lose the 'power', you can live a victorious life. My definition of a victorious life is that Christ has performed the Victory against God’s enemies, and I share as an adopted son in the King's triumph. God does not pull His Spirit away, we may rebel against what is right, but God convicts us through much pain and suffering, which is how we grow in sanctification. The Christian life is not a some never-ending ecstasy of happiness and joy, nor is that our goal. The wrong definition would have each believer gleefully skipping through life, carefree in God's love, claiming victory over each problem. Supposedly, because we are victorious, we should be always happy, always smiling, dancing on the mountain tops so to speak. When problems arrive in the 'spirit-filled' person's life (by this I mean those who think there are many in-fillings to maintain a powerful life), the fault lies in a lack of 'power' due to the loss of 'filling'. Like a car out of gas, you have to go back to the Gas-station and get more power (like a Power Ranger I suppose, who always needs more power). No power, no victorious life, pretty simple. Each day you must think hard to confess all sins, to keep the power flowing from God. If you catch all your sins, then God will turn on the 'juice' and you can do miracles again, and never have a sad day. Having spent many years with Pentecostals, I must say today I am disgusted with this mentality. It is a distortion of regeneration, making our repentance and faith a requirement for God’s grace, and distorted view of where and how Christ’s victory was won. By the way, as I have been told, if you don't have the Spirit-filling, then you can only be a weak, ineffectual, powerless Christian who cannot understand what victorious living is really like. In my mind they have equated sentimentality, emotional trappings, and a happy face for the real victory that is in Jesus Christ. Our victory is not in engineered pep-rallies where we are motivated to get excited about God. Victorious living is not enhanced by emotionally-drenched musical numbers designed to bring the sentimental listener closer to Christ and supposedly unleash God's Spirit. This is a pagan, carnival side-show better equated with the means cults use to control their members—frenzied excitement. Of course this is just my opinion, and not being Spirit-filled by the definition of Pentecostals, I conveniently have no understanding and am unfit to speak knowledgeably. I find that the Pentecostal movement is devoid of a theological base, it is a human-engineered, sticky-sweet sentimental, God-loves you, works doctrine that leads the person down a blind alley of false-hope and away from the true Christ. What victory can they have when they don't understand even the basics of who Christ is, and why He died. Where is victory in false-doctrines. Of course this depends heavily on your theology, to some this is the best of Christianity and all very desireable. john


Subject: Re: God's plans for the reprobate?
From: laz
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 05:38:10 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, you said:
Or we can say then, based on this type of theology, God has no plan for your life... YOU are responsible for all that happens; God is waiting to help empower YOU! I agree with your post but wanted to add in the interest of playing the 'human responsibility' card (and to head off any charges of determinism/fatalism)...that God using ways and means known only to Himself, DOES empower us both to 'will and to do His good pleasure'. blessings, laz


Subject: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Prestor John
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, May 29, 2000 at 11:33:46 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello! yes, I'm at it again, shall Scriptural worship include hymns or should the church only sing the psalms? Prestor John


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Pat
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 10:30:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello! yes, I'm at it again, shall Scriptural worship include hymns or should the church only sing the psalms? Prestor John
---
Both .Just like reading from prayers out the Bible and praying not out of it ! Pat


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: John P.
To: Pat
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 15:49:52 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Pat, The difference between singing and praying is this: singing is not (when done corporately) sponteneous. For instance, if I were to take your analogy to the logical conclusion, I would have to conclude that I just go to the front, and begin singing and everyone should be able to sing the same exact thing at the same exact time. That is impossible. You see, more than one person sings at a time and, therefore, what is sung must be prepared beforehand word by word and line by line. Secondly, those who pray publicly at worship are ordained men who have been tested doctrinally; most of those who sing are not ordained. Therefore, they aren't as able to judge the Scripturalness of what we sing as well as the ordained person. So, there is a distinct difference between the two ordinances. One is done by an individual person ordained to lead the rest in corporate prayer (and is therefore sponteneous), the other is not sponteneous and done by the mulititudes - many of whom are comparatively ignorant (and therefore must be prepared beforehand). Thus, the analogy fails between the ordinance of corporate prayer and singing of praises. Because, therefore, there is a distinction between these ordinances of public worship that is so fundamental, we cannot treat them analagously. We must treat them as their own ordinances. Hence, in order to prove that uninspired songs can be sung, we must search for a text which warrants an uninspired
songs to be sung - not sponteneousness of prayer. This is exactly that which opponents to exclusive Psalmody have come up short in demonstrating. Love, John P.


Subject: This AGAIN?
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 17:06:16 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Eph 5:19 'Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;' Col 3:16 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.' Again, the proof is here! For if the triad: 'psalms and hymns and spiritual songs' is taken to mean ONLY the O.T. Psalter, then all ways that Paul says to use it are also affected, and thus NOTHING but the O.T. Psalms are to be sung in ANY and EVERY circumstance. It thus proves too much even for Exclusive Psalmodists! :-) We have exegetically proven our point of view on several occasions, but you are want to accept it! In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: This AGAIN?
From: John P.
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 18:50:21 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Pilgrim wrote that our position proves to much concerning Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19. Here, it appears as though he is misunderstanding the regulative Principle of worship in a different way. (I wish you [Pilgrim] would stop changing your understanding of the RPW) In another post, you require me to have a prohibition of uninspired hymns in public worship by requiring me to prove there is a verse which says, 'only psalms.' In this post, you are saying that I don't need an express prohibition of hymns in order to believe that they are unlawful to sing in our everyday life. Now, which is it? I have understood the regulative principle to say that if something has no express warrant from the Word of God to be an element of public worship, it is prohibited in public worship. If something is lacks express positive warrant for being done in everyday life (either by lacking an express command or good and necessary inference) then it is permitted. Remember my Nadab and Abihu stories? You weren't fond of them, but they proved their point (whether you understood them or not). Thus, because I don't believe that everything we do in everyday life requires express warrant from the word of God (like using this computer), I don't believe it is forbidden. How does is this applied? If this passage is speaking of everyday life, but yet only as a command to sing Psalms, it doesn't prohibit other songs or music during everyday life (it only commands that we sing psalms, too - and probably primarily). Thus, the Regulative Principle of worship is
not the regulative principle of everyday life. Furthermore, if this passage were speaking only of public worship, then it would forbid uninspired songs in public worship. As far as I can tell at this time, I do not believe these passages are speaking of public worship; I do, however, believe they are speaking of only psalms. What are the implications of that understanding of the passage? Two: (1) There can be no warrant from these passages to show that we can sing uninspired songs in public worship; and (2) This passage does not prohibit the singing of uninspired songs in everyday life. So, no, I didn't prove to much. Love, John P.


Subject: Re: This AGAIN?
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 22:22:39 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John P.

I may not agree with your 'floating definitions' of the Regulative Principle, in fact I reject them outright, in that there are two applications of it. I maintain, and always have that there is but ONE Regulative Principle that is to be applied equally both in public worship and in every day life. In both situations, it is the Scriptures that determine what is proper, allowed and prohibited. There are both specific commandments, and prohibitions that are to be obeyed, and there are general principles which must be applied in ALL situations. Now to apply that to this Psalmody issue. It is clear from Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 that Psalms are to be sung in every day life. And from the testimony of the O.T. record, it is clear that the Psalms and probably other hymns that were written previously to the Psalms were sung in the Tabernacle and Temple Worship, as well in the Exilic and Post-exilic periods. Thus both were sung in the early Church during public worship. There is NO command to sing Psalms in the public worship PERIOD to be found. Even when you try and insert your Eisogesis of those two passages into the 'mix', they don't work for the issue of public worship, for they don't address that area whatsoever, even by your own admission, although as usual, you leave the door open a crack, 'just in case' at some later time you are able to somehow make them apply, at least in your own mind. Let's stop being coy shall we? You wrote:

I have understood the regulative principle to say that if something has no express warrant from the Word of God to be an element of public worship, it is prohibited in public worship.'

And so for the umpteenth time I ask you, based upon your own understanding of the Regulative Principle as it applies to public worship: WHERE is the 'express warrant from the Word of God' that commands that Psalms are to be sung specifically in public worship? Since at this time you admit that both Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 do NOT address the issue of public worship, then WHERE do you find this 'express warrant'? Inquiring minds want to know! :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: This AGAIN?
From: laz
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 17:12:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
...can I put in my 2 cents...actually, I recall Pilgrim mentioning this point a while back....but, what tune/melodies are thus prescribed in singing the Psalms? Does it have to have a western european beat....or can we use latin salsa, rock, rap, pop, etc...? What does the Bible say? laz


Subject: Re: This AGAIN?
From: John P.
To: laz
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 19:05:22 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings Laz, Good question. Let me explain: There are such a thing as circumnstantials which are not elements of public worship. Some examples of the circumstances of worship would be chairs, a pulpit, a building, etc. Why do we feel exempt from proving these things from Scripture? There are two things chiefly which make something a warrantable circumstance of worship: (1) If something is necessary in order to the fulfilling of an express command; (2) and something aids the edification of the believers their without adding or contradicting the elements of worship. Thus, we have chairs and a building, because we are commanded to come together, and these things make for more edification (since people aren't complaining about having to stand for long sermons in cold, rainy, or snowy weather). Or, the pulpit is lawful because the preacher may need a place to set his Bible and sermon notes so that they don't become a distraction. Likewise, we are commanded to sing psalms and thus know that this is an element of worship. However, songs require tunes, and the Bible doesn't provide them. Therefore, because an element of worship requires something which is not expressly commanded (i.e., we
must have tunes), we must choose tunes as best as we can for the edification of the believers - thus reckoning them a circumstantial. However, these are merely circumstantials and ought not to be the cause of strife if one congregation or Presbytery chooses a certain tune to accompany a certain psalm, which is different from another tune which a different congregation or Presbytery sings that psalm to. Love, John P. 'Let all things be done decently and in order.' (1 Cor 14:40) Again, I reiterate, I will be extremely busy starting tomorrow - therefore, I will likely be unable to participate much more.


Subject: Re: This AGAIN?
From: john hampshire
To: John P.
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 00:57:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Isaiah 38:20 'The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD'. Commentary: 'We have here Hezekiah’s thanksgiving-song, which he penned, by divine direction, after his recovery. He might have taken some of the psalms of his father David, and made use of them for his purpose; he might have found many very pertinent ones. He appointed the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David, 2 Chr. 29:30. But the occasion here was extraordinary, and, his heart being full of devout affections, he would not confine himself to the compositions he had, though of divine inspiration, but would offer up his affections in his own words, which is most natural and genuine.' If not all songs sung in the OT church were David's but, on occasion others wrote a song which was commanded to be sung in the house of the Lord, could we not extend this premise and say that songs beyond that written in Psalms may be sung. In a wider sense, rather than restricting only to Psalms, don't we have spiritual words in the Bible everywhere that can be made into spiritual songs. Psalm 119:54 'Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage'. The statutes of God are everything God has to say, every word that proceeds from Him. Why would we be forbidden to sing songs of the exploits of the greatness of God, just as Hezekiah’s chose to do can we not create spirtual songs for use in the house of the Lord? It seems overly restrictive, and in light of other Scripture not anywhere commanded, to use only the Psalms as spiritual songs and hymns. Could the implication of 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...' be first and foremost the entire Bible. And how is all Scripture to be used for 'teaching and admonishing one another'? By the use of 'psalms and hymns and spiritual songs', that is, by putting Scripture (not just Psalms) to music. And then what? We are to be 'singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord'. This certainly speaks to congregational singing. Isn't admonishing one another done in the congregation? 'And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you'. Isn't teaching done primarily within the framework of the local assembly? I do not see where we are commanded to restrict ourselves to only the Psalms. I conclude we are able to make spiritual songs and hymns from any portion of Scripture. john


Subject: Re: This AGAIN?
From: John P.
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 13:24:24 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings john, Before answering what you wrote, I want to thank you for your spirit of meekness which can be clearly seen throughout this post you sent. I certainly appreciate it and am thankful that you have chosen - by the grace of God - to conduct yourself as one who bears Christ's banner. Please read what I have written in response as a person seeking to show the same love to you. (1) Your objection / question based on Isaiah 38:20 is a good one. It is easily responded to by simply stating that the translators made an error in converting the Hebrew into English. Because I am short on time, I will just quote something my pastor sent me a while back:
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'(1) The Heb. verb that is translated 'sing' (nagan) is never translated 'sing' in any of the other 14 places where it is used in the O.T. (1Sam.16:16 [2 times]; 1Sam.16:17; 1Sam.16:18; 1Sam.16:23; 1Sam.18:10; 1Sam.19:9; 2Kgs. 3:15 [2 times]; Ps.33:3; Ps.68:25; Is.23:16; Ez.33:22). In fact, Ps.68:25 demonstrates clearly this distinction between singing praise and playing an instrument ('The singers went before, the players [nagan] on instruments followed after'). Thus, Is.38:20 most likely should not be translated 'sing' ('therefore we will **sing** my songs'), but rather 'play' ('therefore we will **play** my songs'). (2) The Heb. noun that is translated 'my songs' ('therefore we will sing **my songs** [neginothnai] to the stringed instruments') here in Is.38:20 is always used (without exception) elsewhere in the O.T. in the plural number to refer to 'instruments' not 'songs' (Ps.4:1 [superscription]; Ps.6:1 [superscription]; Ps.54:1 [superscription]; Ps.55:1 [superscription]; Ps.67:1 [superscription]; Ps.76:1 [superscription]; Hab.3:19 [postscription]. Thus, Is.38:20 most likely should not be translated 'my songs' ('therefore we will play **my songs** to the stringed instruments'), but 'my instruments' 'therefore we will play **my instruments** all the days of our life before the house of the Lord'). This is the translation given by the LXX, Keil and Delitzsch, and others. (3) The use of 'my' (as in 'my songs' or 'my instruments') would not seem to indicate songs or instruments that Hezekiah were introducing into the public worship of God for the first time, for the Scripture teaches that Hezekiah used only the songs and instruments in public worship which were first introduced by David (and David's inspired psalm writers): 2Chron.29:25,26,30. Thus, the use of 'my' in Is.38:20 most likely refers to Hezekiah's personal part in restoring true worship to Israel by using David's inspired songs and David's ordained instruments.'
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End Quote
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-- So that passage certainly isn't one to depend on for an argument that it was lawful in the Old Testament period, after God gave the psalms to be sung, to sing other songs which were introduced yet not ordained by God for that purpose. For, the translation - though intimating exactly what you understood it to mean - is flawed and probably means something much different and at least doesn't give us enough to assume anything more from the passage than what other places in Scripture (dealing with Hezekiah's reformation) have said. (2) You wrote, 'In a wider sense, rather than restricting only to Psalms, don't we have spiritual words in the Bible everywhere that can be made into spiritual songs.' Although it is true that there is a whole Bible filled with material that could be converted into our own songs, nevertheless, if that is what God desired from us then He could have given us a whole Bible without a hymnal. The fact that God gave us an inspired hymnal demonstrates that He doesn't think that the substance our songs that we sing is insignificant. Indeed, the fact that God gave us an inspired hymnal demonstrates that He thinks there is a significant enough difference between His songs and ours, that it warranted the highest divine approbation possible, viz.
that these songs are God's own word. (3) You wrote, 'not all songs sung in the OT church were David's but, on occasion others wrote a song which was commanded to be sung in the house of the Lord, could we not extend this premise and say that songs beyond that written in Psalms may be sung.' This assertion of yours depended on the Isaiah 38:20 passage, which was (though not your fault) an erroneous translation. So, although I would agree that, if after the giving of the book of Psalms, it could be found that (with God's approbation) uninspired songs were introduced into the public worship, then we could still do that. However, no one has done that yet. (4) You wrote concerning Psalm 119:54 ('Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage'), 'The statutes of God are everything God has to say, every word that proceeds from Him. Why would we be forbidden to sing songs of the exploits of the greatness of God, just as Hezekiah’s chose to do can we not create spirtual songs for use in the house of the Lord?' -As has already been seen, we don't have warrant justifying our belief that Hezekiah introduced his own songs. However, concerning verse 54 of Psalm 119, we must consider the historical context of it: David (or someone for David), who was a prophet ordained for the purpose of introducing the instruments for the Levites and the songs for the congregation, wrote, 'Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.' What is the significance of this? The significance is this: Now we don't have to introduce our own songs based on the statutes of God because someone - ordained by God to do so - has done it for us as moved by the Holy Spirit. Thus, we can sing David's songs, and know with certainty that we are singing songs about God's statutes which are inspired by the Almighty (and had been used in worship with God's approbation for centuries prior to the coming of Christ). (5) You wrote, 'It seems overly restrictive, and in light of other Scripture not anywhere commanded, to use only the Psalms as spiritual songs and hymns. Could the implication of 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...' be first and foremost the entire Bible. And how is all Scripture to be used for 'teaching and admonishing one another'? By the use of 'psalms and hymns and spiritual songs', that is, by putting Scripture (not just Psalms) to music. And then what? We are to be 'singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord'.' -The interpretation that I (and many others before me) have put forth concerning Col. 3:16 depends not only on the phrase, 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.' However, I do think that portion of the verse - combined with an understanding of the historical context (i.e. - the Seputagint, the history of Psalmody, they 'hymn' Christ and His disciples sang, &c.) ought to lead us to think that this passage is speaking of the Old Testament Psalms. Again, it certainly doesn't give us any certainty that other songs are warranted, and whatsoever is not of faith (in the word of God) is sin. (6) You wrote, 'This certainly speaks to congregational singing. Isn't admonishing one another done in the congregation? 'And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you'. Isn't teaching done primarily within the framework of the local assembly?' -I have been going back and forth on whether or not these passages are speaking concerning the corporate worship context. That is why I have thus far in this debate simply emphasized that, even if it isn't speaking of the context of public worship, our position still stands. In fact, that is why I have been so careful with my words when speaking about this (I usually have qualified my statement with statements like, 'As of now, I don't believe it is speaking of corporate worship,' or, 'As far as I can tell at this point, &c.'). Part of me, however agrees with you that this is speaking of corporate worship; but, at this time, I don't think a person claiming that this passage is speaking of simply small gatherings of believers on their own can be excluded. (7) You wrote, 'I do not see where we are commanded to restrict ourselves to only the Psalms. I conclude we are able to make spiritual songs and hymns from any portion of Scripture.' -Lord willing, you will conclude otherwise, having now seen the Isaiah passage doesn't mean what, at first glance, the English reader would conclude. Love, John P. PS - Please excuse typos. Thanks.


Subject: Good illustration! n/t
From: Rod
To: Pat
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 12:44:31 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: ttrails
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 01:37:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello! yes, I'm at it again, shall Scriptural worship include hymns or should the church only sing the psalms? Prestor John
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-- Well Prestor, I had a huge post going here, but changed my mind. Hi anyway!


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Prestor John
To: ttrails
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 20:28:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Well good to hear (read) from you too ttrails. Nice to see that your still around.


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Five Sola
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Mon, May 29, 2000 at 20:10:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Prestor, I would have to say hymns are acceptable. Unfortunately, I do not have much scriptural references. Since I grew up in a legalistic baptist church (fundamentalist) that I get a bit hesitant when exclusivity is given in any area (I know that some areas would warrant exclusivity as my handle even indicates :-) ). KJVonly-ism is a black plague on our churches today, immersion ONLY (sorry my baptist brothers) is a claim not permitted by scripture, and I would be hesitant in the area to say Psalms ONLY. Five Sola.


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: John P.
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Mon, May 29, 2000 at 18:06:29 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
(continued) Here are some reasons for believing that the 'psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,' found in Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19 are speaking only of the Psalms contained in the Old Testament: (1) The Old Testament with which those who were apart of the churches of Ephesus and Colosse were familiar was the Greek translation known as the Septuagint (LXX). In this translation, we find that the OT Psalms used interchangeably as their titles the
same Greek words that were used by Paul in the two passages under discussion. For proof, consider the following (by Greg L. Price):
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Begin Quote
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b. 'Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs' is a form of Hebrew parallelism wherein these 3 words do not indicate a distinction in the content of the song sung, but rather refer to the 3 words used in the Psalter of the Greek Septuagint (LXX) for the Psalms authorized by David. This Hebrew parallelism is found in both the O.T. (e.g. Deut.30:16; Ps.19:7,8) and in the N.T. (e.g. 2 Cor.12:12; Eph.1:21; Col.1:16,22). The fact that Paul uses one other instance of parallelism in Eph.5:19 (literally, 'singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord') seems to give overwhelming evidence that such was his intent in using psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We find the same type of parallelism used in the LXX in Ps.26:6; Ps.104:2; Ps.107:1 where singing and psalming are used, but no distinction in the content of song is intended by the two different verbs used. c. Since the LXX was used throughout the Greek speaking world, the designations *psalmois* (psalms), *humnois* (hymns), and *odais* (songs) were familiar expressions for the psalms found in the Psalter. In Ps.71:20 of the LXX (which is Ps.72:20 in our English version), all of the previous psalms of David (i.e. Psalms 1-71) are called 'the hymns of David.' Six of the Psalm titles use the word 'hymn' (*humnos*). Thirty-six of the Psalm titles use the word 'song' (*ode*). In fact, the title to Ps.75 in the LXX (which is Ps.76 in our English version) includes all three terms used in Eph.5:19 and Col.3:16: 'For the end, among the Hymns (*humnois*), a Psalm (*psalmos*) for Asaph; a Song (*ode*) for the Assyrian.' In the titles of the Psalms (as found in the LXX), all three terms found in Eph.5:19 and Col.3:16 (hymns, psalms, and songs) are used interchangeably: 'a song of David among the psalms' (Ps.4); 'a psalm of David, a song' (Ps.64); 'a psalm of a song' (Ps.29,47,67,74,86,91); 'a song of a psalm' (Ps.65,82,87,107); 'a psalm of David among the hymns' (Ps.6,66).
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-- Thus, it would not have been ambiguous or confusing to the first readers of Paul's letter that, when he used the terms, 'psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,' he was speaking of the OT Psalms -
He simply gave their titles. (2) Each word individually ought to be considered (in this context) as speaking of the OT Psalms. For, A. The word 'psalm' obviously refers to the OT Psalms, and has been interpetted that way by even many opposers of Exclusive Psalmody. B. The word 'hymn' was used by the gospel writers to describe the song sung by Jesus and His disciples during the Passover (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). It was customary for the Jews to sing during the Passover the 113th through the 118th Psalms during the Passover ('The Great Hallel'); thus, we would expect that Jesus and His disciples likewise were probably singing these Psalms, which were recorded in the Gospels as, 'hymns.' C. The word 'songs' is modified by the adjective 'spiritual.' Which, in the Greek is *pneumatikos*. This word means 'Spirit inspired' the other two times it is used to refer to that which is written, in the New Testament: In Romans 7:14, the law is called spiritual and the words of scripture are called spiritual in 1 Cor.2:13. Thus, we have good Biblically warrant to believe these songs are Spirit-inspired (the Psalms of the OT). (3) The context of the passages intimate that these, 'psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs' under consideration are Spirit-inspired Scripture. For, in Colossians 3:16, the apostle Paul commands us to, 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;' and then he continues by giving us the means by which we may do this: 'teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, &c.' Thus, these songs are songs that are to be used as means of letting the 'word of Christ,' or Scripture, dwell in us. Furthermore, all of those in the church (whether new, and relatively ignorant Christians, or old, more mature Christians) are here commanded to, 'teach and admonich' their brethren by means of these songs. If we are to expect new and conscientious Christians sing in worship - teaching their brethren in good conscience (when they know so little) what better means to make their conscience clear than to sing that which God has inspired? They aren't ordained ministers who have been tested doctrinally by other lawfully ordained persons before they were permitted to convey the meaning of Scripture before the people by means of preaching; thus, they ought not have to 'preach another man's uninspired (technical sense) song to their brethren when teaching and admonishing them.' Now, I realize that the objection may arise that the terms, 'psalms, hymns, and songs,' have been used by pagans as referring to works other than the OT hymnal. However, from what is above related to you, I think that possibility is by far too weak to, with good conscience and in faith (which alone can rest in God and His word), sing songs other than those given to us in God's hymnal. And, whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. Love, John P.


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Diacono
To: John P.
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 12:08:21 (PDT)
Email Address: diacono@minister.com

Message:
Greetings in Christ John, I think that what we must keep in mind is Christian liberty. What may be right for me, may be wrong for you. Paul was clear in teaching this. Personally, I think that if are to say that the hymns by many writers were not 'spiritual' you'd have to take another look. The fact that they are not 'Scripture' does not mean that they are not 'spiritual'. I would be wrong to agree that hymns are not 'spiritual'. But even more than that, you have to go the next step. How are we to sing these songs? What kind of instroments are allowed to be used? Do we cant them, which is the proper form of 'sining' 'songs'. For the Jews did not actually sing as the heathens did. Do we only use the trumpet, lute, tamborine and drum? Can we use the piano? What about a guitar? Is a bass out of the question? Why, because the Law says not to use any other instruments? If so, I must ask the next question: Are we still under the Law? If under the Law, the yes, only psalms may be sung in the church. But if we are under the Law still, the there is no Church, because Christ did not fulfil the Law and release us from it. These are just the idle thinkings of a conservative baptist. I have a hard time agreeing with anything that calls for absolutes that are out side of Soteriology and Christology. Do not get me wrong, there are slew of importants issues out there, but when it comes to absolutes, and setting down legalistic laws, we really need to take a good close look at what we are doing, and see if that is in accord with our Christian liberties. In Christ, Diacono


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: John P.
To: Diacono
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 17:29:37 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings to you, too, Diacono: It is nice to see your reply. It raises some good questions. They primarily concerned my first point in the shorter of my emails. I wrote, 'First, we must have warrant from the Word of God for doing what we do in worship (aside from circumstantials). (Deuteronomy 12:32; Lev. 10:1-3; Mark 7:7; John 4:19-24; Colossians 2:23; &c.) This is necessary a necessary [Typo] understanding of worship before it is even worth discussing.' Whereas I began with the claim that we must have Scriptural warrant for all that we do in public worship, your claim is that we can do whatever we wish - or will - to do. My claim is that any position which says that we can do whatever we care to in worship is what the Bible calls, 'will worship' (Col. 2:23 AV). There is a lot I could write in defense of this, however, I will only use four passages to prove that we cannot do whatever we desire in worship (two OT and two NT). If you desire more, I recommend that you read a wonderful (short) book on worship by Kevin Reed. It is free on the Internet at the following address: <
http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BibW_ch0.htm> For now, however, consider the four passages I said I would use: From the Old Testament: (1) Deuteronomy 12:32, 'What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add therto, nor diminish from it.' This passage is in the context of the laws of the sanctuary; or, in other words, God is commanding the people of Israel to, when they enter the promised land, not worship God after the manner of the heathen (v30). So, after forbidding that the Israelites worship God to use the heathen means of worship to worship Him, He gave them a positive duty commanding them how exactly they were to worship Him. This manner of worshipping Him was to not add their own desired ways of worshipping Him, nor to take away from His commanded means. If you read the context, you will see this. This passage is not speaking of Sola Scriptura even though Sola Scriptura certainly is true. Rather, it is speaking of how we are to worship God. (2) Leviticus 10:1-3, 'And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.' This passage is an application of the command of God given in Deut. 12:32. Nadab and Abihu have decided to worship God by offering Him strange fire. God was displeased with this worship so vehemently, that He devoured them with fire from heaven. This ought to make us ask (with trembling), 'What, then, was it that made this fire strange?' The details of what made the fire strange can be debated, however, we know this much: They did something in worship which wasn't commanded. For, the text says of the strange fire that, '[God] had not commanded [it of] them.' (NAS - bracketed portions mine; I chose the NAS version here because modern English helps draw out the meaning in this text). Thus, God is serious about the manner in which He is worshipped. New Testament passages: (3) Mark 7:7, 'Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.' Here, Jesus reiterates the doctrine propogated in Deuteronomy 12:32, showing its moral perpetuity in the NT. For, if it is vain worship to worship after the teachings and commandments of men, and traditions too (seen in the subsequent verses), then, by process of elimination, we either have to be commanded by God, angels, brute beasts, or beings of whom we know nothing. Unless were Mormons or enthusiasts, we don't get our worship from 'angels'; Unless we are over-environmentalists, we don't believe animals have any part in worship (and even if we were super-environmentalists, animals wouldn't teach us how to worship; they would be the object of it); and we certainly don't care about the commands of beings which may exist of whom we know not a thing (nor do most of us believe in any such thing). That leaves us with the necessity of having God's command if we desire our worship not to be 'vain.' (4) Hebrews 9:1, 'Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.' (emphasis added) In this passage, we find a couple important things: A. There were ordinances (*dikaioma* - which has the force of laws) of divine service (*latreia* - which refers to worship) in the First (or Old) Covenant. B. Not only were there these laws or ordinances of divine worship in the Old Covenant, the word, 'also,' is used to describe these ordinances or laws of worship. Now, that word intimates what? that something else of the like kind as the first *covenant* also has laws of worship. Conveniently, the immediate context (ch. 8) speaks of the second (or New) covenant. Thus, the New Covenant also has laws or ordinances of worship. Concerning instruments, I don't have time to get into the details. However, we do believe they are regulated by God, and that (as the faithful reformers and early church fathers believed) they are not to be used at all in public worship in the New Covenant. Our reasn is precisely because we are no longer under the Law. Please, however, since I don't have time to discuss more than one thread at a time (maybe two if one is easier - like the Watts thread), send me an email and I will send you Internet sources that will permit you to study this on your own. Then, maybe later, you can post your objections and I will respond with a Biblical defense. Please understand that I would love to have time to do this all day, but I simply don't. Love, John P. PS - Christian liberty is the liberty to obey God in simplicity of faith; thus, the church didn't have the liberty to add to worship whatever they desired. In fact, I suppose that there would even come a point where (as Tom H. wisely intimated) even you would limit others liberty. For instance, I'd suspect you wouldn't permit cookies and soda for the Lord's Supper, or oils for baptism. Thus, you are either determining how everyone else is to wroship God according to your own counsel and rule, or you must submit to the fact that God alone has the right to command how He is served in worship.


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Tom.H
To: Diacono
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 13:23:51 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Diacono Although I agree that Paul talks about Christian liberty. He also uses it (Christian liberty) in a context. What I would like to ask you is, can you show me from scripture, how we can apply our Christian liberty to worship? Also if it can, to what extent are we allowed to take that? Would you say that Christian liberty even applies to contempory worship, where rock music is being used in the worship of God? Tom


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Diacono
To: Tom.H
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 06:49:59 (PDT)
Email Address: diacono@minister.com

Message:
Diacono Although I agree that Paul talks about Christian liberty. He also uses it (Christian liberty) in a context. What I would like to ask you is, can you show me from scripture, how we can apply our Christian liberty to worship? Also if it can, to what extent are we allowed to take that? Would you say that Christian liberty even applies to contempory worship, where rock music is being used in the worship of God? Tom Tom, Let me start by quoting Paul in his letter to the Romans. “For one believeth that he may eat all thing; another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateh not judge him that eateth; for god hat received him…. It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eatheth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Rm.14:2-3,21-23) Realizing of course that the particular context here is eating meat, the application goes beyond that, even into musical worship with song in the church. The argument has been made previously that ‘whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ But the context only partly supports that statement. Partly insomuch as the believer does not doubt that which he is doing, that he has faith that he is right before God in what he does. Paul speaks to one of the most controversial issues between Jewish and Gentile believers, that of eating meat, unclean meat at that. We all recall the rebuke that Paul gave to Peter for removing himself, and thus many other Jews, from eating with Gentiles. The reason for this is that the Gentile believers were eating things unclean to a Jew. Christ Himself said that it is not what man eats that makes him unclean but that whish comes out of his heart (and this all because the disciples didn’t wash their hands before eating). We all would heartily agree that eating meat, whether it be fish, chicken, beef or pork is of no consequence. Paul speaks specifically of meat offered to idols in 1 Cor. 10. The warning of eating food offered to idols here is not for the conscience of the believer, but that of the other. If eating the food will offend another, then for his sake, don’t eat it. Paul did not instruct the Romans or the Corinthians to stop eating meat. For that matter, he didn’t tell them to stop using any particular kind of music in their worship either. The non-Jewish believers would not have known the old Psalms, neither would their song pattern be like that of Jews. In fact, of all the instructions that the Jerusalem council could have given to the Gentiles, they limited it to “abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication.” As we have already seen, the eating of meat is not a mandate because it is a sin, but because of the offense that it would cause to the Jewish believers. Where then is the forbidding of Roman music in church? It is not there. Surely Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, would have instructed them as to what type of songs are appropriate for worship. In fact, it is believe (and enough research to prove) that Paul himself either authored, or used portions of doxologies and early hymns in his letters. These could not have been the Psalms to which he was referring to in ‘psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.’ The key to Christian liberty as applied to worship, especially corporate worship is this, do you doubt what you are doing? Do you have faith that what you are doing is right in God’s eyes. If the question be applied to up beat music, to worship songs, to hymns and songs not written in the Psalms, I can say yes. There is no convection in me, and thus no condemnation in such. If one finds fault, or is offended by such music in church, then that person needs to find another church that fits his acceptance in worship. It is not sin for the chuch is worshiping in true faith, and doubts not. I’m sure that this just opens up more questions. My reply is not meant to be a treatise in defense of my particular feelings on musical worship in church. How a church worships is between them and God alone. In Christ, Diacono


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: John P.
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Mon, May 29, 2000 at 18:06:12 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings: Scriptural worship must only include Psalms. The chief passages from the New Testament which can be brought forth as witnesses against exclusive Psalmody are the two alluded to by Prestor in his
Subject for this message: Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19. What I am arguing is that these passages are speaking only of the God-breathed Psalm book recorded in the Old Testament, under the titles of, 'pslams, hymns, and spiritual songs.' How does one get that? I will answer that in the next post. However, for the moment, I will just lay out my claims: (1) First, we must have warrant from the Word of God for doing what we do in worship (aside from circumstantials). (Deuteronomy 12:32; Lev. 10:1-3; Mark 7:7; John 4:19-24; Colossians 2:23; &c.) This is necessary a necessary understanding of worship before it is even worth discussing. (2) This warrant from Scripture must be clear enough that we can do that which we do in worship in faith and good conscience, otherwise it is sinful worship. 'And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin' (Romans 14:23). (3) The passages referred to by Prestor do not give warrant for singing anything other than Psalms, and even if stretched to argue against the exclusive Psalmody, they certainly do not warrant a certainty that we may sing songs other than the Psalms. (see next post for evidence) (Continuing) Biblical Worship www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BibW_ch0.htm


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 17:26:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John P.

So here we are again debating the untenable position of Exclusive Psalmody. :-) You want to base your view on two particular passages of Scripture, namely Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. From Greg Price's writings, you assert that Paul was referencing the Scriptures from the LXX; delineating between three 'groups' of psalms rather than three 'types' of songs. First of all I think it must be noted that 'the Reformers, the English Puritans, and the best modern Reformed commentators such as Hodge and Wm. Hendriksen all reject this interpretation of these two passages and including James 5:13. John Calvin, for example, said this on Col. 3:16:

Moreover, under these three terms he (Paul) includes all kinds of songs. They are commonly distinguished in this way: a psalm is sung to the accompaniment of some musical instrument, a hymn is properly a song of praise, whether it be sung simply with the voice or otherwise; an ode contains not merely praise, but exhortation and other matters. He wants the songs of Christians to be spiritual, and not made up of frivolities and worthless trifles. (emphasis is mine). Another example can be drawn from Scripture itself. Is the reference to 'songs' in Rev.5:9 therefore to be understood as referring to the O.T. 'Psalter'?

Now let's move on the one of the passages in question, e.g., Eph:519 which reads:

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

For this text to teach 'Exclusive Psalmody' it must first speak directly concerning the public worship of God by the gathered church. The question therefore is, Does it do so? If it was speaking strictly of the public worship of the saints then what are we to make of the preceding verse which commands us 'to be filled with the Spirit'? Is this then to be restricted to the public worship? What about 'giving thanks'? (vs. 20). And what about 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.'; are wives only to submit themselves to their husbands during the public worship, and are free from offering submission when they leave the assembly? It seems clear that Paul is referring to all of life and not just to the public worship of God. 'Does this verse refer exclusively to public worship? Verse 19 primarily concerns personal edification just as verse 18 refers to personal filling, verse 20 to personal thanksgiving, and verse 21 to private mutual fellowship. The remainder of the passage concerns personal obedience in the home (22-6:4) or at work (6:5-9). Exclusive Psalmodists allow hymns and songs to be used for personal edification, but then point to Eph. 5:19 as proving exclusive psalmody. If this verse actually taught exclusive psalmody, it would mean that only the Psalms are to be sung in private for personal edification. But this position is unacceptable to nearly everyone.' Again, Eph 5:19 does NOT speak narrowly of only the public gathering and worship of God, but rather to the everyday life of all Christians. 'Notice also that the apostle said, 'Speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns an spiritual songs.' If this verse refers to exclusive psalmody in public worship, then not only must singing be done by the Psalms, but all speaking as well. All sermons, prayers, and lessons must be restricted to quotations from the Psalms if this verse teaches exclusive psalmody.'

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: John P.
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 18:06:26 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings again, Pilgrim, it has been a while, brother. :) I thought you would get involved - that is good. Let me deal quickly with your arguments (as I'm running short on time): (1) Calvin, Hodge, and others, believed psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs could be interpretted as more than merely the Psalms of David. I grant this. However, the Westminster Divines, Matthew Henry, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, St. Augustine, and more, maintained exclusive Psalmody, and hence, either advocated the interpretation that I gave concerning these passages, were moving in that direction, or completely disassociated these passages from the context of worship at all. (2) I did not present these verses as an argument
for exclusive Psalmody. Rather, I interpretted them to refute an objection against it. What is the significance? I don't think they have to be speaking of public worship. I think the fact that the OT worshippers sang their worship tunes from the Psalter because of divine warrant, we need warrant that this command of God has been abrogated. From these passages, people attempt to prove that other songs have been added to the worship of God; this I deny, and this is what I was attempting to prove. Thus, in my first sentence, I didn't say, 'Here are two passages that prove Exclusive Psalmody'; rather, I wrote, 'The chief passages from the New Testament which can be brought forth as witnesses against exclusive Psalmody are the two alluded to by Prestor in his Subject for this message: Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19. What I am arguing is that these passages are speaking only of the God-breathed Psalm book recorded in the Old Testament, under the titles of, 'pslams, hymns, and spiritual songs.'' Notice, I approached my first two emails as a refutation of an expected objection; not as a positive argument for exclusive Psalmody. For, if there is no positive warrant from Scripture (whether necessarily inferred from Scripture's plain teaching, or expressly commanded) to sing songs other than the OT Psalms, then you are without an argument for the practice. Besides, if these verses were commands to sing songs other than the Psalms (which it would have to be if it is a command, and your interpretation is correct), then the Westminster Divines, and the men above mentioned (plus more), continually committed a sin of omission: they didn't sing religious songs by men (at least not in public, private, or family worship). (3) You wrote, 'Exclusive Psalmodists allow hymns and songs to be used for personal edification, but then point to Eph. 5:19 as proving exclusive psalmody. If this verse actually taught exclusive psalmody, it would mean that only the Psalms are to be sung in private for personal edification. But this position is unacceptable to nearly everyone.' The Regulative Principle of worship does not apply to times other than worship. Thus, even if this passage is referring to times other than public worship, it does not forbid us to sing other songs for personal edification throughout the day. However, in (organized) private, domestic, or public worship, I do not know of any exclusive Psalmodists who sing other songs from those of the Psalter. (4) About the 'Speaking' objection, in which you claim that, if this passage is referring to only public worship, then we may only speak the Psalms. I agree, IF two conditions were met: A. We could prove that the word 'speaking' isn't being used in a strange manner referring to 'singing,' and, B. This is speaking of public worship only. I have no problem claiming that this passage is not explicitly referring to public worship. All I'm claiming is that it does give no warrant to the opposers of exclusive Psalmody to defend their singing other songs - which Augustine condescendingly and condemningly called, 'the poetic effusions of human genius.' In conclusion, the basic assumption on which almost the entirety of your objection to exclusive Psalmody lied was that we believe Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19 are speaking of the public setting of worship. We can agree with you, that these are speaking of the setting outside of worship, and still not have our argument weakened in the least. Thus, your argument was impertinent. For Christ's Crown and Covenant, John P.


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 07:57:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John,

Very few Reformed people would ever argue against the use of Psalms in public worship. In fact, most all have argued for their inclusion. On the Regulative Principle, however, I would have to strongly disagree that it is to be limited ONLY to public worship, but rather in is an all encompassing principle that affects all of life; public worship being but one of its applications, albeit a very important one. The Puritans who developed this Principle surely applied it to their everyday lives as no one can contest. At the time of the Reformation, the Reformers established the basic principle that so far as the public worship of God is concerned, whatever is not commanded by Scripture is forbidden. This principle was necessary in order to give a clear reason for the exclusion of the mass, prayers for the dead, prayers to the saints, rosary services, etc. The Reformers wanted to re-establish the pure worship of the apostolic church. The regulative principle was their main instrument by which they sought to do this. Since nearly all Reformed Christians accept this principle, it is surprising that exclusive psalmists claim that the regulative principle of worship forbids the introduction of uninspired hymns in New Testament church services. 'If it is not commanded, it is forbidden' is thought by them to be the main argument for exclusive psalm singing in the church. But this principle in no way gives support to the sole psalmists' argument, as will be seen by the three following reasons. A. The Reformers and the Puritans who established this principle and fought for it, never understood it to mean the exclusion of uninspired hymns from church worship.

1. Did not Calvin include uninspired hymns in the Geneva Psalter? Yes. 2. Did not the first Scottish, English and Dutch Psalters include uninspired hymns? Yes. 3. Did not the Puritans who developed this principle actively engage in the writing of hymns (Baxter, Henry, Bunyan, etc.) and publish them (Owen)? Yes. 4. Even the great lights of the Evangelical Awakening were not opposed in principle to the singing of uninspired hymns in the services, (Whitefield, Romaine, Wesley, Toplady, Williams, etc.).

If the very framers and the greatest expounders of the regulative principle never derived exclusive psalmody from the regulative principle, this casts suspicion that the present use of the principle for exclusive psalmody is based upon a misunderstanding of the principle itself. B. This misunderstanding arises out of a confusion between the essence of the act of worship and the circumstances attending worship. Dr. J . I. Packer has pointed out this distinction as being fundamental to the Puritan concept of the regulative principle of worship. 1. Scripture alone tells what makes up the essence of worship. God has revealed to his people that there is to be (1) a gathering together for (2) the preaching and teaching of the Word, (3) the administration of the sacraments, (4) church discipline, (5)prayers, (6) singing, (7) fellowship, and (8) collection of offerings. The Romanists sought to add the Veneration of the Saints, worship of Mary, masses for dead, adoration of images, auricular confession, penance, candles, rosaries, etc. The Reformers and Puritans refused to add any of these things to the essence of worship. Nothing is to be added except it be a rule of Scripture. This is the clear teaching of Chapter XXI in the Westminster Confession of Faith. 2. On the other hand, the circumstances of worship are a matter of Christian liberty and practicality. The early churches met in the temple and in synagogues until driven out by the Jews. Then the home was the place of the churches until the congregations grew too large; then they had to go into the fields to worship. When Christianity was legalized, believers built places of worship. The design of the building, the presence of pews and organs, even the clothing of the minister belongs to the circumstances of worship. The vestment controversy of Owen's day was not over the issue of whether or not a minister could wear vestments, but whether or not the minister must wear vestments as part of the essence of worship. Whether or not you have musical instruments accompanying your singing, or whether you sing the Psalms or uninspired hymns are issues belonging to the circumstances of worship. C. Even if we were to grant that regulative principle of worship will dictate the material to be sung in the worship service, where do we find in Scripture any explicit commands concerning congregational singing? Even if we were willing to grant that Eph.5:19 and Col.3:16 did directly and exclusively refer to public worship, these passages clearly include hymns and songs as well as the Psalms. D. I must agree with the Reformers, the Puritans, and the best Reformed commentators in their understanding of the regulative principle of worship, i.e. that the regulative principle cannot be used to establish exclusive psalmody.

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: John P.
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 23:14:10 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Brother Pilgrim, (beware of typos, this is long, uneditted, and quickly typed) I think you are mistaken in your arguments (or at least the conclusions you draw from them). Because of the length of it, and the various different arguments presented, I will reply paragraph by paragraph (highlighting major points). (1) In your first paragraph, you claimed the regulative principle applies to
all of our life, not merely to public worship. By this claim, you have demonstrated one of two things: A. You either don't believe in the Regulative Principle of worship, but rather what others believe; or B. You have not made the appropriate distinction between how our lives are regulated and how worship is - thus leading you to us the term 'Regulative Principle,' sounding as though it is the same thing in worship and life, while at the same time having two different understandings of the term. Why do I say this? Let me give an example of how the regulation in life is different from that of worship. (My example:) Nadab and Abihu, rather than being priests, were ordinary merchants. As they moved from one location to another, they sold a certain product - I know not what. However, one day, they noticed a distinct and bad odor. 'You know Nadab,' said Abihu, 'I bet we could make a ton, without sinning, by selling censor-like pans, incense, and matches! That would cover the odor when the people burnt the incense!' 'No, no, Abihu; (replies Nadab) We ought not sell it so quickly. First, let's see how the people like the smell by trying it ourselves! Don't you think?' 'Good idea!' Poof! They light a fire in a censor like devise, in order to burn incense for the purpose of 'perfuming the camp.' Did they sin? No. Why? Because in our ordinary life - independant of formal (or public, private, or family) worship - they were certain that there was no prohibition, nor principle that would lead to the prohibition of burning incense in a censor-like devise for the purpose of covering a bad odor. However, had Nadab and Abihu not been merely merchants doing this as a business endevour, but were (as they were) priests and doing this in the public worship setting, because they had no express commandment to do this in the worship of God, they were consumed by the wrath of the Almighty. I hope you see the difference. Thus, if you desire to deny this difference, you either deny the regulative principle of worship or you deny the regulative principle of life by saying Nadab and Abihu were not in sin in their hypothetical business endeavor; if you accept this difference, then you must confess that your claim, 'I would have to strongly disagree that it [Regulative Principle-JP] is to be limited ONLY to public worship, but rather in is an all encompassing principle that affects all of life;' contains ambiguity which allows you to change your understanding of the regulative principle when you speak of worship or its application to non-formal-worship life. For, the regulative principle of life is what most today think we may do in worship: anything not forbidden; while the regulative principle of worship is what most today despise: nothing can be done in worship (as to elements of worship) except that which is commanded or warranted by good and necessary inference. (2) Now I'm going to skip a few paragraphs, and continue on to your 'A - B - C - D' points. Starting with point A: In this point, you essentially are claiming that those whom we claim to be the great expounders of the Regulative Principle of Worship, denied exclusive Psalmody. Let me deal with your four questions (which you answered for us): 1. About Calvin's including uninspired hymns in the Geneva Psalter. In my most recent post, I discussed this. So I won't get into it for the time being. I agree that Calvin was not an exclusive Psalmist - however, he was moving in that direction his whole life, and even held a position of exclusive singing of inspired songs. However, I would simply state that the presense of hymns in the Psalters of the various reformed churches does not intimate they used them in worship. 'What!' you say? 'That is an absurd claim!' No - their Bibles also contained the apocrypha. I don't suspect you would argue that they used the apocrypha in worship (expressly contrary to the WCF). 2. This point was that various churches included hymns in their Psalters. See last two sentences of previous point. 3. Your next claim is that some of the Puritans actively engaged in writing hymns. I wouldn't have a moral problem writing them either (although I likely wouldn't spend my time doing that). I have even - impromptu - sung little songs of my own; this doesn't make me an opponent of exclusive Psalmody. 4. First off, I wouldn't call Wesley a light in any way. Secondly, you neglected to mention Edwards. That was because he was plainly an exclusive Psalmist. In his 'History of Redemption,' Part V, he wrote, 'Another thing God did towards this work [the work of redemption-JP], at that time, was his inspiring David to show forth Christ and his redemption, in divine songs, which should be for the use of the church, in public worship, throughout all ages.' (p. 554, Works of Jonathan Edwards; v. i. - Banner of Truth) Concerning the rest of them, I agree with you on some, but others I am ignorant and am going to have to take your word for it - which I do. B. Now, to deal with your second major heading, which you subdivided into two points, ultimately leading to the conclusion that Psalms and hymns (and instruments made their way into the discussion here, though they don't belong for the time being) are a part of the circumstances of worship. Your two claims were these: (1) 'Scripture alone tells us what makes up the essence of worship.' You certainly are not going to get an argument from me. However, you continue to list off the ordinances / elements of worship which are among those which make up the essence of worship. Among this number is 'singing.' Then, you appealed to the Westminster Confessional Standards (WCS) in order to show that they agree that Scripture alone make this distinction between that which is of the essence of worship and that which is circumstantial. Amazingly, the Westminster Standards teach not merely that singing is an ordinace or essential element, but rather that Psalm singing is an ordinance of God. Furthermore, in all their details about what goes into worship as elements, they (conspicuously) neglect to mention anything but the Psalms. Consider their Directory for Publick Worship: _____Begin Quote______ 'Of the Singing of Psalms: IT is the duty of Christians to praise God publickly, by singing of psalms together in the congregation, and also privately in the family. In singing of psalms, the voice is to be tunably and gravely ordered; but the chief care must be to sing with understanding, and with grace in the heart, making melody unto the Lord. That the whole congregation may join herein, every one that can read is to have a psalm book; and all others, not disabled by age or otherwise, are to be exhorted to learn to read. But for the present, where many in the congregation cannot read, it is convenient that the minister, or some other fit person appointed by him and the other ruling officers, do read the psalm, line by line, before the singing thereof.' _____End Quote______ They even got into the details about how the psalms ought to be sung in order to make it possible for the illiterate, children, or impaired-seeing elderly could sing along! And, lo, they - being non-exclusive Psalmodists - forgot to mention that other songs can be sung! Furthermore, it is amazing that the singing of Psalms and instrumental accompaniment are merely circumstantials now, when, in the Old Covenant, God treated them as elements. Now, without Scripture changing them from non-circumstantials, how, I pray you, did they insta-become circumstantials? Location became a circumstantial, when it wasn't before - but we have express warrant for that change (John 4:19-24); where is the warrant for that change when it comes to the substance of the songs we sing, and the instruments that accompany them? It doesn't exist. (2) Secondly, you claim that (or at least intimate without qualifying) that in the time immediately following the legalization of Christianity, organs were present in the Church. Pilgrim, you claim to know church history, and I believe you do (as a brother); but how the fact that even the most pro-instruments-in-worship Church historians (Schaff, for instance) will only say that instruments were introduced in worship at earliest as a remotely acceptable practice in the 8th century escaped your notice, I cannot answer. I suspect that you just were writing fast, and didn't explain that to us because of a mistake that we make when rushing (which is understandable). However, it is hard to imagine that the Christian church, having come out of the Jewish church which used instruments, could have been taught by Jews (the apostles) who would have used instruments in worship when Jewish, would have ceased the practice if they did not believe instruments were regulated and non-circumstantial. Even in the 1200's Aquinas claimed that they were not in the majority of churches because the churches did not wish to Judaize! --But I am now working on a tangent, and must stop. We need to stick to Psalms, please. I simply couldn't overlook this error. C. Thirdly, you claimed (and I quote), 'Even if we were to grant that regulative principle of worship will dictate the material to be sung in the worship service, where do we find in Scripture any explicit commands concerning congregational singing? Even if we were willing to grant that Eph.5:19 and Col.3:16 did directly and exclusively refer to public worship, these passages clearly include hymns and songs as well as the Psalms.' -We find warrant from Scripture to sing in the congregations from Hebrews 2:11,12, ' Heb 2:11-12, 'For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church (*ekklesia*) will I sing praise (*humneo*) unto thee.' Thus, in the church, there will be singing; see also 1 Cor. 14:26, where, in the public worship, they were bringing forth 'psalm' (*psalmos*) to sing. Thus, we have warrant to sing in worship. Secondly, you have simply begged the question by assuming what nobody has been able to prove (with certainty) for as long as the debate has existed, viz. that the 'hymns and spiritual songs' in Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19 are other than the Psalms. You have to prove that - not just claim it. Saying, 'these passages clearly include hymns and songs as well as the Psalms,' is merely a proof surrogate (a claim of fact without evidence to defend it). D. Finally, you say you must agree with, 'the Reformers, the Puritans, and the best Reformed commentators in their understanding of the regulative principle of worship, i.e. that the regulative principle cannot be used to establish exclusive psalmody.' First, I would argue that, at best, you can grasp at only a percentage of these people who would agree with you; Second, I would argue that, although I respect many of these men greatly, I nevertheless base my argument for this position on Scripture. Thus, that is where the center of our argument ought to lie. However, I don't mind bringing more witnesses to the stand for our position. One more note: about Matthew Henry's quote. (1) The Psalms of David are a typical title used by men throughout church history to refer to the book of Psalms. I am surprised that you - who appear to have read some historical literature - would be ignorant of this. (2) You wrote, 'Henry used the conjunction and to distinguish between 'the Psalms of David, and spiritual hymns and odes, collected out of the Scripture. If anything, to the first-time reader, Henry is making mention of three types of songs, of which the Psalms are but one type.' Whether they are, 'the Psalms of David,' or, 'spiritual hymns and odes,' it is clear they are songs from Scripture. Furthermore, as I continued in my post, I did not claim that this quote of Henry's was a sound argument establishing (without possible objection) my claims; rather, I said it was a strong argument (as those who study philosophy know, the difference between these terms is vast; for, a sound argument is one that is deductively valid with all the premises true; whereas a strong argument could still be stronger by bringing in more facts, &c.). Thus, when he only speaks of the 'psalms' as 'ordinances' of worship, the conspicous lack of mentioning 'hymns and spiritual songs,' gives us a strong argument for concluding that he believed that only the psalms were an ordinance, and that either (1) hymns and spiritual songs were considered to be Psalms by Henry, or (2) he believed hymns and spiritual songs to be songs other than the psalms, and no part of public worship anyhow. The other possibility - which seems unlikely from the above quote - is that he didn't believe in Exclusive Psalmody, and I am wrong (which doesn't change the fact that Scripture teaches it). Pilgrim, brother, I am saddened by your argumentation. I feel as though you are being dishonest (whether wittingly or unwittingly) with what you are writing. Lord willing, I would repent if this position of mine is faulty; however, it has yet to proven such. In fact, I think your arguments have only assured me more of my position. I would ask the same from you; I fear being wrong, and I suspect you do too. I realize our 'reputations are on the line' because people are watching and reading along. All of us, both you, myself, Diacono, Tom H., Prestor, Five Sola, &c. need to be humble enough to sacrifice our reputations for Christ's truth. I pray you are willing to do that. I will be praying for you. In Christ, John P. Sorry about the typos, again. It's too late to check the whole of this.


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 09:44:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John,

In the first attempt to rebut my arguments, you have not offered any convincing argument at all. I still maintain, being in complete agreement with the Westminster Confession of Faith, that the 'Regulative Principle' is two-fold in its application. This is nothing more than restating Sola Scriptura. The 'Regulative Principle' has NEVER been restricted to the aspect of public worship but rather it has been applied to ALL OF LIFE. Do you really think that Chapter XX 'Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience' was exempt from the 'Regulative Principle'? Hardly! What you are positing, is a very narrow definition and use of 'Regulative Principle' that is to be restricted only to public worship, and then switch over to the Lutheran position for everything else (whatever is not forbidden is allowed). Sorry, brother, but this is inconsistent and hypocritical and self-serving. I don't buy it, and neither has the Reformed churches historically. This is something you and your little 'group' have been trying to foister on us and it hasn't worked. :-) 1) A non sequitur argument! 4) Are John and Charles Wesley, in your estimation, Reprobates? If not, then why are they to be excluded from the history of the true church? Although I admire Jonathan Edwards and have read most all that is publicly available of his writings, he is not the 'all and all' source of infallible truth. The Scriptures are 'sole and final authority in ALL matters of faith and practice.' B) Psalms ARE to be sung in the churches! Again, no one should argue with this tenet and I certainly am not. The issue is whether or not the SCRIPTURES teach that ONLY Psalm singing is permitted in the public worship of God's people. The 'proof' of this has not been made by you or anyone else that has been incontrovertible as history shows. As to the 'Directory for Publick Worship' it is non-binding, being an uninspired document. And this again is another example of your 'group's' attempt to bind the consciences of men by documents written by men that are not necessarily normative for all the people of God. NO 'covenant' and/or document written by men is able to bind the consciences of men, as the WCF itself states clearly. The fact that it 'fails to mention other songs' is no argument against them being sung in the public worship. The point being made was that the INSPIRED songs need to be carefully used so as not to 'add or subtract' from them. C) You clearly missed the point here concerning Col 3:16 and Eph 5:19. I was pointing out your hypocrisy in trying to use them in contradictory ways. If they do teach, which they don't, that 'Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs' are ONLY a triad designation for the O.T. Psalter, there is nothing in these texts that restrict them to public worship. It's an either/or, brother, not 'both/and' as you have tried to use them for your purposes. D) Another instance of hypocrisy on your part, if I may say so? All along you have been making reference to 'so and so' said this, and this, etc. about the use of Psalms only in public worship, but NO exegesis of a text yourself to prove your position. Whereas I certainly did offer an exegesis of Eph 5:19 to show that it does NOT teach that the singing of 'the Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs' are but the O.T. Psalter nor is there any reference to public worship in that text whatsoever, and cannot be. I mentioned, for example, William Hendriksen who was a solid Dutch Calvinist and more than able and highly respected N.T. scholar. It was to his EXEGESIS of these texts that I was referring to. I think that one must refute his exegesis from Scripture to be a valid argument, and not simply making a presumptive deduction from something Matthew Henry wrote. Lastly, I object to your accusation that I am being 'dishonest' in my argumentation. This indeed is an attempt to cast a dark shadow upon my personal integrity. Ad hominem arguments generally result in the opposition of what was intended by them. I would suggest that at this time there just isn't going to be any 'proof' that will convince you that your position is in error. What you are not willing to allow is that there have been, are and will be many very conservative, biblically minded and godly men and women who will disagree with Exclusive Psalmody, who are just as convinced that it is wrong as you are they it is correct. This of course begs a more important question: 'What of those who disagree with you?' 'How do you view, therefore, those who reject the Exclusive Psalmody? Is there salvation in question?' It seems to me that Scripture would encourage the singing of Scripturally derived New Testament songs. The Psalms, albeit legitimate songs to be sung, are yet 'types and shadows' of the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work. It would seem rather strange that God would restrict the church from singing the name of Jesus and/or the completion of His redeeming work. Again, Rev. 5:19 does clearly show that the 'saints' sing this type of song. No doubt that one's eschatological position has some bearing on this matter. :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: John P.
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 23:45:59 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Pilgrim, I sincerely desire that God will open your eyes to see that your arguments and claims are weak and, to say the least distorted (for, you distort what I have said, and then rebut something that often I, too, would rebut). Nevertheless, I will respond to your most recent response. However, I say this
sincerely, I am almost crying over the blindness and opposition I have read of yours (and most recently Prestor’s) to a Biblical position. Notwithstanding, God will be the judge between us. Before I continue, I want to make the comment that I think you have misrepresented many arguments I have put forth. Maybe that is my fault - I may not be all that good of a writer. However, some of these misrepresentations are rather obvious and, with your abilities, ought never to have occurred. Thus, the way I am going to respond to your most recent email is to first address your misrepresentations by stating what you think I am claiming, then what I am claiming with proof from previous posts (if necessary), followed by some pertinent remarks. I will also address those arguments which you positively put forth in defense of non-exclusive Psalmody. First, the misrepresentations: misrepresentations #1 and #2: “The issue is whether or not the SCRIPTURES teach that ONLY Psalm singing is permitted in the public worship of God's people. The 'proof' of this has not been made by you or anyone else that has been incontrovertible as history shows. As to the 'Directory for Publick Worship' it is non-binding, being an uninspired document. And this again is another example of your 'group's' attempt to bind the consciences of men by documents written by men that are not necessarily normative for all the people of God. NO 'covenant' and/or document written by men is able to bind the consciences of men, as the WCF itself states clearly. The fact that it 'fails to mention other songs' is no argument against them being sung in the public worship. The point being made was that the INSPIRED songs need to be carefully used so as not to 'add or subtract' from them..” (1) Your first misrepresentation is that, when I quoted the “Directory for Publick Worship,” I was quoting it as a binding document. What is amazing about this misrepresentation is that, I haven’t said a word about covenanting, or the obligations which flow from it. That is a different discussion altogether. Besides, we don’t believe a document of men can bind a person’s conscience either, unless it is agreeable to the word of God; and, even then, it is only binding for God’s word sake. But, like instrumental accompaniment, lets save this for another time. The reason why I quoted the “Directory for Publick Worship” was because you hinted that the Westminster Assembly - in the documents they produced - were not advocates of exclusive psalmody. I - thinking to myself, “Hmmm. I’ve never once heard that claim before; funny, too, since the same assembly produced another document addressing (in detail) how they believed Biblical worship was to be conducted. And you know, in that document on worship (The Directory), they appear to be - as almost everyone will agree (even anti-exclusive Psalmodists) - advocates of this exclusive Psalmody position. It seems strange, then, that Pilgrim would say that another document they produced was not and exclusive Psalmody advocating document. I guess I’ll tell him about that.” So I did. If we were discussing Continental Rationalism, I could have done the same thing with Descartes if someone were to claim that he were an empiricist (i.e., I could have quoted another document or writing of his which was more clear - thus interpreting his other writing). (2) The second misrepresentation (which wasn’t a misrepresentation of me, but of the Westminster Assembly), was when you said of the Directory for Publick Worship, that, “The point being made was that the INSPIRED songs need to be carefully used so as not to 'add or subtract' from them..” Now this is amazing: the Westminster Assembly didn’t fear adding whole songs to worship, but did fear adding bits (which I’m sure could be added with doctrinal purity if very careful) to the Psalms. I suppose, then, you would say the Westminster Assembly would have understood the Bible to teach that the “uninspired hymns” they (supposedly) allowed could not have any quotations from the Psalms (for, doing that would subtract from the whole of the Psalm; and add to the Psalm uninspired words. For, is that not what you said? That, “The point being made [by the Assembly] was that the INSPIRED songs need to be carefully used so as not to ‘add or subtract’ from them.” That, to me, sounds absurd. Besides, that would be a waste of words and purposeless; for, the songs aren’t “INSPIRED songs” if they have additions! Misrepresentation #3: You wrote, “You clearly missed the point here concerning Col 3:16 and Eph 5:19. I was pointing out your hypocrisy in trying to use them in contradictory ways. If they do teach, which they don't, that 'Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs' are ONLY a triad designation for the O.T. Psalter, there is nothing in these texts that restrict them to public worship. It's an either/or, brother, not 'both/and' as you have tried to use them for your purposes.” I didn’t miss the point concerning Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19. You, apparently, did misunderstand what I said (again, maybe this was my fault). For, I did not claim - nor do I believe at this time - that either of those passages are speaking of public worship. Furthermore, I did not claim - nor do I believe at this time - that those passages are essential proof texts for Exclusive Psalmody (hereafter “EPs”). Read my following quote: “I did not present these verses [Col. 3:16 & Eph. 5:19] as an argument for exclusive Psalmody. Rather, I interpreted them to refute an objection against it. What is the significance? I don't think they have to be speaking of public worship. I think the fact that the OT worshippers sang their worship tunes from the Psalter because of divine warrant, we need warrant that this command of God has been abrogated. From these passages, people attempt to prove that other songs have been added to the worship of God; this I deny, and this is what I was attempting to prove.” Now, if this is my claim - and is what I am arguing - then how does your objection above quoted at the beginning of this misrepresentation at all concern what I am arguing??? Mark this: I do not believe it is necessary for the passages Col. 3:16 or Eph. 5:19 to be speaking about the context of public worship in order to prove EPs. This I have claimed from my first emails until now. Furthermore, I have even responded to this objection once before. Therefore, your claim that I, “clearly missed the point here concerning Col 3:16 and Eph 5:19” is unwarranted because it rests upon the assumption (not even totally unstated) that I think the passages are speaking of public worship. How this assumption managed to overcome my various and clear statements / confessions of the contrary, I know not. NOTE: I am arguing against the use of that passage to contradict the EPs position. Misrepresentations #4 and #5: You (amazingly) wrote, “Another instance of hypocrisy on your part, if I may say so? All along you have been making reference to 'so and so' said this, and this, etc. about the use of Psalms only in public worship, but NO exegesis of a text yourself to prove your position. Whereas I certainly did offer an exegesis of Eph 5:19 to show that it does NOT teach that the singing of 'the Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs' are but the O.T. Psalter nor is there any reference to public worship in that text whatsoever, and cannot be.” There are two misrepresentations in this quote, the fourth and fifth overall: (4) You claim that I have offered “NO exegesis, &c.” Did you not read my first two posts? I wrote about the use of the word “psalm”; the use of the word “hymn” in two other passages in the New Testament; the use of the adjective “spiritual” and what is meant by it when it is used in other texts of the New Testament where it is an adjective to something written; I wrote about the phrase, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”; I wrote about the historical context of the passage and the fact that the first readers knew the Septuagint; &c. Furthermore, since that time, I have asserted that those passages could be concerning things other than public worship without hindering our position. You’ll have to explain to me what exegesis is; for, I thought that was relatively thorough for such little amount of space. (5) The fifth misrepresentation (and second from the quote above) is that, in this paragraph, you again intimated that our position requires that the passages under discussion refer to public worship. I have already dealt with this - but I thought it was worth re-emphasizing because, until you cast that away as an objection, you can be certain that your arguments are not based on right reason. For, if you would neglect to acknowledge this claim of mine, you would still be arguing against a straw man, not me. And, that certainly isn’t a reasonable way to refute an opponent. Now, on to the other arguments. I will deal with these very quickly. (1) You wrote, “I still maintain, being in complete agreement with the Westminster Confession of Faith, that the 'Regulative Principle' is two-fold in its application. This is nothing more than restating Sola Scriptura.” I’m not claiming that God hasn’t given us sufficient revelation for us to, take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. Rather, I am saying that God has given us many commands which are sufficient to rule all of our life; however, it just so happens that one of these commands - the second in the decalogue - forbids us to worship add anything to, or subtract anything from, what God has commanded us to do in worship. Thus, (for instance) an employee can do various jobs for the glory of God - many of which didn’t even exist at the time of the writing of Scripture - by following basic guidelines (provide for one’s house; be diligent at work; don’t be a busybody; &c.) and not doing anything forbidden working in a position which promotes profanity or adultery, &c.); while the worshipper, following similar guidelines (being sincere; humble; trusting in Christ; &c.) must not do anything in worship which is not commanded. You have neglected to make this distinction. (2) You - without proving it - simply stated that my evidence for this distinction above mentioned is not sufficient to prove the EPs conclusion by saying, “A non sequitur argument!.” Would you mind proving that? Claims don’t become more than claims until an argument is offered in support of them. (3) You wrote / asked, “Are John and Charles Wesley, in your estimation, Reprobates? If not, then why are they to be excluded from the history of the true church? Although I admire Jonathan Edwards and have read most all that is publicly available of his writings, he is not the 'all and all' source of infallible truth. The Scriptures are 'sole and final authority in ALL matters of faith and practice.'” It isn’t my place to decide whether the Wesley brothers were reprobates or not. If they believed in all sincerity the Arminian gospel, then they are in hell; however, they may not have had an happy inconsistency and now be in hell. Either way, I count them as members of the visible church (the invisible one not being my prerogative nor place to know). Nevertheless, I didn’t exclude them (as you accuse me in your loaded question) from the visible church -rather, I excluded them from being lights in the visible church. They taught dark doctrines which were grounds of excommunication from the visible church. Furthermore, have not I also expressed numerous times the fact that I don’t believe church history establishes my position? Then why do you intimate that I treat Jonathan Edwards as the, “all and all” source of infallible truth? I disagree with him on more than one thing. I brought him up in response to your appeal to the men of the “great awakening.” He, being a major leader in that “awakening,” was conspicuously missing. (4) You wrote, “The Psalms, albeit legitimate songs to be sung, are yet 'types and shadows' of the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work.” That statement is one of the most strange, odd, and inconsistent statements I have ever read written by a person who claims to be a Protestant Christian. In fact, it is sinful. Are you actually claiming that we are commanded by God to sing songs which were fulfilled when Christ came? For, if what you say is true, they were only ‘types and shadows’. My understanding of the Bible is that ‘types and shadows,’ once fulfilled, have ultimately been forbidden by Christians. For, if that which they signify is come, there is no need for that sign any longer. We don’t do sacrifices for this very reason. (5) Lastly, you wrote, “I object to your accusation that I am being 'dishonest' in my argumentation. This indeed is an attempt to cast a dark shadow upon my personal integrity.” The reason why I qualified my claim that you were being ‘dishonest’ with the statement, “whether wittingly or unwittingly,” was because I didn’t want to seek to judge your motives. For, you could be unwittingly dishonest (or, in other words, self-deceived), or even doubting your position and fear the change. Thus, I apologize for not clarifying more, and even going as far as I did in accusing you. Love, John P.


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Prestor John
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 15:40:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I am almost crying over the blindness and opposition I have read of yours (and most recently Prestor’s) to a Biblical position.
Crying? John I had no idea you were so emotional, especially about erroneous positions. I suggest instead of crying over Pilgrim and mine's supposed blindness that you re-evaluate your position. As Pilgrim said there is no place in the Word of God that states that psalms are to be the only songs used in corporate worship of the saints.

In fact all of us agree that psalms should be a part of our worship along with hymns and spiritual songs. Prestor John Servabo Fidem


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: John P.
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 15:12:04 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Prestor, Pilgrim and your argument against exclusive Psalmody (namely, that, 'there is no place in the Word of God that states that psalms are to be the only songs used in corporate worship of the saints.') is expressly contrary to reason governed by the belief that we must have an express warrant (either command or good and necessary inference) from the Holy Bible for everything we do in corporate worship. How so? By using language which is equivalent to saying that something has to be forbidden in order for us to count it unlawful. Example: Both of you have said that, essentially, for exclusive Psalmody to be true, we must have an express command that
only Psalms may be sung in worship. The word 'only' is not necessary for exclusive Psalmody. For, what it means is simply this: we must have, from the word of God, a statement that Psalms may be sung and all other songs forbidden (that is the exact idea expressed by only psalms). Rather than this, what we need is express warrant from the word of God for uninspired songs in order to sing them. All you have done is told me that I need an express prohibition of songs other than the Psalms by couching it in language which sounds consistent with the regulative principle. Maybe this needs to be expressed even more clearly. Consider: When someone commands, 'Thou shalt only have ordained men preach,' there is an express prohibition couched in this statement. Namely, 'Thou shalt not permit women or men lacking a lawful ordination to preach.' For, the term 'only' prohibits anything other than that which it limits. Therefore, for one to command, 'Thou shalt only sing Psalms in worship,' is as much as expressly prohibiting other songs. Hence, for one to require an express statement that, 'only psalms,' may be sung in worship is as much as requiring an express prohibition of any other songs. Which manifestly contradicts the regulative principle of worship which is clearly taught in Scripture. I only have time for brief posts like this; however, I thought that I would quickly refute that argument since it is another fallacious argument. Love, John P.


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Tom
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 23:22:42 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Prestor John I hope I am not overstepping any confidentiality in saying this(John.P forgive me if I am), but John is heavily involved in course load, as well as planning a marriage, in the not too distant future. He is a very passionate man who cares very much about people. Sometimes I am afraid that he cares too much, and pours too much energy into people. If we could all pray for him and his future bride, I think it would be showing genuine Christian love, at this very important junction in his life. To those who are married, can you remember the months just prior to your marriage? If you were like me, you were an emotional rollercoaster. In Christ Tom


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 08:28:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John,

I think it is time for me to suspend this discussion, at least on my part. This last reply shows that there is no resolution to our differences. Your arguments are disjunctive and sometimes nonsensical, at least to me and to be sure to some others as well. And for everyone else's information, your several references to 'e-mail' are fictitious. I haven't had any e-mail communication with you for well over a year. And at least one of the 'quotes' was not mine. Perhaps you are confused and intermixing someone else's communication with this Forum? There is absolutely no doubt that your conscience binding of yourself to the tenets of your 'group' and its adherence to men's 'covenants', which you want to bifurcate from your arguments is that which is the crux of your view and the foundation of your weak arguments. I find that there are so many things which are erroneous in this last reply that it just isn't possible for me to take the time to reply to them. Therefore I will only mention some of them which I feel are worth taking the time for. 1) I have never said that the Westminster documents held a position that was contrary to Exclusive Psalmody. The fact is that not everyone of the Westminster Divines held to Exclusive Psalmody, just as not all held to Infralapsarian. There has always been a 'majority and minority report' historically on such issues. For example, the 'majority report' for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church denomination rejected Exclusive Psalmody, but the 'minority report', led by the venerable Prof. John Murray defended Exclusive Psalmody. I happen to side with the majority report. 2) On your alleged argument concerning the word 'spiritual'; I believe I have already addressed that and showed that it does not mean 'inspired' in the relevant texts which are used to try and prove Exclusive Psalmody.

But what about the word 'spiritual'? Doesn't it prove that only inspired songs can be sung? Again, the word 'spiritual' is used in the N.T. in several different ways. Such Reformed commentators as John Calvin and Charles Hodge understand the word 'spiritual' in the context of being Spirit-filled (Eph 5:18). Does the word 'spiritual' mean inspired in Eph 6:12 or 1:3? Does it mean inspired in Gal 6:1 or in 1Cor 2:15? We are to sing songs which are not carnal but spiritual just as we are to avoid carnal thoughts and to seek to be spiritually-minded.

3) As to the Psalms being 'types and shadows', to which you seem to adamantly deny, this is preposterous. The entire O.T. was written in 'types and shadows' foreshadowing the coming of Christ and His great redemptive work. This is something to which nearly ALL have agreed upon throughout history. In my previous reply above, 'Biblico-Theologico Approach', I thought I made this quite clear that Scripture is progressive in its revelation concerning God's mighty works of redemption. And thus the Psalms, being part of the Old Covenant, are written as that which looked forward to that which was to come, and thus they are 'incomplete' in and of themselves. If this were not so, then there would have been no need for the New Testament, or even the actual coming of Christ Himself. This is so elementary that I am staggered by your misunderstanding and rejection of it. This is simply 'Bible 101' John. 4) In regards to this 'dishonesty' issue; if what you accuse me is true, then is this not also true of the vast majority of Christians throughout history? The early Church did NOT hold to Exclusive Psalmody as all Church History records incontrovertibly show. 5) The Regulative Principle, as you would use it says, 'Nothing is to be done without an explicit command of God in His Word!' Thus the burden of proof is upon YOU to show where in all Scripture there is even but ONE command to sing ONLY Psalms in public worship. I insist that there is NONE.... no not one!!

I bid you adieu, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: John P.
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 15:33:27 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Another brief reply: Pilgrim wrote: 'As to the Psalms being 'types and shadows', to which you seem to adamantly deny, this is preposterous.' I was not saying that the Psalms don't
contain many types and shadows. Rather, I was saying that singing the Psalms themselves is not a typical practice. Thus, here is a distinction you apparently haven't been able to make. If the singing of the Psalms was typical, then we ought not sing them anymore; if what the Psalms contain sometimes are typical in content, then when we sing these nontypical Psalms containing typical content, we ought to understand what we sing. (2) Pilgrim wrote, 'The early Church did NOT hold to Exclusive Psalmody as all Church History records incontrovertibly show.' That can be debated. Everyone admits that the early church had uninspired songs; however, not everyone agrees they were sung in public worship. By the time of Augustine and Chrysostom, they certainly were exclusive Psalmodists. And the Synod of Laodicea even decreed, 'Canon 59. No psalms composed by private individuals nor any uncanonical books may be read in the church, but only the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments.' Augustine compared the Donatists to the Orthodox when he said that the Donatists sang, 'effusions of the human genius,' while the orthodox didn't. Chyrsostom - in his sermon on Colossians 3:16 teaches that the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, are Psalms. He even quotes the Septuagint towards the end, wherein it speaks of the three terms all as Psalms. He wrote: 'What is the hymn of those above? The Faithful know. What say the cherubim above? What say the Angels? 'Glory to God in the highest.' (Ps. 112:5) Therefore after the psalmody come the hymns, as a thing of more perfection. 'With psalms,' he saith, 'with hymns, with spiritual songs, with grace singing in your hearts to God.' (Ps. 101:5, Sept.).' So the early church (at least at the time of Chrysostom) still appear to have believed that these passages were referring to the Psalms and the language of the Septuagint. (3) Pilgrim wrote, 'The Regulative Principle, as you would use it says, 'Nothing is to be done without an explicit command of God in His Word!' Thus the burden of proof is upon YOU to show where in all Scripture there is even but ONE command to sing ONLY Psalms in public worship. I insist that there is NONE.... no not one!!' This is fallacious reasoning. Let me quote what I just wrote to Prestor (for the sake of saving time here on the Sabbath day): 'Pilgrim and your argument against exclusive Psalmody (namely, that, 'there is no place in the Word of God that states that psalms are to be the only songs used in corporate worship of the saints.') is expressly contrary to reason governed by the belief that we must have an express warrant (either command or good and necessary inference) from the Holy Bible for everything we do in corporate worship. How so? By using language which is equivalent to saying that something has to be forbidden in order for us to count it unlawful. Example: Both of you have said that, essentially, for exclusive Psalmody to be true, we must have an express command that only Psalms may be sung in worship. The word 'only' is not necessary for exclusive Psalmody. For, what it means is simply this: we must have, from the word of God, a statement that Psalms may be sung and all other songs forbidden (that is the exact idea expressed by only psalms). Rather than this, what we need is express warrant from the word of God for uninspired songs in order to sing them. All you have done is told me that I need an express prohibition of songs other than the Psalms by couching it in language which sounds consistent with the regulative principle. Maybe this needs to be expressed even more clearly. Consider: When someone commands, 'Thou shalt only have ordained men preach,' there is an express prohibition couched in this statement. Namely, 'Thou shalt not permit women or men lacking a lawful ordination to preach.' For, the term 'only' prohibits anything other than that which it limits. Therefore, for one to command, 'Thou shalt only sing Psalms in worship,' is as much as expressly prohibiting other songs. Hence, for one to require an express statement that, 'only psalms,' may be sung in worship is as much as requiring an express prohibition of any other songs. Which manifestly contradicts the regulative principle of worship which is clearly taught in Scripture.' (4) I apologize if I thought that you expressed that the Assembly of divines were not exclusive Psalmodists. I thought you intimated that the documents they produced were not exclusive Psalmody documents when in fact they were. That is my fault. None of my background knowledge would lead me to believe every single divine on that assembly were exclusive Psalmodists, so I will simply take your word for it. (5) Concerning the word 'spiritual'. I think that could be debated, especially when the word for Spiritual is related so nearly to the same word for the Spirit of God. Therefore, if we consider the immediate context of Col. 3:16, we can see plainly that we are to (by means of singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs) teach one another in a manner consistent with letting the 'word of Christ dwell in us richly.' (paraphrase) Therefore, considering the Septuagint parrallel passages, the use of the words psalms and hymns in other places throughout Scripture, and the relation of the Greek word for spiritual to that which is of the Holy Spirit, I conclude that we have no express warrant nor any good and necessary inference which would lead us to believe we have positive warrant from the Holy Bible to sing songs other than the Psalms. Just a brief response. John P.


Subject: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP'
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 17:44:06 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John,

In Kenneth Latourette's A History of Christianity, p. 206 we read:

'The Epistle to the Ephesians enjoins the use of 'psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs,'. Some of these hymns are to be found in the New Testament itself, embedded in its text.' p. 206

It is interesting to note that Latourette begins his section on church music by pointing out his understanding of Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 as referring to hymns composed by early Christians, some of which are found in the New Testament itself. Latourette goes on to say:

'Some distinctly Christian hymns were early written in Greek, but in prose form, conforming to the pattern of the psalms as put into Greek.' p. 206-207

And further he writes:

Until near the end of the fourth century, in the services of the Catholic church only the Old Testament Psalms and the hymns or canticles from the New Testament were sung; the other hymns were for personal, family, or private use.' p. 207

Latourette clearly saw three types of material used by the early church. The early Christians sang the Psalms and hymns (some of which are quoted in the New Testament) in their public worship. Then there were other hymns which were used in private. On the basis of the historical evidence, Latourette summarizes his position on the music of the early church by saying:

'Gradually there appeared versical paraphrasies of the Psalms, hymns with lines of equal length and hymns which were acrostics.' p. 207

Here is another prime example of 'double talk' offered as a defense for your position. Let me quote you directly:

Consider: When someone commands, 'Thou shalt only have ordained men preach,' there is an express prohibition couched in this statement. Namely, 'Thou shalt not permit women or men lacking a lawful ordination to preach.' For, the term 'only' prohibits anything other than that which it limits. Therefore, for one to command, 'Thou shalt only sing Psalms in worship,' is as much as expressly prohibiting other songs. Hence, for one to require an express statement that, 'only psalms,' may be sung in worship is as much as requiring an express prohibition of any other songs. Which manifestly contradicts the regulative principle of worship which is clearly taught in Scripture.'

Thus from this, 'Thou shalt only have ordained men preach,' there is an express prohibition couched in this statement., we MUST have an identical statement concerning the singing of Psalms, as I and others have insisted upon such as: 'Thou shalt only sing the Psalms in the public assembly and worship of God!. If there were such a command, then indeed there would be an inherent prohibition against singing all other types of songs other than the Psalms. However, there is not even one command or statement which restricts the singing in public worship to the Psalms in any manner, with or without the word "only" used explicitly or even implicitly. As I have show, the two passages (Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16) cannot be shown to refer to the O.T. Psalms, neither can they be seen to refer to public worship. (See my comments in the above post "This Again?") But again, there is no such command to be found anywhere in Scripture. If there is, please bring it forward for all to see.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP'
From: John P.
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 18:31:30 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Pilgrim, I didn't think I needed to explain what the regulative Principle is to you. The regulative principle of worship, in short, is simply this: For something to be counted an element of worship it must have positive warrant from Scripture (whether command or necessary inference);
if something does not have positive warrant, it is forbidden by God's silence. Hence, dramas are forbidden in public worship because the Bible is silent about them; soda for the Lord's Supper is forbidden because the Bible is silent about it; &c. Now, with this in mind, it is abundantly clear that we do not need an express prohibition of uninspired songs; Thus we do not need an 'only psalms' command, but only a 'psalms' command with silence concerning other songs. Are you following? I hope so. Let me write this as a syllogism: (1) If the Bible (the RPW) teaches that anything without positive warrant in the word of God(as an element of worship) can be considered an element of worship, then if uninspired songs do not have positive warrant from the word of God, then, by the Bible's silence concerning them, they are forbidden. (2) The Bible gives no express warrant to sing uninspired songs. Therefore, (3) uninspired songs cannot be accounted an element of worship. Therefore, do we need an 'only'? No. Secondly, Pilgrim, do you actually believe there is no warrant from the New Testament to sing Psalms? Then why, may I ask, do you believe they are an element of worship!? You are sadly acting as a Lutheran in the principle that guides your worship because you are denying the regulative principle of worship. In fact, since you believe the singing of Psalms is typical of what was fulfilled in the coming of Christ, you are acting more like a Romanist because you believe that which is typical and fulfilled in Christ - and has no warrant at all in the New Testament for public worship - is an element of public worship! Prov 19:2, 'Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.' Don't be hasty in arguing. I've follied that way before - it is embarrassing and sinful. Furthermore, concerning your historian. That is great he thinks that there are hymns in the New Testament epistles; what is interesting, is that Paul never says they sang any of these. The historian is merely speculating. Don't forget, 'Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.' It isn't good to base your argument for an element of worship based on anything other than an express command or good and necessary inference. Hymns cannot be gathered from these places of Scripture by good and necessary inference, and they certainly are not expressly commanded. Concerning the history of Psalmody in the church, I know there is a debate as to when hymns were introduced. Some argue for a much earlier time than others. What do I think? Although I am familiar with some of the arguments, I have found that the 'hymns-in-public-worship' side has not put forth anything which gives absolute warrant to their historical position. Notwithstanding, I know there has been a debate between the two positions. Both sides confess there were uninspired songs outside of the public worship of God. The debate is about what went on in the public worship. Love, John P. (This marks a drastic slowing down in my ability to post - tomorrow I begin a rather intense schedule)


Subject: Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP'
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sun, Jun 04, 2000 at 22:32:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John P. 1) Your reply was pitifully weak and to the point of being embarrassing even to read. 2) If you had half my schedule brother, you would probably have a cardiac arrest! And I have many years on you! :-) 3) I resent your condescending approach. And I am not Lutheran nor do I embrace Romanism. Try again? Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP'
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 11:58:24 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Hi Would I be correct to say that Lutherans believe in the Normative Principle of Worship? Which basicly says that we may worship God in any way that is not expressly forbidden in scripture. As opposed to the Regulative Principle that basicly says that we may only worship God in a way that God's word expressly says we can. I recieved this discription of the Normative and Regulative Principles of worship, from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. When John.P uses Lutheran in referrence to Pilgrim, is he actually accusing him of believing the Normative Principle over the Regulative Principle? Tom


Subject: Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP'
From: John P.
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 21:10:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Putz7@msn.com

Message:
Yes, Tom, Lutherans basically believe that you can do anything in worship you care to as long as it does not contradict any express command. Throughout church history they have often complained about Calvinistic worship and its being to devoted to outward forms. Secondly: TO ALL - I have found myself apparently wrong concerning Matthew Henry on 'psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.' I decided to further pursue what he said, and here you have it (evidence that he believed Eph. 5:19 was not speaking merely of the Psalms of the OT (not that I agree with him): ' Ephesians 5:3-20 PP20 3. To sing unto the Lord, v. 19. Drunkards are wont to sing obscene and profane songs. The heathens, in their Bacchanalia, used to sing hymns to Bacchus, whom they called the god of wine. Thus they expressed their joy; but the joy of Christians should express itself in songs of praise to their God. In these they should speak to themselves in their assemblies and meetings together, for mutual edification. By psalms may be meant David's psalms, or such composures as were fitly sung with musical instruments. By hymns may be meant such others as were confined to matter of praise, as those of Zacharias, Simeon, etc. Spiritual songs may contain a greater variety of matter, doctrinal, prophetical, historical, etc. Observe here, (1.) The singing of psalms and hymns is a gospel ordinance: it is an ordinance of God, and appointed for his glory. (2.) though Christianity is an enemy to profane mirth, yet it encourages joy and gladness, and the proper expressions of these in the professors of it. God's people have reason to rejoice, and to sing for joy. They are to sing and to make melody in their hearts; not only with their voices, but with inward affection, and then their doing this will be as delightful and acceptable to God as music is to us: and it must be with a design to please him, and to promote his glory, that we do this; and then it will be done to the Lord.' (from Matthew Henry's Commentary) Therefore, what I believed was a warrantable inference from the other quote I presented, was erroneous. My sincerest apologies. I truly don't desire to persuade people with faulty evidence. So, if I presented something wrong, Lord willing I will always have a love for truth genuine enough to present the correction to all pertinent persons. Love, John P.


Subject: Re: Early Church History REFUTES 'EP'
From: Prestor John
To: John P.
Date Posted: Tues, Jun 06, 2000 at 00:03:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Well John since you have found that yet another of man of the Reformed Camp did not hold to excusive psalmody as you thought he did, are you having second thoughts in regards to your stance? Seems to me your defenders are dwindling. BTW I was raised a Lutheran, and would remind you that they too are 'Protestant' in the generic sense as are those who are Presbyterians. Oh, lest I forget, I hold the Reformed Baptist view now. Prestor John Servabo Fidem
Pewsitters


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: John P.
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 19:25:06 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Quickly: concerning my 'email' comments. That is simply a bad habit that I have. I call 'posts' sometimes 'emails' because, I am used to writing 'emails.' So, I apologize - there were no emails. Sorry. I thought I corrected them because I had noticed that I was doing it on occasion. Sorry again.


Subject: Twisting every which way
From: Rod
To: John P.
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 07:41:28 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
John P, You can't have it both ways: You maliciously attack and distort Pilgrim's statements on the one hand while flattering with the lips with the other. Proverbs has a lot to say about this sort of tatic. I won't bother to reply to all your post, but will include one paragraph which perfectly illustrates how you have done the very deed you accuse Pilgrim of, distortion. You replied: 'That statement is one of the most strange, odd, and inconsistent statements I have ever read written by a person who claims to be a Protestant Christian. In fact, it is sinful. Are you actually claiming that we are commanded by God to sing songs which were fulfilled when Christ came? For, if what you say is true, they were only ‘types and shadows’. My understanding of the Bible is that ‘types and shadows,’ once fulfilled, have ultimately been forbidden by Christians. For, if that which they signify is come, there is no need for that sign any longer. We don’t do sacrifices for this very reason.' To deny that the Psalms,
or any other section of the Bible, reveal the Lord Jesus is a truly amazing thing! The most outstanding thing about the Bible is that it is a collection of books revealing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God the course, nature, character, and value of the Son of God Who came to save His people. To deny that He is praised and represented to our benefit by the OT is utterly without foundation. I would remind you that the Apostle Paul, who had probably only the OT for his reference point said these things: 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for correction, for reproof, for correction in righteousness, [the purpose of which is] that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works' (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Never forget, he was writing to Christians. Let's emphasize that it's 'all Scripture is profitable,' including and especially the typology in the OT, because it makes believer 'perfect' and able to serve his Lord in an honorable way. 1 Cor. 10:11 is extremely significant in this regard: 'Now all these things happened unto them for examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.' The 'ends of the ages' refers to the fulfillment of prophecy in the Lord Jesus Christ--that is the ultimate result or goal of all that has preceded and all things subsequent have looked back to that accomplishment for His own. Fulfillment of prophecy in a Person is the emphasis of the Bible. There is no realization of to the depths and extent of that fulfillment without adequate instruction from profiting from the inspired Word of God. To imply that Pilgrim is advocating a return to the law and things that are past is a vast distortion. No one could follow his posts over the months and years and make that conclusion, except deliberately. It is especially interesting that you would make that implication when you, yourself, are extremely legalistic about this exclusivity of the psalms, seemingly making it the test of faith for a Christian. It seems most significant of all that, in the paragram quoted, you cast severe doubt on Pilgim's salvation as one who merely 'claims to be a Protestant Christian.' A most despicable and incredible charge! If you reject the praise of God's fulfillment of prophecy by review of, study of, and education about the truths and precepts taught in the OT concerning the Lord Jesus, so that Christians may be 'perfected' for the service of the Lord, it is a most dangerous and odious thing. Such a campaign as you're conducting here has the effect of detracting from the honor and glory of the accomplishment of the Lord, as I say, seemingly making the singing of the psalms the one true test of real Christianity. That, as every educated Christian knows, is NOT the standard by which's one's salvation is judged: 'For by grace are ye saved though faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast' (Eph. 2:8-9).


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Tom
To: Rod&Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 11:54:35 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
I hesitate to say this, because I agree with your possition on this matter. But I think John, has a point that he has been misrepresented on what he believes. His last post, shows this and was not addressed in Pilgrim's reply. As to Pilgrim talking about John's use of the word 'e-mail', though I could be wrong, I believe he meant to say post not e-mail. In a way, I can understand why he replied the way he did, if I was being misunderstood or misrepresented in a message, I would try to clear the matter up. However, I think in Pilgrim's case, knowing the intregrity of the man, I believe it was unintensional. Tom


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 14:39:21 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, If you're referring to my 'misrepresenttion' of John P, I can't see any reason to agree. I quoted him directly and his statements are there for all to see. Could you be more speciic, please?


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 12:35:25 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,

Perhaps you could point out how John has been represented by me or any other? Having been a member of a denomination that holds to Exclusive Psalmody, I am quite familiar with the view and how it is defended. :-) But there is quite a difference between the 'group' that John P. belongs to and their view/defense of Exclusive Psalmody, and most others, eg., G.I. Williamson and the late John Murray who held to it. Further, I have had some very close friends who held to Exclusive Psalmody and our differences never became an obstacle between us. We both had mutual respect for each others position and often were joined together in opposing the modern church movement and its incorporation of 'worldliness' into the worship of God. In His Grace, Pilgrim PS - And you were correct, that IF I have in some way misrrepresented John's position or something he said, it was indeed unintentional.


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 14:30:41 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Pilgrim Unless I am misunderstanding things that are being said, the following is an example of what I am talking about: misrepresentations #1 and #2: “The issue is whether or not the SCRIPTURES teach that ONLY Psalm singing is permitted in the public worship of God's people. The 'proof' of this has not been made by you or anyone else that has been incontrovertible as history shows. As to the 'Directory for Publick Worship' it is non-binding, being an uninspired document. And this again is another example of your 'group's' attempt to bind the consciences of men by documents written by men that are not necessarily normative for all the people of God. NO 'covenant' and/or document written by men is able to bind the consciences of men, as the WCF itself states clearly. The fact that it 'fails to mention other songs' is no argument against them being sung in the public worship. The point being made was that the INSPIRED songs need to be carefully used so as not to 'add or subtract' from them..” (1) Your first misrepresentation is that, when I quoted the “Directory for Publick Worship,” I was quoting it as a binding document. What is amazing about this misrepresentation is that, I haven’t said a word about covenanting, or the obligations which flow from it. That is a different discussion altogether. Besides, we don’t believe a document of men can bind a person’s conscience either, unless it is agreeable to the word of God; and, even then, it is only binding for God’s word sake. But, like instrumental accompaniment, lets save this for another time. The reason why I quoted the “Directory for Publick Worship” was because you hinted that the Westminster Assembly - in the documents they produced - were not advocates of exclusive psalmody. I - thinking to myself, “Hmmm. I’ve never once heard that claim before; funny, too, since the same assembly produced another document addressing (in detail) how they believed Biblical worship was to be conducted. And you know, in that document on worship (The Directory), they appear to be - as almost everyone will agree (even anti-exclusive Psalmodists) - advocates of this exclusive Psalmody position. It seems strange, then, that Pilgrim would say that another document they produced was not and exclusive Psalmody advocating document. I guess I’ll tell him about that.” So I did. If we were discussing Continental Rationalism, I could have done the same thing with Descartes if someone were to claim that he were an empiricist (i.e., I could have quoted another document or writing of his which was more clear - thus interpreting his other writing). Tom


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: John P.
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 20:14:29 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Brothers, I thought that I would make a statement. I thought that I sent an email about what I believe concerning the salvation of those who deny exclusive psalmody last night; but in searching for it today, it appears as though I didn't send it. Apparently, because of my neglecting to send this, some have gotten the impression that I believe all who reject exclusive Psalmody have rejected the gospel.
God forbid. Neither I - nor my church (which was brought into this discussion I know not why) - believe that anyone is saved by any church membership; covenant keeping; exclusive Psalmody position; or anything else aside from the free grace of God given to sinners through Jesus Christ our Lord. I don't know why you all would accuse a person of such a thing; it actually saddens me greatly that Christian men would even dare raise an accusation of such a grievous nature. Nevertheless, whatever you wish to say of me in order to slander me, I accept with thanksgiving and trembling (lest perhaps I trust in my being reviled for Christ's name and seem to come short of the grace of god). Thankful yet sorrowful, John P. putz7@msn.com PS - Tom, I do appreciate your faithfulness to me as a brother and hoping all things for me. You have conducted yourself in a manner worthy of bearing Christ's banner; I will continue to pray for you.


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 19:44:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Sorry brother, but I happen to know where John P. is 'coming from' and the 'Directory for Publick Worship' is a 'binding document' for him and his 'group' among other such documents. His 'group' has often stated that ALL should be under it's rule. There is much more under girding John P.'s arguments that have not been revealed. :-) This discussion is far more than simply the issue of 'Exclusive Psalmody'. Therefore, I stand on what I said as being accurate. Why? for as I have stated on several occasions, there is not ONE single text in all Scripture that commands that Psalms be sung exclusively in the Church. And this is most necessary from the standpoint of 'Sola Scriptura' and the Regulative Principle from which it is derived. As even John P. has stated, the RP's primary mandate is:

'But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.' [WCF XXI.i]

Therefore, it is the Scriptures and not any other document written by men, including the WCF, that must determine how God is to be worshipped. What I and others have DEMANDED is that there be show this 'prescription' from God in the Scriptures that instructs us whereby the Psalms of the O.T., and them ONLY are to be sung by the gathered saints in public worship. There is none and thus all these other types of arguments are brought to the front in an attempt to circumvent the very principle [Regulative Principle] on which Exclusive Psalmody is said to be consistent with and a conclusion based upon. I do indeed understand much of the reasoning behind this view, to which I was constantly exposed, and it does have some commendable qualities.. But the problem is that it just isn't a biblical teaching. We are told that Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 are NOT to be seen as referring to public worship. But we are told that the phrase 'in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,' is to be understood as referring to three 'divisions' within the O.T. Psalter. But as I showed, if that were true, then the application of it would therefore affect one's personal edification so that only the Psalms could be used outside of the public worship of God. I have shown that this is simply NOT what Paul has written in those places. Yet, where is there a text that DOES speak of the public worship of God and what MUST be sung during the course of it? Again, there is none. Period! The danger in all this is exactly the position that John P. and his 'group' have chosen to bind themselves to; that being that anyone/everyone who doesn't worship God according to THEIR design, rules and regulations is offering 'false worship' and therefore guilty of Idolatry. Such a sin of course, if unrepented of would of necessity indicate that such people are unregenerate and further if one of these should die in 'their sin', then they are therefore bound to perdition. My advice to you brother Tom is to 'open your eyes' and see what lies behind some of these discussions brought here by various visitors. Pray for wisdom and discernment. A wise old man once told me, 'A true Calvinist is always genuinely suspicious!' And why do you think that is brother? Because a true Calvinist takes seriously the doctrine of Total Depravity and is well aware of his own heart first! :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Fri, Jun 02, 2000 at 22:23:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
One person writes: 'some have gotten the impression that I believe all who reject exclusive Psalmody have rejected the gospel. God forbid. Neither I - nor my church (which was brought into this discussion I know not why) - believe that anyone is saved by any church membership; covenant keeping; exclusive Psalmody position; or anything else aside from the free grace of God given to sinners through Jesus Christ our Lord. ________________________________ Second person writes: 'the position that John P. and his 'group' have chosen to bind themselves to; that being that anyone/everyone who doesn't worship God according to THEIR design, rules and regulations is offering 'false worship' and therefore guilty of Idolatry' The group espouses dangerous doctrines: 'The danger in all this is exactly such a sin of course, if unrepented of would of necessity indicate that such people are unregenerate and further if one of these should die in 'their sin', then they are therefore bound to perdition' 'You maliciously attack and distort Pilgrim's statements on the one hand while flattering with the lips with the other. Proverbs has a lot to say about this sort of tatic.' 'It is especially interesting that you would make that implication when you, yourself, are extremely legalistic about this exclusivity of the psalms, seemingly making it the test of faith for a Christian. It seems most significant of all that, in the paragram quoted, you cast severe doubt on Pilgim's salvation as one who merely 'claims to be a Protestant Christian.' A most despicable and incredible charge! 'To imply that Pilgrim is advocating a return to the law and things that are past is a vast distortion.' 'If you reject the praise of God's fulfillment of prophecy by review of, study of, and education about the truths and precepts taught in the OT concerning the Lord Jesus, so that Christians may be 'perfected' for the service of the Lord, it is a most dangerous and odious thing.' ____________________________ Here is a thing. How to explain. How to have a discussion that doesn’t get kidnapped. How to disagree without being painted by your detractors in the colors they choose. How to make a positive statement of belief that is not turned on its head, misconstrued, reduced and labeled in such a way it fits neatly in someone’s pre-formed box. How to avoid character assassination, villification, and misrepresentation of beliefs. The tools used to skewer the reconstructed adversary. I have watched the same chain of events occur, it never varies. I don’t say it is done maliciously, but rather as a matter of course, the way to win so to speak. When two-way communication is not foremost in the minds of the particapants, these discussions degrade into labeling people with forgone conclusions, and then attacking them (or their supposed allegiance to some heretical group) based on what they seem to represent, rather on what they have said. Soon it is a mindless feeding frenzy of misrepresentation, by unwarrented extrapolation. Oh you believe X, then you must rejected Y and Z even if you did’nt say so. We can assume the other’s beliefs contain hidden treachery, if we desire. We can feign to be attacked, when we merely disagree. We can look for and claim malcious intent where there was none. We can imagine great horrors will envelope mankind and thus be spurred on to suppress, attack, and vanquish the heretics whose heathen opinions threaten the character of Christ. Christians, who cannot allow a preceived falsehood a foothold in this world, view themselves as noble protectors of truth. Yet in the rush to destroy all enemies under the banner of Christ, by the execution of a properly ordered argument, do we forgot to humbly hear; to quietly listen, seeking to preceive and understand the other. Yes, of course the other fella is a treacherous malcontent if his opinion does not fit your Biblical beliefs, he surely must be anti-Bible, anti-Christian, anti-God – which we shall not endure for long. Rather than mistrust the person you debate as a matter of course, why not simply respond with solid reasoning and Scripture, and assume the best of the other. At least until proven otherwise. There I'm finished. (you may have the last word) john


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 02:46:24 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
john, I don't desire 'the last word,' as you so negatively imply, but since you have, without identifying anyone directly, accused me of false accusation and slander against another,
and doing so for the sole purpose of winning an argument, I'd like to make this declaration. In your post above, you say a 'second person' says thus and so, but actually you quote, without acknowledging it, both Pilgrim and myself as proof that we are vindictative and in error in opposition to what each of us considers to be a grave error on an essential of Christianity. Now I know that you weren't naming names, and speaking illustratively, but Pilgrim and I are different people entirely and I feel that each of us is willing to stand by his convictions, though I don't presume to speak for Pilgrim. I just spent close to two hours analysizing and refuting John P's latest post. I re-read and revised that post numerous times, trying to be both true, accurate, and fair. Then I asked the Lord three times for peace about it if I should post it in His will. I wasn't at complete peace in posting it, though I believed the post. I deleted it. Then, I come back to the message list to find you say this in condemnation of my tactics and stance: 'I have watched the same chain of events occur, it never varies. I don’t say it is done maliciously, but rather as a matter of course, the way to win so to speak. When two-way communication is not foremost in the minds of the particapants, these discussions degrade into labeling people with forgone conclusions, and then attacking them (or their supposed allegiance to some heretical group) based on what they seem to represent, rather on what they have said. Soon it is a mindless feeding frenzy of misrepresentation,....' 'Two-way communication,' john, is desirable and necessary to resolution, but it is more important to declare, based on Scripture, 'Thus saith the LORD!' In all honesty, but without malice, I have to point out that I don't think you've discerned the real issue here. It is, as I tried to make clear in my previous post, not about a disagreement on a non-essential-to-Christianity doctrine, but actually what is the measure of valid saving faith, i.e., salvation itself. On that essential I will make no apologies for standing for what I regard as the inspired teaching of the Bible, just as I do on whether Arminians are saved, though their doctrines are in severe disagreement with mine. May God grant me the strength and conviction to do that, not honoring men and 'political correctness,' but in honor and praise of my Lord Jesus Christ. It is through Him, not through the proposed form of exclusive worship, that salvation is possible and enabled, as you, john, realize. I am certain that you do. I have many brothers and sisters with whom I enjoy Christian fellowship without their agreeing with me on non-essentials. In fact, the only person I know who agrees with me 100% is my wife. :>) And she doesn't agree just because I say something. I have to demonstrate it from the Scriptures. But there can be no compromise on the fundamental and basic aspects of Christianity, such as the true measure of Christian faith.


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Tom
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 00:17:52 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
As far as I can tell John.P has been above board about his beliefs. I don't nessasarily agree with some of the things he has said. But I can't think of something he wrote that he didn't honestly and sincerely believe. I was a little surprised at Pilgrim's mentioning about his mistake about 'e-mail', It seemed to me to be little nitpicky. John.P stated: 'some have gotten the impression that I believe all who reject exclusive Psalmody have rejected the gospel. God forbid. Neither I - nor my church (which was brought into this discussion I know not why) - believe that anyone is saved by any church membership; covenant keeping; exclusive Psalmody position; or anything else aside from the free grace of God given to sinners through Jesus Christ our Lord. You know what, I believe he is sincere about this, not once in our conversations, that I have had with him over the last few years, has he ever said that if you don't worship in such and such way you aren't...or anything similar to that. If it is true that the Church he fellowships with, doesn't agree with what he said. Then I would have to say that we should show him this. In fact I am going to find out for myself if they agree or disagree with his statement. I will let you know, what I find out. Tom


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 03:19:53 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, You rightly quote John P, 'John.P stated: 'some have gotten the impression that I believe all who reject exclusive Psalmody have rejected the gospel. God forbid. Neither I - nor my church (which was brought into this discussion I know not why) - believe that anyone is saved by any church membership; covenant keeping; exclusive Psalmody position; or anything else aside from the free grace of God given to sinners through Jesus Christ our Lord.' In spite of that, we are compelled to look at whom he casts severe doubt regarding salvation. That would be Issac Watts, a hymn writer (that seems very significant in his accucsations, you'll be forced to admit); the Wesley's (one of whom was also a hymn writer) based on their adherence to Arminianism; and the owner of this site, Pilgrim, who has demonstrated an allegiance to, and faith in, the Lord Jesus Christ. Pilgrim has done so by his testimony and by his provision of the site for education of fellow Christians with Christ-honoring material. John P has stated that Pilgrim merely 'claims' to be a Christian, not that he is one, another extremely signifcant statement. Why would he say it
in that way if he believes Pilgrim is saved? Why not say something like, "Pilgrim IS a Christian who states..." ? I'm forced to say, based on the evidence of John P's posts over the last several days, that the actual and practical tests of faith which he demonstrates by his assertions, and his declaration quoted by you above, seem to be in direct contrast and opposition to one another.


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 12:11:24 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Rod Where has John.P stated that Wesley wasn't a Christian? Where has John.P insinuated that Pilgrim wasn't a Christian? I have read all his e-mails(posts lol) so far and haven't seen it myself. What I recall at the moment, is him saying something to the effect of, it isn't his job to say whether or not Wesley is or isn't a Christian. What is clear is that, what Wesley taught is heretical. I see no problem with saying that, in fact I believe even George Witfield's(sp?) in his letters to John Wesley said as much. Please show me, if you can where John has stated these things. Tom


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 14:36:26 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, I'm actually astonished that you missed these things, as I particularly emphasized in my previous post to you what he actually said and why he seems to have said it in that manner--that Pilgim 'claims' to be a Christian, rather than acknowledging that he actually is. Here is his statement of the post of Thursday, 1 June @ 9:44 under the heading of 'Regulative Principle'--you may read it for yourself. John P--'That statement is one of the most strange, odd, and inconsistent statements I have ever read written by a person who claims to be a Protestant Christian. In fact, it is sinful.' I personally see no other interpretation than that Pilgrim is a sinful 'Catholic Christian,' or that he is (and by extension all who believe as he does) not a Christian of any sort, but a confirmed sinner and lost. This can be cleared up with a simple question and John P's forthright answer: John P, in your best considered opinion, is Pilgrim actually a saved Christian? Please, John P, give us a direct 'yes' or 'no' response so that there will be no doubt where you stand. I'd also be interested in knowing whether Pilgrim himself, and others, saw this assertion in the same light as I. As for the Wesleys: These men were avowed Arminians, as I think it is universally acknowledged and seems to me to be plainly evident. Hear what John P has to say about the Arminians and their lack of salvation--'It isn’t my place to decide whether the Wesley brothers were reprobates or not. If they believed in all sincerity the Arminian gospel, then they are in hell; however, they may not have had an happy inconsistency and now be in hell.' That statement effectively states that John P doesn't believe any Arminian who has ever lived or will live is saved! We recently had a lengthy discussion about this with another who believed the same thing, 'freegrace' by handle. Since I am convinced that I now have the salvation of the Lord by grace through faith,
and since I had the same belief when I was an Arminian, my convictions have not changed on that issue, I also stand condemned to hell by John P's statement. I quoted this before from John Wesley's "Journal" (twice, I think in previous months). Wesley relates his unsaved condition while he was already a missionary and preacher: (a 'Mr. Spangenberg' asked him this) 'My brother, I must first ask you one or two questions. Have you the witness within yourself? Does the Spirit of God bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?' Wesley says, 'I was surprised, and knew not what to answer.' Spangenberg 'observed it, and asked, Do you know Jesus Christ? I paused and said, I know that He is the Saviour of the world. True, replied he; but do you know he has saved you? I answered, I hope He has died to save me. He only added, Do you know yourself? I said, I do. But I fear they were vain words.' Sometime later Wesly relates this experience: 'In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.' I'm not prepared to deny this man's salvation, based on that testimony and the wonderful way God used him for many years afterward. As much as it is possible for us to know about another, I believe Wesley was a saved man, though I despise the Arminian position. John P couches his assertions with enough ambiguity to allow him to deny that he actually directly said these people were not actually saved.. But, if the Lord has given me any discernment, this was his intent in every case cited. May God and everyone else forgive me if I'm wrong, but I see no other conclusion at this point. BTW, John P's source for questioning Watts' salvation also contains disparagement of Toplady, another prominent Christian who was, not coincidentally I think, a hymn writer whose songs are still in use in many churches, as are Watts'.


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: John P.
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 17:26:32 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Rod, You wrote (and I didn't get to it until now): 'That statement effectively states that John P doesn't believe any Arminian who has ever lived or will live is saved!' That is an absurd conclusion to gather from that.
I did not say that every Arminian is in hell. Please - hope all things for me and show some love. Forthrightly again: There is a possibility that professed Arminians have been and will be saved. However, they have - as I said before - 'an happy incosistency.' Their professed doctrine doesn't match with their actually beliefs. That is why I called the inconsistency 'happy' - because, although they taught heresy, God may have saved them in and through Jesus Christ. Note: this doesn't mean I don't believe the civil magistrate shouldn't have punished them for heresy, nor does this mean that I don't think the visible church should have excommunicated them. Nevertheless, if they professed to believe in Jesus Christ alone for their eternal salvation, and, only in word were Arminians, then they could have been saved. I must admit, however, that I think most educated Arminians are without hope of salvation unless they convert. For they have rejected the Gospel when it has been explained to them in clear terms - but even then, I would not say which are or which are not Christians. You wrote, 'John P couches his assertions with enough ambiguity to allow him to deny that he actually directly said these people were not actually saved.. But, if the Lord has given me any discernment, this was his intent in every case cited. May God and everyone else forgive me if I'm wrong, but I see no other conclusion at this point.' I forgive you in advance (since you have asserted that you are sorry if you were wrong [which you were]) - and upon genuine repentence, so will God. I will also pray that God will give you more discernment. Love, John P.


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Rod
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 21:13:52 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
John P, Thank you for your answer(s) and, yes, you are forthright in this. I appreciate that. It clears up a lot. I, based on your answer, don't see that I'm 'wrong.' We had this very issue discussed just recently here. An Arminian 'in name only'
isn't an Arminian! That would be something else entirely. Please witness your statement: You wrote: "That statement effectively states that John P doesn't believe any Arminian who has ever lived or will live is saved!' That is an absurd conclusion to gather from that. I did not say that every Arminian is in hell.' Then you qualify with this: 'However, they have - as I said before - 'an happy incosistency.' Their professed doctrine doesn't match with their actually beliefs.' Regardless of whether they profess Arminianism and actually believe something else entirely, it doesn't make that person an Arminian: It makes him confused or a deceiver! The 'Arminians' you're speaking of are exactly like any other deceptive false professor--they are not believers in Jesus Christ, the Lord. The fact that an Arminian is so designated is generally accepted as an assumption that his profession of faith is a true one, that he is a Christian and a believer, as Wesley confessed. You assume that such a person is not a Christian, but either a deceiver or deceived. So, I conclude that a true Arminian, one who isn't in reality a 'closet Calvinist' (possibly unaware) is, in your opinion, lost. As I say, we discussed this exact issue not long ago. I invite and urge you to go back to the archived posts and read the discussions. The whole issue really boils down to defining exactly what are the basics of Christianity; what determines whether one is a Christian or not? What are the minimum requirements in terms of knowledge and acceptance necessary to demonstrate actual, gifted-by-God, salvation?


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: John P.
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 17:29:57 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Clarification: I wrote, 'Note: this doesn't mean I don't believe the civil magistrate shouldn't have punished them for heresy, nor does this mean that I don't think the visible church should have excommunicated them.' That was difficult for me to understand when I read it a second time. What was intended was this: I believe the Wesley's should have been civilly punished and excommunicated by the church. Love, John P. (who has no more time to send long posts)


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: John P.
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 17:10:17 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Rod, Forthrightly:
Yes, I count Pilgrim a Christian. (Hence, I called him 'brother,' numerous times). This doesn't mean that I think that he believes like a Protestant Christian in all his doctrine. But, do I count him saved as far as I can tell in the little I know of him? If he professes to believe in Jesus Christ alone for his eternal salvation, and this is accompanied by a change in his life (which it appears as though it has), then I count him a brother and, as far as I can tell, a 'saved Christian.' If Asa could persecute true believers and be saved (2 Chronicles 14:2 and 2 Chronicles 16:10), then we certainly can and may have hope that a rejection of exclusive Psalmody won't condemn a person either - unless accompanied by a rejection of the Gospel of free grace in Jesus Christ. Thus, I do not believe I have sufficient warrant, nor do I hope to find sufficient warrant, to count Pilgrim as an enemy of Jesus Christ (as you seem to hope to find I have rejected the Gospel by adding exclusive psalmody as a condition). The Bible teaches that we, as Christians, even have to separate from brethren who walk disorderly; but we nonetheless are not to count them an enemy, but love them and admonish them as 'brethren.' Again - that is why I used 'brother' numerous times (including in the very first line of my first post to him). (2 Thessalonians 3:6-7; 14,15) 'Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; .... And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.' Love, John P.


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: Rod
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 21:35:02 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
John P, Yes, again you have been very forthright. Thank you. I accept your statement and clarification concerning Pilgrim's status, though I sincerely question why you expressed that he simply 'claimed to be a Protestant Christian.' Based on your answer, I acknowledge that you do understand that Pilgrim is saved. I offer you my apology for misinterpreting what you wrote, asking you, and the board, and my Lord to forgive me.


Subject: Re: Twisting every which way
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 20:28:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Just imagine if, in the interest of learning and challenging our obedience to God, each interested party remained focused on the matter at hand, working through the Scriptures to ascertain truth, to only debate on the merit of the reasoning used and setting beliefs against Scripture in search of harmony; to reach a resolution in common agreement and perhaps, if each cannot be dissuaded, to understand the others stance, yielding some measure of respect for each other. Knowing that truth is not won in battle but in solitude between each person and God; let the differences stand until a more favorable day. In any civil trial the rules of engagement require only admissible evidence, why should Christians seeking to judge the merit of arguments seek anything less. At the last, when the final few replies are posted, there should be no need for apologies or angst, if we conduct ourselves aright, seeking the edification of the brother. It is our duty to correct those who err, but remindful of our own nature and the sinfulness of the flesh, we proceed with humble respect for our own capacity to err, knowing that whatever fault we contemplate in our foe, is likely present in us also, yet unseen. Speak the truth in all things, but politely as from the high ground -- so that there is no need for regrets.


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 13:10:58 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Pilgrim As I look at this thread, I can not help but notice that there is conflicting information about what people such as Baxter, Henry, Bunyan believed. For instance you said: 3. Did not the Puritans who developed this principle actively engage in the writing of hymns (Baxter, Henry, Bunyan, etc.) and publish them (Owen)? Yes. While John said that these very people believed in Exclusive Psalmody. If you could show proof that these great men of the faith, were not Exclusive Psalmists, I think it would go a long way, to show the truth of this matter. But that is only my oppinion, for what that is worth;-) Tom


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: John P.
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 17:49:58 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Just a quick note, Tom. First, I think what Pilgrim was claiming and what I am claiming are consistent with one another. He is merely saying (as far as I can tell) that these men
wrote hymns; I don't doubt that they did - I simply deny that they sang them in public worship. Secondly, I didn't mention Baxter or Bunyan. Although I would expect them (at least Baxter) to sing Psalms only, I wouldn't doubt that either of them would take a different position. For both had significant doctrinal errors in other areas. In defense of my claim that men can write hymns and yet not include them in worship, consider the words of a man that wrote them: Matthew Henry. He wrote the following in his commentary on Col. 3:16: 'We must admonish one another in psalms and hymns. Observe, Singing of psalms is a gospel ordinance: psalmois kai hymnois kai odais-- the Psalms of David, and spiritual hymns and odes, collected out of the scripture, and suited to special occasions [i.e., worship - JP], instead of their lewd and profane songs in their idolatrous worship. Religious poesy seems countenanced by these expressions and is capable of great edification. But, when we sing psalms, we make no melody unless we sing with grace in our hearts, unless we are suitably affected with what we sing and go along in it with true devotion and understanding. Singing of psalms is a teaching ordinance as well as a praising ordinance; and we are not only to quicken and encourage ourselves, but to teach and admonish one another, mutually excite our affections, and convey instructions.' (from Matthew Henry's Commentary) Notice in this quote that Henry chiefly believes that this passage is speaking of the Psalms of David, especially at special occassions; whereas he believes other songs may be permitted by this passage in other circumstances as edifying. The singing of Psalms, according to Henry, is conspicously set apart from the other uninspired songs; for, Henry does not even hint that anything can be called 'ordinances' of worship, except the Psalms of David. He even quotes each of the Greek words for 'psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,' and then immediately calls them, 'the Psalms of David, and spiritual hymns and odes, collected out of the scripture,.' So, although I don't necessarily agree with every part of Henry's interpretation, this quote of his certainly fits into what I said concerning him and the other men I used as witnesses for the exclusive Psalodists cause. I wrote, 'the Westminster Divines, Matthew Henry, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, St. Augustine, and more, maintained exclusive Psalmody, and hence, either advocated the interpretation that I gave concerning these passages, were moving in that direction, or completely disassociated these passages from the context of worship at all.' Henry was an advocate of this interpretation I presented, plus believing it could hint at a little more (thus, 'he was moving in [our] direction.'). Nevertheless, I need to get back to writing Pilgrim. As I said, this was just a quick note. I will be more thorough in addressing Pilgrim's arguments in my response to him. Love, John P.


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Pilgrim
To: John P.
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 19:39:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John,

From the quote you offered by Matthew Henry, I see NOTHING that would even hint that he held to the view that psalms only should be sung in public worship. To use your quote,

the Psalms of David, and spiritual hymns and odes, collected out of the scripture, and suited to special occasions, instead of their lewd and profane songs in their idolatrous worship. Religious poesy seems countenanced by these expressions and is capable of great edification. But, when we sing psalms, we make no melody unless we sing with grace in our hearts, unless we are suitably affected with what we sing and go along in it with true devotion and understanding. . . etc.

Henry used the conjunction and to distinguish between 'the Psalms of David, and spiritual hymns and odes, collected out of the Scripture. If anything, to the first-time reader, Henry is making mention of three types of songs, of which the Psalms are but one type. Secondly, there is absolutely no mention whatsoever about using Psalms exclusively in public worship in this quote. This is assumed by you and yet to be proven. The fact you chose to quote Matthew Henry where he is making commentary on Col 3:16, is a blatant contradiction on your part is it not? For in a previous reply, you were more than clear that Eph 4:5:19 and Col 3:16 did NOT address public worship. But here you quote Henry in an attempt to show that Col 3:16 does in fact make reference to public worship. You can't have it both ways. Paul in Col 3:16 either is referencing the singing of Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs for public worship or he does not. My contention, and exegesis shows that it is the later, and it is quite clear that Matthew Henry's comments do not restrict the singing of 'Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs' to the public worship of God. Further, to imply that Matthew Henry is saying that anything but Psalms is therefore 'lewd and profane songs in their idolatrous worship' is to totally misconstrue what the man is actually saying. Here, Henry having established that it is proper to sing 'the Psalms of David, and spiritual hymns and odes, collected out of the scripture,' he compares these to what the heathen Colossians in their pagan worship sing, i.e., 'lewd and profane songs'. The comparison is NOT between the Psalms and all other uninspired songs. Lastly, in like manner, he (Henry) says, 'But, when we sing psalms, we make no melody unless we sing with grace in our hearts, . . .' he is not making a bifurcation between the Psalms of David and 'other' songs, but simply he is saying that whatever is sung, it must be sung from a heart that is moved by the grace of God unto a transformation of life that bespeaks of godliness. If one were to press yet even further and for the sake of argument agree that he is isolating the Psalms, it proves too much. For he doesn't just make mention of 'the Psalms' but rather the Psalms of David. Without question, the O.T. Psalter consists of far more than the songs written by David. Thus would we then have to conclude that even the large remainder of the inspired songs in that book could not be included for either worship or personal edification, if the 'odes and spiritual songs' were in fact nothing more than 'the Psalms of David'?

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 17:11:52 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,

I agree that such information would be very helpful. Since my time is very much taken up with other things, I really can't afford to dig through my library for specific instances to give you. However, I would offer you these bibliograhpic references which cover these details to a great extent: Benson, Louis F. 1910-1914. The Hymnody of the English Speaking Churches. Princeton Theological Review (July, 1910; 1912-1914). Benson, Louis F. 1915. The English Hymn: Its Development and Use in Worship. Richmond, Virginia: John Knox Press. Reprint. 1962. Benson, Louis F. 1926. The Hymnody of the Christian Church. New York. Reprint. Richmond: John Knox Press, 1956. Benson, Louis F., DD., The hymns of John Bunyan, Published: New York city, The Hymn society, 1930. Benson, Louis F. in the following articles in the Princeton Theological Review c. 1915f:

'Development of English Hymnody'. X:39 'English Hymnody, Its Later Development'. VIII:353 'Hymnody of the evangelical Revival'. XII:60 'Hymnody of the Methodist Revival'. XI:420 'Liturgical Use of English Hymns'. X:179 'Watts Renovation of Psalmody'. X:399, 606; XI:85.

In these books and articles, Benson documents a plethora of instances of hymns being written and used in the Church from the period of the Reformation onward. Further, the very early Church also wrote and sang uninspired hymns which also can be documented by several notable Church historians, eg., Kenneth Latourette. I know where this volume is in my library, so I can supply quotes for you later on if you are interested. :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, May 31, 2000 at 23:27:19 (PDT)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Pilgrim Do you know where I can find that information, without buying them myself? Tom Tom


Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 07:08:27 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Gee, why not try a search on the Internet? There is also a possibility that Regent College library would have some if not all of the referenced titles. :-) And then again, sometimes you just have to rely on the integrity and reliability of the source Tom!! In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: John P.
To: John P.
Date Posted: Tues, May 30, 2000 at 18:09:34 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Significant correction: I said that the OT worshippers sang their 'tunes' from the Psalter. The 'tunes' are rather the music to which we sing the words of a song. What I meant was, 'songs from the Psalter' -
not tunes.


Subject: Re: Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs
From: Prestor John
To: John P.
Date Posted: Thurs, Jun 01, 2000 at 21:27:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John P: Well I must say that I find your view to be both untenable and unscriptural. I must agree with Pilgrim (and btw Pil thanks for stealing my thunder, I get a little busy at work and what do you do but post like mad. }:^{) I was even thinking about the song of Miriam, Deborah, Mary and Zachariah but you beat me to the punch. Shheesh!) I'll agree that the Psalms should be sung in public worship. I've attended a church where that was done and I loved every minute of it but I love the old hymns too. I must agree with Luther's statement here:

' I wish to see all arts, principally music, in the service of the Him who gave and created them. Music is a fair and glorious gift of God. I would not for the world forego my share of music. Singers are never sorrowful, but are merry, and smile through there troubles in song. Music makes people kinder, gentler, more staid and reasonable. I am strongly persuaded that after theology there is no art that can be placed on a level with music; for besides theology, music is the only art capable of affording peace and joy of the heart. . . the devil flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God.'


I might add to this that when you combined good music into a good hymn you get the best of both worlds.

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins; And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains; And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day; And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away. Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away; And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away. Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more. Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more; Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more. E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die. And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die; Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die. Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save, When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave. Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave; When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave. Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be, For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me! ’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine, To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine. William Cowper Olney hymnal

God bless Prestor John.



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