"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

There Is a Huge Difference Between Homosexual Sin and Women Preaching the Gospel

The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention will meet on Monday, June 22, 2009 and more than likely approve a recommendation seeking to officially disassociate from Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bill Sanderson, a pastor in North Carolina and a trustee of the International Mission Board, made the motion to disassociate from Broadway Baptist Church at last year's Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis. The messengers referred Sanderson's recommendation to the Executive Committee, requesting the EC to report back to the 2009 Convention. It seems gay couples who were attending Broadway asked to have their portraits appear in the church directory. Broadway's leadership, rather than taking a stand against homosexual relationships, led the congregation to vote in February of 2008 to publish a directory without individual or family portraits — simply candid snapshots of people instead. This solution, said church leaders, would allow members to recognize one another without making a judgment regarding homosexual relationships.

It is my belief the motion from the Executive Committee to disassociate from Broadway Baptist Church, if presented to the Convention, will pass. In the mid-1990's the Southern Baptist Covention voted to change Article III of the Convnetion's Constitution.

The Southern Baptist Convention's Constitution now reads:

___________________________________________

Article III. Membership: The Convention shall consist of messengers who are members of missionary Baptist churches cooperating with the Convention as follows:

1. One (1) messenger from each church which: (1) Is in friendly cooperation with the Convention and sympathetic with its purposes and work. Among churches not in cooperation with the Convention are churches which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior. And, (2) Has been a bona fide contributor to the Convention's work during the fiscal year preceding.

____________________________________________

If in fact, it is reported that Broadway Baptist Church and her members are affirming homosexual relationships, I will vote to disassociate from Broadway. The Convention's action will be big news, particularly in light of President Barak Obama's push to overturn the 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which prevents the federal government from recognizing "gay marriage." However, the SBC has disassociated from churches that affirm homosexuality before, and we will simply be following our Constitution. You will be hardpressed to find Bible-believing, evangelical believers who would disagree that homosexual relationships are sin.

The Bigger Problem We Face as Southern Baptists

The much larger issue we face as Southern Baptists is not the disassociation from Broadway Baptist Church, but rather, the probable attempt by some to disassociate from churches that recognize and call women to vocational ministry, such as First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia. This historic Southern Baptist Church called Julie Pennington-Russell as their lead pastor, and have a number of women in ministry positions.

Though evangelical, conservative Christians agree that homosexual and adulterous behavior is sin, there is disagreement among inerrantists on whether or not women preaching the gospel to men, women teaching the Bible to men, or women spiritually leading men is actually sin. One conservative, inerrantist Southern Baptist pastor has written an excellent paper, while in seminary no less, entitled A Biblical Primer on Women in Ministry. Jon Zens, a fellow conservative evangelical Christian has written, Are the Sisters Free to Function?, an extraordinary defense of women in ministry, based on a very high view of the sacred text. Many conservative scholars write for Christians for Biblical Equality, defending their belief from Scripture that nowhere does God restrict women in ministry.

Sure, there is disagreement among Southern Baptists on this issue. But I predict that if someone from Georgia offers a similar recommendation to disassociate from First Baptist Church, Decatur because they have hired a female pastor, then the Southern Baptist Convention will face an extraordinary crisis, the likes of which we have not seen in a very long time.

The world may not understand our firm view on homosexuality. So be it.

But when half of conservative evangelical Christianity doesn't understand why we would disassociate from churches that call women as pastors, then we lose as a Convention.

Let's debate the women in ministry issue. Let's disagree with one another amicably. But for heaven's sake, let's not make fools of ourselves by equating women preaching the gospel with homosexual sin.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

313 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 313 of 313
RRR said...

Wade,

I am puzzled as to why you choose to take the path that you take on your posts at times. Apparently, you have no word that someone intends to propose that churches with women pastors be kicked out of the Convention yet you begin debate as to what might happen if such a proposal was made.

Would it not be more productive and less divisive to wait until we have something to argue about before we begin to argue?

I believe that writing posts that incite hot feelings and bickering is a key reason why our Convention is as divided as it is today.

Let's try trusting folks until they do prove their intent is to make such divisive proposals. That would contribute a lot more to unity among Southern Baptists and loving one another.

John Fariss said...

Dang it, Joe,

I actually agree with you. One of us must be slipping.

John

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Book review and posts of Christa's book, This Little Light:

THIS LITTLE LIGHT.

Stop Baptist Predators > This Little Light.

Stop Baptist Predators > Harsh words make my point.

Amazon.

Barnes and Noble.

ABP News > Book says SBC lacks system of preventing sexual abuse.
The above was also reposted here, and here.

GOOD HARD WORKING PEOPLE > Book Recommendation: "This Little Light".

Christian School Confidential > This Little Light by Christa Brown.

BECAUSE IT MATTERS ~ FREEDOM IN CHRISTIANITY [Dani Moss] > The Invisible Holocaust in Our Church.

BECAUSE IT MATTERS ~ FREEDOM IN CHRISTIANITY [Dani Moss] > The Church Holocaust Through One Person’s Eyes.

DEEP THOUGHTS [MOJOEY] > This Little Light, by Christa Brown.

DEEP THOUGHTS [MOJOEY] > Review: This Little Light.

The Fighting Fundamental Forums > THIS LITTLE LIGHT: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang --BASS's review.

Spiritual Samurai > Christa Brown’s New Book.

Texan said...

Joe,

I appreciated your comments. Some of the gay pastors/workers that I know just struggle with it and some are involved in it. To be honest, I'm trusting God to deal with that issue in their lives.

I just don't like to see the blanket condemnations of people that I care about and who are fellow believers. Its an issue for which there are no easy or pat answers (even though some think the issue is black and white).

To each his own in dealing with this issue but we are responsible for our attitudes and the way we love our fellow brothers and sisters.

I would venture to say that most pastors know of other pastors who are involved in some serious issues--I just wonder if we are bold and determined in outing them for those sins.

Christiane said...

Dear TEXAN,

There is something 'unbecoming' in any Christian group that would pick certain sins out that they themselves are not as vulnerable to, and then create a campaign against the people that ARE vulnerable, through no fault of their own. It IS NOTABLE that a certain group leads the hate-speak and others go along, perhaps from a 'safe' distance, but still following in the shadows of those who hate. That is sad, I think. Love, L's

feetxxxl said...

"Feet, I ask you simple questions, you ignore them and just keep repeating "love means there's no such thing as sin if you have inner peace about it". And your response to Darby was vague and evasive."

love means love........the love that is god(agape).(surely there is both eros and agape in all marriages)

is the fruit of the holy spirit (love, joy, peace, kindness,patience, self-control,gentleness, goodness, and faithfulness) the same as those of powers and principality. i have met al lot of murders in prison ministry but i have never met one who was filled with inner peace of christ because he believed in murder or felt compelled to murder for survival. how is it possible to have the peace that is christ if one violates the essence that is christ.

perhaps you understanding is that the fruit of the spirit is merely warm fuzzies, that those things that are of the holy spirit are also of the spirit of powers and principalities. paul didnt think so, and jesus said that those things that are of the holy spirit will show you that whatever they are associated, is of me.

"you will recognize them by their fruit(fruit of the spirit)"

Joe Blackmon said...

I just don't like to see the blanket condemnations of people that I care about and who are fellow believers.

The fact that you would call someone who is living a lie and participating in homosexual activity a "fellow believer" is pretty telling.

Lydia said...

"There is something 'unbecoming' in any Christian group that would pick certain sins out that they themselves are not as vulnerable to, and then create a campaign against the people that ARE vulnerable, through no fault of their own. It IS NOTABLE that a certain group leads the hate-speak and others go along, perhaps from a 'safe' distance, but still following in the shadows of those who hate. That is sad, I think"

What about the guy in 1 Corin 5? Paul told them to turn him over to Satan. Wasn't he just struggling with his sin? It wasn't his fault. He was born that way. Seems Paul was singling him out.

Paul said to turn him over to satan so he could be saved in the day of our Lord.

We are all vulnerable to sin but we have an Advocate.

Christiane said...

Hi LYDIA,

I am making a distinction in speaking for those who 'have the tendencies' through no fault of their own and do not give in to those tendencies.

If they are open about their situation, they are indeed vulnerable to some pretty rough treatment from certain relatively self-righteous organizations.

I would rather see compassionate concern for these people than the strident 'holier than thou' positions of many 'straight' individuals. I genuinely feel sorry for any person with gay 'tendencies' who is trying to live a celibate life in certain Christian Churches, because of the
'rallying cry' of hatred towards anyone who is not 'straight', even if that person is celibate. It's just the modern version of the cry: 'Leper, leper', meaning 'unclean'.

But then again, I don't think people who are 'gay' choose to be that way, any more than someone can choose their race, or some bablies their birth defects.

People with 'homosexual tendencies' can, of course, choose to act on it, which many Christians consider sinful.

Perhaps people always point the finger at others who are more 'visibly' different? Like racial discrimination?
The more 'visible' the differences of the 'other' are; does it become easier to reject them as not 'one of us': our brother, our sister, a child of the Lord?

It is so easy to 'feel better' about ourselves, when we think we are better than 'them'?
But we know we are not any 'better', especially when we add to their pain.
In the case of homosexuals, they are hurting. And their families hurt.

But those people who throw the stones are also hurting, a lot more than they know.
With every 'stone' thrown in the attempted 'destruction' of another,
soon there comes the silent, cancerous self-destruction of our own ability to be humane, to be 'Christian'.
In the end, we do not escape from how we have defined ourselves by the ways we have treated one another. Sheep? or Goat?
We know this from the Gospels.


I have seen this myself, when my own child with Down Syndrome, so visibly 'different', was treated poorly by others.
Love, L's

P.S. Lydia, I don't understand St. Paul's statement that you refer to. Could you please help me with that, if you have time?
Thanks, if you can. Love, L's

Stephen Pruett said...

Joe, Vol, Jon, etc.,

I didn't see your response to my question about your practices with regard to women's hair length, head coverings, jewelry, and clothing as well as men's hair length, and let's add women being silent in church. All of these are just as clear as the one verse that you interpret to "clearly" prohibit women as pastors. Paula is exactly right; you have not refuted any of her points.

So, Jon, are many of you sure that TULIP is correct (or not correct)? Are many sure about eschatology? Are many sure they are right about the required "authority" of one who baptizes? Are many sure they are right about the validity of private prayer language or other spiritual gifts? Are many sure about who should properly be allowed to participate in the Lord's supper at a Baptist church? Yes, many are sure about all of these things, but if we decide to break fellowship over any disagreement about these things (in addition to women as pastors, deacons, or Sunday School teachers, being silent in church, wearing long hair, wearing no jewelry, etc), the SBC will descend even more quickly into irrelevancy than is now occurring.

Just for fun, let's consider how many different groups could be generated based on the 11 issues listed above. Group 1 might believe yes is correct for all 11; group 2, yes for 10 and no for 11; group 3 would be yes for 9 and no for the last 2, and so forth. The number of permutations of two answers (yes or no) taken 11 at a time (11 issues) can be calculated as 2 to the 11th power. This is 2048. Wouldn't that be great! I could be in SBC group 2048 (the only true and right group) and you could be in group 1 (the furthest from the truth, of course). Actually, this is a severe underestimate of the real number of possible groupings, because there are more different answers than yes or no on some of these issues and there many more disputable issues than 11. Do you begin to understand why it is a bad, bad idea to start to separate over these types of things?

Christiane said...

WOW.

Stephen, you should be allowed to speak before the SBC Annual Meeting.

All those permutations that could lead to 'disfellowship' or possibly to the formation of new 'denominations'. Wow.

I wonder if people have any idea what pride can lead to?
Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

Source: A Biblical Primer on Women in Ministry (Part VII).

Dr. McBeth wrote in 1979:

“If Southern Baptists wanted to arrive at an official position on ordination of women, it is doubtful they could do so. Southern Baptists accept no ultimate authority this side of the Bible and the lordship of Christ. But those who accept the Bible as the authoritative Word of God may yet disagree about its interpretation. Southern Baptists have no official creed or list of accepted doctrines and practices to which all must subscribe. The Southern Baptist Convention is a voluntary body made up of elected representatives (messengers) from churches that voluntarily cooperate in missions, evangelism, and Christian education. The Convention cannot speak officially for the churches; neither can the churches speak for the Convention.

In 1925 and again in 1963 the Convention voted to adopt a doctrinal statement of “Baptist Faith and Message.” However, this is a confession of faith and not an official creed. It was designed as a statement of what a group of Baptists believe and practice at a given time in our history. In no way can it replace or supplement the authority of the Bible, nor was it intended.

This means that any Southern Baptist individual or group has perfect freedom, under the lordship of Christ and their liberty to interpret Scripture, to favor or oppose the ordination of women as they feel the facts warrant. However, such individuals and groups have no freedom to impose their views and practices upon all Southern Baptists or to announce their preference as “the” Southern Baptist position. Ordainers and nonordainers can and should be in full fellowship among us.”

Elisabeth said...

That from Dr. McBeth made me sad. We have really lost something between 1979 and now - and I am not just talking about the question of ordaining women or not.

Elisabeth said...

It seems to me that the case against Broadway Baptist is weak. They allowed a few - very few - openly gay members. I would have handled the directory issue differently; but they didn't want to picture homosexual couples together. On top of that, they have a new pastor.

They said they did not do anything to affirm or endorse homosexual behavior. It really looks that they speak the truth, they didn't, to me.

This is beginning to smell like a witch hunt to me.

Joe Blackmon said...

It seems to me that the case against Broadway Baptist is weak. They allowed a few - very few - openly gay members.

It wouldn't matter if they allowed one. If the church allows known openly* homosexual members to remain members without enacting church discipline then they are not in friendly cooperation with the SBC and should have already been booted out. Christians recognize that homosexuality is incompatible with biblical theology.

*By openly, I mean they are currently engaging in homosexual activities. Someone who acknowloedges their homosexual desires are sinful and struggles to overcome them just like all Christians struggle to overcome sin would not be in a position to have church discipline brought against them nor would there be any problem with the church being in the SBC.

Paula said...

I think what tends to happen in these arguments is that people talk past each other because their opponent is not giving the reactions they were expected to give. I aim at foundations, at underlying presumptions, but if I'm debating someone who is focused on a secondary level, they won't know what I'm talking about. But it's my personal conviction that we can't build the attic till the basement is finished (hope my analogy isn't too abstract).

Yet I also know that having one's foundational assumptions challenged is quite unsettling. That's why people get upset, and then communication stops.

So in this feeble attempt at communication, my hope is that we can all practice more disciplined thinking instead of shooting from the hip at the first sign of non-conformity to our own views. I really think that most of the discussions in any given blog or message board wind up being cat fights simply because people haven't questioned the foundations of their own views, let alone anyone else's.

That's why I keep asking people questions about where spiritual authority lies, why they think love and justice cannot coexist, and how they can justify a double standard when it comes to interpreting scripture. Until we have consistency in our own hermeneutic, we will never reach any kind of understanding.

Personally, I am grieved at some of the things I've seen professing Christians post here. How can Christians disagree on whether the whole Bible is God's Word, or think that what God speaks to people through the Holy Spirit today is superior to that which He spoke via the written Word? How can God contradict Himself or have a split personality between the OT and the NT? How can the God who is both Love and Holiness forget one or the other of those things? These may seem like silly questions to some, but they are the implications of what I've seen some people post here.

[/rant]

Lydia said...

L's, I specifically asked you about 1 Corin 5 and how it would relate to practicing homosexuals i the Body. Can you comment on that?


"But then again, I don't think people who are 'gay' choose to be that way, any more than someone can choose their race, or some bablies their birth defects."

You would benefit from hearing the testimony's of those in cross over ministries. I have worked with some of those conferences and learned a lot. Many will tell you it was definitely nurture and they were delivered through prayer. But in the end, it is not different from a heterosexual sex addict. We are all born in sin.

Your words lead me to believe that you do not believe in spiritual transformation.

"Perhaps people always point the finger at others who are more 'visibly' different? Like racial discrimination?
The more 'visible' the differences of the 'other' are; does it become easier to reject them as not 'one of us': our brother, our sister, a child of the Lord? "

They are no more visible that the adulterer unless they choose to be. How do you pick out the homosexual in any crowd unless they are flaunting it?

L's all your words sound so sweet but I have to wonder if you believe in any absolute truths at all.

Are practicing homosexuals sinning against God?

Note I said 'practicing'.

Lydia said...

"Lydia, I don't understand St. Paul's statement that you refer to. Could you please help me with that, if you have time?"

I would rather the Holy Spirit interpret it for you. I hope you understand.

Elisabeth said...

Joe,

I disagree with you because I'm not sure that allowing a homosexual to be a member, even a practicing homosexual, actually endorses or affirms that lifestyle. See, we allow people who practice all kinds of sins to be members of our churches. And I'm talking about visible, even unrepentant sins here; heterosexual couples living together without benefit of marriage is one that's in the forefront of my mind. Most churches will not kick a heterosexual out for living with a person of the opposite sex, and that's not endorsing or affirming that lifestyle. In fact, I have known several heterosexual couples who, after being involved with the church for an amount of time, either decide to get married or no longer live together. And many have gone on to become real pillars of the church.

If all homosexuals see of our churches is closed doors, then they will never really know the way out of their lifestyle and into God's grace.

Lydia said...

Elisabeth,

Just something to consider. I have no problem explaining to my young daughter why the heathens do what they do. But it is quite hard to explain why professing Christians who claim to have been Born Again and regenerated do what they do. Can you give me some hints on how to explain the cohabitating couple in church every week?

What is the doctrine of sin? Am I claiming there should be sinless perfection? Are you serious, my struggles are daily. But, there are mile markers that are there to test if we are in the faith: If we hate the sin we once loved.

Once again, how much do we love people? Paul said, kick him out so he can be saved in the day of our Lord. he did not say, let him stick around because it might rub off and he will come around. He never said that. He wanted that man to have true repentence and he knew he nevr could as long as he was being accepted as professing Christian with that lifestyle.

We have to be concerned about the purity of the Bride. This includes pervert pastors, pastors and leaders who coddle perverts and couples living together. In fact, our leadership models the wrong position on this topic.

With tears in our eyes we have to tell them to and seek true repentence. Their eternal life is at stake.

Rev. said...

Yes, there is a huge difference between the two. However, a church affirming a woman as a pastor/elder is unable to affirm the BFM 2000.

Joe Blackmon said...

See, we allow people who practice all kinds of sins to be members of our churches. And I'm talking about visible, even unrepentant sins here; heterosexual couples living together without benefit of marriage is one that's in the forefront of my mind.

Actually, you don't disagree with me. You disagree with the Bible. We are told, in my than one book in the New Testament, that if someone is living in unrepentant sin they are to be called to repent and if they don't we are to "let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector" Matt 18:17 (NASB). In other words, we are supposed to treat them as a prospect for evangelism. You'll forgive me if I ignore your unbiblical, politially correct, man-centered reasoning for the instructions found in the holy word of God.

Further, no one is saying they can't come in the church building or come to the worship service. For someone to become a church member they must first be a Christian. Someone who is living in any unrepentant sin (being shacked up, using drugs, etc) is not demonstrating that they have repented of their sins. Therefore, Christians recognize that they should not be allowed to join the church.

Elisabeth said...

Lydia,

I have read so much of your comments, both here and on Christa Brown's website, and I respect you so much, my friend.

And it is a hard thing to say, how to show Christ's love to the ones caught in the sin, and also to lead them to repentance. And there is no easy answers.

And I do agree that our leadership has shown us the wrong way to do things, especially with coddling perverted pastors. I do not think that any one who is openly sinning should have any leadership position whatsoever in the church. Homosexual, heterosexual, or whatever. Nor should anyone who has been convicted of child abuse and repented ever have anything to do with children. Nor should any repented thief be treasurer, etc. And this includes both volunteer and paid leadership position in the church. But as far as someone who's caught in sin being part of the church, well, that I'm okay with.

Maybe part of it also depends on how the church looks upon membership. With some churches, membership means signing a covenant and having some spiritual maturity. With other churches, membership is, if you've been baptised, you're a member there if you want to be, but you will have to show a greater (hopefully much greater!) degree of maturity if you are to be a leader there. Still others don't really have formal membership. So with the covenent member type church, all actual members will have more spiritual maturity, and there will be more non-members who are part of the church than the more casual type membership, which I am more familiar with. I am familiar with people just being saved, becoming members, but not being leaders until they have shown some maturity.

Christiane said...

Hi LYDIA,

Thanks for responding.
I was pretty much speaking generally about my concerns, I hope you did not take any of my remarks personally.
I do a lot of 'reflective writing' so you are very right to see that it is much different from a person who 'knows for sure'. My 'reflective writings' often are thoughts about that which I myself do not understand. But still I seek to try to understand somewhere along the journey.


I found this in response to St. Paul's first reference:

"2 Corinthians
Chapter 2

1
For I decided not to come to you again in painful circumstances.
2
For if I inflict pain upon you, then who is there to cheer me except the one pained by me?
3
And I wrote as I did 1 so that when I came I might not be pained by those in whom I should have rejoiced, confident about all of you that my joy is that of all of you.
4
For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not that you might be pained but that you might know the abundant love I have for you.
5
2 If anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure (not to exaggerate) to all of you.
6
This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person,
7
so that on the contrary you should forgive and encourage him instead, or else the person may be overwhelmed by excessive pain.
8
Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.
9
For this is why I wrote, to know your proven character, whether you were obedient in everything.
10
Whomever you forgive anything, so do I. For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for you in the presence of Christ,
11
so that we might not be taken advantage of by Satan, for we are not unaware of his purposes."


I think, LYDIA, that when I read this, I am able to put that first reference into a better context for me.

As for the whole subject of 'homosexuality', it wouldn't be their 'sin' that insults my soul, so much as the harm done to the individuals who believe it to be a sin, and commit it. Then their suffering is terrible.

If they are my Christian brother or sister, I suffer 'with them', and pray for them. But I do not condemn them.
I have my own sins that make me weep, Lydia.
I just see way too much pain out there in the 'gay community'.
I don't want to add to that pain. Instead, I would rather tell the person that I am there for them, to listen to them, and to pray for them to find peace. In that way, I become their servant, not their judge.
I would place them into the loving care of the Lord Jesus Christ who heals all pain.

I do not believe that all homosexuality is 'learned' or 'conditioned during childhood'. My Church does not accept that a person who experiences 'homosexual tendencies' or 'temptations' is a sinner just because of that temptation.
So here, you and I disagree.

As to what sins the person may commit, I leave that between them and the Lord. The people of my faith are well trained to examine our consciences thoroughly, from childhood. But we don't examine the conscience of another person.
Another's conscience is the private domain of the individual and the Holy Spirit, and we may not intrude on that sacred space of another.
So, for me, I CAN offer my hand to someone who is in need of Christ's loving care, and I do not fear 'contamination':
my other hand is holding on to the Lord.

Absolutes. 'Black and White'.
In the words of the song from a Protestant group, Jars of Clay, sometimes all I know is the
'blood-stained ground' beneath His Cross.
But I do know that for sure, Lydia, and I know that you know it, too, for sure.
Much love, L's

Paula said...

Lydia, for some odd reason I've got the song "No, you're never gonna git it" in my head. :-P

You keep asking what Paul was doing in 1 Cor. 5 and nobody will touch it. You've asked several times why Paul told the sinning, worldly, infantile believers there to hand a guy over to Satan, and nobody even seems to realize what you've been asking. I'd try to help but I don't get responses to my questions either.

It's all well and good to leave things to God. But when God tells us to "judge those inside the church", we'd better listen.

Just my opinion, but unless God tells me otherwise, I'm part of the Body too.

Lydia said...

"This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person,
7so that on the contrary you should forgive and encourage him instead, or else the person may be overwhelmed by excessive pain.
8 Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love for him."

Exactly! They followed Pauls instruction and the guy repented and was saved. Praise God!

What if they had let him stay and just hoped being around them would do it?

"If they are my Christian brother or sister, I suffer 'with them', and pray for them. But I do not condemn them."

Who is condemning? Was Paul condemning in 1 Corin 5?

"I have my own sins that make me weep, Lydia."

Absolutely as we all do. And if we love each other we come to each other with tears in our eyes and lovingly confront that person. We WANT them to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. We WANT eternal life for everyone, even our worst enemies.

Tell me what you think John is saying here:

4Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you.(S) Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3)

Christiane said...

There is this to think about:


James 4:11-12 says,
"Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law.
If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?" .

Another key verse occurs in
James 5:9:
"Do not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors."

Verses 19 and 20 continue,
"My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" .

That phrase also brings to mind a lasting word from the mind of Christ as recorded in
I Peter 4:8
"Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins" .

Lydia said...

"You keep asking what Paul was doing in 1 Cor. 5 and nobody will touch it. You've asked several times why Paul told the sinning, worldly, infantile believers there to hand a guy over to Satan, and nobody even seems to realize what you've been asking. I'd try to help but I don't get responses to my questions either."

Which is why seeker churches are usually mega churches. They ignore the hard stuff and focus on the nice stuff. Everybody likes that.

feetxxxl said...

in the midst of all these arguements where is there witness of spirit or fruit of the spirit (the which we have heard, which we have looked at, which we have seen with our eyes, and our hands have touched) in fellowship of walking in the light. why would a believer not use the same testing method for determining what is of christ, as was used to determine that jesus was the messiah.

there appears no trust in witness of the spirit or the fruit of the spirit over church doctrine.

there appears no "recognizing them by their fruit". trusting in the spirit of the one who lives in us to test belief.


( belief, any belief, is centered around the concept and identity of "i". "i believe in this" i do not believe in that " and it remains that until it is transformed into faith. )

there is no romans 1:20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

feetxxxl said...

11Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

scripture directs to rebuke but not to judge another. romans 2:1 says that by judging you are condemning yourself because you are guilty of the same things( the things that are the basis of all sin as expressed in romans !:18-32)

rebuke............... to reprimand

judge............to elict a punishment, to denegate the character of another.

the difference between the sin mass of the speck in ones brothers eye(which you need a magnifying glass to see clearly) and the log in ones own eye(which if it fell on a person it would injure him) IS JUDGEMENT

Paula said...

"There appears to be" a desperate need by some to make love and purity irreconcilable enemies, as if God is no longer holy or just.

"There appears to be" a rejection of half the NT (or more) in favor of only keeping those passages which can be distorted to condone pet sins.

"There appears to be" a giant straw man that those who remember the holiness of God have forgotten the love of God.

"There appears to be" great hostility from those who only want God's love against those who also want God's holiness, as if it's okay for them to be unloving but not us.

"There appears to be" no acceptance or tolerance of godly church discipline, by those who demand unquestioned tolerance in return.

"There appears to be" no grasp of how God can be loving and just at the same time, and no concern over those passages which they apparently wish were not in the Bible.

"There appears to be" no end to these deliberate attempts to rip the Bible apart and still claim to revere it as the Word of God-- ALL of it.

Lydia said...

"There appears to be" great hostility from those who only want God's love against those who also want God's holiness, as if it's okay for them to be unloving but not us."

Paula, You just nailed it. And I cannot get L's to discuss a passge of scritpure. She just puts up more passages she thinks negate the ones I put up. But it does not work that way. We are to keep the Bride pure.

(It is the same God of Acts 5!)


The only way they can deal with such hard teaching is to ignore it or twist it to mean what they want.

Actually, that is what most of our churches are doing which is why we have sexual predator pastors. They only believe in the love and cheap grace passages, too.

Paula said...

Actually, that is what most of our churches are doing which is why we have sexual predator pastors. They only believe in the love and cheap grace passages, too.

And only going one way. The victims are never extended this grace. Neither are those of us who believe God does not have to stop being holy and just in order to be loving and merciful.

Whether it's theory or practice, there is a rampant double standard in Christendom, and that is why we remain divided.

feetxxxl said...

paula

its not about permission to sin. its about what is a sin.

how does homosexuality come against the 2nd commandment.

explain how the words of verses of lev, rom, gen, 1tim, and 1cor say it is a sin.

again.............merely quoting the verses explains nothing.

explain how homosexuality is a sin, thru "that we have heard, that we have looked at, which we have seen with our eyes and our hands have touched" in fellowship of sharing christ's spirit with another.

you have other scriptures to explain how you know homosexuality is a sin........feel free to offer them with an explanantion.

my understanding is that there is nothing, we of our own power can do that makes us holy.(acts of righteouness are like dirty rags) as believers our holiness comes from christ living inside us. even our faith is a gift from heaven.

Paula said...

feet, we're not communicating. When you say things like "merely quoting the verses explains nothing" it tells me you really don't care how many scriptures there are that clearly refute your claims. Providing you with more will only get the same response: "merely quoting the verses explains nothing".

If you honestly think God is no longer calling anything a sin unless it bothers your conscience, then a thousand more verses wouldn't sway you.

How about you deal with those verses I've already given you instead of demanding more? What do those passages mean, feet? What does it mean when Paul says "expel the immoral man from among you"? How much interpretation does that require in order to turn it into "don't expel anyone because you yourself are a sinner"?

Feet, like I said, I've tried.

Christiane said...

Good Sabbath Everyone,

It's me, L's

This morning, I share from my own tradition:

In 1986, then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter to the Bishops of the Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals.

In it, are elements that agree and disagree with points made by Feet, Lydia, and Paula. I like the points in it that AGREE WITH YOU:

So here it is:

"A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin.

We would heartily encourage programmes where these dangers are avoided. But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church's teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church's position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.

An authentic pastoral programme will assist homosexual persons at all levels of the spiritual life: through the sacraments, and in particular through the frequent and sincere use of the sacrament of Reconciliation, through prayer, witness, counsel and individual care. In such a way, the entire Christian community can come to recognize its own call to assist its brothers and sisters, without deluding them or isolating them.

16. From this multi-faceted approach there are numerous advantages to be gained, not the least of which is the realization that a homosexual person, as every human being, deeply needs to be nourished at many different levels simultaneously.

The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well. Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a "heterosexual" or a "homosexual" and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life."

So each of you can find something here to agree with. For you, Feet, it might be the idea that a human person is so much more than just their sexual identity.

For Lydia and Paula, the affirmation that the Church must be direct in pointing out that it views homosexual practices as sin.

For myself, I focus on that part that tells those of us who are lay people this: "In such a way, the entire Christian community can come to recognize its own call to assist its brothers and sisters, without deluding them or isolating them." ,
because my own gifts from the Lord include an extremely maternal and protective nature, which seeks to care for someone who is being rejected and 'set apart'.

I hope this helps a little bit. We all have our eyes that God gave us, and see things from a different perspective. If we can share with each other, we can at least try to understand what the other person sees, with the eyes that God gave them.
Truth? As we see it, we share it.
Compassionate caring? Oh yeah.
Be peaceful this Sabbath Day.
Love, L's

Paula said...

L's, let me ask you a direct question:

Is there anything you can think of that would qualify as grounds for expulsion from the community of believers per 1 Cor. 5? Please answer directly.

Christiane said...

There are 'formal proceedings' in many different religions about declaring someone to be 'anathema', some call it 'excommunication', the Jews say 'Kadish' over someone who is being seen as 'put out', the Amish have their 'Midung' or 'shunning'. And now there is the term 'disfellowshipping' in evangelical circles, even the Mormons have a provision for excommunication, with many compassionate considerations prior to initiating it.

You ask me about 'any case' where it is 'justified'?

I am not 'qualified' personally to make judgment about another in my own faith. I am allowed to point a person towards Christ.

I have tried to separate the underlying feeling I have of 'mean-spiritness' from the act of excluding someone as 'unworthy', Paula, and I have made effort to see that 'exclusion' as something that might be 'for their own good' in the end.
I struggle with understanding this. The concept of 'isolating' a Christian brother or sister outside of our care is not something I myself could support, but I would always want them to know just what my Church teaches regarding sin practices.

Essentially, lay people in my Church do not make decisions regarding the formal 'excommunication' of an individual.
Those of us who have broken the Laws of God and the Laws of Charity seek reconciliation with God in repentance and confession, where we are re-united to the 'friendship' of the Lord and to one another.

I can see formal 'excommunication' having its 'justifications' only as a last resort.
I would always hope that everything could be done to prevent it, and that the focus remains on the salvaging of the person for Christ, which is hard to do when we abandon them.
Love, L's

Paula said...

L's, thank you for trying. But "I'm not qualified to answer" isn't a valid answer to the question, "Can YOU think of anything"?

Here's the issue. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who were clearly called believers. But just as clearly, they were called spiritually immature, worldly, and carnal. Yet Paul told these people, sinners all and proudly tolerant of a man's "lifestyle", to expel him from among them.

Can you ignore this example and command of Paul? Can you refuse to "judge those inside" as scripture commands us all to do? Can you pass off this responsibility to other believers, regardless of their apparent maturity?

There are no "lay persons" in the church; there are no "clergy". Who did Paul give this order to? Was it not to the whole congregation?

Christiane, each individual believer-- including you-- is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Each one is gifted. Each one is an equal part of the Body. So each one has both rights and responsibilities in this Body. There is no passing the buck. God has written His Word to you too, and as a believer you need to take it personally.

So what I'm saying is that yes, you are qualified to make this judgment. In fact, you are commanded to do so. To shirk this responsibility is to ignore God's clear command.

This is not a judgment of someone's soul, but God's way of getting through to an unrepentant sinner among believers. If we will not follow God's commands on keeping His Body pure and healthy, we are in rebellion against Him.

Please read the last few verses of 1 Cor. 5, which clearly state our command to JUDGE those among us. That is scripture, not my personal conviction.

Christiane said...

Oh PAULA, it's not US who keep the Body of Christ pure and healthy.
We are made whole only through Him, who is the Head, and not of our own 'actions'.

I think this: that "we" abandon others because WE don't know how else WE can help them, and they don't rise to OUR expectations.

I wonder if we judge only on the surface of what we, as humans, can see, without thinking that the Lord God may see a much different picture.

My willingness not to judge another person is directly connected to my faith that God alone can see the whole picture.

Some people abandon the drowning in order to save themselves. Some people 'watch' a tragedy unfold and do nothing to help.

If we reach upwards towards God standing on top of the pile of those we believe we had to reject and abandon, are we any closer to Him?

Maybe, as Christians, we need to be on the bottom of that pile of those we know are in trouble, pushing them upward, with all our God-given strength and wisdom, towards the Lord?

In short, do they need the added weight of our judgment or do they need our strength and our compassion? My conscience directs me not to abandon those 'rejected' by others. (I wonder why?)

I don't want to 'give up' on these people, Paula, because Christ didn't give up on me. Love, L's

Paula said...

Oh PAULA, it's not US who keep the Body of Christ pure and healthy

Then you are calling Paul a false teacher.

It seems those who cry the loudest against judgment are the quickest to judge people who obey God's command to do so.

I'm sorry, Christiane, but your "faith tradition" and personal preferences are violating scripture.

feetxxxl said...

it is my understanding that mother teresa instructed her nuns not to engage the hindus they picked off the street in discussions about religion or christ but instead to be christ to them.

in other words mother teresa's mission was to bring in hindu's who are sick and dying off the streets of calcuuta, who believed in another religion but dont proselitize them. instead be christ to them.

Christiane said...

I have wondered this:

in the 'process' of abandoning our brothers and sisters who are 'different';
at what point does that 'disfellowship' degenerate into destructiveness for them AND for ourselves?

I cannot know what that point is, but I do know that it exists.

And, because I do not know the power of my own destructiveness,
I will refrain from doing what might lead to it.

Let others abandon whom they will, if they feel 'called' to do that. They must know how to do this without destructiveness.
I do not know how. Love, L's

Paula said...

“Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit.

Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. Try the spirits is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching.”

--- A. W. Tozer

Lydia said...

"in the 'process' of abandoning our brothers and sisters who are 'different';
at what point does that 'disfellowship' degenerate into destructiveness for them AND for ourselves?"

Ask the opposite. You keep using the word 'abandon'. I am only quoting Paul who taught that they would be helping to SAVE the person. Eternal life.

At what point are you willing to allow the pedophile at church to babysit your grandkids since you won't protect the others in the Body?

Christiane said...

Maybe we are confusing 'sin' with the 'sinner'?

It happens all the time. It is almost impossible not to 'fall into' that, when we are considering 'the sins of others' and not our own sins.

Christiane said...

Hi LYDIA,

We don't have 'baby-sitters' at Mass, we bring our babies and our children to Mass. There is sometimes a glass-enclosed 'cry-room' for parents of small babies, so that they can be 'present' but the children's noise does not disturb others.

Personally, I think people who are pedophiles are mentally and emotionally 'disordered' to the point where they cannot be permitted to be around young children, as it would be considered in my religion to be, for them, a 'near occasion of sin', which means 'too great a temptation'.

I hope that helps you a bit.

Love, L's

Lydia said...

It happens all the time. It is almost impossible not to 'fall into' that, when we are considering 'the sins of others' and not our own sins.

Sun Jun 21, 05:09:00 PM 2009

Paul thought it was sinful for them to allow the guy to stay. He called them 'arrogant' for allowing that in the Body. he said that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Here is the entire passage:


1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

3For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Let us therefore celebrate the festival,(L) not with the old leaven,(M) the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9I wrote to you in my letter(N) not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."

Wonder how they were boasting about such a thing? How loving and tolerant they were about it?

Lydia said...

L's, I keep forgetting you are Catholic.

Paula said...

My last statement to L's and those defending professing believers who continue to sin:

A Jesus who doesn't call anything sin is a Jesus who didn't die for sinners. Jesus did not die for "disorders".

And a Jesus like that is not the Savior.

Thy Peace said...

Paula and Lydia: Thank you both for your comments on Church Discipline.

It has me shook up. At least my frame of reference is shook up. So I will read The Bible and ponder on this.

Meanwhile, I would encourage Pastor Wade to someday make a future post on Church Discipline.

From the examples I have seen in SBC and Baptist Churches, it is not encouraging.

So far this Church Discipline is more like Pastor Discipline.

Examples:

- Fbc Jax Watchdog

- Grace Community Church, Jacksonville. Now here this lady was supposedly to be "outed" to the church about her cohabitation with her boy friend.

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Examples of the Poor Treatment of Women at the Hands of Jacksonville Churches.

Fbc Jax Watchdog > The Scarlet Letter - A (or B for Blogging?).

Maybe some of you feel the above is warranted. I do not.

My question is at large to the whole SBC Pastors and especially to the Reformed Church Pastors who are big on Church Discipline.

Where were/are you guys when Darrel Gilyard stuff was happening? What about all the other sexual perverts and pedophiles being given a clean pass in all these churches?

To me this whole thing stinks.

If these supposed pastors can not speak on behalf of oppressed, even though they belong to other SBC churches, then what good is all this religion and relationship with Jesus?

Maybe I am being too strong in my words. It is just that it is upsetting and this whole exercise reeks of futility and hypocrisy.

Anna A said...

Another Catholic voice here.

I can think of a number of cases where there should be denying a person communion. (To us, this is close the same level as excommunication )

A politician, considering themselves Catholic, taking communion and being openly pro-abortion. (The denial should only take place after the behind the scenes pastoring has been tried.)

A sexually active priest. (I don't care with whom. It's the vow breaking) Again, I am presuming pastoral work before this is done.

There are othes, but these are the first things that I can think of.

Paula said...

You're quite welcome, ThyPeace.

The point I've been trying to get across is that church discipline does not violate the law of love, but as you've observed, there is an even greater evil perpetrated by those who will only apply it to some and not others. It must be done fairly and without regard to titles or positions, which are not from the Bible in the first place. This is the double standard issue.

But the solution to one-sided discipline is not to abandon it completely. The Body is as harmed by zero discipline as it is by hypocritical discipline. Paul exhorted his co-workers to "do nothing out of bias"; James denounced those who practice favoritism; and of course Jesus blasted the self-righteous, holier-than-thou Pharisees for their exempting themselves from their own laws.

Dr. Klouda is a victim. Dr. Patterson is a perp. The church punishes the victim and protects the perp. This is evil. And to only protect the victim yet refuse to discipline the perp is equally evil.

So the problem is not discipline but its uneven application.

Christiane said...

Yes, I am Catholic, Lydia.

I suppose we accept the truth that 'all' have fallen short, and I suppose we find our unity in our Communion with Christ, to whom we pray, in unison, this prayer:

'Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof;
but only say the Word, and I shall be healed.'

Different religion?

When we fall, we seek to return to Him (Who else ?) in repentance and confession. Why should we deny this opportunity to anyone just because someone has pinned a 'label' on them other than 'a child of God'?

Why would these 'children of the Lord' come to the Church unless they were seeking Him in humble repentance?
He is the Center of our Faith, and our reason for being in the Church.

Am I my brother's keeper?
And who IS our brother?

Different religions.
Different answers. Absolutely.
Love, L's

feetxxxl said...

paula

"Feet, like I said, I've tried."

if you are willling to explain how the words of a particular verse give you a particular understanding about what that verse means to you............

CONSIDER ANSWERING THE QUESTION HOW DOES HOMOSEXUALITY COME AGAINST THE 2ND COMMANDMENT...........the 2nd commandment being the summation of all new covenant law?(romans)

feetxxxl said...

REEDIT

paula

"Feet, like I said, I've tried."

if you are UNWILLING to explain how the words of a particular verse give you a particular understanding about what that verse means to you............

CONSIDER ANSWERING THE QUESTION HOW DOES HOMOSEXUALITY COME AGAINST THE 2ND COMMANDMENT...........the 2nd commandment being the summation of all new covenant law?(romans)

Paula said...

FEET: YOU WERE ANSWERED BACK IN Fri Jun 19, 02:08:00 PM 2009. NOW CONSIDER ANSWERING MINE, OR STOP MAKING DEMANDS.

feetxxxl said...

paula

in the case of 1cor a man is thrown out of the church for because he had not honored his father, he has not honored the vows of his father's marriage and he is denying having sinned. its interesting that there is no mention of throwing the woman out.

what has this to do with whether or not homosexuality is a sin.

again the discussion is not permission to sin but rather if something is a sin.


any church can choose to claim anything is a sin. there are some churches that think dancing and drinking alcohol is sinning.

the discussion is whether scripture says it is a sin, and if the essence of being homosexual that supports that scriptural understanding.


romans 1 talks about same sex relationships were motivated by shameful lust.(niv)
where there is lust there is no interpersonnal commitment, whatever commitment there is, is to satiating the lust. the persons involved are merely mechanisms for doing it.

there is no inner shame in being homosexual.

homosexuuals bond out of mutual love, respect,affection devotion and trust for a shared committed life together.

to say that romans 1 is about homosexual bonding, is the same as saying the incestuous rape of 2samuel and the adulterous murder of 1samuel is about heterosexual bonding.

feetxxxl said...

paula
"Homosexuality is not a matter of law, but of sin against God. No disclaimers are found in scripture to qualify this sin, as if it can be not sin in certain situations. I can find no exceptions."


the point is, there is no place in scripture where homosexuality is even mentioned. at best whatever is mentioned is about same sex relations. that it was prohibitted in lev, does not make it a sin, or a sin under the new covenant. there is a distinct difference between prohibition and sin.


that same sex relations were engaged in out of motivations of shameful lust, a spirit given over to because of worshipping and serving powers and principalities, speaks to nothing homosexual. homosexuality being about mutual love respect................................for a commited life. there is no comitment in lust.


scripture is about spirit, identifying those things that are of the spirit of christ. you are not going to find the spirit of christ in legalizations of manipulations of words or in lives led by unchallengable man made regulation.

because someone chose, during the victorian era, in no seperation of church and state england where there was a law on the books to punish homosexual sex with hanging, to transpose "homosexual" for "defiling themselves with mankind" without any WRITTEN EXPLANATION does not make the transposition correct. if anything it makes it suspect. particularly because in doing so, it attempts to resurrect the old covenant relationship to god thru regulation as in deut28.(the old covenant...."what is named old will become obsolete and soon pass away"heb8) under the new covenant we do not have a relationship to god thru regulation but instead we live under grace which is spirit, and are led by and serve of the holy spirit and the spirit of christ(romans), the ones who live in each believer.

feetxxxl said...

the law is holy


but, it is not spirit that serves the law, both law that serves the spirit. god created the law. god is spirit(john4)

law that was weakened by the sin nature(romans) and is a shadow of things to come(1cor)

while the spirit of christ is perfection.


to not examine, if understandings of the law about homosexuality are of the spirit of christ, is to throw out the new covenant in regards to this issue.

Lydia said...

"From the examples I have seen in SBC and Baptist Churches, it is not encouraging."

I agree. But then my definition of the Body of Christ has changed since studying scripture.

just because a building has a steeple or some icons does not make it the Body of Christ.

Most who are focusing on it for control or to isolate themselves from criticism. They are not the Body of Christ.

We do not see pulpits, celebrity pastors (who are the pastors in the NT? Can anyone name a few?), altar calls, pews, etc in the NT. Most of what we think comprises church is man's tradition. An elder is simply someone more mature in the faith.

If you notice, Thy Peace, Paul told the WHOLE church to deal with this issue. Not the pastor or the elders.

Matthew 18 was taught BEFORE the church started and it came out of teaching from those who wanted to be the greatest. Start at Matthew 18:1.

But unfortuantly, this issue is a primary salvic issue. It is about someone's eternal life. It is NOT something to get wrong.

If we read the letters in Revelation it is a wake up call. It is about God removing His Lampstand from the Body. I personally believe that includes most churches as we know them today. (GASP) I believe most of them have Icabod written on them. They are social clubs or cults.

We should not even go to church to 'hear a sermon'. That is not what they were doing soley in the NT. They were all participating. We do not confront someone we do not know and have not walked along beside. We love them and want them to experience freedom in Christ. We want to snatch them from the pit of hell.

Jude

22And have mercy on those who doubt; 23save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

feetxxxl said...

he will not extinguish a smoldering reed.isaiah

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

You have asked several times why it is that a Paul would tell the church in Corinth to kick out its incestuous member. Largely, I think that your request has been ignored. And in that, I think that several salient points have been neglected.

Paul discusses several sin issues in the Corinthian letters. Why does Paul single out *this* offense for discipline? Because it was something the church was bragging about that even pagans knew was wrong. When the church is bragging about something even pagans are offended by, then there is a need for *church* discipline. Paul instructs them to remove the man so that they learn that it is wrong, not just so that this man will learn his behavior is wrong. Church discipline is for the benefit of the church as much as it is the individual. So if the problem is only with the individual, is "church discipline" really appropriate? I think that the pastoral care L's has talked about is far more so.

Now, if the church is preaching that homosexuality is acceptable and boasts of having such members, then there is a need for church discipline. Then we are comparing apples to apples rather than to oranges.

Lydia said...

Chris, good points but read further what Paul says about our 'fellowship' . I really wrestled with this for a long time. I want you to know that. I studied far beyond 1 Corin to understand this. It is not popular and goes against the mainstream teaching of most churches. But I think they get it wrong.

Look at this list and read close what he says about such who call themselves 'brothers':

9I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

***11But now I am writing to you not to associate with ANYONE who bears the name of BROTHER if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."

Not to even eat with one who calls themselves a brother who is guilty of greed, sexual immorality, etc? That is pretty hard teaching. Does it mean something else if it does not mean disfellowship from the Body?

Then look at this:

To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." (Rev 21)

To the one who 'conquers'..will have this heritage.

We have some teaching on the doctrine of sin here that I hope none of us ignore. It is hard teaching. And it convicts me. But it is about eternal life so very important. Blessings

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

I know that you rarely speak to anything you have not thought about deeply. I have always respected you for that, even if we disagree.

As to your first set of verses, note that Paul says they are brothers (they bear that name, and to them a name reveals who and whose you are). Also, this is in the context of Paul discussing insiders: further proof that Paul regards even these sinners as Christians even if they are not living up to their name. Therefore, all this stuff I hear about kicking people out and treating them like non-Christians doesn't jive. Paul's advice here is to an honor/shame society where publicly ignoring someone was used to shame them into conformity. We don't live in an honor/shame society. The spirit of Paul's advice is to expect conformity to holiness. His advice to people in that specific context is public shunning. The spirit, I think, is prescriptive. The specific, contextual advice is descriptive.

As to your second verses, "all those things I was before." But in Christ, God sees us as none of those things. Certainly our sin is deserving of the Lake of Fire and that is no laughing matter. But let us thank God for His grace that calls us to true life. That grace should not be treated cheaply, but we are not perfected this side of eternity. If the liar's only heritage is Hell, then even those who have accepted Christ have nothing to look forward to except Hell. But God does not look at a Christian brother and call them a liar: He calls them son. Sin cannot be taken lightly, but grace cannot be ingored either.

Paula said...

In Galatians Paul reprimands the people for going back to what they were before; in Romans 6 he writes about our having died to sin and that we must no longer let sin rule in our mortal bodies; in Hebrews ch. 6 the writer stops to scold the people for having no growth and for wanting to go back to their old habits. And of course in Corinthians, through the whole letter, Paul goes on and on about the people acting in ways that made him question their salvation (1 Cor. 15:2).

So this is not just about how the people were in the past, but about how they were sinking back into old, bad ways.

As for the "honor/shame" society argument, we cannot escape the fact that Paul does not hint at this; this is the same Paul who broke society's traditions on many occasions, such as in the matter of head coverings. He tells us right there in 1 Cor. 5 that the purpose is to hand the man over to Satan. Paul used this same phrase elsewhere for the punishment of false teachers.

Certainly Paul was teaching the people a lesson too, but not about something he says they already knew was wrong. It was to teach them how to handle those who called themselves believers yet lived in open, unrepentant sin. As I've said repeatedly, the people administering the discipline were not the epitome of perfection to be sure, but as we know from the letters their issues were with things like factions over various leaders, lawsuits, Jewish law, etc. These were not matters of morality but maturity.

The application for today is that we must know the difference between immaturity and blatant sin. Theft, murder, lying, and violence are all just as much sins as those involving sexuality. Nothing has changed regarding any of those things. God has always condemned them and always will. We see this from Genesis to Revelation.

So we see from this example and teaching of Paul that even the immature can and must deal decisively with habitual sin. To be expelled from fellowship was certainly not to call such people unbelievers, but to keep the Body pure and to use this as a last resort to bring the sinner to repentance. When we fail to follow this course, we may in fact ruin someone who could have come to their senses had they been pushed far enough.

We know from our own personal experiences that God can be pretty harsh with us at times. But do we hate Him for it? No, we thank Him for bringing us to the point of godly sorrow. And we are stronger for the experience. Likewise, when we see that someone among us is living in sin of some kind, we do them no service by withholding what may be the only remedy.

Stephen Pruett said...

L's,

Thanks for your kind words in an earlier comment. However, I doubt there would be much popular demand for me to speak at the SBC annual meeting.

Lydia said...

As to your second verses, "all those things I was before." But in Christ, God sees us as none of those things. Certainly our sin is deserving of the Lake of Fire and that is no laughing matter. But let us thank God for His grace that calls us to true life. That grace should not be treated cheaply, but we are not perfected this side of eternity. If the liar's only heritage is Hell, then even those who have accepted Christ have nothing to look forward to except Hell. But God does not look at a Christian brother and call them a liar: He calls them son. Sin cannot be taken lightly, but grace cannot be ingored either.

Sun Jun 21, 10:30:00 PM 2009

Oh Chris. I do not know where to start. This is the doctrine of the seeker world that has been so destructive to so many. It is a doctrine that calls sins 'mistakes' or moral lapses in judgement. No big deal, just a bad hair day. Pedophile minister? Just a lapse in judgement. Porn addiction? mistake.

Can I call myself a brother, live as in sexual immorality or greed all my life and expect to see my Savior upon death?

Is salvation a supernatural act or not? What does being Born Again mean? Does it not mean that we are transformed? New Creatures? That He replaces our hearts of stone? Writes His law upon our hearts?

If we are not changed here and now then what is the point? A ticket to heaven?

If I can live as a liar or in sexual immorality and have no godly sorrow or conviction of the sin I am in, then I should question whether I am saved or not. And I am so glad that I did!

If we are saved, we are going to be sanctified. And our hearts are regenerated. Yes, we fight the flesh daily. But think about sin...even our thoughts are sinful! That is how far we are from the Holiness of God. We are told to take every thought captive and make it obeient to Christ.

But now, you are telling me that consistent, willful liars calling themselves brothers with no repentance or godly sorrow can call themselves brothers and be assured of their salvation because their sin is covered by Grace.

Why? Because they walked an ailse and professed Christ as Lord and Savior? Even satan believes that.

Without Holiness, no one will see God. When we are saved, we walk in the light. This does not mean we do not sin but are in repentance daily growing in Holiness. The road is narrow.

You say we are not perfected this side of eterntiy. What does that mean if scripture says we are to grow in Holiness even though we are never perfect.

As Christians, should we not be sinning less and less as we mature in the faith? Should we not be more Christlike as we grow in spiritual maturity?

I am afraid this is the doctrine of carnal Christians. Their are no lifelong carnal Christians. How does the world tell us apart from them? Wait...they can't and that is the problem.

Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for nothing?

Paula said...

2 Cor. 5: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

If we understand the gospel, we know that we are doing much more than praying a prayer or making a resolution to be good. We are reconciling with God! And what does it mean to be reconciled? If we are estranged from another person and then reconcile with them, do we go on irritating them and doing things we know grieve them? Of course not. So it follows that anyone who goes on grieving God has not been reconciled. And anyone who is not reconciled is not saved.

All sin has the same result-- affecting our relationship with God-- but not all sin has the same cause. That is why there are so many Greek words for sin: to stumble, to trespass (lit. "step over the line"), to miss the mark, etc. Some sins are deliberate while others are cause by being tripped up. All are sins, but God does recognize different situations. That is what judgment is all about; it's judging or discerning the nature of the sin, its cause and motive.

So we can deduce that the new believer will be ignorant of what pleases God, and we should remember our own first wobbly steps in the faith. Yet at the same time, we should not neglect these spiritual infants, leaving them to fend for themselves. We must train them in the ways of God and nurture them, reminding them of what Jesus did for them and that the Christian life is a life of service motivated by love and gratitude.

Then what do we do with the professing believer who lives in a sin? First we need to know whether they were saved at all, and for that we ourselves must know the gospel. Then we must consider whether they are one who was "abandoned at birth", who is sinning in ignorance. But if we learn that this person has been told what God requires, yet who persists in the sin and refuses to either give it up or admit that it displeases God, we have no choice but to disfellowship them.

I believe there are prodigals as well, that is, believers who have suffered setback and are going through a deep valley. But God will bring them back to Himself, after they have come to their senses, which He is guaranteed to bring about if they were truly saved. But as the scriptures we've been discussing tell us, God has delegated to the community of believers the task of reluctantly disfellowshipping the unrepentant sinner. And this is done in the realization that it is a last resort. But if we truly value such souls, we will not fail them by giving them false hope.

If the community of believers would consistently practice the careful discipleship of new believers, would cling tightly to the gospel in the first place, and would keep emphasizing what it means to be reconciled to God, we would have far fewer issues with worldly and backslidden professing believers.

Chris Ryan said...

Paula,

Yes. Absolutely. It is about Christians going back to old ways. Not non-Christians. Not targets for evangelism. We are talking about our brothers, so let us be careful whom we loose lest they be loosed in heaven also (Mat 18). When Jesus says to treat them as a tax-collector or Gentile, they forget that it was the tax collectors and gentiles who believed Jesus and were His disciples. It was all those people who refused to associate with Gentiles and tax collectors who crucified Jesus.

Now we turn to Paul. Now, Paul did break with society often. But he often used its conventions to his advantage also. He has no need to specify that he is speaking to the honor/shame society issue because there is no other form of society for him to write to. ALL SOCIETIES operated on the principles of accumulating honor and avoiding shame. It isn't until the Renaissance/Reformation that Western societies began to shift away from this: Eastern societies still operate largely on these principles. Also, Paul wasn't breaking with societal rules to tell women to cover their heads or men to uncover them. So I don't know why you used that as an example.

Paul is also part of what is called a dyadic culture. It means that he thinks in terms of communities, not in terms of individuals. Again, people don't start thinking in the individualist terms we have until the Renaissance. Paul writes to discipline the member for the good of the group. His soul may be saved, but he is not the only one. Paul isn't thinking of the church as an afterthought: they are foremost in his mind. He wasn't writing to teach them "how to handle those who called themselves believers yet lived in open, unrepentant sin" but to teach them how to handle themselves, for they were not calling sin what even outsiders recognized as such (I Cor 5:2). How could this man know that what he did was sin if the church bragged on him? They were to put him out so that they could learn how wrong this sin was (5:6-7).

And there were other issues in the church that were not only maturity but imorality. That demarkation will not fly. First, division is not a matter of maturity but a matter of sin (again, this is a dyadic community). In his treatise comparing himself to Apollos, Paul takes on blatant sins of pride (I Cor 4). Causing a brother to go against their conscience by eating meat offered to idols is sin (I Cor 8:12). I could list others.

The application, then, is not "that we must know the difference between immaturity and blatant sin" but that we must know what sin is and demand holiness. In Paul's day, such a demand was best issued through public shunning. In our world, where the rebel is our hero and shame is our honor, does the same tactic work? Or do we have to confront the sin in another manner so that our brother is not loosed from us or heaven but his life is restored and the church more aware of its own sins? I think this is the course.

Paula said...

Chris, (I'm sleepy so bear with me)

The reason I mentioned head coverings is that the actual Greek does not come across as it is typically translated. Paul is saying that the decision rests with the women, not the church. Various societies had various rules, but some wanted to impose their social norms on all believers. Paul put a firm stop to this and gave the woman, who society did not value at all, the power over her own head. But there is nothing at all in Paul's letter to the Corinthians that gives "shame" as the reason for his command about expelling the immoral brother. He tells us only that (1) the man had to be handed over to Satan, and (2) the people were to do this as a group; yes, the very people who had been endorsing this sin. If Paul were only appealing to their sense of shame, he would not have needed to say anything to them. I think this aspect of your argument, being made from silence in this context, is rather weak.

If, as you say, Paul is only concerned with the group, then why "hand the man over to Satan"? Did he not write in the next letter how the desired result of the man's great sorrow and repentance had been achieved? His advice at that point was for the group to accept him back, not for their sake but for the man's. Paul certainly did name a lot of individuals in his letters, and stressed always the individual as responsible before God. I see Paul as going against the flow, as **NOT** following the group mentality of the day.

All the people knew this man was in sin, because Paul asked them incredulously, "Shouldn't you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?" He had expected them to know it was sin. He is amazed they are condoning it.

Sin is defying God, and as I wrote before, there are various causes of sins. So while we can get into a semantic battle over where the line is between immaturity and sin, we should have no trouble seeing when someone is knowingly and willingly indulging in it. That's what I'm trying to get across.

Since I strongly disagree that Paul's command was only due to sensitivity to cultural shunning, I don't see disfellowshipping for unrepentant sin as optional.

What message do we send to the world when we keep willful sinners in our midst? If my own experience with debating unbelievers means anything, it tells me that they think us not tolerant or loving, but hypocritical. They mock us for lecturing them about sin and holiness because we do nothing to stand for God's honor. To say "homosexuality is sin" and yet welcome and tolerate those who either don't call it sin or refuse to give it up, is to tell the world we really don't practice what we preach. So I disagree that dismissing Paul's command is a good solution for today.

A better solution is to follow scripture and then show the world how we restore and embrace the former rebel who repents. The message we send in this way is that we do not tolerate proud sinners yet extend mercy to the broken-hearted.

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

I do not deny that we are to grow in holiness. I will never deny that. I will never encourage us to ignore pedophile ministers or habitual liars. I know that we are transformed.

You apparently think that transformation is instantaneous. I see it as a process. I believe that is the biblical picture: thus Paul writing to Roman Christians that they should allow their mind to be transformed; thus the author of Hebrews writing that he must write as to children. If you or I were transformed immediately and totally, we would sin no more. That has not been my experience. Was it yours? And please no "I don't sin habitually or wilfully" because sin is sin is sin is sin. And I believe that is your point. Whether I have lied once in the heat of the moment or intended to lie every day of my life, I need the same amount of grace: the grace of the cross. And because we all need the same amount of grace, and because we come to understand how to live in light of this grace as a process, some can be brothers who do not live as such.

That is why I think it is more your view that leads us to call sins "moral lapses." Those who do not understand the lavishness of grace cannot understand the depravity of sin, nor do they see as clearly the need to flee from sin for one does not understand what grace cost until you realize its enormity.

Gilyard may be a Christian. I don't know one way or the other, but he *may* be. Yet the church encouraged his sin. Because of that, he persisted in it. He is an example of what Paul is talking about in I Corinthians. The person commits sins that pagans recognize are evil and the church encouraged him. He is the type of person we would cast out (if we have to read that as prescriptive behavior) so that the church would recognize its own sin. And Gilyard would come to sin his behavior as sin as well. Was his behavior ever right? NO. NO. NO. Does this mean he was never saved? No. No. No. It means that his mother, the church, never guided him in paths of righteousness but empowered unrightousness. For that, we must weep over our own sin, not just condemn his.

One has to have holiness to see God. Yes. But do I need my holiness? No. I need Christ's holiness. And as a Christian I have Christ's holiness regardless of the state of my own. That is what grace is all about, lest it be my own works. Does this mean I should treat this grace, this holiness which has been given to me cheaply? Let it never be! Should I learn how to live in light of that holiness? Yes. But is it ever my holiness? Let it never be. Nobody is saved by walking an aisle and saying a few words. But nor is anybody saved by their living, right or wrong.

Stephen Pruett said...

Paula,

Very well said. But don't you find that church discipline is a very rare thing these days? Only one church I have attended ever disfellowshipped anyone, but I am sure there were many people in those churches living in unrepentant sin. I agree with you that ignoring this, as most churches do, is not compassionate; it is neglectful.

Lydia said...

I do not think it is instantaneous. It is one step forward, two steps back. But growing in Holiness.

But serioulsy, if someone is in consistent willful sin for years and years knowing the truth we should not assure them they are saved. That is malpractice. And I find it interesting you use an example of someone teaching the Word to others.

You write:

"Gilyard may be a Christian. I don't know one way or the other, but he *may* be. Yet the church encouraged his sin. Because of that, he persisted in it. He is an example of what Paul is talking about in I Corinthians. The person commits sins that pagans recognize are evil and the church encouraged him. He is the type of person we would cast out (if we have to read that as prescriptive behavior) so that the church would recognize its own sin. And Gilyard would come to sin his behavior as sin as well. Was his behavior ever right? NO. NO. NO. Does this mean he was never saved? No. No. No. It means that his mother, the church, never guided him in paths of righteousness but empowered unrightousness. For that, we must weep over our own sin, not just condemn his."

So basically, you are saying that a person who knows the truth can willfully sin for 20 years and think he is saved. If he was hit by a bus before he was caught he would go straight to be with our Savior?

I am interested in why you theink he MAY have been saved all that time he was a sexual predator?

We are told a good tree cannot bear bad fruit. We are told we do not know who will be saved in the end but we can judge fruit. We must.

Look, I know I sound mean because I no longer subscribe to the 'sin is no big deal' camp. I now see how it grieves the Holy Spirit and hinders our prayers.

Look at what John says about the 'practice' of sin:

4Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you.(S) Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3)


BTW: We are more honor/shame society than you might imagine. But not as obvious. Have you ever read any civil war history? The South was steeped in shame/honor. I think it is twisted to subscribe that to Pauls admonistion in 1 Corin 5. The purity of the Bride is timeless and primary.

Chris Ryan said...

Paula,

If you think it is an argument from silence and Paul is somehow not using a cultural convention that he is blantantly describing, then you and I will not be able to agree. I look at the language of the text and cannot help but see the shunning context. Perhaps I have spent too much time researching and studying the first century world. You say "All the people knew this man was in sin, because Paul asked them incredulously, 'Shouldn't you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?" There I believe is your central hermeneutical error. All the people did not know this man was in sin. All the people did know that this man was sleeping with his mother in law. Paul is shocked that they don't see this as sinful. But following a Roman elitist ethic of the time, this practice was acceptable. Paul thinks they should have seen through what others said and called this man on his sin. But if they did not know this was sin, they too had to discipline themselves in order to learn.

So why hand the man over to Satan? For the destruction of the flesh so that the spirit may be saved. But what does that even mean? Or rather, is it only that mans flesh and spirit? I think not. I think Paul is again dealing with the community, saying that each member's flesh must be destroyed that their spirit may be saved. They participated in the sins of this man even if they weren't in the bedroom. For that reason, each of them were in need of repentance and the destruction of the flesh.

Do we tolerate sin? No. And can we please stop with this false dicotomy between the willful/blatant sin of everybody else and the 'it just happened' sin of ourselves. All sin is a result of our will. Our sin is just as sinful as anybody else's. Had we more fully learned to submit our will to God's then we would not have sinned. Do we encourage sin? No. Do we confront sin? Yes. But to preach homosexuality is a sin and still have homosexuals sitting in our church does not mean that you and I do not practice what we preach: it means that the homosexual is not practicing what he professes. That is a crucial difference. If we can call sin sin, then those who are among us who engage in sin are the ones who are out of line and answerable to God. There is no need for the discipline of the entire church body (as signified by the expulsion of the man in I Cor) but there is every need to work with the individual and guide and counsel and pray with them.

Christiane said...

It always comes down to this:

Is the sin more important to God than the sinner?

If you believe this, then you may also believe that homosexual sin cancels out the value of the person completely before God.



But, just supposing that the sinner is more important to God than the sin.

If you believe that the sinner is more important to God than the sin, only then, is it possible to understand why Jesus Christ came to this Earth to save us from our sins, because He loved us more than He hated our sins.
And He proved it by dying for us on the Cross, in a way that we, in our poor human hearts could not mistake.


Whatever you believe will determine how you treat someone you view as 'a sinner'.

Maybe it IS a matter of faith after all. Much love, L's

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

For the record, one step forward and two steps back means you are always going backwards.

Yes. Gilyard can willfully sin for 20 years and still be saved. I have been saved for the past 16 years and I have willfully sinned every single day of that time. I don't know how long you have been saved, but I'd wager that you have wilfully sinned nearly every single day of that time (I'll give you more benefit of the doubt than I give to myself). And please understand that I say that as a victim of sexual predation. It takes a lot for me to say that. But I have two options: either this man sinned and therefore could not be a Christian (in which case neither are you or I if ever we have sinned since our supposed confession of faith) or this man sinned and God can forgive him even of that sin. The first requires sinless perfection from the moment of salvation, the other requires grace. You have told me that you do not believe in the former. How then can you deny the second also? And I must ask you what I asked of Paula, let us please drop this dichotomy of other's willful sin and my non- willful sin. All sin is a result of the will.

And if I am to believe that "A good tree cannot bear fruit" as you want me to then I must believe in sinless perfection. Every sin is a bad fruit. Here is your problem: you assume that anyone of us is the good tree. If there is any good fruit, it is not my tree that bears it but Christ's tree within me. If there is bad fruit (sin) then it is my tree where Christ has not yet been given reign. If you, I, or Gilyard has born bad fruit nobody should be shocked. But if you and I must judge by the fruit, then let us examine his life to see if there was any work which did seem of God, to see if there was love, joy, peace, patience, etc. And if there was, then Gilyard's sin does not negate the work of Christ in him. Rather, Gilyard's sin and our encouragement of it has now been exposed and therefore Christ can work His grace in more profound ways.

And if you read 1 John closely, you discover that the sin which the Elder is talking about throughout the book is the sin of confessing that Jesus is not God. Obviously, the one who believes that Jesus is Lord cannot go on sinning as such.

PS. The purity of the bride is timeless, yes. Is the method for maintaining that purity timeless? Not necessarily. That is why I say the descriptive part entails his use of public shunning while the prescriptive part of Paul's advice is to call sin sin so that the body no longer encourages its members in so sinning.

Lydia said...

"Is the sin more important to God than the sinner?"

L's, Do you think the sinners in the flood were important to God? Do you think any babies died in that flood? What do you make of that?

What do you make of God telling Saul (through Samuel) to wipe out every single woman, man and child...in 1 Samuel? Wern't those sinners important to God? What do we make of the tons of such examples in scripture?

I am not so sure we are talking about the same God.

What you are suggesting is man centered. It is all about God's Glory. Not about us.

What is being suggested here is that one can be saved, live like hell but still have somehow purchased fire insurance.

The Cross is not a license to sin.

Chris, I told you I was not talking about sinless perfection. I have mentioned that several times on this thread.

When folks whip that out, it is time to stop. It grieves me that you would even go there.

I made it clear that our very thoughts are sinful! That is a far cry from ministers raping kids or living in adultry for 20 years.

That is how much we have dumbed down the definition of sin. Think about it, our sinful thoughts should grieve us even as we struggle to make them captive to Jesus Christ.

It is Romans 6 all over again. We have grace so sin some more! No problem, it is covered.

We cannot obtain sinless perfection because we are in corrupted bodies. It is not possible. Growing in Holiness is possible by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.

There are only 2 categories. Sheep or goats. And the sheep KNOW His voice and follow Him. There are no middle, gray categories. They are not perfect just growing and maturing slowly, consistently.

When we realize how heinous our sin is to God, even our sinful thoughts, we then know how precious and expensive was that Blood.

BTW: You are right about my steps! :0) It should have been 2 forward and one back.

Lydia said...

"And I must ask you what I asked of Paula, let us please drop this dichotomy of other's willful sin and my non- willful sin. All sin is a result of the will. "

Check out Hebrews 10: 26-31 about willful, consistent sin while knowing the truth.

and then 1 Timothy.

Paul talks about those who are deceived out of ignorance and those who deceive others on purpose.

Christiane said...

Dear LYDIA,

I do believe that God loved us while we were still sinners.

There is no sin so deep that God's love is not deeper.

I believe that our human understanding of the depth of God's love for us has developed over the millenia as is evident in Scripture.

'Jesus'

'Jesus Christ'

'Jesus Christ, Son, Savior'

'Jesus Christ, Son, Savior, have mercy on me, a sinner'

These are prayers in my religion.
Yes. Even His Name is a prayer.
A license to sin? No.
A way to see others differently, more compassionately, with more kindness and love, regardless of who they are or their circumstances? Yes.
Yes, a thousand times 'YES'

The 'Cross' is not a license to judge and to abandon to Satan those of our brothers and sisters that 'we' believe are weaker and deeper in sin than we are. No.

'The Cross' is THE life line we can extend to them, but it must be done with great love and compassion for them, because that is how 'The Cross' was extended to us. Much Love, L's

Paula said...

Chris,

Certainly Paul is telling the Corinthians they should be ashamed of themselves, but I think you're equivocating on "shame" here. There is the shame of the human conscience, and then there is social shunning. What I see Paul discussing is the former. And I hardly think the latter is being "blatantly" described. So of course the interpretations we will make from there will be very different.

But I take issue with your inference that your view is based upon "too much time researching and studying the first century world", which implies that mine is not. To quote A.S.A. Jones of ex-atheist.com, "I wasn't born again yesterday".

You ask what it even means to hand someone over to Satan, as if there is no answer. But Paul himself supplies the answer in using this phrase more than once. It means expelling a wicked person from the fellowship. It means TREATING them like unbelievers, for the PURPOSE of bringing them to their knees. The only part the group plays is to learn to administer discipline and then show mercy if the sinner repents.

As for a false dichotomy, I believe you made it out of a straw man: that it is between OUR sin and OTHERS' sin. No, the true dichotomy is between habitual, unrepentant or unacknowledged sin and ordinary human frailty we quickly repent from. Can you actually say you see no difference at all between the occasional lapse of self control and the lifelong pedophile?? That is the crux of the issue.

Someone who lives a life around a sin needs help of course. But the extent of that help depends on their attitude toward God and sin. The one who knows he is sinning and feels powerless to stop it needs to be closely monitored and even reported to civic authorities if necessary. But the one who loves his sin or refuses to call it sin has to be thrown out of fellowship for the sake of the Body.

While you may not see that having homosexuals in our midst as hypocritical, remember that I was talking about our witness to unbelievers. They see it that way whether you think they should or not. And if it is a NT principle to not even give the appearance of evil, surely you can concede that we have to take our witness into consideration. And of course I strongly disagree that it would only be the homosexual who isn't practicing what they preach. IF we ALL preach against sin, then we ALL are hypocrites to tolerate one among us who denies that it's sin or refuses to give it up.

Paula said...

Stephen Pruett,

Thanks! :-)

Yes, church discipline is practically unheard of. When it is practiced, it is done in secret by the "pastor" or board of directors, and neither the sinner nor the congregation never learns a blessed thing.

When Jesus dictated those letters to church to John on Patmos, all but two of them had tolerated blatant sin to one degree or another. I think it's significant that Jesus never told any of them they should accept and tolerate the sinners or remember that they, being sinners themselves, should give up social shunning. Instead, he rebuked them for their tolerance and gave them ultimatums should they fail to call sin what it is and get rid of it.

We keep running into the mentality that love and discipline are mutually exclusive, but I have never been able to convince anyone that this is not the case at all. Love is not defined by refusal to confront. What kind of friend never helps a friend going down a dangerous path? But Christians today seem to think that's exactly what friends should do. I personally could never remain friends with someone whom I discovered to be a pedophile. That's just wrong on so many levels.

Paula said...

Oops.. that should read "neither the sinner nor the cong. EVER learns a blessed thing."

Lydia said...

Christiane,

Once again as always, you dodge the hard questions.

Of course He loved us while we were sinners. It grieves me how common folks make the cross which is why I asked you the following questions:

So, what about those who were killed in the flood? what about ordering the slaughter of all men, women and children in 1 Samuel? (Just to name a few examples)

Christiane said...

Dear LYDIA,

My faith does NOT follow the fundamentalist literal view of Holy Scripture, in the way of the 'inerrantists'.

We do, of course, see some things VERY literally, that are dismissed as symbolic by fundamentalists. That, I find, is bit ironic.

I think your example about those lost in the flood is a good one, but not for those of us who do not interpret the Bible in the same completely literal way that your faith does.

As I said before, the understanding of God's love, and our Salvation, has evolved over millenia, as seen in Holy Scripture. It culminates in Jesus Christ. He is the lens through which I see all revelation, and all Scripture, including stories from the First Testament.

I cannot follow your way, Lydia, but I do respect your scholarship tremendously. I hope I haven't offended you by anything I have shared here. I just want you to know that. I do appreciate your sharing with me. I have read carefully what you and Paula have written, and I have made effort to try to understand you both. I know that some of my responses have upset Paula terribly, and I wished I had chosen my words with more care for her sake.
If I do not share the same interpretations of Scriptures, I do ask your understanding about this, also. I have never gone to the Holy Writings without sincerely seeking the Guidance of the Holy Spirit. Please know that. Much love, L's

Christiane said...

Dear CHRIS RYAN,

I was impressed when I read that you had studied, in detail, about the first century. And that you tried to understand Scripture within that context.

It is my belief that it is very, very difficult for us to understand all there is to know without consulting rabbis, delving deeply into the languages and customs and history of the times of Christ on this Earth. I also think it is difficult to understand how the Church evolved as expressed in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, the Early Councils, and the first 'Creeds'.

I would continue to say that there is much to learn in the 'reactions' of the Church to 'heresies' in the early centuries, also.

But one thing that is SO IMPORTANT: many read the Scriptures through a 'Western' and Greek viewpoint. So much more comes into focus, when the Scriptures are read ALSO through the lens of the Eastern and Hebraic viewpoints. Both are needed, for full understanding, I think.

You are very mature in your breadth and depth of scholarship at so young an age. Someday, I hope you can travel to the great centers of Early Christianity to pursue your studies, Chris. You are, I think, a gifted scholar.
Love, L's

Paula said...

the Grammatico-Historical (i.e., “consistently literal”) hermeneutic
(this is from a debate on Preterism, but mainly is a definition and explanation of what most "literalists" actually believe, as opposed to the common misconceptions about it)

If the Bible is a mere lump of clay to be molded to our personal taste, then it is worthless. But if it is the Word of God then we need to take it as divine literature, endeavoring to study it carefully from every angle, to know its context, and only then to apply it to ourselves.

If the Flood is not literal then neither is Genesis; if Adam and Eve are not literal, then neither is Jesus; if the Fall is not literal, then neither is sin. Maybe that's how professing believers can deny sin to the point of condoning perverts among us, or to rationalize sin as a mere illness or unfortunate misunderstanding.

What religion is this, where we can make a Jesus of our own design, who never quoted the OT as literal or wasn't the "last Adam"? How can we dismiss all the prophecies about Him while claiming to follow Him? Who needs scripture at all if it's a mere collection of moral tales?

To debate scripture with those who would render it a mere collection of moral fables about good and evil is a complete waste of time. It would be like arguing over the morality in Lord of the Rings or something.

Lydia said...

"I think your example about those lost in the flood is a good one, but not for those of us who do not interpret the Bible in the same completely literal way that your faith does."

So, the flood did not really happen? And God did not tell Samuel to tell Saul to wipe out every man, woman and child during that attack?

If those things did not literally happen, then what are they? How do you interpret them? Please tell us so we can understand where you are coming from.

Wade Burleson said...

feetxxxl,

I have received several emails voicing offense at too graphic of comments by you. You are welcome to comment, I would ask that you refrain from discussing sexually explicit subjects.

Thank you.

Wade

Christiane said...

Hi LYDIA,

The beautiful story of Noe (or Noah) is full of meaning for me.

The story of 'The Flood' is seen as a fore-telling of the story of Christian Salvation for mankind.

In the writings of the Early Church Fathers and in the traditions of my Church , it is said that Noah is a 'pre-figure' of the Savior to come, because he represents the coming of One who will save the human race from destruction and reconcile God and man. The 'Ark' represents the only means of Salvation from the 'deluge' which fore-tells of the founding of the Ecclesia (the Church, the Body of Christ),
which is an 'Ark of Salvation' for Christians in a spiritual sense.

The story framework of the 'Flood' patterns similar stories from other early cultures in the Middle
East, notably the 'Babylonian' story of a great flood. The Biblical account is a truly inspired prophetic fore-telling of the coming of Christ and the actual Salvation of men through His Church, told in a way that is meaningful for people of that time and all time to come.

Noah represents a righteous man of great faith who was obedient to the Lord, in the traditions of the Judaic peoples.

For my religion, the story of Noah and the Ark points to the Promise of Christ the Savior, as does all of the Old Testament.

Did it happen? Quite literally, animals two-by-two? Some see the story literally. Some see it as a fore-telling or promise of Salvation to come to mankind in the Person of Jesus Christ and His Church. Some may see it both ways. I am not 'required' by my faith to take the account 'literally', but I am in awe of how my Church teaches that this story fore-shadows our deliverance in the Person of Christ the Lord, Head of the Body of Christ which is the Ark of our Salvation.

I see the story as proof of the Promise of God to save His People, told to us by inspired writers long, long before the Incarnation of Christ, the Redemption, and the Resurrection: our great Mysteries of Faith.
Love, L's

P.S. I love the 'rainbow' part. It is a symbol of God's Promise to us, which once given, will not be taken away.
There was a rainbow the day of my father's burial. There had been a soft misting rain just before. Then we saw it.
God is merciful. Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

"So, the flood did not really happen? And God did not tell Samuel to tell Saul to wipe out every man, woman and child during that attack?"

Lydia, these are some of the most difficult things in The Bible for me to comprehend. I have read The Bible, cover to cover more than 15 times, and I am still so much in the dark for lot of the sections.

My guess is for whatever reason, I am not able to comprehend it or the revealing of The Word by the Holy Spirit has not reached my heart.

I understand the words, the context of the words, but lot of times I can not simply fathom.

This has to do with The Holiness of God. My mind can not comprehend it.

Lot of times, I wake up in the middle of the night wondering, what am I doing believing in a God who lets these things happen.

But then I question my reality. The world around me is literally decaying (as I perceive it). And logically (I am an engineer and scientist), the only hope I have is in Our Lord Jesus Christ. For I find life within Him. And outside of Him all I see is death.

So I am hoping someday these things will be made clear.

Another way of looking at all this, is I view myself as built up of layers of illusions and wrong thinking. And God is slowly removing my illusions and layers, that prevent me from seeing things clearly.

I will have to renew myself in reading The Word, by prayer and contemplation.

Paula said...

ThyPeace,

Though it's somewhat technical, I would recommend that you read Critique of When Bad Things Happen to Good People and Good God, Bad God?.

Lydia said...

So, the flood did not really happen.

What about 1 Samuel where God tells Saul to wipe out every woman, child and man? Did that not happen either? Just a fable to make what point, exactly?

I have plenty more...that you can explain never really happened. :o)

So what makes you believe Jesus really happened?

Christiane said...

Dear THY PEACE,

When you shared that you were an engineer and a scientist, I wondered if you had heard of studies made concerning the structure of matter and it's relationship to sound, as a form of energy?

I am asking this, because I have heard something of this, but I,
of course, do not understand the science of it, if it IS true.

But what interests me is that, in the story of Creation, we are told 'In the beginning was The Word'. And God 'spoke' and all matter came into being as a result.
Maybe there's more science in The Book than we know. :) I wouldn't be at all surprised.
Can you share, if you have heard of connections between sound energy and matter? Thank you, if you can. Love, L's

P.S. Seek a quiet place for contemplation, away from the noise and distractions of civilization.
(I used to drive out to a cow pasture. :)
There, in The Quiet, you may find Peace. Love, L's

Christiane said...

Dear LYDIA,

We do not see the Scriptures in the same way, I know this. I'm sorry if this offends you.

As I said, there ARE some Scripture verses, Catholics take VERY literally. But I do not speak of those here, as I know that you do not share my beliefs.

I once asked a Presbyterian friend if she knew why people read the Bible and came away with so many different religions. She said something interesting: that she thought it was not so much matters of disagreement as emphasis.

Did the Flood really happen?
We are in the middle of it right now, and mercifully on board
the Ark we call
'The Body of Christ'.
It will carry us safely in
to the New Jerusalem.

Love, L's

feetxxxl said...

lydia

"So, what about those who were killed in the flood?"

it is a big subject. jesus said dont be concerned with the things that kill the body but instead those things that brings death to the soul.

if we are wrap arround a score card about who physically dies and who doesnt we miss the bigger picture of a god who is concerned about salvation for all.

there are number of human ways to look at the genecide of the old testament

that he did them a favor by killing them, removing them from a life of sinning.

god's major concern was to create a seperate people, and he removed all the obstacles.

in your understanding remember that the jews were polythesistic right up to the exile.

when solomom built the pagan temples that practiced human sacrifice there is no recorded written objection by the jews.

the fact that isreal was sacrificed and judah (jerusalem) was upheld comes from nothing one did over another but god having mercy on whom he would have mercy.

my ways are not your ways they are as far apart as heaven is from earth.

about your discussion about sin. the majority of the sacrifices required in lev was for UNKNOWN SIN. if everything good comes from heaven the whatever awareness we might have about our own sin must come thru grace. and that would definitely also apply to others sins as well.

consider that that in speaking to another believing brother it is not an act of judgement, but rather an act of sharing, that in sharing the spirit of christ one shares the spirit that one has witnessed and in the spirit of christ both see what is need to be seen together. so that rather than being an act of denegation it becomes an act of unification.

after that you have done your part, the rest is up the conviction by the holy spirit.

also doing this with the understanding that what you have seen might also may not be as correct as you might believe.

this obsession about breaking a regulation gives the judger total focus on physicality, and allows him the misconception that he doesnt need to rely on grace.

Lydia said...

Thy Peace, Welcome to my club, brother! You are asking the RIGHT questions.

"Lydia, these are some of the most difficult things in The Bible for me to comprehend. I have read The Bible, cover to cover more than 15 times, and I am still so much in the dark for lot of the sections."

There were years I could not read the OT because I thought God really did not think much of women. I prayed and prayed about this. I bought into the lies that are taught to elevate men over women and that I was just rebellious.

But then He had me read what I had read a hundred times and He took my presupposition glasses off and showed me what HIS Glory is all about. If we do not get the Genesis account right for ALL things, we cannot understand the rest of the story. And we cannot understand how serious sin really is.

Why did God create man? Why did HE let them sin? Why did HE allow murder, polygamy, Patriarchy, etc?

HE never stopped it. He regulated these horrors through the Law. Why?

I got a serious ephiphany one day reading, of all things, Leviticus. The law was because of how wicked they were. And if you read through the tedious laws, you realize, these folks could not wake up each morning without having to think about God and the law.

How often throughout the day do we think of Jesus Christ? Are you as guilty as me? It should be every minute...in there...in our minds and hearts. Our next breath is because HE allows it.

When we think about how evil man is, it helps to understand why the law.
For example, why would God make a woman stay away longer after having a female baby? He doubled the time she had to be exiled from folks.

Because the husband wanted boys. And would be anxious to get a boy. (everything revolved around having boys)

Get my drift? God's law protected the woman physically.

There is ONE reason for all of it. To show HIS GLORY. it is about HIM not us.

And they STILL rejected Him! They begged for a king and they had one! God was their king. We do the very same thing today with pastors and leaders. Jesus Christ is our King and we still look to humans to know and understand our REAL KING!

We have been totally inundated with the doctrine of God's LOVE. Which is unfathomable. We cannot comprehend it. HE, in the Flesh, took the Wrath we deserve. What more do we want? If that is not love, what is?

But we have NOT been taught the JUSTICE of God. His perfect Justice. And therefore, we only know half of the Gospel. We like that part. It fits our self serving ways. because we think it is about us.

God HATES evil. Psalms 5:5 says that God hates evil doers.

There are even those who say that fear of God is not really 'fear' it is more awe. But we should fear God. It is the beginning of Wisdom. And with Wisdom comes understanding. He is a consuming fire. (Hebrews)

cont...

Lydia said...

cont..my rambling is long!

He is the VERY same God today HE was in the OT. He now puts His law in our hearts. Salvation is a supernatural act. If we are saved, our sins grieve us to no end. We are like Paul who said, I do the things I don't want to do.

He did not take the wrath on the cross so we could be the same yet get a free ticket to heaven.

But so we could be transformed. We will have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

"Lot of times, I wake up in the middle of the night wondering, what am I doing believing in a God who lets these things happen."

I am not a big fan of Karl Barth but recently I heard a quote of his that really made an impression on me. He said that Europe considered themselves 'Christian' YET, they just fought the bloodiest war in history and 50 million were killed.

So, tell me what does being a 'Christian' really mean? Is it a culture? What is it?

"But then I question my reality. The world around me is literally decaying (as I perceive it). And logically (I am an engineer and scientist), the only hope I have is in Our Lord Jesus Christ. For I find life within Him. And outside of Him all I see is death."

Exactly. Which is why we cannot comprehend that we are bringing so much of this decay into the Body? I am starting to believe that what we have thought is the Body is not. And we had better think this through. Jesus Christ is coming for His Bride and She WILL be Holy and Blameless. (Boy have they perverted that verse to elevate men!)

"Another way of looking at all this, is I view myself as built up of layers of illusions and wrong thinking. And God is slowly removing my illusions and layers, that prevent me from seeing things clearly."

Pray for wisdom. Pray that everything you have been taught will be erased and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you. the more you read and study the more you figure out how little we have been taught about God! And how much of what we we have been taught are man's interpretations. A perfect example of this is tithing which is NO where in the NC. Giving is. But Jesus raised the bar. We went from a specific tithe to 'if your brother is in need, sell your stuff and help him'.

Ok, I am rambling but I think you get the picture. It is God's Glory we are to be concerned with. I sometimes think of all the zillions of people who have gone before us. What about the folks in the dark ages? How could they know about God when only their priests had scripture? I believe that God has kept a small remnant all through history. The OT speaks of this often. One Rabbi said that when the OT says 'The people' it is talking about the people of Israel. But when it says 'My people', it is talking about the remnant.

We make a big mistake thinking that all the Israelites were saved and that all the folks in the NT churches were saved. A reading of Revelation shows that was not the case unless they changed their ways.

Lydia said...

"We do not see the Scriptures in the same way, I know this. I'm sorry if this offends you."

I am not offended at all. I think it is important to know such things because when we discuss the doctrine of sin it makes a huge difference if one does not take such things literally.

Lydia said...

feel, I cannot engage you. I read some of your blog. It would not be prudent, we are so far apart in doctrine.

No hard feelings, ok?

Besides, I have used up my quota today. :o)

Christiane said...

Did Jesus 'really happen'.

The odds of a Biblical account of a poor carpenter in an obscure colony of Rome two millenia ago 'being real'?

There is historical documentation.

For someone 'without faith' who wants to know if He existed, there is the testimony of the historian Josephus, who wrote about Jesus, but who was not a Christian.

So the 'person' of Yeshua Bar Joseph did exist, as documented by a Roman historian of that time.

Are you referring to my belief in the REALITY of Christ the Lord, Lydia?
Credo.

Love, L's

feetxxxl said...

lydia

your point is that doctrine is christ.

what about 1500 years of practing indulgences, 1700 years of supporting ethnic slavery, and 1400 years of burning witches at the stake.

Jesse said...

Paula,

It is, indeed, a slippery slope. However, I am not using this as a fear tactic. I am asking a question based upon observation that perhaps you can answer.

Jessea

Paula said...

Jesse,

B always follows A in the alphabet, but of course A does not cause B. But if you insist that it does, then it applies just as well to your own position. Male entitlement does indeed give divine enablement to violent husbands, or more commonly, those who dish out emotional abuse. There are entire ministries just for abused Christian women, many of them "pastors" wives, and you cannot deny that the teachings and examples of the likes of Patterson are aiding and abetting such sad statistics.

So if you insist upon assigning cause and effect where it does not exist, then expect it in return.

If you've followed any of the conversations here that I've been in, you can't help but admit that egalitarians have been arguing vigorously against homosexuality. And if you dare to question my reverence for the Word of God, in spite of all I've written around here, then again, prepare to take what you dish out.

Just sayin'.

Chris Ryan said...

Paula,

I agree with you that discipline and love are not mutually exclusive. We disagree as to whether the method of discipline is as timeless as its need. That is all.

And my statement as to studies was not to imply that you had not studied. My apologies that it came across as such. Rather, my intent was to admit that my study has led me to believe that Paul is just as often a man of his time as he is not. Here I see him as a man of his time, whereas you see him beginning to think as a 21st century westerner. Therefore, we are at an impasse and I doubt that further discussion on this passage will be productive.

And I did not ask "What does that even mean?" as a vain question. I explain what I think that means in the remainder of the paragraph. Again, sorry if that wasn't clear. I was sleepy last night, too.

As to witness to unbelievers, it is only hypocritical if you have not explained the gospel to them already. If they think that the gospel is obeying a set of rules and not associating with anybody who doesn't follow those rules, them sure, it is hypocrisy. If they realize the gospel is sick people going to the Great Physician, then where is the hypocrisy? If the evil is not following a set of rules, then having sinners in our midst provides the appearance of evil. If evil is turning away those who need the grace and guidance of God, then it is your position which gives such an appearance. The problem is that Jesus did anything but "avoid all appearances of evil" if we interpret that as you are. He sat with the sinners and called them His friends and disciples. He was called a drunkard, a glutton, and a friend of tax collectors. Where is "no appearance of evil" here? Unless of course, it doesn't mean what you want it to mean.

You are right that if we only preach against sin then it may be hypocritical to have sinners among us. But if we preach against sin and for grace, the hypocrisy is not tolerating sinners among us. It is refusing them access to the one place where they can come to find the help and guidance they need, even if they do not yet realize their need.

Paula said...

Chris, thanks for the clarifications. :-)

ou see him beginning to think as a 21st century westerner

Not so. I see him as a Christian.

As for your comments on witnessing to unbelievers, as I said, this is the impression they have, right or wrong, and is therefore something we need to be concerned about. Just an FYI.

But again I am dismayed when you say things like "what I want it to mean". This is a worn-out charge that can be leveled at anyone, anytime, regardless of what they're debating.

But I have run out of ways to get my main point across: that there is more than "shame" culture going on here, and that the principles for "expelling the wicked man from among you" is not only for the sake of the society but mainly for a last-ditch effort at getting the sinner to admit his sin and turn from it.

That is, IMHO, Paul's teaching here. We cannot put unrepentant or unadmitted sin on a par with the occasional lapses we all experience. To see no distinction between the two is to lack any semblance of discernment, to expose the Body to compromise with sin, and to keep from the unrepentant the only cure they may have.

Christiane said...

A TERRIBLE BURDEN . . .

"A soldier was going to return home from fighting in the Vietnam War. He phoned his parents from San Francisco.

He told his father, “Dad, I’m coming home, but I have a favor to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring home with me.”

“Sure,” his father replied, “We’d love to meet him.”

“There’s something you should know,” the son continued. “He was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live.”

“No, Dad, I want him to live with us.”

But then the dad said this,
“Son, you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden to us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.”

At that point the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him.

A few days later they received a call from the San Francisco police.

Their son had died falling from a building. The police believed it was suicide.

The parents were taken to the city morgue to identify the body and recognized their son at once. But to their dismay they discovered something they had not known: their son had only one arm and one leg.

Rejection is very tough to deal with. We don’t want to be rejected by others. But we reject certain types of people inadvertently, like the father in the story."


From the Gospel of St. Mark:

16When the scribes of* the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat* with tax-collectors and sinners?’

17When Jesus heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’

These are the Words of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

HE didn't turn His Back on the people who needed Him most.
How can we? Love, L's

feetxxxl said...

its interesting that there have been very few if any sermons concerning believers most entrenched beliefs, and even less of their accompaning scriptures.


the question then "how did these beliefs become so entrenched."


beliefs such as women either teaching or pastoring in church, homosexuality, expulsion or excommunication, and sodomy.

Jesse said...

Paula, I'm not sure where I questioned your reverence for the Word of God or where you are getting the implication that I am doing so. Just because I differ with you on this subject does not mean that I am attacking your reverence for the Word of God.

But upon reflection I will admit that it does seem to be a cause and effect. Not that women in ministry CAUSES acceptance of homosexual sin; but that the two do appear to be linked in various denominations. If there is another reason/cause for that, I am waiting for the explanation. As yet no one seems to be able to provide it.

Also, I contend that your assigning a cause and effect to "male entitlement" and abuse is just as wrong as what you assign to my conjecture. The Bible is very clear that God has assigned roles to men and women and one of the roles is male headship in both the family and in the role of Pastor. Abuse of that responsibility is a sin but does not negate the assignment of it by God.

Jesse

Paula said...

Jesse,

I did not say you had questioned my respect for scripture, but was anticipating the possibility since practically **all** male supremacists I've ever talked to make this charge. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

And I have the impression now that you would classify your earlier statements linking the two as not cause and effect but more like guilt by association, is that more accurate? My point being, both are fallacies, so it doesn't change the inherent falseness of the claim.

People like to lump other people into convenient packages where if one or two views of the package are held, then they must be guilty of it all. This too is erroneous thinking. Personally, I treat each issue individually and match it against scripture, such that I am probably impossible to fit into any package.

As for the explanation you demand, first you need to establish that your impression is more than that-- that it is a statistical fact. And be sure to consult more than one source for your data, and not only choose those who already agree with the conclusion you have already come to without facts.

As for your last paragraph, you missed my point completely. All I'm saying is that IF you want to claim a slippery slope from women in authority to homosexual acceptance, THEN you must also accept that male entitlement is a slippery slope to wife abuse. That is, this accusation can go both ways. So if you do not wish to accept the latter, then stop claiming the former. Understand?

And no, the Bible is NOT clear that God changed His mind about judging by the flesh or being a respecter of persons or playing favorites-- all of which must be true if He bases spiritual service on the flesh (reproductive organs). If you cry "plain reading" then be prepared to have the consistency of that claim challenged.

And you are on record as calling any woman who doesn't agree with your interpretation a sinner.

Paula said...

PS: if by "Abuse of that responsibility is a sin" you meant abusive men, then of course I agree with that and retract my statement about you calling women in authority over men a sin.

Jesse said...

Paula,

I had written much to attempt to answer your statements and questions but I kept getting stuck on your last statement, [“And you are on record as calling any woman who doesn't agree with your interpretation a sinner.”].

Where am I “on record” as saying that? By what huge leap of logic did you come to that assessment? How dare you put words in my mouth with such a fallacious and libelous statement? It would be bad enough (and incorrect) to say any person, but to narrow it down to say a woman is to marginalize or demonize me as a misogynist.

Because of this, anything statement you make or position you take has no credibility with me and I will not bother to waste any more of my time in discussion with you regarding this or any future issue other than to point out one issue regarding your position on sin.

By your own words, you apparently do not believe that all abuses of a God-given responsibility are sin. [Paula said... PS: if by "Abuse of that responsibility is a sin" you meant abusive men, then of course I agree with that and retract my statement about you calling women in authority over men a sin.]. Abuse of any God-given responsibility is sin - period!

I care less whether you retract your statement, let your conscience be your guide. Good job of eviscerating open and honest debate.

Jesse

Paula said...

Jesse,

Since you obviously saw my added post about having possibly misunderstood your statement, to turn around and keep holding the original against me shows only that you are unable or unwilling to graciously accept an admission of an honest mistake.

So because of that, you too have lost all credibility with me and I will not waste another minute trying to reason with you. I can only hope that one day you will stop hating those who disagree with you and actually give them a chance to state their case.

Remember, Jesus said that the measure you use to judge others is the measure that will be used on you. Now it's your turn to let your conscience be your guide.

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