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Posts by Springfield Reformer

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  • Hating Catholics–America’s ONLY Accepted Prejudice

    08/27/2015 10:37:57 AM PDT · 181 of 196
    Springfield Reformer to NKP_Vet; metmom

    I didn’t read metmom’s objection as being against alcohol, but against the proposition that some biblical figure got “drunk as h3ll” (your words, I believe), so therefore its somehow OK for believers. That’s objectionable. If that’s not what you meant, you need to clarify that, because that is certainly what it sounded like to me.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Hating Catholics–America’s ONLY Accepted Prejudice

    08/25/2015 11:01:56 PM PDT · 29 of 196
    Springfield Reformer to Salvation

    That is one view of the problem. Walk a mile in our moccasins and see how it looks then.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/25/2015 10:31:20 PM PDT · 1,161 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to rmichaelj

    Interesting and thoughtful analysis. I believe Nestorius got a bad rap. Some scholars have recently concluded there was a technical language barrier that led to Nestorius being misunderstood, that his “two persons” were functionally identical to the “two natures” of Chalcedon. Based on this, I believe there are even discussions of reconciliation with the still existing Nestorian churches, a kind of belated apology for a tragic misunderstanding.

    Which all goes to your larger point, if I understand it correctly, that there can be a great deal more heat than light in some of these conversations, and it is incumbent on all of us to nurture whatever good we can out of these conflicts.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Hating Catholics–America’s ONLY Accepted Prejudice

    08/25/2015 10:06:42 PM PDT · 27 of 196
    Springfield Reformer to NKP_Vet; Religion Moderator; Jim Robinson

    Plenty of non-Catholics have been hated and are still hated for their faith. I’ve experienced it personally. Imagine how lovely it is at a family gathering to be called “that d@mn Baptist” by my Catholic relatives. Or have my evangelistic efforts in high school curtailed by a secularist principal. There’s more, but I’m certainly not alone. Jack Phillips, the Chrisitian man in Colorado who is being hounded out of his business making cakes because he won’t compromise on gay marriage, attends a Southern Baptist church.

    So the idea that Catholics are the only ones being picked on is false on its face. I knew some Jehovah’s Witnesses who felt the same way about their faith. I don’t agree with either Catholics or JWs on a number of extremely important issues. But it would be just crazy to imagine that militant secularists, Muslims, and other such outfits would be friendly to any Jews or Christians or any of their offshoots. They hate all of us without distinction. That’s just the way it is, and if Shoebat can’t accept that, he’s just not living in the real world.

    BTW, I know how the persecution game works. I learned it from the JWs. A group claims the mantle of persecution as a sign they are the one true group against all others. But it doesn’t work, because Satan isn’t working against particular denominations. He’s working to make the exercise of any faith in God impossible. There are no denominational boundaries in the spiritual world.

    BTW, posting a thread like this that seems perfectly suited to inciting a fight between evangelicals and Catholics is probably counter to godly and thoughtful conversation, and is also probably a violation of the anti-flame-baiting policy recently instituted by Jim Robinson. If I am wrong about that, I submit to the judgment of those who have the rule here. But that is my opinion nonetheless.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/25/2015 9:28:06 PM PDT · 1,157 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to Mark17; terycarl; metmom; EagleOne; aMorePerfectUnion; knarf

    Yep, a fine group. Founded by an ordinary evangelical church guy, Dawson Trotman: See his interesting biography here:

    http://www.discipleshiplibrary.com/pdfs/dawson_trotman_more.pdf

    The emphasis was not on any divergent doctrine, but on practical discipleship, taking the Scriptures and making them such an embedded part of your life they would change your life, help you overcome bad habits, help you live according to the standards of Christian life taught in Scripture, and then becoming the sort of person who can help others find that same path to godly living.

    But thinking they are some separate denominational group is a misunderstanding. It would be like saying the Gideons are a denomination because they leave Bibles at hotels. It’s just silly. My uncle was a Gideon, a sound Presbyterian, and a godly man.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/25/2015 9:13:50 PM PDT · 1,156 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to af_vet_1981

    In relative geographical terms, very close, and certainly close enough to have a major impact on language, culture, etc:

    http://www.bible-history.com/geography/ancient-israel/israel-first-century.html

    But yep, walking that distance would be a good way to burn some calories. :)

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/25/2015 8:10:29 PM PDT · 1,151 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to terycarl; metmom
    Just out of curiosity, why did people, in a minute village in Israel, have to know 3 languages????

    Very close proximity to Cesarea for those in Galilee, and generally being right in the middle of a narrow strip of land that joins continents, and so was heavily travelled by the Romans, Greeks, and others. Israel was an occupied country. You couldn't get by as a merchant if you couldn't talk to your potential customers.

    Also remember when Jesus was crucified, the sign calling Him King of the Jews was posted in those three languages. Right in the heart of Israel, Jerusalem. I've been there. It's a small country. Lots of cross-connecting between various people groups, even now. But now of course they all speak English. Latin not so much. :)

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/25/2015 8:01:54 PM PDT · 1,148 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to metmom; terycarl; MHGinTN

    And there are substantial arguments that even if Jesus was speaking Aramaic, there are words in Aramaic that would have retained the distinction between Peter and the Rock anyway. So the retreat to Aramaic buys the “I am of Peter” faction absolutely nothing. For a great study of the issue, see Chrys Caragounis’ book, “Peter and the Rock.”

    Which is why we are better off sticking with the words we have been given, inspired in the Greek by the Holy Spirit. Speculation without a solid foundation is a fast track to serious error.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/25/2015 7:11:53 PM PDT · 1,121 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to Arthur McGowan; redleghunter
    Your error is in ASSUMING that at any point, I was making reference to the Triune God. Not one of my syllogisms used the term “God” in the sense of “the Trinity.”
    ALL the objections to the title “Mother of God” are based on the assumption that “God” always refers to the Triune God, i.e., the Trinity.

    Mary is the mother of Jesus.
    Jesus is the incarnate Second Person of the Trinity.
    Mary is the mother of the incarnate Second Person of the Trinity.

    That is what is meant by saying that Mary is the “Mother of God.” It is what has ALWAYS been meant by saying that Mary is the “Mother of God.”
    No Catholic has ever said that Mary is the mother, or the origin, or the Trinity.
    Therefore: The objection that Mary is NOT the mother of the Trinity is NOT an objection to anything that any Catholic has ever said or believed.

    There is no God but the triune God.  As I have no doubt you profess to be a trinitarian, I have no logical choice but to assume you mean "triune God" whenever you refer to God without further qualification.  The term "God," without qualifiers, and stated in a trinitarian context, MUST refer to the triune God.  There is no other.

    But you have added qualifiers.  And that's a step in the right direction.  You must realize that our objection to the term "Mother of God" is mainly about the collateral damage of the language of Chalcedon, not about the Christological findings of Chalcedon.  Look at all the confusion it breeds.  You say no Catholic regards Mary as the ontological mother of the triune God, but I have Catholic relatives who are definitely confused on the matter, and frankly I do not blame them so much as the reckless use of that under-qualified language.  Saying Mary is the mother of God leads to serious ontological confusion.  The more sophisticated Catholic who is privately and mentally adding qualifiers may be quite satisfied with their private orthodoxy, but on its face the expression appears to put Mary in the wrong relationship with God.  

    The language is the problem. A mother gives birth to an immature entity of the same ontological kind as the mother.  That is the common understanding of the term.  But we are now being asked to think that what is being said means something quite different than what the words mean on their face.  Lawyers and politicians learn how to do that sort of thing quite easily.  More straightforward-thinking people tend to stick with straightforward meanings.  We know what a mother is, and we know what God is.  If you say Mary is God's mother, then we assume that's what you mean, and you may rely upon us to object every time to that assertion, no matter how carefully you qualify the expression in the privacy of your own mind.

    Peace,

    SR
  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/25/2015 5:09:12 PM PDT · 1,085 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to Arthur McGowan; redleghunter

    Arthur, still using that false syllogism? That was discredited some time ago. It suffers from an inappropriate distribution of the middle term. As redleghunter points out, a fireman is a different kind of thing than the triune God. To distribute the middle term correctly, you would need to treat the term “god” the same way you treat fireman, like this:

    Martha is the mother of Sam

    Sam is a god

    Therefore Martha is the mother of a god

    Which of course would also be false, but not because of structure, only because one of the premises is false.

    But the structural falsity is a more powerful and therefore a more dangerous error, because it is harder to detect than a blatantly false premise. For example, tell me what’s wrong with the following logic:

    “I’m the most responsible person around here, because it seems I’m responsible for everything that’s going wrong.”

    We recognize this as a joke, but only because we spot that the word “responsible” shifted meaning between its first use and its second. That is what an undistributed middle term is, a term that shifts meaning from one premise to the next. It invalidates the syllogism.

    Remember that theotokus was never designed to be primarily about Mary. It was the burden of Chalcedon to affirm against heresy that Jesus did not acquire the divine nature at some later time, but had it from the womb. And in this we agree. It is unfortunate that Marian factionalism has hijacked the term, and even more unfortunate that it was so vulnerable to being hijacked, because the truth it was originally meant to express is sound enough. But the words of man tend to froth and error, whereas the word of God is the best and most helpful expression of God’s truth.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/24/2015 10:40:48 AM PDT · 861 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to NKP_Vet; metmom

    There is no baptism into a denomonation, only into Christ. It is an interesting question whether a person baptized while believing a false Gospel has a legitimate baptism. I don’t see how that holds up. In the NT, every Christian baptism was of those who professed the true faith (though some professed it insincerely). In no case is there an example of a NT baptism into Christ of anyone professing a false Gospel, nor of anyone too young or too incompetent to profess faith in Christ.

    Logically then, if someone was raised to trust in their own righteousness, or in the merits of some human system, and they later come to realize they were misled, and choose at that time to be baptized into Christ, that would be their first legitimate baptism, as the purveyors of a false Gospel have no authority to administer baptism anyway.

    Bottom line, God will keep track of the technicalities. Our main job is to always look to Him in faith, and not ourselves. After all, that is the testimony of baptism, that we have died to the law of sin and death, and been raised into newness of resurrection life in Christ, all because of Him.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/22/2015 8:26:24 AM PDT · 634 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to BipolarBob
    Yeah, I was off a letter.

    Yep, which is why I try to avoid the problem altogether by copying and pasting directly from my eSword. Somewhere it says the wise man sees the pit ahead and walks around it.

    As for errors, we mortals are all fallible. That's one of the main reasons we can't rely on any man or system of men to know the mind of God, but must do as Jesus says, be sustained in this wilderness by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mary, Mother of God, The Greatest of all Her Titles

    08/22/2015 6:53:15 AM PDT · 629 of 1,291
    Springfield Reformer to BipolarBob; af_vet_1981

    This phrase:

    “... lest ye reprove thee ...” (from Proverbs 30:6)

    ... exists in no English language version that I can find. Nor does the Hebrew support such a nonsensical translation. The “ye” should be a “he.” Which leaves two possibilities:

    1. You miscopied it from a correct version, or
    2. The version you copied it from was misprinted

    Of the two, the first is easier to believe than the second.

    Having said that, this little subplot does nothing to advance the understanding about the authority of Scripture over competitors for that role. The idea embodied in “Sola Scriptura” has much deeper roots than the Reformation, though, like so many Christian doctrines, it needed a good crisis to foster a more complete articulation.

    Peace,

    SR

  • A Little Piece of Bread (from the book “Strength for Today”)(Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    08/21/2015 5:45:06 AM PDT · 5 of 11
    Springfield Reformer to metmom

    Amen. Thanks for posting.

  • Greek to You? Don’t Dismiss It! The Importance of Recourse to the Greek Text of the New Testament

    08/19/2015 4:25:00 PM PDT · 54 of 69
    Springfield Reformer to Jeremiah Jr; Salvation

    Sorry, but there is no extant Hebrew text for the NT, so whatever that is at your website has to be a later invention. All the pretenders to such a text that I know of are very late and the arguments for an original Hebrew text are 100% speculation.

    Furthermore, given the juxtaposition of First Century Israel with the Greek-speaking world, the odds are outstanding that the original texts, especially Luke and the Pauline epistles, were written in Greek, directly inspired by the Holy Spirit in Greek.

    As for which language is richer, I am a student of both, and find they are each rich in their own way. Hebrew has a greater tendency to concrete imagery. Greek facilitates a higher degree of abstract thought, and has unique features that tend to preserve the precision, among many other fine virtues. If the Holy Spirit chose one or the other or both on various occasions, that is His prerogative.

    As for a Hebrew proto-text, we have challenged the Hebrew Roots crowd here repeatedly to come up with even one verifiable Hebrew proto-text, and all we ever get is crickets.

    BTW, a number of links at your website don’t work. Is it under construction? I’m curious to know what sort of fellowship it is because there are plenty of Messianic fellowships that have no problem with the Greek NT. And it has been that way for a very long time. I was a Jewish Studies major at Moody Bible Institute some 40 years ago. That’s where I had my first contact with Hebrew. But this Hebrew Roots nonsense hadn’t cropped up back then, and people were still doing just fine finding Jesus in the pages of Scripture.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Greek to You? Don’t Dismiss It! The Importance of Recourse to the Greek Text of the New Testament

    08/18/2015 7:17:29 PM PDT · 45 of 69
    Springfield Reformer to verga; ealgeone

    Sorry, no, little more than a friendly greeting. The substance of Mary’s honor is not found in that word in and of itself. I’m not blaming you, but your lexical aid seems rather wobbly. See here for some fun info:

    http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/greek_anc.php

    So it’s like saying “cheers!” It addresses her need, in the presence of an angel of God, to understand this is going to be a happy encounter.

    And I do not dispute that Mary was greatly honored. She was. But the basis must be found in the substance of the announcement itself, not in ordinary greetings.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Greek to You? Don’t Dismiss It! The Importance of Recourse to the Greek Text of the New Testament

    08/18/2015 6:02:14 PM PDT · 42 of 69
    Springfield Reformer to verga; ealgeone; LearsFool
    Conversely κεχαριτωμένη Lexical aid 5487 is definced as favored, highly favored etc... This word appears one other time in Ephesians 1:6 in describing Jesus.

    No, εχαριτωσεν as used in Ephesians 1:6 is describing the grace of God the Father, and taken in context is seen as flowing from Him through Jesus to the entire body of believers:
    To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    (Ephesians 1:6)
    Grace (karitow) appears twice in this verse.  A reasonable translation, sticking rigidly to "grace" as a consistent match to karitws, might look something like this:
    To [the] praise of the glory of the grace of him, in which [grace] he bestowed grace on us in the beloved [one].
    Note that the grace has it's source in God (genitive, "of him"), and has it's object in us, i.e., all believers. Therefore, to reduce this use of grace to a title given to one or two persons of exceptional stature, above that of any ordinary believer, would be a complete reversal of the Greek usage.  

    Which presents a true conundrum for those who wish to make it work as a special title in Luke 1:28.  There is no grammatical or contextual reason to do so.  The slight difference in form (notably the doubling of the "ke" prefix) is simply inflecting the word to show the tense of completed past action, the "perfect."  But it is the same stem in both places, karitow.  In Luke it applies to Mary, and in Ephesians 1 it applies to all believers alike.  If it is true for all believers, then it is true for Mary, and if it is true for Mary, it is true for all believers.  There is no exalted stature in view, other than the truly exalted stature all believers enjoy as a result of being forgiven and accepted by God, not because they earned it, but because God freely gave it out of love.

    Peace,

    SR
  • The Gospel Part 2: You Better Get It Right

    08/17/2015 9:20:27 PM PDT · 113 of 153
    Springfield Reformer to .45 Long Colt

    Amen.

  • The Gospel Part 2: You Better Get It Right

    08/17/2015 11:13:26 AM PDT · 25 of 153
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool; metmom

    Those entering Heaven will be those who do God’s will. That is a statement of fact, not causation. What causes us to be accounted righteous in God’s eyes? What is the basis of our justification? It is impossible to conclude from apostolic testimony in Scripture that adherence to a behavioral code, no matter how good, can justify anyone. Jesus and Paul are not in opposition. They are both teaching divine truth, just different aspects of it. The Pharisees were off base for thinking they could rewrite the divine law, because that is just another way of ignoring it. But Paul is also right to say we cannot meet the law’s requirements apart from becoming a new creation in Christ, identified with Him in both His death and in His righteous life. Putting those two realities in opposition to each other is a false dilemma. Like the man in the back row who couldn’t bear to look heavenward, the only ones going home justified are those who have given up on themselves and put all their trust in Christ. Those who are preoccupied with listing to God all the reasons God should be happy with them will be disappointed with the results of that strategy. It’s what Jesus said, so I believe it.

    Peace,

    SR

  • We Will Not Bow [We don’t bow down to Caesar. We bow only to our King!]

    08/17/2015 7:55:25 AM PDT · 42 of 77
    Springfield Reformer to Jim Robinson

    Ping for later

  • Cuba witnessing Christianity boom as Bible copies pour into communist-ruled country

    08/15/2015 2:53:33 PM PDT · 39 of 48
    Springfield Reformer to Salvation

    Yes, a memorable occasion. And your point is?

    Peace,

    SR

  • Cuba witnessing Christianity boom as Bible copies pour into communist-ruled country

    08/15/2015 10:33:55 AM PDT · 22 of 48
    Springfield Reformer to Larry Lucido; metmom; Salvation; Jim Robinson

    The “Hmmmm” posts are a recurring theme since the Great Purge of Roman Catholic versus Protestant debate threads. As we cannot read minds, we can only guess, but my guess is that the intent is to “warn Catholics” of a potential Protestant spin on an open thread. The “Hmmmm” tactic appears to be designed to poke the bear “safely,” by innuendo, but really is just transparent silliness, and unnecessarily inflammatory, IMHO.

    However, where the questions raised by the “Hmmmm” can be answered, why not try to give them a useful answer? Most of the time it is easy enough, as here with the Bibles. The Gospel of God’s grace can be found in any of these translations. God will use His word as He sees fit. So be it.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Cuba witnessing Christianity boom as Bible copies pour into communist-ruled country

    08/15/2015 7:27:47 AM PDT · 12 of 48
    Springfield Reformer to Salvation

    Apparently, a number of ABS versions are approved for “private use and study:”

    http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/

    Peace,

    SR

  • Trump’s Remarks on Women Cost Him This Weekend (Further explains the RedState disinvite)

    08/09/2015 11:29:54 PM PDT · 19 of 84
    Springfield Reformer to over3Owithabrain

    Sorry, but I thought Trump’s comments were just weird, “blood coming out of whatever,” etc. No mature person I know talks like that. Chalk it up to Trump being colorful, I guess, but really it left me scratching my head. Cruz has so much more self-control, never comes across as petulant or self-serving. I don’t trust Trump for his contributions to and support of non-conservative policy. Yes, I know he supposedly has had some well-timed “evolutions,” but to me that only means he might have other “evolutions” once he’s got power. Who knows where he’ll end up. His explanation on the abortion change is totally lame. Pure sentiment, not an ounce of principle. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, as my dad used to say, you want to know what someone is going to do, look at what they have done.

    Peace,

    SR

  • T.D. Jakes Comes Out for ‘Gay Marriage’ and ‘LGBT Churches,’ Says Position is ‘Evolving’

    08/09/2015 9:33:50 PM PDT · 65 of 73
    Springfield Reformer to metmom

    Yep.

  • T.D. Jakes Comes Out for ‘Gay Marriage’ and ‘LGBT Churches,’ Says Position is ‘Evolving’

    08/08/2015 11:37:53 PM PDT · 26 of 73
    Springfield Reformer to Salvation

    Here’s a longer analysis of his ministry and then his problem areas:

    http://www.equip.org/article/concerns-about-the-teachings-of-t-d-jakes/

    Executive summary, yes, he appears to be a modalist, and more than that, a health and wealth teacher with the evangelistic skills of Billy Graham combined with the redemptive theology of Dr. Phil. It sounds as if for a long time he’s been downplaying sin and instead trying to help people overcome their victimization. So I’d guess he was ripe for this kind of “evolution” on gay relationships.

    He’s also made the argument that Jesus was rich, so it’s OK for us to be rich. He thinks Jesus was rich because how else did the twelve disciples get by without working? Yikes.

    Anyway, he’s not alone in his error. Too many successful people get caught up in the trappings of their worldly gains and lose sight of the plain old brown wrapper Gospel. Jesus warned of the spiritual dangers an unhealthy attachment to worldly goods. Not that success is bad. Just that we are weak.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Is Your Church Worshipping in Vain?

    08/08/2015 11:21:34 AM PDT · 83 of 85
    Springfield Reformer to Diego1618
    where in the scriptures does it tell us we are now to celebrate Sunday

    That's not my problem. That's someone else's ax to grind.  I'm just pointing out the problems with your assessment of the Greek.  You've got it all tangled up.  I won't go through everything because your post is largely unresponsive to the specific problems I pointed out.  But I will offer a few comments on some of the more outlandish things I'm seeing here:

    σάββατον is the Greek word for the weekly Sabbath....but it is not the word used in the pertinent resurrection gospels.

    Sure it's the same word.  It's just inflected differently, to fit the context.  Idiomatically, it's just as likely to mean "week" as "sabbath."  You're making bare assertions here without backing them up.

    The plural for σάββατον is not σαββάτων. It is σάββατα ...


    Again, yes it is the same word, the same stem, just inflected differently.  All three words are based on the same stem.  Greek doesn't see these as "different words." It's like saying "bat" and "bats" are two different things altogether.  No they're not.  They're both one or more bats.  In Greek, you can decorate words with more that just plural versus singular indicators.  Sabbatwn is genitive (in this case ablative I believe), and Sabbata is accusative, because they have different grammatical roles.  

    Think of "accusative" as pointing the finger, as it were.  The noun so modified is to be considered the landing place of the verb's action, the direct object.  Whereas the genitive sets the term up as a kind of possessive adjective, where you're describing something else, and you want to show its origin, or its relationship as a part to some greater whole.  Like "First of the Month," for example.  First what? First day.  Everyone reading this can get that.  We know English well enough to imply the missing word, because we know what the idiom is about.  It's about days.  This is not really that hard.  

    But to argue those inflections are literally different words is to suggest you need to go back and study how Greek works.  It looks to me like you're still in that stage where you think it works like English. That's not going to work. Take a good first year course.  You will see I'm not making this up.

    Here's the Greek ...

    .. and then you launch into a couple of paragraphs that A) do nothing to prove your point, and B) do not cite to a specific source.  I believe the forum rules require you to cite to sources if you're going to use them. This allows your sparring partner to challenge the source.  It is biased?  Is it poorly received in terms of scholarship? But we can't raise any such challenge without a citation to the source, so effectively the quote is wasted space.

    The rest of your argument appears to be largely historical, and as such is based on a variety of unproven assumptions about dates of documents, lexical fluidity, etc.  There is too much uncertainly there to build a solid argument.  I'm all for the detection and eradication of anachronistic usage, where possible and well demonstrated.  I just didn't see anything in your argument that accomplishes that.  Which came first? Chicken or egg?  Do the later uses show later origin, proving anachronism? Or are they the effect of an earlier evolution of the language that began in proximity to the NT usage?  With so many loose ends, it is much more effective to take the primary clues from the language as you find it, with the best lexical evidence, which is what has been done in the better English translations, which universally find in favor of the "day of week" paradigm.

    Peace,

    SR





  • Is Your Church Worshipping in Vain?

    08/07/2015 9:59:36 PM PDT · 78 of 85
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool; Diego1618
    I'm not following this.  Perhaps we have misunderstood each other. Of course faith is obedient.  I have always said so.  Please check any post I have written on the subject  and see that this is so.  The false dilemma which troubles me is the one so often presented by those arguing for a specific form of worship, that unless one agrees with their understanding, one is being disobedient to God.  Jesus was well positioned to say that.  Being God, and the Son of God, He knew who was disobedient and who was merely uninformed.

    I think for example of the Samaritan woman. She knew the argument that the Temple was the right place to worship, despite the Samaritans having wandered off to do their own thing.  But Jesus doesn't camp on that error.  Instead, He directs her to the heart of the matter, that worship is something that happens in spirit and in truth.  That's what matters to God.

    And honestly, it matters far more than the technicalities of what day of the week Jesus rose from the dead, or how that fits into the most convoluted calendral arguments known to mankind. If someone wants to worship on one or another day of the week, fine, do that.  I prefer worshipping every day of the week. I rejoice in His resurrection every time I think about it.

    BTW, Diego, I appreciate your energy, but your linguistic arguments are faulty.  Linguists recognize a function called "notional agreement" that makes it so that sometimes the formal number of a part of speech disagrees with the semantic, idiomatic value of that term.  You can't rely on Sabbatwn really being plural Sabbaths. That's just imposing your non-idiomatic filter on the language of Scripture.  Usually that will lead to a fail of some sort.

    Yes, the so-called "literal" translations run roughshod over all that, and some folks think that's good.  I think it's horrible.  It takes people who have had a lot of exposure to both the original and the receptor language to get the idiomatic layer right. A literal translation can lead straight into profound error.

    I am reminded of the translators who encountered a language that had no word for love.  They had to invent some construction that used a cultural example of love and substitute that in the text where we would have used "love."  Was that wrong?  Not at all. It is what real translators are supposed to do. Get the message across, idioms and all. It's their job.

    As for "notional agreement," check this out.  If I say, "That is a lot of cookies," or I say, "Those are a lot of cookies," which is grammatically correct?  Hmmmm. Interesting problem, isn't it?

    As for the LXX, that was a different time, different place, and you can't draw the inference that there couldn't have been a difference in idiom.  Obviously there was, because as far as I can find, the LXX term for "week" ("ebdomadas") isn't used anywhere in the NT corpus.  It's just not how they did it there. Think of it as a difference in dialect, like Midwestern rural-speak versus east-coast news-speak. It happens.

    And there are other problems as well. In Greek there is a principle called "concord," the idea that word order can be shuffled and the meaning retained because the relationship between the words is established by their inflectional form, not by their position.  This is important to our discussion because the case, gender and number of a noun's modifier must agree with the noun it is supposed to be modifying.  If it doesn't agree, the modifier is modifying something else. And if you can't find the "something else," odds are it's implied as a substantive, i.e., an unstated word implied by the context.

    So in the case of, for example, Matthew 28:1, mian sabbatwn, "mian" ("one") is feminine, accusative, and singular, whereas "sabbatwn" is neuter, genitive, and plural. Concord fails. "One" does not modify "sabbatwn."  What does it modify? By idiomatic usage, it modifies "day," implied by the context.  So "On [day] one of [the] week ...," which we can do, because word order doesn't change the functional relationships.  What word order can do, thus liberated, is become a great tool to add emphasis, such that words at the beginning of a phrase can have more pizazz than words that follow along at the end, yet without losing the basic sense of the sentence.  Which I happen to think is a pretty cool feature of the language. :)

    Anyway, with so much weighing in favor of idomatic usage, it is easier to see how sabbatwn could appeal to a well-seasoned translator as an NT way of referring to what we now call "week." Especially when you've got the same stem being deployed in Luke 18:12, "I fast twice in the week," where "dis" ("twice") is an adverb and so bypasses the concord problem, and sabbatou is singular but the same stem as sabbatwn, just inflected for a context where a day of the week is not being referenced.  

    But again, all of this is a distraction.  The essence of the law is love for God and love for one another.  We may all become experts at lesser things, but if we fail at love, we are but sound and fury, signifying nothing.  Not a happy ending, that.

    Peace,

    SR
  • Is Your Church Worshipping in Vain?

    08/06/2015 4:43:34 PM PDT · 49 of 85
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool
    False dilemma. No one here is advocating disobeying God.  At least not that I know of. But to be made pleasing to God, Paul is very clear that it is faith, not works, that accomplishes our justification.  You raise the example of Abraham.  So did Paul, but in opposite effect:
    What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    (Romans 4:1-5)
    This event happened well before Abraham offered up Isaac. That's how it is.  Believers are justified by faith first, after the Lord opens their heart.  Then, because they have true faith, they act on it. So of course they are obedient.  This is not really that hard.

    But actually, it is hard if all one has is the natural man:
    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
    (Romans 8:7-8)
    OK, maybe not hard.  Paul is really saying it's impossible.  Which is what I suspect is behind most systems that emphasize legal performance over faith and the new birth.  Campbellism is a great example.  If the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration has been written out of the script, what else is there but human performance?  But why is the Holy Spirit's role in conversion eliminated in this way? I think it is because of a deep-seated fear of the inability to control Him. That's not a good feeling for most folks.  As natural humans, we want some five step formula to deal with our needs.  It doesn't matter if it's easy or hard, as long as we can control it.

    But the whole point of the law was to teach us we are failures at that sort of control.  Not only can we not control God.  We can't even control ourselves. Sin comes unbidden to the mind in a thousand different ways, and everyone reading this has no doubt experienced that truth. So we need a supernatural intervention from God Himself to get out of this mess.  Words alone will not do it. We need God's miracle-working Messiah.  Without the miracle of the new birth in our lives, we are truly lost.

    At that point we have two choices.  We can, like the man whom Jesus said went home justified, beg for mercy, offering nothing of our own performance as even close to pleasing God.  When the people came to Jesus for miraculous healing, did they presume, any one of them, that they had earned it by their performance? Not. One. Person.  We are in the same boat.  We come to the same Jesus, and appeal for the same miracle power to heal us of our sins, and wash away all our guilt in the blood of the cross.  Jesus has already told us all who come to Him will in no way be cast out. It is the one miracle we can have total assurance God will perform on our behalf.  We only need to ask for it, in faith believing.

    Or we can find ways to take back control, to assert that if we, in our own natural powers, do x, y, z, God should be satisfied with that. But that is a losing proposition. As Paul says, trying to strike such a bargain with God turns grace into debt, and we will always come up short at the end of that sorry game. Always.

    Peace,

    SR





     
  • Is Your Church Worshipping in Vain?

    08/06/2015 10:41:44 AM PDT · 14 of 85
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool

    Doing the works of the law do not render someone pleasing to God. The Lord said He seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. Being made pleasing to God is another way to express the idea of justification. Our justification is through faith in the finished work of Christ, not in our sin-corrupted works. Our worship is not in vain if we worship in spirit and in truth, as Jesus said. Such worship is impossible for those who are “in the flesh” and not in the Spirit, as Paul says, because the natural man is at war with God, has no faith, and therefore cannot please Him, no matter what they try to do.

    Remember what Jesus said about being justified? The man who went to the place of worship and was able to list off al his righteous acts. Was he justified? Or was it the guy in the back row, who couldn’t even bear to look heavenward, but yet he begged God for mercy, knowing he was just a sinful man? Who went home justified that day?

    The regulative principle is a great thing, and no one should invent modes of worship not prescribed by Scripture. On the other hand, the NT model for worship is very open-ended, and has far more to do with love than liturgy. But even if we granted some precise form of worship, when precise observance overtakes the weightier matters of the law, Justice, mercy, and faith, one can become a blind guide to the blind, and together both will fall in the pit.

    Peace,

    SR

  • Free Republic STRAW POLL (August 2015 Edition)

    08/03/2015 4:58:13 PM PDT · 108 of 144
    Springfield Reformer to 2ndDivisionVet

    Cruz.

  • I’m Confused about God (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    08/02/2015 1:10:01 AM PDT · 58 of 60
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool
    God bore witness to the apostles' preaching with signs and wonders through the Spirit.

    Why should we assume no work of the Spirit occurred other than the outward miracles and the presentation of the word?  As I pointed out before, the Lord opened Lydia's heart, as a condition precedent to her hearing Paul's preaching of the Gospel.  And as I originally posted much earlier, many places speak of the work of the Spirit in a manner that can be understood as interpersonal, and not simply as the moral persuasion of the word on the natural mind.

    This presumption against a supernatural process of conversion is begging the question, anticipating the desired answer in the forming of the question.  That is a sure path to injecting a baseless human opinion into the word of God.  The analysis must begin with no unnecessary assumptions.  If you believe in "word-onlyism," you are sure to see it wherever you look.  Any passage, even if it really was speaking of a dynamic spiritual communion between the Holy Spirit and our spirit, could be wrenched into meaning less by appending the supposed missing clause, "by the word only," which in fact is NOT there, anywhere, and is completely an invention of mortal man.

    But that's precisely who needs the gospel. How else can one be regenerated except by obedience to the gospel?


    Exactly.  Quite the conundrum.  The very man who need the Gospel is the one who will not listen to it.  Unless of course the Lord opens that person's heart, as He did for Lydia, and as He did for every lost, spiritually dead sinner who ever came to faith in Him..

    Of course her heart is going to be opened to listen.


    No sir, there is nothing "of course" about it. It was an act of God, as all miracles are, and a necessary intervention. If it was so unremarkable, so matter of fact, why would the Holy Spirit inspire Doctor Luke to take the verbal equivalent of a yellow marker and highlight that it was the Lord who opened her heart as a precondition to hearing Paul's words?  I dare say the Holy Spirit understood the situation far better that either of us, and if she was UN-supernaturally ready to hear Paul, why would He say the opposite?  The words of Paul didn't get her ready to hear Paul.  That doesn't make sense and it isn't what the text says:
    And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
    (Acts 16:14)
    Where in there does it say "but she didn't actually need the Lord to open her heart because she would have listened anyway?"  What manuscript is that "missing fragment" in?  If we are to examine the teaching of Scripture, I think we must begin with the assumption that if the Holy Spirit says the Lord acted in some way, that action was necessary, and so important that it is required reading for all believers. Not one word of Scripture is wasted. It is all there for a divine purpose.  So if Luke says the Lord opened her heart, with the result of her attending to the preaching of Paul, then that is the order of events.  The opening came first, by the power of God's Spirit, and then the words of the Gospel.  It is beyond argument.

    As for whether a miracle is needed as a general principle, Jesus said so:
    No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    (John 6:44)
    There you see we do not even have the power to come to Jesus, unless God acts first, on us personally and individually.  Same order of events as Lydia.  Imagine that. :)

    But would God ever shout? Oh yes.  What was the Damascus road experience?  A pleasant whisper?  Or a two-by-four upside the head of Paul? God got Paul's attention rather forcefully, and was well justified in doing so. God is God, and can do as He pleases:
    And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
    (Daniel 4:34-35)
    BTW, I looked a little more into Campbell, and apparently he was much influenced by John Locke.  As I understand it, he wanted to concoct a scheme for Christian unity, where the subjective beliefs that often were the basis of conflict could be eliminated by appealing to a strict rationalism, in which the divine workings of the Holy Spirit were reduced to nothing but moral persuasion of the natural mind, because Campbell in his rationalism could not imagine anything beyond that.  

    What he doubtless could not have seen coming was how that selfsame rationalism would become the basis for a complete removal of the supernatural from Christian faith.  Like leaven it corrupted the whole loaf. Yet in hindsight that is his legacy, the removal of the supernatural workings of God's Spirit in bringing the elect to a supernatural faith in Christ.  No doubt this is part of why some groups descended from him (Disciples of Christ, for example) are on the forefront of our deep slide into liberalism (aka national apostasy). Tragic consequences always flow from abandoning the word of God.

    Peace,

    SR

  • I’m Confused about God (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    08/01/2015 3:33:44 PM PDT · 55 of 60
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool
    I applaud and share your commitment to fidelity to the Scriptures. If we're told one place that Christ dwells in us, and told in another place HOW Christ dwells in us, it seems to me we've been given the "plain sense meaning" of indwelling. Would you agree?

    False Dilemma again.  The Scriptures never say that our obedience to the word is the only sense or even the best sense in which to understand the indwelling of the Spirit. I showed you in an earlier post that Paul makes a distinction between a Gospel preached in word only versus a Gospel preached and received in the power of the Spirit.  Unregenerate sinners are carnal and cannot obey the word no matter how much you throw it at them.  But those born from above are new creations, are led by the Spirit, are indwelt by the Spirit, and so have not only obedience but joy and love and peace and all the fruits of the sanctifying work of the Spirit.  They are a living miracle.  The life of a believer MUST begin with a miracle:
    And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
    (Acts 16:14)
    You see how both things are happening here?  The Lord opened her heart.  Miracle of grace! It is not enough to sit and listen to the word, nod your head in agreement, go and do all you think is required, because if the Lord doesn't work in your heart, if the Lord doesn't raise you from spiritual death, then anything and everything you do is carnal, fleshly, because it is not grounded in faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God.

    Which gets us back to the problem of interpretation. It is just as erroneous to oversimplify something because we do not fully understand it, as it is to add undue complexity.  It is our intent to veer neither to the left nor to the right, but to stay on the straight path.  We know the Holy Spirit, a Person, indwells the believer, also a person.  That language is plain.  What we lack is an exhaustive catalog of all the ways in which that personal relationship might play out.  We have some understanding that the word of God can also dwell in us, and be instrumental in how the Holy Spirit leads us and works with us.  

    But this in no way prevents us from taking "indwelling" in the ordinary sense we encounter in so many passages, that of a close proximity of and intimate interaction between two living persons.  What we never see is any passage which says that ONLY the word of God indwells us, that there is no OTHER sense in which the Spirit of God inhabits us.  You remember the Shekinah Glory?  The Glory of the Lord at the burning bush, then manifesting in the wilderness as the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, filling the tabernacle, and filling Solomon's Temple, with the presence of God in such a direct and powerful way?  

    We who believe are that Temple now.  Like the ark of the covenant, we have the word of God written on our hearts, and no more just on stone.  But we also have the same fire of the burning bush, the same fire by night and cloud by day, to lead us where we should go.  We still have the glory of the Lord filling us, the Temple that He has chosen to occupy, and within which He still manifests Himself as He sees fit, and not with any preconditions we can place on Him with our limited understanding of His ways.

    Peace,

    SR
  • I’m Confused about God (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    08/01/2015 11:50:42 AM PDT · 50 of 60
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool
    My argument is not with someone dead and gone like Campbell, but with the legacy of his false teaching that lives on in Campbellism.

    Having said that, I will be honest.  I am having a hard time tracking your argument. Yes, in Romans 5:5 Paul speaks of the love that the Holy Spirit:, Who has been given to us, as being "poured out" ("ekxeo") in our heart, but you draw an odd and counterintuitive set of causal connections.  The passage begins at verse 1 with our justification by faith (as opposed to works). Paul then goes on with a series of consequences to this justification grounded in faith:

    1. Peace with God,
    2. Access by faith into the grace that gives us this standing before God
    3. As a result of our new standing, we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God
    4. We even glory in tribulation, because tribulation produces certain effects:
        a) patience, which produces
        b) experience, which produces
        c) hope

    Now this hope is not like false hope. It has a sound basis in objective truth.  No matter what happens to us in this life, we know where we stand with God. We know our hope in Him will not come up short.  And here's the causal link: We know this because God's Holy Spirit has poured love into our hearts!  Epistemologically, God gives us certainty.  

    By contrast, consider this:
    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
    (Proverbs 13:12)
    Paul and Solomon are both addressing the inner workings of the human heart.  In Solomon's case, he understands how hard it is to go on when we realize some dear hope we have will never, ever be realized.  I have lived that.  It can feel like dying. Solomon understood the heart well.

    And so does Paul, in these equally inspired words.  This new hope we have, being justified by faith, will not be deferred, but we have the indwelling Holy Spirit as the seal, the down-payment on the greater inheritance to come, and this living relationship, this love He pours out in our hearts, is not transitory as in the Old Covenant, but gives us a certainty of our standing before God.

    And as if some Doubting Thomas might raise the objection that we don't really know if God loves us, Paul jumps right from our subjective experience of that love into objective proof of that love, how Christ in giving Himself for our sins shows that love unmistakably.  We can, as those justified by faith, have absolute confidence in His love for us, and His protection of us from the divine wrath against sin which we so richly deserve. Our hope will not be disappointed.

    So again this looks mainly like a false dilemma.  There is no one here that I know of suggesting disobedience to Jesus.  For myself at least, I am assuming that everyone here wants to obey Him.  So that isn't even an issue.  Nor is it even a question whether He uses His word to accomplish His purifying work among His people.  Of course He does.  No one is arguing against either of those propositions.

    The problem comes in the added language, the extra baggage added to Scripture that isn't there. In the case of Campbellism, the added term would be this, that the Holy Spirit indwells by the word only, and not as the Comforter, the Paraclete, the one who comes along side us, who prays for us in our stead, saying for us what we need to say to God when we can't even think of how to form the words, who pours the love of God into our hearts personally and individually, testifying to us of the reality of our blessed hope:
    The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    (Romans 8:16)
    We don't say that we know how that works. But taking the surrounding context of the passage, it is obvious once again that Paul is describing a vital union that is based on an objective reality and has many happy subjective effects. It is a false dilemma to position those two things as if they were in conflict with one another.  They are perfectly harmonious.  

    Are there those who abuse the Scriptural teachings on the indwelling of the Spirit? Sure. But just because a truth can be abused doesn't make it untrue.  Are there things we don't understand about the workings of God's Spirit with the spirit of the believer? Absolutely.  Does that give us an excuse to convert all those gaps in our knowledge into something more "manageable?" Probably not a good idea. It's one thing to try and explain the word, or to have thoughts about what it means.  It's quite another thing altogether to take multiple passages and cancel their plain sense meaning in order to preserve some other doctrinal objective, whatever that might be.  We don't have that authority.  The Pharisees canceled out the plain sense of honoring mother and father by their "creative" Corban rule. Spiritually, that is a high risk area, and there isn't enough hazard pay in the world to make it worth my while to go there. Just sayin ...

    Peace,

    SR




  • I’m Confused about God (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    07/31/2015 10:34:52 PM PDT · 42 of 60
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool; daniel1212; metmom; boatbums; redleghunter; aMorePerfectUnion; Gamecock
    I think what you are teaching here is a form of Campbellism.  Campbell was a man with many man-made opinions, often derived it seems from taking in too much of the strident rationalism of his era.  This doctrine that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is essentially nothing more than our own response of obedience to the Scriptures is just a man-made opinion that has no sound basis in Scripture.  Rather, it bows to human rationalism, almost it seems making our own obedience to the word a virtual substitute for the supernatural operation of the third Person of the Trinity in the life of the believer. It is utterly impossible to reconcile it with the teaching of many Scriptures. One example:
    And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
    (Romans 5:5)
    Notice the passive voice. Our hearts do not create the love of God. The Holy Spirit is the actor.  The love of God comes to us through His work in us.  You can say this is all by us sitting around and hearing the word, and the word certainly plays an active role.  But Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, does not frame this as an entirely intellectual or even volitional process that produces obedience.  Paul knows the language of obedience, and often speaks of the operation of the word of God on the mind.  But in his inspired words here he doesn't use that language, but instead portrays the Holy Spirit as an active Person Who has been given to us, and is acting on our hearts to fill them with the love of God, which love human intellect can neither contain nor even faintly begin to describe.  

    As here:
    Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
    (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6)
    In which we see Paul making a clear distinction between a Gospel in word only versus a Gospel come in both words and in Holy Spirit power.  If the word and the Spirit were the functionally same thing, there'd be no point in making the distinction.

    And you see they follow Paul, and follow Jesus as well, in which it is clear we can follow good teachers who teach us how to follow Jesus, and when we do so, and suffer affliction for it, we still have that one-of-a-kind joy that comes only from the Holy Spirit.

    But what about obedience? Remember this?
    Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
    (Luke 17:9-10)
    Obedience without the life of the Spirit is nothing. Jesus is basically saying that even if you do everything your master tells you to do, so what?  That's what servants are supposed to do.  Nothing special.  But there is much more to being a believer:
    He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
    (John 7:38-39)
    This is a vital union, a walking with God, a real, personal communion with the Spirit of the living God.  This is much more than simple, mechanical obedience.  This love is the response of a transformed heart, truly full of the Holy Spirit.

    Perhaps we can explore this by looking at the other end of the spectrum.  A demon is a spiritual being.  Yet such beings in Scripture are said to possess their victim, and when they are confronted with divine power, they "go out" of their victim.  Here it is incontrovertible that spiritual beings can indeed cohabit a human dwelling, and not in the sense of learning and doing bad things because of some spoken or written word, but in terms of a dramatic level of direct spiritual control over the person who is the "host."

    My point is this.  In my previous post, the Scriptures recited persistently use language that speaks of the Spirit indwelling us in the sense of a living fellowship within our hearts and minds, such an intimate relationship that obedience by itself does not account for the whole thing. For example, if the word is, in effect, the only Holy Spirit one acknowledges, how in Heaven or earth can we do this to Him?:
    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
    (Ephesians 4:30)
    Words do not grieve. Persons grieve.  He says right there we have that seal of the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, so He is not going anywhere, even when we grieve Him.  This is entirely the language of vital union, two people handcuffed to each other for life, and believe me when the Holy Spirit is grieved with some unresolved sin in a believer there is no peace for that person until there is repentance.

    In sum, Campbellism appears to me to be a kind of radical cessationism, the idea that the Holy Spirit has totally left off any involvement with believers other than leaving them with the text of Scripture. But that is simply not possible under any plain reading of Scripture. God does not change, and has not given us mere moral persuasion to keep us company in this life while we wait for His return, but this:
    For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    (Romans 8:15)
    Amen that.

    Peace,

    SR


  • I’m Confused about God (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    07/30/2015 8:35:24 PM PDT · 40 of 60
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool
    Speaking of errors:

    things no one but Good can know.

    .... should be ...

    things no one but God can know.

    Peace,

    SR

  • I’m Confused about God (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    07/30/2015 8:24:34 PM PDT · 39 of 60
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool
    This is not some mystical cohabitation of two beings in the same body. This is the submissive relationship of the disciple to his Master, and the inseparableness of the the Master and the teaching.

    You no doubt refer to this:
    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
    (John 15:5)
    However, you present a false dilemma.  No one disputes that the disciple is a follower of Jesus in terms of obedience.  I know of no one here who has ever made that argument. Of course we obey Jesus.  It is our delight to live in the love of God and love of neighbor in all we do.

    But this kind of life is not anything that comes naturally to a lost sinner.  It is flat out impossible without the new birth.  It is flat out impossible without the "mystical cohabitation" of two beings with each other.  And the apostolic teaching confirms this, in exquisite detail!

    Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
    (1 Corinthians 3:16)

    What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
    (1 Corinthians 6:19)

    And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    (2 Corinthians 6:16)

    Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
    (2 Timothy 1:13-14)

    And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
    (Acts 6:5)

    Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
    (Ephesians 5:17-19)

    But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
    (Romans 8:9-11)

    But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
    (Galatians 5:18)

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
    (Galatians 5:22-23)

    And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
    (Galatians 4:6)
    There is no escaping the fact that this life of obedience we live is driven by our supernatural relationship with Christ.  We really are new creations.  Anyone who has been raised from spiritual death to newness of life in Christ can testify to this reality.  It is not just compliance with rules.  It is a God-powered life.

    Do we live up to those standards all the time?  John says if we say we have no sin we are liars.  So rather than contradict the apostle of Jesus, we must concede that we still sometimes sin.  That doesn't make us any less a child of God, though it does subject us to chastisement.

    As for the spiritual state of FR RF participants, I believe it is distinctly against the rules of the forum to "make it personal" in that way.  It is above my pay grade to determine the relationship other people have with God in Christ. We all form opinions, because as humans, that's what we do.  But I'd rather not clutter up our discussion of the issues by prattling on about things no one but Good can know.

    It's like CS Lewis once said.  It isn't the things I don't understand about God that bother me.  It's the things I do understand that bother me. Sharp insight, that.

    Peace,

    SR
  • I’m Confused about God (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    07/29/2015 8:47:07 PM PDT · 36 of 60
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool
    I don't think the author is saying anything too controversial.  It reminds me a great deal of something CS Lewis once said, to the effect that if God was exactly as we expected Him to be, we might have reason to suspect we had invented Him. Put another way, His ability to surprise us is exactly what we should find unsurprising.

    However, I agree that the author's choice of "confusion" as the vehicle for expressing this lends itself, well, to confusion.  It's not just true that God is not confused.  It is also true that His work among believers tends to love and righteousness and an orderly mind, not alienation and disorder.  

    But you say something I don't understand. The author makes an analogy between the Scriptures and Grey's Anatomy. There are problems with that analogy. Grey's anatomy was man in his own power trying to understand human anatomy, and while a magnificent effort, not infallible.  The Scriptures were God-breathed, written in effect by the very Person they describe, and so a form of autobiography. And as a divine autobiography, infallible.

    And even more than that, unlike anything Grey could write, the Holy Spirit and the divine purpose of God accompany His word and assure that it accomplishes His purpose. And so the word of God is a living thing, with a divine power unlike anything a man by himself could ever write.

    But the written words of God are not the very being of God.  An expression is not the thing expressed. If I tell someone I love, "I love you," the words I say are not me.  They are an expression of what is in me, a representation in the symbols of language. They convey a meaning, and they may well establish a relationship, but in themselves they are patterns of symbols, used to transport meaning from one person to another.

    So at the end of all this, I do not see what is wrong with making a distinction. We do not worship words, but we do honor the meaning of the words because we do worship the one who spoke them.  This is the sense in which they are inseparable, in that we cannot draw away from the words and the plain meaning of them without also drawing away from the One who spoke them. Anyone who truly honors God will necessarily honor His word, and will not back away from it, no matter what the cost.

    You also raise the question of human opinion.  You say, for example:
    Man's doctrines spring from his opinions
    I don't understand how it is possible to interact with the word of God without forming an opinion.  Do you believe in the Ten Commandment? Then you are of the opinion they are true. Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead? Then that is your opinion of the truthfulness of that proposition.  I don't see anything wrong with that, and indeed I see no way to escape it.  Opinion is just another word for belief.  I suspect the problem most folks have with it is it probably carries an additional nuance of unfounded belief, or belief arrived at without enough of a factual basis to call it objective truth.

    But if that is the objection to "opinion," it is easily remedied by looking at the supporting facts.  If I believe there are things about God that are hard to understand, and I can back that up with a statement from God Himself that says the same thing, then no matter how well or poorly I frame it, my belief has some real foundation, and I am not just spouting a self-made opinion.  Likewise with any doctrine, if I can back it up with teaching from the word of God, then it isn't a man-made opinion. It's just me expressing my belief in what God has said. Nothing wrong with that:
    But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    (Romans 10:8-10)
    Peace,

    SR




  • I’m Confused about God (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus)

    07/29/2015 11:16:40 AM PDT · 34 of 60
    Springfield Reformer to LearsFool; georgiegirl

    It is a false dilemma to put doctrine and Christ in conflict with each other. We are given teachers. That is Scriptural. We test the teachers against the Scriptures. That is Scriptural. We know Christ as a person, *and* we know the truths He give us to know. We are obligated to follow sound doctrine.

    BTW, there is a history to why doctrine has fallen on such hard times. The impulse of liberalism is to elevate personal, emotional experience to the level of supreme moral authority. The entire “gay liberation” movement is based on the same fallacy, the downgrading of objective truth to a status of being less important than how one feels personally. It is a very dangerous place to be. We have the word of God, and we have the words of God. They are not in conflict.

    Peace,

    SR

  • New FReep Poll: CRUZ or TRUMP?

    07/28/2015 6:38:18 PM PDT · 22 of 168
    Springfield Reformer to parksstp

    You sure this isn’t satire? Is there any other rational choice? Clearly Cruz. Yes, I have issues with his H1B visa ideas. Not a deal breaker. Not when so much more is at stake. Trump would, I firmly believe, falter when it counted. Just my opinion, but behind all the bluster there’s a person who’s main thing is themselves. Any actor can get out on a stage and make themselves into someone they are not. But they can’t keep it up all the time, and when the show is over, you get to see them for who they really are. I don’t trust Trump. My dad used to say, if you want to know what someone will do, look at what they’ve done. Seems a good rule of thumb in this situation.

    Peace,

    SR

  • What to do if you missed the Rapture

    07/26/2015 3:52:22 PM PDT · 154 of 830
    Springfield Reformer to verga; metmom; MHGinTN; Salvation

    I rarely agree with you, but on this I do agree in respect to pinging people who are unlikely to appreciate the invitation. In the context of our shared experiences here together, the many past threads, so much water under the bridge, it is predictable that for the opposition party such an invitation would be unwanted, and so it would be judicious to let people make up their own minds about participation.

    However, having said that, I believe many folks here are not being their normal selves, and do not have it worked out yet what the new “anti-bashing” rule really means in practice. Without unambiguous evidence to the contrary, I would presume innocence of motive by all parties. It will lower folk’s blood pressure, hopefully discourage an unhealthy hypersensitivity, and contribute greatly to the common good.

    Peace,

    SR

  • What to do if you missed the Rapture

    07/26/2015 3:29:14 PM PDT · 151 of 830
    Springfield Reformer to Salvation; MHGinTN; metmom

    Yes he is. Normally, “Hmmm” is an expression intended to raise suspicion. As we are unable to read your mind, could you illuminate us as to what misgivings you might have regarding Professor Hindson?

    Better yet, if you have no suspicions, you might add to the general tranquility and put our minds to rest by telling us all plainly that you actually have no problem with him.

    As for his teaching, I listened to the video and found nothing in it that bashes any one particular denomination. He is merely appealing to everyone to be sure they have a true faith in Christ and not in their own works, as the storm approaches. Surely you would agree that is sound advice?

    Especially so as the consensus builds, I think rightly, that this approaching storm is unlike any other that has gone before it, and could well be the big one. If there was ever a time to set aside small things and look toward Christ in complete faith, this is it.

    Peace,

    SR

  • The Ransom Price (from book "Days of Praise")

    07/25/2015 6:23:35 AM PDT · 11 of 11
    Springfield Reformer to Mark17

    Good song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ23Sqy3sK4

    Back during the dark days in my early life, I had a roommate at school who I think suspected I was in trouble spiritually. He used to play his Southern Gospel music all the time. I don’t remember the specifics, but I do seem to recall that despite my waywardness, that music stirred in me a desire for something better. God bless that young man. One never knows how or when the Gospel seed once planted might take root and start growing.

    Peace,

    SR

  • The Ransom Price (from book "Days of Praise")

    07/24/2015 9:05:27 AM PDT · 9 of 11
    Springfield Reformer to Mark17

    You don’t happen to know the name of that song, do you?

  • Mere Men

    07/23/2015 5:28:12 PM PDT · 51 of 65
    Springfield Reformer to steve86; Mom MD

    But when the denomination doing the approving is itself bound up in devastating error, what good is that? It would be like asking the Pharisees for their imprimatur on Jesus. They’d refuse to accredit Jesus and give a hearty stamp of approval to Judas.

    But according to Jesus, the deception coming will be so persuasive it could fool even the elect, if that sort of thing were possible. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit of God helping you when this deception goes down, you will, most definitely, fall for it. Is it time to check your oil?

    Peace,

    SR

  • Mere Men

    07/23/2015 4:58:47 PM PDT · 37 of 65
    Springfield Reformer to mlizzy; RBStealth

    But capping pronouns like that is a practice that in my over 60 years has always been reserved for deity. Lesser deities can still receive lesser worship, though those who do so may have a hard time being objective about it. I can see how its like trying to look at the back of your head without a mirror. But for those of us who have rejected all lesser gods, its pretty obvious that your distortion of Mary is getting what only God deserves. Call it whatever you like. I guess its like bashing. Nobody can really define it, but we can recognize it when we see it.

    Peace,

    SR

  • How to Go to Heaven

    07/22/2015 10:44:48 PM PDT · 546 of 713
    Springfield Reformer to af_vet_1981; redleghunter
    There appear to be at least three major schools of thought regarding this passage:
    Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
    (John 15:2-4)
    1) One view says that "every branch in me" refers to genuine Christians who fail to remain in Christ and are removed for kindling, which, under this view equates to losing salvation.  I assume this is your view.  Whether it is the Roman view, I have no idea, as Rome doubtless has no official view of this passage. Hence, if it is your view, it is no better than any Protestant/evangelical opinion.

    2) Another view is that "every branch in me" refers to people affiliated with Christ's Kingdom, but not necessarily saved, because while it says they are "in Him," it does NOT say He is in them.  This then would be analogous to the situation in James, where some have a kind of faith in Christ, but it is a dead faith, producing no fruit.  Whereas those with a living faith will produce some fruit, however small or great.  

    3) The third view is this pertains to sanctification.  The "branches in me not bearing fruit" are said to be genuine believers, but the being taken away does not refer to a loss of salvation but a loss of reward, as here, where nearly the same exact imagery is used:
    If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
    (1 Corinthians 3:15)
    The problem is, however you interpret this, it has to come out consistent with other passages that speak more directly to the question of salvation, such as this:
    All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
    (John 6:37)
    Notice here we have the same exact group of people moving through all three phases of the process:

    A)  The Father gives them to Jesus.
    B)  Those given to Jesus will definitely come to Him.
    C)  Those that come to Jesus are NOT going to be cast out.

    That is an unqualified certainty.  If you are one of the ones the Father gave to Jesus, you are not going to be cast out. Period.  Keep in mind this is from the pen of the same author who wrote John 15, and who wrote:
    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
    (1 John 2:19)
    John is not speaking of losing anything in the epistle.  He is talking abut the revelation of a preexisting truth.  This is exactly analogous to the parable of the wheats and tares, in which the viewer is allowed to peek behind the curtain and see that these two groups were always different, which difference we recognize as being made by God Himself in giving these souls to Jesus, per John 6:37.  

    So why did Jesus instruct the eleven "wheats" to remain in Him? Because God ordains the means as well as the ends.  To change the metaphor, His sheep hear His voice, and will follow Him, but will not follow another. See John 10:27.  He calls us, and we follow.  He warns us to not be like the tares, that we need to remain in Him to bear fruit, and we take it seriously and remain in Him.

    And any fruit at all will keep us from being fruitless branches:
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
    (Galatians 5:22-23)
    Any believer experiencing the above manifestations of the Holy Spirit can be well assured they are a fruit-bearing branch, and while they may be pruned to become even more fruitful, they will neither lose their salvation, nor enter Heaven without reward.

    Conclusion:

    Option 1 above is impossible, because it would set up a contradiction with many other passages, only a small portion of which I have cited here.  And not only that, but if true, it would prove too much.  Most advocates of a works-conditional salvation allow that a person can return to a state of grace after a lapse.  But the analogy of the branch does not convey that, but rather says that the failure to produce fruit is a failure with no remedy.  You get one chance and it's over.  No coming back for salvation over and over again.  This would seem to preclude even purgatory.

    Option 3 is problematic, but not impossible. It is problematic because the removal of the dead branches seems too much like the failure of dead faith in James.  In both cases, it seems to be expressing a difference in kind, a branch that has some connection to Christ, but not a life-giving connection, not a connection that produces fruit.

    Which is why I am inclined to accept Option 2. This option reconciles well with the doctrine of the wheats and tares, the "not being of us" principle in John's epistle, and the statements that clearly declare the purpose of God to not lose any of His sheep.  The elect will persevere, and may need to be pressed into action by warnings to remain in Christ, but come harvest time, the truth will out, that they were wheats all along, and had rightful assurance of the same, because they had a living faith, and the Spirit of the living God abiding in them.

    Peace,

    SR




  • How to Go to Heaven

    07/22/2015 4:55:00 AM PDT · 334 of 713
    Springfield Reformer to redleghunter; af_vet_1981
    Once wheat always wheat.

    Very true. I am told that the wheat and tare look very similar as young plants, but start to look less and less alike as they mature. Actually, AV, the belief in the "perseverance of the wheat" is entirely biblical, not to mention being good botany as well.  You appear to be mistaking apostasy for loss of wheateness, which is never taught.  Much more consistently, as John teaches, those who fall away permanently are only giving proof of their inner "tare-ness:"
    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
    (1 John 2:19)
    So while the full manifestation of the truth may not be evident until the final harvest, any individual wheat plant can enjoy being wheat and doing as wheat does, and making more wheat along the way ("bearing fruit").  All the biblical directives that instruct the believer to think of themselves as really having eternal life now and to live accordingly are perfectly consistent with those that warn the congregation of the terrible consequences of falling away.  There are two different audiences.  Both things are true. The tares will not ultimately obey the warnings anyway. That's what tares do. The wheats will respond by cleaning up in their life whatever is putting them in doubt, or otherwise interfering with their relationship with Jesus, whether a besetting sin, or a gap in their understanding of God's great grace. Because that's what wheats do.

    Peace,

    SR
  • The Gates of Hell (Protestant Caucus)

    07/21/2015 6:42:45 AM PDT · 6 of 47
    Springfield Reformer to Thane_Banquo

    He speaks to an important reality. Many women would keep those babies if not pressured by the men in their lives. I have seen this first hand. Repeatedly. It is almost the predictable pattern for a given set of circumstances. Make no mistake. Many children would be alive today, but for certain heartless men who do not want to live with the real world consequences of their fantasy life.

    Peace,

    SR

  • "When I drink my little wine have my little cracker I guess that's a form of asking for forgiveness"

    07/21/2015 5:13:12 AM PDT · 207 of 212
    Springfield Reformer to NKP_Vet; Mom MD
    Mom MD: “In fact the Bible talks about the priesthood of all believers”

    NKP_Vet: Which has nothing at all to do with the ministerial priesthood.


    Which is your opinion and not well founded in Scripture.  Indeed it is one of the only places the NT believer is ever associated with a priesthood, as the levitical priesthood ceased when the Temple sacrifice ceased.  Otherwise the only Priest the New Covenant believer need recognize is Jesus our High Priest:
    By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
    (Hebrews 10:10-12)
    The offering of the body of Jesus is once for all.  The duty of the believer in partaking of the Lord's Supper is to remember what our Lord has done for us, and to show forth His death until He comes.  Any believer can do that.  The passover meal in which Jesus revealed the New Covenant meaning of the bread and wine was not subject to the priesthood.  Jesus the High Priest has already offered the sacrifice and the Father has already accepted it.  That is the whole point of the book of Hebrews.  You need a priest to offer the sacrifice?  You have one.  Jesus. And He's already done with the offering. You want to solemnly remember that offering?  Go buy some bread and wine, sit down with your fellow believers, and think on the beauty of love that led to Jesus dying for our sins.

    Consecration? No, neither Jesus nor anyone else did anything but bless the food and give thanks, as anyone here can do.  There is nothing in Scripture to support that a miracle of substance must occur, or that even if it does occur, it can only be conducted by the priesthood of a johnny-come-lately denomination that didn't show up until late in the Second Century.  Before that time, we were all just Christians. Yes, we had our differences, but no one had made a serious claim to monopolistic control over an alleged Eucharistic miracle.  That denominational evolution has been the cause of endless divisiveness, when in truth the remembrance of our Lord's sacrificial love for us was clearly designed to bring us together as humble sinners before God.

    As for the Marian apparition you quote, we know that in the last days there will be signs and wonders, even in the heavens, sent to deceive those who have not made room for the simple truth of the Gospel.  I would caution anyone here to be exceedingly wary of any such allegedly supernatural statements, especially if they conflict with or add requirements that go beyond the clear teaching of Scripture.  Far better in those last days to be an honest man with a poor understanding of Scripture than a clever man who knows the simple truth and finds his way around it.

    Peace,

    SR