Sin and Temptation

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Some good teaching by John Owen. We are reading Sin and Temptation in an abridged form.

Love the whole Law of God

1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Sin fights the spiritual principle that is in us. It fights to destroy our soul. Although it opposes the work of grace in us, its nature and prupose above all is to oppose God.

When we think of God as the lawgiver, of God as holy, of God as the author of salvation, then we see how deadly serious is the enmity of sin. Why does sin oppose duty, so that the good we would do, we do not? Why does sin make the soul carnal, indisposed, unbelieving, unspiritual, weary, and wandering? Simply because it is enmity to God with whom the soul aims to have communion….

Sin attacks holiness and God’s authority in our lives. It hates the yoke of the Lord. “Thou hast been weary of me,” says God to sinners during their performance of various duties (Isaiah 43:22) Indeed, every act of sin is the fruit of being weary against God. At the bottom of our hearts, the nature of sin is to say to God, “Depart from us” (Job 21:14;22:17) It is to oppose God, to rebel, to cast off His yoke, and to destroy the dependence every creature has upon the Creator.

In Romans 8:7 the Apostle gives the reason why the sinful carnal mind is at enmity against God. It is because it is not subject to the will of God, nor can it be.

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

One of the dispositions we can cling to and fight sin is to have a heart fixed upon God and His Law.

Only a holy frame of disposition will enable us to say with the psalmist, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed” (Psalm57:7). It is utterly impossible to keep the heart in a holy frame in any one duty, unless it is also so in all duties to God. If sin entangles us in one area of our life, it will ensnare every area of our life. A contented even disposition and spirit in all duties and in all ways, is the only preservative.
Consistency must be maintained in our private and public duties, for there is a harmony in obedience. If you break one part, you interrupt the whole. Thus David says, “Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments” (Psalm 119:6). A universal respect of for all of God’s commandments is the only preservative against shame.

Psa 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Jas 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Four Temperaments

Four Temperaments

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I haven’t posted anything for some time and I was reminded of something I use to reference years ago.  I found it helpful when I was trying to discern some things in my life.  I wanted to post it here for reference.  It comes from J. I. Packer’s book Rediscovering Holiness.

Holiness Has to Do with My Temperment.

Temperment.

By temperment I mean the factors that make specific ways of reacting and behaving natural to me. To use psychologists’ jargon, it is my temperment that inclines me to transact with my enviornment (situations, things, and people) in the way I usually do.

Drawing on the full resources of this jargon, psychologist Gordon Allport defines temperament as “the characteristic phenomena of an individual’s nature, including his susceptibility to emotional stimulation, his customary strength and speed of response, the quality of his prevailing mood, and all the peculiarities of fluctuation and intensity of mood, these being regarded as dependent on constituational make-up, and therefore largely hereditary in origin.” Allport’s statement is cumbersome but clear. Temperament, we might say, is marterial out of which character is formed. Character is what we do with our temperament. Personality is the final product, the distinct individuality that results.

Temperaments are classified in various ways: positive and negative, easy and difficult, introverted and extroverted, outgoing and withdrawn, active and passive, giving and taking, sociable and forthcoming as distinct from manipulative and self-absorbed, shy and uninhibited, quick and slow to warm up, stiffly defiant as contrasted with flexibly acquiescent, and so on.

While these classifications are useful in their place, perhaps the most useful of all, certainly to the pastoral leader, is the oldest one which Greek physicians had already worked out before the time of Christ. It distinguishes four human tempermants:
The sanguine (warm, jolly, outgoing, relaxed, optimistic);
The phlegmatic (cool, low-key, detached, unemotional, apathetic);
The choleric (quick active, bustling, impatient, with a relatively short fuse);
The melancholic (somber, pessimistic, inward-looking, inclined to cynicism and depression).

It then acknowledges the reality of mixed types, such as the phlegmatic-melancholic and the sanguine-choleric, when features of two of the temperaments are found in the same person. In this way it covers everybody. The ancient beliefs about body fluids that supported this classification are nowadays dispelled, but the classification itself remains pastorally helpful. People do observably fall into these categories and recognizing them helps one to understand the temper and reactions of the person with whom one is dealing.

The assertion that I now make, and must myself face, is that I am not to become (or remain) a victim of my tempearment. Each temperament has its own strengths and also its weaknesses. Sanguine people tend to live thoughtlessly and at random. Phlegmatic people tend to be remote and unfeeling, sluggish and unsympathetic. Choleric people tend to be quarrelsome, bad tempered, and poor team players. Melancholic people tend to see everything as bad and wrong and to deny that anything is ever really good and right. Yielding to my temperamental weaknesses is, of course, the most natural thing for me to do, and is therefore the hardest sort of sin for me to deal with and detect. But holy humanity, as I see it in Jesus Christ, combines in itself the strengths of all four temperaments without any of the weaknesses. Therefore, I must try to be like Him in this, and not indulge the particular behavioural flaws to which my temperament tempts me.

Holiness for a person of sanguine temperament, then, will involve learning to look before one leaps, to think things through responsiibly, and to speak wisely rather than wildly. (These were among the lessons Peter liearned with the Spirit’s help after Pentecost.) Holiness for a person of phlegmatic temperament will involve a willingness to be open with people, to feel with them and for them, to be forthcoming in relationships, and to become vulnerable, in the sense of risking being hurt. Holiness for a choleric person will involve practicing patience and self-control. It will mean redirecting one’s anger and hostility toward Satan and sin, rather thatn toward fellow human beings who are obstructing what one regards as the way forward. (These were among the lessons Paul learned from the Lord after his conversion.) Finally, holiness for the melancholic person will involve learning to rejoice in God, to give up self-pity and proud pessimism, and to believe, with the medieval mystic Julian of Norwich, that through sovereign divine grace, “All shall be well and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” /What are my temperamental weaknesses? If I am to be holy, as I am called to be, I must identify them (that is the hard part) and ask my Lord to enable me to form habits of rising above them.

[Redicovering Holiness by J. I. Packer] pp24-26

https://tinyurl.com/nyalqnn

King of Nations as well as King of Saints

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My old buddy R. Andrew Myers has put together a book on the Mediatorial Kingship of Christ.  Just thought I would give a heads up on the work.

http://mediatorialkingship.com/

Link to page 1 of book

https://view.publitas.com/p222-10242/king-of-nations-revised-november-2016/page/1

 

How great indeed is the scope and extent of Christ’s Kingly rule! He is not only Lord of all as one Person within the Triune God, but in a special, mediatorial office as King, He was given “all power and authority in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28.18). He is not only the ruler of His Church, He is also “Head of all things to the church” (Eph. 1.22), the “Governor among the nations” (Ps. 22.28). “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Ps. 72.8).

Although this testimony is a distinctive today of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, it is a testimony shared throughout the history of the Reformed Church in general by many great and notable divines.

The book found here is a compendium of statements and resources on the subject of the scope and extent of Christ’s mediatorial kingship derived from a wide range of Reformed divines from the 16th to the 21st centuries. It attempts to demonstrate that the historical Reformed witness of the universal scope of Christ’s mediatorial kingship is not unique to the Reformed Presbyterian Church, but rather a hallmark of Reformed theology.

This paper and website are designed to serve as a resource for those interested in delving into the history and theology of this simple statement: Christ is King over all.

R. Andrew Myers

Anti-Christian Sermons and Calvin

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I was referred to examine Pastor Shawn Mathis’ blog ‘Did Calvin preach anti-ChristIan sermons?’.

http://pastormathis.com/index.php/2016/11/28/did-calvin-preach-anti-christian-sermons-a-response-to-covenant-preaching/

My response is ‘no’ if you truly understand the Gospel. Many in the Reformed Camp and outside of it have a very narrow understanding of the Gospel. I also believe their views truncate and actually misdefine the good news. They do that by making justification the sole issue of the Gospel. But the Gospel of reconciliation to God is so much more. It is also about us being made new creatures in Christ. It is about being regenerate (born again) and having a renewed spirit. It is about our daily sanctification and salvation. The Gospel is about our whole life before God.

I posted the following response in the comment section on Facebook where Pastor Mathis posted the blog. Someoone referenced Warfield saying that the passage concerning the Prodgal Son had no Gospel in it because there was no reference to the atonement.  In general I also am confronted by attacks on self examination and how we should view our obedience by those who truncate the gospel.  They have a few good points but you can’t throw the truth out because some misapply or misunderstand the truth.

My response…
“I will say this, there are different layers of the Gospel. All of our reconciliation to God totally depends on the person and work of Christ. But there are themes of the Gospel message that may be presented without specific acknowledgement of the cross. Repentance from sin and seeking reconciliation is a call to the covenant community. How to live before God and please Him is a part of the Gospel. As Bavinck noted, the Gospel restores the Law to its proper place in the life of the redeemed. The Gospel is more than the teaching of Justification. That is something many don’t understand now days.

Philippians 2:12-13
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Galatians 6:1-10
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

1 John 3:18-24
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

I have another example of the problem presented to us in a gospel that is truncated by being focused solely on justification.

Let’s examine the examples of Abraham’s faith. His faith is referenced two specific times in the New Testament. A lot of people make categorical mistakes when they try reconciling the writings of Paul and James concerning justification by faith. Paul is speaking about Abraham’s response of faith concerning the future promise of his seed. He is declared righteous without works. Genesis 15:1-7 , Romans 4:1-8 James presents a totally different situation as does Genesis 22.

A lot of people in their zeal for the doctrine of justification by faith alone in the Gospel make a categorical error when they present Genesis 22:1-14 in a typological way concerning the person and work of Christ. Abraham and Isaac are not typological of God and Christ here. This passage is about God testing Abraham’s faith. It is not about justification by faith alone.  It is about covenant obedience and blessing. If anything, and I am assuming here, the Lamb provided is typological and indicates that even our obedience needs to be viewed as imperfect and covered as it can only be accepted in Christ. James is presenting Abraham in a totally different context than Paul is in Romans and it is still Gospel.”

I am looking forward to Pastor Shawn Mathis’ follow up blog. He is an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Concerning the Election

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Concerning the recent Election everyone is calling for healing and unity.  I want healing and unity but I know there are road blocks to it. As the scripture states, “How can two walk together unless they agree?” I want things to heal but that doesn’t mean we should soften and become lax on Moral issues or lax proclaiming man’s responsibility to call upon the Lord. We shouldn’t give in to compassion without reality. It doesn’t mean we take from those who have and make them support those who don’t. It does mean we care and volunteer to give responsibly to the needs of our friends. It means The Church steps up and accountability is restored in giving. It means we don’t give to sink holes who destructively tear down on a consistent basis. It means we become reasonable and responsible. Indiana Democrats are not in line with this. The Nation is not either. We need to get back to the Wisdom God gives.

As an opponent of Trump and supporter of Pence, I still believe Trump has major problems that we must acknowledge. And I believe we need to repeatedly remember to call him as well as ourselves to repent and to obey God often.

I only know a few guys who loved Trump. Most of the people I know voted for his ticket because of Obama Care (the supposed Affordable Care Act) and the fact that the SCOTUS has a few seats to fill. They were also frustrated with the ineffectiveness of supposed conservatives to act on the moral and economic issues they were sent to Washington to deal with.  They also voted against Hillary Clinton because she seemingly has no moral compass and the corruption she represented has worn us out.  So has the ineffectiveness of our system.  The status quo has done very little in addressing the cares and destructiveness of bad policy and bad law.  They promised to address those things when they were voted in and actually stood by and allowed the last President to do things that shouldn’t have been done.  People voted against things and for change.  It is uncertain what that change will be.  Trump seemed to represent an outsider who understood these concerns.  It seems he wanted to address and fix these problems as someone who was not aligned with the status quo of ineffectiveness.

Just to get an understanding why Trump seems to have been elected allow me to share a good friend’s comments from my facebook page.

Patrick McGraw stated,
“People are tired of being called labels by elitists. People are tired of seeing corruption being paraded in front of there noses with no consequence knowing if they did the same thing they’d be in jail.. Tired of executive orders going around Congress like a king.
I don’t like Trump much either. But he’s got a shot to make things better where we’d know exactly where it would be with Hillary Clinton.
One thing I know. When this election is over there will be a day or two of people upset if Hillary wins. Some will say she stole the election. We’ll say yep we’ve elected a criminal whose made her family rich beyond belief while SOS. We’ll know exactly who she is. But after all is said and done we’ll take the result and gripe amongst ourselves and know what would’ve been if it had been anyone but Trump. But we’ll all take it like we always do. Not much Saul Alinsky in this party.

But if there is an upset tomorrow all those peaceful full of love Liberals will take to the streets like we’ve never seen before. Sorry but the politics of hate come from the left and you’ll see it full force if Trump wins.”

Did you see the protests that were being reported as the results were coming out last night?  Patrick apparently is correct.  It does seem some of the Liberal Force is full of hate.  Maybe there is hate on both sides and we all need to examine what level of hate we have and where it can be fixed and healed.

After the Election results came in a close friend of mine stated,  “I want the country unified again, I want a congress and Senate to be Congressmen and Senators with out the (R) or (D) and I want them to be there for the people who voted them into office.”  I understand his desire but we have to be realistic.  The (R) or (D) or whatever is inevitable. There will always be a destructive force this side unless men see Christ as King. There will always be poor people as Christ noted. But that doesn’t mean we have to live poorly and in conflict if we learn contentment and goodness towards each other. Natural / Moral Law teaches us to care and lift up. It teaches us to love, respect, and accept. Evil men hate this.  They have proven to be Covenant Breakers, Liars, and Riotous against truth.

If we want true healing we need to recognize the importance of caring for others and disciplining our desires that oppose what is moral and good.  BTW, I am including myself in the list of people who need to be humble and repent often as I am a man with like passions that opposes what is good.  I need the constant reconciling work of Christ on my behalf. I am grateful he has sealed my Eternal reconciliation with God but I also acknowledge that I need constant reeling in and repentance from sin that is ingrained in my being.

 

Last night the Associated Press gave Trump the Election around 2:30 am. Now let’s see if Obamacare and the crap we have endured like the homage to and giving  of our funds to enemies by Democrat fiat.  Let’s see if these things can be repaired. Let’s see what can be done about our boarders and our House of Representatives who act as though they have tenure. If the RINO’S (Republican In Name Only) want to be liberal let them go peddle their Socialism somewhere else. Let them run with Bernie Sanders.  Let’s also get back and acknowledge Moral / Natural Law. Without God we are at best a depraved people doing as we see fit without reference to say when crimes against nature or anyone are wrong.

I am grateful the Clinton’s and Obama are out of our hair for the time being.

May God grant us repentance and the grace to repent from our immoral lives.  May we not remain silent concerning perversity, sin, and crime.  May we move forward and approve good things and care for our neighbor as Jesus Christ told us to.  Life is good and we should remember where that goodness comes from and reflect that goodness.

Remember, I am not a Trump fan.  Hopefully he can come to a place of understanding his need for reconciliation to God and become humble.  I do believe the call God places upon all men to repent is a never ending call until He comes to restore all things.  God’s first call to men is to repent from Idolatry.  All men everywhere in every arena of life are called to repent and act accordingly.

Act 17:21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
Act 17:22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.
Act 17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
Act 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,
Act 17:25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
Act 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
Act 17:27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
Act 17:28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Act 17:29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
Act 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
Act 17:31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

For those of us who have been given grace to repent we shouldn’t be proud or haughty.  God is able to humble us and remove

(Rom 11:13) Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry

(Rom 11:14) in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.

(Rom 11:15) For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?

(Rom 11:16) If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

(Rom 11:17) But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,

(Rom 11:18) do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.

(Rom 11:19) Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

(Rom 11:20) That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.


May we also remember to do as St. Paul told us.

(1Ti 2:1) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

(1Ti 2:2) for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

(1Ti 2:3) This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,

(1Ti 2:4) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

(1Ti 2:5) For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

(1Ti 2:6) who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Be Encouraged, Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Permanence of Marriage

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A question was asked on the Puritanboard.com that I know a lot of people struggle with.  Especially since divorce is so prevalent in all of our lives.  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been affected by divorce or remarriage.  I know there are some who believe that a person is bound to a marriage covenant as long as death has not entered into the equation.  That seems extreme to some people but it is based upon Romans 7.

 

(Rom 7:1)  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

(Rom 7:2)  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

(Rom 7:3)  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

As I make reference to the passage in Romans 7 let me say something important.  Allow me to quote my old Pastor Kimber Kauffman, “If we desired we could make Ronald Reagan look like a Communist if we didn’t read him in context and if we lifted portions of things he said or wrote without knowing the whole thought or context.  The same is true for Scripture.  We have to take in the whole counsel of God and understand things in their context.

The question asked was in the Original post was about the Permanence of Marriage Movement.  I know that some people understand that the scriptures do not allow remarriage in any situation.  They have been around for a long time.  There is also the teaching that the Roman Church has concerning this situation and why they believe in annulments.

One of the best men I know responded splendidly to questions asked on the Puritanboard and I want to let him speak alone as I believe he is Biblical and spot on.  His title and name is Dr. Alan Strange.  He is an ordained Teaching Elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and a Professor at Mid America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana.

 

Dr. Strange started his comments off on the Permanence of Marriage discussion with this observation.

Rome has historically permitted bed and board separation in the case of adultery (and desertion, in which the remaining party has no choice in the matter).

The key here is whether remarriage is permitted. If remarriage is not permitted to the innocent party after adultery, for instance, then there is no biblical doctrine of divorce present. This is because if the divorce is biblically lawful, then the remarriage is lawful.

If remarriage is not considered ever lawful, then there is no true doctrine of divorce: this is patently unbiblical, whether practiced by Rome or some Protestant groups.

Let me be painfully clear: if the right of remarriage for the innocent party after divorce or the remaining party after desertion is denied, there is no biblical doctrine of divorce and remarriage present and God’s Word has plainly been denied, no matter how pious those holding such appear to be.

A question was then asked….

“Why the innocent party only? The divorce would be lawful for both parties.

To the OP, my previous church’s pastor held this view (Calvinist, but not confessionally Reformed). He took the passages on divorce in the case of adultery as addressing breaking of an engagement, not marriage.”

Dr. Strange responded…

I grant you that there may be mitigating circumstances for the guilty party in adultery and for the leaving party in desertion (conversion, for example), as well as disputes about what precisely constitutes desertion, all of which impact the consideration of remarriage.

However, those disputes are properly internecine ones among those who hold to the Bible and the WCF. Whether there is a right of real divorce and remarriage for the innocent and remaining parties is not a matter of dispute, but settled doctrine (v. WCF 24).

To address your question now more decidedly, let’s take the adultery exception. The reason that the guilty party has no right of remarriage ordinarily (notice that word) is because the guilty party has no right of divorce. Only the innocent party has such a right. And thus the right to remarry. One may not, in other words, commit adultery and say “Well, I’ve committed adultery and I now have the right to divorce and remarriage.” No, only the innocent party has the right of divorce and remarriage.

In the desertion case, the unbeliever may well get remarried, not thinking that they are bound by God’s law at all. That does not mean that they are not, however. They are and they have no proper right of remarriage, because they improperly and unlawfully left their mate.

So, no, ordinarily all the rights accrue to the innocent and remaining parties.

A responding question was asked….
“Thanks for your response. I’m asking more to the case of the innocent party divorcing. The guilty party is also divorced, correct? In which case they are no longer married. Why cannot they also remarry? I’m not in this situation, nor have I ever been (or anyone I know). I’m just curious.

Dr. Strange responded…

Because the right to divorce and the right to remarry are inextricably linked. Only one possessing the former also enjoys the latter.

If one committed adultery and that led to divorce, one has no ordinary right of remarriage thereafter. The right of remarriage is not a reward for committing adultery. It only pertains to the innocent party.

What the guilty party should do is repent and recognize that he has no ordinary right of remarriage (which is part of the repentance in this case).

Peace,
Alan

Dr. Strange responded to something that took me back.  A person brought up the truth of Ephesians that marriage is to be a picture of Christ and the Church.  I found his answer very insightful.

Marriage is a picture of Christ and his church, Christ will not leave or forsake his church.

 Dr. Strange responded to this…

This is thought to be sound-reasoning, doubtless; but it is, in fact, specious.

It is quite true that Christ will never leave nor forsake his own. It is not the case, however, that Christ will not withdraw the candle-stand, and thus his blessing and presence, from a church that has shown itself to be, as a visible church, not his own.

Similarly in terms of the church discipline of individuals: The above-stated position would suggest that Christ will not put someone out whom he has claimed by baptism and who has professed his faith and interest in Christ. But we know, of course, that those who by their life show themselves to be no true disciples, are indeed to be put out of the congregation. It is simply not the case that Christ will not disown those who, though having professed him, refuse to follow him. Do we need to give all the biblical citations for this?

One who sins against the marriage, who breaks the marriage vow by outward and actual adultery, is liable to be put outside the marriage, by a proclamation that no true marriage any longer obtains. The innocent party is not obliged to divorce the guilty but may do so, and in some instances, should likely do so (to maintain the institution of marriage that the guilty party has so badly besmirched).

To confess the permanence of marriage in this life is to make an idol of marriage, just as to confess that civil rebellion is never warranted under any circumstances is to make an idol of the state (or that the church must always be obeyed: that makes an idol of the church). All institutions given by God are relativized by our sinful estate and the commands of God for our relief in such. Only God is absolute and only he is to be obeyed at all times without qualification. Civil governors, ecclesiastical officers, and husbands do not enjoy inviolable authority. States, churches, and marriages may be dissolved in the proper circumstances. To teach otherwise is to establish a tyranny unrecognized by God’s Word.

Peace,
Alan

Daniel Ritchie responded with another comment that I thought pertinent.

The analogy is not an exact one. The likeness between a marriage between a Christian man and his wife and Christ and the Church is an analogical likeness, not a univocal one. Otherwise, one would have to assume that the marriage between a husband and wife goes on throughout eternity, which is obviously unbiblical and unconfessional, as marriage is only for the present life.

 

Another person asked this question…

Dr. Strange,
Does the offended party in the case of sexual immorality have the right to divorce or the requirement to divorce?

 

Dr. Strange responded with a statement he made earlier.

The innocent party is not obliged to divorce the guilty but may do so

As I noted above, the innocent party has the right to sue out a divorce (in the language of WCF 24.5).

Peace,
Alan

 

A following question was asked…

Yes, I understand the WCF says they have the right to sue according to 24.5. I am asking on what basis would someone determine whether or not to sue. If it’s not required, but merely a choice, on what basis do they make that choice?

 

Dr. Strange’s response…

I would say that many factors would go into determining whether or not one would sue out a divorce, including what Edward notes immediately above (carefully considering the counsel of the Session).

Edwards note….

[Reference was made upthread to the PCA study report by the Baptist missionary.

I would highlight this portion:

“i. That in matters pertaining to sexual immorality and desertion, the pastor and Ruling Elders are responsible for providing counsel, direction and judgment, according to the Scriptures and the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America.”]

Strange Continues….

Having dealt with a number of adultery cases before, I would say that the chief factors in my counsel are both the nature and degree of the sin(s), the nature of the repentance and sincere seeking of reconciliation. These things all very widely and one has to take each case and all its details into account.

I do believe that the language you employ (“merely a choice”) prejudices this in a way that neither the Scripture nor the Standards do. The Standards say “it is lawful,” meaning that it is in keeping with God’s law, and is not a violation of God’s law, to do so. This is all quite a bit weightier than “merely a choice” suggests (vanilla or chocolate is merely a choice; this is far more serious). I think that all the sorts of things that I mentioned above would (the details and circumstances of the case) suggest when one might refrain from divorce in such cases and when one should engage in such.

For example, and this is the “easy case,” a party that has committed and continues impenitently to commit adultery should not be allowed to continue on as if there is any longer a meaningful marriage here. These sorts of observations could be multiplied many times over but I wouldn’t think that would really be necessary.

Peace,
Alan

I am standing by to see how this conversation continues.  But I find Dr. Alan Strange to be full of wisdom as an Elder and Shepherd of the flock.  I also appreciate the fact that he acknowledges that remarriage may be unlawful for the offending member.

The next question is mine based upon the following.

Dr. Strange stated…
“If one committed adultery and that led to divorce, one has no ordinary right of remarriage thereafter. The right of remarriage is not a reward for committing adultery. It only pertains to the innocent party. 

What the guilty party should do is repent and recognize that he has no ordinary right of remarriage (which is part of the repentance in this case).”

I am standing by to see how this conversation continues.  But I find Dr. Alan Strange to be full of wisdom as an Elder and Shepherd of the flock.

 

 

Trump

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I have been discussing Donald Trump lately on my Facebook page.  I have grown overly alarmed at how many people actually believe he is a good man who speaks truthfully and honestly.  My posts have caused a few of my friends that I personally see in life to defriend me and stop listening.  They want to believe in someone who is going to deliver our Country out of the hands of the Liberals and give us security from enemies abroad.  I sincerely understand those desires but I do not believe Trump is that man.  So I posted some of the following on my page today and would petition those of you who desire for Trump to be Elected President of the United States to reconsider.  I do believe there is a better choice.

Please, Please, Please listen to me. I know some of you guys who love Trump have tuned me out but please listen…….

A form of Idolatry is when we make a false representation of something or someone and set our hopes upon them. I believe Christian Leaders such as Jerry Falwell Jr. have helped in casting a false image of Trump by declaring Trump to be a Christian who will protect Christianity. That just isn’t true. For instance, today Trump has revealed a bit more about himself. And hopefully some of the blinders will start falling off of Christians and decent Americans. Trump entered the North Carolina bathroom debate today noting that a person should be able to enter and use the bathroom that they feel most comfortable entering in. That is not a position that will protect the Church nor those who want to uphold the Moral Law of God. It is a position that will be harmful to our families.

This is where I believe Trump’s Chameleon Buffoonery starts to reveal itself. He is taking the soundbite of the Press and leaning on it for support. If it was beneficial for him to side with true common sense he would have thrown in his support for the North Carolina Law. But he didn’t. He is a Liberal New Yorker with an Amoral view of Life and Liberty. it is what it is. All I can do is shake my head in sadness and ask the Lord to open our eyes. Trump has been able to deceive many people about who he is I believe.

Another comment I hear is that Trump is better than Hillary?I am not sure about that. He is too Chameleon like to prove anything. He plays to the fringe. He also still has to work with an inept House where a bigger problem lays. He was also proud to vote for Obama and endorses Universal Healthcare as well as that Depraved organization Planned Parenthood. If he is better it ain’t by much.

I also would warn others about a man who doesn’t think he has ever needed to confess sin before God. Trump does not believe he has ever done that nor does he want to.  It isn’t needful as far as he is concerned.  So he is basically calling God out and saying the Holy Scriptures are false. That man is obviously a liar according to 1 John Chapter 1 and is self deluded by major narcissism. There are better Republican Candidates. He is not one of them. He is like Hillary in and dangerous in my estimation.  He is definitely very poor example for our children.

Maybe we deserve to be given such a leader.  I am saddened to think we do.  But if we Repent maybe God will have Mercy on us and grant us the Grace to have a good leader despite who we have become.  He was merciful to Nineveh for the sake of those who couldn’t discern between left and right yet and for all those who were young.