"There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of “Heaven” ridiculous by saying they do not want “to spend eternity playing harps.” The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it. People who take the symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs."Mere Christianity, book 3, chapter 10 (on “Hope”)
Sunday, August 14, 2022
Thursday, August 4, 2022
"What if, in these cases, all concerned are genuinely striving to follow God and they've just reached different conclusions?"
If God has delineated something to be good or evil, then there is no other conclusion to reach than that which He told us.
"Are those in sincere confusion and mistake going to be damned for their lack of understanding?"
I suspect the problem is more willful than accidental for a lot of people.
"As to 1 Cor 6, as I'm sure you know, Paul was writing to a specific place with some specific circumstances and throughout Corinthians, he is addressing some specific concerns they had, offering his advice."
Paul also gave moral imperatives for us to adhere to at all places and at all times. Morality pertains to that which is timeless and transcendent.
"God has not delineated gay folks getting married as good or bad. Literally, that never has happened. Not in the Bible and not to you or me."
Go read of the Apostle Paul's condemnation of homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. He says outright that people who practice such a lifestyle will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Paul would have drawn this teaching from the Book of Leviticus which is in the Old Testament.
"Why do those religious traditions get to speak for God what God hasn't said? Isn't that blasphemous? Why not?"
Are you serious in taking up this kind of a sweeping skepticism toward the moral dimension of the Mosaic Law? What sort of textual critical evidence do you have to support this branding of moral imperatives from God as being nothing other than man-made oral tradition?
"So, if there SEEMS to be some disagreement with Jesus and the OT or Jesus and Paul, we look FIRST to what Jesus said to help us understand the other, not the other way around."
This reasoning would be utterly inexcusable given that both Jesus and Paul held to Old Testament ethics. Jesus Christ upheld traditional marriage as defined by God since the timing of creation: "And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?" (Matthew 19:4-5)
"We have Saved by God's Grace gay and lesbian and transgender members, beloved by God. The Bible does not say otherwise. Anywhere. It's just not there."
The consistent pattern of marriage in the Bible from beginning to end is between a man and a woman. It presupposes that kind of a relationship. Never once are two partners of the same gender even hinted at. Never once are more than two genders spoken of.
"But those all appear, on the face of them, to not be any kind of universal condemnation of gay guys getting married..."
But God describes homosexual behavior in Leviticus 18:22 as being an "abomination" and "worthy of death" in Leviticus 20:13. That is indeed a universal condemnation of the practice. Consider this excerpt from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, edited by R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke, on the Hebrew term toeba:
"(heck, lesbians aren't mentioned at all in the OT, so presumably, it's okay for THEM to get married, right?)"
You take liberties by attempting to follow the strict letter of the text in a manner that is favorable toward your own theology. Your efforts to manipulate what it says is disingenuous and proves that you do not really care what Scripture says. How could you possibly be a Christian?
The original audience to whom the Law was given would have understood Leviticus 18:22 to apply to lesbianism in principle. Furthermore, Paul expressly casts such relationships in a negative light in Romans 1:26-27. There is something especially unnatural about two women being together given that they have a motherly instinct.
"I know there are a handful of passages that SEEM to touch on perhaps gay issues, but they are nothing like clear or definitive condemnations of gay folks getting married."
Even if there was only one passage in the entire Bible that implicitly showed God's disapproval of homosexual marriage, that would be enough for a real Christian. That would still count as evidence.
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
"It's conservatives and the religious right. LGBTQ folks are NOT trying to tell straight people who they can and can't marry."
We do not really see heterosexual people parading around the streets of cities in ridiculous and ugly attire exclaiming what they do behind closed doors. We do not see heterosexual people putting symbols of their sexuality on children's cereal boxes during a specific month of each year. Have a sense of decency and honor.
"Who is it who's telling transgender folks which bathrooms they must use? It's conservatives. LGBTQ folks aren't telling conservatives which bathrooms to use."
There are only two genders which are determined by genetics. That people want to be called by something other than what they really are, is no one else's problem but their own. There is no obligation on my part to affirm a man to be a woman or visa versa when all of human history up to this point did not do so.
If this matter is really all that important, then businesses should create unisex, single person restrooms. Problem solved.
"Who is it who's telling gay or lesbian couples that they can't adopt children? It's conservatives. LGBTQ people aren't trying to say that "Southern Baptists can't adopt children!"
Adoption is not a gay rights issue. It is a children's issue.
"LGBTQ people HAVE been oppressed for centuries/throughout history in nations around the world and in the US."
Even if that is true, they are not being persecuted in the West right now. This leads up to a bigger point, namely, the utter futility of trying to negotiate with people who have a victim mentality. They are never happy no matter what you do for them, always demanding more.
"They just want to live their lives in peace and without oppression."
Dissidents only wish to be left alone and be able to live out normal lives without fear of their children being sexualized by predators.
"Would you return to the days of criminalized homosexuality if you could?"
"Would you deny the right of gay guys/lesbian women to marry who they want?"
Let those people be with whoever they want in secret, but I would deny that homosexual "marriage" is a natural human right from the very beginning.
"The Supreme Court conservatives may do so."
The only thing that a Supreme Court with the kind of composition that it currently has would do is to relegate the matter to the states. If an overwhelming majority of people in one state wants abortion to be illegal, then they should be able to have it that way. That is the way in which our particular system of government works. If you do not like how a particular state is ran, then you can move to a different state in the country that better fits your standards of living. You could also run for office to change laws and publicly debate people to change minds.
You espouse ideas that are both weird and immoral. Bad ideas do not become better just because more people embrace them. Wrong is still wrong even if everyone believes it.
"That's illegal discrimination and rightfully so. So, too, for gay customers. You don't have to like it, but discrimination based on gender, race and sexual orientation is illegal in our nation."
You are making an invalid comparison. Skin color and gender is not changeable like sexual orientation. They are not behavioral characteristics as is homosexuality and lesbianism. They have nothing to do with each other. Gay customers should be served on the condition that employees are not required to compromise their faith. It is ironic that homosexuals demand acceptance and toleration while at the same time not extending that same attitude toward those who do not share their worldview.
"And for many of us, we thank God that these human rights have been accomplished because we're fighting for justice and morality, as best we understand it."
Homosexuality is a sin against God. Affirming that kind of a lifestyle is insulting to Him. Such "marriages" are not recognized as valid before Him. However, I do not think that LGBTQ people should be shut out of society and denied access to basic needs. I do not believe that they should be demonized and dehumanized. I do not have anything against such people personally. We live in a fallen world which cannot possibly live up to God's perfect holiness. It is just that LGBTQ lifestyles should not be shoved down the throats of everyone else.
"That's one way that's one way that bigots use to demonize the other, make them monstrous, people who target children! It is an unsupported false claim."
It is not an unsupported false claim when children's libraries contain books with sexually explicit content and there are parents who are outraged about it. It is not an unsupported false claim when there are reports of teachers telling students not to disclose the subject-matter of their classes to parents.
"Are you saying that people who take the time to teach children are "targeting them" for propaganda?"
Not exactly. It depends on the content of the instruction.
"Or, when conservatives do it, they're just being helpful, but when liberals do it they're targeting and grooming children?? You see the problem with that, don't you?"
The problem is that children are basically being taught how to have sex. They should be being taught things like math, grammar, and science. Children should not be being sexualized. They have no real understanding of how the world works. Moreover, people have grown up to have sex for thousands of years without any instruction as to how it is done. They just procreated.
"And if you find my positions weird And tomorrow, perhaps you can understand how I also find your positions weird and immoral. As well as unbiblical, ungodly and irrational."
I am not a radical. You are. You exposed yourself by talking. I know that you are okay with the destruction and corruption of innocence. Why else would you make an effort to defend exposing children to drag queen story hour?
"After all I'm not trying to be objective, I'm saying that gay folks committing to one another in a loving respectful marriage is obviously, on the face of it, a good thing. How's that bad?"
That is not how God designed things to be. There does not have to be some other reason than that He has given us a moral standard to abide by.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
-Paul echoes the teaching of Jesus Christ to Nicodemus about the necessity of being born again in order to see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-5). The expression "Kingdom of God" refers to His reign existing in a state having been brought to full fruition. Evil has no presence there. His kingdom is designed specifically for people who are morally upright.
- Ephesians 5:4-7:
- Galatians 5:19-21:
- Noting The Type Of Culture In Which Paul Wrote His Epistles:
- The Source Of Holiness In The Writings Of The Apostle Paul:
Saturday, July 16, 2022
IV. What they obtained by their faith. 1. A most honourable character and commendation from God, the true Judge and fountain of honour—that the world was not worthy of such men; the world did not deserve such blessings; they did not know how to value them, nor how to use them. Wicked men! The righteous are not worthy to live in the world, and God declares the world is not worthy of them; and, though they widely differ in their judgment, they agree in this, that it is not fit that good men should have their rest in this world; and therefore God receives them out of it, to that world that is suitable to them, and yet far beyond the merit of all their services and sufferings. 2. They obtained a good report (v. 39) of all good men, and of the truth itself, and have the honour to be enrolled in this sacred calendar of the Old-Testament worthies, God's witnesses; yea, they had a witness for them in the consciences of their enemies, who, while they thus abused them, were condemned by their own consciences, as persecuting those who were more righteous than themselves. 3. They obtained an interest in the promises, though not the full possession of them. They had a title to the promises, though they received not the great things promised. This is not meant of the felicity of the heavenly state, for this they did receive, when they died, in the measure of a part, in one constituent part of their persons, and the much better part; but it is meant of the felicity of the gospel-state: they had types, but not the antitype; they had shadows, but had not seen the substance; and yet, under this imperfect dispensation, they discovered this precious faith. This the apostle insists upon to render the faith more illustrious, and to provoke Christians to a holy jealousy and emulation; that they should not suffer themselves to be outdone in the exercise of faith by those who came so short of them in all the helps and advantages for believing. He tells the Hebrews that God had provided some better things for them (v. 40), and therefore they might be assured that he expected at least as good things from them; and that since the gospel is the end and perfection of the Old Testament, which had no excellency but in its reference to Christ and the gospel, it was expected that their faith should be as much more perfect than the faith of the Old-Testament saints; for their state and dispensation were more perfect than the former, and were indeed the perfection and completion of the former, for without the gospel-church the Jewish church must have remained in an incomplete and imperfect state. This reasoning is strong, and should be effectually prevalent with us all.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Our Lord and Savior himself said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. . . . Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot. . . ." (Luke 17:26, 28). He spans the centuries; he lays down the proposition that because of sin and the Fall, mankind as mankind is going to be no different at the end of history than what it was at the beginning. Therefore, nothing is such an utter travesty of the Christian gospel as the suggestion that because it is preached, each generation will be better than the previous one, and the world will reform and improve, until everything that is evil and wrong will have been banished and ultimately all will be perfect.
The gospel never teaches that; it asserts the exact opposite. I do not apologize for saying that the Bible's view of history is profoundly pessimistic. Of course, that is why the Bible is not popular and has not been so during the last hundred years. Evolutionary theories and hypotheses are very optimistic; they all tell us that the world is going to be better and better and that mankind is evolving and advancing. Philosophers always want to be optimistic if they can be, and thus they paint this picture of improvement. And, of course, if you believe them, you cannot like the Bible because its realism contrasts sharply with these optimistic ideas.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, p. 95-96
Friday, May 20, 2022
1. It is here supposed that God alone is the felicity and chief good of man. He, and he only, that made the soul, can make it happy; there is none in heaven, none in earth, that can pretend to do it besides.
2. Here are expressed the workings and breathings of a soul towards God accordingly. If God be our felicity,
(1.) Then we must have him (Whom have I but thee?), we must choose him, and make sure to ourselves an interest in him. What will it avail us that he is the felicity of souls if he be not the felicity of our souls, and if we do not by a lively faith make him ours, by joining ourselves to him in an everlasting covenant?
(2.) Then our desire must be towards him and our delight in him (the word signifies both); we must delight in what we have of God and desire what we yet further hope for. Our desires must not only be offered up to God, but they must all terminate in him, desiring nothing more than God, but still more and more of him. This includes all our prayers, Lord, give us thyself; as that includes all the promises, I will be to them a God. The desire of our souls is to thy name.
(3.) We must prefer him in our choice and desire before any other. [1.] "There is none in heaven but thee, none to seek to or trust in, none to court or covet acquaintance with, but thee." God is in himself more glorious than any celestial being (Ps 89 6), and must be, in our eyes, infinitely more desirable. Excellent beings there are in heaven, but God alone can make us happy. His favour is infinitely more to us than the refreshment of the dews of heaven or the benign influence of the stars of heaven, more than the friendship of the saints in heaven or the good offices of the angels there. [2.] I desire none on earth besides thee; not only none in heaven, a place at a distance, which we have but little acquaintance with, but none on earth neither, where we have many friends and where much of our present interest and concern lie. "Earth carries away the desires of most men, and yet I have none on earth, no persons, no things, no possessions, no delights, that I desire besides thee or with thee, in comparison or competition with thee." We must desire nothing besides God but what we desire for him (nil præter te nisi propter te—nothing besides thee except for thy sake), nothing but what we desire from him, and can be content without so that it be made up in him. We must desire nothing besides God as needful to be a partner with him in making us happy.
(4.) Then we must repose ourselves in God with an entire satisfaction, v. 26. Observe here, [1.] Great distress and trouble supposed: My flesh and my heart fail. Note, Others have experienced and we must expect, the failing both of flesh and heart. The body will fail by sickness, age, and death; and that which touches the bone and the flesh touches us in a tender part, that part of ourselves which we have been but too fond of; when the flesh fails the heart is ready to fail too; the conduct, courage, and comfort fail. [2.] Sovereign relief provided in this distress: But God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever. Note, Gracious souls, in their greatest distresses, rest upon God as their spiritual strength and their eternal portion. First, "He is the strength of my heart, the rock of my heart, a firm foundation, which will bear my weight and not sink under it. God is the strength of my heart; I have found him so; I do so still, and hope ever to find him so." In the distress supposed, he had put the case of a double failure, both flesh and heart fail; but, in the relief, he fastens on a single support: he leaves out the flesh and the consideration of that, it is enough that God is the strength of his heart. He speaks as one careless of the body (let that fail, there is no remedy), but as one concerned about the soul, to be strengthened in the inner man. Secondly, "He is my portion for ever; he will not only support me while I am here, but make me happy when I go hence." The saints choose God for their portion, they have him for their portion, and it is their happiness that he will be their portion, a portion that will last as long as the immortal soul lasts.
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Saturday, April 23, 2022
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Of the Kingdom of Darkness (Chap. XLVI)
Monday, April 18, 2022
"We, the undersigned students of the Natural Sciences, desire to express our sincere regret that researchers into scientific truth are prevented by some in our own times into occasions for casting doubt into occasions for casting doubt upon the truth and authenticity of the Holy Scriptures.We conceive that it is impossible for the Word of God, as written in the book of nature, and God’s Word written in Holy Scripture, to contradict one another, however much they may appear to differ.
We cannot but deplore that Natural Science should be looked upon with suspicion by many who do not make a study of it, merely on account of the unadvised manner in which some are placing it in opposition to Holy Writ.
We believe that it is the duty of every scientific student to investigate nature simply for the purpose of elucidating truth, and that if he finds that some of his results appear to be in contradiction to the Written Word, or rather to his own interpretations of it, which may be erroneous, he should not presumptuously affirm that his own conclusions must be right, and the statements of Scripture wrong.
Rather, leave the two side by side till it shall please God to allow us to see the manner in which they may be reconciled; and, instead of insisting upon the seeming differences between Science and the Scriptures, it would be as well to rest in faith upon the points in which they agree."
A manifesto signed by 617 men of science at the British Association of Scientists in 1865; cited by Alfred M. Rehwinkel in The Flood, p. XVIII-XIX