Friday, August 28, 2009

Lordship Salvation Presentation with Q&A

EDIT 1: This is not a debate. This is a witnessing encounter with Q&A. Please do not engage Mark as he witnesses to me. I don't want him to have to compete, just be clear. I'll let everyone know when the conversation is over and debate can - if wanted by the masses can begin.

EDIT 2: MARK I suggest that we go point by point based on my replies to your answers. PLEASE acknowledge any that I understand and then move one by one through the ones that I don't understand. This will make it easier for us to discuss.
EDIT 3: The first results are in. Please read Mark's Lordship Salvation Presentation to me at the bottom of this article and the interpretation of it I have built using the definitions he has supplied in the thread below.

Edit 4: The first revision of my interpretation of the Lordship Salvation Presentation is added to the bottom of this pot.

Edit 5: Mark has supplied what he believes is a Lordship Salvation Presentation "without words that need definition." I still found some terminology in his post but I will use the previously established definitions which have been refined by conversation with Mark to interpret.  Please find a copy of what Mark posted at the bottom of this article. The discussion below this post has long since left it's intended direction and has gotten so long that any new reader would have a real challenge with getting up to speed. I think this hurts the potential for new comments so I'm going to create a specific discussion here.I'm asking a Lordship Salvation (LS) believer to present the Gospel to me clearly, as though I am an unsaved person they are witnessing to.I am going to ask questions of that person.

My goals are these:
1. get the LS Advocates to be on record with what they say;
2. confirm if I do properly understand LS Theology or not;
3. demonstrate a LS Gospel presentation for my readers; and
4. create a resource which I can refer back to in future discussions.
I promise to:
1. to honestly consider the presentation at face value;
2. to vigorously try to understand each point of the presentation;
3. to reply to statements with what I believe the person has written before I ask questions;
4. to acknowledge if this presentation leads me to Eternal Salvation;
5. to acknowledge if this presentation leads me to agree with LS; and
6. to keep posts as short and clear as possible.

The presenter(s) promise to:
1. present the Gospel clearly;
2. answer questions clearly;
3. define and explain statements using Scripture NOT any systematic theology;
4. not compare LS to any other theology (this is a presentation not a debate);
5. either acknowledge my understanding or clearly explain my misunderstanding of LS theology when I have expressed what I believe the presenter has written; and
6. keep posts as short and clear as possible.

All else who choose to be involved promise to:
1. allow the presenter to make their presentation without interference; and
2. to only respond to direct questions from either myself or the presenters. (space for conversation will be given after the presentation)

Here is Mark's Presentation as posted:

Matthew 11:28-30 serves as my personal model for a salvation presentation.

To begin with I put before them that they are sinners before their Holy Creator, Who will be their Judge someday if they do not repent and believe the Gospel.

I present before them 1 Cor. 15:1-4 - That Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and that He rose again.

I tell them that one can only be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

I then introduce them to the center-piece of my presentation - Matthew 11:28-30. I summon them to come to Christ (in which coming I regard as the point of their justification); to take His yoke upon them and learn from Him ( representing repentance from sin, a transfer of allegiance from self seeking to Christ seeking - discipleship, progressive sanctification are seen here). I then lead them to an understanding that one who comes to Christ is a new creation and now it is time to go on learning from, and living for, Him.

I then make sure that water baptism is to be sought so that the world can witness the fact that their old self is dead, and it is now time to walk in newness of life, following Christ as Lord and Master.

Based on the definitions and explanations Mark supplied in the thread here is what I currently believe he means. This is the first round and Mark can surely give further explanation on any points.

At several points through this conversation I've been accused of playing games. I have not debated, or manipulated but have only sought clarity. I'll leave it to the reader to discern if this is game playing or not.

I have tried to put Mark's words into a presentation to a lost person in order to keep everything in the required context.

You are a person who does things like the world does as the devil leads you in view of your Creator who follows His moral code and law perfectly. He will judge you someday IF you do not change your course from that of following the devil and doing his works to following Christ and doing his works and that you believe the Gospel. (NOTE: I, Kevin, assume the Gospel is the next part).

The Son of God died for your sins, He was buried, rose to life again.
You can only be saved by mercy because you do not deserve it, by desiring to follow after only Christ.
This is the most important part.
I call on them to call on Christ to give them perfect standing before God and make them righteous. This calling on Him includes the following;
To willingly be bridaled as with a yoke (more than leashed, a bridal is not flexible) to follow Christ's direction, and to learn from Him and the Bible. (Which means to willingly stop sinning, and be alliegeed to seeking after Christ not yourself which is having a desire to please Christ not please yourself and obey the things you read in the Bible. The person's behavior is progressively set apart from that of the world to that of Christ.)
You have a new leader who resides in you if you call on Christ (in accordance with the above) and now you must go on being lead by that leader, learning and living in obedience to the Scriptures.
You must seek to obey the Scriptures and get Water Baptized so you can declare to the world that your old self is dead (not living or running your life any more) and now you will live a new life of obeying Christ and the Lord of your life, and teacher. You may have a conflict inside but you will live for pleasing Christ.
At this point if the person is saved from God's future judgement.

Q - Is this a completely accurate Lordship Salvation presentation to a lost person?

A - there was much, but not total, agreement that I had properly interpreted what Mark had written.

Here is my first revision of my understanding of what Mark presents as a saving message in accordance with Lordship Salvation.

You are a person who does things like the world does as the devil leads you in view of your Creator who is perfect. He will judge you someday IF He hasn't chosen in Eternity past to change your course from that of following the devil and doing his works to following Christ and doing his works so that you will believe the Gospel. (NOTE: I, Kevin, assume the Gospel is the next part)
The Son of God died for your sins, He was buried, rose to life again.
You can only be saved by mercy because you do not deserve it, through exhibiting a desire to follow after Christ alone. (NOTE: if your definition of true saving faith is desiring to follow Christ, and following Him is the fruit of that then I believe this is a perfectly accurate interpretation. If you can supply a definition of “faith” that is more accurate and appropriate for this sentence then please do so. However, since you have defined faith I need to use your definition of it in order to understand your position.)
This is the most important part.
I call on them to call on Christ to give them perfect standing before God and make them instantly righteous. This calling on Him includes the following;
To willingly be bridled as a servant (like an animal with a wooden yoke is a servant) to follow Christ's direction, and to learn from Him and the Bible. (Which means to willingly stop sinning, and be alleged to seeking after Christ not yourself which is having a desire to please Christ not please yourself and obey the things you read in the Bible. The person's behavior is progressively set apart from that of the world to that of Christ.)
You have a new leader who resides in you if you call on Christ (in accordance with the above) and now you must go on being lead by that leader, learning and living in obedience to the Scriptures.
You must seek to obey the Scriptures and get Water Baptized so you can declare to the world that your old self is dead (not living or running your life any more) and now you will live a new life of obeying Christ and the Lord of your life, and teacher. You may have a conflict inside but you will live for pleasing Christ because like you were a slave prior to salvation you will now be a slave to God.
At this point if the person has come to Christ in the likeness of this message then the person is eternally saved from God's coming judgement.
Q - Is this an accurate Lordship Salvation presentation of a saving message?

A - "Not many revisions there, Kevin." Then Mark went on to emphasize that his definition of saving faith is. He finished with "So I say that if one's faith in Christ does not look like Abraham's (Abram's)faith, as seen in Hebrews 11:8-19, then he does not have saving faith. "

Important note: The reader ought to note that Mark indicated no fault in my understanding at this point.

I responded to Mark with this:

Hi Mark,

I changed everything that you brought up, in accordance with your definitions.

Also, please don't drift into debate here. You're witnessing to me, not trying to win an argument.

There may be tomorrow for argument (if the Lord tarries), but today is the day of Salvation so focus on the Gospel.

Mark responded with "Ok, I will witness to you without words that need definition." He then offered this next part as his witness to me:
Kevin - Mark, I see you reading your Bible every day at break and lunch

Mark - Hey Kevin.

Kevin - for the past several months now I've noticed a growing desire in my gut to read the Bible to see what it teaches. Also I've experienced a growing fear that if there is a judgement I won't fair very well. I only hope that I can do enough good in my life so that God will look kindly on me. I'm really scared here.

Mark - Kevin, that is God the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart. Yes, there will be a judgement someday. Your Creator will one day be your Judge. He is Holy and morally pure. His judgement will be on all of our shortcomings in that WE are not holy and pure. At one point He told the Children of Israel that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from His mouth. We, the human race, do not do so. When our first parent Adam disobeyed by eating that fruit he fell from walking with God. He became a sinner; and all of us became sinners in him. You see, sin has about three definitions:

1) it means coming short of His Glory, His standards of pureness. If I were to try to throw a stone at the moon, the distance that I come up short would be sin.

2)It means an overstepping, like when you see a "No Tresspassing" sign and step onto the property anyway. It is here that we are seen to be disobedient to His Word. It is here that we are seen not to be living by every word that comes from His mouth.

3) it means a blemish. Your sins are blemishes on your record, a record that will come to be reviewed at the judgment.

We are sinners in that we sin daily. Most of what we live for is for self-gratification, without any regard for living in accordance to God's Word. It's our nature to live like that. Each time we do something contrary to what is written in God's Word it is recorded in a book. We could say that "self" is on the thrown of our life since the fall of Adam. We just are following the course of the world with our lives, with no regard for God and His Word. However our sin must be judged someday because God's standard of holiness demands that He judge sin.

However He now commands all men to turn away from their disobedience to His Word, and seeking to live for themselves, and to put there trust in HIS plan of salvation.

You see, Kevin, God sent His Son to die for our sins. He took every one of our sins and placed them on His Son. While our sin was on His Son God the Father unleashed all of His fury on those sins. It was a horrible death that Jesus died, all for our sins. He was judged in our place. After Jesus died for our sins He was buried. But, great news, He rose three days later and is now seated at His Father's right hand.

Kevin, there is nothing you can do to earn salvation. Men and women are saved by faith in His Son alone. There are no righteous things that you could ever hope to do to earn God's favor. His favor is only with those who put their trust in Christ alone for their salvation. The rest of mankind will suffer God's wrath on their sins.

Now for that growing fear of not fairing well on Judgment Day: Jesus gave an invitation. It is for all people. He said "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, (that's you, Kevin), and I will give you rest. Kevin, you can have rest instead of fear of the coming judgment. Why? Because Jesus' righteousness is put to the account of all who come to Him. He took our sins, and gives us His righteousness in their place.

The invitation goes on: Take My yoke upon you... Kevin a yoke was a wooden beam that was placed across the necks of oxen in order to keep them together. In the Bible a yoke came to symbolze servitude. Christ wants to place His yoke on you so that He can direct your life. You are to respond to Him in obedience. THAT is what is at the core of the Christian experience; obedience to Christ. Then He goes on: ...and learn from Me. Kevin, when one comes to Christ that one is to go on to get fed in His Word, the Bible. The one doing this will,...find rest for your souls. You do this at church and your own time of reading the Bible. He goes on,...For my yoke is easy, and My burden is light. His burden is light because God the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of those who come to Christ. He empowers that person to live for Christ.

Kevin, once you come to Christ I will urge you to receive water-baptism. It is what Christ commanded all of His followers to do in oorder to show the world that you are now a follower of Christ.

I will offer a response to this next week when I return home from traveling. Unless I get some unexpected time while I'm away.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why one is, and one is not a Dispensationalist

I decided to take a rare peek in over at Sharper Iron. I found an article that really speaks to my experience with Scripture called Why I'm a Dispensationalist.

I really liked two portions of the article:

I have found that dispensationalism is not a distraction for such men, nor does it deter them from teaching “the weightier matters of the law” Mat 23:23 . Rather, it drives them to perfect their understanding in all areas of theology so that they might build upon the foundation offered by historic, orthodox Christianity with the surpassing glory of dispensational truth.What I found very strange though was how the very next article underneath it on the front page
Though he would be horrified at the thought (as Dr. Myron Houghton, my theology teacher, once said), Luther taught me dispensationalism in seed form in my Lutheran grade school religion classes. His emphasis on the distinction between Law and Grace is truly the basis for understanding the Bible dispensationally. It reveals the truth that God has dealt with mankind on the basis of different stewardship responsibilities at different times in history without providing different ways of salvation
I agree with these statements.

What saddened me was to find that right underneath this article was one entitled My Journey Out of Dispensationalism. I'm not saddened because the person disagrees with me, or my theology but because Sharper Iron is entertaining a diversity of doctrines. Two opposites can not be true at the same time as per the Law of Non-Contradiction. Therefore, Sharper Iron is portraying their abandonment of the pursuit of truth.

I think these are two of the more important portions of this article;

My friends have often heard me say, “The more I read my Bible the less dispensational I become.” This statement comes from someone who was spiritually nurtured in churches with dispensational theology, who graduated from a Christian university steeped in dispensational theology, who received his first graduate degree from a dispensational seminary, and who—for twelve years—preached sermons that reflected dispensational theology. For the first sixteen years of my Christian life, I rarely questioned the fundamental distinctions of dispensational theology.

As I continued to pastor and preach, I realized that my training in the Old Testament was weak. I decided to pursue a Master of Theology in Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary. My dispensational comrades in ministry assured me that Westminster would ruin my theology. I suppose many of them believe that has happened. Nevertheless, I was drawn to Westminster primarily because Bruce Waltke was teaching there. I had read books and articles by Dr. Waltke and had profited immensely from them.

While at Westminster I had the privilege of learning from Vern Poythress, Tremper Longman, and Raymond Dillard, along with Bruce Waltke. At first I listened as an antagonist, but I was soon won over by their personal graciousness and their commitment to Scripture. I began to experience discomfort as I realized that my commitment to dispensationalism was often unyielding, even when contradicted by the results of exegesis.
If this person's training in the OT was weak, then I submit that he wasn't actually very well trained in the Scriptures. His claims of being so well brought up in Dispensationalism, which appear to be emphasized to give his new convictions more credibility, are surely contradicted by his own admission. As he admits later he "realized that [his] commitment to dispensationalism was often unyielding, even when contradicted by the results of exegesis." This claim makes it clear to me that he was a dispensationalist by association. Those in his sphere were of this theology, and he sat comfortably in that sphere but never actually was dispenstationalist himself.

Dispensational Theology is a whole history, whole Scripture theology. It is a study of God's plan not only for Salvation, but for all of History including Eternity Past and Eternity Future. One may have Dispenstational leanings without being well grounded in OT Scriptures, but one can not honestly say they are truly Dispensational unless they are.

I'm sad to say that after reading these articles I see that Sharper Iron is loosening its grip on the Truth, and the fruit of that is a theology of association. Or in other words, which ever way the wind blows is just fine....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Book has been typeset

I received the PDF of my book as it has been typeset today. Just one more thing to approve now. I can't wait to see the cover!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Standard For Fellowship

Tonight I found a question waiting for me at a forum I frequent that sort of broke my heart a little bit, and sort of encouraged me a little bit. I won't link to the forum because drawing attention to the person asking and/or their reason for asking might well see the important point of what God allowed me to reply with actually is.

Here's the forum post. I've edited out the person's name.
Hi Kev,

I would be encouraged if you would list the commands I would need to obey that I may obtain fellowship, with you. These are things that come from the Word of God that the Spirit and your discernment bring to mind. I would like to allow you no more than four at this time (Acts 15:24-31). Would this be an appropriate method of arriving at reconciliation? If not I am somewhat open to adjustment.

Honest thanks, *NAME*

Now here is my reply
*NAME*, there are no "commands" you would need to obey. A proclamation of faith in The Christ Who died for your sins in accordance with the Scriptures, Who was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and agreement that the Gospel that God Himself declares in His infallible Word (1 Cor 15) is the same Gospel that He commands us to preach to the whole world in the knowledge that they who believe it will live and they who do not will perish. (Mark 16)

I have no need of performance out of a person, I simply seek "fellowship" in the Gospel of Christ for there is no other fellowship or agreement of value or honour to Christ.

I don't want to pretend like I've written any great thing but I do want to model something for anyone it may help. Notice the standard the person asked for, and the standard I replied with. The person asked for a standard from the Bible, which is admirable. This person was stretching their willingness. Notice though the perception of performance. This could be because that person perceives that is how I would base fellowship, or it could be that they think fellowship is maintained that way.

There are surely levels of fellowship, with the Lord's Table being the closest. There is surely a level of orderliness, if not actually performance, that must be maintained to have fellowship at that kind of level. However, this person is asking about fairly loose friendship sort of fellowship.

Please take note of the standard that I offered as what would be acceptable to me, and notice Who I am seeking to please.

Fellowship is not about liking someone. Fellowship is not about working together. Fellowship is not about "seeing eye to eye." Christian Fellowship is not primarily about human relationships.

Christian Fellowship is about honouring The Christ, and everything about Him. We gather in fellowship as Christians under His Name alone, for His Glory, and His pleasure and His work. When I extend the right hand of fellowship to someone, it must ONLY be because they are a friend of God Almighty Who has called me friend.

I can not choose my fellowship outside of, in spite of, or even in ignorance of my first fellowship with Christ no matter how much I like the person. Likewise, I can not de-fellowship a person just because I don't like them. A person is a fellow of mine, if they are a fellow of the Christ Who has bought me and called me His.

There is no other Biblical standard. Fellowship is not about us, it's about Him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Urgent Prayer Request From The Mission Field

I just found this today at one of my favorite websites, The Christian Think-Tank.

Urgent Prayer Request, Aug 3/2009:

Friends and Family,

I got this just now from the precious brother in Islamabad Pakistan who has been translating/dubbing some of my written/audio materials into Urdu/Punjabi ( ) for outreach in those language groups.

These events have been in the news this week (e.g. CNN), but I had no idea it was affecting HIM!

Please pray, and if you have a clear leading to help in some way, contact him directly at this gmail account below.

This is grievous.

Thank you,


From: Amir Shahzad []
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 11:36 PM
To: Glenn Miller
Subject: my house is in fire


I am not fine…..weeping…….crying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our house is burning 7 people of our family killed by the attack Of Muslims militants… more than 3000 people gathered and attacked on our Christian houses. They broke everything and burnt 42 houses. 4 women, 2 men and 1 child are died by firing, burning and falling of roof. They destroyed each and everything in houses. They beat us and took valuable things themselves.

There is no proper food to eat, No electricity, No Gas, No water because they destroyed disconnected supplies/system. So many are shocked, injured and sick because of the electric wire thrown in the street.

Church is completely dishonored, broken and burnet. The Christians tried to defend but the Muslims had large numbers of guns, sticks, hand bombs and liquid chemical in their hands. They tore the Holly Bible; they brought out the musical instruments and carpet from the church. First they broke and than they put them in to the fire.

Our computer, cads, bed, furniture, crokary is burned in to fire and still there is smoke. We need help

We need help. Can you please pay attention and ask your family and friends to pray and help in this time of need.


Monday, August 10, 2009

On Women Teaching And Having Authority Over Men IN Christ's Church

Here is a copy of the letter I sent the Board of Elders of the Church I had been attending. I want to make it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that Women are not second rate Christians and they, in my experience, seem equally able to lead people. The issue is not about ability, but about being set aside for God's work in His Church.

Here's the letter. I've edited out the names of the Church and people involved.

Dear Pastor,

Please accept this letter to the Board of Elders and present it to them for theirs and your consideration.

Pastor, I’m thankful that you have been more than willing to discuss the topic at hand with me. I especially appreciate that you have continued to be a mentor even though we have disagreement. I value you as a brother in Christ and a shepherd and I want to remind you and the Elders of my enduring love and respect. I’m thankful that you and the Elders will prayerfully and studiously consider what I offer here with diligence and integrity. As we discussed in person, if I thought otherwise I would simply separate from fellowship. I truly hope than you and the Elders will not take my attempt to be clear and complete as being cold or harsh. I have given this writing to a wise brother in Christ and have heeded his advice as closely as I could with regard to editing this work for tone. The written word has the benefit of lasting through study and consideration but it surely lacks the ability to react to the reader. I hope that you and the Elders will trust my intentions in like manner as I trust yours.

I am writing to you with regard to women teaching and having authority over men in Christ’s Church and my recent experience of this at our church. I believe the Scriptures are clear that such is prohibited in the Church. There are many possible facets to discussion that can ensue from this topic. Therefore I wish to be straight forward and clear. It is not my understanding that women are prohibited or even limited in Ministry any more than men are. I submit that if we minister, we must minister in the Spirit and the Spirit has revealed in the Scriptures how we can recognize His working. I also submit what I consider obvious for the sake of clarity, whatever is outside of and/or in violation of what the Spirit has revealed in Scripture is not of His working.

While trying to be brief I wish to make it clear to you that I do not believe you men are any more subject to me than any other brother in Christ is. I bring no accusation in this letter. I am writing this to you men because the Scriptures tell me that an Elder is able to teach and correct according to the Scriptures. The seriousness of this matter is that of the Headship of Christ over His Church. I do not regard this as a side issue, or a “foolish and ignorant dispute” and I do not intend strife. This issue speaks to the very image of Christ’s relationship to the Church and is therefore worthy of full consideration. As men who wish to be doing God’s work we must rightly divide the Word of Truth. So, please consider this writing as my part of our collaboration in maintaining our church’s biblical unity.

Brothers with all of this said, if the course of our church is to be set in a direction that is not decided and driven by the Word of Truth then my family will not be able to continue our fellowship here. I’m trusting that won’t be the case and in my limited ability to see the possible outcomes of our discussion I am hopeful of one of these following two happening. That you men will be able to teach and correct me using the Scriptures as your full, final and only authority or that you will repent and change the course that our church is currently on. I believe either, if done in accordance to the Word of Truth would be God honoring and edifying to the assembly of Christians at our church.

Through discussion with our Pastor I have learned he does not consider a woman teaching or preaching as having authority over those who are being taught or preached to. He made it clear that he puts a distinction between governing and teaching. I do not make this distinction myself, as I do not see how someone can teach or preach without authority. However, such disagreement has limited impact on our discussion and while important does not need to be our focus at this time.

Brethren there are a number of websites I could have just offered for your review. However, in accordance with my conscience and in a sincere desire to avoid even the appearance of “idle babbling” I have prepared this small argument from the Scriptures themselves.

The Apostle Paul wrote under inspiration of the Holy Spirit;

1 Tim 1:18-20

18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1 Tim 2:8-13

8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

This is not the only “therefore” that Paul builds on the charge he committed to Timothy, but it is surely one of the things that are part of that charge. We could get side tracked with what “silence” means however if we let only the Scriptures give us the context then we can be sure that this is with regard to teaching and learning. It does not mean a woman is to be perfectly silent in the Church. However if it did mean this then Timothy (and all Elders even today) would be just as subject to follow it.

Paul’s inspired reasoning for this prohibition has nothing to do with society, culture, education, or even any particular assembly of believers. We are told that Adam was formed first. This tells us that Paul’s instruction is based on God’s perfect order of Creation which He called “good good” Gen 1:31 which we often translate “very good.” The weight of the word “good” is increased as it is repeated in Hebrew. The classic well known example of this concept is that God is described as “holy holy holy.”

Paul is absolutely clear that sin entered the world through Adam, though the woman was deceived. It was Adam’s responsibility. Rom 5. He was created first and he was given rule and authority. However in Gen 3 we read how Adam tried to hand this responsibility to Eve and even God. He says to God “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” We say the very same thing when we disobey the Scriptures and say that God has called a woman to teach men. We give up the authority and the responsibility that God has placed on us and give it to the woman. We wrongly blame God and the woman saying she was gifted for this purpose though she was not.

This is how God dealt with Adam’s sin;

Gen 3:17-20

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“ Cursed
is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat
of it
All the days of your life.

18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.

19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you
And to dust you shall return.”
20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

Please notice two things; We live in a cursed universe not only because Adam ate of the tree but also because he surrendered his authority to the woman. After being corrected Adam went on to actually exercise his authority over her to the point that he even was the one who named her Eve.

Please carefully consider the conversation that God had with the woman before this.

Gen 1:13-14 a

13 And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent:…

Immediately after this God cursed the “great serpent of old” and went on to deal with the man. Notice that God did not deal with the woman as though she was responsible for this thing. He had not given her the authority. He had given the man it though and so this whole thing was his responsibility. This is the order that our immutable God created and operates within.

Some have said that women can teach and some others even say have authority over a man in Christ’s Church because “in Christ there is neither male nor female.” The fact is that the passage being quoted is about salvation.

Gen 3:26-29

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Clearly there is a volume of writing in the NT which indicates that people are still male and female (along with the associated implications) even after they are baptized into Christ. Of particular interest to our discussion is Paul’s instruction that the Christian Marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship to the Church. I could quote these passages but because of the volume they would inflate this letter and make it even harder for you to read. I trust you are each familiar with Paul’s teaching in this regard. Eph 5:22-32 may be helpful.

At issue during my discussion with Pastor Frank was if God uses men and women in the same fashion through giftings.

Rom 12:3-8

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

This passage makes it clear that while we are “one body” we are each individual “members” of that body and we do not all have the same function.

Our Pastor and I discussed the symbol of submission or head covering when a woman prays and prophecies. He had expressed that he understood his covering as Pastor covered the woman who taught at at our church.

1 Cor 11:1-16

1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

To apply the prophecy here as teaching is to take it out of the context that Paul uses it in. He himself asks the question in vs 13 that tells us this is about prayer not teaching. Even if this were to mean teaching Scripture tells us that the older women are to be teachers of the younger women.

Titus 2:1-6

1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

1 Cor 11:5 does not mute the rest of NT Scripture and so give a woman right to teach a man by saying that if she prays or prophecies that she ought to have a symbol of submission visible to the angels. Vs 10 tells us they are the reason she should be covered. We have peace with God now through the Peace Offering of Christ. We can approach the Throne by the Blood of Christ. The angels desire to look in at this salvation we have. 1 Peter 1:10-12 When we approach the Throne we ought to do so in such a way that respects the angels’ desire to look at how we have this access. We do so honoring the Headship of Christ our Bridegroom. Paul makes it clear that what the symbol is isn’t important, but that the angles can see that both the man and the woman who approaches God does so in proper subjection and humility though we can enter in “boldly” because of the Blood. Heb 10.

Brethren, if what I have prepared here is faithful then the Scriptures prohibit our godly women from teaching and/or having authority over our godly men. This prohibition is in accordance with God’s perfect established order. We as men desiring to be God’s workmen and to properly honor Him alone must therefore fulfill our role and allow women to fulfill theirs. The issue is not equality, it is service in the Spirit. Both men and women are recognized as gifted in accordance with the Scriptures and both are given to serve in Christ’s Church in their own functions. Anything other than that would be outside of the working of the Spirit and would be in our own effort. It is our failing and our responsibility when this happens. So it is my responsibility to prepare this letter for you.

I realize this letter has stretched on, but it as short as I could make it. Thank you for your consideration and for what I expect will be a diligently prepared response. I am thankful to God for providing godly men to serve in our assembly. My Wife and I will continue to pray for each of you and your families.

In love, and in Christ,

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Thoughts About Ability And Inability.

Here are some fairly unprocessed thoughts on the subject of inability as described by Calvinism's TULIP.

Please comment and discuss. I don't have a solid teaching to do on these and would really like to learn with you all. I'm just copy and pasting from an email I sent myself from work earlier.

It's said that people can't simply receive the Gospel unless they are first "born again" (regenerated) because Scripture says "none seek after God." There are several problems with such a statement but the first is immediately obvious. The Scriptures don't say that none who are unregenerate seek after God, they say that "none" do. So regeneration isn't the issue. Secondly, we read in Scripture that God rewards those who seek after Him and that Salvation is a gift, not a reward. So the issue about how people get saved is not if they seek or not.

The faith of Adam. Immediately after God cursed the universe because Adam had heeded the word of the woman and eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Adam named the woman Eve. He chose this name because she was the mother of all living. Amazingly enough, God had just told them that they would die but Adam had faith in God. He believed that God would continue to give life. Right after Adam chose that name God provided the first sacrifice to cover their nakedness. God didn't first provide the covering before Adam could exercise faith. God saved Adam who had faith in Him, not the other way around.Obviously Adam was able to have faith in God immediately after the Curse.

Ps 58:3-5 says

3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;

They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent;

They are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear,

5 Which will not heed the voice of charmers,

Charming ever so skillfully.

This shows us that the person is not overcome by the skill of the Evangelist. The person who is being witnessed to "stops" his ear. Not that he's unable to hear, but he willingly stops his ear from hearing.

Monday, August 03, 2009

It Is Finished!

Yes those are the words of our Lord, but right now I'm talking about the manuscript for my first book. Tonight I finished the last of my edits!! I'm going to speak with the publisher tomorrow to make sure there are no other special requirements then I'll submit it to them.

Next is the work on the cover and I can't wait to see it!!

Sorry for the lack of new content here I've been trying to catch up on everything and get this book finished. I've got a number of topics on my heart to discuss. I'm looking forward to some real interaction on some of them because I need to get some stuff figured out.

Robb Lawson in the hospital

I just heard that Brother Robb Lawson is in the hospital. He suffers from significant health issues already but I don't know why he is there today. Please pray for our Brother's swift and complete recovery.

Robb is host of Good Morning Jesus Christ!