Catechism


Q. Do you understand him by the works of
creation?

A. ‘The heavens declare the glory of
God; and the firmament sheweth his handy work’ (Psa 19:1). ‘For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead’ (Rom 1:20)

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Catechism


Q. Is this God, being a Spirit, to be known?

A. Yes, and that by his works of creation, by
his providences, by the judgments that he
executes, and by his word.

Catechism


Q. How then is the true God distinguished
from other spirits?

A. Thus: No Spirit is eternal but HE, no Spirit is almighty but HE, no Spirit is incomprehensible and unsearchable but
HE: HE is also most merciful, most just, most holy (Deut 33:27; Gen 17:1; Psa 145:3; Micah7:18; Job 34:17; 1 Sam 2:2).

Catechism


Q. What spirits are they?

A. The good angels are spirits; the bad angels are spirits; and
the souls of men are spirits

(Heb 1:7,14; 1
Kings 22:21,22; Rev 16:13,14; Acts 7:59; Heb
12:23).

Frenetic Friday


Well I am overly caffeinated and the only thing on the idiot box is Dune.  And while that is a temptation to be sure (The spice must flow!).  But it has been a week since I have written on the blog and I know that you probably want a wrap of the week’s events so here is Frenetic Friday.

So let’s talk about California and in specific some of the new laws.  Assembly bill 2943 is a bill that if made into law would make it illegal for  conversion therapy regarding gender or same-sex attraction calling it a fraudulent practice.  So if passed and someone with gender issues or same-sex attractions came to a pastor of a church and asked for help with these issues the pastor by law wouldn’t be able to help the person.    In fact you could not even give that person a bible as the words in it could change the mind of the person regarding their issue.  (And such were some of you. 1 Cor. 6:11)

Now the bill isn’t going unchallenged of course.  Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel, the American College of Pediatricians, and the Pacific Justice Institute, as well as two pro-conversion-therapy groups, have begun a campaign trying to marshal voters against the bill by declaring it is “anti-Christian” or constitutes a form of government censorship of free speech, even alleging it may be unconstitutional. Some even allege that therapists who agree to see patients who are struggling with their sexual orientation and gender identity may even be prosecuted if the bill becomes law.

Staying with California, venture capitalist Tim Draper has obtained enough signatures to put a proposition on the ballot to split California into three separate states.  The state would become Northern California, Southern California, and California.  If passed it would have to be signed into law by the Governor and passed into law by the U.S. Congress.  However, it must be pointed out that if the state is split into three parts it would still be one conservative, or Republican state  to two progressive, or Democrat states.  Which would at least give some representation to the Republican minority in the state. <source>

Next we are going across the pond to the UK where gender equality reigns instead of the queen.  Case in point: Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir is an all male choir that has toured for more than sixty years.  Comprised of civilians who dress in police tunics and represent the Derbyshire police sourceduring their live performances they are the favorites of small communities and fund-raisers.  But all of that is changing.

Because of the requirement of gender equality in the Derbyshire police the current chief constable can’t support an all male choir and so has said they can no longer use the name of “Derbyshire Constabulary” and must quit using the name by June.  This has angered some of its members.  Because the choirmaster wants to keep the choir the same he has agreed to change the name of the choir rather than change the membership.  As of June the choir will be called “Derbyshire Community Male Voice Choir”  a name disliked by the members.  Along with the name change will come a costume change as the choir will no longer be wearing police tunics.  <source>

And army chaplain, a member of the Southern Baptist Church, faces charges because he wouldn’t lead a marriage retreat when a lesbian signed up for it.  An army investigator who found out that the Chaplain, Scott Squires had arranged for another chaplain that had different convictions regarding marriage than Chaplain Squires did.  Chaplain Squires has explained that N.A.M.B. (North American Mission Board) under whose authority he is, specifically prohibits same-sex weddings or retreats where same-sex couples would be present.   Chaplain Squires originally was scheduled to lead the retreat until the same-sex couple signed up for it.  And while the retreat took place one of the lesbians file a suit against Chaplain Squire saying that they had been discriminated against.

The army investigator also concluded that the soldier had been discriminated against.

The Army EO policy states that no service will be denied to any member of the Armed Service regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation,”

“CH Squires behaved as if his NAMB restrictions superseded [the soldier’s] right to attend the event,” he asserted. “CH Squires should be reprimanded for his failure to include [the soldier] in the initial Strong Bonds Retreat.”

Chaplain Squire’s attorney noted this:

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) specifically prohibits the military from mandating that a chaplain “perform any rite, ritual, or ceremony that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain.”

“Chaplain Squires should not have his career ruined for following the rules of both his faith and the Army,” said Director of Military Affairs Mike Berry. “Federal law protects Chaplain Squires and prohibits the military from punishing any chaplain who acts in accordance with their religious tenets.”<source>

 

Ligneous Hermeneutics


I fully admit that there are certain things that tend to make me erupt. Certain triggers that makes me bark like that Russell Terrier next door.  One of these happens to be dispensational hermeneutics.  Now a little back story.  I came to Christ during the heyday of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth.  I grew up in what can only be called a liberal protestant church so the first time I was exposed to the concepts of the imminent return of Christ, the rapture,  the tribulation, I was scared spit less.  I didn’t want to be “left behind”.

Later on I went through a series of teaching at the Bible church that I was attending called “God’s plan for the ages”  In it I learned what can only be called “classic dispensationalism”  Seven dispensations or economies,  separation of Israel and the Church and the “grammatical-historic hermeneutic”.

So on twitter I was asked why I didn’t like the “grammatical-historic hermeneutic”  and I replied:

Yes everyone replies with that statement as if that was the problem instead of the wooden literalism they thrust upon it.

Which is a bit snarky I will freely admit and let me apologize for the snark right now. But it is true it isn’t the “grammatical-historic” method or interpreting. In R.C.Sproul’s book Knowing Scripture he lists this method as one of the interpretive methods used to understand the text of scripture.  What I dislike is the presuppositions that are applied to the method that tend to skew the results.

For instance it has been my experience that those that follow the dispensational method of grammatical-historic interpretation (here to be known as DMGH) tend to  down play the genre of the text and the theological implications of the text.  Take the case of Sarah and Hagar.

In Galatians 4 Paul takes the historical narrative regarding Sarah and Hagar and says they are metaphors for two types of covenants.  But that violates completely what you would interpret from that story in Genesis  but Paul adds a theological interpretation that wouldn’t be allowed under the strict literalism of dispensationalist.

And there lies the problem I have with DMGH it must be always the literal meaning even though there are multiple times that isn’t how the text is being interpreted by other writers of the scripture.  Examples  Matt 1:23 ~Isa. 7:14   following DMGH Isa. 7:14 can only be fulfilled in the time of Ahab and in fact according to Isa. 8:1-4 Isaiah’s son actually fulfilled the prophecy.    Yet Matthew says this applies to Jesus.  So there must be something more than just grammar and history regarding this interpretation there is a theological genre that must be added to it.

This wooden hermeneutic which IMHO does more damage to the text  by not considering the total:   Grammatical, historical, genre, and  theological method which is I believe the more fuller method of biblical interpretation.

 

Resurrection Day


Luke 24
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.

And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

And he said to them, What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk? And they stood still, looking sad.

Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?

And he said to them, What things?

And they said to him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.

And he said to them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent. So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

They said to each other, Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures? And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon! Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, Peace to you! But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit.

And he said to them, Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have. And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, Have you anything here to eat? They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Catechism


Q. Is there no other spirit but the true God?
A. Yes, there are many spirits.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1John 4:1