Category Archives: Doctrine
A very good article based on reason and logic and not emotional “gut” feelings.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with his finger ever on the pulse of “progressives”—I mean, Chicagoans—has discerned that two of the top three problems facing the city are the absence of casinos and legalized “same-sex marriage.”
The city’s failing schools, gang activity, murder rate, debt, unemployment, poverty, family breakdown, child abuse, and drug use pale in significance when compared to the absence of casinos. Perhaps Mayor Emanuel sees casinos as the solution to all those problems.
One of his top priorities is bringing casinos to the city, casinos that will disproportionately harm those of lesser incomes because they have less financial padding to sustain the ineluctable losses on which predatory casinos rely.
Judging from his letter to the Chicago Sun Times, his de facto top priority is same-sex marriage, which will further erode the institution of marriage, the erosion of which has already disproportionately harmed the black community.
But why should these inconvenient truths bother Emanuel when he’s got fat cat casino-backers and wealthy homosexuals in his corner.
Emanuel in a display of “progressive” ignorance and uncharacteristic mushiness claimed that “gays and lesbians are still denied one essential freedom: the right to make a lifelong commitment to the person they love.” Say what?
Every unmarried person of major age is free to marry as long as he or she is seeking to marry one person of the opposite sex who is not closely related by blood. Homosexuals are not denied the right to marry. They choose not to participate in this sexually complementary institution.
Homosexuals are simply not permitted to unilaterally jettison the central defining feature of legally sanctioned marriage: sexual complementarity.
Similarly, polyamorists may not unilaterally jettison the requirement regarding numbers of partners, and those in love with their siblings or parents may not unilaterally jettison the requirement pertaining to close blood kinship.
Moreover, homosexuals are not denied the right to make a lifelong commitment. Homosexuals may, indeed, love, have sex with, set up households with, and commit for life to any person they wish.
Mayor Emanuel seems to have adopted the view that marriage is an institution centrally or solely concerned with the loving feelings of those involved. But if that’s the case, if marriage is solely about love and has no intrinsic connection to procreation, then why does the government limit it to two people? And if marriage is solely about love, why not permit two loving brothers to marry?
If marriage were centrally or solely about the recognition of love, there would be absolutely no reason for the government to be involved. The government has no vested interest in “recognizing” subjective feelings. The government has a vested interest in the objective connection of sexually complementary coupling to procreating.
The government is in the marriage business because a two-person, sexually complementary union is how children are produced, and the government has a vested interest in recognizing, regulating, and promoting the type of relationship that can produce children—whether or not any particular couple has children.
In describing Chicago’s diversity, Mayor Emanuel paired race and “sexual orientation” revealing that he’s also bought into the intellectually vacuous comparison of race to homosexuality, which is the flawed analogy upon which the entire homosexuality-affirming house of cards is built. Whereas race is 100 percent heritable, in all cases immutable, and has no behavioral implications whatsoever, homosexuality is constituted by subjective feelings, volitional sexual acts that are legitimate objects of moral assessment, and is not 100 percent heritable.
Despite exploiting the language of the civil rights movement by trumpeting his defense of “equality,” Emanuel is not advocating for equality. He’s advocating for the unilateral redefinition of marriage by homosexuals to serve their desires.
Emanuel, envisioning himself as the Martin Luther King Jr. of the homosexual movement, proclaims “Marriage equality is the next step in our nation’s march forward. Illinois must lead the way.” Emanuel would do well to remember these words of Martin Luther King Jr.:
“How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law….An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
Illinois has certainly proved itself capable of leading the way, leading the way to fiscal insolvency, educational malpractice, and incomprehensible murder rates. Why not lead the way to the destruction of real marriage by pretend marriage.
“He lost his position… when he… was immersed”
November 04, 1870 – Henry Novotny entered seminary in Switzerland, and in 1875 he married Anna Kastomlatska. In 1881 he went with his wife and two children to Edinburgh, Scotland, to study in the Free College. For some time he served in evangelism, but he lost his position as an evangelist when he embraced the Baptist position and was immersed on Feb. 12, 1885, in the largest Baptist church on the continent by Pastor Charles Ondra in Lodz, Russian-Poland. Returning to Prague, Bohemia, Novotny organized a Baptist church with 16 members near Prague. Mrs. Novotny was a hearty soul as well. She was immersed in the icy Vltava River when the ice had to be broken. Henry was called before the court numerous times. During one period he had to report to the local authorities every Monday morning to narrate his activities. He was happy to relate to them the sermon that he preached the Lord’s Day before. When the officials refused to allow them to meet in their building they moved to the pastor’s home. As the church grew they rented a building, then the officials said that they had to meet in a “dwelling place,” so he had one of his son’s sleep in the rented hall. Henry conducted seven services each Sunday. He also played the organ and conducted Sunday school. The work of the Baptists grew under such direction, and Novotny’s pen proved as strong as his pulpit ministry. His “literary work” was done under the pre-war [First World War] Austrian government, which strictly censored printed material…religious or otherwise. Hence Henry’s writings were often confiscated, and several times he had to pay heavy fines. By the time of his death his son Joseph followed him in the pastorate, and the work had so grown that there were Baptist churches in thirty Bohemian towns.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 458-59.
PERSONAL NOTE: My father was a missionary pastor in St. Louis, MO. His experience was this! – How important is “SCRIPTURAL” baptism? Important enough for Jesus to walk 60 miles to be baptized by the only one that had authority to baptize because John the Baptist had authority from heaven. Jesus would not settle for a substitute. As missionary pastor, my father experienced the reality of some that felt their baptism was not any good and asked for scripural baptism NOW. The mission did not have a baptistry so my father said Alton Lake was available. These people said yes and January we cut ice that was 9 inches thick to baptise. What a witness!
BY RICHARD M. DUDLEY, D.D.
(Editor’s Note: According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, “close” means “not open, confined to specific groups; restricted.” HLW)
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)
This sermon is devoted to a discussion of the question of Close Communion. In one word, this is our plea: We ask, for ourselves, the simple liberty to administer the ordinances of the Lord’s House in such a way as our consciences tell us that His Word requires.
We ask the charity of others that they recognize our right to do this, and that they charge our course to this motive alone – not to bigotr, uncharitableness, or illiberality. We ask no more, and surely there will be granted no less, than this.
We do not arrogate to ourselves a wisdom or piety superior to others; but, “with malice towards none, and charity for all,” we ask that we be allowed to follow our conscentious convictions in all matters pertaining to the Kingdom of Heaven. As it is by the Word of God that we are to be approved or condemned, we feel bound to follow that Word just where it leads us.
Throughout the land there is an outcry against Baptists, because of their Close Communion. This is because their views and motives are misunderstood. There are persons who never will be brought to understand the true position of Baptists in this matter. Not that the position itself is difficult, or that the position itself is difficult, or that the persons lack the ability to understand, but they do not care to understand.
The cry of “Close Communion” is a convenient cudgel with which to pound Baptists; and a ringing rally-word with which to excite popular passion and prejudice against them. To reason with such persons if the idlest of idle tasks; and Baptists may as well make up their minds to endure their carping. But we are glad to believe that this class is a very small majority of their fellow Christians of other names honestly and really misunderstand. (JC note:There was a day when there was not one Baptist that did not believe and practice “close” or as we call it now, “closed” communion. This demands an explanation of why Baptist are practicing “open” communion now, were they wrong when all Baptists practiced “close or closed” communion or are they wrong now. Both practices can not be right.
Holy Spirit investigation
A request for an explanation of a particular passage of scripture relating to the Holy Spirit has sent me scurrying to New Testament references to the Holy Spirit so that I could do some comparison. Here is what I have found.
These scriptures use Holy Ghost and/or Spirit and are all translated from the same Greek words. They have been diligently compared in several translations. They are – KJV, ASV, CEV, ISV, MKJV, and the YLT. I found that all translated the Greek words haggios as holy and the Greek word pneuma as Ghost or Spirit.
Here are the passages I compared: Luke 4:1, 11:13; John 1:33, 7:39; Acts 1:5, 2:4;
1Co_7:34 There is difference also betweenG3307 a wifeG1135 andG2532 a virgin.G3933 TheG3588 unmarried womanG22 careth forG3309 the thingsG3588 of theG3588 Lord,G2962 thatG2443 she may beG5600 holyG40 bothG2532 in bodyG4983 andG2532 in spirit:G4151 butG1161 she that is marriedG1060 careth forG3309 the thingsG3588 of theG3588 world,G2889 howG4459 she may pleaseG700 her husband.G435
CEV (contemporary english version) translates spirit.g4151 into mind pure. I included this verse because of the strange rendering made here.
1Co_12:3 WhereforeG1352 I give you to understand,G1107 G5213 thatG3754 no manG3762 speakingG2980 byG1722 the SpiritG4151 of GodG2316 callethG3004 JesusG2424 accursed:G331 andG2532 that no manG3762 canG1410 sayG2036 that JesusG2424 is the Lord,G2962 butG1508 byG1722 the HolyG40 Ghost.G4151
CEV replaces but by the Holy Ghost into and you will never curse Jesus.
Another verse that has been mangled by the CEV
Eph. 1:13, 3:5, 4:30; I Thess. 4:8; Rev. 21:10
One thing I pray you see is a consistency of translation here.
We will pursue any deviation in the next posting.
There is a question about some individuals might have been predestinated to do certain things. Undoubtedly this is true but there is not a need to get carried away. John the Baptist was named before birth and prophesied of in the Old Testament. The problem is that there is not a scripture that mentions John by name. I do know that in the Old Testament there is a name or two that is mentioned. The problem we have to deal with is the foreknowledge of God. He knows everything from the beginning to the end. He knows when one hair of our head falls and this knowledge is not predestination. We know that Judas was not saved because a saved person cannot be entered by satan. They have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. Luke 22:3. Jesus knew who and what Judas was. John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen but that the scripture may be fulfilled, he that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. John 13:26 Jesus said the one I give sop and then gave the sop to Judas. The thought of predestination is difficult to determine. To say he was predestined would then have to be based upon the foreknowledge of God that Judas would reject the Savior and based upon the wickedness of his character, which John draws attention to, would betray Christ. I do not have the ability to determine those that are predestinated individuals. The predistination I know is the plan of Christ and his sacrifice. This will not satisfy your longing to know whether Judas was predestined or not but suffice it to say that no one knows for sure. One day when we are with the Lord we will know all things.
Many people decry the idea of doctrine and dogma. They want the soft pleasing cotton candy religion that never takes a stand or even makes a statement. The shallowness of these people are astounding. The comprehension and understanding of God’s Word and God’s commands comes from study and understanding the very Word given by God for us to know. Doctrine and dogma are necessary to express who God is.
Without Doctrine how would one know how to get to heaven? The Bible is plain and simple on this doctrine, yet many have been given the wrong way. Those involved in teaching people the wrong way to get to heaven have blood on their hands. They have sent people into the flames of hell and stand before God guilty.
Let us have the plain simple doctrine of salvation, how to get to heaven. Ephesians 2:8-10 is so simple and clear that none should misunderstand what it says. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
What is difficult with this scripture? “For by grace” . God’s grace has been extended to man because man is a sinner. That Grace that God extends to us is His own precious Son who has paid the price that we rightfully owe. “are ye saved through faith;”. We appropriate this grace by our faith in the risen Son of God, Jesus Christ. Now this is pretty simple so far and it is doctrine. “and that not of yourselves;” This says that all we can do is trust in Jesus. We cannot be baptised – that not of yourselves; We cannot join a church – that not of yourselves; We cannot partake of the Lord’s Supper and be saved – that not of yourselves; There is not one thing we can do to get to heaven but simply trusting in the risen Saviour. Now how simple is that; yet there are many that being shallow and not understanding are missing the door to heaven. Notice the Key to understanding is “it is the gift of God;” We do not work (be baptised, join a church, eat the Lord’s supper, do good works) to receive a gift. Gifts are freely given and freely received. God’s plan is always the best. When everything rest upon Him it then is none of us “lest any man should boast.” When we trust the risen Savior we are “created in Christ Jesus” . Now comes the works. Once we are saved, we are then to go and witness to others. Salvation and then good works. Very simple but many do not understand.
This is the doctrine of salvation and any other way is wrong and leads to the punishment of hell.
What is your final destination?
What is so important about doctrine? Doctrine tells us about God. It tells us who God is, what God has done and what God will do. Without knowing God we cannot be intimate with God. When we desire to be intimate, it is a natural presumption that we know that person extremely well. The problem we have today is that there are those that have no clue about who God is nor what God desires.
This lack of understanding means that we cannot be intimate with God.
We should ask ourselves – Who Is God. There are more and more people today that accept pagan god’s that are not gods and say that these gods are all the same and we worship the same god. This statement comes from ignorance. The answer is simple – God is Yahweh, the one (Deut. 6:4), ultimate (Psalm 97:9; Isaiah 40:12-31), eternal Being (Psalm 90:2), who created (Genesis 1:1), rules (Psalm 115:3), and sustains all that exists (Job 38; Acts 17:24-28).
Countless religious substitutes divert worship to themselves. But there is only one Creator and Savior. Because He alone gives life, he deserves our gratitude. Because every heartbeat and circumstance is under His control, He alone deserves the trust that we habitually place in ourselves, our family, or our finances. Because He is eternal, no one will outlive Him. Because He is the Lord of lords, he is the only one in the universe to whom we must finally answer.
How do we know there is a God? The wonders of nature witness to His existence as Creator (Psalm 19:1-4). The inner voice of our conscience testifies to His existence as Lawgiver and Judge (Romans 1:18-32; 2:12-16). And the love of Christ reveals His existence as Savior and Friend (John 1:1-18; 15:15).
Because God has made Himself self-evident, our problem is not so much to prove His existence as to stop ignoring it (John 3:17-21).
How can we define or describe God? God is the one and only (Isaiah 44:6), unchangeable (James 1:17), invisible (Col. 1:15), infinite (I Kings 8:27), and perfect (Matt. 5:48) Spirit Being (John 4:24). He is holy (I Peter 1:15,16), loving (I John 4:8-16), and truthful in all that He does (John 3:33). he has lived from all eternity as one God in three distinct persons (Matt. 28:19), and in the course of time He visited us as God in the flesh (John 1:1-14).
He exists with or without our understanding. he can be described truthfully and adequately, but never exhaustively. he is infinitely more, and never less, than we have yet known Him to be.
The most apt and studious scholar has not plumbed the depths or climbed the highest in knowledge of God. We have not touched on those emotions of God such as love, hate, jealousy, anger and other emotions. We have not discussed the plans and desires of God, we have merely skimmed the surface. It is ridiculous to say we love God and desire to be intimate with Him when we only have a shallow knowledge of Him.
Here is Jesus in the temple with the Doctors of His day and he was disputing with them. Jesus was discussing Doctrine. The study of doctrine is the study of God and His Son Jesus Christ. A doctrinal study should be calming and re-assuring and renew out perspective on what is important. This study should refresh us and drown out the cares of life. it should be as calming as the sun or the surf or a mountain meadow.
Too often our doctrine becomes stuffy and simply a response to bludgeon people with and people shy away because they have a shallow understanding of doctrine and its purpose. Doctrine reveals to us who God is and His relationship to His Son. Doctrine reveals to us what God wants us to know about Him. ( A young man said to his friend, “I have found the girl of my dreams.” His friend ask him, “What color is her hair,” the reply, “I don’t know.” His friend asked him, “what color is her eyes.” The reply, “I don’t know.” The friend asked, “What is her favorite color.” The reply, “I don’t know.” The friend then said, “You don’t know any thing about her; you can’t describe her, you don’t know how tall, her complexion, her hair color the color of her eyes, or even whether she likes coke or pepsi and yet you say that is the girl you want to spend the rest of your life with?) You and I both know that is ridiculous, yet there are those that have such a lack of knowledge of God and Jesus. Doctrine illuminates us as to who God is and who Jesus is.
Right doctrine is never theory alone. Water is a compound of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen; as surf on a beach, it is calming, as rain it is soothing and refreshing, as ice it is cooling. Doctrine is not theory alone but application of the truth that we glean from the doctrine. This truth about God and His Son must be combined with love. Love without truth leads to emotionalism or, at best, good intentions.
May we pursue doctrine that leads to truth about the one we say we love, Jesus and His father, God.
Sound doctrine is right thinking that reflects what the Bible says about ourselves, our God, and our world. Our challenge, therefore, is not to learn to talk and act like theologians, but rather to know and believe what God has said (I Timothy 1:3,10; II Timothy 3:10,16; 4:2,3; Titus 1:9; 2:1,7,10).
In God’s eyes, belief is more important than behavior. That’s not because what we do is not important. It’s because thoughts are the seeds of actions. Negatively put, misbehavior is usually an expression of misbelief. While physical factors may play a supporting role, misbehavior is usually rooted in the misbeliefs that occupy our souls.
Nothing cures wrong actions better than right thinking and sound doctrine. Without right thinking we follow feelings and desires into dark swamps of personal deception and eventual self-destruction.
Doctrine is far more than heavy words like:
- Pneumatology – the study of the Spirit.
- Soteriology – the study of salvation.
- Eschatology – the study of endtimes.
- Ecclesiology – the study of the church.
- Christology – the study of Christ.
- Hamartiology – the study of sin.
Doctrine is right thinking about our feelings, our desires, our relationships, our discouragements, our fears, our joys, and our hopes. it is right thinking about God, ourselves, others, and our world. Nothing is more urgent than learning to think and believe what is right. It has very little to do with feelings and is totally based upon doctrine as revealed by the Word of God.
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