Ephesians 5:21 NLT
And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

I Corinthians 16:15-16 NLT
You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God’s people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, to submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion.

Hebrews 13:17 NLT
Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

The issue of accountability has always been a no-brainer for me. I guess I owe my strong feelings about that value to my parents and in particular to my father who, despite his disagreements with the denomination he was in, chose to submit and stay accountable to them. Because of this I find it strange that Christians deny the necessity of accountability to one another and a leadership structure.

One area where accountability is sorely needed is the world of blogging and that has been said here and elsewhere a number of times. This issue of non-accountability seems to be more prevalent on discernment blogs where bloggers often criticize people supposedly knowing the will of God (in particular WoF/Prosperity preachers) and I think they are right about that most of the time. But then they in turn often claim to know the will/judgement of God about others in the same shaky way that those preachers do. When it comes to knowing or discerning the will of God I think we especially need to be accountable towards Christians around us.

It is then perplexing to me when I read something like the following:

There is a criticism – a protest, if you will – that discernment websites are accountable to no one but themselves. It depends on the context and what they mean by ‘accountable’, of course. On the one hand this is a self-refuting argument; calling out those that are perverting the simplicity of the Gospel to accountability of God’s word is by the same definition making oneself accountable to the word of God. On the other hand, to whom exactly should discernment ministries be accountable to? Should we institutionalize all these type of ministries under one banner and make them all sign some relevant decree? What happens if that institution itself becomes corrupt, then what? And if discernment ministries were accountable to an institution would false teachers take heed when warned? Of course not, it’s a dishonest criticism to begin with

It sounds to me like the author is excusing himself and other “discerners” from being accountable to other Christians. Be that as it may, it raised a  question with me that I would like to explore with all of you here:

  • Is there a point where we stop being accountable to one another or some leadership structure? What then?

Important Note: I realise that the values of submission and accountability can be abused by leaders like a lot of other good stuff. But I don’t think those abuses gives us the licence to throw these values away.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 at 9:11 am and is filed under In Tone and Character, Michael Anthony, ODM Responses. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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152 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 20th, 2010 at 9:36 am

There is no such thing as a “discernment ministry”. All ministries should have an element of discernment, but there is no New Testament outline for a ministry that odes almost nothing but discern others.

We have seen where this has led. Many times these “ministries” create an aura of self righteousness since they never discern themselves. Many readers have become very judgmental and have had their spiritual prisms become very negative.

Some of these “ministries” expand their discrenment to include castigating the lost and passing thousand mile judgments upon people and situations about which they have no first hand knowledge.

Some rely heavily upon secular news sources, and some have become political as well. You will rarely see one discernment site correct another for something, and many times when they split (as with Steve Camp) it is over his refusal to break with someone the others deem wrong.

They never see the sins and faults within themselves as clearly and with as much magnification as they do the sins and shortcomings in others. And most of all, they have become obsessed with certain Biblical doctrines that have importance, but they ignore the doctrines of humility, mercy, grace, love, and others that define Christlike behavior and not so much systematic theology.

2   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
January 20th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I agree with Rick that every ministry (and I would add congregation) should have a certain level of discernment to it. It can’t be healthy for somebody who thinks their primary role is to call everybody out on how they are wrong. Makes me think of the grumpy, frowny, older person that we all have in our congregations who only ever complains and seems to have no joy in their lives.

To Eugene’s question, I think that the only point at which we are no longer accountable to an authority structure (read that as Elder’s in my vocabulary) is when those who are shepherding us don’t hold us accountable like they should. In other words, I see it only in a positive sense where we take it upon ourselves to do right even if and/or when nobody else is asking that of us.

3   Discerning the World    http://www.discerningtheworld.com
January 20th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Discerning the World is not a ministry – it’s a blog that exposes false teaching – and rightly so. We are accountable to God. Just like everyone else.

Lastly, if ministries contained genuinely saved Christians in their Leadership there would be discernment for the Holy Spirit abides in them and they would clearly be teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If the leadership is not genuinely Christian then there will be no discernment and the flock led blindly over the cliff.

Enter informative Christian websites to help the flock find their way back onto the narrow path of genuine Christian Gospel, salvation and repentance of sin.

If anyone has a problem with people exposing the truth so that others may be saved from false teaching, then maybe you should take a look at your heart and ask yourself why you do not care.

Thank you.

4   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 20th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

DTW –

Who decides who is or is not a “genuine Christian”?

I think one of the first requirements, Eugene (and DTW), that must be met before anyone tries to hold anyone accountable is transparency. IOW, a blogger who hides behind a pseudonym or false identity has zero ground to stand on when calling people to be accountable to anything they say.

5   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 20th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Is there a point where we stop being accountable to one another or some leadership structure? What then?

I think trust is an important component for any accountability to take place.

This is why so-called discernment sites on blogs are a joke. There is no relationship and no trust. The people the write about could care less what they think of them. The only people who seem to care are those who read their garbage which makes it nothing more than gossip. They are the National Enquirer of the church world.

No one is going to be accountable to a clanging gong.

6   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 20th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Well said, Chad…

7   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 21st, 2010 at 9:02 am

Enter informative Christian websites to help the flock find their way back onto the narrow path of genuine Christian Gospel, salvation and repentance of sin.

If only the information that “discernment” websites were giving was accurate! But unfortunately they misrepresent those they are criticising. If Doug Pagitt, who according to the “discernment” websites are a first ranking heretic, can make sure that he does not mischaracterise Chris Rosebrough, surely those that say they are fighting for the Truth can do the same? Isn’t there someone in the discernment crowd who can stand up and say: “Hey, let’s make sure we speak the truth.”?

No wonder there is so much criticism that there is no accountability among the “discernment” websites.

8   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 21st, 2010 at 9:06 am

I have a question for Discerning the World. Let’s say I grant you the general definition you put forth. What do you think about “discernment” ministries that dredge up moral failures around the country, castigate the behavior of lost people, are fully involved in politics, and use hyperbolic and demeaning invectives about people which have nothing to do with their teachings but are personal?

Will you distance yourself from those who act in such a fashion?

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 21st, 2010 at 9:10 am

The information about Pagitt being a heretic is accurate and well documented. That doe not give anyone license to demean him with personal labels or question him as a husband or father, but his teachings are antithetical to New Testament truths.

10   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 21st, 2010 at 9:20 am

I suppose the most ironic thing to me is that “discernment ministries” believe that everyone and his brother should be accountable to them, but they should be accountable to no one. Some of them supposedly have a board of directors or something, but that board usually consists of the person’s wife, his uncle, and possibly his cat (with the cat being the most intelligent of the bunch).

11   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 21st, 2010 at 9:22 am

Rick, I wasn’t necessarily referring to what is being said about Doug Pagitt. I’m just saying if he can make sure he speaks truth about Chris Rosebrough regarding what Chris said, surely those that pride themselves in fighting for the Truth can do the same.

12   chris    
January 21st, 2010 at 9:40 am

Discerning the World is not a ministry

Interesting. So you wouldn’t say that you are ministering to those who have been *cough* “led astray”?

– it’s a blog that exposes false teaching – and rightly so.

By whose standards? definition? doctrine? theological viewpoint?

We are accountable to God. Just like everyone else.

The ever classic “God said I should _____ ” or the equally unimpressive “I answer to God _____” The obvious
logical ramifications withstanding how would one verify that you are actually accountable? Scripture. I direct your attention to all verses containing. critical, gently, quarrelsome, kindness, etc…

Lastly, if ministries contained genuinely saved Christians in their Leadership there would be discernment for the Holy Spirit abides in them and they would clearly be teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The mea culpa of discernment. “If you weren’t doing things wrong, you wouldn’t need me to tell you, cause the Holy Spirit would be telling you to do it the way I do it.”

If the leadership is not genuinely Christian then there will be no discernment and the flock led blindly over the cliff.

Logically how you can you make the claim that the Holy Spirit speaks to true Christians yet everyone is going to be led astray by a crazy “heretical” preacher? I must have far more faith in God’s plan than most ODM’s. Here’s the thing; as someone who is Calvinistic in theology I’m really trusting that God’s plans aren’t going to be thwarted by a rogue preacher with and internet connection and youtube account. I know that really limits you role and ultimately makes you obsolete as a “discerner” but really there are other things in the full “Gospel” message that you can give your time and energy to.

Enter informative Christian websites to help the flock find their way back onto the narrow path of genuine Christian Gospel, salvation and repentance of sin.

Did you get a white horse with the “knight in shining armor” kit or was it not included?

If anyone has a problem with people exposing the truth so that others may be saved from false teaching, then maybe you should take a look at your heart and ask yourself why you do not care.

I have a problem with it for several reasons: 1) Truth is often subjective and left up to personal interpretation. Unless that “truth” is Jesus is the “way, the truth, and the life”. I’ve yet to hear anyone who ODM’s bash claim otherwise. 2) I don’t trust you (see Chad’s response) because I don’t know you and I’m not really sure your life would pass the hypocrite test. 3) The assumptive nature of it all.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

13   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 21st, 2010 at 10:02 am

Lastly, if ministries contained genuinely saved Christians in their Leadership there would be discernment for the Holy Spirit abides in them and they would clearly be teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Of course, we could say this about informative christian websites and blogs that expose false teaching too.

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 21st, 2010 at 10:45 am

We have many discernment ministries that concentrate exclusively on systematic theology. Where are the discernment ministries that expose self righteousness or the lack of love or the lack of compassion?

Where are those that are called to discern those issues when they are ignored or twisted by believers? Is a believer who is self righteous a heretic because he is teaching and exhibiting unbiblical truths???

15   chris    
January 21st, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Discernment ministries (as has been noted) are those that discern the word not pronounce those who are doing it wrong.

See the following for “real” discernment ministries.

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/

My personal favorite site. No condescension just pure, unadulterated theological examination administered with a spirit of humility and grace.

16   Amanda    
January 23rd, 2010 at 6:06 am

Eugene

If the statements made on this site’s mission page reflect your own beliefs; if you support and are in agreement with what is taught at the sinking Mosaiek; and most importantly, if you believe in the Jesus taught by Dr. Johan Geyser, Trevor Hudson, Ron Martoia and Dr. Stephan Joubert, then you are lost and outside the Body of Christ and hence have no influence over us. Repent and receive the forgiveness of sins won by Jesus Christ on the cross.

17   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 23rd, 2010 at 10:20 am

Amanda,

Exactly what apostolic authority do you claim to determine who is saved or lost, and who is inside or outside the body of Christ? You’ve given no specifics, and you apparently don’t know Eugene in flesh and blood, so I’m just wondering what “discernment” across the WWW you’ve got that gives you the right to make such declarations?

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 23rd, 2010 at 10:39 am

How come the site that is linked to “Amanda” is a blog that is posted by someone named “THomas”? I could not find his last name or who Amanda was. Why?

19   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 11:51 am

then you are lost and outside the Body of Christ and hence have no influence over us.

I think that is called “irony.”

20   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 1:15 pm

“I have often repented of judging too severely, but very seldom of being too merciful.” – John Wesley, 20 October 1787

21   Amanda    
January 23rd, 2010 at 3:35 pm

The Bible is the only authority for judging false teachings. See for yourself who Eugene supports. Dries Cronje, the neo-mystic wrote about Lectio Divina for the Learning Community.

Thomas Lessing is a dear brother in Christ, or as the Rev. Dr. Guillaume Smit would have it, an agent of the devil himself, while Eugene claims Nic Paton as a brother.

DTW3:

I think that is called “irony.”

So is this:

IOW, a blogger who hides behind a pseudonym or false identity has zero ground to stand on when calling people to be accountable to anything they say.

Eugene, don’t fret. The Rev. Dr. Guillaume Smit has already thrown down the gauntlet. It is only a matter of time until we will be hauled in front of the South African court for saying something like these two quotes of mine that Dr. Smit used as examples:

When Rob Bell teaches that you are the Gospel, he is wrong and should repent. When Dr. Stephan Joubert teaches that maybe the Gospel is giving your all to Jesus, he is wrong and should repent.

The emerging church is no place for Christians.

The Law cannot save you, Eugene. And neither can Dr. Stephan Joubert’s Sage from Heaven. Repent and believe the Good News that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins.

22   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Um, Amanda, I think you don’t understand what irony is.

23   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 23rd, 2010 at 3:38 pm

#21.
I have to say I love it when the tin foil hat wearers show up. It is truly entertaining.

24   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I agree, Joe. Although sometimes it is very unnerving and sad. Sort of the same feeling I get when watching Ghost Hunters with my wife and they have encountered what they call an “aggressive spirit”

25   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 3:51 pm

The lack of grace and love shown by these people on their blogs convinces me they are another religion entirely. It does not surprise me that when they see people with hearts like Eugene’s or Nic’s that they call them to repent. They are in two different worlds.

But I would say to them what I have said to PB. If God truly is the sort of God they represent through their words, I would be an ardent atheist.

Thankfully, Jesus told us how we would know who are his sheep and who are not. He did not say, “You will know them by their doctrine” but rather, “You will know them by their love.

I would tell them to repent, but I assume it would fall on deaf ears every bit as much as their telling me to repent does.

26   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Dear Amanda
Dr Johan Geyser is a dear friend of mine. I respect Dr Stephan Joubert and Trevor Hudson highly. Thank you for your concern about my soul.
Peace to you sister.

27   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Eugene,
I read what you all are doing at LC and it sounds wonderful. God is moving.

Grace and peace to you and yours.

28   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 4:32 pm

The Law cannot save you, Eugene.

I am busy preparing the multi media for tomorrow service and I saw this song that Chris Tomlin sings. It says what I was thinking when I read the above very well:

Great is Your faithfulness oh God
You wrestle with the sinner’s restless heart
You lead us by still waters and to mercy
And nothing can keep us apart

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise
Oh God

Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me

Great is Your love and justice God
You use the weak to lead the strong
You lead us in the song of Your salvation
And all Your people sing along

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise
Oh God

Your grace is enough
Heaven reaches down to us
Your grace is enough for me
God I see your grace is enough
I’m covered in your love
Your grace is enough for me
For me

- Maher, Matthew G

29   nathan    
January 23rd, 2010 at 4:47 pm

i don’t understand how anyone could say that Eugene believes the Law saves him…

Fascinating, this Amanda person.

30   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Eugene, tsk tsk.

Chris Tomlin believes that singing can place us in the presence of God (this is New Age/Emergent/Contemplative crap). There was a time when he performed in a church where a certain man was there who raised his hands during the song. The problem is, this certain man is a Catholic. Chris Tomlin did not condemn him. Therefore, Chris Tomlin is a heretic and believes you are saved by works and the law.

I am not surprised you would quote him or use his music in your service.

31   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 23rd, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Amanda – If you are an unordained woman you are acting outside Biblical authority which is our “only authority”. I have vigorously argued with Jerry, but he is an ordained man of God and you are not.

I call on you torepent and quire rebuking ordained men, regardless of how you disagree with them. This does not mean you are not saved, just that you are rebellious.

BTW – Even if you used to be a man and are now transgenered, you still might be saved. Careful how you respond to me since I am an ordained elder – unless you ignore the clear teachings of Holy Writ. :cool:

32   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Eugene, I had no idea. I’m so disappointed in you man. Chris L., you have got to screen these writers better.

33   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
January 23rd, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Eugene, do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins?

34   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 23rd, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Chris L., you have got to screen these writers better.

That’s exactly what I said when he asked you to write here. :O

35   chris    
January 23rd, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I knew it. Eugene is a heretic.

36   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 24th, 2010 at 9:30 am

Is that smoke I’m smelling? What’s that crackling noise? Ok, that’s enough guys, you can untie me now!!!

37   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
January 24th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Joe, I think I said the same thing about myself back then. Ha ha, suckers.

38   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 24th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

So you all allow heretics to be writers here (Eugene) but not Christian universalists? (btw, I believe Eugene and I are pretty close with all that). :D

Eugene, I’ll burn with you any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 24th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Hello all.

Signed,

Discerning Everyone’s World but Mine

40   Neil    
January 25th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Repent and believe the Good News that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins. – amanda

what has eugene written that would make you think he has not already done so?

41   Amanda    
January 25th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Neil
I don’t know if he has or not. I do know Eugene preaches the works of the law.. He is offended by discernment blogs pointing out false teachings and wants them to be held accountable. He is not offended by Nic Paton who wrote:

So I rejoice at the presence of the Trickster in a barren land of closed thought, for quite apart from being the bringer of death and destruction, he in fact is a catalyst for life and salvation. I now look at Jesus as embodying (amongst all things divine) this trickster, as well.

“Be as wise/sly as serpents and as harmless a doves”. In this metaphor, the serpent is not an outlaw, but something to be actively embraced.

“Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”: Conjurers of the world, unite in Christ!

“Become as little children”: engage in play, awe, and the space opened up by ambiguity.

“I will make myself more foolish in their eyes” – David, shamanic worshipper and “apple of G-d’s eye”.

“I become a fool for Christ” – here Paul elevates the Jester role, acknowledging that it is not the highly evolved adult, but those without guile, who will experience G-d.

Nic Paton is proclaiming another Christ, as is Dr. Stephan Joubert with his Sage from Heaven, yet Eugene supports these men

Neil, if you are a Christian you will easily spot what is missing on this site’s mission page and in the song that Eugene quoted higher up. I am concerned that he values men more than Jesus Christ who died for his sins.

42   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 25th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Neil, if you are a Christian you will easily spot what is missing on this site’s mission page and in the song that Eugene quoted higher up.

lol. how predictable you people are.

Yeah, Neil, if you are a Christian you will agree with Amanda.

43   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 25th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Hey Amanda,
I was driving while listening to the new Pearl Jam CD and found myself in a state of worship as I tapped my steering wheel to these lyrics:

Feel the path of everyday,..Which road you taking? Look for love & evidence..that you’re worth keeping..swallowed whole in negatives..it’s so sad & sickening Feel the air up above..a pool of blue sky..fill the air up with love..black with starlight. Feel the sky blanket you..w/ gems & rhinestones..see the path cut by the moon…for you to walk on..for you to walk on…

Eddie Vedder

Beautiful, isn’t it?

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 25th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

If supporting someone who exhibits some things that are antithetical to Christ and His gospel mean you are not saved than I am not saved either. I support someone who exhibits an observable disconnect between what Christ teaches and what he lives.

Me.

45   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 25th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

The real irony here is Amanda thinks Eugene puts his faith in the law. ha!

pot, meet kettle

46   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 25th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Personally, I think the picture of the holy sheep in Amanda’s gravatar is a nice touch…

I like to know if I’m dealing with a sheep or a goat…

47   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 25th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Listen to the tide slowly turning
Wash all our heartaches away
We’re part of the fire that is burning
And from the ashes we can build another day

But I’m frightened for your children
That the life that we are living is in vain
And the sunshine we’ve been waiting for
Will turn to rain

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 25th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

When the final line is over
It’s certain that the curtain’s gonna fall
I can hide inside your sweet sweet love
For ever more

49   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 6:06 am

Amanda,
I don’t like prancing around with my spiritual status. I often find that proclamations like “I repented and believe Jesus died for my sins…” come over prideful and self righteous and only serve to alienate people. However, for your benefit I will say the following: I do believe in daily repentance (turning away from sin) by the power of the Holy Spirit and that right standing and life with God is only available to us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Having said that, I think that any reduction of the Gospel into a few sentences will fall far short from the full truth and power thereof.

I do know Eugene preaches the works of the law.. He is offended by discernment blogs pointing out false teachings and wants them to be held accountable. He is not offended by Nic Paton who wrote:

Can you support the accusation that I preach the works of the law with any evidence?

I am not offended by “discernment” blogs pointing out false teachers. I’m offended that they proof text, stretch the truth, mischaracterise and even lie about other Christians and I would like to see accountability in that respect. Proof texting Nic Paton or Dr Joubert to prove your point is not being accountable to the truth. If you do not agree with what they wrote, say so and with what points you disagree but to stretch your disagreements with them (or me) to the point where you declare them outside the body of Christ is just wrong. You take things said and written out of context and then make your claims of false teachers.

Don’t you realise that we all fall far short from presenting the full Gospel? Do you realise this about yourself? Do you realise that you not getting it all right does not mean that you are not a true Christian?

Amanda, there is grace for you. Grace enough to cover all your shortcomings.

May God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand, be with you today.

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 7:27 am

“Preaching the works of the law” is code for adding humanitarian works in the gospel. The man she quotes supports Peter Rollins so I would be wary of him personally.

But to question an ordained man’s salvation in a blog thread andby a woman is especially delicious. I would suggest, as a tin foil hat left behinder, that the usurping of authority be women in the church is another sign of Joe’s hope!

51   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 8:07 am

Just so I’m clear….

The law has nothing to do with saving you but everything do with keeping one saved. Is that how it is?

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 8:20 am

Christ is THE END OF THE LAW to everyone who believes.

There will be a test.

53   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 8:34 am

Rick,
Rom. 10:4 is poorly translated (one more reason why some knowledge of the languages used in Scripture can be beneficial).

The word “end” that you continually use in these discussions does not mean “end” the way I think you wish to portray it. The word is “telos,” which can be translated “end” but in actuality it means “goal” or “fulfillment.”

IOW, what Paul is saying in Rom. 10:4 is that the law’s purpose or goal was to point to Christ. Christ is the pinnacle of the Law.

It is not to say the law is forever gone.

54   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 8:52 am

There is no law to a believer. None. Grace and law are enemies and cannot coexist. The strength of the law was its weakness in that it would die to allow grace.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (grace) has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Moses)

Many modern translations disagree with your interpretation of the word telos. In a race, the word telos can be the goal and the finish line which can mean both the achievment as well as the end of the race.

BTW – I have original language knowledge.

55   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 8:55 am

Rick,
Grace and Law are not enemies but 2 sides of the same coin.

When you say stuff like that you sound like Marcion.

56   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 8:56 am

And just to add to my rednudant and irritating point about language and history, many “scholars” with incredible original language credentials disagree among themselves. The same is true for those who have knowledge of the Jewish customs and understandings.

Who do I believe then? The one I choose to or the one I like or the one who agrees with me or the one confronts those I don’t like or…whoever.

57   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 9:00 am

Death and life.

Different coins. No one was ever saved or kept by the law and no one was ever saved without grace in its entirety. If you claim the law is valid for the believer you must eat the entire cake.

We should not commit adultery because we serve Jesus Christ not because the tablets say so. The tablets do not say we should love our neighbor as ourselves or that hating someone is murder.

Grace is much more demanding than the law of Moses ever was, however grace demands through love and life while law demands through fear and death.

58   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 9:15 am

Chad – If I believe in .00001% of the law for the New Testament I would say you are not saved. Since I believe in grace plus nothing, I can believe you are a brother. Same with Bell etc..

The people like Amanda are the ones who really espouse the law.

59   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 9:19 am

Rick,
Of course the law if valid for the believer – it was fulfilled, not abolished.

Law does not demand through fear and death. Where do you come up with this idea?

How is grace more demanding than the law ever was??? Grace, by definition, is pure gift. It cannot be earned nor can it be forfeited – it is just gift.

60   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 9:39 am

Which law is valid for the believer?

61   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 9:40 am

You, my friend, are a legalist. :)

62   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 10:29 am

Rick,
Can you explain to me how grace is more demanding than the Law?

63   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 10:55 am

It is actually a metaphor, but here is only one example.

No one was found guilty of thinking something under the law while under grace the Spirit can search the heart. The word “demanding” is a paradox and meant as a literary tool.

64   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

There is no law to a believer. None. Grace and law are enemies and cannot coexist. The strength of the law was its weakness in that it would die to allow grace.

Chad’s got it right on this one. Grace cannot exist without the Law, because without the Law there is no need for Grace. Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law (which is to interpret it correctly), not to abolish the law (which is to misinterpret it, which includes doing away with it).

Part of the problem with our translation of Torah as Law, is that (because of our cultural view of laws) we miss its purpose. Torah comes from the word Yerah, which means to guide, as one would do to an arrow being shot towards a target. Jesus’ sacrifice does not make “breaking the Law” (going against the guidance given by God) no longer a sin – it simply removes the penalty of that sin (which is why, if we love him, we strive to follow His guidance, Torah, as it was given to us – not out of fear, but out of love).

65   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Doug Campbell, in his book The Deliverance of God, devotes a great deal of time with unwrapping some of our Post-Reformation understanding of what it means to be a Jew living under the Law. In our soteriology we tend to paint (by necessity) the person before Christ as deeply disturbed by their ability to keep the Law – they are the “unhappy legalist” who has a near psychotic split because they know they must keep the law but cannot. Therefore, the gospel is the “way out” of this mental and emotional quagmire.

The problem with this description, however, is it does not really match the reality of Jews pre-Christ. Campbell describes 5 types of “legalists” (my book is at home so I can’t do them justice now) where he notes that there is such a thing as the “happy legalist,” a person who views God’s law as an OPPORTUNITY to be in God’s presence and be in fellowship with God’s people. They are delighted that they have been given this law for to them it is life. Many Jews today still view the law in the same way (otherwise they’d be Christians!).

66   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 26th, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Is there a difference between the moral law and ceremonial law?

The reason I’m asking is that Paul makes reference to the 10 commandments here and there, giving no indication that we (grafted in) are not bound by them somehow.

For example, in Ephesians 6, he speaks of the 5th commandment as the “first commandment with promise.” That would indicate that we don’t just throw away the moral law.

67   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Is there a difference between the moral law and ceremonial law?

If you study Torah, there are parts that apply to Jews only, Priests only, High Priests only, and ones that apply to all people.

Many of the Ten Commandments are contained in Noaic Law (or Noahide Law), which apply to all people, but one does not (honor the Sabbath and keep it holy). Ceremonial laws & dietary laws are Mosaic, not Noahide, so they do not apply to non-Jews.

68   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 26th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

#67. Right.

In his letters Paul never rails against moral law at all. He rails against those who are trying to influence believers into maintaining ceremonial law.

From what I see most of the time, most people (incl scholars) make no distinction, which I think is incorrect.

As believers we are not free from the moral law of God and transgressing it can still carry consequences (see 1 Cor 10, Rev 2 & 3).

69   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

From what I see most of the time, most people (incl scholars) make no distinction, which I think is incorrect.

You are reading the wrong people, then.

70   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 26th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Actually, it’s more from discussions like this and posts on blogs/websites.

But, there is not a single reference in the NT where the moral law of God is castigated. Instead, we are commanded to live in accordance to it.

It is only the ceremonial law (observing feasts, circumcision, etc) that Paul and others rail against.

Unless we make this distinction we head down a wrong path altogether.

71   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I just added a course this semester that I am really excited about:
The Wisdom of Ancient Rabbinic Stories taught by Rabbi Sager.

Not sure if it is co-taught by the Imam, but I will keep you all posted.

72   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 3:13 pm
It is only the ceremonial law (observing feasts, circumcision, etc) that Paul and others rail against.

Unless we make this distinction we head down a wrong path altogether.

I generally try to make this distinction, but then I also have to note that Paul does NOT rail against ceremonial law being followed by Jewish Christians (and, in fact, he goes out of his way to follow it himself on at least two or three occasions).

The issue at hand in a number of the locations in Asia Minor, Greece and Rome was with Jews and Jewish Christians who wanted Gentile Christians to be circumcised and follow Sabbath & Feast recognitions (ceremonial law) and to eat kosher (dietary law). The Jerusalem Council ruling in Acts 15-17 makes it clear that it is only the Noaic Law (moral law) that Gentile Christians should follow.

73   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

#71 – I’d be interested in what you get from that, as well, including the course reading list…

74   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

will do, chris

75   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 26th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Not sure if it is co-taught by the Imam, but I will keep you all posted.

Does Madeline Murray O’Hare also teach there? Under an assumed name of course.

76   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 26th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

The issue at hand in a number of the locations in Asia Minor, Greece and Rome was with Jews and Jewish Christians who wanted Gentile Christians to be circumcised and follow Sabbath & Feast recognitions (ceremonial law) and to eat kosher (dietary law).

Agreed. It seems that since the Reformation, the prevailing thought has been that the “Law Must Go” with a failure to understand what Paul’s epistles were actually dealing with.

77   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

#64 – Of course the law makes grace a necessity since all break the law. But once a sinner is covered by grace he is no longer answerable to the law – unless grace is insufficient.

The law saves no one and makes no one righteous. We are completely saved by grace and completely righteous in Christ – without the works of the law.

78   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Is this part of the law that appilies to New Testament believers? And if so, why aren’t you obeying what it says?

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

79   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Who are you asking, Rick?

Chris L, I sent you an email.

80   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I am asking anyone who believes the law appilies to the New Covenant.

81   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Show me from the New Tesatment where the law is separated into catagories. (i.e. moral law, ceremonial law, etc.)

If you embrace the law you must embrace it all, which is death to all of us.

82   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

And even if you suggest that the moral law still applies today, why should we not stone homosexuals?

83   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 26th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

#64 – Of course the law makes grace a necessity since all break the law. But once a sinner is covered by grace he is no longer answerable to the law – unless grace is insufficient.

The law saves no one and makes no one righteous. We are completely saved by grace and completely righteous in Christ – without the works of the law.

Jews believed they were covered by grace as well. Judaism wasn’t/isn’t the legalist religion that Luther liked to paint it to be. The Jewish mindset wasn’t that their good works saved them, but rather that God had called them to be His people, and that they obeyed the Law in order to please Him.

It’s really something of a false dichotomy to say that Judaism is about works salvation and that Christianity is about grace. The Law’s purpose for the Jewish was not to save them, but rather to set them apart. As Christians, the thing that sets apart is no longer the observance of the Law, but rather the love abides in us and comes through us.

84   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

“The Law’s purpose for the Jewish was not to save them, but rather to set them apart.”

exactly.

85   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Today believers in Christ are set apart – sealed – by the Spirit and not the law.

“1Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,
2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

3So also we, while we were children, were held (A)in bondage under the (B)elemental things of the world.

4But when (C)the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, (D)born of a woman, born (E)under the Law,

5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as (F)sons.

6Because you are sons, (G)God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “(H)Abba! Father!”

7Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and (I)if a son, then an heir through God.”

“Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not (AA)listen to the law?
22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, (AB)one by the bondwoman and (AC)one by the free woman.

23But (AD)the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and (AE)the son by the free woman through the promise.

24(AF)This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from (AG)Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be (AH)slaves; she is Hagar.

25Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

26But (AI)the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.

27For it is written,
“(AJ)REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR;
BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR;
FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE
THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”

28And you brethren, (AK)like Isaac, are (AL)children of promise.

29But as at that time (AM)he who was born according to the flesh (AN)persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, (AO)so it is now also.

30But what does the Scripture say?
“(AP)CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON,
FOR (AQ)THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN.”

31So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman. “

86   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

All I know is that after spending the last 2 1/2 hours with a rabbi, listening to him talk about Torah and law and story, has me convinced that most of us Gentiles in the modern era have no clue what we are talking about when we speak of law vs. grace.

Phil’s comment above is much closer to the truth.

87   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I must be convinced by the New Testament not any rabbi. I am glad Phil is closer to the truth. :cool:

88   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

It’s really something of a false dichotomy to say that Judaism is about works salvation and that Christianity is about grace. The Law’s purpose for the Jewish was not to save them, but rather to set them apart.

Right. They were ’saved’ in the Exodus, crossing through the Red Sea (a sort of baptism), and the Law was given after they were ’saved.’

NT Wright explains this all rather beautifully.

89   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 26th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

What law? The law given to Moses? And that is still in effect today for save, baptized believers? All of it or just parts? Which parts?

The Seventh Day Adventists are the ones who at least attempt to be consistent about it (They still reject the parts they don’t like.). But the rest of the law people reject most of the law given to Moses and even change the 4th commandment to mean Sunday or as a metaphor.

If the law of Moses is still in effect for today than all of it is. And after the type of going through the Red Sea and then receiving the law is great, except we are given the law written upon our hearts by the Spirit which is greater that the law of Moses.

None of us follow the law of Moses, and even the most orthodox Jews have changed it.

90   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 26th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Rick,
I’ll share with you briefly what the Rabbi Sager said about Torah today in class, partly in an effort to help me better understand it and remember it (by typing it out)….

Torah, for the Jew, can mean the books of Moses (Gen-Deut), it can also mean all of Scripture, it can also mean the Rabbinic stories (like the Talmud), it can also mean our present discussions about Scripture and these stories and it can also mean how the world conforms to the way the world is. IOW, what is right in the world = Torah.

Torah comes from a 3 letter verb stem meaning “to shoot an arrow” It is a verb that means “to point in the right direction”

(sidebar: I pointed out in our discussion how interesting it is that Paul’s favorite word for sin is “harmartia” which is also an archery term that means “missing the mark.” Rabbi Sager said, yes, sin is anything outside of Torah.)

So, is Torah Law?
Some of it is – but not all of it – lots of stories (not till Exodus 12 do we really get any sort of “law”).

So Torah is primarily seen in Jewish eyes as teaching, guide, direction, manual and ALSO law (but notice law here is almost an afterthought – the other stuff (guide, teaching, manual, etc) supersede the idea of law).

We Gentiles miss this because the Greek word chosen to represent “torah” or “law” is nomos, which can have some of the same meanings of Torah above but it’s primary meaning is “law.” Thus, the emphasis is reversed between the Jewish and Greek mindset.

Discuss… :)

91   Amanda    
January 27th, 2010 at 1:56 am

Eugene

Sorry, I will get back to you over the weekend.

92   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 27th, 2010 at 2:27 am

No problem Amanda.

93   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
January 27th, 2010 at 9:38 am

I was responding to Phil. I didn’t say anything about the Law ’still being in effect’ although I really don’t know what you mean by that.

Fact is: Slavery, Exodus, Sinai.

That history you cannot deny and that is all I was suggesting.

94   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 27th, 2010 at 10:08 am

Rick, how would you explain Paul’s reference to the 5th commandment in Ephesians 6:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2″Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3″that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Why do you think he quoted from the 10 Commandments here?

I agree with this statement:

Today believers in Christ are set apart – sealed – by the Spirit and not the law.

This is what Paul says regarding the Spirit:

And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

We are not free to simply live as we choose, but must live our lives according to the word of God:

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.

We are not bound to fulfill the ceremonial obligations of the Jews. But we are to live according to the Spirit, revealed through the word of God. We will give an account for how we lived this life, even as recipients of grace.

95   Neil    
January 27th, 2010 at 10:32 am

Neil, if you are a Christian you will easily spot what is missing on this site’s mission page… – Amanda (#41)

i am sorry amanda, you will need to be more specific. what in this site mission statement is at odds with the bible or the christian faith?

96   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 27th, 2010 at 10:44 am

I don’t really see a differentiation in the law between “moral” and “ceremonial” laws. Orthodox Jews today would consider all the law to be dealing with morality in some respect, and they don’t necessarily think that their observance of the dietary restrictions or prohibition of wearing clothing made of two different fabrics is in a different category than things that are dealing with what we would call morality. They think that if God gave the Law, than it’s their responsibility to observe it. I would recommend A.J. Jacobs book, The Year of Living Biblically for a good cursory look at Orthodox Judaism today. It’s lighthearted, but he interviews a lot of Jewish people, and it’s enlightening to hear how they think of the Law.

As far as what we will be held accountable for, Christians aren’t bound to the Old Testament law at all anymore. That doesn’t mean that some parts of it can’t be used a good guideline or teaching tool, which is what Paul is in essence doing in Ephesians 6. We are bound to the law of love, and we will be held accountable to that. In a way, I think it would be easier if there were a clear list of do’s and don’ts that we could check off, but that isn’t how we are told. We have to follow closely to Christ through the working of the Spirit, and that is what are obedience is based on. The Law of love is written on our hearts now.

97   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 27th, 2010 at 11:01 am

In a way, I think it would be easier if there were a clear list of do’s and don’ts that we could check off, but that isn’t how we are told.

I agree that this may make things more difficult to define. But neither are we just left on our own to figure things out or just be led of the Spirit.

Paul is very, very plain in virtually every epistle in terms of what it means to live for Christ. Romans 12, Ephesians 5 or Colossians 3 come to mind right away.

That doesn’t mean that some parts of it can’t be used a good guideline or teaching tool, which is what Paul is in essence doing in Ephesians 6.

I think Paul is doing more than just using this particular commandment as a hint. A reader would come to the conclusion that this promise still has validity in the new covenant.

What I am suggesting is that a Christian is not free to live however he or she wants, but we are to live according to Christ, according to the grace given to us.

This is what Paul writes to Galatian believers:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a]will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

98   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 27th, 2010 at 11:19 am

I think Paul is doing more than just using this particular commandment as a hint. A reader would come to the conclusion that this promise still has validity in the new covenant.

What I am suggesting is that a Christian is not free to live however he or she wants, but we are to live according to Christ, according to the grace given to us.

The promise does have validity because it’s simply a principle that God set up, and that doesn’t change. However, the way that we are bound to the Law is not the same. If we are bound to the law in the same way the Jews in the OT were, than we would face the same penalties as them for breaking the law. No one advocates stoning a rebellious child anymore.

What I am suggesting is that a Christian is not free to live however he or she wants, but we are to live according to Christ, according to the grace given to us.

Well, in a sense we are free to live however we want. But just because everything is permissible doesn’t mean everything is beneficial, and in fact, there are quite a few things that aren’t beneficial. And that’s where the reaping and sowing aspect comes into play.

This really gets into what is our motivation for doing the right thing. We no longer do the right thing simply because the law says it is the right thing. We do what is right because the Spirit is at work within us.

99   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 27th, 2010 at 11:25 am

If we are bound to the law in the same way the Jews in the OT were, than we would face the same penalties as them for breaking the law.

I was never advocating this.

But just because everything is permissible doesn’t mean everything is beneficial, and in fact, there are quite a few things that aren’t beneficial. And that’s where the reaping and sowing aspect comes into play.

Breaking things down into categories of ‘beneficial’ and ‘not beneficial’ is not at all what Paul is saying here. He is saying that if you – a Christian – sow to the flesh, do not expect to reap eternal life. We are to sow (live) according to the Spirit.

This is a common thread throughout all his epistles. Such as Romans 2:

God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”[a] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

It is also helpful to read Rev 2 & 3.

Saying ‘beneficial’ and ‘not beneficial’ would be a dramatic misrepresentation of the gospel.

100   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 27th, 2010 at 11:40 am

I’m not really sure what you’re even arguing now, Paul. I’m not advocating that Christians are free to live however they want, but rather, a Christian should live according to the Spirit. The motivation for this, however, comes not from the Law, but simply from the Spirit that lives within him.

I cannot necessarily give a list of do’s and don’ts to a Christian and say, “do this to produce fruit”. Fruit is not produced by are works at all. In essence the works we do are a fruit of who we are.

101   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 27th, 2010 at 11:59 am

I’m not really sure what you’re even arguing now, Paul.

What I have been stating from the beginning. That the early church was not at all against the moral aspects of the law.

Specifically, Paul dealt with the ceremonial aspects as unnecessary for salvation (ie: circumcision, feast days, etc), but still promoted and actively taught the moral law, some of which is captured in the 10 commandments: against idolatry, honoring parents, against adultery. He was specific and didn’t just say, “Love your neighbor” but gave specific instructions.

We are to follow the law of the Spirit, given by the grace of God through Christ. I think you would agree that there is overlap between the law of the Spirit and the moral aspects of the law. There are also consequences for disobeying, which we should also be aware of.

102   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 27th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

What I have been stating from the beginning. That the early church was not at all against the moral aspects of the law.

Well, I think that the early church maintained a very Jewish flavor for the first few centuries, and actually many of the early Christian were probably still involved in synagogues to some extent. Paul wouldn’t see anything wrong a Christian observing the Law, but, as had already been noted, he didn’t expect Gentile converts to observe anything more than the aspects from the Noaic covenant.

I would still add that there isn’t really a clear dividing line between the “moral” and “ceremonial” aspects of the law. How are you drawing that line?

103   Neil    
January 27th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I would recommend A.J. Jacobs book, The Year of Living Biblically –

as would i – a very fun and interesting read.

104   Neil    
January 27th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

in acts 16, immediately after the council of jerusalem paul heads out on his second trip and promptly advocates that timothy be circumcised?

i think this account fits nicely with the argument that paul allowed jews coming to christ to continue their traditions and ceremonies, but did not expect it from gentiles (nor require that jews continue).

105   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 27th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

#104: agreed. Though Paul seems to have circumcised Timothy purely for political reasons (to eliminate a stumbling block for the Jews. He didn’t care, but did it for their sakes).

How are you drawing that line?

Outside of Sabbath-keeping, the entire NT is full of practical instructions on following God’s moral law (while not being under ceremonial observances).

The law of the Spirit is what we are to obey, but this is not something nebulous. The early church (Paul, Peter, James, John, Jude) gave very specific instructions on what living for God means in the new covenant.

Much of what they speak of has overlap with the old covenant, minus the ceremonial aspects.

Does that make sense?

106   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Paul’s life was always in danger because the Jews desired to shut him up since he taught that all men did not, and should not, follow the law of Moses. Paul circumcises Timothy to aid in evangelism and not to suggest a return to the law. Paul’s epistles are overwhelmingly teach no adherance to the law whatsoever.

There are no Jews or Gentiles in Christ and Paul makes no such distinction.

107   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Show me where the church should be divided according to ethnicity and that Old Testament customs should continue. The church is a brand new and unexpected miracle that was hidden and now has sprung to life, discarding the former grave clothes, and now walks in eternal life in the Spirit.

Why would Paul believe in continuing in the beggerly elements and the passing shadows when the Substance has not only come – He lives within us!!??

108   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Paul wonders what could be our attraction to the law? Our complete attraction is to Jesus who IS the law. God spoke in many different ways and through many different people before, but He speaks through Jesus in these last days.

There is no law – just pleasing Jesus which sometimes (adultery, lying, etc.) are congruous.

109   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Neil – I’d also note that Paul took a Nazarite vow for a period of time (something completely within the Jewish tradition) during his missionary journey (Acts 18:18)

110   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 27th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Paul circumcises Timothy to aid in evangelism and not to suggest a return to the law.

Which is what I said in #105.

There is no law – just pleasing Jesus which sometimes (adultery, lying, etc.) are congruous.

This is what I am arguing when I say:

Much of what they speak of has overlap with the old covenant, minus the ceremonial aspects.

The epistles give us the scope, as does Acts, as to how this works out practically. Paul preaches against things like idolatry, adultery, greed and so forth (part of the old covenant), and even references commandments (ie: Eph 6:1).

I am suggesting that there is overlap, which eliminates much of the ceremonial components that the Jews observed.

111   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Paul and Barnabus also argued over Timothy. Is the Nazarite vow valid today? Paul in himself was never inerrant. The vow thing was in my view a mistake.

112   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 27th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I am wondering if our view of the law is more a product of the Reformation than it is of the early church (as we see it in Acts and the epistles).

113   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

The Book of Acts was a wonderful narrative of an early church, still somewhat steeped in Jewish traditions and customs, that the Spirit was growing and maturing. There were many missteps but God’s grace was sufficient, but they are not our template – the teaching epistles are.

114   M.G.    
January 27th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

The problem with prioritizing the bible is that there aren’t any verses that, well, prioritize the bible.

You can proclaim which books are the most important, but at that point, you’re off the reservation.

115   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Paul circumcises Timothy to aid in evangelism and not to suggest a return to the law.

Not completely accurate. He circumcises Timothy because Timothy, despite having a Gentile father, could claim to be Jewish. As such, if he wanted to be observant, it would open up evangelistic avenues. Simply being circumcised would not be enough – full observance would be required of Timothy for such evangelism to be effective.

Paul’s epistles are overwhelmingly teach no adherance to the law whatsoever.

Perhaps to a 20th-century reader who has inserted his own context and belief system into Scripture. But not to those to whom Paul was speaking, or those who followed shortly after…

Show me where the church should be divided according to ethnicity and that Old Testament customs should continue.

Show me where Paul tells Jewish believers that they should stop following the “Old Testament” religious customs both Paul and Jesus followed their entire lives… Even late into his ministry Paul claims to be a “Pharisee of Pharisees” – which (contrary to Western belief) is a compliment, describing the care to which he has toward piety.

Also, being Jewish was not completely genetic. One could convert to Judaism then (and now). Paul never tells Jews to stop following God’s Torah for them, nor does he ever tell Gentiles that they must follow Torah, as it is applied to Jews. Also, in speaking to the Galatians, Paul’s reference to “beggardly elements” is not directed toward Torah, but to the previous pagan practices of the people (who were, by and large, not Jewish Christians), so you might want to drop the KJV schtick of referring to God’s Torah in such a manner.

116   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Is the Nazarite vow valid today?

I suppose you could take one if you wanted, remembering Jesus’ admonition about ‘counting the cost’ ahead of time, so as to not look foolish (or bring dishonor to God through a broken vow)…

The vow thing was in my view a mistake.

Well. Rick speaks, and Paul was apparently wrong for continuing to be Jewish.

Who knew?

117   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

The Book of Acts was a wonderful narrative of an early church, still somewhat steeped in Jewish traditions and customs, that the Spirit was growing and maturing.

Translation: I can ignore the Book of Acts when it contradicts my systematic theological beliefs. [Also see: The Old Testament, The Gospels, Non-Pauline Epistles, and Pauline epistles when Paul is wrong]

118   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Will God heal through someone’s shadow today? Will he strike a pagan with leprosy? But more importantly, are they events that we should emulate?

Of course Paul was Jewish. The church was still an infant. Including the law in the gospel of grace is…well…idoicy. :cool:

119   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I do not “ignore” the Book of Acts as your strawman suggets. I place it context, as does almost everyone else. Are we allowed to eat things strangled today?

120   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Including the law in the gospel of grace is…well…idoicy.

Without the Law, we would not know grace. Paul was not just Jewish (genetically, culturally) – he was an orthodox, practicing Jew until the day he died. You need to re-read Chad’s comment above on the actual meaning of Torah (which is more encompassing of “guidance” than “rules and regulations”), and reread Jesus’ comments (unless he was wrong too?) on the Law, and that he has not abolished it…

121   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

#120 – Continuing idoicy. I guess the Scriptures are wrong in your view. Chris speaks and Jesus is drowned out.

:cool:

122   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Chris L. – You have no regard for The Old Testament, The Gospels, Non-Pauline Epistles, and Pauline epistles. I don’t suggest you have a different interpretation, no, I openly accuse you of ignoring the Word and speaking in error as if you speak for God. I thought you had a different view than mine, but now I realize you do not care for, and in fact ignore, the clear teachings of Scripture.

I pity your soul. :cool:

123   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

This is what some accuse the ODMs of. They suggest you are ignoring Scripture when you disagree with them and you contend that there is room for disagreement on non-redemptive issues. But when someone disagrees with you – well they are ignoring Scripture.

OK class – what do we call that behavior??

124   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Will God heal through someone’s shadow today? Will he strike a pagan with leprosy? But more importantly, are they events that we should emulate?

These aren’t things the people in the first century were to “emulate”…

Are we allowed to eat things strangled today?

Since this restriction was about avoiding animal cruelty, then I would say that most of us support the laws against animal cruelty, and the humane treatment of animals that are used for food. I can’t speak for all chicken farmers, but most of the ones I’m familiar with here in Indiana cut the heads off (which lets the blood drain out), and do not strangle them. Other livestock are also put down humanely.

So no, I would say were are not allowed to eat strangled things today – and if we find out that we are consuming something provided by animal cruelty, we would be morally compelled to stop the abuse.

125   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

They suggest you are ignoring Scripture when you disagree with them and you contend that there is room for disagreement on non-redemptive issues. But when someone disagrees with you – well they are ignoring Scripture.

Typically, disagreements on Scripture aren’t always couched in (some form of) “Sorry – Paul didn’t write that in an epistle, so it’s (somehow) secondary”. So, when you choose to ignore Scripture (because it is conveniently in an inferior book of the Bible), pointing out that you’ve ignored Scripture is pretty logical… It has nothing to do with salvation, per se, but (in this case) simply scholastic honesty…

126   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I guess idoicy means secondary. (And a list of your labels)

I believe what I am presenting. Everyone puts different Scriptures in context – everyone. I have always presented my case strongly and disagreed with you strongly. It is you who use demeaning and inaccurate leables and now you call it “scholastic honesty”. So you are suggesting that your view is inspired and not subject to disagreement without being schholastically dishonest?

Let all the non- commenters take not. The administrator here openly suggests that disagreement with him is scholastic dishonesty. And those who agree with the ODMs can also take not that the attitude from more “emergent” minded men reflects little difference that those that supposedly birthed this blog years ago.

BTW – Everyone who disagrees with me is scholastically dishonest and there views are idiotic. With all due resepct.

127   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 27th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Rick,
Sometimes, you come across as one angry dude.

128   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Joe – I am not surprised you ignore why I am saying it and point out what you think about me and not even lightly address the points I have said. It probably is because your tone and verbiage is not much different than that which has evolved in Chris.

129   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

BTW – To all you who observe the Passover Feast (communion) every Sunday, be sure to thank God He has given you the words in this truth war that not only address issues, but question the very fabric of your adversaries love of Scripture.

Signed,

The Village Idiot

130   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

My views have been labeled not remotely true, idiotic, absurd, etc., and I have been accused of ignoring The Old Testament, The Gospels, Non-Pauline Epistles, and Pauline epistles. What else is there?

Let’s face it…I am not even saved. (I think practicing homosexuals can still be saved!)

131   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 27th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Right Rick, I must be wrong because I’m angry too. I get it.
It’s not just your interaction with Chris on this thread. BTW, it’s idIOcy not idOIcy.
You totally ignore M.G.’s response to you about being off the reservation once you start prioritizing books of the Bible.
Most of the time it seems that everything is personal with you. You try to cover it in some sort of humor and verbose speech but you just seem pissed off most of the time to me.
You can certainly ignore everything I’m saying and just write it off because I haven’t reached the same level of online communication as you have but maybe if I’m right I won’t have been the first person to bring this up to you.
You attack and when you’re called back you get mean.
That’s my observation and as you stated before we all have the privilege of stating as we see it.

132   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 27th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

#130
Thank you for proving my point. Come on Rick. Chris L has defended you more than anyone on here. He’s ignored your personal jabs about his politics. And now, he’s disagreed with you and you throw a passive aggressive pity party.
Signed
The Guy Rick loves to hate

P.S. The signature is ironic and will only be used once.

133   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

So you are suggesting that your view is inspired and not subject to disagreement without being schholastically dishonest?

I do not believe my views are “inspired”, but I do believe that I take more seriously the veracity of Scripture than does an argument that treats entire sections as completely secondary (or incongruous) to others. I also believe that God is a God of order, and that what is in the “New” Testament is not new, and what is in the “Old” is not old, but they are all part of a continuum. Simply discounting entire sections out of hand (sorry, that’s narrative. Sorry, Paul didn’t write that. Sorry, that was before Jesus. Sorry…) requires a level of dishonesty I’m not comfortable with. I do not believe in strictly-defined Sola Scriptura, but I do believe wholly in Prima Scriptura.

Certainly we downplay things that are inconvenient to us, but when we find those things, the correct response is deep consideration and rethinking of our position, not simply writing them off (as I see you doing) as being in the wrong book of the Bible, or being “too Jewish”. THAT is idiocy (as defined in Proverbs).

The administrator here openly suggests that disagreement with him is scholastic dishonesty.

Only when it truly seems to be so. My disagreements with Paul and John are not in this realm, because they do not dismiss portions of Scripture with such specious argumentation as “that’s just narrative”…

134   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I attack? Where?

I missed your addressing of Chris’s comments. I really wasn’t looking. MG has always been respectful to me and I to him.

I do not prioritize books of the Bible, I contextualize like everyone here and in church history has done.

Do I pick up sticks on Saturday? Yes, because I contextualize Leviticus – I do not ignore it or prioritize others. Everyong contextualizes books of the Bible.

I get it, Joe, because you point out my angry means you are right. Is it possible that no one here understands my frustration with some of the way things are addressed to me and others? Is it appropriate to suggest someone ignores the entire Bible? Is absurd and idiotic appropriate.

Perhaps no one else sees it and if so time has passed me by.

135   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 27th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

There were many missteps but God’s grace was sufficient, but they are not our template – the teaching epistles are

blech

136   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 27th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

“Only when it truly seems to be so.”

Ken Silva

137   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 27th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Rick,

I honestly don’t see it. I agree with almost everything Chris L has said to you. I think Chris L has pointed a legit problem with your position and rather than address you have thrown an online temper tantrum in a number of comments.
I find your Pauline Epistles theology to be somewhat scary (I’m saying that not Chris L).
I think that your beliefs are way off the reservation but we have never been able to engage in a friendly discussion so I figured it wasn’t worth the potential fall out. If you can’t engage Chris L in a friendly manner without taking everything he says as personal attacks, I’ll never be able to communicate with you on something that is obviously so personal for you.

I admit I may be wrong about you being angry. I may be right and I suggest that if I am right, you will have heard the suggestion from others.

Lastly, you said,

Is it possible that no one here understands my frustration with some of the way things are addressed to me and others?

Sure, it is entirely possible. I would ask, is it also possible that you don’t see how you come across and you don’t understand my own and others frustration with how you address people? Is it possible that you don’t see how angry and mean you come across?
I will tell you this true story. I have gone to Chris L more than once with my frustrations in how you interact with people on here. He has always defended you and had nothing but kind things to say about you.

138   Neil    
January 27th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Paul circumcises Timothy to aid in evangelism and not to suggest a return to the law. – Rick

i agree, if by “return to the law” you mean that jews who beleived jesus was the messiah did not need to continue with the law.

my point was not about “need” as much as “allow.”

139   Neil    
January 27th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

re 129

what?

140   Brett S    
January 27th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Let’s face it…I am not even saved. (I think practicing homosexuals can still be saved!) – #130

Rick,

Don’t be so quick on the draw. After several consultations with Pastoboy, he even got me saved a few weeks back, if I recall.

#113 – There were many missteps but God’s grace was sufficient, but they are not our template – the teaching epistles are.

Rick,
Would it be too presumptuos of me to ask where the teaching epistles teach this?

141   nathan    
January 28th, 2010 at 11:54 am

i’ve never been clear as to how the teaching epistles are given primacy.

how did you get there, Rick?

I’d be genuinely interested in hearing your process.

sorry, if you’ve already done so…

142   John Hughes    
January 28th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I will repeat that “Love is Kind” We are not being kind here. Nobody kicked anybody’s dog. No one insulted anyone’s wife. It’s a cyber community guys. Let’s please show a little respect and here’s a novel thought – Christian Charity. And this should be unilateral. The charity I show should not be dependant on the charity shown to me. I am only responsible for my actions. My response is totatally dependent on my choice. I can respond in love and respect to anything thrown my way if I choose to do so.

Just today a local pastor’s blog summarized his weekly column by saying “God has given us the gift to think about how we think”. We can analyze how we think, how we respond to the events that come our way. This is a tremendous gift. We need to use it more wisely.

143   John Hughes    
January 28th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Regarding the use of the Law. We’ve all discussed this before, but I’ll jump in again. I do believe that a tri-level segregation of the law is legitimate, i.e., moral law, civil law, and ceremonial law. I also believe that as Christians we are obligated to keep the moral law. A Christian automatically “keeps” the ceremonial law because these laws are a shadow of the priesthood of Christ and Christ has fulfilled these perfectly. The civil law was made for national Israel. We as the Church are not citizens of the physical national of Israel so those civil laws no more apply to me than the laws of Mexico apply to me as an American Citizen. We are therefore left with the moral law.

Some stumble at the definition of the word “obligated”. In what sense is a Christian “obligated” to keep the moral law? Well it can’t be for salvation, because salvation is from faith and not from the keeping of the law.

Romans 3:28 – For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Galatians 2:16 – nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

So then, why are we obligated to keep the (moral) Law? Because this is what God requires in order to please Him.

Eph 5:8-10 – for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

How do we learn what is pleasing to the Lord? Through our knowledge of Scripture.

2 Tim 3:7-7 – All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Eph 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Who gets to define what a “good work” is? The Law does. For example, the moral law teaches me how to love God and to love man. From jsut the 10 Commandments we learn love of God does not allow any other gods before God, love for God does not use God’s name in vain. For man, love does not murder, love does not commit adultery, etc.

I am obligated to do these things in order to please God – not to be saved, not to be accepted, etc., but to please God in my day-to-day activities. Before I’m saved the law teaches me that I fall short of God’s requirements, that I am lost and need a savior. After I am saved, the law teaches me how to be a Christian and how to live a life that is pleasing to God.

I am a firm believer that a born again believer cannot sin himself out of heaven but he can sin himself out of many, many rewards.

But we do have an obligation.

144   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 28th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

John, some good thoughts and I agree with your balancing of the moral/ceremonial aspect of the law.

I wonder at this statement though:

I am obligated to do these things in order to please God – not to be saved, not to be accepted, etc., but to please God in my day-to-day activities.

My question would be: Are there any eternal consequences for not keeping the, say, the 1st commandment?

For example, since Haiti is on the top of everyone’s mind, the country has been described as 80% Catholic, 20% Protestant and 100% Voodoo.

People see no problem with melding their faith. Do you see eternal consequences to worshiping God the Father as well as paying homage/worshiping other deities?

I am a firm believer that a born again believer cannot sin himself out of heaven but he can sin himself out of many, many rewards.

Kindly explain.

145   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 28th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Are there any eternal consequences for not keeping the, say, the 1st commandment?

There can be eternal and temporal consequences for not living as the people we were created to be. What I was getting at before is where those consequences come from. If I break the law in the US – say I physically assault someone, the consequence I face from that offense is the penalty proscribed in the justice system. When we’re talking of a Christian breaking a commandment, there is no such penalty. In a very real sense, any and all those penalties were made null and void by Christ on the cross. However, that does not mean there aren’t consequences.

I was actually talking about this in the Bible Study I lead last night. In Romans 1, Paul talks about God’s wrath being revealed and God giving people over to a depraved mind. Well, what exactly does that mean? I don’t believe God’s wrath is necessarily God doling out justice, but rather, it’s God letting people feel the brunt of their sin. The idea that a person is punished by their own sin is an idea that’s much in line with Jewish thought. In fact there are parts of the apocryphal book the Wisdom of Solomon that Paul is almost directly quoting in that passage in Romans.

So the consequence of idolatry, for instance, is to become less and less like the real humans we were created to be. By focusing our worship on an idol, we eventually become like that idol. So the consequence isn’t necessarily something that God administers to us, but rather it’s something that He allows us to have because of our refusal to submit our will to His.

146   Brett S    
January 28th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

#143 – From jsut the 10 Commandments we learn love of God

We can learn much of what is contained in the 10 commandments without the 10 commandments?
I’m pretty sure that every human soceity that existed before or after the Pentatauch was given to Israel operated under the premise that, though shall not kill another man for no good reason. Murder is not wrong solely because the bible tells me so, this I know.

147   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 28th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

There can be eternal and temporal consequences for not living as the people we were created to be.

Phil, your argument is contradictory.

You initially say (above) that there “can be” eternal consequences. Then you go on to speak of temporal consequences (Romans 1).

To say that a person is “once saved always saved” (which is what I believe John H is arguing) is not true.

148   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 28th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Phil, your argument is contradictory.

You initially say (above) that there “can be” eternal consequences. Then you go on to speak of temporal consequences (Romans 1).

To say that a person is “once saved always saved” (which is what I believe John H is arguing) is not true.

It’s not contradictory at all.

I’m saying the consequences are not things like penalties that are forced onto people, but rather the consequence is that we do not become the people we were created to be.

For instance, a person who is continually idolatrous will become less and less of a person, and will become more self-focused until they are trapped in the prison of their own making. Once a person reaches this state, even though they may have the ability to come out of this prison, they may not have the will to. So, in essence, they may be trapped for eternity (barring a type of annihilationism, which given the alternative could be seen as an act of mercy for these tortured souls).

149   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
January 28th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I take your last paragraph to mean, in plain language, that a person who has accepted Christ can indeed lose out eternally with God.

This is consistent with the bulk of the NT.

In speaking to the churches of Galatia, Paul writes:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

150   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 28th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I take your last paragraph to mean, in plain language, that a person who has accepted Christ can indeed lose out eternally with God.

In essence, yes, I do believe that. But, what I don’t want to say is that God will send an eight-year old kid to hell for stealing a pack of gum at the grocery store.

So it’s not as if God is striking people down for breaking the 10 Commandments, but rather when we do these things, we are imprisoning and hurting ourselves (and often others).

151   John Hughes    
January 28th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Paul, my world view is from the belief of the eternal security of the believer. I do not believe a Christian can sin themselves out of Christ as we stand positionally in His merits and not our own. I do not believe a believer can have another god before God (1st commandment) in the absolute sense by definition.

152   John Hughes    
January 28th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

This is consistent with the bulk of the

NT.

I read and understand just the opposite.