Thursday, July 21, 2016

THE GOSPEL COALITION AND SBC’S INTENSE PUSH FOR THE NEW DOCTRINE OF RACIAL RECONCILIATION: HOW THIS NEW DOCTRINE AROSE AND WHY THE SCRIPTURES REJECT ITS ASSERTION


Part 3 
(Part 1 here)
(Part 2 here)

The Calling and Identity of the Church – We are Spiritual

It is here I wish to pivot and call your attention to two explicit texts and while you consider these, please think about what Russell Moore, Tim Keller, John Piper, The Gospel Coalition and now the Southern Baptist Convention and many others, are proposing (some already, doing).

The Pursuit of the Church

The Apostle Paul discloses the nature of our mission as individual believer priests and the collective body of priests called the church, in Ephesians 6:12. He plainly teaches:

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
It is not the justice or injustice of this world which God has called his church to remedy. It is not to personal or social conflicts and not governmental, national or international conflicts, to which the church is beckoned by God. Ours is a spiritual battle with orders from our Monarch to fight the rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness and not flesh and blood.

Ask yourself, what precisely is this fight where these men are proposing the church have her virtues expended upon “civil rights” or “social justice”, these fleeting social orders of human kingdoms, what is this? Have we become so enlightened as to forget the call of God’s church? What scheme seeks to tether Christ’s bride to imperial and provincial disputes of this world? And where is the acknowledgment that these men and women have abandoned the path of spiritual warfare and have replaced it with fighting against flesh and blood? Here, here!

The problem as to why Christians wrongly believe the church may be compelled to use her resources to campaign on behalf of elaborate social doctrines of real or perceived social ailments, usually finds its arrangement in the minds of those who are theologically negligent. These deputies of do-goodism are in dire need of the truth that they may, indeed, crusade for civil causes, just not with the capital of Christ’s bride. Possibly, however, they are not interested in that license since it dispossesses them of the wrongful but convenient logistical supply they wish to use namely, the church.

The Two-Kingdoms


Martin Luther and the Book of Concord, by the Lutheran Church, have provided a legacy of many superior theological formulas (this is not a blanket endorsement, I have some standing objections). One of those Biblical prescriptions is the Right/Left Kingdoms template.

Luther observed in Scripture the distinction -both ordained of God - between the kingdom of the church (the right kingdom) and the kingdom of civil government (the left kingdom). He understood that the church was spiritual in its formation and civil government, human in its construct, both by divine intent. One was for the management of spiritual/ecclesiastical affairs and the other for human/civil affairs and neither were to have jurisdiction over the other because, as Luther and Melanchthon and so many others observed, each were instituted by God using different criteria and were issued, seaparate 
protocols. 

This is why so many people misunderstand Luther’s complaint about the Jewish population in Germany. His words seem quite untoward as a Christian and Minister but when he spoke, he did not do so in the context of his office and the church, but as a citizen in the left kingdom, civilly. One might debate his opinion about denying the Jews a ratified place with Germans of genetic heritage, but still, one must understand this is precisely what enabled Luther and us, even as Christians, to step out of the context of the kingdom on the right and into civil life and apply different protocols which God has given for civil management.

The People of the Church - A Spiritual Construct made up of a Spiritual People

For quite some time I have been working through the many dynamic flaws of this racial preoccupation going on with The Gospel Coalition and watched as others have stood by, somewhat silent. I suspect they are afraid. I understand their anxiety seeing that the dreaded hex word, “racist” might get used and then it is all downhill from there for their ministry. No more audiences, no more influence and eventual anathema for whomsoever shall dare. Let me challenge those of you who have been filled with angst, to take this ammunition and fight.

In his first epistle Peter makes a declarative statement which reveals our identity as Christians and how we ought to see and relate to one another.

1 Peter 2:9 (English Standard Version – parenthesis mine)

But you are a chosen race (γένος/genos), a royal priesthood, a holy nation (ἔθνος/ethnos), a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
The Implications and Applications of Peter’s Revelation

Just as Paul revealed our pursuit or fight being spiritual in context and not against flesh and blood, Peter follows suit and further assembles the identity of the church, specifically stating that our ethnicity is now “holy” and our genetics “chosen” (which is a reference to our salvation, chosen in Christ, in other words our DNA is now spiritual).

The implications and applications run directly against the promotion of our human or anthropological identities within the church which, while still real, are not the frame of reference for our identity in the church, the kingdom on the right. Those human properties are for the kingdom on the left and all of its institutions, from the self, to marriage to family and to civil government of any kind, which are based on anthropological properties.

Therefore, when a ministry is engaged in any form of preference or reference with regard to human racial identities and subsequent endeavors related to those properties, it is failing to apply the truth of the new paradigm which Peter gave us. This new and phenomenal spiritual construct removes such properties as symbolic or indicative of our person for our spiritual fellowship and endeavors which is the context and calling of Christ's body, spiritual. This is exactly why Peter states what he does and to act contrary to this is to assault the nature of the fellowship of believers.

Let’s be clear about what Peter says. We are to see ourselves and our brothers and sisters in the Lord and within the context of the body of Christ and all of its exercises, not with human ethnicity or human genetics but with “chosen” or spiritual genetics and a “holy” ethnicity. Our DNA is that of Christ's. That is our identity in the church and as the church.

The church cannot simultaneously be built on two identities. It is either one or the other.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

THE GOSPEL COALITION AND SBC’S INTENSE PUSH FOR THE NEW DOCTRINE OF RACIAL RECONCILIATION: HOW THIS NEW DOCTRINE AROSE AND WHY THE SCRIPTURES REJECT ITS ASSERTION


Part 2
(Part 1 here)

Qualifying Comments

Before I get to the main body my case, allow me to qualify myself. I am only arguing against human multiism in the church or the right kingdom as opposed human diversity or human multiism in the left kingdom which involves the construct of divine institutions of civil establishment. What do I mean?

How the governments of individuals, marriages, families and tribal-state-national governments are comprised are not in view (though I will be referring to the kingdom on the left as I build my case and some of those matters). These left kingdom or governments of the world, though divine institutions, do not follow the same protocols as the construction of the body of Christ, universally or locally/visibly.

For example, the practice of apartheid by Native American tribes in forming both their governments and cultures is a historical fact up until this very day and the Bible does comment on it any more than the United States’ non-apartheid practice of multiracialism, ethnicism and culturalism. I am not here to argue those values one way or the other.

Yes, there are Biblical principles which I believe are both apparent and other ideals which can be discovered through extrapolation, all of which may guide us to superior forms in our left kingdom governments but none of these have the specific and detailed protocols and boundaries which God has given the church.

Further, I am presuming we all understand that the civil governments of the left kingdom may not have imposed upon them, the constructs and protocols God gave the church - and only the church - because such unique protocols are for just that, the church, the spiritual kingdom and not the civil or left kingdom governments. What I just stated may seem innocuous for the moment but as you read on, this principle and the critical application of not imposing church/spiritual protocols from the kingdom on the right onto the kingdom on the left, will become apparent in its value.

Examples of the Doctrine of Human Multiism and Particularly, Racial Reconciliation, Being Advanced as Orthodoxy in Conservative Evangelical/Protestantism

I am somewhat astonished that the passages
which I will share in Part 3, with their implications, have been by-passed either through ignorance or deliberation by proponents of human multiism within the Evangelical church, particularly so-called historically conservative ones. I want my readers to think long and hard, regarding what Peter says to us in his first letter, particularly highlighted in 1 Peter 2:9 as well as a statement by Paul found in Ephesians, when we arrive there, in contrast to what is being forwarded at the links I am providing.

For now, I want to give you a few samples of the proposals of human multiism being pushed by the so-called conservative Evangelical church and particularly this emphasis on racial reconciliation. Much of this, I have discovered and mentioned earlier, is coming from Tim Keller and The Gospel Coalition and its cooperatives which include the Southern Baptist Convention which is being heavily influenced with social justice theology by way of Russell Moore, the SBC Ethics President, at least in my view.

Additional prominent parties promoting this novel doctrine are John Piper and Al Mohler along with segments within the PCA. Added to these, under the umbrella of The Gospel Coalition and within their sect or denomination are independent churches and less sizable groups such as Reformed African American Network. The following are but a handful of links which reveal the view of the many agents of this new doctrine and who treat racial reconciliation as an imperative exercise for the church as well as encourage the deliberate use of ecclesiastical resources in pursuance of racial justice, as I have observed. I encourage you to investigate:
 

Prayer Racial Reconciliation
The Church and Racial Reconciliation 
3 Reasons Why Racial Reconciliation Should Be a Church Priority

I am not going to take the time to restate the repetitious arguments, with their varying nuances, made by Christian Bible teachers, theologians and Pastors who are inundating the body of Christ with this ultimately divisive doctrine rather, I will be combating it. I may, in my rebuttal formula, refer to some of their views but I will assume the reader is familiar with them and if not, please become knowledgeable about their ideas.

If you believe you are in the most insulated church possible, this error is like water and will seep through even the tiniest crack and initiate its intrusion into your assembly. And unless you are equipped to engage with unimpeachable truths in protecting your church, it will slither like a vine and eventually take hold of the foundation of your church as it has in both the leadership and the church body in many places, eventually seizing control of the entire edifice. Instead of the holy organism of the church serving its Creator, it will be rendered a tool for the aggrandizement of the creature.

Why is Racial Reconciliation and More Broadly, Human Multiism, so Attractive?

There are many things in this world which are good, relatively speaking. That is to say, when two nations are at peace with one another, that is usually a good thing. Securing peace between nations, however, isn’t the calling of the church. It is not her occupation, by God’s ordination, to facilitate the reconciliation of nations nor maintain any achieved international tranquility.

The conflict between racial groups is no different. While, civil harmony isn’t a bad thing and rarely does one have to teach its value to civilized men and women because it is quite obvious on its own, this is not the imperative work issued to the church by God.

But because those in society who magistrate over civil conflicts to an effective resolution are often admired and celebrated as men and women of nobility, ethic and possibly Godliness (after all, the Bible does state in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers”), we understand that peacemaking is a good and valued thing in God’s eyes thus, ours. But mistakenly, because it is seen as a good thing by God we assume, without understanding the context, that such efforts are partly, sometimes significantly, the responsibility of the church when, in fact, it is the incumbent duty of civil, not ecclesiastical officers or resources. 


Secondly and maybe more relevant is that sometimes it is our brothers and sisters in the Lord who are involved in social disadvantage by way of what we believe to be negligent or indifferent governmental policies and action. We reasonably share the burden in our souls and wish to intervene where possible. Unfortunately, many allow their compassion to convince themselves and others that ecclesiastical resources should be allocated for such left kingdom causes.

What to do?

The problem is, of course, that effective civil mechanisms and organizations for addressing civil strife such as racial conflict, are few. Therefore, earnest and sincere Christians who genuinely want to address civil disruption, succumb to the temptation to turn the institution of the church into a body for social causes instead of the spiritual campaigns to which she is called. I get that people want action but the church cannot impose herself upon a nation nor is she the institution which God has established to resolve such conflicts.

Some might argue that using the church for social change has been quite successful in the past therefore, God must approve of this or that it simply is a good thing and good things cannot be bad to God. May I suggest that, “a right thing done in a wrong way, is wrong.” God will judge those who misuse the divine institution of the church for social campaigns and burn every single bit of straw of which such illegitimate commonwealths are made.

Rescuing humans and animals is noble but context is everything. There is a left kingdom for civil rescue and a right kingdom for spiritual rescue and the one may not be the other, even as a surrogate, no matter the magnanimity of its cause.

Monday, July 18, 2016

THE GOSPEL COALITION AND SBC’S INTENSE PUSH FOR THE NEW DOCTRINE OF RACIAL RECONCILIATION: HOW THIS NEW DOCTRINE AROSE AND WHY THE SCRIPTURES REJECT ITS ASSERTION

Part

*For those of you who protest this five-part essay and refuse to read it because of its title, please do not buckle to such shortsightedness. It is not what you might assume and is far more than you may realize. Thus, I ask you, along with everyone else, to take time to read this and consider its weight. As well, if there was ever a series I have hoped to be read widely and shared vigorously, it is this one. The threat to the body of Christ with this new doctrine is momentous and extensive.

Introduction

On any given day either online at Christian websites or in Christian bookstores, you will find the doctrine of human multiism, abounding from the lips and pages of Bible teachers, Pastors and theologians of various stripes, not to mention among non-Christian media sources. While it is not a universal Christian doctrine and certainly not an orthodox doctrine with any historic pedigree, it is fast becoming established Christian orthodoxy by way of its embrace among both liberal and conservative Protestants and Evangelicals and even some Fundamentalists.

Generally, you will find the terms diversity, rational reconciliation, racial justice, social justice, multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural used synonymously or in conjunction with one another because of their very close relationship in meaning and application. Supposedly, they are self-evident in their definition but if you are not aware of the basic concept of human multiism or diversity, being forwarded, it may be defined, very generally, as - the existence of more than one race, ethnicity and/or culture in a singular construct with a cooperative existence in which all contributors are permitted expression either individually or in the form of a new product via the conglomeration of all contributors. 

Think Diversity- Generally, the mind of the proponents of human multiism is one of racial, ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as other forms of human expression such as human sexual identity and even transhuman identities in the case of someone identifying as an animal such as a cat or dog. While this may seem pretty far removed from typical diversity discussions, there are many who include transhumanism in their discussions of diversity and human multiism though no Evangelicals have taken it that far and to be fair, I doubt they will, at least for some time.

As I have observed, it is without doubt that in today’s world, diversity has become a sacrosanct humanist doctrine which has risen to the level of a moral value. That is, to be against human diversity, whether it be racial, ethnic or cultural and beyond, is not simply to disagree with a social philosophy but to be guilty of committing some sort of moral sin in opposition to a new social morality.

Whatever the construct, social engineers working from a humanistic viewpoint (the brotherhood of mankind), while using whatever philosophical resources available, which includes Scripture, have developed and instituted a rather complex human multiism value system which has been imposed onto society by successfully raising it to a moral imperative. To fail to construct a humanly diverse environment or at least pursue this, is to act immorally or to sin. In some countries it is a violation of a civil or criminal code which can bring severe penalties. This is the modern enlightenment of world which now includes many formerly historically orthodox Christian groups as those who embrace this value on some level. 

What does the Bible have to Say about Human Multiism?

Today, with the accelerated advancement of the doctrine of human multiism in society and the so-called historically conservative Evangelical/Protestant church affirming this at various levels, we must stop and ask ourselves what the Bible has to say about this whole philosophical framework. After all, if Bible teachers, Pastors and theologians are promoting it, surely it must exist in some form in the Bible.

Two examples come to mind regarding the purported conservative Evangelical church espousing a form of this modern doctrine of human diversity as a moral code, they are The Gospel Coalition and Russell Moore the President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. I will get to those in a bit. 

The Non-Transcendence of Human Multiism as a Biblical Value 

Interestingly, the Bible has a number of different things to say at different points about whether or not human multiism is a moral value which can be derived from Scripture. And whatever it says at different points, they are never contradictory things. That is to say, for example, within the Theocracy of Israel, God’s Hebrew people were quite restricted with respect to marriage, family and culture. Repeatedly, God chided them and disciplined them for human multiism which many of their leaders and citizens considered reasonable and enlightening.

One of the many examples of God’s rejection of human multiism in the Theocratic state of Israel is from Deuteronomy 23:3-5:

23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite may not enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation none of their descendants shall ever do so, 4 for they did not meet you with food and water on the way as you came from Egypt, and furthermore, they hired Balaam son of Beor of Pethor in Aram Naharaim to curse you. 5 But the Lord your God refused to listen to Balaam and changed the curse to a blessing, for the Lord your God loves you.

Obviously, the context is limited but what we do see is that this idea of human multiism, is at best, a relative value and not a transcendent moral value issued by God for mankind and I believe the evidence only begins to mount against the concept or value of human multiism as any kind of eclipsing Biblical value which should be taught as imperative and forced upon upon God’s people as a holy or righteous ecclesiastical doctrine and practice or upon nations as a Biblical civil moral edict.

Boundaries are Divine 

At a separate point, the Scriptures give the account of the Tower of Babel where God scattered men through the introduction of many languages which caused confusion and assigned to mankind, by this instrument, a world in which shared language was a major source of not only individual but collective identification for the establishment of tribes, states or nations. While it does not affirm that men could only exist in such a posture, it certainly acted, and still does, as a barrier to human unification on a global scale. And to the point of all of this, it was a deliberate division by God of humanity. Thus, it stands, not as an affirmation of human multiism but in this case, at least, against it as any form of absolute and transformative value.

Augmenting this clear division of humanity by God, we go to the book of Acts for more evidence. It reveals in Acts17:26 (NASB):
and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
Some would, as would I, consider this prima facie evidence, that in so far as The Humanist Manifesto is concerned and its promotion of world oneness and the brotherhood of man, where nations and peoples do not compete against one another and where national and state borders are anecdotal, they err, greatly. as does any Christian who would ignore the explicit and implicit properties of this revelation of God’s mind toward our world and his intent for mankind,

But What about Galatians? 

I’m glad you asked. Many Christian proponents of human multiism or human racial diversity in an ecclesiastical setting, like to cite Galatians 3:28, which states: (NASB):
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

If one were to be lazy, they might imagine that because of Christ, all men may be reconciled racially, ethnically and culturally. This could not be further from the text. Removing that gross error, there is the Christian error which believes that this speaks of racial, ethnic and cultural reconciliation among believers. Again, this is a fundamental error of hermeneutics.

The context has nothing to do with all of humanity having the potential to be personally reconciled or even all Christians having the potential, because of Christ's work, of being racially, ethnically and culturally reconciled with one another rather, it informs us that all those who have believed the gospel are reconciled to Christ through the forgiveness of sins and the new birth. Therefore, and from this, all Christians are spiritually – or in Christ - reconciled to one another and become one, in Christ (notice, it says “one”, not much diversity there). It is a spiritual construct, far removed from the anthropological context suggested by those who would misuse this text.

When one demands personal reconciliation (racial, ethnic or cultural) for spiritual fellowship, they are actually working to disrupt and thwart genuine spiritual reconciliation and fellowship which we are given as believers, in Christ. 

What You Must Acknowledge, If Nothing Else 

As we can see, in one place men are instrumentally and deliberately divided by God whereas, in another place and in another context – our reconciliation with Christ thus, our spiritual unity with one another - he removes such barriers. 

And still in another place, we can observe our Lord in the context of the culture in which he lived and ministered. Though a Jewish rabbi, he regularly found himself at odds with religious leaders. Christ ate with social outcasts such as Samaritans and tax-collectors and taught that anyone, no matter their primogenitor, if genuinely repentant toward God and seeking justification through the righteousness offered by God and not through attempts to merit it, was more righteous than any Pharisee who thought to base their righteousness before God in obeying the law. 

The Key 

While I could go on and on with Biblical references, none of that does any good if we do not understand their context, which is fundamental to applying the Scriptures in the formulation of doctrinal prescriptions.

An example of the contextual ignorance to which I refer is when one might look at the life of Christ and observe the constant conflict between his ministry and that of the Pharisees (especially the turning over of the tables) and conclude that Christians are to be disruptors and protestors of things they believe are unrighteous. But that would be a gross misunderstanding and unreliable use of that event.

Unfortunately, similar squandering of Biblical texts with Evangelical proponents of human multiism in the form of the new racial reconciliation doctrine or more broadly, social justice theology, who seek to moralize their crusades, are not only plenty but have crept so far into the church that the presence of such destructive hermeneutics has become normalized and employed as the assumptive or even presumptive starting point for many unwitting and novice Evangelicals in their theology.

I am not writing, however, to deal with the context of each and every one of the wayward propositions of those pushing human multiism in the church, rather, to present to you why human multiism or what I sometimes relate as Race Based Special Interest Theology is not only theologically or Biblically impermissible but not even spiritually and ecclesiastically possible.

My assertion is that if we follow a sound interpretation of Scripture, it isn’t even theologically/ecclesiastically feasible to build a racially, ethnically or culturally diverse local assembly. This is not because we will not have or do not have anthropological diversity (racial, ethnic and cultural) in our local assembles but because of the unique spiritual paradigm of the body of Christ which does not originate from human properties, is not constructed on the basis of human properties and does not function in the power or essence of human properties such as race, ethnicity and culture.

By the time you get to the end of this, my hope is that you will be convinced not only of the unsoundness and potential injury of this new wayward doctrine which is bringing a great weight of disunity and antagonism in the church but of the Biblical framework which actually protects the church from such anthropological assaults and in being convinced, you will be willing to share this series of posts with as many as possible and even help in refining its arguments.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

ENDEAVOUR: A MASTERPIECE MYSTERY SERIES TO CONSDIER

If you are a Christian who watches television, the oceans of choices are filled with lusus naturae and beyond. Few and handful are the prime cuts which are not poisoned by some condiment unapologetically slathered on your entree of carne and broccoli. Unfortunately, I found this to be true of Downton Abbey, of which I wrote, in their later seasons and which brings me to this series, Endeavour.

It began its broadcast life in 2012 in England and is now in Season 7 and appears to be destined for more. Of this, I am not surprised nor is anyone else who watches the series. It is the best of the best, to wear out the cliche, of British television.

The Leads

The main character is played by Shaun Evans who simply convinces you he is none other than the younger DC Endeavour Morse. As bitter as bad acting is, is as delightful is Evans' enchanting dramatic exercise as the noble Detective, busy mastering his profession in the field of crime investigation while his somewhat awkward personality stumbles along, trying to catch up. He is an exceptionally engaging and utterly likeable crime wizard.

Always in range of Shaun Evans is Roger Allam, who has been around and in everything, with his expert self performing as DI Fred Thursday (yeah, Thursday). Unlike his American counterpart who would typically be antagonistic to the Morse character, Allam plays a slightly custodial role while thoroughly respecting the genius and appreciating the unorthodox style of the younger Morse. He slams a home-run as the amiable skeptic senior with a bone dry sense of humor.

The rest of the characters in the series are worth the mention but this post is brief. I will stop to say that it is obvious they were given considerable thought in their creation and presentation in the choice of actors and actresses with all of the accompanying accoutrements for this timepiece series which is set in Oxford, England in the 1960's.

My Two-Cents

I certainly do not have much time for entertainment either on the small or big screen however, when I do, I must have either quality or popcorn. The quality is, of course, a program such as Endeavour and the popcorn, cat videos on YouTube, what else? Seriously, Endeavour is par none and one nice thing is that it is absent of heavy British accents which is simply a curse to Americans who sing their words. 

If you need an escape, a television vacation for a bit over an hour, this just might do and so far the usual gratuitous skin and frotagge common in politically correct British productions, which is insufferable and offensive for the Christian, is not notable. Of course, I haven't seen every season so it is likely that you may encounter a few bumps in the road but possibly because it is relaying human events which include the downside of our nature which on the screen, unlike in script, there must be a portrayal to some degree of illicitness. My hope it does not go too far.

I am not recommending this for any and everyone and not giving a blanket approval to every element of the production but, for the most part, it is a serious and mature program and very entertaining. So, with discretion in mind, if you give this a try or have already, let me know what you think.

*For those of you who grew up in America and were born before 1990, a season generally meant 26 episodes and anything less was termed a mini-series but as has been the style for the last 15-20 years, a season can be as few as 6 episodes. In the case of British productions from BBC or ITV from which we get Endeavor, they tend to be on par with American cinema dramas hence, you're watching what is equivalent to a theatrical release so the limited number of productions is understandable.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

HAD ENOUGH, YET?

This was sent to me by a friend. Thought it worth sharing. I was thinking maybe today's announcement might have been one lump too many but I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A SIDEBAR ON THE TRINITY SUBORDINATION DEBATE: HOW DOES GOD THE FATHER GIVE JESUS A NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES IF HE IS ALREADY GOD?

As of late, there has been some dialog and debate regarding the subordination of the Trinitarian persons of the one God. Is the subordination eternal, was it limited to earth, did Christ have two wills and does he even now possess this in light of his continued prayers for us to God the Father in Heaven?

To be honest, many of us are guilty of over-generalizing our ideas about God and his Trinitarian expression. And while I might wish to write on the subject, I believe there are far superior works being offered than I could muster which comprehensively cover the nuances of the doctrines.

Don't be anxious to take a position, by the way. There are people with agendas who have a fixed position with short-sighted and poor theological arguments for support. Don't do that. Take your time, a lifetime if needed, to come to a conclusion. Yes, cut out the clear error but concede where the details require delicate and magnified examination. Do your homework, do not avoid due diligence on the matter which brings me to my blog post.

Question

Paul writes about our Lord, Jesus the Christ, when he was resurrected and entered into heaven with the Father (Philippians 2:9):

9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Which clearly begs the question, If Jesus is already God and equal with God the Father, how can anything be added to his person and be given a name above all names, doesn't he already possess this?

Answer

The most immediate answer comes from the soulishly staggering fact that when Christ returned, he did not return in the manner in which he left, before his incarnation. Our Lord returned as both God and man, eternal in being.

The second person of the Trinity, God the Son, was not only God in returning but also man, eternally. He took within his person a human nature.

Thus, after his advent on earth and upon his return, where he completed the mission of salvation for man and defeat of Satan, via the plan of co-council of the Godhead, in obedience to God the Father, having humbled, obeyed and suffered, even unto the death of the cross, he did not return just as God but the God-man which required the adjudication and inauguration of his God-man person, as God.

So when we think of Christ as God, understand, he really is one of us. He is human, while God, both eternal. And he pleads for us to God the Father and Paul writes in Romans 8:34:
who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
Final Thoughts

My goal, here, was not an attempt to tackle the issue of Trinitarian subordination rather, it was to stop at this single sidebar and demonstrate that this lone point, itself, in light of the entire matter could take a year or two of a person's life to fully grasp in a theologically consanguineous manner.

So when you imagine you have a fixed position on this issue, stop for a bit. Understand that there are theological subtitles and complexities which simply may not be by-passed and unfortunately are, by some.

It does not mean one cannot come to firm ends on the controversy and teach with confidence, a certain position. But what it should reveal is that as a sophisticated doctrine, you need time and a humbled ego in your spirit-filled pursuit along with an appreciation for the work of others.

If you believe you know the correct position without a careful and prolonged study, you're wrong. You might think you know or you might have been given, by the work of another, what you believe is as good as it gets but if you haven't taken the time to think, study, think some more, identify weaknesses in your views and so forth, you don't know.

As far as its relevance to marriage, it does exist as an example of personal egalitarianism while functioning in an administratively subordinate role, even if it is limited to earth. 

But removing it as an example, the Bible is quite clear that in marriage there are two officers, the husband and the wife, male and female, in that order. One is the Commanding Officer, the other, respectively, the Executive Officer.  The problem is not the administrative design, it is with the thinking and behaving of its occupants.

*The picture is of a book by the late R.B. Thieme Jr. who is a greatly respected but much maligned, by a vocal minority,  Bible teacher and Pastor of 50 years whose work many men use but not enough give him credit for his tremendous contribution to modern dispensational theology.

Friday, June 10, 2016

THE PERPETUAL VICTIM NARRATIVE INDUSTRY VS. THIS AIR FORCE ACADEMY GRADUATE

The Christian Science Monitor (source of picture above) recently published a rather remarkable story about recent U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, Joshua Waugh, and the lifetime of neglect/abuse he faced before entering the AFA. When I read the account of Waugh's biography I was slugged in the chest, for starters, regarding his response to the irresponsibility and exploitation of and by his guardians as he grew up. Here is just one quote from the article which you should read, After a lifetime of neglect, Air Force Academy graduate finds his wings:
Born to two “very drug-addicted parents,” he says, w​hen he was in elementary school he and his diapered baby brother were locked outside in the snow by foster parents who decided they didn’t want the boys anymore. In his pre-teen years, he learned to live on the Ramen noodles and potatoes he bought working construction sites for a few bucks a day. He quietly survived sexual assault at the hands of another foster family member.
Of course, what struck me further and more relevant to the kinds of things I combat at this blog was the contrast of Waugh's narrative to the proposition of perpetual victim status/identity which I have observed being fostered at blogs such as The Wartburg Watch and Spiritual Sounding Board in the Evangelical community (as well as the same perpetual victim status/identity doctrine employed outside of Christianity with your typical therapy-inductive resources). You may disagree with my personal assessment but before you register a protest I suggest you read, extensively, how the comments section of these blogs are permitted to flow.

As I have observed, both categories or groups (those in and outside of the church) have as the most substantial part of their victim doctrine, the creed of perpetual or life-long emotional/psychological disability being a matter of default certainty for any and all who encounter any similar kind of abuse in life, especially in childhood.

Now let me be clear, abuse does result in suffering and injury but that suffering and injury cannot have and should never have a presumed default status. What these groups do, in my opinion, are dramatically juxtaposed to what AFA graduate, Joshua Waugh did and is now doing. As I see it, the former offer eternal lament, suffering, complaint, bitterness and the absence of conclusive recovery while the latter, Waugh, offers a model with regard to how one overcomes abuse and injury. 

What Joshua Waugh says, as the article relates, is simple but enlightening with respect to how he views life: 
Waugh says his philosophy is simple. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough to do something,” he says. “Just do it. Put in the work. If you want something bad enough, that work is just a bridge – and you can cross it.”
What I believe (and this may not be the meal you're interested in eating at the moment but I decline to feed you poison) is that many people refuse to respond to abuse and injury in such a manner as Waugh because suffering and victimization can also become a weapon of blame and finger pointing which is often, very often these days, used to point a finger at someone else in an exaggerated attempt to relieve ourselves of personal responsibility for the rest of our lives. One's failures in life can conveniently be chalked up to his or her past and of course, with a chorus of perpetual victimization supporters who form its industry, who needs to think otherwise?

By all accounts, Waugh should have ended up mentally and emotionally too scarred and incapacitated thus, unable, to achieve in life in any significant way let alone, experience genuine happiness and satisfaction. Yet, here he is, doing both and more!

My guess is he realized, at some point, that he is not responsible nor defined by the actions of others against him. He was not going to remain in their power once released. Whatever his instincts, they were right. 

I will admit that this is a thing which takes some measure of effort because it requires personal responsibility for your life beyond a normative experience. In a society where we are taught to blame our problems on others, Waugh is an example for how we should respond to neglect and abuse. Learn and move forward and build bridges to tomorrow.