Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Divorce and Remarriage In The Bible

Chapter 6
Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University

Divorce is no longer a disease contracted only by Hollywood movie stars. People from all walks of life, including Christians, are affected by divorce. There is hardly a Christian family that, directly or indirectly, does not know the pain of divorce.

An important factor contributing to the alarming escalation of divorce among Christians is the growing acceptance of the societal view of marriage as a social contract, governed by civil laws, rather than as a sacred covenant, witnessed and guaranteed by God Himself. Instead of promising each other faithfulness "till death do us part," many couples are adopting the modern version of the marriage vow, by pledging to remain together "as long as we both shall love."
The recent "no fault" divorce law makes the dissolution of marriage so easy that some lawyers advertise divorce services for less than $100.00: "All legal fees and services included in one low price." What a sad commentary on the cheapness of marriage today! What God has united, many will put asunder for less than the price of a good pair of shoes.

We live today in a time of cultural transition when old values are being challenged both within and without the church. "They have been pulled up by the roots, thrown up into the air, and are now beginning to come down like tossed salad."1 The result is that many Christians today are confused and do not know what to believe, especially in the area of divorce and remarriage. Many are asking, "Are there Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage? Is a person who remarries guilty of continuous adultery? Why do some denominations prohibit their ministers from marrying divorced persons and yet allow them to receive divorced people into their membership after they have been married by ministers of other denominations? Isn’t it better to suffer the pain of divorce than the tragedy of a marriage without love?"

Pastors, teachers, and Christian writers often contribute to the prevailing confusion about divorce and remarriage with their conflicting interpretation of key Bible passages. Some teach, like the ancient Pharisees, that the Bible allows divorce and remarriage for "every cause," while others maintain that the Bible prohibits divorce and remarriage under any circumstance. A reason for such conflicting interpretations is that many interpret the Bible more in the light of their experience in dealing with divorce than in the light of their study of what the Bible actually teaches on this subject.

The time of cultural transition and confusion in which we live offers unprecedented opportunities to seek truly Biblical answers to the questions Christians are asking. We must not allow the extremes of radicalism or liberalism to impede progress in understanding and applying what the Bible teaches on the important subject of divorce and remarriage affecting so many lives. Encouragement for such an effort comes to us from the growing number of conservative Christians who are seeking truly Biblical answers to their questions. My aim in this chapter is to meet the expectations of these Christians by examining the Scriptures in order to come to a more definite and concrete understanding of its teaching on divorce and remarriage. The reader must decide whether or not I have succeeded in "rightly handling the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15).

Objectives of Chapter. The objective of this chapter is to ascertain what the Old and New Testaments teach regarding divorce and remarriage. We shall pursue this investigation by examining all the relevant passages. In the following chapter we shall consider how we can apply the Biblical teachings to concrete situations today.

No one knows how divorce began. The Biblical record shows that, unlike marriage, divorce was not instituted by God. There is no indication in the Bible suggesting that God introduced and institutionalized divorce after the Fall as part of His order for human society. Divorce is "man-made," not divinely ordained. It represents human rejection of God’s original plan for the indissolubility of the marriage bond.

In His comments on divorce, Jesus explained that divorce represents a change in God’s order because "from the beginning it was not so" (Matt 19:8). He further observed that it was because of the "hardness" of human heart that Moses "allowed" divorce (Matt 19:8). To allow a practice is not the same as instituting it. When divorce first appears in the Bible, the practice was already in existence. What God did through Moses was to regulate divorce in order to prevent its abuse. This does not mean that God winked at divorce. Rather, it means that God acknowledged its existence and regulated it to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse.

The fact that God did not lay down a specific law in the Pentateuch prohibiting divorce reveals His realistic approach to human failure. It shows God’s willingness to work redemptively on behalf of those who fail to live up to His ideal for them. Before considering the implications of God’s attitude toward divorce in the Old Testament for us today, we want to examine the most explicit Old Testament passages concerning divorce.

1. The Teaching of Moses
In the pre-Mosaic period, divorce was common among the heathen nations. A man could divorce his spouse for any reason simply by telling her before witnesses, "You are no longer my wife." The divorced wife would have no recourse but to leave her home with only the few belongings she could carry on her back. This explains why women wore all their rings, jewelry, and coins on their bodies, since these provided a financial resource in the case of divorce.2
The practice of easy divorce became common among the Hebrews, encouraged by the absence of regulations restricting it. "Men were divorcing their wives for a ‘weekend fling’ and then taking them back again when the dirty laundry had piled up and the house needed cleaning."3 It was this situation that occasioned the legislation found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. The chief concern of the law is to discourage hasty divorce by preventing remarriage after divorce. The law contains three elements: (1) the grounds for divorce (Deut 24:1a), (2) the process of divorce (Deut 24:1b), and (3) the result of divorce (Deut 24:2-4).

The Grounds for Divorce. "When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a bill of divorce . . ." (Deut 24:1a). Note that the law does not prescribe or encourage divorce. It simply assumes the course of action a husband would take if he found "some indecency in her."
The precise meaning of the phrase "some indecency" (literally, "the nakedness of a thing") is uncertain. Rabbinical interpretation of this phrase was sharply divided. The school of Shammai interpreted it as unchastity, while the school of Hillel as anything displeasing to her husband. Neither of these two views is supported by the evidences. Shammai’s view is discredited by the fact that in the Old Testament, divorce was not granted for adultery (Lev 20:10; Deut 20:22-24) or for morally defiling one’s wife before marriage (Deut 22:28). This suggests that the "indecency" of Deuteronomy 24:1 must refer to something other than adultery or sexual uncleanness.

Hillel’s looser interpretation is also devoid of Biblical support. The Hebrew word erwath (generally translated, "indecency" or "uncleanness") is often used to refer to shameful exposure of the human body (Gen 9:22,23; Ex 20:26; Lam. 1:8; Ezek 16:36, 37). In Deuteronomy 23:13-14, the word is used to describe the failure to cover human excrement. We would conclude, then, that according to Deuteronomy 24:1, divorce was allowed for some kind of shameful act or indecency other than illicit sexual intercourse.

The Process of Divorce. The procedure required of a man intending to divorce his wife was for him to write out a bill of divorce and give it to her: "he writes her a bill of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house . . ." (Deut 24:16). The wording of the bill of divorce was probably similar to the one generally used by the Jews of the Diaspora which reads:
 "On the ______ day of the week, the ______ day of the month ______, in the year ______ from the creation of the world, in the city of ______, I, ______, the son of ______, do willingly consent, being under no restraint, to release, to set free, and to put aside thee, my wife, ______, daughter of ______, who has been my wife from before. Thus I do set free, release thee, and put thee aside, in order that thou may have permission and the authority over thyself and to go and marry any man that thou may desire. No person may hinder thee from this day onward, and thou art permitted to every man. This shall be for thee from me a bill of dismissal, a letter of release, and a document of freedom, in accordance with the laws of Moses and Israel.
______ the son of ______, witness.
______ the son of ______, witness."4
The bill of divorce served several purposes. It deterred a hasty action on the part of the husband by restraining frivolous and rash dismissal. It testified to the woman’s freedom from marital obligations from the husband who sent her away. It protected the woman’s reputation, particularly if she married another man.

The process of divorce that Moses required was not a license to repudiate the wife at will, but rather "a stringent requisition that whoever did so should secure his wife from injury by certifying that she was not chargeable with unchaste conduct, but divorced upon some minor pretext."5
It is important to note that Moses did not require a man to divorce his wife if he found "some indecency" in her. He simply permitted it due to the hardness of the Israelites’ hearts (Matt 19:8; Mark 10:5) who had rejected God’s original plan for marriage (Mark 10:9; Gen 2:24). What Moses required was that a divorce document be written to discourage hasty divorces and to mitigate the hardship of divorce. Even when the divorce document was given, the way for reconciliation was still open as long as the woman did not form a second marriage.

The Result of Divorce. The primary purpose of the divorce procedure was to close the way forever for the man to remarry his former wife once she had remarried: "And if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter husband dislikes her and writes her a bill of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring guilt upon the land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance" (Deut 24:2-4).
The main point of this legislation is to prohibit a man from remarrying his former wife if she had married another man. Even if her second husband divorced her or died, she could not return to her first husband. To do so would be an "abomination before the Lord" (Deut 24:4) on the same level as fornication. The reason is that if a husband could easily remarry the same woman, divorce would become a "legal" form of committing adultery. Later prophetic writings confirm this truth set forth by Moses. For example, the prophet Jeremiah says: "If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted?" (Jer 3:1).

Another possible reason for the Deuteronomic ban on the remarriage of divorcees to each other after one of them had married someone else is that such a marriage would constitute an incestuous relationship. From Leviticus 18, we learn that prior to the Israelite conquest, the land of Canaan had been "defiled" by "incest" among the Canaanites (Lev 18:25-26). On the basis of this connection, Heth and Wenham argue that Deuteronomy prohibits the remarriage of a divorced couple after one of them had married someone else, because such a remarriage constituted incest. A blood relationship was formed by the first marriage which made them not only husband and wife but kin relatives as well. Consequently, if they divorced and remarried each other again, that remarriage was akin to the marriage between a brother and sister.6 If this interpretation is correct, then Deuteronomy 24 supports Genesis 1 and 2 by showing that divorce cannot break the bond established by marriage.

It is significant to note that what the Mosaic legislation strongly condemns is not the remarriage of a divorced woman, but her remarriage to her first husband after the termination of her second marriage. This suggests that remarriage per se in the Old Testament was not stigmatized as adulterous nor was a remarried woman regarded as an adulteress. The Pentateuch did not require that a divorced woman and her second husband be put to death, as was the case with adultery. This consideration should lead us to exercise caution before stigmatizing remarriage as adulterous.

Conclusion. Divorce was not instituted by Moses, nor was it approved as an intrinsic right of the husband. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 indicates that Moses sought to curb the evil of divorce by requiring the husband to give a bill of divorcement to his wife to protect her after her marriage to another man. The Mosaic concession does not alter God’s original plan for marriage to be a sacred, permanent covenant. It simply provides protection for the divorced wife when sinful hearts violate God’s original plan for marriage.

Read more -->HERE.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It Is Well, With My Soul

A brief biography of Horatio Spafford can be viewed HERE or another similar one HERE.

The words:

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
    • Refrain:
      It is well, with my soul,
      It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The SCIENTIFIC Basis for Defending All Human Life

By , Published February 20th, 2012

If you are around young children very often, you’re probably familiar with the Olivia the Pig series.  My niece loves those books.  But you’re probably not as familiar with Oliver the Egg.  Let me tell you about him.  Christopher Franceschelli has written a cute book about Oliver, who is really a chick growing inside of an egg.
Since I’d really not enjoy being sued for copyright violations, I won’t quote this entire six sentence book.  Suffice it to say that Mr. Franceschelli describes the very few things that Oliver could do as an egg.  He says, “But he was simply an egg and that was that.”
This little book (while very cute) completely misses the boat on science.  It’s final pages say, “until one day” (with a picture of an egg) “everything changed” (with a picture of a chick).  While rather entertaining for a small child, this book lacks any scientific or accurate value.  It’s patently untrue to say that, before hatching, a chick is “simply an egg.”  Uh, no.  It’s an unhatched chick inside an egg.
Oliver serves to illustrate the general lack of scientific and medical knowledge that many people and some pro-lifers have about the beginning of human life.  When exactly does human life begin?  Is there such a thing as a “fertilized egg”?  What’s the accurate term to call a new human being at the earliest stages?  Can we really prove from science that we should defend all human life?  What do medical experts say about this issue?  Pro-lifers  need to be more knowledgeable about what we are for and why we believe what we believe.
1.  When exactly does human life begin?  What do the medical experts say?
Well, the very simplest way to answer this question is to say “at the beginning.”  What a novel thought.  Honestly, though, pick up any embryology textbook (yes, doubters, please go do this), and you will find that these textbooks teach that a new, unique human being (i.e., not the potential for life, but an actual life) begins at the moment of fertilization; the moment the sperm meets the egg.
To clarify even further, an egg or a sperm are “potential life” because, under the right circumstances, they can combine to create a new, unique human being.  However, once that combination (fertilization) occurs, we are talking about an actual human being.
Human Fertilization
Human Fertilization
Don’t want to take my word for it?  I don’t blame you.  Read from these experts:
“(Fertilization is) that wondrous moment that marks the beginning of life for a new unique individual.” Dr. Louis Fridhandler, in Biology of Gestation Volume One
“A new individual is created when the elements of a potent sperm merge with those of a fertile ovum, or egg.”Encyclopedia Britannica
“I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception….I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life….I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty…is not a human being.  This is human life at every stage….”  Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni—professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the U. of Penn
Read more -->HERE.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jesus Is Lord

═══•♥• ~¸´♫ •♥• ~ •♥•¸♪´.•¯♥`~♪´♫`♥• ════╗
║ May God be with you every Step you take,
║ Guide you each decision you make,
║ Help you when life gets rough,
║ Lift you when you’ve had enough,
║ Protect you when you fall,
║ Hear you when you call,
║ Soothe your heart when you don’t understand
║ And ALWAYS be beside you holding your hand!
♥•♥• ══════════════════.*•♫.•*═ •♥• •♥•

Laugh when you can..✿. Apologize when you should..✿. And let go of what you can't change... Love deeply and forgive quickly... Take chances and give your everything..✿. Life is too short to be anything but happy...✿ You have to take the good with the bad...✿ Love what you have... Always remember what you had... Forgive and forget.✿..and always remember.. that life goes on..

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪..•*¨*•♫♪. ♪♫•*¨*•.
♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪..•*¨*•♫♪. ♪♫•*¨*•.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


While reading through Genesis recently, I came across the word: Mistress.  I remembered a conversation I had with a friend years ago, I had used the word 'mistress' to describe a woman who had taken up with another woman's husband. My friend challenged me as to whether that was an accurate usage of the word.

Harlot would be the God word which describes an adulterous/fornicating woman.

Mistress is the counterpart to Mister (Master). Usages of Mistress in Scripture:

Gen 16:4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress (H1404) was despised in her eyes.

Gen 16:8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress (H1404) Sarai.

Gen 16:9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress (H1404), and submit thyself under her hands.

1Ki 17:17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress (H1172) of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.

2Ki 5:3 And she said unto her mistress (H1404), Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

Psa 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress (H1404); so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

Pro 30:23 For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress (H1404).

Isa 24:2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress (H1404); as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

Nah 3:4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress (H1172) of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

H1404 - Feminine of H1376; mistress: - lady, mistress.
H1376 - From H1396; a master: - lord.
    • H1396 - A primitive root; to be strong; by implication to prevail, act insolently: - exceed, confirm, be great, be mighty, prevail, put to more [strength], strengthen, be stronger, be valiant.
Additional verses which use H1404:

Isa 47:5 Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.

Isa 47:7 And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it.

H1172 - Feminine of H1167; a mistress: - that hath, mistress.
  • H1167 - From H1166; a master; hence a husband, or (figuratively) owner (often used with another noun in modifications of this latter sense: -  + archer, + babbler, + bird, captain, chief man, + confederate, + have to do, + dreamer, those to whom it is due, + furious, those that are given to it, great, + hairy, he that hath it, have, + horseman, husband, lord, man, + married, master, person, + sworn, they of.
    • H1166 - A primitive root; to be master; hence (as denominative from H1167) to marry: - Beulah have dominion (over), be husband, marry (-ried, X wife).
Some additional verses with H1172:

1Sa 28:7  Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath (H1172) a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath (H1172) a familiar spirit at Endor. 

  1. a woman who has authority, control, or power, especially the female head of a household, institution, or other establishment.
  2. a woman employing, or in authority over, servants or attendants.
  3. a female owner of an animal, or formerly, a slave.
  4. a woman who has the power of controlling or disposing of something at her own pleasure: mistress of a great fortune.
  5. (sometimes initial capital letter) something regarded as feminine that has control or supremacy: Great Britain, the mistress of the seas.
  6. a women who is skilled in something, as an occupation or art.
  7. a woman who has a continuing, extramarital sexual relationship with one man, especially a man who, in return for an exclusive and continuing liaison, provides her with financial support.
  8. British . a female schoolteacher; schoolmistress.
  9. (initial capital letter) a term of address in former use and corresponding to Mrs., Miss, or Ms.
  10. Archaic . sweetheart.

Interesting origins.

1275–1325; Middle English maistresse < Middle French, Old French, equivalent to maistre master + -esse -ess

Completely contrary to how we use the word today...and how God used it when He had His servants pen the Writ.

I went searching for something about Mistress...well, my oh my, quite a lot to NOT like.  I did, however, come across this article and thought it encouraging.

Your domain includes (list from above link):


Friday, February 24, 2012

Suffering Savior, Suffering Disciples

"Suffering is a part of the process by which the children of God are made holy. They are chastened to wean them from the world, and make them partakers of God’s holiness. The Captain of their salvation was made “perfect through suffering,” and so are they (Hebrews 2:10; 12:10). There never was a great saint who had not experienced either great hardships, or great persecutions.

Let us try to settle this in our hearts also. The children of God all have a cross to bear. A suffering Savior generally has suffering disciples. The Bridegroom was a man of sorrows. Therefore, the Bride must not be a woman of pleasures and unacquainted with grief. Blessed are they that mourn! Let us not murmur at the cross. This also is a sign of sonship."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Mark of the Christian

by Francis Shaeffer

Through the centuries men have displayed many different symbols to show that they are Christians. They have worn marks in the lapels of their coats, hung chains about their necks, even had special haircuts.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of this, if one feels it is his calling. But there is a much better sign — a mark that has not been thought up just as a matter of expediency for use on some special occasion or in some specific era. It is a universal mark that is to last through all the ages of the church till Jesus comes back.

What is this mark?

At the close of his ministry, Jesus looks forward to his death on the cross, the open tomb and the ascension. Knowing that he is about to leave, Jesus prepares his disciples for what is to come. It is here that he makes clear what will be thedistinguishing mark of the Christian:

My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:33-35)

This passage reveals the mark that Jesus gives to label a Christian not just in one era or in one locality but at all times and all places until Jesus returns.

Notice that what he says here is not a description of a fact. It is a command which includes a condition: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." An if is involved. If you obey, you will wear the badge Christ gave. But since this is a command, it can be violated.

The point is that it is possible to be a Christian without showing the mark, but if we expect non-Christians to know that we are Christians, we must show the mark.

Men and Brothers

The command at this point is to love our fellow Christians, our brothers. But, of course, we must strike a balance and not forget the other side of Jesus' teaching: We are to love our fellowmen, to love all men, in fact, as neighbors.

All men bear the image of God. They have value, not because they are redeemed, but because they are God's creation in God's image. Modern man, who has rejected this, has no clue as to who he is, and because of this he can find no real value for himself or for other men. Hence, he downgrades the value of other men and produces the horrible thing we face today — a sick culture in which men treat men as inhuman, as machines. As Christians, however, we know the value of men.

All men are our neighbors, and we are to love them as ourselves. We are to do this on the basis of creation, even if they are not redeemed, for all men have value because they are made in the image of God. Therefore they are to be loved even at great cost.

This is, of course, the whole point of Jesus' story of the good Samaritan: Because a man is a man, he is to be loved at all cost.

So, when Jesus gives the special command to love our Christian brothers, it does not negate the other command. The two are not antithetical. We are not to choose between loving all men as ourselves and loving the Christian in a special way. The two commands reinforce each other.

If Jesus has commanded so strongly that we love all men as our neighbors, then how important it is especially to love our fellow Christians. If we are told to love all men as our neighbors — as ourselves — then surely, when it comes to those with whom we have the special bonds as fellow Christians— having one Father through one Jesus Christ and being indwelt by one Spirit — we can understand how overwhelmingly important it is that all men be able to see an observable love for those with whom we have these special ties. Paul makes the double obligation clear in Galatians 6:10: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." He does not negate the command to do good to all men. But it is still not meaningless to add, "especially unto them who are of the household of faith." This dual goal should be our Christian mentality, the set of our minds; we should be consciously thinking about it and what it means in our one-moment-at-a-time lives. It should be the attitude that governs our outward observable actions.

Very often the true Bible-believing Christian, in his emphasis on two humanities — one lost, one saved — one still standing in rebellion against God, the other having returned to God through Christ — has given a picture of exclusiveness which is ugly.

There are two humanities. That is true. Some men made in the image of God still stand in rebellion against him; some, by the grace of God, have cast themselves upon God's solution.

Nonetheless, there is in another very important sense only one humanity. All men derive from one origin. By creation all men bear the image of God. In this sense all men are of one flesh, one blood.

Hence, the exclusiveness of the two humanities is undergirded by the unity of all men. And Christians are not to love their believing brothers to the exclusion of their non-believing fellowmen. That is ugly. We are to have the example of the good Samaritan consciously in mind at all times.

A Delicate Balance

The first commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. The second commandment bears the universal command to love men. Notice that the second commandment is not just to love Christians. It is far wider than this. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I Thessalonians 3:12 carries the same double emphasis: "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you." Here the order is reversed. First of all, we are to have love one toward another and then toward all men, but that does not change the double emphasis. Rather, it points up the delicate balance — a balance that is not in practice automatically maintained.

In I John 3:11 (written later than the gospel that bears his name) John says, "For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another." Years after Christ's death, John, in writing the epistle, calls us back to Christ's original command in John 13. Speaking to the church, John in effect says, "Don't forget this . . . Don't forget this. This command was given to us by Christ while he was still on the earth. This is to be your mark."

For True Christians Only

If we look again at the command in John 13, we will notice some important things. First of all, this is a command to have a special love to all true Christians, all born-again Christians. From the scriptural viewpoint, not all who call themselves Christians are Christians, and that is especially true in our generation. The meaning of the word Christian has been reduced to practically nothing. Surely, there is no word that has been so devalued unless it is the word of God itself. Central to semantics is the idea that a word as a symbol has no meaning until content is put into it. This is quite correct. Because the word Christian as a symbol has been made to mean so little, it has come to mean everything and nothing.

Jesus, however, is talking about loving all true Christians. And this is a command that has two cutting edges, for it means that we must both distinguish true Christians from all pretenders and be sure that we leave no true Christians outside of our consideration. In other words, mere humanists and liberal theologians who continue to use the Christian label or mere church members whose Christian designation is only a formality are not to be accounted true.

But we must be careful of the opposite error. We must include everyone who stands in the historic-biblical faith whether or not he is a member of our own party or our own group.

But even if a man is not among the true Christians, we still have the responsibility to love him as our neighbor. So we cannot say, "Now here's somebody that, as far as I can tell, does not stand among the group of true Christians, and therefore I don't have to think of him any more; I can just slough him off." Not at all. He is covered by the second commandment.

The Standard of Quality

The second thing to notice in these verses in John 13 is the quality of the love that is to be our standard. We are to love all Christians "as I," Jesus says, "have loved you." Now think of both the quality and the quantity of Jesus' love toward us. Of course, he is infinite and we are finite; he is God, we are men. Since he is infinite, our love can never be like his, it can never be an infinite love.

Nevertheless, the love he exhibited then and exhibits now is to be our standard. We dare have no lesser standard. We are to love all true Christians as Christ has loved us.

Now immediately, when we say this, either of two things can happen. We can just say, "I see! I see!" and we can make a little flag and write on it, "We Love All Christians!" You can see us trudging along with little flags — all rolled up — "We Love All Christians!" — and at the appropriate moment, we take off all the rubber bands, unzip the cover, and put it up. We wave it as we carry it along — "We Love All Christians!" How ugly!

It can be either this exceedingly ugly thing, as ugly as anything anyone could imagine, or it can be something as profound as anyone could imagine. And if it is to be the latter, it will take a great deal of time, a great deal of conscious talking and writing about it, a great deal of thinking and praying about it on the part of the Bible-believing Christians.

The church is to be a loving church in a dying culture. How, then, is the dying culture going to consider us? Jesus says, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another." In the midst of the world, in the midst of our present dying culture, Jesus is giving a right to the world. Upon his authority he gives the world the right to judge whether you and I are born-again Christians on the basis of our observable love toward all Christians.

That's pretty frightening. Jesus turns to the world and says, "I've something to say to you. On the basis of my authority, I give you a right: you may judge whether or not an individual is a Christian on the basis of the love he shows to all Christians." In other words, if people come up to us and cast in our teeth the judgment that we are not Christians because we have not shown love toward other Christians, we must understand that they are only exercising a prerogative which Jesus gave them.

And we must not get angry. If people say, "You don't love other Christians," we must go home, get down on our knees and ask God whether or not they are right. And if they are, then they have a right to have said what they said.

Read more -->HERE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Mulling this over recently...What happened to hospitality?

Rom 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality (G5381).

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality (G5382), apt to teach;

Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality (G5382), a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality (G5382) one to another without grudging.

G5381 - From G5382; hospitableness.

G5382 - From G5384 and G3581; fond of guests, that is, hospitable.

  • G5384 - Properly dear, that is, a friend; actively fond, that is, friendly (still as a noun, an associate, neighbor, etc.).
  • G3581 - Apparently a primary word; foreign (literally alien, or figuratively novel); by implication a guest or (vice-versa) entertainer.
A widow was not to be taken into the rolls:

1Ti 5:9-10 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers (G3580), if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

G3580 - lodged strangers - From a compound of G3581 and G1209; to be hospitable.

  • G3581 - see above.
  • G1209 - Middle voice of a primary verb; to receive (in various applications, literally or figuratively).
Searching for G5381 and G5382 usages:

G5381 - Romans 12:13 (above) and

Hebrews 13:2 - Be not forgetful to entertain strangers (G5381): for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

G5382 - same as above, no additional references.

Interestingly it is not JUST a woman's role, the instruction is specific in some verses and general in others. Regardless of one's marital status, we can practice hospitality. Which does not always involve inviting someone into our home, but can be found in other outlets. Think creative!

I went searching and came across a few articles to share.

Sunday Guests - I liked this one for its encouragement to see beyond the typical approach of hospitality.

Christian Love and Christian Hospitality - enjoyed this one, with the focus on love and hospitality.

Gracious Hospitality - general encouragement and exhortation.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

John Flavel - Puritan (1628-1691)

I have been posting writings by a variety of authors, most of which are Puritans from the 1600s, recently came across a couple of new (to me) gentlemen.  Thought I would share my discoveries.  Here is a brief biography from the Highway, a longer biography can be viewed HERE.

John Flavel - (1628-1691)

During the Plague of London, in 1665, a few Christian friends were gathered for prayer in a private house in Convent Garden; but, as it was an unlawful assembly, the soldiers broke in with drawn swords and arrested the worshippers. They were committed to Newgate prison, where the pestilence was raging; and an old minister from the country, Mr. Richard Flavel, and his wife, caught the infection, and were released only to die.

Their eldest son was also at this time a minister. Although he did not become a musician or a poet, as his mother had hoped, this nobler vocation was his destiny. As a minister and author, he transmitted the joyful sound of the gospel through the dark reigns of Charles and James the Second; and of all who sang songs in that night, few found listeners so eager and grateful as John Flavel.

In 1656, when he was about twenty-six years of age, the people of Dartmouth, in Devon, chose him as their minister. Going amongst them on their own invitation, and in all the freshness of his affections, he and the inhabitants became ardently attached to one another. With his fund of striking incidents, with his faculty of happy illustration, with a temperament in which cheerfulness and solemnity were remarkably blended, and with a style of address in which friendly encouragement alternated with grave remonstrance and melting pathos, except among the worst reprobates, his ministry was boundlessly popular. And when he went from home, his plain and arresting discourses were so often the means of awakening or converting careless hearers, that he was induced to extend his labors far beyond the bounds of his own large parish.

The period, however, was brief during which he was allowed to ply such a free and unfettered ministry. Ejected by the Act of Uniformity, for some time he endeavored to keep together and instruct the members of his flock; but spies and penal laws made their meetings difficult and dangerous. At last the Oxford Act was promulgated, and according to its terms, Mr. Flavel could no longer reside in Dartmouth. On the day of his departure, the inhabitants accompanied him as far as the churchyard of Townstall, where, amidst prayers and tears, they parted. Nevertheless, his heart was still with his beloved people. He took up his abode as near them as the letter of the law allowed; and, sometimes in Dartmouth itself, sometimes in a quiet apartment in a neighboring village, and sometimes in a wood or other sheltered spot in the open air, he contrived to meet a detachment of them almost every Sabbath day.

At last King James’s Indulgence permitted the open resumption of his ministry. A commodious meeting-house was built, and there, for the remaining years of his life, he continued to warn, exhort, and comfort all who came, with a fervor of which the tradition has not yet died out in Devon. His prayers were wonderful. Much of his retirement was spent in devotional exercises; and in the great congregation he was sometimes seized with such agonies of earnestness, or carried away in such a rapture of praise and thanksgiving, that it seemed as if the tabernacle of clay must perish amidst the excessive emotion. At last, towards the end of June, 1691, he presided at a meeting of the Nonconformist ministers of Devonshire. The object was to bring about a union of Presbyterians and Independents. The preliminary resolutions passed unanimously, and “Mr. Flavel closed the work of the day with prayer and praise, in which his spirit was carried out with wonderful enlargement and affection.” On the 26th, he wrote to a London minister an account of this auspicious meeting, and appeared remarkably cheerful and happy. But that evening, he was taken with the palsy, and soon died.

No period of English history has been so fruitful in religious literature as the half-century between the commencement of the Parliamentary War and the glorious Revolution; or we might say, the period included in the publishing career of Richard Baxter. But amidst that enormous authorship there are few books which retain so much attraction for modern readers as some of Flavel’s practical treatises, such as On Keeping the Heart. For their enduring popularity, they are, no doubt, in some degree indebted to their kind, affable, and earnest tone; but still more, we presume, is due to the skill and felicity with which matters of the greatest moment are expounded. With a view to be useful, the writer’s great anxiety was to be understood, and he sought out the words and the modes of representation which might suit the sailors of Dartmouth and Plymouth, and the farmers of Devon and Dorset. His books abound in anecdote, and they are rich in those homely metaphors and ingenious comparisons which are an effective ingredient in popular oratory. Above all, they command the reader’s attention, by the importance of the themes which they handle; they secure his confidence, by their unaffected seriousness and deep sincerity; and they win his heart, by the evangelical warmth and personal kindness with which they are all aglow.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do You Think You Are Converted

By JC Ryle

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted” – Acts 3:19

The subject which forms the title of this paper is one which touches all mankind. It ought to come home to all ranks and classes, high or low, rich or poor, old or young, gentle or simple. Any one may get to heaven without money, rank, or learning. No one, however wise, wealthy, noble, or beautiful, will ever get to heaven without CONVERSION.

There are six points of view in which I wish to consider the subject of this paper. I will try to show that conversion is

I. A Scriptural thing;
II. A real thing;
III. A necessary thing;
IV. A possible thing;
V. A happy thing;
VI. A thing that may be seen.

Let me show, in the first place, that:

I. Conversion Is a Scriptural Thing

I mean by this, that conversion is a thing plainly mentioned in the Bible. This is the first point we have to ascertain about anything in religion. It matters nothing who says a thing, and declares it to be religious truth; it matters nothing whether we like or dislike a doctrine. Is it in the Bible? That is the only question. If it is, we have no right to refuse it. If we reject a Bible truth because we do not like it, we do so at the peril of our souls, and might as well become infidels at once. This is a principle which ought never to be forgotten.

Let us turn to the Bible. Hear what David says: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul”— ”Sinners shall be converted unto Thee” (Psa 19:7, 51:13). Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ says: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 18:3). Hear what St. Peter says: “Repent ye, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Act 3:19). Hear what St. James says: “He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (Jam 5:20).

I could easily add to this Scriptural evidence. I could quote many passages in which the idea of conversion is contained, though the word itself is not used. To be renewed, to be transformed, to be created anew, to be raised from the dead, to be illuminated, to pass from death to life, to be born again, to put off the old man and put on the new man—all these are Scriptural expressions, which mean the same thing as conversion. They are all the same thing, seen from a different point of view. But enough is as good as a feast, in these matters. There can be no doubt of the truth of my first position: that conversion is a Scriptural thing. It is not a mere device of man’s invention: it is in the Bible.

Read more -->HERE.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

If God Is All You Have

Makes me think of content...contentedness...a few verses to encourage those dry and thirsty souls as we trod this earthly sod:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ~ Philippians 4:11-13

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. ~ Hebrews 13:5-6

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Calvinism v. The Simplicity of the Gospel

By Cynthia Mullen Kunsman

Actually, it's been around for awhile – about as long as I have, actually, but before I was old enough to read about it.

I don't really pay much attention to the neo-Calvinists that move in the Louisville Baptist-anointed circles, though I am apparently known as one of their more outspoken critics. In following the ideology of misogyny in Evangelicalism, I traced much of it back to them and therefore had to address it. Though much goes back to an out of context interpretation of John Knox on the Presbyterian side which is more consistent with my experience, the influence of the bunk borrowed from the Baptist misogyny within all of Evangelicalism cannot be ignored.

Some suggest that most of what passes for Calvinism these days doesn't even qualify as real Calvinism, especially from those in the Gospel Coalition type of camp. Paul Dohse has been busy writing about this subject and recently released a book about how two aberrant Anglicans and a Seventh Day Adventist from Australia were invited to Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia in the late sixties, detailing how their subtly twisted doctrine has resulted in the errors of what passes for Calvinism today. Actually, most of the controversies concerning doctrine among the Reformed can be traced back to the Australian Forum in some way, or from the Redemptive Historical Method which preceded them. The group launched some provocative “new” ideas at that time, and what they actually accomplished was a remerging of justification and sanctification, but they marketed it as Reformation Theology.

Read more -->HERE.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I Was a Wandering Sheep (song)

I was a wandering sheep,
I did not love the fold;
I did not love my Shepherd’s voice,
I would not be controlled.
I was a wayward child,
I did not love my home;
I did not love my Father’s voice,
I loved afar to roam.

The Shepherd sought His sheep,
The Father sought His child;
They followed me o’er vale and hill,
O’er deserts waste and wild;
They found me nigh to death,
Famished and faint and lone;
They bound me with the bands of love,
They saved the wand’ring one.

They spoke in tender love,
They raised my drooping head,
They gently closed my bleeding wounds,
My fainting soul they fed;
They washed my filth away,
They made me clean and fair;
They brought me to my home in peace,
The long sought wanderer.

Jesus my Shepherd is:
’Twas He that loved my soul;
’Twas He that washed me in His blood,
’Twas He that made me whole.
’Twas He that sought the lost,
That found the wand’ring sheep,
’Twas He that brought me to the fold,
’Tis He that still doth keep.

No more a wandering sheep,
I love to be controlled;
I love my tender Shepherd’s voice,
I love the peaceful fold.
No more a wayward child,
I seek no more to roam;
I love my heavenly Father’s voice,
I love, I love His home!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Call to Separation

A.W. Pink

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14-18)

This passage gives utterance to a Divine exhortation for those belonging to Christ to hold aloof from all intimate associations with the Ungodly. It expressly forbids them entering into alliances with the unconverted. It definitely prohibits the children of God walking arm-in-arm with worldlings. It is an admonition applying to every phase and department of our lives—religious, domestic social, commercial. And never, perhaps, was there a time when it more needed pressing on Christians than now. The days in which we are living are marked by the spirit of compromise. On every side we behold unholy mixtures, ungodly alliances, unequal yokes. Many professing Christians appear to be trying how near to the world they may walk and yet go to Heaven.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together.” This is a call to godly separation. In each dispensation this Divine demand has been made. To Abraham Jehovah’s peremptory word was, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house.” To Israel He said, “After the doings of the land of Egypt wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do; neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.” (Lev. 18:3) And again, “Ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation which I cast out before you.” (Lev. 20:23) It was for their disregard of these very prohibitions that Israel brought down upon themselves such severe chastisements.

At the beginning of the New Testament we are shown the forerunner of Christ standing outside the organized Judaism of his day, calling on men to flee from the wrath to come. The Savior announced that, “He calleth His
own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” (John 10:3) On the day of Pentecost the word to believers was, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:40) Later, to the Christian Hebrews Paul wrote, “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp.” (13:13) God’s call to His people in Babylon is, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4) “Be ye not unequally yoked together.” This is God’s word unto His people today. Nor does it stand alone. In Rom. 16:17 it is said, “Mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.” In 2 Tim 2:20 we read, “In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of  silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use.” 2 Tim. 3:5 speaks of those “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof,” then it is added, “from such turn away.” What a word is that in 2 Thess. 3:14, “If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him.” How radical is the admonition of 1 Cor. 5:11, “Now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such an one no, not to eat.”

“Be ye not unequally yoked together.” We are fully persuaded that it is disregard of this commandment, for command it is, which is largely responsible for the low state which now obtains so generally among Christians,
both individually and corporately. No wonder the spiritual pulse of many churches beats so feebly. No wonder their prayer-meetings are so thinly attended; Christians who are unequally yoked have no heart for prayer.  Disobedience at this point is a certain preventative to real and whole-hearted devotion to Christ. No one can be an unshackled follower of the Lord Jesus who is, in any way, “yoked” to His enemies. He may be a truly saved person, but the testimony of his life, the witness of his walk, will not honor and glorify Christ.
Read more -->HERE.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Baptism the Heaven Drawn Picture

Dr. Peter Masters 

Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England 

“Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”—Matthew 28:19

“Repent, and be baptized every one of you!” —Acts 2:38

AGAIN and again we find in the New Testament this inseparable link between conversion and baptism. In character, the two are poles apart. Conversion is spiritual, whereas baptism is merely physical. Conversion is a new birth imparted from above; while baptism is administered by the hand of a man. Conversion through faith in the blood is a powerful, soul-renewing work. Baptism is an outward picture only, devoid of soul-saving efficacy. Conversion saves the soul; baptism cannot save anyone.

Nevertheless, in the New Testament, true repentance and conversion are inseparable from baptism. Conversion is the real thing—baptism is a picture of it. But in the plan and purpose of Christ, wherever there is conversion, the picture must accompany it.

Verse 22 of Hebrews 10 is just another example of this. Access to God by the blood of Christ is spoken of. Baptism just cannot be omitted from the passage. And if Christ the Lord joins baptism with conversion, in His Word, we must not pass over this subject lightly. Let us then look more closely at the subject of New Testament Baptism.

We begin with the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In these words, the Head of the Church gave His binding commission for all time to His blood-bought people. “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in [into] the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mat 28:19).

We often hear it said that there are two kinds of doctrine; essential and non-essential. (Sometimes these “categories” are called primary and secondary doctrine). What is meant is this: that certain beliefs are essential for a man to be saved. Other doctrines, though very valuable, are not essential for a man to be saved. An example is the way in which Christ shall come again. Some believe that there will be a millennium. Others say there will be no millennium—Christ will just come and usher in the eternal, heavenly kingdom. Whichever a man believes, it will not stop him being converted. So this is “nonessential” to conversion.

Now baptism is not essential to salvation. Many a man is truly born again, but very muddled and wrong in his attitude to baptism. So we agree that, in a sense, baptism is also a non-essential or secondary matter.

Some have therefore concluded that in the interests of evangelical unity we should stop emphasizing baptism. In many churches this is done, and it is a matter of relative indifference whether a believer is baptized or not. There is one vital point which is overlooked by our friends who regard baptism as unimportant. While it is true that it is not essential to conversion, it happens to be commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ. One could re-word a commonly expressed sentiment thus: “We should not make an issue over baptism, as it is not a doctrine essential to salvation, even though we are expressly commanded to give it a paramount place by our Lord Himself.” Does anyone wish to say that? Of course not.

Read more -->HERE.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage?

A recent posting of this verse:

Luk 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

...caused quite a stir...warranting a plethora of comments pro/con (last count 470!) for those who are born again and whether or not they are at liberty to re-marry. It was quite an interesting discussion to follow. One which made me research and found this article:


Even the most cursory examination of the statistics concerning divorce in America reveals figures that are nothing short of staggering. In the 60 years between 1920 and 1980 the divorce rate more than tripled. The United States now has the highest divorce rate in the world and at least half of all U.S. marriages will end in divorce. About half of those divorces will involve children, for a total over one million children experiencing the divorce or separation of their parents yearly.1

What these figures should tell us is that America has become what one author has called a "Divorce Culture," and as such we can expect divorce to continue to impact every part of our society, including the church. In light of this situation it is imperative that Reformed churches have a coherent policy regarding divorce that accurately reflects the teaching of Scripture. Today most states have passed legislation that allows for what is called a "no fault divorce." As the name implies, this is a divorce in which neither party is judged to be at fault and the reasons are usually ones of emotional incompatibility, or "irreconcilable differences." In this kind of divorce neither party must prove that the other has broken the marriage covenant by some act of sin, only that they no longer wish to be married to the other person. Is this a valid divorce by biblical standards? The purpose of this essay is to answer this kind of question by briefly examining the scriptural evidence and the historic Reformed consensus on this issue in an attempt to frame a "doctrine of divorce".

Reformed theologians have long realized that the general thrust of the teaching of the Bible is against divorce, God himself does not mince words on the subject when in Malachi 2:16 he declares "I hate divorce". This stems from the fact that marriage in the Bible is intended to be an inviolable covenant bond between one man and one woman for life. Genesis 2:24 frames the creation ordinance of marriage in the following terms "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." There is no indication that this marriage bond was ever intended to be severed in life and there is every reason to believe that had man continued in an unfallen condition, divorce would never have entered into the world. But as the Bible makes clear, the fall occurred and since that time man’s entire nature is now thoroughly corrupted by sin. Because of this, the Bible makes provision for, and regulates divorce. As Jay Adams puts it, "the concept of divorce is Biblical".2 But before we move on to consider how God regulates divorce in his word, we need to consider the fundamental difference between marriage and divorce. Marriage is a creation ordinance and a blessing from God. God declared in Genesis 2:18 that "It is not good for the man to be alone" and therefore he gave man the gift of marriage to correct the situation, that he might continue to declare of his creation that it was "very good" (Gen. 1:31). Divorce, on the other hand, postdates the fall and stems from the hardness of men’s hearts. Nowhere in the Bible is divorce spoken of as a positive institution, although as Adams points out, the Bible does not "always, under all circumstances, for everyone, condemn divorce."3 But while we can recognize that there are situations in which divorce is permissible, we can also see that it is never an unmitigated good. God hates each and every divorce -- and that includes his own divorce of his own sinful people Israel in the Old Testament (cf. Jeremiah 3:8)

Read more -->HERE.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Eschatology - noun Theology.
1. any system of doctrines concerning last, or final, matters, as death, the Judgment, the future state, etc.
2. the branch of theology dealing with such matters.

Though I thought I had parked the eschatology bus in the garage, seems it needed a run around the block. {smile}

Defending Contending posted this article on their site:

What is a Thousand Years Between Friends - Kim Riddlebarger

I have listened twice, but did not have the charts. Someone posted a link, so you can look here (offers b&w or color) for what I *think* may be the one he is referencing in his presentation. There was a link for charts which had all the different positions-->here.

Def-Con followed up with a post by John MacArthur on his Pre-mil position - here (you have to follow the link and download the MP3).

Then a follow up with a rebuttal by Kim - here.

I have not set my foot decidedly in one camp or the other...I do know my Lord is returning, even so come Lord Jesus. Until then we are to occupy and present the gospel (spread seed far, wide and liberally).

May He bless us with understanding the times, seasons and ages that He has set forth in His Word, by our diligent study.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Be Thou My Vision

Words: At­trib­ut­ed to Dal­lan For­gaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry
Music: Slane, of Ir­ish folk or­i­gin

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

Charlotte Mason Method A method of education popular with homeschoolers in which children are taught as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books, firsthand experiences, and good habits.

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Her method, the Charlotte Mason method, is centered around the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.

By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that atmosphere makes up one-third of a child’s education.

By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits — and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life make up another third of his education.

The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.

For example, Charlotte’s students used living books rather than dry textbooks. Living books are usually written in story form by one author who has a passion for the subject. A living book makes the subject “come alive.”

She taught spelling by using passages from great books that communicate great ideas rather than just a list of words.

She encouraged spending time outdoors, interacting with God’s creation firsthand and learning the living ways of nature.

You can see many other living methods she used on this methods chart.

Many homeschoolers have adopted her philosophy and methods as they seek to educate the whole child, not just his or her mind.

Explore further-->HERE.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Federal Vision

I have been doing some research, specifically about John Piper, Douglas Wilson (who JP had at his recent Desiring God 2012 Conference - my granny used to say birds of a feather flock together) Federal Vision, heresies, etc.

I will share what I find, some of it is dated, but I believe still relevant for the Bride of Christ.  We need to be discerning of those who *act* or *talk* as if they are part of the Bride, but hold and/or teach that which is contrary.  Or worse, have just enough *truth* mixed in and thus *poison* those who are sitting under them.


Mapping the Federal Vision

There is no question that the Federal Division is in many respects a farce and while holding these false teachers up for ridicule and scorn is of some value, nothing diminishes the deadliness of their heretical system of doctrine or that its teachers and fellow travelers are determined schismatics. As one of Wilson’s followers said recently; “I am heartened to know that the Auburn Avenue church may soon be part of a growing, thriving and vibrant denomination like the CREC.” He’s right. The FV is a growth industry for Wilson’s FV denomination, the CREC. And, with pressure building against the FV men, especially since Steve Wilkins has jumped ship for the CREC rather than face trial in the PCA, now is the time for Wilson and his CREC to reap their illicit profits.

Of course, even at this late date, there are still many who are still unaware as to the exact nature of the soul destroying message these men are teaching, but the FV men have been developing their false doctrines for decades and one of the few men who saw the trajectory which has lead to our current situation is John Robbins.

While observing the warfare going lately and inspired by the pontifical self-righteous salvoes launched by James Jordan, I had the opportunity to revisit a piece Robbins wrote back in 1992, The Reconstructionist Road to Rome. In the piece Robbins reviews Jordan’s 1986 book, The Sociology of the Church: Essays in Reconstruction. Virtually all of the central elements of the FV/NPP are there in nascent form including the denial of the biblical doctrine of justification. Robbins observes:

Read more-->HERE.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How Much Is a Homemaker Worth?

Sadly our culture deems the blessedness of being a stay at home wife.  Hopefully those who are blessed to be full time stay at home wives (and mothers) will be encouraged.  God has give us a calling...let us not be distressed by the mindset of a culture which is at odds and hates Him and His ways!


The Story: A study conducted by the financial service company Investopedia found that the sum value of different homemaking duties annually amounts to almost six figures. If a homemaker's job were salaried, it would draw, on average, $96,291 per year. Tasks accounted for in the study included private chef, house cleaner, child care provider, driver, and laundry service provider.
The Background: There's no escaping the fact that contemporary society often scoffs at stay-at-home moms. "This isn't the 1950s anymore," the thinking goes. "Why in the world would someone want to be imprisoned in her own home?" The common idea, of course, is that many responsibilities on the home front should be outsourced, thus releasing moms from domestic shackles to realize their vocational dreams. While such a mindset isn't automatically wrongheaded in every case, it can frequently betray a prioritization that is biblically questionable.
Why It Matters: Proverbs 14:1 states: "The wise woman builds her house." While the monetary value and practical feasibility of full-time homemaking may vary from home to home, what remains constant is the irreplaceable significance of a homemaker's contributions. The Investopedia article concludes, "The daily work of a homemaker can sometimes be taken for granted....However, these services could earn a homemaker a considerable wage if he or she took those skills to the marketplace. Homemakers, in general, contribute a lot more to the home in addition to these tasks and no amount of money can fill those needs."
Indeed, no study could ever fully quantify the service of a mother who "looks well to the ways of her household" (Prov. 31:27). At the very least, this research should prompt us to express fresh appreciation to those stay-at-home moms whom we love and who, though receiving little recognition in the eyes of the world, are faithful and treasured in the eyes of their King.