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  1. I get emails like this all the time… who wants to respond….

    Law and Lawlessness
    PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FORWARD ON YOUR e-MAIL Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that YAHWEH thy ELOHIM, he is ELOHIM, the faithful ELOHIM, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”End Note: But Doesn’t “Law of YAHSHUA” replace Torah?Nomos (Strongs 3551) is the Greek word translated “law” in the Brit Chadasha (new testament). Nomos has many definitions — it can mean law of the land, any codified law/set of laws, a basic principle, and of course, it can mean Torah. There was no specific Greek word for “legalism” and often nomos is used when Sha’ul is referring to legalism — since legalism itself is also a set of laws, nomos fits well there too.
    Having defined law, it’s time to define ‘lawlessness.’ In Greek, it is anomos — that is, anti-law. Christians tend to assume that every single instance of ‘law’ in the Scriptures can only mean Torah (I’ve shown above that is not true in all cases — its a broad word); yet few stop to think of the ramifications. If ‘law’ can only mean Torah — then what does “lawless’ mean? Anti-Torah? In the case of lawlessness, I happen to agree that Torah is indeed meant — that the sign of the end times would be “Torah-lessness.” Christians often brag that they are “free from law” not realizing that’s just a seemingly nice way of saying “without law” or “having no law.”

    The argument is made by Christians (with straight faces no less!) that Torah was only given to show man how sinful he was, to show he could not keep Torah and that he needed a Saviour. A few problems here. In the first place, Torah wasn’t given to show us how sinful we were but how Holy ELOHIM is. ELOHIM said He gave Torah to show man how to live as a mikra ‘called out’ people (note, “church” is modern english translation of Greek word ekklesia– which also means mikra, that is, “called out ones”). Torah was a lifestyle document. Christians would have you believe ELOHIM gave Torah to His Chosen People so that He could later introduce “Grace” and then condemn His original Chosen People in favour of other nations. What? If that was how ELOHIM treated His Chosen Ones — how much better will He treat His non-Chosen Ones? Would a ELOHIM of love deliberately give people a document they could not obey, and then condemn for their expected failure? YAHSHUA came 1500 years after Torah was given — that’s 1500 years of fruitless efforts to obey? No way!
    When YHVH gave Torah, He promised blessings for obedience, punishments for disobedience. Israel did stray from Torah and received many punishments — right up to being taken into captivity. If Torah wasn’t keepable, if it was given only as a trick to show it couldn’t be kept — that would make ELOHIM a sadist for punishing people for failing to do an impossible task He set for them!
    Torah was not given to show man couldn’t keep it. To the contrary, ELOHIM Himself declared the Torah was keepable! ELOHIM says in Deuteronomy 30:11-14:

    “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”

    Torah is keepable — and there is no other. He has given it all here — there is no other Torah up in heaven or in the sea — this is it! And it is keepable — it is “not too hard for thee.” Now if ELOHIM says it is keepable, no man-made doctrine to the contrary should be accepted. There is not a single command given in Torah that was impossible to keep. Man chooses to disobey — but the fault lies within man, not Torah.
    Was Torah a temporary document until Messiah came?

    Torah NEVER states that its end will come or that it will be changed later. Did ELOHIM not foresee He would send Messiah? Indeed He did — and realizing the lawless beliefs that would later come, ELOHIM added a special clause to Torah:

    Deuteronomy 4:2 “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the YAHWEH your ELOHIM which I command you.”
    Also:
    Deuteronmony 12:32 “32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

    Following this passage to not add to or take away from Torah, is a warning against false prophets ( INCLUDING CHRISTIANITY )(Deuteronomy 13). A false prophet is *anyone* who comes teaching the people to disregard ELOHIM’s Torah! ELOHIM warns these false prophets will test the people’s faithfulness to ELOHIM — His people will instead “walk after YAHWEH their ELOHIM, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” (Deuteronomy 13:4) At the time of YAHSHUA, the only way to test those who claimed to be prophets of ELOHIM was to compare what they taught to the teachings of Torah. Period. There was no other test. So when Torah is cast aside as irrelevent — so is the foundation that proved YAHSHUA *was* Messiah.

    YAHSHUA never taught against Torah — if he had, he would be considered a false prophet! YAHSHUA and Torah cannot be contrary to each other — each must validate the other. Be wary of manmade church doctrines espousing a “jesus” loosely based on the life of YAHSHUA HaMashiach — a “jesus” who is credited with turning the people away from Torah. The real YAHSHUA came “*not* to destroy the law, or the prophets: but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17) Fulfill means to do exactly as written — not to abolish or change! Anyone teaching to ‘take away’ from Torah is a false teacher and anyone adding to Torah is a false teacher. Think about the arguments between Christianity and Judaism…. Ironically, for two-thousand years now, ELOHIM has had these two sets of people: Torah rejecting believers; and YAHSHUA-rejectors who add manmade writings to Torah. Does either group please ELOHIM?
    Is Torah Forever?
    Torah declares itself to be everlasting — forever. It’s Yom Kippur for atonement; its priesthood, it’s Shabbat, its Passover/unleavened bread — all were appointed forever — NOT just until Messiah came!
    Leviticus 16:34 “And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as YAHWEH commanded Moses.”
    Exodus 31:16 “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.”
    Leviticus 24:8 “Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before YAHWEH continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.”
    Numbers 25:13 “And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his ELOHIM, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.”
    Exodus 12:17 “And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance forever. ”

    What I hope readers of this article will do is study the Brit Chadasha differently. All Scripture must be tested against Torah for accuracy. If you hold a doctrine that contradicts Torah — your doctrine is wrong — and you are guilty of lawlessness. Torah is the foundation. Misunderstanding this fact will lead to incorrect doctrines and a skewed mistaken view of Scripture. As Sha’ul says “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12
    The sign of the end times is lawlessness … are you a part of the apostasy or the Truth? Don’t be lawless.
    Oddly, In the same breath Christians claim jesus *was* ELOHIM, they manage to say the “Law of YAHSHUA” is not the same as “Law of ELOHIM” (that is, Torah). Many Christians claim the “Law of YAHSHUA” is “And thou shalt love the YAHWEH thy ELOHIM with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30,31.

    However, these commands are not new, they are found in Torah:

    Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love YAHWEH thy ELOHIM with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”

    Leviticus 19:18 “Do not make attempts to get equal with one who has done you wrong, or keep hard feelings against the children of your people, but have love for your neighbour as for yourself: I am YAHWEH.”

    Further, YAHSHUA quoted these *after* quoting the Shema, a quintessential text of Judaism from Deuteronomy 6:4, “HEAR, O ISRAEL: YAHWEH OUR ELOHIM, YAHWEH IS ONE.”

    YAHSHUA’s Law *is* ELOHIM’s Law. Where the Law of Messiah differs isn’t in regard to ELOHIM’s Law, but man’s. YAHSHUA came to correctly interpret Torah. Man had added to ELOHIM’s Law in an attempt to fence and protect ELOHIM’s Law, and in the process, parts of ELOHIM’s Law had been misunderstood. YAHSHUA helped define what the Law was really teaching (Matthew 5’s “Sermon on the Mount” is an excellent example of YAHSHUA clarifying Torah). When YAHSHUA summed up the Law into these two commands, he was conveying essential principles — love ELOHIM and love your neighbour. But how does ELOHIM want us to love Him? How does He want us to love our neighbor? We’re back to Torah — we need Torah to define “how” to love ELOHIM and our neighbour.

    Pro-Torah Observant Verses In Brit Chadasha (New Testament):

    Luke 16:16,17 “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of ELOHIM is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”

    Luke 1:6 “And they were both righteous before ELOHIM, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of YAHWEH blameless.”
    Acts 24:14 “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the ELOHIM of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.”
    Romans 2:13 “(For not the hearers of the law are just before ELOHIM, but the doers of the law shall be justified).”
    Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? ELOHIM forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
    Romans 7:12 “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
    Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
    Romans 7:22 “For I delight in the law of ELOHIM after the inward man.”
    Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of ELOHIM, and have the testimony of YAHSHUA Messiah.”
    Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of ELOHIM, and the faith of YAHSHUA.”
    1 Yochanan 2:3-6 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of ELOHIM perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
    R. Ariel Greener CCPE,NB.Phc.A.FLTC, Founder & International Director
    505 – 453-1559 MESSAGE CENTER 407 – 431-2694 = office
    http://www.committedtorahcounselling.org
    http://www.tagged.com/israelisgodsland
    C T C MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL Head Office Albuquerque NM 87110
    There is no ELOHIM but YAHWEH and YAHSHUA is His only Son!
    Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved-ACTS 4. – 12

    THE HORROR… DREAD

  2. Michael says:

    BD,

    Many years ago we had a fellow here who was continually tormenting us with his Torah keeping and consigning me to the pit.
    If memory serves me I did an online debate with him.
    Today, I wouldn’t bother.
    In my (ever so weary) opinion, the issue with these people isn’t theology, it’s the fact that their theology makes them feel separate and superior to other believers.
    Your biblical arguments will be irrelevant because they won’t touch their felt need for inflated self esteem.

  3. Muff Potter says:

    Babylon’s Dread,

    It sounds like you’ve been up river and have met Kurtz.

  4. Ricky Bobby says:

    LOL, BD’s Torah email just illustrates my point that due to the paradoxical and contradictory nature of the texts we call “the bible” there are solid appeals to the text for a whole range of positions…but all of them have to cancel out other narratives in the same bible.

    It’s, again, why I assert that the bible does paint narratives…but to hang your hat on “it’s perfect, without contradiction, without any errors of any kind, it all makes sense and it says what I and my Theological Box says and it all fits together perfectly!” is simply not true.

    The truth is, the bible says a lot of stuff…and there a ton of opinions about it…and opinions are like a-holes…we all have one and they all stink.

    I would reply to that email this way:

    “If your conscience is telling you to keep the Torah…then by all means, knock yourself out”

  5. London says:

    Look for a key labeled “delete”.
    Press it
    Response complete.

  6. Michael says:

    “The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.””
    (Acts 15:6–11 ESV)

  7. London says:

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23291897
    Anyone listen to this amazing young woman’s speech to the UN?
    Fantastic!

  8. Michael says:

    When you’re done with London’s link, here is one on Mexico.
    http://www.npr.org/2013/07/09/196314587/drugs-chaos-and-violence-darken-mexicos-midnight

  9. RB,
    Who was the OT written to? Was it written to you or to the nation of Israel?
    I think it was written to these folks – ““I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

    If those laws were not written to us, why would we have to follow the,

    I am not obligated to follow the laws of Idaho, but I am required to follow the laws of California. So why should I have to follow laws that were written to Israel?

  10. “…opinions are like…” bellybuttons

  11. London says:

    So seriously, is every thread on here now about “RB” and his thoughts on how the bible isn’t true and anyone who thinks so is a fool?
    It seems like every thread is about trying to convince him of something I’m not sure he even believes.
    It’s perfectly fine if that’s what this place is about now. Have no problem with it, I’d just like to know so I can make any informed decision about how to spend my time an energy.
    I’m not interested in the same narrow focus on one person everyday.
    It’s cool if you guys are, I’m not saying you should stop, I just would like to know the lay if the land here these days.

  12. Chile says:

    Michael said,

    “In my (ever so weary) opinion, the issue with these people isn’t theology, it’s the fact that their theology makes them feel separate and superior to other believers.
    Your biblical arguments will be irrelevant because they won’t touch their felt need for inflated self esteem.”

    I can apply this to so many situations/people I run into. These two sentences have a piercing truth.

  13. Nonnie says:

    I think London speaks for many.

    Yesterday a beautiful story with healing application was spit on and tossed aside because RB thought he was more important.

  14. Michael says:

    London,

    It’s wide open today and people can talk about any topic they choose.
    Those who want to interact with RB can do so, but next week I’m only allowing things that are semi on topic on a given thread.
    The surest way to get him dominating a thread is to make him an issue.

  15. Michael says:

    Chile,

    It applies to all of us at times…I know the same things can be rightfully said about my own tribe.

  16. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    That upset me as well.
    Especially because I kind of felt in my subjective, charismatic, side that the Lord had given me that word for some folks beside myself.

  17. London says:

    I’m not making him an issue. Was just asking the group what their intention was for this site.
    Limiting to the topic of the day will be hard since people’s post trigger all kinds of ideas and flows about other topics and basically changes the structure of free flowing ideas that this blog has always been.
    Just curious really.

  18. Nonnie says:

    Michael, It WAS truly a healing word. I’m guessing some didn’t comment as they didn’t want to enter the fray.
    Do not be discouraged in well doing, my friend.

  19. Michael says:

    London,

    I’ll be more specific.
    The continual posting about the veracity of the Scriptures and the nature of God is going to be severely limited.

  20. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    I’ve received a lot of really affirming email about yesterdays article.
    There were a number of folks who felt encouraged by it and they didn’t want to have to deal with the other stuff.

  21. Xenia says:

    …. there are solid appeals to the text for a whole range of positions…

    This is why we have Tradition.

    Tradition is really nothing more than an ancient commentary on the Scriptures. Tradition says “This is what the Church has always believed.” That is good enough for me.

  22. Xenia says:

    Michael, I thought yesterday’s article was one of the best things you have ever written and I saw the hand of God all over it.

  23. London says:

    Ok, thanks for the clarity about the direction you guys are going.
    There’s lots of stuff, good and bad, happening in the world that I, for one would love to hear people’s opinions on so glad to know.

  24. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Thank you…and I thank God for using our blog to accomplish something positive.

  25. An interview with Pastor. Matt Harrison, the President of the LCMS. He answer questions on Worldwide Lutheranism, Relations with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Role of Women in the Church and Church Discipline in the LC-MS and the status of the LCMS – even bringing into the conversation our warts and all.

    http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/issuesetc.org/podcast/13200712132.mp3

    I wonder how many other top guys of organizations are willing to do this in a public setting. It’s good stuff (about 30 min)

  26. Michael says:

    London,

    There is no “you guys”.
    There is me running my tail off trying to get a job, help raise a kid, and keep this going.
    There’s Reuben working overtime and posting articles for us so I can get away to do the other stuff.
    I thank God for him every Wednesday and Thursday.
    We don’t have a plan or a direction…it’s pretty spontaneous.
    I would love to have people introduce topics to discuss or write about.

  27. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I don’t agree with all his positions…but I really, really like Matt Harrison.

  28. London says:

    I meant the whole if everyone that posts here. Not “you guys” the moderators.
    Sorry for the confusion.

  29. Ricky Bobby,
    You have been in a serious process of throwing off authoritarian things; churches, fathers, pastors, leaders and now the Bible. Take care with that. Those under your care just might learn something from it. I am serious.

    As for the Bible… long ago I jettisoned the inerrant word, long ago I also threw away the idea that there is a singular reading to the text of scripture… theological studies introduced me to ‘readings’ of the text… that is the idea that one can enter the world of scripture and find basis for many kinds of outcomes. But I have not jettisoned the idea that the church who was birthed from our Saviors saving act must care about communicating the glory of what God has done. Thus we need to know what the writers were up to when they wrote.

    So I pursue truth, the truth and anyone who knows me knows I am pursuing the narrative of scripture as the narrative out of which we live and move. I fear you have preferred the freedom to bring forth whatever narrative delivers you from authority. Perhaps I am wrong. But so it seems.

    And Michael,

    The zionists who want to impose Torah on gentiles are multiplying in our city at an alarming rate. They insist … the scriptures can only be interpreted by rabbis who know Hebrew in and out, including the New Testament scriptures, the savior can only be known as Yashua or Yeshuah ( they argue about that), the Torah is what we are all enjoined to obey every time the word commands or commandments appears, the works of the law that are rejected are the traditions of the elders and not Torah, sabbath and feasts must be kept, Trinitarian theology is false teaching, and well you get the gist. The problem is they are finding a hearing here in our state that has a history with Hispanic refugees from the inquisition.

    Has anyone written a forceful rebuttal of their work … a recent one that addresses this fresh assault?

    Jesus is not a Mexican Dread

  30. Michael says:

    BD,

    I will check and see what I can come up with…to my knowledge these people have flown under the popular radar to the degree that a specific work addressing them has yet to be written.
    Well, there was Galatians… 🙂

  31. Interestingly there is some scholarly work that is springing up to give a more Jewish reading of both Romans and Galatians but I do not know if it supports the novel theology of these people… Mark Nanos is the writer…

  32. Goose says:

    Question for all…

    If God’s Torah/Law does not apply to the non-Israelite/Gentile then what does the non-Israelite/Gentile use as a measuring stick(for lack of a better word) to determine whether he/she is a sinner?

  33. Goose,

    The Holy Spirit and the Spirit filled church informed by the scriptures is our way of walking. We are people of the Spirit not of the Torah… No one who follows Torah has a clue how to follow it. There is so much they ignore, choose, edit, and prefer that you might just as well ask the Jewish/Israeli Torah keeper the exact same question.

  34. Goose says:

    BD @34…

    I don’t have time to respond to your thoughts, as I am headed out the door, but you did not answer the question I posed @ 33.

  35. Michael says:

    Goose,

    I’m working on my message for tomorrow but this is how I teach on the subject.
    The acronym was shamelessly stolen from Steve Brown.

    The Three Fold Use Of The Law:

    It teaches us the moral requirements of God
    The law restrains sin as in civil government
    It shows sinners their need for a Savior

    The Role Of The Law In The Life Of A Believer:

    R Reveals God’s will
    U Updates you on how you’re doing
    L Lectures you on proper behavior and attitudes
    E Educates you on proper choices and decisions

  36. You just didn’t like the answer… those who are in Christ are not sinners. They are saints by the grace of God. We do not need Torah to convince us of our sin the Holy Spirit does as much. If I did not answer your question then you need to ask more clearly. I suspect you have an angle.

  37. Xenia says:

    We are still sinners. I still sin, therefore I am a sinner.

    At confession Fr. G asks me “Do you consider yourself a sinner?”

    And I always say “Yes.”

    Because I am.

  38. Xenia says:

    Dread I think you are making some kind of distinction in category and “sinner” may be a word that has different shades of meaning, but I know I am a sinner still because I still sin.

  39. Steve Wright says:

    Dread, much scholarship apparently is making an argument that the Midrash had a major influence on both the Septuagint translation as well as how the NT authors, especially Paul, interact with the OT text. The LXX translation often seems a deliberate variance to the Hebrew, and the Midrash influence is finding support as a reason.

    I know a true scholar who could talk intelligently with us on this topic, but alas it is not me. 🙂

  40. Steve Wright says:

    The above comment by me in response to:

    Interestingly there is some scholarly work that is springing up to give a more Jewish reading of both Romans and Galatians

  41. Xenia,

    I don’t draw those distinctions as severely as some but as to IDENTITY I am justified and am a saint of God. I allow that we who know the LORD sin but it does not become my identity. Though a good debate might be had about it.

    A drunkard is a drunkard and such… my particular bent is otherwise.

    I was trying to communicate with the Goose but alas I could not cook it to his pleasing.

    And Steve, yes we have some work to do with texts… you are better than you allow in that area… quite good I think.

  42. Ricky Bobby says:

    Just sharing my opinions London, just as you share your angle often and as others share their angles in nearly every post. If my opinions and expression of such engender a large response, it’s more a function of the fact that I tend to communicate a well-thought-out position that is well supported and that causes folks to think and challenges their safe boxes they’re in. This invokes strong responses.

    I could conform to a more dishonest (for me) homogenous style and steer clear from speaking my mind and interjecting thought-provoking push-back that is clear to me (and others) but that would be dishonest and not genuine on my part.

    The fact is, Critical Thinking applied to the issues and macro-issues that are always topics on this blog tends to cut through the pat answers and assumptions…and thus makes some waves…no matter what the topic.

    You complained when I addressed CC, you complain when I address a particular philosophical position and theological angle.

    You’re a complainer.

  43. If asked if I “consider myself a sinner.” I would probably answer as the priest expected… confessionals are not suited for repartee…

  44. Michael says:

    RB,

    The issue on this blog is (and has been for a long time) that you have to interject your theories early and often no matter what the thread is about and the thread is dominated by you and you alone.
    It ruins participation and drags us all into your endless loop of argumentation.
    The majority here do not affirm your beliefs, nor do they have an interest in them.
    The complaints that get posted are nothing compared to what I get on the backend and my blogging career becomes one long exercise in questions about why I let you do this.
    You’ve stated your case numerous times and you have your own blog on which to propound your ideas.
    Your “search for truth” will not be hampered by exercising some measure of discretion and courtesy on someone else’s blog.

  45. Ricky Bobby says:

    “You have been in a serious process of throwing off authoritarian things; churches, fathers, pastors, leaders and now the Bible. Take care with that. Those under your care just might learn something from it. I am serious.”

    Ironically, my kids are learning what it is to be loved, unconditionally. If that’s my legacy, that Love Wins, then I’m good with that.

  46. Ricky Bobby says:

    “nor do they have an interest in them.”

    Then why do they comment and enter into lengthy discussions? I call b.s.

  47. Michael says:

    Here we go.
    The reason they comment on them is two fold.
    We feel a need to defend the faith and the Scriptures from that attacks you make on them.
    That’s one.
    The other is a vain hope to get you to see your own errors and inconsistencies.

  48. Xenia says:

    Dread, I am a sinner. I don’t just say it because that’s what he expects to hear.

    He also asks me if I’ve forgiven everyone. We have had a little repartee on that question a few times.

  49. Yes I would consider that ironic …

  50. Xenia says:

    I don’t answer RB too often but when I do it’s because I am ever -mindful of lurkers.

  51. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    The lurkers keep me up nights…worrying if I’m going to have to account for someones faith being damaged.

  52. Michael,

    I suggest after all these years that you sleep knowing that accounting for all that is on this blog over the years simply cannot be done. It will require a savior. And perhaps by this means YOU more than X-lady are convincing me that though I am redeemed I am…

    … Sinner/Saint Dread

  53. Michael says:

    BD,

    You have a point…and the blog is just one part of my life I will answer for.
    indeed, I do need a Savior…and thank God for Jesus.
    Good word for me, BD.

  54. Xenia says:

    Dread, if I spend the afternoon gossiping with a friend, believe me, that’s sin and it is committed by me, a sinner. If I don’t sin, why would I need to confess my sins, both to God and to those I’ve sinned against (if appropriate)? Of course I am a sinner and so are you.

    To say we are not sinners is just playing with words. Now again, you may have some categories that are meaningful in your theology where you have just two groups, saints and sinners, but that seems to bleach the meaning out of the word “sinner” and make it a technical term used to describe the unbeliever. But, I sin so I am a sinner, just as I read so I am a reader and I eat so a am an eater.

  55. London says:

    I think the idea of labeling yourself as a saint who sins on occasion is different than labeling yourself a sinner because you sometimes sin.

  56. Xenia says:

    If “sin” is “missing the mark” then I would say I am a pretty continual sinner.

  57. Michael says:

    I’m with the Lutherans on this one…
    ‘Simul justus et peccator’ or ‘simultaneously justified and a sinner’.

  58. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “Here we go.
    The reason they comment on them is two fold.
    We feel a need to defend the faith and the Scriptures from that attacks you make on them.
    That’s one.
    The other is a vain hope to get you to see your own errors and inconsistencies.”

    Do you think that most non-believers have the same questions about inconsistencies that I present on the blog?

    Do you think they benefit from reading the Group’s answers to my questions?

    Yes and yes.

    So stfu 😆

  59. Xenia I cannot even agree with you and lose properly. I search the text of scripture for identificational information. I find the church over emphasizes this matter in a way that the scriptures do not. Once a man is in Christ he is a new creation, a bondservant of the Lord, a child of God, our bodies are the temple of God, we are told that we were once in our sin but we have been justified, sanctified and set free. The kind of spirituality that flows from self identifying as a sinner leads to endless self loathing, fear, and all kinds of inward gazing that is unhelpful.

    I understand what you are saying. I think it is has a bad root and yields unhelpful fruit. But I will agree that saints sin. And you may call us sinners and I will not fuss much… James did as much … and he is superior to yours truly.

    Now I have admitted your case a couple times above… Now I think I will defer as it is annoying me and lest I join you in having to confess unforgiveness … I shall comment on the matter no more.

    Ever Irritating Positively Unrepentant Dread

  60. Xenia says:

    Dread, well I wrote what I wrote while you were writing what you were writing and if I had seen what you wrote I would not have written what I wrote.

    So all’s well.

  61. Michael says:

    There are times when I wished I taught from a liturgy…preparing tomorrows message is whipping me badly.
    Swimming in mud…

  62. So Babs, you tell you peeps to ignore their sin as an anomaly to who they really are?
    What about he who confesses his sin to God is forgiven (why confess if it’s an ooopsie) and what about confess your sins to one another – the pastor is one of the one anothers.?

  63. Goose says:

    BD @ 37 said…

    “those who are in Christ are not sinners”

    This is not totally accurate BD. We are, of course, still sinners even now. The Cross simply allows for you and me to not have to pay the price for those sins.

  64. Goose says:

    BD @ 37 said…

    “If I did not answer your question then you need to ask more clearly.”

    I am not sure how much clearer the question could have been. Let me try again.

    What measuring stick(for lack of a better word) does a non-Israelite/Gentile use to figure out whether he/she is a sinner or not? Is it God’s Torah/Law or not?

    I am asking the question because I think you are suggesting that God’s Torah/Law has no bearing on the non-Israelite/Gentile. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  65. Goose… NOT

  66. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    NOT!!

  67. Goose,

    I am being intentionally stubborn here. I reiterate my original answer to you as my answer here. See above.

    I am not under Torah. When I came to Jesus I came as a sinner. Your question as to whether I am a sinner was answered at the cross when I came to Jesus. The law did its job bringing me to Christ. I am his. What is your question?

    Are you asking how I know I am a SINNER or how I know what is sinful?

  68. London says:

    Identity as saint says my primary source of identity is from God. If I say I am a sinner I identify with the darker side.
    I can’t be both, you’re either light or dark, but not both.
    Although I sin, I am not a sinner. I am a saint.
    Right?
    Sort of?

  69. Paul did not go all over the world preaching Torah… he went preaching the kingdom. Now some care is needed here. He did go to synagogue and convince the God-fearing Gentiles to believe on Jesus but he did not teach them that Jesus was their ticket into synagogue. Rather Jesus got them all kicked out. Leaving the synagogue where Torah was taught so assiduously should have been a big problem. Paul just started some new assemblies and taught there. What did he teach? We don’t know precisely but we do know what he wrote about and it wasn’t about obeying Torah. Paul taught Jesus as the fulfillment of all that Torah brought to them and then went into his series of THEREFORES …

    If Paul thought they could obey the law and avoid being sinners he had every possibility of accomplishing that. He did not do so. He believed the Gospel produced righteous living in those who received it and acted shocked when they didn’t seem to “get it.” He would say… “DON”T YOU KNOW….” assuming that once they received the Spirit the power of the thing would work righteous fruit… “if we walk in the Spirit…” Paul did not appeal to Torah as a means of herding the sheep.

    Torah-less Dread

  70. Xenia says:

    London, the day will come when we are all light but we are still works in progress.

    I still think some have made a technical category out of the word “sinner.” In this usage, “sinner” means “person who is not a Christian and who will go to hell because s/he’s a sinner.” I can see that. But since I still sin, it seems disingenuous to say I am not a sinner. it’s like saying “I ate that whole pie but I am not an eater because I joined Weight Watchers.” (Maybe not the world’s best analogy, sorry!)

    I think there are (at least) two usages for the word “sinner,” one the category (unbeliever) and one the obvious fact that Christians still sin.

  71. Xenia’s last sentence is an accurate assessment of scripture I think.

  72. If I were not still a sinner, why would I still need a savior?

    or I should ask – “do I still need a savior?”

  73. London says:

    What happened to my post?
    Ugh

  74. London says:

    If I take a picture that does not make me a photographer. If I make something with clay, it does not make me a sculptor.
    If I sin, it does not make me a sinner.
    It is what I do, not who I am.

  75. I think that only sinners sin – I have never heard of a non sinner sinning.

  76. Xenia says:

    When I look at the Lord’s standards as to what’s sin and what’s not sin in the Sermon on the Mount, even mean thoughts are sin. I don’t think a day (maybe not a waking hour) goes by that I don’t think a mean thought or two. (Well, since I have stopped driving maybe not as much.) I don’t beat myself up about this, I just reflect on it what I did, repent and thank the Lord that because of Him these miserable little sins won’t send me to hell.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    Identities: Either “in Christ” or “in Adam” – no 3rd option.

    As to the seeming paradox, don’t most addicts and alcoholics still call themselves by that label even if they have been clean and sober for years?

    Maybe this is where a 1 John study could be inserted….

  78. Xenia says:

    I have heard “Christians are not sinners” really taken to extremes. Back in my CC days the pastor taught that when he did something wrong, it wasn’t him doing it but some character called “his old man” and therefore, he was not a sinner. This was many years ago so I hope I don’t mis-characterize what he taught but I do remember even then disagreeing with him.

    I wonder if this is a typical CC teaching or unique to him? If it is typical, this might explain why *some* CC pastors have such a hard type admitting they ever did anything wrong.

  79. Xenia says:

    type = time

  80. Identities: Either “in Christ” or “in Adam” – no 3rd option.

    Perhaps Christ has taken into himself sinners.

  81. Goose says:

    BD @ 66 and MLD @ 67…

    Let me clarify the question a bit further because I think I know where the confusion might be entering the discussion….

    What measuring stick (for lack of a better word) does a “”pre born again”” non-Israelite/Gentile use to determine whether he/she is a sinner or not? Is it God’s Torah/Law?

  82. Ricky Bobby says:

    f stood for fudge btw (above) 🙂

  83. Steve Wright says:

    Perhaps Christ has taken into himself sinners.
    ———————————————–
    No perhaps about it…Of course He has

  84. Ricky Bobby says:

    Just had another interesting talk with my Mormon buddy who is our state house majority leader. Bright guy, tough farmer, down to earth. I’m telling you, the Mormons are no more heretical than most of evangelicalism if you take a literal view of the texts.

    If the bible is “perfect” in terms of mistakes and contradictions, the book of Mormon is very similar in that respect.

    The Mormons have some interesting takes on a variety of issues and their appeals to the bible are plausible as they tend to take the text very literally when it addresses Paul’s baptism of the dead and the fact the bible addresses praying for the dead and the “outer darkness” references and Apostolic Succession, the way they geographically district the church (like the Early Church) vs. separation by denomination, etc.

    I told him I’m not ready to get baptized in the Temple, but I do have an open mind and am intellectually honest that the Mormon take is as plausible as the rest of the evangelical denominations that appeal to a literal interpretation of the bible.

  85. Ricky Bobby says:

    I love my Mormon and Atheist friends, even though I was raised to hate them (in essence) unless or until they agreed with the sect I grew up with.

    I hope God truly loves us.

  86. Michael says:

    LDS theology is heretical and anti-Christ…but if the bizarre ruminations of a common criminal like Joseph Smith float your boat then have at it.

  87. Ricky Bobby says:

    Here’s how I know I’m on the right path…I love my mom and even Bob again. I feel bad for them and I forgive them unilaterally. I hope the best for them and I believe God will forgive them ultimately and will have mercy on them.

  88. Michael says:

    There will be no long, tedious discussions of Mormonism here…period.

  89. Ricky Bobby says:

    OK. No problem. I’m not in the Mormon Camp, I just find it interesting that their appeals to a literal take on the bible sometimes make sense from a “plain meaning” read of the text.

  90. Ricky Bobby says:

    When I view my parents through the Fundamentalist Conservative Christian lens, I want justice, I want God’s vengeance, I want forced repentance.

    How can love and unilateral forgiveness (when I view them from the Universal Reconciliation lens) be of the devil?

  91. Michael says:

    The version of “Kingdom of the Cults” that was written by Walter Martin is still the gold standard on Mormonism and JW’s and other non Christian cults.
    I recommend it highly.

  92. Michael says:

    If God has enabled you to forgive and love those who have wounded you, then praise God for His gift.
    However, if the testimony about BG that you and others have brought forth is true, he will still answer to God for what he has done.
    If he is truly saved, then he will lose heavenly rewards but he will still enter the kingdom of God…smelling like smoke.
    There is a judgment according to works…it is mysterious to me and I dare be dogmatic about nothing but it’s existence.

  93. Ricky Bobby says:

    A belief in a truly good and truly loving and truly merciful God who unilaterally forgives and unconditionally loves has given me the ability to unilaterally forgive and unconditionally love.

  94. Xenia says:

    I told him I’m not ready to get baptized in the Temple, but I do have an open mind <<<

    We all saw this coming.

    Lord, have mercy.

  95. Xenia says:

    I am glad you have forgiven BG and your mom, though.

  96. Goose says:

    BD @70 said…

    “Paul did not go all over the world preaching Torah… he went preaching the kingdom”

    Paul was Torah observant. Paul clearly taught that Torah observance was not needed for salvation but he surely did not teach against Torah observance, in general. As I am sure you are already aware, the Book of Acts, for example, is filled with all kinds of evidence of Paul’s Torah observance, post-Cross.

  97. Ricky Bobby says:

    X, I have the same problems with Mormonism that I do with much of evangelicalism, I just find it ironic that the criticism levied by evangelicals against Mormons is equivalent to the same standard applied back at evangelicals. Both Camps have as many contradictions in their explanation of the bible and both Camps claim special revelation and both Camps take a “plain meaning” “simple meaning” literal approach to some texts and not others.

  98. Goose…

    I see where you are coming from but I still do not buy into the old idea that the Law is the primary means of getting sinners to repent. Thus I very seldom spend any time asking people to admit they are sinners and I think Gospel tracts that do so are mistaken. Jesus didn’t seem to do so. In both John 3 and 4 the Gospel came as an offer of the Spirit the awareness of sin came in light of the presence of Jesus.

    And then there is this…

    John 16:6–11 (ESV)
    7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

    Convincing people of sin is not my job description.

  99. Ricky Bobby says:

    X, and like the EO, the Mormons believe in Apostolic Succession and they believe that Good Works validate real faith.

  100. Michael says:

    Apostolic succession from Joseph Smith is one hell of lot different than EO succession…good grief.

  101. Michael says:

    BD,

    However…
    I would posit that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin by showing the sinner how they have broken the law of God.

  102. Ricky Bobby says:

    Yes, it is different in that the Mormons believe there was the Great Apostasy and falling away and that God restored the Apostleship beginning with Joseph Smith in the 1800’s. They believe in a spiritual Apostolic Succession that took a break during the Apostasy and re-emerged with Smith.

    It’s no more whacky or far-fetched than many protestants who claim a spiritual Apostolic Succession today.

  103. Ricky Bobby says:

    I’ll believe the Group that has Apostles that do real legit supernatural miracles. No one has those guys, so I don’t know who is telling the truth.

  104. Michael,

    Very reformed… but the John passage says it convicts them of JESUS….and therein the sin shows… but being convicted of sin is real.

    I am not so sure in a Post Christian culture that the Law means much… or that people are conscious of it… I think they are simply hungry for life and Jesus brings life. But…

    Puritan America and history was very sin conscious…

    I will concede enough of the point to not argue… but my evangelism has little to do with broken law…

  105. Ricky Bobby must be close to converting to Mormonism…

    That stuff is boring… Real boring… just die and let them baptize someone for you if you need to cover that base…

  106. Michael says:

    We do not know what sin is outside the law…just saying… in my very Reformed voice. 🙂

  107. Steve Wright says:

    I’m with Xenia @95, as I wrote a couple days ago when RB wrote his beliefs about Jesus most likely being a historical figure but also he is an ideal….and the errors within the gospels that describe his life,

    I won’t debate him further, but too will chime in when a relevant teaching point for the larger reading audience is warranted. Yesterday, that point about children of God, adoption vs. the only begotten Son, inheritance and all was something I felt important. I mention probably once every 2 months or so that we are NOT all children of God – just because we are living and breathing on this earth. It is fundamental and foundational

    So along those lines, I would add that if one looks at a site like mormon.org to find out from Mormons themselves what Mormons believe, one will repeatedly see references to non-Biblical Mormon writings as their prooftexts, often placed alongside a Biblical reference to “explain” what the Bible meant. This is without debate. Just look up the website.

    To say Mormons are just doing their version of taking the Bible literally in its plain meaning is incredibly ignorant when said by another – when said by someone who is quite active and knowledgeable about Mormonism, it is a blatant dishonesty….something Mormons are known to do as well.

  108. Babs, I think you and Goose are on the wrong track. I do believe that law is to be preached – but that does not mean Torah. Law are the commands of God – there are plenty in the NT – just as the OT is filled with gospel.

    So, one can preach law at the sinner and never mention the Torah.

  109. Michael says:

    I just want some Lamanite artifacts. 🙂

  110. Michael says:

    Steve,

    The history and doctrines of Mormonism are actually humorous…until you lose a loved one to their lies.

  111. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I could share a few stories of young adults (late teens or early 20s) leaving their parents’ Mormonism for Christianity and being totally ostracized and immediately made homeless.

    Likewise, I could share stories of adults who have lost wife and children when leaving Mormonism, or lost businesses when leaving Mormonism.

    These stories are commonplace, not just a couple anecdotes – and I don’t even have a specific ministry to Mormons as some do who could share countless similar stories.

  112. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve W said, “I’m with Xenia @95, as I wrote a couple days ago when RB wrote his beliefs about Jesus most likely being a historical figure but also he is an ideal….and the errors within the gospels that describe his life,”

    You misunderstood and jumped to conclusions.

    I believe there is strong evidence from a historical perspective and skeptic perspective that Jesus was a literal historical figure (man that walked the earth).

    My comment was my full exhaustive belief in Jesus, just a portion of it (and it wasn’t intended to be an exhaustive Christological Thesis).

    I think Jesus is Messiah and I think he is the Ideal. I also believe it is fact that the Gospels are not perfect (meaning without mistake or contradiction). I think they are typical of eyewitness accounts that have been retranslated, transcribed, telephoned etc. They are bound to have some anomalies…and they certainly do…I can show example after example of anomaly that is “plain meaning” “simple reading” in the texts.

  113. Michael says:

    RB,

    I edited out your insult and won’t post any further comments that contain any.

  114. Ricky Bobby says:

    It was no more insulting than several comments directed toward me above. Equal Scales says the bible literally…just sayin’.

  115. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’ve seen the same.
    We have more of an issue with that happening with JW’s around here…larger population.

  116. Ricky Bobby says:

    In fact, Steve, I think that Jesus is the Messiah of all of Creation, not just a narrow sect the vast minority of humanity.

  117. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, and my examples above do not also include the “lost boys” evil within certain sects of Mormonism – which frankly is child abuse.

  118. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I concur.
    I’m off to pick up Trey and do something in the sun. 🙂

  119. Ricky Bobby says:

    Yes, the Mormons have had their problems in spades, just like the rest of organized religion.

  120. Goose says:

    BD @ 99…

    My points and thoughts have nothing to do with evangelism…I am more interested in God’s Torah itself.

    Two points to make…

    First, God’s Torah is the only measuring stick available to the world to determine whether anyone is a sinner or not. There is not a separate measuring stick for Israelites and a separate measuring stick for non-Israelites/Gentiles.

    Secondly, the greater point to me is that Paul remained Torah observant post-Cross. To me, this says that Paul did not believe that the Cross abolished God’s Torah, as is so often taught today. In fact, Messiah’s words in Matthew 5:17-19 speak to that very issue. (Not to mention His warning in Matthew 7:21-23)

    Here’s the question then….if God’s Torah applies to the whole world, whether Israelite or non-Israelite/Gentile, as the means for showing us our need for the Savior, …and the Cross has not abolished God’s Torah, …and Paul remained Torah observant post-Cross, …then doesn’t it stand to reason that the Torah is still applicable to the whole world, both Israelite and non-Israelite/Gentile, post-Cross, as instructions for living, in general? (We could of course argue the finer points of which instructions from the Torah do and don’t apply today but I am trying to paint in broader strokes)

  121. Steve Wright says:

    A: I think Jesus existed incarnate. I think there’s a reasonable argument for a historical Jesus. I think Jesus is also an Ideal, an Ethos, a Spirit the Truth.

    B: I think the Gospels provide an imperfect account of Jesus’s incarnate time here….much like testimony in court is often imperfect. This is proven by the contradictions, anomalies and mistakes between the different Gospel accounts of what is supposed to be the same cast of players and same set of circumstances and events.
    ————————————————————
    The exact post I reference from earlier in the week….repeated just for completeness sake.

    I think the words are clear enough….

    Off for more fun in Romans…

  122. Steve Wright says:

    Something for the crowd. The word diatribe today has a distinct meaning – the idea of a critical attack, verbal or in writing.

    However, in Paul’s day it was a form of literary device – and it is what he switches to in chapter two as he moves to first person singular. Knowing this detail, (included in all the exegetical scholarly works I have but lacking in many commentaries) really helps understand the argument better.

    It is even hard to find this mentioned in online dictionaries. Here is one definition from the ESV glossary though
    ***************
    diatribe.
    A literary form of teaching, street preaching, oratory, and satire that arose in classical Greece and Rome. Motifs include the following: dialogue with imaginary questioners or opponents; as part of that, question-and-answer constructions, sometimes catechismlike in effect; use of questions or hypothetical objections as a transition to the next topic; rhetorical questions; adducing famous and representative figures from the past as examples; use of analogy as a rhetorical device; aphoristic style.
    ****************
    I found that incredibly helpful in understanding the change in person/number by Paul as that chapter starts.

  123. Steve Wright says:

    Yikes…I meant SECOND person singular. Not first person.

  124. “Ricky Bobby says:
    July 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm
    Here’s how I know I’m on the right path…I love my mom and even Bob again. I feel bad for them and I forgive them unilaterally. I hope the best for them and I believe God will forgive them ultimately and will have mercy on them.”

    RB,
    I’m at a loss for words at this milestone in your life, truly happier than I can tell you!!!

  125. BD, regarding the second part of your #30 directed towards Michael.
    I, too have seen this, but it seems to be more subtle sometimes.
    At the church I attended in Rapid City, we had a speaker come to address us on church growth. It seemed that a lot of his presentation, besides being about performances, was about how 1st century Jews did this or that, or walking in the dust of your rabbi or some other such nonsense.
    My thoughts while listening to it were “You know Jesus had quite a bit to say about how 1st Century Jews did things.”
    Don’t get me wrong, we can learn a lot from studying all of these things, but they were not people to emulate as Jesus often said.

  126. Oh and Steve, your thoughts on the children of God are right on.
    A lot of conversation on here, when it turns to universalism, makes my mind take the same track.

  127. Bob says:

    It seems to me that many want to hold the bible as a standard and yet tear it down at the same time. You might remember the OT says God will write the Torah on the hearts of His people so that they will no longer need to be taught it. Comes to mind Paul says something real similar.

    What’s On your heart?

  128. Steve Wright says:

    Something that has come up in discussion around here a lot – looking to commentaries and scholars of the past to help instruct us on understanding our Bibles. Do we need such men (and women) scholars, or is the Holy Spirit all we need.

    I’ve read now FOUR different commentators all mention the similarity between Paul’s argument in chapter two of Romans (even to his use of Greek words), seen in contrast to the old Jewish text ‘The Wisdom of Solomon’ – and of course they are right, as I dusted off my English copy. (The Greek is online for free too!)

    Is this crucial to salvation, or even crucial to understanding Romans? Certainly not, and probably not (in that order) – but it is the sort of nugget that there is no way I would have found on my own with “just” the Holy Spirit. I am not an expert in ‘The Wisdom of Solomon’ and God is not going to bring to mind things I have never studied.

    But it does add weight to what is somewhat debatable as to whom Paul is addressing in the opening verses of chapter two. Is it the so-called “moral” man, with the Jew being addressed later, or is it the Jew right up front, though somewhat obscured deliberately by Paul.

    The average commentary I have read for years by preachers almost always references these verses as to the “moral man” – but all these exegetical scholars lean toward reference to the Jews right out of the gate, and this is a key piece to that argument – and I have to agree.

    So I see these verses in slightly a different light than in the past – and rather than just flipping a coin, it seems there is strong reason, with this little detail, to do so.

  129. Michael says:

    Steve,

    To take this a step farther…every time I revisit a book I’ve taught before I always try to get the latest commentaries out on the book if I don’t already own them.
    I never fail to glean a new insight from them…and while my foundation stays strong my faith and understanding grow beyond what they were before.
    I wish the Holy Spirit would reveal these truths at a lower cost and with less work. 🙂

  130. Speaking of commentaries, I saw this set in an Antiques Mall today. I thought of Michael and Steve who are always referencing commentaries. I know they are homiletics and not expository, but still thought of y’all.

    http://ruminationsonlife.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/the-preachers-homiletic-commentary-1892/

  131. Scott says:

    George Zimmeran not guilty. Who’s George Zimmeran and why is the news blasting this news all over the place.

  132. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I made the following comment and it posted, but now I cannot find it, so I am posting again. Other than agreeing with Goose in part, I hope my comment was not deleted. It is was, then please clue me in. Thank you.

    Goose,
    For whatever it’s worth, I understand what you are saying and I agree.
    Over and over again in the N.T., we are told to walk in obedience to God’s word and not sow to the flesh. We are also told that the Holy Spirit empowers and enables to do this while convicting us of those sins that will cause us to fall severely into a mindset that will and does hurt others as well as ourselves.
    Now what these sins are, we can actually make a list of them by referring to N.T. scripture. None of them are not mentioned within the O.T. And all of them we are instructed turn away from—setting our minds upon Christ and the work that He has done in our hearts and the hope that He has now given us as being the final sacrifice to pay for those sins.
    This does not free us to sin. There is not one place in the Bible that tells that sin is okay to commit. But rather, over and over and over again, we are told to rid ourselves of such. And how do we do that. By admitting we are sinners, but set free from the law—No, not all. What is that—but mocking God and His holiness and the grace He has extended to us.
    But by the Holy Spirit, which the Jews did not have within their hearts for they were not born again, but had only the sacrificial system to cover their sins, not to totally washed them away. Even when they repented, they still were under the law and God made whatever judgment He did upon them individually or as a people according to His mercies.
    We then who now have access to Christ, to confess our sins are also able to rid ourselves from the very acts that God made clear to the Jewish people that they were not to commit, such as adultery, lying, cheating, exploiting, drunkenness, bearing a false witness, murdering, either physically, emotionally, or psychologically.
    So Goose, in this–at least that–what I am understanding, you to say, I whole-heartedly agree with you. We as Christian are no longer under the law, as it is not a stumbling block to us, in that we do have the Holy Spirit, therefore are able to walk in obedience and not in darkness, as the heathens do.

  133. I got out of the Antiques Mall cheap too. Only spent $30 bucks, but got some great stuff.

  134. Michael says:

    Derek,

    That set is still over 500 bucks on Logos…

  135. London says:

    Seriously Scott?
    You know know who George Zimmerman is?

  136. Steve Wright says:

    I wish the Holy Spirit would reveal these truths at a lower cost and with less work
    ————————————————-
    LOL

    True…then pause to reflect on the work that went into writing those books.

    Yeah, we have it tough. We have to READ them… 🙂

  137. Whoa!
    I didn’t even look at the price today. It was an original set, not sure if complete.
    I googled it and it looks like they are free to read on Google books.
    Why the high price? Or is gouging pastors all the rage with the Bible software crowd?

  138. They shouldn’t charge so much for books that are out of copyright. I bet they are free at archive.org too.

  139. London says:

    don’t know I meant

  140. Michael says:

    Derek,

    Gouging is the polite word…I have another one I use more often.

  141. Michael says:

    Steve,

    When I look at the bibliography for a single decent commentary I grow faint…

  142. I would have some choice words too. All books published before 1923 are public domain.
    I have no words actually…

  143. Scott says:

    London, I don’t follow stories like that. I very rarely watch or listen to the news anymore.

    I now know and remember that Zimmeran was the Hispanic guy who shot a black kid in self-defense and was found not guilty today.

    Is there something else I’m missing?

  144. Michael says:

    Derek,

    There are expenses involved with creating the electronic version…but Logos sticks it to users hard.
    Once you get into Logos so far, you can’t afford to get back out and they own you.

  145. London says:

    you knew all along then.

  146. London says:

    oh, never mind. I see you said “i now know…”

    He claimed it was self defense. I guess that’s how the jury saw it too.

  147. But, not $500 worth of expense. I can understand living people and the time, effort and study that go into these things and the need for them to be recompensed. I don’t understand that much money for things that should be free.
    Here s the Open Library Version of the Commentary on Matthew of that series:

    http://openlibrary.org/books/OL6736439M/The_Preacher's_complete_homiletical_commentary

    Note that it is in 6 different formats which can easily be searched and indexed. This is just highway robbery.
    Sorry, rant over, was just incredulous for a bit.

  148. Well on a whole other note, I saw this painting today and it blew me away.
    http://ruminationsonlife.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/756/
    It is a church painted on a canvas layered with pages from a hymnal.

  149. filbertz says:

    self-defense in the zimmerboy case is a joke. What happened to T. Martin’s right to self-defense? In my opinion, he had more cause for self-defense than zimmerboy ever did. If I’m the aggressor, I can’t claim self-defense. Never bring skittles to a gun fight.

  150. Scott says:

    Has anyone here ever actually read the “permissions” granting section (Terms & Conditions) you are agreeing to when downloading and using an app on your cell phone?

    It’s pretty gnarly.

  151. Jim says:

    filbertz – you obviously haven’t followed this case and did not watch the trial.

  152. Scott says:

    As far as the Zimmeran/Martin story, as I looked into it yesterday, I was left wondering why the media made such a spectacle over this story and yet there’s hardly a peep about the dozens of black on black murders every year in Chicago alone.

    Many of which are perpetrated by young “kids” who don’t bring “skittles” to their gunfights either.

    Just sayin’…

  153. London says:

    Regardless of anyone’s skin color. The man was told by the police to stay in his car. If he had done that, and not taken it upon himself to physically confront a 17 year old boy, he wouldn’t have needed to “defend” himself.
    And if that man hadn’t had the gun, it would have been a fist fight that both would have likely survived.

  154. filbertz says:

    Jim,
    how many fingers am I holding up?

  155. erunner says:

    It was a polarizing trial and I was afraid there would be riots if this verdict was handed down. Thankfully I was wrong and I’m grateful for all those who took steps to keep the peace. It’s a tragic story no matter how we look at it. A young boy is dead, his family is shattered while the defendant’s life will never be the same.

  156. Scott says:

    It’s fairly obvious (to me at least) now that all the hoopla generated by the news media regarding this story had everything to do with skin color, the white guy who killed the innocent black kid.

    When they start covering all the hundreds of black on black murders that happen every year in this country, or even all the murders perpetrated by Mexican on Mexicans right across our borders, with as much sensationalism as they have evidently covered this case with, then I’ll believe it was about something more than it was.

  157. London says:

    Scott. It was a grown man following around a kid in a hoodie. If course it’s about race.
    He targeted that kid not based on the kid, who he didn’t know, but because he decided a black kid in a hoodie was a threat.
    He defied what the police told him to do.
    He should have stayed in his car like he was told.

  158. London says:

    Not only that, but since you say you hadn’t even heard of this case till now, I’m not sure how you can say what “sensationalism” the media covered it with any authority at all

  159. erunner says:

    I’m going to participate in a 5K in two weeks. My knees are improving and I’m alternating walking and jogging for 36 minutes so I’m excited to see how things go. Things have improved so much since I began green smoothies. I’m closing in on 35 pounds lost since December and have enough energy to consider exercise as compared to zero energy before December of 2012. The main thing for me is to keep the weight off and be content with slow and steady. Weighed in at 194.5 this morning. Never thought I’d approach 189 again. Meanwhile I still despise my brother who can’t seem to gain weight!!! 🙂

  160. Jim says:

    Fil, nice response. I’ll guess two, for the peace sign.

    Anyone interested can google Florida statute 776 for the applicable law. In Florida we don’t have to allow ourselves to be beaten to death.

    Since this happened an hour away from my home, and I considered this a “self defense on trial” case, I watched every minute of the trial. There was no evidence presented that Zim broke any laws, which is why he was never charged until crowds from other areas demanded it.

  161. London says:

    He wouldn’t have been beaten to death if he’d minded his own business and left the kid alone in the first place or done what the police said.
    Ridiculous to say that he was somehow the victim.

  162. London says:

    Is there a law in Florida that says you have to allow yourself to be followed, confronted and shot to death when you go to the store to buy snacks??

  163. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Jim. When people do not get the result they deem right, even though there are rules of evidence at play and laws to guide the jury by, they get most indignant. What is of great interest to me is the “Christians” that are railing about this verdict, yet they sure did not rise up in such great outrage when Gore v. Bush was wrongfully decided.

  164. Jim says:

    London,

    There are many “what ifs” in this case. I wish Zimm would have just gone to the store that night. Since he chose to care about his crime-ridden neighborhood, he called the cops and tried to keep his eye on a stranger who entered his gated community through someone’s back yard. While waiting on the cops, he got out of his car to see where the stranger had ran. At some point the dispatcher heard wind, asking Zimm if he was following the person, and told him that we don’t need you to do that. As the dispatcher testified, it was not a lawful order, as they have no authority to give them. Zimm said “ok”, and was jumped while he was on the way back to his car.

    If one of the neighbors who heard Zimm scream for help for 45 seconds, including the one who saw Zimm getting the crap beat out of him, had not just minded their own business and stepped outside to help, Trayvon would be alive.

  165. Jim says:

    London, there is no evidence that Zimm confronted Trayvon, who easily could have made it home before the two “met”.

  166. London says:

    Obviously he confronted him if they “met”
    He didn’t just happen to be walking down the street and bump into to the child.
    He intentionally got out of his car and found him.
    The kid was doing nothing wrong!!
    If he had been in the act if doing a criminal act, then it was would be a whole different story.
    Unless its against the law to wear a hoodie in the rain while you’re walking back home in Florida
    My father was a policeman for part of his life. Protected our neighborhood and never, ever would have stood up for what Zimmerman did.
    He would, I believe, have been denouncing it for many reasons.
    First, no identifying marks in car or person to indicacate any authority in that neighborhood.
    Second he was alone and cinfronted the kid.
    Third didn’t let the real police handle it.
    He intervened based on his own prejudices and not on any unlawful act being committed.

  167. London says:

    Oh I see.
    Now a 17 year old boy didn’t get home fast enough so he deserved to be confronted and killed.
    My blood pressure is going through the roof right now.
    Have to step away from this conversation with you.

  168. Jim says:

    London, you know that the FBI did a civil rights investigation on Zimm (who is Hispanic), right? Interviewed 3 dozen people and could find no evidence that he was in any way a racist.

    They could have just asked the black girl he took to his prom.

    It is not bigoted to be concerned about a stranger in your gated community who does not enter through the gate. I imagine your dad might have nicely asked the person if he lived there. ALL of the evidence says that Zimm never got that chance.

  169. Jim says:

    London, I’m saying that Trayvon, who had a history of fighting, had plenty of time to avoid any confrontation. I’m sorry that this is upsetting, but I just don’t think that you know the facts of the case. I’ll disengage….

  170. Scott says:

    Sorry to have interjected the story onto Michael’s blog.

    Now, let’s all get back to arguing about theology.

  171. Jim says:

    I’m sorry as well. I didn’t want to upset anyone, particularly London. As previously stated, this case was very important to me.

  172. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    My understanding is that Tryvon came up on Zimmerman and confronted Zimmerman. And just as he was asking Zimmerman what was up, he cold cocked him.

    Zimmerman wasn’t a boy–he was 6’2′ weighing in about 150. Along with this, Zimmerman was no angel—apparently had a trigger temper:

    Why isn’t this constantly in the news: PHOTO OF TM AT 17 YRS. OLD INSTEAD OF 12 OR 13, TM sold pot, had been kicked out of school, found with stolen jewelry and break in tools, been kicked out of his mother’s house, been walking in a neighborhood that had several break ins from black and where neither he nor his family lived, been photographed holding an AK47, photographed with a marijuana plant, was violent when he didn’t get his way, proven when he slapped a bus driver in the face when the driver wouldn’t let him ride for free and had parents who did NOT PARENT and now are trying to collect from his death!

    It was raining and windy and dark outside. Zimmerman wasn’t challenging Trayvon, just kept an eye on him, making the call, and then trying to get his flashlight to work, so he could see. I know without a doubt if it was me and there had been breakins recently by someone of a particular race, I too would have been concerned and called it in. Getting out of his truck was not what turned this into a bad situation. Trayvon should not have come up on Zimmerman the way that he did and thrown the first punch. The fact that he broke Zimmerman’s nose in the way he did would have caused Zimmerman to feel as though he was suffocating and in fear of his life.

    Trayvon could have approached him by doing and saying a number of things that would have been far less aggressive, but he didn’t. Apparently, by the records, he has a problem with several different people.

    It is a tragedy, no matter how one might view it, and one that I think we can all agree that our lives can be put on the line even when we think we are in the right, even to the point of losing it or spending a life sentence in prison. There is a huge chance that others might not see the way that we did in the thick of the moment and that most will say, I would have done this or I would have that—problem is, they weren’t there, and it’s no guarantee that even if you do everything right, you won’t die or you won’t be penalized.

  173. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Whoa!!!

    “Zimmerman wasn’t a boy–he was 6’2′ weighing in about 150. Along with this, Zimmerman was no angel—apparently had a trigger temper:

    Should read: Trayvon wasn’t a boy–he was 6’2” ——along with this, Trayvon was no angel.

  174. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    By the way, I watched the entire trial as well. Nothing that London has stated was ever mentioned during this process. In the media, all kinds of things were suggested and claimed. Even to the point of creating an image of Trayvon that was terribly skewed such as portraying him to be much younger than the was. Trayvon came up on Zimmerman, not the other way around. Prior to this, Zimmerman was just observing and made a report. The parents and their supporters made it a “race” issue.

  175. PP Vet says:

    Let’s get the facts correct folks, then throw in our opinions.

    The initial police report from the night of the shooting lists Martin’s height as 6’0″ (1.83 m) and weight as 160 lb (73 kg). Zimmerman estimated Martin’s height at 5’11” to 6’2″ on the night of the shooting. The morning after the shooting, an autopsy found that Martin’s body was 5’11” (1.80 m) long and weighed 158 lb (72 kg). Other values for Martin’s height of 6’2″ (1.88 m) and 6’3″ (1.91 m), and weight of no more than 150 lb (68 kg), were reported as being given by Martin’s family.

    Zimmerman’s weight was shown as 185 pounds (84 kg) on his Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Booking Information on April 11, 2012, the date of his arrest. He is 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m).

    Also, additional note, you can’t your height by worrying about it.

  176. Jim says:

    Trayvon was 5′ 11″, 158 pounds. He was 6 2 in the 7/11 photo in shoes and hoodie. He looked 6 2 to the 5 8 Zimmerman.

  177. PP Vet says:

    I’m 6’2″ and 202 lbs.

    Not really relevant, just sayin’.

  178. London says:

    Jim. We’re good
    I’m just working on stepping back from things that get my blood pressure going because of my own reactions to things. Not you at all

  179. Just in case anyone’s suffering from low blood pressure, a dose of “Christian” sexism & bigotry…

    http://news.msn.co.nz/worldnews/8679173/girl-kicked-off-football-team-to-stop-impure-thoughts

  180. In case anyone is suffering extremely high blood pressure from the afore posted article…

    http://i.imgur.com/wGdT8wF.jpg

  181. Derek, at 148, kind of funny in light of some of the conversation here that the link to the Open Library commentary had a stamp from Brigham Young University.

  182. G, I already have high blood pressure, so I went straight for the cuteness. Thanks!

  183. #183 Lol

  184. Jim says:

    Thanks London. I’m watching my state evolve, and it’s hard for this old guy.

  185. filbertz says:

    Jim,
    I simply figured that since it was “obvious” to you I didn’t follow the case nor watch the trial you’d be able to also tell something as simple as how many fingers I was holding up…that should be “obvious” to you as well from across the country. You are certainly entitled to your conclusion based on whatever factors you deem most important…but your conclusion doesn’t trump mine simply because it’s different. In my thinking, Trayvon M. was as entitled to ‘stand his ground’ as an innocent person as was the survivor. Unfortunately, all he had in his pocket were skittles and GZ had a pistol. Your #153 came across as arrogant and dismissive.

    …and no, it wasn’t a peace sign.

  186. Nonnie says:

    “He said the boys are coming of age and starting to have impure thoughts and might lust after her,” Blythe said.

    “He said the locker room talk isn’t appropriate for her.”

    So he worried about these boys impure thoughts and yet condones “locker room talk” that isn’t appropriate for a girl to hear?

    I wonder, is he also getting rid of the cheerleaders in their short little skirts, to protect his boys from their impure thoughts?

  187. Jim says:

    Fil,

    I was arrogant and dismissive. So, you’re saying that you’re basing your conclusions on your evaluation of the evidence presented at the trial, which you watched, correct?

    I offered an olive branch with the “peace sign” comment, which you refused. Fair enough. Don’t let the facts sway your opinion.

  188. filbertz says:

    Jim,
    Like many others who closely followed the trial I came to a different conclusion.
    No fingers at all, not even two thumbs down. Trick question I suppose.
    Even “facts” require interpretation and application, and when only one survives to provide a statement, I suppose you conclude those “facts” are unbiased. You must be right.

  189. PP Vet says:

    Harvard professor, OJ defender, Alan Dershowitz says the prosecutor should be disbarred for this Zimmerman case.

    http://tinyurl.com/onowkps

    It was not even close, it was classic self-defense with overwhelming evidence.

    Do blacks face enormous injustice in this country? Overwhelmingly so, yes. So sad that this case was put forth as an example for them.

  190. Jim says:

    Fil,

    Thanks for clarifying the fingers. I’ll guess that you know that your question has been used frequently as a keyboard commando bird flip. I’m sorry that I misinterpreted, but let’s not pretend that you made it easy on me.

    What I surmised is that the eye and ear witness testimony corroborated Zimm’s version of events.

    No offense intended by my arrogant response, but I understand that it’s off-putting. I’m flipping you the peace sign.

    Although this was a classic self defense case, the media, along with anti-gun Florida legislators, tried to make this a stand your ground case, causing the law to be reevaluated in Florida in the last year. Other states have modeled their self defense laws after Florida, which leads the nation in concealed carry permits (over 1 million). The prosecutor in the case
    enjoys getting mandatory 20 year sentences for people who fire warning shots, so this was an edge of my seat case for me.

    I hope this sort of clarifies my emotional response.

  191. Jim says:

    PP Vet,

    The irony is that Angela Corey’s office is a poster child for the racial injustice in Florida’s court system. I think Gov Scott gave her this case in an attempt to rehabilitate her image.

  192. PP Vet says:

    J, thanks for being knowledgeable. I respect this forum and try to do what little I can to keep it as reasonable as objective and accurate as possible.

    We have more than our share of extreme opinions here, and I am all for that. But I appreciate it when we can maintain a standard of accurate facts mingled with reason and logic.

    Not sure I am on board with the trend toward a more consistent pattern of civility and common courtesy I have observed recently. 🙂

    But I will try to go along.

  193. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, what to make of this? The start of good things to come…some token (though big) capture for ulterior reasons…

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/15/19490871-leader-of-mexicos-brutal-zetas-drug-cartel-captured?lite

  194. Michael says:

    Steve,

    A brutal, evil, animal has been captured.
    Unless he’s extradited, it doesn’t mean much.
    What will happen over the next month will be a blood bath of ungodly proportions as the next level of leadership tries to take over.

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