About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in relation to the interpretation of Scripture?

Part Three

We continue today the three post on this article on the work of the Holy Spirit in helping us understand the Scriptures.

It’s also true, if one has high respect for the Divine Author (God) but does not have respect for the human author. I agree with God, but I don’t agree with Paul, or John, or James. When you interpret the Scripture with the idea that the human authors could be wrong than you are going to have a different view point of the text. The Bible is both a divine book and a very human book. It’s a progress of revelation
  • 5A If a person encompasses the principle of belief in the transcendental (supernatural) they are in a better position to interpret both the miracles and prophecy. Non-Believers can not treat the book of Jonah adequately. Those who cannot accept prophecy, or prophetic portions of Scripture are forced to interpret those prophecies as other than real prediction. (Could this be the case of prediction of an Earthly 1000 years kingdom?)
Most of the world’s people do not believe in the Biblical account of Creation; they don’t believe in the account of the Flood; they don’t believe in the account of a coming Jesus Christ; they don’t believe in the coming Tribulation in Revelation; and most don’t really believe in the account of Hell. Those persons will not be in a position of understanding the Bible.

Those who accept in faith those events will have a much better position of understanding the Bible.
  • 6A WHAT ABOUT THE INNER WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT (Rom. 8:16, 1 John 2:20,27)
    When the Holy Spirit within us gives us conviction and perception of the central truths of Scripture.
"I would say that the Spirit’s affirmation, confirmation, witness, is an immediate, non discursive (Proceeding to a conclusion through reason rather than intuition. ) above supra rational logical testimony of the truth of the central tenets of the faith."

So what is the work of the Holy Spirit in our understanding of the Scripture?


1A To convince us of their truth in addition to an exegetical way. How?
1B Our respectful relationship to the Lord.
2B Our belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ.
3B Our belief in the physical return of Jesus Christ
4B Our belief in the deity of Christ.
5B Our belief in our need of salvation in Jesus Christ alone .
6B Our belief that Jesus was God in his humanity on earth.


What the Spirit may not convince us of:


1B Whether Reformed theology is right.
2B Whether dispensationalism or covenant theology is a better system.
3B How to define spiritual gifts.
4B How long it took God to create the Universe
5B If to be a Baptist is preferred over being a Methodist.

Or an Independent Fundamentalist vs. an Evangelical, or Reformer.

I would say there are several areas that are left for us to examine using our best rational and experimental resources. Many!

But at the same time it does not mean that we cannot come to some fairly firm conclusions About these, I am fairly firm about the Baptist thing.

I have read that there are "negotiables" in Scripture. They are very important areas of investigation, but are not issues of life and death of the church. Some are more important than others. For example: to have elders and deacons in the church, versus just deacons and pastors. Maybe the form of church government.. I believe the proper conclusions about many of these are necessary for the health of the church, but are not essential for the life of the Church.

The greatest work of the Spirit in the person is in the area of salvation. The Holy Spirit is essential in the life of the unbeliever for salvation. And the Holy Spirit is essential in the life of the Believer to bring about the process of salvation in his life.

The inner witness of the Holy Spirit seems apparently not to happen as fully in other areas. Which doesn’t mean one area is not important. Otherwise, all of us would believe the exact same way. It seems that the central work of the Holy Spirit is in the area of salvation.. And as we move from that area to other teaching, there seems to be more freedom and tolerance of those who disagree with us.

  • We will continue with part four next:

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Read by Charity Whisnant

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
IN RELATION TO THE INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE?
Part two


TWO PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE TO VIEW THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT

  • I Corinthians 2:12-14 in part one.1 John 2:20 "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (20)
  • KJV
    vs 27 "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
  • ESV 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie——just as it has taught you, abide in him.


  • NASV 27As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide


What do these verse teach? "You all know it.:" i.e. you all know that you have an anointing from the Holy One. And vs 27 "you have no need that anyone should teach you, and his anointing teaches you concerning all things."


These verses illustrates three of the most important rules of exegesis: CONTEXT, CONTEXT AND CONTEXT. Only if we ignore the context can we construe a meaning that generalizes this text.


This text is always used by many people to say, "We need only the Holy Spirit to teach us what the meaning of the Scripture is."


Vs 20 would seem to indicate that what the believers know by personal experience is their anointing. I would take that to mean this is the inner witness of the Spirit; they recognize that the Spirit ministers to them in an immediate way, and convincing them of their relationship to God (Rom 8:16) If Paul is saying that no one should teach them anything at all, why then does he teach them in this letter? Therefore, this text is teaching something different.


What is the context around this verse? What is the context around this "anointing" Paul is contrasting these believers with heretics who have removed themselves from the believing persons. (2:19) Paul emphasizes what these believers know; that Christ has come in the flesh, that he will come again, and that they are the children of God. He also punctuates how these believers discern the essential truths of the faith: they have the Spirit of God. He is persuaded that they will stay true to the faith - that they will abide - because "greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. (4:4).


HERE IS THE KEY TO THIS IDEA OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN US:


1 John 2:20 and 27 DOES NOT indicate the Holy Spirit bypasses the interpretive process. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit DOES work on our hearts, convincing us of the essential truths of the faith. One who does not have the Spirit of God cannot believe such truths and consequently cannot know them experientially.

Example: When I studied on the text of I Corinthian 2:12-14 and 1 John 2:20, 27, I spent a great deal of time in the interpretive process of trying to know what the verses are saying. Then when I was preaching the text, the Holy Spirit worked on my heart and mind to convince me of the truth in the text. So I had to go though the process of studying the text and then the Holy Spirit convinced me of the truth of the text. I could not bypass the process of the study of the passages

THE CONNECTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO INTERPRETATION

  1. Fundamentally, the work of the Spirit’s is in the area of conviction rather than cognition. And it’s true that one’s convictions do influence one’s perceptions. So it seems that the Holy Spirit may be said to facilitate (aid) our interpretation, even if the role of the Spirit is limited to that of conviction. How?
  2. Experiential knowledge has a boomerang (to have the opposite effect from the one intended; backfire.) (a mistake in calculating) effect on intellectual comprehension. When reading a text, we might have had the experience of what has been suggested, and we can comprehend it.
  3. Interpretation of the text can be mislead by disobedience to the Scripture. While saying we respect its authority (well at least in lip service), we can distort the text. For example: if you believe a sexual behavior is right, you might say "The Bible is a book about God. The Bible is not a book about human sexuality." "The Biblical authors are silent about sexual orientation as we know it today." They neither approve it nor condemn it. (Homosexual) Therefore as I have said many times. To the degree that one is obedient to the Scripture, you will be in a better position to understand it and deal with it honestly.
  4. Sensitivity to the biblical writer will open up understanding of the Scripture. And when one is a believer you already have an approval of what is going to be said. The reason so many interpreters misunderstand the text is because they lack the desire to understand. For example: I have a high regard for John MacArthur, as a person and as an author, thus his messages or writing have an impact on me. On the other hand, anything that Joel Osteen says has little impact on me.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, and Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in relation to the interpretation of Scripture?
Part One

This week I will attempt to address the roll of the Holy Spirit in our understanding of Scripture.

Footnote: I have written six pages on this one article and will post the article over the next three days.

Different theological grids will have different points of view about the ministry of the Spirit.
  • How many times have I heard and been informed: "If the Christian will simply pray, the Holy Spirit will give you the proper interpretation. ." Preachers have mentioned to me in sermon preparation: "Charles, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the meaning of the text and the sermon to preach this Sunday." I try to always pray and ask the Holy Spirit for His inner witness as I study and preach.

So many people have the idea that the interpretation of Scripture is to be "What does this verse mean to me?" This is called the IDIOSYNCRATIC (INDIVIDUAL) MEANING OF THE TEXT. Whimsical I might call this approach. It’s the believers run amok. It’s a pooling of ignorance or a merely pietistic approach to Scripture. It’s one of my pet peeves ‘Pooling ignorance of the Word of God.’

On the other hand, some believe the Holy Spirit has no place in a scholarly method of interpreting the Bible.

You would think if we have one Holy Spirit, one Bible, that we could have one interpretation method of the Scripture. We are so polarity? (A relation between two opposite attributes or tendencies.) We hardly have two preachers who agree, and only one Holy Spirit.
Why? We all don’t read the Bible in the same manner. We are seeing the meaning of Scripture today different from what John Calvin saw it, or even how Charles Spurgeon saw it. We all see Scripture from our understanding of how to know the Scripture.

Some will say this: "We should be open to new truth from Scripture. Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various Biblical texts."

So how should we approach the understanding of Scripture?

  • It is important to articulate one’s position in such a way that we recognize the unique prophetic, revelatory status of Scripture. That is, we must not say that the Spirit adds more revelation to the written Word. This would deny the sufficiency of Scripture. The Spirit can not add revelation to the already written Word. As if the Holy Spirit could add new revelation to you and you alone. Nor can we say that the Bible becomes the Word of God in one’s experiences. In others you could not think you can make the Bible mean anything you want it to mean.

A KEY PASSAGE FOR A THEOLOGICAL ISSUE IS KNOWN AS CRUX INTERPRETUM Such a text is a hinge on which one’s view depends.

(Frank Tallerico has said "you can’t take one passage and make a doctrine out of it" } Some do.

TWO PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE TO VIEW THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT

People use these verses to support there view of the purpose of the Holy Spirit
I Corinthians 2:12-14 and 1 John 2:20, 27

How you translate these verses will give you a meaning of the work of the Holy Spirit in the area of knowing the understanding of Scripture.
I Corinthians 2:12-14
  • KJV: Now we have received , not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." (12)
    Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (13)
    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (14)
  • ESV says: 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (Or interpreting spiritual truths in spiritual language, or comparing spiritual things with spiritual (13))


In sum, I Corinthians 2:12-14 is saying that the non-believer will not accept spiritual truths and cannot understand them. It’s a volitional (choice) problem. Sin affects our wills, emotions, and our minds. Non-believers do indeed plainly understand the Gospel message at times, and unbelieving exegetes do often offer valuable insights into the text. Unbelievers can at times give an explanation of the text that would be right. The point here in these verses is: the depths of God’s ways and God’s wisdom cannot even be touched by non-believers. There is a level to which they cannot accomplish.

SCRIPTURE WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE, SCRIPTURE WILL SANCTIFY YOUR LIFE

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Read by my wife of 38 years Charity Whisnant

BEHAVIOR SUCH AS ANNA SMITH AND BRITNEY'S IS AND WAS SINFUL AND SO IS HOMOSEXUALITY? THERE IS A COMMONALITY IN THESE BEHAVIOR:

A supernatural change of our disposition which results in repentance and belief in the gospel... and this new disposition of heart means our delight is in the law of God.
Anna Nicole Smith legal saga slogs on: Brit freaks again as train wreck rolls on :
vs Homosexuality?

Homosexuality ... in the church ... ? The argument that the defenders of this position are making is, "...this is the way they were born, they can't change ... it is cruel to make them change."
My answer: why should homosexuality get singled out above all other sins? Is this sin uniquely exempt from repentance?
The gospel tells us that we ALL cannot change and each of us is in a similar condition to the homosexual, prior to regeneration. We are all born with a condition that we cannot change: Its called total depravity. By nature we are all morally impotent to obey God's commands let alone believe the gospel ... yet we all remain culpable for these transgressions (Rom 3:19, 20).
If homosexuality can be exempt because people claim that they are born that way, then I guess this makes us all exempt from repenting of our various sins that we cannot naturally escape from ... this basically renders Christianity void of all supernatural truth.
If God cannot change any of us then the future is indeed bleak for us all because it means that Christianity is false. But in truth, homosexuality is just like any other sin.
Homosexual Unions?
If I am born a bigot and a man of pride and cannot change this by nature, does this exempt me from obedience to God in this area? Shall I give up trying to change my coveting because I was born with such a desire? Any so-called church, therefore, that encourages homosexual unions or any other sin (Matt 5:19) has therefore abandoned the faith and has embraced a cultural construct for which they will be held accountable.
ATTITUDE TOWARD THOSE IN SINFUL BEHAVIOR
This also includes those who are against people who are homosexuals, or those whose behavior is like those in Hollywood. We all must also repent of their sin of trusting in their own righteousness because God didn't save you because you were pure or because of something good He saw in you but rather, because of His sheer grace, plus nothing.
The Baptist, the Reformer, or all us us are as equally deserving of God's wrath as the homosexual. Nor does God sustain us because we are pure but solely because of the blood of Jesus Christ. It is on Him alone we can plead forgiveness.
We don't need moral reformation in our lives (band-aid) but need to be born again.
  • A supernatural change of our disposition which results in repentance and belief in the gospel... and this new disposition of heart means our delight is in the law of God.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant

Draft


FROM ANNA TO BRITNEY TO ZAWAHRI
THE SAD SPECTACLE OF THE SPECTACLE

The nation may be at war, and Al Qaeda may be gearing up for a rematch. But that’’s no fun, not when Britney is shaving off her hair and Jennifer Aniston is reported to have a new nose.
Al Mohler writes
I do not often find myself in hearty agreement with Bob Herbert of The New York Times, but his column released yesterday is too brilliant and haunting to resist. As a matter of fact, Mr. Herbert's argument is so compelling that I am breaking a promise to myself and naming a name I had steadfastly refused to name -- Anna Nicole Smith. Stay with me now.
Consider these words from Mr. Herbert:

When we were kids we were taught not to laugh at people who were obviously mentally or emotionally disturbed. With Ms. Smith, who was deeply and unmistakably disturbed, we put her on television and laughed and laughed. Would she say something stupid, or spill out of her dress, or pass out in public from booze or drugs? How hysterically funny!

Then her son died. Then she died, leaving an orphaned infant daughter. Instead of turning away chastened, shamed, we homed in like happy vultures. Whatever entertainment value Ms. Smith had when she was alive increased exponentially when she was kind enough to die for us. Now she's on the tube around the clock.

The story, as they say, has legs.
Yes, it does. The rabid and never-ending news swarm about Anna Nicole Smith is a form of pornography -- a lust for the salacious. This sad story combines sex, money, infamy, drugs, celebrity, farce, and sheer tragedy. The story may have started as a story about Anna Nicole Smith, but it is now a story about us, about the American people and a frenzy for the pornography of personal tragedy.

And it's not only about Anna Nicole Smith. As Mr. Herbert notes:
Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were on the cover of Newsweek last week with the headline "The Girls Gone Wild Effect." When you turned to the story, there was a full-page picture of the former best friends, with a glassy-eyed Britney looking for all the world like a younger version of Anna Nicole Smith.

The lead-in to the article said in large type: "Paris, Britney, Lindsay and Nicole -- They seem to be everywhere and they may not be wearing underwear."

The nation may be at war, and Al Qaeda may be gearing up for a rematch. But that's no fun, not when Britney is shaving off her hair and Jennifer Aniston is reported to have a new nose and the thrill-a-minute watch over Anna Nicole's remains is still the hottest thing on TV.

I am on a television news fast until the burlesque coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith tragedy ends. If the news coverage is any indication, we are a very sick people.
Comment:
We sure learn a lot about the power of the flesh don't we? Why should Believers be so interested in the sinfullness of Hollywood? But we are, aren't we?
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant
HOW IS THE BELIEVER TO RESPOND TO THE DEBATE ON HOMOSEXAULITY
PART FIVE
Homosexuality is portrayed by many in government, in public education and in our colleges and universities as just one of many normal, legitimate lifestyle choices. Those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle on moral and religious grounds are usually portrayed by the intellectual elite, the media and the entertainment industry as ignorant bigots who are full of hatred, "homophobic," and so on. It is true that some people hate homosexuals. Some people even engage in "gay bashing." But it must be remembered that people who engage in such activities are sinning against God; they are not at all living in accordance with the law of Christ

The people who claim to be compassionate toward homosexuals by excusing and approving of their perverse behavior are liars and false teachers. Their attempts to reinterpret the Bible to make it accepting of homosexuality are nothing more than pitiful excuses made for those who do not want to repent. They are leading homosexuals down the broad path which leads to destruction (Mt. 7:13). They are the true enemies of the homosexual community.

It is no surprise that the unbelieving world practices such sins. However, it should be noted that this type of behavior is being increasingly accepted, and in some cases encouraged, within the Church. What does this say about the spiritual condition of the Church today?


Homosexuals are not to be singled out and rallied against by Christians. Their sin is no greater than anyone else’’s. It was James who said more damage is done by the tongue than by any other sin. Christians need to be careful not to gather up our self-righteous robes and attack a particular sin that we, ourselves, do not struggle with. We are to examine this subject as sinners redeemed by grace, not as superiors with authority. Nevertheless, the Church needs to be clear on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. My concern is not that the world has deemed homosexuality an acceptable form of sexual expression, but that the Church has willingly done so.

When emotions and feelings become part of the consideration in an issue such as homosexuality, we begin to question the validity of the Bible. Thoughts creep in such as, "I know that person who said he’s gay. He’s pretty nice. He doesn’t cause any problems. I respect his opinion in class. He publicly displayed his faith in Christ last year. What’s the big deal? Let’s just go on with our lives and not make an issue out of his homosexuality." That all may be true, but Christians are not called to "get on with our lives." They are called to take a biblical stand with Christian love. The character of Christ must characterize all who are believers in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Often, those who are genuine Bible-believing Christians are called "narrow-minded," "judgmental," and "bigots" because of the stand taken against the things welcomed by the world. The stand Jesus Christ took against all sin, however, could not be any clearer. He was perhaps the most "narrow-minded," "judgmental," "bigoted" person to ever walk the face of the earth, as viewed by this world’’s standards

Within the homosexuality debate is the argument that claims scriptural acceptance of homosexuals. A leader in this movement recently asserted that Scripture forbids only the act of homosexual prostitution. He asserts that a monogamous homosexual relationship based on love is within the bounds of a scriptural relationship. He said, "If homosexual students on Christian campuses do not find support, they will go outside of the school to find it. If gay students can’t date on campus, where are they going to find someone to share their life with?" How does this question have anything to do with the issue? Are we to believe that we cannot tell a homosexual he is in sin, because he might leave the campus of a Christian school, without finding a homosexual, lifelong partner? The Apostle Paul instructed Christians on how to deal with such situations. He said, "deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Corinthians 5:5).

For believers, the pressure from the world to conform to its’ standards is intense. Romans 12:1, 2 reminds us how we are to live as children of God. Paul says, "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." When believers allow themselves to be harnessed by the standards of this world, they are being conformed, rather than transformed.

Any form of conduct or behavior that the Christian believes the Bible calls sin, usually is looked upon by the world, society, cultural "narrow-minded," "judgmental," "bigoted". The term "Christian" has to be define biblically Today just about anyone can be called a "Christian." When in fact they according to the teaching of the Bible, they are not.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 02 22 07
DOES THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND BELIEVERS HAVE A NEED TO RESPOND TO THE ETHICS OF TODAY
Part Four

ETHIC
  • An area of philosophical and theological inquiry into what constitutes right and wrong, that is, morality, as well as what is the good and the good life. Ethics seeks to provide insight, principles, or even a system of guidance in the quest of the good life or in acting rightly in either general or specific situations of life. Broadly speaking, ethical systems are either deontological (seeking to guide behavios through establishment or discovery of what is intrinsically right and wrong) or teleological (seeking to guide behavior through an understanding of the outcomes or ends that ethical decisions and behavior bring about). - Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms

In my last three articles on Homosexuality there have been several responses to the issue at hand: Here is one:


Charles, February 20, 2007
I have often thought about this issue and how the local church should respond to it. When Paul speaks to his audience about sexual impurity or homosexuality, it is always in the context of "…and such were some of you". Paul is speaking to God’s chosen people, advising them to "put off" the sins of the flesh and to "put on"righteousness. Do we in the Church have any more to say about how unbelievers conduct themselves concerning sexual behavior than any other of Paul’s list of "put off’s" except when their behavior has a societal dimension, such as when giving false testimony in court or preserving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Paul was not concerned with changing the greater culture, which is fallen. He was concerned about believers becoming sanctified for the glory of Christ.

When arguing from the pulpit against issues involving homosexuality as a rule of law for everyone we risk going beyond our area of responsibility, I think. We really are attempting to impose a standard of behavior on people for whom obedience to God’s Word is not a concern and in whom the Holy Spirit is not operative, in order to preserve a position of cultural dominence. The Church in America is mostly concerned about preserving political power and the cultural status quo rather than focusing on God’s power to change us individually, from within. Of course, to our congregants, we have every obligation to argue, as Paul did, that God’s people ought to "put off" these behaviors, even if the desires remain.

I am not saying we have no cause to preach against the policies that can have a grave impact on our society. We live in a democracy and we do have responsibilities to think Biblically in the public arena when we cast our vote. Speaking against gay marriage, for example, in light of God’s design for marriage is something we ought to do. However, when we spend time railing against a culture where homosexuality is becoming more acceptable, we are planting the seeds for a "fortress" mentality. We create an "us" vs. "them" dynamic.

All of us come to the cross with patterns of sinfulness, but, in Christ, we are called to put off the flesh. When we focus on the specific sinful behavior of others, I think we are in danger of missing the mote in our own eye and avoiding the mortification of our own flesh. The net effect is that nobody changes.

The sorry fact is that the Church looks mostly like the world because we still want what the world has to offer. We in the Church should focus more on the body and less on the world. Perhaps then, we might see changed lives and have more impact on the world.

We are in need of radical amputation, yet we will settle for a band-aid. Consider how the media reacted to the Amish community after the killing of children in school. Think how the Amish responded. Our country and world becomes more evil by the day, yet we are more like the frog in the pot of warm water. At what point do we jump out so that we are still able to pull others out before it is too late?


Rick Warner


Is the Bible Ambiguous about Homosexuality

Homosexual "Marriage": A Tragic Oxymoron--Biblical and Cultural Reflections

Responding to Pro-Gay Theology
Homosexuality: Fact or Fiction
CHRISTIANS AND HOMOSEXUAL? IS THIS POSSIBLE?
What is the Christians's Response to those who are Homosexuals?
Discerning the Will of God - Marriage?
An Analysis: Biblically of Homosexuality
Is Homosexuality really Gay?
Definitions of Terms
What is the churches's response to the cultural trends today?
HERE IT IS! . . . . . . . . . . .

A supernatural change of our disposition which results in repentance and belief in the gospel... and this new disposition of heart means our delight is in the law of God.

Next thread some responses to this subject:
TAKING A LOOK AT THE TERMS USED IN THIS HOMOSEXUAL DETABE
Part Three
The term "homophobic" has changed several times invited ........ read on.

The word homophobic, when used to label someone as prejudiced against ... The label of internalized homophobia is sometimes applied to conscious or ...

Homophobia is the fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.[1] It can also mean hatred, hostility, or disapproval of homosexual people, sexual behavior, or cultures, and is generally used to insinuate bigotry.[2] The term homophobic means "prejudiced against homosexual people,"[3] and a person who is homophobic is a homophobe.

The word homophobic, when used to label someone as prejudiced against homosexual people, can be a pejorative term, and the identification of a group or person as homophobic is nearly always contested.
  • The word homophobia was rarely used early in the twentieth century to mean "fear or hatred of the male sex or humankind". In this use, the word derived from the Latin root homo (Latin, "man" or "human") with the Greek ending -phobia ("fear")

In its more recent usage, dating from 1969, "homophobia" derives from the -phobia ending applied, not to the Latin root "homo", but to a shortening of homosexual. (Here, homo comes not from the Latin for "man", but from the Greek for "same"; see homosexual.) The word first appeared in print in the American Time magazine, 31st October edition.It was used by clinical psychologist George Weinberg, who claims to have first thought of it while speaking at a homophile group in 1965, and was popularized by his book Society and the Healthy Homosexual in 1971. When asked about the meaning of the word in a 2002 interview, he said:
"Homophobia is just that: a phobia. A morbid and irrational dread which prompts irrational behavior flight or the desire to destroy the stimulus for the phobia and anything reminiscent of it."

HOMONEGATIVITY
Some recent psychological literature has suggested the term homonegativity, reflecting the perspective that behaviors and thoughts that are frequently considered homophobic are not fear-based but instead reflect a disapproval of homosexuality

What is Homophobia?
  • The word homophobia means fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals. It can also mean hatred of and disparagement of homosexual people, their lifestyles, their sexual behaviors, or cultures, and is generally used to assert bigotry.[1] Opposition to same-sex activism on religious, moral, or political grounds may also be referred to as homophobia.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word homophobia was originally used to mean "fear of men, or aversion towards the male sex". However, from 1969 the term has been more frequently used with its present meaning.

The first time it appeared in print was in the American Time magazine, where it was coined by clinical psychologist George Weinberg, who claims to have first thought of it while speaking at a homophile group in 1965,[2] and popularized by his book Society and the Healthy Homosexual in 1971. It combines the Greek term phobos, meaning "fear" or "panic", and the root homo from the word "homosexual", which originates in the Greek word homos, meaning "the same". A possible etymological precursor was homoerotophobia, coined by Dr Wainwright Churchill in Homosexual Behavior Among Males in 1967.

Just as some people use the term "homophobia" to stress the association between prejudice and a fear or medical disorder, others Sexism, sexualism, heterosexism, heterosexualism, and "homosexualism" have been proposed as alternatives which are more morphologically parallel, and which do not have the association with phobia. Sexism refers to sexual discrimination and hatred and may be extended to include discrimination and hatred based on both sex and sexuality (sexual-identity/sexual-orientation/hypersexuality). Sexualism refers to hatred against homosexuals (gays/lesbians) and bisexuals. Heterosexism refers to hatred against people who are not heterosexual. Heterosexualism is an ambiguous term which is used either as a synomym for heterosexuality or heterosexism. The term "homosexualism" is a rarely-used synonym of homosexuality. Queer Theory and critical theory use the terms heterocentric and heteronormativity to refer to similar ontological assumptions.
As behaviors and thoughts that are frequently considered homophobic are often not fear based but instead reflect a disapproval of homosexuality, recent psychological literature has favored the term homonegativity.

There is also considerable debate over the term's usage as a label for opponents of certain categories of social policy, with the debate centering upon the question of whether such opposition is a legitimate moral stance or indefensible discrimination, and whether or not there are reasons other than fear and misunderstanding that might justify such positions. As in cases such as the Santorum controversy, many have alleged that the term is often used as a means of demonizing and silencing political opponents without regard to their actual motives; those on the other side of the debate argue that the motives in such cases are always connected with bigotry or fear.

Fear of being identified as a homosexual
A component considered to play into homophobia, as considered by some theorists, such as Calvin Thomas and Judith Butler, is an individual's fear of being identified as homosexual him or herself.

This notion suggests that when expressing homophobic viewpoints and emotions, the individual who does so is not only expressing his thoughts as to homosexuals, but also actively attempting to distance himself from this category and attributed social status. Therefore, by distancing him or herself from the people in question, he/she is reaffirming his/her role as a heterosexual, within heteronormativity, and contributing to the avoidance of his/her potential labeling and consequent treatment as a homosexual.

This interpretation plays into notions of violent opposition to "the Other" as a means of establishing one's identity as part of the majority and therefore, validated by society. This concept is also recurrent in interpretations of racism and xenophobia.

Many social and religious attitudes toward homosexuality are negative, which some might describe as a form of prejudice.

Sexist beliefs
Some gender theorists interpret the fact that male-to-male relationships often incite a stronger reaction in a homophobic person than female-to-female (lesbian) as meaning that the homophobic person feels threatened by the perceived subversion of the gender paradigm in male-to-male sexual activity. According to such theorists as D.A. Miller, male heterosexuality is defined not only by the desire for women but also, and more importantly, by the denial of desire for men. Therefore, expressions of homophobia serve as a means of limiting those who they view as displaced in heteronormativity, and also of accenting their male nature, by isolating the threatening concept of their own potential feminity in gay men, and consequently belittling them, as not real males. They regard the reason male homosexuality is treated worse compared to female homosexuality as sexist in its underlying belief that men are superior to women and therefore for a man to "replace" a woman during intercourse with another man is his own subjection to (non-male) inferiority.



Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and proof checked by Charity Whisnant

WORLDVIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITY
Part Two

Scripture clearly teaches that homosexuality is an inhumanity to God. That is offensive to many people today. While homosexuality has been a part of the world’s culture since the beginning of mankind, mankind who have engaged in this practice, have kept their lifestyle in the "closet". Laws in our country have always been to discourage this kind of lifestyle.

Lifestyles of mankind have always run a muck against the normal behavior of man, and laws of our government have tried to bring some kind of control to our behavior. Men have always broken the laws of the government and the laws of God. But they have been considered breaking the Laws.

Now we come into the 21st Century and we are finding ourselves in a culture that no longer calls a muck behavior wrong. There used to be a law that said, divorce was not allowed, there was a time that sex with someone other than your marriage pardner was wrong, there was a time that sex before marriage was wrong. And sex with another of the same gender was wrong. In this 21st Century Culture we are quickly coming to a climate that all the above is now considered a matter of choice.

Today when you speak the truth as Bible-believing Christians see the Word of God, and we speak out against what God considers wrong behavior, the media will say "He is lashing out at him because of his lifestyle." "They are ranting, fussing and fuming, out against the "gay" community,

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is still in the Bible, (at last count it was still in the KJV, NASV, etc) "or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (unmanly) nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers (slander) nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." (NASB)

Just a note here, please note that Paul said, "such were some of you." Under Divine inspiration Paul reminds those early believers of the fact that outside of God’s redeeming and cleansing grace they would be in the same predicament as those involved in a degenerate life style.
Our culture today is quickly being pulled into an arbitrary way of thinking. If someone really believes they were born with the homosexual genes then they should be accepted as normal sexual lifestyle. The list in I Corinthians contains ten behaviors of sinfulness, and they all have the same results. We all SIN and come short of the Glory of God. It’s God’s Grace that Sanctified us by His GRACE.

In my thinking this issue is impregnable.

Difficult or impossible to overcome or refute successfully; beyond question or criticism; as, an impregnable argument

What God had written down in the Scripture is still today the same. There is this moral relativism in America that is putting today’s current culture above the Scripture. It’s called, I believe, The New Apostle Paul Perspective, which is saying, what Paul was saying in 65 A.D. is not what he would say today.

It’s much like taking today’s cultural belief and putting them into the culture of even twenty- five years ago. I don’t remember ever reading in the News or seeing the Media talk twenty-five years ago about the rights of men and women in their sexual lifestyles.

Christian commentator Gregory Koukl, in a personal essay titled Heterosexism, objects to the medicalization of a moral position:
  • The word homophobia has come to describe any kind of opposition to homosexuality of any sort, but it’s interesting that part of their (homosexuals') goal was to shift the emphasis from what many perceived to be a homosexual problem, away from the homosexual activity itself, and towards the attitude people have about homosexuality... They purposely did this to change the focus of the discussion from the morality of their activity and the social appropriateness of their lifestyle to the attitudinal bias of those who would judge them.
    Koukl, Gregory,"Stand to Reason" (radio program); "Heterosexism".

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Check by Charity Whisnant 02 17 07
"HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS VIEW TIM HARDAWAY'S WORDS TOWARDS HOMOSEXAULS?"
part one
Too many people jumped to a consussion when they heard some of Tim Hardaway's remarks. Of course the media only wanted to quote "You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known."
Former NBA All-Star and Miami Heat guard Tim Haraway was asked about the coming out of another former NBA player about his sexuality.
The media picked up on the "I hate gay people." So did a few Christians. And jumped on Tim's remarks. Rather than the focus on sexual behavior of the homosexual they jumped on Tim's hate of homosexuality.
I don't know Tim Hardaway, but when asked in the moment of time, he most likely did respond in a non political manner. If he really hates people who are homosexual than he has a wrong view.
Erik at irishcalvinist.com said, "I do not want to stand with Tim Hardaway and others who verbally express murder in their hearts." Erik doesn't know that about Tim.
If Tim Hardaway was expressing his hatred for the sin of homosexaulity than I would stand with him.
This is not the purpose of this blog today. Rather in the next several threads to deal with the worldview of homosexuality:
WORLDVIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITY

We are seeing over the last several years, our culture being dominated by radical individualism and radical subjectivity.... what's true for me is true for me. (quote)
  • "Our culture is dominated by radical individualism and a radical subjectivity; what's true for me is true for me," Tonkowich observes

  • The ECLA and other denominations often rely on this kind of "subjective truth" and moral relativism when setting guidelines, the Institute spokesman asserts. "Rather than submitting to the authority of the scriptures and the authority of the church, it's every man for himself and every woman for herself," he says. "We're in a position not unlike what was in the [Bible's] Book of Judges, where the refrain is 'and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.'


Another Example:

  • Tim Hardaway, was a NBA Miami Heat player, and a very good one, who spoke out about John Amaechi (another NBA roll player) who came out about his homosexual life style. Amaechi didn’t come out until he was out of the NBA.


What is interesting, NO ONE has ever said they were homosexual publically while playing in the NBA. If the NBA were ok with this lifestyle, you would think those who were "gay" would be free to say it. Now that it’s out, the press asks the questions. Those who are positive about the lifestyle are treated well, but when Tim Hardaway stated his position he is murdered by the media.

Amaechi "Believes homophobia is rampant in and out of sports." He should know. He played in the NBA.
Amaechi went on to say
"People in America and England would like to think racism is over, sexism is over, and homophobia is over, but it’s not." "It’s hard to get straight guys to step up,"


"Anti-gay rant" is the phrase the media uses when people speak out against homosexuality.


SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS A CHOICE OF LIFE STYLE
SEXUAL ORIENTATION: DIRECTION


While sexual behavior of all choices have been since the creation of mankind, God has set forth His choice of sexual behavior for mankind. From the start of mankind, man has refused to obey most of God commands. We should not be too surprised at man’s reactions

What God has set forth for mankind’s behavior is well stated in His Word the Bible. We have God’s Word on the subject and then we have man’s word on the subject.

As a Biblical believing Christian and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am personally bound to what the Word of God says in it’s entirety. I should not be subjective in my own thinking about any issue without first understanding God’s position. I should not embellish, diminish, or insert my own preference into what the Word of God is saying. With that said, I must with all my thinking, believe and recognize the truth of God’s Word on the subject of sexual behavior, be it sex outside of marriage of any kind. The Word I believe directs us to believe that any sex outside of marriage is SIN, that is, that which we do against the will of God.

I do not apologize for my belief that has been formed by my understanding of the Word of God.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant 02 16 07

HOW MUCH SHOULD THE AUDIENCE BE INFORMED ABOUT YOUR SERMON MATERIAL
part two

What expectation does the membership have about the content of the preacher’s sermon? What is their belief about how the preacher prepares his sermons? What has the preacher said about his sermon’s preparation?

There are a lot of factors in this matter of preaching. I can only speak from my experience. When I was pastor of my first church and even my second church, the congregation’s idea of what preaching should be like was formed by the previous preachers they had. Their expectation of style, content, methods, etc. of preaching was established by their own thinking as well.

People have a concept of what they believe is preaching and what is teaching. They have their idea of how a sermon should be preached. They form their ideas of how a sermon should sound and what a sermon should say. Some think that a sermon should be humorous, intelligent, interesting, and contemporary. Some think a sermon should be loud and simple. Some think the preacher should just talk to them and not at them. There is not a consensus but a multiplicity of expectations from the preacher and his sermon and his style.

One church elder said "Our congregation is used to one manner and sound and method of preaching, and we are looking for an associate of like manner."

What I have learned about people in our churches in general, (from my experience only) they really don’t understand the ministry of preaching the Word of God. Now you would expect new converts not to know, but mature believers should at least have an idea about presenting the Word of God on Sunday Morning. Generally the people had to learn to listen with a new mind set when hearing me preach, because they were not used to hearing my style of teaching.

FOOTNOTE: There are many churches who have been well disciplined in the art of preaching.
I thought I knew the art of preaching. After all, I had heard Jack Hyles preach and Earl K. Oldham preach. Actually, I have heard hundreds of preachers and I knew their mannerisms. I developed a style of preaching as a result of who I studied. That is not always a good idea. I know.

As I learned this craft of preaching/teaching, I would teach the membership what I was trying to do. "Why are you preaching the way you do, Pastor Charles?" Or at least they were thinking that question. Everyone has their idea about preaching and how a preacher prepares his messages. So I have always tried to tell the people how I go about preparing my messages.

Many preachers want the people to think that everything they say is original and all comes from the Holy Spirit at the moment they open their mouth to preach. (Well, some independent Baptists do)

I have spent a lot of time teaching those who hear me preach I am up-front with how I go about studying the Word of God for a message that I preach. Thus I was able to help new converts develop an open mind set toward my style of preaching. I shared with them the methods I use to develop a message. I have always tried to educate people how they can know the Word of God and how they can test what I am saying to be the truth.

How should a sermon sound biblically? Good question? How long should a sermon be? How much content and application should be in a message? How much originality should go in to a message? How much study should you do in researching the text? Do you use Greek or Hebrew words in your message? Should you give credit to every thought and quote you use in your sermon when you are preaching?

These are very important points that I would share with the people in our churches.

I heard John MacArthur say, "The most important thing that I can do for my people is to open the Word of God and proclaim His word with clarity."

Of course at first the people didn’t think preaching was the priority of the preacher/pastor of their church. They had their ideas about that as well. They had to be taught biblically what God had called the preacher/teacher to do in the church. That was usually a shock to the members.

What I have discovered too, every church has their own expectation of what a preacher should preach and how he should preach his sermon. When I have been asked to preach in view of a call to that church to pastor, or to send a tape of one of my sermons, they have an idea of what they desire in a preacher preaching. Most of the time my idea and what they expect are worlds apart.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof TRUTH Check by Charity Whisnant
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THE QUESTION OF PLAGIARISM IN THE PULPIT
PART ONE
As I write this article my mind reflects on what I have read on this subject. My wife say "How is it possible that you can write so much on one subject and never look at a single book or note?" It’s called recalled memory. I read a lot and from reading I can, most of the time, retain what I have read. When I type on a given subject the thoughts are on my mind and they reach my finger tips while I type (I have to stop to ask Charity how to spell a word, then find a synonym.)

When I preached through Ephesians, I read over fifty books on Ephesians. I use many technique reference books. I am not a scholar, fundamentalists usually don’t even preach expositionally, thus my early training in Greek or Hebrew was limited.. My linguistic study was limited as well, but I have learned that should not stop me from studying the scripture. Even if my fundamentalist friends tell me I only need the Holy Spirit and the KJV.

As I preach verse by verse, explaining word by word, I have learned to find the meaning of the words in reference books.

The point here, the congregation that I taught for over sixteen years, generally was not impressed with my giving credit for my thoughts. I would love to say, "As John MacArthur has said." or Martin Lloyd Jones would say. After awhile they were wondering if I said any thing.

I would go to the linguistic key to the Greek NT to learn the meaning of terms like "saints". I wouldn’t say, in the Linguistic Key to the Gr NT they say the term "saints" means. But I would footnote the quote on my sermon manuscript.. I might go to Colin Brown for help, I might go to Spiros Zodhiates’s study Bible lexical aid on "saint."

If your assembly in your church was only interested in your preaching, and wasn’t interested in all your credit giving for every quote you quoted by someone else. What would be your suggestions to this? If the church believed that every thing you said came directly from the Holy Spirit, you are really in trouble.

As a fundamentalist (I use that term lightly) I could speak from my hip, and not use anyone’s quotes or help. But that to me is not preaching biblically.

Nor do I believe using others who have the scholarship in Biblical language is plagiarism. I do not think when you at times quote others and fail to mention the source that you diminish the trust of your flock.

Let me say all this another way.

Do you believe using others who have the scholarship in Biblical language is plagiarism? Even if you do fail to mention the source of the quote or help? Do you believe that if you do you diminish the trust of your flock?

I would love to preach an entire sermon with my KJV Bible only, and be totally biblical in what I am saying about the texts. I certainly can say what I think the text says. If I don’t care to be accurate in the dispensing of the Word of God, then I could just give my own personal thoughts about the text.

The issue arises when do we plagiarize in our preaching/teaching? If it’s not an original thought and we write it down or mention it while we preach is it plagiarism if we don’t give credit to the source?

What is the definition of "an original thought?"

When in Seminary, I asked my professor, "Dr, how do you preach such a wonderful message?" He said, "Charles, find a text, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a message?" I was a first year seminary student, well six weeks into the first semester. Was that really possible? Well, yes I preached a Lee Roberson sermon, or one of my dad's sermon. Plagiarism first class. I don't remember hearing that term in 1966!
More later....

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 02 13 07 Proof Checked by Charity 02 14 07
IMPECCABILITY OF CHRIST, SINLESSNESS IN HIS NATURE
Part Four

I want to add John MacArthur’s point of view here: from Hebrews 4:15
  • Jesus was the very Son of God, yet His divinity did not prevent Him from experiencing our feelings, our emotions, our temptations, our pain.
  • God became man, He became Jesus. (As I said above (some where Jesus was God-Man) to share triumphantly the temptation and the testings and the suffering of men, in order that He might be a sympathetic and understanding High Priest.

Some ask, "If Jesus not only didn’t sin, but He could not have sinned, nor even had the will to sin, how then could He really identify with us?"

  • Just to experience something does not give us understanding of it. Jesus understood better than any man He has seen sin and temptation more clearly and fought it more diligently than any of us could ever be able to do.
  • Sinlessness alone can properly estimate sin. Jesus Christ did not sin, could not sin, had no capacity to sin. Yet His temptations were all the more terrible because He would not fall and endured them to the extreme.
  • His sinlessness increased His sensitivity to sin. "For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin."

Hebrews 12:3-4. If you want to talk to someone who knows and understands our weakness. Whatever Satan brings our way, there is victory in Jesus Christ. He understood; He has been here."From John’s New Testament commentary on Hebrews.-


Just a note from A.W. Pink

  • who has been tempted in all things according to our likeness, apart from sin" i.e. in spirit, and soul and body."
  • "An Exposition of Hebrews" Baker; fifth printing 1970 pages 1307. I bought this book while pastor/teacher at Madison Missionary Baptist Church, Minford Ohio 1971 I did teach the book of Hebrews while at Madison.


As I said, temptation can be good or bad. It is but a trial. A trial to see if we will react to something

We as humans when tempted to sin, by sin, to actual sin by habitual sin, to outward sin, by indwelling sin. Humans sin because we are sinners and have the sin principle in us.

Christ on the other hand, as the Apostle reminds us, Jesus Christ was holy and pure. Jesus never found Himself susceptible unto any such temptations unto sin from within Himself as you and I are susceptible.

With Christ while He was tempted, none of the temptation had any effect on Him.

John Owen remarks:

  • "He was absolutely in all things ‘without sin’; He neither was tempted by sin, such was the holiness of His nature; nor did His temptation produce sin, such was the perfection of His obedience."
  • The Man Christ Jesus was the Holy One of God, and therefore He could not sin.
    Remember Jesus was not created as Satan and Adam. Jesus "was God manifest in flesh." In His humanity He was "holy" Luke 1:35.

THUS HE WAS NOT ONLY IMPECCABLE GOD, BUT IMPECCABLE MAN.


The point: We have a High Priest, in heaven, who has passed through the conflict and temptation, thus we can be strong, and of a good courage, and not be afraid. Why? Because we have a High Priest who maintains us on His loving heart, and as the Shepherd of the flock holds us in safety forever. Therefore as the text says "boldly we come to the throne of grace.

Because Christ faced all that Satan threw at Him, we can with confidence come to the throne of grace and know Christ will intercede for us.


It’s true that we sin because of our sinfulness. We are weak because of our flesh. We are never free from a sinful consensus of the will, yet Christ knows this. He knew on earth His own disciple’s sinfulness, yet He loved them, watched over them, and prayed for them. And thus He is ever ready to strengthen and comfort, to heal and restore.


Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 02 09 07 Checked by Charity Whisnant 2/11/07

IMPECCABILITY OR PECCABILITY OF CHRIST
PART THREE OF FOUR



Of course the argument is, if JESUS was really human he must then have been capable of sinning. Because we think man has a free will to sin. What one needs to know is that Jesus was not only man, but he was God.

Which is to say, even though a man, Jesus still retained all of the attributes of his divine nature (even though through the kenosis or self-emptying, he willingly did not exercise all of his divine attributes.} In humanity, Christ was totally human; in deity, Jesus was unalterably God.


Here is the point: Yet in Jesus Christ was a single, undivided personality in whom these two natures are vitally and undividedly combined. So that Jesus Christ is not God and man, but the God-man. You need to remember that Jesus was first God and thus took on human manhood.

Quote: "The second Trinitarian person {Jesus Christ} is the root and stock into which the human nature is grafted, or god in becoming man did not diminish his deity, but added a human nature to the divine nature."

So while Jesus was absolutely man, He preserved his divine attribute of holiness. And it was this holiness which contributed the strength and will power to guarantee that Christ escaped sin and could not sin.

So did Jesus have "free will" we asked? Though Christ was of both human and divine desires, he had only one determinative will. That determinative will is the eternal logos.

Even though Jesus was human, remember that he was God, and his divine side was more powerful and prevented him from sinning because "a holy will may be perfectly free, and yet determined with absolute certainty to the right."

What I am saying then: as God, Christ is absolutely going to do only good, and yet he is a moral agent making choices. He need not have the capacity to sin. His free will is free to do right all the time.

I have read that since Christ was the second Adam, that Christ must have the ability to sin. They missed the point. Adam was a perfect man when he was created. "Adam was created in holiness without inward compulsion toward sin that now characterizes his descendants. Jesus did not possess a sin nature because it was not a part of the original nature of man.

In the garden of Eden Adam did not know sin, nor did he know the consequences of sin when he was created. At the point of creation, Adam had no experience of sin. Until Satan and Eve presented him the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God added sin to Adam’s perfect nature. We thus cannot make the blunder of taking our defective lives as the standard, and regarding Christ as human only as he conforms to our failures. We can not see Jesus’ humanity as our humanity is. Christ is showing us what a perfect human life is without sin and is capable of not sinning.

It is my thinking that from these arguments for peccability of Jesus. they do not prove he could have sinned if He had wished to sin:
  • that in order to have a true human nature Jesus had to be able to sin;
  • that in order to be really tempted as man is tempted Jesus had to be able to sin
  • that temptability necessitates susceptibility to sin
    that if Jesus were a true man he would have to be able to sin because sin is part of the human condition.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 02 09 07 Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant

IMPECCABILITY OR PECCABILITY OF CHRIST
part two

If it is possible that the Lord Jesus Christ could have yielded or been deceived by sin, then one must also conclude that it is possible for him to have given inaccurate information about eternal things when he was growing in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.

So the question becomes: we know Jesus did not sin but could he have sinned in order to have experienced temptation as we do? Was Jesus capable of sinning? while we think of temptation as "the possibility of sin." we want to say as human beings, "temptation implies the possibility of sin. If a person has no susceptibility to sin or if sin has no appeal for him, the temptation is a farce. Some will argue this point.

To understand Hebrews 4:15 we need to understand what "temptation" means.

The Greek word to "tempt" does not mean to induce evil. the word means 'to try, to make a trial of, put to the test... it means to signify the trying intentionally with the purpose of discovering either good or evil. The power or weakness was in the person or thing.

Therefore Christ faced real challenges in the desert where he proved the good that was in him. In the desert Christ was faced with the enticement of a person (Satan) to commit sin by offering some seeming enticement... power, wealth or food.

Jesus was God and possessed the attributes of God. There was nothing that Jesus could be enticed to have or obtain, just as Satan was unable to entice Jesus.

Yet in the temptation of Satan, Jesus was asked to do the things he could do and the things he wanted; the results of which would have come from doing what Satan asked.

The nature of his temptation was..the fact that he as God was tempted to do the things he could do. the things Christ was asked to do...appear to be valid requests.

Therefore, because Satan asked Christ to do the things he was capable of, e.g., turning stones to bread, etc, we can see that the temptations Christ faced were real.

The temptations of Jesus were different from those that we face. "Jesus was tried as no other was ever tried. He faced the temptation in the garden of Gethsemane to abandon the plan of God and to "let this cup pass from me." Matthew 26:39.

So Jesus in reality experienced worse temptations than we do. the temptations of Jesus were real for sure, because they were tests of and trials of his power.

So when the Bible says Jesus was tempted, it implies he was tempted in al his thinking, desires (emotions) and decision-making ability.

Christ was tempted in every part of his being as a person is tempted in every part of human nature.

One other point here is that one can be tempted to sin in an area that he is not necessarily susceptible to sin. I can be tempted by tv ads to drink beer and I am not at all susceptible to drinking the beer. While I am daily attacked, I cannot be conquered in this area.

One theologian said this "while the temptation may be real, there may be infinite power to resist that temptation, and if the power is infinite, the person is impeccable"

We thus say, that the argument that Jesus was tempted does not support peccability. As we said, for one to be tempted does not necessarily imply that one must be susceptible to the temptation. Yes Jesus was tempted, which does not imply that he was tempted to watch beer ads on tv, nevertheless what he did experience was real temptation.

And just because Jesus was tempted does not imply at all, that he was capable of sin. It is possible for Satan to do the impossible, i.e. tempt Jesus, even though there was no chance of success; and Satan knew it too.
Credit for helping me with this paper:
Leslie Whisnant who asked the question.
A paper written on this subject but the name was unregistered
The Complete Biblical Library The New Testament Sutdy Bible 15 Volumes
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology by Elwell
Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testment, Rienecker/Rogers
IMPECCABILITY OR PECCABILITY OF CHRIST
part one
Charles,
In our Sunday School class, we are studying/debatingthe peccability/impeccability of Christ. Any thoughts?
Leslie
Most of the articles I am finding are leaning towards impeccability. The reason is that although Jesus was human, He did not have the sin nature of humans because God subvented the human with the virgin birth.

However, taking the other position, the question that remains is: Although Jesus was undoubtable sin-free and was tempted by Satan, how can He truly guide and assist us with our temptations when He was not able give into the temptations of Satan?
Does Christ's impeccability mean that He had no free will?
Leslie/Eric Whisnant (Eric is my oldest son and live in Lexington KY.
My response to this required a little study you know:

Now the question arises, given the fact of Christ's sinlessness, is whether His alleged temptations were real. The text used is Hebrews 4:15 cf Luke 22:28 . "who in every respect has been tempted as we are."

The debate has been between whether the Savior was "able not to sin" or "not able to sin".

The first emphasizing His identification with sinful humanity and consequent struggle, and the second His identification with God and God's eternal purpose for the salvation of the world.

Here is the assumption: (if you take that Jesus had a free will and that he could sin) The assumption that what applies to us (you and me) applies to Christ; that if there be a close connection for us between our capacity for sin and our struggles, then there must be such a connection for Christ."

The assumption says, Christ was just like us in all forms.

However, in Jesus Christ, there is not the inner propensity (a natural inclination or tendency:) TO SIN THAT THERE IS IN EVERY OTHER MEMBER OF THE HUMAN RACE. Jesus Christ HAD THE holy SPIRIT WITHOUT MEASURE TO SUSTAIN him IN his EARTHLY MINISTRY.
THROUGHOUT JESUS’ EARTHLY SOJOURN, WHILE TEMPTATION WAS REAL, THE GOD WHOSE LIFE HE FULLY SHARED (Col. 1;19, 2:9) and who He was (John 1:1 10:30) kept Jesus Christ from committing any sin and, as important, dedicated to His messianic mission.

Did Christ have a free will? His will was totally dedicated to the will of the father. There was no thought of disobedience to the will of the father.

Hebrews 4:15, I Peter 2:2 I John 3:5 "witness that he (Jesus) did not give in to temptation, nor violate the moral standards of God, nor was he inconsistent with the nature of His character.

Jesus had to be sinless, and only by a sinless life could his death have been vicarious substitution and fulfill God's redemptive plan for man. Had Jesus sinned, or could have sinned, he would have died for his own sins and not for those whom God chose to save.

So the question of free will or could Jesus have sinned if he had wanted to is the debate. if he could, the term is peccability of Christ. the term impeccability says Jesus could not have sinned even if he wanted to.

Those in the peccable camp say: if Jesus was not peccable then just how "human" was He? could Jesus have been 'true man' if he were not able to sin like the rest of mankind? (a footnote: this is a question of whether Christ could have sinned; not that Christ had to have sinned in order to be human).

Humans have a consciousness of past sin. Jesus did not have any sin therefore no consciousness of past sin. So does this make him less human?
Jesus took on most of the qualities of the human nature, but shielded himself from the consciousness of sin.

The point of studying this issue is important:
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant
CAN WE SAY THE LOCAL CHURCH IS AN ORGANIZATION AND A BUSINESS AND STILL BE BIBLICAL?

A Well-Articulated Principle of Ministry that is Biblical
Is Essential to "DOING GOD'S WORK IN GOD'S WAY."
HOW SHOULD A 21ST CENTURY CHURCH LOOK?
First you need a leader who knows the Word of God, whereby the local church is established and lead and taught. You need leadership who knows organizational skills and leadership who knows business practices.

Some local churches have lawyers to figure out legal stuff for the church’s organization. Some churches have Business Managers to figure out the financial side of the organization. Some churches have a Building Manager who knows how to keep the building and grounds. Some churches have consultants, people who know a specific area of ministry. You have professional secretaries who help in the church office. And there are many more for sure.

The point is the local church uses a lot of business people, and organizations to accomplish their task. And they use a lot of good Christian business people to help them accomplish their objectives.

Of course you have those churches who just meet on Sunday and close the door Sunday at noon and they are not opened until the next Sunday. The building is 100 years old and looks like it. They hope that somebody will come on Sunday, and they also hope they have a preacher that Sunday.

The Bible seems to teach that God is a God of order and purpose. He had a exacting order to creation, he had an exacting order in the Garden for Adam and Eve. He had an order to the kind of worship form, in the case of Cain and Abel. He had the exact measurement for the building of the Ark for Noah to build.. He later had the exact manner of worship he required for the children of Israel, and the building of the Tabernacle and the way they worshiped. All this required a group of leaders with skills given to them by the Lord.

Today you do not just have church. Well, you can. The preacher shows up at 9:45 a.m. and opens the door, and turns the light on. And he says, "I wonder what I am going to preach today, and I wonder if anyone will come today?" That does happen in a lot of "churches" today. (Is this a biblical church?)

Some uninformed people will say, "We like not knowing what is going to happen today." "We don’t like the organized form of worship in our church!" "We want a Spirit-led service, and a Spirit-led sermon, and a Spirit-led whatever happens Sunday." Yep, and they had two outhouses in the back of the building, too. (True story)

There are a lot of critical remarks about the local church not getting their instructions from the world’s businesses. The pastor/teacher is not to be the CEO And the Elders/Deacons are not to be the Board of Directors. They say we are to be Spirit /Biblically lead not Wall Street lead. They say the local church is not to look like or be operated like Union Mills Confectionery. (But I would say if you had four girls who worked like they did, you would have a rather good church organization that would produce the results that the Bible teaching church should. A good business woman, a good specialist cake decorator, a personable, friendly special pie and bread baker, and a person who is willing to be there at 5 a.m. in the morning to turn on the oven and bake cakes. Oh, and of course, it helps to have a good person to mop the floors and help keep it clean.)

The local church uses business methods, and organizational methods to exist.

The local church needs people who have leadership skills. Yes, you have a need for the use of spiritual gifts in the local church. But you also need the talent of a piano player, and persons who can produce a good bulletin., and use a Gateway computer, and a spread sheet and the Internet and get on the Web.

The local church should not just operate by the seat of someone’s pants. It takes skill, leadership and, spiritual gifts to see a local church accomplish its intended purpose. ‘We don’t do things around here like the world does, we’re spiritual." I have seen a few of those places.
"We go by what the Bible teaches us how to do church." That is why they don’t have an IBM or a computer. The Bible never mentions those in the book of Acts.

The above statements are a little to the extreme, but indeed a true reality, and most I have been a part of over the last forty years. People have the strangest notions of what church should look like and how the church is to be operated.

A Well-Articulated Principle of Ministry that is Biblical
Is Essential to "DOING GOD'S WORK IN GOD'S WAY."
HOW SHOULD A 21ST CENTURY CHURCH LOOK?

The book of Acts does not show us the kind of facilities we should build. The Book of Acts does not show us if we should use gas or electricity to heat the buildings. The Book of Acts does not give us information if we should have a kitchen in the building. I don’t think the book of Acts tells us to have a baptistry in the front of the church. You say," you are funny". I pastored a church that the deacon said, no bathrooms in the church, and no baptistry. (We will use creeks or a river) And he would prefer a pot-belly stove rather than a furnace. No, this wasn’t in 1875 but in 1970's.

Can you have a Biblically Established Church and have a Welcome Center? Good question. Should you advertise in the local newspaper like businesses do? Can you organize your local church? Most churches do this rather well.

Churches have Vision Statements, and Philosophy of Ministry principles to give the church direction. Posted 02 10 07 part one 02 11 07 part two

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 12 / 13 2007 Note Proof Checked Charity Whisnant 01 22 07
NOTE:
"The secret to the show or business, etc, is that we give each other room to contribute. Everyone feels like they’re contributing - to the success of the show or the business.












Can we say the local church is an organization and a business and still be Biblical?
part one

The old cliché "If you continue to do what you have been doing in the last year, you will reap the same results."

When we look at the local church, we see a group of people who for the most part are Christians.

The local church is an organization in the sense of its organism. A group of people who are organized for some end of work. The local church is a body of people who gather together. They gather to worship. They assemble together to have fellowship. They congregate together to build each other up. (Hebrews 12)

This local church generally has a building in which the people convene.

The local church needs to have a structure through which individuals cooperate systematically to conduct its purposes and carry out their visions for ministry and have their business meetings.

Organization: "A structure through which individuals cooperate systematically to conduct business. The administrative personnel of such a structure."

Something that has been organized or made into an ordered whole. Something made up of elements with varied functions that contribute to the whole and to collective functions; an organism. A group of persons organized for a particular purpose; an association: a benevolent organization.

The church is a body of people who organized themselves into a specific group. This group has a specific purpose, a specific mission, and has particular goals and objectives. This group organizes and chooses its pastors, teachers, and leaders. They develop their doctrinal statements, they develop their form of government, the kind of building they are going to meet in, etc. This is the business of the local church. And this organization requires people who know how to do the Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way.

Also this group of people must organize itself into a corporation with by-laws and a constitution. This requires people with the ability to accomplish these tasks.
So in a sense the local church is an organization and a business.

Business: Dictionary . Com gives over twenty ways to use the term business. These nouns apply to forms of activity that have the objective of supplying commodities. Business pertains broadly to commercial, financial, and industrial activity.

The church is a body of people who come together to worship, to have fellowship, as a group. When they gather they have different forms of activity and meetings and functions and fellowship generally with food and ice cream.

The local church then requires leadership. The people in the local church need leaders who have the ability to feed, lead, and teach. (Acts 20)
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 15 07 Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant