Charles E Whisnant
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
- "Oh brother, where art thou." not another dissertation on doctrine!? Many of us have that attitude when it comes to these "high-fa-lootin'" multi-syllable theological words. But we all practice what we believe to be true, therefore doctrine does make a difference! You need to know what your preacher is preaching! Often they are not willing to spell out what they are teaching. Oh I am not talking about Jerermiah Wright, or am I.
Magnitudes of articles have been written explaining the teachings of both covenant theology and dispensationalism. This information hereper is not intended to define these systems of interpretation.
A Bit of History
In order to understand the development of covenant theology, we need to take a brief look at church history.
PROGRESSIVE REVELATION WITHIN ESCHATOLOGY, DISPENSATION THEOLOGY
Covenant or Reformed Theology Versus Dispensationalism
EXPLANATIONS ABOUT SALVATION
- But I need to add here, I am not speaking of many ways of SALVATION. Each period, each dispensation, each administrative arraignments had sufficient revelation so that a person could be right with God. Adam was not given the Roman Road of Salvation. Moses was not given one verse from the N.T. for salvation. The term "By faith believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved." is not found in the Old Testament. This does not mean salvation has not always been by God’s grace. The basis of salvation in every dispensation is the death of Christ; the requirement for salvation in every age is faith, the object of faith in every age is Christ. BUT, the content of faith changes in the various dispensations. Abraham had faith to believe, it was counted unto him as righteousness.. The information that he received in his time, and he believed, was counted unto him as faith. (Romans 4)
- The initial promise of the Gospel is Gen 3:15- the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent, though bruised on the heel. (cf. Rom 16:20, Rev. l2:9; 20: 3,10 on the serpent, Isa 7:14, 9: 6,7, Mt 1:18f, Rev. 12:1-9 on the seed of the woman.) The blood sacrificial system was to teach of the necessity of the redeemer to sacrifice his life for the salvation of his people. "The patriarchal, sacrificial system and later the entire levitical ritual, point forward to Christ and His redeeming work. The plan of salvation develops with ever increasing clarity and fullness as the messages of the prophets and the Psalms are historically unfolded. In such a passage as Isaiah 53 the richness of the Gospel is almost complete." Buswell,, Systematic Theology, p. 382,383. God progressively expands man's comprehension of the Savior that when He came in the fullness of time- man was ready to recognize Him and understand His coming
- "The revealed names of God connect the knowledge of God in a special way with his creation of the universe and with his redemptive deeds of Israel and the founding of the Christian church. . . the truly remarkable factors in the disclosure of God’s names are these: that the Living God transcendently and absolutely discloses his name in historical revelation and that the successively revealed names of God signal distinctive epochs in the progressive manifestation of God's redemptive purpose. The fact that the Hebrew people come to know God now by one then another revealed name bears its own testimony to the enlarging significance of these names. Viewed from the side of human comprehension, no single name wholly expresses God's being. The many names reveal his perfection, purposes and personal distinctions. . . . Yet we shall see that the Hebrew-Christian revelation not only periodically unveils new names for the living God, but that in successive periods of redemptive history, earlier names of God are retained side-by-side with later names. Later divine disclosure does not annul the force and significance of the earlier names, for God does not deny himself in the progressive revelation of his names," (Carl. F.H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority, pp. 180, 181-182)
- The basic covenant is expressed perhaps best in Gen17:7 "And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you." is progressively repeated in the history of God's dealings with man :Adam (Gen 3:15), Noah (Gen 9), Abraham (Gen 17), at Sinai (Exo 19 & 20), with Levi (Num 25:12,13) and David (II Sam 7) and is in essence the New Covenant (Jere 31:31-34, cf. Hebr 8, cf. Mt 26:28, Lk 22:20) and the Covenant of Peace (Ezek l6:60, 34:25). The Scripture comes to its climax in Rev. 21:3 with the fulfillment of that covenant: "Behold the tabernacle of God is among men and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be his peoples, and God Himself will be among them." The relationship man was created to have, though lost through the fall, is restored in Christ, and will be brought to fulfillment in the New Heaven and Earth. God's revelation of this is, in the successive stages of Biblical history, expanded and clarified- though it is there from the beginning.
PROGRESSIVE REVELATION WITHIN ESCHATOLOGY, DISPENSATION THEOLOGY
This is not to say God is still making new revelation, He does know the beginning and the end (there will be not end, but eternity). This is not to say that God is revealing new revelation to man today. But I would say, some events are becoming clearer to us today than they were, let us say sixty years ago.
When the term PROGRESSIVE DISPENSATION is used theologically or biblically, they are describing the unfolding of that administration or plan for the world in various stages in history. I have always looked at the Scripture in view of History in stages of time. Adam to Abraham to Moses to David to Christ and then into the Kingdom.
God knows exactly what He has planned for all eternity. But even today, we do not know very much about the future. Daniel didn’t know a whole lot about what he was even writing in the book of Daniel.
- The basic truths of Scripture are in their essence present in the first 11 chapters of Genesis, yet progressively in stages they are unfolded, explained, clarified and brought to their fullness in the New Testament. What has been the saying, The Old Testament Veiled and the New Testament Revealed.
Thus, the doctrines of Creation, God’s nature and attributes, Man as created and as fallen in sin, God's covenant of redemption, the Savior - his person and work, Faith and repentance and salvation through grace, judgment, are there from the beginning, though the fullness (and along with it, the understanding) of them undergoes a gradual development through Scripture.
Because of this, we must not demand the same understanding of God's truth by an Old Testament individual as we would find in Paul or John. Because God's revelation is both through word and deed, there is an unfolding revelation through the events of Israel’s history- Abraham's covenant and pilgrimage, Israel’s captivity and exodus, of judges, kings, prophets, captivity and restoration. God did not present Moses with a complete systematic theology, but He did in "nutshell" form lay out all the basic truths of the Bible.
- "This perspective of Progressive Revelation is very important to the interpreter. He will expect the full revelation of God in the New Testament. He will not force New Testament meanings into the Old, yet he will be able to more fully expound the Old knowing its counterparts in the New. He will adjust his sights to the times, customs, manners and morals of the people of God at any given state in the Old Testament period of revelation; and he will be aware of the partial and elementary nature of Old Testament Revelation. . . . Progressive Revelation. . . states simply that the fullness of revelation is in the New Testament." But at the same time we cannot think that the people in the Old Testament knew as much as those in the New Testament.
(Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, pp. 103-104)
The applicable principles are implied already. We must look for the clearest and most complete understanding in the New Testament, while recognizing that the Old 'Testament is the progressive unfolding of those truths. The book of Hebrews helps us understand the Old Testament ritual and sacrifices, but without the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers - Hebrews would not be as meaningful. We need to see the Old Testament from the New Testament understanding, without imposing that understanding on the Old Testament saint.
Henricksen expresses the important principle of progressive revelation quite simply: "God does progressively reveal himself as history unfolds. But this does not mean that God’s standards become progressively higher or that God changes along the way. Rather it is our understanding of God and His revelation that progresses. God never changes." (Laymen's Guide to Interpreting the Bible, P. 77)
If we apply this principle of progressive dispensational theology its going to lead us to:
Your theology is going to lead you in a certain direction.
Applying progressive dispensational theology leads you to distinguish God’s program for Israel from His program for the church. Therefore, the church of the N.T. is not in the O.T. Israel of the O.T. is not the same as in the N.T. This will guide your interpretation of Scripture different from other systems of interpretation.
If you see Israel and the Church as the same, you are going to view Revelation different from what I would. You are not going to see even an Antichrist with this point of view. You are likely to view Revelation as Historical rather than future. You are not going to see a 1000 year millennial reign of Christ. Most do not even see a "rapture" nor a Tribulation as spoken in Revelation.
- If you apply progressive dispensational thinking you are going to see that Israel is to have a future program with God. There is going to be the "rapture" of the true believer; there is going to be a seven-year Tribulation.
- There is going to be a man of sin who will reign and then be defeated, and the world as we know it will be destroyed. Then God will take back the earth from Satan and give it to Christ to reign for a thousand years.
One of our favorite jobs has been leading junior church. We try to do more than Baby-sit our church’s beloved lit tle ankle-biters during their time in our special junior church facility. We aim to give them a solid background in biblical history. At the end of each year, we give them pencils and paper and ask them to chronicle what they have learned. This assignment never fails to elicit some intriguing responses. In case you’re a little foggy on your biblical history, let our junior church students help you with his complete overview of the Bible, compiled from their essays:
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, ‘The Lord thy God is one,’ but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, ‘Give me a light!’ and someone did. Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something. One of the next important people was Noah, who was a goo d guy , but one of his kids was kind of a ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check. ; ; ; After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat. Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable. God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then He gave them His top ten commandments. These include don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s bottom (the Bible uses a bad word for bottom that I’m not supposed to say. But my Dad uses it sometimes when he talks about the President). Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother. One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua, who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town. After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.
After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of the New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn, too, because my mom is always saying to me, Close the door! Were you born in a barn?’ It would be nice to say , ‘As a matter of fact, I was.’)
During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisee sand the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him Jesus was a great man He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Republicans and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven, but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.
There! Now you understand!
Sorry about that! Webding! That was a new font!
- I say, Keep the king's command, because of God's oath to him. Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases. For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, "What are you doing?"
- Ultimately, as I have heard John MacArthur, Jr, say, if the fear of God is insufficient motivation, then we have a problem, not soluble by committee. Bill Gothard has said about the "fear of the Lord": it's the motivation that should cause all of us to think.
I note that I make mistakes, it really is both humbling and a responsibility to be a Christian Blogger, and it would be wise to listen to wise criticism without being its slave. I trust that I will be scholarly enough not to misktake either my critics' judgment, nor my own, for God's.
Approved by my proofreader....... she is back from the bakery. Updated at 8:43 p.m.
(How do you like those words:)
- It is an effortless matter for 21th Century preachers to chasten the First Century Jews for failing as a nation to recognize and embrace their Messiah. After all, OT Messianic prophecies abound, and with the benefit of centuries of hindsight we affirm that those prophecies point clearly and unarguably to Jesus Christ. We are altogether properly humbled, however, when we struggle with those prophecies still unfulfilled at the end of the Apostolic Age which speak of events in our time. It is not so easy to make quick applications from Daniel 7-11 or from Revelation.
You ask them, "Why do you believe that?" "I believe it because I believe it." That is to say, I don’t really have a clue why, but it’s what I have always been taught.
There are volumes of material on the interpretation of the Bible. Certainly I have studied the systems which teach us how to study the Bible -- Bible study methods, there are so many of them.
Having studied the Bible verse by verse for over forty years, I am still learning . The truth of the Bible always stays the same. Truth never changes, our understanding of the truth in the Word changes as we GROW BY LEARNING.
HOW DO I VIEW THE BIBLE AS A WHOLE
PROGRESSIVE REVELATION: The unfolding of God's revelation. Sometimes known as PROGRESSIVE DISPENSATIONALISM
The concept of progressive revelation is closely related to the historical nature of Scripture. It can be very simply defined as God’s revealing of His will in successive stages, each founded upon and further illuminating the previous stages. God did not reveal all truth at one time, but through various periods and stages of revelation.
- "God who at various times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, having in these last days, spoken unto us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds."
- John 1:17 "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. "
Since we are talking about Eschatology (Study of future events) we will speak to that issue.
- As a footnote:
God's redemptive acts were progressive, preparing the way for Christ who should come in the fullness of time (Gal 4:4) the accompanying truths that were progressively revealed show in most cases a progressive development. That is., God graciously unfolded both His redemption and His revelation in ways corresponding to man’s capacities to receive them.
- The word "economy" can be traced back to the Greek word, "one who manages a household", which was derived, which had not only the sense "management of a household or family" but also senses such as "thrift", "direction", "administration", "arrangement", and "public revenue of a state". In God’s economy. God rules
The term dispensationalism simply means "to manage, regulate, administer and plan the affairs of a household."
Human stewardship is illustrated in Luke 16:1-2
Divine stewardship, i.e. an administration or plan, being accomplished by God in this world.
- But with that said, I love theology, and I love the Word of God. And if the Word of God speaks on a subject I love to study the subject.
- This brief post is that only, brief in nature. Volumes of material have being written on this subject.,There are a number different points of view about the End Times of History.
- My personal position on the interpretation of Scripture comes from a progressive revelation of the Bible.
- God did not reveal all truth at one time, but through out history. The truth that Adam had was not as fully as Moses, etc.
- He abolished the continual burnt offering and erected the abomination of desolation in the temple: Daniel 11:31, Matt 4:15, Mark 13:14 and Rev 13:14-15.
- He exalted himself to the position of deity: Daniel 11:36-39; 2 Thess 2:3-4,
- His helpless death points to Christ slaying of the "lawless one": Daniel 11:45, 2 Thess 2:8 and Rev 19:20
- The point is not to try to figure out if someone living today is this person. You might think a number of people throughout history have the description of an antichrist spirit who opposes God’s laws and wants to rule the world by himself.
- ubiquitous \yoo-BIK-wih-tuhs\, adjective:
- Existing or being everywhere, or in all places, at the same time.
Now you might say I thought the word was Omnipresent. Well, yes, God is ever present every where, at all times. But at the same time we might say that SIN is ever present in every one, at all times, and in every place in the world, all at the same time. And we could say, that GRACE is ever present, in every place in the world.
BARACK OBAMA THE ANTI-CHRIST ! !
If I get one more e-mail or hear another one that says Obama is the Anti-Christ, I am going to write a blog.
Democratic candidates or Republican. I think God is going for Ralph Nader.
1 Those in the Reformed Camp do not believe there will be an Anti-Christ, so therefore Obama couldn’t be the Anti Christ.
2 In saying you thank Obama could be the Anti-Christ you are saying that there is going to be a Anti-Christ and there is going to be a Tribulation.
3 An intellectual genius
Daniel 7:8 describes him as having "eyes like the eyes of a man" (cf., v. 20). The eye is often a symbol of intelligence.
Daniel 7:8 says the Antichrist will have "a mouth speaking great things" (cf., v. 20). Effective leadership is predicated on the ability to communicate.
Revelation 6:2 says he will conquer the world having a bow without any arrows. That means he'll conquer peacefully through politics. The world will be looking for someone to bring peace and economic stability. Daniel 11:21 says, "In his estate shall stand up a vile person [the Antichrist], to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom; but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries."
Daniel 8:25 says, "Through his policy ... he shall cause deceit to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many; he shall stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without hand." He will be a wizard at building a world system of economics that feeds his own pocket (cf., Rev. 18).
According to Daniel 7:23 he "shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces." He will be a military leader without equal. He's going to be everything that Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, the Caesars, and Napoleon Bonaparte were in terms of military ability combined in one individual. Revelation 13:4, 7 says, "They worshiped the beast [the Antichrist], saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?... It was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." The Antichrist will conquer the world.
Second Thessalonians 2:3-4 identifies him as the "man of sin ... the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." He will command the whole world to worship him.
Daniel 9:26 says, "The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." The people who destroyed Jerusalem were the Romans in A.D. 70 That implies the Antichrist will be a Gentile from Europe
Grace is a term that has a variety of connotations and nuances. For the purpose of this article its meaning is that of undeserved blessing freely bestowed on man by God.
I was given grace to preach the unfathomable riches of Christ. And, of course, the riches of Christ are connected to the work of Christ and the work of Christ is a cross work by which saving grace is granted to penitent believing sinners. And so doing, Paul says in Ephesians 3 verse 9, God used me to bring to light what is the administration, or the stewardship of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things, in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenlies. That is an amazing statement.
- Sin is not only an act of doing wrong but a state of falling out from God. Sin is much more than the violation of a forbidden or the transgression of an extenral ordiance.
- Sin in the mind is a fruit of the same moral defect that produces deeds of sin.
This morning we read where a young man was accused of plotting to bomb his school. In his mind there is anger, hatred and then there is lurking in his heart murder, the killing of students in his school.
May 20, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Students arriving Monday at a small South Carolina high school face newly installed metal detectors and extra police after a student was arrested in what authorities said was a plan to carry out a Columbine-inspired attack.
Schallenberger was one of the top students at the high school of about 580 students and had not caused any serious problems before his arrest, principal Scott Radkin said.
- SIN is the principle that corrupts the mindset of mankind, GRACE is the principle that will produce saving grace.
COMPETENT TO COUNSEL BIBLICALLY
SOME OBJECTIVES TO BIBLICAL COUNSELING
- A system of biblical truth that brings together people, their problems, and the living God. With the conviction that:
- God’s Word should be our counseling authority
- Counseling is a part of the basic discipling ministry of the local church.
- God’s people can and should be trained to counsel effectively.
All Christians should engage in it. "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and (for the moment we shall simply transliterate the next word) confronting one another nouthetically." Colossians 3:16.
- 1 "to teach" The term "didasko" does not imply any problem, but simply suggests the communication of data (teaching); making information known, clear, understandable and memorable.
- "to admonish". Here is the idea: the sense of admonishing with blame, and to rebuke. That is never well liked. The idea of "nouthesis" gives the idea, there is going to be some kind of confrontation in which the objective is to effect a character and behavior change in the person you are talking to one on one.
Paul would get his point across without screaming at them. He didn’t want to "exasperate" them. He would confront them as a "brother". II Thessalonians 3:15.
Paul thought of bringing God’s word to press upon people’s lives in order to uncover sinful patterns, to remedy what is wrong, and to set new ways of life of which God approves.
April 15th, 2007 I know most know this day as IRS day, but today is my Mom's Pauline Whisnant's 86th birthday. She is really doing very well. Charity and I are visiting her for a few days. We are taking a lot of pictures and when I get back to Portsmouth, I am going to post some pictures of our visit with Mom and the family.
On this date last year in 2007 Charity and I anda Ellen and Stephen and Mom were in Lynchburg, Virginia visiting with Jerry and Macel Falwell. Jerry passed away one month later on May 15th, 2007. Ellen has talked to Macel several times. Macel sent me some pictures she had of Dad and Mom and me, and a picture of her when she was a teenager in Dad's church in Lynchburg.
As I have said, Stephen will be going to Liberty U this fall. Thanks to Jerry and Macel Falwell. And thanks also for my Dad and Mom who have been a friend to the Falwell's for all these years.
We enjoyed our daughter with us for a few days, here in Midlothian, Texas, and she drove back yesterday evening to Kansas.
We enjoyed time with Bryan and April Williams, Ellen's daughter, and their three kids. I realized at 60 I am out of shape playing with pre school kids. But not out of shape drinking a large Braum's milk shake, a tradition I have with Brian.
Brian and I were talking about PRAYER: Some people will pray what to do, while sitting when they should be doing, waiting for an answer. Others are doing and praying while they are doing, and helping when they know it's what the answer would be from the Lord if they prayed about it.
Some will say, "I will pray about it," others will say, "Yes I will go and help," Sometimes praying for an answer, gets in the way of doing what the Lord has already told us to be ready to do at a moment's notice. Sometimes the Lord has already given the answer to our question in prayer, we just need to do it. Usually I do not hear a voice from God, generally the Lord has already addressed the issues of life in the Word. I need to read as much as I need to pray. I need to obey as much as I would pray. I need to do as much as I need to pray.
I would say if we spend time in the Word, and listening to the Gospel, and teaching of the Word, we would have a good idea as to how we should live in obedience of the Lord. We would do more doing and serving than wondering what the Lord would have us to do.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM. I LOVE YOU Charles and Charity
- Charity and I will take a few days to travel to Lexington KY to visit our boys. Spent the night with Eric and Leslie. On Friday we traveled 434 miles to Southaven Mi s s i s s i p p i. to visit with Susan Lugar. On Satursday we will end up in Midlothian Tx. My sister Ellen and husband and Stephen live there. And my mother who will be 86 on the 15th lives there too. So we are glad to get a change to visit family and friends this weekend weekend and a few days next week. Our trip is just under 2000 miles round trip.
- I was pleasantly surprise by my children on Friday, they had bought me a Scanner. Those pictures on the blog were pictures made from the orginials by my digital, so they thought it would be nice to be able to scan the orginial pictures. Now I really can have enjoyment doing it right: as soon as I learn how to use the Scanner. GROW BY LEARNING as I say.
There are at least three basic elements according to Jay Adams.
1 "to teach" The term "didasko" does not imply any problem, but simply suggests the communication of data (teaching); making information known, clear, understandable and memorable.
2 "to admonish". Here is the idea: the sense of admonishing with blame, and to rebuke. That is never well liked. The idea of "nouthesis" gives the idea, there is going to be some kind of confrontation in which the objective is to effect a character and behavior change in the person you are talking to one on one
- Here is what Adams said,
"Nouthetic confrontation, that is one on one, in its biblical usage, aims at straightening out the individual by changing his pattern of behavior to conform to biblical standard."
So I wanted to deal with the "what" rather than the "why." You know the why? The reason people get in trouble or have trouble, even if they don’t know that they are in trouble with God, is their relationship with God and others because of their sinful nature..
Christians do not have to ask the question "why". They already know why fallen human nature acts sinfully. Many do not see the "what" as sinful behavior. It’s a chemical imbalance or "I don’t see why it’s a problem."
By the way, nouthetic counseling doesn’t take weeks to solve, unlike what most psychiatrists are saying is needed -- months and maybe years
"What" leads to solutions to problems'
"What are you doing?" That is a very good question to ask, rather than "Why did you do that?"
Now you might think: Isn’t that what a Christian should do? Yes, but it’s often the last thing we do. We will use the secular points of view. We will say, "I am depressed." "I have a chemical imbalance." "I am bi-polar." etc. Most of the time we will know the secular term and not the biblical term of our problems. All these terms are secular and are not biblical terms.
Can I ask, "What does God say about what you are doing?" And secondly, what can be done about this situation? Many times they don’t like these questions.
HERE IS THE POINT OF NOUTHETIC BIBLICAL COUNSELING CONFRONTING:
Biblical counseling seeks to correct sinful behavior patterns by personal confrontation and repentance. "The what you are in to, or what you are doing, by biblical standard is not what Christ would have you to do." And what are you going to do about it?
Until they see and understand the "why" they won’t clearly see why the "what" is wrong. And they want see why the need to change is needed. The "why" of every problem is sin. When we understand the sin problem we will have and idea that the "what" is wrong.
So the point is to try to bring about change of direction in the thinking and behavior that would be beneficial to the person and be glorifying to Christ rather than what is most convenient for the person.
Adams says this:
- "Any biblically legitimate verbal means may be employed that will bring about change in the direction of greater conformity to biblical principles and practice."
Discerning thinking and behavior that God wants to change.
You want to view how you think about any issue in life with what God thinks about it. Your problem might be that you don’t agree with what Christ says.
Using God’s Word to Change Thinking and behavior
You want to start with Scripture as the means of how you should think about living life.
For the benefit of the person and for the glory of God.
So how do you accomplish this process? it’s called nouthetic counseling
Paul engaged in teaching the scripture night and day. He didn’t just teach on Sunday, then the rest of the week train to be a Gladiator. He engaged in the process of pastoral work that is necessary to build up individuals in their faith. He engaged individuals one on one on a daily basis. If you read Paul’s letters, you will see they are filled with people. I need to check out how many people are mentioned in his letters that he was personally involved with teaching.
ELEMENTS IN NOUTHETIC confrontation. Usually there is going to be a clash or an argument of points of views. In my experience, those who I am talking to, generally do not agree with a scriptural point of view.
- Okay, what do the terms mean to "admonish," "warn," and "teach."
A. T. Robertson, of Colossians 1:28, rendered it "put sense into."
So what does nouthetic confrontation consist of? There are at least three basic elements according to Jay Adams.
1 "to teach" The term "didasko" does not imply any problem, but simply suggests the communication of data (teaching); making information known, clear, understandable and memorable.
What I learned early, "to teach" is something that refers to the one who is teaching. The person who you are teaching, may not be at all happy about what you are teaching. They may not even agree with what you are teaching. They generally are not all that excited about hearing your instruction, or teaching on the subject at hand. My experience is that most don’t want to hear biblical teaching, but would rather hear what the other points of view are.
Adams points out: "nouthesis" specifically presupposes the need for a change in the person confronted, who may nor may not put up some resistance." But in either case there is a problem in their life that needs to be solved. Some sin, some obstruction, some problem, some difficulty, some need that has to be acknowledged and dealt with. What you are trying to say, is "God wants change." You don’t change by taking a pill. There needs to be an inward personality change, a behavioral change.
2 "to admonish". Here is the idea: the sense of admonishing with blame, and to rebuke. That is never well liked. The idea of "nouthesis" gives the idea, there is going to be some kind of confrontation in which the objective is to effect a character and behavior change in the person you are talking to one on one.
Here is what Adams said,
- "Nouthetic confrontation, that is one on one, in its bibical usage, aims at straightening out the individual by changing his pattern of behavior to conform to biblical standard."
For example, Nathan’s confronting David after his sin with Uriah and Bathsheba. And also, Christ’s restoring Peter after His resurrection.
The idea is to confront with the truth of scripture. Nouthetically, means you speak soon enough, strictly enough, and seriously enough to really effect genuine changes in them.
Counseling in the first place implies someone has a hindrance, difficulty, dilemma, problem, etc. and you presuppose a blockade that must be overcome..
And what generally happens, you don’t want to confront, challenge, or deal with what you really know to be the real problem. That is not the meaning of nouthetical biblical counsel.
"Why did you do that, or why are you doing this?" This is not nouthetical counseling either. One young man when asked why he kept doing what he was doing. He said, "It’s in my blood line." Too much on the "why" will lead to finding some extenuating reasons for excusing conduct which other wise would be described as sinful. Nouthetical biblical counseling is not finding excuses for their bad behavior. It is the task to stop them.
The idea is to discuss the WHAT, NOT THE WHY.