Why I Changed Lanes on Women In the Pastorate : Part 3

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77 Responses

  1. gomergirl says:

    Thank you.

  2. Michael says:

    gg,

    You’re more than welcome.

  3. OCDan says:

    Michael,

    I quite agree with you. This is another one of those areas of scripture that presents tension, kind of like our free will to choose and God’s sovereignty in salvation. I think so often, we build these monuments to doctrine, like women not teaching, because of many issues, which I don’t have time for.

    What I find interesting is that Paul said for women to keep silent, yet how many churches enforce that literally? Didn’t Paul also write if the wife had a question, to ask her husband? Yeah, like that is enforced.

    Also, didn’t Jesus say pluck your eye out if it causes you to sin, but we don’t literally do that, do we, at least most of us?

    My point is, we like to pick and choose what works for us our keeps us in power, or makes our sinful flesh feel good, whatever the reason. I am not saying we don’t wrestle with the scripture, but we will do all kinds of mental and semantic gymnastics that we condemn in others just to prove our interpretation is the only one, i.e. pretrib rapture. Really, we take a verse in Thessalonians and build an entire case of it and just write off the other views of revelation.

    Meanwhile, we forget that needs of the widow and orphans and we go on with the building program.

    Sheesh. Now you got me started.

  4. Michael says:

    OCDan,

    You get it.

    There are many such tensions in Scripture but we refuse to hold them because we want to solve them.

    That leads to all manner of half baked interpretations…

  5. Paige says:

    Your mileage may vary. 🙂

    Using the example of slavery helps me personally see that ‘evolving’ model.
    I can’t help but think that so much of Scripture is couched in that cultural historical model that is, IMO pretty close to Muslim culture that we see today…. the Bedouin-influence, male dominated, slaves, women and children as property, culture and lifestyle. Of which, Abram/Abraham was from, so of course, that influenced the Bible.

    If the Bible were written two centuries ago, instead of 2-4 thousand years ago, we would be all be living in Little House on the Prairie and saying that it was “Biblical”… LOL

    You know me, a former “Philistine”…delivered from that mess…. 🙂 It’s been a long and confusing journey to find ‘place’. And, though I know many gifted, intelligent, educated and spiritually mature women, I don’t see myself ever being ok with a woman as ‘pastor’… Teacher, consultant, counselor, etc, yes,

    Equal in Christ in soul value, salvation, giftings, abilities of “ministry”, YES. but still obvious differences in ‘place’ and service. Not under, but different. As much as I did in my former ‘place’, I never had any desire to be lead pastor. Perhaps that is just me, an ISFJ.

  6. Michael says:

    Paige,

    You did more than anyone else in that place…
    I’m utterly fine with all the different ways we parse these passages…except the ones that justify abuse and demeaning of womens place and gifting.

    I’m not dying on this hill, nor am I willing to slay anyone on it.

  7. Em says:

    OCDan’s #3… makes sense… Jesus did say to use reason, didn’t he? i am wondering, tho, if we tend to use man’s reasoning without laying the groundwork of developing the mind of Christ?
    if the woman loves the Lord, has the time to study – to become wise in the things of the Lord – does it seem reasonable that God would say to that woman, ‘sit down, shut up, go live on food stamps and keep what you’ve learned of Me to yourself?” hmmm – still not sure where i’ll come down on this – i have 3 daughters, now in mid-life – all different and all have qualities that would made for good pastoring, but… ? … still thinking … ? …

  8. OCDan says:

    Michael,

    We want to solve them because it makes it easier to understand God, or, control others/things, or just say we are right. Point is, there are many reason we do it and very often it is because we want to honor God, if we are truly honest.

    As I get older and slowly wiser, like you, there are more and more hills I will not die on and there are many I will not slay others on.

    I remember going to a Calvary Chapel years ago and one of the outreach pastors said there were only five non-negotiables for Christians.

    If I recall…

    Christ’s Deity/humanness, Christ’s death for sin. Christ’s virgin birth, Christ’s resurrection, and Christ as the only way.

    Amazing, how we have added so many more and make them non-negotiable. As if getting eschatology right is a requirement for salvation. As if having a woman pastor is going to automatically condemn you to eternal hell. Look, didn’t someone once say or write, in essentials unity, in nonessentials, liberty, in all things charity.

    Look, I get the slippery slope argument from guys like MacArthur. However, a little grace can go along way and if we are going to say that we have God’s truth and still do all these other good things, I would say, you better be right about being right. You also are using your works to justify an attitude, and remember not everyone sees/understands/is at same maturity as you. Lastly, remember Matthew 7:21. But Lord, I have rightly divided your word, depart from me…

  9. OCDan says:

    Em,

    I can’t tell you the number of times my believing wife has been used by and of God to help me. And no, I am not just writing that. She and I are one, although I have failed that more time than she. I would never think of her any other way. I don’t know where all these abusive guys and lord it over everyone guys are coming from.

    Paul wrote to love your wife as Christ loved the church. What part don’t these guys get? If it means dying physically, than so be it. If it means giving up sin or a hobby or whatever, than pick up that cross.

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    and therein lies the problem – God’s word become negotiable

    Perhaps God wants women to wear hats in church and we have negotiated that away. The fact that we may be doing church in sin (no hats on women) does not mean that we should add to it by having women pastors.

    Let’s make out women wear hats and the issue is settled.

  11. Michael says:

    OCDan,

    There is great comfort in certainty and that is not sinful.
    I find fewer and fewer things to be certain of outside the essentials..and thats not sinful either.

  12. OCDan says:

    OK MLD, than let no woman speak in church either. If she has a question she can ask her husband.

    Come on, you know better than that.

    Also, do you tell the men who lust to pluck out their eyes?

  13. OCDan says:

    W/O being to graphic, do we tell men and women who steal or masturbate to cut off hands?

    Come on now, we can do this all day.

  14. OCDan says:

    Michael,

    I think one of the big problems is that we look to tradition or teachers, ahem men, for the interpretation. That is all well and good, but remember they are not perfect either. They are infallible and they all have their reasons for the way things are done or interpreted. Sure, they will say is is God’s truth or they are doing it for God’s glory. Well, how many times have we seen that failure? How well has that always worked out?

    Also, how many including me do the real leg work of reading everything there is on a doctrine or teaching. Most, not all, listen to the guy in the pulpit/radio/tv/friend. Just like much of the research today in the secular realm, the buyer must beware. Do your own research and exhaust it as best you can, don’t just take the Pope’s word or MacArthur’s word for it. Heck, if you listen to Mac, he’d have you believe you can take the mark and still go to Heaven, while others say no. I just made my own point. Thank you,

  15. OCDan says:

    Sorry Michael if it seems I am ranting, but this is one of my hot button issues.

  16. Michael says:

    OCDan,

    It’s all good. 🙂

    I affirm both teachers and tradition.

    I’m a Calvinist and hold Calvin and Packer in great esteem as fathers in the faith.

    However, I’m not bound by them or others I regard highly.

    The subject of God is too broad to be contained by any one person or tradition…and there is more mystery than we can comprehend.

    I’ll be learning until I’m gone…then I’ll be learning where I was wrong. 🙂

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    OC Dan – “Also, do you tell the men who lust to pluck out their eyes?”

    If you are planning on getting to heaven on your own merit and goodness, and your eye causes you to sin, yes you should pluck it out.
    That is the point Jesus is making – without him, you will have no eyes and no hands.

    As he is not addressing that to believers, those for whom he has solved the sin problem, but those doing it on their, yesI do take his statement there literally.

  18. OCDan says:

    Michael,

    The last half of your last sentence in #16 is so true. I am guilty at times of thinking in my heart that I am sure I was/am right and I’ll let them know in Heaven. However, how often do I think what about all the times I was wrong? Do I want to hear about that in Heaven, esp. coming from some smart alec like me? Not really, don’t want to hear in eternity and I don’t even think about the possibility this side of eternity. I am the hypocrite.

  19. OCDan says:

    MLD,

    If I recall, the Sermon on the Mount was primarily to His disciples. Now, we can argue about their salvation, but the point is Jesus did not qualify this statement. His followers would not have qualified it either. However, that is just what we are doing now.

  20. OCDan says:

    MLD,

    Additionally, there are many pastors and believers that would not qualify it like that. They would say it means cut off that which is causing the sin, i.e. internet, tv, magazines, etc.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    OC Dan – can you tell me then what purpose Jesus had in offering up plucking eyes and cutting off hands to believers?

    What do you think he was saying? Remember, you are the one who brought up using this Jesus statement as support as to why we should have women pastors.

    Tie these together for me.

  22. london says:

    I have zero doubt in my mind if a) women had been “allowed” to be pastors or b) I had been male, I would have gone to seminary and become a pastor or missionary.

    I loved all the study of church history, the bible, missions etc…all of it when I was younger and in my heart I wanted to go into ministry. At the time though, the only way to be “in” ministry was by being a preacher’s wife. That wasn’t going to happen cause I think I would have made a terrible wife/mother, but I would have made a good pastor.

    It’s sad that the church, who is supposed to be so accepting, limited and squashed the spirit of so many, otherwise capable ministers of the gospel.

    Glad to see that’s slowly changing so future young women won’t be soul sick the way many in my generation were.

    Thank you for being willing to explore and change your stance on this.

  23. Michael says:

    OCDan,

    Praise God that both doctrinal error and hypocrisy are covered in the Atonement. 🙂

    We still get in…

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I say since it was against the law at one time to eat shellfish and now it is not, the scriptures now allow homosexual pastors.

  25. Michael says:

    London,

    Thank you for reading and hearing me out.

    I think you would make a good pastor still…

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    London – there are dozens of denominations that ordain women and have done so for years. Jump in – go to their seminary and become a pastor.

  27. Michael says:

    MLD,

    The book goes into some detail as to why that isn’t the case…
    I knew the “slippery slope” argument was coming…

  28. OCDan says:

    I’ll tie them together in that we like to take literally where it comforts us and we take liberally where it comforts us, or the scripture fits for us.

    We have men who will go to their grave and Heaven believing that no woman should pastor. OK, I really don’t have a problem if that is what they believe. I don’t think that consigning those of us who disagree to Hell (not that you are) is the right way to go about things. Even then they may not consign us to Hell, but my point is that look askew at us. However, when it comes to plucking eyes and hands, well some would argue that Jesus didn’t really mean that. He used that as a symbol for what really causes sin. Furthermore, if I recall didn’t the Puritans, who many like to quote think that Revelation and eschatology was an allegory? Didn’t some think that if you prospered you were on God’s good side? Hmmmmm, I remember some guy named Job and his friends going down that road. Didn’t even Luther have reservations about the last book of the bible?

    See, my point is we pick what we want to fight, interpret, believe, etc., but only because it is what we are taught/fits our narrative/fits our comfort zone/keeps the power/etc.

    As i wrote above, most us rarely look at every angle and come with a truly pure heart on an issue. In other words, we have baggage we bring to a text.

  29. OCDan says:

    Shellfish is covered in Peter’s dream. All food is clean now. You know that. As for the homosexual pastor, you made my point. We will fight tooth and nail on not having that, but just a woman pastor, ok. And what about a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount. ?

    We can debate Catholicism, but they take the body and blood as literal. See, this is what I am trying to get at, MLD. Not really attacking you.

    Just trying to point out getting the systematic theology exam score of a 100 is not my goal anymore. Would rather see God glorified and souls saved. If I am right about the future, or women pastors, or head coverings, well that is just fine, but none of that saves me.

  30. ( |o )====::: says:

    London,
    =)

    Shutting out 50% of the wisdom, guidance, compassion & common sense in the church needs to end.

    See you sooon!

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    OC Dan – “Shellfish is covered in Peter’s dream. ”

    Not so, it is covered by the words of Jesus in Mark 7 when he declared all foods clean. The Peter dream was because Peter did not believe the already stated word of God.

    “We can debate Catholicism, but they take the body and blood as literal.” – as do I.

    I don’t need to negotiate God’s word. So, back to the point, if we make our women wear hats does that end the women pastor question since that is what is continually tossed out as proper reasoning.

  32. OCDan says:

    MLD,

    Well obviously Peter didn’t get the Mark 7 message so God reminded him. And then Paul reminded him again when he was being a hypocrite about eating.

    As for hats, same as cutting the hand off. Literal or not? Revelation literal or not? Six day creation, literal or not? Communion really Jesus’ blood and body. Hmmm, many truly saved people don’t see it that way. They see more symbolism.

  33. OCDan says:

    Jesus also said call no one father, but I guess Catholics missed that one. Sorry to be snarky, but that is my point. We all interpret the scripture with baggage, whatever it may be.

    I applaud our host for being able to review his position on this.

    Like I wrote earlier this week. I love the scene in Rudy where the priest tells him he knows two things, “There is a God, and I am not Him.” As I added, also, Jesus life, death, and resurrection pays for sin.

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    OC Dan – my point about the foods is that it was not because of a dream and it was not because of anyone’s interpretation (Peter) – it was clearly stated and Peter decided to give it his own spin. Peter was rebellious and wrong to God’s word on the roof top just as he was when he went and kept kosher again when the guys showed up from Jerusalem. He was wrong, there was no ambiguity in the word – it was not a secondary issue that we each make up our mind about.

    We see that down to this very day.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jesus also said call no one father, but I guess Catholics missed that one.

    yet I will assume you call your dad father.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    I changed lanes because there were women drivers in my lane.

    #toosoon?

  37. Cash says:

    What if God is so vast, so awesome, so mysterious, that our puny little minds can’t comprehend almost any of it? Yes, He has revealed Himself in Christ, who is pretty darn vast, awesome and mysterious. Just my musings, but the Scripture does say in Colossians 3:11, that there are no distinctions in Christ. Slave, free, nationality, race and gender are moot. Christ is all and in all. I for one think it doesn’t make any sense that God would give such gifts to women and expect them not to use them. Remember the parable of the talents? Plus, I think, as a general rule, women are smarter than men.

  38. OCDan says:

    MLD #35,

    Context friend. There is a difference between papa and using it to Lord over others.

    BTW, my dad and stepdad are both deceased, so I call no one father anymore, except my Heavenly Father.

    As to your #34, I agree, but then there is no ambiguity about hands and eyes, or communion, or creation, or eschatology? Right. What about wives asking their husbands a question and not the pastor/priest/father? Oh well, I guess for some people everything is so clear. For me, I realize like Michael that I will not die for some issues.
    Earlier in life, everything was so crystal clear. I knew everything with 100% certainty. Now I am willing to look at some, not all, doctrine and take another look. Certainly I will admit that my future views have changed and at this point I am not even sure what I believe except that Christ will come back and take care of sin/satan/final judgement/and a new Heaven and Earth, but when/how/rapture, not 100% certain anymore. However, to hear some Christians, they now for sure and can use scripture to back it up.

    Full disclosure, and then I do have work. I would have no problem with a solid bible-based teaching from a woman pastor. Would I take my family? Probably not. Not that I am more mature or better, but that I don’t think we would all be on the same page and I wouldn’t want to trip anyone’s conscience up. But if I see/hear/read something by a woman, I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand because of someone else’s interpretation of scripture tells me that woman are not able to preach to men, ever.

  39. Em says:

    hats may be the key to this whole debate… a head covering is not a hat… hats are/were fun and a bit show-offy – sometimes flirty… if a woman wants to be show-offy, then like so many of our male pastors, she shouldn’t presume to lead a congregation… if the intent is to serve the Lord with humility… well… perhaps, the Lord WILL call on her to serve in a pastoral position in His Church… hmmm …?… still thinking…

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    OC Dan,
    ” Oh well, I guess for some people everything is so clear. For me, I realize like Michael that I will not die for some issues.” I am not dying on any hill here – we have lost this battle to disobedience already. Women are pastors all over the world.

    As to you last paragraph, I think you may be describing the opposition incorrectly. Women can speak and teach and they can be right 100% of the time … they just cannot be the pastor.

  41. Cash says:

    MLD you say that it’s disobedience but you also say it’s ok for women to teach, which Paul said he did not allow. Could you clarify?

  42. dave says:

    Instead of laughing off a slippery-slope argument, how about simple, solid exegesis of the passages in context? 1 Cor. and 1 Tim. have nothing to do with another. Different context, different purposes. It is impossible for you to exegete the 1 Tim. passage about woman not teaching or having authority on its own without concluding that it means what it says. Goodness, just be honest.

  43. Michael says:

    dave,

    How about you actually buy the book and read the exegesis provided and not not make accusations of dishonesty where you have no clue what has been actually written?

    If you do it again, you will be gone…I won’t tolerate that sort of nonsense.

    You may disagree with the work done, but such accusations about character will not be allowed.

    Period.

  44. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Cash,
    ‘MLD you say that it’s disobedience but you also say it’s ok for women to teach, which Paul said he did not allow. Could you clarify?”
    There are many place women can teach that do not include the pulpit – seminary, universities, on the radio – pick your own favorite

  45. Alistair says:

    “I’ll be learning until I’m gone…then I’ll be learning where I was wrong.”

    I actually thought you said, “I’ll be learning until I’m gone…then I’ll be learning that I was wrong.”

    Like the quote, whichever it was.

  46. OCDan says:

    Yes, but 1 Corinthians also says it is a shame for women to speak in the church. How many times has that been disobeyed?

    I know, we will qualify that verse to the breaking point, but we hold the woman pastor argument to the letter of the law. Although as MLD wrote we have already broken that command many times, which if you hold to that view, is def. true. I cannot argue against that. However, I want to know why it is women can talk, ask questions, sing, etc., but the pastoring, well…?

    I argue that it is easy to use that verse to fit our presuppositions about who really is the leader, control issues, tradtition/always been that way, etc. However, women can talk because image if they weren’t allowed. Oh boy, goodbye 55% of the church plus husbands, children, and single guys. Well, at that point the pastor can turn the lights out and hand over the keys. That’s why.

    I digress, I doubt any minds will be changed on this issue, unless it is the Spirit doing the changing.

  47. Jean says:

    The slippery slope argument is nonsense. No where in the OT or NT does the Bible say that being a woman is sinful. Female is not a behavior or lifestyle.

    Pastor is an office.

    Stackhouse doesn’t provide any room, from what Michael has shared, for homosexuals to piggyback off Stackhouse’s argument.

  48. Michael says:

    Jean,

    You are correct.
    He clearly states that and the reasons why he states that.

  49. Cash says:

    MLD,
    Thanks.

  50. Em says:

    still thinking on this… maybe the question today, rather than can a woman pastor, should be what are the qualifications for a woman to fill that role in the Church?
    i think, for starters, that she would have to be celibate, childless… hmmm

  51. Linnea says:

    Michael and OC Dan, thank you for sharing these thoughts.

    I will say one thing, I have learned more from Kay Arthur than I ever did from a pastor. Many men would say the same thing. Women can be used by God, and quite effectively.

  52. Linnea’s Kay Arthur comment should put to rest the claim that women are shut out of the church.

  53. Babylon's Dread says:

    Paul’s basis of the silence of women, and you all know that I am egalitarian, was his appeal to the order of creation. I Tim 2:13-14 wherein the author sheds no significant light. I always check this passage looking for the insight of the writer.

  54. Em says:

    “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:”
    from 1stTim3…
    reading on from BD’s reference in #56… now i’m swinging back to the view that the leadership of the household of God – our churches – was pretty clearly laid out and is categorized in the “mystery,” perhaps not be rationalized by our human viewpoints?

  55. Goose says:

    OCDan and MLD,

    Neither Mark chapter seven nor Acts chapters ten and eleven support your idea that the food/dietary laws have been abolished and/or changed. That is not the context of either of those sections of Scripture.

  56. Michael says:

    “The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a tranceand saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.”
    (Acts 10:9–16 ESV)

    I’ll quote from the ESV Study Bible;

    10:13 The command from Jesus to kill and eat made no sense to Peter, since it would have violated Jewish food laws. Verse 15 is the key: God was overturning the old clean/unclean distinctions and dietary laws in general, along with all other “ceremonial” laws in the Mosaic covenant (including laws about sacrifices, festivals and special days, and circumcision). Nothing like this was to get in the way of fellowship with Gentiles, as Galatians 2 also shows.

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Goose,
    From Mark 7 at the end of v 19 “(In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)”

    If there is a dietary law you are still following, it is only because you don’t believe the Bible. But we have seen that elsewhere (this is my body – but I won’t bring it up.

    The point is as Jesus is walking away and turning his back on old Israel, he is bring to himself a new Israel. Outward things and observance of such no longer has a hold on the people.

    But Paul says you are the weaker brother and I don’t want to stumble you, so the next time we are out for dinner, I will refrain from ordering the bacon wrapped lobster. 🙂

  58. Jean says:

    MLD, Mark is telling us that, and he is correct, but that doesn’t mean the disciples got it at that time. Peter, in particular, apparently didn’t.

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – I agree – and I made that point to someone here yesterday … but it wasn’t because the words of Jesus were unclear.

    But 2,000 years later it should be clear – but some are only comfortable living under strict law. Gospel is for sissies to them 😉

  60. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – the point was someone yesterday said that the dietary laws were abolished with Peter’s dream – I pointed out that they were actually abolished in Mark 7

  61. Em says:

    is it possible to conduct one’s whole life as a Christian Believer, understanding salvation and grace, with only the 10 Commandments as the benchmark for one’s behavior? … no church structures whatsoever?

  62. Jean says:

    Peter’s dream actually was not about food laws. But I trust you know that.

  63. Jean says:

    Jesus is the benchmark. And he met his benchmark. Grace and benchmarks are mutually exclusive.

  64. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, everything Jesus did was to end the old Israel and to call to himself the new Israel (the church). This is where people fail to understand the gospels and they still think there is something to do with this old Israel stuff.

    Jesus continually rejects the Jewish leaders representing old Israel and calls to himself a bunch of hanger oners – the 5,000 – the 4,000, the Canaanite woman etc. He rejects old and then goes back and forth between his 2 congregations – the masses and the disciples.

  65. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jesus’ ending of the dietary laws and a couple of others were to demonstrate that his kingdom had come and the old Israel was Left Behind.

  66. Jean says:

    I would say it this way (guess who’s ideas I’m plagiarizing 🙂 ): Jesus’ ministry redefined the 4 central tenants of Judaism:

    1) People of God: No longer based on circumcision, Sabbath keeping and keeping kosher. Now based on the giving of the Holy Spirit who circumcises the heart with repentance and faith in Christ, and washes away sins in the waters of baptism.

    2) Land: No longer the land of canaan. Now the whole world.

    3) Temple: No longer in Jerusalem. Now in Jesus and his disciples.

    4) Election: No longer the descendants of Isaac. Now everyone in the Messiah. All the promises are “yes” in Christ.

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I know you are plagiarizing Paul 😉 the the rapture folks are holding out for an Israel comeback bigger than the Seahawks last week,

  68. Em says:

    while i appreciate anyone taking the trouble to comment on anything i ponder here – i must point out that to state that grace and benchmarks are “mutually exclusive” makes no sense …
    Thank God for His mercy and grace, however

    Jesus fulfilled the Law with all that implies – benchmark? for the Son of God? hmmm

  69. Em says:

    hmmm… the Seahawks win was more a miracle than a “comeback”… so you may have a point there… ?… somewhere … 🙂

  70. Em, I can’t speak for Jean, but … wait! I can speak for him as we both come out of the same radical grace that only Lutheranism offers the rest of the Christian world.
    Yes Jesus swallowed up the law and there are no benchmarks – that was for the old, now non existent Israel but has no claim on the new Israel – the church.

    Look, Paul asked in Romans 6 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

    But what happens when we do sin???? Grace does actually increase.

  71. Jean says:

    “while i appreciate anyone taking the trouble to comment on anything i ponder here – i must point out that to state that grace and benchmarks are “mutually exclusive” makes no sense …”

    Em,

    I apologize for the brief remark in my #66. I was on an elliptical machine when I read your #64, and your reference to a legal benchmark for Christian living freaked me out. So, I wanted to respond as best I could while on my Kindle.

    I understand that you have your theological “fathers” for interpreting Scripture, and I hope they agree with what I’m about to share, but in any event, please consider these very clear words from the Apostle:

    “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Rom 10:4)

    This is not an isolated proof text. This is critical to the Gospel and prevalent throughout the NT. I understand that grace is almost incomprehensible in our culture. I have trouble accepting it myself. But, the reality is, one either trusts in Christ alone for salvation, or one applies a benchmark to one’s self in hopes of earning or maintaining God’s favor.

    And this trust in Christ is not a one and done event, for the beginning of the Christian life where after getting a push and a nudge, one can take it from there. Faith alone in Christ’s sacrifice for you is a life long confession. Until the day we die, we are just as in need of grace as the day we first uttered the words “Jesus is Lord”. We are clothed by Christ as white as snow on day one, but underneath we are filthy rages; on the day of our death, we still are clothed by Christ as white as snow; and underneath we still are filthy rags.

    God’s grace in Christ is just that good.

  72. Em says:

    “But, the reality is, one either trusts in Christ alone for salvation, or one applies a benchmark to one’s self in hopes of earning or maintaining God’s favor.”

    working towards justification? the Law, however you define it, serves just the opposite purpose in that regard… perhaps, we agree on that? dunno … Lutes all, it is always good to reiterate the “end of the Law” for those who may be working through a basic understanding of the plan of God in progress…

    my response had nothing to do with that – nothing to do with justification by works … just your definition of “benchmark”… a benchmark is more of a data point to work off of…

    as defined by my computer’s dictionary:
    “benchmark |ˈben ch ˌmärk|
    noun
    1 a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed : [as adj. ] a benchmark case.” … among other definitions

    knowledge of the standard is not useless and God’s revealed standard – perfection – is the benchmark

  73. Em says:

    “radical grace that only Lutheranism offers the rest of the Christian world.” … only Lutheranism?… just stay where you are MLD, be safe and God keep 🙂

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