Does the Bible Advocate For “Open Borders”?

This was from a Facebook post from a friends wall… I wanted to add this verse to a discussion I had from 2018 when Santa Clarita was discussing becoming a “sanctuary city”

This post should be read as a companion to the above, older post.

I will post the “meme” making a point about Leviticus… which the WASHINGTON TIMES (June 24, 2018) responds to well. Even their headline: Suddenly, the left loves Leviticus Funny, they reject the edicts against the gay lifestyle in Leviticus but accept what they want.

Here is the “meme”

Great article by Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, at the Washington Times:

This week in the news: All of the sudden, the mainstream media, Hollywood, the liberal church, and other members of our national intelligentsia seem to care about what the Bible says. In particular, they appear to have suddenly acquired some affection for the Old Testament — a book that, heretofore, these proud members of the “smarter-than-thou” club have excoriated as laden with “hate-filled rhetoric.”

More to the point: These newly minted defenders of biblical orthodoxy seem to have all of the sudden fallen in love with the third book of the Jewish Torah (otherwise known as the Pentateuch); a book referred to in the Bible as Leviticus.

One of the passages quoted over and over again in recent days has been that of Leviticus 19: 33-34, “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

As a Wesleyan university president and as a Christian, I am always thrilled when anyone wants to discuss scripture. But let us first be sure we are taking every measure to be historically, theologically, logically, linguistically and hermeneutically accurate in our efforts. I hope we can all agree that any exegesis to the contrary, any misusing and misapplying the Bible for political gain, is a detestable and damnable practice.

Old Testament scholar and Wheaton College Professor James Hoffmeier is a person who actually lived as an alien in the Middle East growing up. His family had to flee Egypt because of the 1967 war. For nearly two months, they lived in tents at a mountain camp in Cyprus. Not only does Mr. Hoffmeier know his Bible, he knows what it is like to be the “stranger” in a foreign land.

It is fair to say that he is not insensitive to plight of immigrants. Please read carefully what Mr. Hoffmeier has to say about the Levitical directive to care for the “stranger” in our midst:

“What I learned in my study is that there are three relevant terms used in Hebrew [for the word ‘stranger’] (ger, zar, nekhar). [Some translators] render them all as [simply] ‘foreigner.’ That is misleading and incorrect.

“Zar and nekhar, indeed, refer to foreigners or visitors passing through a foreign land. [But], Ger refer[s] to foreign residents who live in another land with the permission of a host The law is clear that ger is not to be oppressed but they were also obligated to live in accordance with the laws just like the Israelites.”

Mr. Hoffmeier goes further:

“The Law does not, however, extend to the zar and nekhar such [protections], benefits and services. From this I conclude that ger was viewed as a legal alien. The mistake of some well-meaning Christians is to apply the biblical laws for the ger to illegal aliens in America even though they do not fit the biblical legal and social definition.”

Mr. Hoffmeier concludes:

“The Old Testament Law is very clear about the practice of sanctuary The purpose of sanctuary was not to avoid the law or one’s sentence, but to get a fair trial So, when American[s] offer their cities as sanctuary from federal law, or when churches offer their facilities as a refuge for illegal immigrants who have been tried and order deported, they are neither following the letter or spirit of the Old Testament law.”

The biblical narrative is not one without borders. Just read the book of Nehemiah — it is a story about rebuilding a wall. Boundaries have existed throughout antiquity. Yes, Abraham was a sojourner who crossed borders, but he sought approval in order to do so and such permission was granted contingent upon his agreement to honor and obey the laws of the country of his desired residence.

Yes, Egypt and Israel alike allowed “strangers” to travel in their countries, but they never stopped defending their own sovereignty and territorial integrity. Bottom line: Abraham was an alien who sought permission before entering Egypt and there is no indication that, centuries later, Mary and Joseph did anything different as they crossed the same boundaries with the baby Jesus.

A quote this week from a Facebook friend named Nancy is perhaps the best response of any to those suddenly infatuated with Leviticus:

“Manipulating the definition of words is one of the hallmarks of genius propaganda. Take a sliver of truth and use misquotes or quotes out of context Ignore history and facts. Get all the people who read the first few sentences of an article all worked up and sit back and smirk at the mayhem Could [this] all be a giant power play at the expense of the children who are apparently just pawns in this game?”

Amen, Nancy. Amen.

Here are some quick takes as well:

19:33 The “foreigner” (Hb. ger) in the Bible was most often a foreign merchant, craftsman, or mercenary soldier. This term never refers to the prior inhabitants of the land. Generous actions to foreigners were motivated by the memory of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt (Ex 23:9; Dt 5:14–15).

Ted Cabal et al., The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 182.

Do him wrong: the verb may be translated “mistreat,” “oppress,” “exploit,” or “take unfair advantage of.” In this context there seems to be the idea of a person in a position of power taking unfair advantage of one who is weak.

René Péter-Contesse and John Ellington, A Handbook on Leviticus, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1992), 299.

Vers. 33, 34. Lange: “Humanity towards the stranger, who is not a Jew, who thus certainly might dwell as a private man in the future inheritance of Israel. He was to be treated exactly as an inhabitant in human intercourse. Thou shalt love him as thyself.—With this the remembrance is still preserved that the Israelites had been strangers in the land of Egypt.” The royal law of ver. 18 is here expressly extended to the stranger, and notwithstanding the national narrowness necessary to preserve the true religion in the world, the general brotherhood of mankind is hereby taught as far as was possible under the circumstances.

John Peter Lange, Philip Schaff, and Frederic Gardiner, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Leviticus (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 152.

Here is a good short video via GOT QUESTIONS regarding illegal immigration:

  • What does the Bible say about illegal immigration? How should Christians view illegal immigrants?

And here is a good post over at CULTURE WATCH:

….I want to focus on the Hebrew terminology used in the Leviticus passage (and in others). One expert that is worth being aware of is Old Testament professor James Hoffmeier. He has written a very important and incisive volume on these matters called The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible (Crossway, 2009).

I have quoted from him before, as in this piece: CHRISTIANS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

In pages 48-52 of his book he has a section called “What is an alien according to the Bible?” It is a very important discussion indeed. However, for those who cannot get hold of his excellent book, he did an article-length discussion of these particular matters in 2011 called “The Use and Abuse of the Bible in the Immigration Debate”.

Since the material in the article is fairly similar to what is found in his book, let me make use of the article here. He opens his piece with these words:

Secularists and liberals, both political and religious, are typically loath to consult the Bible when it comes to matters of public policy. So it is somewhat surprising that in the current debate about the status of illegal immigrants, the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible is regularly cited in defense of the illegal. Debra Haffner, a Unitarian Universalist minister — a denomination not known for taking Scripture seriously — offered a recent critique of the Arizona illegal immigration law in the Washington Post online (May 25, 2010), saying “It’s as if the 70 percent of Arizonans who support the law have forgotten the Biblical injunction to ‘love the stranger for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.’” This verse and others like it are frequently quoted in the name of “justice” for the illegal immigrant. A left-wing Christian advocacy group Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which is affiliated with Sojourners, had this passage on its website: “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the stranger. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you.” (Leviticus 19:33)

But the main point is how the biblical writers use certain specific terms when they seek to make specific points – something that can get easily lost however in some English translations. So let me quote this important part of his article:

What about the “stranger” or “alien”? The Bible is not “a living breathing document” that can mean whatever you want it to say. This question must be answered contextually and based on what the key words meant when they were written before we apply what that might mean in our own times. The most significant Hebrew word for our discussion is ger, translated variously in English versions, which creates some confusion, as “stranger” (KJV, NASB, JB), “sojourner” (RSV, ESV), “alien” (NEB, NIV, NJB, NRSV), and “foreigner” (TNIV, NLT). It occurs more than 80 times as a noun and an equal number as a verb (gwr), which typically means “to sojourn” or “live as an alien.” The problem with more recent English translations (e.g. TNIV and NLT) is that they use “foreigner” for ger, which is imprecise and misleading because there are other Hebrew terms for “foreigner,” namely nekhar and zar. The distinction between these two terms and ger is that while all three are foreigners who might enter another country, the ger had obtained legal status.

There are several episodes in the Bible that illustrate how a foreigner became a ger. The individual or party had to receive permission from the appropriate authority in that particular culture. Perhaps the best-known story has to do with the Children of Israel entering Egypt. In the book of Genesis, we are told of how during a time of famine in Canaan, the sons of Jacob did the natural thing under the circumstances — go to Egypt where the Nile kept the land fertile. Even though their brother Joseph was a high-ranking official who had recommended to Pharaoh that they be allowed to settle in the northeast delta of Egypt, they felt compelled to ask Pharaoh for permission:

He looks at Genesis 47:3-6, and then discusses a few other passages. He then says this:

From the foregoing texts we can conclude that in the ancient biblical world, countries had borders that were protected and respected, and that foreigners who wanted to reside in another country had to obtain some sort of permission in order to be considered an alien with certain rights and privileges. The delineation between the “alien” or “stranger” (ger) and the foreigner (nekhar or zar) in biblical law is stark indeed. The ger in Israelite society, for instance, could receive social benefits such as the right to glean in the fields (Leviticus 19:9-10; Deuteronomy 24:19-22) and they could receive resources from the tithes (Deuteronomy 26:12-13). In legal matters, “there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the LORD. One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you” (Numbers 15:15-16). In the area of employment, the ger and citizen were to be paid alike (Deuteronomy 24:14-15). In all these cases, no such provision is extended to the nekhar or zar. In a sense, the ger were not just aliens to whom social and legal protections were offered, but were also considered converts, and thus could participate in the religious life of the community, e.g. celebrate Passover (Exodus 12:13) and observe Yom Kippur, the day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29-30). They were, moreover, expected to keep dietary and holiness laws (Leviticus 17:8-9 & 10-12). It is well known that within Israelite society, money was not to be lent with interest, but one could loan at interest to a foreigner (nekhar). These passages from the Law make plain that aliens or strangers received all the benefits and protection of a citizen, whereas the foreigner (nekhar) did not. It is wrong, therefore, to confuse these two categories of foreigners and then to use passages regarding the ger as if they were relevant to illegal immigrants of today. cis.org/Report/Use-and-Abuse-Bible-Immigration-Debate

I could quote from various critical commentaries on Leviticus and other OT books to further make these distinctions with the Hebrew terminology, but hopefully you get the point. Simply ripping a text out of its context – especially while ignoring important grammatical and linguistic nuances – is not how a political point should be made by believers.

As both Hoffmeier and I have often said, yes, having a compassionate response to the needy, including genuine refugees, is one thing. But misusing texts to push for radical open border policies, and to call to ‘tear down the wall’ is not how the biblical Christian should proceed.

In another excellent (and long) article at BIBLE ARCHAEOLOGY, the conclusion sums up the MUST READ article well:

The basic message we get from this study is that there are two basic kinds of immigrants in Scripture: the ger who, though not natives of a nation, have all the rights and privileges of the native citizens; and the nokriy, who have a second-class status because they are unwilling to take the steps the fully privileged immigrants were.

In addition, it is clear that a great majority of the passages dealing with the ger are of a prescriptive nature, being based on explicit instructions from God. It is thus safe to view them as being of enduring pertinence for basing policy decisions on.

Regarding those termed the nokriy, it is clear that although they, like the ger, have crossed a country’s border, they are distinct and separate from the ger in terms of the rights and privileges they are granted. That they are not mentioned in many passages where the rights of the ger are clearly delineated strongly implies that, in God’s sight, they do not warrant receiving these privileges.

This study thus offers biblical support-i.e., God’s sanction-for policies which preferentially give immigrants who show a willingness to do what it takes to integrate into and fully participate in the life of a society, rights and privileges which do not accrue to those who do not. The claim that it is unjust or unloving to withhold any privileges from those unwilling to do certain things appears to be a gross misapplication of ‘social justice.’ The Apostle Paul said, ‘For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat’ (2 Thess. 3:10). This principle can easily be seen to apply to immigration issues. Privileges come to those who do what it takes to warrant them, a truism that applies to a biblical perspective on immigration as well as to so many other things in life. And it should be added that, since the Church is to obey the civil authorities (Rom. 13:1-8), Christians should not be advocating people from foreign nations to break laws when they attempt to cross into another country. We who claim to be the Lord’s children have an obligation not only to follow His principles ourselves, but to encourage others to do the same. Since the loving God we serve is not wishy-washy but has definite opinions about how we should live, we should make every effort to line up our opinions and policies with His.

Circumcision (Conversation Series)

I heard Dennis Prager mention he hadn’t mentioned kids under 18 having top surgery when discussing The Young Turks mentioning of his article. I wasn’t sure if he didn’t have a solid example or if he just didn’t think it necessary for the article. So on PragerU’s Facebook I posted this video with this comment just in case he needed a solid example:

Dennis Prager, here is an example [for future use] of a child butcher: a surgeon operating on 12-to-14-year olds — Scott Mosser

non sequitur challenge/statement

I got this reply… JOE M.:

  • and add to that example Jews doing genital mutilation of infant boys thru circumcision.

I will share my response while in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405, as well as adding more for my readers. RELIGIO-POLITICAL TALK (RPT) TO JOE M:

MY 405 FREEWAY RESPONSE

The Bible prescribes certain things things that end up being healthy or beneficial to the person themself. Often not realized A millennia or more later. For instance:

  • Male circumcision can reduce a man’s risk of acquiring HIV infection by 50 to 60 percent during sex with HIV-infected female partners, according to data from three clinical trials.

OR


The Book of Leviticus in the Bible was probably the first recording of laws concerning public health. The Hebrew people were told to practice personal hygiene by washing and keeping clean. They were also instructed to bury their waste material away from their campsites, to isolate those who were sick, and to burn soiled dressings. They were prohibited from eating animals that had died of natural causes. The procedure for killing an animal was clearly described, and the edible parts were designated.

Gwendolyn R.W. Burton and Paul G. Engelkirk, Microbiology for the Health Sciences, 6th Edition (New York, NY: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000), 9.


And really your point is a non sequitur for the most part.

That was it. Mind you, I am responding merely with the seemingly advanced knowledge of germs the Bible tells Israel to avoid through ritual. Here are additions for my readers:

HEALTH BENEFITS OF CIRCUMCISION

….The preventive and public health benefits associated with newborn male circumcision, however, “warrant third-party reimbursement of the procedure,” including Medicaid, says AAP. It goes on to recommend that circumcision in infancy be performed by “trained and competent providers, using sterile techniques and effective pain management.”

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, a flap of skin that covers the tip of the penis. The first revision of its circumcision stance in 13 years, the AAP’s new policy takes into account significant studies, including a recent one from Johns Hopkins, that link circumcision to decreased risk over a lifetime for some forms of cancer, including penile and cervical, and the spread and heterosexual acquisition of HIV, human papilloma virus (HPV), genital herpes and syphilis. Much of the new scientific research, since the previous AAP policy of 1999, has taken place in Africa, where the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections, HIV in particular, is high and increasing.

Such newly and widely documented health benefits, says the AAP in related literature, are great enough that the insurance should cover the cost of circumcision, “which would increase access to the procedure for families who choose it.”

A recent Johns Hopkins study (Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, online, Aug. 20) goes further. Declining rates of U.S. infant male circumcision will lead to dramatically higher rates of sexually transmitted disease and related cancers in men and their female partners, researchers warn, and add up to more than $4.4 billion in avoidable costs if circumcision rates in the U.S., now averaging 55 percent (down from 76 percent in the 1970s and 1980s), drop to levels now seen in Europe (around 10 percent on average) over the next decade….

(JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE)

8th DAY?

Why doe the Bible prescribe the eight day as the day to be circumcised?

This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. (Genesis 17:10-12 NASB)

Abraham followed this prescription with his son Isaac:

Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. (Genesis 21:4 NASB; cf. Acts 7:8)

Some 600 years later Yahweh gave Moses the same instruction for the Israelites:

On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. (Leviticus 12:3 NASB)

Why did Yahweh order circumcision on the 8th day for Abraham’s male descendants? Why not sooner or later? Why did it need to be on Day Eight?

#SCIENCE

Good question. The same article at EVIDENCE FOR THE BIBLE responds:

….In the 1930s, Danish researcher Henrik Dam and American researcher Edward Doisy found that which was required for blood to clot. They shared the 1943 Nobel Prize in Medicine for this research.

The human body has 2 blood clotting elements. One of them is called Vitamin K. Vitamin K is not formed in the body up until the 5th to the 7th day.

The 2nd clotting factor which is essential is called Prothrombin. It surprisingly enough develops to 30% of normal by the 3rd day of life and after that with seeming in-consequence, peaks at 110% on the 8th day, just before leveling off at 100% of normal.

If vitamin K is not present when a baby boy is circumcised, the baby will bleed to death. The reason why Yahweh established Day Eight for circumcision is that vitamin K peaks in a newborn at 8 days of age. The 8th day is the optimum day for circumcision because of the highest presence of the clotting factor vitamin K.

Today when baby boys are circumcised within a couple of days of birth, they are administered vitamin K to help with blood clotting….

See more via Apologetics Press (PDF) as well as the 3rd edition of the book, None Of These Diseases. Speaking to the eighth day this excellent summation is well worth the read. Again, APOLOGETIC PRESS:

CIRCUMCISION

The inclusion of this medical, surgical practice provides another excellent example of the medical acumen of the biblical text. Two significant aspects of biblical circumcision need to be noted. First, from what modern medicine has been able to gather, circumcision can lessen the chances of getting certain diseases and infections. Pediatrician, Dorothy Greenbaum noted in regard to the health benefits of circumcision: “Medically, circumcision is healthful because it substantially reduces the incidence of urinary tract infection in boys, especially those under one year of age. Some studies cited in the pediatric policy statement report 10 to 20 times more urinary tract infection in uncircumcised compared with circumcised boys.” She further noted that sexually transmitted diseases are passed more readily among men who have not been circumcised (2006). In addition, circumcision virtually eliminates the chance of penile cancer. In an article titled “Benefits of Circumcision,” the text stated: “Neonatal circumcision virtually abolishes the risk [of penile cancer—KB]” and “penile cancer occurs almost entirely in uncircumcised men” (Morris, 2006). [NOTE: Morris’ work is of particular interest due to the fact that it has an evolutionary bias and was in no way written to buttress belief in the biblical record.]

Not only can a litany of health benefits be amassed to encourage the practice of infant circumcision, but the day on which the biblical record commands the practice to be implemented is of extreme importance as well. The encyclopedic work Holt Pediatrics remains today one of the most influential works ever written about child care, pediatric disease, and other health concerns as they relate to children. First written in 1896 by L. Emmet Holt, Jr. and going through several revisions until the year 1953, the nearly 1,500-page work is a master compilation of the “modern” medicine of its day. One section, starting on page 125 of the twelfth edition, is titled “Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn.” The information included in the section details the occurrence of occasional spontaneous bleeding among newborns that can sometimes cause severe damage to major organs such as the brain, and even death. In the discussion pertaining to the reasons for such bleeding, the authors note that the excessive bleeding is primarily caused by a decreased level of prothrombin, which in turn is caused by insufficient levels of vitamin K. The text also notes that children’s susceptibility is “peculiar” (meaning “higher”) “between the second and fifth days of life” (1953, p. 126).

In chart form, Holt Pediatrics illustrates that the percent of available prothrombin in a newborn dips from about 90% of normal on its day of birth to about 35% on its third day of life outside the womb. After the third day, the available prothrombin begins to climb. By the eighth day of the child’s life, the available prothrombin level is approximately 110% of normal, about 20% higher than it was on the first day, and about 10% more than it will be during of the child’s life. Such data prove that the eighth day is the perfect day on which to perform a major surgery such as circumcision.

How did Moses know such detailed data about newborn hemorrhaging? Some have suggested that the early Hebrews carried out extensive observations on newborns to determine the perfect day for surgery. But such an idea has little merit. McMillen and Stern noted:

Modern medical textbooks sometimes suggest that the Hebrews conducted careful observations of bleeding tendencies. Yet what is the evidence? Severe bleeding occurs at most in only 1 out of 200 babies. Determining the safest day for circumcision would have required careful experiments, observing thousands of circumcisions. Could Abraham (a primitive, desert-dwelling nomad) have done that (2000, p. 84)?

In fact, such amazing medical accuracy cannot be accounted for on the basis of human ingenuity in the ancient world. If circumcision was the only example of such accuracy, and the Hebrew writings were laced with incorrect, detrimental medical prescriptions, such an explanation might be plausible. But the fact that the entire Old Testament contains medical practices that would still be useful in third world countries, without a hint of error in regard to a single prescription; divine oversight remains the only reasonable answer.

The NT Origin (meant for a friend’s research/edification)

(Originally Posted May 13th 2010)

(Over the years sites that I use to store my pictures at have closed down, or media (video) sites have gone under or certain accounts have been closed… so I lose pictures or videos. This was one such post… so I found the pictures (scans of the pages) on my computer, cleaned em up, and reposting the content.

BTW, I do not remember who the friend was in 2010 I was uploading this for. Lol.

The first book is merely a look at the contents, if I were to recommend one book on the subject, this is it. The book that follows this recommended book is merely a chapter that is a well written introduction to the evolution of the NT becoming canonized. History that should be known by every believer and tackled properly by every skeptic.

(The first books contents you can click on the smaller picture to enlarge)


Chapter as Promised


 

 

Does The Bible Say All Conservatives Are Going To Hell?

So I had a cousin (wife’s side) mention a conversation and wanted me to join it. Here is the starter of the convo by his friend:

Here are the verses:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the [c]holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;

36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?

38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?

39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;

43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer [d]Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’

45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Here is my response that…. got me banned from this guys Facebook. LOL:

I think you have a misconception as to who gives more time and money to the needy. Here for instance is a 28-minute interview (via my YT) with Arthur Brooks discussing his book, “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism”

I include this in a larger post [on my site] discussing the free market and the wealth it affords people to help others (Capitalism, The Moral Choice | PragerU and More).

However, conservatives gave about 30 percent more money per year to private charitable causes, even though his study found liberal families earned an average of 6 percent more per year in income than did conservative families. This greater generosity among conservative families proved to be true in Brooks’ research for every income group, “from poor to middle class to rich.”

This “giving gap” also extended beyond money to time donated to charitable causes, as well. Brooks also discovered that in 2002, conservative Americans were much more likely to donate blood each year than liberals and to do so more often within a year. Brooks found “if liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply in the United States would jump by about 45 percent.”

When Brooks compared his findings to IRS data on the percentage of household income given away, he found that “red” states in the 2004 election were more charitable than “blue” states. Brooks found that 24 of the 25 states that were above average in family charitable giving voted for Bush in 2004, and 17 of the 25 states below average in giving voted for Kerry. Brooks concluded, “The electoral map and the charity map are remarkably similar.”

Why? A clue may be found in the 1996 General Social Survey, which asked Americans whether they agreed that “the government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality.” People who “disagreed strongly” with that statement gave 12 times more money to charity per year than those who “agreed strongly” with the statement.

One’s values, beliefs and political philosophies seem to impact how much one shares of one’s own income with the less fortunate in society. Facts are often surprising and illuminating.

(BELIEF NET)

See also “GOING TO THE MAT’s” post:

So adopting your premise [what I think is your premise], the opposite is true.

Response?

Censorship.

The go to by the left.

Some Commentaries on Galatians 2:19

Let me preface this by saying that Ravi here may not in fact be in heaven, but in hell. However, that being said — even a madman can get the truth of a subject correct. (I do not support the ministry any longer, so ignore the graphic.) This one is regarding the law:

A Muslim student at Michigan University challenges Ravi Zacharias on Christianities seemingly lack of ability in keeping the “law” like Islam and Judaism do so well. How can Christianity be true if it isn’t doing that which God demands? (I have recently enhanced, greatly, the audio in the file from my original VIMEO upload and reconfigured slightly the visual presentation.)

THE GOAL OF THE LAW is to point us to the only one that can keep it. Not that we should abandon it, but as we fail to keep it in our walk, we are called to the scarred feet and hands of the one that kept the law

Here are a few commentaries on Galatians 2:19 for use by “others,” “elsewhere” on the dubya-dubya-dubya:

GALATIANS 2:16-17 (<< link to the HCSB version. Below is the ISV)

“…yet we know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We, too, have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law, for no human being will be justified by the works of the law.” (International Standard Version [ISV])

~ According to the text in the ISV, Christ’s faith — not ours — does the justifying. It is His focus of attention, not ours, that does the work. (The “onus” then is put in proper perspective.) As an example from one of my favorite verses, PHILIPPIANS 1:6:

“I am sure of this, that He who (a) started a good work in you will (b) carry it on to completion until the (c) day of Christ Jesus.”

To be clear:

(a) HE started the Good work [salvation];
(b) He will carry it out;

(c) He will complete it.

It is ALL a work of Christ!

THREE COMMENTARIES

I have about a hundred [digital and hard copy], but these three should suffice for the serious searcher of truth/context to 2:19, or the Christian student looking for resources:

2:15–21

Paul’s Case in Antioch

Paul seems to summarize the substance of Galatians here, whether or not this paragraph is the thesis statement of the book (as Betz, who classifies Galatians as judicial rhetoric, thinks). Paul’s response to Peter may continue through verse 21 (as in NIV), although this is unclear.

2:15–16. Paul argues that Jewish Christians are also made righteous by faith, which does not give them any advantage over Gentiles who must come to God on the same terms. Jewish people regarded Gentiles as different by nature, because they believed that Gentiles’ ancestors were not freed from the evil impulse at Sinai as Israel was.

2:17–18. Paul then argues—refuting opposing arguments in advance—that righteousness by faith does not lead to sinful living. He uses the objection of an imaginary interlocutor to make his point, as was standard in ancient diatribe.

2:19–20. The law itself taught Paul the way of Christ and Paul’s death to sin in Christ. The closest parallels to the divine empowerment of Christ’s indwelling are Old Testament teachings about empowerment by God’s Spirit (although the New Testament writers develop these teachings much further).

2:21. Paul continues his point that righteousness (both before God and in one’s behavior) comes through Christ’s life in the believer (through the Spirit—3:1–2; cf. 5:13–25). Christ would not have died if salvation could have been provided another way. Jewish people normally believed that all Jews were chosen for salvation in Abraham and were saved unless they were very disobedient; by contrast, Gentiles might be saved without conversion to Judaism but could attain to Israel’s full status as members of the covenant only if they converted. By insisting that righteousness is through Christ alone, Paul places Jew and Gentile on the same terms with regard to salvation.


Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ga 2:15–21.

……συνήσθιεν] The Judaizers who troubled the Church at this time are described, Acts 15:5, as converts belonging to the sect of the Pharisees. The prohibition against eating meat with the impure was one of the leading principles of this sect, Luke 15:2. As the agape was the recognised bond of brotherhood in the infant Church, this separation struck at the very root of Christian life. St Peter’s vision (see especially Acts 10:27, 11:3) had taught him the worthlessness of these narrow traditions. He had no scruples about living ἐθνικῶς. And when in this instance he separated himself from the Gentiles, he practically dissembled his convictions.

ὅτε δὲ ἦλθον] ‘but when they came.’ The reading ἦλθεν yields no good sense, whether we refer it to St James with Origen (c. Cels. 2:1 ἐλθόντος Ἰακώβου) or to St Peter with other writers. I have given it a place nevertheless, as an alternative reading, on account of the weight of authority in its favour: for though it can scarcely have been the word intended by St Paul, it may possibly be due to an error of the original amanuensis. For a similar instance of a manifestly false reading highly supported and perhaps to be explained in this way, see Phil. 2:1 εἴ τις σπλάγχαν καὶ οἰκτιρμοί. Such readings are a valuable testimony to the scrupulous exactness of the older transcribers, who thus reproduced the text as they found it, even when clearly incorrect. In this passage the occurrence of the same words ὅτε δὲ ἦλθεν, ver. 11, is the probable cause of the mistake.

ὑπέστελλεν καὶ ἀφώριζεν] ‘gradually withdrew and separated himself.’ Both verbs govern ἑαυτόν: compare Polyb. 7:17. 1 ὑπέστειλαν ἑαυτοὺς ὑπό τινα προπεπτωκυῖαν ὁφρύν. The words describe forcibly the cautious withdrawal of a timid person who shrinks from observation, ὑπέστελλεν denoting the partial, ἀφώριζεν the complete and final separation. The word ὑποστέλλειν is frequently used, as in the passage quoted, in describing strategical operations; and so far as it is metaphorical here, the metaphor seems to be derived from military rather than from nautical matters. Comp. στέλλεσθαι, 2 Thess. 3:6.

τοὺς ἐκ περιτομῆς] not ‘Jews’ but ‘converts from Judaism,’ for this seems to be the force of the preposition: Acts 10:45, 11:2, Col. 4:11, Tit. 1:10.

13. οἱ λοιποὶ Ἰουδαῖοι] i.e. the rest of the Jewish converts resident at Antioch, who, like St Peter, had mixed freely with the Gentiles until the arrival of their brethren from Jerusalem. The observance of Pharisaic practices with the latter was a genuine expression of bigotry, but with the Jews of Antioch and with St Peter it was ὑπόκρισις, the assumption of a part which masked their genuine feelings and made them appear otherwise than they were. The idea at the root of ὑπόκρισις is not a false motive entertained, but a false impression produced. The writer of the epistle prefixed to the Clementines, doubtless alluding to this passage, speaks of some who misrepresented Peter, as though he believed that the law was abolished, ‘but did not preach it openly’; Ep. Petr. § 2. See on ver. 11.

καὶ Βαρνάβας] ‘even Barnabas my own friend and colleague, who so lately had gone up to protect the interests of the Gentiles against the pressure of the Pharisaic brethren.’ It is not impossible that this incident, by producing a temporary feeling of distrust, may have prepared the way for the dissension between Paul and Barnabas which shortly afterwards led to their separation: Acts 15:39.

From this time forward they never again appear associated together. But on the other hand, whenever St Paul mentions Barnabas, his words imply sympathy and respect. This feeling underlies the language of his complaint here, ‘even Barnabas.’ In 1 Cor. 9:6 also he connects Barnabas with himself, as one who had laboured in the same disinterested spirit and had the same claims upon the Gentile converts. Lastly in Col. 4:10 he commends Mark to the Colossian Church, as being the cousin of Barnabas.

συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει] ‘was carried away with their dissimulation,’ as the A. V. rightly. Their dissimulation was as a flood which swept every thing away with it. Comp. 2 Pet. 3:17 ἵνα μὴ τῇ τῶν ἀθέσμων πλάνῃ συναπαχθέντες ἐκπέσητε κ.τ.λ., Zosimus Hist. 5:6 καὶ αὐτὴ δὲ ἡ Σπάρτη αυναπήγετο τῇ κοινῇ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἁλώσει. In all these passages the dative seems to be governed by the preposition, and cannot without harshness be taken as the instrumental case.

14, 15. ‘Seeing that they had left the straight path and abandoned the true principles of the Gospel, I remonstrated with Cephas publicly. Thou thyself, though born and bred a Jew, dost nevertheless lay aside Jewish customs and livest as the Gentiles. On what plea then dost thou constrain the Gentiles to adopt the institutions of the Jews?’

14. οὐκ ὀρθοποδοῦσιν πρὸς κ.τ.λ.] i.e. ‘they diverge from the straight path of the Gospel truth.’ The word ὀρθοποδεῖν appears not to occur elsewhere, except in later ecclesiastical writers, where its use may be traced to this passage of St Paul. Its classical equivalent is εὐθυπορεῖν. The preposition πρὸς here denotes not the goal to be attained, but the line of direction to be observed: see Winer § 49. p. 505. For ἡ ἀλήθεια τοῦ εὐαγγελίου see the note on 2:5.

εἶπον] Were all the concluding verses of the chapter actually spoken by St Paul at the time, or is he adding a comment while narrating the incident afterwards to the Galatians; and if so, where does the text cease and the comment begin? To this question it seems impossible to give a definite answer. St Paul’s narrative in fact loses itself in the reflexions suggested by it. Text and comment are so blended together that they cannot be separated without violence. The use of the word ἁμαρτωλοί, vv. 15, 17, marks the language of one speaking as a Jew to Jews, and therefore may be regarded as part of the original remonstrance; and yet, though there is no break in the continuity from that point onward, we find at the end of the chapter that St Paul’s thoughts and language have drifted away from Peter at Antioch to the Judaizers in Galatia. For similar instances where the direct language of the speaker is intermingled with the after comment of the narrator, see John 1:15–1:18, where the testimony of the Baptist loses itself in the thoughts of the Evangelist, and Acts 1:16–1:21, where St Peter’s allusion to the death of Judas is interwoven with the after explanations of St Luke.

Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων] almost equivalent to φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι below; see 1:14. In such cases ὑπάρχων implies a contrast between the original and the after state, e.g. in Phil. 2:6. Here it is very emphatic; ‘If you, born and bred a Jew, discard Jewish customs, how unreasonable to impose them on Gentiles.’

ἐθνικῶς ζῇς] i.e. mix freely with the Gentiles and thus of necessity disregard the Jewish law of meats. The present tense describes St Peter’s general principles, as acted upon long before at Cæsarea (Acts 10:28), and just lately at Antioch (ver. 12), though at the exact moment when St Paul was speaking, he was living Ἰουδαϊκῶς and not ἐθνικῶς.

οὐχ Ἰουδαϊκῶς] The best MSS. agree in reading the aspirated form οὐχ. For other examples of anomalous aspirates in the Greek Testament see Winer § 5. p. 48, and comp. the note on Phil. 2:23 ἀφίδω. In this particular instance the aspirate may perhaps be accounted for by the yh with which the Hebrew word (יהודים) represented by Ἰουδαῖοι commences.

ἀναγκάζεις] i.e. practically oblige them, though such was not his intention. The force of his example, concealing his true principles, became a species of compulsion.

Ἰουδαΐζειν] ‘to adopt Jewish customs,’ opposed to ἐθνικῶς ζῇς which in connexion with Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων is equivalent to ἑλληνίζεις; comp. Esth. 8:17 καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν περιετέμοντο καὶ Ἰουδάϊζον διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν Ἰουδαίων, Plug. Vit. Cic. 7 ἔνοχος τῷ Ἰουδαΐζειν. See the note on Ἰουδαϊσμός, 1:13.

15, 16. ‘Only consider our own case. We were born to all the privileges of the Israelite race: we were not sinners, as we proudly call the Gentiles. What then? We saw that the observance of law would not justify any man, that faith in Jesus Christ was the only means of justification. Therefore we turned to a belief in Christ. Thus our Christian profession is itself an acknowledgment that such observances are worthless and void, because, as the Scripture declares, no flesh can be justified by works of law.’

Of many constructions proposed, the simplest and best is to understand the substantive verb in ver. 15, ‘We (are) Jews by birth etc.’ The δὲ of ver. 16, which is omitted in the received text, is certainly genuine.

15. φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι] ‘Jews by birth, not only not Gentiles, but not even proselytes. We inherited the Jewish religion. Everything was done for us, which race could do.’ See especially Phil. 3:4, 5.

ἐξ ἐθνῶν] Not ‘of Gentile descent,’ but ‘taken from, belonging to the Gentiles’; comp. Acts 15:23.

ἁμαρτωλοί] ‘sinners.’ The word was almost a synonyme for ἔθνη in the religious phraseology of the Jews. See 1 Macc. 2:44, Clem. Hom. 11:16 οὕτως ὡς οὐχὶ Ἰουδαῖος, ἁμαρτωλὸς κ.τ.λ.; and compare Luke 6:32, 33 with Matt. 5:47, and especially Matt. 26:45 with Luke 18:32. Here ἁμαρτωλοὶ is used in preference to ἔθνη, not without a shade of irony, as better enforcing St Paul’s argument. See the note on ver. 17.

16. ἐὰν μή] retains its proper meaning, but refers only to οὐ δικαιοῦται, ‘He is not justified from works of law, he is not justified except through faith.’ See the note on 1:19.

καὶ ἡμεῖς] ‘we ourselves,’ notwithstanding our privileges of race. Compare καὶ αὐτοί, ver. 17.

ἐπιστεύσαμεν] ‘became believers.’ See the note on 2 Thess. 1:10. The phrase πιστεύειν εἴς or ἐπί τινα is peculiarly Christian; see Winer § 31. p. 267. The constructions of the LXX are πιστεύειν τινί, rarely πιστεύειν ἐπί τινι or ἔν τινι, and once only ἐπί τινα, Wisd. 12:2 πιστεύειν ἐπὶ Θεόν. The phrase, which occurs in the revised Nicene and other creeds, πιστεύειν εἰς ἐκκλησίαν, though an intelligible, is yet a lax expression, the propriety of which was rightly disputed by many of the fathers, who maintained that πιστεύειν εἰς should be reserved for belief in God or in Christ. See the passages in Suicer Thesaur. s.v. πιστεύειν, and Pearson On the Creed Art. 9.

ἐκ πίστεως Χριστοῦ] It seems almost impossible to trace the subtle process which has led to the change of prepositions here. In Rom. 3:30, on the other hand, an explanation is challenged by the direct opposition of ἐκ πίστεως and διὰ τῆς πίστεως. Both prepositions are used elsewhere by St Paul with δικαιοῦν, δικαιοσύνη, indifferently; though where very great precision is aimed at, he seems for an obvious reason to prefer διά, as in Ephes. 2:8, 9, Phil. 3:9 μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ κ.τ.λ., which words present an exact parallel to the former part of this verse, οὐκ ὲξ ἔργων νόμου, ἐὰν μὴ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Faith is strictly speaking only the means, not the source of justification. The one preposition (διὰ) excludes this latter notion, while the other (ἐκ) might imply it. Besides these we meet also with ἐπὶ πίστει (Phil. 3:9), but never διὰ πίστιν, ‘propter fidem,’ which would involve a doctrinal error. Compare the careful language in the Latin of our Article 11, ‘per fidem, non propter opera.’

ὅτι] is the best supported, and doubtless the correct reading. The reading of the received text διότι has probably been imported from the parallel passage, Rom. 3:20.

ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων κ.τ.λ.] A quotation from the Old Testament, as appears from the Hebraism οὐ πᾶσα, and from the introductory ὅτι. This sentence indeed would be an unmeaning repetition of what has gone before, unless the Apostle were enforcing his own statements by some authoritative declaration. The words are therefore to be regarded as a free citation of Psalm 143:2 οὐ δικαιωθήσεται ἐνώπιόν σου πᾶς ζῶν. For πᾶς ζῶν, a very common Hebrew synonyme, πᾶσα σάρξ (מל־בשר) is substituted by St Paul. In Rom. 3:20 the passage is quoted in the same form as here. In both instances St Paul adds ἐξ ἔργων νόμου as a comment of his own, to describe the condition of the people whom the Psalmist addressed. In the context of the passage in the Romans (3:19) this comment is justified by his explanation, that ‘whatever is stated in the law applies to those under the law.’

For οὐ πᾶσα see Winer § 26. p. 214 sq.

17, 18, 19. ‘Thus to be justified in Christ, it was necessary to sink to the level of Gentiles, to become ‘sinners’ in fact. But are we not thus making Christ a minister of sin? Away with the profane thought. No! the guilt is not in abandoning the law, but in seeking it again when abandoned. Thus, and thus alone, we convict ourselves of transgression. On the other hand, in abandoning the law we did but follow the promptings of the law itself. Only by dying to the law could we live unto God.’

17. Among a vast number of interpretations which have been given of this verse, the following alone deserve consideration.

First; We may regard Χριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος as a conclusion logically inferred from the premisses, supposing them to be granted; ‘If in order to be justified in Christ it was necessary to abandon the law, and if the abandonment of the law is sinful, then Christ is made a minister of sin.’ In this case ἄρα is preferable to ἆρα.

If the passage is so taken, it is an attack on the premisses through the conclusion which is obviously monstrous and untenable. Now the assumptions in the premisses are two-fold: (1) ‘To be justified in Christ it is necessary to abandon the law,’ and (2) ‘To abandon the law is to become sinners’; and as we suppose one or other of these attacked, we shall get two distinct meanings for the passage, as follows: (1) It is an attempt of the Judaizing objector to show that the abandonment of the law was wrong, inasmuch as it led to so false an inference: ‘To abandon the law is to commit sin; it must therefore be wrong to abandon the law in order to be justified in Christ, for this is to make Christ a minister of sin’: or (2) It is an argument on the part of St Paul to show that to abandon the law is not to commit sin; ‘It cannot be sinful to abandon the law, because it is necessary to abandon the law in order to be justified in Christ, and thus Christ would be made a minister of sin.’

Of these two interpretations, the latter is adopted by many of the fathers. Yet, if our choice were restricted to one or other, the former would seem preferable, for it retains the sense of ἁμαρτωλοί (‘sinners’ from a Jewish point of view), which it had in ver. 15, and is more consistent with the indicative εὑρέθημεν, this proposition being assumed as absolutely true by the Jewish objector. But on the other hand, it forms an awkward introduction to the verse which follows.

It is probable therefore that both should be abandoned in favour of another explanation: For

Secondly; We may regard Χριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος as an illogical conclusion deduced from premisses in themselves correct; ‘Seeing that in order to be justified in Christ it was necessary to abandon our old ground of legal righteousness and to become sinners (i.e. to put ourselves in the position of the heathen), may it not be argued that Christ is thus made a minister of sin?’ This interpretation best develops the subtle irony of ἁμαρτωλοί; ‘We Jews look down upon the Gentiles as sinners: yet we have no help for it but to become sinners like them.’ It agrees with the indicative εὑρέθημεν, and with St Paul’s usage of μὴ γένοιτο which elsewhere in argumentative passages always negatives a false but plausible inference from premisses taken as granted, And lastly, it paves the way for the words διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον which follow, In this case ἆρα is to be preferred to ἄρα, because it at once introduces the inference as a questionable one. It may be added also in favour of ἆρα, that elsewhere μὴ γένοιτο follows an interrogation. Ἀρα expresses bewilderment as to a possible conclusion. Any attempt further to define its meaning seems not to be justified either by the context here, or by its usage elsewhere. Ἄρα hesitates, while ἄρα concludes.

εὑρέθημεν] involves more or less prominently the idea of a surprise: comp. Rom. 7:10, 2 Cor. 11:12, 12:20. Its frequent use however must be traced to the influence of the Aramaic dialect: see Cureton Corp, Ign. p. 271.

ἁμαρτίας διάκονος] while yet He is δικαιοσύνης διάκονος, thus making a direct contradiction in terms.

μὴ γένοιτο] ‘Nay, verily,’ ‘A way with the thought.’ This is one out of several LXX renderings of the Hebrew חלילה (‘ad profana’ and so ‘absit,’ see Gesenius Thes. p. 478). Another rendering of the same is ἵλεως (sc. ὁ Θεὸς) which occurs Matt. 16:22 ἵλεώς σοι Κύριε, ‘far be it from thee, Lord’: see Glass. Phil. Sacr. p. 538. Μὴ γένοιτο is not however confined to Jewish and Christian writings, but is frequent for instance in Arrian; see Raphel Annot. Rom. 3:4.

18. ‘If, after destroying the old law of ordinances, I attempt to build it up again, I condemn myself, I testify to my guilt in the work of destruction.’ The pulling down and building up have reference doubtless to the Mosaic law, though expressed as a general maxim (ταῦτα). The difficulty however is to trace the connexion in γάρ.

With the interpretation of ver. 17 adopted above, it seems simplest to attach γὰρ to μὴ γένοιτο, ‘Nay verily, for, so far from Christ being a minister of sin, there is no sin at all in abandoning the law: it is only converted into a sin by returning to the law again.’ For this use of γὰρ after μὴ γένοιτο comp, Rom. 9:14, 15, 11:1.

παραβάτην ἐμαυτὸν συνιστάνω] ‘I make myself out, establish myself, a transgressor.’ It will have been seen that much of the force of the passage depends on the sense which the Jews attached to ἁμαρτωλός. Having passed on from this to ἀμαρτία, St Paul at length throws off the studied ambiguity of ἁμαρτωλός (‘a non-observer of the law,’ and ‘a sinner’) by substituting the plain term παραβάτης.

ἐμαυτὸν συνιστάνω is opposed to Χριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος, though from its position ἐμαυτὸν cannot be very emphatic.

συνιστάνω] ‘I prove,’ like συμβιβάζω, as Rom. 3:5, 5:8; comp. 2 Cor. 3:1.

19. Establishing the statement of the foregoing verse: ‘For in abandoning the law, I did but follow the leading of the law itself.’

ἐγώ] Not ‘I Paul’ as distinguished from others, for instance from the Gentile converts, but ‘I Paul, the natural man, the slave of the old covenant.’ The emphasis on ἐγὼ is explained by the following verse, ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ κ.τ.λ.

διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον] In what sense can one be said through law to have died to law? Of all the answers that have been given to this question, two alone seem to deserve consideration. The law may be said in two different ways to be παιδαγωγὸς εἰς Χριστόν. We may regard

  1. Its economical purpose. ‘The law bore on its face the marks of its transitory character. Its prophecies foretold Christ. Its sacrifices and other typical rites foreshadowed Christ. It was therefore an act of obedience to the law, when Christ came, to take Him as my master in place of the law.’ This interpretation however, though quite in character with St Paul’s teaching elsewhere, does not suit the present passage; For (1) The written law—the Old Testament—is always ὁ νόμος. At least it seems never to be quoted otherwise. Νόμος without the article is ‘law’ considered as a principle, exemplified no doubt chiefly and signally in the Mosaic law, but very much wider than this in its application. In explaining this passage therefore, we must seek for some element in the Mosaic law which it had in common with law generally, instead of dwelling on its special characteristics, as a prophetic and typical dispensation. Moreover, (2) the interpretation thus elicited makes the words διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον an appeal rather to the reason and intellect, than to the heart and conscience; but the phrases ‘living unto God,’ ‘being crucified with Christ,’ and indeed the whole tenour of the passage, point rather to the moral and spiritual change wrought in the believer. Thus we are led to seek the explanation of this expression rather in
  2. Its moral effects. The law reveals sin; it also provokes sin; nay, in a certain sense, it may be said to create sin, for ‘sin is not reckoned where there is no law’ (Rom. 5:13). Thus the law is the strength of sin (1 Cor. 15:56). At the same time it provides no remedy for the sinner. On the contrary it condemns him hopelessly, for no one can fulfil all the requirements of the law. The law then exercises a double power over those subject to it; it makes them sinners, and it punishes them for being so. What can they do to escape? They have no choice but to throw off the bondage of the law, for the law itself has driven them to this. They find the deliverance, which they seek, in Christ. See Rom. 7:24, 25, and indeed the whole passage, Rom. 5:20–8:11. Thus then they pass through three stages, (1) Prior to the law—sinful, but ignorant of sin; (2) Under the law—sinful, and conscious of sin, yearning after better things; (3) Free from the law—free and justified in Christ. This sequence is clearly stated Rom. 5:20. The second stage (διὰ νόμου) is a necessary preparation for the third (νόμῳ ἀπέθανον). ‘Proinde,’ says Luther on 3:19 (the edition of 1519), ‘at remissio propter salutem, ita praevaricatio propter remissionem, ita lex propter transgressionem.’

What the Mosaic ordinances were to the Jews, other codes of precepts and systems of restraints were in an inferior degree and less efficaciously to other nations. They too, like the Jews, had felt the bondage of law in some form or other. See 4:9, 5:1, and the note on 4:11.

νόμῳ ἀπέθανον] ‘I died to law.’ For the dative comp. Rom. 6:2, 11 (τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ), and for the idea of ‘dying to the law’ Rom. 7:1–7:6, esp. ver. 4 καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ, and ver. 6 κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου ἀποθανόντες ἐν ᾧ κατειχόμεθα (literally, ‘we were nullified, i.e. discharged, by death from the law in which we were held’).

20, 21. ‘With Christ I have been crucified at once to the law and to sin. Henceforth I live a new life—yet not I, but Christ liveth it in me. This new life is not a rule of carnal ordinances; it is spiritual, and its motive principle is faith in the Son of God who manifested His love for me by dying for my sake. I cannot then despise God’s grace. I cannot stultify Christ’s death by clinging still to a justification based upon law.’

20. An expansion of the idea in the last verse.

Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι] ‘I have been crucified with Christ.’ A new turn is thus given to the metaphor of death. In the last verse it was the release from past obligations; here it is the annihilation of old sins. The two however are not unconnected. Sin and law loose their hold at the same time. The sense of feebleness, of prostration, to which a man is reduced by the working of the law, the process of dying in fact, is the moral link which unites the two applications of the image: see Rom. 7:5, 9–11. Thus his death becomes life. Being crucified with Christ, he rises with Christ, and lives to God.

The parallel passage in the Romans best illustrates the different senses given to death. See also, for a similar and characteristic instance of working out a metaphor, the different applications of ἡμέρα in 1 Thess. 5:2–5:8.

For the idea of dying with Christ etc., see Rom. 6:6 ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη: comp. Gal. 5:24, 6:14, Rom. 6:8, Col. 2:20, ἀποθανεῖν σὺν Χριστῷ, and Rom. 6:4, Col. 2:12, συνταφῆναι. Comp. Ignat. Rom. § 7 ὁ ἐμὸς ἔρως ἐσταύρωται. The correlative idea of rising and reigning with Christ is equally common in St Paul.

ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ] The order is significant; ‘When I speak of living, I do not mean myself, my natural being. I have no longer a separate existence. I am merged in Christ.’ See on ἐγὼ ver. 19.

ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ] Not exactly ἣν νῦν ζῶ ζωήν, but ὃ limits and qualifies the idea of life: ‘So far as I now live in the flesh, it is a life of faith’: comp. Rom. 6:10 ὃ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν, τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀπέθανεν ἐφάπαξ, ὃ δὲ ζῇ, ζῇ τῷ Θεῷ, Plut. Mor. p. 100 F ὃ καθεύδουσι, τοῦ σώματος ὕπνος ἐστὶ καὶ ἀνάπαυσις.

νῦν] ‘now’: his new life in Christ, as opposed to his old life before his conversion; not his present life on earth, as opposed to his future life in heaven; for such a contrast is quite foreign to this passage.

ἐν πίστει] ‘in faith,’ the atmosphere as it were which he breathes in this his new spiritual life.

The variation of reading here is perplexing. For τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ may be pleaded the great preponderance of the older authorities: for τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ, the testimony of a few ancient copies, and the difficulty of conceiving its substitution for the other simpler reading.

με ἐμοῦ] ‘loved me, gave Himself for me.’ He appropriates to himself, as Chrysostom observes, the love which belongs equally to the whole world. For Christ is indeed the personal friend of each man individually; and is as much to him, as if He had died for him alone.

21. οὐκ ἀθετῶ κ.τ.λ.] ‘I do not set at nought the grace of God. Setting at nought I call it: for, if righteousness might be obtained through law, then Christ’s death were superfluous.’ For ἀθετῶ ‘to nullify’ see Luke 7:30, 1 Cor. 1:19: its exact sense here is fixed by δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν. ‘The grace of God’ is manifested in Christ’s death. The connexion of γὰρ is with the idea of ἀθετῶ, and may be explained by a supplied clause, as above.

δωρεάν] not ‘in vain,’ but ‘uselessly, without sufficient cause,’ or, as we might say, ‘gratuitously,’ John 15:25 ἐμίσησάν με δωρεάν (Ps. 34:19); comp. LXX of Ps. 34:7 δωρεὰν ἔκρνψάν μοι διαφθοράν, Hebr. חנם, where Symmachus had ἀναιτίως; Ecclas. 20:23.


Joseph Barber Lightfoot, ed., St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. A Revised Text with Introduction, Notes, and Dissertations., 4th ed., Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co., 1874), 112–120.

……..2:12 When Peter first came to Antioch, he would eat with the Gentiles in the full enjoyment of his Christian liberty. By Jewish tradition, he could not have done this. Some time later, a group came down from James in Jerusalem to Antioch for a visit. They claimed to represent James, but he later denied this (Acts 15:24). They were probably Jewish Christians who were still clinging to certain legal observances. When they arrived, Peter stopped having fellowship with the Gentiles, fearing that the news of his behavior would get back to the legalist faction in Jerusalem. In doing this, he was denying one of the great truths of the gospel—that all believers are one in Christ Jesus, and that national differences do not affect fellowship. Findlay says: “By refusing to eat with uncircumcised men, he affirmed implicitly that, though believers in Christ, they were still to him ‘common and unclean,’ that the Mosaic rites imparted a higher sanctity than the righteousness of faith.”

2:13 Others followed Peter’s example, including Barnabas, Paul’s valued co-laborer. Recognizing the seriousness of this action, Paul boldly accused Peter of hypocrisy. Paul’s rebuke is given in verses 14–21.

2:14 As a Christian, Peter knew that God no longer recognized national differences; he had lived as a Gentile, eating their foods, etc. By his recent refusal to eat with Gentiles, Peter was implying that observances of Jewish laws and customs was necessary for holiness, and that the Gentile believers would have to live as Jews.

2:15 Paul seems to be using irony here. Did not Peter’s conduct betray a lingering conviction concerning the superiority of the Jews, and the despised position of the Gentiles? Peter should have known better, because God had taught him before the conversion of the Gentile Cornelius to call no man common or unclean (Acts 10 and 11:1–18).

2:16 Jews who had been saved knew that there was no salvation in the law. The law condemned to death those who failed to obey it perfectly. This brought the curse on all, because all have broken its sacred precepts. The Savior is here presented as the only true object of faith. Paul reminds Peter that “even we Jews” came to the conclusion that salvation is by faith in Christ and not by law-keeping. What was the sense now of Peter’s putting Gentiles under the law? The law told people what to do but gave them no power to do it. It was given to reveal sin, not to be a savior.

2:17 Paul and Peter and others had sought justification in Christ and in Christ alone. Peter’s actions at Antioch, however, seemed to indicate that he was not completely justified, but had to go back under the law to complete his salvation. If this is so, then Christ is not a perfect and sufficient Savior. If we go to Him to have our sins forgiven, but then have to go elsewhere in addition, is not Christ a minister of sin in failing to fulfill His promises? If, while we are professedly depending on Christ for justification, we then go back to the law (which can only condemn us as sinners), do we act as Christians? Can we hope for Christ’s approval on such a course of action that in effect makes Him a minister of sin? Paul’s answer is an indignant Certainly not!

2:18 Peter had abandoned the whole legal system for faith in Christ. He had repudiated any difference between Jew and Gentile when it came to finding favor with God. Now, by refusing to eat with Gentiles, he is building up again what he once destroyed. In so doing, he proves himself to be a transgressor. Either he was wrong in leaving the law for Christ, or he is wrong now in leaving Christ for the law!

2:19 The penalty for breaking the law is death. As a sinner, I had broken the law. Therefore, it condemned me to die. But Christ paid the penalty of the broken law for me by dying in my place. Thus when Christ died, I died. He died to the law in the sense that He met all its righteous demands; therefore, in Christ, I too have died to the law.

The Christian has died to the law; he has nothing more to do with it. Does this mean that the believer is at liberty to break the Ten Commandments all he wants? No, he lives a holy life, not through fear of the law, but out of love to the One who died for him. Christians who desire to be under the law as a pattern of behavior do not realize that this places them under its curse. Moreover, they cannot touch the law in one point without being responsible to keep it completely. The only way we can live to God is by being dead to the law. The law could never produce a holy life; God never intended that it should. His way of holiness is explained in verse 20.

2:20 The believer is identified with Christ in His death. Not only was He crucified on Calvary, I was crucified there as well—in Him. This means the end of me as a sinner in God’s sight. It means the end of me as a person seeking to merit or earn salvation by my own efforts. It means the end of me as a child of Adam, as a man under the condemnation of the law, as my old, unregenerate self. The old, evil “I” has been crucified; it has no more claims on my daily life. This is true as to my standing before God; it should be true as to my behavior.

The believer does not cease to live as a personality or as an individual. But the one who is seen by God as having died is not the same one who lives. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The Savior did not die for me in order that I might go on living my life as I choose. He died for me so that from now on He might be able to live His life in me. The life which I now live in this human body, I live by faith in the Son of God. Faith means reliance or dependence. The Christian lives by continual dependence on Christ, by yielding to Him, by allowing Christ to live His life in him.

Thus the believer’s rule of life is Christ and not the law. It is not a matter of striving, but of trusting. He lives a holy life, not out of fear of punishment, but out of love to the Son of God, who loved him and gave Himself for him.

Have you ever turned your life over to the Lord Jesus with the prayer that His life might be manifest in your body?

2:21 The grace of God is seen in His unconditional gift of salvation. When man tries to earn it, he is making it void. It is no longer by grace if man deserves it or earns it. Paul’s final thrust at Peter is effective. If Peter could obtain favor with God by Jewish observances, then Christ died for nothing; He literally threw His life away. Christ died because man could obtain righteousness in no other way—not even by law-keeping.

Clow says:

The deepest heresy of all, which corrupts churches, leavens creeds with folly, and swells our human hearts with pride, is salvation by works. “I believe,” writes John Ruskin, “that the root of every schism and heresy from which the Christian Church has suffered, has been the effort to earn salvation rather than to receive it; and that one reason why preaching is so ineffective is that it calls on men oftener to work for God than to behold God working for them.”


William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 1879–1880.

 

 

The Bible vs. Andy Stanley (Updated)

I do wonder if Andy Stanley considers Trump, like he did Obama, a “pastor-in-chief.” But I like how REFORMATION CHARLOTTE puts it: “Andy Stanley’s Church Closing is a Blessing From God to His People, We Should Thank Him!” Heh, so true.

This is an updated post regarding the false teacher, Andy Stanley, with some more video by Wretched (above). But always the J. Gresham Machen’s portion comes first — with some video of the questionable sermons added as well:

J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism, first published in 1923, has shown amazing resiliency in the applicability of its message. When I heard Andy Stanley’s recent comments that we should stop asking, “What does the Bible say about that?” Machen’s words immediately came to mind. According to Stanley, that terrible question should be exchanged for, “What does the New Covenant teach?” or “Even better, what does Jesus teach?” because the two covenants conflict. Watch his comments here, or the full message entitled “Mix ‘N Match”. In light of Stanley’s teaching, read the quote below from Machen, but every time Machen writes about the modern liberal substitute the name Andy Stanley.

If the Christian make full use of his Christian privileges, he finds the seat of authority in the whole Bible, which he regards as no mere word of man but as the very Word of God. Very different is the view of modern liberalism. The modern liberal rejects not only the doctrine of plenary inspiration but even such respect for the Bible as would be proper over against any ordinarily trustworthy book. But what is substituted for the Christian view of the Bible? What is the liberal view as to the seat of authority in religion?

The impression is sometimes produced that the modern liberal substitutes for the authority of the Bible the authority of Christ. He cannot accept, he says, what he regards as the perverse moral teaching of the Old Testament or the sophistical arguments of Paul. But he regards himself as being the true Christian because, rejecting the rest of the Bible, he depends upon Jesus alone.

This impression, however, is utterly false. The modern liberal does not really hold to the authority of Jesus. Even if he did so, indeed, he would still be impoverishing greatly his knowledge of God and of the way of salvation.

The words of Jesus, spoken during His earthly ministry, could hardly contain all that we need to know about God and about the way of salvation; for the meaning of Jesus’ redeeming work could hardly be fully set forth before that work was done. It could be set forth indeed by way of prophecy, and as a matter of fact, it was so set forth by Jesus even in the days of His flesh. But the full explanation could naturally be given only after the work was done. And such was actually the divine method. It is doing despite, not only to the Spirit of God but also to Jesus Himself, to regard the teaching of the Holy Spirit, given through the apostles, as at all inferior in authority to the teaching of Jesus.

As a matter of fact, however, the modern liberal does not hold fast even to the authority of Jesus. Certainly, he does not accept the words of Jesus as they are recorded in the Gospels. For among the recorded words of Jesus are to be found just those things which are most abhorrent to the modern liberal Church, and in His recorded words Jesus also points forward to the fuller revelation which was afterwards to be given through His apostles. Evidently, therefore, those words of Jesus which are to be regarded as authoritative by modern liberalism must first be selected from the mass of the recorded words by a critical process. The critical process is certainly very difficult, and the suspicion often arises that the critic is retaining as genuine words of the historical Jesus only those words which conform to his own preconceived ideas. But even after the sifting process has been completed, the liberal scholar is still unable to accept as authoritative all the sayings of Jesus; he must finally admit that even the “historical” Jesus as reconstructed by modern historians said some things that are untrue.

So much is usually admitted. But, it is maintained, although not everything that Jesus said is true, His central “life-purpose” is still to be regarded as regulative for the Church. But what then was the life-purpose of Jesus? According to the shortest, and if modern criticism be accepted, the earliest of the Gospels, the Son of Man “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45). Here the vicarious death is put as the “life-purpose” of Jesus. Such an utterance must, of course, be pushed aside by the modern liberal Church.

The truth is that the life-purpose of Jesus discovered by modern liberalism is not the life-purpose of the real Jesus, but merely represents those elements in the teaching of Jesus—isolated and misinterpreted—which happen to agree with the modern program. It is not Jesus, then, who is the real authority, but the modern principle by which the selection within Jesus’ recorded teaching has been made. Certain isolated ethical principles of the Sermon on the Mount are accepted, not at all because they are teachings of Jesus, but because they agree with modern ideas.

It is not true at all, then, that modern liberalism is based upon the authority of Jesus. It is obliged to reject a vast deal that is absolutely essential in Jesus’ example and teaching—notably His consciousness of being the heavenly Messiah. The real authority, for liberalism, can only be “the Christian consciousness” or “Christian experience.” But how shall the findings of the Christian consciousness be established? Surely not by a majority vote of the organized Church. Such a method would obviously do away with all liberty of conscience. The only authority, then, can be individual experience; truth can only be that which “helps” the individual man. Such an authority is obviously no authority at all; for individual experience is endlessly diverse, and when once truth is regarded only as that which works at any particular time, it ceases to be truth. The result is an abysmal skepticism.

The Christian man, on the other hand, finds in the Bible the very Word of God. Let it not be said that dependence upon a book is a dead or an artificial thing. The Reformation of the sixteenth century was founded upon the authority of the Bible, yet it set the world aflame. Dependence upon a word of man would be slavish, but dependence upon God’s word is life. Dark and gloomy would be the world, if we were left to our own devices, and had no blessed Word of God. The Bible, to the Christian, is not a burdensome law, but the very Magna Charta of Christian liberty.

It is no wonder, then, that liberalism is totally different from Christianity, for the foundation is different. Christianity is founded upon the Bible. It bases upon the Bible both its thinking and its life. Liberalism, on the other hand, is founded upon the shifting emotions of sinful men.

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1923), 64-66. (FREE HERE)

(PRINCE ON PREACHING)

EVANGELICAL DARK-WEB

The Evangelical Dark Web exposes Andy Stanley’s heretical worldview. Andy Stanley is a pastor at one of America’s largest megachurches 5th according to Wikipedia, #1 according to Outreach. His influence on the evangelical church is perhaps second to none. As a result many, Christians and churches are influenced by his teachings. This video is intended to be a concise way to show fellow believers that Andy Stanley is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

UNBELIEVABLE

[Editor’s note: I think the main issue is shown well at the 1hr-2-min and 25 second mark] Don’t miss this very special event! Tell the world! Andy Stanley and Jeff Durbin spend time discussing Andy’s book, “Irresistable”. They have a radio debate on the “Unbelievable Radio” program with Justin Brierley. Andy has claimed that we should “unhitch” the Old Testament from the New Testament. He claims that we the Old Testament Law (like the 10-commandments) is not binding upon Christians, today. In this radio show, Andy and Jeff discuss apologetic methodology (how to defend the faith) and whether or not the Law of God in the Old Testament is relevant for Christians, today.

FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH

Andy Stanley Denies the 10 Commandments (and the Old Testament)

 

Gay Christians?

  • and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20)

Luther Comments:

“Yet not I.” That is to say, not in mine own person, nor in mine own substance. Here he plainly showeth by what means he liveth; and he teacheth what true Christian righteousness is, namely, that righteousness whereby Christ liveth in us, and not that which is in our own person. And here Christ and my conscience must become one body, so that nothing remain in my sight but Christ crucified, and raised from the dead. But if I behold myself only, and set Christ aside, I am gone. For Christ being lost, there is no counsel nor succour, but certain desperation and destruction must follow.

The following story starts will quote first BREITBART, following it will be a portion of an article (and audio) from an NPR PIECE.

(BREITBART) National Public Radio aired a remarkable interview on Sunday’s Weekend Edition with Allan Edwards, a Presbyterian pastor who is gay, yet lives a heterosexual life. Torn between his sexuality and his faith, he chose his faith–without trying to “convert” his attraction to men, and without trying to change his religion to fit his personal preferences. The conversation between NPR’s Weekend Edition and Edwards–and his wife–sheds light on an often overlooked constituency in the debate over gay marriage.

Edwards explains that he began to realize he was attracted to men during his teenage years, at the same time he was active in his church youth movement. He realized immediately that there was a conflict between his sexuality and his faith, and tried to find a justification in the Bible for living a gay life as a Christian. He could not, he says–and so he chose to live a heterosexual life, in accordance with the teachings of his church. He does not deny his gay sexuality, but does not act on those feelings, he says.

In that way, Edwards says, he is no different than anyone else. Everyone, he says, experiences some kinds of forbidden desire, or a sense of discontentment with their lives, and they have to adjust their behavior to their values and goals. He and his wife have a sexual relationship, despite his attraction to men, and they are expecting their first child. He is reluctant to judge others, but when pressed by Montaigne, says that he believes those who try to adjust Christianity to accept same-sex marriage are “in error.”

He acknowledges that others might call his lifestyle one of suppression–one that is doomed to divorce or suicide. He disagrees, and says that his relationship with God comes before other parts of his identity, including his sexuality….

…read more…

How did this young man come to find his identity within the Christian faith? Simple, if Jesus is who He claims to be, then he [pastor Edwards… and we/us] should believe what Jesus believes. Simple:

(NPR)

Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He’s attracted to men, but considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.

“I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?” he says. “So for me, it’s not just that the religion was important to me, but communion with a God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am.”

Where he is now is married. He and his wife, Leanne Edwards, are joyfully expecting a baby in July.

[….]

He didn’t understand how he could resolve his feelings, he says, and had little support from his friends. “I didn’t know anyone else who experienced same-sex attractions, so I didn’t talk about it much at all,” Allan says.

But at a small, Christian liberal arts college, he did start talking.

“My expectation was, if I started talking to other guys about this, I’m going to get ostracized and lambasted,” Allan says. “I actually had the exact opposite experience … I actually was received with a lot of love, grace, charity: some confusion, but openness to dialogue.”

Allan considered following a Christian denomination that accepts gay relationships, but his interpretation of the Bible wouldn’t allow it, he says.

“I studied different methods of reading the scripture and it all came down to this: Jesus accepts the rest of the scripture as divined from God,” he says. “So if Jesus is who he says he is, then we kind of have to believe what he believes.”

…read more…

In other words, Christ’s claims and later His backing his claim with the Resurrection should make any one WANT to thank his/her creator by worshiping Him in obedience for the work done for each of us on Calvary. Pastor Edwards is building riches in his heavenly home in his obedience.

Wesley Hill, who is a scholar of New Testament studies and happens to be an openly gay Christian. He says the Bible makes it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, subjects himself to the will of the Lamb… not subjecting the Lamb to his will:

Now… I would be remiss to note as well that there are many people who once were gay, but through Christ’s redeeming power they no longer identify as homosexual. There is a play list of some testimony in this regard at Theology, Philosophy and Science’s YouTube Channel: Ex-Gay People.

The above testimonies and viewpoints add to a previous upload of mine a while back with three church leaders talking about this same-sex attraction but duty to God ~ and it is this duty to God that gives a new identity (a “new man” if you will):

The three men in the above interview (see below) have a powerful testimony to God working in their lives. They take Scripture serious and share their struggles openly and honestly in this interview by Justin Brierley of Premier Christian Radio for his show, “Unbelievable” (http://tinyurl.com/d2sgjrz). This interview and some other recent insights via Stand to Reason and Girls Just Wanna Have Guns, has me evolving and honing my apologetic on this more and more (See #4 of my cumulative case: http://tinyurl.com/acqhcfv).

▼ Sean Doherty is associate minister at St Francis, Dalgarno Way in London and teaches theology at St Mellitus College;
▼ Sam Allberry is associate minister at St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead;
▼ Ed Shaw is part of the leadership of Emmanuel Church, Bristol.

This is the larger interview of which I isolated Sean Doherty’s portion here.

And Savi Hensman of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and Anglican blogger Peter Ould debate the issues in the interview.

Here I am adding a video by First Things, and it is a short talk about a woman who is gay but has chosen to live towards truth. While I am not a Catholic, I am an admirer of people who sacrifice for the faith:

Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith
— from First Things on Vimeo

Eve Tushnet is a lesbian and celibate Catholic freelance writer. She studied philosophy at Yale University, where she was received into the Catholic Church in 1998. She writes from D.C., and has been published in (among others) Commonweal, First Things, The National Catholic Register, National Review, and The Washington Blade. Eve blogs at Patheos.com.

And one of the most important presentations delineating the issue of “can a Christian be a homosexual?” is by Dr. William Lane Craig (see also his article, “Christian Homosexuals?” & “A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality“). His other noteworthy videos are these:

Another pastor who grew up in the mix of the LGBT culture… and his in-depth knowledge of what is often “Messy Grace” in a fallen world.

A Response To “Mr. Atheist”

Mr. Atheist thinks these are verses Christians would rather skip. Some probably would, but in this episode, we walk through them and explain why context is key. Mr. Atheist seems unfamiliar with the ancient near-eastern contexts and languages that inform the proper translations and understandings of several passages on his list. (Also, The Bible On Slavery: Part One | Part Two)

 

Ted Cruz Educates Alyssa Milano On The Bible/Constitution

UPDATE:

NOQ has this interesting response by Ted Cruz to Alyssa Milano’s Tweet… first their set up:

Professional Hollywood radical progressive activist Alyssa Milano has taken her war against conservatism and common sense to the gun arena as she’s now their leading gun control advocate. At least that’s what one can glean from her recent Tweets. Her vision of how she will run the country when she’s finally in control has shifted over the years as she’s gone from #MeToo headmaster to open borders spokesperson, from proud double-abortion princess to her current position as lead interrogator in the fictional NRA trial.

She’s even attacking Bible-believers for their defense of the 2nd Amendment.

[….]

Did someone say “Bible” and “guns” in the same sentence? Cue Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) who happens to be a devout Christian and Constitutional scholar. His 10-Tweet reply was a master’s course on why you shouldn’t try to attack the Bible with the Constitution and visa versa:

Here is the exchange put into order by (*breathes on finger nails, polished them on my tattered morning shirt) myself:

The Bible Making A Comeback At Veterans’ Hospitals

People make fun of “The War on Christmas,” and it being no big deal. When Christmas Carols are banned due to religious content, the Bible is in the mix as well. Here is BLACK CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK ONE noting the issue:

Complaints from a civil rights group has forced the removal of a World War II Bible from a veterans hospital display, although the group says the Bible’s new location is just as problematic.

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manchester, N.H., last year allowed a museum-like “Missing Man Display” to be assembled to honor the nation’s POWs and missing veterans.

The display involved an empty chair at a kitchen table, with a plate, drinking glass, candle, flower, American flag and salt shaker sitting atop a table cloth, WMUR reported. A Bible that was carried by a POW in World War II also was part of the display, but it was removed after a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Veteran Paul Martin and his Northeast POW-MIA Network were in charge of the display.

“That Bible is not just a religious artifact — that some people would say they’re stuffing religion down my throat,” Martin told WMUR. “What it means is this guy held on to a lot of faith and hope, family and trust in this nation that they would do everything they possibly could to bring him home.”

The hospital transferred the Bible from the Missing Man Display, which is behind ropes out in the open, to a protected case behind glass. That is just as problematic to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which says 14 veterans have complained……

BTW, just as a side note, one of my two reasons for voting for Trump (many more political and faith based [unstated] positions have been met by POTUS as well) is expressed as a win in the The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, Decided June 20, 2019 by SCOTUS — The Supreme Court reversed the Fourth Circuit’s ruling in a 7-2 decision. What are the consequences of this decision that may not have happened under a Hillary Court? LIFESITE NEWS has a story detailing the “trickle down” effect:

The VA revised directives to permit religious literature, symbols, and displays at agency facilities following a string of incidents in recent years in which individual medical centers banned Christmas carols and a Christmas tree, chapels removed Bibles, and chaplains faced restraints on religious expression.

Generally, the VA had inconsistent policies across the country.

Officials designed the changes to protect the religious freedom of veterans and their families.

The new guidelines, which went into effect last month, referred to the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing a cross-shaped memorial to World War I dead to continue standing on public land in Bladensburg, Maryland.

The high court’s decision highlighted the important role that religious symbols play in the lives of Americans and their consistency with constitutional principles.

“The military culture has been part of my being, an important part of what I believe,” Wilkie told The Daily Signal. “I’ve seen the effects of combat, both in uniform and out of uniform.”

That military culture in which he grew up, Wilkie said, also prioritizes the “ability of our troops to worship, their right to worship, their right to have access to chaplains, and to be free to celebrate their faith.” He added:

Now, moving over to VA, I consider the spiritual well-being of our veterans, their spiritual health, to be just as important as the medical competence and technical competence of our doctors and nurses. They should have that fundamental right available to them to access chaplains, to access their Bibles.

The new guidelines call for “inclusion in appropriate circumstances of religious content in publicly accessible displays at VA facilities,” and allow “patients and their guests to request and be provided religious literature, symbols and sacred texts during visits to VA chapels and during their treatment at VA.”

The guidelines also allow the VA to accept donations of religious literature, cards, and symbols at its facilities, and to distribute them to VA patrons “under appropriate circumstances.”

“Under the old regime, you couldn’t have those outward symbols,” Wilkie said. “You could not have religious texts in the chapels unless you brought them. The chaplains could not walk the halls seeking people to talk with. There had to be a specific request.”

[….]

The high court’s ruling should reaffirm the VA’s policy, said Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

“On the heels of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision that reaffirmed the Constitution’s protection of the tradition of public displays of religious monuments, symbols, and practices, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs took a much-needed step to clarify that religious symbols as well as spiritual and pastoral care are welcome at VA facilities,” Kao told The Daily Signal.

“Millions of soldiers from different religious backgrounds have relied upon their faith and gained encouragement from religious literature, symbols, and displays,” Kao continued. “No member of the military should have to hide their faith when they put on a uniform. Nor should our public square be devoid of religious symbols.”

In January, the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New Hampshire removed a Bible on display at a “Missing Man” table after a secular group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, objected.

The Bible had been carried by a prisoner of war from World War II, but the group said some veterans had complained about its display.

After receiving new complaints about its removal, hospital officials restored the Bible the following month. In May, however, a Vietnam veteran sued to have the Bible removed.

“A Bible that was owned by a survivor in the Battle of the Bulge had to be put under lock and key because several people unknown had complained that this was an affront to them,” Wilkie said, adding:

It’s incongruous to me [because] we send our young people to some pretty rough places. The notion that someone who would have been in those situations is so offended by the sight of a Bible that he wants to sue and deprive his comrades of that comfort is just beyond the pale.

In late 2015, a VA clinic in Salem, Virginia, initially blocked a Christmas tree from the premises, stating in a letter to employees that “trees have been deemed to promote the Christian religion and will not be permitted in any public areas this year.”

The clinic reversed course in late November after public pushback, and allowed the Christmas tree.

In January 2014, then-House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., wrote then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, citing a VA medical center in Augusta, Georgia, that banned high school Christmas carolers.

Miller also wrote that VA officials in Iowa City, Iowa, had told the American Legion not to hand out gifts if the wrapping paper said “Merry Christmas” and a VA hospital in Dallas had refused a delivery of handwritten Christmas cards from schoolchildren because they included the words “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You.”

Such matters are important beyond individuals’ freedom of religion, affecting the health of veterans in the VA’s care, Wilkie said…..

BECKET has more on “The Lemon Law”

Atheist Activists Attempt To Tear Down History

Yet in 2014 the American Humanist Association sued, arguing that the Peace Cross is a government establishment of religion. But the Constitution does not require religion to be stripped from our nation’s history and culture. The cross is an internationally recognized symbol of sacrifice and loss and a frequently used symbol to honor fallen soldiers. Mere disagreement with something one sees should not be confused with a forbidden religious establishment.

In April 2016, Becket filed a friend-of-the-court brief with Sidley Austin LLP at the U.S. Court of Appeals at the Fourth Circuit defending the memorial, stating it “does not violate the Establishment Clause because it bears none of the historical hallmarks of an establishment of religion.” But in October 2017, the Fourth Circuit ruled against the memorial using the notorious Lemon test, a malleable three-part legal test that has been criticized harshly by many Supreme Court justices. The American Legion, represented by First Liberty Institute of Plano, Texas, and the Jones Day law firm, appealed to the Supreme Court.

Defending Religion In The Public Square At The Supreme Court

In December 2018, Becket, represented by Stanford law professor and former Tenth Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell, filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to reverse the Fourth Circuit’s decision and scrap the Lemon test in favor of an approach that returns the Establishment Clause to its historical meaning. Oral arguments took place on February 27, 2019. During oral argument, Chief Justice Roberts raised the argument Becket had urged in brief suggesting that a historical approach offers a clear way for resolving disputes about religious symbols in the public square.

On June 20, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7–2 in favor of the Peace Cross, allowing it to remain standing. The Court’s opinion reversed the Fourth Circuit’s decision against the Peace Cross and stated that, for many, “destroying or defacing the Cross that has stood undisturbed for nearly a century would not be neutral and would not further the ideals of respect and tolerance embodied in the First Amendment.” Becket’s friend-of-the-court brief was cited in concurring opinions by Justice Thomas and Justice Gorsuch.

In Kondrat’yev, et al v. City of Pensacola, Becket is also fighting a militant atheist lawsuit against a World War II-era cross in Pensacola, Florida, that has stood as a symbol of patriotism and fellowship for more than 75 years. On June 28, 2019 the Supreme Court sent the Pensacola case back to the Eleventh Circuit to be reconsidered in light of their Bladensburg decision…..

Emergent Pastor Compromises Scripture/Christ

(REFORMATION CHARLOTTE) Jonathan Martin is an Emergent pastor out of Tulsa, OK and has authored several books published by Zondervan, including How To Survive a Shipwreck and Help is On The Way. While I think the open-air preachers harped on some minor stuff… they pulled from him he thought Scripture contradicts itself… likewise, he twisted Scripture, and as a pastor he should be living a better life than a “single secular dude.” But what do you expect from the Emergent Movement (my largest chapter in my book in fact). In 2017, Martin was escorted off Liberty University campus for failure to follow the proper event protocol after a concert.