Posted in dialogue

A Response to a Loved One Concerning Systemic Racism

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel” (Prov 12.15; NASB).

Dear “D”,

I don’t have Facebook, a decision I made a few years back and, in many ways, I think a wise one. I do however, from time-to-time, see how things progress in this social media giant’s haven. It is unfortunate that the free exchange of ideas has been censored by a Left-leaning ideology, but with the current way of things…to be expected.

I must admit that of all my family members (extended or otherwise) you have been one of my favorites. You have a loveable, sensitive disposition that draws many people. That and in some ways our shared sense of humor was always a delight to my own heart.

I say these things beforehand in the hope that you will see my critique not as mean spirited but as one guided by wisdom afforded to me through the Word of God. Surely, knowledge and wisdom in times like this ought to be coveted things. But this raises the question of being properly sourced. From where do we draw our knowledge and wisdom. From what fountainhead do we longingly drink deeply to help form our ideals?

I am reminded of a passage of Scripture that provides an astute warning to listening ears:

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1Cor 15.33; ESV).

In other words, we must be careful what influences we allow to shape our outlook on life. For it is in our nature to replicate what we surround ourselves with. With this in mind, I would like to address a dialogue you have had with another individual of whom we both care for. He has graciously allowed me a venue in which I might respond to some of the claims that you have offered in light of the current debate being held nationally since the tragic death of George Floyd.

I will offer a point-by-point critique of what you have stated. You may respond or be silent on the matter, the decision I will leave to you.

It seems very clear to me that you believe systemic racism is a genuine problem here in the United States. A belief that is unsupported by actual facts and evidences, although often referred to in anecdotal settings.

You noted that a possible solution to what you believe is a real problem institutionally is:

“…we can support communities by ‘spreading educational funds…[provide] a healthcare system that will actually take care of poorer families…demand that our government do something to help the homeless population…[provide] access to mental health care”

Response:

It would appear that you assume the civil government is responsible for doing these things. They are the “we” that you expect to support the down trodden? I only note this now since you seem to believe that religion (specifically the Christian faith) should not be viewed as a viable solution. Interesting…we’ll return to this in just a bit.

Later you admit when pressed with evidence contrary to your claims (that which “J” cites in his dialogue with you) the following points:

There is no written law that promotes systemic racism, but instead is “captured in intent and execution…”

 Response:

That is to say you appear to be admitting that there are no laws on the books (“in word” as you put it) that disadvantage one group by raising another up. For example, in the past we could point to Jim Crow laws, laws enacted and upheld by members of the Democratic Party, but no such laws exist on the books today. This is unfortunate for your position, for if such laws existed then the debate over whether or not systemic racism was a real thing would be over. You would have positive evidence to support your claims.

Instead, you appeal to the motives of individuals or groups of individuals who perpetrate evil actions. Something that is extremely impossible to prove—for we cannot read people’s hearts—unless that individual or group confess that their actions (“execution,” as you put it) are indeed racially motivated.

Next you say:

“Not all peoples morals come from God and not all moral people are Christian.”

Response:

So then, “morals” come from where? Are morals the byproduct of societal consensus? Then, they are subjective, fluid and not static. If this is true, then relativism rules the day—Different strokes for different folks.

So then, why complain? If my morals, which according to you are not necessarily derived from our Maker—the God of the Bible, but myself, my community and culture, then why, or better yet, on what grounds, can you argue that my morals which may uphold “racism” and “white privilege”  (tongue in cheek here) are wrong and should be changed? Are you then guilty of forcing your ideals on others?

However, if morals are absolute (e.g., wrong to murder, wrong to oppress, wrong to rob, etc.) as a reflection of the Triune God of Scripture (revealed as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; one co-eternal, co-equal Being), then they must be pressed upon the society in which we live. Starting with myself, my community and culture. I have no doubt that you believe “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a command that ought to be pressed on all people, or else why argue at all that one moral behavior is right and another wrong?

You add:

“In fact many people in the past and today use Christianity as a reason for their continued issues.”

Response:

You do not identify what those “issues” are, but I will assume that you are attempting to highlight how professing Christians use the Bible erringly (past and present) in an effort to support immoral activity.

There is no question this has been done and will continue to be the case. This is true for a variety of reasons. Either the “Christian” is one in name only. Or, the “Christian” is ignorant of what the Bible actually teaches on an issue. Or, the “Christian” has faulty presuppositions that prevent him/her from properly interpreting the biblical text(s).

Since you did not come out and say what “issue” you were referring to where Christians have evidently got it wrong in the past, then I will assume that one issue is how there were some Christians in the past who used the Bible to validate slavery in the Antebellum South. However, all three reasons I cited above provide the answer to the problem issue in question:

  1. Not all slave owners that identified as Christian were really Christians (cf. Matt 7.21-24).
  2. Not all slave owners that identified as Christian knew all of what the Bible taught on the issue of slavery.
  3. Not all slave owners that identified as Christian properly interpreted what they read in the Bible because they possessed underlying biases, assumptions, traditions that filtered the truth of God preventing them from doing so.

But there were those who identified as Christians that did what was right in light of biblical precepts. For in having knowledge and wisdom dispensed to them from God in His Word, they sought to make right the societal wrongs being perpetrated in their day. (We will return to this in a bit).

However, while this has been the case (there have been those that have tarnished the Christian name and maligned the teaching of the Bible) you seem to suppose that this somehow gives you the moral high ground? Again, the question that needs to be asked and answered is “whose morals are right?” Is there one standard universally true, or are there many? Only by borrowing from the Christian faith can one legitimately bring a charge against such evils of the past. For if truth is not absolute, if morals are not derived from one standard, but many, then morals in and of themselves are regulated to the personal whims of the individual or group that purports them.

You continue:

“Also you can’t use God as a tool in order to change overall culture. Not in the short term or as things are trending in the long term either”

Response:

Who says? You? Others? That’s not what the Bible teaches at all. As Jesus said,

“You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matt 22.29; NASB).

It is written that all of creation, including humanity, is the creation of God.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1.1). It was God who decreed, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule…over the earth…God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it’” (Gen 1.26, 27-28a; NASB).

There are not many races, there is one race. Humanity is the creation of God and all have value as His creatures. For… 

“from one man [one blood] God made every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation (Acts 17.26; NASB).

In short, God made human beings to represent Him in all the earth. The dominion God gave mankind was in light of bearing the image of God into all creation. God delegated authority to humanity to rule according to His holiness and righteousness (from which all morals come). This Jesus repeated to those who bear His name (i.e., Christians). He commanded His people to

“…make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in[to] the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt 28.19-20a; ESV).

You say, that we cannot use the Christian faith to alter the course of culture either in the short or the long term, but this is inaccurate. History tells us otherwise. How was slavery abolished in England? Who helped lead the charge in its removal from our kindred across the pond? William Wilberforce, a white Christian who knew, believed and understood that the Bible taught that enslaving one ethnic group was morally wrong and spent his whole life fighting against it. This is true of many from the past here in the United States that fought to free other members of the human race from tyranny.

All of life is ethical. Everything is weighed in terms of right or wrong. Therefore, all of life is religious. Culture is a reflection of a person or groups religious faith-system. This “faith” will determine culturally what is viewed as right vs. wrong behavior (i.e., moral).

The only solution to the hate we seeing spewed in our world today is the gospel. Bigotry is sin, and sin is color-blind. If we refuse to repent of our sins before Christ, adopting His way of thinking and living, then we are destined to treat others, not like ourselves, but less than ourselves. The government is not God, only God is God. The government solutions you present would do nothing to stem hate, but only shift where the hate is being perpetrated.

I love you man and hope that you see my words in light of this love for you and yours. May Christ give you ears to hear and eyes to see.

In Christ,

Kristafal

Posted in Attributes of God, Beliefs, Christian Perspective, Communication, dialogue, Knowing God, love, Personal Testimony, Theology, Witnessing

False Ideas and the Idols we make: Witnessing to a Witness

Opening Thoughts…

Historically one of the first major heretics to arise out of the Christian faith was a man by the name of Marcion (2nd century; taught 140-155 A.D.). He denied many of the writings of the New Testament (hereafter N.T.) that seemed to share too much affinity with the Jewish faith of old. He took issue with the God of the Old Testament (hereafter O.T.) because he did not like the wrathful version of God he saw there. He looked at Jesus as the exact opposite; a person who was kind, good and loving. A version of this man’s teachings, based upon the same faulty assumptions, is still existent today.

When people read the N. T. this false veneer is presented on their interpretation of Jesus of Nazareth. He is portrayed as non-offensive and non-combative; a kind, loving, beggarly individual that would never say anything mean (he’d never want to hurt a person’s feelings) or sarcastic (he’d never want to cause contention with people). For many, the version of Jesus many people hold to today (even professing believers) is not compatible with what we read in the O. T. description of Holy God. It is often said, “Jesus loved everybody unconditionally.” Did he now? Is that really how He is described in the N.T.?

Witnessing to a Witness?

Yesterday, I had a forty-minute dialogue with a Jehovah’s Witness. He was attempting to invite me to a meeting they were having—a memorial service to the Last Supper. As he explained to me their position I politely listened. After he was finished I asked if he understood what the true meaning of the Last Supper was. “Well, to remember Jesus’ life,” he said. “Why is that important,” I asked? “What purpose did the cross of Jesus serve? What necessity did the blood of Jesus meet? To whom is His sacrifice applied, and what does it accomplish?” Besides his immediate detour on a discussion of whether or not the “Roman cross” was really a cross or “a stake,” he struggled with answering the questions I posed.

He said, “if you would only come to our meeting, then you would know our position.” In response I asked, “If I come to your meeting, would I be permitted to speak?” He shook his head and said, “no…you couldn’t do that, but won’t you be open minded, and just listen?” “If you did,” he added “you’d see the similarities that we have in our thinking.” Again I inquired, “Would you go to a seminar that atheists were holding and listen to them with an open mind?” Immediately, he said, “No, of course not!” “Why,” I pressed “for you would find that there are some things that you share in common with the atheist. There are things that they hold to that are common to all people.” He said, “But, they do not believe in God.” “Ah,” I said, “and herein lay our dilemma. You would suggest to me that I ought to go to your meeting to listen to what you have to say with an open mind. I could listen to what you have to say, just as I can listen to what an atheist has to say, because I am confident that by the Holy Spirit I can discern the truth from error. However,” I stated “if I were to offer you a similar invitation to my church to listen to my sermon, to hear my teaching, would you do so? Would you and your friends here be able to be as open-minded as you insist I should?” “Of course not!” he said. “That’s a problem,” I explained “for I see that you are not being very consistent .”

Trying to steer the conversation back to the reason why he came to my home he inquired once again, “Will you not come? I admit that I am not being consistent, but if you came to our meeting you would learn what we believe about this (the Lord’s Supper, what he continually called a memorial service) and in time might learn the truth.” Laughing a bit at his persistence I countered, “Why do you take communion?” (Now, I already knew that only the “anointed” in their cult were allowed to participate in taking communion at their memorial service, and the higher ups keep a running count of who claims to be of the “anointed class;” the 144,000 of Revelation 7:14; 14:1, 3). However, I had my own agenda at the moment and I wanted to make a point to a man that started off the conversation with me pretending to believe the Bible is the authoritative word on the subject of his beliefs.

He did not miss a beat in explaining to me that only the “anointed” could participate in the elements. I told him that I found that peculiar on two accounts. One, the Bible teaches that the disciples of Christ were to “do this in remembrance of [Him]” (Luke 22.19), and what we ought to notice if we read the Scriptures is that this rite was participated in by all members of the Christian community as seen in Acts (cf. 2:42, 46) and specifically in 1Cor 11:20-32. Two, on what grounds do you attempt to limit participation in what Christ commanded? From where do you get the designation “anointed” only, as the only class of Christians that may participate in the Lord’s Supper? Surely, the Bible does not teach this. Neither the Christ nor His apostles taught this, so why do you?

At this point he tried to show me Rev 21:17 where the text speaks of measuring the wall of the temple and its measurement is “144 cubits.” He then said, “This coincides with the 144,000….” I interrupted at this point, “You mean the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel spoken of earlier in the book?” “Yes,” he said “this coincides with…” Again, I interjected “what’s a cubit?” “What?” he said. “Oh, well a cubit coincides with….” “No,” I stopped him “what is a cubit?” When he attempted the same song and dance I said to him, “A cubit is a unit of measurement isn’t it, similar to a foot?” “Yes, but it coincides with….” “the 144,000?” I finished. “Right, that’s right,” he told me without any hesitation.

I pointed out “Nope, that’s wrong. Rev 21:17 is speaking about a unit of measurement not a grouping of people. You are taking that text out of context and adding your own meaning to it, just as you do with the Lord’s Supper. Jesus told his followers to do this ‘in remembrance of him’ because it is His blood that paid the ransom price for our sinful lives. Jesus became a curse (cf. Gal 3.13), he became sin even though He never sinned, so that we might become the righteousness of God (cf. 2Cor 5.21). Jesus died to save His people from their sins (Matt 1.21),” I explained.

I continued, “The problem is that we do not believe in the same Jesus, we do not believe in the same God of Scripture—who is Triune in nature—for my God did for me what I could not do for myself. My works, my choice is not what saved me, my Lord saved me and I cannot deny my Lord.” He then attempted to adopt the same language as I had used for a few moments, but I ended up stopping him. I explained, “You use the same language that I use, but you do not mean the same things. The Father sent the Son into the world to die for His people (people given to Him by the Father), and the Son laid down His life for His people, and the Holy Spirit raises Christ’s people up regenerating them.”

With a look of confusion on his face he proceeded to say, “Though much of what you say Kris is true; much of what you say is ignorant and it comes from your ignorance.” Laughing a bit, I told him “Since you called me ignorant, I must ask have you not read? ‘God chose the weak out of the world, the poor out of the world and the foolish out of the world…’ (1Cor 1.27-28; paraphrased) you call me an ignoramus and that’s fine; God called me, I am His, and I cannot deny Him. He saved me from hell…but you my friend, you do not have this.”

Closing Thoughts…

About this point, you may have wondered if I forgot what I opened up with at that beginning of this post, but I have not forgotten. After my last statement my dialogue with this J.W. grew a bit animated. His disdain for the doctrine of hell became apparent. He identified my God as one who is wrathful and cruel. He said, “What sort of awful God would condemn a person like us, who lives what? Seventy or Eighty years to an eternity in torment! A loving God would never do such a thing, that wouldn’t be fair…seventy years for forever!?! God destroys those who do not faith in Him, who do not freely choose Him…He wouldn’t do what you suggest.” In the remaining couple of minutes in our conversation I asked if he believed God was truly holy and tried to explain the depths of our sin and need for Jesus as a substitute, but he would have none of it.1 He left in a hurry and I prayed for the man and the people who were with him.

This reaction of disdain and disgust is the norm when a person reads the commands of God, and the penalties that follow for our sin against Him. People have made God into an idol. They have elevated one or a few of His attributes, like love or goodness, above all others. The moment that God does not fit the mold that people have formed in their hearts of who they believe the God of the Bible should be, they offhandedly reject Him.

God is more than the supposed defining mark of love and goodness. He is also holy and therefore hates sin. He is Just and therefore, as judge delves out justice in all cases. God is many things, for many attributes are given in Scripture that accurately define His perfect characteristics (i.e. character/nature), but to elevate one over and above another gives a disproportionate view of who He is; and, is therefore by definition an idol. To do that with the God of Scripture is to take His Name in vain and blaspheme Him. This, ironically or not, warrants a penalty of a death sentence; to which (no surprise here!) people complain about, as being much too harsh. And to that kind of thinking I will respond with the words of the late R.C. Sproul, “What is wrong with you people!”

______________________________________________

ENDNOTES:

1 I also spent some time with him in John 12:37-41 and Isaiah 6:1-10 proving that Jesus was the one whose glory Isaiah saw in the past as Yahweh (Jehovah), but no matter how clear the text was before him (even in his New Word Translation—NWT) he was confused by what he was reading and hearing (cf. Acts 9.22).

Posted in Christian Perspective, Communication, critique, dialogue

Being Open to Critique: A Precursor to Reviewing a Fellow Blogger on the Doctrine of Original Sin

I have a sin problem. I am a sinner. This acknowledgement is not based upon experience (although my experience certainly confirms this), but because the Bible tells me so.

To some, I am sure that sounds like believing in an old wise tale or just utter foolishness on my part. Of course, if I were to ask why you believed the things that you did, you would have no better answer forthcoming. Someone told you so. Whether it was your parents, or your teachers, or your pastors, or a philosopher you look up to, or a historian, politician, scientist, etc. the point is you have come to believe what you do based on the testimony of another. Perhaps the knee jerk reaction is to deny this, but if you are honest with yourself (and others) and you do an introspective investigation of your base assumptions about reality/knowledge, then you—even you—will necessarily admit that this is true.

And there is nothing wrong with that. That is how you were (are) made to function. The problem is not that you do this, but rather what you lean upon as authoritative. What authority do you depend upon? Who are you dependent on? To whom do you turn to for advice? Where do you go in order to know things? And if you are a relativist that claims you really know nothing, I must honestly ask this question: “Are you telling me that you know that is true? If you are, then on what grounds do you claim to know nothing—for that is a claim of knowledge whether you choose to admit it or not.”

If you are a blogger, you are writing something because you have something to say. You are saying something because you believe you know what you are talking about. You know what you are talking about (or at least believe you know) in light of the authority to which you submit. Yes, submission is the natural aspect of life when you are a dependent being; Kids submit to parents, students submit to teachers, citizens submit to law enforcement agencies and the church submits to Christ, who submits to the Father who sends out the Holy Spirit into the world in submission to both the Father and Son.

How a Christian shows submission to their Creator is by being dependent upon His Word. To come before God in fearful submission “is the beginning of knowledge…and wisdom” (Prov 1.7; 9.10), “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright…” (Prov 2.6-7a). Thus, when Jesus says that his true disciples “abide in [His] word” (John 8.31) enabling them (you/me) to “know the truth” in order to be “set…free” (John 8.32), we know that means we are to “test everything; hold fast what is good” (1Thes 5.21; cf. Phil 2.16) in light of God’s Word not man’s (cf. 1Thes 2.13).

As a Christian I am indebted to Jesus Christ. He saved me from my sin. He took away my guilt and made peace between me and God my Creator. Something I could not do, for I was incapable of doing so, He did for me. Someone the Bible declares as ungodly, and an enemy of God (Rom 5.8, 10); and yet, as a Christian I can affirm with much assurance and confidence “Christ died for us” (Rom 5.9) …for me. He paid for my life through the shedding of His blood (cf. 1Cor 6.20; 7.23; Heb 9.22; 1Pet 1.18-19). He freed me from my bondage, to that which I was enslaved before I knew Him—sin (see John 8.21, 24; 34-36; Rom 6.6-7).

But you say, “You said at the beginning of your post that you had a problem, you are a sinner. How can that be if what you say is true that faith in Christ frees one from their sin? How can you say that Jesus paid the price for your life with His own, if you are still a sinner?”

Great question, I am glad you are paying attention.

This is not a contradiction, although I will grant at first glance it appears to be one. Christ’s atonement truly frees us from our former bondage to sin, but this breaking of the bonds does not eliminate our sinning indefinitely. If that were the case, then we would have no need for a continual intercessor before the Father on our behalf. If that were true, then we would not need an advocate for us who when we confess our sins is ready and able to forgive us of our sins. Freedom from bondage is not the elimination of sinning, but a definite curbing of the necessity. In plain terms we no longer sin by necessity, but we do sin because of an internal war1 between what is right and wrong (cf. Rom 7.14b-25; Gal 5.16-17).

Nor, is this permission for the Christian who recognizes he still sins, but those sins are covered by God’s grace: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom 6.1-2; also see 1John 3.9). Though the standard before us is to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5.48; cf. 1Pet 1.15-16), there are times when our sin seizes the opportunity to cause us to fall (Rom 7.11).

What difference is there then, in the Christian and the unbeliever? The difference is found in the fact that the Christian readily recognizes that the law of God is holy, spiritual and good (Rom 7.12, 14). The difference is found in the fact that the Christian—the one who has the mind of Christ as opposed to those who do not (1Cor 2.12-16)—”delights in the law of God” (Rom 7.22a) and desires “to do what is right” (Rom 7.21). Whereas, the natural man is said to have an opposite position regarding God’s Law-Word: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8.7-8), because they refuse to draw near to God in fear and faith (Heb 11.6).

Okay, so where am I going with this post? Let’s do a quick review and then I’ll tell you what’s coming down the pike.

In this post, I have admitted that I am a sinner—I sin—but that I am also a sinner saved by grace. Jesus Christ died for me, and it is He in whom I place all my hope. Without Him, I am utterly lost.

In this post, I have also pointed out that what we believe is in some fashion based on the testimony of another. That testimony, regardless of the source(s), is viewed as having authority in our lives. To this reservoir of truth, we submit our thinking; to this testimony we are dependent. The problem is not in our dependency, but in what we lean upon as authoritative in our lives. In short, every person on the planet has faith-commitments that they turn to in order to make sense of the world in which we live.

In this post, I said for the Christian that source of dependency is upon God the Father, Christ our Rock, and the Holy Spirit our guide. Ultimately, for the Christian it is by the Word of God (the Holy Bible) that we are enabled to truly know anything. That truth sets us free. That truth is our rule of life and we must, like the apostles and prophets before us, learn to know what it means to not go beyond what is written (cf. 1Cor 4.6).

Finally, in this post I mentioned that as a blogger we are putting forth our ideas, thoughts and convictions in order to share with and teach others what we know/believe. Since this is a public forum, we must also recognize that this puts what we say under the lights of scrutiny. Our teachings are rightly opened to critical thought.

This is not a popular concept in Western thinking today. The underlying assumption by many is that we have a right to say what we wish, but are free from critique. Having our ideas examined is not a pleasant experience to be sure, but it is a necessary part of growing up. Little children are the ones that say “Nuh-uh, I’m not listening to you! Nanna nanna boo who.” The immature scream for you to be silent. They are the ones that cover their ears and shut their eyes, gnashing their teeth in bitter hatred as they threaten you.

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Prov 27.17). This process can only happen when the two opposing substances meet. This is only possible when we dialogue with each other.

With this in mind I want to offer a thank you to Haden Clark, who has graciously put up with my interaction with some of his own thoughts. For those who are followers of his blog, I want you to know that I am not seeking harm your friend or loved one. His posts have been a great boon to myself, as they have caused me to reflect deeper on what I believe, while patiently dealing with an opposing opinion.

In Scripture we are commanded to “contend for the faith” (Jude 1.3 and to “correct [our] opponents with gentleness” (2Tim 2.25a) “doing [our] best to present [ourselves] to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2Tim 2.15). Therefore, as “Priscilla and Aquila…took [Apollos] and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18.26) I would like to continue to offer a corrective thought concerning the doctrine of original sin. I do not deny Clark’s profession of faith in our Lord, but it is on those grounds that I earnestly appeal to him.

Some may wonder why and prefer I keep my nose in my own business. That is not a Christian attitude. As Christians we are to be in each other’s business contrary to what the current culture may desire. We hold each other consistently to the Word of God, praying for and entrusting one another to the Spirit’s leading. More importantly, as ministers2 of the gospel we are charged with an enduring faithfulness to biblical tenets. More is at stake than either one of our names or egos being trampled on, for we must be especially sensitive to stepping into error. If nothing else, it is my hope that Clark will consider to search the Scriptures as he learns to more consistently lean upon and submit to God’s Word in all areas of thought. I want to help him believe (if I may be so bold to use the name of his blog—helpmebelieve.com) in the doctrine of original sin.

A response to “Why Romans 5:12-21 Does NOT Say we Are Born Guilty” forthcoming….

______________________

ENDNOTES:

1 Why the internal war? According to Scripture the internal war is due to our flesh waging against the Holy Spirit abiding within us. Why does the Bible make the continual distinction between the two: flesh and Spirit? There are two opposing principles that fight against each other. Principle in the sense of “laws” where one will is found acting against the other—i.e. the law of sin contra the law of God (Rom 7.23). Jesus did not have this problem because Jesus, although man was not born of Adam. We may struggle with that distinction, but the Bible does make it. Jesus’ two natures were divine and human, of which John’s gospel goes to great lengths describing to us in his prologue (John 1.1-18). But Jesus condition had more akin to Adam before sin entered the picture in terms of human nature, than our own. After the Fall, something changed. The question is what?

2 I use this term “minister” in a very general sense here, although I am specifically a minister of the gospel and an elder of a SBC church.