For those who don’t know, the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood recently put forth a statement on biblical marriage called the Nashville Statement. Many are treating this like an act of the church, on par with the Westminster Confession of Faith, or the Apostles’ Creed. But there are many problems with this. Tony Arsenal points out that the main problem is that CBMW is not the church, and does not have the authority to speak for the church.
Already, my mind is spinning. I got the idea to write this post because I was thinking how helpful it would be if each congregation had 25 songs that they knew so well, they could sing the songs a cappella if necessary. This would be truly helpful for smaller congregations, in the event that they lose their accompaniment. Larger churches could also do this and I imagine would greatly benefit from singing a few of these songs a cappella but alas, most larger churches have musicians itching to play as it is.
As I wrote on Christopher’s Facebook page, some things just need to be repeated. The following is one of those things.
From Christopher Neiswonger:
Be careful about someone creeping into the pulpit today and giving you a big, fat dose of moralism.
Morality is great. The law is good. You should check your behavior. But, it is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The preaching of the Gospel of Jesus is not an ethics class. It is not an estimation or analysis of your performance. It is not even an encouragement toward your better performance in the future.
It is grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
That is all the church really has for you.
That is all the Bible has for you.
That is all God has given you.
The question is, is it enough for you.
Or do you need something more; a righteousness of your own, a show of morality, a plague of external niceties?
An external holiness is a mask that anyone can wear. It is worn most effectively by the enemies of the Gospel. But hell will be densely populated with outwardly moral fellows with a light interest in Christ.
So instead of being good today, be crucified with Christ. Instead of looking down on your fellows, pray earnestly for their salvation. Instead of dressing the part of the Christian, cry out, and weep and wail.
And then be happy, and sing full of the joy of the Holy Spirit, because Jesus has overcome the world, even you, even your sins. Even your good works.
He has saved us, from ourselves, and we have not come to his aid in the slightest measure.
When contending for the faith, it is important to understand that there are various ways people interpret Scripture. The correct method, called the grammatical-historical approach, seeks to use the grammar of the text to indicate what the original author intended for us to know. In other words, the author used actual words with meaning to indicate a message to us. The authors didn’t write the words of Scripture simply to put ideas on paper, but they were trying to tell us about God.
My wife discovered that Dr. Jason Lisle was participating in street preaching at the Denton County Courthouse this past Friday. We both enjoy hearing him speak about creation, given that he is a real scientist and zealous for the gospel. Since I had never experienced street preaching, we wanted to go and listen.
I was sitting down to write and noticed the following comment in my “spam” section. The woman posted this on my “About” page so I’m assuming she is responding to the post, Abortion Is Murder. That post is more than 30 days old, therefore it will not take any more comments, so she posted on the only place she could find that would let her. Her comments didn’t make the cut, however, because she put her link in it, and it went to spam. I’m grateful for that. I would give you her link to her page, but I found it quite troubling. She is a member of the Worldwide Church of God, and one who espouses the only true Bible is the King James Version. So I’m not looking to dialogue with her, that would be unfruitful. I do like the challenge of answering her though, and do so on my terms. I hope you don’t think that is unjust or unfair, but save any judgment concerning this until after you have read the post.
In the Reformation, the Reformed Churches appealed to the unrevoked divine promises to Abraham, “I will be a God to you and to your children, which the Apostle Peter reiterated in Acts 2:39 and thus confessed infant baptism as essential to the Reformed faith and practice. In contrast, as Denault observes, the Baptists wanted to know who were the regenerate and to restrict the visible church to them. The two traditions read Jeremiah 31:31–34 quite differently.
R. Scott Clark, The Reformed Churches Confess Infant Baptism.
It is only gross ignorance of the requirements of God’s law which makes people undervalue the Gospel. The man who has the clearest view of the moral law, will always be the man who has the highest sense of the value of Christ’s atoning blood.
J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Mark, Chapter XII, 28–34.