Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Unity in the Church

Taken from The Church and the Last Things:

Now here, surely, certain things can be said without any fear of contradiction. If we are to be guided by the scriptural teaching, then we must agree at once that the unity that the Scripture is interested in is spiritual unity. How often John 17 is misquoted! People just tear a phrase right out of its context. ‘That they all may be one,’ they say quoting verse 12, and they leave it at that. They insist also that division in the Church is the greatest sin of all. Now, of course, we all agree that division is regrettable; schism is certainly sin. Yes, but when that is interpreted as meaning that anybody who calls himself a Christian, no matter what the shape or form, is someone with whom we would be in absolute unity in every respect, then that is a contradiction of what John 17 teaches.

John 17 surely makes the character of this unity quite plain and clear. Our Lord’s terms are these: ‘As thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us… And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one’ (vv. 21-22). That is all spiritual. Our Lord is talking of the relationship between the Father and the Son, and those who are in Christ, who are in the Father and the Son, and He has already told us certain things about these people. He says, ‘For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out of thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me’ (v.8).  So our Lord’s words about unity are only applicable to people who believe that particular doctrine, and if people tell me that they are Christians but say that Jesus was only a man, then I have no unity with them. I do not belong to them. They may call themselves Christians, but if they have not believed and accepted this, there is no basis for unity. It is spiritual unity.

It always helps to look as Scripture in context.

 

A Nice Quote From Luther

The Pulpit & Pen has an excellent article entitled The Crass, Intolerant Polemicist Who Loved Jesus & The Gospel, which helps us see just how much division Christ brought to earth. He did not come to bring unity, peace, love, puppy dog stories from the pulpit, but the gospel. And He even raised up men like Martin Luther, who would not be allowed to preach in many of the pulpits across America, because of his blunt attacks on the opponents of the gospel. In fact, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of his nailing of the 95 Thesis on the Wittenberg door, I wonder how many churches that make a big to-do over the anniversary, would ever tolerate a man like Luther in their midst. Better yet, he would probably not tolerate many of them.

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The Hypocrisy of Feminism

Feminists will gladly live in submission and obey their bosses but falsely believe it’s bondage with their husbands. Do you see the hypocrisy? They leave their homes all day for almighty mammon and their children in the care of others. This, too, is foolishness and chasing after the wind.

From the Transformed Wife.

A Workforce Without Men

From Lori Alexander at The Transformed Wife:

A day, no years, without women in the workforce wouldn’t change a thing. Women think they’re invincible in the workforce but they aren’t. Men can easily and often better replace every single job that a woman has in the workforce. Our military would be stronger without women. Our police force would be stronger. Women make these institutions weaker and now we have these “sexual” problems in the military. Duh! This happens when we mix males and females in close quarters for months on ends and far away from home.

She goes on to show that society cannot survive without men in the workforce, and without women in the homes. Alexander goes on to write:

God has given men clearly defined roles and He has given women clearly defined roles and when they stop doing what they are supposed to be doing cultures die a slow, agonizing death. Go home, women. Tend to your husband, children, and homes. Make them sanctuaries of peace, warmth, and affection for your families. This is the greatest work that you can do because it was given to you by the Creator of everything.

R.C. Sproul Jr. On the Real Battles We Face

I think this sums up the real difference we make as believers:

The real battles are these: Will I speak graciously to my children today? Will I have a grateful and cheerful heart about my neighbors, my fellow employees, those with whom I worship? Will I go to war against gossip, not by pointing out the gossip of others but by tending my own garden? Whether some evangelical superstar embraces some mystical prayer form is less important to the kingdom’s future than whether I will pray faithfully for that little girl with the brain tumor.

Read the rest of Sproul’s post, Someone Is Wrong on the Internet.

Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

R. Scott Clark has a 9-part series on Paedobaptism that is quite helpful. Here is the portion of the first installment:

Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

In short, yes. All the Protestant Reformers including Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin held to infant baptism. Though these three great Protestants disagreed on many things, they all agreed on the Protestant doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. They also agreed that infant baptism is a biblical practice and the best expression of the Protestant gospel.8 In fact, infant baptism has been the practice of the historic Christian church since the Apostolic period.9 Of course the historic practice of the church does not settle the question. Historic practice, however, suggests a certain presumption in favor of infant baptism. Nevertheless, tradition alone is not sufficient reason for any practice in the church. Therefore Reformed Christians practice covenant baptism because we are commanded to do so in both the Old and New Covenant Scriptures. 10

Comments Worthy of Noting

I wanted to share two comments made over the past week that I really enjoyed, even when they were opposed to my position. The first is from Stan, over at BirdsoftheAir. He was commenting on one of my posts on baptism, and stated his opposition to my position:

Raised a Baptist, I was introduced later in life to the concept of paedobaptism by someone I greatly admire — R.C. Sproul. So I spent a great deal of time examining the Scriptures on the subject, not wishing for emotion or precedent to determine what is true. I became so adept at it that I once spent time defending it on a Christian discussion forum. I can see where paedobaptists such as yourself come to your conclusions, and I respect them as not merely traditional, but biblical. That is, you derive your view from Scripture.

I also agree that baptism is the new circumcision (so to speak). Having said that, however, I find that this is where I end my convergence with paedobaptism. I believe that “repent and be baptized” is the correct formula (see also Matt 28:19-20). So if baptism is the sign of the new covenant, at what point did the children of Israel become part of the old covenant? At birth, of course. And at what point do we become part of the new? At spiritual birth. Thus, after comparing Scripture with Scripture, listening to godly men debating godly men (I was treated to a debate on the subject between R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur once), and recognizing many Reformed folks who are biblical, Reformed, and credobaptists (such as John Piper), I’ve concluded that I am convinced by Scripture and evident reason that the credobaptist position best reflects the biblical view.

But, as I said, I respect those who, by virtue of Scripture, conclude that I’m wrong on this. Not so much those who, by virtue of righteous indignation and wrath, decide credobaptists are rank heretics perhaps not even part of the faith.

I appreciate his comment because he fully recognizes my position as a paedobaptist, shows why he disagrees with the position without being insulting or demeaning, and still admits that my position is supported by scripture. Yet, even with that support, he is not convinced and remains a credobaptist. Excellent response.

Continue reading “Comments Worthy of Noting”