Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Antinoms

Augustinian Successor mentioned in one of his comments about Antinomians.

A few years ago, I read of a confessional pastor spoke of how he normally behaves when he is in a gathering where some Babtists[my sic] and non-denom ministers are around.

He said he would purposely drink liquor in front of them.

Now we all know they do not drink, don't smoke, don't cuss, don't go to movies and just all day listen to Christian radio and watch Christian TV, their friends are Christians and their barbers are Christians and even their pets are Christians too.

Please note, now that I know what Pietism is, it really sucks. No kidding, it makes people Pharisees.

However Rom 14:21 came to mind while I was reading this guy's "testimony".

I thought his comment to be asinine.

Then I am reminded of the T-Shirt with the words "weak on sanctification".

Hang on, there seems to be a reversal here. What duh?

I thought that repentance's fruit is being so sorry you are a sinner I thought it should produce shame rather than pride.

That T-shirt seems to say "shame on you Pietists, Pharisees, hypocrites, look at me, I am such a lousy no good sinner, ... and I am proud of it too".

Antinomians suck too.

38 comments:

Drew Lomax said...

Agreed!

Even though we can't fulfill God's law as Christ has fulfilled it for us, doesn't mean the law lacks any usefulness for the Christian.

God's law is very good. It should be our waking thought, and on our minds before we sleep. And, I must be first to confess that my faith is so weak that this is very rarely so in my Christian journey.

However, even where I am inept (which is in most things) I know now, because of Lutheran teaching the laws three uses, that the evil motivation of doing the law because God's eye is upon us, is over in Christ.

I am finally free to do works of the law in love, and not fear, for I know, no matter what, that God is pleased with Christ and Christ is my righteousness.

I am now free to actually love my neighbor, and to do good works for them as God has prepared these works for me to do.

The blessed gifts we have in Christ never cease to amaze! Praise him!

Drew

matthias said...

I attend currently a Baptist Emerging church ,and was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Executive drink red wine during meetings. Obviously for medicinal purposes. However during the recent Abortion law reform legislation here in Victoria,not once was anythign said about opposing it. A lot about our soup kitchen,our work in east timor etc but not here. So here is a joke I told to my late father who was an Elder Emeritus in a Church of Christ and who immediately saw the inconsistency apparent
Baptists do not make love standing up because people will think they are dancing.
apologies if this upsets anyone

L P said...

Drew,

Well said. I know the 3rd use is an inter-family debate amongst us.

I am just being reminded of the need for Christian charity. Pietism has a way of weakening the conscience.

However I prefer not to give our modern evangelical friends more ammo to confirm them of their suspicion that Lutherans are antinomians, because we are not.

LPC

L P said...

Matthias,

I can identify with that - no I don't mean on the bit of standing up and so forth.

But when I was in charismania, we scolded people for being lazy with their Bible reading and stuff, but we never scolded them for their lack of compassion towards the poor or the oppressed. Hardly did we have a type of community giving. I can not recall much.

Not very many.

LPC

Steve Martin said...

God's law is the only thing that I am aware of that can bring to us the slightest bit of humility.

But not when it is wielded as a tool for improvement.

Then it creates phonies, or Pharisees, or leads one to despair.

I'll take my (God's) Law in lethal doses, thank you.

Past Elder said...

Hi matthias! I am sorry I overlooked responding to your greeting in the prior thread. This is now the only Aussie blog on which you will see me, as I have "retired" from the other one in its new incarnation and rules for "nice". You are of course always welcome on Past Elder.

I am not in the least offended by your joke. In fact it reminded me of something a girl of Norwegian Lutheran descent said to me when we dated for a time in the 70s -- that in her family, the running joke was that the worst thing you could ever say about anyone is that they were seen dancing naked in the liquor store!

Pietism has been devasting to the Lutheran Reformation, both in the "old country" and everywhere else it spread. It is an unfortunate consequence of our dalliance -- enforced in the old country eg the Prussian Union and taken upon ourselves here in conforming to the general "Protestant" face as the word is used now -- with the errors of Reformed or Calvinistic theology, equally as damaging as those of Rome.

From a single misunderstanding of sola fide reaction and counter-reaction spread. There is no controversy at all among real Lutherans as to the three uses of the Law, which no longer is Law in force but remains helpful as a curb, a mirror and a guide.

Some seem to be so afraid that works will be taken as a means of salvation that they don't mention works at all, then others fill that void with all sorts of stuff about works, or feelings coming from them as something of a proof.

It is really so simple. No more complicated than what we tell our kids: we do good works, and we do them not in order to be saved but because we are saved. Drew put it so well, with particular emphasis on the freedom and joy -- I am not free from doing good works, I am free to do good works, and joyful knowing full well that my works will never be enough, because they do not have to be, they count for nothing toward my salvation which is entirely through the works of Christ so I am free to love my neighbour imperfect though that will always be.

L P said...

P.E.

It is really so simple. No more complicated than what we tell our kids: we do good works, and we do them not in order to be saved but because we are saved. Drew put it so well, with particular emphasis on the freedom and joy -- I am not free from doing good works, I am free to do good works, and joyful knowing full well that my works will never be enough, because they do not have to be, they count for nothing toward my salvation which is entirely through the works of Christ so I am free to love my neighbour imperfect though that will always be.Welcome back, this is the old PE I knew!

I am glad you are again your usual old self (LOL).

That story about your life and the Norwegian sheila is probably an interesting story.

She did not wind up Mrs Maher did she?



LPC

Past Elder said...

A sheila she was, but Mrs Maher she never became. Her synod is now part of the E?CA.

Croc married another Norwegian descended Lutheran girl, though. Crikey mate, his dad and four mates came over for the wedding, and six Aussies and myself made more noise than a whole churchful of Norwegian Lutherans.

Politically ecumenical too -- the toast to the Queen was balanced with a toast to the President. But, the American custom of signing the marriage certificate after the ceremony threw a couple of the Aussies, who thought they forgot it when they walked straight down the aisle after.

Mrs Maher was an LCMS Lutheran of German and Cherokee descent.

L P said...

PE.

Absolutely, the Aussies will find it strange to have the signing at party!

It has to be signed at the ceremony. The Aussies understandably will go nuts about this, good they did not have a heart attack cause it called for it.

re:Pietism.

I think having personal piety is a good thing but being Piestistic, well, that ain't so cool.

LPC

Past Elder said...

Some of them were asking if they were really married -- and I explained here it is signed right afterward.

OTOH, I remember when the Diana and Charles wedding was broadcast, many here got up early to see it, and wondered what in the hell they were doing breaking off from the recessional!

I had a great time learning Aussieisms from my grad school roomie, though I unintentionally schocked the hell out of him one time early on when I said his parents called -- not knowing yet that "called" to me is "rang" to him and "called" to him is "stopped in" or "stopped by" to me!

I still btw have the didgeridoo he gave me as a present for being in the wedding. One of these days I'm gonna by God go on walkabout.

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya Lito,

Antinomianism is all to pervasive in the churches today. The freedom to drink liquor does not mean that one can also walk into a bar or nightclub and drink liquor in those places. I know of Christians who think of nothing about 'clubbing.' These are the same antinomians who are legalists in TRIVIAL or petty areas such as let's say boy-girl relationship!!!

L P said...

Actually this is what confuses the missus.

She sees folk take the reason that since they are going to sin anyway, they might as well do it.


Like that T-shirt. Can you imagine St. Paul wearing it?

Then I am reminded when I was an RC young man and this is what is interesting in what you said...I should think that back then, I was actually an antinomian and a legalist at the same time!

It stands to reason that when you believe you can pay for your sins, you will indeed sin, like sin now pay later ...do confession and penance and communion. In fact you can pay in advance!

I remember when the priest says - now for your penance do 100 hail marys etc.

I was a clever dude, I won't do 100, I would do 150 (I got 50 as an advance) because right after that mass, I was going to paint the town red.

You can do a lot of gaming on this business.


LPC

Adrian Piazza said...

Sinnners/Saints

drinking sinners, non-drinking sinners, smoking sinners, non-smoking sinners, Tithing sinners, non-tithing sinners, protesting sinners, non-protesting sinners. et al. infinitum

The Law always accuses, measures, divides, closes off.

Only the Gospel frees, overflows, gathers together, and expands.

drinking saints, non-drinking saints, tithing saints et al.

The problem in your original story is each believer insists that his or her pietism is a better reflection of Christ's piety. When in reality our peitism falls so short that it should stop every mouth except for saying "Kyrie Eleison."

Pax Vobiscum
Adrian

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya Lito,

I was revisiting some of my posts on a Reformed blog last year, on the subject of inerrancy. Would like to share these here. The antinomian/ legalist pride in me is itching to show these ...!

The "attack" on the biblical doctrine of inerrancy is inextricably linked to the biblical doctrine of inspiration. Inspiration as "theopneustos", i.e. properly and authentically understood as the DIVINE union between "form" and "content", "medium" and "concept" is necessary to safeguard the OBJECTIVITY of the TRUTH of Holy Scripture.

Denial of inerrancy IS a result of the SUBJECTIVE approach to the Word of God. The hermeneutical model in this case is that of the SINNER standing over the Word of God as the interpreter, and hence he assumes and remains in the position of "subject". The proper hermeneutical model is that of the Word of God standing over the sinner as the interpreter. In other words, we are the object to be "interpreted" by the Word of God as the subject.

In this role reversal, two implications emerges:

1. The *words* themselves as bearers of the divine revelation is the LITERAL truth, in contrast to functioning as signs only. The "vis significandi" (mode of signification) is the "res" (reality) itself. Thus, the meaning of sola Scriptura is precisely the self-sufficiency of the EXTERNAL Word. The movement here is an incarnated top-to-bottom pattern, consistent with the formal claim that the Holy Scripture is the Word of GOD.

2. "Faith comes by hearing the Word of God". Faith is not external to the Word of God, i.e. apart from the Word of God. But faith is CREATED by the Word of God. Inerrancy is a faith claim, made on the basis of the witness and testimony of the Holy Scripture itself. As such, it (i.e. inerrancy) can only be grasped by faith alone (sola fide). By extension, the infallibility (authority) and efficacy (power) of the Holy Scripture are grasped by faith alone. The Word as the legal authority (Scripture alone) constitutes the co-relate of the Word as the evangelical power (faith alone). That is to say, faith is not a "discrete" entity consequent on "understanding" as an evaluative tool. Faith is not a posteriori (subsequent) to nor identical with an explicit analytic conclusion. It is an impossible scenario because of the "bondage of the will". But faith is simply the implicit synthetic presupposition to the Word of God. That is to say, faith means being "reclaimed" by the Word of God itself, according to *its* own judgment (spiritual-deductive method), and not vice-versa, i.e. faith means "reclaiming" the Word of God according to its own judgment (empirical-inductive method). Ultimately, our faith is not dependent on our understanding. But our understanding is dependent on our faith which comes extra nos --- an alien faith as a total gift = alien righteousness. Faith and understanding are simultaneous, not sequential. faith IMPLIES understanding. And faith as a total gift co-exists (simultaneously) with unbelief as a total condition: simul iustus et peccator. There is no middle ground approach to Scripture. Our bondage to sin simply and by default disallows a neutral approach. Both the regenerate and unregenerate encounter Scripture either in a mode of belief or unbelief.

If one wishes to speak of movement, then the movement is not the progression of understanding towards faith, but the progression of faith towards understanding.

"Credo ut intelligam"

Seen from this perspective, denial of inerrancy is simply the denial that Holy Scripture IS the Word of God. Instead, Holy Scripture becomes the means by which we *respond* to God's "self-disclosure" in the course of the divine-human encounter - the movement here reverses the pattern of Divine Revelation and Incarnation, i.e. it is bottom-up, a spiritual ascent according a "ladder scheme". But this produces only subjectivism, i.e. the individual-mystic type or communal-academic type, etc.

Ultimately, scholarly consensus (e.g. science), ecclesial tradition (e.g. magisterium), is elevated into a plus sign alongside Holy Scripture. Denial of inerrancy, to be precise, is a denial that the Word of God is the self-sufficient source of truth.

In short, inerrancy is BOTH a denial (incipient or full-blown) of sola Scriptura and sola fide.

Augustinian Successor said...

I believe it is implausible for inspiration to allow for errancy. Inerrancy is grounded in inspiration. The Scripture is inerrant because it is inspired. Under this model, inspiration and inerrancy are fideistic claims. Hence, it is - believe it or not -a concrete claim. The opposite would entail extra-fideistic conditions which is to remain trapped in abstractions.

That is *if* we can prove the plenary inerrancy of Scripture, only *then* we will acknowledge its plenary inspiration. Thus, one has to appeal to subjectivist models to bolster what is supposed to be the objective truth of Scripture. It is a vicious circle because ultimately one can never get round to making a formal affirmation of Scripture as the Word of God. So, by inspiration, it is meant plenary inspiration - a total state.

In terms of the relationship between inspiration and human agency, is monergistic.

Inspiration and salvation are aspects of the same divine revelation which is by grace alone through faith alone. In other words, there is only a single efficient cause (divine) in inspiration, not two (divine and human) - the the divine will is the singular cause (subject) and the human will is the singular effect (object). The difference between inspiration and providence is the difference between supernatural and natural. Inspiration was a supernatural act/event. Providence is a natural act/event. But BOTH involve primary and secondary agencies.

Hence, only limited inerrancy applies to the extra-autographic texts, transmitted in the course of ordinary providence.

Augustinian Successor said...

Secondary causes (secundae causae) is a legitimate mode of explaining the divine-human relation. After all, Reformation theology never denies that man has a will. What it denies, as a truism, is that the will is FREE. As Luther says, free will is a non-entity.

Esentially, the secondary cause is established and preserved in the "coincidence" between the divine will and human will. Man's will is neither suspended (cancelled) or overruled (coerced).

Thus, the integrity of the human will is preserved in inspiration. However, there is a one step further which needs to be had. And that is appeal to the model resembling and grounded in the hypostatic union (ala Chalcedonian Definition) of the Incarnation. Hence, there are two agencies involved expressing the one divine content. In other words, the ORIGIN or source of the THOUGHTS are DIVINE *by* IMMEDIATE inspiration. *Simultaneously*, the divine thoughts are MEDIATELY composed via HUMAN agency.

"Human mediation of divine thoughts" - "divine contents in human form"

"God speaks to man through man".

As an aside, it is interesting that the Lutheran scholastics refused to limit inspiration to just divine superintendence over the process of composition, to ensure preservation from any error. Rather, inspiration pertains to the "materia" as well as the "forma" of Scripture. The materia relates to the human response to divine revelation - style of writing, choice of words, syllables, etc.; the forma relates to divine revelation/thoughts itself - meaning, sense, intent. Again, the christological model is evident.

Augustinian Successor said...

Not necessarily, as inspiration *guarantees* inerrancy. Inspiration is not to be confused with preservation or transmission. Inspiration occurs by divine revelation; preservation occurs by divine providence. The two are not synonymous. Inspiration as divine revelation is *unmediated*; inspiration as inscripturalisation is *mediated*.

In fact, the basis for the providential preservation of Scripture is the inspiration of the autographic texts. For inspiration ensures that Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum (The Word of the Lord remaineth forever). The sources of the textual transmission have to be inerrant for there to be continuity in doctrinal intent and factual content. Any suspicion in the inerrancy of the divine contents would have "inspired" alteration for the sake of theological errors. Then Rome would have been right in asserting the "massive subjectivism" of its magisterium to certify the validity of a particular hermeneutical approach.

As such, errancy in the original texts lead to *subjectivism*. The loss of confidence in the accuracy or authenticity of the contents can only result in those portions of Scripture being relegated to myths or sagas.

Instead, the Reformed and Reformation understanding is that the narrative or story as an actual event *re-claims* the hearer himself by faith. We become part of salvation history, instead of the myths or sagas being fitted to our personal mythologised history or sagas.

Salvation history catches up with us precisely because it is real. The sovereign God who acted in salvation history extends the narrative of Scripture in time and space to incorporate us also. So, ultimately in order for Scripture to exercise its mata-narrative power, it has to be inerrant as the fountain, source, basis, etc. So, we don't have to "go back in time" to find out the meaning of salvation history. The meaning is as it says. The Words says what it does; the Word does what it says. All because it is the true and infallible Word of God, based on the inerrant Word of God in the autographa. The Word of God is once for all, like the unrepeatable events of salvation history, and not subject to the priesthood of scholars for accessiblity for Scriptura sacra sui ipsius interpres (*Scripture interprets itself*).

Augustinian Successor said...

Scripture is self-attesting and is its own witness. It follows therefore that Scripture alone is the divine revelation, and by extension the only infallible authority. Extra-scriptural revelation destroys the unique claim of Scripture to infallibility.

Augustinian Successor said...

Inspiration constitutes the means for the formal production of Scripture. Hence, inspiration ensures that Scripture is capable of functioning as the textual bearer of divine revelation as having materially originated via different modes.

Augustinian Successor said...

Indeed, Scripture is self-attesting or else faith collapses inward - curvatus in se. Faith is not a "quality" intrinsic to the sinner; it is a gift which not so much given (i.e. infused) but created by the alien Word.

The basis for the efficacy of the alien Word whether as Law or Gospel is divine character of Scripture itself. Plenary inspiration means that any portion of Scripture is self-attesting. To deny this proposition is to deny the UNITY of Scripture.

Think about it ... the Book of Revelation is an integral portion of Scripture. Adding to or substracting from the Book of Revelation IS adding at the same time to the entire corpus of sacred writings.

So, at the end of the day, Scriptures's self-attestation entails that faith is NOT blind ... a leap into the dark, as you seem to think.

You see, Scripture is not the medium by which we encounter God. In Scripture, we ... encounter ... God Himself, through His Son by the Spirit. The text is not a sign pointing to some deeper truth, which needs deciphering. But the Spirit of God is in the text to kill and make alive. In other words, contrary to the mystics - medieval or modern - the "meaning" or "sense" of the text is to be sought in what it DOES to you and I.

So, what is the implication? Scripture is neither a book of myths or an esoteric text, but the living Word of God sacramental proclaimed in its oral form.

Augustinian Successor said...

Prof. Frame quotes James Orr as defining "inerrancy as "hard and fast literality in minute matters of historical, geographical, and scientific detail." What I personally do not understand, really, is the objection to Orr's definition by Prof. Frame. I suppose this is because Prof. Frame did not specifically mention the autographa or apographa as the context.

Actually, I would subscribe to the definition of "inerrancy" as a "hard and fast literality in minute matters of historical, geographical, and scientific detail". Autographic inerrancy is explicit; apographic inerrancy is implicit.

Apographic inerrancy is limited to the ORIGINAL languages of Hebrew and Greek. Thus, it does NOT apply to the KJV. It only applies to the underlying texts, i.e. "Textus Receptus", an off-shoot of the "Majority" or "Byzantine-type Text". Hence, the inerrancy is defined in terms of linguistic continuity, of the extant (i.e. existing) manuscripts.

The divine properties of "inerrancy", "self-sufficiency", etc, are "extended" in the time and space "continuum" include the apographa. Under this model, the apographa is *self-correcting*. For example, scribal errors in one manuscript can be easily corrected by other manuscripts. So, the process of "textual criticism" is limited to PRESERVATION of the Word of God in the apographa, rather than RECONSTRUCTION of the autographa. Textual criticism serves ecclesiastical traditionalism, not vice versa.

So, the "inerrancy" (and by presupposition, inspiration) of the apographic TEXTS is derived from the "inerrancy" (and by presupposition, inspiration) of autographic TEXT. The multiplication of the autographic text makes it possible for the providential preservation of the Word of God in the apographic texts.

Hence, the "inerrancy" of the *apographic* texts is "implicit", i.e. implied in the PROCESS of providential preservation itself.

In other words, whilst "technical" inerrancy is not specifically *guaranteed* in the transmission of the apographic texts *per se*, "factual" inerrancy is kept intact and inviolate. The distinction between the two aspects is the difference between copyist error in words and numbers (*affirmative*) and copyist error in proposition (*negative*).

Thus, whilst ultimately *absolute* inerrancy is to be attributed only to the autographa, *relative* inerrancy applies to the apographa. So, yes I would assent to Prof. Frame's view if that is the meaning. However, if Prof. Frame is referring relative inerrancy to the *autographa*, I would disagree. I agree that "inerrancy" abd "infallibility" need not be conflated. They are distinguishable and that it is better to use the term, "infallibility" in keeping with tradition. But BOTH inerrancy and infallibility possess the same equal ultimacy and absoluteness as grounded in DIVINE inspiration.

Augustinian Successor said...

To assert that the Bible contains errors is a very stupid thing to do, for it is to verily undercut the very BASIS of one's salvation.

The WHOLE Bible is the basis of salvation for the whole Bible is *organically* related. Deny the historicity of First Adam on the basis of evolution, one denies the historicity of the rest of the Bible, including the historicity of Jesus, the Second Adam.

Then the history of SALVATION(Heilgeschichte) will be deprived of a HISTORICAL basis. The Bible does *not* contain *ordinary* history. The Bible contains EXTRA-ordinary history - history which relates God's "mighty intervention" in the life of His people.

As such, there is NO basis to discriminate one event as ahistorical and the other as historical. It is precisely by denying the inerrancy of the Bible that DIVINE revelation would degenerate into myths and sagas. Simply because divine revelation is *mediated* through HUMAN history. Deny the HISTORICITY of the Bible, one denies the VALIDITY of divine revelation.

In other words, Heilgeschichte is SELF-CONTRADICTORY and loses its objectivity when construed ala neo-orthodoxy, liberalism etc.

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya Lito,

Although I'm not a 3rd use of the Law guy, your point is well taken. One should not 'flaunt' our Christian freedom, LEST we cause the other (weaker) brethren to STUMBLE!!! This cannot be strongly emphasised. I know that Bro. Steve who is also a non--3rd use guy shares this concern too!

Xan said...

AS,

I'm afraid I haven't the time to plough through your essays above, but one thing you said in a short post, which you uncharacteristically did not reply to yourself, caught my eye:

The freedom to drink liquor does not mean that one can also walk into a bar or nightclub and drink liquor in those places.Talk about legalism! So if I walk into my neighborhood bar, and enjoy a whiskey sour while teaming up with some friends in a game of pub quiz, I'm somehow displeasing God?

L P said...

Xan,

The whole point in my post really is being loving and not causing offense to the weaker brethern.

As to your example, on displeasing God if you should drink liquor with your friend in a game of pub quiz,....well, I can tell you that you don't have to do that to displease him, there are many ways we are displeasing to God, one example is insisting our rights to the freedom to drink liguor.

I for example enjoy port. Very much, I was thought by my Prof to appreicate this stuff.

But surely I should be able to deny myself this right if it will cause my brother to fall.

This is the reason why St. Paul is teaching us to care for the weaker ones.

LPC

L P said...

A.S.

I am assimilating the essay and perhaps for discussion we should put it as a guest post comments. But this caught me, perhaps there was a typo here? can you clarify?

In short, inerrancy(sic ??) is BOTH a denial (incipient or full-blown) of sola Scriptura and sola fideLPC

L P said...

Adrian,

When in reality our peitism falls so short that it should stop every mouth except for saying "Kyrie Eleison."
This is true, in the ultimate sense, but I hope you are not implying that since we are sinners, the our nature is sin anyway we may as well be as bad as we can be, therefore falling into Manichaenism.

I say Manichaenism because this has a link with Antinomianism.


LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Lito,

Yes, typo error. Thanks.

Augustinian Successor said...

Xan,

A bar is OFF-limits. A pub is OK. There are family pubs, neighbourhood pubs, countryside pubs. But no, you can't walk into a bar and claim Christian freedom as an excuse.

Xan said...

I think there's a difference between our Englishes. Here, "pub" is basically never used, except for perhaps a British- or Irish-themed bar. I don't know what your distinction is between "pub" and "bar"; I use them interchangeably.

Whatever it is, it sounds like legalism, but I'll wait until I understand what you're talking about first.

Augustinian Successor said...

I don't care if it's a neighbourhood bar. But if it's sleazy or the atmosphere or ambience is not suitable, then it's a no go area. Scripture warns us to avoid all appearances of evil.

Xan said...

Lito,

I'm definitely with you on displeasing God. But it seems to me that the way to cause somebody weak in the faith to stumble is to insist on particular rules like no drinking. I don't see how having a drink is a problem at all.

AS, I thought what corrupts us is what comes out, not what goes in. And of course we shouldn't go anywhere not suitable; that's what the words "should" and "suitable" mean. It's the definitions that are an issue, and I'm not sure why we need to check with you for them. What is it you're really talking about here? Strip joints?

L P said...

Xan,

Romans 14 is to me the guide here.

Drinking and not eating meat etc are of the same plane. Paul adviced tha we should carry the weak on our shoulders.

It is the weak bro who insists on not drinking, not the stronger one.

What does it say when he is into scruples, his faith in the Gospel is wobbly!

That faith is precious to God. Take care we do not destroy it in our brother, because he can get lost when that faith goes.

LPC

Xan said...

Lito,

I guess I'm confused. You have a lot more experience at this whole thing than I do, so maybe you can help me understand.

Person A believes drinking is eeeevil. Person B takes a drink. Because of this, does Person A now decide that Christ didn't die for him, or wasn't real, or what? I don't see the connection; what causes the stumbling?

L P said...

Xan,

Also we assume A and B are Christians.

A thinks drinking is displeasing to God hence, he thinks he is pleasing God by abstaining. He therefore thinks that God is pleased by what he does or does not do. He sees B drinking and he did not expect this. A then is offended and scandalized since he sees B displeasing (in his mind God).

This causes confusion with A because he sees what is important trampled by B. This affects A's understanding of Christian faith and it causes discouragement in that what he thought important was not important after all. A doubts as to what he understands Christianity ensues.

Pretty soon he stops coming to where the Means of Grace (which produces and sustains faith) is found.

Rom 14:15, 21-23.

Xan said...

Is this Law, or Gospel?

L P said...

Xan,


This is Law. Hence, that pastor who purposely offends his Pietistic co-ministers has broken Rom 14. The pastor sadly is misusing the quip of Luther when he said to Melanchton -" sin boldly".

Some have the attitude that because we are sinners/saints at the same time, we might as well feed and indulge our sinner self.

An antinomian is a person who claims that he has a right to the things God forbids.

Dr. Rosenblad (of WhiteHorseInn.org) once said sarcastically - oh isn't this a nice set up, I like to sin, God likes to forgive.

The BoC says that faith (in the Gospel) cannot co-exist with mortal sin (things that cause that faith to be destroyed).



Rom 3:8.

LPC

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