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More Moore, Tim Staples Speaks Synergism, Steven Anderson and the RBs, Phone Calls, Thoughts on Growth and Change

A little over 90 minutes today looking at Beth Moore’s article released over the weekend first, then moving on to Tim Staples sounding very much like our synergistic friends in his argumentation.  Then we looked at the cooperation of some (to me) local Reformed Baptists with Steven Anderson and how odd that is, took two phone calls (one on spiritual gifts, the other on keeping your cool in apologetic situations) and then I spent a few minutes on the difference between being blown about by every wind of doctrine and true, necessary growth and maturity in one’s own understanding and theological knowledge.

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The Dividing Line is on YouTube video. Our YouTube channel also provides videos of most of the debates that Dr. White has done over the years. Take some time and browse it to see if there is something there of interest to you. If you are looking for the next upcoming show be sure to subscribe to the blog as we post show announcements the morning of the show.

Beth Moore Sort Of Explains…But Not Really

Given I spent a good bit of time yesterday going over the words Beth Moore originally wrote on the subject of homosexuality and then had removed recently I think today’s article she posted should be read carefully and fairly.  I will be brief at this point: Mrs. Moore must know by now that there is nowhere to hide on this topic. She can appeal to emotion and feelings for only so long. There are serious, pointed, important questions that everyone knows she must answer, and the longer it takes her to do so, openly and honestly, the more damage she does to herself, and more importantly, to her followers.  Just a few items:

  1. It seems she is saying, along with people like JD Greear, that homosexuality is just “one sin among many.” That it is not, in fact, “particularly satanic.” And yet, Paul specifically laid it out as an example of the depth to which our rebellion goes, even to the point of damaging the core of our being, and God listed it amongst those sins so pernicious and serious that the land vomited out its inhabitants in Leviticus 18:24-25.
  2. She has yet to interact with what, specifically it was about her words that “exceeded Scripture.” She says she “overspoke,” but the only example she gives is an emotionally-derived hypothetical about a 13 year old struggling with “an onslaught of sexual feelings.” This seems to indicate she now embraces the “born this way” perspective as well.  She likewise conflates categories.  Note her words, “comes to the conclusion that he or she is particularly demonic.” Well, if the person thinks they themselves are homosexuality, I suppose, but the point of the Scripture is to warn us of the nature of the sin to which we are tempted and to therefore flee from it to that which is pleasing in God’s sight. Again, more identity confusion seems to be present here.
  3. She says she holds to a “traditional Christian sexual ethic.”  Well, that is great, but what does that mean when applied in this situation?  Those questions she was asked a few weeks ago would, in fact, clarify exactly this, but alas, we have not received any answers to those questions. So it seems she wishes to say that homosexual acts are sinful (since marriage is only between a man and a woman) but that leaves the issue of orientation undefined and the question of whether that desire needs to be mortified unanswered.
  4. I have often spoken of the dangers and errors of fundamentalism in its modern form, and I think with considerably more accuracy of definition and historical development than Mrs. Moore is providing. It is not “hyper-fundamentalism” to ask her to be clear and plain on this topic.

She closes her piece with a citation of Galatians 5:19-21, but not 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, which would have been directly relevant, I would think.  The questions asked a few weeks ago stand, and need to be answered more now than ever. And the questions I asked, drawn directly from the words she wrote, but has now disowned, must be answered.

One last item.  Mrs. Moore says she holds to a traditional Christian sexual ethic.  Almost everyone I have seen abandon that ethic and embrace the LGBTQ(nowP+) revolution has said the same thing, and given the same reasons for their actions. There is a theological foundation for that sexual ethic.  It is not a matter of what 13 year olds feel, or think.  It is rooted in deep theology, deep commitments to the Christian worldview.  It is not normally a part of visions and dreams and impressions and the like.  It abides and remains from generation to generation and is not altered by the trends of culture or fashion. The question is this: upon what foundation does Beth Moore stand?  And given that others have granted to her a position of teaching authority (whether she should possess that or not is yet another important question), the fact is asking for the foundational views of such a person is completely appropriate and, I dare say, necessary.

God’s Election and Reprobation in 2 Thessalonians 2:9–14

“The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan’s working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders, and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned. But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. He called you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess 2:9–14)

I want to make a few brief comments on this passage.

1. This passage on God decreeing the elect to salvation comes on the contextual heels of God decreeing the reprobate to eternal perdition. It is in the context of the lawless one’s parousia and Jesus Christ’s parousia:

“and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival. The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan’s working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders” (2 Thess 2:8–9).

As we move closer to the Lord’s return, Paul exhorts believers that the threat of apostasy is real; the warnings are a means by which God perseveres his elect people from the temptation to apostatize (see the many forms in 2 Thess 2 of exhorting to stay faithful).

God is both active in election (“God chose you”) and hardening in reprobation (“God sends on them”).

2. Ephesians is not the only instance where Paul grounds election in love (Eph 1:4). There are other instances such as this passage: “brothers and sisters loved [ἠγαπημένοι] by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation.” We know we are loved by God because (ὅτι) of his act of electing us for (εἰς) salvation. The obverse is that those who are not elected are not “loved [ἠγαπημένοι] by the Lord.” They are rather “those who are perishing” (2 Thess 2:10).

3. “God chose [εἵλατο] you [ὑμᾶς] . . . .” God is the actor performing the choosing, where the “you” is the direct object. Arminians may object by claiming that because the verb εἵλατο (“chose”) is in the middle voice, that leaves room for some activity of so-called “prevenient grace” activated by the creature’s will. Those who typically say this never actually explain how that works. In short, it is a linguistic blunder, or more accurately, it reveals no familiarity with the Koine Greek language. It is used to throw something against the wall and hope that it sticks with the linguistic benighted.

The middle voice rather is subject focused and such verbs “shift attention from the situation itself to the role of the subject” (Decker, Reading Koine Greek, 227), and “[its] specific features is the affectedness of the subject of the verb in, or by, the event denoted by the verb” (Bakker, “Voice, Aspect and Aktionsart,” 24), and “middle voice, in which the subject performs the action but with a self-interest nuance” (Decker, Reading Koine Greek, 227; cf. 235–36; see also Mathewson and Emig, Intermediate Greek Grammar, 148).

4. As if the fact that it is God decreeing and thus performing the choosing for salvation did not make Paul’s point, he emphasizes that this gracious act was done “from the beginning.” This excludes our participation in the sovereign decree of salvation since it was ordained before we were born.

5. “through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” Another feature of salvation that excludes any claim by us to have some efficacious boasting is that salvation is brought about by the work of the sanctifying work of the Spirit (ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος). Paul attributes the work of the Spirit in our salvation numerous times (see esp. Rom 8). The work of the Spirit brings about faith in the truth (πίστει ἀληθείας). Arminians who claim that the mention of “faith” must be the determining factor of their salvation has read Paul’s words literally backwards making faith the mechanism by which brings about the Spirit’s work and determines God’s decree before time! It is rather an absurd reading that is indicative of the Arminian tradition. Paul is praising God for what he does for us, something we could not do for ourselves.

6. And this is emphasized by Paul’s very next statement: “He called [ἐκάλεσεν] you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess 2:14). Paul uses another electing term, a favorite of his, called (ἐκάλεσεν) (see also the “golden chain of redemption,” Rom 8:28–30). The object of God’s decreeing action, once again, is you (ὑμᾶς).

In summary, Paul teaches that this electing love of God is the basis for his exhortations to have hope, comfort, and faith in trials and temptations to apostatize from the faith. In fact, this sovereign attribute of God’s faithfulness is effective to protect us from even the most evil one in the universe: “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess 3:3).

 

Way Too Many Topics Today to Put in the Title! Listen Anyway!

Here’s a list of topics: the Convert’s Guide to Not Becoming Catholic (which came along with a long recitation about my history with Gerry Matatics and Scott Hahn), the article on whether homosexuality has always been in the Bible, the California Bill to allow inmates to choose their own sex (insanity personified), Samuel Sey’s fine article, Sam Shamoun’s comments on what is and what is not heretical, Leighton Flowers, Rome, and his analogy of “choice meat,” Robert Truelove’s description of TR Onlyism, and last week’s video posting of alleged “insults” on my part being anything but.  Whew!  Yup, we crammed all of that into a 90 minute program.  Enjoy!

Here is the YouTube link:
Live Video Stream
The Dividing Line is on YouTube video. Our YouTube channel also provides videos of most of the debates that Dr. White has done over the years. Take some time and browse it to see if there is something there of interest to you. If you are looking for the next upcoming show be sure to subscribe to the blog as we post show announcements the morning of the show.

The DL Wins the Finals, Dr. Buck Reports on the SBC Annual Meeting, Dale Tuggy Wins the Strawman Award

Had to have just a little fun at the start regarding our winning the Podcast Battle Royale on Facebook, just squeezing by (60-40) Sheologians, the podcast of Summer Jaeger (my daughter) and Joy Hunter, produced out of Apologia Studios, a ministry of Apologia Church, of which I am a pastor—so no matter how that went down, I was going to be a winner!  Then Dr. Tom Buck joined us to talk about the SBC Annual Meeting, Russell Moore, and Resolution 9.  We wrapped up the program with a brief commentary on a recent debate involving Dr. Dale Tuggy and his truly spectacularly bad arguments against the Trinity.

Here is the YouTube link:
Live Video Stream
The Dividing Line is on YouTube video. Our YouTube channel also provides videos of most of the debates that Dr. White has done over the years. Take some time and browse it to see if there is something there of interest to you. If you are looking for the next upcoming show be sure to subscribe to the blog as we post show announcements the morning of the show.