Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Gordon H. Clark: God's Elect: A Small Remnant in an Apostate Nation

Liberals who loudly assert that the Constitution erects a great wall of separation between church and state when Christians protest against abortion and homosexuality, never see a low fence when it comes to the State's curtailing of the practice of religion.  As one half drunk communist said to me as he was returning from Russia, "you can pray all you want."  Yes, but you can't put your religion into practice. 

. . . . .
the IRS and the Supreme Court do not know God.  They want to usurp his place as Father.  From all appearances this liberalism--which is not liberalism at all, but reactionary totalitarianism--will increase.   

--Dr. Gordon H. Clark

This has been one of the most hotly debated and inflammatory presidential election cycles in the history of the United States of America.  The difference is that this time around the media has no monopoly on the news cycle.  The media still has a lot of power to deceive the low information and low education masses with their propaganda.  However, they no longer can monopolize the information available.  The internet, like Gutenberg's printing press, has opened up the potential for social media and blogs to counter the propaganda of the liberal progressives and the inane pseudo-conservative pundits on the radio, satellite and cable television.

Interestingly enough, despite the information superhighway, the vast majority of the populace in our nation does not know how to think critically.  Few if any understand the difference between propositional logic and irrational antinomies.  Politicians can spout off blatantly contradictory statements and the people accept them as just "politics".  Sophistry seems to be acceptable because "everyone does it".  Yet Donald Trump, who lies more than the other politicians, claims to be a truth teller while contradicting himself every other day.

What should a Christian do in such circumstances?  First of all, the sovereign grace Christian knows that all things work for his or her good.  (Romans 8:28-39).  This means that suffering and persecution are not pleasant to go through but they nevertheless work for the good of God's elect.  The rich may prosper in this life but their end is eternal torment in hell unless they obey the Gospel.  (Jeremiah 12:1-3; Job 12:6, 21:7; Psalm 73:3; Luke 12:16-21; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17).

The late Dr. Gordon H. Clark was a consistent Puritan and did not call for a complete separation between church and state.  He supported the constitutional principle that the state should not establish any Christian church nor interfere in religious matters.  The state has no right to levy taxes against churches as a way of controlling the doctrines of the church.  Unfortunately, secular humanism has been the established religion of the secular state for many decades now.  Dr. Clark's remarks in his commentary on First John were made in 1980.  But his remarks are almost prophetic because the situation today is even worse than it was in 1980:

1 John 3:1

3:1 See what love the Father has given us in order that we may be called children of God.  And we are.  Therefore the world does not know us because it did not know him.

The text:  Why the Textus Receptus omitted the two words "and we are" is a mystery.  The manuscript evidence is very strong; several ancient versions, and some early church fathers as well, have it.

The love of God for his elect is variously described in the New Testament.  Here the purpose, or a purpose, of God in loving us is that we may be his children.  And so we are, for God's purposes never fail and Christ shall see the results of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied that he accomplished his purpose.  [Isaiah 53:11].

This entails what to some may appear as a disadvantage, namely, the world does not recognize us, does not know us, approve of us.  Of course, in one sense the world knows us very well.  At this writing the Internal Revenue Service has instituted rules to harass and very likely to suppress Christian elementary and high schools.  Christian colleges have for some years suffered harassment.  The courts incline to regard children as wards of the state and to deny parents their rightful authority in the upbringing of their offspring.  Liberals who loudly assert that the Constitution erects a great wall of separation between church and state when Christians protest against abortion and homosexuality, never see a low fence when it comes to the State's curtailing of the practice of religion.  As one half drunk communist said to me as he was returning from Russia, "you can pray all you want."  Yes, but you can't put your religion into practice.

What is the reason for this?  John states it clearly:  the IRS and the Supreme Court do not know God.  They want to usurp his place as Father.  From all appearances this liberalism--which is not liberalism at all, but reactionary totalitarianism--will increase.  Hatred of Christ seemingly will wax worse and worse.  We pray that totalitarianism, terrorism, socialism, and all the antichrists may be overthrown; but we have no indication that God will do so in the near future.  Even the churches, the large liberal churches, contribute huge sums of money to support guerrilla warfare.

Dr. Gordon H. Clark.  First John.  1980.  Second Edition.  (Jefferson: Trinity Foundation, 1992).  P. 90.

What Dr. Clark said 37 years ago is even more pertinent today since the perverse lobby for homosexuality and sex change operations has given the government even more authority to silence Christians and the Bible.   For those who think that Donald Trump is a better choice than the liberal progressive and socialist, Hillary Clinton, I can only say dream on.  Trump is just as much an anti-Christ as Hillary Clinton.

 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:13-17 KJV)

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Common Grace Objections Against Calvinism Answered Briefly

The debate between the semi-Arminian Calvinists or neo-Calvinists and classical Calvinism is an ongoing one.  Someone on Facebook raised the following objections to the eternal purposes of God in regards to common grace.  I will answer each objection in brief.

1.  Is God's love always salvific?

1.  Is love always salvific?  Answer?  Yes.  Since what is at issue is God's decree to election and reprobation, the first decree in the logical order of the eternal decrees, God's love of the elect is always an eternally unchanging decree to save the elect.  Justification is an eternal decree although it is not applied to the elect in temporal time until after they are regenerated and converted.  The proof texts for this would be Romans 9:11-13; Revelation 13:8.  KJV or NKJV versions.   God knows the end from the beginning and God's eternal purposes are eternally unchanging and immutable.  Isaiah 46:9-11; 53:10-11.

2.  Did God hate Adam before the fall?

No.  That's because Adam was an elect man.  We know this because God gave Adam and Eve animals skins to cover their shame and their sinfulness.  Animal skins indicate the sacrifice of animals and the shedding of blood which points forward in time to Christ's sacrifice on the cross.  Genesis 3:7, 21; Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22.

3. Does God love the reprobate angels?

No.  That's because God foreordained the fall of the angels and His eternal purpose for reprobate angels was always to condemn them to eternal punishment in the lake of fire.  Some of these fallen angels are held in Tartarus until the final judgment.  2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6, 13; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10.  Once again, God's eternal decrees and purposes are eternally immutable:  Isaiah 14:24; Job 23:13; Acts 4:28.

4.  If love is always Salvific then God the Father never loved Jesus from all eternity.

This objection is easy to answer since it is obvious that God's plan from all eternity was that Jesus would die for all the sins of all the elect.  So God's love for the elect was His eternal purpose before creation of time and the universe.  So God's love for the elect is made providentially manifest by Christ's sacrifice on the cross 2,016 years ago on Golgotha.  Revelation 13:8 KJV.   Revelation 3:5; 17:8; Matthew 25:34; Revelation 3:10.  In short, God's love for the elect is always salvific because it was an eternal decree.  God is eternally self existent and none of His plans or purposes change.  Once again, God knows the end from the beginning.  Isaiah 46:9-11; Psalm 90:1-3; Malachi 3:6.


Well, since I am not a hyper-Calvinist I will answer the question from the Calvinist perspective.  The kind of love God has for His creatures who never sinned, namely the elect angels, is an everlasting love, an eternally immutable and unchanging love.  God never changes.  His thoughts are eternally unchanging.  Man's thoughts change from one second to the next in sequence.  Man's thoughts are discursive while God's thoughts are omniscient.  God never learns anything new so it follows that God knows everything at once.  How would God think temporally when God is an eternal being?  Psalm 90:2; Job 15:7; Psalm 93:2; Psalm 139:1-17.

It should also be noted that the incarnation of Christ does not make him a creature except in His human nature and His human soul or person.  Jesus Christ before creation and His incarnation on earth was and is the eternal Logos, the second person of the Trinity.  John 1:1-3, 1:18, 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 1:19, 2:9; 2 Peter 1:1; Titus 2:13.  God planned to save the elect in eternity:  Isaiah 53:10-11.

Finally, simply making the charge of hyper-Calvinism and calling one's opponent a hyper-Calvinist does not make it so.  The term needs a precise definition.  From the indications of our opponent it would appear that he or she thinks Calvinism itself is hyper-Calvinist.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Is There a Universally Recognized Human Right to Homosexual Immorality and Same Sex Marriage?

It is quite frustrating to see Evangelical theologians missing the whole point in their comments about homosexuality, transgenderism, and same sex marriage.  The vast majority of them are trying to find common ground with secular humanists who have invented their own facade which they call "human rights."  [See:  Is Same Sex Marriage a "Human Right"?]  The real question is who decides what these human rights are and how is the deduction made?  Is there an objective standard for determining morality?

This where I am strongly an advocate of the late Dr. Gordon H. Clark's presuppositionalism.  According to Dr. Clark's apologetics, everyone starts with undemonstrable and unprovable axioms or starting points.  This is clearly true of empirical science as well since empiricism is really based on logical positivism of one degree or another.  In fact, Dr. Clark went so far  as to say that empirical science is based on the fallacy of affirming the consequent.  Basically, a theory is a presupposition and the scientist finds every inductive evidence he or she can to affirm the theory.  So why is it that two scientists can examine the same inductive evidence with two different theories and come up with affirming conclusions for two different presupposed theories from the same evidence?  Even scientists are fideists.  [See:  Science and Truth].

The answer, of course, is that they have affirmed the conclusion beforehand.  If it is raining, the streets are wet.  The streets are wet, therefore it is raining.   If A, then B.  B, therefore A.  Of course there could many other factors involved that could cause the streets to be wet.

Logical positivism is self refuting because it says that only what can be learned from the five senses is legimately knowledge.  But the beginning premise is itself not capable of observation since it is an abstract proposition that can only be thought with the mind.  Do animals understand the proposition that 2 + 2 = 4?

To cut the argument short I would ask the question that if everyone--including scientists--begins with presupposed axioms, why would the world at large fault the Christian for beginning with the axiom of Scripture?  All knowledge for the Christian worldview begins with Scripture as the axiom.  Scripture is the God-breathed Word of God.  Every single word is fully inspired by God.  (2 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 4:4; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Psalm 119:89).

I keep repeating this point but it is worth repeating again.  Is the human mind just a product of chemistry in a body, a brain of grey matter?  Or is the human mind really a soul created by God through providence and natural generation?  Philosophers of science have yet to solve the mind/body problem.  Exactly how does the brain produce a thinking and sentient soul in the first place?  Yet we have psychologists and psychiatrists pronouncing yet another fallacy of affirming the consequent.  If there are genetic and biological predetermining factors that could cause homosexuality and transgender dysphoria, then there will be homosexuals and persons with transgender dysphoria.  There are actually homosexuals and transgender confused persons, therefore homosexuality and transgender dysphoria must be caused by genetic and biological predispositions of the human body.  But presupposing this is again affirming the consequent.  If A, then B.  B, therefore A.

The fact that no empirical scientist can demonstrate how a brain can manifest a thinking and sentient soul should raise questions about the logical fallacy of presupposing a confused individual was born with a man's body and a woman's mind or vice versa.  Just because a person has same sex attractions, does that prove that the person was biologically or genetically predetermined to that lifestyle or attraction?  The cause could be psychological disorders rather than genetics or biology.  Presupposing that the streets are wet because it is raining ignores the fact that the street could be wet because a water line broke some other place and flooded the area.   The same is true of presupposing the consequent and finding causes to support the consequent.  There could be any number of other causes underlying homosexuality and transgenderism.

Finally, do we know that there is some set of human rights that everyone universally is entitled to?  According to secular humanism these rights are "universally recognized."  But is that statement itself true?  Obviously not since every culture has different customs.  In ancient Greek and Roman societies sexual promiscuity and homosexuality and even pedophilia were commonly accepted practices.  In Christian societies these are taboos.  In short, presupposing a set of human rights based on popular opinion is a contradiction because there is no universally recognizable authority for developing a set of human rights.  Popular vote does not determine morality per se because morality is maleable and relative to each society.  Unless there is a deontological basis for morality there can be only a totalitarian determination of morality by the state.  For Christianity there is a higher authority than human opinions.  That authority is the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures.  We ought to obey the governing authorities and the civil authority.  (Romans 13:1-14).  But when the government commands Christians to accept homosexual marriage, transgenderism, and the murder of unborn babies, the Christian has a higher obligation to obey God rather than man.  (Acts 4:19, 5:29).  In recent comments President Obama said that Christians must accept the dogma of secular humanism and change the teaching of the Scriptures.  [See:  Christian Churches 'Must be Made to Affirm Homosexuality'].  The dogma of homosexual marriage and transgenderism is soon to be a legally enforced doctrine of the socialist state.  The same thing has been said by Hillary Clinton in regards to abortion.  Christians must accept the dehumanization of human babies or face legal sanctions, according to Clinton.  [See: Hillary Clinton: Force Christians to Change Their Religious Views to Support Abortion].

[Cf. Leviticus 18:22-23; Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Genesis 19:5; Judges 19:22; Deuteronomy 22:5; Leviticus 19:28; 1 Kings 18:28]

I will ask this question again.  Which god is it that gives human beings the right to murder infants and practice perversions like homosexuality and mutilate their bodies to look like the opposite biological sex?  (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).  

Is Donald Trump any better?  No.  Trump is for using tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood, which exists solely for women's health issues.   Of course, the term "women's health" in liberal jargon means the right to murder an infant in the womb at any stage of development from conception up to just prior to a normal birth at nine months.  Viability is not the determining factor but sheer dehumanization of a human person.  Even Hillary Clinton acknowledged that an unborn child is a person in a rare slip of the tongue:   [Hillary Clinton Admits That Abortion Kills a ‘Person’].   Donald Trump is a relativist in regards to morality as his affirmation of the LGBTQ lobby clearly shows.  Trump is no friend of Evangelical Christianity and to affirm his candidacy is the same as attacking Christianity since he would uphold totalitarian laws restricting religious freedom and theological dissent from the dogmas of the secular humanism state.

For the Christian the final authority in all matters of morality, faith, and practice is not the secularist state or socialism.  Instead the Christian is obligated to obey God when there is a conflict between state dogma and biblical deontological morality.  The Christian cannot in good conscience obey laws that command him or her to recognize a perversion as "marriage" or obey laws that command them to recognize a woman's right to murder her unborn baby at any stage after conception up to and including just prior to a normal birth.  The sixth commandment says, "Thou shalt not murder."   (Exodus 20:13).  The Bible is a book that is logical and propositional in nature and it is perfectly legitimate to logically deduce civil and judicial laws based on the morality revealed in the general principles of the Decalogue and the other moral laws revealed in Holy Scripture.  [See Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1:6].

 6.      The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men. (2 Tim. 3:15–17, Gal. 1:8–9, 2 Thess. 2:2) Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: (John 6:45, 1 Cor 2:9–12) and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed. (1 Cor. 11:13–14, 1 Cor. 14:26, 40).   WCF 1:6.

In short, true Christians are at this time a small minority or remnant in the United States of America and around the world.  Most of the western countries are now openly socialist, materialistic, and hostile to biblical Christianity.  Persecution is just around the corner.  How much longer will the liberal media and the totalitarian state be content with religious freedom?  They are already willing to take away the second amendment right to bear arms.  The freedom of speech and freedom of religion is also on their hit list as relative to the socialist and secular humanist agenda to stamp out the archaic religions of the past and replace them with theological relativism and secular atheism.  Those who are supporting Trump are not offering a legitimate alternate but simply affirming the same result but with a different leader.  Trump is willing to equivocate and dissimulate to win the Evangelical vote.  But in the end Trump's agenda is no different from the agenda of the far left.  His only points of difference with them is on the issue of open borders and free trade or the Transpacific Partnership.  Other than that Trump is still a socially progressive liberal.  But the question is how is it progress when America is regressing to atheism and paganism rather than staying true to the Christian values deduced from the Bible?  It is the rule of law that is deduced logically from the Scriptures that has made our nation great and that has caused western civilization to advance peace around the world.  Instead the secularists want to exalt an intolerant pluralism that does not include the right to believe the Bible literally as it is logically and propositionally revealed from God himself.  The best summary of the system of propositional truth in the Holy Scriptures is the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Humans alone are created in the image of God.  Since God is a spiritual being with no body, it logically follows that the image of God cannot be a material body.   (John 4:24).  It is man's soul which is spiritual and immaterial and it is this spiritual and immaterial soul that is the image of God.  God, being Logic (John 1:1), enlightens every man with the ability to think.  (John 1:9).  Man is not a tabula rasa at birth but is innately endowed with the ability to reason, think logically, keep time, remember the past, and examine contingencies to predict various outcomes for future events.   [See:  The Image of God in Man, by Dr. Gordon H. Clark].  If morality is relative to culture, then morality changes with culture.  The basic premise of secular humanism is that deontological ethics deduced from the archaic Scriptures of Christianity is subject to revision.   Tomorrow it might be perfectly fine to eliminate subhuman homeless persons who have nothing to contribute to society.  Unborn babies are merely a source of human body parts used to enhance the lives of those better able to pay for this service and who have something more significant to contribute to a socialist utopia.  Any political or theological dissent based on an objective standard of morality is intolerable to the secularists.  Although they pretend to be tolerant the one thing they cannot tolerate is legislating morality.  Instead they prefer to legislate immorality and outlaw religious dissent based on the proposition that the Bible is the plenary and verbally inspired words of God and without error in every proposition recorded therein.

Thinking Christians need to stand for the truth and make it known that relativism and progressivism is not an option and that they are willing to suffer persecution if necessary.   Those so-called Evangelical  churches that are more concerned with not losing their tax exempt status--read state licensed or state controlled churches--are not faithful to the Scriptures but to the state.  This distinction will become even more evident as time goes on.

Some so-called Scripturalists are libertarians or libertines.  They believe the axiom that nothing is wrong except what harms another person.  But the Decalogue and the Scriptures disagree.  Leaving out the first table of the Ten Commandments is unconscionable.  Belief in the God of the Bible is the very bedrock of a democratic and constitutional Republic.  Without the Bible the rule of law means nothing.  I end with the question,  "How do you deduce a libertarian political philosophy from the logical and propositional system revealed in the Bible by good and necessary consequence?"

Charlie J. Ray, M.Div.

Support Reasonable Christian Ministries with your generous donation.