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

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 is 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 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 that is spiritual and immaterial 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.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

WCF Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures


CHAPTER I—Of the Holy Scripture

  1.      Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; (Rom. 2:14–15, Rom. 1:19–20, Ps. 19:1–3, Rom. 1:32, Rom. 2:1) yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. (1 Cor. 1:21, 1 Cor. 2:13–14) Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manner, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; (Heb. 1:1) and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing: (Prov. 22:19–21, Luke 1:3–4, Rom. 15:4, Matt. 4:4,7,10, Isa. 8:19–20) which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; (2 Tim. 3:15, 2 Pet. 1:19) those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased. (Heb. 1:1–2)
  2.      Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these,

Genesis      Ecclesiastes
Exodus      The Song of Songs
Leviticus      Isaiah
Numbers      Jeremiah
Deuteronomy      Lamentations
Joshua      Ezekiel
Judges      Daniel
Ruth      Hosea
I. Samuel      Joel
II. Samuel      Amos
I. Kings      Obadiah
II. Kings      Jonah
I. Chronicles      Micah
II. Chronicles      Nahum
Ezra      Habakkuk
Nehemiah      Zephaniah
Esther      Haggai
Job      Zechariah
Psalms      Malachi


The Gospels according to      Thessalonians I
Matthew      Thessalonians II
Mark      To Timothy I
Luke      To Timothy II
John      To Titus
The Acts of the Apostles      To Philemon
Paul’s Epistles to the Romans      The Epistle to Hebrews
Corinthians I      The Epistle of James
Corinthians II      The first and second Epistles of Peter
Galatians      The first, second and third Epistles of John
Ephesians      The Epistle of Jude
Philippians      The Revelation of John

All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life. (Luke 16:29, 31, Eph. 2:20, Rev. 22:18–19, 2 Tim. 3:16)
  3.      The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings. (Luke 24:27, 44, Rom. 3:2, 2 Pet. 1:21)
  4.      The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God. (2 Pet. 1:19, 21, 2 Tim. 3:16, 1 John 5:9, 1 Thess. 2:13)
  5.      We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverend esteem of the Holy Scripture. (1 Tim. 3:15) And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts. (1 John. 2:20, John 16:13–14, 1 Cor. 2:10–12, Isa. 59:21)
  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)
  7.      All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: (2 Pet. 3:16) yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. (Ps. 119:105, 130)
  8.      The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; (Matt. 5:18) so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. (Isa. 8:20, Acts 15:15, John 5:39, 46) But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, (John 5:39) therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, (1 Cor. 14:6, 9, 11–12, 24, 27–28) that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; (Col. 3:16) and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope. (Rom. 15:4)
  9.      The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly. (2 Pet. 1:20–21, Acts 15:15–16)
  10.      The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture. (Matt. 22:29, 31, Eph. 2:20, Acts 28:25)

Westminster Confession of Faith

Monday, July 11, 2016

Frances Turretin: God Hates Those Appointed to Destruction

I find it strange that the promoters of semi-Arminianism and common grace try to quote Frances Turretin in their favor.  I read him just the opposite.  In his remarks on natural theology Turretin says the following:

VI.  It is one thing to allow some knowledge of God as Creator and preserver however imperfect, corrupt and obscure; another to have a full, entire and clear knowledge of God as Redeemer and of the lawful worship due to him. Natural theology has the former in that which may be known of God (gnosto tou Theou).  Revelation alone has the latter in the faith (to pisto) which is gained only from the word.  Nor (if God has not left himself without witness [amartyron] in nature by doing good to men as to temporal things [ta biotika, Acts 14:17] which he often bestows upon those whom he hates and has devoted to destruction) does it follow that the external calling is objectively sufficient for salvation because it is said "he suffered the nations to walk in their own ways" (Acts 14:16) and it is called that "time of ignorance" (Acts 17:30, referring plainly to a defect in the external calling because he opposes it to the time of the New Testament in which he calls men to repentance by the word).
Frances Turretin.  Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 1.  George Musgrave Giger, translator.  James T. Dennison, Jr., ed.  (Phillipsburg: Baker, 1997).  Pp. 117-118.

Turretin wrote in Latin so his sentences are often long and convoluted.  The editor put some of the incomplete sentences into parentheses to indicate the sentence fragment or incomplete clause.  In an earlier section Turretin says that natural revelation leads to natural religion because there is an innate knowledge of God in man due to the image of God in all men.  But this innate knowledge is insufficient to lead to saving faith.  Although Turretin does not say this, it follows that even atheists have some knowledge of God though they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.  (Romans 1:18-21).  Getting the atheist to admit this is another matter. 

The reader will also note that Turretin nowhere refers to common grace in this passage.  What he does say is that God's goodness to men is temporal but their final destiny is certain because God hates them and has "devoted" them "to destruction."  In short, providence means that any gifts God gives to mankind through natural revelation is meant to harden them because they are vessels of destruction.

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