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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

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Fw: Transgenderism: How Am I Different From the Pharisees? What is Love?

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, September 05, 2009 8:36 AM
Subject: Re: Transgenderism: How Am I Different From the Pharisees? What is Love?

Linsey,


If I have wrongly applied the argument to you personally in the argument, then I apologize. However, the argument itself stands. The problem with your position, whether we are talking about you or an actual trans-sexual, is that you wish to think that God will somehow not be holy anymore and will accept wickedness as somehow "good." However, God's moral law is an expression of God's attribute of justice and holiness. God's attributes are part of His very essence or being. God could no more stop hating reprobate sinners and unrepentant/unconverted elect sinners than He could stop being God. Until the elect are regenerated and converted they are under God's wrath.


So your complaint is not really against me. I have only reiterated what the Scriptures teach--namely that the wrath and justice of God are fully biblical concepts. I have not read Phillip Yancey's book but I have read Michael Horton's book, Putting Amazing Back Into Grace. While I have not read the book you mention, I have read other articles by Yancey and from what I can remember his theology is Arminian and not Reformed. The Arminian is not consistent with Scripture, particularly when they can't decide if God loves the sinner or hates the sinner. Scripture clearly shows that God hates sinners unless and until they believe, which they are unable to do until God effectually calls those who are elect into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.


I believe this is why you "think" you are Reformed but your views are actually Arminian. Have you ever read and studied the Westminster Confession of Faith or the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms? I would suggest that you read those and read a copy with Scripture references to support the propositional truths recorded there.


Also, I have to note, Linsey, that you have not actually interacted with anything I have written in response to your questions and accusations. This leads me to believe that you are not really interested in discovering what the Scriptures have to say on any of these matters. Rather, you have simply assumed that I am an "unloving" person with no "compassion." I refuted that accusation earlier by showing that Scripture proves God loves only His elect. You have yet to respond to my point that "I" am obligated to love my neighbor and my enemy but God is not under any such obligation since all of us are His enemies until we are effectually called and God can justly hate and damn us all because He is absolutely holy.


It seems to me that you have a problem with the idea that God hates the wicked. This doctrine is recorded in many places in the Holy Scriptures. That would lead me to believe that you actually have a problem with the biblical teaching of who God is. In short, your real problem is not with me but with God. The beginning of rebellion is refusing to acknowledge that God is absolutely sovereign and just, even in damning unrepentant sinners, whether they be homosexuals, lesbians, and trans-sexuals or the straight little grandmother down the street who refuses to believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the elect throughout the whole world. The unforgiveable sin is rejecting Jesus Christ and this will earn you an eternity in hell. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23).


Again, Linsey, you seem to be ignoring the fact that any command in Scripture is an expression of God's moral law. So when you say that I am unloving or uncompassionate you are not saying anything other than that I have an obligation to obey God's law. But does salvation and justification come from our obedience of the moral law or from the fact that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life for his elect and satisfied all God's righteous demands for us in our place. We fall short of the mark but Jesus never sinned even once. Jesus, being fully human, loved his neighbor and his enemy. But remember that Jesus was also fully God. Orthodox Christian theology established that there are two wills in Christ. One the will of the divine nature and one the will of the human nature. Thus, one could say that Jesus both loved mankind as a whole by way of his humanity and satisfying the demands of God's moral law for us and at the same time the divine nature within Christ hated the unconverted sinner and the reprobate. When the Son of God came to earth in the incarnation, He laid aside the free exercise of His divine attributes of omniscience, etc. So Jesus does not always know who is predestined to hell and who is predestined for heaven. It is therefore wrong to confuse Jesus' compassion for sinners with the idea that God loves the wicked. Even Jesus knows better than this because He condemned the Pharisees as a "brood of vipers." He also said the Pharisees were of their father the devil (John 8:44-47).

44A)">(A) You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires.B)">(B) He was a murderer from the beginning, andC)">(C) has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.D)">(D) When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47E)">(E) Whoever is of God hears the words of God.F)">(F) The reason why you do not hear them is thatG)">(G) you are not of God."


I would love to see even one instance in Scripture where Jesus does not uphold God's Word, the Scriptures or where He even once advocates accepting the sins of sinners and the unrepentant sinner.
Clearly Jesus is telling the Pharisees here that they must repent yet they are unable to believe because they are slaves to sin and of their father the devil. Jesus never condones sin and in John 8:1-11 there is likewise the story of the woman caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus rightly points out that none of those condemning her were without mortal sins of their own. And one by one they all leave under conviction. Now, Jesus was not obligated to save the woman but He did so out of compassion. And Jesus never says that the woman did not deserve what she was getting from the law. Rather His point is that we are all guilty of breaking the law and whoever breaks even one point of the law is guilty of breaking it all.


But after Jesus saves the woman caught in the act of adultery from her just and due penalty of the law what does Jesus instruct the woman to do?

9But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, I)">(I) "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now onJ)">(J) sin no more." (John 8:9-11).

So if we accept the trans-sexual without also upholding the moral law, we are more like the Pharisees pretending to keep the law but actually breaking it. Jesus not only did not break the law but even in showing mercy and compassion on the adulteress told her to ". . . go, and from now on sin no more." Jesus upholds the law from beginng to end in this passage. Some question whether John 8:1-11 is in the original autograph written by the apostle. However, I believe it is there simply because it is characteristic of Jesus' teaching and the later teaching of the apostle Paul.


Let us remember that God never lowers His standard to fit our human imagination or standards of what "we" think the law should be but rather God and Jesus uphold the law revealed to us from above:

6A)">(A) "Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9B)">(B) For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:6-9

God does not grade on a curve. You either keep the law sinlessly and perfectly or you do not. If you don't measure up, then you are guilty of being a law breaker:

17(A) "Do not think that I have come to abolishB)">(B) the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them butC)">(C) to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you,D)">(D) until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19E)">(E) Therefore whoever relaxesF)">(F) one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called leastG)">(G) in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceedsH)">(H) that of the scribes and Pharisees, youI)">(I) will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:17-20

Paul clearly tells us that no one is righteous because of the corrupt nature and because of our actual sins:


9What then? Are we Jewsa]">[a] any better off?b]">[b] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, bothN)">(N) Jews andO)">(O) Greeks, areP)">(P) under sin, 10as it is written:

Q)">(Q) "None is righteous, no, not one;
11no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."
Romans 3:9-12

Now, even though Paul is arguing that no one is righteous, he does not give in to the idea that we are to accept unrighteous acts as God's will or that God tolerates such acts:


5But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflictI)">(I) wrath on us? (J)">(J) I speak in a human way.) 6By no means! For then how couldK)">(K) God judge the world? 7But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory,L)">(L) why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8And why notM)">(M) do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
Romans 3:5-8

So if you are saying that I am "unloving," Linsey, what is your specific accusation? Is it because I uphold the principle of God's moral law? If so, then you would be wrong in so doing because clearly both Paul and Jesus uphold the righteousness of God's moral law and never condone sin even when showing compassion on sinners. If you are saying I am like the Pharisees, then you would be wrong again since I believe God shows compassion on whom He will show compassion and mercy on whom He will show mercy (Romans 9:14-18). God can and does elect even those who have fallen into the sin of trans-sexuality. But He never accepts those who refuse to repent of it. In fact, if God does effectually call a trans-sexual, He always gives the person the grace to repent, which they are unable to do without irresistible grace given to them.

23(A) Can the Ethiopian change his skin
or the leopard his spots?
Then also you can do good
who are accustomed to do evil.
Jeremiah 13:23

Only by a heart change can the trans-sexual be changed. He or she cannot change himself or herself:

18And when they come there,A)">(A) they will remove from it all itsB)">(B) detestable things and all its abominations. 19C)">(C) And I will give them one heart, andD)">(D) a new spirit I will put within them.E)">(E) I will remove the heart of stone from their fleshF)">(F) and give them a heart of flesh, 20G)">(G) that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them.H)">(H) And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel 11:18-20

Linsey, is it love to accept a wicked person who is unrepentant? Would that not in fact go against what love is? How is it loving to accept the sins of the sinner when you know that the result of that is eternal punishment in hell and separation from God forever? (Matthew 25:31-46). While good works do not save the righteous (they are righteous by faith and by election from the foundation of the world, Matthew 25:31-34), good works nevertheless testify that we are genuinely renewed by the Spirit of God (Matthew 25:45-46).


Linsey, are you truly loving the sinner if you accept them as they are without showing them the results of their refusing to repent? Or is that in fact in itself evil and unloving? If there is no moral law or standard revealed from God, then there is no such thing as good and evil and your accusation that I am somehow "unloving" is a moot point and completely meaningless. But your accusation that I am unloving in fact shows that the law of God is written in your heart so that you are without excuse if you persist in upholding the trans-sexual in his or her rebellion.


May God have mercy,


Charlie

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 8:04 PM
Subject: Re: Transgenderism: How Am I Different From the Pharisees?

Charlie,

Again, thanks for your reply. You took a lot of time to write back, and I appreciate it.

I don't question the truth of what you write.

From your responses, it sounds like you make quite a few assumptions about me, even though I told you I'm a Christian and I believe reformed theology. I may be wrong, but from your responses, it sounds like you do not believe I'm a Christian, and you think I'm a transexual, and an unrepentant sinner, even though I really haven't said one word about myself.

Maybe that's partly why I feel like you are quick to judge, that you would make these assumptions while never asking one thing about me or how I feel, or what I think. It seems like you do the same with other people too, from your writing.

It just doesn't sound like you love people very much. And I do not accept that loving people is automatically idolatry. If you love people more than God, then yes. But it's the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor (people) as you love yourself. I don't know why you are so quick to assume that means idolatry. Those are Jesus's words, not mine. Do you really keep that commandment.... do you love others as yourself? You say loving them means telling them they are damned miserable sinners. Well, maybe, but that certainly isn't all, or most, of what it means to love someone.

Do you believe in grace? If so, what do you think it looks like when we practice it in our lives? Do you believe the practice of grace is an important part of the Christian life? How does it show in your life? Have you ever heard of Philip Yancy's book "What's so Amazing about Grace"??? I recommend you read it. Any chance you would?

- LL

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