Friday, August 01, 2008

Another Biblical Inconsistency?

I met a local brother in Christ who I used to attend church with beside a lake along a highway, where he was camping with his family. I stopped there with my daughter and her friend for a side-trip after taking them along with me to shoe one horse today. He showed me that he was reading a book by John MacArthur and I responded saying that he was a good Christian author. He also remarked that he'd come across a new biblical concept never really given any more than lip service in our old church and that was sanctification. I responded with joy and mentioned the verse, "This is the will of God, your sanctification...and that you possess your own vessel in sanctification and honor."

I love that whole passage so I think I'll paste it right here:

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

Sanctification is a good thing, in all of it's contexts.

I did mention to him that one thing I remember of John MacArthur is that he's fallen into an error of subscribing to the Reformed style of theology. The Reformed Theology is guilty of devising a man-made system of theology which speculates with regards to the nature of 'election' and its specifics. Christian brethren cannot just go about writing doctrine regarding things Christ has not made clear. That's when my friend explained to me that there are two doctrines of election in the Bible.

Bingo, another inconsistency in the Bible? It would have to be. I told him that the "them" he was referring to, the two different doctrines, were both wrong and that God did not give us a specific doctrine of election, but told us only that there is one, after a sort. I told him that there have been brilliant men debating over what exactly is said in the bible about how the dynamic of election is said to actually work, from the beginning of...well, whenever that rueful day was when men started debating over the meaning of clear and simple passages of scripture in the Bible, and that they would continue to not be able to get it sorted out until Christ returns. And that it was not to be known. He agreed that it was a mystery. I don't like to call it a mystery. I don't believe the Bible refers to it as one. I refer to it as a point of God's knowledge which He hasn't intended for us to know the details of, and which the discussion of, never fails to produce quarrels and factions which are warned against by Christ in scripture.

The discussions on the details of 'election' produce more division and alienation from each other than edification.

No inconsistencies in the Bible yet. I'm sure we all agree that the 'pure milk of the word' is all of what it claims to be.