More Ashamed of Chastity than of Lechery

Philipp Veit 002“[Y]ou are not ashamed of your sin [in committing adultery] because so many men commit it. Man’s wickedness is now such that men are more ashamed of chastity than of lechery. Murderers, thieves, perjurers, false witnesses, plunderers and fraudsters are detested and hated by people generally, but whoever will sleep with his servant girl in brazen lechery is liked and admired for it, and people make light of the damage to his soul. And if any man has the nerve to say that he is chaste and faithful to his wife and this gets known, he is ashamed to mix with other men, whose behaviour is not like his, for they will mock him and despise him and say he’s not a real man; for man’s wickedness is now of such proportions that no one is considered a man unless he is overcome by lechery, while one who overcomes lechery and stays chaste is considered unmanly.”

― Augustine of HippoSermons 1-19

Source: http://www.semperreformanda.com/biblical-manhood/

If There is Any Dedication

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Larry E. Ball explains why he never dedicates babies to God:

“Infant baptism is not primarily a promise of parents to God, but first and foremost a promise of God to the parents.  If there is any dedication, God is dedicating himself to his oath to be a God to both the parents and to the child.  It is true that parents are bound by oath to raise the child according to the principles of God’s word, but this is not a dedication.  It is a conditional covenant promise on the part of the parents.”

Read more: http://theaquilareport.com/why-i-dont-dedicate-babies-in-the-pca/

It is a Dear Reckoning that Comes in at the End

Naja-naja-kobra

Thomas Boston, Works, 5:108-109:

There is nothing in the world worth going off the way of uprightness for, Isa. 33:15. For whatever is to be had that way, is had with God’s displeasure, and instead of a rod it becomes a serpent; Eccl. 10:8, “He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.” And however men fare according to their wish in such a way, it is a dear reckoning that comes in at the end. It is a way to cut men’s days, Ps. 55:23, “Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days:” and a fair way to ruin them for another, Jer. 17:11, “He that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.”

Two Rules For Keeping The Sabbath Day Holy

Family Worship

J.C. Ryle:

What then appears to be the will of God about the manner of observing the Sabbath Day? There are two general rules laid down for our guidance in the Fourth Commandment, and by them all questions must be decided.

One plain rule about the Sabbath is that it must be kept as a day of rest, All work of every kind ought to cease as far as possible, both of body and mind. “Thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” Works of necessity and mercy may be done. Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us this, and teaches also that all such works were allowable in the Old Testament times. “Have ye not read,” He says, “what David did?” — “Have ye not read that the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?” (Matt. 12:5). Whatever, in short, is necessary to preserve and maintain life, whether of ourselves, or of the creatures, or to do good to the souls of men, may be done on the Sabbath Day without sin.

The other great rule about the Sabbath is, that it must be kept holy. It is not to be a carnal, sensual rest, like that of the worshippers of the golden calf, who “sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play” (Exod. 32:6). It is to be emphatically a holy rest. It is to be a rest in which, as far as possible, the affairs of the soul may be attended to, business of another world minded, and communion with God and Christ kept up. In short, it ought never to be forgotten that it is “the Sabbath of the Lord our God” (Exod. 20:10).

I am no Pharisee. Let no hard-working man who has been confined to a close room for six weary days, suppose that I object to his taking any lawful relaxation for his body on the Sunday. I see no harm in a quiet walk on a Sunday, provided always that it does not take the place of going to public worship, and is really quiet, and like that of Isaac (Gen. 24:63). I read of our Lord and His disciples walking through the cornfields on the Sabbath Day. All I say is, beware that you do not turn liberty into licence — beware that you do not injure the souls of others in seeking relaxation for yourself — and beware that you never forget you have a soul as well as a body.

I am no enthusiast. I want no tired labourer to misunderstand my meaning, when I bid him to keep the Sabbath holy. I do not tell anyone that he ought to pray all day, or read his Bible all day, or go to church all day, or meditate all day, without let or cessation, on a Sunday. All I say is, that the Sunday rest should be a holy rest. God ought to be kept in view; God’s Word ought to be studied; God’s House ought to be attended; the soul’s business ought to be specially considered; and I say that everything which prevents the day being kept holy in this way, ought as far as possible to be avoided.

Source: http://www.apuritansmind.com/puritan-worship/the-lords-day/sabbath-a-day-to-keep-by-bishop-j-c-ryle/

 

Love Constrained to Obedience

A hymn-poem by William Cowper (1731-1800), based on 2 Corinthians 5:14-15:

Decker - Father with childNo strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright:
And what she has she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.

How long beneath the law I lay
In bondage and distress;
I toiled the precept to obey,
But toiled without success.

Then, to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
I feel I hate it too.

Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose His ways.

What shall I do, was then the word,
That I may worthier grow?
What shall I render to the Lord?
Is my inquiry now.

To see the law by Christ fulfilled
And hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.

~William Cooper

Source: http://www.reformationtheology.com/2009/09/love_constrained_to_obedience.php

Of Wedding Cakes and Idolatry

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Jeroboam's Sacrifice at Bethel - WGA7465

George Gillespie:

“As for civil covenants, if they be for commerce or peace, which were called spondai, they are allowed, according to the Scriptures, Gen. 14.13; 31.44; 1 Kings 5.12; Jer. 29.7; Rom. 12.18. … A covenant of peace or commerce with such may happen to be unlawful in respect of some circumstances, as when peace is given to these rebels, murderers, incendiaries in the kingdom, who, by the law of God, ought to be destroyed by the hand of justice; or when commerce with idolaters is so abused, as to furnish them with the things that they are known to make use of in their idolatry.”

~‘Another Most Useful Case of Conscience Discussed and Resolved, Concerning Associations and Confederacies with Idolaters, Infidels, Heretics, or Any Other Known Enemies of Truth and Godliness’ 1644

Read more: https://mintdill.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/commerce-covenants-and-meats-offered-to-idols/

Translation Troubles

Bibles at the Skt Paul Church in Aarhus Denmark

I can understand why my unbelieving family members and friends have trouble knowing and believing what the Bible actually says when they are confronted with confusion like this:

Psalm 7.11 (YLT): God ‘is’ a righteous judge, And He is not angry at all times.

Psalm 7.11 (KJV): God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/7405-Did-GOd-love-Hitler-Does-He-love-Charles-Manson, Comment #3

Or this:

Matthew 20:22 (ESV): Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.”

Matthew 20:22 (KJV): But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

~

Mark 9:49 (ESV): For everyone will be salted with fire.

Mark 9:49 (KJV): For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/84468-Verse-differences, Comment #1

Or this:

Genesis 27:39-40 (KJB): thy dwelling SHALL BE the fatness of the earth

Genesis 27:39-40 (NIV): Your dwelling will be AWAY FROM the earth’s richness

Genesis 27:39-40 (NASB, ESV): AWAY FROM the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling

~

2 Kings 23:29 (KJB): “In his days Pharaoh-nechoh king of Egypt WENT UP AGAINST the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.”

2 Kings 23:29 (NKJV, NIV, NET): “In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt WENT TO THE AID OF the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him, And PHARAOH NECHO (Footnote – literally ‘he’) killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him.”

~

Jeremiah 51:3 (KJB): LET the archer BEND his bow

Jeremiah 51:3 (ESV): Let NOT the archer BEND his bow

~

Hosea 10:1 (KJB): Israel is an EMPTY vine

Hosea 10:1 (NASB): Israel is a luxuriant vine

~

2 Samuel 14:14 (KJB): “NEITHER DOTH GOD RESPECT ANY PERSON”

2 Samuel 14:14 )ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, NET): “BUT GOD WILL NOT TAKE AWAY LIFE”

Source and read more: http://brandplucked.webs.com/biblebabel1.htm

Yes, I am aware that there are textual issues underlying the different translations.  However the plethora of English translations, in my experience, makes witnessing to unbelievers more difficult and adds to their confusion.  The more that different translations are consulted, the more work the reader has to do to figure out what God actually says, which places the reader in the position of determining what the actual word of God is since contradictory statements can’t all be right.  This is hard enough for a believer, let alone an unbeliever or new believer.  Not everyone has the time or ability to wade through the textual issues for each verse in order to properly understand the Bible.

Consider these words of David Engelsma:

“Third, preachers weaken the people’s trust in the reliability of the Bible which they use when they so often and so casually say, “The reading of the KJV is wrong; the better reading is…” I find evidence of mistrust when, in a debate in a Bible study class, a member will say, “Maybe the Greek is different,” or, somewhat cynically, “Probably, the original has something else.””

Source: APPENDIX: THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE to the article, “Modern Bible Versions,” in the section, “The Issue of the Greek Text of the New Testament”

Have you found that different translations have caused confusion amongst unbelievers or new converts?  If so, how have you helped them figure out which translation is “correct” regarding any given verse?  How many translations should people be expected to consult when reading the Bible? How can Bible readers “know” with any degree of certainty what God actually said?

~1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV): For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…~