Part One

The Meaning Of It All

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1–3)

 

The Triune God

This text, in the context of the totality of Scripture, gives to us an understanding of God as a plurality in unity, as it speaks to us of God creating and the Spirit being present. We must specifically, when speaking of the God of the Bible, speak of God as a Tri-unity, or Trinity. The one God is three persons in perfect unity of being, essence, and agreement. We see this by considering the fact that the Son is as much Creator-God as the Father (See John 1:1-4,14 and Hebrews 1:1-3), and by understanding that the Spirit of God is equally Divine (Job 33:4, Acts 5:1-5 and Romans 8:9-10). These three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, are the One God.

 

Why Is The Triune God Necessary?

Why would we say that the Triune God of Scripture is necessary to knowledge?

First of all, truth is expected to be an unity. We expect that which is true in one field of study to agree with what is true in any other field of study in whatever fashion those fields of truth intersect. For example, we would expect that mathematical truth would be the same whether it were applied to governments or to a building contractor’s business. We would not expect the realities of mathematics to change simply because of the field in which math was applied changed. We expect truth to be true wherever truth appears.

What this means is that we expect there to be unity in plurality. While there are many fields of knowledge, we expect the truth to be united across the plurality of fields. There is one body of truth, though many fields of knowledge; and the truths found in every field of knowledge agree, as truth is an unity.

The problem is that we must then find a source and standard for truth and knowledge that can provide unity in plurality.

Pantheism cannot provide this unity in plurality. If all is god, then there is actually more of a monad than a plurality. Not only so, but all is subsumed into god leaving us with obscurity. There would be no true revelation, because all is god and there would be nothing distinct from the god to receive knowledge. In fact, we would be unable to even know what to call this god. This would cause everyone and everything to be a standard of truth in and of itself/ourselves. This would leave us with relativism, because we would be unable to point anywhere to a united standard of truth that addresses the problem of plurality in unity.

If God were totally one in the sense that Allah, the god of the Muslims, is one, then we would again have an unknowable standard. The god would then be so utterly other than the world and humanity that the god would be unapproachable and unknowable. There would be no way to have a divine revelation that would give us truth and knowledge. Neither would we have a standard by which to know truth. We would be left in the dark.[1]

What, then, is the answer to our dilemma? The Triune God of Scripture is the answer. He alone meets our need for a single, sovereign, intelligent Creator God who is the source of all knowledge and truth. Apart from the Trinity there can be neither truth nor knowledge.

The Bible, as the source of our knowledge of this Triune God, is our only ground of rational thought. It is in the Christian Scriptures that we find that God is:

  1. Our Creator (Genesis 1:1-3;Jeremiah 32:17;Hebrews 1:1-3;11:3).
  2. The God of knowledge and truth who judges us (Deuteronomy 32:4;1Samuel 2:3).
  3. The God who is one God, yet three persons (Genesis 1:1-3,26-28;Psalm 110:1-7;John 1:1-4,14;3:16-17;5:17-21;Hebrews 1:1-3).
  4. The God who makes Himself known to His creatures (Genesis 1:1-31;2:1-25;Psalm 19:1-11;Isaiah 40:1-8;John 1:18;Hebrews 1:1-3;Revelation 1:1-8;22:1-6,16-21).

With this in mind, we need to approach our Bibles as God’s revelation of Himself; and, if God reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures, we must acknowledge that the Scriptures are true. It is this that we shall study next.

[1] Thus, ipso facto, the Koran is no revelation of God, nor is it true.

More on the Trinity here.


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Is transgenderism Biblically acceptable? Who would have dreamed that we would be asking such a question? And why are we asking this question? Because there are those who actually think that Scripture is silent regarding the issue of transgenderism, or think that transgenderism is Biblically approved. Is this so?

 

The Created Order

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” (Matthew 19:4)

Jesus stated that sexual morality is founded in the natural law established by God in Creation. This being so, God made a marked distinction between the sexes. Man was made, and the woman was made. They were distinct. They are not the same, and each person was given his/her own sex.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)

Notice what is said here. It is said that mankind was created with two sexes: male and female. The two were and are distinct. Male is not female, nor vice versa. This is important in that we know and understand that God made everything “very good.” ( See Genesis 1:31) The distinction between male and female is a very good distinction that has been created by God to glorify God.

If this is so, we need to accept the fact that any attempt to reverse the “very good” creation and plan of God will not be good at all.

Concerning Deuteronomy 22:5, which says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5), Keil and Delitzsch said, “As the property of a neighbour was to be sacred in the estimation of an Israelite, so also the divine distinction of the sexes, which was kept sacred in civil life by the clothing peculiar to each sex, was to be not less but even more sacredly observed. ‘There shall not be man’s things upon a woman, and a man shall not put on a woman’s clothes.’ The immediate design of this prohibition was not to prevent licentiousness, or to oppose idolatrous practices (the proofs which Spencer has adduced of the existence of such usages among heathen nations are very far-fetched); but to maintain the sanctity of that distinction of the sexes which was established by the creation of man and woman, and in relation to which Israel was not to sin. Every violation or wiping out of this distinction—such even, for example, as the emancipation of a woman—was unnatural, and therefore an abomination in the sight of God.”[1] In other words Deuteronomy 22:5 is an explicit prohibition of any form of transvestitism or transgenderism. The distinction between the sexes is neither to be blurred nor obliterated.

 

God’s Sovereignty

There are some who think that transgenderism is acceptable because there are birth defects in which a man is trapped within a woman’s body or vice versa. Is this so? Apart from the fact that this is scientifically and biologically inaccurate, our issue is that this is also Biblically indefensible.

We cannot deny the fact that sin entered into the world and has wrought incalculable damage. No doubt that damage has extended to the genetic code so that various harmful mutations occur. This does not mean that one could actually be so mutated that a woman would be in a man’s body.

There is a reason for making this argument. God is sovereign, and God has made some things so distinct that they will never become the opposite of what they are. Good cannot be evil, sweet cannot be bitter, light cannot be darkness, and lies cannot be truth ( See Isaiah 5:18-20;1John 1:5;2:21). This being so, God’s sovereignty will cause male to always be male, and female will always be female. This will be so despite any and all efforts to make it otherwise.

Furthermore, God’s sovereignty encompasses all of time. God’s knowledge, purpose, and works in Creation are not simply in the here and now. God’s knowledge and plan tells the end from the beginning (See Isaiah 46:9-11). Not only so, but God’s works among us are such that He was at work in us when we were in our mother’s wombs (See Psalm 139:13-16;Jeremiah 1:5;Luke 1:15). This means that God’s plan to maintain the distinction between male and female is ongoing: it is not outside of His sovereign control. Neither has God made a mistake in making anyone what and who they are.

It is argued that there is a birth defect called transgenderism. I will simply repeat the fact that the distinction between male and female is established by God in Creation, and is called of Him “very good.” That which is very good is not a defect. There is a vast difference between a cleft palate and being biologically male or female. One is an obvious anomaly that is abnormal and needs correction. The other is normal and needs to be embraced, accepted, and enjoyed as God has commanded us that He might be glorified.

 

The Greatest Problem

The greatest problem with transgenderism is the problem that plagues us all: the problem of sin which devalues God.

Sin is not only a matter of disobedience and rebellion, but a matter of valuing God too little. Paul stated that the problem with sin is that it involves continually trading what is of most worth (That is, God and His truth.) for that which is of lesser worth (See Romans 1:16-32).

When we form our identity around our gonads, we are denying the very God in whose image we are made. We are rejecting His worth and wisdom by declaring that He is mistaken in how He made us and in what He has planned for us. We are rejecting God’s worth by refusing to enjoy Him and His ways. That is the nature of every sin, and that is the thing of which we are all guilty (See Romans 3:22-23).

 

Concerning Those Who Consider Themselves Transgender

There is no doubt that there are those who consider themselves transgender. How should we think of them, and how should we treat them?

There is no doubt at all that every human being is made in the image of God (See Genesis 1:26-28;James 3:9). This means that we should treat every human being as one who is made in God’s image. We must always love people with whom we disagree, even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45). Those who elect to embrace the illogical and immoral idea of transgenderism are still human beings made in the image of God, and we should treat them as such.

Considering the devastating effects of sin, and the sadness and sorrow brought on by sexual sin, those who consider themselves transgender should be viewed with compassion and pity. They are by no means in a state of happiness and healthiness, despite protests to the contrary. Let us not view them as enemies to hate, but as people who are to be loved and pitied. Remember, there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Finally, let us remember that the good news of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ is for all sinners. Sexual sinners are not excluded from the promise of salvation in Christ. All who believe Jesus can be saved. After all, there is no difference between us and them in regard to sin (Romans 3:22-28).

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

 

 

[1] Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament – Commentary on the Old Testament – Volume 1: The Pentateuch.

 

Pastoral Musings

The Meaning Of It All

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

What is the Bible about? Is there meaning to life? If so, what is that meaning? Is there order and sense to the things that happen in the universe? If so, how can we know, and what is the purpose of it all? These are among the most important of questions that we could ever ask; and they are the questions that are answered in our Bibles. They are also the questions to which we can find the answers in the book of Genesis, and specifically in the Creation Account.

The Existence Of God

There must be a source of all things. There must be a cause of all things. There cannot exist an effect without there first being a cause. The world did not come into being on its own…

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Today it seems that many who wish to resist being stereotyped are the same who speak of white privilege, and thus stereotype all whites as being privileged.

Folks, privilege is not a color; and poverty is color blind.

Today I went to this place where my cousin lived with no water, no power, no heat, and no a/c. 

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Note the absence of windows. Her car does not run, and she has no job. She is white, but she enjoys no privilege, though many stereotype all whites as living in/with privilege.
We moved her to another property that her dad owns. He is disabled and unable to improve upon these places. In fact he lives with no power in his home too.

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Amazingly enough, this house is an upgrade due to it being in a bit better neighborhood and having a few windows.

Still she has no water, no power, no car, no phone, no internet, and no job.

I don’t know what we will be able to do to help lift her up. Perhaps we can.
Please don’t sit in your comfortable chair and speak to me of privilege. You have power, phone, internet, and water. You are also quite likely to have a job that you are holding as you speak of other’s privilege.

You speak from a position of privilege, though you choose to speak disdainfully of this alleged white privilege.

Something obviously doesn’t add up.

The reality is that we are all created in the image of God, and we need His grace and His salvation.

We also need God to help us with the necessities of life. Rather than making everything racially charged, let is recognize that many are privileged and many are not. Regardless, God is sovereign. He has placed us where we are. He can move us from where we are. We must also seek to help those who are blessed with less than we have.

Rather than worry about privilege, may our concern be directed to how we can share Christ’s love- not unholy disdain- with others as we are able.

Here we are today on Good Friday, the day that is traditionally observed by Christians as the day that Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins.

What a wonderful thought it is that Jesus died for me!

Many others will write and say much more eloquent and profound things than I will today. That is fine. I simply wish to set before you what is on my heart at this moment in hopes that it will encourage you.

My thoughts are upon shame: my shame. I have been studying a bit about parenting, and I realize that I must grow to be a much better child of God so that I might be a better father to my two children. That causes me shame, because I want to be the godly dad that I should be; yet I know that I am not there yet.

My thoughts are upon shame: my shame. I have a past. In that past I have sinned. I have expectations for a future, and in that future I know that I will sin, because I’m a sinful human.

The glorious truth of Good Friday is that Jesus took my shame. He took my sin, guilt, shame, and condemnation upon Himself so that I would not have to suffer God’s eternal wrath because of them.

There is no condemnation for me, for I am in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1-4

 

Who hath believed our report?
And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of a dry ground:
He hath no form nor comeliness;
And when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
And we hid as it were our faces from him;
He was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs,
And carried our sorrows:
Yet we did esteem him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities:
The chastisement of our peace was upon him;
And with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned every one to his own way;
And the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
Yet he opened not his mouth:
He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
So he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
And who shall declare his generation?
For he was cut off out of the land of the living:
For the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked,
And with the rich in his death;
Because he had done no violence,
Neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:
When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,
He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:
By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
For he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
And he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
Because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
And he was numbered with the transgressors;
And he bare the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors. — Is 53