Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Friday, August 29, 2008

In what did they cause division and offense?

17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16)

I was thinking about this passage today. When Paul says that these people "cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned" what do you think he was saying? Do you think he was saying

1. These people were causing division and offense by TEACHING THEOLOGY that was contrary to the doctrine that they had learned

OR

2. These people were causing division and offense, WHICH IN AND OF ITSELF was contrary to the teaching they had received. (IOW, Paul taught them not to be such quarellers).

40 Comments:

  • Actaully,
    When you look at the NIV
    17I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

    It looks like Paul was saying that these people were tempting them to do sinful practices. This is also furthered by noting how he describes them in the next verse, that they "serve their own belly" or "serve their own appetites."

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/29/2008 12:01 PM  

  • Hi, Rose. I hope you and your family are well.

    I am not a Greek expert by any means, but I find it interesting that the word "contrary" is translated from the Greek para which is literally translated "beside".

    Could it be that Paul is warning against those who major on teachings that are outside the scope of what the Roman believers had been taught? Given the amount of time that he has devoted to teaching justification by faith and Christian liberty, he could be referring to such things as legalism. Unfortunately, most who fall into this theological pit do so to the extent that they become divisive and it certainly places obstacles in the path of believers.

    What do you think?

    By Anonymous GordonCloud, at 8/30/2008 7:12 AM  

  • Thanks for commenting, Gordon. I htink you are seeing this as a unit:
    "offenses contrary to the doctrine that you have learned"

    I was thinking of this as a unit:
    "caus[ing] divisions and offences"

    in other words,
    "caus[ing] divisions and offences"
    was
    contrary to the teaching that they had learned.

    Do you see the difference in how you look at this sentence?

    I think what you say is probably right on if indeed Paul is warning of a teaching or a "doctrine" per se and not a trouble-making spirit. If it were a doctrine that he was warning against, it would probably have been primarily the doctrine of the Judaizers, I think, which, like you say, were all about legalism and causing Gentiles to look to the law.

    Thanks again and let me know if you have any thing to add about the phrases and the way I am seeing them.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/30/2008 4:22 PM  

  • Howdy there Rose. This may be as far off base as possible but here is the way I see it. The Epistle to the Romans is something like the "Christian Manifesto" on doctrine, & chapter 16 is basically about faithful believers he has known. So, the contrary doctrine he refers to here, to my mind, is to be a divider of faithful brethren through their divisiveness, which is an offense against the Gospel itself. Yes, we must get the Gospel right, but at the same time, since it is the Gospel if the grace of God, we must be gracious as we give it & stand for it. Kind of the conjtend without contentiousness idea. Hope this doesn't muddy the waters too much. God Bless.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 8/30/2008 10:22 PM  

  • I think a case could be made for both interpretations. I believe it probably hinges upon whether "that" is referring to "those who cause divisions" or "obstacles".

    Since it is against the doctrine we are taught to cause divisions, it may be possible for both points of view to be correct simultaneously.

    I hope you and yours have a blessed holiday weekend.

    By Anonymous GordonCloud, at 8/30/2008 10:25 PM  

  • I have been giving this question some thought over the weekend, Rose. As I am currently preparing a series of lectures on Romans, I have found this intriguing. It has certainly caused me to delve a little deeper into this verse than I had originally intended.

    From a grammatical perspective, I am coming to believe that "contrary" can only be referring to "divisions and offenses". If it were referring to the "them", there would be a being verb between "which" and "contrary". This does not appear in either the Greek or the English.

    From a theological perspective I would take the same interpretation. Not all offences are to be shunned. We know that the Gospel itself will be offensive to many. Paul was known to cause divisions over doctrine, even going so far as to name those who taught false doctrine on a few occasions.

    I believe the interpretation that is truest to the text must be that we are to mark those whose "divisions and offences" are "beside" (and thus outside the scope of and contrary) to the doctrine that the believers had learned from Paul.

    In my opinion, we would have to grammatically and theologically skew the interpretation to make it say otherwise.

    Is what I'm saying making sense?

    By Anonymous GordonCloud, at 8/31/2008 10:32 PM  

  • They were in a church building program.

    By Blogger Joe, at 8/31/2008 11:25 PM  

  • Hi Gordon,
    I certainaly agree with you that Paul was not afraid to disagree with Christains about doctrine. Contrary to what one person tries to say about me - I do not believe in "unity at any cost." I believe that there are issues that should be debated and there are certain things that should even cause me to break fellowship with another Christian. I would never think that Paul did not teach that sometimes division from other believers was necessary. I agree. (just to be clear)

    I have been looking for more on this passage today and my husband and I have been discussing this at length today and we think that this passage could be taken either way. We may find a firm answer if we continue to look. I was noticing that Paul slipped this in right when he was mentioning a bunch of believers by name... and was full of affection for the people of God. Reading it in that context makes me think that I may be right about it. He don't like those who turn brother against brother.

    I am not dogmatic, but I certainly do not want to be the one who is deliberately misunderstanding others in the church and then trying to turn others aganst them:

    A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends. (proverbs 16:28)

    These six things the LORD hates.
    Yes, seven are an abomination to Him... A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16, 19)

    Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? (James 4:1)

    ...for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Cor 3:3)

    These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. (Jude 1:9)


    Then again, Gordon, like I said, I do see what you are getting at. There is a time for correction because Paul wanted them all to speak the same thing. Wouldn't that be nice?

    Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Cor. 1:10)


    But, I see warnings against the childish fighting and name calling that you see with the gratuitous labeling and pigeon-holing. For example, what has been done to me in the last year by some (clears throat) who think they are the internet fellowship police or something.

    On the other hand, the divisions can serve a purpose in a church setting:

    18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. (1 Cor. 11)

    Gordon, Thanks for your comments and if you have more to offer, please feel free to do so. God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/01/2008 10:06 PM  

  • Hi David,
    I agree about the Christian manifesto thingy. If I read your comment right, youa re seeing it the way I am as well.

    in other words,
    "caus[ing] divisions and offences"
    was
    contrary to the teaching that they had learned.

    Am I reading you right, my dear brother? Thank you so much for visiting this blog and for not "marking and avoiding" me. :~)

    Joe!
    Yeah, those are the pits, aren't they? Thanks for droppin in! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/01/2008 10:09 PM  

  • Rose, I feel as though you are inferring much more from my comments than I intend to say.

    There are ample scriptures, many which you referenced, that deal with those who are whisperers, backbiters, etc. I have no doubt that God is not pleased with such behavior.

    I do not believe, however, that we maintain the integrity of the text when we assume that Paul is speaking of those sins here just because he mentioned them elsewhere.

    Again, if we look at the simple grammatical interpretation in both Greek and English, I believe it is referring to doctrine.

    I know that events over the past few months have caused you some pain, but please do not assume that because we see things differently in this that I look down on you.

    By Anonymous GordonCloud, at 9/01/2008 11:02 PM  

  • Oh, Gordon,
    I did not take anything you said as looking down on me. Ya know, I had visited a blog (that I had previously decided not to visit) this last week and it got up my ire. I see my name is still mentioned there and lies are told about me. So as I just re-read my comment I can see that I was a bit prickly, but it was not meant toward you. I had that other blog on my mind. *You* have always been most polite and reasonable.

    Now something that inspired me to post those scripture references was when you said this: Paul was known to cause divisions over doctrine, even going so far as to name those who taught false doctrine on a few occasions.

    I was just trying to show that in the same way we know that Paul called people on the carpet in other biblical passages for errant doctrine, we likewise know that he (and other biblical writers) scorned divisiveness. So I was just trying to show that both interpretations can claim that they are butressed by other passages.

    Now I am trying to get a lock on your interpretation. You said:
    I am coming to believe that "contrary" can only be referring to "divisions and offenses". If it were referring to the "them", there would be a being verb between "which" and "contrary".

    I agree with that and see it the same way. I actually think we may be seeing this similarly, but it is late and my mind needs to shut down for the night. :~) (Maybe it already shut down a couple of hours ago, eh?)

    Again, I am sorry if I was snippy at all in my tone. Never would I mean to be that way toward you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/01/2008 11:47 PM  

  • Hi Sis.

    I like to use the YLT at times, though in all honesty it does not always serve to illuminate the passages in question.

    ”And I call upon you, brethren, to mark those who the divisions and the stumbling-blocks, contrary to the teaching that ye did learn, are causing, and turn ye away from them; “
    (Romans 16:17 YLT)

    As a matter of translation I would say that this verse indicates that contrary doctrine was the cause for divisions and stumbling-blocks. That being said I think a much greater and more frequent error in the translation of this verse is in the meaning and intent of the commands to ”mark” and to ”turn away”.

    It seems by their actions that many would understand ”mark” to mean ”point out” or ”highlight” (these men) and that to ”turn away from them” is to ”turn them out”. The sad irony in this is that in so doing and in teaching thusly we ourselves become one of these whose doctrine is contrary and the cause of divisions and stumbling-blocks!

    The instruction here is not that we should earnestly contend ”against” these persons. We should always instead earnestly contend ”for” the faith delivered to the saints. We mark these when we take mental note of them and we turn away from these when we refuse to participate in their efforts (divisions and stumbling-blocks). Our further instruction concerning these persons, or any other that we perceive as being overtaken in a fault, was previously made clear by our Lord and in no way does Paul indicate here that we should do otherwise. He rather assures us that God will subdue the Adversary, our real enemy.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/02/2008 7:28 AM  

  • Good morning, Rose. I hope you rested well.

    KC, I like the application that you make of this text.

    By Anonymous GordonCloud, at 9/02/2008 9:48 AM  

  • KC,
    I see your point and Gordon's. I agree with Gordon that you have offered helpful insight. Someday I want to ask Paul exactly what he was getting at with this!! Until then, thanks you guys!

    I hope you did not get affected negatively by Gustav, KC.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/02/2008 10:24 AM  

  • Thanks Sis, to you and Bro. Gordon both, for your encouraging words and your care.

    We had no problems, to speak of, but we did spend the holiday following the 50 or so tornado warnings put out in our area. :-( Still in all we thank God for all who were blessed to be out of Gustav’s path and for all who were blessed to be in it as well. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/02/2008 10:36 AM  

  • Good morning, Rose. I understand what this question arises from, sis, and that in itself requires prayer. You got it! :)

    It will be no surprise that I agree with KC's heart of the message, as well as Gordon's literary analysis. I am sad to find myself in the midst of a discussion with friends on this very issue, and shocked that I am the only one who thinks this scripture does not mean to kick the offender out.

    I suggested that to "mark" one is and avoid them is to stop enabling them and allow them to suffer the consequences of their decision - to stop discussing it with them as they are not interested in listening to you but in turning you, therefore refuse to discuss it with them as there is no profit in it for either of you. (Titus 3) When the discussion stops, they have to live it out on their own - with God, of course - and that's when the true lesson begins.

    I know that's a bit off-topic, but it's what I was thinking.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 9/02/2008 10:42 AM  

  • Howdy again Rose.

    Before I answer your last post to me, I want to say to bro. KC that the Lord evidently has gifted you with a clarity in interpretation of His Word that just seems to make the text clear in few words. Thank you bro.

    Now Rosemeister, yes, I believe you read me correctly. I believe that since the text sems to be able to legitimately be read both ways, that both ideas are being espoused & commanded. Wrong doctrine must be avoided at all costs, as must wrong attitudes. IOW, believe in grace & be gracious. Sorry for the cliche, but I think it woiks Biblically! God Bless.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 9/02/2008 9:26 PM  

  • Bro. David thanks so much for the kind words. I have been very blessed in reading your articles and comments. Your words are a great encouragement.

    (Hi Sis!)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/03/2008 7:16 AM  

  • KC, I like your comment so much that I think I may make a post of it, if you don't mind.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/04/2008 10:37 AM  

  • Missy,
    Your comments are very good. I think your way of looking at the "mark and avoid" is much more appropriate than the gossip and slander approach :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/04/2008 10:40 AM  

  • and it wan't off-topic at all!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/04/2008 10:41 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    What about the word "contrary"?

    What about this gospel has been contrary to scripture?

    I stumbled upon Stegall's open letter last night. I agreed with his points about being told to keep the confrontation private, he's right, that does not directly apply to potential sin in teaching. Perhaps it should be open and public and that was an unnecessary requirement set upon him for a few years.

    I just wonder though about what division it was that happened. I suspect it was nothing more than when Wilkin was invited to speak, and he left people to make up their own minds. That should have been a healthy dialogue (the kind where phil 4 says in disagreements we keep interests of Christ not our own).

    What else was there? What else besides people making up their own minds what they believe, happened? Maybe someone could educate me what else the division was if anything.

    If Stegall had already come with the assumption that Wilkin's gospel construct was heresy, then only from that perspective could he call those disagreements divisions (meaning something ungodly, not meant to be endured like phil 4 says).

    So once again we have to go back and prove that the wilkins/hodges gospel is heresy in order to prove that "what happened" was also therefore "divisions."

    Back to the scriptures.

    Thanks for letting me comment!

    Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/04/2008 5:06 PM  

  • Rose,

    I want to add something else. Which is that I can put myself in the shoes of Stegall.

    I try and imagine him seeing an error, a neglect, to the Word of God, on something critical, being fully convinced over and over by himself and then in concert with others at his church. And then going to the one who teaches it and not seeing any general budge, patient for some time too.

    Boy, I've been in that situation. It is painful and disconcerting.

    I can't blame him for feeling the need to break away and call the teachers beyond reason. I would have done the same thing. In fact, I did! I said I didn't feel like I belonged in evangelical Christianity just because of the calvinistic blah, I couldn't break through.

    But, I think in the end the separation has probably achieved its purpose. I wonder if those on the crossless side see and have discharged an important role they play, like a father, in being encouraging and affirming, to those who think differently.

    I told Radmacher a whole bunch of stuff I believe that he doesn't agree with. But every time I see him, he is quiet, smiles, and says "Keep on studying!" It makes me wanna stick in there even though I hold these convictions, in the time being.

    Can we move on from talking about heresy and just see where people are at... now?

    Thanks, Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/04/2008 5:23 PM  

  • Michelle, Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your humble spirit and graceful tone.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/04/2008 6:17 PM  

  • The more I have looked into this -
    mainly the fact that it says through "good words and fair speeches [these] deceive the hearts of the simple" -
    I think it does have to do with simply teaching. I wonder - What were they teaching? Were they teaching people to do sinful things? Were they teaching salvation by law? Does anybody have any ideas on that?

    On the other hand, division for the sake of division and in order to fulfill some sort of fleshly desire to scorn someone else in the church, was definitely offensive - and contrary to his teaching. Elsewhere he decries the "I am of Paul" ... "I am of Apollos" etc kind of thinking.

    Either way, it is clear here that Paul does not appreciate the deliberate division that these were causing.

    Thank you all for your helpful thoughts on this.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/04/2008 6:19 PM  

  • Sis, what's mine is yours. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/05/2008 5:15 AM  

  • Michelle,
    yousaid: So once again we have to go back and prove that the wilkins/hodges gospel is heresy in order to prove that "what happened" was also therefore "divisions."

    So true - you have boiled it down. For we can't call ever 'nuance of doctrine' a heresy... or else we would all be standing in our own little corner pointing the finger at the other little corners, calling them all heretics.

    I really have moved on from talking about the minimalistic theory of salvation (which is what I call it - not the "CG").

    I will just tell you this (since you and I haven't discussed it on these blogs and I don't think you have read my view):

    I call it a theory because, in my understanding of this, Hodges theorizes that someone *could* believe in Christ for everlasting life without knowing about the cross. BUT - he does not promote evangelizing without the cross. In fact, I have read Antonio say (and I figure it is a good indication of what Hodges teaches) that the cross is the single most effective element in bringing one to see that Christ is able to be trusted for eternal life. Therefore - this is theory! If you are preaching the cross as the major fixture in your evangelism and you say that someone "could" believe apart from the cross, then you will never really experience whether that is true because you are not actually separating the thing out in actual practice. Does that make any sense? It would be like saying "I would like my coffee just as well without cream" but you never take the cream out, so you are only theorizing that you would like your coffee just as well. Besides all that - none of can actually see in another person when they are actually converted, so the scientific analysis is lost. We have to go by scripture. I have studied the scriptures that the "CG" have used to explain why they believe the way they do about their theory and it seems reasonable to me why they see it that way. I see it a little differently, but I can put up with others who reason things out slightly differntly than myself - ESPECIALLY since in practice and word (in evengelism) they do the same thing as I would agree with.

    I call it doctrinal nuance because, as the critics admit, the "CG" preach the same thing about the cross and believe the same thing about the cross. The nuance comes in with what the CG believes is the actual BULLSEYE that brings salvation. They believe that the bullseye that brings salvation is when the person trusts Christ, just the Person, regardless of misconcception. The rest of the target, outside the bullseye, is all there and very important and puts the bullseye in context, but it is not the actual point of contact. (HK Flynn - a wonderful woman, who I am sorry to say does not come around anymore, explained it that way). Do you see why I would call that a nuance? I am not sure why the main critic on the blogs makes fun of me for using those words "theory" and "nuance" but I think my explanation for why I see it that way is air-tight.

    Either way, live and let live. I can't control how others conduct themselves. We all must stand before the judgement seat of Christ. I will stand there with a clear conscinece on this issue because I have spoken at length to both sides of it and I have come to my own conclusions DESPITE friendships. I must say what my conscinece compels me to say about what I believe... and not be forced by peer pressure to join in the scorn-fest. My heart would not be in that as it would contradict what I am convicted of.

    (shucks - I ended a sentence in a preposition again!)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/05/2008 9:27 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    (shucks - I ended a sentence in a preposition again!)

    Don't worry about it.

    :-)

    By Blogger Rachel, at 9/05/2008 2:35 PM  

  • Rose,

    Thanks so much for trying to inform me.

    You said:
    "I call it 'doctrinal nuance' because, as the critics admit, the "CG" preach the same thing about the cross and believe the same thing about the cross. The nuance comes in with what the CG believes is the actual BULLSEYE that brings salvation. "

    You know that I believe in salvation in a similar way.

    I had an epiphany last night. Somehow the word "contend" spoke to me, and now I appreciate all the discussion and care and diligence the other side is putting in. I mean, I don't think their answer is the only answer. But on the other hand, if Stegall's account of interactions with the refined gospel's teachers is accurate (that's a big if)... if there was any hesitance or lack of devotion to answer any concerns, then automatically I feel uncomfortable. Just the hesitation itself--but--was there some?

    I wasn't here, for this stuff. Tell me if there was anything less than utter devotion of those who teach and promote on something so important as the gospel. I've only heard one side of the story.

    I love asking the questions, big and small, and no one should get in trouble but rather be encouraged to do so. I just wonder if any contribution ever made to the "essential things" needs be ready for the burden of carrying it through the fire of testing.

    Maybe the refined gospel contributors have been discharging that responsibility since the beginning, I don't know. In that case, wouldn't it be a sign of love... if the "contend"-ing remains active into the future?

    (By "contend" I mean studying and correcting with the Word, not bad attitudes and the rest.)

    Thanks for letting me ask an unpleasant question,
    Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/05/2008 5:44 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    As for rom 16, the closest scriptural context of "offenses" is romans 14, which is when the stronger brothers eat all things and the weaker eat only vegetables, etc. In fact, rom 14:1 says:

    "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. "

    Anyone who is:

    1- not doing whatever out of faith
    2- spoils his brother's conscience for the sake of food

    etc., sins.

    They are missing the mark (sin) of unity for the sake of their own convictions. Apparently these convictions of how to do the Christian life in obedience were being asserted and communicated through the church; there was taking place "despising" and "judging" of the brothers, in contradiction of what should be done:

    "Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him." vs 3

    This disagreement in ch 14 was firstly about food -- which just so happens to be the metaphor of Paul's spiritual discernment in rom 16:18

    "For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly...."

    Is this a potential candidate?

    Thanks, Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/05/2008 6:00 PM  

  • You appear to be correct in your interpetation of this passage. The Greek text gives emphasis to the "divisions" and "offenses" (NKJV). The "Nelson Study Bible," edited by Earl Radmacher, and with a commitee of the finest scholars from Dallas, Trinity, Western Baptist, Gordon Conwell, etc., has the following heading over Romans 16 verses 16-20 - "Avoid Divisive Persons." The notes state; "Contentious, divisive people can cause others to stumble so should be avoided." This is the majority historic inerpretation. Some extreme Fundamantalists appear to mis-interpret and mis-apply as teaching that it means to mark false doctrine teachers and separate from them. They then like to apply it to anyone who may disagree with them and falsly label many as heretics. They then actually become the contenteous persons to avoid. Such are often KJVO or KJV preferred or other extreme Fundamentalists. There are Biblical passages that teach we are to separate from those involved in heresy of essential doctrines. This is not one of them.

    By Blogger BTopartzer, at 9/06/2008 3:06 AM  

  • Btopartzer,

    Thanks for the confirmation.... I don't know if it is the correct answer; I didn't consult any study notes.

    Rose,

    Thank you for sticking up for me when things got sticky. I do believe those who oppose you owe a debt of remorse for the mode of declaration of their beliefs.

    Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/06/2008 6:07 PM  

  • Rachel,
    You are so sweet to link to that! That made my day. I will feel free to end any sentence I want now with a preposition. This is the kind of thing that rule breakers' dreams are made of.

    (teehee) :~)
    Thanks for the visit!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/08/2008 9:16 AM  

  • Hello Bob,
    Thank you for your visit. I am not real clear on what is my interpretaion of the passage. I kept seeing this passage repeated for motnhs... in the context of teachers of false doctrine.
    Then, last week, I took a second look and it seemed like if I just read it without that notion in mind of what others were using it for, and just viewed the word 'doctrine' (which has the connotation of theological teaching) as simply "teaching" it seemed like it was saying:

    "caus[ing] divisions and offences"
    was
    contrary to the teaching that they had learned.

    Amazingly, as here I am on my own personal blog trying to sort out the basic structure of the sentence in this passage, I got an email telling me that others have accused me (on blog that is quite critical of me) of "twisting scripture." I do find that remarkable.

    I do not mean to try and disarm hard scriptures or twist them so I don't have to deal with them. If so, God knows and may He correct me for such. But as honestly as I can tell my own motives, all that was happening when I posted this, was that I was concerned that this verse may be being missaplied.

    Now I see that you have confirmed that the way I am viewing it is correct. The meaning that I think I am seeing in it has now been confirmed by yourself and David Wyatt. Well, it is nice to know that my original thoughts were not so "out there" as to warrant such a charge of "twisting scripture." On the other hand, I am not positive that I am right about it. I am also appreciative of Gordon's views (and the manner in which he shared them with me) and KC's and the others'. I have not yet ruled out that they may be more right than I in the way I am seeing this passage.

    I just rambled, Bob.

    What I really mean to say to you is this: Thanks for visiting this discussion and for your comment. I saw your name and it looked familiar to me. I googled your name then on Saturday and found out why! I remember reading your discussions on Sharper Iron. I re-read them and was so refreshed. I think you see much of this controversy and the hype and perjorative nature of the way the debate has been framed in the same way that I see it.
    God bless you, brother.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/08/2008 9:54 AM  

  • Michelle,
    I applaud you for looking into the book of Romans to find an answer to my question:

    I asked:
    the fact that it says through "good words and fair speeches [these] deceive the hearts of the simple" -
    I think it does have to do with simply teaching. I wonder - What were they teaching? Were they teaching people to do sinful things? Were they teaching salvation by law? Does anybody have any ideas on that?


    You quoted:
    "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. "
    (Romans 14:1)


    and then you said:
    They are missing the mark (sin) of unity for the sake of their own convictions. Apparently these convictions of how to do the Christian life in obedience were being asserted and communicated through the church; there was taking place "despising" and "judging" of the brothers, in contradiction of what should be done:

    "Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him." ((Romans 14:3)

    This disagreement in ch 14 was firstly about food -- which just so happens to be the metaphor of Paul's spiritual discernment in rom 16:18

    "For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly...."


    I wonder:
    Do any of the others who have participated think that Michelle's contribution is astute? I certainly do, Michelle. Thank you so much! And thank you to all who have contributed to this discussion! Please say more if you have anything to add. I do love you all in the Lord.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/08/2008 10:58 AM  

  • I just realized that Bob may have been talking to Michelle (sancitification) rather than myself when he said "You appear to be correct in your interpetation of this passage"

    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/08/2008 11:00 AM  

  • Oh Rose,

    I hope that you can see what I see. That certain blogger, he cares, so much! In his second to last post, his friends had to remind him how he needs to stay away and let you go, because he doesn't even want to. I shake my head in amazement.

    I know, I know, he and his associates do it wrong. But look at his language, and how it's improving. He is beginning to see the forerunning role of prayer, and burden, and his obligation to show God's love in everything he does. He's not there yet. If he is taking a path that was like mine, it'll take awhile. There is a whole lot to extract out of the Word on showing love and grace, and, it takes a while before one can be confident how to show kindness without compromising truth. It's just hard. It takes awhile. You do deserve an apology. It may be a long time till you get it. Can you wait.... And receive him now. If we have evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work, we are no longer free to hold them as estranged. This is my opinion that comes from my study of sanctification by faith alone, I warn you.... God sees us through the blood of Christ, when we walk with the Spirit. That means, he's blameless. He will one day reflect righteousness outwardly, as his faith is built up and begins to overflow by means of faith upon faith (rom 1:17).

    Do you see his heart, and affirm the good that is there, now?

    We need the brethren to look after us. He is not perfect at it. But we need it nonetheless.

    Just my observation, and I am sure many will disagree.

    When I came upon Lou's blog in May, I was at a loss to try and understand why he so frequently mentioned you as an example. I thought, for some time, that he was deceived to think that any one person's actions might represent the whole worth of a theology. But I don't think so anymore. Now I think he wants to redeem you. He's trying. He's giving it everything he can. You are his field, you are his ministry. However flawed, I honor his intent.

    Just my two cents. Tell me your mind if you wish....

    Michele

    BTW, I am posting a critical and encouraging article on my blog, about confidence in the Word of God as it relates to this conversation.

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/08/2008 10:55 PM  

  • Michelle,
    I am certain you are right. We must believe that others in Christ have the best of intentions.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/09/2008 8:57 AM  

  • Rose, you are most "reasonable"

    ;D

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/09/2008 3:41 PM  

  • Thank you, Michelle. I will try to see that Lou has good intentions.... even though it seems after the discussion which we were both involved in yesterday that he tried to paint me into a corner. He insists that if I am not on his side, then I am "on the other side" and worthy of his consternation - and everybody else who is "orthodox". It is hard to see that as a "good intention." Oh well - what can I do?

    It is obvious to God where my true loyalties lie.

    I am going to always take comfort in that - that God will judge things. What others think is irrelevant in the end analysis. But thanks for your vote of confidence anyway!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/19/2008 7:42 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 

Who Links Here