Rule of Faith and Life

A reader (who I’m not naming to protect the reader’s privacy) wrote the following comment, to which I will respond, line-by-line:

“Turretinfan, you have espoused the view that for an act to be considered immoral, we must find the condemnation of such an act in Scripture.”

This seems like an accurate description of my position, although (as discussed below) certain implications you have drawn from this are not correct.

“Scripture is not only your rule of faith regarding theological positions, but moral ones as well.”

The moral law is one important branch of theology. We say that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are our supreme (and the only infallible) rule of faith and life. We see this same sentiment in the fathers as well, especially those who preceded the scholastics.

Scripture itself teaches this:

Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Deuteronomy 5:33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Proverbs 4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Proverbs 2:20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

The Westminster Confession puts it this way:

Under the name of holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the Books of the Old and New Testament, which are these: [list of 66 book canon is presented, but I have omitted it] All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.

– Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1, Section 2

Augustine similarly speaks of the rule of life (vitae regulam).

Augustine (writing in A.D. 387):

The man, then, who is temperate in such mortal and transient things has his rule of life confirmed by both Testaments, that he should love none of these things, nor think them desirable for their own sakes, but should use them as far as is required for the purposes andduties of life, with the moderation of an employer instead of the ardor of a lover.

Latin text:

Habet igitur vir temperans in huiuscemodi rebus mortalibus et fluentibus vitae regulam utroque Testamento firmatam, ut eorum nihil diligat, nihil per se appetendum putet, sed ad vitae huius atque officiorum necessitatem quantum sat est usurpet utentis modestia, non amantis affectu.

Citation: Augustine, On the Morals of the Church and the Morals of the Manichaeans, Two Books, Book 1 (On the morals of the Church), Chapter 21 (Section 39)

Augustine (writing in A.D. 387):

What of justice that pertains to God? As the Lord says, “You cannot serve two masters,” [Matthew 6:24] and the apostle denounces those who serve the creature rather than the Creator, [Romans 1:25] was it not said before in the Old Testament, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve?” [Deuteronomy 6:13] I need say no more on this, for these books are full of such passages. The lover, then, whom we are describing, will get from justice this rule of life, that he must with perfect readiness serve the God whom he loves, the highest good, the highest wisdom, the highest peace; and as regards all other things, must either rule them as subject to himself, or treat them with a view to their subjection. This rule of life, is, as we have shown,confirmed by the authority of both Testaments.

Latin text:

Quid de iustitia quae ad Deum pertinet? Nonne cum et Dominus dicat: Non potestis duobus dominis servire [Matthew 6:24], et Apostolus redarguat eos qui creaturae potius quam Creatori [Romans 1:25] serviunt, in Veteri Testamento prius dictum est: Dominum Deum tuum adorabis, et illi soli servies [Deuteronomy 6:13]? Sed quid opus est hinc plura dicere, cum sententiis talibus ibi plena sint omnia? Hanc ergo iustitia vitae regulam dabit huic amatori de quo sermo est, ut Deo quem diligit, id est summo bono, summae sapientiae, summae paci libentissime serviat ceteraque omnia partim subiecta sibi regat, partim subicienda praesumat. Quae norma vivendi, ut docuimus, utriusque Testamenti auctoritate roboratur.

Citation: Augustine, On the Morals of the Church and the Morals of the Manichaeans, Two Books, Book 1 (On the morals of the Church), Chapter 24 (Section 44)

Augustine (writing in A.D. 387):

This discipline, then, which is the medicine of the mind, as far as we can gather from the sacred Scriptures, includes two things, restraint and instruction. Restraint implies fear, and instruction love, in the person benefited by the discipline; for in the giver of the benefit there is the love without the fear. In both of these God Himself, by whose goodness and mercy it is that we are anything, has given us in the two Testaments a rule of discipline. For though both are found in both Testaments, still fear is prominent in the Old, and love in the New; which the apostle calls bondage in the one, and liberty in the other. Of the marvellous order and divine harmony of these Testaments it would take long to speak, and many pious and learned men have discoursed on it. The theme demands many books to set it forth and explain it as far as is possible for man. He, then, who loves his neighbor endeavors all he can to procure his safety in body and in soul, making the health of the mind the standard in his treatment of the body. And as regards the mind, his endeavors are in this order, that he should first fear and then love God. This is true excellence of conduct, and thus the knowledge of the truth is acquired which we are ever in the pursuit of.

Latin text:

Haec tamen disciplina de qua nunc agimus, quae animi medicina est, quantum Scripturis ipsis divinis colligi licet, in duo distribuitur, coercitionem et instructionem. Coercitio timore, instructio vero amore perficitur eius dico cui per disciplinam subvenitur, nam qui subvenit, nihil horum duorum habet nisi amare. In his duobus Deus ipse cuius bonitate atque clementia fit omnino ut aliquid simus duobus Testamentis, Veteri et Novo, disciplinae nobis regulam dedit. Quamquam enim utrumque in utroque sit, praevalet tamen in Veteri timor, amor in Novo; quae ibi servitus hic libertas ab Apostolis praedicatur. De quorum Testamentorum admirabili quodam ordine divinoque concentu longissimum est dicere et multi religiosi doctique dixerunt. Multos libros res ista flagitat, ut pro merito, quantum ab homine potest, explicari et praedicari queat. Qui ergo diligit proximum, agit quantum potest ut salvus corpore salvusque animo sit, sed cura corporis ad sanitatem animi referenda est. Agit ergo his gradibus, quod ad animum pertinet, ut primo timeat deinde diligat Deum. Hi mores sunt optimi, per quos nobis etiam ipsa provenit, ad quam omni studio rapimur, agnitio veritatis.

Citation: Augustine, On the Morals of the Church and the Morals of the Manichaeans, Two Books, Book 1 (On the morals of the Church), Chapter 28 (Section 56)

Augustine (writing in A.D. 387):

But why say more on this? For who but sees that men who dare to speak thus against the Christian Scriptures, though they may not be what they are suspected of being, are at least no Christians? For to Christians this rule of life is given, that we should love the Lord Our God with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the mind, and our neighbor as ourselves; for on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Latin text:

Sed quid hinc plura? Quis enim non videat eos qui contra Scripturas christianas haec audent dicere, ut illud non sint quod homines suspicantur, certe tamen non esse christianos? Nam christianis haec data est forma vivendi, ut diligamus Dominum Deum nostrum ex toto corde, ex tota anima, ex tota mente 91, deinde proximum nostrum tamquam nosmetipsos 92. In his enim duobus praeceptis tota lex pendet, et omnes prophetae 93.

Citation: Augustine, On the Morals of the Church and the Morals of the Manichaeans, Two Books, Book 1 (On the morals of the Church), Chapter 30 (Section 62)

“Therefore, the God given faculty of rational thought which separates man from beast cannot in any way condemn an act as immoral unless it has scriptural warrant to do so.”

This does not follow. One’s innate knowledge of God’s law may lead one to condemn certain things as immoral without being taught from Scripture. However, of course, all those who understand original sin must also see the danger of treating one’s conscience as though it were infallible. One conscience is, therefore, a bound on what one is permitted to do, but it does not serve as a rule by which we are to condemn others. To condemn others, we need a higher authority than our own conscience.

“Is this your position?”

Not quite. See the distinctions above.

“Why is homosexuality immoral?”

Why it is wrong may be different from how we know it is wrong. It is wrong because it contrary to the moral law of God. Whether God’s nature necessitated that or whether it was a voluntary law is an interesting question that’s not really germane to our discussion.

We know it is wrong both from Scripture and (for many of us) from conscience.

“Is it simply because the Bible condemns it as such?”

See above. We know it is wrong from the Bible. The reason that it is wrong is the moral law, which is revealed to us clearly through the Bible and less clearly through the light of nature.

“If the Bible were silent on the issue of homosexuality, would it have been moral to engage in it?”

It wasn’t moral prior to Scripture being written. Scripture reveals God’s law to us – it is not itself the basis of morality. Rather Scripture is the revelation of God’s law. The Bible would have been silent on the issue of homosexuality, if it were a matter of indifference. It speaks against the sin because one of the purposes of Scripture is to show us the way we ought to live.

“Why has God condemned homosexuality; is this something that He has communicated to us?”

We might argue over whether God has communicated the reason for his condemnation clearly. It should be apparent that God created Eve (not Steve) for Adam. Consequently, we might reasonably infer that one reason for the prohibition on homosexuality is is contrariety to the Creation ordinance of marriage. This looks like a voluntary law (as opposed to a natural law), but again whether it is or not is not really germane to this discussion.

“What are the inherent principles involved?”

I don’t know what this comment refers to.

“My position is that the natural law is the rational agent’s participation in the eternal law.”

It looks like the commenter’s position is borrowed from Aquinas: “It is therefore evident that the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation of the eternal law.” (Summa Theologica, 1st part of the 2nd part, Question 91, Article 2)(link)

I do not know whether the commenter would also agree with Aquinas:

Article 6. Whether the law of nature can be abolished from the heart of man?

I answer that, As stated above (4,5), there belong to the natural law, first, certain most general precepts, that are known to all; and secondly, certain secondary and more detailed precepts, which are, as it were, conclusions following closely from first principles. As to those general principles, the natural law, in the abstract, can nowise be blotted out from men’s hearts. But it is blotted out in the case of a particular action, in so far as reason is hindered from applying the general principle to a particular point of practice, on account of concupiscence or some other passion, as stated above (Question 77, Article 2). But as to the other, i.e. the secondary precepts, the natural law can be blotted out from the human heart, either by evil persuasions, just as in speculative matters errors occur in respect of necessary conclusions; or by vicious customs and corrupt habits, as among some men, theft, and even unnatural vices, as the Apostle states (Romans 1), were not esteemed sinful.

– Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 1st part of the 2nd part, Question 94, Article 6 (link)

Such an admission tends to undermine the use of “natural law” standing alone as a rule for others, even if it is an individual’s participation in the eternal law (whatever that is supposed to mean). The light of nature leaves the individual without excuse, but it can be obliterated (variously) as to many details, and consequently is not an infallible authority from which to build a system of morality by which we condemn others.

“Please explain your position.”

Hopefully the explanation above suffices.

– TurretinFan

24 Responses to “Rule of Faith and Life”

  1. Nick Says:

    The difficulty with the Sola Scriptura approach is that it can fail to give key details and thus no definitive answers. For example, take the issue of murder. Murder is clearly condemned in Scripture, but how exactly does this relate to abortion? While most 'conservative' Protestant bodies would (rightly) equate abortion with murder, they none the less allow "exceptions" that undermine their original logic (i.e. that the unborn is a person, and thus abortion is murder). These "exceptions" end up allowing abortion under certain circumstances, circumstances ranging from: -'allowed for reasons other than "convenience"'-'allowed for rape situations'-'allowed before a certain developmental stage' -'allowed to protect the psychological well being of the mother'-'allowed to protect the physical well being of the mother'-'no official position due to lack of clear enough Biblical support' There are "exceptions" for virtually every major Protestant body, meaning that "Christians" (even "conservative" ones) are sanctioning murder in the name of Christ. Here is a link listing groups such as LCMS and SBC that allow "exceptions": http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=351

  2. Turretinfan Says:

    "The difficulty with the Sola Scriptura approach is that it can fail to give key details and thus no definitive answers. "It seems that you think you are in a position to decide that something is key and then to judge that Scripture fails to provide those key details.That's the flaw in your epistemology.

  3. Nick Says:

    Then who is in a position to decide what is key or not? And, further, how is the issue of murder on a large scale (even among "Christians") not a key issue?

  4. Turretinfan Says:

    If not you, then who, eh? Doesn't that sound a bit post-modern to you? And you already admitted that "Murder is clearly condemned in Scripture" so please don't try to suggest that I was saying that "the issue of murder on a large scale (even among "Christians") [is] not a key issue" – for I have not said that. You stated that "The difficulty with the Sola Scriptura approach is that it can fail to give key details and thus no definitive answers," yet you are simply appealing to your own authority as to what are key issues.

  5. Nick Says:

    The issue of what is key is only post-modern in that the splintering of denominations gave birth to post-modernism. You must not be understanding my argument, for I gave a list of reasons why major Protestant denominations will say abortion is acceptable…while all the while saying affirming abortion in other circumstances is murder.

  6. Turretinfan Says:

    "The issue of what is key is only post-modern in that the splintering of denominations gave birth to post-modernism."Actually, the post-modern reference was in response to your comment to the effect of "if not me, than who?" It is your comment that looks post-modern, not our response."You must not be understanding my argument, … "No, it seems you yourself don't understand your argument. As a premise, you have offered an assertion that certain things are key details. The only authority for that is you. You act shocked and post-modern when we suggest that you are an insufficient authority."… for I gave a list of reasons why major Protestant denominations will say abortion is acceptable…while all the while saying affirming abortion in other circumstances is murder."I saw the list. The list isn't the issue. The issue is an issue of authority to decide what is key and what is not key. You seem to think yourself a sufficient authority, but we reject your claim to authority in that regard.-TurretinFan

  7. Nick Says:

    Ah, I see what you're saying. I wasn't intending to say "if not me, then who?" as if speaking from an individualist standpoint. The "who" was in reference to authoritative body, more specifically, which Denomination. With that in mind, the question of "who decides when abortion is not murder?" is answered by the various denominations as they see fit, with their conclusions ranging from very broad to very limited "exceptions".

  8. Turretinfan Says:

    "Ah, I see what you're saying. I wasn't intending to say "if not me, then who?" as if speaking from an individualist standpoint."Ok"The "who" was in reference to authoritative body, more specifically, which Denomination."Why do you think any denomination is competent to judge what the Bible ought to contain?"With that in mind, the question of "who decides when abortion is not murder?" is answered by the various denominations as they see fit, with their conclusions ranging from very broad to very limited "exceptions"."I think you mean that many denominations judge the question of when abortion is murder and when it is permitted – and further that they don't always agree with one another. In fact, you think that the range of views is quite wide. I don't think folks would necessarily disagree with you on that. That's not really the issue.The issue is that you have come here and told us that "the Sola Scriptura approach … can fail to give key details and thus no definitive answers."The question keeps coming back – what makes you think that the details in question are key?Is it just your authority (apparently you don't mean to tell us that)? Are you going to try to tell us that your church says that these details are key? Is your authority something else?- TurretinFan

  9. Nick Says:

    TF: Why do you think any denomination is competent to judge what the Bible ought to contain? N: This isn't about what the Bible "ought to contain," but that how sufficient and/or clear the Bible is (without a magisterium) becomes a matter of opinion, allowing each denomination to make their own 'exceptions'.TF: I think you mean that many denominations judge the question of when abortion is murder and when it is permitted – and further that they don't always agree with one another. In fact, you think that the range of views is quite wide. I don't think folks would necessarily disagree with you on that. That's not really the issue. N: It's certainly part of the issue, for each group justifies their specific view to be in accord with how much into they see (or do not see) in Scripture. TF: The question keeps coming back – what makes you think that the details in question are key? N: Just as the saying goes, "the devil is in the details," in this case especially it means that with each denomination interpreting as they see fit, murder is taking place for a range of 'exceptions'. TF: Is it just your authority (apparently you don't mean to tell us that)? Are you going to try to tell us that your church says that these details are key? Is your authority something else? N: Yes, the Catholic Church deems those details key, for they form the basis by which abortion is murder in every instance, without any room for "exceptions." There are children being murdered right now with the 'blessing' of their denomination, and that's no laughing matter, nor is it 'non-essential' matter…and it's precisely because of Sola Scriptura letting each denomination decide what range of "exceptions" to allow.

  10. Lockheed Says:

    There are children being murdered right now with the 'blessing' of their denomination, and that's no laughing matter, nor is it 'non-essential' matter…and it's precisely because of Sola Scriptura letting each denomination decide what range of "exceptions" to allow.You have a very confused understanding of Sola Scriptura. The denominations you refer to have long ago abandoned Scripture to begin with, not to mention any confessional understanding thereof. Your argument is no different than that of those who claim that sola Scriptura is responsible for Mormonism.

  11. Turretinfan Says:

    "This isn't about what the Bible "ought to contain," but that how sufficient and/or clear the Bible is (without a magisterium) becomes a matter of opinion, allowing each denomination to make their own 'exceptions'."That's just a way of saying "ought to contain in order to be sufficiently clear." But again, you have simply insisted on a level of sufficient clarity without a justification.On what authority are we to accept your premise as to what constitutes sufficient clarity?"It's certainly part of the issue, for each group justifies their specific view to be in accord with how much into they see (or do not see) in Scripture."I think you give a lot of groups way too much credit."Just as the saying goes, "the devil is in the details," in this case especially it means that with each denomination interpreting as they see fit, murder is taking place for a range of 'exceptions'.""The devil is in the details" is hardly a maxim that makes me think that Scripture ought to have more details in order to be sufficiently clear."Yes, the Catholic Church deems those details key, for they form the basis by which abortion is murder in every instance, without any room for 'exceptions.'"I think you simply infer that they are key from your church's dogmatic (you seem to think it is dogmatic) stance on the issue. More on this in a moment."There are children being murdered right now with the 'blessing' of their denomination, and that's no laughing matter, nor is it 'non-essential' matter…"This accusation presupposes, of course, that your church is right about the definition. We don't accept your church's authority for a wide variety of reasons. Can you give us anything more than "my church says so?" This, incidentally, is the same problem in your prior statement – the further details are apparently only "key" because your church has spoken dogmatically (or so you think) on the issue."and it's precisely because of Sola Scriptura letting each denomination decide what range of "exceptions" to allow."There are a lot of layers of absurdity to that comment. First, there are way more abortions (on a population basis, at any rate) taking place in heavily Russian Orthodox Russia. They don't practice Sola Scriptura, and while the Russian Orthodox church may tolerate some of that activity, I think "bless" is almost certainly the wrong word. Surely you agree.Furthermore, abortion is legal and used in many heavily Roman Catholic countries. They don't practice Sola Scriptura, and Rome doesn't "bless" those abortions.Likewise, the more liberal "Protestant" denominations gave up on being Scriptural in any meaningful sense years ago. So, to try to pin their policies on Sola Scriptura is absurd, since they don't practice it.Finally, of course, one might argue that it is precisely because the state has acted inappropriately, not the church. Or, at any rate, there are any number of alternative causes for the abortion plague than a theological position. Surely, you have to agree that your statement is excessively dogmatic.-TurretinFan

  12. Nick Says:

    Lockheed, Perhaps you didn't read the link: Protestant bodies that allow "exceptions" include otherwise 'conservative' bodies like Missouri Synod Lutherans and the Southern Baptist Convention, among others. This is *NOT* your typical liberal groups.

  13. Lockheed Says:

    "Protestant bodies that allow "exceptions" include otherwise 'conservative' bodies like Missouri Synod Lutherans and the Southern Baptist Convention, among others. This is *NOT* your typical liberal groups."I think you need to double check your facts on the LCMS and the SBC. Plus you need to come to a better understanding of what the term PROTESTANT actually means.

  14. Nick Says:

    TF: That's just a way of saying "ought to contain in order to be sufficiently clear." But again, you have simply insisted on a level of sufficient clarity without a justification. N: The level of clarity in this situation is subjective; that's my point.TF: On what authority are we to accept your premise as to what constitutes sufficient clarity? N: It would have to be a magisterial authority. TF: I think you give a lot of groups way too much credit. N: The list I posted is of major religious bodies, and from there I focused on the more 'conservative' accounts. That's hardly giving undue attention.TF: "The devil is in the details" is hardly a maxim that makes me think that Scripture ought to have more details in order to be sufficiently clear. N: But "sufficiently clear" is elastic in these sorts of situations, being whatever the denomination wants it to mean. The Bible is clear as far as murder goes, but how far that prohibition reaches is where the problem rests because groups are choosing different 'starting points' for the prohibition.TF: This accusation presupposes, of course, that your church is right about the definition. We don't accept your church's authority for a wide variety of reasons. N: Sure it presupposes the CC is right, because if the CC is wrong then a new basis for the claim must be found…but this highlights the very danger I'm alerting you to: serious things such as human life are on the line, and SS cannot settle the question. Suppose it turns out (regardless of if the CC is right or not) that there are no exceptions when it comes to abortion, and the Final Judgment reveals this…what is the 'good Protestant' going to say? "Oops?" "I guess I didn't see that in Scripture." "The Bible wasn't clear enough for us to get into specific details." See the danger? TF: There are a lot of layers of absurdity to that comment. First, there are way more abortions (on a population basis, at any rate) taking place in heavily Russian Orthodox Russia. They don't practice Sola Scriptura, and while the Russian Orthodox church may tolerate some of that activity, I think "bless" is almost certainly the wrong word.N: I don't know how bad the abortion problem is there, but looking on the OCA page it does appear they allow "exceptions" as well. While the EO don't practice SS formally, they do so implicitly by being out of communion with the Pope. The term "bless" was used to indicate the specific denomination says abortion is ok under certain circumstances – I never was indicating they were saying abortion was to be treated as a "blessed" event. TF: Furthermore, abortion is legal and used in many heavily Roman Catholic countries. N: Those are situations where the governments have willfully and openly repudiated their Catholic heritage. TF: Likewise, the more liberal "Protestant" denominations gave up on being Scriptural in any meaningful sense years ago. N: I never said they did, nor have I included them in my accusation. I was focused on moderate-conservative bodies.TF: Finally, of course, one might argue that it is precisely because the state has acted inappropriately, not the church. Or, at any rate, there are any number of alternative causes for the abortion plague than a theological position. Surely, you have to agree that your statement is excessively dogmatic. N: How can something relating to life or death not be dogmatic? The plague is due largely to secularism, but the reason the secular powers got so bold was due to the watering down of Christian values, which was a direct consequence of SS. Because Protestants cannot agree when abortion is murder, such confusion/relativism actually helps drive the secular culture.

  15. Nick Says:

    Lockheed, What do you mean regarding the LCMS and SBC? Are you saying there are sold out to liberalism? As for the term "Protestant," it has a range of meanings, depending *both* on who's defining the term as well as the context of its use. It can be defined broadly or narrowly.

  16. Turretinfan Says:

    Nick:The entirety of your authority for what you are saying is that your church says so. It all hangs from that faulty premise.You don't seem to recognize this. You write:"Sure it presupposes the CC is right, because if the CC is wrong then a new basis for the claim must be found…this highlights the very danger I'm alerting you to: serious things such as human life are on the line, and SS cannot settle the question" (ellipsis yours)What you don't seem to realize is that if your false premise is off the table, the entire dilemma evaporates.After all, the "danger" is only a "danger" because of two things. 1) You seem to make the fact that lives are lost the standard of whether something is very important or not. This standard means that potentially the question of whether Toyota's brakes are safe is a very important question. Your church hasn't answered that specific question in so many words. If you are willing to view that as a failure of your church, so be it. However, one would expect you do not require your church to answer the question of the safety of Toyota's brakes, even though lives are at stake.2) You allege that SS doesn't settle the question. This, however, presupposes that the only way for a matter to be settled is the way that your church purports to settle things. It's rather odd. Even though you seem to think that various "Protestant denominations" have official pronouncements on the matter, you don't let that count as the matter being settled for them. Likewise, you don't let them settle the matter by leaving the matter to the individual discretion of the believers. You insist that it be settled in a particular way, or you won't consider it settled.Don't you see how circular that is?-TurretinFan

  17. Turretinfan Says:

    "While the EO don't practice SS formally, they do so implicitly by being out of communion with the Pope."Wow – just wow.

  18. Coram Deo Says:

    I find it interesting that Nick is so animated by the practice of abortion – which is a heinous evil – yet he seems oblivious to the fact that harlot Rome is guilty of leading countless millions of souls into eternal perdition with her damnable doctrines of demons, all while masquerading as the "One True Church"In fact the abortion industry is simply the temporal equivalent of Rome's spiritual enterprise.May God Almighty smite both of these abominations from the face of His earth and cast them into the abyss!In Christ,CD

  19. Audrey Says:

    CD, while I don't agree with Nick, you shouldn't be so harsh with your words. We are supposed to be kind and gentle in using our words to others.Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

  20. Coram Deo Says:
  21. Coram Deo Says:

    Audrey,What did I say that you find objectionable and/or harsh?In Christ,CD

  22. Audrey Says:

    CD, it was the line: May God Almighty smite both of these abominations from the face of His earth and cast them into the abyss!I don't agree with it any more than you, but the Lord does tell us to not judge, He will, but it is not for us to do. We are to show kindness and forgiveness.So it's just a bit scary to see written since Scripture says:Matthew 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.Luke6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:Romans 14:10-13 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.If you want to chat more I'd be happy to give you my email, but let us not deviate from TF's main topic on this page. One vast subject is hard enough to maintain without it becoming several. =)Bless you alwaysAudrey

  23. Turretinfan Says:

    Audrey:I agree that this is getting off topic. The prohibitions against censoriousness that you cite must be read harmoniously with Scripture's command, repeated twice:Galatians 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Also recall what pray for in the second petition (as explained by the Westminster Shorter Catechism).Q. 102. What do we pray for in the second petition?A. In the second petition, which is, Thy kingdom come, we pray that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed;[214] and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced,[215] ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it;[216] and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.[217][214] Matthew 12:25-28. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Romans 16:20. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. 1 John 3:8. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.[215] Psalm 72:8-11. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. Matthew 24:14. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 1 Corinthians 15:24-25. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.[216] Psalm 119:5. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Luke 22:32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5. Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.[217] Revelation 22:20. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.- TurretinFan

  24. Audrey Says:

    Thank you TF, I guess I never thought to read into harmonious teaching, I'll be honest: I'm still a baby learning her steps and I thought one subject at a time would be a good way to learn. I'll try to find two subjects that balance each other and study it that way. =)Always willing to learnAudrey

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