Beniamin Fărăgău – Barbatilor iubiti-va nevestele ca pe propriul vostru trup 22 Septembrie 2013

Beniamin Faragau

  • Atunci cand curtezi pe cea de care te-ai indragostit, esti gata sa mori pentru ea. Ii mai problematic sa traiesti cu ea si pentru ea urmatorii 50-60 de ani. …in mod ciudat, cand un baiat se indragosteste, pac, se intampla ceva cu el. Incepe sa se barbereasca, sa se parfumeze, sa se aranjeze, mai gaseste cate un buchet de flori. Incepe sa vorbeasca frumos. Si o fata cand este curtata in felul acesta, isi imagineaza ca in tot restul vietii ei va avea parte de asa ceva. Ba, mai mult, prin frumusetea si virtutile pe care le-a imprumutat pentru o vreme, de undeva, o si castiga pentru el.
    Si-i face promisiuni (barbatul), daca i-ar cere luna de pe cer, el este gata sa i-o promita. Nu-i asa? Problema este ca vine “Da’-ul spus, vine nunta, trece luna de miere si intrebarea este daca mai suntem dispusi sa facem in continuare pentru ea ceea ce face Hristos pentru biserica. Si aici e examenul nostru cel mare.
  • Cum ar fi daca mirele nostru ceresc ar vorbi cu noi cum vorbesc de obicei barbatii cu nevestele lor cand gresesc in ceva?
  • Poate, una din cele mai rele, spunem noi, este biserica din Corint. Cu toate acestea, Duhul lui Dumnezeu incepe asa scrisoarea: Bisericii lui Dumnezeu care este in Corint… catre cei ce au fost sfintiti si chemati sa fie sfinti.” Si ascultati cum continua versetul 4, Pavel: „Multumesc lui Dumnezeu, Dumnezeului meu totdeauna cu privire la voi.
  • O femeie nu poate functiona intr-un mediu al fricii, al terorii, al nesigurantei…Femeia, fie pune mana pe arme, ca sa castige un pic de siguranta atunci cand barbatul face un pas inapoi, fie abandoneaza. Se lasa coplesita de situatie.
  • Dragii mei, statisticile spun ca intotdeauna casnicia a 2-a, a 3-a si a 5-a sunt mai proaste decat prima. Asta spun statisticile. Stiti de ce? Pentru ca desi pare mai verde iarba in curtea vecinului, energia de care ai nevoie sa o tii verde ti-ar ajunge sa o inverzesti pe a ta. Dar noi nu mai avem curajul sa facem lucrul acesta. Cati dintre noi suntem gata sa nu facem ce a facut Avraam? Sa ne ocrotim, sa ne pazim sotiile. Da, vom trece prin situatii dificile. E mai simplu sa spui, ‘Te rog spune ca nu esti sotia mea, esti sora mea”, ca sa-mi pastrez eu viata. Cati dintre noi suntem constienti de faptul ca ele vor mosteni harul vietii impreuna cu noi? Dumnezeu ni le-a incredintat, ca intr-o buna zi sa le prezentam alaturi de noi mirelui ceresc, ca mireasa Lui. Cu alte cuvinte, suntem datori sa conlucram cu Domnul Isus Hristos la desavarsirea mantuirii ei, asa cum Hristos mirele lucreaza la desavarsirea mantuirii noastre.
  • Nimeni altcineva nu-mi poate fii un ajutor mai potrivit ca sotia mea!

PAGINA PREDICI – Beniamin Faragau aici

Mai multe predici Beniamin Fărăgău:

TEXT Efeseni 5:28-33 –

Tot aşa trebuie să-şi iubească şi bărbaţii nevestele, ca pe trupurile lor. Cine îşi iubeşte nevasta, se iubeşte pe sine însuş. 29 Căci nimeni nu şi -a urît vreodată trupul lui, ci îl hrăneşte, îl îngrijeşte cu drag, ca şi Hristos Biserica; 30 pentrucă noi sîntem mădulare ale trupului Lui, carne din carnea Lui şi os din oasele Lui. 31 De aceea va lăsa omul pe tatăl său şi pe mamă-sa, şi se va lipi de nevastă-sa, şi cei doi vor fi un singur trup„. 32 Taina aceasta este mare-(vorbesc despre Hristos şi despre Biserică). – 33 Încolo fiecare din voi să-şi iubească nevasta ca pe sine; şi nevasta să se teamă de bărbat.

Ne-am pus o intrebare: Cum a iubit Isus Hristos Biserica? Textul spune ca S-a dat pe Sine pentru ea ca sa o sfinteasca, dupa ce a curatit-o prin botezul in apa prin Cuvant. Ca sa ne poata sfintii, mai intai ne-a curatit prin botezul in apa prin Cuvant. Cu alte cuvinte, desi a murit pentru toti Domnul Isus Hristos, El nu poate mantui decat pe aceia care au curajul sa-L marturiseasca in public cu gura lor pe Hristos ca Domn si sa creada in inima lor ca Dumnezeu L-a inviat din morti. Marturia asta incepe in tacerea inimii tale, cand ai curajul sa te ridici si sa ai curajul sa te inscrii (pentru botez): „Vreau si eu Isuse Hristoase sa fac parte din mireasa Ta, din Biserica Ta”. S-a dat pe Sine pentru ea, ca sa o sfinteasca, dupa ce a curatit-o prin botezul in apa prin Cuvant, ca sa o infatiseze inaintea Lui aceasta Biserica slavita, fara pata, fara zbarcitura sau altceva de felul acesta, ci sfanta si fara prihana.

Hristos a iubit Biserica in lumina asteptarilor Tatalui si pentru implinirea planurilor Lui cu privire la ea. Iubirea Lui a avut un scop. S-a turnat in forme, care sa implineasca planurile Tatalui. Si planurile Tatalui erau ca noi sa fim prezentati intr-o zi, noi Biserica Lui, inaintea Lui, sfinti si fara prihana ca cerul intreg sa se poata bucura de lucrarea  Fiului, a Mirelui ceresc. Tot asa trebuie sa-si iubeasca si barbatii nevestele – in lumina asteptarilor si spre implinirea planurilor Mirelui ceresc. Dumnezeu ne-a pus laolalta, barbat si femeie, alcatuind o familie ca sa ne slefuim unii pe altii, ca Duhul sa se poata arata prin unul spre folosul celuilalt, ca dimpreuna sa ne pregatim pentru nunta cereasca.

Astazi, tema noastra devine mai practica si mai bine focalizata: Barbatilor, iubiti-va nevestele ca pe propriul vostru trup. Si as vrea sa notati impreuna cu mine insistenta lui Pavel de a impleti doua teme. Iubirea lui Hristos fata de Biserica cu iubirea barbatului, fata de sotia lui. Este important sa observam stradania lui Pavel de a nu ne lasa sa scapam din fata acestui model, aceste oglinzi in care sa ne privim actiunile. ,,Barbatilor, iubiti-va nevestele „cum” a iubit Hristos Biserica!” Observati, modelul nostru este relatia lui Hristos cu Biserica. ,,Tot astfel trebuie sa-si iubeasca si barbatii nevestele lor, ca pe trupurile lor. Caci cine isi iubeste nevasta se iubeste pe sine. Caci nimeni nu si-a urat vreodata trupul lui, ci il hraneste si il ingrijeste cu drag”. Si din nou aduce termenul de comparatie „ca si Hristos Biserica”, pentru ca noi, Biserica, suntem madularele trupului Lui, carne din carnea Lui, os din oasele Lui. ,,De aceea, va lasa omul pe tatal sau, pe mama sa, se va lipi de nevasta-sa si cei doi vor fi un singur trup”- coboara din nou pe orizontala. ,,Taina aceasta este mare.” Si Pavel nu se rabda sa ne urce din nou pe celalalt plan. Vorbesc despre Hristos si Biserica. ,,Incolo, fiecare din voi sa-si iubeasca nevasta si nevasta sa se teama de barbat”.

Intrebarea, pe care am pus-o data trecuta, o intorc pe o alta fateta:

Cum isi hraneste si isi ingrijeste Hristos trupul?

Textul ne spune: ,,Barbatilor, iubiti-va nevestele ca pe propriul vostru trup.” Din nou, vine Hristos capul, care isi iubeste trupul si intrebarea mea este: Cum o face? Cum isi iubeste trupul Lui, care este Biserica? As insira cateva lucruri pe care le voi detalia mai tarziu.

1. A dezbracat slava si a venit sa-si castige mireasa.

Nici unul dintre noi nu ne putem imagina slava lui Hristos. Am sa citesc doar cateva texte, doar sa incercam sa ne ridicam in aceasta realitate in care El a trebuit sa o dezbrace. Ioan isi incepe Evanghelia: ,,La inceput era Cuvantul, Cuvantul era cu Dumnezeu, Cuvantul era Dumnezeu”. Imaginati-va cat de frumos este universul acesta, mai ales acolo unde nu l-am stricat noi oamenii – absolut fascinant. Cum putea fi Creatorul, cum poate fi Cel ce le-a creat pe toate? El era la inceput cu Dumnezeu si toate lucrurile au fost facute prin El. Si nimic din ce a fost facut n-a fost facut fara El. Inainte de a ajunge pe cruce, in rugaciunea Lui de mare preot El se roaga: ,,Si acum Tata, proslaveste-Ma la Tine insuti cu slava pe care o aveam la Tine inainte de intemeierea lumii”. Aceasta slava a dezbracat-o, ca sa ne putem cel putin a ne apropia de ea. Veniti cu mine pe muntele schimbarii la fata. Dupa ce a urcat muntele, Domnul Isus se transfigureaza, apare Moise si Ilie, si ucenicii care erau cu El au fost atat de impactati de aceasta experienta incat n-au uitat-o niciodata. O astfel de slava a dezbracat El ca sa isi cucereasca mireasa.

Søren Kierkegaard are o poveste: The King and the Maiden. Imparatul si tarancuta as traduce-o eu. Regula in imparatia lui era ca nu putea sa-si ia o sotie sub nivelul lui imparatesc. Dar el s-a indragostit de o fata simpla, tarana. Ca sa o poata cuceri, n-ar fi putut veni in straiele lui imparatesti. Ar fi coplesit-o. Ar fi obligat-o sa zica ‘Da’. Imparatul face ce vrea. Si de aceea a ales sa dezbrace straiele lui, sa imbrace straie de taran si sa vina sa locuiasca, sa o ademeneasca prin frumusetea si virtutile lui. Cititi povestea lui Kierkegaard. Probabil este inspirata din imaginea Mirelui ceresc, care a venit sa-si peteasca mireasa.

„Si Cuvantul care era cu Dumnezeu s-a facut trup si a locuit printre noi, plin de har si de adevar. Si noi am privit slava Lui intocmai ca o slava a singurului nascut din Tatal”. Si cei care au spus ‘Da’ au devenit fiii lui Dumnezeu, nascuti nu din sange, nici din voia firii lor, nici din voia vreunui om, ci din Dumnezeu.

2. A castigat-o prin frumusetea si virtutile Lui.

Cu alte cuvinte, nu ne-a obligat la o astfel de relatie, ci ne-a castigat la o astfel de relatie. Nu doar ca a dezbracat slava ca sa-si castige mireasa, dar si-a castigat-o prin frumusetea si virtutile Lui. Dumnezeiasca Lui putere ne-a daruit tot ce priveste viata si evlavia prin cunoasterea celui ce ne-a chemat prin slava si prin puterea Lui. Daca as traduce mai precis textul, celui ce ne-a ademenit, ne-a castigat.

3. Mai mult, ne-a facut promisiuni extraordinare.

Si ca sa poata implini aceste promisiuni s-a dat pe Sine pentru ea, sa o faca compatibila cu cerul.  Sa va ridice din starea voastra, sa va faca compatibili cu nivelul Lui. Sa va faca fiice de imparat, ca sa poata incepe nunta.  Ca sa va faceti partasi firii naturii Dumnezeiesti, dupa ce a-ti fugit de stricaciunea care este in lume prin pofte. Biblia este plina de promisiunile Mirelui pentru mireasa Lui.

Dati-mi voie sa iau doar una dintre ele. „Celui ce va birui,” spune in Apocalipsa 3:21 Mirele ceresc, „ii voi da sa sada cu Mine pe scaunul Meu de domnie, dupa cum si Eu am biruit si am sezut cu Tatal Meu pe scaunul Lui de domnie”. El a dezbracat slava Lui si s-a facut ca unul dintre noi, ca noi sa putem imbraca slava Lui, ca sa ne facem ca unul dintre ei – Tatal, Fiul si Duhul Sfant, sa ne faca compatibili cu cerul, cu Trinitatea.

4. A platit cu viata pentru  a o face compatibila cu cerul. 

Ca sa poata implini promisiunile – aici, diferenta intre noi si El este uriasa – si noi facem usor promisiuni, dar ca sa le poata implini le-a pecetluit cu propria Lui viata. S-a dat pe Sine pentru noi. Prin moartea Lui ne transforma intru chipul si asemanarea Sa. S-a dat pe Sine pentru noi, pentru mireasa Sa, ca s-o sfinteasca, dupa ce a curatit-o prin botezul in apa, prin Cuvant, ca sa infatiseze inaintea Lui aceasta Biserica slavita, fara pata, fara zbarcitura, sau altceva de felul acesta, ci sfanta si fara prihana. A dezbracat slava si a venit sa-si castige mireasa.

Intrebarea este: Sunt eu gata, ca barbat, sa fac pentru sotia mea ce face Hristos la prezent pentru Biserica Lui? Ce a facut Hristos, poate ca nu putem noi face. Nu o putem sfinti, nu o putem curati, toate astea le face Hristos prin jertfa Lui si prin Duhul care L-a trimis sa locuiasca in noi. Dar, Hristos nu s-a oprit, ci El continua sa faca ceva pentru mireasa Lui. Si asta este intrebarea – daca sunt gata sa mor pentru nevasta mea si probabil ca situatia nu o va cere. Intrebarea, in schimb, cu care se confrunta fiecare barbat este daca suntem dispusi sa facem pentru sotiile noastre ce face Hristos pentru Biserica Lui?

5. S-a reintors prin Duhul Sfant ca s-o hraneasca

si s-o ingrijeasca cu drag

Observati, desi s-a inaltat la cer, El n-a ramas acolo, ci s-a intors prin Duhul Sfant ca sa hraneasca si sa ingrijeasca Biserica ca pe trupul Lui.

Dar, toate aceste lucruri le-am vazut si data trecuta si am zis: ,,Care dintre noi, barbatii, putem face asa ceva pentru sotiile noastre?” Si de aceea, as vrea sa merg mai departe. Hristos nu a ramas undeva sus, langa scaunul de domnie si noi aici, in noroaiele acestei lumi, ci s-a intors la noi, ca sa locuiasca cu noi, in noi, sa umble cu noi, sa ne ajute in toate lucrurile. Prin Duhul Sfant, Hristos s-a intors ca sa-si hraneasca si sa-si ingrijeasca Biserica ca pe trupul Lui. Este atent la nevoile ei ca sa le implineasca.

Inainte de a ajunge pe cruce, a spus ucenicilor Lui, in camera de sus: ,,Nu va voi lasa orfani, ma voi intoarce la voi. Daca ma iubeste cineva va pazi cuvantul Meu si noi, Tatal, Fiul prin Duhul Sfant vom veni la el si vom locui impreuna cu el. Observati, o relatie de casatorie. Vom locui impreuna cu el. Ioan 14:26 „Dar Mîngîietorul, adică Duhul Sfînt, pe care -L va trimete Tatăl, în Numele Meu, vă va învăţa toate lucrurile, şi vă va aduce aminte de tot ce v’am spus Eu.” „Va las pacea Mea, va dau pacea Mea, nu v-o dau cum va da lumea, ca sa nu vi se tulbure inima, sa nu va inspaimantati. Ioan 16:13 „Cînd va veni Mîngîietorul, Duhul adevărului, are să vă călăuzească în tot adevărul; căci El nu va vorbi dela El, ci va vorbi tot ce va fi auzit, şi vă va descoperi lucrurile viitoare. El Mă va proslăvi, pentrucă va lua din ce este al Meu, şi vă va descoperi. 15 Tot ce are Tatăl, este al Meu;” Daca observati, relatia de continuitate dintre Mire si mireasa. S-a intors Mirele ca sa locuiasca cu noi, sa umble cu noi, sa ne aduca aminte de viitorul, de nadejdea care a pus-o inaintea noastra.

In Romani 12:1, ca raspuns la indurarea lui Dumnezeu, Pavel ne spune sa ne aducem trupurile ca o jertfa vie (jertfele sunt de obicei moarte – mai intai le junghii, sangele il duci pe altar si asezi pe altar jertfa ca o ardere de tot, o arzi inaintea Domnului). Dar, Pavel ne spune, „Vă îndemn dar, fraţilor, pentru îndurarea lui Dumnezeu, să aduceţi trupurile voastre ca o jertfă vie, sfîntă, plăcută lui Dumnezeu: aceasta va fi din partea voastră o slujbă duhovnicească.” Daca esti chemat sa mori pentru Domnul, mori si s-a terminat. Dar, daca esti chemat sa fii o jertfa vie, problema cu jertfele vii este ca atunci cand nu le convine coboara de pe altar. Observati, o jertfa vie trebuie sa traiasca pentru Domnul in viata de zi cu zi. Si exact asa este in familie. Atunci cand curtezi pe cea de care te-ai indragostit, esti gata sa mori pentru ea. Ii mai problematic sa traiesti cu ea si pentru ea urmatorii 50-60 de ani, daca Dumnezeu iti va ingadui, la bine si la greu, in sanatate si in boala, in bogatie si in saracie, pana cand moartea ne va desparti.

6. El este preocupat de formarea si dezvoltarea ei

– are incredere in ea si ii incredinteaza lucrari, planuri incredibile pe care Tatal le-a pus in mainile Lui. El nu ne-a luat in robie si sclavie, ci El se bucura sa ne vada crescand in chipul si asemanarea Lui, implinindu-ne potentialul pe care Dumnezeu l-a pus in noi prin creatie si apoi prin rascumparare. In Efeseni 4:7 spune „Dar fiecăruia din noi harul i -a fost dat după măsura darului lui Hristos .De aceea este zis: ,,S’a suit sus, a luat robia roabă, şi a dat daruri oamenilor.``Hristos este interesat de dezvoltarea bisericii, o inzestreaza cu daruri duhovnicesti pentru lucrarea la care a chemat-o. Efeseni 4:11-15 Şi El a dat pe unii apostoli; pe alţii, prooroci; pe alţii, evanghelişti; pe alţii, păstori şi învăţători,12 pentru desăvîrşirea sfinţilor, în vederea lucrării de slujire, pentru zidirea trupului lui Hristos, 13 pînă vom ajunge toţi la unirea credinţei şi a cunoştinţei Fiului lui Dumnezeu, la starea de om mare, la înălţimea staturii plinătăţii lui Hristos; 14 ca să nu mai fim copii, plutind încoace şi încolo, purtaţi de orice vînt de învăţătură, prin viclenia oamenilor şi prin şiretenia lor în mijloacele de amăgire; 15 ci, credincioşi adevărului, în dragoste, să creştem în toate privinţele, ca să ajungem la Cel ce este Capul, Hristos. Avem tot felul de biserici pe paginile Noului Testament.

Poate, una din cele mai rele, spunem noi, este biserica din Corint. Cu toate acestea, Duhul lui Dumnezeu incepe asa scrisoarea: Bisericii lui Dumnezeu care este in Corint… catre cei ce au fost sfintiti si chemati sa fie sfinti.” Si ascultati cum continua versetul 4 Pavel: „Multumesc lui Dumnezeu, Dumnezeului meu totdeauna cu privire la voi.”

Mulţămesc Dumnezeului meu totdeauna, cu privire la voi, pentru harul lui Dumnezeu, care v’a fost dat în Isus Hristos. Căci în El aţi fost îmbogăţiţi în toate privinţele, cu orice vorbire şi cu orice cunoştinţă. În felul acesta mărturia despre Hristos a fost bine întărită în mijlocul vostru; aşa că nu duceţi lipsă de niciun fel de dar, în aşteptarea arătării Domnului nostru Isus Hristos.

Iar in 2 Corinteni 3:18 Pavel spune: „18 Noi toţi privim cu faţa descoperită, ca într’o oglindă, slava Domnului, şi sîntem schimbaţi în acelaş chip al Lui, din slavă în slavă, prin Duhul Domnului.”  Observati, mirele ceresc preocupat pentru dezvoltarea, formarea sotiei Lui, pentru transformarea ei intru chipul si asemanarea Lui. Toate acestea sunt facute bisericii din grija lui Hristos, care o hraneste si o zideste cu drag, pentru ca este ajutorul Lui potrivit.

7. Se increde in ea si de aceea i-a pus in maini lucrari incredibile. 

Daca as face un pas mai departe, inima Lui se increde in ea si de aceea i-a pus in maini lucrari incredibile. Inainte de inaltare la cer, Domnul Isus s-a apropiat de ucenici, de biserica din vremea aceea si-a zis: Toata puterea mi-a fost data in cer si pe pamant. Duceti-va si faceti ucenici din toate neamurile, botezandu-i in numele Tatalui, al Fiului si al Sfantului Duh. Si invatati-i sa pazeasca tot ce am poruncit si iata ca Eu sunt cu voi in toate zilele, pana la sfarsitul veacului.

Si noi barbatii ne incredem in sotiile noastre si le punem pe umar si pe spinare o multime de lucrari, ca sa fim noi liberi, sa ne vedem de drumul nostru. Dar cand citesc textul acesta, Hristos n-a dat insarcinarea bisericii, dupa care a plecat si a zis, „Ne vedem cand a-ti terminat lucrarea,” ci spune, ” Nu va voi lasa orfani. Ma voi intoarce la voi si iata, Eu sunt cu voi in toate zilele, pana la sfarsitul veacului.” Nu doar ca are incredere in ea, ci este prezent sa o ajute in toata insarcinarea pe care i-a dat-o. Biserica este trupul Lui. Si Pavel o numeste plinatatea celui ce implineste totul in toti. Observati cum se raporteaza Hristos la biserica. El este capul bisericii. El a dat capetenie peste toate lucrurile bisericii, care este trupul Lui, plinatatea ce implineste totul in toti. Cum Hristos este incomplet fara noi, – asa imi spune mie textul din Biblie. El ne priveste atat de importanti pentru El, incat, nu doar ca pune in mainile noastre planurile Lui, lucrarile Lui, ci El vine si ne ajuta in realizarea lor. Si in felul acesta conlucreaza, suntem in jug impreuna cu El.

8. El este gata sa o ierte si sa o restaureze cu gingasie

Iar, atunci cand din pricina noroiului care este lipit de noi, pasii ne aluneca si cadem, Duhul lui Dumnezeu este acolo sa ne dovedeasca vinovati in ce priveste pacatul si sa ne restaureze cu gingasie la relatia care am avut-o cu El.

Dragii mei, noi suntem inca pe teritoriile dusmanului, cu trupul atins de pacat si de aceea Pavel spune: ,,Trupul nostru, da, este supus mortii  din pricina pacatului, desi duhul nostru e viu si este in relatie cu Domnul nostru Isus Hristos.” Si toti gresim, fiecare intr-un fel sau altul, cu o ocazie sau alta. Cum ar fi daca Mirele nostru ceresc ar vorbi cu noi cum vorbesc de obicei barbatii cu nevestele lor cand gresesc in ceva? Domnul Isus Hristos si-a trimis Duhul Sau cel Sfant, pentru ca in tacere si cu gingasie sa ne dovedeasca vinovati in ce priveste pacatul, neprihanirea si judecata. Pacatul este sa flirtezi cu cel rau, sa asculti soapta lui, sa crezi vorba lui, sa mergi pe urmele lui si Hristos te primeste inapoi, te restaureaza, te iarta si o face cu gingasie. Ce extraordinar mod de a-ti iubi nevasta, ca pe trupul tau. ,,Copilasilor va scriu aceste lucruri ca sa nu pacatuiti. Dar, daca cineva a pacatuit avem la Tatal un mijlocitor, un paracletos, un avocat”. Ori de cate ori ne cerem iertare  cel care pledeaza cauza noastra inaintea completului de judecata este insusi Domnul Isus Hristos, cu mainile Lui strapunse de cuie, in fata cerului si a Tatalui celui drept. Si spune, „Tata, iarta-i, am platit pentru pacatul lor.” Si in felul acesta ne restaureaza. In Galateni 6 spune „chiar dacă un om ar cădea deodată în vreo greşală, voi, cari sînteţi duhovniceşti, să -l ridicaţi cu duhul blîndeţei. Şi ia seama la tine însuţi, ca să nu fii ispitit şi tu” Dragii mei avem jertfa de ispasire, avem un Mare Preot la dreapta Tatalui, care mijloceste pentru noi atunci cand este cazul sa fim ridicati si restaurati.

9. Credinciosia Lui fata de ea ii ofera siguranta si liniste

Credinciosia Lui fata de mireasa Lui ii ofera miresei, sau viitoarei Lui sotii, ii ofera siguranta si liniste. Cu alte cuvinte, Biserica, niciodata nu se poate indoi de credinciosia lui Hristos. El va fi acolo pana la sfarsit. O femeie nu poate functiona intr-un mediu al fricii, al terorii, al nesigurantei. Femeia, fie pune mana pe carme, ca sa castige un pic de siguranta atunci cand barbatul face un pas inapoi, fie abandoneaza. Se lasa coplesita de situatie. Cum ar fi ca noi Biserica sa nu stim precis daca divorteaza sau nu divorteaza Hristos de noi? Daca ne lasa, sau daca ne primeste inapoi daca am gresit? Dragii mei, n-am putea trai intr-o astfel de atmosfera. Credinciosia Lui fata de noi ofera Bisericii siguranta si liniste.

Ascultati-l pe Pavel strigand, in Romani 8 „Cine ne va desparti pe noi de dragostea lui Hristos” E adevarat ca El este la dreapta Tatalui si locuieste prin Duhul Sfant in noi. Dar, noi suntem inca pe teritoriile dusmanului. In jur este necaz, stramtorare, prigonire, foamete, primejdie, lipsa de imbracaminte, sabie. „Sunt bine incredintat,” spune Pavel, „nici moartea, nici viata, nici ingerii, nici stapanirile, nici puterile nici lucrurile de acum, nici cele viitoare, nici inaltimea, nici adancimea si nici o alta faptura nu vor fii in stare sa ne desparta de dragostea lui Dumnezeu, care este in Isus Hristos Domnul nostru.

10. Ii ofera ocrotire si protectie in fata amenintarilor de orice fel

Nu doar ca ii ofera siguranta, ii ofera si ocrotire si protectie in fata oricaror amenintari. O ocroteste si o pazeste in fata oricarei amenintari si mijloceste desavarsirea mantuirii ei, ca intr-o buna zi sa o poata prezenta inaintea intregului cer sfanta si fara prihana. Ascultati cum termina Pavel epistola catre Efeseni 6:10 „Încolo, fraţilor, întăriţi-vă în Domnul şi în puterea tăriei Lui”. Acolo-i taria noastra, in Domnul, in Mirele nostru ceresc si in puterea tariei Lui.

11 Îmbrăcaţi-vă cu toată armătura lui Dumnezeu, ca să puteţi ţinea piept împotriva uneltirilor diavolului. 12 Căci noi n’avem de luptat împotriva cărnii şi sîngelui, ci împotriva căpeteniilor, împotriva domniilor, împotriva stăpînitorilor întunerecului acestui veac, împotriva duhurilor răutăţii cari sînt în locurile cereşti. 13 De aceea, luaţi toată armătura lui Dumnezeu, ca să vă puteţi împotrivi în ziua cea rea, şi să rămîneţi în picioare, după ce veţi fi biruit totul.

Daca cititi piesele de armura cu atentie a-ti putea spune: De aceea, imbracati-va cu Hristos si ramaneti in El. Dar de ce sa ma imbrac cu Hristos? Acolo este locul ocrotirii si a protectiei. In capitolul 2, Pavel ne spune ca noi eram morti in pacatele si in greselile noastre, dar El, Dumnezeu ne-a inviat impreuna si ne-a pus sa sedem impreuna in locurile ceresti, in Hristos Isus. Si in capitolul 1 ne-a spus: 21 mai pe sus de orice domnie, de orice stăpînire, de orice putere, de orice dregătorie şi de orice nume, care se poate numi, nu numai în veacul acesta, ci şi în cel viitor.

Hristos mai face ceva, mijloceste in fiecare zi desavarsirea mantuirii noastre. Stiti de ce? Ca ceea ce ne-a promis, scaunul de Domnie al Tatalui, care este al Lui si care vrea sa-l imparta cu biserica Lui, sa fie al tau, sa fie al meu, sa fie al nostru, al Bisericii, mijloceste in fiecare zi desavarsirea mantuirii noastre. Dar, fiindca ramane in veac, are o preotie care nu poate trece de la unul la altul, de aceea si poate mantui in chip desavarsit pe cei ce se incred, sau se apropie de Dumnezeu prin El, pentru ca traieste pururea ca sa mijloceasca pentru ei. Iar, Pavel, in Filipeni, spune: „Sunt incredintat ca acesta care a inceput in voi aceasta buna lucrare, o va ispravi pana in ziua lui Hristos. (27:00)

Paralela cu realitatea pamanteasca a sotilor fata de sotii

Biserica este trupul lui Hristos. Cum isi hraneste si cum isi ingrijeste Hristos cu drag de trupul Lui:

  1. In primul rand a dezbracat slava si a venit sa-si castige mireasa. Dati-mi voie sa fac paralela cu realitatea pamanteasca. Cei care isi cauta, de obicei, mireasa sunt de obicei barbatii, baietii. Fetele asteapta. Asteapta sa fie gasite, asteapta sa fie curtate, asteapta sa fie cerute. Dar, intreb eu: Care dintre noi am avut de dezbracat vreo slava ca sa ne cautam mireasa? Va spun eu ce am avut de dezbracat:
  2. A castigat-o prin frumusetea si virtutile Lui.  Am avut de dezbracat, probabil, lipsa de maniere, vorbirea care nu totdeauna este pe placul unei femei, atitudini care nu se prea potrivesc, mai ales cand esti indragostit si vrei sa castigi pe cineva… Astea a trebuit sa le dezbracam noi. Si in mod ciudat, cand un baiat se indragosteste, pac, se intampla ceva cu el. Incepe sa se barbereasca, sa se parfumeze, sa se aranjeze, mai gaseste cate un buchet de flori. Incepe sa vorbeasca frumos. Si o fata cand este curtata in felul acesta, isi imagineaza ca in tot restul vietii ei va avea parte de asa ceva. Ba, mai mult, prin frumusetea si virtutile pe care le-a imprumutat pentru o vreme, de undeva, o si castiga pentru el.
  3. El ne-a facut promisiuni extraordinare. Si-i face promisiuni (barbatul), daca i-ar cere luna de pe cer, el este gata sa i-o promita. Nu-i asa? Problema este ca vine „Da”-ul spus, vine nunta, trece luna de miere si intrebarea este daca mai suntem dispusi sa facem in continuare pentru ea ceea ce face Hristos pentru Biserica. Si aici e examenul nostru cel mare.
  4. Hristos a murit pentru Biserica –
  5. Dragii mei, Hristos o hraneste si o ingrijeste cu drag, ca pe trupul Lui. Nu stiu cat de atenti suntem la nevoile nevestelor noastre, ne-am bucura ca ele sa fie atente la nevoile noastre, sa nu trebuiasca sa vorbim despre ele, sa le identifice imediat, sa vina in ajutorul si implinirea nevoilor noastre.
  6. Nu stiu cat suntem de preocupati de dezvoltarea si formarea sotiilor noastre. Nu stiu cati dintre noi, daca am lua o foaie de hartie am putea pune in scris ce iubeste sotia mea, ce si-ar dori sotia mea. O femeie poate dori foarte multe, dar in lumina planului lui Dumnezeu si aceea ce Dumnezeu a gandit pentru ea ca sa fie.
  7. Nu stiu cata incredere avem in sotiile noastre. Nu uitati, frica, suspiciunea, neincrederea ucide vasul slab de langa noi. Ca ea sa poata inflori trebuie sa ai incredere in ea. Am auzit o alta poveste. Era un sat in care atunci cand iti peteai mireasa dadeai o vaca tatalui miresei pentru ea. Si in felul acesta era practic cererea in casatorie. Si era o fata in satul respectiv foarte rusinoasa, tot timpul cu capul plecat cand mergea la fantana si toti baietii radeau de ea. A venit un flacau si a adus 8 vaci si a venit la tatal ei si a zis: „Am venit sa petesc mireasa!” Tatal ei s-a uitat crucis la el: „Nimeni n-a facut asa ceva vreodata in satul nostru!” Toata lumea a ras de el. El a lasat vacile si a luat mireasa si s-a dus acasa. Nu a trecut foarte mult timp si cineva ii bate la usa, unul dintre prietenii lui si o doamna cu fata senina, inalta, frumoasa deschide usa si-l invita in casa. Si omul nostru ramane absolut buimac. „Asta este fata rusinoasa din satul nostru?”
  8. Dragii mei, cand cineva are incredere in sotia lui, iubirea transforma. Iubirea modeleaza. Nu stiu cum reactionati voi. Eu ma stiu pe mine, sunt iute la manie si totdeauna trebuie sa-mi cer iertare pentru asta. Mai ales cand cineva face altceva decat trebuie. Intrebarea este: Cu cata gingasie stii sa-ti ierti, sa-ti restaurezi sotia. Sa uiti, sa nu-ti mai aduci niciodata aminte de ceea ce a fost? Sa te duci mai departe. Cati dintre noi barbatii oferim sotiilor noastre garantia si siguranta ca indiferent ce s-ar intampla vom fi acolo? In cate din familiile noastre, notiunea de divort nu exista, pentru ca Dumnezeu uraste divortul. Dragii mei, cati dintre noi luam in serios legamantul pe care-l facem aici? La bine si la greu, in sanatate si in boala, in bogatie si in saracie, pana cand moartea ne va desparti. Din pacate, traim vremuri in care barbatii nu mai au barbatia aceea de a sta fata in fata cu problemele si de a le rezolva, indiferent cat costa. Mai degraba, trantesc toate de pamant, gandind ca cu o alta isi vor reface mai bine familia. Dragii mei, statisticile spun ca intotdeauna casnicia a 2-a, a 3-a si a 5-a sunt mai proaste decat prima. Asta spun statisticile. Stiti de ce? Pentru ca desi pare mai verde iarba in curtea vecinului, energia de care ai nevoie sa o tii verde ti-ar ajunge sa o inverzesti pe a ta. Dar noi nu mai avem curajul sa facem lucrul acesta. Cati dintre noi suntem gata sa nu facem ce a facut Avraam? Sa ne ocrotim, sa ne pazim sotiile. Da, vom trece prin situatii dificile. E mai simplu sa spui: ,,Te rog spune ca nu esti sotia mea, esti sora mea”, ca sa-mi pastrez eu viata. Cati dintre noi suntem constienti de faptul ca ele vor mosteni harul vietii impreuna cu noi? Dumnezeu ni le-a incredintat, ca intr-o buna zi sa le prezentam alaturi de noi mirelui ceresc, ca mireasa Lui. Cu alte cuvinte, suntem datori sa conlucram cu Domnul Isus Hristos la desavarsirea mantuirii ei, asa cum Hristos Mirele lucreaza la desavarsirea mantuirii noastre.

As mai pune o intrebare: De ce hraneste si ingrijeste Hristos cu drag Biserica? Textul spune doar atata: Pentru ca noi suntem madularele trupului Lui, carne din carnea Lui, os din oasele Lui. IUBIND BISERICA, HRISTOS SE IUBESTE PE SINE. Si daca v-as aduna toata legea intr-o coaja de nuca, cum a facut Domnul Isus Hristos, ar spune asa: „Sa iubesti pe Domnul Dumnezeul tau cu toata inima ta, cu tot cugetul tau, cu toata puterea ta si pe aproapele tau ca pe tine insuti”. Si asta este principiul si porunca pe care Pavel o aduce inaintea noastra: „ca pe trupurile lor”. Hristos iubeste Biserica pentru ca se iubeste pe sine, Biserica este trupul Lui. Spuneti-mi: Ce ar face Hristos cu un ajutor nepotrivit? Nepotrivit, disfunctional din pricina faptului ca a neglijat-o, ca a uitat de ea, ca a fost egoist? Ce ar face Hristos cu astfel de biserica? Cum ar termina lucrarea pe care I-a dat-o Tatal, pe care I-a incredintat-o Tatal si pe care trebuie sa o termine prin Biserica Lui? Hristos isi ingrijeste si isi hraneste cu drag Biserica ca sa aiba in ea un ajutor potrivit.

Noi am vrea ca Dumnezeu sa ne ofere ca sotie pe cineva gata terminat, la care sa nu ne mai trebuiasca nici o trasatura de penel. Sa fie complet terminat. Si suntem surprinsi si suparati ca ea nu este ajutorul care ni l-am imaginat sau care ar putea sa fie. Dar, daca Hristos isi hraneste si isi ingrijeste cu drag Biserica ca sa faca din ea un ajutor potrivit, ascultati cum continua textul „de aceea va lasa omul pe tatal sau si pe mama sa si se va alipi de nevasta sa.  Ca sa o iubeasca pana cand femeia respectiva va deveni ajutorul lui potrivit.

Cu alte cuvinte, cand te-ai indragostit, pune inaintea ta si responsabilitatea pe care Dumnezeu o pune inaintea ta. Tot aşa trebuie să-şi iubească şi bărbaţii nevestele, ca pe trupurile lor. Cine îşi iubeşte nevasta, se iubeşte pe sine însuş. 29 Căci nimeni nu şi -a urît vreodată trupul lui, ci îl hrăneşte, îl îngrijeşte cu drag, ca şi Hristos Biserica;  Ca sa-mi pot iubi nevasta ca pe trupul meu, trebuie sa fiu convins de doua lucruri. Nu sa stiu doua lucruri, ci sa fiu convins de aceste doua lucruri si sa traiesc in baza acestei convingeri:

  1.  In primul rand, ca barbat am nevoie de ajutor.
  2. Nimeni altcineva nu-mi poate fi un ajutor mai potrivit decat sotia mea.

De foarte multe ori, cand stau de vorba cu barbatii care s-au cam plictisit de relatia in care se afla si din pricina tensiunilor n-au barbatia sa le rezolve, stau si pun astfel de intrebari:  Oare nu cumva nu e de la Domnul? Dragii mei, in momentul in care te-ai atins de o femeie, ai venit la altar si ai rostit cuvintele pe care le rostesti in legamant, Dumnezeu a parafrat (checked off) relatia respectiva. Gandul acesta, oare nu cumva nu-i de la Domnul? Nici nu mai are ce cauta in mintea mea!

Sa le luam pe rand:

Avem nevoie de ajutor

Ca barbat, sunt vulnerabil si, de aceea, am nevoie de ajutorul sotiei! 

Barbatilor le vine foarte greu sa creada lucrul acesta, sa rosteasca lucrul acesta. Dar, va pun o intrebare, intrebandu-ma pe mine: Oare de ce a zis Dumneze: ,,Nu-i bine ca omul (ca barbatul) sa fie singur? Am sa-i fac un ajutor potrivit pentru el.” Pentru ca El ne-a creat cu lipsuri fundamentale, cu spatele gol, dragii mei, putem fii loviti de la spate, oricand, in lupta spirituala. Si de aceea, Dumnezeu, in lupta siprituala ne-a dat un ajutor potrivit. Noi suntem pe terenul dusmanului, indiferent cine am fi. Sagetile arzatoare a celui rau lovesc din toate partile. Si am nevoie de ajutor. Sa stii, ca atunci cand nu crezi ca ai nevoie de ajutor, ai o boala psihica. Si problema cu bolnavii psihici este ca nu cred ca sunt bolnavi. Si pentru ca nu cred ca-s bolnavi medicii nu pot sa-i ajute. As putea sa va povestesc tragedii imense, dragii mei, din familii in care copiii erau sa-si omoare parintii pentru ca n-au vrut sa creada ca-s bolnavi. Odata ce ai acceptat realitatea aceasta si incepi sa iei medicatia, esti ajutat sa traiesti o viata cat de cat normala. Ori, pana nu recunosti ca ai nevoie de ajutor, pana atunci nu vei sti cum sa te porti, cum sa-ti iubesti  nevasta ca pe trupul tau. Nu uitati, pamantul a fost vandut sub stapanirea celui rau. El este administratorul acestei planete. El este dumnezeul veacului acestuia. Asta s-a intamplat in Eden.

Matei 4*1-22 1 Petru 3*1-6

Dar, mai ramane un lucru de pazit, care e mai valoros ca toata desertaciunea lumii acesteia: sufletul omului. Si in aceasta batalie spirituala pentru sufletul omului, Dumnezeu a zis: ,,Nu-i bine ca omul sa fie singur.Am sa-i fac un ajutor potrivit”. In aceasta batalie, barbatul are nevoie de ajutor. Uitati-va la imaginea din fata voastra. Daca nici Hristos – si aveti cele doua imparatii inaintea voastra – Daca nici Hristos, barbatul, n-a fost scutit de ispitirea Satanei: ,,Inchina-te mie si am sa-Ti dau toate imparatiile pamantului”. Cam dupa asta alearga inima unui barbat, dupa desertaciunile acestei lumi si Hristos spune: ,,Ce ar folosi unui om, sa castige toata lumea, daca si-ar pierde sufletul?” Daca nici Hristos n-a fost scutit, voi fii eu, vei fii tu? Hristos a fost intrupatul Fiu al lui Dumnezeu, eu sunt tarana. Eu am nevoie de ajutor. Cand cititi armura lui Dumnezeu din Efeseni 6, spatele este descoperit. Pentru spatele meu Dumnezeu mi-a dat sotia mea. Ea, prin intuitia ei, sa aiba grija sa nu fiu lovit pe la spate de ispitirile, de sagetile arzatoare ale celui rau. (41:00)

Nimeni altcineva nu-mi poate fi

un ajutor mai potrivit ca sotia mea

Al doilea adevar de care trebuie sa fiu convins este ca nimeni altcineva nu imi poate fi un ajutor mai potrivit ca sotia mea. Am trait cu Nora peste 38 de ani. Nimeni in lumea asta nu ma cunoaste  cum ma cunoaste ea. Nu trebuie sa vorbim prea multe, nu trebuie sa ne spunem prea multe. Ea stie zvacnirile inimii mele, stie aspiratiile mele, stie punctele mele slabe, toate le stie. Nici mama mea nu m-a cunoscut cum ma cunoaste sotia mea. Spuneti-mi, cine altcineva in lumea aceasta mi-ar putea fi un ajutor mai potrivit decat ea? De aceea, vreau sa spun: „O voi iubi ca pe trupul meu!” Stiti de ce? Ce m-as face cu un ajutor nepotrivit, disfunctional, pentru ca am neglijat-o? Pentru ca n-am hranit-o, nu i-am purtat de grija asa cum face Hristos cu Biserica Lui.

Acuma, in momentul acesta parca aud suspinul multor barbati din sala. Stiu ca veneam de la o conferinta si eram intr-o masina cu prietenii. Eu tocmai facusem o descoperire extraodinara in 1 Corinteni 11 si le povesteam entuziast tot ce am inteles din Biblie in saptamana respectiva. Si unul din cei care erau in masina, dupa ce m-a ascultat o vreme s-a uitat la mine si a zis: ,,Daca e adevarat ce spui, ma duc acasa si-mi impusc nevasta.” Haideti sa va talmacesc cuvintele lui. Eram intre prieteni si a fost o gluma. ,,Daca e adevarat ce spui, arata-mi tu o femeie de felul acesta”.

Vreau sa va las cu o intrebare: Oare iubirea, increderea si incurajarea pe care le-am invatat de la Hristos pot ajuta in devenirea sotiei mele? V-am spus, nu stiu de ce Dumnezeu nu ne-a dat femei desavarsite ca sotii. Puteti sa le cautati cat vreti. Si am multi baieti in jurul meu care au venit sa-mi planga pe umar cand curta o femeie si avea o lista de 25 de puncte cum tre sa arate nevasta sa. Puteti sa cautati cat doriti, si eu am avut impresia ca am luat-o pe cea mai buna dintre cele mai bune. Trei zile dupa ce m-am insurat mi-am pus intrebarea: ,,Doamne, ce-o fi femeia, ca eu nu o pricep?” Dumnezeu ne-a dat unul celuilalt nedesavarsiti, in procesul formarii, a transformarii noastre. Ne-a pus pe unul langa celalalt, ca Duhul se arata prin unul spre folosul celuilalt si intr-o buna zi, impreuna,  sa fim mireasa lui Hristos. Oare, iubirea, incurajarea, si increderea invatata de la Hristos pot ajuta devenirea sotiei mele?

Dati-mi voie sa va aduc o poveste reala. Era prin anii ’80 si Dumnezeu, in raspuns la rugaciunile noastre a inceput sa ne aduca invatatori dupa cerintele, sau daca vreti, dupa nivelul intrebarilor noastre. Si cineva, undeva, pe alt continent, in America de Nord, i-a dat o ideie ca sa aduca in Romania tot corpul profesional de la Wheaton College. Si fiecare vara ducea 2,3. Stateam ascunsi cu ei prin paduri, prin apartamente si de dimineata pana seara studiam Scriptura. Si unul dintre ei, tin minte, era o vara torida, eram in Oradea, era Paul DuVree(?) seful catedrei de filozofie de la Wheaton College. Avea o problema serioasa de ochi. Se vedea cand te uitai la el si ochelarii pe care-i purta. SI intr-o zi ne-a povestit viata Lui. S-a nascut cu problema asta de ochi si cand s-a dus la scoala n-a spus nimanui ca el nu vede tabla, nu vede ce-i scris acolo. Va dati seama cum aratau caietele lui, cum aratau lucrarile lui. Abia ca s-a tarat peste clasa IV-a. In clasa IV-a a trebuit sa dea un examen pentru pregatirea in clasa V-a. La lucrarea de la matematica i-au gresit lucrarea, i-au incurcat-o. I-au dat o nota foarte mare. Hai sa zicem, in limba Romana, un 9. A intrat in clasa V-a, notele la matematica 2, 2. A venit profesoara la el si a zis: ,,Paul, nu se poate. Uite aici lucrarea ta. Tu esti un baiat de nota 9, nu de 2.” Stiti ce a spus el? „Am terminat liceul primul din clasa.”

Spuneti-mi, ce l-a propulsat pe Paul de la 2 la 10? Increderea, incurajarea. Profesoara de matematica, mai tarziu, a aflat povestea. A fost corectata lucrarea lui. Poate ca ai o sotie de nota 2. Oare, iubirea ta ar putea sa faca din ea un ajutor potrivit de nota 9? Cel putin. De aceea va lăsa omul pe tatăl său şi pe mamă-sa, şi se va lipi de nevastă-sa, şi cei doi vor fi un singur trup.` Nu stiu daca simtiti greutatea acestui „de aceea”. Ca sa iubeasca „ca şi Hristos Biserica” si sa o ajute astfel in devenirea ei.

Barbatilor, va pun o intrebare, intrebandu-ma pe mine: La ce mi-ar folosi un ajutor nepotrivit si disfunctional pentru ca toata viata am neglijat-o avand pretentii de la ea, asteptari de la ea, dar fara sa Il fi studiat pe Hristos in lucrarea Lui prezenta zi cu zi si sa-L imit pe Hristos in asta. „Barbatilor, iubiti-va nevestele cum a iubit Hristos Biserica”. Ah, e prea complicat si prea esoteric. Dati-mi voie sa cobor la lucruri mai practice. Barbatilor, iubiti-va nevestele ca pe trupul vostru. Cineva spunea, „Cand unui barbat ii e foame, indiferent unde s-ar afla, trage si mananca. Cand unui barbat ii e somn, indiferent ce ar fi, se duce la hotel si se culca. Nu conteaza cat plateste. Cand un barbat doreste ceva, indiferent peste cine calca, isi atinge scopul. Dragii mei, Dumnezeu a pus in noi barbatii atitudinea asta de luptator. Haideti sa luptam pentru ceea ce Hristos asteapta. Pentru ca intr-o zi sa prezentam nevestele si pruncii nostri, familia noastra inaintea Domnului. Amin.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/75136314]

VIDEO by Biserica Baptista Iris

 

Otniel Bunaciu a devenit Presedintele Baptistilor Europeni

Photo credit Facebook

Otniel Bunaciu incoming president welcoming the conference delegates in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Anuntul: De la Comunitatea Bisericilor Baptiste Timisoara – website aici – http://www.baptist-tm.ro/

Bratlislava gazduieste, in perioada 25-28 Septembrie , întâlnirea Consiliului Federatiei Europene Baptiste (European Baptist Federation). La aceasta întâlnire participa liderii Uniunilor Baptiste din Europa si Orientul Mijlociu, dar si parteneri ai baptistilor europeni. Invitați speciali sunt Nabil Costa si Neville Calam, vicepreședinte, respectiv secretar general al Aliantei Mondiale Baptiste. Principalele teme abordate sunt: Unitatea si diversitatea din viața miscarii Baptiste, Marturia Baptista într-o lume religioasă diversa, Traficul de persoane si drepturile minoritatilor, de ce au nevoie baptistii de istorie?

Cu prilejul acestui Consiliu, pastorul Otniel Bunaciu va prelua, pentru următorii 2 ani, președinția Federatiei. Lucrările Consiliului au început in clădirea Bisericii Baptiste Palisady din Bratislava si continua la hotelul Devin. In prima seara un cor românesc, format din credinciosi baptisti din Viena si Krems, au cântat spre slava lui Dumnezeu.

Uniunea Baptista din România este reprezentata la acest eveniment de pastorii: Otniel Bunaciu, Ionel Tuțac, Ilie Tinco si Joszef Kovacs.Urmatoarea întâlnire a Consiliului va avea loc anul viitor, in luna Septembrie, la București.

Photo credit Facebook

In the photo above: The EBF Council is praying for the newly elected leaders – Otniel Bunaciu from Romania as the President for next two years, Asatur Nahapetyan from Armenia for the next two years, Teun van der Leer from the Netherlands as the Chair of the Division of Theology and Education and Ian Bunce from the UK as the Chair of the Division of Mission and Evangelism. In addition several other people were elected to different positions.

Photo credit Facebook

The EBF Executive Council meets in Bratislava, Slovakia. Reports, discussions, planning and good fellowship!

Syria: Rebels Seized Control of a historic Christian Village 3 weeks ago (VIDEO)

As Islamist Occupation Continues,

Syrian Christians Remain Trapped

An update: September 25, 2013 from http://news.antiwar.com

Nearly three weeks ago, rebels from al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the Syrian Christian village of Maaloula, seizing a hotel on a hilltop and using it as a base to shell the villagers below and eventually taking the town outright. Several failed militarypushes later, parts of the town have been reclaimed, but al-Nusra is still at the hotel.

Most of the tiny village’s population fled when the attacks began, but a number of civilians fled to a convent on the outskirts of town, where nuns take care of orphans. It was never intended to be a long-term solution.

But roughly 40 civilians, including many of the orphans, are still stuck in the convent, with supplies dwindling and a looming humanitarian crisis, they have been appealing to Christians elsewhere in Syria for relief.

That’s going to be tough going, however, since Christians throughout Syria are taking the ongoing civil war particularly hard, stuck between an Assad government that has historically tolerated them, more or less, and Islamist-dominated rebels that see that tolerance as evidence of complicity, and aim to wipe them out.

Tiny towns like Maaloula are mostly off the beaten path in Syria. The villagers there still speak Aramaic, not Syrian Arabic, and beyond a tiny army post inside the village, which was burned almost immediately when al-Nusra attacked, there is little reason why the village would be of interest at all to al-Qaeda.

A statement from an alleged commander of al-Nusra promised to withdraw from the village if the Christians promised to keep the military from returning, but the village of a couple thousand people can’t realistically keep any fighting force out, and so al-Nusra has remained, leaving the villagers stuck in the middle of a civil war.

Photo credit http://www.al-monitor.com/

This is a somewhat (relatively older) story, from September 5th and 8th, 2013. However, I have been digging a little bit past the headlines and found the story reported at Al-Monitor.com. See below the video.

Syrian rebels have reportedly taken control of an historic Christian village near Damascus. Rebel forces led by al Qaeda-linked jihadists captured the Christian village of Maaloula, situated in the mountains just north of Damascus. The village is also known as one of the few places in the world where residents still speak Aramaic, which some scholars say is the language Jesus spoke.

Maaloula is one of the oldest Christian villages in the world, and the oldest in Syria. From CBN News Length 4:02 VIDEO by VOM C

This was the town we read about when the Daily Mail reported on rebels who threatened christians to convert to islam or be beheaded:

Maaloula, Syria Photo credit http://www.dailymail.co.uk

The village of Maaloula has been taken over by Syrian rebels associated with al Qaeda, who have stormed the Christian center and offered local Christians a choice: conversion or death. A resident of the town said the rebels shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as they moved through the village, and proceeded to assault Christian homes and churches.

One Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of whom had beards and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great), attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village.

“They shot and killed people,” he said. “I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village. Where is President Obama to see what has befallen us?” Another witness stated, “I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, ‘Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.’”

Another said one church had been torched, and gunmen stormed into two other churches and robbed them.

The beautiful mountain village, 25 miles from Damascus, is one of the few places in the world where residents still use the ancient language of Aramaic, which was spoken by Jesus and his disciples.

Terrified Christians claim Syrian rebels ordered them to convert to Islam on pain of death when they ‘liberated’ their ancient village.

Opposition forces, including fighters linked to Al Qaeda, gained temporary control of the Christian village of Maaloula after fighting with regime forces.

The reports have reignited fears about western support for the rebel groups, which are increasingly being infiltrated by Islamic extremists.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Syrian Christian Village Besieged By Jihadists September 5, 2013

Read the detailed report here: http://www.al-monitor.com/

Syrian Islamist Rebels Threaten Maaloula, Christians

After the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved President Barack Obama’s plan to strike Syria, armed extremist Islamists entered the Syrian town of Maaloula, located to the northeast of Damascus.

Maaloula is a historical town that symbolizes the Christian presence in the Levant. To this day, its residents speak Aramaic — the language of Jesus Christ. For centuries, Maaloula has maintained its heritage and embodied the presence of Christianity in Syria, despite the predominant Islamic characteristics the country took on following the Islamic conquests in Syria in 636.

However, in their fight against Christians, those attacking Maaloula are still implementing the old legacies of Islam in its early stages. Back then, the prophet was compelled to make concessions to gain the support of tribes in his conflict with the Quraysh — rich Arab tribes at the time — and those opposed to his call for Islam in the Arab peninsula.

Storming into Maaloula and calling upon its residents to convert to Islam as the only option to stay alive — only days prior to a possible US military attack against the Syrian regime — once again prompts questions about a potential alternative. While, according to the West, President Bashar al-Assad prevents the establishment of democracy in Syria, the Islamist opposition threatens —  if it were to usurp power — to destroy 1,000 years of religious tolerance in the Levant.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/syria-islamists-maaloula-threat-religious-coexistence.html#ixzz2fwrThoEY

The Great King Herod and Masada (Video)

This episode talks about the Great King Herod and Masada. (Biblical Mysteries EP19)

Herod (Hebrew: הוֹרְדוֹס‎, Hordos, Greek: Ἡρῴδης, Hērōdēs), (73/74 BCE – 4 BCE), also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was a Roman client king of Judea. He has been described as „a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis”, „the evil genius of the Judean nation”, „prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition” and „the greatest builder in Jewish history”. He is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (Herod’s Temple), the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century CE Roman–Jewish historian Josephus.

Upon Herod’s death, the Romans divided his kingdom among three of his sons—Archelaus became ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea, Herod Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, and Philip became tetrarch of territories east of the Jordan.

Herod was born around 74 BCE in Idumea, south of Judea. He was the second son of Antipater the Idumaean, a high-ranked official under Ethnarch Hyrcanus II, and Cypros, a Nabatean. Herod practiced Judaism, as many Edomites and Nabateans had been commingled with the Jews and adopted their customs. These „Judaized” Edomites were not considered Jewish by the dominant Pharisaic tradition, so even though Herod may have considered himself of the Jewish faith, he was not considered Jewish by the observant and nationalist Jews of Judea. A loyal supporter of Hyrcanus II, Antipater appointed Herod governor of Galilee at 25, and his elder brother, Phasael, governor of Jerusalem. He enjoyed the backing of Rome but his brutality was condemned by the Sanhedrin.

Two years later Antigonus, Hyrcanus’ nephew, took the throne from his uncle with the help of the Parthians. Herod fled to Rome to plead with the Romans to restore him to power. There he was elected „King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate. Josephus puts this in the year of the consulship of Calvinus and Pollio (40 BCE), but Appian places it in 39 BCE. Herod went back to Judea to win his kingdom from Antigonus and at the same time he married the teenage niece of Antigonus, Mariamne (known as Mariamne I), in an attempt to secure a claim to the throne and gain some Jewish favor. However, Herod already had a wife, Doris, and a three-year-old son, Antipater, and chose therefore to banish Doris and her child.

Three years later, Herod and the Romans finally captured Jerusalem and executed Antigonus. Herod took the role as sole ruler of Judea and the title of basileus (Gr. Βασιλευς, king) for himself, ushering in the Herodian Dynasty and ending the Hasmonean Dynasty. Josephus reports this as being in the year of the consulship of Agrippa and Gallus (37 BCE), but also says that it was exactly 27 years after Jerusalem fell to Pompey, which would indicate 36 BCE. Cassius Dio also reports that in 37 „the Romans accomplished nothing worthy of note” in the area. According to Josephus, Herod ruled for 37 years, 34 of them after capturing Jerusalem.

As Herod’s family had converted to Judaism, his religious commitment had come into question by some elements of Jewish society. When John Hyrcanus conquered the region of Idumaea (the Edom of the Hebrew Bible) in 140–130 BCE, he required all Idumaeans to obey Jewish law or to leave; most Idumaeans thus converted to Judaism, which meant that they had to be circumcised. While Herod publicly identified himself as a Jew and was considered as such by some, this religious identification was undermined by the decadent lifestyle of the Herodians, which would have earned them the antipathy of observant Jews.

Herod later executed several members of his own family, including his wife Mariamne I

VIDEO by DiscoveryHaven

Great Battles: The Siege and Fall of Masada (Video lecture) University of Pennsylvania Museum

A lecture from Dr. Jodi Magness, Professor of Religious Studies, UNC Chapel Hill, who co-directed the 1995 excavations at Masada.

„Great Battles” Evening Lecture
The Siege and Fall of Masada
In the 1st century BCE, King Herod the Great fortified the mountain of Masada, located near the southwest shore of the Dead Sea. Seventy years after Herod’s death, Jewish rebels occupied Masada during the First Jewish Revolt against the Romans, holding out even after the fall of Jerusalem. In this illustrated lecture, Dr. Jodi Magness, Professor of Religious Studies, UNC Chapel Hill, examines the archaeological and literary evidence for the Roman siege of Masada, including information from the 1995 excavations that she co-directed. VIDEO by pennmuseum

Nelu Brie Conferinta la Biserica Betania Chicago 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 Octombrie 2013

Multumesc Bibi Danaila pentru atentionare!

Seminarii Pastor Nelu Brie

Vineri, sâmbătă, luni, marţi şi miercuri,

4, 5, 7, 8, 9 octombrie

Biserica Betania

adresa 7301 N Caldwell Ave, Niles, IL 60714
website http://bethanynewsite.com
see Google map here

Vezi seminariile biblice cu Nelu Brie din primavara aici:

Cantare si marturie – Sergiu si Ligia Nichescu – Pictează, deşi nu are mâini

Photo credit www.libertatea.ro

Sergiu Nichescu (40 de ani) şi-a descoperit talentul pentru pictură

după ce şi-a pierdut mâinile în urma unui accident

In primul rand, asculta-i pe Ligia si pe Sergiu cantand o cantare minunata, cantata de doi soti minunati si exemple vii pentru noi. Cati ar putea slavi pe Dumnezeu in asemenea circumstante? Dumnezeu sa-i binecuvanteze!

VIDEO by vladamir40

Story and photos de la http://www.libertatea.ro/

Sergiu a rămas fără mâini când era copil. Şi-ar dori oricând să nu-şi mai poată aminti momentul în care, prins de joacă, s-a urcat pe un stâlp de electricitate şi s-a curentat. “Jucam «De-a v-aţi ascunselea » şi m-am suit pe un stâlp, apoi mi-am pierdut echilibrul. Am pus mâna pe fire, să nu pic, iar curentul mi-a carbonizat toate oasele mâinilor”, îşi aminteşte Sergiu.

Medicii nu-i mai dădeau nici o şansă. Mai mult, conducerea comunistă a spitalului a hotărât să-l abandoneze într-un pat şi să-l lase să moară. Părinţii lui erau disperaţi, pentru că nimeni nu îi ajuta. “După trei zile, un doctor în vârstă a hotărât să nu mă lase aşa, deşi nimeni din spital nu a vrut să îl ajute, nici asistentele, nici medicii, cu excepţia unui singur student care s-a hotărât să fie de partea medicului, cu orice risc. Aşa am scăpat”, povesteşte Sergiu.

După mulţi ani, a cunoscut-o pe soţia lui, Ligia, la o petrecere. Timişoreanul spune că a fost, cumva, dragoste la prima vedere. “Mâinile mele sunt soţia mea, care m-a acceptat aşa cum sunt”, adaugă el. Cei doi au împreună trei copii frumoşi, doi băieţi şi o fată.

Îşi întreţine familia

De la Ligia, Sergiu a învăţat să se descurce în orice situaţie. De câţiva ani, pictează ţinând pensula în gură, iar lucrările le vinde pentru a-şi întreţine familia. Ca să fie în pas cu tehnologia, a învăţat să lucreze şi la calculator: scrie cu nasul şi mişcă mouse-ul cu piciorul. Are nevoie de ajutor doar la îmbrăcat şi la spălat.

Iată câteva dintre tablourile sale: 1) Violete  2) Primavara.

Mai mult: http://www.libertatea.ro/   ~~~

VIDEO by aciducip

Marturie Sergiu Nichescu

la Biserica Betania Chicago 2013

Marturie Ligia Nichescu

VIDEO by Deta Cornel

Australian preacher Josh Williamson arrested for preaching on the streets of Perth, in Scotland (VIDEO)

Josh Williamson Photo credit https://gallery.mailchimp.com

Josh Williamson, a street preacher goes to Scotland to preach.  At about the 6-7th minute he is confronted by cops and eventually arrested for ‘breach of peace’.

Here’s are some additional details, according to the UK website http://inquiringminds.cc –

This is now the third arrest of a Christian street preacher since July. Tony Miano was arrested in London in July and Robbie Hughes was arrested in Basildon earlier this month. Photo credit www.tmsporting.com

Rev Josh Williamson, the pastor of Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth, regularly takes to the streets to hand out leaflets, talk to passers-by and do open-air preaching.

But yesterday a police officer told him to stop preaching because he was breaking the law.

The officer insisted that he was not allowed to preach and told Josh that he would be arrested if he continued. When Josh said that he would not comply because he was not breaking the law, the officer placed him under arrest for breach of the peace.

„This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15) VIDEO by Josh Williamson

Here are some accounts of the arrest from main stream media:

Liar, Lunatic or Lord – Did God Really Say…?

SEE FULL VIDEO + TRANSCRIPT HERE – 

Cover of "Fundamentalism and the Word of ...

Cover of Fundamentalism and the Word of God

John Piper:

God made me see it. I believe, I couldn’t believe the Bible is untrue if I tried, because I’m just taken by Him. That’s my biggest reason (for believing the Bible).

You can’t persuade anybody with that, so up above those layers are the layers of experience, of encounter withe the text. And, I think that at one level, the Bible, as C. S. Lewis said: „You believe in it as you believe in the sun not only because you see it, but you see everything else by it.” I asked my professor in Germany one time, „Why do you believe the Bible?” And he said, „Because it makes sense out of the world for me”. And I think that is right. You don’t take every sentence and relate it to every part of the world. You just… year after year, after year, you live in the book and you deal with the world and it brings coherence to evil, and good, and to sorrow, and to loss.

There is one other level I would mention. liar, lunatic, Lord argument in the Gospels works for me. And Paul, liar, lunatic, or faithful apostle. Because I think I know Paul better than I know anybody in the Bible. Luke wrote most quantitatively, but he’s writing narrative. The apostle Paul you know, if you read his 13 letters hundreds of time, you know this man. Either he’s stupid, I mean insane, or liar, or a very wise, deep, credible, thoughtful person. So, when I put Paul up against any liberal scholar in any German university that I ever met, they don’t even come close. So, I have frankly never been tested very much by the devil, or whoever, to say, „This wise liberal offering his arguments…” and I read Paul and I say, „I don’t think so!” This man (Paul) is extraordinary, he’s smart, he’s rational, he’s been in the 3rd, 7th heaven evidently, and he’s careful about what he’s saying”. So, that whole argument: Liar, lunatic, Lord, works for me with Jesus and it works powerfully for Paul.

And, once you’ve got Paul speaking, self authenticating, irresistible, worldview shaping truth, then, as you move out from Jesus and Paul, the others just start to shine with confirming evidences

Why are you married? After 43 years, how do you endure losses? I mean, really, where does your strength come from? „You will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. Free from pornography, and free from divorce, free from depressions that just undo you. How do you find your way into marriage over and over, and out of depression, and away from the internet. How does that happen? It happens by the power of this incredible book.

2 recommended books on Scripture:

  1. Scripture in Truth by D.A.Carson and Nichols
  2. Fundamentalism and the word of God by J. I. Packer

Al Mohler:

The problem is with how few of our confessional statements are clear on this. So, one of our evangelical liabilities is that too much has been assumed under our article (statements) of Scripture, without specifying language, with inerrancy being one of those necessary attributes of Scripture to be affirmed.

You do find people today, some lamentably, who are trying to claim that you can still use the word, while basically eviscerating it, emptying it of meaning, so you have historical denials. In particular, you have that a text- and the Chicago Statement is very clear. Our affirmations of denials are actually patterned after the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy, which was itself patterned after previous statements in which there were not only affirmations, but clear denials. So, when you look to that statement, you’ll see the assertion of what that statement means, and you have clear denials. One of the affirmations is Scripture has different forms of literature. But, the denial is that you can legitimately dehistoricize an historical text. So, in other words, everything Scripture reveals, including a historical claim is true. Well, you find some people saying, „Well, you can affirm the truthfulness of the text, without the historicity of the events. You can’t do that. You have people who are now using genre criticism, various forms to say: This is a type of literature, the lamentable argument is, this is the type of text to which the issue of inerrancy doesn’t apply. In other words, „I don’t like it”. But, what they mean is (that the text) it’s not making a truth claim. That’s ridiculous, but you find these kinds of nuances going on.

You also find very clear points of friction. So, for ex.: Do we have to believe in the historicity of the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis? That puts us over and against a dominant intellectual system, that establishes what is called credibility in the secular academy. Those evangelicals that feel intellectually accountable to that are trying to say, „There has to be some other way then of dealing with Genesis 1-11. And that’s where you have, now, the ultimate friction point which is coming for instance with the historical Adam, and an historical fall. And now, you’re finding people who are trying to say, „Okay, There is no historical claim in Genesis 1-3, but I still believe in an historical Adam, because I’m just gonna pull him out of the air and plop him down. I still believe in a historical Adam, I’m not gonna root it in the historical text, but, I need him because Paul believed in him.

And then you have people who are on websites today, someone like Peter Enns, who used to teach at an institution which required inerrancy, who no longer teaches there, who says, „Clearly, Paul did believe in inerrancy, but Paul was wrong.” So now, not only do you have the denial of inerrancy and the historicity of Genesis 1-3, but, you have Paul now in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 being said (about): Well, now inerrancy for him means he was speaking truthfully, as inspired by God, but limited to the worldview that was accessible and available to him at the time. That is not what Jesus believed about Scripture.

VIDEO by WA BibleDepartment

Did God really say? VIDEO with full transcript

An essential, highly interesting affirmation by the panel of the belief on biblical inerrancy from the Together for the Gospel Conference 2012, led by Mark Dever, Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. Besides the great panel discussion, there are also a few book recommendations (linked to Amazon, just click on title or photo) and lots of links to search peripheral issues as they relate to the inerrancy debate. This page will be added to the (permanent) apologetics page.

photo from T4G website – http://t4g.org/resources/photos/

  1. We affirm that the sole (final) authority for the Church is the Bible, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible and totally sufficient and trustworthy. We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to the divine revelation or that any portion of Scripture is marked by error or by effects of human sinfulness. 
  2. We affirm that the authority and the sufficiently of Scripture extends to the entire Bible and that therefore the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice. We deny that any portion of the Bible should be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or for example to set the words of Jesus against the words of Paul. 
  3. We affirm that truth ever remains a central issue for the Church and that the Church must resist the allure of pragmatism and post modern conceptions of truths as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive truth claims of Scripture. We deny that truth is merely a product of social construction or that the truth of the Gospel can be expressed or grounded in anything less than total confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity of the biblical events and the ability of language to convey understandable truth in sentence form. We further deny that the church can establish its ministry on a foundation of pragmatism, current marketing techniques or contemporary cultural fashions.

Is inerrancy something new? Short answer „NO!”

Minute 4 – Dever addresses the charge that „inerrancy” is a „new thing” or just a „reformation doctrine?”.

  • John Piper responds:.In 1971 Fuller Theological Seminary  took the Word out.  I read what was happening in Germany. It blew me away. I did not see it coming. So it may have been there, but the teachers that I loved and had influenced me most didn’t talk that way and didn’t give me indication that it would be going that way. I was never able to make any sense out of the distinctions between infallible and inerrant. 
  • Dr Simon Gathercole – teaches New Testament at Cambridge, in England. One of the clearest figures to express a doctrine of inerrancy was St. Augustine and it came up for him in conversation with the Manichaeans where he made it very clear that there were no contradictions in Scripture , that if you do find what looks like a mistake in Scripture, it is either a result of a problem with the translation, a problem in the text, a particular manuscript or scribal error or that you have misunderstood it. So Augustine is an example of someone who was very clear on inerrancy.
  • Ligon Duncan – there is a consistent witness across Christian history to the Bible’s sole, final authority and its inspiration and inerrancy.
  • Peter Williams – (undergraduate studies at Cambridge) „I believe it is fully authoritative, inerrant, inspired by God’ I think I’d want to add more words, I want to say: It’s basically clear, it’s sufficient, it’s historical. People can take a word like „inerrant” and leech it (by saying) – „I agree with the notion that Scripture is entirely true, but then they try and weaken it in other ways and I think that’s happening particularly because a lot of people, at least in this country are signing an inerrancy statement for their paycheck (which sometimes happens; they redefine inerrancy). There are many reasons to believe in inerrancy, but I think when you believe in verbal inspiration (i.e.) that God gave words and you believe in God’s trustworthiness, that He has a true character and you want to have a relationship with God, then it is inescapable logically to come to a view of Scriptural inerrancy. If you believe that God has given words, I don’t see how you can break that and say, „Well, He gives words and they are sometimes full of errors”, without actually questioning God’s trustworthiness Himself.

The 3 roots/trajectories on how inerrancy is denied

  • Al Mohler (11 min mark) Why wouldn’t anyone believe in this? (This question) leads to a principle of interpreting church history, which often surprises people when you first hear it, and that is that „heresy precedes orthodoxy„. That doesn’t mean that the false precedes the true. It does mean that the codification, or confession of the faith is often in the face of, is a response to heresy or that which is sub biblical or sub orthodox. So, in 325  AD you have a statement made by the Council of Nicaea, that wasn’t necessary until Arius denied that the father and the Son are of the same substance. And when it comes to inerrancy, the first thing is that this is God’s word, God is totally true, so all the attributes of Scripture seem to come, and yet Augustine has to respond to the Manichaeans and we have to respond to contemporary denials of the total truthfulness of Scripture. I think there are 3 roots, or 3 trajectories in which that comes:
  1. The first is ideological and this is basically the external critique of biblical inerrancy. It comes from new atheists, of course if you don’t believe in God, you don’t believe there could possibly be a word of God; if you don’t believe in supernatural revelation as a possibility, or even recently, if you don’t believe in words as units of meaning; that are capable of conveying truth, there are various rules of philosophy and literary interpretation that have lost all confidence in words. They have to use words to explain how little confidence they have in them any longer; it’s part of the whole conundrum, but nevertheless, it is an ideological assault and so a good bit of what you will read simply says: „Inerrancy is an impossibility” and it will move on. But, it is not the major issue of our concern, there are two other trajectories.
  2. Another trajectory is apologetic. This is where you have evangelicals who say: This is an embarrassment. To claim inerrancy is to over claim the text, it is an impediment to our intellectual credibility and so you have people who would pose to be within the evangelical movement who will say, as Kenton Sparks in a recent book said, „This is the intellectual doom,” to paraphrase him, because it makes us continually defend the truthfulness of every passage in a text and that is leading modern people to have huge intellectual obstacles to receiving the main message in the text, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So you have various forms of this kind of apologetic argument; it’s the same argument as people who come along and say you can’t talk about the Bible’s teaching on sexuality; that’s presenting too much of an obstacle for contemporary people to come to Christ. Ot, you can’t deny the theory of evolution, it’s metanarrative because that creates too much of an impediment for people to come to Christ. And so, you have websites today and people arguing that inerrancy is just an obstacle, it’s a theological construct that’s doing more damage than good.
  3. The third trajectory, or the third root you can look at this is moral, in which case you have people say that if we’re committed to total truthfulness of Scripture, then we’re committed to text which reveal God as acting in immoral ways; God’s people sanctioning immoral acts, and what you have is people who will say, „Look, we have the capacity as human beings to judge God, and thus we’re gonna go to the conquest of Canaan or we’re gonna go to the way God deals with any individual in either Testament of the canon and say that that’s immoral. If you’re gonna try and impose a human standard of morality, like the late atheist, Christopher Hitchens, if you read the Bible honestly you’re gonna find texts that are gonna cause you all kinds of  difficulty and by the way, one of the things Christopher Hitchens did very well for us was to say, „He can understand theists who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and he can understand atheists who don’t believe it’s possible, what he didn’t understand were people who tried to pose in the middle.
  • Dr Simon Gathercole – The central plank for me in the doctrine of inerrancy, and that is that it was Jesus’ view of Scripture and I think the 2 other points that were mentioned are really significant. The sort of dogmatic logic of what Scripture says, God says and therefore because of the character of God, Scripture is without error. Also, it’s the continuous testimony of the Church. I would recommend everyone read John Woodbridge’s book  Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal even though the debate is now different, but there’s a lot to learn there. But, if you just look at the way Jesus treats Scripture, what He says about Scripture, „Your word is truth”, „Scripture cannot be broken”, the way He refers to Adam, the way He refers to Elijah and Elisha, all the figures of the Old Testament, the way He responds to Satan: „It’s written, and every word is proceeding from the mouth of God.” That has to be the real cornerstone for our doctrine of inerrancy and it means that it’s an imperative of discipleship for us, that it’s a matter of following Jesus. (Also recommends Christ and the Bible” by John Wenham)
  • Peter Williams – If heresy precedes orthodoxy then I think that apologetics precedes heresy, as in most heresy begins as apologetics movement. And, I say that as someone who is involved in apologetics and likes it. Liberal theology is an attempt to rescue Christianity from deep embarrassment and that’s how a lot of these things begin and  those of us that are involved in apologetics need to be quite careful about that, because it can lead to error. The way people get seduced sometime into abandoning Scriptural authority is when they become persuaded that, that thing which adheres most to their dreams and their aspirations and start to believe „that more people will come to Christ if I just water this down somewhat”. Sometime people become persuaded in theological education that they are being more faithful to the text if they read it in a way that is contrary to another text. When people are being brought up in a Chirstian context, to value the authority of the Bible, it appeals and they become persuaded that the most honest reading of the text is to read it so it contradicts to another one.
  • Al Mohler –   Liberal theology is a succession of rescue attempts for the reputation of Christianity and to just give an example of what Peter is talking about: You have Rudolph Bultmann, who in one of his books says people who use electric lights don’t believe in a supernatural universe. So, in other words, if you’re gonna reach modern people we’re gonna have to bring christianity into intellectual credibility with the modern world. A lot of the things you see being claimed right now are as old as the heretics that the church fathers faced and certainly in terms of protestant liberalism and what the church has faced in over 100 years.
  • Ligon Duncan –  Another example in modern liberalism is Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher  was offended by the doctrine of the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ and the uniqueness of Christ. And he looked out at Germany and he said: German intellectuals are rejecting Christianity in droves, they’re impacted by the enlightenment and the message of Christianity must change if we are going to be able to capture this generation for christianity. It wasn’t as if he was sitting around inventing to destroy christianity, but in fact he did that with apologetic missionary motives in reaching his culture and so liberalism’s fundamental premise is that the message must change if christianity is going to survive and effectively engage the culture.
  • Peter Williams -It’s going right back to Marcion in the second century. Marcion is deeply embarrassed by the Old Testament, by the Jewishness of Jesus. He, as an apologist thinks that he can commend christianity far better by ditching those things. So, that’s why becoming an apologist, led straight to the heresy.
  • John Piper (minute 20 mark) Mark Dever asks why JP concluded that inerrancy was true: There are layers to that like- My momma told me it was true. That’s one layer. „..remember those from whom you’ve learned the faith” (2 Timothy 3:14), that’s an argument in the Bible. Second layer would be: God made me see it. That’s the deepest layer and I do believe I couldn’t believe the Bible is untrue, if I tried because I am just taken by Him, for it. I believe that’s the deepest reason. You can’t persuade anybody with that and so, up above those layers are the layers of experience, of encounter with the text and I think that at one level the Bible, as C.S.Lewis said: „You believe in it as you believe in the sun, not only because you see it, but you see everything else by it”. I asked my professor in Germany one time, „Why do you believe the Bible? And he said: Because it makes sense out of the world for me. Year after year, after year you live in the book and you deal with the world and it brings coherence to evil and good and sorrow and loss. And there’s one other level I would mention: Liar, lunatic, Lord argument in the Gospels works for me in Paul: Liar, lunatic or faithful apostle because I think I know Paul better than I know anybody in the Bible. Luke wrote most quantitatively, but he’s writing narrative. But with Paul, if you read these 13 letters hundreds of times, you know this man. Either he’s stupid, I mean insane, or liar, or a very wise, deep, credible, thoughtful person. So, when I put Paul against any liberal scholar in any German university  that I ever met, they don’t even come close. So, I have never, frankly, been tested very much by the devil or whoever to say, „This wise, liberal, offering his arguments…” I read Paul and I say, „I don’t think so”. This man is extraordinary, he’s smart, he’s rational. He’s been in the 3rd, 7th heaven and he is careful about what he is saying. So, that whole argument „Liar, lunatic, Lord – works for me with Jesus and it works powerfully for me for Paul and moreover once you’ve got Paul speaking, self authenticating, irresistible, world view shaping truth, then as you move out from Jesus and Paul, the others just start to shine with confirming evidences. Just a few ayers, there are others. Dever prompts John to give one more. JP: Why are you married after 43 years? How do you endure losses? really, where does your strength come from? You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Free from pornography and free from divorce, free from depressions that just undo you. How do you find your way into marriage over and over and out of depression and away form the internet? How does that happen? It happens by the power of this incredible book. Dever: For people who haven’t had time to accumulate all those layers, anything you would tell them to read? Piper: Back when the inerrancy council was red hot „Scripture and truth” edited by Grudem and
  • Mark Dever recommends J. I. Packer’s „Fundamentalism and the Word of God”.
  • Al Mohler – The problem is how few of our confessional statements are clear on this in the first place. So one of our evangelical liabilities is that too much has been assumed under an article of Scripture without specifying language, with inerrancy being one of those necessary  attributes of Scripture confirmed. You do find people today, some lamentably who are trying to claim that  you can still use the word, while basically eviscerating it, emptying it of meaning. So you have historical denials, in particular, you have someone who says that a text… and „The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy” makes it very clear, our affirmations and denials are actually patterned after the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy, which was itself patterned after previous statements in which there were not only affirmations, but clear denials. So, when you look to that statement, you’ll see that there’s the version of what inerrancy means and that means „This is not true”. So, you have clear denials. One of the affirmations is: Scripture has different forms of literature, but the denial is that you can legitimately dehistoricize an historical text. So, in other words, everything in Scripture reveals, including every historical claim is true. You find some people saying: „Well, you can affirm the truthfulness of the text without the historicity of the text. You can’t do that. You have people who are now using genre criticism, various forms to say: This is a type of literature. My favorite of these lamentable arguments is the one that says: This is the kind of text to which the issue of inerrancy does not apply. In other words: I don’t like it. But, what they mean is: I am not making a truth claim. If I am not making a truth claim… that’s ridiculous, but you find these kinds of nuances going on. You also find very clear, points of friction. So, let’s give an example of points of friction: Do we have to believe in the historicity of the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis? What Pete said about apologetics, that puts us over, against a dominant, intellectual system that establishes what is called credibility in the secular academy. Those evangelicals who feel intellectually accountable to that, are trying to say, „There has to be some other way then,  of dealing with Genesis 1 through 11 and that’s where you have now the ultimate friction point, with coming, for instance, the historical Adam and an historical fall and now you’re finding people who are trying to say, „Okay, there is no historical claim in Genesis 1 through 3, but I still believe in an historical Adam because I am just going to pull him out of the air and pop him down and say, „I still believe in an historical Adam (but) I am not going to root it in the historical nature of the text, but I need him because Paul believed in him. And then, you have people who have websites today, someone like Peter Enns, who used to teach at an institution which required inerrancy, but no longer teaches there, who says, „Clearly, Paul did believe in inerrancy, but, Paul was wrong”. And so, now you not only have the denial of inerrancy of the historicity of Genesis 1 through 3, you have Paul now, in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 being said, „Well now, inerrancy for him means ‘he was speaking truthfully, as inspired by God, but limited to the world view that was accessible and available to him at the time’. That is not what Jesus believed about Scripture. That is not what the church must believe about Scripture. I never came close to not believing in the inerrancy of Scripture. I came close to believing that there could be other legitimate ways of describing the total authority and truthfulness of the text and especially in context of fierce denominational controversy, I thought there must be room for finding it somewhere else and some people even mentioned here were correctives. For example J.I. Packer’s Fundamentals of God, was the bomb that landed in the playground. That little experiment just doesn’t happen; you take that out, it simply won’t work. At about the time that you (Mark Dever) and I really became friends, we were looking at how you came from an evangelical background where those issues have been discussed for 20 years before they did explode in the Southern Baptist Convention. My denomination had to learn this lesson a little bit late and at great cost.
  • Mark Dever– leaving the denominational stuff aside, you (Mohler) as a Christian, you found an intuitive, like John is talking about, an intuitive faith in Scripture.
  • Al Mohler– Well, it was intuitive, but I also had intellectual guardrails. My earliest, explicit theological formation was when apologetics hit me as a crisis as a teenager and I was led directly into the influence of Francis Schaeffer. And the book that most influenced me as a  teenager in high school, holding on to the faith as against a very secular environment was his book based on  lectures at Wheaton „He is there and He is not silent”, and I would point to that as the 5 or 10 books that most shaped my thinking, because Schaeffer’s logic in his lectures is really clear: „If there is a God, who doesn’t exist, we’re doomed. If there’s a God who does exist, but doesn’t speak, we’re just as doomed. If there is a God who does exist and He does speak, then salvation is in the speech. And so that was one of the guard rails in my life and being raised in a Gospel church that preached the word of God and just assumed that when you say „It’s the word of God”, it means all this.
  • Ligon Duncan – I didn’t have faith challenges as a teenager that Al did, but I was reading a lot of that apologetic literature and this was being talked about by evangelicals and the Ligonier statement on Scripture had come out in 1973, the ICBI Chicago Statement came out in 1978. Those are my teenage years. This is a conversation in the conservative corner of evangelicalism, in which I was reared. I had a good pastor that was happy to have me ask him questions about this when I was troubled with something I could ask him, he was on the board at Westminster Theological Seminary. When I went to Edinburgh (Scotland for PhD) I already had a solid education in the doctrine of Scripture at Covenant Seminary. But when I went to Edinburgh , James Barr’s book „Fundamentalism”  had just come out and I read it. I have more writings in the margins of the text in this book. I was arguing with him relentlessly in this book.
  • Mark Dever – This was an attack on J.I. Packer’s book and other kinds of statements of faith and Scripture.
  • Ligon Duncan – At that point I thought this would be some kind of hot topic. I had read some Barr in seminary, mostly semantics of biblical language and other things like that, in which, hopefully he is going after some bad stuff, but, I decided that when that book came out that I needed to read everything that Barr had ever written because of the potential influence on scholars. I was doing patristics at Edinburgh and so this wasn’t something that was part of my reading for work, it was just something I needed to do on the side and so I did. It was the most soul killing 6 months that I have ever spent. It was very disturbing. And several things helped me: One is a professor who had already thought through all of these issues. I went to another professor, and as we sat down he said, „You need to know, I have walked through all of these issues long ago and I’m happy to walk with you through them now. That was an enormous intellectual and theological resource to me. But then, it was the reality of Christ and the Gospel and the lives of believers that didn’t even know that they were ministering to me because that person could not be the way he or she is if there wasn’t a Holy Spirit indwelling Christ in us. I was also reading Ned Stonehouse’s biography of J Gresham Machen, who went through the same thing when he went to Marburg to study and he came into contact with Hermann and the german liberals of those days, and his correspondence with his mother was very significant in keeping him with just losing his mind.
  • Al Mohler – One other thing that was very informative to me was listening to people preach and seeing the distinction in the midst of a huge controversy with some people saying, „I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and other people saying, „I believe almost the same thing, I just think the words aren’t necessary, etc., etc.” When one got up and said, „This is the word of God”, read the text and preached the text and the other read the text and said, „Let’s find what’s good in here”. And they didn’t necessarily put it that way, but you could tell that is what they were doing homiletically. Here is an accountability to every word of the text. The text speaks because when the text speaks, God speaks. And on the other hand, people saying, „You know, there’s good stuff here, let’s go find it”.
  • Peter Williams – I went through a time of significant doubt when I was around 21 , 22. Mark (Dever) was in town at the time, in Cambridge, a great help and the Lord brought me through those, having to work through a lot of that. I certainly looked at liberalism and secular approaches to the Bible, from the inside, within my heart and really, there is nothing there, there’s nothing that has the explanatory power, the comprehensive work that the Gospel, the work in your life and even, also, I think on a historical  level there are some amazing things about the Bible. If I can just mention one: Historical level: Go back 400 years to someone like James Ussher (or 350) calculating the dates of Kings of ancient Israel, or Kings of Assyria. That was before archaeology had begun, before the language of the Assyrians had even been deciphered (that’s been in the last 200 years) and he gets the dates of Tiglas Pileser within one year of what now people believe it to be, based on the Bible and he’s not got Hebrew manuscripts any earlier than 11th century AD. and he’s getting reliable information from 1800 years earlier. You can document that. It’s not widely appreciated, but he gets the year 728 and we think it’s 727. It’s pretty remarkable, that sort of level of agreement. It is one of the most amazing stories to me, of historical accurate information being transmitted.
  • John Piper – ends with prayer that faith would increase in this generation.

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Inerrancy is Supported Biblically: The Relationship Between the Nature of God and Scripture – Carl Trueman and G. K. Beale

G. K. Beale:

There’s been some debate among evangelicals. And when I say evangelicals I don’t know what I mean because everybody’s an evangelical today, and it’s a huge, huge umbrella. It didn’t used to be back in the mid 20th century. But, nevertheless, a book as been written arguing that the traditional view of the inerrancy of the Bible is not biblical. Now, the traditional view he has in mind is a particular writer who started an evangelical seminary in England. The usual deduction is made that:

  1. God is perfect. I think that’s a pretty good deduction. His character is perfect.
  2. Therefore, what God speaks orally is perfect. So far, so good, for this particular writer.
  3. But his third one is that since God is perfect, His oral word is perfect, therefore His written word is perfect.

And this writer says, „Nowhere in the Bible do you find where it extends the perfection of God’s character  to the written Bible. He says, „That’s a logical deduction,” and in one way it makes sense. But, it’s not biblical. You can’t find a passage that really connects God’s perfection and his character with his word. So, I started thinking, when I read this, „I think there are passages. Such passages as Revelation 3:14, where it says that Christ is the ‘Amen’, the faithful and true witness the beginning of the creation, i.e. the new creation of Christ. It says that Christ is the ‘Amen’, the faithful and true witness. What’s amazing about that is that it’s almost a quotation from Isaiah 65:15-16, where it speaks of God as the ‘Amen’, the faithful and true. What a high statement about Jesus.

In fact, Isaiah 65:16 is the only place where it addresses a person in the Bible with ‘Amen’ as God. The only other place is Revelation 3:14, Jesus is the „Amen’, He’s identified with God, he’s a divine person. And so, He’s the faithful and true witness. So His character is true and what He says is true, and then very intriguingly in chapter 21:5, you have the statement that says: „The one who sits on the throne says: Write, these are true words of God.” And it says: Behold I create all things new. But, this phrase ‘Write, John…’ why are you to write John? These are actually true and faithful words of God. Well, that phrase ‘faithful and true’ is found only back in chapter 3:14. And this is an explicit development here in chapter 21, where John is to write God’s oral word, because they’re faithful and true. In other words, there’s an actual command for him to now put into writing what has been said, that represents God’s faithful character.

So we do actually have a place where God’s faithful character is true, and His oral word is true, and that’s to be put into writing. And one person’s writing, „Yeah, but when John went to record it, – okay, he was commanded to write, but when he went to record it, couldn’t there have been a little slippage? Was God actually superintending the recording? Yeah, yeah, He was in the command, but was He superintending the recording?” And, in fact, Carl Trueman rattled off a number of passages  about John, in the Book of Revelation writing the word of God. You might remember the seven letter, where Jesus commands John, „Write!!!” And, all of a sudden Jesus is speaking, John’s writing, but they’re the words of Jesus and at the end it says: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says. So, these are human words, they’re Christ’s words, they’re the Spirit’s words. Of course, at the very end it says, „If anyone adds to these words, God will add to him the plagues written in this book. And anyone who takes away from these words, God will take his part away form the tree of life and his part in the Holy City.” So, obviously, the words as they’ve been written down, have indeed been superintended by God through his prophet John.

So we do actually have an actual explicit Scriptural explanation of what this author says can’t be found. God’s character is true, His oral word is true, and the extension of that oral word to the written is not only commanded by God, but superintended by the Spirit. (Photos via http://www.wts.edu)

carl-truemanG. K. Beale:

Carl Trueman

From Acts 7- Scripture is the living word. As God is living and active, so His word is not just a book of logarithms, but it’s the speech of the living God.

G. K. Beale:

The sovereignty of God is important. Those, sometimes you find, who don’t affirm the absolute sovereignty of God. By that I mean, that leaves and birds don’t fall from heaven apart from God’s hand, even to that detail. If that’s the case, then it makes complete sense that when humans write, they will be sovereignly superintended by God, though their styles are different. But, those that don’t affirm the absolute sovereignty of God will say, „Humans have independence from God. They’re not always under God’s sovereign hand.” Then (to them) it makes sense that some human error could have crept in there. So I do think that an absolute understanding of the sovereignty of God is very important.

Michael Horton Is The Doctrine of Inerrancy Defensible?

Michael Horton at a Ligonier Conference:

Young evangelicals and inerrancy – There is a resurgence of commitment to inerrancy among a lot of young christians, especially in the young calvinist movement and that’s very encouraging. But, there are also signs that there is a generation that knew not the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, that Dr. Sproul and Dr. MacArthur were a part of so many years ago. I remember when I was a teenager I went to one of those conferences, and I was wrestling with some of these questions myself, and I was raised in a very conservative evangelical background, but I’ve always had some restless, inquisitive spirit and didn’t want to just take things whole as they were being taught to me without asking some questions and being convinced in my own mind. What I was questioning, in many respects, the doctrine of inerrancy really wasn’t. I think a lot of younger christians right now are struggling with inerrancy for a lot of the same reasons their parents and grandparents may have struggled with it. (PHOTO CREDIT derekgriz.com)

First of all, we’ve had 3 centuries of rationalistic criticism of the supernatural. Now, obviously, if we’re going to have a word form God, given to us in history, you have to be at least open to the plausibility for the supernatural world view. You can’t say that miracles never happen, and yet believe that God has spoken, has broken into our world to speak to us in our history. We’ve had 3 centuries of a presupposition that says, out of the gate, without any investigation, without any criticism or questioning, that things happen, purely according to natural processes. God doesn’t speak and God doesn’t act in history. He may have created the world, He may have wound up the clock, but He doesn’t get involved now that things are running along marvelously. God doesn’t speak either, to us in judgment that would terrify us, as Israel was terrified when God spoke at Mt. Sinai. Nor does He speak to us the good news of salvation, because we don’t need to be saved. And so, there’s this integral relationship between Pelagiansim- the belief that we can save ourselves, and naturalism- the belief that we don’t need to hear from  a god outside of ourselves. And that’s what we’ve seen for the last 3 1/2 centuries with the rise of the enlightenment, where spirit and letter were set in opposition. This was already clear in some of the mystical sects of the Middle Ages. It was very clear in the radical anabaptist movement, where leaders like Thomas Muntzer that Luther just preaches the external word, that merely just beats air, but, we have that inborn spiritual word in our hearts.  And so, the external word of Scripture and the internal word of the Spirit speaking directly in our hearts became a hallmark of western consciousness. It was picked up by the rationalists and secularized by people like Lessing and Kant and others, who said we have an inner morality that we turn to. We can trust that reason within us, and we don’t need a word outside of us. We do not need an external God outside of our own hearts, or our own minds, or our own experiences to tell us who we are, where we are, what or problem is and what He has done to solve it.

Immanuel Kant, one of the great leaders of the enlightenment said, „The concept of God, and even the conviction of His existence can be met only in reason, and cannot first come to us, either through inspiration or through tidings communicated to us, however great the authority behind them”.  He went on to say that the 2 things we can be convinced of most certainly of are the starry heavens above and the moral law within. But, of course this means that human existence is totally self enclosed, like the roof over this building. There’s nothing above us, there’s no one to tell us why He made us, how He made us, what His purpose is for our life, and how we stand before Him in the light of that purpose, and what He has done to save us. Closed up in ourselves. „In brief,” said Kant, „we seek moral imperatives. In brief, I am only interested on what is incumbent upon me, clearly distinguished form what God does for me. Hence, nothing new is imposed by the Gospel upon me. Rather, whatever the state of those reports, new strength and confidence is already given to my already good dispositions. And so, one of the real reasons I think we struggled with this, from Immanuel Kant to Oprah, is that we don’t allow anything from outside of our own narrow experience and reason to interrupt us.

Christianity is a rational faith. Not rationalistic, but rational. There is no great doctrine in the christian faith that isn’t a mystery, that doesn’t transcend our reason. But, there is no doctrine in christianity that is against reason itself. But, rationalism is itself against reason because it presupposes a world that doesn’t exist  before it even investigates that world. 

Unwilling to be judged by God’s external law, many of our contemporaries are unwilling to be saved  by God’s external Gospel. In one sense, the modern age has been very rationalistic: „Just the facts, ma’am.” And on the other hand, very mystical. When it comes to finding ultimate meaning in life, they realize they can’t find ultimate meaning in science and reason, and so they turn inward. As C. S. Lewis said: They sort of just become scientist magicians- going to the lab and thinking critically as scientists, and then going home and playing with their ouija boards. (10)

There’s a schizophrenia in out culture that is that is very much a part of our problem with an external authority. Also, there have been scuffles with science. The reformation contributed mightily to the rise of modern science, in many ways. But, there’s the history, especially in the Medieval church of Copernicus and Galileo that still haunts us to this very day. Today, science and orthodox faith are polarized as never before. Scientists often go beyond the methods, sources, and criteria of their own field, in order to pronounce on philosophical and metaphysical questions, while, sometimes christian theologians transgress the boundaries of the faithful interpretation of Scripture and adopt extra biblical theories. And, what happens in the process often is you have young people going off to college not knowing what they believe and why they believe it, and they get caught in this crossfire between science and faith.

Thirdly, there are genuine discrepancies. After 3 centuries of relentless criticism, we can say there are genuine discrepancies. Now, discrepancies are not errors. Discrepancies are problems that we haven’t solved in our exegesis. They’re not problems with the text, but they’re problems with us. But, it’s not as if this was shown for the first time in the enlightenment. If you read Jean Calvin’s commentaries, or if you go back to John Chrysostom, for that matter. Or, Augustine, you see that they point out discrepancies. But, as in any science, you don’t throw a whole paradigm that is stable and accounts for the greatest amount of data overboard, simply because you can’t explain anomalous data. And if that’s true, and the sign is that it is generally true when we come to the inerrancy of the Scripture.

For the Protestant reformers, the defense of Scripture, they agreed with Rome on the inerrancy of Scripture- Rome has down  to the second Vatican council agreed with the inerrancy of Scripture, at least officially. The reason the informers were so insistent on Sola Scriptura was not because they have a sort of Islamic attachment to a book, It was because they knew that in that book, God had spoken to us outside of our experience, outside of our reason, outside of what we ever could have know for ourselves and delivered the only hope for our salvation and the salvation of the world. And so, the Gospel itself was bound up with Scripture.

The apostle Paul tells us, famously, in 2 Timothy 3:14 „But, as for you continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training and righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped, for every good work.” The first thing we need to look at here, in this definition of inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture is:

Photo credit www.beliefnet.com

God’s own testimony to His word is in Scripture.

The Bible’s testimony to itself. The Bible is a canon, coming from the greek word canon, which means rule, it’s sort of similar to a constitution. And in the ancient near eastern world, the world of political treaties from which our covenantal analogies in Scripture come, in that ancient near eastern world, a great king would liberate a lesser people from tyrants and then annex that lesser people to himself. And so, his word had both liberating power and when he gave them the treaty, binding, regulating power. And it’s no different between Yahweh and His people. God is the great king, greater than all kings of the earth, and God has annexed us, He has chosen us, redeemed us, called us to Himself, liberating us from lords that cannot make us safe. And so, God;s word not only saves, it rules. It’s not only the word of liberation, that saves us from our enemies. It is also that constitution by which the people of God are bound, and by which His church is regulated. Nothing added, nothing subtracted on penalty of death. And there’s a line in these ancient near eastern treaties of Israel’s neighbors. With these political arrangements, the treaty always had a clause saying that whoever adds to or takes away from the words of this treaty X,Y, and Z would happen to them. And usually it was death. We find the exact same formula in the Old Testament. We read that death will come to anyone that adds words to this law or takes away from the words of this law. And in the last book of the Bible it ends the same way: Whoever adds words or takes away from this prophecy, his name will be taken away from the Book of Life.

That’s what it means to have a canon. But, how can we embrace the christian canon over other supposed canons? For instance, the Koran. What distinguishes the Bible? Scripture, of course, is self authenticating. That means that as we read the Bible we hear God speak to us, and you don’t need to know the argument for how that happens, to really hear God speak through His word. You don’t have to become an apologist, you don’t have to defend it to all detractors. The word of God speaks for itself because in that word, we have God Himself addressing us through the lips of His ambassadors.  And yet, we need to always be prepared for the defense that we have, and also to help christians struggling with issues like inerrancy, to think through the internal and external evidence for the faithfulness of God speaking in His word.

The best way to do this is to start with Jesus. 

Jesus is GodJesus declared and eyewitnesses confirmed that He was the promised Messiah. That was His message concerning Himself. He’s the Son of God and the Son of David, who was sent to deliver us from our sins. That’s the main message and ministry of Jesus Christ. And He explained that He came to die on the cross, and to be raised 3 days later. So, we start with the message of Jesus. Who did Jesus believe He was? And what did Jesus believe He had come to do? And then, the second question to ask is: Did He do that? Was He successful? Did He accomplish everything that He promised? And when we look at  that we see great evidence internal and external for the resurrection of Christ.

Those with the means, the motive and the opportunity to disprove the resurrection of Jesus failed to do so. They failed to come up with evidence. In fact, the ancient rabbinical sources, the rabbis of Jesus’ day said that He was born illegitimately and was probably demon possessed because ‘He performed signs and wonders and led our people astray by the work of Satan’, confirming therefore that He was performing signs and wonders, and confirming the report that the unpardonable sin the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to say that Jesus was performing these miracles, not by the power of the Holy Spirit, but by the power of Satan. They offered implausible arguments about the disciples having stolen Jesus’ body, proving once again that the body wasn’t there. Hindsight is 20/20, but you almost think that if you’re a later Jewish apologist, you’d wanna say, „Why couldn’t anybody shut up? Why were they talking so much? Why were they going after christians so much? Every time they attacked these claims that swirled around Jesus, they substantiated many of those claims as hostile witnesses.”

Roman and JEwish historians have both confirmed that a great dissension erupted in Jerusalem over the whereabouts of Jesus’ body and over the immediate rise- this wasn’t a slowly evolving myth, over the immediate rise of the disciples of Christ who proclaimed His resurrection, on penalty of death. And none of the disciples showed themselves to be in any mood for martyrdom. They fled the scene leaving the women to sort of fend for themselves. The men fled. Peter denied Jesus 3 times. Where do we learn about this? In the Bible itself. If you start a new religion would you represent yourself and your buddies that way? Well, the New Testament is telling us warts and all what had happened because whatever it was it was great enough to bring them out into the light of day and proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ even though they knew that they would be martyred for that claim.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The person who wrote that, the apostle Paul, was commissioned by this risen Christ. And the other apostles were commissioned directly by Jesus Christ. They had to be eyewitnesses. And so, what we have now in the New Testament is a canon composed through human agency, with the criteria of their being eye witnesses and commissioned directly by Jesus Christ for this purpose.

Let me just say a little word about trinitarian cooperation in inspiration. The cooperation of the persons of the trinity is very important here. Every work that the godhead does is done from the Father, in the Son, through the Spirit.- Whether it’s creation, whether it’s the Exodus and the conquest, or whether it’s the life and ministry and work of Jesus Christ. Nothing is done by the Father without the Son and the Spirit. Nothing is done by the Son without the Father and the Spirit. Nothing is done by the Spirit without the Father and the Son. They cooperate in every work. And that is true of inspiration as well.

If we just have a doctrine of inspiration and inerrancy that focuses on the Father’s speaking (such as): It’s inerrant and infallible because God said it, I believe it, that settles it- we do not yet have a sufficiently christian doctrine of inspiration and inerrancy. But, some people say, „No, it should focus on Christ, Christ is the content, the substance of Scripture and this often leads to a canon within a canon approach. That is, whatever preaches Christ, in other words, whatever ‘I’ think preaches Christ is inerrant, and everything around it might be full of errors, but at least that is true, at least the Gospel is true. And then, some people take the Holy Spirit and separate the Holy Spirit from the word, so that you hear things like, „What the Holy Spirit is saying to us today is is just as important as what He said to the prophets and the apostles.” What we have to do is recognize  that in the work of inspiration, the Father is speaking, the Son is the content, and the Holy Spirit is the one who both inspires the text and illumines our hearts to embrace it.

In 2 Corinthians 1, the father is the faithful promise maker and we read: „All of the promises of God find their yes in Christ. Yet, we can only utter our amen to God for His glory because He has also put His seal on us and given us His spirit in our hearts as a guarantee”. There you have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in cooperation. Other passages 2 Timothy 3:15017, that I just read also makes that point very well. The Father is mentioned, the Son is mentioned, and the Spirit is mentioned. (25:00)

But, when you go back and read the creation account, one of the things that has really stood out to me in recent years is the way you have there in the creation account two forms of God’s creative accounts. The first is ex nihilo, bringing the world out of nothing. „Let there be..” and there was. That’s the formula that we’re familiar with. But, in those same passages you have references to God saying, „Let the earth bring forth.. ” and the earth brought forth. Now here’s the thing. Liberals and fundamentalists often sound alike in their presupposition, that to the extent that something is from God, it is not through human agency. This is something we really have to work through because hyper supernaturalism and naturalism are kissing cousins. The first thing we have to see here is because it’s trinitarian, the Father working in the Son, by the Spirit, both declaring, „Let there be…” and there was, but also through the work of the Holy Spirit saying, „Let the earth bring forth…” God used the natural capacities of the prophets and the apostles to bring forth that which He had foreordained before the foundation of the world. Photo credit for book www.amazon.com)

To delineate this a little bit more, what I’d like to do in the time remaining is look very briefly at a book that I think remains probably the best book on this subject. B. B. Warfield and A. Hodge’s book ‘Inspiration’ remains untouched. Their arguments have yet to be answered by critics. And so, I wanna mention their points very briefly, cause I don’t think anything here has changed yet.

  1. They point out that the rejection of inerrancy, which means that the Bible does not err in all that it affirms in the original autographs, they point out that the rejection of inerrancy is typically founded ultimately on a false view of God’s relation to the world. In other words, either miracles cannot happen, or whenever God acts it always has to be miraculous. Here again, the fundamentalists and the liberals often play off against each other. If it’s going to be an act of God, to that extent, it can’t come through human agency. You have to deny the human aspect. And yet, these authors say biblical inspiration, not only includes the untrammeled play of all the authors faculties, but involves the very substance of what they write. It’s not just how they write it, it’s what they write that is human. It is evidently, for the most part a part of their mental and spiritual activities. The writers say God’s superintendence does not compromise creaturely freedom. Our freedom is not divine freedom, it’s always creaturely freedom. But precisely because God gives it to us by analogy, we really do have freedom. This means that it is not the case that as to the extent that God does something, creatures don’t do something. Rather, it is precisely because of God’s sovereign freedom that human freedom is even possible in the first place. God has no trouble, therefore, producing a Bible that is without errors, without interrupting or taking away human freedom. There’s this assumption that human freedom implies error. „To err is human”, that’s not the case at all. And of course, Jesus Christ was without sin, and yet tempted in all respects as we are. If we believe that He was truly human, yet without sin we can believe that the Bible is truly human, yet without error.
  2. Warfield and Hodge underscore the redemptive historical unfolding of biblical revelation. In other words, the Bible did not fall down from heaven, it’s not like Muhammad receiving the Koran, supposedly as it dropped down from Allah to Muhammad. It’s not a collection of eternal timeless  thoughts and principles. It is a story, it is  narrative that unfolds from Genesis to Revelation. And that which is less clearly revealed in the Old Testament is more clearly revealed in the New Testament. 1200 years of this organic, like a plant, organic development is what produced our Bible. That’s what we have in the Old and New Testaments. A canon that has grown through the centuries, through the superintending work of the Spirit, working through creaturely means. Therefore, say the authors, theories concerning  authors, dates, sources, and modes of composition that are not plainly inconsistent with the testimony of Christ and His apostles. As to the Old Testament or with the apostolic origin of the books of the New Testament cannot in the least invalidate the Bible’s inspiration and inerrancy. Those questions are open. They’re questions about the humanness of the books. Whenever we bump into the obvious humanness of the Bible, that shouldn’t diminish our confidence in its divinity, its divine force. Rather, it should strengthen it, that in all of its humanity, in all of its diversity, in all of its plurality of witnesses and voices, clearly, there is one voice behind it all that brings it together. In Scripture, no less than in history itself. (32:50)
  3. These Princeton theologians faced squarely the question of contradictions and errors. They noted problems in great detail. Some discrepancies are due to imperfect copies, which textual criticism properly considers. Other discrepancies may be due to an original reading that has been lost. Or we may simply fail to have adequate data, or be blinded by or own presuppositions from understanding a given text. They say, „Sometime we are destitute of the circumstantial knowledge which would fill up  and harmonize the record, as is true in any historical record. But, you don’t have historians running off and saying the battle of Waterloo never happened because there are things we can’t explain. The record itself, they say, furnishes evidence that the writers were in large measure dependent on their knowledge upon sources and methods in themselves fallible. Peter, himself, says that the prophets were diligently searching out in an inquiring as they were writing out their prophecies, what this might mean. They weren’t Nostradamus, walking around receiving a word of knowledge to see into the future. No, God gave them audible verbal words  in those case of ‘Thus saith the Lord”, analogous to ‘Let there be light,’ and there was. And in other cases, led them to the trammel free of their faculties and in His sovereignty determined that what they said would be an inspired record of what He wanted for future generations to be recorded.
  4. (skipped # 4)
  5. The claim of inerrancy is that in all their real affirmations, these books are without error. Every sentence here, every thesis of Hodge and Warfield was carefully selected and every word in it is very important. Now, there are many things in the Bible that are not real affirmations, but are assumptions on the part of the writer. A reductionistic view of language would only lead us to reject the inerrancy and the trustworthiness of the Bible because we couldn’t reconcile it, for example, with the cosmology of the Psalmist with Einstein. It would be ridiculous. As Jean Calvin said, „Moses was not an astronomer. He wasn’t doing astronomy. He was giving us God’s inspired  infallible record of His covenant relationship with His people and His sovereignty over the whole earth”. Whatever the Scriptures teach is inerrant. We have to ask: What is their purpose? What is being really affirmed in certain passages? Some critics have said, „Look, the Psalmist says that the world rests on four pillars. What an antiquated world view, as if they’ve never read poetry before. It may well be that the Psalmist assumed a cosmology or a world view  that was unknown until modern science. That may be, but what was he affirming? What is the real affirmation there of the Psalmist, especially when it’s in the form of poetry? He didn’t believe God had feathers, yet He spoke of God having feathers (cover me with Your wings…). We have to be very careful that we don’t hand liberals the fodder. A classic example that is often quoted is Matthew 13:32 where Jesus said that the mustard seed is the smallest seed. I can’t tell  you how many well educated scholars who used to believe in inerrancy and now they don’t, flounder on this passage. Of course the mustard seed is not the smallest seed in all the world. We know what the smallest seed in all the world is and it’s not that one. But, 2 things we can say by way of response. Jesus didn’t necessarily know what was the smallest seed in the entire world. In His state of humiliation He didn’t know the hour or the time of His return: Only my Father in heaven. In His state of humiliation Jesus Christ was faithfully telling  what He had been delivered from the Father. All of this, I received from my Father in heaven”. And so, Jesus was speaking to them in a way that they would have understood, out of a world, out of a place and time He belonged to very much, as a first century Jew. What’s really being affirmed in this passage is: The smallest seed you have any awareness of, any experience of in your daily life, the kingdom of God starts out like that, and gets  real big. Inerrancy requires our confidence, not in the exactitude of the biblical statements, but in the reliability  of the biblical statements. What is affirmed as reliable, not necessarily exhaustive?

Critics, also, often point out that if you follow the chronologies in the Scripture, particularly in the Old Testament, you arrive, as archbishop Usher did in the 17th century, that the world was created Sunday, October 23rd 4004 B.C. Well, if that’s disproved, then the Bible therefore unravels and we can no longer trust in its authority. Well, now we know how chronologies work. Chronologies are not like the United States Census Report. Chronologies in the ancient world highlighted significant people in dynasties. You go from George Washington and skip to Abraham Lincoln. You don’t go from George Washington to his children, and their children and so forth. And the same is true in Matthew’s genealogy. Once again it’s a question of the scope. What is being claimed in each passage? As Warfield explains: It is true that the Scriptures were not designed to teach philosophy, science, or ethnology, or human history as such. Therefore, they are not to be studied primarily as sources of information on these subjects. Not because they’re unreliable, because they don’t address it. That’s not their purpose. That’s not their scope.

  • 6. An appeal to the inerrancy of the original autograph. This is kind of the Achilles’ heel. Critics will say, „What museum can I go to for the original autographs? If so, we can talk about whether they’re inerrant or not inerrant. You guys keep talking about the  inerrancy of the original autographs…” We’re clearly not saying that this (the Bible) is inerrant. Textual criticism is always going through and showing, after more careful research, more careful study that the ending of the Lord’s prayer isn’t in the best manuscripts. Because not much has changed through textual criticism, nothing touching any major point of doctrine , we can be convinced that as it is now, the conclusions that have been reached are pretty devastating to higher critics.

It is really important for us to realize that not only the Gospel, but the nature of God is implicated in this whole question of inerrancy, and that’s what I’m going to close with here.

I mentioned that the reformers bound their understanding of Scripture, the importance of the nature of Scripture with the content, the Gospel itself. Whatever the holy, unerring, and truthful God says is simply by virtue of  having come from Him holy, unerring, and truthful. In addition, the content of God’s speech is none other than the gift of the eternal Son, who became flesh for our Salvation. Revelation is therefore not merely an ever new event that occurs through the work of the Spirit, it is a written canon of biting, Spirit breathed, constitution for the covenant community unto all generations. That’s why Paul calls it a pattern of sound words, that we are to guard by means of the holy Spirit, who dwells within us. Of course this word creates. The Spirit creates through this word our act of faith in it. But, it is primarily, and first and foremost objectively the faith, once and for all delivered  to the saints.

Far more than ancient eastern rulers who demanded the death penalty for adding and subtracting from the canon does this great King, the Lord God almighty impose His canon with all seriousness. Secular kings could impose their constitutions simply by brute force, vascillating arbitrarily between harsh tyranny and careless abandon. But our King rules us, brothers and sisters, our King rules us in order to save us. He doesn’t rule us haphazardly, or tyrannically, although He has more power than all the kings of the earth. When He speaks, life comes to those who are dead. Sins are forgiven, and new creation dawns. That’s what happens when God speaks. In this way, we see the wide gulf separating christianity from Islam, for instance, in its claim.

And, I’ll conclude with this comparison and contrast. No Muslim embraces the Koran out of confidence that only there they can find the gracious face of a father, who warmly embraces them in His Son. Whereas the Koran is a collection of oracles supposedly dictated directly from Allah to Muhammad, the Bible directs us to the testimony of prophets and apostles over many centuries and in the proper voice of each author. Furthermore, whereas Paul reminded Caesar’s court that the events surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ were public knowledge , saying, „These were not done in a corner, as you, yourself know.. Everything, every miraculous claim in the Koran was done in a corner. A deep dark corner. Privately, not publicly, not open to investigation or criticism. 3 centuries of the greatest intellects of the western culture  have subjected the Bible to criticism precisely because it invites it, and has turned out to be better for the struggle. Islam means submission, based on the mere assertions of its leader. Christianity proclaims trust in Jesus Christ based on historical reports. And that same gulf separates Christianity from all of the inward looking enthusiastic movements of our age. Christians receive Scripture as inspired and inerrant because it comes from a faithful FatherIt speaks of a gracious Son, and it is certified by the Spirit who opens our heart to receive its treasures  for everything that we need in this passing evil age. And all other ground IS sinking sand.

VIDEO by WA BibleDepartment

Vladimir Pustan – Hai ca poti!

Photo credit http://about-eastern-europe.com/danube-delta-delta-dunarii/

Vladimir Pustan:

Dumneavoastra a-ti auzit tipatul cocorilor? Stiti de ce tipa cocorii? Eu am crezut ca ei cand pleaca din tara noastra pe drum, tipa asa, „M-am saturat de tara voastra… nici nu vreau sa mai aud cum se vorbeste Romaneste,” si pleaca si tipa. Dar dumneavoastra stiti de ce tipa cocorii? Ei merg mii de kilometri si ei intotdeauna se schimba. Pun in fata pe altul, mergand in formatia de V, tot vantul bate pe cel din fata, care are meseria cea mai grea, slujba cea mai grea sa-i duca pe ceilalti. Tot la jumate de ora se schimba cel din fata ca sa treaca si altul. Ceilalti din spate , toata lumea il incurajeaza: Hai ca poti. Imediat cum ai ajuns in fata, ceilalti din spate toti striga. Ala din fata nu tipa, ca ala-i terminat. Dar cei din spate tipa, „Hai ca poti, hai ca poti. Mai avem 1000 de kilometri.” De asta au nevoie toti care stau aici in fata. Sa tipati in spatele lor, sa-i incurajati. Trebuie sa ne incurajati: Hai ca poti! Si copiii nostri au nevoie de incurajarea voastra.

Din predica intitulata: Ce asteapta copiii de la voi? 15 Septembrie 2013

VEZI aici PAGINA – PREDICI Vladimir Pustan

Vladimir Pustan – Ce asteapta copiii de la voi? 15 Septembrie 2013

VEZI aici PAGINA – PREDICI Vladimir Pustan

VEZI aici – Vladmir Pustan – Cum să fii un tânăr plăcut lui Dumnezeu – Chişinău 7 septembrie 2013 Turneul Basarabia

Pustan 2 chisinau 2013VLADIMIR PUSTAN la inceputul unui nou an scolar la Biserica Sfanta Treime Beius:

  • Sunt un om privilegiat. Dumnezeu ne-a inmultit si aici in Beius. in 1993, cand am cunoscut biserica aceasta, i-am devenit lider de tineret si eram 5 tineri. Vreau sa-I multumim lui Dumnezeu pentru ca in anii acestia Dumnezeu ne-a binecuvantat cu copii cu scoala, cu conditii frumoase. Aveti printre cele mai frumoase conditii din Romania pentru copii si pentru toate. In biserica noastra avem o gramada de profesori. La liceu, invatatori, educatori si o gramada de oameni care ne pot invata lucruri bune. Avem, se poate invata. Dumneavoastra stiti ca in biserica noastra sunt peste 100 de oameni cu facultate, altii au si doua si doctorate? E mana lui Dumnezeu pentru toate si peste toate. Stiti ce cred? Ca exista viitor. Si viitorul chiar ca arata bine.  Cand vom pleca la cer, vom pleca cu copiii, nu plecam singuri, cu ei plecam. Amin? Investiti in ce ramane si ce-i vesnic.
  • Haideti sa raspundem la o intrebare. Daca ar fi sa luam un singur lucru in cer, dintre punctele (a) casa (b) banii (c) locul de munca (d) copilul, ce incercuiti? A-ti spus: Copilul. ATUNCI DE CE INVESTITI IN ALTCEVA? De ce investiti in ceva ce nu veti duce cu voi in cer? De ce va pasa mai mult de casa, masina, functii si uitati ca cel mai important lucru e copilul? De ce?
  • O povestire din Basarabia: In ultimul rand, dar in primul rand, copiii au nevoie de dragostea voastra. Copiii nostri au nevoie de foarte multa dragoste.  Cand am fost in Basarabia, a venit la mine o femeie si a zis, „Pastore, vreau sa iti fac cunostinta cu o echipa speciala, niste oameni deosebiti. Trebuie sa-ti faci poza cu ei.”  Am iesit afara sa vedem ce vrea sa spuna ea. Zice, „Ei sunt bucuria mea pe acest pamant. Familia mea, 11 copii, 10 baieti si o fata.” Si spunea, „Cel mai bun baiat al meu, cel mai cuminte,” si asta a spus-o intre toti, „si baiatul pe care-l iubesc cel mai tare este el. Are autism, e cel mai mare, are 21 de ani.” Si a facut poza cu mine. Stiti ce a spus femeia aceasta? „Ma bucur, poate ceilalti o sa plece incet, dar el o sa ramana langa mine. E baiatul cu care ma rog seara. Este baiatul care ma ajuta, si il iubesc cel mai tare.” Si a spus-o intre ceilalti copiii. Ne-am facut poze, nici nu incapeam bine in poza. Frumoasa era femeia aceea, frumoasa echipa avea si iubea pe cineva cel mai tare, pentru ca cel mai mult trebuie iubit cel ce-i cel mai greu de iubit din casa, copilul care ne face cele mai mari necazuri. „Mai, mi-a sgariat peretele, zici. Asta nu-i nimic. exista si lucruri mai grave. Inseamna ca a avut ce murdari, inseamna ca ai avut pereti. Atatia dorm sub pod… Asta-i primul lucru care trebuie sa-ti vina in cap: Inseamna ca aveti pereti acasa! Sunteti mai bogati ca vreo 2 miliarde de oameni care dorm in cutii de carton. Aia nu au ce mazgali sub cerul liber.

Text Deuteronom 6:1-10

 Iată poruncile, legile şi rînduielile pe cari a poruncit Domnul, Dumnezeul vostru, să vă învăţ să le împliniţi în ţara pe care o veţi lua în stăpînire; ca să te temi de Domnul, Dumnezeul tău, păzind, în toate zilele vieţii tale, tu, fiul tău, şi fiul fiului tău, toate legile şi toate poruncile Lui pe cari ţi le dau, şi să ai zile multe. Ascultă-le dar, Israele, şi caută să le împlineşti, ca să fii fericit şi să vă înmulţiţi mult, cum ţi -a spus Domnul, Dumnezeul părinţilor tăi, cînd ţi -a făgăduit ţara în care curge lapte şi miere. Ascultă, Israele! Domnul, Dumnezeul nostru, este singurul Domn. Să iubeşti pe Domnul, Dumnezeul tău, cu toată inima ta, cu tot sufletul tău şi cu toată puterea ta. Şi poruncile acestea, pe cari ţi le dau astăzi, să le ai în inima ta. Să le întipăreşti în mintea copiilor tăi, şi să vorbeşti de ele cînd vei fi acasă, cînd vei pleca în călătorie, cînd te vei culca şi cînd te vei scula. Să le legi ca un semn de aducere aminte la mîni, şi să-ţi fie ca nişte fruntarii între ochi. Să le scrii pe uşiorii casei tale şi pe porţile tale. 

Copiii asteapta foarte multe lucruri de la noi si cateodata suntem covarsiti de cate lucruri asteapta. S-ar putea sa ne gandim ca ei asteapta tot ce ne gandim noi ca asteapta, cum ar fii masina, casa, telefon, calculator… Un rege a cerut, la un moment dat, sa i se aduca cei mai mari 3 oameni ai tarii, care au facut cel mai mult bine pentru tara. I-au adus un profesor, un medic (doi barbati) si i-au adus o femeie batrana cu palton pe ea. A intrebat, „Tu ce esti?” „Eu sunt medic.” „Ce-ai descoperit in viata aceasta?” „Un vaccin care a vindecat ciuma”. „Tu ce ai facut?” „Eu sunt un profesor, am invatat generatii de copii si am scos manuale.” „Si femeia asta batrana, cu palton?” Sfetnicul a spus, „De ce a-ti adus-o aici pe ea?” „Ea a fost invatatoarea lor de scoala duminicala.” In spatele oamenilor mari care s-au format, crestini, au stat niste invatatori de scoala duminicala sau niste dascali buni. In spatele fiecarui elev bun stau dascali buni. Nu exista decat rar geniile. In rest raman copii normali, care pana la urma ajung sa fie presedinti, senatori si oameni de stiinta, copii de care stie societatea sa se foloseasca. In spatele lor stau niste dascali buni.

Mamele sunt foarte importante. In spatele copiilor stau niste mame, ca se vorbesc despre cei 6-7 ani de acasa. Am ajuns la concluzia ca e mai greu ca sa cresti copiii… Nu. Nu-i greu sa cresti copiii, e mai greu sa repari oameni, pentru ca daca-i crestem prost si stramb… Am in vie un prun, indiferent ce am facut cu el, nu mai pot sa-l fac drept. Asa a fost, primii 5 ani de zile l-am lasat sa creasca in voia lui, acum tot felul de ancore (are), dar nu mai merge. Asa o sa ramana si o sa moara aplecat de spate.

As vrea sa vorbesc, in aceasta seara, mamelor, bunicelor, invatatorilor de scoala duminicala si tuturor educatoarelor si profesorilor care sunt aici si a dascalilor.

Ce asteapta copiii de la voi?

1. Timpul si efortul vostru

In primul rand, copii asteapata timpul si efortul vostru. Citeam intr-o carte, Graham Wayne, profesor la Harvard in care spunea asa: Televizorul si internetul a distrus conversatia de seara din familie. Dumneavoastra mai tineti minte ca noi avem o conversatie de seara in familie? Stateam de vorba familia despre tot felul de lucruri ciudate, frumoase, intamplari de peste zi… Va aduceti aminte, era o ora, doua in care stateam si faceam un fel de sezatoare in casa?

Stiti cum arata seara unei familii obisnuite in Romania? Copiii sunt pe iPhones, folosim wirelessul (un Satan care emite), pentru ca nu exista un Satan mai mare decat wirelessul, pentru ca asta permite ca sa fim (toti) singuri in acelasi timp. Pentru ca daca nu aveam wireless in casa, atunci eram singuri pe rand- acuma e randul meu sa fiu singur in fata calculatorului, dupa care era randul tau, dupa care era randul sotiei sa vada filmul, dupa aia era randul meu sa vad stirile… eram singuri pe rand. Acum suntem singuri toti odata. Asta e un lucru extraordinar. Sapte oameni intr-o casa, singuri. Fiecare intr-o camera, putem emite, internetul emite semnal in fiecare camaruta, in fiecare cotlon, in fiecare pat, in baie.

Am devenit singuri. Noi nu mai dam timp cu copiii nostri. Ne-am dori ca sa ne facem rost de undeva de timp. Saci de timp. De ce spune Biblia in Deuteronom „Să le întipăreşti în mintea copiilor tăi, şi să vorbeşti de ele cînd vei fi acasă,”? Fa-ti timp in casa sa vorbesti cu copiii. Sa-i intrebi, ce a mai fost la scoala astazi, ce-au vazut pe drum? Fa-ti timp sa asculti ce muzica asculta. Fa-ti timp sa le auzi durerile si pasurile. Fa-ti timp sa le poti diseca bucuriile marunte pe care le au. Fa-ti timp! Dar Biblia nu se opreste numai la cuvantul ‘acasa’, pentru ca poate cel mai frumos lucru care poate sa ne puna pe ganduri, „cand vei pleca in calatorie, cand vei fii pe drum, fa-ti timp”. Fa-ti timp cand calatoresti cu masina si conduci cu ei, fa-ti timp 5 minute, pana-i duci la scoala. Fa-ti timp din orice clipa, acasa, cand mergi undeva, cand esti pe drum cu ei, cand astepti ceva pentru ca copiii nostri au nevoie de timpul nostru. Au nevoie de efortul nostru, al invatatorilor. A nevoie si asteapta pentru ca au nevoie de raspuns la intrebari. Atat de enervanta este aceasta intrebare: De ce? De ce, de ce? Fa-ti timp sa le raspunzi la acest ‘de ce’, ca asa cresc.

Va trebui sa aveti efort. V-am spus ca nu a fost cel mai usor turneu pe care l-am avut in Basarabia. Am plecat si am intalnit in ultima seara, cand mi se parea ca totul e fara viitor, ca nimic soare nu mai exista in Basarabia, am fost la Sangerei si am trecut trecut pe langa o cladire pe care scria ceva despre Scoala Duminicala…. M-am intalnit cu omul care avea cladirea aceea, un om care are putin mai multi bani decat altii. De cand sunt pastor nu am auzit o jertfa mai mare. I-a murit in urma cu catva timp unul dintre copii intr-un accident de motocicleta. Dar el era implicat inainte de mult timp in lucrare. Nu e predicator, nu vorbeste 10 cuvinte. Stiti ce face in fiecare Duminica? Ascultati: In fiecare Duminica dimineata, cu banii pe care-i are, inchiriaza 5 autobuze, aduce in cladirea care el a facut-o 400 de copii cu care a inceput scoala duminicala, dintre care numai 50 sunt pocaiti. 400 de copii, toata Duminica ii tine la el, pe cei mai saraci copii dintr-o zona de 50 de km. Ii aduce pe toti in cladirea lui, face cu ei slujba, le da la amiaza lucrare, ii imbraca, le vorbeste despre Dumnezeu. Stiti ce imi spunea cu bucurie? Sotia lui cernita, imbracata  in negru, inca inlacrimati amandoi ca nici nu s-au uscat bine coroanele pe mormantul fiului lor, spunea, „Ne-a trecut, frate, durerea pentru ca Dumnezeu are nevoie de noi pentru copiii acestia. Acuma, pasul doi: Copiii au inceput sa vina cu parintii. Duminica dimineata, (deja) au inceput sa vina cu parintii. Sunt din familii de 7-8, 10 copii. Si au 400 de copii, e cea mai mare scoala duminicala, cu 350 de copii (dintre cei 400) care n-au auzit de Dumnezeu.

Trebuie sa investim timp, efort si bani in copii nostri. Daca nu vom investi in ei, copiii nostri vor deveni infractori. Fara Dumnezeu nu exista decat o alta alternativa, aceea de a fii la marginea societatii. „Rascumparati vremea ca zilele sunt rele,” spune Efeseni 5. Si ce timp? Caci ca sa raspundeti la intrebarea „de ce”, va trebui sa munciti doua ore acasa. M-a intrebat cineva daca un slujitor are voie sa aiba hobby. Socotesc slujitor de la cel care invata la scoala duminicala pana la pastor. Am zis, „Are voie sa aiba hobbyuri, dar n-are timp de ele”. Ultimele lucruri pe care trebuie sa le avem sunt acele lucruri in care sa ne invatam cum sa ne petrecem timpul liber pe care-l avem, pentru ca noi nu mai avem timp liber. „Voi nu mai sunteti ai vostri.”

2. Copiii au nevoie de incurajarea voastra

Dumneavoastra stiti ca din 10 cuvinte ce se spun copiilor acasa, doar unul este de incurajare? Noua cuvinte sunt negative: „N-ai dus gunoiul. Nu o sa iasa nimic bun din tine. Esti ca tatal tau. . O sa ramai nemaritata… ” Numai cuvinte din acestea. De cat sa cresti ca un vultur, dorind sa-ti dezvolti aripile, vine cineva sistematic si ti le taie. Toate visele pe care ti le faci vezi cum se spulbera, pentru ca exista cineva care spune, „Nu, nu poti. N-ai cum. Nu o sa reusesti. Nu avem bani… suntem saraci.” Incurajati-va pruncii pentru ca toti tanjim dupa aplauze. Stiti asta? Toata lumea asteapta, aici din biserica asta, ca cineva sa-i spuna, „Bravo! Ce sotie esti! Ce sot! Ce copil bun! Ce parinte! Ce dascal avem! Bravo”! Va iesi ceva din tine. Ridica-te si mergi, pentru ca atunci cand  lui Dumnezeu ii place de tine, te va ridica in picioare, va pune o stanca sub tine, te va invata sa zbori. Toti tanjim dupa aplauze, dupa recunoastere.

Trei miliarde de oameni (din 7 miliarde aproape) se culca seara flamanzi dupa paine, si 4 miliarde se culca flamanzi dupa o vorba buna. Dar, costa cuvintele astea ceva? Incurajati-i ca se poate, Dumnezeu poate sa lucreze. Dumnezeu poate sa-i ridice, ei se pot ridica. Trebuie sa fie poate un soc in viata lor sa invete ce-i viata. Lasati copiii sa o invete intr-o zi. Ce doriti acum? Sa-i cresteti in doua saptamani de zile sa fie ca fat frumos? Intotdeauna, cand este vorba de copil, este nevoie de timp, efort, rabdare. Aveti rabdare cu ei si incurajati-i toata ziua, pentru ca incurajarea nu e altceva decat oxigenul pentru suflet.

Dumneavoastra a-ti auzit tipatul cocorilor? Stiti de ce tipa cocorii? Eu am crezut ca ei cand pleaca din tara noastra pe drum, tipa asa, „M-am saturat de tara voastra… nici nu vreau sa mai aud cum se vorbeste Romaneste,” si pleaca si tipa. Dar dumneavoastra stiti de ce tipa cocorii? Ei merg mii de kilometri si ei intotdeauna se schimba. Pun in fata pe altul, mergand in formatia de V, tot vantul bate pe cel din fata, care are meseria cea mai grea, slujba cea mai grea sa-i duca pe ceilalti. Tot la jumate de ora se schimba cel din fata ca sa treaca si altul. Ceilalti din spate , toata lumea il incurajeaza: Hai ca poti. Imediat cum ai ajuns in fata, ceilalti din spate toti striga. Ala din fata nu tipa, ca ala-i terminat. Dar cei din spate tipa, „Hai ca poti, hai ca poti. Mai avem 1000 de kilometri.” De asta au nevoie toti care stau aici in fata. Sa tipati in spatele lor, sa-i incurajati. Trebuie sa ne incurajati: Hai ca poti! Si copiii nostri au nevoie de incurajarea voastra.

3. Copiii au nevoie de corectarea voastra creativa

Incurajarea fara corectare nu face doi bani. Exact cum dragostea fara nuia nu valoreaza nimic. Biblia zice ca vine dispretuieste nuiaua e nebun. Aici trebuie sa fim cu toti uniti. Corectati-i. Metodele trebuie sa fie diferite. Exista copii pe care poti sa-i bati cu nuiaua cat vrei, dar inseamna ca exista o alta nuiaua, daca asta nu are efect. Taiati-i o saptaman de la telefon, sau fara internet o saptamana. Va spun ca are un efect mai puternic decat orice nuia. Taiati-i de unde-i doare. Taiati din locurile din care chiar ca sufera pentru asta.

Am citit o poveste atata de draguta. Se zice ca un om si-a vandut un catar. Catari nu prea avem noi. Avem numai magari si cai. Catarul e ceva intermediar. Se zice „incapatanat ca un catar”. Un om si-a vandut catarul si i-a spus celuilalt care la cumparat asa, „E un catar extraordinar. Dar, niciodata sa nu folosesti metode coercitive la adresa lui, ci intotdeauna sa-i vorbesti balnd si sa fi bland cu el pentru ca atunci asculta. Dupa 3 zile l-a sunat asta si i-a zis, „Domnule, vino la catar ca nu reusesc sa-l misc. De 8 ore racnesc la el, sunt terminat psihic, catarul nu misca nici in stanga, nici in dreapta.” „Vin imediat,” i-a zis asta. Cum a venit, cum a luat o bata si cat a putut la plesnit pe catar. S-a speriat omul. „Dar, a-ti zis dumneavoastra cand l-ati vandut ca trebuie sa fiu bland cu el. De ce acuma l-ati lovit?” „Pai, ramane valabil, trebuie sa fim blanzi cu el. Acuma doar am vrut sa-i atrag atentia si apoi…” A trebuit numai sa-i atraga atentia. No, vezi ca am venit si trebuie sa fiu bland de acuma incolo cu tine. Asta vor copiii nostri sa afle de la noi. Disciplina in dragoste si dragoste in disciplina. Ce ma impresioneaza cel mai tare in tara noastra este modul in care parintii asculta de copiii lor. Asta ma impresioneaza pana la lacrimi in tara mea. Copiii sunt regi. Ei dicteaza, ei spun ce trebuie sa se intample in casa. Ei dicteaza relatia intre noi biserica, stapanii nostri. (29:00)

4. Copiii au nevoie de educatie

Spune versetul 7:  Să le întipăreşti în mintea copiilor tăi, Exista un model Roman numit Iuvenal, si spune acest Roman, „Poti sa stai in sufragerie si sa explici copilului tau cum e pescuitul, sau poti sa-l duci pe malul apei cu tine. Asta-i toata metoda lui Iuvenal. Nu faceti (doar) teorii cu ei, daca nu reusiti sa-i duceti la modul practic. Adica, direct la Dumnezeu. Atat de mult am disecat Biblia aceasta, incat nu mai reusim sa fim oamenii aceea practici. Pentru ca educatia in primul rand inseamna: Urmeaza-ma pe mine. Copiii nostri au nevoie de modele. Eu, dascalul vostru, ma duc intai in fata, voi veniti dupa mine. O sa vedeti cum e viata mergand aici.

  • Degeaba le vorbim despre munca daca nu muncim cu ei cot la cot, daca nu-i invatam de mici sa faca.
  • Degeaba le tinem o predica de responsabilitate, daca noi nu-i facem responsabili.
  • Degeaba le aratam pe Dumnezeu acolo sus, daca nu reusim sa-L aratam aici, in noi, in ceilalti.
  • Degeaba le vorbim despre familii perfecte, daca ei nu le au acasa.

Dar, pentru a-i educa pe ei, pentru a intipari in mintea lor astea, va trebui sa avem noi educatie, pentru ca nu poti sa-i educi pe altii mai sus decat unde ai ajuns tu. De aceea, va trebui sa fiti foarte sus pentru a putea ridica pruncii foarte sus. Nu va multumiti sa fiti mediocri, pentru ca mediocritatea nu-i calea de mijloc, mediocritatea e arma diavolului. Trebuie sa intelegeti ca in viata conteaza foarte mult ca sa faceti copii de caracter. Spuneam de dimineata ca noi nu putem sa nastem copiii nostri cu caracter. Caracterul se sadeste in timp si isi pune amprenta dascalul, parintii, pastorul, oamenii de langa ei, anturajul. In viata, stiti cu toti ca semanam un gand si culegem o fapta. Semanam o fapta si culegem un obicei. Semanam un obicei si culegem un caracter. Si pana la urma, caracterul va determina destinul nostru. Iad sau rai.

Schimbati timpul de internet cu timpul de citit. Cititi Biblia pentru ca nici un om care citeste Biblia nu poate sa se rateze in viata.

5. Copiii au nevoie de dragostea voastra

In ultimul rand, dar in primul rand, copiii au nevoie de dragostea voastra. Copiii nostri au nevoie de foarte multa dragoste.  Cand am fost in Basarabia, a venit la mine o femeie si a zis, „Pastore, vreau sa iti fac cunostinta cu o echipa speciala, niste oameni deosebiti. Trebuie sa-ti faci poza cu ei.”  Am iesit afara sa vedem ce vrea sa spuna ea. Zice, „Ei sunt bucuria mea pe acest pamant. Familia mea, 11 copii, 10 baieti si o fata.” Si spunea, „Cel mai bun baiat al meu, cel mai cuminte,” si asta a spus-o intre toti, „si baiatul pe care-l iubesc cel mai tare este el. Are autism, e cel mai mare, are 21 de ani.” Si a facut poza cu mine. Stiti ce a spus femeia aceasta? „Ma bucur, poate ceilalti o sa plece incet, dar el o sa ramana langa mine. E baiatul cu care ma rog seara. Este baiatul care ma ajuta, si il iubesc cel mai tare.” Si a spus-o intre ceilalti copiii. Ne-am facut poze, nici nu incapeam bine in poza. Frumoasa era femeia aceea, frumoasa echipa avea si iubea pe cineva cel mai tare, pentru ca cel mai mult trebuie iubit cel ce-i cel mai greu de iubit din casa, copilul care ne face cele mai mari necazuri. „Mai, mi-a sgariat peretele, zici. Asta nu-i nimic. exista si lucruri mai grave. Inseamna ca a avut ce murdari, inseamna ca ai avut pereti. Atatia dorm sub pod… Asta-i primul lucru care trebuie sa-ti vina in cap: Inseamna ca aveti pereti acasa! Sunteti mai bogati ca vreo 2 miliarde de oameni care dorm in cutii de carton. Aia nu au ce mazgali sub cerul liber.

Nu e un sentiment dragostea, dragostea este o actiune. Facem, dregem, luptam. Te iubesc si te bat, te iubesc si trebuie sa faci lucrul asta. Te iubesc, dar in casa noastra acestea sunt principiile. Tu mie la 10 seara imi vii acasa. Oprim filmul ala, inchidem tot, deschidem Biblia si ne rugam. Iubiti-l pe acela care e cel mai greu de iubit din casa, oaia neagra. Va veni o zi cand ne vom duce de aici. Haideti sa raspundem la o intrebare. Daca ar fi sa luam un singur lucru in cer, dintre punctele (a) casa (b) banii (c) locul de munca (d) copilul, ce incercuiti? A-ti spus: Copilul. ATUNCI DE CE INVESTITI IN ALTCEVA? De ce investiti in ceva ce nu veti duce cu voi in cer? De ce va pasa mai mult de casa, masina, functii si uitati ca cel mai important lucru e copilul? De ce?

Sunt un om privilegiat. Dumnezeu ne-a inmultit si aici in Beius. in 1993, cand am cunoscut biserica aceasta, i-am devenit lider de tineret si eram 5 tineri. Vreau sa-I multumim lui Dumnezeu pentru ca in anii acestia Dumnezeu ne-a binecuvantat cu copii cu scoala, cu conditii frumoase. Aveti printre cele mai frumoase conditii din Romania pentru copii si pentru toate. In biserica noastra avem o gramada de profesori. La liceu, invatatori, educatori si o gramada de oameni care ne pot invata lucruri bune. Avem, se poate invata. Dumneavoastra stiti ca in biserica noastra sunt peste 100 de oameni cu facultate, altii au si doua si doctorate? E mana lui Dumnezeu pentru toate si peste toate. Stiti ce cred? Ca exista viitor. Si viitorul chiar ca arata bine.  Cand vom pleca la cer, vom pleca cu copiii, nu plecam singuri, cu ei plecam. Amin? Investiti in ce ramane si ce-i vesnic.

VIDEO by Fundatia Ciresarii

What Is Inerrancy? (William Lane Craig)

william lane craigThe doctrine of inerrancy doesn’t mean that everything in the Bible is literally true. What inerrancy, properly understood means is that everything that the Bible teaches is true. Or, that everything that the Bible teaches or affirms to be true is true.

Inerrancy is viewed as so important because if the Bible has mistakes in it, then how can it be inspired by God?

The doctrine of inspiration, I take to mean that the Scripture, as it was originally written was exactly what God wanted to be His word to us, that what those human authors wrote, under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit was His word to us, and therefore is inspired, in that sense. Now, whether or not inerrancy is an implication of that, or not, might be something that one might debate. But, I think, typically, one might think that inerrancy would be a corollary of inspiration, because it is God’s word to us, and God is truthful. Therefore, whatever the Bible teaches or affirms is true. It is God’s word to us.

Bart Ehrman’s own evangelical faith was undermined, initially, at least he claims, by his abandonment in his belief in inerrancy. He had a strong view of inerrancy, as a student at Moody Bible Institute, and then Wheaton College. And when he went to Princeton to do his graduate work, apparently when he was doing the exegesis of a certain passage, that looked to have an error in it, and when he tried to think of all sorts of ways to interpret the passage, so as to explain away this mistake, and apparently, his professor returned the paper to him and said, „Maybe Mark just made a mistake.” And Ehrman said this was like the scales falling from his eyes. With that simple comment, his belief in inerrancy just began to collapse. And he thought, „Yeah, maybe the author just made a mistake.” And the problem for Ehrman was that once inerrancy went, it was like the finger in the dyke being released and the whole of his faith disintegrated.

And I think there’s a lesson in this. And it’s this: Inerrancy is a corollary of the doctrine of inspiration. And as such, it’s important to the Christian faith, but it doesn’t stand at the center of the Christian faith. It’s not one of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith. If we think of our theological system of beliefs as like a spider’s web, at the core of the web, where the center is there will be things like

  • belief in the existence of God. That will be absolutely central to the web of beliefs.
  • a little further out would be the deity of Christ and His resurrection from the dead.
  • a little bit further out from that would perhaps be the penal theory of the atonement, the substitutionary death for our sins.
  • and even further out than that, somewhere at the periphery of the web will be the belief in the inerrancy of Scripture.

What that means is that if one of these central beliefs, like the belief in the existence of God or the resurrection of Jesus goes, that part of the web is plugged out, the whole web is going to collapse because if you take something out of the center, the rest of the web can’t exist. But if you pull one of the strands out that is near the periphery, that will cause some reverberation in your web of beliefs, but it’s not going to destroy the whole thing. And the problem with a person like Bart Ehrman, and I think, many people today, is that they have at the very center of their web of theological beliefs, the belief in inerrancy, so that if that belief goes, the rest collapses, and they are really in danger of committing apostasy.  They’re teetering on the brink by having this belief be at the very center of their beliefs.  And that, I just think is clearly mistaken. If inerrancy isn’t true, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. If inerrancy is not true, does that mean that Jesus of Nazareth was not the second person of the trinity, that He didn’t rise from the dead? That He didn’t die for persons? Obviously not.

So, inerrancy isn’t a doctrine that belongs at the center of your beliefs, it belongs on the periphery. What happened to Bart Ehrman was a misconstruction of his theological system. He set himself up for a fall by having a disoriented theology. If inerrancy is not true it weakens the Christian faith, because you would be prepared to say that various Scriptural authors have erred in things that they have said. And then the questions would arise, „Well, then, where do those errors lie?” And this would reduce your confidence and certainty in the teaching of the Scripture. So, absolutely, this is an important doctrine, and one that one would not give up lightly. (10:00)

However, it is a huge mistake to make the focus of evangelism inerrancy instead of Christ. It’s Christ that is the center of the Gospel. And so, He ought to be the stumbling stone, not the doctrine of inerrancy. Inerrancy is an in-house debate for someone who is already a Christian. It’s an in-house argument to what corollaries are there to the concept of inspiration. (10:00)

Suppose somebody did demonstrate an error in Scripture, does that invalidate the Christian faith? I am saying: No. It would mean that you’d have to adjust your doctrine of inspiration, you would have to give up inerrancy of the Scripture, but it wouldn’t mean that Christ didn’t rise from the dead. , and it wouldn’t even mean that you wouldn’t have good grounds for believing Christ rose from the dead. So often, christian apologists give lip service to this idea that if you approach the New Testament documents as you would any ordinary historical document, that they are reliable enough to show, for example, that Jesus thought He was the Son of God, that He did miracles and exorcisms, and that He rose from the dead. But, they don’t really believe that, because the minute somebody point an error, they go up in arms as though to admit this one error it would completely undermine the historicity of the records of Christ. No historian approaches his documents like that. Indeed, the very task of the historian is to sift through the chaff and to find the historical nuggets of truth amidst the errors and mistakes that are typically found in historical writing.

What I’m suggesting is that if you approach Scripture as you would historical documents, and you find in them mistakes, contradictions and errors, that still wouldn’t undermine the general historical  credibility of the Gospels for example. , including things like the miracles and exorcisms of Jesus, His radical self understanding, His resurrection from the dead. Those things don’t hang on the affirmation of biblical inerrancy. (15:00)

So, I am not arguing for biblical errancy. I do believe in inerrancy, myself, properly understood.

The passage in Matthew 27 is that at the time of the crucifixion, there were some, not resurrections, but revivifications of some saints who actually came out of the grave, and who appeared to people, much like other resurrections or revivifications in other Gospel accounts. And, whether that’s historical, or whether that’s language to illustrate  the profundity of it, we don’t know. Whether this looks like an error to some critics, it would be really quite irrelevant to either the historicity of the crucifixion or the historicity of the resurrection. It is just a red herring to try and distract people.

I’m happy to say, about this passage in Matthew that I’m not sure what it means, and that’s perfectly consistent with believing in biblical inerrancy. Believing biblical inerrancy doesn’t mean that you understand everything. I don’t understand the Book of Revelation. When I read the Book of Revelation, with all these various symbolic figures and images, I am not sure what it’s saying. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that it’s inspired by God or inerrant in what it teaches. That’s perfectly consistent.

Scholars have given good explanations on this passage that it was the first fruit of the dead in Christ and that we would expect phenomenon like this to go on at such a profound event, at the crucifixion and the resurrection. So, it’s not a knock down error. For me it’s a triviality. It doesn’t prove anything. This is an addendum to the crucifixion story of Christ. It’s not part of the resurrection account. This is a part of the account of the crucifixion. And yet, no historian denies the truth that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. So that even if you regard this a piece of apocalyptic imagery on Matthew’s part, and not something that literally, historically happened, nobody thinks it does anything to undermine the fact that Jesus of Nazareth died by Roman execution, by crucifixion. So, it is just a triviality, a red herring.

Norman Geisler is very encouraging to those that are disturbed at the longer ending of Mark not being authentic, not being in the oldest manuscripts, and he just says, „So what? So we have some extra material that we don’t quite know what to do with. Well, textual criticism helps us sort these things out. But, that’s quite a different answer than inerrancy. As we said before: Inerrancy is the view that whatever the original Scriptures, the original documents teach or affirm is true. But the question of textual criticism is: What were the original documents? So on discrepancies, an informed inerrantist won’t be upset by that, on the contrary, he’ll be involved in textual criticism, because he’ll be anxious to understand what the original text really did say, lest he me misled by copyist errors. So, somebody like a Daniel Wallace, for example, who is a fine New Testament textual critic at Dallas Theological Seminary is an inerrantist, but he’s also very much involved in establishing the original text in the New testament. And he, like other text critics would say the longer ending of Mar, as well as the shorter is spurious, it’s an accretion by some later author. That the original Gospel of Mark either ended with verse 8 of chapter 16, or else the original ending has been lost and has not been recovered. This is not really relevant to inerrancy at all.

What we need to understand is that the doctrine of biblical inerrancy  is a corollary of the doctrine of inspiration. As such, it is an important doctrine, but it is not a central doctrine to the christian faith. You can be a christian and not affirm it. And, if one does give it up, it will have some reverberations in your theological web of beliefs, but it won’t be destructive to that fundamental web of  Christian beliefs because it stands somewhere near the periphery. 

VIDEO by drcraigvideos

Why do we call the Bible inerrant? Carl Trueman

carl-truemanCarl, you mentioned that the British don’t use that word so much. Is it because British evangelicals don’t believe in inerrancy?

Carl Trueman:

No, I think there are a number of reasons. One, is the word infallibility is by and large done the work of inerrancy in Britain. If you look at Jim Packer’s book ‘Fundamentalism in the Word of God’, I think it’s written in the 1960’s, when Packer was still packed in Britain, he argues basically the inerrantists position. So, it’s definitely present in evangelicalism. It’s just that the term is not as familiar to many, as it would be over here. 

What about the concept of Scripture not being inerrant, or infallible, but, being authoritative. Does that work?

Carl Trueman:

No. I think your problem with saying that Scripture is authoritative , but is not infallible or inerrant is: If Scripture is authoritative, you have to take Scripture’s own claim about itself seriously. And if those claims are that it is inerrant, inspired, then for it to be authoritative, those claims have to be true. I think therein lies the problem. So, if Scripture is authoritative , but it isn’t inerrant- well, then you’d have to say, „Scripture is authoritative except when it speaks about itself.” That, I think is problematic. 

I think you should talk to people and find out why they’re afraid of terms such as infallible or inerrant. Those terms don’t exist in Scripture, one wouldn’t want to go to the stake for those terms, and sometimes people object to those terms because they think it reduces Scripture to a book of logarithms, that it’s just propositions, and it isn’t relational, personal. So. somebody can reject the term and still hold to the orthodox concept. So, if someone rejects the term of inerrancy, I’d want to know why, (and ask) „Do you know what it means? What are your concerns with it?” 

What are the parameters to its scope, its intentions? Is it a science book? Sometimes that’s used, people discredit Scripture in form or another because it says the sun rises.

Carl Trueman:

Well, we all say the sun rises, in my experience. I talk about the sun rising, the sun setting, Scripture offers phenomenological accounts of what’s going on there. I don’t think it’s a science textbook. I don’t think it’s irrelevant to science, though. Clearly, it teaches that there’s a Creator and a creation. The distinction is taught in Scripture, which must have implications as to how you understand the world, and the cultures, science, etc… It’s not a scientific textbook, but it clearly has implications for science.

G. K. Beale, Carl Trueman, and Ryan KellyApril 30, 2011
Clarus 2011 – Scripture: God Speaks
The SW Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition
http://www.clarusabq.comVIDEO by DESERT SPRINGS CHURCH

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