Lately I’ve been trying to steer away from the more controversial discernment posts, but last night my WLC reading challenged me with the significance of people saying or doing things they should know better about.
Q. 151. What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous than others?
A. Sins receive their aggravations, (much listed here, but includes)
……”if done deliberately, willfully, presumptuously, impudently, boastingly, maliciously, frequently, obstinately, with delight, continuance, or relapsing after repentance.”
I’m sure this will raise a few eyebrows. A lot of the popular talk today dismisses this. Or fingers get pointed in both directions. It covers some pretty foundational issues in today’s visible church. Actually, if you read or listen through the whole article and look up some of the references, it covers pretty much all of the issues.
Most of you will agree that on the surface over the last 100-150 years the visible church has been drifting progressively toward liberalism and conformance to the culture. Meanwhile the culture has moved rapidly both away from God, either rejecting him and his Word outright, or bringing in new interpretations and doctrine, all the while opening itself to the acceptance of both pagan and false religions.
Unfortunately in the visible church we have a very strong attraction to listen to the biggest, most popular names of the day. It’s hard to resist those who speak to millions, through mega-churches, multi-site churches, cable TV, the internet, podcasts, books, conferences and even contemporary songs. Some of what is said contains truth, but much is out of context or outright false cultural teaching. It becomes even worse when it is deceitful, or as the KJV say done for “filthy lucre”. There is no question there is lots of money in the greater “visible” church business, but that’s another story.
Btw, I use the term “visible church”. The Westminster Confession defined the Church this way, 375 years ago. Both are important. To fully understand the Church one needs to study the doctrines of elections and salvation, outlined in the confession in sections 9 to 18. But that again is another study.
Of the Church
1. The catholic or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
2. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.
3. Unto this catholic visible church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and doth, by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto.
4. This catholic church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.
5. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated, as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth, to worship God according to his will.
6. There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.
I will let people comment directly to Michell. I see Beth Moore as just one of many highly visible persons that could be addressed. I only point this article out because it’s an alternative to the commonly accepted narrative, and for those entrenched to that narrative you have the opportunity to hear biblically minded women express well the issues. Hopefully the truth in the end will be seen…..and pray that God will be Glorified.
Here’s the link, I let you read it and decide who is right.