Alêtheia Christian Fellowship
In recent news the Episcopal Church elected a lady, Katharine Schori, as the Presiding Bishop of the entire church. They upheld the right to appoint people in openly homosexual lifestyles as priests and bishops and also voted to oppose any legislation that would hinder same-sex marriage. In addition the Episcopal Church refused to even consider a proposal stating that Jesus Christ is the only path to Father God. In fact the Episcopal Bishop reporting that decision said that such an absolute, smacked of the same kind of intolerance that led to the Holocaust. In other words, people affirming Jesus’ own words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me,” are no different than Adolph Hitler, according to the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church in affirming these things has entered into an agreement with the United Methodist Church as "a member of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church in which the Gospel is rightly preached and taught," and encourages the development of a common Christian life between the two bodies. The agreement permits common, joint celebrations of the Eucharist (Holy Communion) between the two churches.
The United Methodist Church's Supreme Court has sent a case involving an openly gay clergywoman back to an appellate committee while Methodist Commentator Rev. Tex Sample, tackled the issue. Regarding the ordination of gay bishops, he stated it is appropriate for gay and lesbian Christians to be married in the church, and it is not in violation of Scripture or tradition. Rev. Sample went on to imply that the issue of ordaining openly homosexual people as clergy is really about the marital fidelity they demonstrate to their same-sex partner, not their orientation.
The United Church of Christ ordains women and those in openly homosexual relationships as ministers and at its most recent Synod the UCC affirmed the sanctity of same-sex marriage. The United Church of Christ has an "Open and Affirming" policy, which states, "gay, lesbian, bisexual" (GLB) people (or those of all "sexual orientations") are welcome in its full life and ministry.”
The Presbyterian Church has ordained women for years, but has struggled with the ordination of gay people. On Tuesday, June 20, 2006, the 217th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church under the female leadership of Rev. Joan Gray agreed to allow local communities flexibility in ordination. What it means is that regional bodies can ordain non-active homosexuals as church clergy.
The largest Protestant community is the Lutheran Church, which clearly states their belief in the Bible as the authority for life in Christ. Yet, the ELCA (not the Missouri Synod) is currently studying the issue of gay clergy and same-sex marriage. The Evangelical Lutheran Faith is proud to proclaim that it is in, “full communion with the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church.”
1st Protestant Plank: Sola Scriptura,
Solus Christus, and
Soli Deo Gloria:
With scripture alone as our theological authority, we conclude that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and in this, God alone receives the glory.) as opposed to the Roman Catholic view, which is inevitable and which we see happening now in older Protestant denominations.
If the Bible is not the OBJECTIVE basis for belief we are left to erroneous human ideas.
WHY? WE DO NOT AGREE! That is the proof humans are incapable of figuring it out – that’s precisely why we need GOD to tell us OBJECTIVELY.
If any part is suspect then the whole thing is suspect.
We cannot add
We cannot take away
We cannot distort what is there
How do we know God’s Will?
The Bible is a Relation Book, not a Rule Book.
It can only be properly understood in the context of RELATIONSHIP!
LDS Site: While souls in the spirit world are being taught the Gospel, they are faced with a dilemma: they need baptism to enter into a covenant with Christ and receive a washing away of their sins, etc., but they lack physical bodies in which to be baptized. This is why the early Christians and the restored Church have the practice of baptism for the dead, referred to but not explained by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:29. This passage alludes to a practice of at least some early Christians who performed vicarious baptism on behalf of deceased ancestors.
This practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is NOT derived from 1 Corinthians 15:29, but from modern revelation which restored that practice and the understanding and authority necessary for it to be done. As a result, we now can go to the Temple and be baptized by immersion in the name of specific deceased ancestors and others, one at a time, name by name, offering our vicarious service as a proxy for the deceased. Having done it several times, I can affirm that it is a marvelous and spiritual experience. Nothing like what the anti-Mormon sources say!
Joseph Smith taught, "If we can baptize a man in the name of the Father [and] of the Son and of the Holy Ghost for the remission of sins it is just as much our privilege to act as an agent and be baptized for the remission of sins for and in behalf of our dead kindred who have not heard the gospel or fullness of it"
The first public affirmation of the ordinance of baptism for the dead in the Church was Joseph Smith's funeral sermon for Seymour Brunson in Nauvoo in August 1840. Addressing a widow who had lost a son who had not been baptized, he called the principle "glad tidings of great joy," in contrast to the prevailing tradition that all un-baptized are damned. The first baptisms for the dead in modern times were done in the Mississippi River near Nauvoo.
1 Corinthians – Chapter 15 – then verse 9, Not a daily snippet read your Bible
1 Timothy 3:1-7 ~ 1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
1 – Must be married?
2 – Must still have that one wife?
3 – Promiscuity okay if kept quiet?
4 – Widower out of luck?
Where does it talk about divorce?
“Husband of one wife” refers to one’s current marital status and behavior; validly divorced people who remarried were never and still are not considered married to one spouse, the second one, not to two spouses.
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament.
μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα unius uxoris virum
1 Timothy 5:9 A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man ἑνὸςA-CGM-Sεἷς ἀνδρὸςN-GM-Sἀνήρ γυνή (One man’s woman) 14Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; N-NF-Sγυνή
(SK 1 Timothy 3:2 ~ It is necessary, therefore that an overseer be unimpeachable. (A legal charge won’t stand – Plutarch 46-127 uses it to describe someone teaching children - "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.")
One woman, man (Man of one woman)
Sober-minded (Clear-headed & Self-controlled – literally, self-haltered)
8 Deacons likewise – The ninth trait is; must be husbands of only one wife.
Titus 1:5-9 ~ For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Acts 20:28 ~ “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Philippians 1: 1 ~ Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.
ἐπί-σκοπος, one who watches over, an overseer, guardian
ἐπί, upon or over
σκοπός, one that watches, one that looks after things
Elder – Associated with Jewish leadership until Acts 11, then applied to the Jerusalem Church and by implication to the Antioch Church. Beginning in Acts 14, Elders were appointed in every church. By Acts 15, the phrase, “Chief Priests and Elders,” has been replaced with, “Apostles and Elders.” Peter and John call themselves Elders.
1 Timothy 4:1But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
The Bible Exposition Commentary:
The husband of one wife (v. 2b). All of the qualifying adjectives in this passage are masculine. While there is ample scope for feminine ministry in a local assembly, the office of elder is not given to women. However, a pastor’s homelife is very important, and especially his marital status. (This same requirement applies to deacons, according to 1 Tim. 3:12.) It means that a pastor must not be divorced and remarried. Paul was certainly not referring to polygamy, since no church member, let alone a pastor, would be accepted if he had more than one wife. Nor is he referring to remarriage after the death of the wife; for why would a pastor be prohibited from marrying again? Certainly the members of the church who had lost mates could marry again; so why penalize the pastor?
I see no reason why dedicated Christians who have been divorced and remarried cannot serve in other offices in the church, but they are disqualified from being elders or deacons.
Dallas Theological Seminary: Husband of but one wife, literally, a “one-woman man.” Virtually all commentators agree that this phrase prohibits both polygamy and promiscuity, that the affections of an elder must be centered exclusively on his wife.
Many others hold, however, that the phrase further prohibits any who have been divorced and remarried from becoming overseers.
The two nouns are without the definite article, which construction emphasizes character or nature. The entire context is one in which the character of the bishop is being discussed. Thus, one can translate, “a one-wife sort of a husband,” or “a one-woman sort of a man.” We speak of the Airedale as a one-man dog. We mean by that, that it is his nature to become attached to only one man, his master. Since character is emphasized by the Greek construction, the bishop should be a man who loves only one woman as his wife. It should be his nature to thus isolate and centralize his love.
Second marriage, which is mentioned as a familiar practice (Rom. 7:2, 3), is expressly permitted to Christian women in I Corinthians 7:39, and even recommended to, or rather enjoined upon, young widows in I Timothy 5:14.
“The words ‘the husband of one wife,’ of course, do not mean that the episcopus (ἐπισχοπυς) must be, or has been married. What is here forbidden is bigamy under any circumstances. This view is supported (a) by the general drift of the qualities required here in a bishop; self-control or temperance, in his use of food and drink, possessions, gifts, temper;
“On the other hand, it must be conceded that the patristic commentators on the passage, suppose that it is bigamy or polygamy that is here forbidden.
A- Proper receptivity (Holy Spirit Relationship)
B- Proper research (Put in the effort) "I hear and I forget" "I see and I remember" "I do and I understand" Instead of studying resources about the Bible, inductive study focuses first upon the Bible.
(1) Exegetically (Grammatical – Archeological)
(2) Historically (Can’t mean what it never meant)
(3) Contextually (Micro & Macro)
(4) Hermeneutically (By analogy)
C- Proper reflection (Pray and meditate on God’s Word)
D- Proper relating (Consult others in person and through books)
E- Proper response (Hear – take into your heart – DO!)
(1) We make God’s Truth subjugated to our reason.
(Can’t be six literal days)
(2) We integrate God’s Truth with human wisdom.
(3) We approach the Bible as lawyers sifting through a rule book.
(Pastors must be married, but only once, but infidelity is okay)
(4) We take Scripture beyond its scope.
(Jewish Christians and circumcision)
(5) We interpret and apply Scripture in light of our own culture.
(6) We use Scripture selectively.
(7) We refuse to see tension as good.
(Forgiveness and tolerance)
(8) We interpret Scripture privately.
(I have my own church)
(9) We misappropriate truth.
(Homosexuality is okay if it is exclusive)
(10) We selectively deny biblical teachings or commands.
(I don’t have to evangelize)