Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sexchanging the Truth For a Lie

Did that title grab your attention? I had hoped that it would! However, before we get to the explanation of that title, I wanted to share with readers a few portions of Lesson 7 in “The Truth Project” series; as well as some of my notes.

If you get the chance to participate in this DVD series, I would encourage you to do so. Personally, I would describe it as gaining a Christian college education, condensed into an awesome 13 week DVD and lesson series which, if left to your own devices for study, might take you years of studying to learn on your own! Yes! It is THAT GOOD!

I think that if more Christians get involved in “The Truth Project” - by first being a participant - and then a leader for a new group in their homes, then a Christian Truth Revival would be taking place across the U.S.A. that would transform this nation for Jesus Christ - who is - “the way, the truth and the life.”

Christine

*******


The Truth Project

Lesson 7 - Sociology: The Divine Imprint

Themes
We begin where we left off in Tour 5: with the voice of nature making loud and unmistakable statements about the nature and character of God. "Ask the animals, and they will teach you," says Job, "and the birds of the air, and they will tell you" (Job 12:7, 8). In this case, order is one of the overwhelming messages with which creation bombards us. From the atom to the solar system, from photosynthesis to the cleansing tides, from the human body to the design of a chicken egg – everywhere we look we see obvious indications of purposeful design in the things God has made. This, of course, is a serious problem for those who argue that the universe is the product of "random, mindless forces."

The same element of order is apparent in the social systems God has instituted. Dr. Tackett lays out six that he see in Scripture: family, labor, church, state, community, and the relationship between man and his Maker. But the order we detect in this area is not simply an expression of the Lord's creative design. Instead, it flows out of His very nature. It is a reflection of who He is. As Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Triune God embodies in Himself the ultimate resolution of the old philosophical problem of "the one and the many." He exemplifies diversity within unity and the answer to why it is "not good for man to be alone" is bound up in the Triune Essence. Relationship, union, communion, intimacy, fellowship, love, and community – these things have existed from all eternity within the economy of the Godhead. Accordingly, they serve as the basis for the smooth and ordered functioning of creation. It is for this very reason, Dr. Tackett argues, that basic social institutions such as marriage, family, and church have come under such heavy attack in our day: just as the world, the flesh, and the devil hate the Creator with a fervent and undying hatred, so they inevitably stand opposed to the social order that bears the imprint of His divine nature.

As this tour unfolds, the principles of order and relationship will be examined specifically as we find them manifested in three of the social systems designed by God: the family, the church, and the union between God and man ("The Intimate Three"). During the course of this discussion, Dr. Tackett will explain how the threefold Trinitarian pattern is reflected in and fundamental to the internal functioning of each of these spheres. Special attention will be given to the subject of the family and some of the pathologies associated with disregard for the divine plan in this crucial area of human life.

I. Introduction – The God of Order
A. Psalm 19 – "The heavens declare the glory of God ..."
B. Job 12 – "But ask the animals, and they will teach you ..."
C. Listening to a chicken egg – The exquisite design and intricacy seen in a chicken egg
D. Scriptural emphasis of order – Job 25:2, 1 Corinthians 14:33, James 3:16


My Notes:

James 3:16

God of order - not disorder.
Atom
Cell
Skeletal System
Circulatory System
Photosynthesis
Coral Reef
Metamorphosis
Pollination
Water Cycle
Lunar Tides
Solar System

Result of just chance?

Evolved or Design of God?

This is where the battle rages.

“It is good” is said 7 times in Genesis.

Genesis 2:18 is the first time we read, "it is not good..."


Gen 2:18

And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Must ask : is this a qualitative or ethical statement? Pragmatic or moral?

Our Source of Truth.

The Nature of God.

The Trinity.

Truth Project Notes:


In this tour and in the ones to follow, we are emphasizing the "roles" within the Triune nature of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We have done so to highlight its imprint upon the social order that He has created. In doing so, however, it is possible that someone may wrongly begin to perceive the persons of the Trinity as separate beings. They are not.

One must never lose sight of the reality that God is One—one in essence and being. He exists in three persons, yet each is fully and wholly God. The Son is fully God, not a separate God. The Holy Spirit is fully God, not a separate being. So God is truly one in essence because each person of the Trinity is one in essence with the other.

But, God is not only one in essence, but He is one in unity. The three persons of the Trinity exist in complete oneness. Each person of the Trinity carries out a unique role and performs unique operations, yet they remain one in essence and one in unity. This is the nature of the eternal God.

All of this is mysterious, yes. But not so mysterious that we cannot comprehend its reality. The "mystical union" that exists within the Triune nature of God has also been impressed upon His creation. I do not understand how the flesh and the spirit within me are joined together. I do not understand how my wife and I have become "one flesh". I do not understand how the Spirit of God can dwell within me and somehow be united with me. Paul cries out in reference to these matters and calls it a "profound mystery".

So, when we refer to the Son being in submission to the Father, we are referring to the relationship that exists between the second "person" of the Trinity and the first "person" of the Trinity. When we refer to the Holy Spirit "proceeding" from the Father and the Son, we are referring to the unique operation that the Father and the Son carry out and the implied relationship that exists between the Holy Spirit and the Father and the Son. Yet, we are dealing with one God, one Being, one in essence and unity.

II. Social Order – The Divine Imprint
A. "It is not good" – Genesis 2:18 – Why was it "not good" for man to be alone?
B. Triune structure stamped upon Social Order
1. God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit
2. Family – Husband, Wife, Children
3. Church – Christ, Leaders, Flock
4. Our world – Three realms – Physical, Spiritual and Social
C. Relationships, Roles, Authority, Submission and Unity within social spheres



My lesson notes:

God is one in three Persons. There is relationship in the heart of God.

One in essence - three in Persons.

Relationship: Anything that unifies and brings coherence in diversity.

[See Westminster Confession]

Draw a circle. In it, place Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Triune nature of God.

These three are in perfect harmony and relationship with each other.

God created the family unit in a similar way.

Draw a circle. In it, place husband, wife, and children.

Submission is a negative word?

No! It’s a glorious word. The world has distorted it! Made it ugly.

Children come from husband and wife.

Picture of triune nature of God.

Devil hates both!

The Divine Mark

Primary colors
Atom
Solid, liquid, gas.

There are 3’s everywhere!

Physical realm.
Spiritual realm.
Social realm.

How has God designed these spheres? If we go against these three, we go against nature of God.

It’s about relationships.

Results of the Fall.
Relationships severed.

Between God and man.
Between man and man.
Between man and creation.

Truth Project Notes:


Importance of relationships
A. What happened at the fall? – Relationships were severed and damaged – between God & man, man & man, and man & creation
B. Aloneness - "It is not good for man to be alone" – Aloneness is contrary to God's nature; in all eternity, there had never been aloneness before
C. God's design of social institutions and social laws
D. Intimate Three – God's design for unity, intimacy, oneness - Family, Church, God and Man


In Scripture, Gen. 2:18 is the first verse that states, “not good.”

Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

What is “not good” in this verse?
It is “not good for man to be alone. Again, this goes against God’s nature. Del called this, “the Divine pause.”

God paused to make a Divine statement about His nature.

There had never been “aloneness” before. This is the Divine Mark.

One - aloneness.
Two - Relationship and intimacy.
Three - Community.

(Four doesn’t add anything!)

Natural Law of God - when gives it - structures based upon His own Nature. To go against theses laws - we go against God’s nature.

Social Laws.

Truth Project Notes:


IV. Family & Church
A. Ephesians 5 – Roles and relationships of members in these spheres – Authority, Submission, Oneness
B. Love and Respect between husband and wife
C. Honor between children and parents, flock and church leaders


Will find ourselves more in His nature.

Intimate 3

Trinity
Family
Church

God, Family and the Church. In that order everything works. Out of that order, nothing works!

Our reverence for God includes recognizing His Authority in our lives. Second, our submission to His worthiness (our worship of Him) through confession of sin through His Son, Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, acceptance of Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Savior, and our willingness to live for Him - striving for holiness and righteousness.

God, Family and Church is designed to help us behold the glory of God! In each relationship, submission is required. As was said before, that term “submission” has been twisted in this world to make people believe that is it bad. However, submission is a great part of being born again in Christ. Submission is what keeps order in the marriage and family.

Unfortunately, we have lost the awe of what God created and have, instead, exchanged the truth for a lie.

I just created a typo and it read: “sexchanged the truth for a lie.” Hmmm…. The Microsoft Word editor automatically corrected it, so I had to re-type it to show you! What a message! That typo can actually be used to describe the various pathologies involved with humankind’s twisting of God’s design for sex and marriage.

But first, let us look at God’s design.

Ephesians 5:22-24

In the church, leaders submit to Christ and the church body submits to the leaders. Notice that if the leaders do not genuinely submit to Christ, then the body should not be obligated to submit to the leaders (in other words, find a new church that DOES submit to Christ’s authority!).

In marriage, the husband should give himself up for his wife, just as Christ gave himself up for his beloved church (people, not a building).

Ephesians 5:26-27
Ephesians 5:28-30
Ephesians 5:31-32 (ESV)

Ephesians 5:33 (ESV)

It is good to remember that the husband needs respect like the wife needs love. It’s not about worthiness - its about the design of God.

Establishing a sphere of authority is essential in any relationship.

Titus 1:5-6 discusses this pattern in the church.

Christ
Leaders
Flock

Acts 20:28
Hebrews 13:17
1 Timothy 5:17

Today, when the question is asked, “What is Family?” we find two things:

1. It’s under great attack.
2. It still evokes emotion.

The key point that was made in the video was this:

“The family unit is not ours to manipulate!”

Of course, the world disagrees. The world says, “throw off the chains.”

However, when we diligently follow God’s design - there is contentment, even in this fallen world!

Malachi 2:16 tells us that God hates divorce!

There is much pain in this world due to divorce.

Truth Project Notes:


Statements from video interviewees poignantly highlight the pain, confusion, and deep emotional reactions connected with almost any examination of family life and family-related issues. Similar emotions are almost certain to arise during group discussion. The video segments also present a broad range of popular definitions of "family," a subject that has the potential to stir up equally diversified reactions from group participants. In addition, Dr. Tackett and his students fearlessly broach the often troublesome topic of authority and submission within the context of marriage, the church, and other aspects of God's social design.


1 Peter 3:7

Malachi 2:13-17

Divorce is serious with God! “Where is the God of Justice?” Consequences are deep!

1 Peter 3
Great worth in God’s sight.

The pathologies of the family are huge. The heart of God weeps over them all.

Picture a child crouching in a corner while his parents are fighting.

Who can excuse abuse in this unity?

The union of oneness of the marriage union is reflected and positively emphasized by children who honor their parents.

*******


V. Conclusion – Pathologies of the Family
A. Divorce – Malachi 2:16 – "I hate divorce ..."
B. Lack of respect – 1 Peter 3:7 – " ... so that nothing will hinder your prayers ..."



The section about “pathologies of the family” was very convicting for all. Who hasn’t been touched by divorce? Who hasn’t been exposed to conflict, strife, verbal and/or physical abuse because God’s proper order and design for the family unit has not been followed? Why? Because of lack of submission. Yes…that “dirty word” again. People don’t like that word. However, it is THE WORD of liberation in Christian life!!

We could take any number of the pathologies that currently rage in relationships and see how they are utterly meant to destroy God’s design for relationships.

What are some of the pathologies that are intent on destroying God’s design for relationships?

Here are just a few:

1. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = adultery
2. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = fornication
3. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = pornography
4. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = prostitution
5. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = incest
6. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = child molestation
7. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = rape
8. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = homosexuality
9. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = polygamy
10. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = poly-amory
11. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = bi-sexuality
12. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = transvestitism
13. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = transgender
14. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = sexual abuse
15. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = pederasty
16. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = pedophilia
17. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = human sexual trafficking
18. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = group sexual encounters
19. Sexchanging the truth for a lie = abortion

Have I left any out? I’m sure that there are several more that could be added to this list.

This list is proof positive that sexual deviancy of any kind is detrimental to the life-blood of God’s design for the family.

And, those who think that the word "submit" in the phrase - “wives submit to your husbands” is STILL a “dirty word” consider this verse:

1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.


Did you read that? This is how VERY important the true family unit is to God. Scripture informs, (as well as provides a type of warning) that “your prayers may not be hindered” when you follow God’s design in marriage!

I will conclude with the rest of 1 Peter 3


1 Pe 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;#[fn1]

1Pe 3:9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

1Pe 3:10 For
"He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.

1Pe 3:11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.

1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil."#[fn2]

1Pe 3:13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?

1Pe 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled."#[fn3]

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God#[fn4] in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

1Pe 3:16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us#[fn5] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

1Pe 3:19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

1Pe 3:20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited#[fn6] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

1Pe 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1Pe 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.



Footnotes:
#3:8 NU-Text reads humble.
#3:12 Psalm 34:12-16
#3:14 Isaiah 8:12
#3:15 NU-Text reads Christ as Lord.
#3:18 NU-Text and M-Text read you.
#3:20 NU-Text and M-Text


HT: The Truth Project
Blue Letter Bible

3 comments:

GMpilot said...

(GMpilot raises hand)

Teacher! Teacher, I've a few questions.
How is polygamy "sexchanging the truth for a lie", as you put it?

I mean, so many biblical heroes practiced polygamy, and Muslims (and some Mormons) still do. Solomon, according to a certain widely-circulated book, had three hundred wives. Of course, he was a king, so he could afford them, but even a Muslim man is told not to have more than one wife if he can't support her.

Why isn't God married? Believers are always claiming that God knows everything about everything (maybe that's why he's still single), but how can you trust advice on marriage from someone who's never been married? Believe that, and you end up with some old man in a dress who has never been married telling millions of followers what to to when they marry. Hasn't God ever heard of "leading by example"?
Where is Mrs. God? Even the pagans had supreme gods who were married!

What is this evangelical Christian obsession with sex? It's the one form of fun where you don't have to wear special clothes, it can be done with little preparation, no special training is required, and is a truly cooperative activity. We are told by believers that it has one function only, and the pleasure it provides is merely secondary; yet I think such an activity with such addicting side effects should have been altered, not merely regulated! Especially since this was all 'designed' by an omniscient, omnipotent super-being.
Yet the followers of this being have taken it in ways their alleged creator never seems to have thought of, such as genital mutilation. He even went so far as to forbid uncircumsized from ever entering his holy city (I suspect that hasn't worked well).

Just a few questions, teacher. Oh, and one more thing:

"And, those who think that “wives submit to your husbands” is STILL a 'dirty word' consider this verse:"

That's not a word, it's a phrase. Just thought I'd make that clear.

Christinewjc said...

GM,

Made the grammar correction. The point still stands.


The Bible doesn't approve of everything that it records. It is an honest book that often details the sins and errors of man.

If you will recall, Solomon realized this near the end of his life. (See Ecclesiastes) He even labeled all that he had (possessions, money, women) as "vanity" and "chasing after the wind."

Instances of polygamy are recorded in Scripture, but there is often condemnation towards such practice. If you want a more detailed response, go back to the message board discussion that I had with "Prakk" a few years back.

When Abram slept with the concubine Hagar (See Genesis 16(because both he and Sarai were impatient regarding God's promise for them to have a son in their old age), we can see how one instance of adultery led to thousands of years of turmoil between Ishmael's and Isaac's decendents).

It is important to note that Abram was in his 90's when the LORD (pre-incarnate Christ) appeared to him (see Gen. 17) and changed his name to Abraham - for he would be "a father of many nations."

Notice that Ishmael - in whom the descendents of the Arabs came from (and where centuries later, the Muslim religion was created by Muhammed) was born "in sin" prior to this declaration for Abraham.

It's not about having any kind of an "obsession with sex" GM. It is concern about God's Design for the family. Unfortunately, many of the problems that hurt families are related to deviant, sexual issues. Of course, there are other issues that split up couples - money, "irreconcilable differences," etc. However, society's push towards "anything goes" sexual practices does end up hurting marriages and families. Do you deny that fact?

GM, sometimes I wonder whether or not you comprehend what is written in my posts.

Sex was invented by God for the union of one man and one woman. Of course, sinful human beings have made a mess of that.

As far as the Godhead is concerned, there is, was, and will ever be NO REASON for any kind of physical, sexual union. God the Father is Spirit. God the Son co-existed eternally with the Father and made pre-incarnate Old Testament appearances in Scripture as "The Angel of the LORD." One example is when he wrestled with Jacob in Gen. 32:24,25.

When Christ was born into this world, there was no need for a "sexual union" either. Mary was a virgin and that which was conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). See Matthew 1:18-25.

Sexual relations were given by God to man through the covenant of marriage for the purpose of "the two shall become one" in both the physical sense and spiritual sense; as well as for the purpose of creating families.

Not quite sure why you felt the need to bring up "genital mutilation" and circumcision.

Female genital mutilation is a practice of the Muslims, not Christians.

Circumcision of males was an outward sign of the covenant between the Israelites and God. As it turns out, it was also a physically healthy thing for men to have done to prevent contracting disease.

There is no need for a "Mrs. God." God HAS already led by example through the eternal relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The union of Jesus Christ and his own (all born again believers - a.k.a the church) is referred to as the "Bride" in Scripture. It doesn't have anything to do with a physical type of union - it is spiritual.

GM, there is no sex in heaven. There is no need for it! At the culmination of history, there is SOMETHING BETTER - for the saved - that is!

I know...this fact might cement your atheism but so be it...

mattmc3 said...

A few points - specifically on submission.

1.) Paul says in Ephesians 5:21 that we should all "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ". He tells us all that submission is something we should practice - and this is immediately prior to him reiterating the point by mentioning that wives should submit to their husbands in verse 22.

2.) In Colossians 3 (which parallels Ephesians and was likely written at the same time during Paul's imprisonment), Paul uses the word "obey" in reference to children and servants - not wives. "Obedience" and "submission" have two different meanings and we shouldn't treat them interchangeably! Often you hear those railing against "submission" making this mistake and not understanding what Paul was saying.

3.) It is unlikely that Paul telling wives to "submit" to their husbands was controversial in the first century the way it is today. I think if Paul were writing this letter in English in the 21st century, it's possible that he might use a different word - not because "submit" is a bad translation or inaccurate, but because the connotation of the word submission invokes a response that seems to overshadow Paul's real intent in saying this. Which is...

4.) ...Paul was saying something profound about meeting others needs first. He was saying something about how we were designed by our creator, and what our deepest needs really are. A man's greatest need is to be respected. A woman's greatest need is to be loved. A parent's greatest need from their children is to be obeyed. A woman who isn't loved by her husband finds it very difficult to show him respect. A man who is not respected finds it difficult to show his wife love. Emmerson Eggrichs calls this the crazy cycle. The "Love and Respect" study is one of the best there is... I highly recommend checking it out to any and all - Christian and non-Christian alike.

5.) When you understand - and I mean truly understand - these needs and our ability to meet them in our most important relationships within our families, then we will begin to really understand our relationship within the body of Christ and with our creator. The whole of human design and marriage specifically mimics in a profoundly beautiful way the image of Christ and His church. Without living out these commandments, our relationship with Christ suffers (aka: our prayers are hindered).

Thanks for sharing your insights Christine. Always a pleasure to read!