Dear Friends and Family,
I was invited to dinner Friday evening and didn’t have time to put together any kind of report when I got to my room. So here is the Friday report.
If you think we crammed things together Thursday to get everything done, wait until you hear about Friday when we had to save time for closing comments and issuing certificates. Plus there was a healthy Q&A time after my lecture on the theology of Romans.
We had to get through 6 of them plus questions, plus closing and certificates by 4:30, or that was our goal. We started at about 10:20. The first lecture I gave was on the Theology of Ephesians and Romans. Because of an extended Q&A after that lecture (more on that later) we were approaching noon and still had 5 lectures, lunch, certificates and closing, all before 4:30.
Even though I had assigned the NT Themes (1,2) lectures to someone else, they were late in arriving so I chose to do them myself. And I surveyed 27 books of the New Testament in less than an hour. That kind of got us back on schedule.
Nathan started the lecture on 1 Timothy intending to be done by 1:30 to put us well on schedule. But when he got to the second chapter and mentioned again that women are not to fill the role of pastor in a church one unconvinced but teachable attendee started asking questions. More on that later.
That took us to 1:30. Nathan didn’t finish 1 Tim then. After lunch he did. And I followed with my lectures on the Health/Wealth Gospel and finally, Titus and 2 Timothy studies.
This seminar was sprinkled with spontaneous questions in the middle of our lectures so we tried to accommodate them as they were asked. But that
made it more difficult for me to record or remember them. But here are a few from Friday.
The theology: I teach what I believe Romans teaches, that salvation brings transformation not addition. It is not adding a new nature to an old nature, giving us two natures. It is doing away with the old and replacing it with the new. And in that transformation, we are no longer slaves to sin but become slaves of God (Rom 6:6, 22).
Q: Can someone who is born again go back into sin and lose their salvation?
ANS: (Can’t give my full answer.) Here are the principles I believe Paul teaches in Rom 6-8 and what I took them through. A true believer no longer enjoys sin but the flesh (human part of us that remains) keeps fighting us and we give in at times (Rom 7:15-21). But if a person (who might claim to be a Christian) continues in sin, is not under conviction, and never repents then there is good reason to conclude they were never truly a Christian (“saved”). The principle is this, not matter what you claim, your lifestyle (fruit of the Spirit; works) give you away (Heb 6:4-6; 2 Pet 2:20-22; John 15:1-8; 1 John 2:19; James 2:18-20).
Q: You say a woman is not supposed to be a pastor. What about Joel 2 that says your sons and DAUGHTERS will prophesy?
ANS: Nathan tried to explain that God, from creation , has had distinct roles for men and women. And “pastor” is not a role for a woman in God’s way of doing things. He mentioned that is causes conflicts immediately if she is her husbands pastor but he is her head in the home.
Q: The questioner, unconvinced, went back to Joel.
ANS: (I was concerned this was going to go on and on, so I stood up to respond.) I asked the question: Who was Joel written to? (Israel) Were there churches in Israel in the Old Testament? (No) Is there any reference in Joel of that prophesying DAUGHTER being a pastor any time in the future? (No) (Then I continued.) This is an example of what I taught earlier. Look first at the clear instructions to the church in the New Testament. Paul says in 1 Timothy that a woman’s role in a church does not include serving as pastor. If Joel says a woman can be a pastor, then we have a conflict in the Bible.
Q: What about Gal 3:28, “in Christ there is neither male nor male.”?
ANS: The context is salvation, not roles.
WORD FAITH MOVEMENT
The doctrine of faith to them, “With enough faith you can have whatever you ask for.” But that is not biblical.
Q: Heb 11:1 says “faith is the assurance of things hoped for…” Isn’t that what the Faith Movement teaches?
ANS: In each case in Heb 11, the person was responding to God’s promises and believing they were true even when they didn’t see the fulfillment yet.
Q: Didn’t Jesus say “WHATEVER you ask in my name I will do.” If we believe that and apply that, can’t we get what we ask for?”
ANS: He also said, if we abide in Him if His words abide in us, if we obey His commands, if we ask for the right things, if we ask with the right motives….He will answer our prayers. All that together equals “praying in Jesus name.”
Faith theology teaches “there is power in words, we can speak things into existence like God did.” That is not biblical.
Q: Job 22:28 say, “…you will decree a thing and it will be established.” Isn’t that saying the same thing?
ANS: Look at the context. Who is speaking? One of Job’s critical counselors. This guy was saying to Job, “You are to blame for your hardships. Repent, get right with God, and then “….you will decree….” This was bad advice and was not true.
CONCLUSION: Nathan has been pressing me to somehow add “Principles for Interpreting the Bible” into our teaching some place because there is a major problem here with almost everyone taking verses out of context. But I’ll leave that for another day.
Sorry for the length of this report. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the Q&A. I’ll add a few other things tomorrow including Kenya’s “Mightiest Prophet.”
Tomorrow, Sunday, I head to Madagascar for a meeting on Monday and head home on Tuesday.
Thanks for praying for my stomach. I think I’m OK.
By His grace,