Baptism as a Purity Ring

2010 March 31

Filed in:

To the Pure All Things are Pure (Fidelity)

I like to repost my comments here that I posted on other blogs.   Here’s a recent comment I put up on Doug Wilson’s Blog and Mablog.  [Of course, I am just an average Joe commenter; this does not imply approval by said blog] [Click to see the original post upon which I am commenting]

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In a recent conversation another Christian mentioned to me the idea of purity rings, and that some were very expensive ($399). I replied that we all as Christians had been given a free and more valuable purity ring – our baptism. It is a symbol of covenant.

We are covenanted with God and the external wedding ring is baptism (internally it’s the Spirit – the arabon).

Our marriages as humans, picture our marriage with God, the marriage we pledged in our baptisms to uphold. We must uphold our human marriages, because in our baptism we said we would be faithful to God. We must display what we have – faithful life in community.

Anyway, I am pleased to see baptism as a grounds for calling ALL Christians to holiness. Paul, of course does the exact same thing in Romans 6.

I mean, since we must be faithful to God, we must display the same kind of faithfulness in Marriage, and therefore, baptism requires faithfulness in BOTH relationships.

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Instead of Inventing Subversive Subtexts

2009 December 9

Filed in:

The Bible is  Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

To the Pure All Things Are Pure (Fidelity)


A friend sent me this good question on Facebook, and I want to answer it here too:

Did the spies go to sleep w/ Rahab? Puperi contends they did. Also, did Rahab give up her “business”?

See Joshua 1-6:

Absolutely NOT (to the first question), and yes she MUST HAVE given up prostitution for the story to make sense as a foil to Achan.

There is NOTHING in the text that suggests that she slept with the spies:

“But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof.” That’s what it says she DID, out of “fearing Yhwh”. The fact that SHE is a Canaanite Prostitute but BECOMES faithful is in contrast to Achan who though a male Hebrew warrior is unfaithful as an idolator. He and his whole family are damned for his unrighteousness (idolatry = adultery), and She and her whole family are saved for her righteousness, and she becomes a grandmother of David and ultimately of Jesus. Her repentance is the major thing highlighted, but it is highlighted by “turning to Yhwh” as a former idolator. Leave idolatry, leave adultery. The red cord on her house is the blood of the passover lamb, and they passover her house in the destruction of Jericoh. We have to assume the bible means what it says, instead of inventing subversive subtexts. She actually becomes a foil of even David later… Luke


Right on Target

2009 November 30

Filed in:

Do Not Hinder Them (Childrearing)

To the Pure All Things Are Pure (Fidelity)

 

I was recently in a large super-store which shall remain nameless.  I saw a baby onesie that said “Future Hottie.”

Fathers, our job is in part to protect our children from destruction, and to form them into sound buildings, since as believers, they are temples of the Holy Spirit.  This kind of joke, the one on the onesie, isn’t going to burn a hole in your baby’s skin today, but it does show what kind of humor you are willing to allow into your house, what kind of labels you will allow into the minds of others as they think about your children (and your wife), and in which direction your planning is aimed.

Everything we do that is valuable has direction.  If we want to minister, we have to be ready for it.  If we want to be to church on time, we have to iron clothes early.  If we want our children to know the Bible heartily when they are five, we have to teach it to them when they are three.

If we want our daughters to have safe respect for God’s image in her, if we want her to believe she should reject man after man until a truly godly one comes along, if  we want our daughters to believe we honor our wives, and if we want our daughters to have daughters that have daughters that love Jesus as Lord, then we need to plan it out, planning to march toward glory and purity.

No sin is unredeemable, but all bad directions pursued have little flags and markers along the way that show we are off course.

If we want to have kids that believe that the “Law of Yhwh is perfect, restoring the soul,” then we should NOT get them shirts that say “I’m the bad one” or “The thing I’m the best at is breaking the rules!”  If we want them to hide their private sexuality and to rightly parade God’s glory even in their own beauty, we should dress them modestly, and then praise their appearance.  If we want them to start strutting early, then maybe buying a onesie would put your plan right on target.

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”


The Pink Panther, Porn, and the Lord’s Supper

2009 October 3

Filed in:

To the Pure All Things Are Pure (Fidelity)


I was watching “The Pink Panther” on Hulu with my children.  I didn’t let them in on the adult humor included.

I was horrified to see the two main characters reading a magazine called: “Hotsy Totsy Girls Girls Girls”   The cartoon woman on the back of the cartoon porn mag made it clear that it wasn’t a mistake.  I assume that adults were supposed to think this was funny… and normal.

I am guessing that  maybe when adults and children watch cartoons together, there is a need to appeal to both crowds.  Little girls need to be brought to laughter, while their fathers next to them need to be told to think sexual thoughts about some other daddy’s daughter.

The cartoon doesn’t want you to exclaim, “Oh No, this trickery is blaspheming God by degrading his image!”  It doesn’t expect you to say, “Girls, this is the the kind of sin that leads God to tell Moses: ‘Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.'” (Numbers 25)

Do we tell our children that this is the kind of poison that kills men off in the Lord’s supper (1 Cor 10.1-11)?

Of course, I didn’t interrupt the short cartoon to draw their attention to what they are (at the moment) too young to get.  If they had been older, it would have been necessary to rail against the offhand degradation of the love of God.

It is sad that a Christian man could point this out about his children’s entertainment.  But sadder still is the trap for men that is so sophisticated.  It can’t be fixed because it can’t be revealed. It is sad that many men WILL NOT point this out about the cartoon, because their conscience binds them.  If we cannot reveal the sin in the cartoon because of the sin in our hearts, then we may choose to ignore the sin in the cartoon as if nothing significant is taking place.

Families are blessed by freedom, when in face of the Lord’s Table, we “go with our young and our old. … with our sons and daughters … for we must hold a feast to the LORD”  (Ex. 1o.9)  And when we go, we may face our families freely and proclaim that it is about forgiveness, for we know that we are all sinners.  But we are free to say so without fear, for we can eat it without the hypocrisy of KNOWING we are simultaneously feeding at computer screens of demons (1 Cor 10.21).  We can FEED our children.

We mustn’t miss life lessons when our children see displays of porn that make it seem tame, when in fact it “preys upon your very life” (Pr 6.26-27).  If we cannot teach our children to see evil as evil because we are friends of the evil, but only in private, then in public we will have to concede the nourishment of their souls to the message that women are not glorious, and therefore neither is God.  They will eat an increasing diet of “men are not protectors,” and therefore neither is God.

I am glad that my girls couldn’t understand the episode that I won’t be letting them see again.  The last thing I want them to imbibe is “Girls Girls Girls”.  The last thing I want to sacrifice on the altar of a Pagan god, is my children.

Thanks be to God, for men there is hope of sanctification.  I thank God that before I was married, God got a hold of my eyes and heart.  It was painful, but the deliverance freed me like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter.  I am thankful that for men like Manasseh, there is repentance (2 Chron 33).  I am thankful that like Manasseh, I can eat the peace offering of the Lord’s Supper (2 Chron 33.16).

I am thankful that the Lord offered his body and blood for me and for my offspring after me, and that when we see smut, I can say, “Children, this makes men die, but it is one of the many things for which Jesus died.”

Before God dealt with me in my young adulthood, I believed the lie that men have no hope of freedom.  And the lie that it isn’t really THAT damaging.  I needed someone to tell me that it was really bad, and that there was really hope.

So please, if you need hope to be rescued from this curse, please have it!  Please ask the Lord to restore you.  But know that you must, for while Manasseh could repent for burning his children, he could never actually get them back.  And while the meal shows forgiveness for ALL sins, this is one which Paul tells us plainly brings death to the church.

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?” (Pr 6.27 – ABOUT Sexual sin.)

There is hope in Jesus’ power:

“Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” (Prv 6.5 ABOUT Sexual sin).