Orthodoxy Challenged


Is the following any of my business, or am I a "busybody?" Am I considered neither part of the problem nor part of the solution, and just someone "stirring the pot?"

John wrote to warn those Christians about the dangers to them, 1 John 2:26. I do not identify with John, but I do with Ezekiel, 3:16ff & 33:2ff. Over the years, I have felt that my job is to warn God's people of dangerous, unbiblical situations, particularly in the religious community. This is no exception. What we see taking place is very distressing to those of us who love the Lord and know a little about the situation.

According to Scripture and older men of God (1600s to the very early 1990s), unless I am reading far too much into the article, the following sure appears to represents a serious departure from the historic Orthodox Christian faith. (I have tried to document the departure the best I could with my limited library, so the reader may consider this a "overkill.") Departures are not new and will continue, and none are immune and above departing from the Orthodox faith. However, the source is surprising and disquieting, and thus some sincere people could be caught up in the "movement" unawares. The agreements offered sound good to the natural minds of those who wish to void certain requirements of God's word.

The theme of The Biblical Examiner has been, "A Biblical Examination of Issues at Hand," and I find the following "issue at hand."

There have been a lot of sparks flying in the Reformed camp lately, with pastors publicly accusing brothers of heresy or misapplication of Scripture, creating straw man arguments instead of fairly representing the beliefs of the accused. <http://www.christianculture.com/cgi-local/npublisher/viewnews.cgi?category=3&id=1075755125>

Here is a sample of what is happening.


Article, "The Hegemonic Patriarchy"

Comments on article:

More documentation than you could possibly want to know.

Heresies Defined


The Hegemonic Patriarchy

by P. Andrew Sandlin

Today's secular culture is at war with the family. Lax divorce laws, radical feminism, rampant pornography, legalized abortion, "children's rights," mainstream homosexuality, and inheritance taxes – all these and other factors collude to assault the family, particularly the Christian family.

The (Over)Reaction

It is perhaps inevitable that the Christian reaction will at times become overreaction and that the family, a central institution in God's plan, should begin to monopolize all of life. In fact, a renewed patriarchalism in some quarters is working for hegemony over the other legitimate spheres of God's authority. But patriarchalists don't justify their (over)reaction only to the ravenous egalitarian society. They also (over)react to a reckless, egocentric Church that is oblivious to family prerogatives ("After all, I am the elder [or bishop, or deacon, or what have you], and I am the supreme authority in the Church").

But the solution to social and ecclesiastical tyranny is not patriarchal tyranny, [emp. added.] which, in fact, is no less culpable than the former. Tyranny is tyranny, and "spiritual" tyranny is perhaps the worst form of all (think: Spanish Inquisition).

Old-Fashioned Conservative Tyranny

Today's hegemonic [leadership or dominance, especially by one state or social group over others. Apparently, Sandlin thinks partriacal Christians believe they must dominate their wives and families in an almost brutal way – like a pagan overlord. Ed.] patriarchalism seems at points to bear an eerie resemblance to the pagan patriarchy [1 a form of social organization in which the father or eldest male is the head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line. 2 a system of society or government ruled by men. Ed.]of ancient Rome (before the rise of the Empire). Pre-Empire Rome was a patriarchial culture. The housefather was given virtually unlimited authority. His word was law – not metaphorically, but literally. If his wife bore a daughter, and he preferred a son, he could simply cast the daughter into the streets to die of starvation or be beaten by a wild animal. He could beat and otherwise abuse fellow family members at will. With limited exceptions, the father was the central authority in society. Many other ancient cultures were similarly clan-based, and these extended families (not just Mom and Dad and Junior and Susie, but grandparents and third cousins and "in-laws") ruled the countryside by blade and blood. At the center of this tyranny was the patriarch, generally the oldest surviving male of the family. (Mario Puzo's rendition of The Godfather furnishes an embellished, but generally accurate, portrait of this arrangement.)

For this reason it is sometimes ironic to hear Christians declare that they are championing a "conservative view of the family." If they are conserving old-fashioned pagan patriarchy, they are deviating from Biblical Faith, which repudiates this tyranny. We are called first to be obedient Christians, not card-carrying conservatives. Today's Christian patriarchalists are far removed from the violence of the pagan patriarchalists (in most cases, at least!), but in their commitment to hegemony, they are too close for comfort.

Baby Machines

Some Christian men that I have observed treat their wives as baby machines. The wife is never under any circumstances permitted to work outside the home, despite the fact that the Bible nowhere forbids such work. True, the young mother's central Biblical responsibility is domestic – her family (1 Tim. 5:14). Today's "career-minded moms" whose work is a separate track from her husband's generally conflict with the Bible's pattern of the woman as a suitable help to her husband (Gen. 2:18-25). However, the Bible does not prohibit women, including wives and mothers, from working outside the home. We must not, therefore, allow "conservative" standards to supplant Biblical standards.

Apron-Centered, Kitchen-Table Tutelage

The authority that some patriarchalists arrogate to themselves truly borders on tyranny. One has written that a father who sends his daughter off to college is guilty of irresponsibility. Apparently, all daughters must maintain residence in their father's household to be deemed "under authority." Not a shred of Biblical evidence supports this theory and, in fact, at times the father may be guilty of irresponsibility if he does not dispatch an intellectually gifted daughter to college. (The idea that children should ordinarily stay at home and take Internet college courses is fraught with peril. We will never train culture-reclaiming physicians, nuclear physicists, and engineers by such apron-centered, kitchen-table tutelage.)

Day Schools

Other patriarchalists have gone so far as to suggest that Christian day schools are sinful or erosive of the family. While this sentiment is not true of most home-schoolers, among whom are the most dedicated Christians in the nation, an increasing number of patriarchalists are dedicated to squelching top-notch, culture-reforming educational opportunities by subordinating virtually all training to the four wall [sic] of the homestead. This is a formula for cultural – and familial – defeat.

Obsequious Sons

Patriarchalists sometimes do even a greater disservice to sons. In ancient clan-based societies, a son (even one in his thirties and forties) would remain obsequiously apprenticed to his father and would become the new, blood-based patriarch only when his father died. This is a pagan idea, not a Biblical one, even thought [sic] some patriarchalists today demand almost unswerving obedience and servanthood from their forth-year old [sic.] married sons. Sometimes in the process they completely trample on their sons' obvious gifts, which could be used most profitably elsewhere. Any daughter-in-law that that [sic.] permits such an outrage will suffer greatly for it.

Disservice to the Church

Perhaps, however, the most hazardous element of the new hegemonic patriarchy is its easy diffidence or downright hostility toward the church. This patriarchalism emerges largely because too many churches are anything but "family-friendly"; and, of course, they abdicate their calling when they act so irresponsibly. The solution to this problem, however, is the reformation of the church, not the institution of "The Family Church," i.e., the Daddy pastor, the Mommy assistant pastor, and the kiddy members. The Church is authorized to do three things that no family in ordinary conditions is ever permitted to do: preserve orthodoxy; administer the sacraments; and excommunicate heretics and egregious, unrepentant sinners.

Hammering out and maintaining proper belief is not the responsibility of the family, but the church, or more accurately, true churches throughout the world. A careful scrutiny of beliefs (both true and false) demands greater expertise than the individual father (or mother!) enjoys. Orthodoxy is a communal matter, and the community in question is the church, not the family. Similarly, the church administers the sacraments. Jesus vested the authority to administer both communion and baptism to His apostles, not as fathers in their own families. And the same is true of discipline – and by this I mean ecclesiastical discipline. No husband may excommunicate his wife (though some husbands, I hear, have tried!). No father may excommunicate a child, and so on. Excommunication is the exclusive job of the church (Mt. 18). If it [sic] for this reason that the family, even an extended family, does not constitute a church. Two or more joining together to pioneer a church, searching for legitimate oversight, may, in fact, constitute a church, but this is a different matter altogether. Simply put, the family is not the church.


The new patriarchalists would be less offensive if they couched their hegemonic views, well, less hegemonically. Why not simply say, "We're attempting to recover a more consistent view of the family, and we know some dear Christians will not agree, and we know that most of orthodox Christianity stands against us, but we would humbly ask you consider these things."

No, it often is something like this: "Fathers, until we came along, have been irresponsible, and they are irresponsibly sending their daughters off to college, and they are sending their children to Christian day schools, and they are irresponsibly attending church that sponsor age-graded Sunday School. They need to quit sinning, and start taking responsibility."

I am exaggerating, but not by much. Christians, like all humans, are susceptible to fads, and this hegemonic patriarchalism is one of the latest fads that has emerged popularly, and will eventually die quietly. Until then, it may harm a number of wives and children – and, yes, fathers – whom it is creditably trying to help. We will be less likely to fall into its seductive trap if we recognize that our life must be Faith-centered, not State-centered, not Church-centered, or even family-centered.



More documentation than you could possibly want to know.

Heresies Defined

Comments Top Heresies Defined

Consider the following, and make up your own mind about the historic soundness of the above.

Politicians and preachers champion a "conservative view of the family," as they seek to win the support of both the Christian and the non-Christian. It is a safe middle of the road statement that says nothing. However, Christians must champion a thoroughly Biblical view of the family.

Let us examine some controversial things in the light of historic Orthodoxy:

Over the past 40 years in the ministry, I have found, as has every pastor, that men will build straw men as enemies in order to defend how they want to live or what they want to do and/or believe. All of us are inclined to enlarge a problem in order to justify what we want to do. ("This car is not dependable, and the body is in very poor shape. We need a new one, Honey." But the ‘91 Dodge Spirit remains dependable, commuting three hours a day, as well as making many safe 600-mile trips over the mountains. Men, don't tell me you don't do such things, for we all do. Maybe it is a new tool or entertainment center, a new computer, or hardware for the computer—"I need a color laser printer, and look at how low the prices are now.") Are straw men being built? That is, various weaknesses and holes that can be emphasized in order to change a gnat into a camel or a splinter into a log?

Note Paul's warning in Titus 3:11. Those who change or deny God's truth, more than likely have a problem they are trying to cover up– he is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself:

9 But steer clear of stupid speculations, genealogies, controversies and quarrels over the Law. They settle nothing and lead nowhere. 10 If a man is self-opinionated, warn him. But after the second warning you should reject him. 11 You can be sure that he has a moral twist, and he is self-condemned. (Titus 3, Philips Translation. Emph. added.)

How many have we met or heard who changed God's word in order to justify what they wanted to do or believe? I am afraid we have all been guilty of doing the same thing. Let us be honest, and leave those heretical ways.

What is the historic Orthodox stand of the church?

We do not want to weary the reader with quotes of godly men of the past concerning passages about husband-wife duties, so we will attempt to restrict ourselves; the passages and the godly men all say basically the same thing. I do not know about contemporary expositors, for I do not normally follow them. I assume, however, that the majority of modern expositors, if they do not ignore the passages completely, have changed the interpretation of these passages to fit changed social norms as those norms have moved away from God's word. I will probably be charged with trying to live in the past, as men look for excuses to supplant Biblical standards.

But has the word of God changed, or has society and modern, fallen man changed? Even restricting ourselves, the following is probably an overkill. Check under End Notes for further documentation. (Please note that the wording of these early men is hard to follow, but we have left the quotes as they stand.)

Thus, those who wish to disagree will have to disagree with men who were better expositors than any man today can ever hope to be. They will have to make the Word of God say things these godly men of the past probably never even considered.

I. Old-Fashioned Conservative Tyranny–"patriarchal tyranny"

Is the husband to be the patriarchal ruler in his home? Is it Biblical for the godly husband-father to have virtually unlimited authority in his home? The Biblical doctrine of the husband's authority in his home and the Biblical doctrine of the woman's submission to her husband is as unpopular today as anything can be. Women going into the factories in WWII totally destroyed those two doctrines, and few contemporary preachers or teachers will dare approach the subject in a Biblical manner. To do so will not help their "ministries."

Note: It was actually the women pushing for suffrage in the 1910s who destroyed these doctrines. Many women were forced into factories in the 1940s against their wills and would rather have been anywhere else. The earlier feminists wanted no role distinctions between men and women in careers and politics, because they felt it would give them the vote. They were the ones who insisted women get into traditionally "male" fields in order to make the stakes "even." Everything after that was just a slippery slope. See how modern feminism started in the early 1900s in TBE, Aug, 1999, <http://www.biblicalexaminer.org/w199908.htm>

What does the law of God say? Numbers 30:3-16:

Vv. 3-5, the father of an unmarried woman can void her vow on the day he hears it. The story of Dinah, the single daughter of Jacob, going out on her own is well known. Genesis 34. It appears, therefore, that an unmarried woman stayed in her father's home, under his authority and for her protection. (1 Timothy 2:11-15. This passage also forbids woman in places of authority over men, particularly in the religious area.)

Matthew Poole makes an interesting observation concerning vv. 6 & 10:

Ver. 6. An husband, to whose will and authority she was thereby made subject.
When she vowed, to wit, when she was in her father's house, as is evident by comparing Nu 30:10; and this clause seems to be added by way of exception to that which was said Nu 30:3,4, to signify, that though she were in her father's house, yet if she were married, her husband only, and not her father, could disoblige her from her vow. (Poole, Online Bible.)

Implied here, according to Poole, is that an unmarried woman can make a vow with her father's consent; however, after marriage, her new husband can void that vow made in her father's house on the day he hears it.

V. 9 the vow by a widow or divorced woman had full force, for she was not dependent upon a husband. Notice, however, it does not say the same thing about a young woman never married, v. 3. The implication here is that the never married young woman is under her father's authority until she either marries or her father dies. Single women in the New Testament, e.g., Lydia, may fit here. (Acts 16.) They were grown, mature women, so their fathers were probably dead, and they were released from the law of Numbers 30. Or they may have already been involved in the "work force" before their conversion.

Vv. 10-16, tell us that the husband of a married woman can void her vow on the day he hears it, implying that the woman is always under a man's (father, or husband) authority. However, a widow or divorced woman is not under any man's authority.

Does the New Testament change the law, or does it simply give it a modern application?

Sin has, many times, reduced God's law into rigorous rule and cruel tyranny, and the above law is no exception. (Mark 7.) Christ spoke against such rigorous rule. Ephesians 5:25-28, forbids cruel tyranny, calling on the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church. And cruel tyrannical rule might even call for church discipline, and if a church cannot or will not deal with the sin, then a Christian brother must. (Galatians 6.) How can a godly husband's authority be compared to the cruel tyranny so common even in paganism today, e.g., Mahometanism?

What kind of authority does the Lord have over His church? It is unlimited, loving authority, love that caused him to give Himself for her. The example upheld by Paul is that the husband's authority is likened to Christ's authority over the church.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5.)

Though I stand by the KJV, sometimes other translations shed a different light upon a passage:

22 You wives must learn to adapt yourselves to your husbands, as you submit yourselves to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the "head" of the wife in the same way that Christ is head of the Church and saviour of the Body. 24 The willing subjection of the Church to Christ should be reproduced in the submission of wives to their husbands in everything. 25 The husband must give his wife the same sort of love that Christ gave to the Church, when he sacrificed himself for her. (Ephesians 5, Philips Translation.)

22. (Eph 6:9.) The Church's relation to Christ in His everlasting purpose, is the foundation and archetype of the three greatest of earthly relations, that of husband and wife (Eph 5:22-33), parent and child (Eph 6:1-4), master and servant (Eph 6:4-9). The oldest manuscripts omit "submit yourselves"; supplying it from Eph 5:21, "Ye wives (submitting yourselves) unto your own husbands." "Your own" is an argument for submissiveness on the part of the wives; it is not a stranger, but your own husbands whom you are called on to submit unto (compare Ge 3:16 1Co 7:2 14:34 Col 3:18 Tit 2:5 1Pe 3:1-7). Those subject ought to submit themselves, of whatever kind their superiors are. "Submit" is the term used of wives: "obey," of children (Eph 6:1), as there is a greater equality between wives and husbands, than between children and parents.
as unto the Lord—Submissiveness is rendered by the wife to the husband under the eye of Christ, and so is rendered to Christ Himself. The husband stands to the wife in the relation that the Lord does to the Church, and this is to be the ground of her submission: though that submission is inferior in kind and degree to that which she owes Christ (Eph 5:24). (Jamieson (1802-1880), Fausset, Brown.) [1]

The husband's authority in the home is equated to Christ's authority over the church.

[Eph. 5] Ver. 24. Therefore as the Church] Denying herself to please Christ, making his will her law.
In everything] In all her husband's lawful commands and restraints. A wife should have no will of her own, but submit to her husband's; albeit there are that merrily say that when man lost free-will, woman took it up. (Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, John Trapp (1601-1699). First published by Richard Dickinson: London 1865-1868. Republished by Tanski Publications, Eureka, California. 1997)

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. ... 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. (1 Corinthians 11.)

Though there is no male nor female in Christ's spiritual kingdom, (Galatians 3:28) there certainly is male and female in Christ's physical kingdom, or we could not condemn sodomy.

V. 3, a problem in Paul's day was the pagan practice of women failing to recognize proper authority, and the paganism was being followed "by Christian females in the churches." (Barnes' Notes, Online Bible.)

8. For the man is not from the woman. He establishes by two arguments the pre-eminence, which he had assigned to men above women. The first is, that as the woman derives her origin from the man, she is therefore inferior in rank. The second is, that as the woman was created for the sake of the man, she is therefore subject to him, as the work ultimately produced is to its cause. {1} That the man is the beginning of the woman and the end for which she was made, is evident from the law. (Ge 2:18). (John Calvin ( 1509-1564), Online Bible.) [2]

Hegemonic A strong patriarchalism came about as a result of the Fall; it was not God's design from the begining:

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:16.)

Thy desire shall be to thy husband; thy desires shall be referred or submitted to thy husband's will and pleasure to grant or deny them, as he sees fit. Which sense is confirmed from Ge 4:7, where the same phrase is used in the same sense. And this punishment was both very proper for her that committed so great an error, as the eating of the forbidden fruit was, in compliance with her own desire, without asking her husband's advice or consent, as in all reason she should have done in so weighty and doubtful a matter; and very grievous to her, because women's affections use to be vehement, and it is irksome to them to have them restrained or denied. Seeing, for want of thy husband's rule and conduct, thou wast seduced by the serpent, and didst abuse that power I gave thee together with thy husband to draw him to sin, thou shalt now be brought down to a lower degree, for he shall rule thee; not with that sweet and gentle hand which he formerly used, as a guide and counsellor only, but by a higher and harder hand, as a lord and governor, to whom I have now given a greater power and authority over thee than he had before, (which through thy pride and corruption will be far more uneasy unto thee than his former empire was), and who will usurp a further power than I have given him, and will, by my permission, for thy punishment, rule thee many times with rigour, tyranny, and cruelty, which thou wilt groan under, but shalt not be able to deliver thyself from it. See 1Co 14:34 1Ti 2:11,12 1Pe 3:6. (Poole. Emp. added.) [3]

Let us observe some points here:

First, "Today's hegemonic patriarchalism seems at points to bear an eerie resemblance to the pagan patriarchy of ancient Rome (before the rise of the Empire)." [Hegemonic – leadership or dominance, especially by one state or social group over others. Apparently, Sandlin thinks patriarchal Christians believe they must dominate their wives and families in an almost brutal way – like a pagan overlord. Patriarchy – 1 a form of social organization in which the father or eldest male is the head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line. 2 a system of society or government ruled by men. Ed.]

Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, requires patriarchy, "patriarchalism," where the husband-father rules in his home. However, his rule is to be like Christ's rule over the church, loving and self-sacrificing to the point of his death for his wife, even as Christ gave himself for the church. Neither Christ nor the godly husband-father will dominate their wives and families in a brutal, tragical way – like pagan overlords. God established patriarchal authority before the fall. Sin corrupted the relationship. We will see these thoughts further developed below.

In short, Scripture (Old and New Testaments ) requires patriarchy as demonstrated by Christ and lived out by godly men throughout the ages. See <http://www.hnrc.org/misc/CreationofWoman.pdf.>

The only other option to "patriarchalism" is "equal rights," where the wife and husband have equal authority as promoted by the world, flesh and the devil today. Is it not Roman doctrine that says the Church is equal with Christ?

Second, the woman's desire shall be to thy husband. However, sin causes her to desire to rule over her husband, or to at least be on equal footing with him. And sin causes the man to see no harm in her ruling with or even over him.

Third, And he shall rule over thee. Sin causes him to desire to rule with a "rod of iron." Or sin may cause him to see no need to rule at all, turning the control of his family over to his wife.

Fourth, patriarchalism was established before the fall. However, sin not only caused God to increase the "hold" of patriarchy, but causes the man to misuse the authority he was given. He is now inclined to be a despotic, tyrannical ruler, "crushing the woman into a slave." However, sin-destroying grace changes, but does not cancel, patriarchy. Rather, it changes it into the pattern of Christ's loving rule of His Bride, the church. Should not sinful, despotic, tyrannical rules in the family who are observed by a "brother" be dealt with according to Galatians 6? Imagine how tyrannical Sarai was against Hagar after the Lord told Hagar to return to Sarai, and submit herself under her hands. Genesis 16:1-9.

Though Genesis 2:18-25 might imply that the woman was given equal authority, we cannot escape the fact that she was made for man, to be his help meet. Thus, she was not made to be on her own, to pursue her own goals in life. Her purpose in creation was clearly to help her husband pursue his God-given goals.

The woman is punished not only with pain in childbearing, but also with more physical infirmities as well as greater measures of mental and spiritual pain and anguish. These things remind all of Eve's daughters "of the fateful deed of the first mother." (Leopold.) The Lord tells us to consider the woman the weaker vessel, 1 Peter 3:7. Who is the man who will deny God, and say she is on equal footing with the man?

Can a charge of patriarchal tyranny be leveled against a husband-father who exercises his Biblical authority and responsibility in his home?

II. Baby Machines

"Some Christian men that I have observed treat their wives as baby machines." Are Christian wives commanded to be stay- at -home "baby machines"? Obviously, Scripture nowhere says, "Thou shalt not work outside of the home." However, Scripture clearly declares that wives are to be keepers at home and in subjection to their own husbands, Titus 2:5, Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1, 5—Biblical standards for men, women and for the home are thus established by Scripture, not by society, the church, nor by wise-sounding men. Moreover, the woman in the work force is not being subject to her own husband in all things, unless she is working for her husband, as do some women I know.

Actually, the woman in Proverbs 31 was a very intelligent working woman, but her work was centered around her home, and was under her husband's authority. However, no amount of human reasoning, tradition nor social change can get around the clear Scriptural admonition for women to be "keepers at home." (Do social conditions change the law-word of God, or simply change the applications?) Why do the older expositors boldly confront the keepers at home passages, e.g., Titus 2:5, while the modern ones ignore them, or try to explain them away?

Notice that the widow of 1 Timothy 5 was well-known in her community for her good works. Evidently, she was not locked in the house by her patriarchal, tyrannical, abusive husband, as some would have us believe is typical of patriarchal men. Rather, as time and opportunity permitted, she had been out relieving the afflicted, and doing other Christ-honoring works while she had been married. I believe this is typical throughout Scripture, including the Proverbs 31 lady. She was very much active in the community, but it was always under her husband's authoritative, protective care.

Genesis 1:28 said, "be fruitful and multiply," and the woman is the one created to have the babies. It is not the man, but the woman who is the (using a crass term) "Baby Machine," if a society will have babies. Maybe we should have "Test Tube" babies bred in laboratories, raised in day care centers and Christian Schools so there is no need for "Baby Machines" and stay -at -home moms. Sin causes both the man and woman to despise the woman's place in society, which is to have babies, a task neither assigned to nor possible for men, and to care for the home.

III. Apron-Centered, Kitchen-Table Tutelage, that is, Culture-reclaiming daughters

Apparently, all daughters must maintain residence in their father's household to be deemed "under authority." [Not a shred of Biblical evidence supports this theory and, in fact, at times the father may be guilty of irresponsibility if he does not dispatch an intellectually gifted daughter to college. (The idea that children should ordinarily stay at home and take Internet college courses is fraught with peril. We will never train culture-reclaiming physicians, nuclear physicists, and engineers by such apron-centered, kitchen-table tutelage.)

Here we have a clear Biblical problem. Implied above is that gifted daughters should be sent out from under the father's watchful care and authority to be trained as "culture-reclaiming physicians, nuclear physicists, and engineers..." (See the law, Numbers 30:3-16 above.)

To whom, may we ask, was the dominion mandate given? Is the woman the one equipped and commissioned by God to reclaim a fallen culture? Was the subdue command, dominion mandate, given to the man or to the woman, Genesis 1:28? Can the mandate apply to both equally? Was man created to help the woman fulfill the culture-claiming, dominion mandate, or was the woman created to help the man fulfill the culture-claiming, dominion mandate? Is the woman's calling to be help meets and keepers of the home and training the children, or is her calling to reclaim the fallen culture by being physicians, nuclear physicists, or engineers? (Titus 2, &c.)

Are women called by God the same as are men to take dominion in the various high-stress areas of life, e.g., physicians, nuclear physicists, and engineers? Is she designed and equipped by God to be able to handle such stress outside of the home, or is she the weaker vessel? Did God give "intelligence" to women so they can compete with men in the work place, or did He give that intelligence so she can help her husband and instill godliness and practical training in her children? What about Proverbs 31? The woman there was obviously a very intelligent woman, but that intelligence was used for the success of the family under her husband's direction. Who was assigned to sit in the gate as an elder, the husband or the wife?

Where does culture start if not in the home? Should not the daughters be trained to be "culture-reclaiming" wives and mothers? History is replete with illustrations of how keepers at home reclaimed culture by training their children in the ways of the Lord. It is the mother at home training the children who will have the greatest, longest-lasting culture-reclaiming results. Her results will far outshine and outlast the women departed from their homes and husbands' protection to be physicians, nuclear physicists, and engineers.

Jonathan Edwards' wife, Sarah, was a stay-at home-mom, and look at the culture-reclaiming influence she had through her children:

A study by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society revealed that the descendants of Jonathan and Sarah Pierrepont Edwards included 13 college presidents; 65 professors; 3 senators; 30 judges; 100 lawyers; 60 physicians; 75 military officers; 100 preachers and missionaries; 60 prominent authors; 1 vice president; 80 governors, foreign ministers, and other public officials; and 295 college graduates. (Jonathan Edwards, Spark of the Great Awakening, Dennis Peterson. Homeschooling Today, Jan/Feb. 2004, p. 39)

It is not the women physicians, nuclear physicists, and engineers, but the stay-at-home mom helping her husband in his calling and training their children in the ways of the Lord who will control the future for Christ.

Consider: In Genesis 1:26-28, God gives the Dominion Mandate to both Adam and Eve – not just Adam. Both are to be dominion-takers, but not in the same way. Obviously, when God said, "Be fruitful and multiply," He did not mean for Adam to have the babies. But Eve could not produce children by herself, either. God gave the Dominion Mandate to both man and women together, yet He intended them to exercise dominion in their own distinctive roles. The woman's role at home is taking dominion of her area of responsibility. Thus, women who are keepers-at-home, are having babies and are training their children in the ways of the Lord, are taking dominion over their God-assigned area. They are reclaiming culture through their children far more effectively than any woman in the work place could ever hope of doing, e.g., Sara Edwards, q.v. And their results will be far more lasting. It is an insult to godly women everywhere to say that women who are fulfilling God's role as keepers-at-home and training the children are not reclaiming culture. Both men and women take dominion and reclaim culture as they work together in their God-given roles. It is also an insult to all people, men and women, to imply that only by going to college can one be effective dominion takers.

IV. What about "Day Schools?"

Every church in which I have served (three) had a Christian school, including the one of which I became pastor in 1983. In every case, the Christian School became the center of focus rather than the family. My experience with "my" Christian School was that it was not much, if any, better than the public school, in terms of "cliques" and pairing off for dating. The school accepted unchurched young people, and those young people were not a good influence on our church children. (In the three schools, the families had to build their schedules around the school and church activities. I well remember one of the pastors under whom I served saying in a staff meeting to the youth leader, "If we don't provide something for the family every night here at the church, they will only stay home and watch TV." So the goal was to keep the families with children busy at the church every night except maybe one night a week.)

Furthermore, though the three schools were arms of the churches where I served, the leaders of those schools acted as independent entities rather than as an arm of the churches.

Following the link "project 33" from Sandlin's razormouth.com, will take you to a teen ministry, then to Cornerstone Christian Schools, K-12. Evidently, there is a reason to promote this school and teen ministry <http://www.cornerstonechristian.org/cornerstonechristian.org-asp//default.asp>. I wonder if the reason might have anything to do with the support of Christian Day Schools, apparently over home education? I know of no Christian School in which the majority of the teaching staff school is not women who must submit to men other than their husbands, or if single, other than their fathers, which clearly violates the law of Christ: Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is of his church (Eph. 5:25); and therefore as the members are subject to the head without reasoning, so should the wife be unto her husband. ... Therefore the wife must signify that she has a feeling for him in her heart, as the image of God's majesty, glory, and sovereignty, through her whole behaviour in a meek and quiet spirit; and if she rebels against this, she raises up against the Lord himself. (Titus, by Thomas Taylor, first published, 1619. Klock & Klock reprint, 1980. Pp. 274, 275.)

A wife working outside the home under another man's authority clearly violates God's requirement for the wife to be subject to her own husband in every thing. When the wife, or daughter, places herself in subjection to a man other than her God-ordained authority, "she raises up against the Lord himself." Moreover, those who encourage wives and daughters to remove themselves from under their Biblical authority in every thing are also in rebellion.

It is worthy of note that Sandlin links to the Nehemiah Institute from his "Center for Cultural Leadership" <http://www.christianculture.com>. My daughter took the Nehemiah Institute's Peers test, and there was not one question among the 70 questions that dealt with the Biblical role of the man nor of the woman. <http://www.nehemiahinstitute.com> My wife commented to me about the Institute's avoidance of that critical Biblical subject before this present "flap" arose. We both thought it mighty strange that a group interested in reclaiming culture failed to address the most important aspect of culture–the Biblical roles of men and women.

Another point worth making:

[Deuteronomy 22] Ver. 5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, &c.] It being very unseemly and impudent, and contrary to the modesty of her sex; or there shall not be upon her any "instrument of a man" {f}, any utensil of his which he makes use of in his trade and business; as if she was employed in it, when her business was not to do the work of men, but to take care of her house and family; and so this law may be opposed to the customs of the Egyptians, as is thought, from whom the Israelites were lately come; whose women, as Herodotus {g} relates, used to trade and merchandise abroad, while the men kept at home; and the word also signifies armour {h}, as Onkelos renders it; and so here forbids women putting on a military habit and going with men to war, as was usual with the eastern women; and so Maimonides {i} illustrates it, by putting a mitre or an helmet on her head, and clothing herself with a coat of mail; and in like manner Josephus {k} explains it,

" take heed, especially in war, that a woman do not make use of the habit of a man, or a man that of a woman;"

nor is he to be found fault with so much as he is by a learned writer {l}, since he does not restrain it wholly to war, though he thinks it may have a special regard to that; for no doubt the law respects the times of peace as well as war, in neither of which such a practice should obtain: but the Targum of Jonathan very wrongly limits it to the wearing fringed garments, and to phylacteries, which belonged to men:... (John Gill.)

The failure of the church and those who profess to be great leaders of the church, or who want to be, to take a stand concerning men and woman's proper role in society has led to what we have today; women in the military, a clear violation of Deuteronomy 22:5.

V. Obsequious [excessively obedient, ed.] Sons

Did not the Old Testament saints stay around their fathers, even after establishing their own homes? I do not say such a plan is practical in today's very mobile, industrialized, Western society, but claiming that a close family relationship where the sons stick close to home "is a pagan idea, not a Biblical one" ignores the Old Testament saints, e.g., Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, &c.

Clearly, the sons are told to leave their parents and cleave to their wives, but that does not mean that they are to ignore their parents, and get far away from them as fast as they can. We are close to Amish and Mennonite communities, and we have several Christian friends who live among them. One of the enviable things about the Amish-Mennonite life-style is the family orientation. The fathers prepare the sons, and try to pass along what they have gained both in material things and in practical knowledge. (Proverbs 13:22.) I realize their's is basically a farming community, with some work outside the family in factories that has to do with working with your hands, and not everyone can do that in an industrialized society.

I would have loved to have remained close to my father and apprenticed myself to him, for he was one of the best in the steel fabrication trade, and then live close by, but the Lord would not permit it.

We need young men, not women, to reclaim culture by training as physicians, nuclear physicists, and engineers, but those things must be done without sacrificing the close family unit. Where must culture be reclaimed—in the family or in the work place? How much of society's problems can be traced to the lack of a close family unit?

VI. The Church

"The family is not the church" is certainly above doubt, and the statement is good in theory. Reality, however, tells a different story. Is it not the husband's responsibility to protect his family from error? Can a godly father place his family in a church that stands against the Orthodox faith? I have heard from more than one man where the only "decent" local church has threatened to excommunicate them for not agreeing with their unorthodox doctrine. How many small communities have only one or two churches, and both promote sodomy and women preachers? Then what is the godly man to do with his family?

Can a father place himself and his family under the authority of a church steeped in false doctrines, and where his family and Biblical standards are undermined? Can faithful Christians unite with churches that condone, and even practice, pagan activity and work at dividing up the family? (2 Corinthians 6:7.) I have sat in staff meetings where the "youth leader" was told by the pastor to "win the young people to himself, in order to keep them coming to church when their parents don't attend regularly." We receive mailings from a local church in Winchester, VA, telling of the "good time" the unsaved have at their youth meetings.

How much reformation can be done in a local church before one is considered undermining the proper authority in that church?

I'm afraid I have more questions than answers.

End Notes:


In everything, except that which relates to conscience and religion, he has authority. But there his authority ceases. (Barnes' Notes. Albert Barnes, 1798-1870)

[V. 23.] Christ's authority is exercised over the church for the saving of her from evil, and the supplying of her with every thing good for her. In like manner should the husband be employed for the protection and comfort of his spouse; and therefore she should the more cheerfully submit herself unto him. (Matthew Henry, 1662-1714. He was educated privately in the home of his father, and at an academy at Islington. Who, s.v., Henry, Matthew.)


V3, the Corinthian women, on the ground of the abolition of distinction of sexes in Christ, claimed equality with the male sex... (JFB, Online Bible.)

V. 3, "the man is called the head of the woman, because by God's ordinance he is to rule over her, Ge 3:16; he hath an excellency above the woman, and a power over her." (Matthew Poole (1624 - 1679), Online Bible.)

(7) He proves the inequality of the woman by the fact that from the man is the substance of which woman was first made. (Geneva, 1599, Online Bible)

Ver. 8. For the man is not of the woman, &c.] In the present state of things, and according to the ordinary course of generation and propagation of mankind, man is of the woman, though not without the means of man; he is conceived in her, bore by her, and born of her; but the apostle respects the original formation of man, as he was immediately made by God out of the dust of the earth, before the woman was in being, and so not of her:
but the woman of the man; she was made out of his rib, and took both her name and nature from him; God was the author, and man the matter of her being; her original [sic] under God, is owing to him; and therefore as he was first in being, he must be superior to her: this serves to prove all that has been as yet said; as that man is the head of the woman, the woman is the glory of man, what he may glory in as being from him; and therefore there should be this difference in their appearance at public worship. (John Gill (b. 1697), Online Bible.)

Ver. 8. Here the apostle openeth or proveth what he had before said of the woman's being the glory of the man; the woman was made of the man; the man was not made of a rib taken out of the woman, but the woman was made of a rib taken out of the man; we have the history, #Ge 2:21,22; and from hence the apostle argueth her subjection to the man. (Poole)


[Genesis 3:16] ... The punishment consisted in an enfeebling of nature, in consequence of sin, which disturbed the normal relation between body and soul. — The woman had also broken through her divinely appointed subordination to the man; she had not only emancipated herself from the man to listen to the serpent, but had led the man into sin. For that, she was punished with a desire bordering upon disease ([Hebrew word] from [Hebrew word] to run, to have a violent craving for a thing), and with subjection to the man. "And he shall rule over thee." Created for the man, the woman was made subordinate to him from the very first; but the supremacy of the man was not intended to become a despotic rule, crushing the woman into a slave, which has been the rule in ancient and modern Heathenism, and even in Mahometanism also-a rule which was first softened by the sin-destroying grace of the Gospel, and changed into a form more in harmony with the original relation, viz., that of a rule on the one hand, and subordination on the other, which have their roots in mutual esteem and love. (Keil-Delitzsch (1813-1890).)

The second part of the penalty is: "Unto thy husband thou shalt be attracted." Teshûqah might be rendered "desire" or even better "yearning." This yearning is morbid. It is not merely sexual yearning. It includes the attraction that woman experiences for man which she cannot root from her nature. Independent feminists may seek to banish it, but it persists in cropping out. It may be normal. It often is not but takes a perverted form even to the point of nymphomania. It is a just penalty. She who sought to strive apart from man and to act independently of him in the temptation finds a continual attraction for him to be her unavoidable lot. (How many women get out of a terrible, even abusive, situation with a man, yet willingly get right back in it? Ed.)
The third part of the penalty is: "he shall rule over thee." She sought to control him by taking control into her own hands (II Tim. 2:14) and even by leading him on in the temptation. As a result her penalty is that she shall be the one that is controlled. Man's position in reference to woman now is fixed: he bears the rule. When all is done in the spirit of Christ, such rule is not harsh or unnatural; nor is it cancelled. There it expresses itself in such a way that it is not to be felt as a burden. But where sin prevails, such rule may be degraded into a miserable domination, such as the East has particularly, experienced. God did not ordain this harshness, but man transcended his rights, and sin poisoned a necessary restriction. This word, then, does not reflect the narrowness of the East but is a wholesome restraint and reminder for womankind.
The expression, "I will increase very greatly," is the usual verb plus absolute infinitive. On the ending of the infinitive see G. K. 75 ff. Verbs of ruling with be; see K. S. 212 e. (Herbert Carl Leupold, (b. 1891). Online Bible..)

And he shall rule over thee (Hebrew word).] Yet not with rigour. She must, though to her grief and regret, be subject to all her husband's lawful commands and restraints. But he must carry himself as a man of knowledge towards her, and make her yoke as easy as may be. It is remarkable that when the apostle had bid "wives, submit to your own husbands," &c.; {Col 3:19} he doth not say, Husbands, rule over your wives, for that they will do fast enough without bidding; but, "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter unto them." (Trapp, Online Bible.)

and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, which some understand of her desire to the use of the marriage bed, as Jarchi, and even notwithstanding her sorrows and pains in child bearing; but rather this is to be understood of her being solely at the will and pleasure of her husband; that whatever she desired should be referred to him, whether she should have her desire or not, or the thing she desired; it should be liable to be controlled by his will, which must determine it, and to which she must be subject, as follows;
and he shall rule over thee, with less kindness and gentleness, with more rigour and strictness: it looks as if before the transgression there was a greater equality between the man and the woman, or man did not exercise the authority over the woman he afterwards did, or the subjection of her to him was more pleasant and agreeable than now it would be; and this was her chastisement, because she did not ask advice of her husband about eating the fruit, but did it of herself, without his will and consent, and tempted him to do the same. (Gill, Online Bible. Emp. added.)

More information than you could possibly want to know.

Comments Top Heresies Defined

Titus 2:5

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

The Lord, in both 1 Timothy 2:9-14 and Titus 2:1-5, protects or safeguards marriage. If these instructions are followed, the enemy's opportunity to gain the heart of the wife will be greatly restricted. Furthermore, women who go outside the home to places where they have close contact with other women's husbands are commonly used by the enemy to win the hearts of other women's husbands.

Moreover, the instructions (of 1 Timothy 2:9-14) are to women professing godliness, so it is safe to assume that neither Titus 2:1-5 nor 1 Timothy 2 applies to those making no such profession, though these are still good common sense instructions even for them: their marriages will be preserved in many cases. Also, the reason for the instructions given in this passage is clearly stated by Paul—v. 14, the woman was deceived in the transgression. So the instructions are for the woman's protection from her propensity toward deception, and thus her family being destroyed.

Comments from the past.

(Primarily from Titus, by Thomas Taylor, first published, 1619. Klock & Klock reprint, 1980. [Taylor])

Keepers at home.

Chastity then is the main marriage duty, and the undefiled bed the honour of it (Heb. 13:4). So our apostle brings it in, like some honourable lady, with attendants going before her, and some safeguarding behind her. All the marriage duties which went before chastity made way for it; and all those that follow are its preservatives. Yea, all may be known at sight to belong to such a noble mistress.

Of them all, the Holy Ghost thought this one, homekeeping, fittest to follow at her heels; for homekeeping is indeed chastity's best keeper. Not that a woman is never to be found out of doors, for many necessary and just occasions call her abroad. (1) As a Christian, the public duties of piety and worship; and the more private duties of love and works of mercy, in visiting and helping the sick and poor. (2) As a wife, both with her husband (when he shall require it) or without him, for the necessary provision of the household and such
like. But the thing here condemned is the affection of gadding at any hour, to hear or tell news or to seek merriments or company, accounting their own house a prison rather than a home, and easily forsaking it without just occasion. This is justly condemned.

Reason 1. This is a forsaking and flying for the time, out of the calling in which they ought to abide; for their calling is commonly indoors, to keep the household in good order; and therefore for them to wander from their own place is as if a bird should wander from ner [sic] own nest (Prov. 27:8).

Reason 2. This is the highway to become busybodies; for what weighty matters call them out of their calling? Is it not to prattle of persons and actions which concern them not? Thus the apostle couples these together, "idle and busybodies" (1 Tim. 5:13). Those who are idle in their own duties [homekeeping, ed.] are most busy in other men's; and these busybodies have two special marks to be known by, their open ears and their loose tongues.

Reason 3. The Holy Ghost makes this a note of a whorish woman; she is everywhere except where she should be -sometimes gadding in the streets with Tamar, sometimes in the fields with Dinah, sometimes outside at her door; but her feet cannot abide in her house (Prov. 7:11). And even if her body is within doors, her heart and senses will be without. Jezebel must be gazing out the window; but if the angel asks where Sarah is, the answer comes, She is within the tent; and the daughters of Sarah will be within their tents, not in the taverns, nor straggling so far abroad that their husbands cannot readily answer where they are.

Reason 4. They lay themselves open to desperate and unavoidable evils, if they make no bones of violating this commandment of God. How Satan watches all advantages to take them, when they are out of their ways! And how easily he prevails against them, when they have plucked themselves from under God's protection. Dinah was no sooner assaulted than overcome; Eve was no sooner separated from Adam than set upon, and no sooner set upon than vanquished. Women who easily forsake their own stations are given over, if not so far as these, yet so far as to forget themselves by unchristian speeches and actions, which they have good cause afterward to lament with sighs and tears. (Taylor, p. 272, 273]

"Subject unto their husbands."

Marriage in itself is neither virtue nor vice; yet it is a shop of either, according to the qualities or practices of the persons married. And therefore this is the seventh marriage virtue, prescribed to the younger women, and for it there is great reason and necessity.

Reason 1. If we consider the law of creation, written by God's own finger in the hearts of all men, used in all nations, and enacted by the natural light of heathens into the public laws, we find that the wife should be subject unto her own husband. This is one reason given by the apostle, that Adam was first created and then Eve (1 Tim. 2:13). [Ibid.]

Outside the home in the workplace clearly violates this command, for the wife, or daughter, clearly places herself in subjection to a man other than her own husband.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22.)

4. In everything, except that which relates to conscience and religion, he has authority. But there his authority ceases. (Barnes')

[V.] 22. (Eph 6:9.) The Church's relation to Christ in His everlasting purpose, is the foundation and archetype of the three greatest of earthly relations, that of husband and wife (Eph 5:22-33), parent and child (Eph 6:1-4), master and servant (Eph 6:4-9). The oldest manuscripts omit "submit yourselves"; supplying it from #Eph 5:21, "Ye wives (submitting yourselves) unto your own husbands." "Your own" is an argument for submissiveness on the part of the wives; it is not a stranger, but your own husbands whom you are called on to submit unto (compare Ge 3:16 1Co 7:2 14:34 Col 3:18 Tit 2:5 1Pe 3:1-7). Those subject ought to submit themselves, of whatever kind their superiors are. "Submit" is the term used of wives: "obey," of children (Eph 6:1), as there is a greater equality between wives and husbands, than between children and parents.

as unto the Lord—Submissiveness is rendered by the wife to the husband under the eye of Christ, and so is rendered to Christ Himself. The husband stands to the wife in the relation that the Lord does to the Church, and this is to be the ground of her submission: though that submission is inferior in kind and degree to that which she owes Christ (Eph 5:24). (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown.)

Continually, Scripture warns against the church submitting itself to any other authority other than her lawful Husband's, Christ; many of the same men who allow their wives to submit to others preach against the wrong submission of the church. Men allow their wives and daughters to submit themselves to authorities other than their husband or father, as the case must be.

Reason 2. Consider God's law and institution after the fall. "Your desire shall be unto him, and he shall rule over you" (Gen. 3:16); as if he had said, Since you cannot rule yourself, it is now especially fitting that you should be put under the rule and power of another. Yea, though this subjection is not so liberal, sweet, and free as before the fall, yet it is the apostle's reason, that Adam was not first seduced, but Eve; and therefore her honour was first lost, and a less liberal subjection was more securely bound upon her.
Reason 3. The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is of his church (Eph. 5:25); and therefore as the members are subject to the head without reasoning, so should the wife be unto her husband. ... Therefore the wife must signify that she has a feeling for him in her heart, as the image of God's majesty, glory, and sovereignty, through her whole behaviour in a meek and quite spirit; and if she rebels against this, she raises up against the Lord himself. (Taylor, pp. 274, 275.)

Thus the danger of being under another man's authority is the warning of 1 Timothy 2:14—being especially subject to deception, she is placed under her husband's (or father's) loving, watchful eye.

"The woman does not lose her rational power of thought and responsibility by abiding in the place assigned her by the gospel; and she also has a right to prove all things—only in a manner suited to her position—in order that she may hold fast that which is good, and reject what is otherwise..." The woman, normally, has a gentler, more loving and sympathetic nature, which in places outside the home can lead to serious problems. The man, on the other hand, with his governing powers, as a rule is inclined the opposite direction. (1 Timothy 2:11. Pastoral Epistles, Patrick Fairbairn. Orginally published by T & T Clark, 1874. Klock & Klock reprint, 1980. P. 129.)

"In many other things woman may be his equal; in loveliness, and grace, and beauty, and tenderness, and gentleness, she is far his superior; but these are not the qualities adapted for government." (Ephesians 5:22, Barnes.)

May the husband beat his wife, to force her unto this subjection? It seems not, for: (a) There is no word or example for it in the scriptures. (b) No man ever hated, much less beat, his own flesh, except in madness. (c) Her subjection must not be servile, but as that of a member to the head. ...
"That the word of God be not evil spoken of."
These words contain a general reason enforcing all the former duties. By "the word of God" is meant the doctrine of the gospel, taught, received, and professed by believers in all ages. As this holy gospel is glorious in itself, so its glory and honour ought to be preserved, yea and advanced in the lives of all who look for salvation by it.
Our apostle then concludes that the word is blasphemed when the lives of its professors are not attuned unto it. And this may happen in two ways, either by doing what is prohibited, or else by not doing what is prescribed. The latter is here especially condemned, i.e. a life idly led in regard to Christian practices. The apostle has not in the former verses reproved vices, but has recommended virtues, and all upon this ground, "that the word of God be not evil spoken of"; which shows us that to be idle or negligent in the work of the Lord is sinful in such a one. (Tylor, p. 175, 276.)

Not only to the women who remove themselves from God's appointed place blaspheme God and pollute His name, but those who allow or encourage them in their removal also blaspheme God. And they are being watched by the heathens as they submit to pagan masters in the work place.

Doct. Profession without practice strikes not only the person professing, but also the word of God which he professes, by giving occasion to the profane to blaspheme and scoff at God's holy religion (Rom. 2:24).
Reason 1. Such is the malice of the Devil and his instruments, that hating God himself, they turn everything they can against God and his truth, for it is a light revealing their darkness. ...
Reason 2. The Lord imputes this sin less to those who blaspheme the truth, than to those who are movers and occasioners of this sin. "When they entered among the heathen, they polluted my name" (Ezek. 36:20); ... (Ibid., pp. 276, 277.)

Let us then beware of staining our holy profession with unholy practices. The reasons are all around us.
(i) For others, they are either godly or wicked. For the godly, we are bound to confirm and strengthen them. Women professing religion are enjoined all these former duties in order that, though their husbands were unconverted, yet they might win them; or at least the gospel would not be rejected as a teacher of discord. For enemies, all of them watch for some colour of your sides to reproach the truth; but by your watch over your life you may reclaim them; or if they are incurable, at least you shall convince them in their practices, damp and shut their mouths, and get reverence to yourself even in their own conscience; and thus by living without rebuke, you shall shine out and rebuke a crooked and perverse generation (Phil. 2:15). (Ibid., 277, 278.)

Sadly, Christian women going out among the pagans and submitting to them in the work place has become so common that neither the Christians nor the pagans think anything of it, let alone consider what the Word of God has to say.

(ii) Considering yourself: As a professor, you are set upon a scaffold.
(c) Third, what can Satan himself do, more than to lay stumblingblocks to withdraw men from God? And wherein can a man more resemble the Devil, than in showing himself as an angel of light, standing among the sons of God, when indeed he remains a foul spirit of darkness?
Use 4. This doctrine reprehends various sorts of men.
(c) A third sort take themselves farther than either of the former, and perhaps have found some grace in their hearts, but yet they do not watch over themselves, nor give their hearts unto this doctrine; but they become remiss in their care and diligence, and stand so loosely that by some fearful stroke or other thay [sic] may dishonour at once God, his word, themselves, and their profession. And though they can truly say, My course is not that of the swearer, drunkard, or adulterer, yet by becoming slavish to some one lust, or by sliding into some one unchristian action, they more dishonour God than some other men by a thousand oaths or perjuries.
How then may we so carry ourselves that the word of God may not be evil spoken of? Lay up these rules of direction.
(b) Never profess in word that doctrine whose power you mean to deny; but gird your loins with the girdle of truth, for then you will hold out as an ornament of that truth which you profess. ...
(c) In everything regard God's name more than your own; you are taught to pray, "Hallowed be thy name," before forgiveness of your sin, or your own salvation. A man carefully defends his name; he will redeem and rescue his name, if it is hazarded, with all his might; and much more should we defend God's.
(e) Take not all the liberty you may, but sometimes depart from your right before you will dishonour the gospel. Christ in this case departed from his right, and paid custom; so did his disciples; and men do not imitate their blessed example, if they take all their liberty, and never regard what evil will follow of it. The heart must make answer here to two questions, Is this my right, and, Will it do my profession no wrong? Then I may take all my right and use my liberty, and else I may not.
(F) Pray with David, "Lord, let no man be ashamed because of me." What a grief and cut it would be for thee to bear the Papists' triumph because of me; and for the atheists and scoffers, because of me, to say, Oh, this is the stamp of all professors, and therefore I will never believe one of them at all! Does not the offence of one of Christ's little ones bring woe enough, but must you offend them all by your sin?
So much of the duties of the younger women. (Taylor, pp. 278-281.)

Rushdoony quotes Sorin (1840): "‘Again, as it is the duty of women to be keeper at home, and not to be wandering from her place, like an unhappy spirit seeking rest and finding none Titus ii. 5, so most unquestionably, it is the duty of the husband to render that home as interesting and cheerful as possible...'
It is precisely the family order described by Sorin against which much revolutionary activity is directed." (Institutes of Biblical Law, I.205.)

1 Timothy 2:12-15:

Reasons for the Apostolic injunction respecting the subjection and silence of women (vv. 12-15).

Reason 1 ..., from the order in which the sexes were created. Adam was first formed; then Eve. The priority in creation and a certain superiority (ver. 13). ...
Reason 2 ..., from the history of the Fall. In the Mosaic accont, Adam is not said to have been ‘deceived'; but the word is applied to herself by Eve in Gen. iii. 13. Eve was deceived; Adam was rather overpersuaded (ver. 14). ... [Obs. 1. ...The point is that Eve's facility in yielding to the deceiver warrants the Apostolic rule which forbids a woman to teach.] ...
(Explanatory Analysis of St. Paul's First Epistle to Timothy, H.P. Liddon. Originally published by Longmans, Green, and Co. 1897. Klock & Klock reprint, 1978. Pp. 18, 19,)


Added note of interest: , A.D. 240


Thou wishest, O Christian woman, that the matrons should be as the ladies of the world. Thou surroundest thyself with gold, or with the modest silken garment. Thou givest the terror of the law from thy ears to the wind. Thou affectest vanity with all the pomp of the devil. Thou art adorned at the looking-glass with thy curled hair turned back from thy brow. And moreover, with evil purposes, thou puttest on false medicaments, on thy pure eyes the stibium, with painted beauty, or thou dyest thy hair that it may be always black. God is the overlooker, who dives into each heart. But these things are not necessary for modest women. Pierce thy breast with chaste and modest feeling. The law of God bears witness that such laws fail from the heart which believes; to a wife approved of her husband, let it suffice that she is so, not by her dress, but by her good disposition. To put on clothes which the cold and the heat or too much sun demands, only that thou mayest be approved modest, and show forth the gifts of thy capacity among the people of God. Thou who wast formerly most illustrious, givest to thyself the guise of one who is contemptible. She who lay without life, was raised by the prayers of the widows. She deserved this, that she should be raised from death, not by her costly dress, but by her gifts. Do ye, O good matrons, flee from the adornment of vanity; such attire is fitting for women who haunt the brothels. Overcome the evil one, O modest women of Christ. Show forth all your wealth in giving.


Hear my voice, thou who wishest to remain a Christian woman, in what way the blessed Paul commands you to be adorned. Isaiah, moreover, the teacher and author that spoke from heaven, for he detests those who follow the wickedness of the world, says: The daughters of Zion that are lifted up shall be brought low. It is not right in God that a faithful Christian woman should be adorned. Dost thou seek to go forth after the fashion of the Gentiles, O thou who art consecrated to God? God's heralds, crying aloud in the law, condemn such to be unrighteous women, who in such wise adorn themselves. Ye stain your hair; ye paint the opening of your eyes with black; ye lift up your pretty hair one by one on your painted brow; ye anoint your cheeks with some sort of ruddy color laid on; and, moreover, earrings hang down with very heavy weight. Ye bury your neck with necklaces; with gems and gold ye bind hands worthy of God with an evil presage. Why should I tell of your dresses, or of the whole pomp of the devil? Ye are rejecting the law when ye wish to please the world. Ye dance in your houses; instead of psalms, ye sing love songs. Thou, although thou mayest be chaste, dost not prove thyself so by following evil things. Christ therefore makes you, such as you are, equal with the Gentiles. Be pleasing to the hymned chorus, and to an appeased Christ with ardent love fervently offer your savor to Christ.

Instructions of Commodianus (AD 240), Ante-Nicene Fathers, IV.214, 215. Commodianus (c. 200-c. 275) was probably a North-African bishop of whom little is known. Born in a pagan home, but won to Christianity through reading Scripture. Though an honest student of Scripture, his theology is not reliable. He gives a painful picture of the decline of godliness in his days. (‘ Fathers' Introductory Note, and Who, s.v., COMMODIANUS.)

Heresies Defined

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Below are some quotes concerning heresies. I leave it to the reader to follow through the implications of the quotes. We dealt with the issue, heresies, in TBE, Summer, 2000, posted at <http://www.biblicalexaminer.org/w200007.html>

John Gill:

[2 Timothy 2:15, 16] The ministry of false teachers is mere babbling; a voice, and nothing else, as the man said of his nightingale; a sound of words, but no solid matter in them; great swelling words of vanity, like large bubbles of water, look big, and make a great noise, but have nothing in them; contain nothing but vain, empty, idle, and trifling stuff; what is unprofitable and unedifying, yea, what is profane, contrary to the nature and perfections of God, and not agreeable to the doctrine which is according to godliness; and being palmed upon the Holy Scriptures, is a profanation of them. And all such wicked and empty prate, and babbling, is to be shunned, avoided, and discouraged, refused, and rejected; and, as much as can be, a stop should be put to it, both by ministers and hearers of the word.

[V. 17, cancer, Gill] Or "gangrene", which gnaws and feeds upon the flesh, inflames and mortifies as it goes, and spreads swiftly, and endangers the whole body; and is therefore to be speedily taken notice of, and stopped. It is better rendered "gangrene", as in the marginal reading, than "cancer".

``The word "gangrene" is Greek {g}, and is derived by some authors from the Paphlagonian "gangra", a goat; it being the character of a goat to browse the grass all around without shifting. It is more correct, perhaps, to derive it from the Greek word graw, grainw, "manduco", "consumo", I eat, I consume. The "gangrene" is a disease in the flesh of the part which it corrupts, consumes, and turns black, spreading and seizing itself of the adjoining parts, and is rarely cured without amputation. By the microscope, a gangrene has been discovered to contain an infinite number of little worms engendered in the morbid flesh; and which continually producing new broods, they swarm, and overrun the adjacent parts: if the gangrene proceed to an utter sphacelation (or mortification), and be seated in any of the limbs, or extreme parts, recourse must be had to the operation of amputation'' ({g} See Chambers's Cyclopedia in the word "Gangrene".)

And so the errors and heresies of false teachers worm and spread, and feed upon the souls of men, and eat up the vitals of religion, or what seemed to be such, and even destroy the very form of godliness; and bring destruction and death, wherever they come; and when they get into Christian churches, threaten the ruin of them; and therefore are to be opposed in time, and those infected with them to be cut off.

Albert Barnes:

So it is with erroneous doctrines. They will not merely eat out the truth in the particular matter to which they refer, but they will also spread over and corrupt other truths. The doctrines of religion are closely connected, and are dependent on each other—like the different parts of the human body. One cannot be corrupted without affecting those adjacent to it, and unless checked, the corruption will soon spread over the whole.

[V. 18.] No man can safely hold to a single error, any more than he can safely have one part of his body in a state of mortification.

Philips Translation:

9 But steer clear of stupid speculations, genealogies, controversies and quarrels over the Law. They settle nothing and lead nowhere. 10 If a man is self-opinionated, warn him. But after the second warning you should reject him. 11 You can be sure that he has a moral twist, and he is self-condemned. (Titus 3, Philips Translation.)
Those who change or deny God's truth do so because they have a hidden problem.

Mr. Thomas Taylor (c. 1619) on Titus 3:10:

1. Who is a heretic? A heretic is he who, professing Christ, yet invents or maintains any error against the foundations of religion, and holds such error with obstinacy. To open this description three things are to be noted.
(a) A heretic must profess Christ. Jews, Turks, or pagans cannot properly be heretics, though they fight against Christ and all religion in its foundations. These are more properly called heathens, infidels, and atheists, without God in the world. But the person with whom Titus has here to deal, is one within the church, who is cast off from a foundation upon which he seemed to stand.
(b) He must maintain an error in doctrine, for if men err in practice they are hypocrites and profane, but not heretical. This doctrinal error must be fundamental, that is, such a one as overturns some ground or article of our faith; for it will not make a heretic not to believe the fables of St Francis, though Pope Benedict IV so determined. But if any man shall maintain justification by works, a daily sacrifice for sin, or any other righteousness except Christ, the defence [sic] of these positions will easily proved heresy. And thereby the Popish doctrine is clearly proved heretical. (Exposition of Titus, Thomas Taylor, 525, 526. Klock and Klock Reprint, 1980.)


(c) This error must be willfully and obstinately maintained; for he must reject admonition, and must strive after being convicted. This is what properly constitutes a man a heretic for everyone who holds a heretical opinion is not a heretic, but a man may through simplicity, levity, or rashness be drawn into such an opinion. But if, when admonished of his error, he does not contend, but is ready to yield himself up to the persuasion of truth, he is no heretic. For these three things make a heretic -- error, conviction, end obstinacy.
Note then what a grievous thing we charge a man with, when we brand him with the title of heretic. We charge him to be one who does not rest in the wholesome word, but maintains such an error as has turned trim off his foundation; we charge him with scorning the judgment of the church, despising wholesome admonitions, and continuing in his damnable opinions against the light of his mind, against the check and accusation of his conscience. If we hastily pass this censure, we shall hardly avoid rash judgment; for if every error in divinity made a heretic, the apostles themselves would have been no other, for at first they were erroneous and ignorant in many things of the greatest importance in religion...
Note also that there have been and shall be, to the end, heresies in the church. Christ was no sooner ascended than his blessed doctrine was assailed by heretics; and this seems to be the occasion for this precept. Yea, no sooner was there a church than heretics became its disease and corruption; the tares quickly came up with the good seed. (Ibid, 526, 527.)

William Law (1686-1761):

...[H]ow many have studied the words of Scripture for a lifetime, without receiving that humility of Christ which produces the very mind of Christ and turns fallen man into a son of God! Academic degrees they hold in plenty from the best centers of religious learning---but know so little of Spirit of Christ! What a paradox to see the professed Church of the Lamb filled with great numbers of champion disputants, who from age to age have been up in arms to support and defend a set of opinions, doctrines, and practices, all of which may be most cordially embraced without demanding the least degree of self-denial, and most firmly held fast without bestowing the least degree of humility!
Why is it that we see Bible scholars equally pleased with and contending for the errors and absurdities of every system of theology under which they happen to have taken their education? Because natural genius and human wisdom can feed on no other food than the deceptive fruit of that ancient tree of knowledge. What a gross ignorance, both of man's need and Christ's salvation, to run to Greek and Hebrew schools to learn how to put off Adam and to put on Christ! How absurd to seek to be wise in scholarship concerning the letter of Scripture in order to obey Christ's command that we must become like a little child to enter into His kingdom! How came the learned Greeks by their pride and vanity, and inability to come under the humility of the cross? It was because the false glory of their own cultivated abilities blinded them in the same way that a letter-learned knowledge blinded Jewish scribes and Pharisees. And so it often is in the Church today. (The Power of the Spirit, William Law. Edited by Dave Hunt. Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, PA. Third printing, 1973. Pp. 50-52. James 1:22 – the man deludes no one but himself.)

Taylor continued:

Here we may note four reasons for the continued presence of heretics in the church.
(a) As long as the causes of heresy remain, it must needs itself continue; and the causes shall ever be in the church, namely ignorance of God, pride of heart, self-conceit, overweening [arrogant, ed.] of gifts, lack of love to Christ and his truth, Satan's malice, ambition, covetousness, flattery, and many more. In a word, as long as there is a mixture of good and bad, there will be a fight between them.
(b) The Lord in his providence allows false prophets and heretics to rise up among his people, to prove and try them, whether they will cleave unto him (Deut. 13:3). They are the Lord's fan brought into his threshing-floor, to separate between the wheat and the chaff, the faithful and the unfaithful. By this the wicked fall off, as being thrust away from the Lord; and the godly, who are accused by Satan and his instruments to be hypocrites, are manifested as sound at the heart, and faithful to the end. "There must be heresies, that those who are approved of God may be known" (1 Cor. 11 -19).
(c) The Lord in his justice punishes by heretics the contempt of his truth, and the careless entertainment of his word. If men will not receive the truth in the love of it, justly are they given over to strong delusions in the believing of lies (2 Thess. 2:11,12). If Christ and his gospel will not be received, antichrist shall come in with all lying wonders, and shall prevail. If the truth in Micaiah's mouth is scorned, four hundred false prophets shall prevail with their lie. So we have seen that where a faithful pastor has been set lightly by, the Lord has in one way or another removed him, and after his departure has sent in some grievous wolf, who has not spared the flock. (Titus, p. 527.)

Patrick Fairbairn (1805-1874):

[2 Timothy 3:13]... Living in an element of deceit, they come to be themselves deceived; their sin becomes their snare and their punishment: so that, in so far as they are capable of progress, the progress is from bad to worse; and if their manner of life is such as to save them from persecution at the hand of others, it brings recompenses of evil far more to be dreaded, and these prepared by their own hands... The unqualified use of such a term cannot justly be understood otherwise than as identifying them with the wily and unscrupulous professors of the magical art. (The Pastoral Epistles, Patrick Fairbairn, 1874. Klock & Klock reprint.)

Adam Clarke (1762-1832):

[2 Timothy 3] Verse 13. Evil men and seducers shall wax worse. They will yet get on for a season, deceiving themselves and deceiving others; but, by and by, their folly will become manifest to all, 2 Timothy 3:9. The word gohtev (please excuse this messed up word - the Greek and Hebrew fonts are missing from the computer I have at the hospital with me, ed), which we render seducers, signifies jugglers, pretenders to magical arts; probably persons dealing in false miracles, with whom the Church in all ages has been not a little disgraced.

Taylor continued:

(d) The wisdom of God permits it. Though it seems utterly to poison and destroy the truth, yet indeed he turns it to clear and confirm the truth, for by it the truth is further examined and looked into. As sparkles issue out of the striking of two flints together, so the truth discussed and disputed becomes more luminous and more victorious; yea, the gold comes no brighter out of the fire than the truth comes out of the trial of opposition and contradiction.
Use 1. Whenever Satan, according to his accustomed malice against sincerity, stirs up any troubles to stay the course of the gospel, to obscure the shining brightness of God's glory, and to bring confusion into the most wise orders and ordinances of God, then the Lord overrules the matter, and brings light out of darkness; he glorifies himself, purges his floor, proves his people, quickens their zeal, and trains them in humility and obedience. Let us not be discouraged, then, if our eyes see many trials; if we see the truth opposed, and doctrines of liberty broached far and wide; for surely, though the Lord may herein justly correct our manifest despite of the truth, yet he cannot and will not forget his own glory.
Use 2. Let us not trouble or hinder, but pray for, the peace of Jerusalem. Yet let us consider that though peace and truth ought to abide undivorced, yet (as one said) he who has magnified his truth above all things, has magnified it above peace as well (Ps. 138:2).
Use 3. Use means to avoid heresy, and to keep out of the degrees of such a distasteful fruit of the flesh (Gal. 5:20).
The chief means to avoid heresy are:
(a) Lay your ground in humility, which alone cuts off contention, the eldest daughter of pride; yea, humility has a promise to be taught in the way of God.
(b) Be diligent in hearing and reading the word, and especially in obeying it; for this is the ready way to attain and contain yourself within the bounds of truth. "If any man will do his will, he shall know whether the doctrine be of God, or whether 1 speak of myself" (John 7:17). And whoever embraces the counsel and wisdom of the word walks in safety, and his foot shall not stumble (Prov. 3:21, 23).
(c) Grow up in seeking and loving the truth; and thus you shall grow in the hatred of falsehood (Ps. 119:113). David would never have come to such a hatred of vain inventions if it had not been for his singular love unto the law.
(d) Beware of heretical books and company. You can hardly get good out of the former, and hardly do good unto the latter, but can most easily receive harm from either, for both are leaven and infectious. The same may be said of sticking to philosophy in matters of faith; for even this will easily breed a heretic.
(e) Content yourself with your estate and portion, be it more or less; covetousness and ambition have thrown down a great number of the stars of heaven, and have been the seeds of most heresies, as history shows. Yea, in our days not a few have grown into dislike of their state, and in hope of better preferment have joined the heresy of Popery, and therein have drunk all manner of deadly poisons. (Titus, pp. 527, 528, 529.)

Beware also of those who exalt philosophy over the practical aspects of the Christian faith:

Philosophy --- 1) love of wisdom 1a) used either of zeal for or skill in any art or science, any branch of knowledge. Used once in the NT of the theology, or rather theosophy, of certain Jewish Christian ascetics, which busied itself with refined and speculative enquiries into the nature and classes of angels, into the ritual of the Mosaic law and the regulations of Jewish tradition respecting practical life. (Colossians 2:8, Online Bible.)

Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease. (Pro. 22:10.)

William Law:

All the truths and doctrines of Scripture have but one errand; to call men to Christ... (Power, p. 43. His proof text, Mat. 11:28, ed.)

Though William Law wrote hundreds of years ago, he dealt with a very prevalent problem in the church today. Hence, let me call attention to a few statements from The Power of the Spirit with the prayer that he may call some Christians to repentance. Anyone who has been around the Christian community for long should recognize Law's warning against looking to human knowledge, wisdom and understanding instead of to the Spirit of God. The idolatry that exalts education above the inner workings of the Spirit in accord with God's word is very prevalent today.

By presenting the following, I am not implying that those who seek to serve the Lord should not get a good education; I am saying, however, that it appears that most "Christian" education seeks to replace God's Spirit with human wisdom. If the result of exalting education 300 years ago was a church "in a fallen and apostate condition," (p. 64) then what has it devolved to today? Observe:

... [M]any profess a sound doctrinal understanding to the letter of Scripture, but at the same time they reject the very work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and lives to which the plainest meaning of the Scriptures they so zealously study and guard would point them. (P. 36. His proof texts, 1 Thess. 1:5, 1 Cor. 4:19, 20, ed.) ...

... What can this intellectual approach bring to the study of Scripture except that which the most wicked scholar could also boast through a knowledge of Greek and his natural memory. A historical, intellectual or grammatical learning of the words of Scripture can do no more towards removing the fleshly nature and its works from the soul of man than the same human knowledge of mathematics or literature. (P. 37. His proof text, 1 Cor. 2:11, ed.)...

Yet Bible scholars are generally looked upon as having a divine knowledge when they are as ready at chapter and verse of Scripture as the learned philosopher is at every page of Plato or Aristotle. On the basis of a prescribed religious education, the clergyman is thought to be fully qualified to engage in that ministry for which the apostles had to receive an enduement of power from on high. This scholarly worship of the letter as greatly opposed the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and blinded men to the living reality which the gospel holds out to those who believe. The manner in which Greek and Hebrew scholarship is admired and sought after in the church would lead one to believe that a man has all the divine life and reality of a Paul if he can only say his epistles by heart. What could such a man truly be said to have, except the letter of the gospel without the Spirit? ... Such a man, while more thoroughly grounded in the letter, must remain just as empty of the reality of the gospel, unless he knows in his own experience and immediate inspiration and quickening power of the Holy Spirit. (P. 37, 38.)

Judas Iscariot knew Jesus Christ, and all that He said and did from the beginning of His ministry to His Crucifixion... And all knowledge of Christ except that which is from the divine inspiration of the indwelling Holy Spirit is as poor and profitless as was Judas' knowledge... (P. 38. His proof texts, Mat. 16:17, 1 Cor. 15:50, ed.)

What fuller argument is needed for this divine inspiration as being beyond the poor power of mere words, than the self-evident fact that the natural man is everywhere in the church singing of his love for Jesus and calling Him Lord with his lips, while betraying Him to the world with his life!... Men are more concerned about proving who had the right doctrinal interpretation of Scripture than they are concerned with whether or not the reality of the gospel is being demonstrated in their daily lives... (P. 39.)

... One can be so proud of his doctrinal soundness that the Holy Spirit cannot convict him of the unsoundness of his life. (P. 41.)

... As soon as any man trusts to intellectual abilities, skill in languages, or human wisdom as the true means of edification and divine knowledge, he gives himself up to certain delusion. He has sold his birthright in the gospel state of spiritual illumination for a name, to make a noise with the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals of the natural man. (P 47. His proof text, 1 Cor. 2:4, ed..)

... Had Eve desired no knowledge but that which came from God, Paradise had still been the habitation of her and of all her offspring. If Christians had desired no knowledge but that which comes alone from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Church had been a kingdom of God and communion of saints to this present day... (P. 52.)

And this love of human wisdom and knowledge so blinds men, that he cannot see that he is eating the same forbidden fruit and keeping up in himself all the death and separation from God which the first hunger for knowledge brought forth... (P. 53. His proof text, Ecc. 7:29, ed.)

... What vanity, then, to count progress in terms of numbers of new and lofty cathedrals, chapels, sanctuaries, mission stations, and multiplied new membership lists, when there is no change in this undeniable departure of men's hearts from the living God. Yea, let the whole world be converted to Christianity of this kind (that exalts human knowledge and wisdom above the Spirit's breath in the individual, ed.), and let every citizen be a member of some Protestant or Catholic church and mouth the creed every Lord's day; and no more would have been accomplished toward bringing the kingdom of God among men than if they had all joined this or that philosophical society or social fraternity. (Pp. 55, 56.)

(1 Cor. 2:14, ed.) is telling us in the plainest terms that it is just as essential for the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of Scripture to the reader today as it was necessary for Him to inspire the writers thereof in their day. (P. 61.) .. Therefore the Scriptures should only be read in an attitude of prayer, trusting to the inward working of the Holy Spirit to make their truths a living reality within us... (P. 62.) ...[W]here God is not, there is the Devil; and where the Spirit rules not, there is all the work of the flesh, though nothing be talked of but spiritual and Christian matters... (P. 63.)
How much is to be lamented that from one end of learned Christendom to the other little is thought of as the true and proper means of attaining divine knowledge, but that which every natural, selfish, proud, vain-glorious worldly man can do. The Scriptures are studied much as the arts and science, as though a learned comprehension of doctrines is everything, and the present inspiration of the Holy Spirit is nothing. Where is the divinity student who was ever taught to think of partaking of the light of the gospel in any other way than by doing with the Scriptures that which he does with pagan writers, whether poets, orators, or comedians: namely, exercise his logic, rhetoric, and critical skill in analyzing and expounding upon them? Having done these things, he is thought by himself and often by others to have a sufficiency of divine apostolic knowledge. So that there are Christian leaders in abundance who have become experts in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit without experiencing His leading and power in their lives. (Pp. 63, 64.)

... And the very "demonstration and power of the Holy Spirit" which Paul said made his preaching effective is not only uncultivated and unknown by pastors and teachers, but more lamentable, those who claim to stand the most strongly for the truth of all that Paul wrote, deny and decry any thought of a manifestation of this power such as he experienced in his day... (P. 64.) Christian leaders are everywhere pursuing a learned, academic knowledge of Scripture words as the surest way to divine life... (as they follow Satan, ed.) to eat eagerly of this ancient tree of knowledge...( P. 70.) ...Need any more than this be known to explain why the Church of Christ today is in a fallen and apostate condition? (P. 64.)

Since calling Jesus Lord must be more than mere words, what could so fully oppose the Holy Spirit as that worship of the letter of Scripture that is so prevalent among Christians today? (Early 1700s, ed.) When this empty, powerless knowledge of the letter of spiritual truth is held to be the possession of the truth itself, then darkness, delusion, and death overshadow Christendom... Whatever is not of and from this life and governed by the Holy Spirit in possession of the heart, call it by what high name you will, is no more a part of the gospel state nor will better influence man's final end than a similar learned knowledge of secular history. (Pp. 39, 49.)


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