24 Reasons Refuted Part 1By Pastor Boffey on Saturday, August 11, 2018.
24 Reasons Refuted The following 24 Reasons have been used as justification for a N.T. bishop (Jonathan R. Crosby) to retain or return to ministry after being biblically put out of the church for sin (adultery). But 1TI 3:2; TIT 1:6-7 say that a bishop must be blameless. The O.E.D. defines blame as “The action of censuring... censure...” and censure is “A judicial sentence...” (the judges in this case being the church members, per 1CO 5:11-13). Refutations follow each Reason. Be it understood that restoration to church fellowship through repentance is not to be equated with restoration to ministry after public censure (blamed). 1. “David was prophet and much more and kept his ministerial offices (Ps 51:11-13; Acts 2:30).” A. O.T. order is not the rule for N.T. Christianity. If it is, then a N.T. minister should be able to have multiple wives as did David. But see 1TI 3:2. B. David was not put out of the O.T. church for his adultery. Should an adulterous N.T. minister not be put out of the church? C. David also shed innocent blood (2SAM 12:9) and retained power. Should a blood- shedding N.T. minister not be put out of the church and/or keep his official power? D. Building a case from David is selective: cherry-picking an example to prop up an error. (1) Other kings who were very wicked also retained their offices. (2) King Mannasseh was guilty of idolatry, murder, witchcraft, passing his children through fire, and more. 2KI 21:1-16; 2CH 33:1-16. a. God afflicted him. He humbled himself and was restored to his kingdom. b. Would this justify a N.T. minister’s retaining office after similar crimes? (3) There were other O.T. notables whose errors cost them their official privileges, such as the priest, Eli (1SAM 2:30-36). Why build a case only from David? E. NOTE: Resorting to O.T. law or example is the common default of Christians whose creed or conduct is unsupported or forbidden by the N.T. (Eg. polygamy, dietary law, musical instruments in church, rebuilding Israel or the temple, etc.). 2. “David was punished practically by God (death of child, Absalom, etc.), but not ministerially.” A. So if your child dies but you get to keep your ministry, this is good? B. See answers to #1. 3. “Jesus is known throughout the Bible as the Son of David; David was always God’s favorite.” A. See answers to #1. B. So being God’s favorite overrules N.T. law for ministers? Is God a respecter of persons? C. The “God’s favorite” argument became Israel’s justification for much sin. AMO 9:10 c/w ROM 2:17-29. D. Being God’s favorite puts one under greater accountability. AMO 3:2 c/w JAM 3:1. 4. “I would rather be a forgiven David than a maritally-faithful Saul, for God loved David much.” A. If those two are the only options, fine. But this is a “lesser of two evils,” “apples and oranges” comparison. It implies sinning and being forgiven is superior to not sinning. But see ROM 3:8; 1CO 11:31. 24 Reasons Refuted Page 1 B. An alternative: “I would rather be a faithful Joseph who fled adultery than a beloved David who didn’t.” GEN 39:12. C. God forgave and loved Paul much but Paul knew that wouldn’t prevent him from being a castaway. 1CO 9:27. D. David’s experience is not a rule for N.T. church order for preachers. 5. “Peter was an elder and stayed in ministry after two failures (Matt 26:75; Gal 2:11; Jn 21:15- 17).” A. If Peter’s “failures” subjected him to blame (censure, judicial sentence), mind that Peter was not put out of the church. Should that model be followed also? B. Peter was not blamed in GAL 2:11. He “...was TO BE blamed.” 1. This denotes a potential or unrealized state, not an accomplished state. c/w ACT 21:37. 2. “The prisoner was to be hanged on Friday.” Does this imply that the prisoner was hanged or that he was not hanged? C. Peter was being dissimulative (hypocritical) in GAL 2:11-13. Hypocrisy is not listed as a sin that merits N.T. church judgment (“blamed”). See 1CO 5:11-13; 6:9-10; GAL 5:19-21, etc. D. Unchecked, Peter’s hypocrisy might have become heresy but even heretics are given two admonitions before rejection. TIT 3:10. E. Concerning MAT 26:75, all the apostles forsook Christ (MAT 26:56) yet retained ministry and church membership. (1) Does this justify universal forsaking of Christ under the rules later given for the church by the Holy Spirit? Example: HEB 10:25-39. (2) Peter or the others could not be judicially censured (blamed) for laws that were not yet given, “...for where no law is, there is no transgression” (ROM 4:15). 6. “Peter was blamed for two sins, both recorded publicly, but was the apostolic leader (Acts 1:15)!” A. See answers to #5. 7. “Peter was a leader at Jerusalem, took the gospel to Gentiles, has two epistles with his name.” A. See answers to #5. B. Moses was a leader in the O.T. church and has five books to his name but was forbidden to enter the promised land because of public sin (NUM 20:12). Since Jonathan makes mileage out of O.T. heroes, what would be the implications of Moses’ fate for a blamed N.T. minister? C. Paul was the chief apostle, greatly forgiven and has fourteen epistles to his name. Yet he dared not presume that, having preached to others, he could never be a castaway. 1CO 9:27. 8. “I would rather be a forgiven Peter than a faithful Thaddaeus or Nicodemus (never mentioned).” A. Review answers to #5. This is an invalid comparison. B. This argument implies that failing is better than faithfulness, so “...Let us do evil that 24 Reasons Refuted Page 2 good may come” (ROM 3:8). By contrast, Paul “...KEPT the faith...” (2TI 4:7). C. “...it is REQUIRED in stewards that a man be found FAITHFUL” (1CO 4:2). D. Fame is a poor rule for a good report. HEB 11:36-39. E. It is true that God delights in mercy but He also delights in judgment (JER 9:24). There is “...judgment without mercy” (JAM 2:13). 24 Reasons Refuted Page 3
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