The Lord Desires Mercy, not Sacrifice – Faith Without Works is Dead Faith

2 Timothy 3:14-17 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it (15) and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (16) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

I believe in the inerrancy, authority, and infallibility of Scripture.  That is to say, I believe that the original manuscripts (often called “autographs”) of Scripture were so directed in their composition by the Holy Spirit working through the human authors that what was written was the perfect Word of God without error in word and in entirety.  Of course we do not have those manuscripts now, which is no doubt just as well or human nature being what it is, we would have 66 or more shrines set up for worshiping them!  Scripture, being the Word of God, is necessarily infallible.  You can trust it and it will never fail you. And it is authoritative because it is God’s Word.  And if you are at all familiar with the science of textual criticism, the discipline that deals with taking all of the existing ancient copies of Scripture and re-constructing the original, then you know that we can have full confidence that our Bibles are the Word of God.

But what else does Biblical inerrancy, infallibility, and authority mean?  Recently we were having a discussion in our main Sunday School class about the early creation-account chapters of Genesis.  For myself, I believe that they teach a literal 24-hour day, 7-day creation week.  I do not believe that the universe is a bajillion years old.  But we were discussing whether or not the literal 24-hour day creation should be put in the fundamental doctrinal statement of local churches and new members then required to adhere to it in order to be members.  Quite a number of conservative, perhaps we might say fundamental, churches have done this and encourage others to do it.  In my opinion, this should not be done.  But that is another story.

My point here is that these are the kinds of issues that we think of when we think about the inerrancy and infallibility and authority of the Bible.  Was Adam a real individual?  Is Paul’s take on a certain issue just his own opinion or is it God’s Word?  Those kinds of things.  And they are important issues.  But let me suggest that while we can be all caught up in energetic debates over these things, we can easily slide into the trap that the Pharisees did:

Matthew 23:23-26 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. (24) You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! (25) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. (26) You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

I know of churches and Christians and pastors and denominations that have done intense battle over attacks upon the Word of God, particularly in these areas of inerrancy and authority and so on.  And we need to stand firm for these things.  But I also know of churches and Christians and pastors and denominations who, all the while they are fighting the fight for Scripture, deny Scripture themselves by neglecting the weightier matters:  justice and mercy and faithfulness.  And in probably no greater frequency, we see this failure in respect to how the powerful wield that power and how they deal with the weak.  How they treat the widow, the orphan, and the stranger in the land.  Many, many people who have fought all out warfare for the integrity of Scripture end up disregarding Scripture!!

Because, in the end, when I say that I believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God, I am saying that I bow my knee to the One who speaks in it and ask Him, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”  And then I go out and DO that Word.  If not, then I am no more than the son who is all talk but no action:

Matthew 21:28-31 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ (29) And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. (30) And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. (31) Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.

Abuse as Enslavement: “Clipping Her Wings”

If you have ever had chickens, you may have had to trim their wing feathers to keep them from flying out of the chicken pen.  Clipping wings is a good thing when done to chickens.  It really is for their own good.  Chickens just aren’t meant to soar like an eagle (if they try, the eagle will get them). And besides, soaring makes finding the eggs pretty hard.

But abusive people believe in clipping the wings of their victims, and this is most definitely not a good thing.  We as human beings are intended by our Creator to soar:

Psalms 8:3-9 ESV When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, (4)  what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (5)  Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. (6)  You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, (7)  all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, (8)  the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. (9)  O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Abusers however, work to keep their targets in the pen.  And as most of our readers already know, they have many tactics for doing just that.  One such clipping tool is a kind of economic one.  Let me explain.

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Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship and Submission Pt 3 – sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship and Submission Pt 3
Last sermon from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on January 9, 2011
Sermon Text:  1 Peter 3:1-7

NOTE: This is the final sermon in this series on domestic abuse in the church. It will of course remain available at sermonaudio.com/crc. Begining next Sunday, Feb 17th, we will be publishing the weekly Sunday sermons from Christ Reformation Church at our other blog, lightfordarktimes.com   You will find an important explanatory post there this morning which describes the changes we are making to that blog to make it a means through which our readers can fellowship with us at CRC, even as their own church if that is their desire and need. 

This blog, unholycharade.com, will remain the same, focusing upon exposing domestic abusers in the church and helping abuse victims come to clarity about abuse and get free. 

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“Society usually labels women who are victimized by abusive men as fools for ever having gotten involved with them. But the word of God identifies the angry and abusive man as the one who is the fool.” [Elreta Dodds as quoted in Woman Submit! By Jocelyn Andersen]

And so it does! Nabal – the fool.

This morning we come to the last message in this series on Abuse and Domestic Violence which we have also called The Psychology of Sin, because in studying the mindset of the abusive person, we find ourselves gaining real insight into the very nature of sin. Sin, like the abusive man, craves power and control. It sees itself as profoundly entitled to have that power and control and entirely justified in using whatever means are necessary to get it and maintain it. What this evil does to its victims, we have only learned in part.

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Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship & Submission Pt 2 – sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship & Submission Pt 2
Sermon 20 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on December 12, 2010
Sermon Text: Ephesians 5

The Danvers Statement was prepared by several evangelical leaders at a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood meeting in Danver, MA. in Dec of 1987. You can find it in the appendix of Wayne Grudem’s book Recovering Biblical Manoohood and Womanhood – A Response to Evangelical Feminism. Here are the first few of its affirmations-

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Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship and Submission – sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship and Submission
Sermon 19 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on December 5, 2010
Sermon Text:  1 Peter 2 – 3:7

This morning I intend to introduce you to an examination of the biblical doctrine of headship and submission in marriage. It will not do to simply dismiss these doctrines, as today’s “Christian” liberalism generally does, claiming they are merely the ravings of male chauvinists like the Apostle Paul. No. Anyone who believes that the Bible is what it says it is – the Word of God – knows that God sets out these doctrines for husbands and wives. Nor are these truths to be dismissed as something archaic, fitting for an ancient culture but not for ours. Our Lord Himself takes us right back to creation, to the first marriage, as does the Apostle Paul. God’ s order for marriage in Eden was then and remains today the same for all marriages in all places.

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