How To Avoid The Cage Stage

Having made up your minds, upon evidence, as to what is truth, then have as little to do with religious controversy as you can. Seek a practical religion, rather than a polemical religion. Treat it as a something rather to be done than to be talked about. Be not fond of disputation. Be no religious knight-errant, fighting against every one who differs from you. A pugnacious disposition, whether it be from natural combativeness, or prevailing vanity—is a dangerous thing to piety, which, like the dew, falls only in a still atmosphere, and lies longest in the shade. Be too much taken up with adding “to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity” (2 Pet. 1:5-7), to have much time for strife and contention.… Read More How To Avoid The Cage Stage

Young Officers’ Conduct in Church Courts | Samuel Miller

I would earnestly advise every young minister to speak very little the first two or three times that he occupies a seat in the higher judicatories of the church. The art of transacting business wisely, expeditiously, and with suitable temper, in a deliberative assembly, is not to be learned in an hour, or a day. To do it well, requires close observation; considerable experience; watching the manner, course, and success of the best models; much attention to the discipline of our own feelings; and a frequent conning over the lesson, which we are always slow to learn, that other people have knowledge and wisdom, as well as we; and that opposing us, is not always infallible testimony that our opponent is wrong. All this requires time. The first two sessions of ecclesiastical bodies that you attend, then, are by no means too much for you to pass as a close, vigilant, silent learner. Rely on it, for any young minister to wish that distinguished precocity should mark his efforts as a speaker in church courts, is seldom, nay, never wise.… Read More Young Officers’ Conduct in Church Courts | Samuel Miller

Four Reasons Satan Enlists Women in His Schemes

It is marked in ancient history that there was almost never an eminent heresy or heretic, but had some special women for the promoters thereof, who oftentimes took to themselves the name of prophetesses. Eusebius marks it of many (which is cited in the second century). Simon Magus had his Helena; Carpocrates his Marcellina; Apelles his Philumena; Montanus had two whom he called prophetesses, to wit, Priscilla and Maximilla; and Augustine frequently mentions one Lucilla, who was a great ring-leader of the Donatists. So it is likely the Nicolaitans had such a prophetess for furthering their design in the church of Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29).… Read More Four Reasons Satan Enlists Women in His Schemes

When Godly Ministers Lack Righteous Judgment

Men may be very straight and tender in the work of God, and bold in reference to suffering; and yet faint and be defective in the prosecuting of church censures against erroneous men. This appears both from this epistle and that which follows, where their particular condition and public carriage in other things is exceedingly commended; yet is there a “notwithstanding” in both in reference to this. If it be asked: What can be the reason that honest, tender, and zealous men should be so often defective in this, who yet may be zealous and fervent against scandalous practices? Answer. These reasons may be given.… Read More When Godly Ministers Lack Righteous Judgment

Prohibited Marriages: Consanguinity & Affinity

Charles HodgeSystematic TheologyVol. 3, pp. 407-421. Prohibited Marriages. That certain marriages are prohibited is almost the universal judgment of mankind. Among the ancient Persians and Egyptians, indeed, the nearest relations were allowed to intermarry and in the corrupt period of the Roman Empire, equal laxness more or less prevailed. These isolated facts do not invalidate… Read More Prohibited Marriages: Consanguinity & Affinity

The Necessity of Doctrinal Standards

Louis BerkhofIntroduction to Systematic Theologypp. 23-27 The necessity of dogmas may be argued in various ways. Even the followers of Schleiermacher and Ritschl defend it in spite of their subjectivism, and notwithstanding their mysticism and moralism. Several reasons at once suggest themselves, why Christianity cannot dispense with dogmas [i.e. formally stated doctrinal standards]. 1. Scripture… Read More The Necessity of Doctrinal Standards

Midnight Sabbath and the Light of Nature

It seems most consonant to the Law and Light of Nature, and Scripture reason, that (unless God otherwise determine it himself) the beginning of the Day should be in the morning, that is, after midnight, rather than the evening before. If we consider the evening before, or the evening after, there will be perpetual danger of encroachment either upon the religious time, or the worldly time, to the prejudice of one of them; but especially of religion in most men.… Read More Midnight Sabbath and the Light of Nature