#55 Z Arguments – Against Beliefs that Divide and Lead to Apostasy and Cultural Decay

PAPER NO. 55

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Z ARGUMENTS

Against Beliefs that Divide and Lead to Apostasy and Cultural Decay

  1. Heaven

    1. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever, in all that by which he makes himself known, in all his works of creation and providence (SCQ 1, 101; WCF 4.1, 5.1).
    2. The outcome of glorifying God is the earth filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).
    3. Man’s chief end (the good, eternal life) therefore is not a beatific vision of God in heaven. There is no direct knowledge of God apart from creation, and no knowledge of creation apart from the work of dominion (Genesis 1:26-28).
  1. Hell
  1. Man is created a body-soul unity. There are, therefore, two kinds of death and two kinds of resurrection, physical and spiritual (Genesis 2:7; John 11:25-26; 5:25, 28-29). The first death is physical; the second, and lasting, is spiritual. The first resurrection is spiritual; the second is physical (Revelation 20:6).
  2. The wages of sin is spiritual death, present and inherent in sin, not future and imposed (Genesis 2:17; Ephesians 2:1). In a person, it is meaninglessness, boredom and guilt; in a relation, it is alienation; in a culture, it is decay and collapse; in general, it is destruction (according to its kind).
  3. The lake of fire is the second death, present and inherent in sin. There is, therefore, no literal lake of fire which is future and imposed. What is future is full manifestation of God’s glory in the Last Judgment and final separation of good and evil (Revelation 19:20; 20:6, 10, 14-15; 21:8).
  1. Faith
  1. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1-3).
  2. By faith we understand (we see the invisible, through the use of reason); faith grows as understanding grows; faith is tested as understanding is tested.
  3. Faith therefore is not fideism—belief without proof based on understanding.
  1. Reason
  1. In itself, reason is the laws of thought: identity, non-contradiction and excluded middle. Reason in itself is not reason in its use, or lack of use, or misuse.
  2. As the laws of thought, reason is transcendental (makes thought possible), authoritative (the test for meaning), and self-attesting (irrepressible and irresistible) (John 1:4-5).
  3. Reason is most basic in knowing any and all revelation; it is the life of the Logos, by which God makes himself fully known (John 1:1-18).
  1. The Rapture: on a distinctive of popular-level, current evangelicalism
  1. There is only one general resurrection of all those who have died physically (John 5:28-29).
  2. The physical resurrection occurs only after all has been subdued to Christ through the Church (1 Cor. 15:25).
  3. The rapture of believers occurs only after the general resurrection of the dead, at the end of history (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
  1. Rejecting paedo-baptism: on a distinctive of Baptists
  1. There is only one covenant of grace, administered differently in the covenants of the Old and New Testaments.
  2. The sacraments of the one covenant of grace signify the same reality in the Old and New Testaments—circumcision and baptism both signify regeneration (Romans 2:28-29; Colossians 2:11-13; John 3:3).
  3. The sacrament of baptism is therefore to be administered similarly in the New Testament, as in the Old Testament, applied to infants in circumcision.
  1. Charismatic Worship
  1. Christ sent the Spirit to enable the Church to make disciples of all nations.
  2. In the transition from the Old to the New Testament, the Spirit came with signs and wonders.
  3. With the completion of the New Testament, the time of transition (with charismatic gifts in signs and wonders) came to an end—ecstatic utterances, without understanding, are not biblical tongues (1 Corinthians 13, 14:4).
  1. Sacramentalism: on a distinctive of Roman Catholicism
  1. Roman Catholicism affirms Sacramentalism, that the sacramental sign becomes the reality it signifies.
  2. Historic Christianity does not affirm, but denies Sacramentalism—circumcision is not necessary for salvation (the Council of Jerusalem, Acts 15).
  3. Roman Catholicism therefore, on the sacraments, does not build on the Historic Christian Faith.
  1. Atonement
  1. By the covenant of creation, Adam represented all in him (Genesis 2). In the Fall, Adam’s original sin is imputed to all—by one man’s sin, death entered the world (Romans 5:8-12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
  2. Christ came in the place of Adam to undo (as the Lamb of God) what Adam did, and to do what Adam failed to do (rule to make God known). Our sin is imputed to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to all in him.
  3. All who deny the covenant of creation deny also the Fall and redemption in Christ; and all who deny redemption by vicarious atonement have denied (the covenant of) creation and the Fall. Creation-Fall-Redemption are inseparable.
  1. On Islam
  1. Creation–fall–redemption is clear from general revelation (see steps 1-5 in Logos Paper No. 54: From Foundation to Fullness).
  2. Islam is not based on creation–fall–redemption.
  3. Islam therefore is not the Word of God.
  1. Worship
  1. We are to worship God in spirit and in truth, not in zeal without knowledge, or in ritual without understanding (John 4:23).
  2. Only the psalms preserve pure and entire the biblical worldview of creation­–f­­all–redemption.
  3. Only the psalms, given for singing, are to be sung in the worship of God. All else leads to idolatry.
  1. Conscience
  1. We are to live according to the measure of our faith: we are not to violate our conscience, but one’s conscience is not Lord of others.
  2. What we eat or drink must be to the glory of God, not merely in word but with understanding. Whatever is not of faith is sin.
  3. Conscience must be informed: necessary but insufficient conditions are not in themselves causes of sin, nor means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto (LCQ 99.6).
  1. Politically-Correct Pluralism and Multi-Cultural Skepticism
  1. All worldviews are not equally rational.
  2. What is rational (based on insight) must rule.
  3. What is not rational lacks meaning and will perish.
  1. Eco-Green
  1. Only God, as creator, determines the nature of things, not the environment.
  2. Only God, as creator, is to be worshipped and served, not the environment.
  3. Only the worship and service of God can lift the curse and restore the environment to its pristine state (Isaiah 11:1-9; Romans 8:19-23).
  1. On Gender
  1. There are two genders in God, which are spiritual, and two in man, made in the image of God, male and female, which are physical (Genesis 1:26-27).
  2. Male and female in humans are for the good, the knowledge of God through the work of dominion, requiring all of mankind through all of history.
  3. The two genders in humans are in unity—without conversion, composition or confusion. Any confusion, due to the Fall, is to be redeemed, not marginalized or normalized.
  1. Feminism or Patriarchy vs. the Good—the rule for households
  1. Male and female in creation–fall–redemption are equal and different.
  2. Male and female are a unity of diversity, to achieve the good.
  3. Without the good, there is no hope for unity between male and female (1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4, 12).
  1. Marriage
  1. Marriage is instituted by God, in creation, to serve his holy purposes, and continues, even through the Fall, to redemption (Genesis 2:18-25).
  2. Marriage originally is instituted for the origin and the nurture of our being, and is by mutual consent.
  3. Marriage therefore, by God’s institution, is between one man and one woman. Anything else is due to the Fall and is other than marriage.
  1. Nationalism vs. Globalism
  1. God created all men of one blood to dwell on the face of all the earth (Acts 17:24-28).
  2. In unbelief, mankind was scattered by God on the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:1-9).
  3. The times and boundaries of nations are determined by God, according to their seeking and knowing God, not by mere human will.
  1. Totalitarianism
  1. Only God’s law is total (Lex Rex). Totalitarianism puts man’s law in the place of God’s law. The Mark of the Beast (666) is put on man’s hand and forehead where only God’s law is to be placed.
  2. Neither the Left (Socialism) nor the Right (Fascism) can have total rule over man.
  3. No institution—family, state, church or corporation—by its very form and function, can be total, over any other. All are equally under the moral law, written on the hearts of all men.
  1. Racism
  1. Nations, kindreds, tribes and tongues originated due to unbelief at Babel (Genesis 11:1-9).
  2. Faith is by grace alone, according to God’s sovereign will (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  3. Heritage from faith is by grace, and is therefore not by race (racism).
  1. Human Dignity
  1. Murder is rooted in disregard for the dignity of man, made in the image of God, with ability and responsibility to know what is clear about God and man and good and evil.
  2. Murder begins with spiritual suicide, the foolishness of pride in claiming to know what one does not know, and anger if corrected.
  3. Human society is a society of rational beings; participation in society depends on the exercise of one’s reason, not on the use of non-rational means against others.
  1. Abortion
  1. A person is a body/soul unity, from conception, made in the image of God (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 51).
  2. A person is forever, not merely until death. All will be resurrected, in the body, including those who die before birth.
  3. In the resurrection, we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, to give an account before all, for all the deeds done in our body (Romans 14:10-12).
  1. The Origin of Wealth and the Commonwealth
  1. The origin of lasting value is from the use of talent in pursuit of the good.
  2. Talent is from God, given to each, for the benefit of all.
  3. God therefore is Lord of the wealth of nations. Man is steward of the manifold grace of God, given to each, for all.
  1. Social Justice
  1. In justice, equals are treated equally; justice is both ontological, in the nature of things, and social: first distributive, then retributive and lastly corrective.
  2. Truth is necessary and sufficient for justice; the whole truth is necessary for full justice.
  3. Whatever does not aim at the whole truth is less than the justice of God, and tends to mere self-righteousness (virtue signaling).
  1. The Pathologies of Discontent
  1. Discontent arises from a misconception of the good, leading to a belief that one cannot possess the good, to despair, and to all its attendant pathologies.
  2. The good is the knowledge of God in all that by which he makes himself known. The good itself is inalienable.
  3. No condition in all of creation can separate us from the love of God. Love, joy and peace are the fruit of faith, hope and love (Romans 8:38-39; Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13:13).

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