Saturday, July 15, 2006

MY ONLINE MARRIAGE SERVICE

You probably know your history, but you may not have known that FDR married within the family. Yes, he married a Roosevelt. Her name was Eleanor Roosevelt. You say, "Well, yes, after marriage." No, before marriage. The saga of the Roosevelt's in America begins with the arrival of Claes Martenszen van Rosenvelt in the 1600's. But this story really belongs to Teddy (TR) and FDR. The two presidents were 5th cousins, and came from different branches of this prolific family. TR was part of the Oyster Bay clan, while FDR came from the Hyde Park branch. Their families weren't particularly close, although they did move in the same New York social circles.

TR blazed a political path as he became governor of New York, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, vice president, and then president. TR wanted his son to continue his political trailblazing, but the young Teddy Jr. was unable to do so. Along came FDR and while he belonged to a different political party, he followed TR's example almost to the letter (governor of New York, Assistant Naval Secretary and then president). But instead of bringing the families closer together, it actually drove a wedge between them. FDR was always considered a lightweight by the Oyster Bay side. Eleanor Roosevelt (an Oyster Bay Roosevelt who married her Hyde Park cousin) was a bridge between the two groups. She was the daughter of TR's departed brother, so TR stood in as dad in the Eleanor-FDR nuptial. The rest is a four term presidency.

Every citizen of the United States every day still feels the effects of this marriage. Without the clout of the Oyster Park Roosevelts, FDR would never have become president. So we could say, "Sure, marriage is really important." But how about this? What does God say about it? Or, how does one honor God in obtaining a life's partner? Does the Bible say anything about what God wants us to do? Yes, the God Who knows us better than we know ourselves does say something about finding the right one to marry.

I am convinced that the place God outlines what He wants is 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8:

1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concu- piscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

Regarding the importance, look at vv. 1-3a. Paul begs, exhorts, and commands. He calls on the authority of Jesus Christ. He describes this as a necessity ("ought") and something that pleases God. He says it will make these Thessalonian believers abound more and more. Paul had spent a part of his only three weeks with them ("ye have received") talking about this. This is "the will of God," therefore, one area in which you can know for sure you are in the will of God. What he teaches will sanctify them---leave them still able to be used of God. This way will tend towards pre-marital abstinence ("abstain from fornication").

If God wants us to know how, then that implies a way. God has a definite way. If we are to know anything, we must learn. God has a way to possess our vessel (obtain a wife or husband) that will leave us sanctified and that will honor God. We should assume that way is in Scripture. It is. God would not have told us to know it if He did not tell us what it was. We should find out the passages that teach His way and learn them. If we learn them, we will know them. If we know them, then we can obey them. If we obey them, we can still be useable to God (sanctification) and also honor God (more than just obedience). Believers care to be used of God and to honor God. Unbelievers care only about pleasing themselves. If you care whether God will use you and whether you might honor God, then this is for you. If you don't care about these, then you aren't likely to learn, know, and obey the way God prescribes anyway. And why should you? You are living only for your self. If you want to live for God, then this is the way you'll get it done.

You ask, "What is the way?" I'll tell you this week. Stay tuned.

30 comments:

Bobby Mitchell, ow, cg said...

I'm looking forward to the articles on this subject. Keep 'em coming!

Juan Carlos Asmat said...

Pastor, I am very much looking forward to this series.

Michael McNeilly said...

Where is the just kidding part? Great article.

Daniel Kelso said...

I am looking forward to this post very much. Will it be a detailed approach on the subject or more of a general overview?

Michael McNeilly said...

Thread closed. I detect that there might be the possiblity of a possible tone that we would not condone and therefore must close down this thread as to not offend anyone possibly believing something else. I have been giving this topic much thought recently and am looking forward to seeing more.

Bobby Mitchell, OW, CG said...

Hey, Michael! No fair. The "thread closed" is my line. You need some more grace since you are guilty of stealing that from me.

It looks like only the camping crew is left to check out the blog. I guess the rest of Pastor B's loyal followers bailed after a few days of his not posting. But, in their hearts they are reading, I'm sure.

Daniel, Michael, and Juan, please email me your email addresses so we can stay in touch. Otherwise we'll have to use this comment section to converse. Pastor B. might get angry about that and display an overweening spirit. Then, one of the ladies would have to rebuke him and someone might PJ all of us. That would quickly be followed by a GL.

(To everyone who doesn't like my post, I'm just kidding! To everyone that does, Kudos to you!)

Kent Brandenburg said...

I see that I have some former campers lurking with their minds in a latrine. For your information, nothing in this blog was offensive in any way, and if it was, I was just kidding. You guys really do stand as a living example for me and my thousands of readers of exactly what I've been talking about in my seminars all over the nation. You major on minors!!!! You are nattering nabobs of negativism. I might just photoshop something in the way of ridicule all in good humour.

Bobby Mitchell, OWCG said...

Well, I don't really have time for this, but I'm about to drop a PJ on you. If I do it I need you to please understand, my dear brother and friend, that in my heart I am merely engaging in some tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek teasing.

I'm not sure if your spirit is right with this post. Perhaps more luv and graaaaaaaaaaace would be in order. Only if it is predestinated, I suppose . . .

You are obviously a weaker brother and for that I am compelled to pile-drive you into the asphalt of the information super-highway.

Maybe you wouldn't be so offensive if you would just post some fun cartoons now and then. Especially the ones that mock and ridicule men who believe the Bible to the point that they actually practice what it says! That would definitely appeal to your broad audience and might even propel you to YF hero-status.

Whatever you do make sure you begin every sentence with an IMHO and complete every post with a "maybe" or "just kidding!"

Throwback 13 said...

* "Nattering nabobs of negativism."
* Kent Brandenburg really does wear a Spiro Agnew watch, along with Mickey Mouse.
* For you young whippersnappers, former Maryland govenor, Mr. Agnew was V.P. under dear President Nixon. He could not overcome the attack made on him which was leveraged by the IRS, and he ended up doing time. This caused him to resign as V.P. and be replaced by the quiet athlete, Gerald Ford.
* Info: Former US vice president under Richard Nixon, resigned in disgrace after a financial scandal, known for calling the media "nattering nabobs of negativism", see http://www.deadoraliveinfo.com/dead.nsf/anames-nf/Agnew+Spiro.
* Even though he has been dead for almost ten years (09/17/1996), his sharp wit still entertains.

Anonymous said...

Gentlemen, (with tongue in cheek) let us not forget ourselves and our Christian attitude! Look behind you on the coffee table, it could be you left it there. Oh, I'm sorry..that's you Bible!
Bro. Mitchell, I have been following Pastor KB for a long,long time and while I admit his sense of humor leaves a bit to be desired, his satire is rather diminished the one thing that is not lacking is his unquestionable bible knowledge. History, I'm not sure about, but would suspect he is quite the expert on that as well.
Joel, I always love that you write in the "I remember when tone".Besides, I never knew anyone used that term "negativism" beides KB.
I am sure the Roosevelts were/are not so different than any other man. To succeed in life is the major goal of every man..it's that "human nature" thing. You just can't help yourself. If that were not true......Adam would never have had that apple. And I doubt that the Roosevelts cared.
While I may not often post, I always read. My Mother taught me that if I can't say something good....keep my mouth shut!! Doesn't always work for some people. Perhaps Bro. Mitchell, you might want to practice on the "word verification' test. Just a thought.
I suppose this is where I say, I may be forced to become a verified blogger if this continues and stop being anonymous.

ILA

Kent Brandenburg said...

ILA, good to see you back. Bro. Mitchell was 100% joking by the way. I just had him speaking at our camp, and unfortunately for all the readers who weren't there, it was almost entirely inside jokes that came from camp and from our conversations elsewhere. A few are reading that were there. I know you got some of it, because you said "tongue in cheek," but I wanted you to know that Bro. Mitchell was fake going after me and I was fake returning. Sort of like me playing tennis, all faking like I can receive and return.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I think he genuinely meant he was looking forward to these articles, but after that....

Bobby Mitchell, OWCG said...

KB said...
I think he genuinely meant he was looking forward to these articles, but after that....

Well, kidding if you didn't like it, but serious if you did ...

Alright, seriously looking forward. After all, I've got four youn'uns.

Yes, ILA, I was totally joking around. We had a great time together at camp and KB was a great blessing to me. So were Kelso, McNeilly and Asmat.

Also, Margaret Thatcher also used the "nattering naybobs of negativism." I heard her use that phrase while bragging on Ronald Reagan standing up to liberalism.

Throwback 13 said...

* Margaret Thatcher wore a Spiro Agnew watch also.
*
* For Anonymous (ILA):
* I remember when sarcasm was a new concept and was under intensive design and scrutiny by the world's intellectual giants (:-) . No one figured that sarcasm would be used in print, let alone posted on the internet. Sarcasm is usually identified visually by the actions and appearance of the speaker. But no one seems to have identified the techniques of sarcasm in writing. One has to depend upon the spirit of the posting.
* Don't worry, Pastor Brandenburg hasn't lost his sense of humor.
*
* For Pastor Brandenburg:
* I don't see how that "Sanctification" (Bible) is the same thing as "Still able to be used of God" (KB). Sanctification means set apart for something. God used the lying spirit, Nebuchadnezzar, Pharoah, and Esau, for examples. Were they sanctified? I don't think either of these terms implies the other one.
*
* Speaking through my hat.
* ... Joel

Anonymous said...

Narcissistic I believe is the word; hence I find no need to become a blogger.
Pastor B, you disappoint me, but that is not a record either. It is all yours "gentlemen"...(tongue in cheek).

ILA

Kent Brandenburg said...

ILA,

If you had a blog, I would guess that it would be interesting. Hopefully, I'm not narci....that word you said. And that I stop disappointing everyone on the planet, but it's bound to happen.

Be well.

Juan Carlos Asmat said...

Throwback 13 said,
I don't see how that "Sanctification" (Bible) is the same thing as "Still able to be used of God" (KB).

II Timothy 2:20-21 "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."

Kent Brandenburg said...

Joel (throwback),

Sanctified is "set apart," not profane, not common. God doesn't use dirty vessels; blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God; follow after peace and holines without which no man can see the Lord....yes, sanctified means that you get to keep being used by God. You purge yourself from dirty vessels so that you can be used of God, and, yes, these from which you purge yourself are in the house. Practical holiness, sanctification.

Throwback 13 said...

* Pastor Brandenburg said: "God doesn't use dirty vessels."
*I just gave 4 examples, the lying spirit, Nebuchadnezzar (God called him "My servant), Pharoah, and Esau. Here is some more: King Saul, Judas, and Balaam's ass. Were these clean vessels? I think not.
* I believe my mother is a demon possesed, God hating dirty vessel. But everytime she chews me out, I take what she says and scour my soul to see if there is truth in what she says and that God has used her to say something I needed to hear that no one else would say. Does God use her? Not every time, but yes, sometimes.
* I know a pastor that refused a call to preach until he turned his car over in a ditch and was pinned under the dripping radiator and badly burned in the face. Was that car a clean vessel?
* God uses what God will use. But if I am going to be a willing servant of God's, and useful to him, I must seek to be clean.
* As for the verse Juan Carlos Asmat quoted, II Timothy 2:20-21 tells me how to be sanctified and meet for the master's use, but it did not say that God would not use me if I were not sanctified.
*
* Talking through my (thinking cap) hat.
* ... Joel

Dave Mallinak said...

Joel, I think the key is in how God uses. Maybe "how" is not the right word, but does God use us against our will or do we enjoy being used. Certainly God "uses" every person, every part and particle of his creation, and uses them for his glory. As Proverbs 16:4 says, "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." So, we need to be careful not to change the meaning of the word "use" in order to make our point. Sanctified use is different from common use. The way God used Pharoah is different than the way God used the Apostles. There is a sense in which a sanctified vessel is useful that is very different than the way Judas was useful.

Throwback 13 said...

* Pastor Mallinak said: 'Certainly God "uses" every person, every part and particle of his creation, and uses them for his glory.' (Scripture quote followed.)
* Pastor Brandenburg said: 'God doesn't use dirty vessels'
* I said, '"Sanctification" (Bible) is [not] the same thing as "Still able to be used of God" (KB).'
* I found the same difficulty in describing the difference between God using (say) the apostle Paul and God using Pharoah as you did. But the fact remains that God does sometimes use dirty vesels.
* My concern is the redefinition of Biblical words with new definitions that do not mean the same thing. If we allow it for the definition of "sanctified", then how can we condemn the Mormons for redefining "born again"? Words are important.
* Still speaking through my hat (which is not a substitute for a peep stone).
* ... Joel

Juan Carlos Asmat said...

Joel (throwback) wrote:
* For Pastor Brandenburg:
* I don't see how that "Sanctification" (Bible) is the same thing as "Still able to be used of God" (KB). Sanctification means set apart for something.

To answer that I think we need to read the context that came before and after that: Pastor Brandenburg wrote,
"If God wants us to know how, then that implies a way. God has a definite way. If we are to know anything, we must learn. God has a way to possess our vessel (obtain a wife or husband) that will leave us sanctified and that will honor God. We should assume that way is in Scripture. It is. God would not have told us to know it if He did not tell us what it was. We should find out the passages that teach His way and learn them. If we learn them, we will know them. If we know them, then we can obey them. If we obey them, we can still be useable to God (sanctification) and also honor God (more than just obedience). Believers care to be used of God and to honor God. "

Remember this is talking about a passage that was written to believers at the church of the Thessalonians. The paragraph mentioned before was a commentary on the verses mentioned in this post.

Also we read in v.3 "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication."

Remember in a great house there are some vessels to honour (abstaining from fornication) and some vessels to dishonour (not abstaining from fornication) and this is a believer's sanctification that we know for sure is in God's will.

Now, what about the lying spirit, Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar, Esau, King Saul, Judas, Balaam's ass?
I believe that there is a passage in Isaiah that might answer this question (I will look for that passage since I cannot remember at this moment).

Dave Mallinak said...

Joel, did someone redefine "sanctification"? Did someone change the meaning of the word? You said that "sanctification" means set apart for something. Juan quoted a verse showing that the vessel is set apart for use .

From what I read, the point of the statement in the post was simply that if we would be useful to God, we must be obedient. And in reply, Joel, you are arguing that we can all be disobedient and still be useful. "God uses dirty vessels too, so there." That sounds like a good idea, Joel. So it really doesn't matter whether I am clean or dirty, because God will use me either way? Really? That might be good news for some. Bob Gray, I think, will be interested to hear this interpretation. I'm sure others will find it helpful as well. I think I hear a new sermon title coming - "God wants dirty vessels. He uses them too."

Now, Joel, I'm sure you aren't saying that if we really want to be used of God, it doesn't matter whether we are clean or dirty, because God uses both. You aren't really saying that, are you? Because I'm wondering what your point is. If we want to serve the Lord, then we want to be "sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." We still want to be able to be used of God, in other words.

By the way, I really get tired of the "Mormon argument". It gets old, and I think it amounts to an extended Tu Quoque at the least, though probably more of an ad hominem. It is lousy argumentation, designed to set someone on their heals. Giving a rhetorical definition doesn't make anyone a Mormon. And I don't condemn Mormons for redefining "born again". Their definition might be wrong, but their condemnation will be justified because they worship and serve the creature more than the Creator who is blessed forever.

Throwback 13 said...

* Pastor Mallinak asked, "Joel, did someone redefine "sanctification"?"
* Yes. Pastor Brandenburg wrote, "What he teaches will sanctify them---leave them still able to be used of God" and, "If we obey them, we can still be useable to God (sanctification)."
* In the first quote above, the assertion is (Sanctified -> Still able to be used of God). In the second, the assertion is (Still be useable to God -> Sanctified). When the implication goes both ways, the equivalence is asserted.
* If God had meant to say that the people involved here needed to remain useable to God, He has the intelligence to say that. But He didn't, he said "Sanctified." This is the Holy Spirit superintended translation, and it is pure, perfect, and correct.
* Pastor Mallinak again - "And in reply, Joel, you are arguing that we can all be disobedient and still be useful." I am doing no such thing. I am discussing the definition of the word, not advocating anything but the useage of the proper word. The point of your two paragraphs is to try to make me say what I am not and then ridicule it (Straw man). This does nothing to address the point of what I am saying or edify one's respect for the Word of God and the words God used.
* Pastor Mallinak further - 'I really get tired of the "Mormon argument". It gets old, and I think it amounts to an extended Tu Quoque at the least.' The reason one gets tired of the "Mormon argument" is that it so thoroughly illustrates how redefining Bible words can be so devasting. Far from tu quoque, which (roughly) means one is excused an improper action because some one else does it (or vice versa), I am pointing out that when Biblical terms are redefined, the message is muddied, perhaps even destroyed. As to the suggestion that this is an ad hominem attack, it is the practice that I am highlighting, not the man. If he wants to say that what he did is not a redefinition, then let him explain what it was. Could it really fall into the category of clarification, and if so, is it an appropriate clarification? If, on the other hand, it is redefinition and he believes that redefinition is here appropriate, then let him defend that. Even if we should end up in disagreement, it does not mean that I am attacking him. In fact, in the case of Pastor Brandenburg, I believe his motives are above reproach and a disagreement is just that, a disagreement.
* Just stomping on my hat in frustration,
* ... Joel

Dave Mallinak said...

Now Joel, if I say that you are doing the same thing the Mormons are doing, you won't consider that an attack?

I'm not sure I understand what rules of defining you use here. Are you requiring us to stick with the King James English, and not expound on the meaning of the Greek words? Are you requiring a lexical definition, or do you allow for rhetorical definitions as well? And where do we find our definitions?

And while we are at it, what is your definition of "redefinition"?

By the way, I think the "Mormon argument" is a cheap shot.

That being said, as I said a while back, one problem we have here is that you have changed the meaning of "useful" (or useable, etc.) in the middle of your argument. I tried to point that out before. Obviously in Scripture, sanctified use differs from unsanctified use. The real problem is not that sanctified was equated with usefulness (the two are in at least one sense equivalent), but rather that you changed your meaning of usefulness in order to deny his definition. He was saying sanctified use, and you in return said generic or common use.

Dave Mallinak said...

One more thing, Joel. Did you not notice that I said "I'm sure you aren't saying..." and "You aren't saying that, are you?" It was no "straw man". Nobody is disrespecting your "respect for the Word of God". I do, however, question your respect for the words God used when you refuse to consider jots and tittles.

I am not tired of the "Mormon argument" because it "so thoroughly illustrates how redefining Bible words can be so devastating" as you claim. The Mormon argument is anything but devastating. You used a bad analogy, since their redefinitions damn souls to hell. Your analogy is an unfair attack on the speaker, accusing him of a heresy, and further, that analogy strangely resembles a scarecrow. Far from being a "devastating" argument, it really is ridiculous.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Something has been set apart by God for His own use. It is therefore holy. It is sanctified
or hallowed. God places special boundaries around these objects. Violators
become profane. The Assyrians were "used by God," but they were not able to enter his presence to worship Him. This use, of which I speak, Joel, is being used in worship service to God that is acceptable in this sense.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Daniel,

somewhere between detailed and overview, and welcome.

Throwback 13 said...

For Pastor Mallinak:
--------------------
* I just figured it out. When I disagree with Pastor Brandenburg (and what is the use of saying something if I agree, he will have already said it all), he lets you defend him. This sort of defeats the reason for my comments, which are to draw him out to find out what he is really saying, and to get a handle on how he thinks those thoughts.
* As for you and me, I refuse to come to odds with you over something Pastor Brandenburg said, and I don't see the value in making any further comment on what you have said on this subject, I cannot see it to be edifying for either of us and probably not to anyone else. But, it has been a real learning experience and has taught me much.
* I will be praying for you, but you know that.

For Pastor Brandenburg:
-----------------------
* I expect, if the Lord allows, that you and I are going to have a real battle, some day. There are differences between what you believe and what I believe that may seem trivial, but aren't. The rules will include that only the KJB can be used as the Biblical authority, no Greek, Hebrew, or other "Bible Language." Remember that you agreed that the King James Bible is the perfect Bible. Why use an inferior text when you have the perfect text in your hand and in your native language?
* I will have to bow out of participation on much of the blogs as my health has suddenly deteriorated and my workload has increased. The time and energy have to come from somewhere.
* I will be praying for you, also.

* Speaking through my hat,
* ... Joel Lichtenwalner

Kent Brandenburg said...

Joel,

I would really be a bad guy to battle on this subject because I believe in perfect preservation. If I were you, I'd start with people that do not believe that. On top of that, you will have a very difficult time Scripturally proving that God preserved His Word in the English. You'll have an equally tough time proving it through history since there are several editions of the KJV. However, the words behind each edition of the KJV stayed the same. Be well, brother. And by the way. Pastor Mallinack would only defend what I wrote if he believed it; it has nothing to do with me, except that you both read me, as I do read him.