Inquiry, the member Tiffy

Discussion in 'Court of High Commission' started by Phoenix, Sep 19, 2018.

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  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    I appreciate you efforts in 'the searching of scripture', but I doubt the extent of your researches. As to the 'application' of your research, you seem to have filtered your interpretation of the meaning of the scriptures you have so copiously quoted, through the filter of your own limited understanding of the true nature of the Triune Godhead. That is excusable because none of us has understanding of the Triune Godhead, but therefore should not deign to feign understanding that we do not possess. Unfortunately that is what you are doing by imposing you own interpretation on the text, then requiring compliance from others to concede agreement with your peculiar interpretation. (peculiar: odd; strange; own; belonging exclusively; very particular characteristic). All of which apply to the way you have interpreted your chosen texts.

    They were creatures of their time and space, as are we. They saw no need to stress the unsearchability of the nature of The Triune Godhead during the course of Christian Worship of the Father and the Son, and neither should we. They however laid down no doctrinal stipulation that God must never be referred to using female imagery, because they well knew that scripture unashamedly does so in various places. The use of "Son", "Father", "He" etc. in public worship, and in the creeds and formularies, is not a theological statement defining the necessary masculinity of the Godhead. It is a convention in keeping with Our Lord's many references to His Father and the many references in scripture to Jesus Christ being God's Son.

    You seem to be implying that I stand accused of stating the belief that God should be addressed as "She" or "Mother", in public worship. I would hope that that is not the case because I hold the exact opposite opinion and have actually stated such. If that is the basis of the charges against me, then I am falsely accused.

    I have never 'addressed God' in public worship using terms other than those laid down in Holy Writ, the Creeds and the Formularies. I have actually led public worship many times in The Church of England, so I know what I am talking about. My guess is that you have never led public worship in The Church of England, nor are ever likely to. I am astonished therefore at the confidence with which you deign to criticize my praxis and accuse me of breaking my oath.

    Nothing I have written on your website was written in the context of public worship. It was entirely in the context of theological reflection.

    Judging from your statements concerning the nature of God, my guess is that Christian theology is not your best subject.

    It seems to me that you are using the 'Oath' to pursue a personal doctrinaire and dogmatic 'witch hunt' to search out those who have the temerity to question any of your cherished naive and sectarian theological assumptions. You have taken upon yourself the mantle of authority and 'popishly' pronounce judgment claiming the infallibility of theological insight, it is plain for most to see, you unfortunately do not possess.

    My hope is that you will have the grace to tolerate plain speaking and not merely rule it disrespectful of your rank.
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  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    The theological aspects of the nature and therefore gender of the risen and reigning Christ are complicated by the fact that Christ existed in different "States" in time. But Christ is also Eternally existent and has always been so. This makes it impossible for us to pedantically assign human characteristics to the Second Person of the Eternal Trinity. Thus Christ's gender from an eternal perspective is "mysterious" to us.

    It should not be necessary for me to complete your theological education for you Phoenix, but I am willing to do so in the interests of making my own position clear and to disabuse you of some of your ignorance of Christian systematic theology.

    We often use the words 'state' and 'condition' interchangeably. When we speak of the states of Christ, however, we use the word 'state' in a more specific sense, to denote the relation in which He stood and stands to the law. In the days of His humiliation He was a servant under the law; in His exultation He is Lord, and as such above the law. Naturally these two states carried with them corresponding conditions of life, and these are discussed as the various stages of these states.

    1. The State of Humiliation.
    The state of humiliation consists in this that Christ laid aside the divine majesty which was His as the sovereign Ruler of the universe, and assumed human nature in the form of a servant; that He, the supreme Lawgiver, became subject to the demands and curse of the law. Matt.3:15; Gal.3:13; Gal.4:4; Phil.2:6-8. This state is reflected in the corresponding condition, in which we usually distinguish several stages.

    a. The incarnation and birth of Christ.
    In the incarnation the Son of God became flesh by assuming human nature, Jn.1:14; 1 Jn.4:2. He really became one of the human race by being born of Mary. This would not have been true, if He had brought His humanity from heaven, as the Anabaptists claim. The Bible teaches the virgin birth in Isa.7:14; Matt.1:20; Lk.1:24-35. Thus Christ before his birth on earth was not 'human'. This wonderful birth was due to the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit, who also kept the human nature of Christ free from the pollution of sin from its very inception, Lk.1:35.

    b. The sufferings of Christ. We sometimes speak as if the sufferings of Christ were limited to His final agonies, but this is not correct. His whole life was a life of suffering. It was the servant life of the Lord of Hosts, the life of the sinless One in a sin-cursed world. Satan assaulted Him, His people rejected Him, and his enemies persecuted Him. The sufferings of the soul were even more intense than those of the body. He was tempted by the devil, was oppressed by the world of iniquity round about Him, and staggered by the burden of sin resting upon Him - "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Isa.53:3.

    c. The death of Christ.
    When we speak of the death of Christ we naturally have in mind His physical death. He did ot die as the result of an accident, nor by the hand of an assassin, but under a judicial sentence, and was thus counted with the transgressors, Isa.53:12. By suffering the Roman punishment of crucifixion He died an accursed death, bearing the curse for us, Deut.21:23; Gal.3:13.

    d. The burial of Christ.
    It might seem as if the death of Christ was the last stage of His sufferings. Did He not cry out on the cross, "It is finished?" But these words probably refer to His active suffering. His burial certainly was part of His humiliation, of which He as Son of God was also conscious. Man's returning to the dust is a punishment for sin, Gen.3:19. That the Saviour's abode in the grave was a humiliation, is evident from Ps.16:10; Acts 2:27 and 31; and 13:34-35. It removed for us the terrors of the grave.

    e. The descent into hades. The words of the Apostolic Confession, fession, "He descended into hades," are variously interpreted. Roman Catholics say that He went down into the Limbus Patrum, where the Old Testament saints were confined, fined, to release them; and the Lutherans that, between His death and resurrection, He went down to hell to preach and to celebrate his victory tory over the powers of darkness. In all probability it is a figurative expression to denote (1) that He suffered the pangs of hell in the garden and on the cross, and (2) that He entered the deepest humiliation of the state of death, Ps. 16:8-10; Eph. 4:9.

    2. The State of Exaltation.
    In the state of exaltation Christ passed from under the law as a covenant obligation, having paid the penalty of sin and merited righteousness ness and eternal life for the sinner. Moreover, He was crowned with a corresponding honor and glory. Four stages must be distinguished here.

    a. The resurrection. The resurrection of Christ did not consist in the mere re-union of body and soul, but especially in this that in Him human nature, both body and soul, was restored to its original beauty and strength, and even raised to a higher level. In distinction from all those who had been raised up before Him He arose with a spiritual body, I Cor. 15:44, 45. For that reason son He can be called "the first fruits of them that slept," I Cor. 15:20, and "the firstborn of the dead," Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5. The resurrection of Christ has a threefold significance: (1) It was a declaration of the Father that Christ met all the requirements of the law, Phil. 2:9. (2) It symbolized the justification, regeneration, and final resurrection of believers, Rom. 6:4, 5, 9; I Cor. 6:14; 15:20-22. (3) It was the cause of our justification, regeneration, and resurrection, Rom. 4:25; 5:10; Eph. 1:20; Phil. 3:10; I Pet. 1:3.

    b. The ascension. The ascension was in a sense the necessary completion of the resurrection, but it also had independent significance. We have a double account of it, namely, in Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-11. Paul refers to it in Eph. 1:20; 4:8-10; I Tim. 3:16, and the Epistle to the Hebrews stresses its significance, 1:3; 4:14; 6:20; 9:24. It was a visible ascent of the Mediator, according to His human nature, from earth to heaven, a going from one place to another. other. It included a further glorification of the human nature of Christ. (The Lutherans have a different view of it. They conceive of it as a change of condition, whereby the human nature of Jesus passed into the full enjoyment of certain divine attributes, and became permanently omnipresent.) In the ascension Christ as our great high priest enters the inner sanctuary to present His sacrifice to the Father and begin His work as intercessor at the throne, Rom. 8:34; Heb. 4:14; 6:20; 9:24. He ascended to prepare a place for us, John 14:1-3. With Him we are already set in heavenly places, and in His ascension we have the assurance of a place in heaven, en, Eph. 2:6; John 17:24.

    c. The session at God's right hand. After His ascension Christ is seated at the right hand of God, Eph. 1:20; Heb. 10:12; I Pet. 3:22. Naturally, the expression `right hand of God' cannot be taken literally, but should be understood as a figurative indication of the place of power and glory. During His session at God's right hand Christ rules and protects His Church, governs the universe in its behalf, and intercedes for His people on the basis of His completed sacrifice.

    d. The physical return. The exaltation of Christ reaches its climax, when He returns to judge the living and the dead. Evidently His return will be bodily and visible, Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7. [This is a mystery since God The Trinity is a Spirit and Christ has also become “a life giving Spirit”], nevertheless Christ’s return is a bodily return, presumably in the ‘Spiritual body’ He had when Christ departed from earth. Acts.1:11. This does not necessarily imply however that Christ has a physical, earthly body, with human gender, in heaven and in His omnipresence on earth, as part of the Triune God. Matt.28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

    That He will come as Judge is evident from such passages as John 5:22, 27; Acts 10:42; Rom. 2:16; II Cor. 5:10; II Tim. 4:1. The time of His second coming is not known to us. He will come for the purpose of judging the world and perfecting the salvation of His people. This will mark the complete victory of His redemptive work. I Cor. 4:5; Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:4; I Thess. 4:13-17; II Thess. 1:7-10; II Thess. 2:1-12; Tit. 2:13; Rev. 1:7.

    (Extracts from A Summary of Christian Doctrine by Louis Berkhof). Banner of Truth Trust ISBN 0-85151-055-8.

    So as you may appreciate it is no simple matter of assigning human gender to the Second Person of The Trinity. Christ is no longer a man on earth subject to the laws of nature or the law in any respect. We think and speak of Christ as He was, a man, not as He is, “a life giving Spirit”, when we meet together to worship both Him and His Father as coequal Persons of the Holy Trinity.

    And, yes, I do think of Jesus as 'masculine' and always refer to Him as such. Likewise I always refer to His Father as 'masculine', using He as personal pronoun, even though I know that I am referring to the First Person of The Trinity concerning whom human gender is irrelevant.
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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  3. Phoenix

    Phoenix Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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    The Inquiry has moved along a course. Some allegations were raised and then answered perfectly adequately; others have not been. The final conclusion is made below.
     
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  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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    @Tiffy,

    Unfortunately you have not addressed any of the specific points that were brought. You have however made further statements about topics of your own choosing; they supply this conversation with additional information which helps clarify your stance vis-a-vis the unfeigned subscription to the Scripture, the Creeds, and the Formularies.


    Here, and on at least two prior cases in this thread, you were asked to make an assent that our references to God the Father must be necessarily in male-gendered terms, as taught by the sacred Scripture, the Creeds, and the Formularies. At first you had made this affirmation, but subsequently repeatedly denied it on at least three separate occasions, such as in the most recent quote above. The final conclusion is that you reject necessarily referring to God the Father in male-gendered terms.


    Here, and on at least two prior cases in this thread, you were asked to make an assent that our references to Christ, even post-Ascension, must be necessarily in male-gendered terms, as taught by the sacred Scripture, the Creeds, and the Formularies. At first you had made this affirmation, but subsequently repeatedly denied it on at least three separate occasions, such as in the most recent quote above. The final conclusion is that you reject necessarily referring to the Risen Christ in male-gendered terms.


    The question of your assent to the Creeds, and to the the Anglican Formularies, is made most clear here:
    Denigrating the Creeds and the Formularies as culturally conditioned, and therefore inadequately representing the summary of the Christian faith, not to mention the Anglican Identity, directly undermines the institution of the Anglican Badge, as here constituted. This explains why, as noted in post #35, you at some times profess complete adherence to the Creeds and the Formularies, and at other times freely contradict them. The final conclusion is that you cannot profess an unqualified adherence to the Creeds and the Formularies.


    For these reasons, you do not seem to satisfy the conditions required in your Oath of Subscription, and your Anglican Badge is thereby removed.
     
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