Question About Vows

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Fidei Defensor, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    In Matrimony (Marriage) there are vows:

    Vow to Forsake Others: to not marry or have conjugal relations with anyone else.

    Vow to Obey: that wives will obey their husbanda.

    Vow to stay together in Sickness and Health: self explanatory.

    Often when one takes holy orders to become a monk or nun, one is required to take vows:

    Vow of Chastity: to never marry or have conjugal rites.

    Vow of Obedience: to obey superiors such as an abbot or abbess and other ecclesiastical leaders.

    Vow of Poverty: to give up all wordly goods and property and live communally )sharing everything).

    Vow of Silence: either for a time or perpetually not utter words in conversation, saving them for prayers and mass.
    *Not many monastic orders are silent orders.

    However, Jesus Christ our Lord says do not take vows or oaths:

    “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.' But I tell you, do not swear an oath (ὀμνύω, vow) at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
    35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
    36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.
    37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:33-37)

    Our Lord says to swear an oath (vow) comes from the evil one, Satan. How then can we condone taking vows when Christ says not to?
     
  2. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench New Member Anglican

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    The understanding of that passage to be a blanket forbidding of all forms of oaths and vows is a peculiarly Anabaptist interpretation. Perhaps the most direct answer to your question/objection is the last of our 39 Articles of Religion. If you want to check it out, I've got a little commentary on the article in question here - https://leorningcniht.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/article-39-swearing-oaths/

    In short, though, the teaching is against "vain and rash" swearing. There are positive biblical examples of vows, and the Church has long trusted that marriage vows, ordination vows, and so on, are perfectly acceptable in the eyes of God.
     
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  3. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I see no leway with the Lord’s statement:

    “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.' But I tell you, do not swear an oath (ὀμνύω, vow) at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
    35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
    36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.
    37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:33-37)

    You either say yes or no, everything else is of the evil one. He even referenced the vows of the Old Testament and says, “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.' But I tell you, do not swear an oath (ὀμνύω, vow) at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne.”

    Jesus has ammended Vows and said preform them no more, say yes or no.

    He did this elsewhere with divorce:

    “When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan.
    2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
    4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’
    5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?
    6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
    7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
    8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.
    9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
    10The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
    11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.
    12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” (Matthew 19:1-12)

    Other examples of Jesus making new covenant ccomands:

    “You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

    Jesus can change the Law because He has replaced it with a New Covenant:

    “When God speaks of a "new" covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13)

    “Now, however, Jesus has received a much more excellent ministry, just as the covenant He mediates is better and is founded on better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6)

    “Therefore Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, now that He has died to redeem them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15)

    “To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24)

    “And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)

    “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
    32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ” declares the LORD.
    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
    34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
    35 This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name:
    36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will Israel ever cease being a nation before me.”
    37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the LORD. ” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

    “In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:20)

    Jesus can change the Law because Hexis the God who made the Law:

    “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,” (Colossians 1:19)

    “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” (Colossians 2:9)

    “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:” (2 Peter 1:1)

    “while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.” (Titus 2:13)

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2 He was with God in the beginning.
    3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
    ” (John 1:1-3)

    “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
    28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
    29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
    30 I and the Father are one.”
    ” (John 10:27-30)

    “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
    8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
    9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
    10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
    11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. ” (John 14:6-11)

    “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
    21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
    22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—
    ” (John 17:10-22)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    New covenant "commands"? We're under grace, right? Acts 15:28-29 seems pertinent.

    If you feel that you should not swear oaths, by all means don't swear oaths. If someone feels that they may swear an oath, let the person be guided by his conscience.
     
  5. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Yes, we are under grace, and salvation is by grace by in Jesus Alone (Philippians 3:9, Ephensians 2:4-9, Acts 4:10-12, Acts 15:6-11, John 3:16-18, John 6:40, John 17:3, 1 John 4:15, Romans 10:9-10).

    I am not discussing salvic matters in my reaponse to Fr. Brench, but that Jesus has changed things under His New Covenant:

    1. Passover is now The Last Supper. Eucharist/Communion (Luke 22:19-20)
    2. Divorce has changed (Matthew 19:1-12)
    3. Sabbath is for rest (Mark 2:27-28)
    4. Kosher, Levitical Eating Codes are no more (Mark 7:18-19)
    5. Adultery is now lusting in your heart (Matthew 5:27-28)
    6. Vows are evil (Matthew 5:34-37)
    7. Ends Stoning Sinners (John 8:7)
    and many more things Jesus changes.


    Jesus’ does have commands for us who are under Grace and saved by faith in Him and His propitiatory sacrifice:

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
    38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
    39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
    40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

    “34A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

    “"If you love me, keep my command” (John 14:15)

    “This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:17)
     
  6. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench New Member Anglican

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    You are overstating the case, regarding the quote on vows in Matthew 5:34. Consider what our Lord later said about vows in Matt. 23:16-22:

    "“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it."

    Notice he doesn't repeat the Sermon on the Mount's language of utter forbidding, but offers correctives for proper oath-making in their context. It is, therefore, entirely in line with the text of the earlier Sermon to consider Christ forbidding vain and rash swearing, as our Article 39 interprets it. There are a number of things in the Sermon on the Mount that sometimes get taken to extremes when focused upon out of the larger context of Apostolic teaching. "Call no man Father" comes to mind ;)

    Consider also the witness of history: the absolute forbidding of oaths is a feature of Anabaptist Christianity - one of the most radical outcroppings of the Protestant Reformation. Before them, I'm not sure there's a single Christian source available that interprets Matthew 5 to forbid marriage vows or ordination vows, or the like.
     
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  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Good point about Matt. 23, I never saw that before. :cool:

    Regarding the "Call no man Father" thing, coming from a RC upbringing I still have an overactive sensitivity about this, but fortunately the rector is fine with being called "pastor" too. :) It's just my hangup; I have come to understand that when Jesus spoke of not calling anyone Rabbi, Father, or Master he was speaking against those pride-filled religious leaders who elevated themselves above the ordinary people by the use of special titles and privileges, and who took advantage of the people for personal gain. Such people we should not call by special titles (Father, Master, etc.), whereas ordinary people may be respectfully addressed ("Mister," "Doctor," and so forth).

    I do think, though, that the RCC has definitely lost the spiritual right to use the title "Father" because they fit Jesus' description of pride-filled, self-absorbed religious folk! That bunch has spent the last thousand years placing their clergy on a high, holier-than-thou pedestal. Why, their priests can act in personam Christi to absolve sins and to confect the Eucharist; what ordinary mortal could do such things!? They trained the laity to look at them with awe and they set themselves up as an indispensable gateway to heaven; the people are held captive under threat of anathema: if you dare leave the RCC, "no salvation for you!" They are the 'soup nazis' of the church world.
     
  8. Theistgal

    Theistgal New Member

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    "Oh, Lord, I thank you that I am not like those pride-filled, self-absorbed religious RCC over there!" ;)
     
  9. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    The call no man Father or Rabbi I think is in context fo Christ must be supreme in all offices. Obviou
    Amen! For we Reformed are never proud and arev always right about absolutely everything! Lol jk :D
    :deadhorse:
     
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  10. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    This is not the point of Christ's teaching. People still called him Rabbi. We still call our earthly fathers "father." He calls the Roman emperor by his title ("Caesar"). Even the terms for "ordinary" people are themselves titles.
     
  11. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    How to you reconcile this teaching with this one by Christ?:

    “7they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
    8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.
    9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
    10 Nor are you to be called instructors or teachers, for you have one Instructor, the Christ.
    11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
    12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:7-12)
     
  12. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    It's simple. It's hyperbole pointing to the point that Christ is actually getting at (i.e humility).

    Christ continued to be called rabbi, leaders in the Church were called apostles, presbyters (elders) , etc...Paul called himself a father to Titus and Timothy. No one would think today that Christians are forbidden from calling their father "father."
     
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  13. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Alas Christ can be called Rabbi (teacher) because He says so, “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. Nor are you to be called teachers, leaders or masters for you have one leader, teacher, and master the Christ.” (Matthew 23:8, 10, NIV-NASB).

    If any errored, it twas Paul to call himself father of Timothy, for St. Paul admits his weakness,

    “because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

    “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:9)

    For the alleged titles of apostle and evangelist are not titles in pont of fact but gifts:

    “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.” (Ephensians 4:11)

    For Paul’s words are divine inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), but his greeting a harold of worldy address winst he called Timothy his son and he the pater. For Paul canst error, for when not led by Spiritus Holy, he did say, “after these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome,” (Acts 19:21), but he wast rebuked by the Lord through Disciples, “Paul wanted to go before the assembly, but the disciples would not allow him. Even some of Paul’s friends who were officials of the province of Asia sent word to him, begging him not to venture into the theatre.” (Acts 19:30-31).

    For though Paul be led by the Spirit, at times his own spirit of stubbornness bore him woe. For the apostles did admit in holy writ, times when they were uncertain if their decision met with the Holy Spirit’s bliss, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials..” (Acts 15:28). Seemed tis not certainty, and so they spoketh.

    When any word contravenes the Word of God (Jesus), it tis to be considered “seemed good to us and the Spirit” and not “Thus Sayeth the LORD!” For the apostles be mere mortals and capable of fumbles, but Christ the God Man is perfect and humble.
     
  14. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    Sorry but nothing in these texts say that Saint Paul erred in calling himself a father to Titus and Timothy, or other Christians. To say without any proof is to impugn Scripture for the purpose of an overzealous and acontextual interpretation. You are completely ripping Corinthians out of context to apply it to several separate texts. By this argument I could use this to simply diminish anything else Saint Paul wrote.

    Additionally, claiming that apostlehood is a gift (sure, I guess) does not negate the found it is also a title (Apostle John, etc...). Saint Paul calls himself a teacher many times;

    “For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle . . . a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth” (1 Tim. 2:7); “For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher” (2 Tim. 1:11)

    These are offices and titles. Christ is using a pretty typical Hebraic/Eastern rhetorical tool here when using hyperbole to prove His main point. Otherwise we would also be mutilating and amputating ourselves (Matt. 5:29, cf. 18:9; Mark 9:47) which is clearly absurd and ahistorical.

    Charles Ellicott, Anglican priest and scholar puts it well:

    It would, of course, be a slavish literalism to see in our Lord’s words an absolute prohibition of these and like words in ecclesiastical or civil life. What was meant was to warn men against so recognising, in any case, the fatherhood of men as to forget the Fatherhood of God. Even the teacher and apostle, who is a father to others, needs to remember that he is as a “little child” in the relation to God.
     
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  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    What is the matter with calling your priest by his Christian name, if you know him well, and he knows you? We are Christians. That is why we have Christian names. Let's use them. I can't imagine Jesus getting uppity over a close disciple calling him Josh'. He was very fond of using nicknames for his own disciples. Just because we have no scripture record of names his own disciples used when addressing Jesus, does not mean it never happened. There is much in the Gospels that is not recorded regarding what Jesus said and did, and what others said to him. If one is not on first name terms one can always use terms of respect such a Reverend, Pastor, Father etc. All better than a rude "Oi you!" or "Mate" or the tacitly intimidating, "Friend" or "Stranger".

    Vicar however is a job, so the Vicar might just refer to you back as 'plumber', 'electrician' 'shopkeep' 'road sweeper' etc, instead of using your Christian nane, if he does not know it but only knows your profession. :laugh:
     
  16. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I stand by my points, especially yhe words of Christ in Matthew 23:7-11, and I resort to Henry David Thoreau, “A farmer is not a farmer, farming is what he does, he is first and foremost a man, Man on a Farm.” (Walden).
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    I have already expressed my opinion on the meaning of Matt. 23:7-12, although I will add that I can understand Joe's point of view (even though I prefer my own) ;) .

    As for some of the verses cited to support the idea that Paul was wrong to call himself a spiritual father of Timothy, I agree with Joe that the verses are not in the same context. I have been witness to some of the more odd ideas certain Christian groups have come up with by stringing together a series of unrelated scriptures to build a doctrinal idea. One of the more valuable tools we have for discerning the accuracy of such ideas is the early church writings; if the early Christians did not believe or teach, for example, that one can "exercise faith" to receive whatever trappings of wealth one desires, that fact is a very strong indication to us that their understanding of Jesus' and the apostles' teachings did not include that belief or teaching. In context of the current question, if any writing from the first few centuries can be cited to show that the early church endorsed this idea of Paul's "father" error, I'd be inclined to consider it as reasonable evidence; in the absence of such writing, I am skeptical.
     
  18. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    While you are certainly at liberty to have your view and opinion. I would suggest you refrain from calling people “odd” because they support doxology with Bible verses. If a scripture is totally out of context that is one thing, but if you Biblical Literalist, then you formulate doctrine on Scripture, having taken it literally. Others apply the Symbolic Approach and Allegory; Biblical Spiritualist. Since these forums are bound to have both groups, I suggest we bear with one another’s different views: “In Essentials Inity, In Non-Essenrials liberty, In All Things Charity (love).” (Rupertus Meldenius)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019 at 12:07 AM
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Perhaps there's been a misunderstanding. I didn't call anyone "odd." I did refer to some groups of Christians holding odd ideas (we all know this is true). If I somehow accidentally implicated or offended you, that was not my intent.
     
  20. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I am not offended. I have personally learned that it is best not to label any church group idea “odd,” lest in retrospect you discover you agree with it later. For instance, I was not a Transubstantiationlist, more of a Brucerist (its not literally the blood and body in the Eucharist, but more than symbolism and has spiritual effects) and definitely not a Zwinglian (Eucharist is totally symbolic). I use to think Transubstantiation was odd, but now I am coming around to it.
     

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