Sep 24, 2009

A Whore's Theology

"So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee." (Proverbs 7: 13-15 JV)

"She was properly hvdq, "a holy" religious harlot, as the word sometimes signifies." (John Gill in his commentary)

"Her profession of piety. She had been to-day at the temple, and was as well respected there as any that worshipped in the courts of the Lord. She had paid her vows, and, as she thought, made all even with God Almighty, and therefore might venture upon a new score of sins. Note, The external performances of religion, if they do not harden men against sin, harden them in it, and embolden carnal hearts to venture upon it, in hopes that when they come to count and discount with God he will be found as much in debt to them for their peace-offerings and their vows as they to him for their sins. But it is sad that a show of piety should become the shelter of iniquity (which really doubles the shame of it, and makes it more exceedingly sinful) and that men should baffle their consciences with those very things that should startle them. The Pharisees made long prayers, that they might the more plausibly carry on their covetous and mischievous provisions. The greatest part of the flesh of the peace-offerings was by the law returned back to the offerers, to feast upon with their friends, which (if they were peace-offerings of thanksgiving) was to be all eaten the same day and none of it left until the morning, Lev. 7:15. This law of charity and generosity is abused to be a colour for gluttony and excess: "Come," says she, "come home with me, for I have good cheer enough, and only want good company to help me off with it." It was a pity that the peace-offerings should thus become, in a bad sense, sin-offerings, and that what was designed for the honour of God should become the food and fuel of a base lust. But this is not all." (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

Religion is often an invention to justify sin. There are many examples of this in the world. The pagan religions generally practiced lewd sexual practices of the worst sort. The Romish religion has also promoted sin through the "sale of indulgences."

There is a debate over whether the Calvinist doctrine of "eternal security" of the believer ("once saved always saved") promotes licentiousness. Likewise, whether the Arminian doctrine of "apostasy" ('losing salvation') promotes it.

The Arminian avows that "once saved always saved" promotes carelessness about sin. It is said that some people who believe in "eternal security" use it as an excuse for committing sin. After all, if I cannot lose my salvation, then I can commit any sin and it will not cause me everlasting harm. So goes the argumentation of the Arminian.

On the other hand, here is an Arminian who believes he loses salvation every time he sins, or temporarily falls, but who also believes that he can "make it right" afterward, by simply confessing his sins. He says to himself, in temptation - "I know it is sin, but I also know I can confess it afterward and get converted again."

So, the debate will go on as to which religion, which doctrine, promotes sin doing, and which discourages it.

No comments: