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Rejoicing Under Fire #8777
Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:40 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:40 PM
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J_Edwards Offline OP
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Please rejoice with us. My wife is under fire from her School for teaching the children why it is wrong to draw the "Baby Jesus." My wife teaches 6-12 grade computers at a "Christian School" (inter-denominational, but mostly Baptist). The persecution comes from a child's family that professes Christ and her school that claims to be a Christian organization. She was advised of the complaint today and has to prepare a statement for tomorrow. She has to appear before the school council for a hearing. Please pray (1) that she will be delivered from the Lion's Den, and (2) that God's Word will prosper. Here is what I am preparing to assist her. Please read it and see if you may make some suggestions.

[Name of School] has among its population of students some Presbyterians. In the Presbyterian faith we take very good care to teach both children and adults the importance of the Ten Commandments. Among the Ten Commandments is the Second which says:
    Exodus 20:15-16 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of then that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

    Deuteronomy 4:15-16 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

    I believe as a Christian, and one believing in the Second Commandment, I had, and still have, a duty to instruct the children that while the First Commandment is against worshiping a false god(s), in the Second, the worshiping of the true God in a false manner is also wrong, as interpreted by some denominations (i.e. Presbyterians, et. al.) and a great deal of historic Christianity (The Heidelberg Catechism, Q/A-97, God neither can, nor may be represented by any means). I advised the children to do here what both the Bible, their Denomination's Statement of Faith (if they have a teaching on the Second Commandment), and parents instruct them.

    Thomas Boston said:
      It is not lawful to have pictures of Jesus Christ, because his divine nature cannot be pictured at all, and because his body, as it is now glorified, cannot be pictured as it is; and because, if it do not stir up devotion, it is in vain; if it do stir up devotion, it is a worshiping by an image or picture, and so a palpable breach of the second commandment.

      Thomas Watson stated:
        If it be not lawful to make the image of God the Father, yet may we not make an image of Christ, who took upon him the nature of man?

        No! Epiphanies, seeing an image of Christ hanging in a church, brake it in pieces. It is Christ's Godhead, united to his manhood, that makes him to be Christ; therefore to picture his manhood, when we cannot picture his Godhead, is a sin, because we make him to be but half Christ - we separate what God has joined, we leave out that which is the chief thing which makes him to be Christ. Here I stand! grin


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: J_Edwards] #8778
Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:44 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:44 PM

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Sound ok to me Joe , but leave the [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img] out .

Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: J_Edwards] #8779
Thu Dec 11, 2003 6:37 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 6:37 PM

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Dear Joe:

I rejoice with you and Carel. Interesting how the tests seem to come together, or one on top of another, isn't it?

I read the document and it looks good to me.

One additional thought though. Is there a similar statement in the WCF, which, as I understand it is still the current "official" document for the Presbyterian Church? If so, it would make your arguement, "as interpreted by some denominations (i.e. Presbyterians, et. al.)" stronger, I believe.

My prayers and thoughts are with you and Carel and perhaps this will serve to bring light to darkness in this matter to His Glory.

In Him,

Gerry

Re: Rejoicing Under Fire #8780
Thu Dec 11, 2003 6:48 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 6:48 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question 109


Q109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

A109: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising,[1] counseling,[2] commanding,[3] using,[4] and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself;[5] tolerating a false religion;[6] the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever;[7] all worshiping of it,[8] or God in it or by it;[9] the making of any representation of feigned deities,[10] and all worship of them, or service belonging to them;[11] all superstitious devices,[12] corrupting the worship of God,[13] adding to it, or taking from it,[14] whether invented and taken up of ourselves,[15] or received by tradition from others,[16] though under the title of antiquity,[17] custom,[18] devotion,[19] good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever;[20] simony;[21] sacrilege;[22] all neglect,[23] contempt,[24] hindering,[25] and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.[26]

1. Num. 15:39
2. Deut. 13:6-8
3. Hosea 5:11; Micah 6:16
4. I Kings 11:33; 12:33
5. Deut. 12:30-32
6. Deut. 13:6-12; Zech. 13:2-3; Rev. 2:2, 14-15, 20, Rev. 17:12, 16-17
7. Deut. 4:15-19; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:21-23, 25
8. Dan. 3:18; Gal. 4:8
9. Exod. 32:5
10. Exod. 32:8
11. I Kings 18:26, 28; Isa. 65:11
12. Acts 17:22; Col. 2:21-23
13. Mal. 1:7-8, 14
14. Deut. 4:2
15. Psa. 106:39
16. Matt. 15:9
17. I Peter 1:18
18. Jer. 44:17
19. Isa. 65:3-5; Gal. 1:13-14
20. I Sam. 13:11-12; 15:21
21. Acts 8:18
22. Rom. 2:22; Mal. 3:8
23. Exod. 4:24-26
24. Matt. 22:5; Mal. 1:7, 13
25. Matt. 23:13
26. Acts 13:44-45; I Thess. 2:15-16


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Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: Pilgrim] #8781
Thu Dec 11, 2003 6:53 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 6:53 PM
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J_Edwards Offline OP
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Yes, I think I will add the smaller statement of "WCF: Q/A 109 the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever." I think pasting the whole of it may overwhelm the rest of the content. Though that may do them some good [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/smile.gif" alt="smile" title="smile[/img]


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: Pilgrim] #8782
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:08 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:08 PM

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Pilgrim, the WLC , Q109 , highlighted part, does really bring home one of the dangers of christmass. Especially the 'inwardly in our mind ' part.

Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: J_Edwards] #8783
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:19 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:19 PM
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One suggestion. <br><br>Some might become defensive with the opening paragraph - Presbyterians take very good care to teach both children and adults the importance of the Ten Commandments. If it is a Christian school, they will think they take good care as well. Maybe you can use more inclusive wording such as conservative Christian or biblical Christian in making your case. I don't think you want it to become a denominational issue. <br><br>Just my thoughts


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: John_C] #8784
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:27 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:27 PM
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J_Edwards Offline OP
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I will think about this. My wife and I are Presbyterian and the way she taught the class was to use Presbys and other Reformers as examples...thus the way it is worded (and the School knows this from the e-mail she received..they did not even confront her face to face). But I do see your point that they may become offended.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Rejoicing Under Fire #8785
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:39 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:39 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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In reply to:
the WLC , Q109 , highlighted part, does really bring home one of the dangers of christmass. Especially the 'inwardly in our mind ' part.

[Linked Image] Howard you are: 1) Off Topic with this comment in regard to this thread. 2) There is nothing inherent in the recognition of Christ's incarnation which even remotely relates to this particular statement in the WSC.

If you are wanting to expand on or defend this statement, please start a new thread for that purpose. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]

In His Grace,



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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: J_Edwards] #8786
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:45 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:45 PM
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Gremantown, TN
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Your response looks good. In addition to the Westminster suggestions you might look to the London Baptist Confessions and Spurgeon's Catechism since the school is mostly baptist.<br>


Soli Deo Gloria
John Schultz
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Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: jfschultz] #8787
Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:12 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:12 PM
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J_Edwards Offline OP
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Yes, I think I may just add a sentence from each of the related confessions. Great idea, especially since most the the individuals I will be dealing with are Baptists, but have never been taught or understood this.....


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Rejoicing Under Fire #8788
Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:16 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:16 PM
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J_Edwards Offline OP
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Why can't I smile? [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: J_Edwards] #8789
Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:55 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:55 PM

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In reply to:
Thomas Boston said:

....if it do not stir up devotion, it is in vain; if it do stir up devotion, it is a worshiping by an image or picture, and so a palpable breach of the second commandment.



A very similar, if not the exact quote, is given in Thomas Vincent's book on the WSC. In any case, many Reformed denominations don't see it this way. The OPC for instance has Sunday school materials with portrayals of Jesus. I suspect the PCA does as well. This will be an uphill battle to say the least.

Blessings,

Ron


Re: Rejoicing Under Fire [Re: John_C] #8790
Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:59 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:59 PM

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That's wise, John. It is true, however, that it is usually the consciously Reformed who have the high regard for the moral code of God. Typically speaking, Fundamentalism substitutes man's law for God's. <br><br>Ron

Re: Rejoicing Under Fire #8791
Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:15 PM
Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:15 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Ron,

When I was at WTS (Philadelphia) and attending a OPC church (probably the best congregation I have ever had the privilege of being a part of), one of my children was given a SS coloring booklet with an alleged picture of Jesus in it. I brought this matter to the attention of the Elders along with the quote from the WLC #109. They immediately questioned the SS Teacher and reminded her of the doctrinal standards on which that church stood and asked her to stop using the material. She put up a bit of a fuss and chose to refuse their counsel. Consequently, she was removed from her teaching responsibilities. It was saddened that this woman chose the course she did, but rejoiced that the Elders were committed to upholding doctrinal purity and the practice of it.

In Joe's situation, the school, as he has already mentioned consists of mainly Baptist believers. As we have read on this Board, some otherwise very conservative RB's reject the historic interpretation and application of the Second Commandment. If this is typical of Baptists today, then I don't have much hope that Carel is going to succeed in arguing her case. But in any event, it is the Lord's doing and at least, an acceptable witness will be brought forth by her to the honor of God and reverence of the Lord Christ.

In His Grace,


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