Is the Church a Whore, or Your Mother? No

“The Church is a whore, but she’s my mother.”
–St Augustine

Mr. Augustine said a lot of things. It is possible he said this, but there is no proof. In the plethora of thoughts he wrote down, it seems likely one would be able to find a context for this quote, but it’s nowhere to be found.

Which leads me to believe he never said it. Augustine, however, was rather mindful of whores in his life, so it sounds like something he would have said.

The gist of the quote, as far as I can tell, is that the church is a messed up place, but in the end, it’s still your mom and you’re supposed to love your mom.

I can think of three objections to this notion right off the bat:

First, would you love your mom if she were a whore? It would certainly be difficult, there would be a definite strain in the relationship. I would not trust her, nor would I get too close. If this is indeed an apt description of the church, would Christ really want me to associate with her? The Apostle Paul asked, “shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot?” Is Christ asking us to be joined to a harlot? I think not.

Second, are you suggesting that the church, the Bride of Christ, is a whore? The same bride whom Christ washed and sanctified? Are you suggesting that Christ’s work has come up short and that new birth results in no change?

Third, the notion that the Church is our mother is not biblical. This is purely a Catholic idea that has no basis in anything scriptural. I would hesitate to use the metaphor.

I will be the first to admit that the visible/institutional church has been unfaithful and gross. No argument there. But this isn’t the True Church. It is Augustine’s church, so thus I can see why he may have said this, but it’s not the True Church, the Bride of Christ.

Don’t call Christ’s bride a whore. Not cool. The Bride of Christ is pure, holy, loving, peaceful, united, edifying, and fully loyal to her husband. There is no whoredom in Christ’s church.

Blame your problems with the church on human sin, don’t develop bad feelings toward His True People, His Bride. The Bride is dressed in fine, white linen representing the righteous deeds of the saints. This is the Bride of Christ, the Church. She does what is right and beautiful.

Don’t let past experience with those who weren’t the True Church anyway, keep you from present enjoyment of knowing Her now. God’s people are out there. It has always taken some work to find them. There has always been a remnant, and remnants are, by definition, small. But when you find Her, what a joyous relationship can ensue.

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Russell Moore on Christ’s Confidence

Jesus is not threatened. The remarkable thing to me in the gospels is how un-caffeinated Jesus is when everyone else is freaking out. Jesus is becoming anguished, anxious, and provoked at the oddest times. When everybody else is asleep or just kind of walking through the temple, this is always there, but when everyone else is outraged and panicking, Jesus has this tranquility that I think ultimately is rooted in confidence.

He really does know who he is and what he’s about. And if you have a church and a people of God who are confident in their gospel, then those are going to be people who are not going to be as panicked when they have people who say, “We think you’re crazy, we think you’re bigoted, we think you’re wrong.”

–Russell Moore

Sproul on God’s Power to Rule Us

Calvinist R. C. Sproul tweeted the following:

God doesn’t need our consent in order to govern us. He made us.

Essentially this is correct. God can do what He wants.

At the same time, the Bible paints God as a tad more complex than this over-simplified statement does.

As Paul explained with Pharaoh, God can harden who He wants and can have compassion on who He wants.

Although both sides of the freewill argument agree here, the disagreement comes in how frequently this is the case.

In other words, do we have anything to do with this hardening or compassion choice?

God can override at any point; but this does not imply that He overrides at all points.

“Whosoever will may come.” “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

Way too many verses say we have something to do with this.

Although God can rule us without our consent, He graciously waits for our consent most of the time. This gracious allowance of choice is also the same thing that condemns us when we choose to reject Him.

If our unbelief is God’s doing and has nothing to do with me, judgment, wrath, punishment, and perdition don’t seem to fit.

Yes, Dr. Sproul is essentially correct, but leaving the story there makes God a bullying monster unjustly offended at us doing what He made us do.

C S Lewis on Anger

It appears as though we are living in the midst of an angry world. Everyone is mad about something. Yelling, screaming, violence, name-calling, and other manifestations of anger abound.

What’s a guy to do?

The Bible famously says, “Be angry and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Can a person be angry and not sin?

I think so, and I think the world provides many opportunities for such wrath. If blatant sin and evil do not make you angry, there is something wrong with you.

“Thus the absence of anger, especially that sort of anger which we call indignation can, in my opinion, be a most alarming symptom. And the presence of indignation may be a good one.”

C. S Lewis said that. He’s a wise man. He once wrote about anger in relation to Hitler’s atrocities going on around him. You can read more about his opinions on anger if you click here.

Jesus Christ was angry many times. Granted, His anger was pure and He knew how to express it rightly. We often don’t. Often our anger is more personal affront, or frustration.

You should be careful with anger. It can ruin you. But there are times for it. Pick the season wisely.

Huxley on Why People Believe Evolution

One of my kids is learning about the classification of animal life: Family, Genus, Phyla, all that stuff that seems like you learned in a past life.

What is interesting about animal classification is that they all fit nicely into their little spot. There are no grey areas.

It seems as if there would be grey areas if evolution were true. We keep being told that species evolved into other species, and yet all species are in their neat little species box and there is no sloppy species we don’t know what to do with.

Evolution has yet to find any proof whatsoever that a species has ever turned into another species. Sure, moths change colors and finch beaks get bigger or smaller, but where’s the proof that moths turned into finches or anything similar?

Nowhere. Yet everyone believes this. Evolution can not be proven. There is nothing in the fossil record that proves it. There is no experimentation in a lab that proves it.

Even evolutionists admit it can’t be proven every time they tell you, “It takes millions of years for these changes to occur.” The process is so slow, they argue, it can’t actually be seen.

Which is another way of saying, “There is no proof this is happening.”

So, why do so many so readily accept evolution? Here’s an idea.

Julian Huxley was a leading evolutionist and proponent of natural selection in the 20th century, and the grandson of T. H. Huxley, Darwin’s “Bull Dog.” Listen to his quote and see if maybe you can detect a reason why people gravitate toward evolution even if it has no proof.

Darwinism removed the whole idea of God as the creator of organisms from the sphere of rational discussion. Darwin pointed out that no supernatural designer was needed; since natural selection could account for any known form of life, there was no room for a supernatural agency in its evolution…. The earth was not created; it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion…. Darwinism removed the whole idea of God as the creator of organisms from the sphere of rational discussion

He also went on to say, “The reason we accepted Darwinism even without proof, is because we didn’t want God to interfere with our sexual mores.”

That pretty much sums it up.