Very good blog on the subject

Originally posted on Reformed Theonomy:

Natural law is the reflection of God’s moral character and the moral order of creation (sometimes referred to as the secondary law of nature) as designed by God, which is written on the human heart (Rom. 2:14-15). It is no different in substance than the ten commandments (which are a summary of the entire moral law cf. WLC 98) and even with the noetic effects of sin upon the mind of man, the light of nature is still discernible to the unregenerate (Rom. 1:18-20). Francis Turretin argues that Gentile nations rightly applying the light of nature is one criteria by which we can discern whether a judicial law is of general/common equity:

That what prevails not only among the Jews, but also among the Gentiles (following the light of right reason) is of common right. Thus the Greeks, Romans and others had their own laws in which are many…

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Reformed Unity in Diversity

Posted: March 14, 2015 by rickyroldan in Topical
Tags: , , ,

Consider this portion of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly’s (RPCGA) Book of Church Order which is Dr. Kenneth Talbot’s (President of Whitefield Theological Seminary) denomination and helped author this BCO. We would all do well to take its concerns serious and learn from their heart for unity.

SECTION 6: Ecclesiastical Unity

A 6:1 In John 17:17-21, Jesus Christ our Lord states:

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As thou hast sent Me into the world even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me.”

A 6:2 There are three basic principles taught by our Lord in this passage of Scripture:

A 6:3 First, that sanctification is based on the truth of God’s Word, and Christ, therefore, prays that His Church will be bathed in that truth. “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” The Church of Jesus Christ must be a sanctified church, that is, a church, which is committed to the purity of the fundamentals of the faith as, taught in our Reformed confessions. As the Apostle Peter states: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of-Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”.17 Therefore, the ultimate foundation of a true church is the doctrine of Scriptural sanctification.

The True Church will seek to be sanctified by the Word of the Living God. Another way of stating this principle is that a true church sees the Word of God as the final authority on all issues of life, faith and practice. This, of necessity, would include biblical doctrine and administering the sacraments and church discipline in the fellowship of those called by our God unto Christ Jesus.18

A 6:4 The second principle taught in this passage of Scripture is that Christ has sent us into the world to present the Gospel of His Kingdom as, He Himself preached during His earthly ministry. “As thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.”

A 6:5 The priority of the church is to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. The Apostle Paul states that the Church is seeking- to “preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”19 Here is another mark of the Church of Jesus Christ, the calling of men to Christ by the blessed evangel. However, this will only be accomplished through a church, which is seeking true sanctification. This is our calling as a truly sanctified church. As our Lord teaches us, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever. I have commanded- you, and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’”20 The evangelistic work of a true church is two-fold: first, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and secondly, to teach them to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded. The work of evangelism never ends in the life of the church.

A 6:6 The third principle is that of unity in the Church of Jesus Christ as living testimony to-the truth that Christ was, sent by God the Father.

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me. “

A 6:7 Here is the most fundamental principle and work required of the church. If the church is to be the testimony of true spiritual unity of believers, as expressed in Christ’s prayer, the living example of the work and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, it must not only verbally proclaim the truth, but it must have unity as a living testimony that what is spoken of concerning Christ and salvation is demonstrated in the life of the church, both spiritually and physically. Our Lord states in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The church is to be one and have true unity in Christ Jesus. This is another mark of the Christian Church. It therefore requires that the visible church, of necessity, must seek to establish a physical unity as declared by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:3-6, to which he directs the church in this matter by stating: “… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” When the church is divided and riddled with schism, then we have denied the directive of the Apostle and have willingly ignored the spiritual unity of the believers in verse twenty-one, especially as it would relate to the life of the visible church. John Owen, the English Puritan, wrote concerning the unity of the church:

“I confess I would rather, much rather, spend all my time and days in making up and healing the breaches and schisms that are amongst Christians than one hour in justifying our divisions, even therein, wherein, on the one side, they are capable o f a fair defence. But who is suff icient for such an attempt? The closing of differences, amongst Christians is like opening the book in the Revelation,— there is none able or worthy to do it, in heaven or in earth, but the lamb: when He will put forth the greatness of His power for it, it shall be accomplished, and not before. In the meantime, a reconciliation amongst all Protestants is our duty, and practicable, and had perhaps ere this been in some forwardness of accomplishment had men rightly understood when in such a reconciliation, according to the mind of God, doth consist. Where men have laboured as much in the improvement of the principle of forbearance as they have done to subdue other men to their opinions, religion will have another appearance in the world.”

A 6:8 The early Presbyterian Church believed in unity and a oneness of Christ’s Church. The Scot’s Confession of 1560 states concerning the Kirk that:

“. . . we believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, so we firmly believe that from the beginning there has been, now is, and to the end of the world shall be, one Kirk, that is to say, one company and multitude of men chosen by God, who rightly worship and embrace Him by true faith in Christ Jesus, who is the only Head of the Kirk, even as it is the body and spouse of Christ Jesus. This Kirk is Catholic, that is, universal, because it contains the chosen of all ages, of all realms, nations, and tongues, be they of the Jews or be they of the Gentiles, who have communion and society with God the Father, and with His Son, Christ Jesus, through the sanctification of His Holy Spirit.”

A 6:9 George Gillespie the great Scottish theologian writing on the unity of the church, states:

“Yet there be no strife between us and you, for-we be brethren-and is not the Canaanite and the Perizzite yet in the Land? Oh, let it not be told in Gath, nor published in the streets of Ahkelon. Let it not be said that there can be no unity in the church without Prelacy. Brethren, I charge you, by the roes and by the hinds of the fields, that ye awake not nor stir up Jesus Christ till He pleases: for His rest is sweet and glorious with His well-beloved. It shall be no grief of heart to you afterward that you have pleased others as well as yourselves, and have stretched your principles for an accommodation in church government as well as in worship, and that for the Church’s peace and edification and that the ears of our common enemies may tingle when it shall be said, The Churches of Christ have rest, and are edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the joy of the Holy Ghost, are multiplied. Alas! how shall our divisions and contentions hinder the preaching and learning of Christ, and the edifying of one another in love? “Is Christ divided?” said the apostle. There is but one Christ; yea, the Head and the body make but one Christ, so that you cannot divide the body without dividing Christ. Is there so much as a seam in all Christ’s garment? Is it not woven throughout, from the top to the bottom? … Oh, brethren, we shall be one in heaven; let us pack up differences in this place of our pilgrimage the best way we can. Nay, we will not despair of unity in this world. Hath not God promised to give us one heart and one way; … Brethren, it is not impossible, pray for it, endeavor it, press hard toward the mark of accommodation. How much better is it that you be one with the other Reformed Churches, though somewhat strained and bound up, than to be divided, though at full liberty and elbow-room! ‘Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife.’”

A 6:10 We have a duty, as those called in the hope of Christ Jesus, to seek reconciliation among the Reformed churches and to seek accommodation on the diversity of thought concerning the non-fundamentals. St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, 25-27 states:

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because 1 am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body… That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

A 6:11 The Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 teaches us that: “The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error.” 21 It is therefore impossible for us to create a perfect church on this earth until the second coming of Christ Jesus our Lord. Yet we must strive for unity and oneness. Can there be a living testimony that Christ Jesus has come in the flesh from the Father, if there is only division and schism dividing the church? The time has come for Reformed churches of the historical faith to put aside our differences by working toward laying a foundation for a common confession and allowing for accommodation, without compromise, within the ecclesiastical community. We have allowed our precisionist attitudes to divide the church, thus allowing liberalism to gain the upper hand in many denominations. The Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly expresses its desire for those of like faith, to come and associate with us in the fundamentals. of the Reformed faith, with the hope that one day we will share one common confession, as one visible church.

“Don’t Call It A Comeback”…

Posted: March 3, 2015 by rickyroldan in Topical

“I been here for years” is a line off LL Cool J’s track entitled “Momma said knock you out” as he came back on the hip hop scene to respond to another rapper/MC named Kool Moe Dee who had some overstated opinions about LL’s legacy so he felt the need to back strong with a strong and clear response to not only defend his legacy but also to throw a few counter punches of his own.

For LL Cool J this was a matter of honor and truth. Therefore in like fashion I want to announce and proclaim that though I have been M.I.A in regards to my music and writing I have decided to make a comeback. Honor and truth was LL’s inspiration and it is also mine. I have sat back long enough watching my reformed theological tradition get attacked and especially misrepresented from those outside and more specifically those who claim to be reformed in their theology who revise history and water down orthodox reformed biblical doctrine. In addition, the false doctrines that continue to plague our urban culture is disheartening and we cannot just sit back and take these punches without doing some countering of our own.

In light of these issues I will be writing more apologetically and polemically whatever the cost and with all due respect no matter the pastor, scholar or theologian. In truth and love of course but we all already know how those with false doctrines like to exaggerate and accuse those confident in their convictions and doctrine as unloving and blah blah blah. Nevertheless the truth must be preached and taught everywhere for all time.

Brothers and Sisters, it is time. Join me and let us bring back the honor and truth of Christ and His true gospel.

Its a Reformed Ordinance

I Have Been Persuaded . . .

Posted: February 26, 2015 by rickyroldan in Topical

I Have Been Persuaded . . ..

Presuppositional Apologetics in a Nutshell

Posted: February 3, 2014 by rickyroldan in Topical

Proverbs 26:4,5
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

1 Corinthians 1:18-25
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach[b] to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Romans 1:16,17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 3:23-26
For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

John 3:16-21
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

“The foolishness of God is wiser than man”  case closed


The authority of scripture proceeds not from the church, but from God who gave that scripture.

Originally posted on Reformedontheweb's Blog:

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Conclusion, That the authority of Scripture is founded on its being spoken by God. This confirmed by the conscience of the godly, and the consent of all men of the least candor. A fourth objection commonin the mouths of the profane. Refutation.

4. It is necessary to attend to what I lately said, that our faith in doctrine is not established until we have a perfect conviction that God is its author. Hence, the highest proof of Scripture is uniformly taken from the character of him whose Word it is. The prophets and apostles boast not their own acuteness or any qualities which win credit to speakers, nor do they dwell on reasons; but they appeal to the sacred name of God, in order that the whole world may be compelled to submission. The next thing to be considered is, how it appears not probable merely, but certain, that…

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So What About Tattoos?

Posted: April 17, 2013 by rickyroldan in Topical
Tags: , ,

Being that I am from and in the urban inner city culture with a Puerto Rican heritage, I get this question asked to me alot from those from the same culture new to Christianity and who have been taught legalism throughout their life. Hopefully this concise article will be of service to many, Sola Deo Gloria!

I believe that the motivation for getting the tattoo is the vital question in this discussion. There are some motivations that I would consider sinful and others that I would not.

Tattoos can be for self-glorification, which is a sin. They can be images that promote sin or are satanic.

They can also be to show your faith in Christ which I don’t think is a sin. Also people just like the art factor of tattoos which is not a sin either.

There is nothing in scripture that would lead us to believe tattoos are sinful. In fact we see that we have liberty in Christ Jesus on matters such as these and no man-made laws or doctrines are to bind our conscience but only the Word of God. This then brings us to a few verses they like to use to say that tattoos are a sin and wordly and pagan and yada yada which they take completely out of its context.

Leviticus 19:28….I use the ESV because its the closest to the literal greek.

“28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.”

Now lets look at its entire context.

“26 “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. 27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.

29 “Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity. 30 You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.”

As you can see, tattooing is mentioned in the context of ancient pagan practices. But does this mean that tattooing is in itself a bad thing to do because unbelievers did it? We have to be careful not to make a logical error known as the genetic fallacy. This error says that something is false because of its origin. For example, it would be a fallacy that because the Nazi regime developed the Volkswagen Beetle, that the VW Beetle is a bad car. Likewise, just because unbelievers get tattoos does not mean Christians should not.

The Leviticus context also tells the Israelites to not round off the hair on the side of their heads nor shave the edges of their beards. Apparently, this is what the Egyptians did and God’s people were called to be separate from them. But, why such detail about hair? Perhaps Moses was concerned about the superstitious beliefs of the Egyptians to which shaving the head and beard had a religious significance. If this were the case, then God’s people were certainly called to be separate from the false nations and their superstitions.

But, such religious practices that require tattooing, cutting one’s own skin, and/or shaving the head and beard are not around in present-day Western culture. So, the admonition against tattooing, based upon the cultural norm, can’t apply for today.

If we must conclude that tattooing is automatically bad in and of itself, then we must also conclude that shaving off the hair on the side of the head and shaving edges of men’s beards is also equally bad. But, since cutting hair and shaving beards is not sinful in itself, how could we conclude that tattooing is also automatically sinful? We can’t. Nor would we be able to eat medium rare steaks etc…because of the blood….silly.

The second verse they use……

1 Cor. 6:19,20

“19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

If we take this verse in isolation it may appear to give them reason to say your body is a Temple of the Lord so don’t put tattoos on it, but is that what it really is saying? Nope. Lets look at the entire context.

“15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined[d] to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin[e] a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

We see here that the context of what Paul was talking about was “sexual immorality”. Has nothing to do with earrings or tattoos. If we were to interpret this passage the way alot of legalist do then we could not drink soda, eat fried foods or anything that harms the body….again the implications would be silly. Again, this passage has to do with sexual immoral people and the way they disrespect their body and soul with the sin of fornication and adultery etc…….

What these people also fail to realize is that we Christians are free in Christ and not bound by the Law. This does not mean we can go on and sin at will but rather means that we are not saved by works and our salvation is not determined by what we eat or drink or wear etc…..We are only allowed to call sin what the Bible calls sin not what we think is sin because of our own personal opinions and old fashioned traditions….

Colossians 2:8

“8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ.”

Colossians 2:16-23

“16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 ( referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.”

That would sum it all up