28 October, 2007

Sabbath a'Brakel: The Picture of Meekness

The effects of meekness are:

(1) a being congenial, so that it is a pleasant and effortless task to interact with the meek person.

(2) a relinquishing of one's rights. A meek person is a wise person; his wisdom is of a meek nature, and he is neither witless nor insensitive. He can indeed judge what is his right, and he is capable of standing up for his rights. He will do so if this is God's will and he is under obligation to do so. However, he does so with quiet earnestness, freedom, and in a noble manner--always in such a manner that his meekness shines forth. If, however, there are matters in which he may yield, then he would rather do so than to gain that which is his ultimate right by fighting for it.

(3) enduring injustice. A meek person neither wishes to get even nor avenge himself--even if he were able to do so.

(4) a forgiving of the committed injustice. Forgiveness does not merely consist in a refraining from taking vengeance, meanwhile harboring animosity and hatred in the heart. Instead, it consists in not holding the offender accountable and in loving him no less than before. It means that the offender must be treated as if he had not committed the deed.

(5) the rewarding of evil with good. To render evil for evil is carnal, to reward good with evil is devilish, but to reward evil with good is Christian (IV: 83-84).


steveandjanna said...

I find it interesting that every Sabbath you post the writings of some man rather than God's word. Why is that? Isn't God's word more important than this man (or any man's) writings? It just seems to me that for a weekly Sabbath entry that scripture would be more appropriate or perhaps something that would be better for your readers to read and reflect on. But what do I know.

An Eshelman said...

You make that claim often. I know how you feel.

I believe that people profit from these words of mere man- and if they do not, they are free to stop reading, and especially commenting.

steveandjanna said...

That's a truly amazing position for a future pastor to take. That the writings of mere men are somehow better than scripture. And make no mistake, that's exactly what you just said. This is the problem with the reformed churches, rather than looking to scripture alone we have become the Christian version of Talmudic Jews looking to the sagely commentators rather than to scripture. Sola Scriptura means nothing anymore, it's just a meaningless statement in the reformed church and you're a great example of this. What's sad is you don't even see it.

An Eshelman said...

Sola Scriptura does not deny the usefulness of men giving further light to the Scriptures.

I am sure that every reader of this blog knows that my position is not that men are BETTER than Scripture.

On a side note, where is the phrase 'sola scriptura' in the Bible. It was men who gleaned that doctrine from the Scriptures.

The Reformed faith and the historic Christian church has ALWAYS been a confessional church which uses man made documents that bring further light on the Scriptures.
It would be foolish not to lean on 2000 years of the works of Christ through his Bride.

Why are you in a church with such a strong confessional element if you think it is so problematic?

steveandjanna said...

My problem isn't the simple use of confessional documents, it is the over use of such documents to the point where they become more important than scripture. Running first to the Westminster Confession or quoting the Confession over scripture is ridiculous as far as I'm concerned. We should go to scripture first and I don't see that at all. Worse, is the over use of commentaries where we run to them to see what so and so has to say about an issue or we create irrelevant theologies and look to what so and so had to say about them. This is the same thing that the Talmudic Jews do, running to see what the Rabbi says rather than looking to scripture.

Confessions and commentaries have their place, but we in the reformed churches have so exulted them that they've become more important than scripture. People aren't saved by the hearing of the Westminster Confession, they're saved by the hearing of the word. Rather than focusing our attention on commentaries, confessions and irrelevant minor theologies the church should be focusing on saving souls and spreading the Good News. That's what I'm doing, I wish the reformed church would do the same thing. I won't hold my breath though, we're far more interested in what the Confession does and doesn't say and what minor, irrelevant, man made theologies we can disagree with each other over.

Mark said...

Personally, I thought the excerpt was excellent. It's a great summary of much of what we're taught in Proverbs and the Beatitudes. (Amongst other places, of course.) It's a perpetual struggle to be meek, especially when one feels wronged.

As for the sideshow (and why are we being abrasive in a post about meekness, anyway?)- I've got several Bibles, and can (and do) read them often. I don't have any a'Brakel, however; so I quite enjoy being able to read his works here. They're generally quite good and beneficial, and great spurs towards holiness.

Steve, in your entire rant against the Reformed for not being sola scriptural enough, you have yet to quote a single verse. Hence, you are doing the same thing, only you're going to your own authority instead of the creeds or confessions. I agree that there are people who give the creeds and confessions too much weight, but to accuse Nate of that is an outright lie and as such a violation of the ninth commandment. He nowhere said anything that could be remotely construed as meaning that "mere men are somehow better than scripture". I believe you owe him a public apology.

Steven and Crystal Carr said...

To be quite frank, I am getting rather tired of the puerile rantings of Steve. It is entirely unedifying to everyone reading this blog. I go to read Nate's blog because there is edifying material here. I always make the mistake, however, of reading the comments only to find steve has an itch that cannot be scratched. Steve, you are a man that speaks without knowledge, and it would be better if you would leave off your commenting. I for one vow never to open the comments on this blog again until Steve can grow up or shut up. I apologize Nate for my vehemence on your blog. If I have crossed a line on this, again, I apologize.
-Steve Carr

steveandjanna said...

It amazes me to no end that people around here can't handle being disagreed with. Instead of defending a position that I have attacked, I end up getting attacked. Swen you're either reading way to much into what I'm saying, can't handle debate or worse can't handle being disagreed with. I came into this with a perfectly legitimate question and a perfectly legitimate argument. Nate and I disagree on the matter, I don't think it's that big of a deal to either one of us. I would like to think that we could debate the matter, after all it's an important issue. But you Swen, you apparently can't handle having a position you take attacked. For someone who I understand is entering Seminary, that's not a good attitude for what I would assume is a future pastor. People are allowed to disagree, believe it or not.

Anonymous said...

This is not about disagreeing.

This is about claiming that a Christian man esteems "mere men" higher than Scripture. That is more than disagreeing. That is mean, hurtful, and offensive.

Nate simply stated that people profit from the readings of mere man. Do you, Steve, not profit from a mere man's words every Sabbath day? The minister does not just read Scripture...he expounds on it, in his own words.

I do not understand why you constantly attack Nathan--his character, his views, etc. In this case, Mark has said you need to apologize. Steve Carr has also found your comments to be out of line. You are not being attacked, you are being called out on your hurtful words, yet again.

I am person #3. Can you not yet admit that you have done wrong?

I encourage you to turn to the Scriptures and read James 3:5-10. Control of the tongue is important. Cursing man and praising God from the same tongue should be something we strive not to do. Your comments seem to attack, to name call, etc. I believe a few posts down you insulted Dr. Beeke. Another place you called a man of God a "crackpot." How does this show your claim to be "saving souls and spreading the Good New"? No non-Christian is going to listen to a man of harsh words unless it is harsh words from Scripture.

I encourage you to first take the beam out of your eye. Once that is done, and you begin to live above reproach,(see Philippians 2), then please cast the mote you find in Nate's eye--you seem to find one, one that is really bothersome to you.

Matthew 7:3-5
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Phil 2 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Humbly said, and for God's glory only.