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Monday, December 30, 2013

Antinomianism, Say What?

     I know that I normally don't get into too much theology, but I'm going to make an exception here.  If everyone will just bear with me, the reason will become obvious pretty quickly.  So, here we go.

      Antinomianism, now that's a mouthful of word.  To get a very basic understanding of what it means, we're going to start with the etymology behind the word.  'Against' (anti) 'God's law' (nomos).  The root word anitnomos gives way to our word antinomianism, with the definition 'against God's law[s]' giving way to something along the lines of 'the act of' (ism) [being] against God's law[s].'  There, that wasn't too hard, now was it?  Everyone needs to keep in mind that what we've got here is a very basic and bare bones meaning of both a word and a [belief]  system that has been used in a constantly changing application over  the many years since it first surfaced.  Everyone let out their held breathes now,  because we're not going to explore the applications of this word very much farther than we're at right now.

      Okay then, let's get at it.  Antinomianism has basically two lines of thought.  First, we have Theoretical Antinomianism, which denies the [third] use of God's Law as a practical guide, or moral component, of the Christians everyday lives.  A good example of this is found in Ephesians 6:1-2, which is where Paul re-states a  section of the Law that talks about honoring our parents.

      "Children,, obey your parents in he Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother,     which is the first commandment with promise:"  (Ephesians 6:1-2    NKJV)

       Then we have Practical Antinomianism, which actually has two separately recognized forms. The first of these forms is evidenced when we have professed Christians who openly  show a complete disregard for God's Law(s) in their lives. Then we see the  other form of Practical Antinomianism hard at work when we find no reference to or mention of God's Law(s) in the Sermon Content of certain preachers.  Whether this occurs by choice, or as I have personally experienced, or results from censorship really doesn't matter, as the end result is the same.

        What we've just gone over is what we see in our Churches and lives of Believers today, this isn't something that used to happen.  I'll say  it again, Antinomianism is alive and well today,  in  our Churches and our lives.  You may not have recognized it by it's proper name, but that doesn't deter in any way the damage that is done by whatever name you  choose to give it.  

      What we'll call the 'English Antinomians,' as a part of this mindset,  place such priority to the doctrine of justification by faith alone that it overshadowed their doctrine of sanctification.  They also present that since God cannot see  sin in the Believer, that sin no longer poises any danger to Believers.   To further complicate the Believer's sense of spiritual self, this strain of Antinimianism redefined  the application of sanctification,  reducing it from an on-going  process only completed with the coming of Christ to something much less, specifically to the 'art' of adjusting  to the new status of being  justified.

      Well, there you have it, meaning, purpose, and application of Antinomianism.  It wasn't too bad,  now was it?  The  purpose today was not to give a lesson on this subject, although it may appear to be.  Our purpose here today is to remind everyone to be ever  vigilant.  What we covered today is not a repeat of some old theological arguments that  are not relevant to our  lives today. Take a look around, not just in your  secular world, but specifically at your Church environment.  Be honest  with   yourself and God when you look at what is and is not being  taught that should be, and what is being taught that shouldn't be.  Just as important as that is to look at what people, maybe yourself included, are 'living' in their Christian  lives.  What role, if any, does God's [Old Testament] Laws  play in your  life, and also in the Church you  attend?

    Okay then, I'm done.  My prayer is that I've left everyone with more questions than answers, and with more of a desire to learn more than  the thought that you've learned enough  about this matter.

      Be Blessed!  

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