f The Wittenberg Door: July 2007

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Statement of Faith

  1. I believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures—both the Old and the New Testaments—and that they are the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

  2. I believe that the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession of Faith, the Canons of Dort, and the Westminster Standards are the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures.

  3. I believe that God is triune and sovereign over all persons, events, and things.

  4. I believe that men enter this world as sinners, totally depraved, and out of fellowship with God; consequently, because God is just and holy, men are born under God’s wrath and increase their guilt each day of their lives.

  5. I believe that man is totally unable to save himself from this condition because he is dead in trespasses and sins, his understanding darkened, his emotions towards God are as stone, and his will enslaved by sin and Satan.

  6. I believe that God, in grace, has planned to save many from this condition.

  7. I believe that the Trinity covenanted together to accomplish this salvation. The Father ordained many to eternal life, and gave them to the Son. The Son undertook to work out their salvation.

    This involved His coming to earth as man through the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Law of God for those He came to save. This He did actively by total obedience to its commands and passively by bearing the punishment due to His people for their sins. In this way the justice of a holy God was satisfied and the need of sinners met.

    Proof of God’s satisfaction is seen in Christ being raised bodily from the dead and exalted to His former glory from whence He shall come on Judgment Day to judge all mankind.

  8. I believe that this salvation which Christ has purchased has been and shall be irresistibly applied by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God to all for whom it was accomplished.

    Each of these persons is given spiritual life by the Holy Spirit whereby they repent, turn to God, and believe upon Christ and His finished work for their salvation. No one for whom Christ died will fall under God’s judgment and condemnation.

  9. I believe that when one is saved, he is added to the Church invisible, and ought, after instruction by the elders, to be added to a local Church visible wherein he can bring glory to God through gathering together with others of like, precious faith for the study of the Scriptures, prayer, fellowship, and the extension of the Gospel at home and abroad through giving and going.

  10. I believe that the marks of a true Church of Jesus Christ are found in a church where the true Gospel is faithfully proclaimed; where the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper) are properly administered; and where church discipline is rightly exercised.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Letter to a Christian Nation – Part 6 – Slavery Continued

In Part 5 we learned that slavery was for the benefit of the poor and was voluntary. We also learned that it was the last resort for the impoverished, and that before the poor had to sell themselves into servitude, God had made many provisions for their care.

In this post we’ll consider Mr. Harris’ claim that . . .

The Bible also makes it clear that every man is free to sell his daughter into sexual slavery . . . (pg. 15, in reference to Ex. 21:7–11)

A Closer Look

If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do. (vs. 7)

We must remember that the Middle East of 4,000 years ago was a tough place to live. Difficult decisions had to be made in order to ensure the survival of a household. One such decision would be to “sell” a daughter either to payback a debt and/or to ensure her survival by joining her to a wealthy family. Although “sold,” they were not slaves, which is why they were not released after seven years like the men were.

If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. (vs. 8)

These girls were purchased to be secondary wives (concubines), which was a common practice at the time (Gen. 16:3, 22:24; 30:9, 36:12; Judges 8:31). If, however, she displeased her husband, he had to allow her to be “redeemed” (Lev. 25:47-54) either by herself or by a family member. He cannot sell her to foreigners, for they would not recognize her rights under Israelite law.

If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. (vs. 9)

If the master is purchasing her to be a bride to his son, he must treat her like a daughter and accord her with the associated respect and honor.

If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. (vs. 10)

If the husband takes another bride, he must still provide for her as he previously had, including conjugal rights.

If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money. (vs. 11)

Finally, if the husband fails to meet his responsibilities in caring for her, he must release her without gaining any compensation in return.


As we’ve just seen, the most cursory of look at the passages do not even hint at “sexual slavery.” Quite the contrary is true. We see here laws put into place to help a family survive and to help a poor girl better her lot in life by marrying into a wealthy family. Moreover, we see that the laws are actually for the protection of the girl and disallow any type of exploitation, the opposite of Mr. Harris’ claim.

Stay tuned for Part 7 where we’ll see what Mr. Harris has to say about the Ten Commandments.

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