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Are SBC Ministers required to believe in the Immaculate Conception of Christ?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    Petrel,

    I phrased my statement poorly. I did not mean that you objected to the person of Ahaz. I meant your objection to "virgin" meaning "virgin" based on Ahaz is wrong.

    It is God's word which states that the Isaiah verses refer to the Christ child. (Matthew 22-23)
    "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means, 'God with us.'"

    What you are suggesting, by saying that Isaiah is not referring to the Christ child, is that God's word, in Matthew, lied. For Matthew states, point blank, that the verse refers to Christ.

    Beyond that, the word, "Immanuel" means, "God is with us." There are only three times that word is used in God's word. I don't know how many people used it afterwards, but in God's word, it is ONLY used three times.

    Isaiah 7:4, Isaiah 8:8 and Matthew 1:23

    Christ is the ONLY "Immanuel". He is the ONLY man in the history of the world whose very presence means "God is with us."

    As to the word "'almah'" -yes, it was used interchangably with "engaged" or "bethrohed". However, that useage does not cancel out the definition "virgin". Decent bethrothed women were virgins. If Mary was not a virgin when she conceived Christ, she was a wicked woman who, by law, should be stoned for dishonoring her father's house. So the words were synonyms in that age. Something like substituting "wife" and "female spouse." Same difference because of meaning.

    Deuteronomy 22:13 If a man takes a wife, and after lying with her, dislikes her, and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when I apporached her, I did not find proof of her virginity," then the girl's father and mothre shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate."

    It goes on to say, the man is fined 500 shekels for ruining the girl's good name, she will remain his wife, and he will not be allowed to divorce her.

    Then in verse 20 it says If, however, the charge is true, and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house.

    Bethrothed women were expected to be virgins.

    However, beyond that. Matthew also states, point blank, that Mary's child was NOT born of man.

    Matthew 1:19-20 "Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had conidered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."

    So yes, the virginity of Mary is very important to Christians.
     
  2. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    No, what I am saying is that the prophecy was a double-prophecy, fulfilled first by a non-virgin birth at that time and then by a virgin birth a thousand years later.

    If you take it to only be Jesus' birth it is talking about, than how do you explain God telling Ahaz that the child's birth would be a sign to Ahaz regarding the fates of the two kings that were besieging him?
     
  3. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    Aaron,

    I went back and re-read it, quote and all, and I still read that you are saying the virgin was not necessary, that it was a sign.

    Yes, I saw your comments that sinlessness could have entered some other way. I disagree with you though.

    The humanity of Christ is as important to salvation as the divinity of Christ. The fact that Christ was born as a man, grew as a man, worked and lived with men, studied with men, and was tempted as other men are tempted, and yet - remained pure and faithful to God is a vital part of the salvation events. We, as humans, cannot point to Christ, and say, "Yeah, well, of course he was pure! He never had to put up with the guy next door being rude to him!" Christ lived with us, like us. So the virgin birth was more than a symbol. It was part of the whole process.
     
  4. Kiffen

    Kiffen Member

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    I have to agree with you TexasSky. The Virgin Birth was a necessity NOT a symbol. One of the reasons the Historic Creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian) emphasize the virgin birth and the incarnation was of this great necessity.
     
  5. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Despite the fact that I clarified my meaning almost immediately, and after I directed you to the context of my statement, you're going to insist that I meant it wasn't necessary for any reason at all? If that's what you have to do to be right, then so be it. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    And yet the Scriptures say it was for a sign. They don't say it was a necessity.
     
  7. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    You need to read the passage a little more carefully. Isaiah had taken his son, Shear-jashub with him to meet Ahaz. Ahaz was told to ask for a sign, but in false humility he refused. Therefore no sign was given him personally. The Lord deprived him of a clear and immediate sign, and instead offered a sign to all of Israel, past and present, of his general good will toward them. Messiah would be born of a virgin. The Hebrews understood this to mean virgin as we mean the term, because they read the passage as "a virgin who is a maiden," which was the best way they could deal with the difficult text. (W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words).

    The immediate promise was that before the child, that is Shear-jashub, which means a remnant shall return, would learn to choose good and refuse evil, the kings would be destroyed. The prophecy contained in the name of Isaiah's son was fulfilled in 2 Chron. 28:8-15.

    Nowhere do we read that any of Isaiah's sons, nor any man born of woman other than Christ, was called Immannuel. Besides, what kind of sign is it that has nothing miraculous about it?
     
  8. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    Here's the passage:

    With your interpretation, we're forced to do grammatical gymnastics. A normal reading would say that a boy would be born, and before that boy would know good from evil the kings would fall. With your version we need to jump from interpreting the subject as Jesus to the subject being Isaiah's son in the very next sentence when there is no indication that we ought to.
     
  9. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    Aaron,
    I think your statement to Kiffen proves my first interpretation of your statements was correct.

    Petrel,

    I was addressing your original comments that the prophecy could not mean "virgin" since it appeared to refer to Ahaz. Obviously, according to Matthew, it did, indeed, mean virgin in regards to Christ.

    That's all there is to it. Nothing else you can say regarding this can negate Matthew.
     
  10. Kiffen

    Kiffen Member

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    A Sign yes, A Virgin would conceive. That is the sign. The Messiah was conceived in a miracolous way- Perfect God and Perfect man. All of Adam's seed are born and corrupted by original sin but Christ was born of a virgin without original sin.

    The virgin birth is a necessity and the doctrine of the virgin birth is also tied in with the doctrine of the Deity of Christ much in the same way the Resurrection is. To deny either is to deny the Deity of Christ.

    Do not tinker with the doctrine of the Incarnation. You may find yourself in the company of ancient heretics, cults and Protestant liberals. If you do find yourself teaching something contrary to 2,0000 years of Christian teaching and find your teaching contradicts the Christological councils and the Creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Chalcedonian, Athanasian)you best abandon that belief. [​IMG]
     
  11. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller Active Member
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    Back to the OP....
    Clayton Sullivan
    Born in Jackson, Mississippi, on July 6, 1930, Clayton Sullivan is a Baptist minister who has served more than thirty years as a professor of philosophy and religion at the University of Southern Mississippi. After earning his B.A. from Mississippi College in 1952, he attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he earned a B.D. degree in 1955 and a Ph.D. in 1960. He also holds an M.A. in philosophy and Middle Eastern Religions from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has engaged in postdoctoral studies at Princeton University, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Union Theological Seminary in New York, and the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge. In 1966 he joined the faculty at USM; he retired from full-time teaching in 2000 but still teaches part time. His books include Called to Preach, Condemned to Survive: The Education of Clayton Sullivan (1985), Jesus and the Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church: A Fable (1992), and most recently, Rescuing Jesus from the Christians (2002). He is married to the former Mae Taylor of Jackson and is the father of a daughter, Charlotte McDonnell, an attorney who lives in Atlanta. Dr. Sullivan is also the proud grandfather of three grandchildren.


    Publications

    Fiction:

    Jesus and the Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church: A Fable. New York: Doubleday, 1992. Rpt. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2001.
    Nonfiction:

    A Critique of Realized Eschatology in the Writings of C. H. Dodd. Dissertation. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1960.
    Called to Preach, Condemned to Survive: The Education of Clayton Sullivan. Macon, GA: Mercer UP, 1985.
    Rethinking Realized Eschatology. Macon, GA: Peeters, 1988.
    Toward a Mature Faith: Does Biblical Inerrancy Make Sense? Decatur, GA: SBC Today, 1990.
    Rescuing Jesus from the Christians. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2002.
    Adaptations:

    Plays:

    Jesus and the Sweet Pilgrim Church, by Kent Thompson. Based on the book by Clayton Sullivan. Workshopped by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 1996. For more details, visit this page at the ASF Southern Writers Project.

    I don't think this man is a Southern Baptist much less a Southern Baptist Minister or Pastor.
     
  12. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    My interpretation explains Shear-jashub's presence at the meeting. Why do you say he was there? Male bonding?

    Besides, you haven't answered the Jewish difficulty with the passage if it were so easily explained your way.

    Tell me, which of the millions of maidens in Israel at the who conceived children in the natural way bore a child and gave him a Messianic title? I mean really, what kind of sign is it just to say a girl would have sex, and get pregnant?
     
  13. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    Aaron,

    By your theory, the cross wasn't necessary, it was a sign as well.

    It fulfilled prophecy.
     
  14. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    Yes, it meant "virgin" regarding Mary, but it obviously could not have meant virgin regarding the contemporary woman who would bear a child. Why are you arguing with me when I agree with you? [​IMG]

    Probably because God wanted him there to symbolically represent the remnant left after the Assyrian captivity.

    Your explanation requires making Shear-jashub, present at the beginning of the chapter, the subject of a sentence much later when his name has not even come up since, and indeed it is a drastic subject change from the preceeding sentence. My theory is just as valid as yours, since yours assumes facts not in evidence. Mine certainly fits the syntax of the prophecy better.

    Why not? The difficulty seems to be no one's sure if it's a young woman or a virgin or a young woman who is a virgin. If it is in one case a young woman and in another case a young woman who is a virgin, then the term serves both meanings and the ambiguity is explained.

    Ask God, not me. :D The mother does not show up in the record. I suppose she must have been known to Ahaz, or else he wouldn't have had a way of knowing the immediacy of the event. The sign wasn't just that a child would be born, but that by the time he reached a certain age the kings would fall.
     
  15. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    I've already explained my meaning. Now, if you want to argue about whether or not the Virgin Birth was necessary to escape Original Sin, I'll be happy to discuss it with you. But if you're still trying to insist that I meant something other than that, I'm done. [​IMG]
     
  16. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    Aaron,

    I am not insisting upon anything regarding your meaning. I am, though, addressing statements you made.

    Skipping past your original statement, which you say was not what you meant, you came back in your statement to Kiffen.

    Whether you are talking about "it wasn't necessary" in general or "it wasn't necessary to avoid sin," to be is a mute point in regards to the overall question that started this thread.

    There is also one thing that you should consider - communication is not about what you wanted people to hear you say. Communication is about what people actually heard you say.
     
  17. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit New Member

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    I can't imagine Aaron (or many others, for that matter) actually being "done." [​IMG]
     
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