Zachary Garris

Sabbath-Breaking and the Sons of Disobedience (Ephesians 2:3)

Both Jews and Gentiles “formerly lived in the desires of [their] flesh, doing the wills of the flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children of wrath.” The Gentiles followed their corrupt wills, and the Jews followed their wills instead of God’s, exemplified by Sabbath-breaking. Both Jews and Gentiles were “sons of disobedience,” in rebellion against God. And thus both needed God’s mercy found only in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5).

The Bible calls us to faith in Jesus Christ. However, it also calls us to “do” things. That is, the Bible calls us to put God’s Word into practice. Jesus even says that only the man who “does” the Father’s “will” enters heaven (Matthew 7:21). It is the one who “does” God’s “will” who lives forever (1 John 2:17).
Of course, there was a time where even Christians did not do God’s will. We formerly walked in the ways of the world, as “sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2), and “among them, we also all formerly lived in the desires of our flesh, doing the will of the flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest” (Ephesians 2:3). (All translations in this article are the author’s.)
God calls us trust in the atoning sacrifice of Christ. And as an expression of such faith, we must turn from “doing the will” of the sinful mind (Ephesians 2:3) and instead “do the will” of the Father (Matthew 7:21). We do not do God’s will by our own efforts, but we do God’s will by His grace. He equips us “to do His will” (Hebrews 13:21) and makes us to “delight to do [His] will” (Psalm 40:8 [39:9, LXX, ποιῆσαι τὸ θέλημά]). God gives us a new heart and grants us faith that we may keep His law, albeit imperfectly. Faith is expressed in obedience and good works.
“Doing the Wills” (Ephesians 2:3 & Isaiah 58:13)
As I was reflecting on Ephesians 2:3, I noticed it literally says in Greek, “doing the wills of the flesh and the thoughts” (ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν). The word “wills” (thelemata) is plural, as is the word “thoughts/minds” (dianoion). Now the plural “wills” sounds odd, so most translations use the English “desires” and then keep “mind” singular (e.g., ESV, “the desires of the body and the mind”). (Ephesians 2:3 is the only plural use of διάνοια in the New Testament.)
However, the plural “wills” may be significant. While the plural matches the plurality “thoughts/mind” (διανοιῶν), the phrase “doing the wills” is a rare combination. The singular “doing the will” is used 10 other times in the New Testament and eight other times in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament). But the exact phrase with the plural (ποιέω + ὁ + plural θέλημα) is used only one other time outside Ephesians 2:3, and that is in the context of Sabbath-breaking:
If you turn your foot away from the Sabbaths, so as not to do your wills (ποιεῖν τὰ θελήματά) on the holy day, and you call the sabbaths delightful, holy to your God, not lift up your foot in work, nor speak a word in wrath from your mouth… (Isaiah 58:13 [LXX]).
Thus, God in Isaiah 58:13 was calling the Jews to turn from doing things their own own way—“doing their wills/desires” on the Sabbath—rather than keeping God’s command to keep the Sabbath day holy (Exodus 20:8). The Septuagint uses the language to not “do your wills” (ποιεῖν τὰ θελήματά) on the Sabbath, translating the Hebrew for “pleasure” (חֵפֶץ) in Isaiah 58:13 as “wills/desires” (θελήματά).
Read More
Related Posts:

Membership Vows & the Third Commandment

It should be clear that oaths and vows play an important role in societies of all kind (and in society in-general). They build trust. They teach people to tell the truth and to fulfill promises. Yet what we have today is the breakdown of such trust. And this is tied with the weakening of oaths. Brothers and sisters, God is the foundation for oath-keeping. Those who do not fear God (or believe in Him) will not take their oaths seriously, for they do not believe God will judge them for such violations. Yet God has promised to punish all who break their oaths. We need to restore the importance of oaths and vows if we are going to have a healthy society of any kind. And this must start in the church of Christ.

Every communing member in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) takes membership vows. While officers (elders and deacons) take vows to uphold the Westminster Standards and Book of Church Order, church members take vows acknowledging their sin (vow 1), affirming their trust in Christ’s salvation (vow 2) and promising to live as Christians, support the church, and submit to its government (vow 3–5).
Although the church member is not required to affirm the entire Westminster Confession and Catechisms, his vows are no less serious than those of the minister. In fact, the very reason vows are required is because church membership is a serious thing. In taking membership vows, a person makes “declarations and promises” by which he or she “enter[s] into a solemn covenant with God and His Church” (BCO 57-5). The member takes such vows before the elders, and usually also before the entire congregation. But they are also vows before God Himself, as God is witness to such promises.
PCA Membership Vows
The PCA’s five membership vows are as follows:

Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?
Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
Do you promise to support the Church in its worship and work to the best of your ability?
Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace? (BCO 57-5)

Sadly, it is all too common for church members to break these vows. The last two vows are particularly difficult – we might even say, “counter-cultural” – in our day and age, as they require respecting and honoring church leadership. Members vow to “support” the church and “submit” to its “government and discipline.” This means members promise to live godly lives in accordance with the Bible and Westminster Standards (“discipline”), as well as yield to the Session when it makes a decision that the member disagrees with (“support the Church” and “study its purity and peace”). Submission requires humility, but that is what God requires of us. Consider the following clear precepts from Scripture:
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5, ESV)
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. (Hebrew 13:17)
Breaking Membership Vows
There are many ways to break these membership vows, including promoting false teaching or factions in the church. Transferring membership to another church for insufficient reasons is also a violation of these vows. However, it is too frequently the case that members of PCA churches break their vows by leaving the church and not transferring to another church. When a member stops attending church for a long period of time or requests to be “removed from the rolls” – and does not transfer to another gospel-preaching church – then he has broken his membership vows.
In this case, he has not endeavored to live as a follower of Christ (vow 3), since a Christian attends corporate worship (Heb. 10:25). He has not supported the church in its worship and work (vow 4). He has not submitted himself to the government and discipline of the church or studied its purity and peace (vow 5). Because he “has made it known that he has no intention of fulfilling the church vows,” the Session is to “erase” his name from the membership rolls as a form of “pastoral discipline without process” (BCO 38-4). Yet the Session has a duty to remind the member of the “declarations and promises by which he entered into a solemn covenant with God and His Church… and warn him that, if he persists, his name shall be erased from the roll.”
Such violation of vows and erasure from membership rolls is not to be taken lightly. It is “discipline without process,” meaning there is no formal discipline process of excommunication. Yet the person erased from membership is no longer a member of Christ’s visible church, and thus he is no longer welcome to partake of the Lord’s Supper in a PCA church (until there is reconciliation and restoration to church membership).
Read More
Related Posts:

The Expectation of a New Covenant Sabbath

Scripture indicates the Sabbath will be kept until the end of history. Isaiah 66:22-23, regarding the new heavens and earth, says, “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD.” This passage speaks of “all flesh,” a reference to all humans that includes the Gentiles (“all mankind,” NASB95). That the Sabbath continues in the new heavens and earth indicates the Sabbath did not end with resurrection of Christ.

The Fourth Commandment is of great controversy in the modern church. Many Christians today entirely ignore the Sabbath, and even many Reformed and Presbyterian ministers have moved far from a Sabbatarian position. Much has changed since early America, evidenced by the words of Conrad Speece (1776–1836), a Presbyterian pastor from Virginia, who said in an 1801 newspaper article, “Christians are generally agreed, in the belief of a divine warrant for the observation of the Christian sabbath.” Speece said this at a time when Christians in Virginia were a mix of Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists, and Baptists.
Yet it is ironic that the only one of the Ten Commandments debated as to whether it still applies today is the one explicitly rooted in the creation account—“Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God… For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day” (Exodus 20:9-11, ESV). Yet this rejection fits with the widespread cultural rejection of creational norms. 
It should also not be missed that the only one of the Ten Commandments outright rejected by American Christians today is the one regulating time. American life has become so busy, sometimes with both parents working outside the home and children’s sports crowding evenings and weekends. (And don’t forget the NFL on Sundays.) Is it just coincidence that Christians now reject God’s demand to devote an entire day each week to worship? Yes, there are theological arguments put forth against the continuing practice of the Sabbath, as we will see. But it cannot be ignored that there is increasing cultural pressure to abandon the Sabbath.
Sadly, American Christians have abandoned their Sabbatarian heritage brought by the British to the various colonies, including the Puritans in New England and the Scots-Irish in the backcountry. Even Virginia, which disestablished the Church of England in 1786, enacted that same year “A Bill for Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers”—a bill ironically drafted by the rationalist Thomas Jefferson. Yet the American church played a large part in abandoning Sabbath practice by (1) providing little resistant to the repeal of Sabbath (“blue”) laws, (2) providing little resistance to professional sports being played on Sunday, which began in the early 20th century, (3) and outright rejecting the existence of a Sabbath day (and thus embracing Sabbath-breaking).
What I want to do in this article is argue that the Bible expects Sabbath practice to continue in the new covenant. In a subsequent article, I will respond to objections to Christian Sabbatarianism, including the objection that there is no evidence the Sabbath day changed from Saturday to Sunday. To be clear, Christian Sabbatarianism generally consists of the following affirmations: (1) The Fourth Commandment has a moral component, not just a ceremonial one; (2) The day has been changed from the 7th to the 1st day of the week because of Christ’s resurrection; and (3) The day should be devoted to the worship of God, not employment or recreations.
The Expectation of a New Covenant Sabbath
While the Fourth Commandment is not restated in the New Testament, it is important to acknowledge that none of the first three commandments are explicitly restated in the New Testament (no other gods, no images, not taking God’s name in vain). Jesus and the apostles did not need to restate these commands relating to God’s worship because they obviously still applied to Christians. Often called the “first table” of the law, the New Testament assumes these four God-directed commandments still apply.
The Sabbath command broadly concerns the regulation of time, with the requirement that God’s people work and then devote one entire day to restful worship. On what basis could such a command not apply in the new covenant? Does God no longer regulate man’s calendar or time in creation? Thus, while there is room to debate the specific application of the Sabbath command in the new covenant, we are arguing that the Sabbath command must continue to apply to the Christian. The reasons are as follows.
First, the entire Ten Commandments are the foundation of God’s law, or what Reformed theologians historically have identified as the “moral law.” The Westminster Standards teach that “The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto” (WLC 93). So the moral law applies to all men, and it is written on the heart of Christians (Jeremiah 31:33). And what is the content of this moral law? “The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments” (WLC 98), which of course includes the Fourth Commandment. Hence the apostles can freely quote the Ten Commandments as binding on the church (e.g., Ephesians 6:1-3). While there were civil/judicial penalties in the Mosaic law for Sabbath-breaking, as well as ceremonial laws falling broadly under the Fourth Commandment (feast days and Sabbath years), the Sabbath command at its root is moral. The day has been changed to Sunday in the new covenant, but the specific day was ceremonial and could be changed, seen in that the Sabbath principle of six and one is upheld. Accordingly, God has established the Sabbath “in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages” (WCF 21.7).
Second, the weekly Sabbath command is rooted in creation (“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth,” Exodus 20:11). What makes this relevant is that we still live in this created world. We live in the same world that Old Testament Israel did, and there is no basis for overturning such a creation principle. Nothing has changed in human nature that we no longer need weekly rest and worship. Our weekly schedule is regulated by God’s pattern set at creation (Genesis 1:1–2:3). Further evidence of such a creation order is that the Sabbath was practiced prior to the Mosaic covenant (Exodus 16).
Third, the weekly Sabbath is an important part of life as God’s redeemed. While the Sabbath was given for all mankind, the fall corrupted worship and Sabbath practice. But God restored Sabbath practice to its rightful place for His redeemed people. This is seen in that God delivered Israel out of oppressive slavery and into Sabbath rest, declared in the prologue to the Ten Commandments—“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). In fact, God’s redemption from slavery is given as the basis for the Sabbath in the restatement of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:15— “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt.” Such weekly holy rest was a blessing as Israel anticipated eschatological (i.e., final) Sabbath in Christ (Hebrews 3–4). We still await the ultimate fulfillment of this rest in Christ’s return, so we still practice the weekly Sabbath as a foretaste of what is to come. Accordingly, if the Sabbath command no longer applies, then the new covenant is worse than the old covenant, not better (Hebrews 7:22). If the Sabbath command has been entirely abrogated, then Christians are no longer given a day each week devoted to God’s worship for their spiritual benefit. The Sabbath is for our good—we may not feel like spending the entire day in worship, but we need to spend the entire day in worship. So God calls us to set the day apart.
Read More
Related Posts:

Worshipping God’s Way: Deuteronomy 12 and the Regulative Principle

God does not tell us to worship at 9 am or 10 am. He does not tell us how many songs we should sing in a service. He does not tell us how often we should celebrate the Lord’s Supper. He does not tell us every prayer we should pray or which instruments to use or when to sit and stand in the service. These things require wisdom and the application of biblical principles. So we distinguish between the elements (which are commanded) and the circumstances (which require wisdom and reason).

The Second Commandment in its narrow sense prohibits the worship of images themselves—“You shall not make for yourself an idol [lit. ‘carved image’]… You shall not worship them or serve them” (Exodus 20:5, NASB95). By extension, the Reformed have held this to mean we should not use images in worship or to aid in worship in any way, though many Christian traditions disagree (especially Catholics and Orthodox).
However, in its broad sense, the Second Commandment regulates the entirety of how we worship God. It prohibits us form worshipping God in a way not prescribed in His Word. Stated positively, we should only worship God the way He has set down for us in His Word. This principle is known as the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW). The RPW is seen in Westminster Confession of Faith 21.1, which says,
the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.
The RPW is also set forth in Westminster Shorter Catechism 50 and 51 on the Second Commandment. WSC 50 says, “The second commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in his word.” WSC 51 adds, “The second commandment forbiddeth the worshiping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his word.”
So it is both: (1) We must practice that which God has set down in His Word regarding worship, (2) and we must not worship God in any way He has not set down. 
Deuteronomy 12 and the Second Commandment
This point is made in Deuteronomy 12, a chapter that covers the Second Commandment in Moses’ final sermon to Israel before they crossed the Jordan River into Canaan. After restating the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5, Moses gave commands falling under each of the Ten Commandments in chapters 6–26. Deuteronomy 6–11 covers the First Commandment, urging Israel to give undivided loyalty to the Lord. Then Deuteronomy 12 follows by giving laws regarding the Second Commandment. What this means is Deuteronomy 12 contains a God-inspired exposition and application of the Second Commandment. It is the exposition of Moses himself, breathed out by the Spirit of God.
In Deuteronomy 12, Moses instructed Israel regarding worship as they entered the Promised Land of Canaan. He told Israel to destroy the all the places of Canaanite false worship—including tearing down altars, burning Asherim poles, and cutting down engraved images (Deuteronomy 12:3). Then in 12:4, Moses said, “You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God” (NASB95). In other words, Moses was saying ‘you are not to worship God this way.’ As the next verse says, “But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come” (Deuteronomy 12:5). This instruction makes the point that we are to worship God the way He tells us.
This is contrasted with Deuteronomy 12:8, “You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes,” language echoed in the book of Judges (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Instead of God’s people worshipping God however they desire, Moses gives specific rules for proper sacrifices for Israel (Deuteronomy 12:13-28). Is this not how the whole Old Testament works? It gives detailed instruction for sacrifices and the worship of God. He tells us exactly how to worship Him.
The last four verses in Deuteronomy 12 (vv. 29-32) are important for the manner of worship. Moses says that when you come into Canaan, “beware that you are not ensnared to follow them [the nations], after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’” (12:30). Moses said, “You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods” (12:31). We may summarize this as follows—do not look to those who do not worship the Lord for instruction as to how we are to worship the Lord.
Read More
Related Posts:

The Faithful Sons of the Rebel Korah – Numbers 16

Korah’s sons followed Moses’ command to “depart” from Korah’s tent so as not to be destroyed because of his sin (Numbers 16:25-26). Rather than follow their earthly father Korah, these sons followed God’s appointed leader Moses. Thus, they did not walk in their father’s sins, and God did not consider them to truly belong to Korah. Instead, they sided with Moses and the congregation of Israel and thus remained faithful toward the Lord. This is a wonderful example of the Lord’s mercy toward those who repent from the sins of their fathers.

The book of Numbers is known for Israel’s many rebellions, including Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 16:1-50). Aaron and Miriam had rebelled against Moses, but now other leaders in Israel rebelled. These leaders included Korah (a Kohathite of the tribe of Levi), Dathan, Abiram, On (of the tribe of Reuben), and 250 prominent leaders of Israel whom they assembled (Numbers 16:1-2).
These men challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron. They cited that “all in the congregation are holy,” and they asked why they “exalt yourselves above the assembly of Yahweh” (Numbers 16:3, all translations hereafter are mine).
The Basis for Korah’s Complaint
As a son of Kohath, Korah was a Levite who served in the tabernacle (Numbers 4:1-20; 7:9; 10:21). Korah was also the first cousin of Moses and Aaron, whose father Amram was also a son of Kohath (Exodus 6:16, 18, 20; cf. Numbers 16:1). However, Korah rebelled because he was not a priest like Aaron and his sons. Korah exemplified a lack of contentment in God’s calling and instead coveted the position of the priests. Ironically, Korah wanted to do the very thing God warned would lead to the death of the Kohathites, which was to approach the holy things (Numbers 4:17-20).
Korah’s theological argument was a bad use of logic. He reasoned from the truth that all Israelites were in a sense holy (Exodus 19:6) to the conclusion that all Israelites, including himself, should be priests. Yet that clearly violated God’s command that the priests come from the sons of Aaron. Korah’s claim is akin to arguing that because all Christians are “priests” in a sense (1 Peter 2:9; cf. Exodus 19:6), then anyone, including women, may be pastors. Yet Scripture forbids that very thing (1 Timothy 2:12).
Korah’s Judgment
Moses instructed Korah and the others to take censers and put fire in them in the morning, as the Lord would show them who is “his” and “holy” (Numbers 16:5-7). (Paul quotes 16:5 [LXX] in 2 Timothy 2:19 regarding false teachers.) The rebels said Moses and Aaron had gone too far, but Moses said it was actually the Levites who had gone too far (16:3, 7). Moses asked Korah and his rebels if the Lord’s appointed service of the tabernacle was “too small” a task of them (16:8-9). He then asked, “Do you also seek the priesthood?” (16:10). Moses indicated Korah’s “congregation”—contrasted with the “congregation” of Israel (16:9)—did not just “grumble” against Aaron but rebelled “against Yahweh” (16:11).
Read More
Related Posts:

Restoring 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 as a Parallel to 1 Timothy 2:12

Most egalitarians and complementarians limit the debate over the involvement of women in public worship to 1 Timothy 2:12. However, Reformed theologians historically held that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is a parallel passage to 1 Timothy 2:12. The reason can be seen when the language of the two passages is compared.

Most of the debate today over the role of women in the church centers around 1 Timothy 2:12, where Paul prohibits women from “teaching” or “exercising authority” over men and instead commands them to “remain quiet.” Based on a variety of arguments, egalitarians conclude that 1 Timothy 2:12 does not prohibit women today from serving as pastors or elders or preaching to men. However, among those that hold 1 Timothy 2:12 does place restrictions on women in the church today (often called “complementarians”), there are differing conclusions.
Complementarian Disagreements
The narrowest complementarian position holds that 1 Timothy 2:12 only prohibits women from holding the office of pastor or elder, which would open the door to some women preaching. However, since Paul prohibits teaching and exercising authority and not just being a pastor, most complementarians understand Paul to prohibit women from performing tasks and not just holding office. Yet interpretations vary regarding which tasks are prohibited. The narrowest complementarian position here holds that 1 Timothy 2:12 only prohibits women from engaging in an “authoritative teaching” to men, and thus women may teach theology to men as long as it is under the authority of the (male) elders (the position of Tim and Kathy Keller, following the grammatical argument of egalitarian Phillip Payne).
But assuming these are separate tasks of “teaching” and “exercising authority” in 1 Timothy 2:12 (as Andreas Köstenberger has argued in Women in the Church), then it becomes a question of when and where the prohibition applies. It at least refers to women teaching or preaching in the public worship assembly. However, many complementarians argue that because the principle is rooted in creation— “For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:13)—this means women should not teach Scripture or theology to groups of men in any public forum, whether Sunday school or the seminary classroom.
Yet even among complementarians who make this broader application of 1 Timothy 2:12, there is still debate over whether women may read Scripture and lead prayer in public worship. This is because 1 Timothy 2:12 targets women “teaching” men, not reading or praying. In response, one may argue that reading Scripture is an extension of “teaching” Scripture and that both reading Scripture and leading prayer are forms of “exercising authority” prohibited by women in 1 Timothy 2:12. However, these arguments could be strengthened significantly by bringing in a similar passage of Scripture to the debate.
Bringing Back 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Do not get me wrong—debates over the meaning and application of 1 Timothy 2:12 are worth having. But they are hindered by the dismissal of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. This latter passage is often still mentioned, but not in relation to 1 Timothy 2:12. While egalitarians tend to argue either 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is an interpolation and not part of Scripture (Gordon Fee, Philip Payne) or Paul is quoting the Corinthians (Lucy Peppiatt), most complementarians have adopted the interpretation that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 only prohibits women from evaluating prophesy (promoted by D. A. Carson in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood). Thus, most egalitarians and complementarians limit the debate over the involvement of women in public worship to 1 Timothy 2:12.
However, Reformed theologians historically held that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is a parallel passage to 1 Timothy 2:12. The reason can be seen when the language of the two passages is compared:
…the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.(1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.(1 Timothy 2:11-14)
The similarities between these passages can be summarized as follows:

Both use the word “permit” (ἐπιτρέπω) with a negation—women are not permitted to “speak” in 1 Corinthians 14:34, while women are not permitted to “teach” or “exercise authority” in 1 Timothy 2:12.
Both require women to refrain from speaking—women are to be “silent” (σιγάω) in 1 Corinthians 14:34, while women are to remain “quiet/silent” (ἐν ἡσυχία) in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12.
Both require women’s submission—women “should be in submission” (ὑποτασσέσθωσαν) in 1 Corinthians 14:34, while women are to “learn quietly with all submissiveness” (ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ) in 1 Timothy 2:11.
Both place restrictions on women’s learning—women are to “ask their husbands at home” if they desire to “learn” (μαθεῖν) anything in 1 Corinthians 14:35, while women are to “learn” (μανθανέτω) quietly with all submissiveness in 1 Timothy 2:11.

Read More
Related Posts:

From Slavery to Sabbath—the Story of Exodus

When people think of the Book of Exodus, they often think of the 10 plagues upon Egypt or Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Yet as important as these events were, they do not dominate the Book of Exodus like the themes of slavery and Sabbath.
Deliverance from Slavery unto Sabbath Rest
After Israel had settled in Egypt under Joseph’s leadership, a new Pharaoh arose who enslaved them (Exodus 1:8-10). Pharaoh “set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens,” and the Egyptians “ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves,” which made “their lives bitter” (Exodus 1:11, 13-14). This slavery included Egyptians beating Israelites, which led to Moses killing an Egyptian (2:11). But God saw the “oppression” and “afflictions” of His people and “heard their cry.” As the Lord said, “I know their sufferings.” And He promised to deliver them from slavery and into a good land of milk and honey (3:7-9).
God “heard the groaning” of the Israelites who had been made “slaves,” and thus He would “remember” His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is, He would act upon that covenant by delivering Israel unto the land of Canaan (Exodus 6:3-5). God declared:

I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD. (Exodus 6:6-7; cf. 16:12; 29:46)

So God’s promise to Israel was to take them to be His “people” and deliver them to the land of Canaan, as He “swore” to the patriarchs—“your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years… To your offspring I give this land” (Genesis 15:13, 18; cf. 17:8). But the fulfillment of this promise first required that God deliver Israel from slavery, from under the “burdens” of Egypt. God would not only deliver Israel unto the Promised Land, but He would also deliver them unto Sabbath rest. However, entrance into the Promised Land would take some time, and although Moses and that generation would not even experience it, they would all still experience God’s Sabbath.
The Sabbath stands in stark contrast to the “burdens” of Egyptian slavery (Exodus 2:23; 6:6-7; 21:2-11). Instead of oppressive work, Israel would now have a weekly day of rest, along with seasons of rest (16:23, 30; 20:8-11; 23:10-19). This theme of slavery to Sabbath is seen even in the Ten Commandments, which begin with God proclaiming, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (20:2). This point should not be missed. The foundation of the law of God—the Ten Commandments—begins with God’s proclamation of deliverance from slavery.
Notice God specifically says He delivered Israel from the “house of slavery.” Instead of dwelling in the “house of slavery,” Israel was to build a “house of Yahweh” (Exodus 23:19; 34:26, LSB). Thus, God not only delivered Israel from “slavery” to Sabbath rest (seen in the Fourth Commandment), but He also gave them a new “house” (tabernacle) in which He would dwell with them—“And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst” (25:8). The deliverance from the “house of slavery” to the “house of Yahweh” is seen in a clear division in the Book of Exodus, as the Ten Commandments are given in the very middle (Exodus 20). Israel had been in Egyptian slavery from the beginning of the book until the Passover and exodus in chapter 12, followed by the crossing the Red Sea and time in the wilderness. But after this deliverance from the “house of slavery,” God gave extensive instructions for His “house.” The second half of the Book of Exodus is dominated by the law (Exodus 19–24) and the tabernacle, as instructions for the tabernacle were given in Exodus 25–31 and then the tabernacle was built in Exodus 35–40.
Slavery in Exodus and Beyond
Exodus shows that Yahweh is the God who redeems slaves who cry out to Him. Yet God also protects slaves, seen in His provision of laws regulating slavery and freeing slaves. Modern men and women are often appalled at the practice of slavery, which makes the Bible’s teaching on it difficult to address today. Yet slavery was a common practice in ancient world, often serving as a last resort when a man had to sell himself into slavery because of debt or when a man sold his daughter in hope of a better life for her. The modern West has abolished such slavery but ironically still practices a form of slavery by locking criminals in prison for extended time or even life, a practice foreign to the Mosaic law. Contrary to modern imprisonment, God’s law implemented the death penalty for severe crimes and restitution for lesser crimes. While God did not abolish slavery but permitted it as part of this fallen world, He also placed important restrictions on its practice.
After the Ten Commandments, God gave mishpatim that Moses was to set before Israel, a term that can be translated “rules,” “ordinances” or “judgments” (Exodus 21:1). These “rules” were circumstantial case laws deriving from the foundational Ten Commandments. They are found in Exodus 21:1–23:19 and as a whole are called the “Book of the Covenant” (24:7).
The rules of the Book of the Covenant include 10 laws on slavery—five laws for male slaves (Exodus 21:2-6) and five laws for female slaves (21:7-11). Of the subsequent laws concerning violence (21:12-36), many also concern slaves (21:16, 20, 26, 32). While man-stealing was a capital crime, the purchasing of slaves was lawful (Exodus 12:44; 21:2; Leviticus 22:11; Deuteronomy 15:12). Hebrew slaves could be purchased because a man voluntarily sold himself into slavery for debt or he was involuntarily sold because he was a thief who was unable to pay restitution (Exodus 22:3). Non-Hebrew slaves could be purchased from traders or taken from war (Leviticus 25:44-45; Numbers 31:26-47; Deuteronomy 21:10-14).
As for redemption from slavery, Hebrew slaves were required to be freed after six years, on the seventh Sabbath year (Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12), unless the slave wanted to remain with his master and the wife that his master acquired for him (Exodus 21:4-6). However, this was not the case for a non-Hebrew (foreign) slave (Leviticus 25:46), though he was still to be circumcised (Exodus 12:44; Genesis 17:12-13). The non-Hebrew slave had the right to purchase his freedom (Leviticus 25:49). Otherwise, he with his children were to be freed every 50 years in the Year of Jubilee, which was a Sabbath of Sabbath years (7 x 7 = 49) (Leviticus 25:54). Severe injury to a slave required freeing him (Exodus 21:26-27), while the murder of a slave required punishment (21:20). (Exodus 21:21 teaches the delayed death of the slave assumes the master did not intend to kill him, and thus the loss of the slave was its own penalty.) If an ox gored a person to death, the ox was to be stoned to death itself, and the death of a slave was to be compensated financially (21:28-32). The stealing of a man and selling him as a slave, and even possessing the stolen man, warranted the death penalty (21:16).
If a man sold his own daughter as a “female servant,” there were additional protections upon her that were not placed on male “slaves” (Exodus 21:7). This “female servant” (amah) is different from the word for a male “slave” (avad), as the woman was purchased to become a wife or concubine (unlike the “Hebrew woman” sold only for labor in Deuteronomy 15:12). If she displeased her master, she was not to be sold to foreigners but given the right to redemption (Exodus 21:8). If she were married to the master’s son, then she was to be treated like the master’s daughter (21:9). And if the master (or his son) married her and took other wives along with her, he was still to provide for the wife, including meat (“flesh” in Hebrew, not “food”), meaning she was sold to a wealthy family and to eat meat like they ate (21:10). The woman purchased as a wife was not to be demoted in marriage and doing so required her freedom (21:11).
When we come to the New Testament, we see that there were Christians who were slaves—“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Paul did not tell them to flee, but rather they were to obey their masters (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22; 1 Timothy 6:1). Christians could also be slave masters, but they were to treat their slaves with fairness—“Masters, show to your slaves what is right and fair, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven” (Colossians 4:1, LSB). Thus, there will be slave masters in Christ’s kingdom, and we cannot condemn them as doing evil when God did not do so. The Bible does not condemn slave masters so long as they treated their slaves “justly and fairly” (Colossians 4:1, ESV). Yet the Bible also provided the framework for the regulation of slavery and its eventual demise. Earthly slavery points to the spiritual slavery that humans are born into (John 8:34). But like God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery, He redeems those who are enslaved to sin and makes them instead “slaves of righteousness” and “slaves of God” (Romans 6:16-22).
Read More

Why the PCA Needs Overture 15

The language of O29 and O31 are welcome additions to the BCO. However, they are insufficient. They do not address the issue before us, which is whether a church officer may describe himself as “homosexual.” The proposal put forward by O15 clearly says no. Officers who struggle with same-sex attraction are not “gay” or “homosexual,” but they are Christians redeemed by Christ who refrain from homosexual sex and put such sinful desires to death. Those in the PCA who oppose O15 will give a variety of reasons against it. But the question for them is, “should church officers describe themselves as homosexual?” If not, then why not say so?

It is no secret that Overture 15 (O15) barely passed the 49th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The Overtures Committee recommended rejecting it, but RE Matt Fender delivered a minority report that convinced the Assembly to make a substitute motion in favor of the proposed amendment to the Book of Church Order (BCO). After a timely speech by TE O. Palmer Robertson, O15 passed with 54% of the Assembly voting in favor of it. It will now go on to the eighty-eight presbyteries of the Church, where it needs 2/3 support to proceed to the 50th General Assembly in Memphis for ratification.
In what follows are some of the reasons that the changes proposed in O15 should achieve the 2/3 threshold of the presbyteries, pass the 50th GA, and make it into the BCO.
The Clarity and Brevity of Overture 15
The strength of the BCO language addition proposed by O15 is its clarity and brevity. Here it is in full:
7-4. Men who describe themselves as homosexual, even those who describe themselves as homosexual and claim to practice celibacy by refraining from homosexual conduct, are disqualified from holding office in the Presbyterian Church in America.The end goal of this addition is clearly to prohibit men who “describe themselves as homosexual” from holding church office in the PCA. The language proposed in this year’s O15 is an improvement over the language of last year’s Overture (O23), which used the language of “profess an identity.” Whereas the terms “identity” and “identify” are subject to differing interpretations, the verb “describe” has a narrow meaning. According to Merriam-Webster, “describe” means “to represent or give an account of in words.” This is an objective standard based on one’s own language for himself.
Upon the successful implementation of O15, a man pursuing (or holding) ordination credentials in the PCA may not “describe” himself as “homosexual.” He is not permitted to use the word “homosexual” or its synonyms to represent himself. If he does so, then he is disqualified from holding the office of elder or deacon in the PCA. The word “homosexual” is not unclear. It is commonly used to describe men who engage in sexual acts with other men, which is prohibited by Scripture and the Westminster Standards. This behavior is not befitting of a church officer. Everyone in the PCA should firmly agree with this.
Christians Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction Are Not “Homosexuals”
Yet disagreement may arise because “homosexual” can also be used to refer to those who are “characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to people of one’s same sex” (Merriam-Webster). In this case, a man who experiences sexual attraction to other men but “practice[s] celibacy” is still disqualified by church office if he describes himself as a “homosexual.” Notice that the ratification of O15 would not disqualify a man from office simply because he experiences same-sex attraction. The key is that he would not be permitted to “describe” himself as a “homosexual.” The man who experiences same-sex attraction is disqualified from office if — and only if — he describes himself as a “homosexual.”
But is “homosexual” ever used in English to refer to a man who experiences same-sex attraction? The answer is yes. But this definition from dictionaries like Merriam-Webster is not our standard as Christians. The Bible is “the only rule of faith and obedience” (WLC 3). And the Bible teaches us that a Christian is not to describe himself as a “homosexual.” A Christian man may experience same-sex attraction and fight against it by God’s Spirit, but he should never use the word “homosexual” to describe this struggle. A key text here is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.The Apostle Paul teaches here that the practice of grievous sin prevents people from inheriting God’s kingdom. Notice, however, that he does not list the sins themselves, but the terms or descriptions of people who make a practice of such sins. Paul does not say a Christian who gets drunk once will go to hell. Rather, he says that a drunkard will not inherit the kingdom. Thus, no Christian should ever describe himself as a “drunkard,” as that is a description only for his pre-conversion days. “Such were some of you,” Paul says. But now you have been washed and sanctified by Christ. You may have been a drunkard before you met Christ, but now you are a Christian. And if you are still a drunkard, then it does not matter that you call yourself a Christian. A drunkard will not inherit God’s kingdom, and you need to repent.
With reference to our current discussion, Paul also says that “homosexuals” will not inherit God’s kingdom. We need not get into all the nuances of the Greek words malakoi (“effeminate”) and arsenokoitai (“homosexuals”). They are used together here to refer to those who engage in any form of homosexual sex, as seen in the English Standard Version’s translation (“men who practice homosexuality”). So we see that Scripture uses the word “homosexual” to refer to men who engage in homosexual acts, and such a description is not fitting for Christians. Those who are “homosexuals” or “immoral men” are not Christians, but “ungodly and sinners” (1 Tim. 1:9-10).
Therefore, at minimum, a Christian who calls himself “homosexual” (or a synonym) sends a confusing message to those inside the church and out. He may mean only that he experiences same-sex attraction and is celibate. However, many English speakers will justifiably understand him to mean he is engaging in homosexual sex. This is why the Scriptures never describe a Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction as a “homosexual,” just as the Scriptures never describe someone who struggles with the desire to abuse alcohol as a “drunkard.” This descriptor is simply not a word fitting for a Christian. How much more is the word “homosexual” not fitting for a church officer? The elder is to be “above reproach,” and he is not to be known as a “drunkard” (1 Tim. 3:2-3). Certainly he is also not to be known or described as a “homosexual.”
Rather, the Christian should put “evil desire” to death (Col. 3:5), and “put off” the old man that is “corrupt through deceitful desires” (Eph. 4:22). He is not to identify with the old self but instead to “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge” (Col. 3:10). Such renewal in Christ means not using sinful descriptions for oneself. Thus, even if a Christian struggles with homosexual desire, it is not fitting for him to characterize himself with his sin. He is not a homosexual but a Christian seeking to put sinful sexual desire to death. “Sexual immorality and all impurity… must not even be named among” Christians, “as is proper among saints” (Eph. 5:3). How much more is this the case for church officers?
Overture 15 Reflects the PCA’s Report on Human Sexuality
Overture 15 reflects the conclusions of the PCA’s Ad Interim Committee (AIC) on Human Sexuality Report, which received broad support. The Report advises that “Christians ought to understand themselves, define themselves, and describe themselves in light of their union with Christ and their identity as regenerate, justified, holy children of God… To juxtapose identities rooted in sinful desires alongside the term ‘Christian’ is inconsistent with Biblical language and undermines the spiritual reality that we are new creations in Christ… we name our sins, but are not named by them” (p. 11).
As applied to the term “gay Christian,” the Report counsels that it is wise to avoid this phrase. It explains: “For many people in our culture, to self-identify as ‘gay’ suggests that one is engaged in homosexual practice. At the very least, the term normally communicates the presence and approval of same-sex sexual attraction as morally neutral or morally praiseworthy. Even if ‘gay,’ for some Christians, simply means ‘same-sex attraction,’ it is still inappropriate to juxtapose this sinful desire, or any other sinful desire, as an identity marker alongside our identity as new creations in Christ” (p. 12).Read More
Related Posts:

Should A Mother be Legally Punished for Aborting Her Baby?

In the case of an abortion, the mother’s actions are a cause of the baby’s death, without which the baby would still live. The woman and the abortion doctor partnered to murder her baby. Thus, if the woman voluntarily sought out the abortion—meaning she was not coerced by someone else (who would then be charged himself in the matter)—then she was guilty for the murder. She actively sought out the “doctor” to kill the baby in her womb. The woman is comparable to the man who hires a hit man to kill his wife. He is a murderer, even if indirectly. This is how state laws work for conspiracy in such murder. It is also how the Bible understands the guilt for murder.

Something happened that many of us never thought would happen—the Supreme Court just overturned its infamous 1973 decision Roe v. Wade, which for the most part prohibited the states from regulating abortion in the first and second trimester. The 1992 decision Casey v. Planned Parenthood modified this to prohibit states from abortion regulations that place an “undue burden” on mothers prior to the baby’s “viability.” In other words, Roe and Casey legalized early-term abortions in all of the 50 states.
But that has all changed now with the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health that was issued on June 24, 2022. By overturning Roe and Casey, the Supreme Court has returned abortion laws to the domain of the states—which is the rightful constitutional place for such criminal laws (made especially clear by the Tenth Amendment). Most criminal laws, part of state “police powers,” should be set by the states, not the federal government. With Roe rightfully overturned, this means a state like California can continue to permit abortion, while a state like Alabama can outlaw it completely.
We should celebrate the overturning of Roe v. Wade, both because it is the correct decision per the U.S. Constitution, but also because it ends the legal protection of the “right” for a mother to kill her baby inside her womb. However, while we celebrate Roe being overturned, we must also recognize this is a new stage in the so-called “pro-life” movement. If the goal is to outlaw abortion, then we must now seek to outlaw abortion in as many states as possible. Overturning Roe was just the beginning.
Yet even here there seems to be disagreement, as some who call themselves “pro-life” speak as if the goal is only to reduce abortions (a goal many “pro-choicers” also speak of). Others, like myself, say we certainly want there to be no abortions, but there is also the goal to simply outlaw abortion in all of the United States. Abortion is murder, and therefore all people who voluntarily participate in abortion should be charged with murder. (This is why “anti-abortion” is often a better term than “pro-life.”)
Thus, with the anticipation of Roe being overturned thanks to a leaked first draft of the opinion, a new debate arose among those in the so-called “pro-life” camp over two questions: (1) whether the mother who aborts her child should be punished by law, and (2) what the penalty for abortion should be for the doctor and the mother.
Should the Mother Who Aborts Her Baby Be Punished?
This question has generated some serious debate, as many in the “pro-life” camp probably never expected us to be in this situation. Let’s start with where there is agreement. Everyone on the pro-life side believes abortion is murder and is thus morally impermissible. Everyone agrees an abortion doctor/provider should be charged with murder, as he is the one who performs the act of killing the child. Therefore, states should pass laws criminalizing abortion as a form of murder, and states should shut down abortion clinics and prosecute abortion doctors. So far, so good.
Yet it logically follows that a woman who procures an abortion resulting in the death of her child should also be prosecuted for the crime of murder. Though the woman who hires an abortion doctor did not do the killing herself, she is an accomplice to the murder or a conspirator. Accomplice liability (sometimes called aiding and abetting) involves intentionally assisting another in committing a crime, while conspiracy involves an intentional agreement, even implied, to commit an illegal act.
In the case of an abortion, the mother’s actions are a cause of the baby’s death, without which the baby would still live. The woman and the abortion doctor partnered to murder her baby. Thus, if the woman voluntarily sought out the abortion—meaning she was not coerced by someone else (who would then be charged himself in the matter)—then she was guilty for the murder. She actively sought out the “doctor” to kill the baby in her womb. The woman is comparable to the man who hires a hit man to kill his wife. He is a murderer, even if indirectly. This is how state laws work for conspiracy in such murder.
It is also how the Bible understands the guilt for murder. King David instructed his men in a letter to have Uriah murdered—“Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die” (2 Samuel 11:15). Though David did not directly kill Uriah, the prophet Nathan told David that he did “what is evil” in God’s sight and “struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword” (2 Samuel 12:9). In other words, David was guilty of killing Uriah, an innocent man. And God punished him accordingly (2 Samuel 12:10). Hiring someone else to murder for you is still murder.
Let us also ask this question—if a woman who voluntarily had an abortion performed is not guilty for the crime of abortion, then what is she guilty of? Did she do nothing wrong? Was she a passive agent in the murder? The problem with saying the woman is not guilty of murder is this makes her to be a victim rather than a perpetrator of the crime. Sadly, this is how many “pro-life” advocates speak. Yes, there are many bad actors in the abortion industry, including those who teach abortion is morally permissible and encourage women to have an abortion (including employers that want childless women workers). However, that does not relieve women from moral and legal agency for committing an abortion. There are also lots of bad influences that lead to a person using heroin, or even selling it, but our laws do not say such a person is not legally responsible for breaking drug laws because he had bad parents and attended a drug-ridden school.
One of the greatest problems in the entire abortion industry is the fact that abortion has been legal. The law is a teacher, and the law saying abortion is permitted and a constitutional “right” teaches women and men that it is not morally wrong. But if a state outlaws abortion, then that has all changed. The law will explicitly teach that abortion is immoral and considered murder by the civil authorities, and those who carry out such murder will be punished. This teaching should be reflected in all state institutions, including public schools. Of course, women will only be charged for crimes after such a law is enacted, meaning there will be no ex post facto laws.
In many states, if a person murders both a pregnant woman and the baby in her womb, he will be charged with double homicide. It is only when the mother murders her own baby that she is not guilty of murder. This is a double standard. Consistency demands that the mother who kills her child via abortion is punished for the crime along with the abortion doctor.
A Critique of Those Who Do Not Want to Prosecute the Mother
Now some “pro-life” leaders are saying we should only pass laws that lead to the prosecution of abortion doctors, not the women who have the abortion performed on them. Let’s start with the argument by the influential Baptist Al Mohler from back in 2016:
But here’s where the pro-life movement returns back to say, who is the guilty party in an abortion? It is the person who brings about the death of the child. The woman seeking the abortion is not without moral responsibility, but she is not herself bringing about the death of the unborn human baby. That’s the crucial issue here, and that’s why the pro-life movement has consistently sought to criminalize abortion at the level of the person performing the abortion.
This argument flatly misunderstands causation in criminal law, including accomplice murder and conspiracy. Yes, the person directly performing the abortion is guilty for bringing about the death of the child. But so is the mother who voluntarily goes to see the abortion doctor to have her baby killed. Mohler says “she is not herself bringing about the death of the unborn human baby.” Following this logic, then neither did David “bring about” the death of Uriah, since he asked someone else to do the killing for him. Mohler fails to account for the role of indirect actions, wanting only to prosecute the hit man and not the guy who paid him to kill.
Next let’s turn to the argument by another Baptist, Denny Burk, who describes what I am advocating as “abolitionist” and argues the “pro-life” movement has always insisted on not prosecuting mothers who kill their children. Let’s just stop right there and say it is irrelevant what some movement said prior to Roe being overturned. Moreover, many states pre-Roe did incriminate women who had abortions (see below). I have long considered many within the Republican Party to only give lip service to being “pro-life,” and thus they would not actually know what to do if Roe were overturned. It is quite likely that many in the “pro-life” movement maintained a more palatable position so as to gain political favor. There is no reason for that now. We were previously working with the Roe boundaries. But it is a new age. As for the term “abolitionism,” this is often used for those who reject incrementalist approaches to outlawing abortion (which I do not). Thus, this is a separate issue and a straw man argument by Burk.
Burk has two arguments against prosecuting women who commit abortions. First is a moral argument that “it is not always clear what level of culpability should be assigned to the mother.” While the mother has “moral agency and culpability in seeking out an abortion… it is not always straightforward to what degree she is morally implicated.”
Read More
Related Posts:

Scroll to top