I need to buy this book.
“Matthew 12: 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” I have to conclude that hatred is the sin against the Spirit. Since it is likely that I have in my lifetime evinced hatred in certain situations (no, I am not proud of it, nor do I suggest that hatred is a good thing), I wonder whether Dr. Kleinig has any pointers as to how intense hatred has to be, or how long it has to last before it becomes spiritual suicide? Is “the end of eternal life” an oxymoron? Will a member of God’s Elect commit spiritual suicide? I am not asking about me personally now, because Dr. Kleinig could, I am sure, give me enough reasons to think that I am not a member of the Elect, but a genuine member of the Elect?Peace and Joy!George A. Marquart
WE know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. - 1 John 4:14,15I think that's in the background of Dr. Kleinig's words, George. I hope you will not take my words amiss, but I keep getting this impression that you have decided that you do not like Dr. Kleinig, and so whatever I cite from him must be in error??? I hope I'm wrong about that. If we put the 8th commandment to use and always sought to explain his words in the kindest way, would we end up condemning him so often?
Dear Rev. Weedon: Many years ago, after I explained to someone in the Soviet Union what αγαπη was, that person said to me, “But George, you can’t love the KGB.” It occurred to me that this person was right. Nevertheless, unless our Lord continued to love even the executioner who drove the nails into His hands and feet, there would be no hope for us today. But that does not mean our Lord loved the organization that was torturing Him to death. He loved individuals. My attitude toward Dr. Kleinig is similar. I am affronted by the substance of many of the things he writes, because they demand a degree of righteousness which our Lord or Scripture do not expect from us. They do not demand it because God knows that even the regenerate are not capable of them (see Third Use in the Solid Declaration). Also, he gets so absorbed in his own pious words that he does not notice absurdities like “the end of eternal life.” I do not dislike him, I have never met him, and I would probably get along with him just as well as I get along with a number of my friends (Roman Catholics, Jews, and atheists, and even some Lutherans) with whom I disagree about many things, but whom I love dearly. I restrained myself from commenting on several of your previous posts (the hidden Church, the darkness in which we do battle, and the conscience being the chief battle ground – none of these are Scriptural) by Dr. Kleinig, but when I saw the comment about needing to get this book on this posting, I had to write something. Now about the background you mention: If John means that anyone who at any time hates a brother abides in death, then nobody will ever reach Paradise. But thanks be to God for the Greek Continuous Present. Though I may hate a brother for a moment, and maybe even longer, it is continuous hatred that shows that I abide in death. But Dr. Kleinig does not tell us that, and most lay people would simply think that any feelings of hatred automatically doom them. That is not a Kleinigkeit. Peace and Joy!George A. Marquart
It's the danger of snippets, George. You could not reach the conclusion that he means whoever has hated in the total context of the work. It's very clear that he means whoever CONTINUES in hatred.
But I assure you that in the many sermons I have heard on this text (I turned 75 a while ago and have gone to church most every Sunday since I was 13), no Lutheran Pastor has ever made that distinction about “continues”. So I am only going from my experience.George
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