Big Foot Called My Unicorn an Antinomian

I came across a definition for the word Antinomian in a theological dictionary the other […]

JDK / 3.23.09

I came across a definition for the word Antinomian in a theological dictionary the other day which I think provides a wonderful opportunity for some clarification. Here it is:

ANTINOMIAN: from the Greek anti, against, and nomos, law. A term coined by Martin Luther in his controversies with Johan Agricola, who objected at first to the use of the ‘law of Israel–specifically, the ‘Decalogue’ [10 Commandments]–in instructing believers in their obligations, and later also to its use as a means to call sinners to repentance, arguing that the preaching of the gospel sufficed for that purpose. Luther responded with a treatise Against the Antinomians, in which he defended the use of the Law in teaching and in preaching. . . .

So far so good. However, a little further down, it continues:

. . the term “antinomianism” has come to beapplied by extension to all opposition to the value and use of the law in the Christian life. . . In the early church, Paul’s struggles with the law and its insufficiency for salvation led some to establish a radical opposition between law and gospel.

While the entry does go on to further explanation, the implication is that anyone who “rejects the law as guide for Christian living” is an Antinomian. This is simply not true. The Antinomians against whom Luther wrote were, it is true, people who claimed that the law no longer held any sway for those “in Christ.” However, their error was not that true Antinomianism was possible; it was their belief that we (Christians or non-) can ever be free from the accusatory power of the Law. As Luther wrote in the treatise, “For if you resolve to annul the Law. . . you do no more in effect, but throw away the poor letters L.A.W.” Like Unicorns and a non-hilarious Tim Allen movie, and along the lines of thesis #13 of the Heidelburg Disputation, Antinomianism, after the fall, exists in name only.

Fundamental to our entire project here is to show how the power of the Law is at work through all institutions and in every life in a way that is specifically addressed by the Gospel. In short, we’re arguing that there are no true antinomians, although we all attempt to escape, explain away, drive away or ignore the Law.

We’ll continue fleshing all this out, but the next time, or first time, or every time you hear the word Antinomian, know that there are purported Antinomians out there, but true Antinomianism–in light of the message of the Gospel–cannot really exist.

In the words of Mockingbird patron saint, Gerhard O. Forde: “Antinomianism is about the only heresy that is impossible to pull off. We might leave the church, but Law will go with us. You can count on that. Perhaps Johnny Cash’s song Sunday Morning’ Comin’ Down catches that as well as any theological statement:

On a Sunday Morning ‘sidewalk, I’m wishin’ Lord that I was stoned. Cause there’s somethin’ ‘bout a Sunday, that makes a body feel alone, and there’s nothing’ short of dyin’ Half as lonesome as the sound. As the sleepin’ city sidewalk And Sunday mornin’ coming’ down. (A More Radical Gospel, p. 107)


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47 responses to “Big Foot Called My Unicorn an Antinomian”

  1. David Browder says:

    Outstanding-berg. Or however you say it in German. I saw that definition somewhere and it totally irritated me.

  2. John B says:

    …woah. I love you Jady.

    Thank you for illuminating the fact that there are no real antinomians.

    But, perhaps the accusation is correct when people exchange the Law of God for another law? I understand that we have no power to choose which law we’re under – that the Law finds us and condemns us. But, can we not choose to submit ourselves to God’s Law? (In submitting to God’s Law, I mean choosing put ourselves under it and see ourselves as condemned.)

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

  3. Matt McCormick says:

    Well done JDK… I have heard this term throne around as the opposite of its coined meaning way too often.

  4. Michael Cooper says:

    The problem that I have with cultural trolling for gospel/law references is that most often no distinction is made or even attempted between the Law of God (however that may be defined) and the Law of the World (in its myriad forms). The Law of God, if you will, makes a legitimate demand (at least according to St. Paul) but, because of our broken natures, is unable to effect that which it (the Law of God) legitimately demands. The problem lies , not with God’s Law or the legitimacy of its demands, but with my sinful heart. (at least says St. Paul)
    The Law of this World, on the other hand, many times is actually making illegitimate demands. (i.e. Aztec demand for human hearts or parental demand for Harvard admittance) The world’s Law and its demand should be rejected and denounced (thank you Alan Ginsberg) But the demand of God’s law, because it is a legitimate demand, should not be rejected or denounced, AS A DEMAND. However, when God’s law is seen as a means capable of effecting behavior in conformance with its legitimate demand, then God’s law is being used in an illegitimate way and the USE of the Law, not God’s Law itself, is what we should denounce. Anyway, bottom line is, I think it is very confusing (and not true to St. Paul’s teaching) to lump it all together as “THE LAW” and have the same emotional reaction to any form of demand, be it “love thy neighbor” or “get skinny.” I think that the failure to make this important distinction has led some to see a form of what I would call “emotional antinomianism” in what can at times look like a generalized animosity toward any demand, whatever its source.

  5. JDK says:

    Dear Michael (and I think this applies to ‘the sloop’ John B as well),

    You wrote: The problem lies , not with God’s Law or the legitimacy of its demands, but with my sinful heart.

    I completely agree. The problem with talking about the Law is when people think that there is some theological escape or even some “surrender” that will somehow blunt or minimize its power. . . I don’t think that anyone would argue that the “little Laws” that we see in the world around us are somehow direct mirrors of God’s Law;however, there are certainly some reflection/echoes.

    you also wrote: I think that the failure to make this important distinction has led some to see a form of what I would call “emotional antinomianism” in what can at times look like a generalized animosity toward any demand, whatever its source

    I agree with you, but I would argue that an “emotional antinomianism” is equally as impossible as true antiomianism. . . Often times, the existence of a negative reaction to demand is evidence of the power of the Law from which we can only hope to be delivered.

    If anything, its our own slavery to the failed dream of “emotional antinomianism” (ie: sticks and stones will break my bones. . etc) that should give us the most compassion.

    so, I think that maybe we share the same frustration with the way the Law/Gospel talk can fuel, like the “antinomians” against whom Luther wrote, people crying “peace peace where there is no peace.”

  6. dpotter says:

    Michael, thank you for that helpful distinction to Jady’s fine post.

    The tendency to label things like human evaluation (realistic or not) as ‘law’ has a ring of truth to it, but it runs the risk of trivialising God’s Law by way of substitution. Instead of saying ‘oh, they’re just giving me the law’ is there another way? The thing (linguistic fallacy?) is that we have a word: ‘law’ which is not necessarily synonymous in all circumstances. I totally agree with Michael in that I feel we need to be especially cautious in thinking that there is a mystical equivalence between a human tendency to judge/evaluate another and God’s holy law. A quick survey of the Pauline epistles yields no such use of ‘nomos’ that I could see…however, I may have missed something.

  7. Michael Cooper says:

    I think there may be some additional confusion here (probably my own), and I hate to bring it up for fear of compounding it, but… I have always understood “antinomian”, in a general sense, as “anti-law”, not “no-law”. Those who are labeled “antinomian” are called that because they reject any demand, whatever its source, not because they think no such demands exist. That, I guess, would be called “a-nomianism” (as in “a-theist”). So I feel that Forde is fighting with a straw man here, to some extent, because it has always been understood that most “antinomians” are that, not because they deny the existence of “law”, but because they feel so keenly the demand of law, in all its forms.

  8. Matt McCormick says:

    Dear Michael,

    For clarity…Would you provide some scripture references to your argument?

  9. Michael Cooper says:

    Matt, Romans 7: 12-14, for a start. There are others, but the “law of work” prevents me locating them at this time.

  10. JDK says:

    Thanks, as always, for your comments.
    Since I find myself in complete agreement with you, I feel that I must have not been as clear as I’d hoped–no surprise!

    My point was that “Antinomianism” in any of its forms–whether stated “Hey, I don’t think the Law exists,” or unstated,” Hey, the Law exists but I don’t care,”–is impossible under the statement of God, which is, “Hey, the Law only ceases in death.”

    Whether people try to wiggle out of the Law by denying its power, or, even, by affirming its ability to be followed, makes no difference to what happens in effect. . which is that the “Law of sin and death” will succeed in the work of death (even to our ideas of surrender) which can bring life through the Cross. . .

    that’s how I see it, anyhow. . . 🙂

  11. JDK says:

    Dyl (great picture)

    I love your insights (even though you are a Methodist:)

    I agree that using the Law the way we do runs the “risk of trivializing” the Law of God; however, I think that these are ways of connecting with the deeper reality of God’s law in a helpful way.

    Like Romans 2 where the Gentile’s use the “law” to assuage or convict their own consciences, we’re not arguing that they (or us) were/are somehow in touch with LAW of God when we observe how handsome (or lack thereof) we feel in comparison to someone else; nevertheless, it is through this reliance on self-justification–the worship of “other Gods” in direct defiance of the 1st Commandment–where the idols that we worship, that are points of connection with having transgressed the “Law of God,” come into contact with everyday life.

    All that being said, I do think that too often we can fall into the appearance of antinomianism “Law of whatever”–but, quoting Bill S., “Me thinks the law-denying ladies (and I use ‘ladies’ in the gender neutral plural form) doth protest too much.”

    Anyway, always fun to work this stuff out with you!

  12. Michael Cooper says:

    JDK, If you find yourself in complete agreement with me, it’s time to get worried, law or no law. But, seriously, what you say is so true, and reminds me of Jesus saying,”I don’t condemn you, you are condemned already…”

  13. Matt McCormick says:

    Dear Michael,

    That supports a minor point of your argument…

    What about your major points, such as
    “emotional antinomianism”
    “God’s law vs. law of demand”

    When the “law of work” stops accusing you, it would be great to read more of your perspective 🙂

  14. Michael Cooper says:

    Matt, As you can see, I am now ignoring the “law of work”, and will respond by saying that I consider the Romans passage the major, and really the only important part, of what I have said. As far as the rest, I just made that up.

  15. Kobra says:

    I’ve been labeled antinomian from time to time because I reject the third use of the law. It doesn’t bother me to be labeled such. I quell my anger with the knowledge that those accusing me are probably antinomians too and just don’t know it yet. See, many of them make the law a doable life project. They make the law a “pet”(to steal a Forde term). It is anti-lion isn’t it to declaw and defang the king of the jungle so that you can sleep cuddly safe with him at night?

    Just chatter. Thanks for the great article and great blog.

  16. dpotter says:

    I’m with you on the theological wavelength…I would say that exegetically speaking, there might be a precise way of stating it without declaring it as ‘law’…in other words, my fear is that if everything becomes ‘law’, then nothing is.

    For example, I think of the way fashion works…it is totally hierarchical–an original concept starts on the runways of Milan/Paris/Tokyo/London/NYC/Abridge, then filters through the merchandising system until the original style/color/cut of the season ends up hanging on the discount racks of an outlet. The finished product is, at best,some massed-produced iteration of the original design. My concern with the ‘law’ is that, through re-tailoring the concept, we may end up with something that looks rather different from the original. Just as it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, it is a theologian’s prerogative to make fine distinctions, no? Just ask Bobby Brown. 😉

  17. dpotter says:

    ‘scuse the typos.

  18. JDK says:

    Dylan. . . I’m going to ask Anoop and get back to you:)

  19. dpotter says:

    ‘scuse the typos.

  20. Jon W says:

    Was that a typo? I always thought that a “prerogative” is what seems to be in the domain of people like my wife, who seem to know what I am thinking, and trump any argument I am about to make, by telling me what I am to do anyway. How’s that for “law” or some emanation of it?

    Thanks Jady again for a wonderful post, and the rest of you guys for this stimulating “comments” driven discussion. Look forward to doing it with some of you in person!

  21. burton says:

    Jon W,

    You said “Look forward to doing it with some of you in person!”

    That’s what she said.

    Seriously, though, this is a wonderful post and these comments are great.

    I wanted to comment pertaining to the whole deal with “God’s Law” vs. “Little-everyday-types-of-law”.

    I think using examples of everyday law such as “be skinny” to bring folks in touch with God’s true and holy Law as totally legit. For sure, they are on different levels, THE LAW on a much higher and revered level than the “be skinny” law. But, sometimes, despite Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, people have a hard time relating to Laws such as “Thou shalt not kill”. In my experience, folks tell me they have no desire to kill (trying to equate hatred with killing, at this stage, doesn’t get me far).

    So, I’ll use examples of law from everyday life to sort of make my point. Many times, there is a connection. The stage is set for more lofty “law” discussion.

    Also, God’s Law and “everyday laws” sometimes are received in the same way… they incite rebellion. To the extent that a person “hears” them in the same way, they are the same.

    Finally, and this is a conversation for another day (maybe this weekend?), I’ve been pondering whether something can even be called “law” if it doesn’t elicit an opposite response. Example, if I say “Don’t do such and such” but the hearer never thought about doing it anyway, is that a law?

  22. Michael Cooper says:

    Burton- Every analogy is imperfect, but some analogies are so imperfect that they convey more misunderstanding than truth. There is a version of the “everyday” laws you mention which are imperfect but basically “true” analogies to God’s law. These are the things that are relatively trivial but legitimate demands, such as taking out the garbage or changing diapers, etc. We feel real guilt for not doing or wanting to do these things, but being told repeatedly to do them does not help us to do them, and only makes us feel more guilty. Repeatedly doing them does not help us to “like” doing them, either. This is a legit analogy with our position, on a much higher level, with God’s legitimate demand. This can be a doorway to help a person who has no regard for or understanding of “God’s Law” to connect emotionally with the Biblical understanding of “sin and guilt” and the answer to the problem being God’s “preceeding” love, rather than more behavioral instruction.
    However, there is another type of “little law” of this world that we resent, and rightly resent, because it is not a legitimate demand. This would be pressure to be physically perfect, etc. This is, to me anyway, a bad analogy for the Biblical view of law/grace, because the DEMAND itself should be rejected, whereas in Scripture we see “repentance and true faith” as an acceptance of the legitimate demand that we have not met, and throwing ourselves on God’s grace as the only answer. We see an example of this in the thief on the cross, who says to the unrepentant one, “we have been justly condemned, but this man is innocent.” This sense of being “justly condemned” is the fountain head, ironically, of all Christian understanding of grace, as Paul expresses in Romans 7. It is a very different thing from feeling “under the law,” in the sense of “I don’t like anyone telling ME what to do.”

  23. JDK says:

    Michael et al. . .

    I think that, in many ways, this conversation is sort of a distilled version of the “question” being posed and worked out on this blog: what is the connection (if any) to the existence of demands (no matter how mundane) and the Law of God?

    We’ll keep at it, for sure, but some final pre-trip thoughts:

    I’m not convinced that there is such a strict separation between legitimate and illegitimate demands. IMHO: When describing his encounter with the Law in Romans 7, St.Paul specifically took the 10th commandment “thou shall not covet” as the starting point of his reflection precisely because of its ambiguous, all-encompassing demand. He (St.Paul) even made it MORE ambiguous by dropping the “neighbors wife” from the end—although one assumes that it still applies;)

    This choice is unique among the commandments because it does not have any direct connection to duty (diapers,God,parents,truth, trash, fire-fighting, etc); rather, it has more to do with a state of existence–contentment with what you have or not–or passivity–before God.

    This affects one’s concept of what constitutes, under the Law, “legitimate” and “illegitimate” demand.

    I think it goes without saying that coveting, i.e. any demand one feels for something else–a better body,a neighbors wife, a black Defender 110 with snorkel–should be rejected as sinful and illegitimate; however, that’s not often the case, and “sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness.”

    Anyway, love the discussion and really, really appreciate your insights and comments–this is all so helpful in working through this and I’m excited to see most of you pretty soon! I’m off to pack:)

  24. dpotter says:

    Great discussion! I'm playing a bit of the gadfly here because I'm a little wary of the fact that over time it is possible to fall into a group-think where everything is sacred and nothing is controversial. I think once in a while it is good for us to lock horns and push here and there. Case in point: can you imagine a docile Luther? Heaven forbid! 🙂

    Anyway, I say the following with a great deal of brotherly respect, love and admiration for each of you.

    I am not concerned with those times when we sinfully desire something which we do not own (which is constantly!) because I'm already convinced that this is sinful because it is against God's Law.

    **I am more concerned with 'law' being used as a synonym for expectations/behaviours which others have for us.**

    Forgive my insistence, but I am still persuaded that Paul is speaking about God's Law in Rm 7, not about how other people treat him or the expectations they have for him. After all, even the 'do not covet' is divine, not human, in origin. That brings me back to my original idea a couple posts ago, I simply do not see any clear evidence for such a use of 'nomos' in the Pauline epistles, and I'm not convinced that this is an inconsequential point. I think if I told Paul a story like 'Oh, and we're trying to get our daughter into the best kindergarten, but when we went to the interview I could just feel the law radiating from the headmaster…' or 'I feel like we have to get her into this school–but the process is total law!' I just get the sense that Paul might smirk at my novel use of 'law' and say, 'well…sort of'. But this couldn't be more different from Almighty God's command to every human being 'Thall shalt not covet!'

    Let me give a personal example. I transferred to an unnamed seminary for my last year and was told by the administration that I would have to pay for a class that I really didn't need (based upon prior pastoral experience) if I wanted the sheepskin. I paid. I was under duress. I could say that this was an experience of the 'human law', but I'm not sure it even falls within the 2nd use. While this seemed unfair (God's law isn't), it wasn't truly compulsory (God's law is) and if I had chosen not to pay for the class I would not need to repent (I always need to repent with God's law). This is why I'm worried that an overuse of 'law' may actually trivialise the biblical understanding of law.

    The only thing I can see that God's Law has in common with (non-governmental) societal/organisational-based expectations is that they both come from the outside…however, the former does not have a legitimate claim on my obedience. I think that is the rub, God's Law is inextricably linked to the atonement…Christ died not because I failed to live up to your law or you failed to live up to mine–but because we both fail to live up to God's Law.

    In other words, if you show up to a party and the guests are putting out a vibe that you're not preppy/educated/etc enough or too preppy/educated/etc, there is an expectation, an unfair criteria perhaps, but that 'vibe' is not the law in the sense that it matters to your relationship with God. You might feel awkward because of their expectations, but they have no authority (God does) to judge you.

    I'm being a little facetious, but perhaps we could distinguish this ambiguous human law in the same way the OT translators distinguish between LORD (YHWH) and Lord (Elohim, etc), but I wouldn't even capitalise the 'l' as it pertains to human expectation: LAW & law. 🙂

    Wish I could be there to speak more with all of you this year…pour out some of your 40oz in my memory.

  25. JDK says:

    Dyl. . . great points, and I don’t think that you’re being a gadfly (any more than normal;-) because what you are pointing out–that there are developing conceptions of what constitutes the “Law” and its effects–evident throughout this blog and not all of them are readily compatible. I think that is part of the experiment here: to interact and “work out our salvation” with each other as we wrestle with concepts and terminology that we all hold dear.

    Some thoughts:

    You wrote: In other words, if you show up to a party and the guests are putting out a vibe that you’re not preppy/educated/etc enough or too preppy/educated/etc, there is an expectation, an unfair criteria perhaps, but that ‘vibe’ is not the law in the sense that it matters to your relationship with God. You might feel awkward because of their expectations, but they have no authority (God does) to judge you.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree with this statement, the question remains, however, as to the relationship (if any) between the two experiences of being judged.

    What I was trying to address in my post is the false idea that somehow naming something as Law, or even understanding something as Law (correctly or incorrectly) can then blunt the force of judgment in any way. Saying that something is or is not Law is literally just semantics, because the end of the Law is not the ability to recognize it, but Christ for all who believe.

    In other words, I think that there is a tendency to think that saying something is Law somehow makes it go away. “You’re being the Law,” or “They were the Law,” or, “This Law is too tight,” are ways of communicating, perhaps imprecisely, the experience of having been judged and, I think, the corresponding unspoken hope/affirmation of Romans 8:1 with its no-condemnation.

    I think that even when discussions about the “Law” devolve into thinly veiled insecure whining there is still an element of being judged that has its roots, ultimately, in the Law that St.Paul was talking about. I think thats what I’m always trying to do, albeit with varying degrees of success:)

    Taking your preppy party analogy,

  26. dpotter says:

    I think that the relationship between the two is a ripe topic for a thesis from our other M’bird friends who are thinking about further study. It would be fascinating contribution to theology to see how this term has evolved and how other groups perceive these uses. I might even maintain that using ‘law’ for human judgement constitutes a 4th use, because it is distinct from the first 3 uses in many ways. (No, I’m not saying that I concur with the 3rd use, just that it is a historical phenomenon in its own right.)
    [Anyway, I’ve got 99 problems, but your pink shirt ain’t one of ’em.]

  27. Matt McCormick says:

    For Further reading and more in depth study.

    "Law & Gospel and the Means of Grace" by David P. Scaer deals with the issues raised by Dylan.

  28. Matt McCormick says:

    Dear Dylan

    In human demand, where do you believe the power to evoke rebellion and sin comes from, if not from God’s Law?

  29. David Browder says:

    Paragraphs, Michael, paragraphs. Paragraphs are your friend 😉

  30. Michael Cooper says:

    David, You and your little “paragraphs” condemnation/judgment comment are “the law” , and I will now post only in Faulknerian sentences.

  31. dpotter says:

    Hey Matt,

    I’m not sure I understand the question, but it is obvious that God’s Law cannot possibly be the source/cause of the power to evoke rebellion/sin. That would mean that such a thing didn’t exist until the Law was given and we all know that is not true to the primitive record.

    That said, I’m guessing that your question wouldn’t have such an obvious answer, so where am I misreading you my man?

  32. Steve Martin says:

    Great comments here on this law.anti-law controversey..

    My pastor who was a student of Forde speaks a bit about this 3rd use and other law issues (as well as some other good stuff – the law issues are mostly the 2nd half of the mp3 audio, but is sprinkled throughout)

    I think you’ll enjoy it.


  33. Howard Nowlan says:

    It’s truly fascinating how many times we are judged, not by the Law of God, but by what has been deemed ‘law’ (and therefore, we become against the law when we reject such rulings). In the days of Christ, the Jews were bound to an interpretation of the Torah filtered through the Halakah (Mishnah) – a body of tradition which gave exact dogma on a range of situations, and it’s fascinating to see how many times Jesus Himself acts in ways which deliberately break that code. In the Apostolic period, law making quickly became the rule for many espousing ‘another gospel’ (the “teachers” Paul is seeking to counter in Galatians and Colossians quickly come to mind). The thing to notice here is that all these teachers did so on what they declared to be a ‘true’ foundation (Moses or Christ), but Christ Himself shows us they were totally missing the true mark (the sermon on the mount), and, as Paul declares (Romans 1-3) the true value and role of the Law of God. The propensity within us may be to rebel, but when it comes to communial activity (social and spiritual), we seem far more likely to be legalistic in what we set down as acceptable. Some years ago, I was fired from a job with a Christian company because I would not ‘keep the sabbath’ (only do things they deemed ‘good’ on that day) or exclusively use the King James Version. I’ve also been deemed ‘rebellious’ because I refused to agree with ministers who saw their church as ‘mending their nets’ when I asked why we were not going into the world with the Gospel. The fact is we are all pretty good law factories… we’re a lot less able when it comes to looking at THE law, and seeing things as they really are. Thankfully, God works for us, and that means that His work prevails, but we truly have to be mindful of the ‘leaven’ which seeks to continually mar and tarnish the good work He has begun.

  34. Steve Martin says:

    Spot on, Howard.

    There is NO law against love..yet that is one place we seemingly have a great deal of trouble gravitating to.

    And our desire to be little gods unto ourselves does not help matters when it comes to wanting to throw our weight around with respect to law matters.

    “The law is written upon our hearts.” We know what to do (no guide is really necessary). Our problem is that we just flat out (so much of the time) refuse to do it.

  35. Melina says:

    I was drawn in by the unicorn, great post.

  36. Marissa says:

    I was drawn in by the big foot…I thought it was going to be an article on Harry and the Henderson’s.
    Seriously though, great post and discussion.

  37. Jack says:

    On the Antinomianism article.

    Consider what is the Etymological root source of the word Antinomian. It’s a Hebraic term used by Jesus in the Epistles as a heinous sin.

    (Matthew. 7:23) “I never knew you; depart from me you that work‚ (Greek Strong # 458) ANTINOMIAN.”

    As Jesus and others spoke about Antinomianism over 15 times in the Epistles all as a public rebuke of sinful wickedness.

    Let us peel off the theological bark and shine the spot light on this term use as a dogma, to learn the bare truth of what Antinomianism actually intended mean in the Greek Epistles (Strong # 458 Antanomia) what it really means. Greek Strong # 458 Antanomia i.e. Anomia, meaning Antinomian i.e. Antinomianism.

    The Greek word Anomia, in Greek one can use a singular “A” prefix letter to abbreviate for “no,” “not,” “without” and “ANTI.” “A” prefix letter attached to a Greek word gives the word a negative meaning. The identical the same when a “A” prefix letter attached to English words as Amoral, Atheist, etc. The disposition exhibit in the meaning of this word is that those who consider themselves as antinomian are against IE anarchists of God’s Law, Scripture Law is the (Greek Strong’s # 3551 NOMOS.) Antinomianism is antithetical to God’s scripture sovereignty.

    Just look at one verse (Matthew. 7: 21-23) Who are those that find themselves expelled by Jesus.? ? ? Who are these people? ? ? The Antinomians being talked about here that call Jesus “Lord” and even do good works in His name. These are church Antinomians involved in church activities. They expect to inherit eternal salvation, nevertheless find themselves expelled by Jesus from salvation.

    (Lev. 4:2) express this reprimanded sin as “Against the Commandments of Yahweh.” or Anti-commandments. The Torah (Hebrew Strong’s # 8451) meaning scripture Law, is interchangeable with the (Greek Strong’s # 3551 NOMOS) and the Greek NOMOS, is the word used by the translators of the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word Torah. As used in (Hosea. 8:1) “They transgressed My covenant and transgressed against My law.” As Hosea express, Against Yahweh Covenant and Torah, is coined by the word Antinomian.

    “Antinomian” has been alternative form of expression for over two millennia meaning against the scripture Lawgiver and His Law. It’s from the term in the Epistles {Greek Strong # 458 Antanomia i.e. Anomia.} (Heb. 1:9) “Love righteousness and hate (G Strong # 458) ANTINOMIAN.”

    The greatest tricks the devil has pulled here is to convince people they can access the spiritual world by Antinomianism I.E. bypassing the physical world.

  38. Jack says:

    On this article on Antinomianism.

    The etymological development of the term Antinomian is the antonym to the Greek word Nomos [Strong’s Greek # 355] meaning Law, which in the Septuagint Greek Bible is appropriate for the Hebrew term Torah [Strong’s # H8451,] signifying God’s scriptural laws. Its Hebrew equivalent in the OT writings is the word Torah. The word Antinomian is translated Against Law, or lawlessness in the NT. This term in the NT is often used in ecclesiastical literature to indicate a context of heresy, apostasy, sacrilege, heretical doctrine or heretic and Martin Luther also called Antinomians “false brethren” – in short, one who is lawless, or against the God’s Law. The use of the word Lawless (Antinomian) or (Anomos) in the NT specifically indicates iniquity, transgressor, sinful, one who lives apart from the God’s Law.
    [A book that provided an extensive list of these reference books on this subject matter and reach the same agreement that the word Antinomianism derived from Anomian definition, it is appropriately name “ANTINOMIANISM.” By Mark Jones.]

    Being against the God’s Law or Lawless can mean different things to differ people in a theological context. The best focus is to discover its original meaning and the clearest biblical understanding. No biblical writing can be divorced from a Hebraic understanding. The Christian writings define all scripture as God-breathed and useful for correction, etc., which includes the complete OT writings. In referring to Law, the NT understanding was that of the Hebrew writers and majority audience of the first century.

    Some Christian interpretation of the word Antinomian lawless is that it indicates a breach of general morality…a breach of a “moral law.” But a serious search of this word God’s Law / Torah in the OT provides clear proof that there was a specific Law being referred to, namely the Instruction given to the Israelites on Mt. Sinai. In every way, the OT refers to God’s Law as eternal, good, easy, accessible, and life-giving. The setting of the NT gospels was the Jewish world in which there was no other understanding of this term. It was a corporate document between God and Israel national constitution and also a personal moral law for every individual.

    Any interpretation of the term Nomos [Strong’s Greek # 355] meaning Law, in the NT must be informed by its context in the first century Jewish world and its writers. Any conclusions drawn outside of this context are not exegesis, (the original understanding in the context of the original writers and audience), but eisegesis, (applying a later culture’s understanding outside of its original context). Removing our biblical approach away from the writings’ original meaning and context alters our understanding away from the authenticity of scriptural authority and creates a foreigner belief structure. The clarity of scripture is important as our sole guide, for the Bible teaches not to add to or subtract from any word of God’s Instruction which a command which specifically refers to God’s Law. Any creed that purports to add to or subtract from the veracity of the consistent biblical instruction is in violation of the scriptures.
    [Recommended reading on this subject matter is the book “Restoring Abrahamic Faith” by Professor James D. Tabor.]

    The idea of a moral code apart from an understandable written scriptural Instruction / Torah / God’s Law is not biblical. The terms of the Law and its specifics frame God’s definition of what morality is to Him, not to any other authority. Within it, He names the rights guaranteed to those who enter into its terms. Rights, such as things we have come to think of as inalienable rights today, are defined clearly in the Law of God so there is no room for abrogation or their dismissal. The scriptural inalienable rights of freedom of chose, equality, the right to bear arms. equal justice, freedom from oppression, freedom of expression, listen to God’s instructions on creating a limited government system. limited taxation, the inalienable right to your own land, the creed to resist tyranny. The God’s Law guarantees its participants their rights. To have no Law other than one that is not clearly defined is to allow for morality to be defined individually by each person according to only their understanding. In this way, it embraces the original rebellion of the evil generation that was destroyed in the Flood in Noah’s day because of opting to do “what was right in their own eyes.” To not define Law in the terms He already gave is to take away our own rights guaranteed by Him and His clear instruction of how to morally be in right standing.
    [Recommended viewing on this subject matter is the DVD film “The Isaiah 9: 10 Judgment.”]

    Clearly stated in the text is that His Instruction is not a perverse moral code that cannot be participated in by flawed mortals, but is required to be a relationship issuing from the heart…His and ours…joined with instruction in the path of His morality. (insert verses about with all your heart mind and soul, about their not being too difficult, what is right and what is good). His law is never to be abused but is to be understood in the twin expression of What is Right and What is Good.

    Humans recognize the necessity for national laws. Without them, societies would descend into chaos and anarchy and be preyed upon by tyrants. The hearts of the citizens have to preserve a desire to have an upright society, or the laws will be changed over time because heart and action are divided from each other. The rule of law is central to the protection of a population from injustice and being manipulated by the unscrupulous. But the hearts of the people have to value law as God intented, or it will eventually reflect the compromises and not preserve its original intent and function.
    [Recommended reading on this subject matter is the book “YHWH exists” by Jodel Onstott.]

    God states that his Law is eternal. The terms are eternal, and hearts that joined with His intention of a protective relationship and a People who reflect His priorities are the center of His Law. The beauty of God’s Law is its function as a national covenant and an individual one. It is the framework of a relationship and a lifestyle of people participating with God in this agreement. It frames protective and ennobling parameters rather than being misunderstood to be a monolith of legalistic dictates. Explore what scripture says about itself first, before applying external interpretations.
    [Recommended reading on this subject matter is a 12 page narrative on the web name “Anti Judaism” by distinguish author David Hulme. On]


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