Bill Gothard’s interpretation and practice on Adoption and my response Part 2

          • ModeratorModerator
            April 27, 2016    

            “As I pointed out Ishmael was the biological offspring of Abraham he was not adopt”

            And as I pointed out, he WAS adopted by Sarah, i.e. he was adopted into the family of Abraham and Sarah. Adopted at birth, legal action – with witnesses – to seal the deal. I see you understand this because of your comment:

            “Ishmael was either jealous of his half-brother Isaac when he was born or he felt threatened by Isaac’s existence because Isaac was born a legitimate son and therefore was Abraham’s heir, not Ishmael.”

            Back in the day of German nobility – “von” this and “von” that – there were sons born like Ishmael. A son had to be “recognized”, legally, by the biological father, this signified by the official right to bear that name which carried all sorts of special rights . . . and wealth. In my family a wife in one corner of the well known German noble family “von Lettow” got pregnant by means of the coachman. Herr von Lettow did not “recognize” him, hence he could not get the name. I mean, he was “Johann von Lettow” on his birth certificate, but by the time he got married they “unrecognized” him, making up a last name out of his first name “Johann Johanning”. They DID give him a bunch of money and favors, then “sent him off” . . . much like Ishmael. My great-great-grandfather tried all his life to legally secure “the name”, but failed. Had he done so . . . well . . . I would be writing this from some European villa. But I digress. On his tombstone he wrote, as a final act of defiance, “Johann von Lettow, called Johanning”

            There is a difference between an automatic son . . . and one “recognized” – adopted – as a son from “messy” circumstances. A son has automatic rights that you cannot take away. An “adopted” son, not true.

            ” from a spiritual perspective it is clear that Ishmael lacked belief.”

            For the second time . . . support that

            “Specifically Paul in Ephesians chapter 1 and then also chapter 3 gives the spiritual application of the meaning of adoption that was a long held tradition and estblished practice both before during and long after Christ’s ministry. That practice is still in use today.”

            You are making this up out of thin air! The scholars I have read acknowledge that adoption was simply NOT a practice among the Jews. So . . . where did Paul get it from? From what the Romans did. What was that? AGAIN, when you had a slave – property – you could officially recognize that lifelong, permanent member of your household who literally had no family of his own as a “son”, with rights to the name, the inheritance. Adoption of infants, altering a birth certificate to move a child from one family to another? Virtually if not entirely unknown.

            One source I read said that modern “adoption” had its roots in the 1930s, social experimentation, “it takes a village” kind of thinking. Prior to that? The kid may be an orphan, cared for by a George Muller, by he still belongs to his blood heritage.

            “Paul points out that as heirs with Christ we receive all the spiritual benefits of eternal life that the Father has bequeathed to His Son. Our sin is overlooked because of what Christ had done for us, we are adopted not on the basis of anything we have done but what Christ has done for us.”

            So . . . we have the same Chris, only with a different name? That is NOT what I read:

            1 Peter 1:3-4
            “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again (“BORN AGAIN”) unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”

            2 Corinthians 5:17
            “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature(“creation”): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

            I have lots more. Out old natural born person died, or at least was put on death row – and an entirely new person was formed “in the image of Christ”. We are not “recognized” as family – we ARE family.

            “it lacks the mercy and compassion of the Gospel and doctrine of adoption as expressed by Paul in Ephesians.”

            First of all, if it is Scriptural it is right, regardless of how little it makes sense to us. People are converting to “Christian Universalism” by the droves – everybody gets saved in the end – for no greater reason than “forever hell lacks mercy”. And birth is FAR more merciful and satisfying than adoption any day, assuming you could literally be “born again” And you can.

  1. April 27, 2016    

    Your comment is awaiting moderation

    Now you’re making stuff up there is no mention of Ishmael being adopted in fact in chapter 17 of Genesis it is emphatically states;

    Gen 17:13 “A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My
    covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
    Gen 17:14 “But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
    Gen 17:15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
    Gen 17:16 “I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
    Gen 17:17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
    Gen 17:18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!”
    Gen 17:19 But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
    Gen 17:20 “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.
    Gen 17:21 “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”

    Once more there is no mention of Sarah giving Ishmael to Abraham or Abraham adopting Ishmael. Even Abraham disobeys the circumcision covenant and Ishmael isn’t circumcised until he is 13.

    You try to put words in my mouth regarding adoption as it was in the time of Christ and long before. I never said it wasn’t a Roman practice and I never said it was only a Jewish practice I said it was a common practice long before and after the time of Christ. The so-called adoption experiment you are referring to in the 1930’s is a red herring. and has nothing to do with what I am saying or why Bill is wrong. Bill appears to be completely ignorant of the spiritual meaning of the text. His application of the scriptures is simply wrong. If he is trying to use it as a basis for Christian practice there is no precedence for us to follow his unique reading.

    Simply put Bill’s doctrine and your argument are indefensible. I am not going to aim this at you or make it personal I am simply going to say that the biblical evidence is stacked against Bill’s interpretation in its entirety. There is no reason for Abraham to adopt his own biological son whether it be by his wife or by a bond servant. From the text Abraham simply assumes that Ishmael was his heir to which the Lord tells him that is not the case that Ishmael was not of the promised seed of faith.

    How can you not see that the context of these chapters contradict Bill’s interpretation? CONTEXT, CONTEXT CONTEXT!!!!!!

    Either Bill is ignorant of the context or he simply does not get that context actually limits the interpretation either way an argument from ignorance no matter how much evidence it can bring to support it is still ignorance. In the same way if an argument if brought forward from flawed or heretical reasoning it is wrong to matter how well argued it is. Bill is wrong it is as simple as that.

    In closing if one can’t see the parallel between Paul’s writings on adoption and these passages in Genesis then I would have to say that person has another gospel that is a counterfeit. With each day I read Bill Gothard’s interpretation of scripture and how he applies them I am less inclined to believe he has understood the true Gospel of Christ and applied it to his own heart at all.


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