Some lawyers are willing to say anything. Lest you think this an exaggeration, I submit to you a section from a brief I am filing today. The background is as follows: the parties are arguing over the application of a particular rule. At issue is the ordering of specific events: Is B supposed to happen after document A has been filed or at the same as A is filed? The verb is the rule is “filed”. We noted that the “filed” is the past-tense of “to file.” The opposing party argued in response, “the word ‘filed’ is present tense.” Below is our legal argument that “filed” is past tense:
On page 5, line 22 through page 6, line 11 of the Opposition, the Trustee advances the novel argument that “filed” is not a past tense of the verb “to file”. This argument is both bizarre and frankly illiterate. In fact, she actually writes this sentence, “the word ‘filed’ is present tense.”
The Trustee is simply wrong. In English, the simple past is most often formed by the addition of the letters “-ed” to the end of the base form of the verb. “The simple past. Generally, this tense refers to events, habitual activities, and states in the past.” (“Tense,” in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, ed. Tom McArthur (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 1031.)
And just to make the point clear, the courts have weighed in and stated the obvious: the simple past of “to file” is “filed.” Petitioners cited two decisions in the moving papers; but so that there is no doubt, here are a few additional cases from other jursidcitions: In re Lehman Bros. Securities & Erisa Litigation (S.D.N.Y. 2015) 131 F. Supp. 3d 241, 267 (“Note that “filed in” is a past-tense modifier”); Krys v. Sugrue (S.D.N.Y. 2012) 859 F. Supp. 2d 644, 653 (“Congress’ clear use of the present tense for “pending” cases and past tense for “filed” cases forecloses defendants’ argument.”); Pope v. Gordon (Ala. 2005) 922 So. 2d 893, 898 (“Additionally, the use of the past tense in the phrase “and filed in the circuit court” ”).
The Trustee’s “argument” is based upon the assertion that since the Rules of Court contain uses of the perfect tense (the addition of “have been” for English verbs), the past tense/preterite “filed” is not past tense: which makes absolutely no sense. The perfect and preterite involve different aktionsart of the verbs (the lexical aspect used to emphasize different aspects of the relationship of the present to the past): “The non-progressive perfect refers to an event in the past with current relevance: I’ve broken the window indicates that I broke [note: the preterite of to break] the window and that the window is probably still broken.” (“Tense,” in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, ed. Tom McArthur (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 1031.)
 In the moving papers, citation was made to a couple of cases which explained that “filed” is a past-tense use of the verb to file. In an inexplicable attempt to “distinguish” these cases, the Trustee notes that those cases did not involve a trust petition – which is irrelevant to the question of grammar.
But that is not the worst: there’s worse than this.
My taste is lost; no bite tastes sweet to me
But what is dipped all over in this dish.
Of rank rank poison: this my sauce must be.
Hell heaven, heaven hell, yea bitter sweet:
Poison’s my food: food poison in’t doth keep.
Summary: I have come to love the Devil’s sauce sin that I cannot enjoy anything without this poison. I love the poison. I am so upside down that I must have sin mixed in with everything I do.
This gets at something which was very important in much Puritans were quite interested, the way in which sin both twisted the human being and at the same time created the desire for sin itself:
“The example in Romans 7:8 of Paul, who by his own account, was one of the most morally degenerate men who ever lived (Phil. 3:6; 1 Tim. 1:13, 15), provides a gateway for Goodwin to understand how no man or woman in a carnal state is free from inclination to all sin. The struggling man in Romans 7 was viewed by the Puritans as a Christian,32 but verse 8 has reference to Paul in his unconverted state. The sin in Paul in this verse is original sin, and original sin produced in him “all manner of concupiscence,” that is, all kinds of covetous lust or desire for things forbidden.33 As Edward Reynolds put it, “It is as natural to the heart to lust, as it is to the eye to see.”34 Self-love, instead of love to God, results from original sin.” Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark. A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (pp. 279-280). Reformation Heritage Books. Kindle Edition.
Jonathan Edwards notes that even though there is such variety in the circumstances among human beings, there is one thing which invariably shows up, sin:
THE proposition laid down being proved, the consequence of it remains to be made out, viz. that the mind of man has a natural tendency or propensity to that event, which has been shewn universally and infallibly to take place (if this ben’t sufficiently evident of itself, without proof), and that this is a corrupt or depraved propensity.
Jonathan Edwards, Original Sin, ed. John E. Smith and Clyde A. Holbrook, Corrected Edition., vol. 3, The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1997), 120. And:
The general continued wickedness of mankind, against such means and motives, proves each of these things, viz. that the cause is fixed, and that the fixed cause is internal, in man’s nature, and also that it is very powerful. It proves the first, namely, that the cause is fixed, because the effect is so abiding, through so many changes. It proves the second, that is, that the fixed cause is internal, because the circumstances are so various: the variety of means and motives is one thing that is to be referred to the head of variety of circumstances: and they are that kind of circumstances, which above all others proves this; for they are such circumstances as can’t possibly cause the effect, being most opposite to the effect in their tendency.
193. As Edwards’ explains in his Treatise Freedom of the Will, it is desire that binds the will. And thus this universal tendency to sin is the result of a universal desire.
What Taylor does so well in this stanza is to couple desire and poison into a single movement: We desire our destruction. There is an image from Jeremiah which helps here:
Jeremiah 2:23–25 (AV)
23 How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; 24 A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. 25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
Taylor does not copy the image, but he does rely upon the concept.
Thomas Brooks provides a closer parallel:
Sin is from the greatest deceiver, it is a child of his own begetting, it is the ground of all the deceit in the world, and it is in its own nature exceeding deceitful. Heb. 3:13, ‘But exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.’ It will kiss the soul, and pretend fair to the soul, and yet betray the soul for ever. It will with Delilah smile upon us, that it may betray us into the hands of the devil, as she did Samson into the hands of the Philistines. Sin gives Satan a power over us, and an advantage to accuse us and to lay claim to us, as those that wear his badge; it is of a very bewitching nature, it bewitches the soul, where it is upon the throne, that the soul cannot leave it, though it perish eternally by it.4 Sin so bewitches the soul, that it makes the soul call evil good, and good evil; bitter sweet and sweet bitter, light darkness and darkness light; and a soul thus bewitched with sin will stand it out to the death, at the sword’s point with God; let God strike and wound, and cut to the very bone, yet the bewitched soul cares not, fears no but will still hold on in a course of wickedness, as you may see in Pharaoh, Balaam, and Judas. Tell the bewitched soul that sin is a viper that will certainly kill when it is not killed, that sin often kills secretly, insensibly, eternally, yet the bewitched soul cannot, nor will not, cease from sin.
When the physicians told Theotimus that except he did abstain from drunkenness and uncleanness, &c., he would lose his eyes, his heart was so bewitched to his sins, that he answers, ‘Then farewell sweet light;’1 he had rather lose his eyes than leave his sin. So a man bewitched with sin had rather lose God, Christ, heaven, and his own soul than part with his sin. Oh, therefore, for ever take heed of playing or nibbling at Satan’s golden baits
Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 15–16.
Many long to be meddling with the murdering morsels of sin, which nourish not, but rent and consume the belly, the soul, that receives them. Many eat that on earth that they digest in hell. Sin’s murdering morsels will deceive those that devour them. Adam’s apple was a bitter sweet; Esau’s mess was a bitter sweet; the Israelites’ quails a bitter sweet; Jonathan’s honey a bitter sweet; and Adonijah’s dainties a bitter sweet. After the meal is ended, then comes the reckoning. Men must not think to dance and dine with the devil, and then to sup with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; to feed upon the poison of asps, and yet that the viper’s tongue should not slay them
Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 14.
But that is not the worst: there’s worse than this.
My taste is lost; no bite tastes sweet to me (20)
But what is dipped all over in this dish.
Of rank rank poison: this my sauce must be.
Hell heaven, heaven hell, yea bitter sweet:
Poison’s my food: food poison in’t doth keep.
The r’s and s’s work well together especially in the first line. “Worse than this” by itself is not a very promising “poetic” line. But the repetition of “worst/worse” “the worst there’s worse” also works. The next line picks up on these sound but now we the repetition of taste/tastes, and the sounds of “tastes sweet”, where the s’s and t’s: t-s-t-s-t. Line 21 again works on a alliteration: dipped-dish.
This alliteration within the individual line gives a feel of Anglo-Saxon poetry where alliteration is a primary means to hold a line together
Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum,
monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,
He uses the very same technique in the remainder of the stanza, but in the last two lines he uses the alliteration to underscore the reversals:
Of rank rank poison: this my sauce must be.
Hell heaven, heaven hell, yea bitter sweet:
Poison’s my food: food poison in’t doth keep.
Hl – hn / hn – hl
The word “poison” ties these lines together.
He marks the transition into this section by means of the repetition of “rank-rank” which slows the movement of the stanza. It is then offset by a colon and the sad, “This my sauce must be.” Note again the m-s/m-s repetition.
The line, “This my sauce must be” is a rather sad resignation. It reminds me of the tone of Hosea, “Ephraim is joined to idols;/Leave him alone.”
Final note: What is most devasting about the poet’s situation is that there is no rescue from this place. Even though he is destroying himself, he wants to be here. It is like finding someone in a prison and they refuse to leave.
But as a crystal glass, I broke, and lost That grace, and glory I was fashion’d in And cast this rosy world with all its cost Into the dunghill pit and puddle sin. (10) All right I lost in all good things, and each I had did hand a vein of venom in.
Summary: This stanza recounts the fall. Here again, Taylor puts himself into Adam’s story and casts himself as the culprit. “I” am the one who broke the crystal glass. I cast “this rosy world” into the “dunghill.” The “rosy world” is taken over from the first stanza.
He has lost all “right” (that is as in a right in) all that is good. And now all that he has is shot through with “venom.” Venom is a reference to Genesis 3:
Genesis 3:1 (AV) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Notes: The reference to this sinful earth in terms of a “dunghill” was a commonplace in English Puritan writing, such as:
First, here is their portion, they are never like to have any other consolation, but that they have here, here is their All. This is as it were their Kingdom; They are upon their own dunghil.
Jeremiah Burroughs, Moses His Choice, with His Eye Fixed upon Heaven: Discovering the Happy Condition of a Self-Denying Heart (London: John Field, 1650), 100. The reference to sin and puddles is also not unknown, though less common. For instance:
One sin may keep possession for Satan, and hinder Jesus Christ from his right—I mean, from sitting on the throne and swaying the sceptre of thy soul. Wallowing in one puddle defiles the body, and tumbling in one piece of filthiness defiles the soul.
George Swinnock, The Works of George Swinnock, M.A., vol. 5 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1868), 454. A striking similarity to Taylor’s use in this stanza is found in Thomas Adams, The Fatal Banquet (the first sermon), found in volume 1 of his collected works at page 169: “Sin is, like water, of a ponderous, crass, gross, stinking, and stinking nature.”
Musical: The g’s of the first stanza, glory, grace, gold, here appears only as what has been lost: the broken glass, the fled glory and grace, the good which is gone.
The meter is regular until the last two lines:
All right I lost in all good things, and each I had did hand a vein of venom in.
Two things are interesting here. The 11th line can be read as a regular line: all RIGHT i LOST. But it also works with an accent on ALL: ALL right I LOST in ALL GOOD things.
Also pause coming between the 8th and 9th syllables creates a run-on, where the last two syllables are essentially unaccented and the entire line runs into the line. As explained on the Poetry Foundation website, this is known as “Enjambment: The running-over of a sentence or phrase from one poetic line to the next, without terminal punctuation; the opposite of end-stopped.”
Effect: The effect of this stanza is to create a sense of both loss, disgust and anger. There is the loss of the “rosy world”; but this loss was not at the hands someone else: I did this.
The use of the I puts the reader in an interesting place, because the I becomes the reader while reading the poem: I – not Taylor – am the one who lost this world.
But this also is to incur disgust. The beautiful world has been lost and now what was glorious is now a pestilent puddle.
21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
Paul is warning the congregation to cease to make the approval of other men the primary goal of life. They were seeking glory; and seemed to see Paul in a similar light. Paul specifically disclaims such glory and urges the congregation to look beyond such glory.
The weight of this poem and Taylor’s emphasis from the motto lie upon the fact that for the congregation “all things are yours.”
The poem works through a history of the world and brings this into a history of Taylor. At the first, he had Paradise he was “begraced with grace.” But that original innocence and blessing was lost. The poem will end with a prayer and a praise that in Christ he has received all things.
Begraced with glory, gloried with grace,
In Paradise I was, when all sweet shines
Hung dangling on this rosy world to face
Mine eyes, and nose, and charm mine ears with chimes.
All these were golden tills the which did hold (5)
My evidences wrapt in glorious folds.
Summary: The poet places in himself (impossibly) in Paradise before the Fall, where all was “very good” in the language of Genesis 1. Everything for him was “glorious”.
Begraced with glory: Grace is unmerited, undeserved gift from God. Any good received from God is a grace. Glory is an aspect of God. The ideas are of beauty, blazing light, and honor; in contrast to the broken, fallenness of a world of sin and shame. So to be given grace is to give one glory.
The line is a antimetabole: “Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.” http://rhetoric.byu.edu Grace – glory – glory – Grace.
In Paradise I was: This can only be accessed by means of imagination. Thus, by means of imagination the poet is accessing this place out of time.
All sweet shines: everything good.
Golden tills: a “till” is a box for keeping money or valuables. The phrase is ambiguous, because it is unclear precisely what constitutes the till: did his sense bear such things or does he refer to the beauty of the various things which perceives?
My evidences: This is an interesting phrase, evidence of what. This line from a near contemporary Thomas Watson may help, “The saints’ graces are weapons to defend them, wings to elevate them, jewels to enrich them, spices to perfume them, stars to adorn them, cordials to refresh them: and does not all this work for good? The graces are our evidences for heaven; is it not good to have our evidences at the hour of death?” Thomas Watson, A Divine Cordial; The Saint’s Spiritual Delight; The Holy Eucharist; and Other Treatises, The Writings of the Doctrinal Puritans and Divines of the Seventeenth Century (The Religious Tract Society, 1846), 18.
The combination of “grace” and “evidence” (a not uncommon concept in Puritan theology of the Taylor’s period) is apparent in this first stanza. To be graced is to have an evidence. While his vision of this beauty could be seen as an evidence that is in Paradise, I think it better to see the experience of such bliss as evidence of the grace. The glory evidences the grace; and the grace makes possible both the glory and the sight of glory.
The evidences here are wrapped in “glorious folds”.
Musical: The first word should be read “be-grac-ed” as three syllables for the line to scan properly. The play on the “g” sound in grace, glory, gold, works quite well in this stanza.
This is an early draft of the introduction to a series of courses which will cover issues related to Church Administration. In this section I try to explain why church management face issues which simply are not present in any other equivalent enterprise. If anyone has a comment or correct on the direction which I intend to develop the course work, please comment. I am attempting something I have not seen dealt with elsewhere in this manner:
Having spent decades sorting out conflicts within and between businesses, families, landlords and tenants; and having had decades experience within multiple churches (inside leadership and with outside counsel), I have concluded that the complications and difficulties faced by the one who “runs” a church organization are far greater and often more insolvable than the problems which face the CEO of a corporation or the manager of an apartment building.
These difficulties lie in the seemingly inconsistent obligations which confront the church as a public entity, as an internal structure, and which arise in leadership.
Some of these problems can only be faced and resolved when they arise. Some problems “come out of nowhere” and cannot be anticipated. (We will speak about how to prepare for the unavoidable and unforeseen problems during this coursework.)
We cannot prevent the unavoidable; but we should avoid “self-inflicted wounds.” Many of the problems faced by a church were problems built-into the original formation of the church. Churches begin as some sort of “plant.” The planted church must make a number of decisions. Often these decisions are made without much thought and without any training.
The pastor who plants the church approaches this task with a seminary degree which has prepared him with an overview of church history, doctrine, and certain practices such as prayer, preaching, evangelism. He has been trained to do the primary task of shepherding, but comes to the work with little or no knowledge of business formation, managing employees, leasing a building, or responding to threats of lawsuits based something said from the pulpit.
This understandable ignorance leads to poor decisions which create future problems. The lack of knowledge in these areas will lead to poor responses to arising problems. The result will be new problems. And because these problems arise in a church, the latest management advice cannot be received and implemented in the same way it could be used in a hardware store. In fact, many churches have failed because the leadership ran the church as if it were any other business. (And other churches have failed because they ignored the very same issues.)
We are going to provide you guidance through these troubles. We will start at the beginning with business formation issues. We will also try to provide some direction about how to restructure and resolves issues which are present at an existing organization where you have come to work.
Up until this point, I have spoken of problems in the abstract. If you have experience in the leadership of a church, you have already begun in your mind to list problems you have experienced (and if you have been the leadership of a church for any length of time, you have unquestionably faced serious questions). If you are new to church leadership, you had best be prepared for sorrow.
Some years ago, I was speaking with a pastor friend who was facing a problem which threatened to destroy the entire congregation. He was looking for help with this problem. He said the problem was so bad, that he was looking for a Clint Eastwood character from a spaghetti western with a scar on his cheek and an ammunition belt slung over his soldier.
There will be days when it seems that only such a character could help. But we trust when you complete this coursework, you be able to avoid the need for such extraordinary efforts.
A Quick Overview of the Problems Faced by Church Administration
The problems faced by every organization
There are legal and financial duties owed to the various levels of government where you work. It will not be unusual if you must consider differing obligations to the city, the county, the state, and the federal government. These obligations begin with the business structure you create. And, as you will learn, that if you try to avoid this problem by merely starting a congregation without making a formal decision about business structure, you have actually made a decision about business structure.
You will owe tax records to the state and federal government, and you must prepare tax records for all employees, independent contractors, and donors to the church.
You will need to make contracts, whether for purchase or lease of real property. If you meet in a home, you will need to consider laws and general obligations respecting permissible conduct in residential locations.
This course is being written well into the Covid Crisis, which caused churches to face extraordinary public health restrictions which baffled the best Christian minds, brought out a variety of responses, and even resulted in sharp critique of one-another (even conflict) between those who came to differing decisions.
You will owe legal duties to your employees. The employee duties and obligations within a church are similar and very different than those owed by secular organizations. You provide a working environment which must comply with some standards for all businesses; and you must provide an environment which comports with your duties as Christians generally, as leaders specifically, and as a church.
You will have the problems faced by every “business” which is open to the public – except that you will be open to and have oversight over infants and octogenarians. There are very few businesses which provide toddler care and instruction, while also providing food to the poor, solace to the wounded, correction to the wayward, instruction to willing. A private day school for 3-year-olds has no duty to care for the child’s great grandmother.
Those Problems Unique to a Church
The leadership of church cannot be measured on the same ground as business tycoon. Consider the following obituary of the CEO of Scott Paper and Sunbeam:
Swagger, arrogance, ego, “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap had them all.
The corporate raider — turnaround specialist, if you prefer — boasted about laying off workers. He blasted his corporate brethren’s incompetence for necessitating his slash and burn tactics. He’d name names.
Hot tempered, he was known to yell at subordinates.
“If you want to be liked, get a dog,” he was fond of saying.
While this may have made for a good CEO, it would make a failed church leader.
Christians must live with one-another in love:
34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34–35 (ESV). In the “High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus recorded in John 17, the Lord prays:
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
John 17:20–21 (ESV) . These are not abstract principles or bare aspirations. It is a duty incumbent upon every Christian and a duty which adheres peculiarly to the Church as a witness to and in the world. Francis Schaeffer explained the importance of this duty in work The Mark of a Christian:
The church is to be a loving church in a dying culture. How, then, is the dying culture going to consider us? Jesus says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” In the midst of the world, in the midst of our present culture, Jesus is giving a right to the world. Upon His authority He gives the world the right to judge whether you and I are born-again Christians on the basis of our observable love toward all Christians.
That’s pretty frightening. Jesus turns to the world and says, “I’ve something to say to you. On the basis of My authority, I give you a right: you may judge whether or not an individual is a Christian on the basis of the love he shows to all Christians.” In other words, if people come up to us and cast in our teeth the judgment that we are not Christians because we have not shown love toward other Christians, we must understand that they are only exercising a prerogative which Jesus gave them.
If we professing believers do not demonstrate visible love to one-another we give the world the right to (1) say that we are not Christians, and (2) say that Jesus was not sent by the Father. In short, if we who lead churches or professing Christian institutions and do not exhibit love we have failed. No CEO has ever been judged a failure because he did not love the sales staff, or accounting, or the administrative assistant. He may have been thought a jerk, but he still could be revered and honored.
Look at the kind of love we must show, “as I have loved you.” John 13:34.
You may think this is going far afield from what is entailed in Church administration: I need to know how to form a non-profit, how to file tax returns, create an employee manual, et cetera. And all those things you must do. But all of those tasks must be completed with the end to fulfill the duty of being a Christian and being a public congregation of Christians.
We as Christians, and peculiarly as Christians gathered and presented to the world, have a duty not merely stay open and “make money” (which is the duty of a “normal” business). Christian organizations have a duty to act as a witness to the world. This duty involves demonstrable, actual love among the members of the organization. No CEO has ever been presented with the obligation of seeing to it that all the employees love one-another.
I want you to consider these words on “love” which Paul addressed to the Church at Corinth. But as you consider these words, I want you to note that the first three verses each list some element of public display which someone could raise as proof that their Christian ministry was a success, and to note that these marks of success mean nothing without love:
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1–3 (ESV). We could add, If I publish and distribute 6,000 books a month and have conferences attended by 10,000 people a quarter and have not love, I am making a lot of noise and collecting a lot of money – but I am nothing.
Now, I want you to seriously consider the following words and realize that the operation of your church ministry must not only be efficient, professional, effective (as must all businesses), but it also be operated in such a way that it exudes this sort of conduct:
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (ESV). Or look at the words which Paul addresses to the assembled congregation of Colossians:
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put-on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:8–14 (ESV). These are characteristics which must in the “culture” of your leadership and the culture the employees. It also must be the culture which you must engender among your “customers”. No manufacturer of glass bottles ever had the duty to encouraging meekness among its customers.
You must understand that as we work through the issues raised in the various employment, financial, and legal matters which we will address throughout this course work, that we must keep in mind the aim of each of these tasks. Paul in his church administration instruction to Timothy wrote that the end of work is to be “love that issues from a pure heart.” (1 Tim. 1:5).
When you work through materials on non-profit corporations, you will not find instructions on love.
This is what makes Church administration different from running a small business or even managing a non-profit. You will have to do all of the things which are required of any business owner or charity manager. But you also must do this with an eye toward the goal of being a witness to Christ.
The CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation does have the duty of making sure his employees avoid “foolish talk” (Eph. 5:4) or “slander” (Col. 3:8) or “gossip” (2 Cor. 12:20). But we do. No District Manager has ever been written up for failing to make disciples of the Lord (Matt. 28:18-20), but that is our job description.
If we fail in this, we at the very least face the prospect that all our work will be “burned up” on the Day. (1 Cor. 3:12-15).
Our goal in this course work is to train you in the dual responsibilities of operating within the law of the state, but also to comply with the law of God. These are not things which you will learn from the Nolo Press book on “Non-profit Corporations” nor from a community college course on accounting.
This course work is unique, and we trust it will be valuable to you.
 Francis A. Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, vol. 4 (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 187.
 By referencing “public congregation of Christians”, I mean to include not only churches proper, but para-church ministries such as apologetics ministries, teaching ministries of various sorts, services provided under the promise of being a “Christian” practice.
The second stanza is perhaps the most difficult in the poem in that here the ambiguity of reference is focused. It looks upon the ruined imaged and speaks of the heavenly sorrow at the tremendous loss:
What pity ‘s this? Oh! Sunshine art! What fall?
Thou that wast more glorious than glory’s wealth.
More golden far than gold! Lord, on whose wall
Thy scutcheons hung, the image of thyself!
It’s ruined, and must rue, though angels should
To hold it up heave while their heart strings hold.
What pity is this: What a thing is here to pity.
Sunshine art must refer to the original, before it fell. Since Taylor was writing from a rural place in a Northern latitude during the “Little Ice Age,” a reference to sunshine would be especially potent.
He is looking upon the ruined image which was “more glorious than glory’s wealth./More golden far than gold!” Rhythmically, note the inversion of the iamb to a trochee at the beginning of line 8:
THOU that was MORE GLORiou.
The inversion of the “normal” order forces attention upon the “thou”. He focuses our attention upon the lost image.
Jonathan Edwards who was a generation after Taylor, but whose father knew Taylor, writes of God’s glory in Christ (in the funeral sermon for David Brainerd) with similar imagery:
Their beatifical vision of God is in Christ; who is that brightness or effulgence of God’s glory, by which his glory shines forth in heaven, to the view of saints and angels there, as well as here on earth. This is the Sun of Righteousness, which is not only the light of this world, but is also the sun which enlightens the heavenly Jerusalem; by whose bright beams the glory of God shines forth there, to the enlightening and making happy of all the glorious inhabitants. “The Lamb is the light thereof; and so the Glory of God doth lighten it,” Rev. 21:23. No one sees God the Father immediately. He is the King eternal, immortal, invisible. Christ is the Image of that invisible God, by which he is seen by all elect creatures. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him and manifested him. No one has ever immediately seen the Father, but the Son; and no one else sees the Father in any other way, than by the Son’s revealing him.
Jonathan Edwards, The Works of President Edwards (New York: S. Converse, 1829), 459.
The wall is the thus the human being created to display the image of God. God’s image was hung upon the walls. There are shields upon the walls which show the coat of arms of this royal family. But now it houses a treasonous family.
The closing couplet (lines 11-12) are difficult in terms of their reference:
It’s ruined, and must rue, though angels should
To hold it up heave while their heart strings hold.
“It’s ruined” must refer to the house whose walls bear the image (or at least should do so). But what are we to make of “must rue.” Is that the house should rue it’s loss? Apparently so. But it could also be taken as a cohortative to the reader, you should rue this loss. Both are possible here.
Angels are sent hold up house. This seems to be an oblique reference to Hebrews 1:14, where angels are explained to be ministering spirits sent out to care for those human beings who will inherit salvation on the basis of Christ’s work.
We could also read this entire stanza as a reference to Christ in his passion, where he was struck down, killed and buried. This removes much of the ambiguity of the stanza in-and-of itself. The reader sees this destruction and is called upon the rue the loss of such beauty, while the angels attend to the Savior. And it is angels who “long to look” into this salvation: a salvation which was granted to humanity but not to angels. 1 Peter 1:12.
As noted above, this ambiguity of reference makes theological sense because the image of God which is superlatively in Jesus Christ is by imitation the property of redeemed humanity. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul writes that as the redeemed behold glory of the Lord, the redeemed are transformed into the image which they behold:
2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV)
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Thus, that image is both Christ and also the property of renewed humanity.
There is also reference to the First Adam, Adam of Genesis 2 who was created in the image of God and so quickly rebelled against his place of honor.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil.—
The first step in exegesis is an examination of the grammatical/logical elements of the text:
This scripture giveth us the history of Christ’s temptation, which I shall go over by degrees.
In the words observe:—
1. The parties tempted and tempting. The person tempted was the Lord Jesus Christ. The person tempting was the devil.
2. The occasion inducing this combat, Jesus was led up of the Spirit.
3. The time, then.
4. The place, the wilderness.
Following this outline of the elements, he proposes an observation of what is to be learned from the text:
From the whole observe:—
Doct. The Lord Jesus Christ was pleased to submit himself to an extraordinary combat with the tempter, for our good.
Next he provides the elements of his sermon, which will be both an examination of the elements and an exhortation based upon the same:
1. I shall explain the nature and circumstances of this extraordinary combat.
2. The reasons why Christ submitted to it.
3. The good of this to us.
Now the examination:
I. The circumstances of this extraordinary combat. And here—
Manton looks at the Who, What, How, When
A. The persons combating—Jesus and the devil, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. It was designed long before. Gen.3:15 ….
B. The manner of the combat. It was not merely a phantasm, that Christ was thus assaulted and used: no, he was tempted in reality, not in conceit and imagination only. It seemeth to be in the spirit, though it was real; as Paul was taken up into the third heaven, whether in the body or out of the body we cannot easily judge, but real it was. I shall more accurately discuss this question afterwards in its more proper place.
He emphasizes that this was a historical reality. Even though it involved at one non-physical being (the Devil), we should not consider spiritual engagements as less real. Next he considers, how did this come about:
C. What moved him, or how was he brought to enter into the lists [who arranged for this combat to take place] with Satan? He was ‘led by the Spirit,’ meaning thereby the impulsion and excitation of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. Luke 4:1.
From this, Manton draws a deduction:
He did not voluntarily put himself upon temptation, but, by God’s appointment, went up from Jordan farther into the desert.
At this point, Manton begins to draw a lesson. He presumes that the life of Jesus is exemplary for the conduct of our life. This is consistent with Peter’s teaching that Jesus’ conduct [at the passion] is exemplary for our life. 1 Peter 2:21. Paul writes that we are being conformed into the image of Jesus. Col. 3:10. Paul applies this in particular to our response to difficulties. Rom. 8:28-29. And so, Manton’s application in this manner is warranted.
We learn hence:—
1. That temptations come not by chance, not out of the earth, nor merely from the devil; but God ordereth them for his own glory and our good.
He then provides examples, Job 1:12; Luke 22:31; Matt. 8:31
If we be free, let us bless God for it, and pray that he would not ‘lead us into temptation:’ if tempted, when we are in Satan’s hands, remember Satan is in God’s hand.
2. Having given up ourselves to God, we are no longer to be at our own dispose and direction, but must submit ourselves to be led, guided, and ordered by God in all things. So it was with Christ, he was led by the Spirit continually. Luke 4:1; Romans 8:14.
From the factual conclusions, Manton draws a conclusion as to our conduct:
3. That we must observe our warrant and calling in all we resolve upon. To put ourselves upon hazards we are not called unto, is to go out of our bounds to meet a temptation, or to ride into the devil’s quarters. Christ did not go of his own accord into the desert, but by divine impulsion, and so he came from thence. We may, in our place and calling, venture ourselves, on the protection of God’s providence, upon obvious temptations; God will maintain and support us in them; that is to trust God; but to go out of our calling is to tempt God.
And finally an observation as to human will and the power of God:
4. Compare the words used in Matthew and Mark, chap. 1:12, ‘And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.’ That shows that it was a forcible motion, or a strong impulse, such as he could not easily resist or refuse, so here is freedom—he was led; there is force and efficacious impression—he was driven, with a voluntary condescension thereunto. There may be liberty of man’s will, yet the victorious efficacy of grace united together: a man may be taught and drawn, as Christ here was led, and driven by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Manton now come to when this took place.
D. The time.
1. Presently after his baptism. Now the baptism of Christ agreeth with ours as to the general nature of it. Baptism is our initiation into the service of God, or our solemn consecration of ourselves to him; and it doth not only imply work, but fight. (Rom. 6:13, 13:12 ….).
Which raises the question of why would Jesus be baptized?
….His baptism was the taking of the field as general; we undertake to fight under him in our rank and place.
What is the connection between the baptism and the temptation? The temptation comes immediately upon the baptism and the Father’s recognition of Jesus as the Son (Mark 3:16-17)
2. Thus many times the children of God, after solemn assurances of his love, are exposed to great temptations.…God’s conduct is gentle, and proportioned to our strength, as Jacob drove as the little ones were able to bear it. He never suffers his castles to be besieged till they are victualled.
Why does the temptation come immediately before his public preaching ministry (his prophetical office):
3. … Experience of temptations fits for the ministry, as Christ’s temptations prepared him to set a-foot the kingdom of God, for the recovery of poor souls out of their bondage into the liberty of the children of God: … Christ also would show us that ministers should not only be men of science, but of experience.
4. The place or field where this combat was fought, the wilderness, where were none but wild beasts: … In this solitary place Satan tried his utmost power against our Saviour.
This teacheth us:—
a. That Christ alone grappled with Satan, having no fellow-worker with him, that we may know the strength of our Redeemer, who is able himself to overcome the tempter without any assistance, and to ‘save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him,’ Heb. 7:25.
b. That the devil often abuseth our solitude. It is good sometimes to be alone; but then we need to be stocked with holy thoughts or employed in holy exercises, that we may be able to say, as Christ, John 16:32, ‘I am not alone, because the Father is with me.’ Howsoever a state of retirement from human converse, if it be not necessary, exposeth us to temptations; but if we are cast upon it, we must expect God’s presence and help.
c. That no place is privileged from temptations, unless we leave our hearts behind us. David, walking on the terrace or house-top, was ensnared by Bathsheba’s beauty: 2 Sam. 11:2–4. Lot, that was chaste in Sodom, yet committed incest in the mountain, where there were none but his own family: Gen. 19:30, 31, &c. When we are locked in our closets, we cannot shut out Satan.
(If it is not apparent, I find the sentiment expressed by the late Mr Darwin repellent and sinful. The passage and comment come from Dembski’s The End of Christianity)
Thus, in The Descent of Man, the sequel to the Origin, Darwin noted,
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. . . . The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
Just so there is no doubt, Darwin saw, as a consequence of his theory, that whites (whom he regarded as “superior”) would exterminate blacks (whom he regarded as “inferior”).
Hereby, too, I shall indulge the inclination so natural in old men, to be talking of themselves and their own past actions; and I shall indulge it without being tiresome to others, who, through respect to age, might conceive themselves obliged to give me a hearing, since this may be read or not as any one pleases. And, lastly (I may as well confess it, since my denial of it will be believed by nobody), perhaps I shall a good deal gratify my own vanity. Indeed, I scarce ever heard or saw the introductory words, “Without vanity I may say,” &c., but some vain thing immediately followed. Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others that are within his sphere of action; and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.
If the foundations be destroyed.” etc. The civil foundation of a nation or people, is their laws and constitutions. The order and power that’s among them, that’s the foundation of a people; and when once this foundation is destroyed, “What can the righteous do?” What can the best, the wisest in the world, do in such a case? What can any man do, if there be not a foundation of government left among men? There is no help nor answer in such a case but that which follows in the fourth verse of the Psalm, “The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men;” as if he had said, in the midst of these confusions, when as it is said (Psalm 82:5), “All the foundations of the earth are out of course;” yet God keeps his course still, he is where he was and as he was, without variableness or shadow of turning.—