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Man, the Male Leadership Role as Directed by God - Part 12

Updated on September 8, 2014

Next, we have used the word “libertine” several times. It is a word found in the Bible but only used once, and that in the plural, Acts 6:9. It refers to a group of folks that were averse to the teachings of Stephen, the first martyr. His words were the teachings of the new Apostolic church, which are now recorded in the Bible.

Libertine originally had to do with ancient Roman mythology. Liber was the goddess of viniculture, grapes, fertility and freedom. We can suppose that the “freedom” portion of the definition was applied more often to a person freed from slavery under the Roman rule, as noted in the Strong’s definition identified by the above verse. However, as time passed, the word took on a new meaning.

Acts 6:9 indicates those averse to Stephen had a different “religious and philosophical (freedom) direction” by context. It alludes to a person not of Christian belief and more interested in things of the mind and body. Note the first two geo-ethnic groups named, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians. Both were of northern Africa. We see the writer wants this made clear when he notes “them of Cilicia and of Asia,” another geographical location from the first two.

But, then also, notice the words “the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians.” The Greek word for “and” is “kai.” It has about 14 different meanings. Context could make it proper to use “both” rather than “and” to say “the Libertines, {both} Cyrenians and Alexandrians ... ” meaning they were both of the same libertine doctrine. Luke then goes on to name a second group in Asia Minor which were of the same libertine thought. So what or who were the “libertines.” We know them to be of Jewish doctrine by the use of “synagogue.” They may have been born Jews or proselytes.

We could say that the “libertines” of that day were freedmen, freed slaves. And that could very well be true. But history goes on to note a different meaning, more in line with these “free thinkers.” And tradition regarding the Nicolaitans, Revelation 2:6,15, may have its roots here. That tradition is Nicolas of Acts 6:5 was the progenitor of the Nicolaitans, libertines of later date whose followers surpassed the lifestyle of those addressed in Acts 6:9. By this we see that “libertines” may be Jews, gentiles, professing believers or mere philosophers.

The Alexandrians were people given to intellect and philosophy. The Cyreneans were both, but also with the belief that the most import item of life was “pleasure.” And this last part of their doctrine, pleasure, would come to renown centuries later when the word “libertine” acquired the meaning we have today.

By the time the King James Bible was inaugurated (1605-1611 AD), this definition of libertine had was expanded to mean a person devoid of all morality. This type of person is personified in Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis DeSade....

a French aristocrat, revolutionary and writer famous for his libertine sexuality and lifestyle. His works include novels, short stories, plays, and political tracts; in his lifetime some were published under his own name, while others appeared anonymously and Sade denied being their author. He is best known for his erotic novels, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting bizarre sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence, criminality, and blasphemy against the Catholic Church. He was a proponent of extreme freedom, unrestrained by morality, religion or law. Wikipedia.

We will leave the understanding to the reader, but, for the purpose of our study, we will use this Scriptural term to define those that would supplant the Church of Jesus Christ through a liberal doctrine. At the same time, we will suppose the term libertine was in vogue as a most vulgar definition at the time the King James Bible was set to print, though bent more toward heresy than licentiousness.

As is true of other English words found in the KJV, libertine had a common understanding among the literate and illiterate alike. Libertine has lost some of its edge in today’s society. Regretfully, “libertine” doctrine has also crept into the church as warned by both Peter and Jude.

Next we need to take a quick look at the formation of the New Testament Bible as we have it.

The books, i.e. words, of the New Testament were agreed upon by the council of Nicaea in 325 AD in response to a plethora of spurious additions to the writings of the Apostles. (Remember that books as we know them, did not exist at this time. We are talking volumes of manuscripts.)

A note here: There was a “Council” held at Nicaea in 312 AD. Its purpose was not theological but political, yet related to the scriptures as to their use and interpretations. Little is said or written regarding the text of that day as theological items. The presently accepted books of the Bible, were not addressed as a principle subject until 325 AD. And there were several other “Councils” in the following years, mostly, again, in regards to the political realm of which the Church does not belong.

We cannot be sure how many books were discussed, rejected or left for further study by present titles in 325 AD since history did not do well in recording the actions of this council. We can be absolutely sure from what we do have in historical writings that those accepted at that time were never removed later. Of the 27 we have today, 23 were accepted across the board in 325 AD. The other four needed more study and were finally added by 375 AD.

As to those added in the later years under work of subsequent Councils, they were not really additions, but books under study from the times of the first council. And they were not the only ones under scrutiny, but they were the only ones that passed the final tests.

For various reasons, some of the church fathers questioned several of the books such as Hebrews, some of the writings of Peter and John, and the Revelation. It is important to notice the word “questioned.” There were volumes of other writings that were found to be without foundation and, therefore, completely disregarded and never added to scripture. Of the ones noted as “questioned,” they were examined closer for the various points used to verify their veracity and some were eventually added.

This is but a short history, and is not the issue. The issue is not what was or wasn’t in place at the time(s) of acceptance. The issue is the wording and subsequent definitions. Though versions continue to grow, the basic foundational text remains the original 27 books of the New Testament. The wording of the Bible, as found in the foundational manuscripts, had remained unchanged and unchallenged until the late 1800's.

And while we are at it, let’s take a moment to look at a couple other words, Catholic and Protestant. The above councils not only looked at the Books, but also began the rudiments of the Roman Catholic Church. This was the “political” realm we addressed earlier. There was a power struggle between several persons and major churches of Christendom. These “struggles” were what brought about the less-known council of 312, but were major issues in councils for many decades to come.

By definition, catholic means “universal.” One must add Roman to Catholic to define the church we see today under the guidance of the Pope in the Vatican, i.e., Rome.

As to Protestant, this word came into use as a result of the break from the Roman Catholic Church by such as a Calvin and Luther, in the late middle-ages, who “protested” the workings of the Roman Catholic Church and its Pope.

The “Catholic Church” of Jesus Christ which has its foundation on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4, is not a religion or denomination. It is composed of believers who have confessed a personal belief in God in accordance to the Bible under such verses as Acts 4:12 and Romans 10:9-10.

And, though the centuries have developed many different names to “our church,” Christians can trace their Christian heritage further than either of these two, or Baptist or Methodist or Coptic, etc., with the Bible as our proof positive, Acts 11:26. You have probably heard this many times before and you will hear it again; “Christianity is not a religion, it is a belief.” Now back to the libertines and a conclusion to this section.

The purpose of the libertines is un-Godly. They are found throughout the Bible, Old and New Testaments under all sorts of titles. Of note we have the King of Sodom, Genesis 14:21; the pastors of Jeremiah 23:1; the priesthood of Malachi 1:7; the Pharisee of John 8:8; and finally by name itself, the “libertines” of Acts 6:9. Who was their leader? Better still, who is their leader? None other that the devil “himself,” John 8:8.

How do they empower their works? We touched on this above. It begins with enabling an heretical leadership by giving their new definitions and interpretations presence, credentials and power, Jude 1:4; 1:10; 1:16. This was a slow process executed by attrition of the great men of God. (Time is Satan’s greatest ally.) The replacements for true Bible teachers were schooled, piecemeal, in this new direction. Once established, these new leaders accelerated the plan by “shouting down” or chastising those that oppose their new direction. Of note today, these folks have made “fundamental” a swear word in the church of Jesus Christ.

The major, present-day result of the libertines’ work is the updating of meaning to a “new” or “better” understanding of the Word of God. The libertine ideology is freedom from God at any cost and thereby freedom from restraint. Their message is “if it feels good, do it.” Their ploy is “if one says something enough times, regardless of the facts, it will become fact.” We are expected to accept an up-to-date manifesto replacing an archaic Book (the Bible) that only a few their greater minds can understand anyway. Analogy obscures context; social acceptance supplants precept; equivalency replaces meaning, is the modern-day teachings of the libertines.

So now we know who and what libertines are. Their attack is subtle and piecemeal but purposeful. They have God’s plans in the cross-hairs and one of the major targets is leadership. We need only look at church leadership to see and understand fast declining “morality” of the church. Those (libertines) who have “found” new meaning or updated manuscripts (heterodoxy) to proscribe the Word of God are working tirelessly, and openly, to discredit and destroy what God has set in place.

This ideology supplants the words of God with the thoughts of man. If we say we have faith, then we must have it 100% when it comes to God Word. We are not free to pick and chose those things that feel good or are politically correct when they go against what God has set in place. It is not a contest of the sexes. It is a directive of God.

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