"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Is It Possible for a Christian with Convictions to be Civil in Conduct?

Lutheran theologian Martin Marty made the observation in his 1982 book By Way of Response that people who are civil often do not have strong convictions. Likewise, wrote Dr. Marty, people with strong convictions often aren't very civil. He suggested the world needs people with "convicted civility." Dr. Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, read Dr. Marty's words and was inspired to write a classic work on Christian civility called Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. Dr. Mouw writes of the reason why he wrote his book in an essay that has recently been published, along with a collection of other essays on Christian Civility, in a book entitled Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, edited by Mitch Carnell. Dr. Mouw writes:
"I designed my book to counteract the incivility of people who, like myself, operate with strong religious convictions."

He goes on to give a descriptive definition of Christian civility and an anecdote that illustrates the power of practicing the art of civility in an uncivil world. He writes:
"We can think of civility as a form of hospitality. It is making room for other people, for their hopes and fears; it is a willingness to create a space in our minds for their ideas and experiences, for showing empathy for what is going on in their lives, even when strictly speaking we are not obligated to do so.

Jesus showed a literal hospitality to people whose lifestyles and ideas he strongly opposed. This is what got him into trouble with the religious leaders of his day: "The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, 'Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" (luke 5:30). I can understand something of the concerns of those religious leaders. A genuine vulnerability often comes with a hospitable spirit. The same holds for a willingness to "make room" for the ideas and experiences of those with whom we disagree on serious matters. But we need to take the risk.

Once I gave a talk to a good sized audience on a large university campus. I spoke on the subject of civility . . . Afterwards, the leaders of one of the evangelical campus groups came up to talk with me. They told me how they had run ads in the campus newspaper stating the evanglical understanding of sexual fidelity, with some mention of their opposition to same-sex relationships. One of the gay-lesbian groups had countered with an angry published response, and htey had gone back and forth a bit, trading letters to the editor. "It has gotten a bit out of hand," the leaders said. "Realistically, from your point of view, how should we have handled it diferently?"

I told them that I thought they should have asked for a private meeting with the gay-lesbian leaders at the outset. They should have shown them the ads and said, "We know that you will disagree with our position, but we do want you to see this ahead of time. And if there is anything in here that you think seriously misrepresents your point of view, we want to know aobut it. We want to say what we believe, but we do not want to be needlessly offensive in doing so."

The evangelical leaders thanked me for the advice, and they told me they wished they had done the kind of thing I proposed.

Several weeks later, I received a note from one of them. "After we talked with you," they said, "we met with the leaders of the gay-lesbian group-we invited them to lunch, and they accepted," he reported. "We told them that we wish we had contacted them privately before running our ad. We apologized for how we have typically gone about making our views known, and we asked for their forgiveness. It started off awkward, but by the end of the conversation we were talking about other stuff, and then they said we should meet again, and the next time lunch was on them. I think we are on a new path--not compromising, but making our case in a kinder way!"

This group was taking some important risks in cultivating civility. I was proud of them fow what they had done. They were learning good manners!"

Then, Dr. Mouw concludes his essay by making an observation as to why we Christians are so reluctant to reach out to people with whom we disagree, particularly fellow Christians with whom we have much more in common than those who are lost in this world. He writes:

The answer I keep coming back to is that it is a failure of spirituality. We have not seen public manners, the cultivating of civility, as an important element in our spiritual formation.

Dr. Mouw suggests that cultivating good manners and hospitality is as important to spiritual development as prayer, reflection, Bible reading, etc...

The Christian, even that Christian with very strong convictions, who does not work as hard on good manners, is as unspiritual as the person who doesn't pray or read his Bible.

Amen, Dr. Mouw, amen.

In His Grace,


Wade

192 comments:

Tim Marsh said...

It may be worth pointing out that Southern Baptists are not the only ones that have struggled with civility in dialogue.

We have not burned others at the stake or gone to war.

But, the point is well made - theological conviction and love for those whom we disagree must go hand in hand.

Thanks for this post!

Bob Cleveland said...

I'm still of the belief that opinions which are held forth opposite of ours, can seem to threaten our beliefs. That can cause us to be upset.

If it's not that, then perhaps it is, that folks who disagree with us after we've stated our case, make us feel that we've failed. Either way, it's our problem, and not the other guy's.

If we truly believe that it's God that gives the increase, then all we need worry with is doing the right thing. And we're supposed to love our families, love our neighbors, and love our enemies. I think most people are one or another of those, so civil treatment is always called for.

Besides, keeping our words sweet makes it a lot easier, later, when we may have to eat some of them.

Thy Peace said...

Amen.

This is the most important part of engaging civil discussions ... the heart has to be receptive and attempt to understand differing viewpoints. Without it, it is a waste. Without it, I had rather prefer open hostility than sugared sweetness that lacks sincerity. Of course only God and the person knows their motives.

"We can think of civility as a form of hospitality. It is making room for other people, for their hopes and fears; it is a willingness to create a space in our minds for their ideas and experiences, for showing empathy for what is going on in their lives, even when strictly speaking we are not obligated to do so.

Amen.

Also, Pastor Wade contributed a chapter to this book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. Chapter 7: Christian Civility on the Internet, by Wade Burleson. I also read the foreward by Paul B. Raushenbush and Chapter 1: Bringing People of Faith Together by Jimmy R. Allen. Very interesting so far.

Gene S said...

"Fools names like fools faces are often seen in public places" was told to me as a child to keep me from writing or carving my name on public property.

It seems buying newspaper ads or internet commentary can be comparable. As if there is not enough turmoil over the economy and politics, we need another reason to do battle!

From our caveman days it seems we love to fight and the more public the better.

Could such attitudes be at the core of our warfare in the Middle East and in the SBC? I think when Jesus said, "Blessed are the peace makers" he meant STARTING with discussions and understanding rather than spears.

He further spoke of "anyone who has aught against another" as little children observed the Disciples fighting and fussing over who would sit at the right or left of Jesus at the table.

Behind the scenes diplomacy has done more for personal relations and international issues than anything else. Jimmy Carter is our Baptist example by getting the Egyptians and Israelis together at Camp David to relax in private and simply talk!

Today, the United Nations debates seem to be just talk past one another for a good "word bite" back home on the local news. There is little respect for the other person's concerns.

Since when do we think we can possess nuclear bombs, but deny them to terrorists? In their view they deserve the same rights as America. We must find a BETTER way or the next 9/11 could be from a bomb smuggled in parts through Customs and planted at Atlanta Five Points (center of city).

My family lives there and it would be personal for me---but it would be too late!

Joe Blackmon said...

We told them that we wish we had contacted them privately before running our ad.

Umm, why would that be necessary? So they wouldn't have gotten angry and retorted back with their own ad? Now, if the ad the Christian group ran first was in the style of a Fred Phelps then, yes, they had something to apologize for not only to the gay group but to everyone. But if it was something saying "Sex is ordained by God to be enjoyed between one man and one woman in the confines of marriage. Homosexuality is a sin." then what they said was true, they should have stuck to their guns, and if someone got their feelings hurt I would be perfectly ok with that.

Joe Blackmon said...

Since when do we think we can possess nuclear bombs, but deny them to terrorists?

That made me laugh out loud. Of course we have the right to deny them to terrorists. They're, um, TERRORISTS!!! That's the first reason. Second of all, we're America--the greatest country that has ever lived on the planet. We have the right to make decisions because we're better. Yes, better. If we say "No nukes for you" then simply because it came out of our collective mouth it is right.

Bob Cleveland said...

Joe:

"We told them that we wish we had contacted them privately before running our ad."


That would be a considerate thing to do. Assuming one wants to be considerate as respects people with whom you disagree.

But I hasten to add that might be somewhat of an endangered commodity, in the SBC.

Gene S said...

Joe--er, Godspeaks Joe--

I bow to your omniscience and Chosen People of God wisdom--NOT!!!

Just hope the nuke is at your back door and not mine. Without diplomacy and reason AND no more nuclear physics training under control, our Pandora's Box will definitely blow up in our Godly faces!

Listen to the prophetic word, brother. It is truth to you.

Thy Peace said...

About nuclear bombs ...

It was only chance that Nazis did not succeed in the creation of nuclear bomb before the Americans. Of course one could label it as an act of God. This being the Nazis started work on this project before the Americans.

What would be the state of the world if the Nazis came upon the nuclear bomb first?

My reading of it was in the realm of possibilities.

And of course after the end of 2nd world war, both America and Russia raided the Nazi talent for rocket propulsion and relocated their scientists and engineers to US and Russia for their own development efforts.

Sources: All Wiki links.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

German nuclear energy project.

Manhattan Project.

Wernher von Braun.

Soviet space program.

The question here for the atomic bombing of Japan is ... Did the USA warn Japan that it would resort to this level of violence?

In war is civility to be maintained? My answer is YES. That is why we have Geneva Conventions.
-----------------------------------
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States of America conducted two atomic bombings against Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After six months of intense strategic fire-bombing of 67 Japanese cities the Hirohito regime ignored an ultimatum given by the Potsdam Declaration. By executive order of President Harry S. Truman the U.S. dropped the nuclear weapon Little Boy on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945,[1] [2] followed by the detonation of the bomb Fat Man over Nagasaki on August 9. These are the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare[3]
.
-----------------------------------
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S. Truman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek issued the document, which outlines the terms of surrender for the Empire of Japan as agreed upon at the Potsdam Conference. This ultimatum stated that, if Japan did not surrender, it would face "prompt and utter destruction".
-----------------------------------
The above comes from Wiki sources.

Gene S said...

Thy Peace--I appreciate the added historical information.

Does any of us on a personal or national level try to ever put ourself in the shoes of our opposition?

How would we feel if Iraqi or Afghanistan troops and armament were rolling through our streets?

How about an Apache helicopter which turned your relative into a mush pile with a gattling gun?

Sorry the bomb missed and hit a school or hospital! That roadside bomb meant for US troops killed and maimed 20 neighbors! It happened only because we have invaded them.

Add your "other shoe" thoughts to national or religious fights taking place today.

Jeff said...

And we are only there because they allowed terrorists to train and attacked America.

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

You said:"And we are only there because they allowed terrorists to train and attacked America."

I know Bush and Cheney said so. I see clearly now.

Thy Peace said...

In today's service, Pastor Wade enumerates on this post. If you watch the video, it's titled "Love Does Not Act Unbecomingly", 1 Cor 13:5, Part 8 of series, Oct 25, 09. The sermon is from 31:00 to 62:00.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Blackmon said...

That would be a considerate thing to do. Assuming one wants to be considerate as respects people with whom you disagree.

I'm going to go out on a limb here--I suspect Stephen didn't worry so much about showing respect before he gave his powerful testimony in the book of Acts. My guess is Jesus didn't meet with the religious leaders before he called them out in the Gospels. I would imagine John the Baptist didn't seek an audience with the Pharasees before he called them a brood of vipers.

Wringing our hands over what people are going to think if we tell them the truth doesn't have anything to do with a biblical approach to evangelism.

Joe Blackmon said...

The question here for the atomic bombing of Japan is ... Did the USA warn Japan that it would resort to this level of violence?

The answer--it doesn't matter. We had the right to use any wepon we had and do with that wepon whatever we decided to do. If they didn't want their cities bombed they had another option--they could have put down their wepons and surrendered. Otherwise, whatever we do to them is their problem to deal with because we are America and are therefore right.

linda said...

While I cannot say I entirely disagree or agree with Joe Blackmon in regards to politics or nukes, he is making a valid point when it comes to speaking God's truth in a hostile world.

We have no need to come across like Phelps does. But a respectfully stated teaching from the Bible, condemning all sex outside of heterosexual marriage, is nothing to apologize for.

I don't see anyone suggesting those involved should have contacted all the shacking up/swingers/cheaters/adulterers and making sure not to hurt their feelings. It would seem to me if one group should be contacted, all should be.

Better yet, preach the truth. Yes, it offends the sinner. We were told that back in Paul's day.

Just preach it recognizing there is none righteous (including us).

Thy Peace said...

Joe, there is a better argument for this. In the final stages of the war, it was rightly estimated that the Japanese would not surrender to the US, and it would cost the US about 500,000 additional deaths of US soldiers to take over Japan by land. This was deemed too costly by US leaders. Mind you at this time, Nazi Germany has fallen. Also Russia had also set sights on Japan.

In some ways US helped Japan by dropping the bombs and thus ending the war. As a result Japan stayed within US influence, otherwise Russia and later the Chinese would have exacted their revenge on the Japanese for their war atrocities. Most of South Asia suffered under Japanese persecution during the war. Of course lot of American war prisoners had to endure death marches by the Japanese.

My contention is the war might have ended sooner if the Japanese leadership was shown the power and efficacy of the nuclear bombs.

The other worry was if the Nazis had acquired these weapons, they would not have any compunctions to use those weapons on USA.

But that does not make us use them without any compunctions.

Christiane said...

I guess different people see different things about Christ when they read the Scriptures.

Some have felt that when Christ preached the truth to sinners, He did it in a way that gave them hope.

Caritas Christi, L's

Gene S said...

Jeff--

We are there because it is oil country. Our excuse is the terrorists.

To date there are no weapons of mass destruction. We have not captured Ossama ben Laden and, likely, never will!

We should applaude President Obama for shutting down Grantanimo torture and seeking to establish diplomatic discussion. The Geneve Convention has been cited before, but we have violated it at every turn with what had gone on at the "prison" at Guantanamo Bay. It is nothing but a "black hole" where no rules apply and torture has been used extensively.

Who would respect us as a moral society with such tactics?

Gene S said...

Joe--

If you read or saw the history depicted in "Fat Man and Little Boy" you would realize the scientists who developed the A-bomb signed a petition to President Truman that the weapon NOT be used!

They knew they had harnassed the power of the sun in those 2 bombs. They encouraged a diplomatic discussion with the threat that the new weapon would be used--only if necessary.

Our military leaders had it and wanted to use it to show, in reality, what our military might could do. This is the difference between military thinking and civilian thinking. Death and destruction proves what General Sherman said: "War is Hell!"

I hear many saying, "Just nuke those rag head bas*****." To do so gives them the opportunity and rationale to nuke us right back. Why don't we just turn this living blue ball f;patomg in the universe into a cinder of nuclear holocaust?

Even though Russia possessed nuclear bombs, they had too much to loose. What does a Middle Eastern terrorist have to lose?

Nothing but a bleak existence he wants to trade in for a bunch of Virgins in the afterlife!

Again, the main question is: "Is it possible for a Christian with convictions to be civil in conduct?"

I think being civil means to conduct our assault on terrorists with Special Forces and covert tactics--NOT sending valient troopers into the face of rebel death in the same way we whipped the British when they sent mechanized forces to stop us in the American Revolution. If the Russians got whipped in Afghanistan, what make us think we can do any better. The French got whipped in Viet Nam, but we didn't learn any lessons from history.

Guess who won???????

Jesus said, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do goood to those who abuse you."

It's a hard request, but, since when has doing the right thing been easy????

Ed Goodman said...

Brother Joe,
I really appreciate your willingness to stand for the truth regardless of the consequences or opinions of others. However, it seems as though meeting with the leaders of a group with an opposite position would not only be acceptable, but would be going the extra mile to act in love. Speaking truth is a matter of Christian responsibility, obedience, and even valor - but speaking that truth in a way that goes beyond the "call of duty" is what Christianity is all about. The face-to-face meeting certainly opened an amazing door to evangelism that a mere newspaper ad wouldn't do.

Gene S said...

Thy Peace--

Tell this to a descendent of a loved ones turned into an ash shadow by the A-bomb in Heroshima or Nagasaki!

Do you have a clue about the burns, suffering, cancer, birth defects generated by our great new weapon? We poisoned their whole enviroment just like the Chernoble nuclear power plant did the Russian countryside.

A nuclear solution is no solution, in my opinion!

Jeff said...

I am not talking about Iraq.

BTW, We would have never bombed Japan if they had not provoke us.

Thy Peace said...

A nuclear solution is no solution, in my opinion!.

I agree with you.

But, a big but here ...

If our opponents had access to nuclear weapons before we did, we would be history.

Anyway at this point, all this is mute now. The proliferation of nuclear weapons as spread by Pakistani A.Q.Khan with the help of Chinese and North Koreans has been very bad. Now Iran is close to having them. I am afraid this genie is out of the bottle now.

I personally do not favor war or violence. But in defense sometimes it is necessary. My personal preference to change the world is by trade, education and the enlightenment of the population of the choices they face. This in the long run leads to peace.

I am afraid this blog post has been side tracked.

Jeff said...

Thy Peace, I prefer to change with the Gospel.

Thy Peace said...

Jeff, you are correct. In the end The Gospel will prevail.

Thy Peace said...

I would encourage readers to view today's service at Emmanuel. The sermon preached by Pastor Wade deals with this post and the following ...

1. Why is Pastor Wade growing a beard?

2. Where was Pastor Wade during this week?

3. Some faults of Pastor Wade that he admits openly (this is for all those commentators who claim Pastor Wade is perfect and never admits to any mistakes he makes).

4. Interesting insights to the essay he contributed to this posts book.

But the most important thing is the time of sifting is at hand or very close. When persecution comes, lot of Christians will fall by the wayside. Few will persevere. They become the salt to show the world The Gospel being lived out.

I freely admit this will be very difficult to many Christians.

Pastor Wade makes an interesting observation that 1 Cor. 13 convicts us of our shortcomings NOW, as it sets a standard. And the standard of comparison is Our Lord Jesus Christ. This will help us in the coming tribulation.

From my personal experiences, I am constantly aware of my sins and I stumble many times. But I am always going back to The Source, Our Lord Jesus Christ. I am truly not ashamed to see the help of My Lord, for I am even unable to do the basic fundamentals of the teachings of Our Lord. That is to love God and to love fellow man. I will freely admit this is very difficult. But to me it is a process. I am picking myself up every time I stumble and always go back to Our Lord for healing and mercy.

Darby Livingston said...

Whether from a spiritual perspective or a political I think this point rings true: It's always easier to sit at a computer and speculate about how we would act loving when we're not faced with a threat than it is to actually face the threat.

It's hard to believe that anyone who follows this blog leans toward pacificism. Even those who claim to. Have we actually read the comments? Talk about radioactive.

Lydia said...

Whether from a spiritual perspective or a political I think this point rings true: It's always easier to sit at a computer and speculate about how we would act loving when we're not faced with a threat than it is to actually face the threat.


Sun Oct 25, 10:16:00 PM 2009

On that note, Bonhoeffer started out as a pacifist pastor and ended up in a plot to assassinate Hilter.

Jeff said...

Lydia, You almost persuade me to believe in women pastors. :)

Ed Goodman said...

"It's hard to believe that anyone who follows this blog leans toward pacificism. Even those who claim to. Have we actually read the comments? Talk about radioactive."

I'm not one to throw stones, but this is classic! You're right, Darby. Far too often the blogosphere becomes a means of being a "voice" rather than a means of sharing "THE VOICE" (i.e. the LORD Jesus Christ). Darby, you genuinely made me laugh out loud with that metaphor, which is really NOT funny when you think about it. But the clever analogy - rather than the circumstances it describes - tickled my funnybone. Thanks.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Thanks Thy Peace for the head's up about Pastor Wade's sermon. I loved it!

The sermon also made me cry tears for the separation in the church and uncivil way that so many treat their brothers and sisters in Christ. I am working on a research project on the issue of the Sovereignty of God and I have come across so many uncivil Christians who like to mock and ridicule the position that is non-Calvinist. I am very glad that Wade does not treat people this way. Right now I am only asking questions and repeating back to clarify the position but I am having to tolerate being mocked and treated harshly. I work hard not to respond back in kind, but I wish all of those who think that mocking a fellow Christian is Christ-like would listen to Wade's sermon and allow the love of God to reach through them to one who believes a little differently than they do. I look forward to the day when we will have unity in the faith first and foremost by our love for one another.

Gene S said...

We have diverged from discussing civility to atomic warfare to Pastor Wade's sermon and beard. It's like we are trying to capture melting jello!

I am concerned with our pride over nuclear weapons and their use. That is the ultimate incivility! If you look at Japan before and after the weapon, who has won?

Our economy is in a shambles--mostly from spending billions interfering with other countries in the name of God. By destroying German and Japanese industry, they have come back with modern technology producing, say, steel to the point Pittsburg steel production is closed almost down.

Who won---really???

Why is it we use a war mentality to drive research and development?

What if those billions spent most recently in Iraq had been applied to research in something other than a smart bomb and aiming technology???

Could we have a solution to cancer?
Could we lessen greenhouse gases?
Could we be sharing the Gospel through multitudes of missionaries or Peace Corp workers?

Would we be in this Depression?

Instead, our military personnel are caring for children who starve from their very own actions. What if all those brave people carried Bibles, agriculture techniques, clean water well boring equipment.

Would we be hated with our guns and weapons OR thanked for relating as civil people helping instead of maiming?

As to Missionary requirements----

What is the problem with keeping it Jesus simple: Love God and love one another as the only real requirement.

Do you realize on the mission field that most missionaries of all denominations help one another more than try to win converts to their particular church?

As the original question asks: "Is it possible for a Christian with convictions to be civil in conduct?"

My answer is that, with self control and a big dose of Jesus love, we should know better than to fistfight among people of faith.

Historically, the worst wars have been fought over religion. We have ressurected the Crusades with much of what we have been doing since 9/11. What happened to "turn the other cheek" in this case? What about "return good for evil?"

Cruel warfare and tribal hatred was the same in Jesus' day in that same land. Jesus prescribed love and forgiveness as the antidote!

What is our witness for Christ in all this?

Weapons of our own mass destruction?

OR

The love and forgiveness of God????

One Salient Oversight said...

Joe Blackmon's comments about the US being allowed to do whatever it wants to do are:

a) One of the reasons why so many people dislike America and produce terrorists.

b) One of the reasons why so many non-American Christians find themselves being alienated from their American brethren.

Jeff said...

Gene, How you would advise God about his killing the Canaanites? Do you just discredit it as Old Testament?

Tom Kelley said...

Oversight,
I doubt most terrorists and non-American Christians read this blog, so Joe's comments likely have had little influence on them. Plus I think they had those views before Joe made that comment.

Generalities are always wrong.
-----
Tom

Jeff said...

Gene, I also want to add thanks for your opinion, and for interacting without thinking that I am playing games. I do not agree with your opinion, but I do respect it.

Jeff said...

Salient, What research can you produce that agrees with your opinion that non-American Christians feel alienated from us?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

" Thy Peace said...
I would encourage readers to view today's service at Emmanuel. The sermon preached by Pastor Wade deals with this post and the following ..."


Great sermon! Best quote from the sermon:

"Kevin does not act in an uncouth fashion."

:)

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

Give all the facts.

Bonhoeffer did believe in pacificm. And he was in a plot to assasinate Hitler. He also believed that engaging in that plot was wrong, but it was a moral imperitive for *him*. He saw actions like his own as the exceptions that prove Christian pacifism (more non-violent resistance than pacifism) is the rule.

Bill said...

The US has also collectively decided that abortion is acceptable.

Lydia said...

Lydia, You almost persuade me to believe in women pastors. :)

Sun Oct 25, 11:40:00 PM 2009

Quick! Get the smelling salts!

Lydia said...

Bonhoeffer did believe in pacificm. And he was in a plot to assasinate Hitler. He also believed that engaging in that plot was wrong, but it was a moral imperitive for *him*. He saw actions like his own as the exceptions that prove Christian pacifism (more non-violent resistance than pacifism) is the rule.

Mon Oct 26, 12:53:00 PM 2009

Chris, believe it or not, I was not leaving out all the facts on purpose. Darby made a point about us sitting behind computers and not experiencing such things and I thought of Bonhoeffer. Next time I will try to remember that Chris Ryan is reading and I dare not leave out any historical facts. Now, whether we agree on those facts are another question for another day. :o)

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Hi CHRIS,

I am not surprised at your defense of the great Christian martyr Bonhoeffer.

I will share this with you:

““A JEWISH RESPONSE TO BONHOEFFER
by Rabbi Mira Wasserman
Congregation Beth Shalom
Bloomington, Indiana

For me, Bonhoeffer.s story resonates most powerfully within the biblical tradition
of prophecy. Like the ancient prophets who risked all to rail against corrupt kings and
priests, Bonhoeffer recognized that God calls us not only to care for the poor, oppressed
and vulnerable, but to challenge any religious or secular power that perpetrates injustice.
His life exemplifies the prophetic call to action that Jews read each Yom Kippur. The
reading addresses the question: What does God ask of us?
Loosen all bonds that bind unfairly, let the oppressed go free, break every yoke.
Share your bread with the hungry, take the homeless into your home. Clothe the naked
when you see him, do not turn from your fellow human beings. (Isaiah 58:6-7)”


Bonhoeffer was a man who honored his conscience. He was willing to follow Our Lord’s example as a suffering servant to do all that he could to bring about the ‘breaking of the bonds of oppression’.
And when Hitler came into power in Germany, so many were endangered that it was impossible to protect them all, and so it was that Bonhoeffer understood the need to remove Hitler. You will recognize this from the writings of C.S. Lewis:
, “One day the cat got into the dairy and twenty of them were at work moving all the milk out; no one thought of moving the cat." Well, Bonhoeffer did recognize the wisdom of removing
'the cat’.

Had he lived, who knows what gifts of theology he would have developed and shared with our Christian community? But in his dying to self, he shared something more: a commitment to live and to die in response to Isaiah’s words:
“What does God ask of us?”

Caritas Christi,
L's

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

My Utmost For His Highest > October 26th.

WHAT IS A MISSIONARY?

"As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." John 20:21

A missionary is one sent by Jesus Christ as He was sent by God. The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in work for God is behind, not before. The tendency to-day is to put the inspiration ahead, to sweep everything in front of us and bring it all out to our conception of success. In the New Testament the inspiration is put behind us, the Lord Jesus. The ideal is to be true to Him, to carry out His enterprises.

Personal attachment to the Lord Jesus and His point of view is the one thing that must not be overlooked. In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails. We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ - "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations."

When looking back on the lives of men and women of God the tendency is to say - What wonderfully astute wisdom they had! How perfectly they understood all God wanted! The astute mind behind is the Mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were foolish enough to trust God's wisdom and the supernatural equipment of God.

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,
I've known those who did leave out all the facts on purpose. That Bonhoeffer remained committed to non-violence even as engaging in violence dramatically changes the picture. I only wanted to make sure that nobody would use Bonhoeffer to justify violence. Bonhoeffer, himself, never justified his own violence.

You are right, though, that when we are faced with that sort of evil, what we thought we would do and what we do do may be dramatically different.


L's,
Bonhoeffer was a man of duty. To God. To others. We admire him for his courage in facing what he perceived as contradictory duties to God (pacifism) and others (a duty requiring violence). His courage in navigating such convoluted waters, the courage which took him to his death, is certainly worth our remembering.

Lydia said...

" Bonhoeffer, himself, never justified his own violence."

And I never said he did. I was responding to Darby's excellent point. We may think we know how we would respond seeing the disabled murdered and Jews carted off to concentration camps.

I am curious, Chris. Do you think Christians were wrong to fight in WW2?

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

No you didn't. You just didn't say the otherwise, either. Since I wasn't sure how you were trying to employ Bonhoeffer's example, I tried to clarify.

Do I believe Christians were wrong to fight in WWII? Some probably were. Some probably weren't. For Bonhoeffer (and the whole Bonhoeffer family), violence was the last resort at the end of a long chain of alternate attempts to peaceful resolution. For Christians who tried but felt there was no alternative remaining but violent opposition, then they were doing what was necessary. For those Christians who jumped straight to violence, or were excited at the opportunity, or who viewed Germans and Hitler as enemies to be killed rather than loved, I would say that they were not morally right in their violence nor were they doing what was necessary. The motive for an action is as important as the end result.

Gene S said...

Jeff, old sport--

The OT is full of a vengeful God telling the Israelites to kill and enjoy along with rape and pilage.

The NT is full of Jesus telling those same Israelites to love their enemy and do good to those who persecute you.

Quite a different God, if you are honest about the Bible!

The God of the OT is like the God of America ("God bless America")--we are using his name to claim we have a corner on God and whatever we do is a creadit to Him---NOT!!!

The Jews had what is called an anthropomorpic view of God. In plain words that means attributing to God our emotions of hate and vengence. It is the same concept as the Muslims flying those planes into the Pentagon and Twin Towers used. God was going to reward them with a corner of heaven and many virgins to make it more lovely.

Do you see the distortion of the Koran and the Bible whether it is Muslim or Jewish??

Our model and understanding of God is supposed to come from the New Testament. That means a new slant on the old scripture with Jesus as God in human form. Jesus, himself, said, "I have not come to replace the law, but to show you a new way (loosely worded)."

This is what speaks to me. An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth (lex taleonis) approach just leaves a bunch of blind and toothless people trying to get through life wounded!

On the other hand, Jesus' way of forgiving as God has forgiven and loving one another as God loves us is, indeed, a new and totally differenct way.

Which do you choose?

You can enjoy killing and vengence until the end of time or you can experience the joy of having forgiven and helped a former enemy.

Now, our stakes are high. We CAN, with a nuclear weapon, literally blow humanity back into caveman days. It is not very "civil." The Bible's description of the end of time and fire and brimstone could become a reality should we unleash nuclear weapons on one another.

Have you ever considered the Tower of Babel account in the OT as a possible description of a rocket? Mankind wanted to ascend into heaven by his skills as a builder. According to the Bible, God destroyed the tower and made them speak different languages so they could not collaborate again to take his place and know what he knows.

Now, English has become a universal language just a Latin was centuries ago. Their Empire failed over affluence and buying an army while entertaining themselves at the Coliseum. They conquered the known world of the day, but in 400 years they failed and the barbarians took them into the Dark Ages.

I think we should pay attention at our 200 year point of existence as a supposedly free religious nation. Through science and technology, we have power never know before in human history--period.

How we handle this blessing from God remains to be seen. The SBC in 1979 had the power, determination, and means to make the Gospel available to any person who had a TV set to receive the satellite signal. Instead, we decided to fuss and fight so that Bold Mission Thrust never came to pass.

Take seriously what history teaches us. Avoid ever thinking we can speak for God. Jesus was God among us--listen to him alone. He spoke the truth in simple terms. Nothing he said glorified war, hatred, and vengence.

You are hearing the words of one who was President of the Emory University BSU the same year Thomas J.J. Altizer confused the world of religion with "God Is Dead" theology. I know how to weed through religious bull--too much of which we have these days!

Jeff said...

Gene, I choose the God of grace and holiness as revealed in the entire Bible.

Christiane said...

Hi CHRIS,

Regarding Bonhoeffer, you wrote this: " His courage in navigating such convoluted waters, the courage which took him to his death, is certainly worth our remembering."

I'd like to think of it not so much as courage, but as a gift from God of grace.
Here is why:
The Nazi doctor who was present at the brutal martyrdom of Bonhoeffer stated that he was very peaceful and resigned himself with great trust to the will of God.
That description calls to mind the way we are told that the early Christian martyrs died in the Roman arenas: calm and peaceful and trusting in Our Lord.
That so many faced their death without fear, caused observors to wonder about the source of their unearthly strength.

Caritas Christi,
L's

Gene S said...

Jeff--

In my opinion, you show a mistaken view of scripture that all of it is equal. I beg to differ with you.

In my faith understanding everything is not a flat plane, rather a mountain.

All before Christ was moving upward toward the 4 Gospels. All after that was trying to give more meat and understanding to what Jesus was and taught. To correct the errors in living among the new churches was most of Paul's writing.

The writers of the 4 Gospels recognized their personal testimony (which was valued far more then any written testimony) was quickly ending and needed preserving. NONE of those original manuscripts exists.

Those who claim an "inerrant" Bible now qualify that with "original manuscripts" being inerrant. That argument is an empty shell and an excuse for the fact NO INERRANT TEXT EXISTS!!!!!

Your comment is a distraction from the original question of this dialogue. Beyond this explaination it is a waste of our time to debate that which was debated in the past and still did not offset "ignerence."

The "inerrant stuff" was a simple distraction from a quest for political power having nothing to do with Jesus' clear teaching of "love and forgive one another."

Let's PLEASE stick with the subject at hand!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"That so many faced their death without fear, caused observors to wonder about the source of their unearthly strength."

Many of us Southern Baptists learned of this very thing as the Sunday School lesson writer took us to us to Mark 15:39 last Sunday, exhorting us to stand amazed, and giving us a glimpse of what the world sees in those who, like the silent Lamb, have peace and hope and comfort in the glory of the Father..."When the centurion...saw the way [Jesus] breathed His last breath...'Truly this man was the Son of God.'"

May I live my life so that the world can see hope and peace and comfort..."in order that in everything God many be glorified through Christ Jesus. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:11b

Joe Blackmon said...

The "inerrant stuff" was a simple distraction from a quest for political power having nothing to do with Jesus' clear teaching of "love and forgive one another."


Not having the original autographs does not mean we are not able to tell, from all the extant manuscripts, with reasonable certainty what the originals said for over 95% of the Bible. The textual variants that account for most differences do not alter any biblical doctrine that I am aware of. If I'm wrong, point it out.

The reason the left (as they call themselves now "moderates" or "mainstreamers") fought inerrancy so hard is they don't want to give up doctrines that contradict the Bible. For instance, "Paul couldn't REALLY be saying homosexuality is a sin because Jesus is too loving to ever judge anyone like that." After all, Jesus told us not to judge, right?

Tom Parker said...

Joe Blackmon:

You said"Not having the original autographs does not mean we are not able to tell, from all the extant manuscripts, with reasonable certainty what the originals said for over 95% of the Bible.

Joe it is that little five percent that might make a really big difference.

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

You said--"The reason the left (as they call themselves now "moderates" or "mainstreamers") fought inerrancy so hard is they don't want to give up doctrines that contradict the Bible. For instance, "Paul couldn't REALLY be saying homosexuality is a sin because Jesus is too loving to ever judge anyone like that." After all, Jesus told us not to judge, right?


Who are those people that are saying homosexuality is not a sin in the CBF or the SBC?

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

I, too, would like to see specific quotes to back up what you are saying.

Blessings,

Wade

Joe Blackmon said...

Broadway Baptist would not remove folks from membership who were openly involved in homosexual relationships. I don't mean people who said "I recognize that homosexuality is a sin. I'm not attracted to the opposite sex but I am to my own sex and I know this is wrong". They have members who are living as couples who are the same sex. Therefore, since they refused to do the biblical thing and enact church discipline against them, they endorse the behavior. By endorsing it, they indicate that they don't think it is sinful.

David Goshee "I have sought to suggest in a handful of columns in recent months that a rethinking of the church's stance on homosexuality is needed." Reading the article, he suggests that we need to be known for loving people and not being against them. In practical terms, however, he means we should not confront them with the fact that homosexuality is sin. He later talks about homosexual believers that have formed families. In other words, they are engaged in homosexual relations but are legitimate believers.

Wake Forest Divinity School is associated with the CBF and admits openly homosexual students.

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

OK, but none of these are now in the SBC--not sure about "David Goshee", so I don't see the problem.

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom,

You asked "Who are those people that are saying homosexuality is not a sin in the CBF or the SBC?" (emphasis mine) You didn't limit it to the SBC. Further, if Broadway Baptist had not been forced out they would still be in the SBC. David Gushee works for Mercer University, a CBF school

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

OK, please work with me. Who are you concerned about in the SBC who is saying that homosexuality is a sin?.:"The reason the left (as they call themselves now "moderates" or "mainstreamers") fought inerrancy so hard is they don't want to give up doctrines that contradict the Bible. For instance, "Paul couldn't REALLY be saying homosexuality is a sin because Jesus is too loving to ever judge anyone like that." After all, Jesus told us not to judge, right?"

I'm really confused as to why you are "concerned" about non-SBC folks.

Tom Parker said...

Joe B:

BTW please do not answer me with Broadway Baptist because they are not a part of the SBC.

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom,

I don't have it here in front of me, but I don't think the Broadway vote was unanimous, was it? That would mean there were folks in the SBC that didn't think Broadway should be kicked out which further indicates that they don't think homosexuality is a sin.

Also, and I don't have any links here, but I read after the Broadway vote quotes from folks who were at the meeting that said they did not agree with the decision or thought it was wrong. I also think I read comments on this blog to that effect but I may be mistaken and certainly am not going to go back and check.

As to why I'd be worried about folks outside the SBC??? When I read stuff written by somebody like Goshee who professes Christ and says things like he said it burns me up. It's just like Benny Hinn saying "God guarentees health and properity". Somebody's gonna hear that garbage and believe it. Some person out there is going to say "I don't have to repent of homosexuality because this guy is a Christian and he said it's ok." My heart BREAKS for folks that are decieved like that. I know yours does too.

Jon L. Estes said...

Gene S.,

I am with you. I think we should not fight a war at any cost. We should sit back and hope those who are getting nuclear weapons will be civil with them. We should tell the Jews to leave Jerusalem so that Iran will not create a crater in the geographic region. We should let our children know that as soon as Israel is attacked, we are next and we should be proud to be, since we have committed to be civilly dead.

Now to facts. If we would not have bombed Japan when we did, millions more would have died and many of those would have been our troops.

I don't think anyone here praises war but understands the need for it.

jle

Christiane said...

Hi JOE,

I'm confused about something that you wrote. Here it is:

"I don't have it here in front of me, but I don't think the Broadway vote was unanimous, was it? That would mean there were folks in the SBC that didn't think Broadway should be kicked out which further indicates that they don't think homosexuality is a sin."

Joe, I was thinking about it this way:
maybe the people who didn't support 'kicking Broadway out' did think the homosexuality was a sin.
But maybe they were hoping to find a place in the Church where these people could continue to receive pastoral counseling, be encouraged to attend services within the caring embrace of their Christian family, and be encouraged by that family to continue to pray fo grace.

For some of these SBC people, the Church might stand for something more than what is represented by 'kicking these people out'.

Maybe they were hopeful that the Church could find some way to help serve Christians, whose lives were 'imperfect' but whose hearts still led them to come to a Church that worshipped Christ the Lord. How foolish is that?
I wonder.

Caritas Christi,
L's

Joe Blackmon said...

But maybe they were hoping to find a place in the Church where these people could continue to receive pastoral counseling, be encouraged to attend services within the caring embrace of their Christian family, and be encouraged by that family to continue to pray fo grace.

That's not church membership. See, if someone who was gay came in the church and said "I'm gay. It's not wrong. You can't change me. But I want to come here..." for whatever reason (I like this preacher/a friend of mine comes to church here/it's close to my house) whatever. That's folks coming to the church. Heck, that's not a problem. But they were members. They weren't just there to be minstered to...they were members of that church. That's where the problem is.

Dona nobis pacem

Christiane said...

JOE,
It's not 'the family' that can do the 'changing'. They can do the caring, and the support, and the praying, and the recognition that their family member IS a child of God made in His Image, who is not beyond hope.

It is the Lord Himself who does the changing.
And He has said, 'Come unto me . . . '
If they are there. heavily burdened, it is His Voice that has brought them there, to a place where they may have a greater chance to find His peace. All I ask is that you consider the possibilities.

Hey Joe, your Latin is getting pretty good! Be peaceful.

Caritas Christi, L's

Lydia said...

"It's not 'the family' that can do the 'changing'. They can do the caring, and the support, and the praying, and the recognition that their family member IS a child of God made in His Image, who is not beyond hope."


I wonder why Paul did not recommend this course in 1 Corin 5 with the person who was in continual sexual immorality? Because it certainly sounds more loving than what he told them to do. I think Paul was more worried about this person's eternal life? And that is loving, too. His advice seems to have worked as we see in 2 Corinthians.

Joe Blackmon said...

L's

I can't speak a lick of Latin but I can read it. I've sung several Magnificat's (Rutter, Vivaldi).

If they are openly practicing homosexuals they are not part of the family if by family you mean Christian. Someone living in unrepentant sin who does not repent when confronted is not proving that God is gracious enough to allow His children to stray but rather may be proving they were never His child in the first place.

Agnus dei, qui tolis pecara mundi miserrara nobis (I probably spelled that wrong)

Christiane said...

Well, JOE, your doing pretty good.

That prayer, the Agnus Dei,
goes like this in Latin:

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem. "

It's a wonderful prayer, harkening back to the time of the Passover lamb of the Hebrews in captivity, and fore-shadowing Christ.

And then, St. John the Baptist speaks this: 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.'
And the Book of the Apocalypse mentions the Lamb's Supper many, many times.
The "Lamb of God" was a favorite title for Christ among the early Christians. Their catacomb icons show Him as the Good Shepherd.

When you think of Him, Joe, sometimes do you think of a Shepherd bearing a lost lamb home to safety? I do.
That prayer is very ancient and meaningful.
Seems like so many lost lambs out there for Him to find.
But He will.

Caritas Christi,
L's

Chris Ryan said...

Jon,

So if it is "our" troops or "their" civilians, we should choose "our" troops? We should of course choose the lives of those who chose to go to war, perpetrate violence and risk death for whatever reason over the lives of millions who were not active participants in the violent activities? And why? Because its "us" (or is that US) versus "them?" And that is the attitude which allows us to justify what should be absolutely unjustifiable. So much for "love thy neighbor."

Jon L. Estes said...

Chris, There is so much more than that. The men, women and children were being told (and agreeing) to fight till the death. Little ones were being taught how to kill Americans. They would have kept on till they invaded our land, so yes... if it is us or them, I choose us.

Darby Livingston said...

"Maybe they were hopeful that the Church could find some way to help serve Christians, whose lives were 'imperfect' but whose hearts still led them to come to a Church that worshipped Christ the Lord. How foolish is that?
I wonder."

I don't wonder at all. Ask all the priests who maintain their standing regardless of their unrepentant sin.

Christiane said...

Hi DARBY,

You wrote this: 'I don't wonder at all. Ask all the priests who maintain their standing regardless of their unrepentant sin.'

Darby, if you have knowledge of any priest or clergy member who is harming someone, you need to report it to the authorities (police) immediately. You mentioned awareness of 'all the priests' so it sounds like you may have specific knowledge to report.

Darby Livingston said...

L's,

I could use pastors in place of priests, as Wade often shows how baptists (and any church) can be guilty of the same thing.

A quick scan of the web can show plenty of priests and pastors who have been given the benefit of maintaining their 'imperfect' walk while Christians wait for them to repent.

My point is the church is where messy people come to be cleaned and sinful people come to learn righteousness. It's not the place where we all wait around for the person to decide whether repentance is necessary or desirable.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"It's not the place where we all wait around for the person to decide whether repentance is necessary or desirable."

No? If not the church then where? Sin is very powerful. No doubt the Spirit of God is powerful as well. God is the master of grace. He is not served by time. Let us learn from His grace and pray for those who still need to decide the necessity and desirability of making The Lamb their Lord.

k

Darby Livingston said...

Kevin,

I'm not writing a full treatise of the relationship of grace and repentance. :)

I was just observing the conversation between L's and Joe and could see what Joe's point. Let's not all pretend to be so gracious now that we forget about church discipline.

Joe Blackmon said...

Bottom line, a person in a committed, homosexual relationship is not a Christian. Period. David Gushee, professor at Mercer and as I understand it someone who has been in SBC life for some time, says they can be Christians and that they should be accepted by the church. They should not be and any church that thinks different should be thrown out of the SBC just like Broadway was.

Thy Peace said...

Bottom line, a person in a committed, homosexual relationship is not a Christian.

I humbly beg to differ.

I am not endorsing homosexual behavior. For me it is a sin.

Just as other sins. As in lying, cheating, blaspheming and others ... Can not all these people be Christians?

Are not sinners Christians?

But I do understand your point. For people who are habitually and continually in sin, even after multiple entreaties by the Church and the Body, they are to excommunicated from the Body as a punishment, so that they may realize the nature of their sin.

But the nature of sin is insidious. My view is sin is overcome only by the Grace of God. Lot of times, it takes many years for people to wake up to their sin and to be convicted. So the change takes place.

But then the question is how many times can a sinner go back to sinning and keep asking God for Mercy? My view is innumerable times. God is gracious. As long as the sinner seeks God and begs for mercy, God does provide for the sinner.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Bottom line, a person in a committed, homosexual relationship is not a Christian."

Joe, you are wrong. I do not know you but I am going to assume you have not a clue as to the nature of the sin and temptation of homosexuality. Some Christians will be tempted with sexual sins all their life precisely because the churhc is ill equipped and illgraced to offer the right physical help and nurture. Mortification, like sanctification by dear brother is progressive. I would plead with you to be gracious to all who are in sin, whether repentant or not. Some homosexuals, partnered and practicing or not are within the process of sanctification. Some may have love and grace down better than you or I. Maybe you have sexual sins defeated better than others. Maybe my dear brother you have been graced by our Lord Jesus to not have the burden of sexual sins. It is said that 50% of Pastors struggle with sexual temptations. How much more or less in the flock? Dr. Andy Chambers, one of my professors from Missouri Baptist University has been speaking the last 2 days at the Missouri Baptist Convention on Psalms 90. Tomorrow, his final exposition will be on Psalms 90:11-17. I will be watching with anticipation as he teaches on this passage. Read it, Moses, the mighty man of God, even in His piety prays, "Who considers the power of your anger...?...teach us...Return...Satisfy us...with your love...Make us glad...Let your work be shown...Let God's favor be upon us...establish the work of our hands!"

If even Moses prayed this how can we expect the unrepentant homosexual to get it. My brother even you and I do not fully get it.

May others see Jesus in me, and in you.

Love covers a multitude of sins.

k

Thy Peace said...

I wish to add that this is a fundamental question.

Can a person who is a Christian, while believing in Jesus as Savior, be in a continual sin? Or lot of occasional sins?

My thinking is yes. But in the end, it is God's Grace that saves the sinner. What causes the sinner to repent and change? Is it the will power of the sinner? I do not think so. Maybe at times. But sin that is so insidious that warps a mind and soul, only Our Lord Jesus can break the bonds of sin. But during the process of sin and release from sin, can a person be a Christian? If the Body does not know of these sins, then these sins are hidden, but they are still there within people who are "accepted" as Christians.

Who is a Christian? Is it belonging to a Body that makes him or her a Christian? Or is the acceptance of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior who paid the price for their sins, is called a Christian?

I am not taking this subject lightly. There is more to this than meets the eye.

Please forgive me, if I offended any one here.

Joe Blackmon said...

Some Christians will be tempted with sexual sins all their life precisely because the churhc is ill equipped and illgraced to offer the right physical help and nurture.

Didn't say tempted. I said in a committed, homosexual relationship. As in Steve saying "Hi, this is my husband, Roger." Not Christians. Period.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Can a person who is a Christian, while believing in Jesus as Savior, be in a continual sin? Or lot of occasional sins?

My thinking is yes."

I agree, period.

Sin is sin, but we pick out sins of commission with great and visible consequences. But what about sins of omission? What about the sinners who have never shared their faith--this habitually throughout their life until death. Maybe this is a pastor you know, a deacon you know, a parent, a SS teacher, or...

We all have hidden sins of commission that SHOULD send us straight to hell..."had it not been for the old rugged cross" But I believe we all have more hidden sins of omission...

Before we point the finger let us look at our own life of disobedience. Each of us as repentant believers are steeped in sins of omission whether we know it or not. Maybe these are the sins that cause many "children" to stumble. Maybe the homosexual gave up on mortification because he saw another Christian doing.................................................nothing. :(


This brother has a heavy heart.

k

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"As in Steve saying "Hi, this is my husband, Roger." Not Christians. Period."

In many cases Joe you might be right, but the Bible does not draw the line as you do. Making disciples is not like flicking a light switch on and presto, the job is done. May God allow us Baptists to be instrumental in making disciples of partnered gay Christians, and partnered gay heathens, and single gays, and straight frat guys who ding every chick in sight and pastors who are addicted to porn, and all of those in God's creation with addiction issues and affection issues. Love covers a multitude of sins.


k

Christiane said...

You have St. Peter asking to be crucified upside-down, because he did not feel worthy to die in the same manner as Our Lord.

And you have St. Paul, in the final days of his journey on Earth, saying this: 'I am the greatest of sinners.'

It sure wasn't an apostle that said
'Thank you Lord, that I am not like that other sinner'.
So, if we're saying it, are we still Christians?

Darby Livingston said...

Oh for crying out loud, this is getting silly. Who said the following:

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

"Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted."

Who said the following:

"But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Will everyone who is trying to make Joe Blackmon feel like he is sub-Christian for calling a sin a sin please read these quotes and explain how the "chief of sinners" and the Lord himself are saying something different?

Christiane said...

Wow, Darby

When you get a reaction like that, you know you asked a good question.

Sub-Christian? Is that a Baptist term?

I don't think Joe could ever be sub-anything: he likes elephants and that makes up for a lot.

:)

Darby Livingston said...

"It is said that 50% of Pastors struggle with sexual temptations."

I'd go farther than that and say I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of pastors struggle with giving in to the temptation in some way. But what they don't do (I hope) is justify it and say that it's okay and everyone should accept it until they decide it really is a sin. That's the only reason homosexuality gets brought up so much. It's not that we're wanting to judge the one who struggles with the temptation to be homosexual, and even the one who fights and fails and fights and fails and fights and fails at repenting from homosexuality. It's that we're wanting the person to admit with God that it's a sin, like we don't let people off the hook when they try to justify adultery. No different.

Darby Livingston said...

Oh it's not just you L's. I've just seen a common theme for quite awhile here. By sub-Christian I mean like he isn't as gracious as some of the rest of us.

Christiane said...

Now, Darby

Joe is his own person with his own style. He may sometimes be a little bit gruff, but that is an act. Anyone who likes elephants understands graciousness. You really have to like them in order to understand this logic. :)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

No one is making Joe feel sub-Christian. And neither is Joe calling a sin a sin. He is calling sinners damned without knowing the state of their heart--without knowing whether the blood of Christ has been made of effect for them.

This might be getting silly for you, but sin is a serious thing. We have all heard the verses you quoted. We know who quoted them (or maybe we need to look it up). Either way some reason might be in order. Some faith might be in order. God's grace is sufficient even for those on those lists. They will be in heaven who have called on His name, even if in their lifetime their perpetual yielding to certain sins has not been totally and completely mortified. How could we think any different? Be careful with proof texting biblical "lists."

My personal devotion time over the last couple weeks has been in Proverbs chapters 1-9. Here is a biblical list for you to chew on.

Pvbs 6:16-19 "7 Things that are an Abomination to God."

1. haughty eyes
2. a lying tongue
3. hands that shed innocent blood
4. a heart that devises wicked plans
5. feet that make haste to run to evil
6. a false witness who breathes out lies
7. one who sows discord among brothers.


What is really funny to me is that you might damn these abominations to hell. I also find it funny that they appear on page one of the "How to be a Southern Baptist Pastor, Leader, or Trustee" training manual. :)


No seriously, God was totally thinking of the SBC when He made that list.

But He loves us anyway, enough to send His Son to save us despite our sins.

I disagree with the theological end of Dr. Gushee's challenge to Baptists, but I agree with Him that we must change our way of treating homosexuals. We must recognize that they did not chose their specific temptation. We must love them, embrace them, and walk beside them in the Lord Jesus, the great healer, and the great victor over sin.

Thank you and good night.

K

Thy Peace said...

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God".

Now I accept the above text from The Word.

Now how many Christians just by the above will inherit the kingdom of God?

Answer: Not as many who are Christians currently.

My thinking is the nature of sin, which is of the earth and the nature of Spirit, which is of God are continually at war in our flesh till we die.

But I would always welcome the nature of sin being preached. I have no desire to minimize or mask or hide the nature of sin. For the Spirit will not allow it. It has to be brought into the light.

I personally view all the commentators here as more righteous than me. For I am conscious of my sin nature and the consequences of it. So in that context I understand when Paul says he was the chief of sinners. I feel the same way.

Chris Ryan said...

Jon,

The problem is that once it is "us versus them," then it is impossible to love one as your neighbor. Once it is "us versus them," what has set in is selfishness and/or pride. Both of those are sinful attitudes.

Christiane said...

Dear THY PEACE,

You wrote: 'So in that context I understand when Paul says he was the chief of sinners. I feel the same way.'

Then you are closer to the Lord than most of us.



Dear KEVIN,
You wrote this: " We must recognize that they did not chose their specific temptation. We must love them, embrace them, and walk beside them in the Lord Jesus, the great healer, and the great victor over sin."

And may we all say 'Amen'.

Be peaceful,
Caritas Christi, L's



Hi KEVIN,

Lydia said...

We should all be working out our salvation with fear and trembling. My goodness how we have dumbed down all sin and are seeking to make it normal.

It sounds to me like we want to figure out how sinful we can be and skate under the line of going to hell. That is a good way to become desensitized to it.

But what do we do with sanctification? What do we do with Hebrews 10:26-31? 1 John 5? Galatians 5:19+, Rev 21:7-8, etc, etc.

We cannot pretend they are not there.

Everyone is ignoring Paul's teaching in 1 Corin 5. Why? How do you get around it?

Does this mean perfect and no sin? Of course not. Our very thoughts are sinful. How much worse when they are continual willful deeds with no godly sorrow?

Hasn't anyone read 1 John? Really read it? All the way through?

BTW: As to civility. The most deceptive person can be civil and fool folks for a long time. I prefer civility but I much prefer honesty and intergrity even more. When it comes to guys like Joe, it is no secret where they stand. They are not playing games of deception. Give me honesty any day over a deceptive civility.

Joe Blackmon said...

Kevin,

You're right. I done seen th' lah-eet.

Someone can be in an affair and refuse to repent of it and still be a Christian.

Someone can be a thief who steals and refuses to repent and still be a Christian.

BTK, who killed people over several decades (I'd call that habitual), was a genuine Christian.

All this "repentance" stuff is all pie-in-the-sky. No one really does it so everybody is a Christian.

I get it now. Thanks.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Joe,

I am hardly the universalist you make me out to be. But one other point. I completely agree with what I assume to be one of your main points that I, you and all Christians are personally responsible for the disobedience which accompanies our "remaining in certain sins" be then known or unknown.

Here is the issue, and Lydia brings this up. Sin, its nature, and its remedies are only dealt with and healed in the light, in the open. To do this, each of us MUCH acknowledge that we struggle with sins and be gracious to those who have sins that seem worse than ours.

Yes, Lydia, I have read 1 John. I translated 1 John [edit to add: and been humbled by a series by Wade] and I can tell you that the apostle wants us to wrestle and cry and rip our hearts in the struggle to wrangle with the idea that to sin is to not love the Lord. Yet we sin. And we say that we love the Lord.

It is the great conundrum of 1 John.

Deal with it.

It’s there...it’s not going anywhere.

You CANNOT love God in the flesh.

You can only love God with the love God has for Himself. It is on loan to you through Christ Jesus.

You and I are wretched sinners who have no the ability to stretch across transcendence.

There is a You Tube video running around right now showing "the drunkest man ever" trying to by beer in a convenience store. Watch it. If you or I begin to think of ourselves in any better light than him, then we will never be able to love him, much less the Lord.

I could bore you with my thoughts on the subject of imputed righteousness, but let me just say this. Start with yourself as the drunkest man ever. Then Jesus will allow you to love all His creation.

Now I am off to ministry--Helping my mother clean out her garage. May the grace of heaven be upon me. :)

Jon L. Estes said...

Chris,

It is foolish to sit back and let the man, woman or child with the gun shoot at me or my family first. For me it is wise to defend myself and my family.

Joe Blackmon said...

Jon,

See, here's the problem. You've got some faulty assumptions in your logic. First of all, America is the bad guy. We are the real evil empire. 9-11 was our fault because we provoked those peace loving people by supporting the other member of the evil empire--Israel. Secondly, it is America's job to do what the rest of the world wants it to. Now, other coutries are soverign and get to make their own decisions but we better do what we're told. That means not striking back at our attackers (it's our fault anyway), controling imigration, or making any decisions without the consent of the rest of the world.

As soon as you recognize that America is the bad guy in this story the better off you'll be. (tongue planted firmly in cheek)

Jon L. Estes said...

Joe,

My bad, I overlooked that one little issue.

;-)

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

My Utmost For His Highest > October 28th.

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:10

I am not saved by believing; I realize I am saved by believing. It is not repentance that saves me, repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus. The danger is to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause. It is my obedience that puts me right with God, my consecration. Never! I am put right with God because prior to all, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals I can accept, instantly the stupendous Atonement of Jesus Christ rushes me into a right relationship with God; and by the supernatural miracle of God's grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, not because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings it with a breaking, all-over light, and I know, though I do not know how, that I am saved.

The salvation of God does not stand on human logic, it stands on the sacrificial Death of Jesus. We can be born again because of the Atonement of Our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creatures, not by their repentance or their belief, but by the marvellous work of God in Christ Jesus which is prior to all experience. The impregnable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We have not to work out these things ourselves; they have been worked out by the Atonement. The supernatural becomes natural by the miracle of God; there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done - "It is finished."

Lydia said...

"There is a You Tube video running around right now showing "the drunkest man ever" trying to by beer in a convenience store. Watch it. If you or I begin to think of ourselves in any better light than him, then we will never be able to love him, much less the Lord."

Kevin, Do you understand that SINNERS expelled a SINNER for willfull continual sin in 1 Corinthians? How can that be?

Shouldn't they had been looking at themselves instead? Was Paul's advice wrong since not only is Paul a sinner but the others in the Corinthian church? I am not understanding you.

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

You're cruel and insensitive and delusional about your true state as a worm with a total righteousness equivalent to a filthy rag. Just the fact that you would point out 1 Cor 5 or any text that has to do with a standard shows your inner pharisee dying to come out, not your desire to see the whole biblical counsel considered. You are the one who needs to repent.

Lydia said...

You're cruel and insensitive and delusional about your true state as a worm with a total righteousness equivalent to a filthy rag. Just the fact that you would point out 1 Cor 5 or any text that has to do with a standard shows your inner pharisee dying to come out, not your desire to see the whole biblical counsel considered. You are the one who needs to repent.

Wed Oct 28, 07:34:00 PM 2009

I just want to be a Pharisee because women can't in the SBC. (wink)

Darby Livingston said...

Maybe not, but why can't you be satisfied being a pharisee's wife?

Lydia said...

Maybe not, but why can't you be satisfied being a pharisee's wife?

Wed Oct 28, 08:02:00 PM 2009

Hilarious! I just spewed my green tea. Good one, Darby.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

A humorous post ...

Women In Ministry [Cheryl Schatz] > Southwestern Seminary asserts policy of male headship.

Gene S said...

Joe--

You simply underline the stupidity of the Inerrant battle. You admit there are no original manuscripts and that is the "out" for those who know they can not prove their point of Inerrency!!!

Were you at SEBTS to know what the professors were supposedly saying?

I was there 1967-70. It was a time when all things conservative were being questioned in theological thinking moreso than any era afterward. I was President of the BSU at Emory University the year Altizer did his "God Is Dead" stuff. I know what "liberal" is--again by personal experience.

By my own knowledge and observation, there was NOT ONE professor "professing" anything you say! It was all a "straw dog" argument.

To call Leo Green or John Wayland--to name only 2--a "liberal" is to tell the biggest lie ever told!!! You can check what I say with any other SEBTS alum.

I don't like liars or distorters of the truth--especially those who do so for political purposes.

I stick firmly to my conviction and truth telling that the CR was a concept based on false information to gullable Baptist church members--totally!!

The worst thing was that it destroyed Bold Mission Thrust which was a plan to use new satellite technology to broadcast the Gospel message to EVERY person on this earth who had a TV and satellite dish.

What a terrible tragedy proving Satan can destroy our best efforts--BUT "It's Friday night AND Sunday is coming!!!"

Jon L. Estes said...

hey Gene S,

I was at SEBTS in the late 80's and I can tell you from 1st hand experience that liberalism was still problematic with some professors.

When an OT professor says Jesus was ignorant of __________ . I find this unacceptable (one of several examples). Maybe you don't.

Joe Blackmon said...

Gene,

Quoting from some comments on another blog:

"I was in a Baptist college with professors from Southern (mostly) and Southeastern. They taught that the Bible was full of historical and scientific errors, that it was a book of human opinion about God. They denied the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. They denied that Jesus was the only way to salvation. They denied the existence of a personal being called Satan."

"[I]n my first year at a Baptist college in 1979[,] I was taught by men who obtained their PhDs at Southern. They are very nice people. But they have a very different view of what the Bible is, and what it is not."

So, just because you didn't know any does NOT mean they were not there. So while you say I "simply underline the stupidity of the Inerrant battle" I say you are the perfect example of why the CR was needed and why the battle for inerrancy must never be dropped. I say thank God for the Conservative Resurrgence and anybody who got hurt in the CR got better than they would have gotten if I'd been the one making the call.

Gene S said...

Folks--

I had to work at my regular job the last 2 days. I was too tired to come home at night so I dropped out on a "blog break." Interesting how the discussion goes in such a short time!

At least I can affirm we are trying to be "civil in conduct" while covering some important topics which have caused too much "uncivil" public conduct to the point many churches are taking "Baptist" out of their name. We are not exactly perceived in a golden light in the public eye these days.

There are 4 basic issues in the rounds:

(1) Homosexuality
(2) War
(3) Ministerial sexual molestation
(4) Sin

Shall I start with (4) since it covers aspects of the first 3.

The Greek word for sin is harmartia. It conveys the idea of "separation"--from God / others / self / reality / morals / etc. One can be just as sinful in a SS classroom as in a local bar or strip joint. I someone is judged "not good enough" to come to your church, you are in a state of sin according to the wider definition.

The problem Jesus and the other NT writers had dealt with what was going on specifically in their day. Using the wider definition carries Scripture into any day and era from Adam and Eve to the baby born just a few minutes ago. Mankind seems to focus on separation while God wants un in his will and relationship from day 1. I'm sure we disappoint God every day, but at the same time we give him plenty to do in his "forgiveness business." Us political / social / southern cover-up Baptists are enough to totally use his time if he were not all powerful and infinite!

You do realize the favorite Baptist pastime is "confessing the sins of others!"

The first thing I discovered at Emory in my freshman Sociology class was when one steps outside the South and into the World, sin is not quite as simple as I once thought through my Baptist Preacher Kid's eyes. For example, in the Arctic a good male friend always invites a male visitor to sleep with his wife as a sign of true friendship. I bet the "Broadway approach" would bring a resolution from the SBC Convention!!!

When we were once autonomous, you could do resolutions any way you wanted, but none were binding on any local church or its member. Now we seem to think the SBC or NCBSC can dictate which church will be part of the convention--it used to be in the hands of the local church only.

I also had the priviledge of serving one of the most famous churches in NC because the North Rocky Mount Baptist Church went to court over ownership of the church property. A Bob Jones fundamentalist snuck in as a regular Southern Baptist and conned a 51% gullable majority into leaving the SBC. The 49% minority sued over who would keep the facilities paid for by faithful members supporting the SBC. In that case (1959), which is an NC State Supreme Court precident, they had notable professors at SEBTS as well as the NCBSC Executive Secretary to give testimony as to "what is a true SBC church."

Part of that testimony clearly stated: "A church becomes part of the local association, state convention, or national convention ONLY by their own decision. It is NEVER a decision made "from above." The transcript has recently been placed in the Wake Forest Baptist Archives, but is not accessible quite yet for internet research.

The separation and judgementalism currently going on is exactly opposite what SBC Founding Fathers intended. By my above definition of "sin," we are in that state since 1979 clearly, and we had more than enough pre-1979 as "moderates" tried to lord it over "conservatives." It seems us Southern Baptists want to keep God extra busy with sin these days!

I'll take a break to answer the most recent blog back on SEBTS.

Joe Blackmon said...

For example, in the Arctic a good male friend always invites a male visitor to sleep with his wife as a sign of true friendship.

So sin is subjective based on culture? I would be ashamed of myself to have even written that on a public blog.

Now we seem to think the SBC or NCBSC can dictate which church will be part of the convention-

Well, there is a simple solution if you want to remain in the SBC--hold to biblical beliefs and no one will want to disfellowship you.

The separation and judgementalism currently going on is exactly opposite what SBC Founding Fathers intended.

Oh you mean the doctrinal accountability and biblical discernment currently going on?? (A) It's your opinion that it wasn't their intention. (B) Let's go out on a limb and say it was their intention that no church should ever be able to be disfellowshipped. So what? I constantly hear moderates belly aching about "historic Baptist principals". Personally, I'm more worried about "historic BIBLICAL principals" but maybe I'm just weird like that.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lydia,

I am not sure I follow you either. Maybe we are both thinking the same thing. I do not know. The fact is most Baptist churches do not have to deal with openly gay members or worshipers. It is a rare and extreme exception that a church would even need to deal with the issue and make policies in this modern world. But most Baptist churches in fact HAVE the problem. The exception, that is to say the defiant ones, can be dealt with exceptionally, but biblically. However, there are 2 other classes of folks we must consider. 1. Those who have been taught (by liberal theology and poor textual criticism) that Paul did not mean what is written, or that the Bible was changed to accommodate the fears of Christians in that culture, and 2. Those living in sin secretly (the majority of those who struggle with this temptation and sin.)

So, one passage in Corinthians cannot and should be a cookie cutter approach to dealing with the problem of homosexuality. The problem is a "diverse" as its claim.

I am simply saying that grace and the Holy Spirit out to be our guide.

Gene S said...

Jo & John--

What you are reflecting is your own resistence to anything other than your Baptist SS learning or the ranting of a preacher who was very Conservative.

I went from Emory to do GRADUATE WORK at a good seminary. Now, graduate level study is supposed to be in the area of Christianity, NOT a continuation of what you were exposed to before. At a college or graduate age, you should have had enough brains to sort out what made sense to you vs. what you thought you should have been taught.

One of my professors in theology made us focus on our PRESUPPOSITIONS. This is something everyone has. It is another term for uneducated prejudices. That doesn't literally mean "stupid," but it does mean the wise person and educated person has a grasp of all sides of any given issue.

Our professors in college or graduate work were doing their job in exposing us to things acceptable and those which we presupposed were "right."

My wise father always told me the wise person is the one who has the opportunity to hear all sides and make an informed decision about what makes sense to him. This becomes an informed faith rather than an ignorant bombastic faith.

He also taught me that any preacher who believes whatever last book he read, doesn't have much consistency nor wisdom. Your hearers want to know what you believe is the truth from the Bible that meets their spiritual needs today.

Also, the preacher who cannot stand any dissent or intelligent question from a church member, is easily intimidated and usually scared. There are people with real questions and they want you to be able to take them rather than kick them out because you have no answer--even if it is an honest "I don't know, but I'll do some study and get back to you."

The thing I noticed most about SEBTS was the lack of a good research section with current periodicals. At Emory I was spoiled with things such as The Candler School of Theology or Emory Medical School library. There, if I had something to research, the librarian could refer me to the latest research which I could read first hand.

In the case of "God Is Dead," we could question Altizer, himself, and hear informed commentary from the Methodist Chaplain as to what he was trying to say.

That is another subject, but I can assure you what Time Magazine said and most Baptist Preachers said he said were miles apart from the real issue! "Ignorance is bliss" is a statement too many Baptists don't take seriously enough!

Another note on graduate study: I took the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) because I wanted to pursue a PhD in Psychology which was my major. I had already scored high on the SAT to gain admission to Emory. My GRE score was interesting.

It indicated where one placed on a percentile in various professions. My score put me in the 55 percentile for psychology, BUT 90 percentile for Theology. In other words, I was "average" for psychology professional, but far above average for preachers! We aren't the smartest bunch of professionals in the world of professionalism.

Now, what do you mean by the "Jesus was ignorant of ..." statement. Please explain what the professor was trying to say as you understood it.

Joe Blackmon said...

Emory huh? Yeah, with your theological stances that pretty well figgers.

Joe Blackmon said...

However, there are 2 other classes of folks we must consider. 1. Those who have been taught (by liberal theology and poor textual criticism) that Paul did not mean what is written, or that the Bible was changed to accommodate the fears of Christians in that culture

Oh, so they get a pass due to what someone else told them? Really. They are not personally responsible for reading and studying the Bible for themselves. Because the only way you get to the above view of what Paul said is you have to be looking for it. No intelligent human being would come to that conclusion based on a study of the text.
, and 2. Those living in sin secretly (the majority of those who struggle with this temptation and sin.)

And so they get a pass on repentance because...they do it in secret?? Really. Wow. Just, wow.

If I were in a church where it was found that someone was living a homosexual lifestyle under your first or second classification above and the church elders did not immediately begin church discipline against them, I would pull my family out quicker than you could say "fundementalist".

Gene S said...

Joe, buddy--

You would make a good Saducee or Pharisee!

They tried to misquote or "add to quote" in the same way.

They cited the problem of a man who died and left his wife. His brother married her and now is dead. "Who," they asked, "will be the husband in heaven."

Their entire purpose was to cause Jesus trouble over whether there was an afterlife or not as well the issues of wife ownership. Those were issues of that day. Heck, many people these days have married and divorced so many times that heaven would be full of southern bar fights over "Thet's ma woman, myster" there would be no time to glory in being with God!

I said NOTHING about sleeping with another man's wife being acceptable. I was just telling you the truth about Eskimos. You should have enough analytical sense to figure out if it is acceptable or not!

I bet you enjoy peeking into any other Baptist church's windows to see if they are meeting up to your standard of conduct! We have our parameters of what is Southern Baptist. One of those historic parameters was walking away from Creedalism.

The Baptist statement of faith I studied in Training Union made an acrostic of B-A-P-T-I-S-T. Another used the "Trail of Blood" theory to make us better than other Protestants because we could trace our ancestry back to John the Baptist who even baptized Jesus!

Then there was the first Baptist Faith statement made up on the 20's to battle the attempted takeover by Norris. Next, we had the BF&M of the 60's which was made up to battle the book on Genesis from a Southern Seminary Professor. Why do we always have to make a statement to destroy some theory or book which broadens the mind (supposedly, if that were possible) of a theologian? Why can't we just let folks have their say and take it or leave it as a church or individual?

My father told of an interesting personal encounter with Dr. J.D. Gray who was the precipitator of the Elliott/Genesis issue. You see, Dr. Gray wanted to be President of the SBC and never quite got it. He had a ThD legitimately which long before exposed him to the issues addressed by Elliott's book--especially with respect to the special use of the term "myth" in the book.

Instead of educating his congreagation and fellow Southern Baptists about the meaning Elliott used, he turned it into an issue: "This professor is corrupting his students by teaching the Bible is a 'fairy tale.'"

My daddy simply asked him why he used it to get a high office when he knew better. To which, my father got a shrugged shoulder as he zipped his fly in the men's room. That was the answer: he knew what he was doing was cruel, but it didn't matter as long as he became SBC President!

That was a total distortion of what Elliott was writing just as what has been said about my professors and Randall Lolley at SEBTS when it was taken over. Paige Patterson ultimately got his reward for being a "formentor of discord."

In the same way, "Dr." Gray got to be SBC President. "Dr." Patterson got to be a big muckty muck. "Dr." Chapman and "Dr." Whoever got their reward--not by being educated, but by being astutely political in the "right" SBC places! Read carefully what Jesus said in Matthew 23 about such people! It isn't nice.

We have turned legitimate education into a process of training students to be "king pastors." I can cite you many cases around Eastern NC where student pastor churches naively continued to call students from SEBTS to serve. Instead of serving, those arrogant young princes quickly dictated and controlled. In many cases good churches have been split because wiser heads know a potentate when they see one. Naive people take his pincely attraction for the truth and get led to preacher worship rather than God worship!

Gene S said...

Joe--

Remember the topic: "being a convicted Christian and being civil in conduct."

You are pushing the limits with your "put down" of an Emory graduate. Just because Emory Professors are interviewed weekly on CNN, and have a national prominence and your alma mata probably doesn't, in no way makes me a "liberal."


What an Emory education does is teach you how to think for yourself! It exposes any student to ALL the parameters of a given subject and then encourages them to come to an informed position on the real issues.

Emory has Desmond TuTu as a professor, Solomon Rushdie, Jimmy Carter, to name a few. It had Thomas J.J. Altizer and made the cover of Time Magazine. In addition, Emory is now making sure a good percentage of its freshmen come from other countries than the US and some other place than the South. They are intentionally world wide in their educional pursuits.

Through my association with Emory I have been able to obtain expermental treatment for a man in my church who was dying by the hour from Hepatitis C. I am now trying to help a friend who has Lou Gherig's Disease. Emory is on the cutting edge of education and research.

Sorry you didn't have the priviledge to attend. If you had, your thinking might be a little bit wider than you are showing yourself to be.

I say this in "civil conduct." As a good Southern boy and a Baptist preacher's son / Baptist preacher, I could be more blunt. You decide what I might say in Matthew 23 terms!

My only request is that you hear the prayer of a little girl who put it simply: "Dear God--please make all bad people good---and all good people nice!"

Joe Blackmon said...

Wow, Gene. I'm impressed. I mean, Time Magazine, CNN, Jimmy Carter. Yep, that's something to brag about.

Nope, the schools I went to are probably not going to make any list of anything anywhere. University of Montevallo--I was young, stupid, wanted to major in music and didn't want to march in a halftime show. Athens State University--Night classes that worked around my jobs when I decided to go back and change careers. My educational credentials are not the stuff bragging rights are made of so your impressive CV sure puts mine to shame. I stand in awe of your greatness. Really.

Gene S said...

Joe, old Buddy--

My University of GA brother lives in Montevallo. He's OK for an Alabama boy!

The only trouble is that his kids all pull for Auburn against UGA--what an insult!!!!!

Although--I chased Katrina in Mobile and found ALA to be a little behind the times, shall we say!!! I now know why MLK began his protest in Selma--you guys take racial prejudice seriously while faithfully attend the Baptist / Methodist / Presbyterian / Catholic / etc. church so faithfully they have to have a traffic cop to keep the other church goers from running over those trying to cross the street!

Remember: "Christian convictions to be Civil in conduct." Just give me a little credit for my birth in SC, rearing in GA and ministry in SC/GA/NC.

At age 63, I might just have learned a little more in the School of Hard Knocks than you!

Respect you elders, man!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Joe,

No one gets a pass salvifically speaking, but we all get passes to one degree or another and it is that very point of me dealing with you (one believer to another that is) where the pass comes in. Even when it comes to church discipline--that looks different in every case--all the while following the guidelines of Scripture; the goal of course is repentance, but it also must be restoration with the Body and with Christ. My classifications are only to show that people's sins are to be handled with grace. The big stick doesn't always work. Telling a homosexual to repent and ask for forgiveness from the church to remain in fellowship is not restoration. There are issues of addiction and affection which MUST be addressed, and the church must acknowledge that this is a process. While we walk along side brothers and sisters who have fallen, we must realize we are fallen as well, and the same nature we have damns us the same as it damns those whom we walk with. But glory be to Christ we have a way out.

Know that we are all not at the same place on the path, nor on the same path of the journey. Sometimes Joe, we have to trust the Lord, slow down, and let others catch up....or in my case try and run to catch up. I am thankful to my Lord however that the hem of His garment is never more than an arm’s length away.


K


PS: I know a lot of homosexuals, and none of them like to eat children or babies. Only dingo’s and O'Reily's "pinheads."

"Name a town, name a town..."
:)

Joe Blackmon said...

Kevin,

You're welcome to contine to chalk my position up to "fear of homosexuals". Frankly, in order for me to care about your opinion I would have to respect you and value you as a person.


I don't.

The point Lydia has made is right on---Paul told the Corinthians what do to with someone in a sinful relationship who refused to repent. He didn't give any "classes". He said he had judged them even though he hadn't been there. As far as this goes, I'm done playing theological ping-pong. If you would allow Robert and his husband Steve to join your church or if you found out that current members Robert and Steve are not just roommates but homosexual lovers and you're ok with that, be ok with that.

Lydia said...

Kevin, You are setting up strawmen. The guy in 1 Corin (which Paul devoted quite a few words to the situation for you to so quickly dismiss it) was not involved in homosexuality. He was in unrepentant heterosexual sin. He was willfully in continual sin and flaunting it in the Body. (See Hebrews 10:26-31)

This affects the purity of the Bride so Paul advised they kick him out so he COULD BE SAVED. Obviously being IN the Body was not working.

But look at what else Paul says there. I would be real interested in hearing how you explain these words away:

9I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you." (ESV)

BTW: I am exempt from this passage because it is only for brothers. :o)

Thy Peace said...

I wonder how a parent who is CR conservative deals with the fact when their children turn out to be gays or lesbians?

By shunning and ostracizing them?

Or by teaching them that being gay or lesbian is a sin and by showing love and by bearing their burdens of shame and guilt?

Lot of times the shame is more with the parents to have had children who turned out this way. This can extend to other areas of sin and not just for homosexuality.

I am not criticizing anyone here. When this happens to a family, to begin with it is difficult issue to deal with. My prayers are to those parents whose children have become gays or lesbians.

Gene S said...

Since we are now discussing homosexuality let me tell you a couple of stories.

The first is of a young man I ran into at Myrtle Beach. He worked in a grocery store where I had just shopped. He was smoking outside and I joined him to light up my pipe.

I told him I had opted to come for a break at the beach rather than going to the NCBSC Convention for another round of fussing and fighting. He asked me what I thought of the news article that day about kicking out a church in Kanapolis, NC, over having 2 men join who were suspected of being gay.

I answered that I didn't think very much about any convention telling its participating churches what to do or not do. The men were not causing any turmoil and no one could prove they were gay. It was just conjecture. Even if they were gay, if they sincerely were believers and wanted to join, it was more important for the church to receive them than to judge them. That was up to God.

With this he began to tell me his own story. He was a Presbyterian minister's son and found himself to be gay despite every attempt to be straight. His father had virtually disowned him so he had left and gone to Myrtle Beach. He had attended a Baptist church and felt welcomed, but didn't join immediately.

Meanwhile he had become friends with a young deacon in the church. As their trust level deepened he had revealed his story to the deacon. After some months he wanted to join the church. His "friend" informed him that, should he come forward, when they raised hands to accept him the deacon would tell everyone he was gay.

Needless to say, the young man was amazed at the hostility because he was not making any scenes about being gay. He actually hated being that way and wished he could change. It was a very private and embarassing ordeal with which he fought a daily battle. He was not out to molest anyone or draw anyone into the lifestyle.

What would you say to such a hurting man? Would you encourage him to trust God and grow spiritually in the hopes God might help him? Or would you "out" him and embarass him to send him packing?

Gene S said...

A second story is of a Senior Minister with whom I served as Associate Pastor. This man was intelligent and outgoing. He was at the top of his ministerial game in a large and prominent church. I enjoyed the friendship and professional association we had.

As a couple we became friends. They had a young son and we had a new baby girl. They kept her when we had to be out of town and their son treated her like his little sister.

When the SBC met in Portland, Oregon, we met them in San Francisco before catching the train to Oregon. On Sunday afternoon we all decided to go to Golden Gate Park for a restful afternoon. As we entered there was a group concluding some Theater in the Park and we talked about how we hated we missed it.

As we looked behind us, there were several men couples and women couples each holding hands and showing affection as they walked. With this my Senior Minister began to rave about how gross it was and how he was glad we missed it now.

Some years later as we had gone our way to other churches, he was at one of the most prominent churches among Baptists. At a Ministers Week at SEBTS I ran into a minister from the same city who asked me if I had heard about Henry. "Nothing in a while," I replied.

"Well, he has resigned because his wife found out he was gay and associating with an "upper crust" group in that city. Her very religious father, on his death bed, asked his daughter, "How much longer are you going to stay married to that q**** ?" She hired a detective and got the report of his activities and confronted him. It was a dramatic story of emotional collapse and my friend being hauled off by an ambulance."

This minister ended up with a counseling job in another city, but died of AIDS a few years later.

My point is how hidden he was and how much he said with emotion to cover his real activities which were going on as he spoke his words of derision. Sometimes, those who shout the loudest are covering the fact they are doing what they lambast publicly!

Two real life stories which beg the question of how Christ would have related to a homosexual person.

Remember this: Jesus NEVER uttered a word one way or the other, yet we know historically that gays were present at his time just as they have been from early days into the present.

Forget high and pompous judgementalism. Just ask yourself, "What would Jesus do and say to these tragic situations?" If there is a genuine spiritual desire to associate with believers, are we to deny such an opportunity with our dictates from above in the SBC and NCBSC?

Christiane said...

I wonder if the 'judges' COULD possibly do their thing if they did know the pain they caused and what it might lead to.

In the case of teenage GLBT suicides, many records have been found where the young people wrote that they had NOT chosen their 'orientation'. Some have written, "God, why did you do this to me?"
It does not make sense that these young people, with their whole lives ahead of them, would choose to be GLTB and then commit suicide.
These records and these suicides witness to the need for us to reconsider our response to the needs of all of our children and young people. All of them.

So very sad.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"What would you say to such a hurting man? Would you encourage him to trust God and grow spiritually in the hopes God might help him? Or would you "out" him and embarass him to send him packing?"

I would allow the young man to join as a member under care. Then I would defrock the deacon for blackmail if he did not repent.


A final word to my brother Joe and then I am finished with this thread. It is your right to say to me that you do not respect me nor value me as a person. I would simply ask you to email me privately and gently tell me how I have hurt you. My email is kmichael2001@gmail.com

To not value me as a person is likely seeing for the wretch that I am. I am fine with that. But I like you, were created in the image of God. You should at the very least respect me as a person. Hate me if you must, but respect me as a person. Secondly you ought to at the very least respect me as a brother. You cannot respect me in Christ if you fail to respect His creation of me.

Those are fighting words, even words of hate. Obviously no one is reading this thread anymore for you to get away with it.

I want to compel them to come in my brother. I do have a passion for the lost, even as I struggle in my own sins along the journey. I have a passion to see God glorified through the healing ministry of our Lord. My pastor once told me flat out to stop drawing lines in the sand. Walk amongst the heathen and let His light shine.

Grace be to you, and may you forgive me if any of the words during our civil ping-pong game hit you the wrong way.

Kevin M. Crowder

"A genuine vulnerability often comes with a hospitable spirit. The same holds for a willingness to 'make room' for the ideas and experiences of those with whom we disagree on serious matters. But we need to take the risk."

~Dr. Mouw

Darby Livingston said...

Joe,

What in the world were you thinking? Disagree with someone, even adamantly. But why the hatred? I can't think of any other way to say it. I think you're point is closer to on in this instance, but your last comment to Kevin is just flat ridiculous. Please fix that. Please.

Lydia said...

What would you say to such a hurting man? Would you encourage him to trust God and grow spiritually in the hopes God might help him? Or would you "out" him and embarass him to send him packing?

Thu Oct 29, 09:13:00 PM 2009

That is not what we are talking about, Gene. There are tons of resources for those who do not want to live in that lifestyle. I have worked with Love Won Out and other cross over ministries not to know better.

We are talking about those who want it to be accepted, live openly homosexual lives and for the church to accept that as a normal Christian life.

I don't accept that.Just as I do not accept pedophilia as normal, either.

I don't accept the fact that many SBC churches look the other way with pedophilia (even on staff), adultery, sexual perverts, porn use, etc. Even by senior staff members. I don't accept any of it with some cheap grace and easy forgiveness when they are caught. They are no longer qualified to be ministers. Yet they go from church to church.

The SBC has been way too lenient about sexual molesters if they are pastors, staff ministers or youth pastors.

Somebody has to 'judge' as Paul did (who was not even there) to protect others in the Body. As a matter of fact, Paul was telling them to make a judgement.

Gene S said...

Lydia--

A good biblical name!

Neither do I condone the things of sexual obsession. That obsession opens Satan's door to turn a good person into a pervert.

However, it is no different than a religious / conservative / liberal / etc. obsession. On can become just as demonic in a SS class as in a local bar or strip joint.

I am a supporter of Christa Brown and Stop Baptist Preditors, myself. In recent months, though, I have found Christa and her supporters tending to excess. The example I cite is the accusation about one of our eastern NC ministers. Those who know him well are not convinced he committed the offence. The investigation is ongoing and will come to end shortly. Christa has shown it on her web site too strongly and too quickly in my opinion.

Nothing we do is not subject to perversion by Satan. "Let not your good be evil spoken of" comes to mind. All of us need to keep obsession under control.

In my opinion, it is more important to love and forgive than to judge continually. Sometimes we need to leave the judging to God who knows every heart and is not fooled.

One caught in sin is to be dealt with privately one-on-one. If that doesn't work, the Bible says to take 1 or 2 other believers who have witness the same and confront the offender privately once more. The final step is to invite them out of the church if there is no sign of repentance and honesty.

Only is step 3 to be taken after a concerted attempt to help the offender.

How do you view my observation that Jesus said NOTHING concerning the homosexual who surely existed in his day and he would have met them?

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Blackmon said...

You're right. That was over the top. Sorry.

I don't respect your opinion, however. Again, if you're ok with Keith and his husband Mark joining your church or finding out that Keith and Mark who are currently members are not roommates but actually homosexual lovers that is not my problem or concern. Don't get this shocked, surprised look on your face when I call such situations sinful and rebuke churches that would allow such things in their midst as little more than social clubs.

Again, that was totally over the top and I should not have said it. Well related to the "value you as a person" bit.

Joe Blackmon said...

How do you view my observation that Jesus said NOTHING concerning the homosexual who surely existed in his day and he would have met them?

Well, I view it as typical liberal drivel. First of all, who was Jesus' primary audience? The Jewish people. Matthew 15:24. There were few things that got you the death penalty under Jewish law--homosexuality was one of them. It wasn't something they needed to be told because they already were very familiar with the sinfulness of the act. It was a problem for the Helenistic culture, not Jewish culture.

2nd of all, you know for a fact that Jesus NEVER said anything about it? Really? I mean, seriously? John 21:25 much?? So, you have the transcript of EVERY WORD that ever proceeded out of His mouth? Do they keep that at Emory?

Finally, Jesus being silent does not mean the Bible is silent on the subject. Paul was inspired by God to write what he wrote. What he wrote in Romans and I Cor is as authoritate as anything else in scripture. All scripture was inspired by God. It does not say "...but some is more inspired than others".

Lydia said...

"One caught in sin is to be dealt with privately one-on-one. If that doesn't work, the Bible says to take 1 or 2 other believers who have witness the same and confront the offender privately once more. The final step is to invite them out of the church if there is no sign of repentance and honesty."

Strange that Paul did not advise them to follow that process in 1 Corinthians 5. What do you make of that?

Again, we are talking about willful, continual unrepented sin being displayed in the Body.

"How do you view my observation that Jesus said NOTHING concerning the homosexual who surely existed in his day and he would have met them?"

The Holy Spirit Inspired words concerning homosexuality. And since Jesus Christ is God and the Holy Spirit is God, I think those Words count.

Lydia said...

"In my opinion, it is more important to love and forgive than to judge continually. Sometimes we need to leave the judging to God who knows every heart and is not fooled."

We are plenty loving and forgiving toward pedophiles and perverts in ministry. It is the victims we don't believe and treat horrible. His ministry friends were pronouncing your friend innocent before the investigation! How is that fair?

If we are to leave all the judging to God alone then the Epistles need not to have been written giving us instructions for how to handle certain things. Which require some spritual discernment and 'judgement'.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

NYT > Book Review > Ayn Rand’s Revenge.

Christiane said...

There is record that the bishops of the early Church grew very angry with some of the Desert Fathers.
The Fathers took the teaching of St. Paul to heart:
"it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me"
and applied it to their lives. They believed themselves not to be worthy of His great sacrifice, and refused to condemn the sinners in their midst, because they saw themselves as no better.
So they treated others with such forgiveness and kindness that the bishops grew angry and said that the Fathers 'interfered with Church discipline'.

But the Fathers continued to care for the sinners in their midst, frequently taking the punishment decreed for the sinners onto themselves, saving the sinners from torment. The Fathers saw themselves as deserving the punishment just as much anyway.

And they also remembered something of Christ: that He took the punishment of sinners upon Himself.
As so the Desert Fathers sought to live in imitation of Christ and in accordance with the words of St. Paul: "it is no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me."

And many sinners came to understand who Christ was, through the actions of these Fathers, and these sinners turned towards the Lord and sought to live for Him.

Caritas Christi,
L's

Darby Livingston said...

...and they all lived happily ever after, to the end of their days.

Christiane said...

Hi DARBY,

There is no comparison of the Desert Fathers to separatist fundamentalism.

Their troubles were on all fronts: they were first convicted by their consciences of their unworthiness, that led to them seeing themselves differently.
And their actions changed.

And the bishops got mad at them, more trouble.

And then the Fathers 'stood in' for the sinners, willingly going through punishment: more 'no fun'

But the result?

They understood the word 'discipline' in a different way: to teach 'who Christ was, and what He did' by following Christ's example in front of the sinners.

Did it work?
Absolutely :)

Sorry. It won't work in the separatist fundamentalist world. So there can be no comparison.

Lydia said...

If anyone is interested...

Ray Yungen was saved out of the New Age movement and wrote a book called "A Time of Departing" which traces many New Age movement practices back to the Desert Fathers.

You can read some of his quotes here:

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/desertfathers.htm

Darby Livingston said...

well... nobody's perfect, after all. :)

Lydia said...

“I fear that, sometimes, in our endeavors to be sweet in disposition, we have not been strong in principle. ‘Charity’ is a word that is greatly cried up nowadays; but, often, it means that, in trying to be courteous, we have also been traitorous.”

–Charles Spurgeon

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darby Livingston said...

"What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert--himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt - the Divine Reason. . . . The new skeptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. . . . There is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it's practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. . . . The old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which makes him stop working altogether. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table."

g.k. chesterton

Christiane said...

http://ro.gloria.tv/?media=16457

Thy Peace said...

Since the subject of nuclear bombs came up, as about civility, paranoia ...

A great movie that fits all these is this:

Wiki > Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Fascinating movie!

Gene S said...

Some of you are getting bent out of shape over my not saying what you want to hear in EXACTLY the words you want to hear--lighten up and let's be CIVIL!

Lydia--I think the difference in Paul's position is----just a difference! So much for an infallible Bible. Sometimes the text and positions themselves do not agree!!

What is wrong with saying "inspired?" How about "guide" or "measuring stick?"

When you start making all things in the Bible equal, you raise the anthrophomorphic (God shown as man doing man things) actions such as bashing babies' heads on trees into a "God blessed" activity.

I don't think so!!!

When I say "judge," I mean ultimate judgement where God knows the deeds and thoughts of our hearts rather than man constantly judging with surface actions. Doing the "right" thing for the "wrong" reason is just as sinful as--well--SIN!

Would some of you be happy if I stated your position without religious candles on the cake:

"Let's beat up on all the Queers!"

"We have the right to judge everybody every day and kick out the Infadels!"

"We can keep the Baptist Church pure by making everyone sign onto the new BF&M!"

"All leaders since 1979 are uttering verbally inspired dictates and they never had a controlling bone in their body!"

"All Christians (especially Baptists) are right and never should worry about being Civil!"

"Forget about worshiping God in spirit and truth--just turn the physical Bible into a golden idol and bow down despite Jesus saying, 'It is said..., but I say unto you...' AND beat anyone to death with that great big, heavy pulpit Bible who disagrees!"

Think about it in CIVILITY!

Gene S said...

Joe--

John 21:25--"Now, there are many other things that Jesus did. If they were all written down one by one, I suppose the whole world could not hold the books that would be written."(TEV)

Good open ended rationale for doing and saying what you please! HOWEVER--no answer for my question whether Jesus said anything about homosexuality.

It even allows room to contend Jesus blessed the homosexuals--and--by hanging out with 12 men and never marrying a woman, must surely have been one!!!


The only answer you give is Jews stoned any homosexual, therefore, no need to address the issue. Yeah--the Nazis sent gays, gypsies, and Jews to the gas chamber. Wasn't that a great way of living for a nation which is notorious for being 10 years ahead of anywhere else in theology thinking!

All it proves to me is extra-intelligent theologians either "are" demonic, or turn their thinking heads while prejudice and killing reign!!

Which do you choose?

By the way--please be Civil and avoid any "Emory liberal" accusations toward me. Good Conservative Republicans ALWAYS start calling people names when they run out of logical reasons they should be elected!!!

I'm Baptist just like you---and I believe in the Bible despite any attempts to debunk it or distort it.

Lydia said...

"Some of you are getting bent out of shape over my not saying what you want to hear in EXACTLY the words you want to hear--lighten up and let's be CIVIL!"

Not at all. I am not bent out of shape at all. What gives you that impression? Because I disgree and state my position?

Civility must mean agreement to you.

"Lydia--I think the difference in Paul's position is----just a difference! So much for an infallible Bible. Sometimes the text and positions themselves do not agree!!"

Not at all. Matthew 18 is focused on a "personal" offense from one brother to another and the process to handle it. Jesus taught this before the advent of the Body.

1 Corin 5 is about willful continual sin by a member of the Body and how the Body, as a whole, should deal with it.

"When you start making all things in the Bible equal, you raise the anthrophomorphic (God shown as man doing man things) actions such as bashing babies' heads on trees into a "God blessed" activity."

Don't be absurd. God has worked through and around sinful man since Gen 3.

"When I say "judge," I mean ultimate judgement where God knows the deeds and thoughts of our hearts rather than man constantly judging with surface actions. Doing the "right" thing for the "wrong" reason is just as sinful as--well--SIN!"

Well, judgement is also in scripture for us to use wisdom and discernment in dealing with problems. It does not always denote the "ultimate judgement".

Here are a few examples:

1Corinthians 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

John 7
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”


"Would some of you be happy if I stated your position without religious candles on the cake:

"Let's beat up on all the Queers!"

So, anyone who disagrees with your exegesis is automatically in the Fred Phelps camp?

Like I mentioned earlier, I have worked with Love Won Out and other cross over ministries. If I believed the above ridiculous position, then I would most certainly not be a good fit to support those who are trying to come out of the lifestyle because you have to have a heart of love and compassion for them.

Same with me. When I am in willful continual sinful lifestyle, I hope someone loves me enough to be concerned for my eternal life. After all, what does being Born Again mean if we are never transformed spiritually?

Lydia said...

Part 2

"We have the right to judge everybody every day and kick out the Infadels!"

So now you are trying to map our biblical interpretations with the Koran?

I have asked what you think Paul was teaching in 1 Corin 5 but you seem to want to ignore it.

"We can keep the Baptist Church pure by making everyone sign onto the new BF&M!"

I have been on the record as being totally against this. I have family members who refused to sign and left the mission field over it.

I would never sign it because I am a woman who has no problem teaching men. And not because I 'feel' that way but because I can make the case biblically.

I do not follow the rules and traditions of men.

"All leaders since 1979 are uttering verbally inspired dictates and they never had a controlling bone in their body!"

I personally believe they are authoritarian and have thrown the Priesthood out the window. I believe they are Nicolaitians and should be in great fear.

"All Christians (especially Baptists) are right and never should worry about being Civil!"

I am not so sure what your definition of 'civil' is. Rick Warren tried to define it as never disagreeing publicly with his brand of PDL gospel-lite. Seems to me you might believe disagreement over interpretations is uncivil.

"Forget about worshiping God in spirit and truth--just turn the physical Bible into a golden idol and bow down despite Jesus saying, 'It is said..., but I say unto you...' AND beat anyone to death with that great big, heavy pulpit Bible who disagrees!"

Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is a club or a history book. It works both ways: For those who want to dumb down sin and pretend there is NO wrath of God and those who are legalists on every secondary non salvic doctrine mentioned.

But sin is 'missing the mark' of God's perfection which is why all of us are sinners. We are to take every thought captive and make it obediant to Jesus Christ.

Which brings us to sinful deeds. If our very thoughts are sinful, and as believers we fight this every day in our corrupted bodies, then what do we make of willful, consistent sinful deeds?

What is salvation if it does not bring spiritual transformation from sinful deeds over the years? What happens if we never grow in Holiness but claim to be saved? Can we afford to teach folks that we can stay in willful consistent sin and be saved?

Salvation is free. It is a gift we can never earn. But where is it said it is an easy broad road?

Let me ask you a question about this passage:

7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things,[d] and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Rev 21

Are you saying the above will be saved if they have continued to live in willful continual sin yet call themselves Christians?

Lydia said...

Gene, Let me assure you this conversation is not about me or my scholarship but about the very nature and holiness of God. I am a depraved sinner saved by grace. I am not of noble birth but a weak member of the Body.

Do we understand how heinous sin is? Perfect Justice was so grieved by our sin, He came to earth and offered Himself as a sacrifice in our place. That is LOVE. That is MERCY. That is HESED.

But, it is not a license to sin or for cheap grace.

Our good works won't save us but if we are not transformed spiritually with godly sorrow for our sins and growing in holiness, we should be afraid for our eternal lives. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Our God is a consuming fire!

I know this is not preached much anymore. It would empty our churches and then the money would not roll in.

Gene S said...

Lydia--

When I say "some of you" it certainly does not include you. You are obviously a thinker with a kind spirit. Others in this discussion don't seem to be quite so kind or thinking.

My basic position is "don't think as I think--just think!" There will never be total agreement among people who think and express their thoughts clearly. That is a Baptist tradition.

However, I could think exactly the opposite of you, but respect your right to believe that which makes sense to you. All I am expressing is that which makes sense to me.

I have serious questions about much traditional Baptist stuff. I have spent most of my life trying to figure out why one could believe in Evolution (for example) yet have no real problems with the accounts in Genesis. Some serious deep reading and thinking actually makes both theories reasonable to me with a "both and" conclusion. This is never accomplished by not doing serious analysis.

As far as I am concerned with you, we are more in agreement than disagreement. I am heppy for you to believe what makes sense to you, but don't add to my words--PLEASE!

Most of what you are saying starts with your restatement of what I said with an added degree of stuff which would cause discord rather than civility. Please don't do that either!

Paul in 1 Cor. 5 is addressing a serious problem with many converts. They walk the isle, get baptized, but do it without changing previous ways which were pagan.

On Halloween we have a clear example. All Hallows Eve was mixed with Pagan spooks and rituals to make a mix which corrupts both. Nowadays many preachers are declaring Haloween evil and sinful. In my view it is just an opportunity for children to have a good time and make fun of those things which terrorize them. I enjoyed it as a child. My children enjoyed it.

As adults, my wife and I have enjoyed giving children an extra punch. For example, one year my wife took the place of the dummy witch sitting on our porch rocker. She dressed in the outfit and brought the witch to life startling those complacent children who had gotten used to the dummy. It was a blast!

Revelation is a strange book which almost did not make the Canon. It was composed by John and not Jesus.

Gene S said...

(cont.)
The passage to which you refer (Rev. 21:7) reflects the corruption going on in the church while claiming to honor Christ. Jesus always stood for honesty and a straight walk when you hit the ground after any ecstatic experience of salvation, baptism, etc.

I believe we must live like Christ if we are to claim his name as "little Christs." No one can be that devinely perfect, but we can try. Through God's grace our shortcomings are forgiven, BUT a part of that forgiveness is the willingness to admit we have sinned.

Today, I'm not sure many of the Conservative Resurgence think they are capable of sin, much less having anything to confess. In Matthew 23, Jesus is pretty clear about the Pharasees of old as well as these "new Pharasees!" We can well be "whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones."

The question I ask is relative to the fact people followed Christ because they saw what faith in flesh became and wanted a part of it. Even the disciples who were fighting over position did not really get it. Those who expected him to bring in the Kingdom of God were reminded that "the Kingdom of God is within you." Many came just to be healed as a miracle and selfish act rather than listen to him saying, "Go and sin no more" after that healing.

Our human nature draws us to a selfish relationship to Christ when he wants us to become servants to all showing humility--to forgive as you have been forgiven.

I fail just like all of us who are mortal. I try my very best not to, but it happens anyway. Despite my best efforts not to be offensive, there are those who would rather debate than agree to disagree and still be brothers and sisters in Christ.

I hope through this response you see me as a brother. I know I see you as a sister. We are all on a journey of faith rather than viewing it as a destination. Each day brings new insights to me. I try my best to convey them to others in word and deed. How I hope you see this today!

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Not dreaming and No longer Quivering:

-----------------------------------
Adventures In Mercy [Molleth] > No Longer Quivering: Carnival Nov. 1-4th.
A blog (and forum) I’ve taken great interest in, since it’s inception, is No Longer Quivering. Here is what can happen when complementarianism goes “hard,” what can happen when you peek behind the pretty pictures of the “Biblical Patriarchy” movement.
...
Consider this your invitation to go enjoy the Carnival at No Longer Quivering. The blog will be full of little (true) stories from wives and daughters who lived through the patriarchy movement, and the forums (where discussion takes place) promise to be hopping, if you are a forum sort of person
.
-----------------------------------
Quivering Duaghters > A Different Perpective: She is No Longer Quivering.
Over a few short months, a mother of seven from Nebraska has made headlines as she abandoned her Quiverfull life, launched a website and message board, inspired a play, and started writing a book based upon her experience. Scheduled to appear on an upcoming episode of the Joy Behar Show, Vyckie Garrison of No Longer Quivering is hosting a fun event November 1-4 designed to foster community and garner awareness of some of the painful aspects of fundamentalism. Featuring around-the-clock, live NLQ chat, this would be an excellent opportunity for any of you with questions or thoughts regarding Vyckie's experience as a Quiverfull mom, or to share your own! Stay for fun activities, games, and lots of cool prizes.

Joe Blackmon said...

It even allows room to contend Jesus blessed the homosexuals--and--by hanging out with 12 men and never marrying a woman, must surely have been one!!!

If you're not ashamed of yourself, you should be. I would think someone as old as you claim to be would know better. I am, as of the time this posts, completely through with you.

If you can't justify what you wrote in your previous comment addressed to me with scripture you should apologize and repent of making such heretical statements.

Gene S said...

Now Joe---

Be Civil!!!

You are the one who justified your position with the verse. It is so open ended it can be used to justify any theory.

I just took it to the extreme to see how you would take it. I do not believe this nor condone it, but someetimes it is interesting to show people how far afield they can go by doing what you did!

Remember--you opened the door!

Gene S said...

Just a link from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution relative to their "Gay Pride" march yesterday and church respose to it:

http://www.ajc.com/news/christian-groups-bring-different-180580.html?cxtype=rss_news_128746

Joe Blackmon said...

Actually, I didn't use that verse to prove that He never said anything about homosexuality. I used it to prove that you don't know whether He said anything about homosexuality. You said "How do you view my observation that Jesus said NOTHING concerning the homosexual who surely existed in his day and he would have met them?" (emphasis mine) You are the one who stated as fact that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. I said that if He didn't it would make sense because His primary audience was the Jews, and even if He didn't speak to it Paul did. What he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was just as authoritative as the gospels thank you very much. All scripture is God breathed. It doesn't say some of it is more God breathed than others.

Gene S said...

Joe--

I place my confidence in the Bible as our guide. I look, first, to the Gospels and Jesus for guidance since Christian literally means "little Christ." I believe Jesus was God Incarnate and, therefore, should be my first point of reference.

If homosexuality is so important---if it was practiced in Jesus' day---it had to be because of Jewish hatred of it---then why did Jesus say NOTHING about it?

Surely, if it were so important we have excluded many churches ministering to homosexuals or giving them a place of worship and fellowship---then why are we following Paul rather than Jesus in this matter?

Is it possible to say, "Jesus didn't consider it that important, but Paul jumped on it with both feet---just as he once jumped on Christians with both feet until God hit him over the head with a blinding light!

Hard-headed and strict people seem to enjoy Paul more than Jesus, in my observations recently. Moreover, they enjoy the OT far more than the Gospels. They use Paul and the OT almost exclusively every Sunday from the pulpit!

I always start with Jesus and look for what is clear by him. I see none with homosexuality. When you can show me a better and more clear passage, I am open to it!

Joe Blackmon said...

What Paul wrote was just as authoritative as anything Jesus said, thank you very much. Again you CANNOT prove that Jesus never said anything about it. But even if He didn't, Paul did. You see, Christians recognize that the Bible is the word of God. It doesn't just "contain" the word of God. Further, Christians recognize that all of scripture is inspired and one cannot say "Well, Paul might have been just stating his own personal opinion." If it's in the Bible, it is by definition true and inspired.

Thank God the line about "the criterion by which scripture is interpreted is Jesus Christ" was taken out of the BFM. That was the liberals favorite line. It allows liberals to say "Well, Jesus was silent about it so Paul couldn't have meant what he said." Thank you for proving the CR was not only necessary but a good thing.

Gene S said...

Joe--old sport,

You have a right to your opinion and I have a right to mine. Let's just agree to disagree and go on.

My clear reading of the Gospels supports what I said. To say any other, you have to take several extra steps with the new BF&M as your sword. I just happen to be one of those Baptists who is age 63and knows what "no creed, but the Bible" means. It is not "liberal," just honest!

Creeds--and the new one you support--have made us so offensive many new churches are taking Baptist out of the church name. We now have to admit growth is flat along with giving. Why?

So is your "new way" producing good results or just another fist fight?

I have no gripe with you. If you are happy, then BE HAPPY! Be so attractive in your smile and love that a gay person would be drawn to your love and forgiveness along with your "joy of salvation."

That is what made the believers a power this world could not resist, despite Paul trying to kill us! I find a fanatic often stays a fanatic ever after he has signed on to love, forgiveness, peace that passes understanding.

I wish all this to you with my prayer: "Dear God--please make all bad people good AND all good people nice!"

Christiane said...

I was thinking that NOTHING written by St. Paul can every be properly understood without seeing it THROUGH THE LENS OF JESUS CHRIST.

Unless Christ is the center, you might end up with a philosophy of 'Christianity' that teaches something like this:

"“Many passages of scripture show that the preaching of the Gospel is inherently negative.”

And what follows a person buying into this philosophy is revealed in their great condemnation, contempt, and dirision of those they do not agree with. Verbal and spiritual abuse is 'excused' by these individuals for 'the sake of the salvation of others'. At times, the victim may recognize that the abuser is using 'crazy talk'.

The kindest reaction I have ever seen to the behavior of an abuser was shown in an interview, where the person who had been the object of that abuse said simply this:
'We can understand that some people behave the way that they do because they are not feeling very well.' Very gracious. No condemnation. Only compassion and sympathy for the one who is troubled.

Caritas Christi

Darby Livingston said...

"I place my confidence in the Bible as our guide. I look, first, to the Gospels and Jesus for guidance since Christian literally means "little Christ." I believe Jesus was God Incarnate and, therefore, should be my first point of reference."

That's a problem because the gospels are not the highest form of God's revelation. The New Testament letters are because they express God's ultimate purpose for everything. The Bible is organic, starting as a seed and ending as an adult. The gospels record a time in the history of redemption when the tree was maybe "adolescent," rather than fully mature.

Joe Blackmon said...

Darby, Darby, Darby,

If Jesus didn't say it, that settles it. That's what they teach you at Emory. Well, that's the word on the street about what they teach there, anyway.

Gene S said...

Joe---you are being uncivil again!!!

Gene S said...

Cristiane--

'We can understand that some people behave the way that they do because they are not feeling very well.'

What a nice way to be civil! We need more of it.

Darby--

I fail to see the Bible as you do. If we see Christ as God Incarnate, it seems logical to view the Gospels as the mountain top. The OT looks forward to the Messiah. The rest of the NT attempts to correct the corruptions and distortions creeping into the believers as individuals and groups.

No matter what, Christian History shows clearly that many "writings" were in circulation to the point there was confusion. The Council of Nicea formulated their Creed and then decided what "writings" would be accepted into the Canon as long as they agreed with the Creed.

In other words, it was a good Baptist meeting where the majority vote ruled. God help us if there was politicing and name calling as in recent SBC meetings since 1979!

If you try to make the Bible into an "Inerrant-all-parts-equal" thing, you miss the complex nature of the Canon. Canon means "measuring stick," I hope you know! It's whole purpose is to reveal God's relationship to man and keep man from distorting it into anything he wants.

My background is Psychology plus Theology. Psychology talks of every personality having an Ego which wants to be king. To protect the king are knights known as "defense mechanisms." They allow the mind to work things around so that the person is always right.

One of these is "rationalization." In other words, if making the Bible into a thing which is perfect, (like an idol is perfect) is inconsistent with an honest reading of the Nestle Greek Text and its many "variant texts," then claim the Original Autographs are perfect.

Only one problem: we have NO Original Autographs. Now one can claim an Inerrant position, but it does not address the reality of variant texts and man's transition of the parchments having a human element and some flaws.

I am simply trying to be honest and relevant from a position of having been raised a traditional Baptist, BUT one with brains and the willingness to admit when things are not as perfect as some contend! These theological differences and arguments have been with us since the first gathering of believers.

Where Matthew conveys it one way, Mark, Luke, and John convey it in similar ways. However, they are not totally identical. If you have a copy of Gospel Parallels which puts the Gospels side by side, you will understand what I mean.

I just don't buy the "tree" idea. My view, for better or worse, is that of a mountain trail with Christ and the Gospels at the top. From that vantage point a lot of things make more sense to me. A consistency arrives which the "verbal inspiration theory" does not address.

Remember: it is a THEORY which the recent BF&M has turned into a doctrine. We have traditionally walked quikly away from a creedal approach to our Baptist way.

Creeds produce incessant argument. A belief in the lordship of Jesus, the Christ, should allow and encourage us to walk together as brothers and sisters in the Faith.

Christiane said...

Hi DARBY,

You wrote this: "That's a problem because the gospels are not the highest form of God's revelation. The New Testament letters are because they express God's ultimate purpose for everything. The Bible is organic, starting as a seed and ending as an adult. The gospels record a time in the history of redemption when the tree was maybe "adolescent," rather than fully mature."

What religion teaches this?

Darby Livingston said...

L's. and Gene,

It's called the redemptive-historical method of interpretation. It was popularized by Geerhardus Vos at Princeton around the turn of the 19th century. There are many proponents today. Let's not forget that the gospels were written as biographies by New Covenant believers associated with the apostles. Nowhere do they claim for themselves to be the apex of revelation. It's dangerous to our faith to place the gospels in priority over the rest of the NT, for I hope obvious reasons.

Christiane said...

Thank you, Darby

I found some info about it under 'Dispensationalism', but could find no record of anything prior to the 1830's.

Thanks again.

Caritas,
L's

Christiane said...

Hello GENE:

That comment, about 'not feeling very well' was a kind euphemism for 'perhaps experiencing emotional disturbance' (or worse), and also, as those of my faith might say, 'all is not well with in his soul'.

Still, I thought it a most compassionate treatment of an abuser who, in most cases, would likely receive harsh condemnation from victims with less spiritual strength.

Gene S said...

Darby--

Many theories are meant to support the presuppositions of the one writing them.

For me--I believe in Jesus as God Incarnate. If he said it, we better do our best to do it and trust his intercession with God, the Father, as we stand in judgement.

Why would anyone think the OT or NT writings outside the Gospels are equally important?

If we confess Christ as Saviour, I would think that is what counts most. Even the disciples had their issues and fell short. They were quite human fussing and fighting over who would be first!

Don't even mention a fanatic like Paul who had to be struck down by a blinding light to get his ego and fanaticism under control. He reminds me of my Grandpa's old mule which was a "2--2X4" animal! Grandaddy said it takes 2 boards broken over his head to straighten that hard-headed animal out: 1 to get his attention and another to get the message across.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"That's a problem because the gospels are not the highest form of God's revelation."

i wonder if folks would better understand the R-H method better if we did not use language which ranks biblical books, passages, speakers, writers, testaments, etc as being "high" or "low" in their importance (this is done a lot btw) but rather simply acknowledge that different books and genres had different purposes at different times, as do their purposes vary today. Additionally it is helpful to know that Jesus, the man did not address every issue that he could have addressed in His almost 3 year ministry, and even all that He addressed did not get recorded for the canon of Scripture. Did He purposely leave some things to Paul? Or was Paul's purpose different than that of our Lord's ministry. Better yet is my ministry, or Wade's ministry, or Joe's or Darby's or L's, or Gene's ministries different from that of our Lord's or Paul's? And as such would it not make since that the Lord would place certain parts of Scripture on the hearts of each of us for different purposes?

The real issue here is understanding Scripture in light of who is was originally written to. If Jesus tells His 12 something in earshot of the crowd, and Paul writes something to an established church which at first glance seems contradictory, then we can only say "glance again." Paul's words trump the Words of Christ only so far as the situation is the same (or different depending on how you read that). Applicability can get lost if we go to the Bible to solve our problems instead of solving our problems having GONE to the Bible daily. Christ is still telling the story of redemption through His Church. He gave us stories, now WE are the story. May we all be good characters.

(Sorry I could not help but chime in here.)

Btw, my hero R.C. Sproul is a fan of Voss's R-H method. May we all look for the "Big Picture" in the story of redemption and stop making careers out of what Francis Schaeffer called "the particulars."


K

Darby Livingston said...

Good job, Kevin.

Darby Livingston said...

"Don't even mention a fanatic like Paul who had to be struck down by a blinding light to get his ego and fanaticism under control."

I hope this is a joke, because what happened to Paul has happened to every believer in one fashion or another. There is no one any less stubborn than Paul.

Gene S said...

Kevin--

Thanks for the wise input.

The only exception I would take is that NOHING trumps the word of Christ, in my opinion. It is the first point of reference.

Next, the actions of Christ give a wider point of reference even than his words.

Between the 2 we have about all the guide / Canon / measuring rod we need. If we cannot find a word or action from Christ, then it is time to call in the present Holy Spirit for a word in our day.

I find a good application of the above to keep me from getting into too much trouble these days as far a being true to Christ.

I also found it got me into a lot of trouble trying to serve Baptist churches in NC, SC, and GA. It seems they wanted to hear what pleased them rather than to take some clear words from the Bible along with me trying to reflect Christ in my actions.

I got fired by 2! But--I didn't get crucified. I did nothing to get me in trouble with the law. Which begs the question:

If you always won the approval of the crowd, did you tell them what they wanted to hear OR did you tell them what the Bible said???

Not many of Jesus' followers who stood up and witnessed got by without going to jail!

Christiane said...

If there is 'controversy' about the supremacy of Paul over Jesus, we can look into the Holy Writings to find what Paul has said:

"9Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father." (Phillipians, Chapt. 2)

So, now. Everyone may be peaceful. If your master was Paul and you honored him above Jesus, then by Paul's own words, he bends his knee to the Christ.

And if your master was Christ, you may continue to say 'Christ the Lord' as you have done before.

The controversy does not exist in the Holy Writings. The Lord God Incarnate is the focal point of all Creation: the Alpha and the Omega. Paul is His creature, not His 'replacement'. Even Paul testifies that his Lord is Christ, and no other.

Caritas,
L's

Joe Blackmon said...

Why would anyone think the OT or NT writings outside the Gospels are equally important?

Gee, it might have something to do with this little verse which says "ALL Scripture is God breathed". Sorry, but your attempts to make some scripture more equal than others are really quite pathetic. Christians recognize that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,"

Gene S said...

Joe--

I'm really not surprised at the comment.

Do you realize the the Greek word graphe means "writing?"

Do you also realize that this was pre-Council-of-Nicea when many extra-canonical books were included in "graphe?"

If you are to be honest, that verse refers to the Gnostic Gospels as well as what is included in our Canon.

Man, a good basic theological education should have covered these subjects so that I don't have to point it out to you.

Even if you watch the Discovery Channel or History Channel, these days, you have a chance to be made aware of the wider things of theology and Bible study.

I'm trying to be civil, but duh!!!

Darby Livingston said...

Gene,

I don't know if you even realize how far out your writing is, but your views on Scripture are so convoluted I can't believe you believe in anything. Reading you is like reading Dan Brown, but at least he makes millions off his heresies.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gene,

Verse 15 does in my opinion clarify which writings Paul was referring to. The Greek is heira grammata (holy writings, or Holy Scripture--just as acceptable to translate.) These Holy Writings (OT and a few NT books used by the young church were not in question--at least in Paul's mind to young Timothy.

I am not defending Joe's post, just offering some perspective.

1J3:16 is not saying that all Scripture is equally valuable to all circumstances. in fact it says just the opposite. It also tells (the verse’s main point) that there is not one verse in Scripture which is not useful for some particular purpose.

For instance, Hebrew 11 is prolly not the best place to start when teaching a child or new believer about faith (unless they have a good understanding of the Old Testament stories. Maybe try taking them straight to the stories themselves and teach them faith.

Point is, how many time have you heard a person quote Heb. 11:1 when the question is: What is faith? When in reality, that verse is to me one of the most obscure in Scripture. But, get a group of theologians in a conference on faith and tear that verse apart and come out glorifying the God of all faith!!! All Scripture is indeed profitable, but use it poorly and you will end up spiritually bankrupt.

Gene S said...

Darby--

Read, again, the title of this discussion: Be Civil!

You can judge all you want, but, like a good Conservative Republican, when you run out of the ability to present a rational explainagion----start calling names!!!

Get in this discussion by being civil or remain silent!!!

By the way, Dan Brown presents some good stuff based on reality of many "writings" which were excluded at the Council of Nicea. It's not a simple as you might think and a good education would expose you to this!

Watch the History Channel and Discovery Channel if you want to have your horizons of theology broadened. Then---it's up to you where you land.

Just don't land in "stupid land."

If I were not trying to be civil, I would call you some names you don't want to hear. Show some respect---PLEASE!!!!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gene,

I may not agree with a few things you write, but I must say I enjoy reading you. You are intelligent, informed and seldom shoot from the hip. I believe infact you hold a higher view of God's Word than many a would be theologians in blogoland. I really thaink you care deeply that people "get it."

200 years of Christendom has taken us 2 steps back. May we return to the purity and piety and purpose of the Reformation.

Solus Christus,

K

Darby Livingston said...

"You can judge all you want, but, like a good Conservative Republican, when you run out of the ability to present a rational explainagion----start calling names!!!"

You can't see the irony in your chastising me for name calling by calling me a name?

All I did was remind you of how far from orthodoxy you have strayed and you accuse me of reverting to name calling.

You keep telling Christians to be civil while attacking a foundational tenet of Christianity and the educational level of those who disagree with you. The History Channel? Are you serious? You seem to think you alone are the arbiter of civility. How is threatening to call names any more civil than actually calling the names. You've let everyone know that you want to call me names. So why not just call me the names already and get it over with?

Gene S said...

Kevin--

Thanks for the compliment. You are right that I value God's Word and try to understand and live it each day.

I run a Tree Surgery business in this failed economy. If you pay your help before you pay yourself, even though it hurts, you pass the test of honesty.

What really troubles me is that my customers and workers are more honest with me about their faith issues then when I was an official minister dressed in a suit and having a Bible in front of me on the pulpit each Sunday!

Does that tell anyone something about religion today--especially in Baptist circles???

Gene S said...

Darby--

I refuse to enter a name calling contest.

I value you as a believer. I give you the right to see things as they make sense to you.

Just don't expect me to give you anything but the best honesty and faith I have from 63 years of being a Peacher's Kid and about 10 less as a child who walked the aisle and did not leave it as that.

My preacher father valued the baptizing of the mind as well as body---so do I!!!

Christiane said...

In the matter of hierarchy or priority of the 'words' of Holy Scripture and of the Eternal Living Word, there is this to remember:

from St. John, Chapt. 6

". . . Jesus asked the twelve,
‘Do you also wish to go away?’
68 Simon Peter answered Him,
‘Lord, to whom can we go?
You have the words of eternal life. "

The Words of Christ are 'spirit and life'. We are taught that man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The words of St. Paul are inspired by God, this is true.
But the Words of Lord Christ ARE the Words of God.

Do not raise the words of the creature to the same honor as the Words of his Creator.
To do so give the impression of being blasphemous and idolatrous.

People may manipulate the words of St. Paul much more freely than they can twist the Words of Christ.
There is something about the Words of the Lord Christ that carry within them that which will not be profaned.

Gene S said...

L's -- Wow!!!

Those who try and say women should keep quiet and be submissive to men have not dented you or put you to the side. You make such good sense in this somewhat caustic discussion!

The reason many these days are trying to control and submit women is they know how influential and caring women are.

I have a good female friend who was pastoring a neighboring church (OH NO --not an ordained woman!!!) When my small country church just down the road from hers had a terrible scandal break out (teen girl / grown man / both prominent families in small church), I was thinking it was time for church discipline--if necessary, boot them both out.

I called her to share the horror and asked her opinion. She advised some patience and love to see if there was any remorse or correction with the sinful couple. We were about to have a killing (literally because the girl's father had a gun and was riding the roads).

I backed off. We ministered to one another (girl's mother having nervous break down trying to kill herself several times). On top of everything else there was kinship involved with several families.

A good ending resulted: some 15 years later there has been much forgiveness and restoration. There are times when the harsh and firm Paul advice is more wisely tempered with some Jesus love and forgiveness.

I publicly thank my female pastor friend for her calming influence on me!! She was wise and is a hospital chaplain now.

Joe Blackmon said...

I am ashamed of myself that I continued to post on this thread. Guess I should read and contemplate the whole "pearls before swine" thing in Matthew. If that sounded uncivil, it's not as uncivil as I'd be willing to be.