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

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Great Article by Fob James on Christian Authority

One of the delights of Internet writing is making new friends who have so much to contribute to the people of Christ. One such new friend is Fob James. Fob is a semi-retired lawyer from Alabama. He wrote to me after my last post on the problem of authoritarianism in the church and told how he had become interested some years ago in how theologians routinely change the vernacular of scripture, creating theologies based on personal inferences. The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:13 writes, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual."  Fob pointed out to me that attorneys change legal vernacular all the time to promote personal agendas and he believes theologians are no more prone to be honest with scriptural language than lawyers are with legal language. Fob is the son of a two-term Alabama Governor and has written various "pro bono" briefs for his father in the seventies and then again in the nineties, concentrating on church-state cases.  You may reach Fob at fob@email12.info if you have questions about the following guest article. Fob has written for my readers a few of the things Fob and his wife have discovered about so called Christian "authority" over the last few years. For those of you who emailed me and said that you are facing difficult struggles in churches where men are alleging to have "authority" over you, I urge you to read the following article by Fob James and if you have further questions, drop him an email. He has done some excellent work on the subject of authority, showing how real authority flows from the gospel, and how the unbliblical and worldly concept of authority as "power and control" has come to dominate Christian leadership. Read on...
_______________


"In the New Covenant scriptures, only the apostle Paul speaks of "authority" (exousia) in the context of leadership in the churches.  The most descriptive words he uses to describe that "authority," which he (and others) exercise with tenderness and tears and sometimes toughness, are  "authority in the gospel" (1 Cor. 9:18) and "authority given... [by the Lord]...for edification and not destruction." (2 Cor. 10:8, 13:10)  The words "authority in the church" or their equivalent cannot be found in scripture. 

In fact, "church" (ekklesia) and "authority" (exousia) never even appear in juxtaposition in the scriptures.  The word "authority" (exousia) is never mentioned in regard to elders, pastors, deacons, prophets, local churches, or even any apostles, except for Paul himself and those who labored with him in the gospel. Not even Peter is said to have had "authority," even though Peter clearly had authority in the gospel in fact.  "Keys" and "Open Doors" for instance signify authority.

The word "authority" (exousia) is mentioned in the Revelation of John, when "overcomers" in the church of Thyatira will be given "authority over the nations," at the judgment of the world, to rule them with a "rod of iron."  (Rev. 2:26)  Evidently a lot of people for a long time have wanted to get a head start on their potential reward at the end of days, and rule not the world, but the church, with a" rod of iron" until the end comes.


The common lingo of today (and almost the last 2000 years) such as  "church authority" or "church government" would sound weird to the writers of the New Testament.  I think this lingo also grieves the Holy Spirit, because it isn't His words.  It is clear that the Holy Spirit backs up those who have authority "in the gospel."  No church membership covenant or the like can substitute for the real authority that comes from the Holy Spirit.  Many who actually do the work of the Lord today do not have titles.  But they do have authority in the gospel.  And by the way, we all have been given a gospel commission - it can be found it in Matthew 28. Another one, especially meaningful, is found in 1 Cor. 15:58, which reads, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

The biggest eye-opener to me on "authority" came when I was noticing Paul's constant language about things "in the Lord."   "In the Lord?"  I went to a bible website called "Blue Letter Bible" and read every occurrence of the words "In the Lord" (or equivalents such as In Him, In Christ, In Whom, In God, In Jesus, etc.) in scripture.  There are over 250 instances of these terms.  In contrast, there are about a dozen instances of "in the church."  I do not detract from the importance of "in the church," but point out that "in the church" has been extensively used by American "theologians" (of almost every evangelical stripe) to the exclusion of the words actually chosen by the Holy Spirit for a lot of things believers should do.  For instance, do the scriptures talk about "receiving one another," that is, other believers, "in the church" or "in the Lord?"  Look it up.  Go further and read all 250+ occurrences of "in the Lord" and its equivalents (In Him, In Christ, In Whom, In God, In Jesus), and see what it does in your heart.  See what it does to your fear of man.  See what it does for your understanding of "authority" and every group out there that requires you to promise to submit to their "authority" in order to be allowed into the "group."

The scriptures teach mutual submission among believers, and a proper respect, indeed an esteem, for true leadership/eldership as exemplified by Paul and the other writers of the scriptures.  The scriptures do not teach a "covenant of submission" to anyone.  You submit as warranted by scripture, you do not make a vow or covenant to submit to man. 

There is a lot more to say on this.  Suffice it for now:  the Galatian error remains with us.  Supplemental covenants to recognize "church authority" or "make a radical commitment to the local church," etc., are everywhere in America, among just about every group.  These supplemental covenants are the true "foundations" of many turf-driven works of the flesh.  The end result is that they substitute a work of the flesh for that of the Spirit.  The ecclesiological "commitment" (paratithemi) that scripture actually teaches is a commitment to the scriptures themselves, which is a commitment to the gospel.  The gospel is essentially that Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures.  It is the New Covenant in His body and blood alone that the Holy Spirit honors.  This is the Covenant the Lord told us to remember and proclaim until He comes again.  So, next time someone says that you need an extra authority-covenant, or extra unity-commitment, or the like, to be fully admitted to "their" fellowship, don't fall for it.  If they press you, you might also consider telling them this.  IT IS FINISHED."

41 comments:

greg.w.h said...

I wonder if our preoccupation with appearances leads to a desire for control that results in authoritarianism?

It reminds me of some other men mentioned in the NT. I realize that to Jewish ears complaints about rabbinical traditions sound anti-Semitic, but this hedging of God's instruction is precisely what Jesus complained to the religious leaders of that day about.

And he didn't just complain: he sharpened the point with them over and over. Brood of vipers. Fleeing the wrath that is to come. Burdening the people with crushing weights and being unwilling to even lift a finger to help them. You got the feeling that Jesus was coming to redeem the world from Satan, but to redeem his own people from their blind guides (as he put it.)

That is NOT to say that our pastors generally have the same set of faults. But Jesus's opposition to those leaders should provide a strong bulwark of caution of letting those kinds of trends emerge in the visible portion of the invisible Kingdom.

Greg Harvey

P.S. If there is a cure for the problem, it seems to me it is found in Solomon's pleasing (to God) prayer for wisdom instead of riches or fame or celebrity.

Anonymous said...

I believe I agree with almost all of what this brother has written and agree that many ideas of "authority" are completely unbiblical. I would point out that the idea of "church authority" stems from Jesus and not Paul. His command regarding the progression of dealing with differences (Matt 18:15-17) culminates in "tell it to the church." If there is a refusal to listen to the (voice) of the church then the person is to be regarded as one who is unconverted. I do not take this absolutely for many different reasons,however, I think it does establish the congregation as having a position of responsible authority in relation to individual members. I also believe that "obey your leaders and submit to them" from Hebrews 13:17 suggests something more than "mutual submission" and is not limited to the Apostles. It is limited by many other texts, but not eradicated. I am not a defender of authority abused or misappropriated, but do believe it is important to uphold the Biblical balance.

Scotty

Kristen said...

Regarding Hebrews 13:17, there are some interesting translation issues in this passage. First of all, the word translated “obey” is not the word that generally means “obey” in the original Greek. The word that means “obey” is “hypakouo.” This word in Hebrews 13:17 is “peitho,” which actually means to trust, listen to or be persuaded by. “Have the rule over you” (KJV) is also a problematic translation. It is the noun form of a verb which is usually translated “to consider.” As a noun, it conveys not so much a sense of rule or authority, as leadership by example. Hebrews 13:7 confirms this: using the same word, “hegaomei,” this verse counsels the readers to follow the faith of their leaders; it does not say to follow the leaders themselves. In Philippians 3:17 we see the same idea, as Paul encourages his readers to follow his example— and in 1 Cor. 3:4 he discourages them from following himself or Apollos, telling them that Paul and Apollos are nothing and that they should follow God.

Kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wanda (Deb) Martin said...

Wade,

I just checked John Zen's blog, and he is commenting on some interesting information he found on the Desiring God website:

The Body With One Part?

Posted on January 27, 2012 by Jon Zens

In answer to the question, “Why don’t women ever read or pray in Bethlehem’s church services?” John Piper answered in part:

But the real question, I think, they’re asking is about the prayers of praise, the reading of the text, and the preaching, and none of those the women do at Bethlehem. And that is intentional.

My reason is because—not that others have to see it this way—I view that moment and that place in the worship service as one of pastoral authority. The pulpit stands there symbolizing the word of God preached, and that’s what the elders are responsible to do. The reading of the text is part of that. And the offering up of the prayers of the congregation in an official, formal, representative capacity at the front is pastoral.

If you switched it all around and you said, “I don’t want to view any of it that way,” then the principles wouldn’t apply in the way that we’re applying them. But in my sense, a woman is that moment acting like a pastor or elder, and that’s what we don’t think is appropriate.

It’s a pretty small, little place at Bethlehem. The pulpit is there, and those three things—the prayer of praise, the reading of the Scripture, and the preaching of the sermon—is a very, very small part of the life of this church. It’s big and important. But time-wise and ministry-wise it is a small thing. (Why don’t women ever read or pray in Bethlehem’s church services? by John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org)


That is incredible! John Piper and Tim Challies are cut from the same cloth. Heaven forbid that a woman would infringe on their 'pastoral authority'.

Martin Kids said...

That is a great guest post.

It is interesting that we are seeing this same type of libertarian mindset grow outside of the church as well. The idea that voluntary agreements are the only true valid agreements is once again becoming popular.

There is a church about 3 hours away from me. They have always based their philosophy on this principle. It is amazing to see how strong they are ten years later, especially considering the shift in theology that they have made as they independently study and contribute. No one is forced to go along. Instead they are encouraged to study and to allow the truth to persuade instead of threatening one with "the authority."

In the long run this actually makes a local congregation stronger and brings them closer as opposed to unity through fear and ignorance.

Thanks for a very encouraging post.
Micah

Off The Cuff said...

Bro. Wade,

As you know, many SBC entities require submission to the BF&M 2000 before you can be an employee or serve on a board or committee. Is not the BF&M being used in much the same way as covenants are sometimes used in churches? Is this not also an authoritian tactic?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Scotty: The cases we are speaking of are not unrepentant sinners. One was very repentant, coming to the church with his sin because he was so repentant beginning with the moment that it happened. Yet, he was subjected to an attempt to force sign a confession with unreasonable wording, his sin was posted on Facebook to certain members of the church, etc.

The other case that has been brought out is a grandmother who is also a mother who did nothing as far as I can read. Yet, she was a victim of separation from her daughter and now grandchild.

These are just some of the abuses of authority. It is no different than the Fundamentalists used to use. In fact it is somewhat worse. There is church discipline and then there is controlling the congregation with unjust rules. It is something that can mentally and spiritually ruin a person for a lifetime. It is like an abusive husband who attempts to read the mileage meter in the car to make sure his wife is not cheating on him or isolating the wife from the family so he can completely control her.Keeping her prisoner. No difference.

Anonymous said...

Great article.

Some of the comments brought a sadness to my heart.

Maybe if we got to subtract a point of authority from each authoritarian each time an authoritarian used it to deny others the problem would be solved.

Anonymous said...

Kristen, I think you are wrong about the Greek and the word is used elsewhere in exactly the same sense - obey. I am not suggesting this is a validation of abuse - only that there is a balance in Scripture that I thought might not have been fully presented in the otherwise excellent post.

Debbie,

I agree with you. I tried (and think I succeeded) to make it clear that I was not disputing the evil of abused authority and I am very disappointed that you read that into what I said.

I did not comment on any case in particular and only presented Scripture which points to the reality of authority in the church - without any discussion of how far or in which direction.

Scotty

Kristen said...

Anonymous said:
"Kristen, I think you are wrong about the Greek and the word is used elsewhere in exactly the same sense - obey. I am not suggesting this is a validation of abuse - only that there is a balance in Scripture that I thought might not have been fully presented in the otherwise excellent post."

Quoting from Vine's Expository Dictionary, at the entry for "Obey", with "peitho" as the second verb: "Peitho: to persuade, to win over; in the Passive and Middle Voices, to be persuaded, to listen to, to obey. . . The obedience suggested is not by submission to authority, but resulting from persuasion." Emphasis added.

The word is used in Acts 5:36: "Some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. . . and all who followed ("peitho" - other translations: "obeyed") were dispersed." Clearly the meaning here is to follow because of being persuaded of his cause, not to say that this man was in a position of authority.

In Romans 2:8 it is used of those who "obey the truth" or "obey unrighteousness." This is not talking about obedience to people in positions of authority either-- the idea is to follow truth or unrighteousness because of the persuasion of one's mind. Gal. 5:7 uses the same word, again for "obeying" the truth-- not "obeying" someone in authority.

In James 3:3 it is used of horses "obeying" after a bit has been put in their mouths. The purpose of a bit is to "persuade" a horse to obey. The idea is not being conveyed that horses obey because they recognize their rider's position of authority-- it's because the bit persuades them.

These are the verses Vine's mentions where the word "peitho" is used, besides Hebrews 13:17. If you can give me examples of where it is clearly being used to mean obeying someone because they're in a position of authority, show me the place, please. "Hupakouo" is the Greek word that means "obey someone in a position of authority." It is used of slaves obeying their masters and children their parents, for instance. "Peitho" is not used in those contexts.

A. Amos Love said...

Kristen

I appreciate your take on Heb 13:17, and "Obey."

The very next verse uses the Greek "Peitho."
And it is translated "Trust."

Heb 13:17
"Obey" (Peitho) them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
18 Pray for us: for we "trust" (Peitho) we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

Here's how Peitho is used in the KJV...

KJV - persuade 22, trust 8, obey 7, have confidence 6, believe 3, be confident 2,

Be Blessed...


e blessed

Rex Ray said...

Off The Cuff,
It seems no one wants to answer your question: “Is not the BF&M being used in much the same way as covenants are sometimes used in churches?”

“Being used” is the key between the 1963 and the 2000 BF&M.

Leon McBeth, distinguished professor of church history at SWBTS said:

"Baptists have always been a confessional people and not a creedal people. A creed excludes, and a confession includes. A creed tells you what you must believe, and a confession affirms what you do believe."

A confession finds common ground; a creed forces agreement as shown by the firing of many missionaries for NOT signing the 2000 BF&M.

On 2-11-02, former ‘Foreign Mission Board President, R. Keith Parks wrote the Baptist Standard:

“IMB President Jerry Rankin has precipitated an agonizing choice for many missionaries: Give up their historic Baptist convictions that "we have no creed but the Bible" or give up their calling.

Veteran missionaries who have been on the field for years "signed on" with the IMB under different requirements. They voluntarily expressed their theological beliefs but were not forced to sign a man-made creed. Their beliefs have not changed, the rules have!

A confession becomes a creed when others determine the beliefs one is forced to sign.

It has never been clearer that the fundamentalist leaders have changed the very nature of the SBC. Our charter states that the "purpose of the SBC is to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of Southern Baptists for the propagation of the gospel at home and abroad." Fundamentalist leaders’ highest priority is not missions. It is doctrinal conformity.

We must not lose the very heart of the gospel and the distinctive missions’ commitment of our heritage. We must find a way to be true to both. The IMB no longer provides that option.”

Rex Ray said...

Fob James said, “Keys” and “Open Doors” for instance signify authority.”

“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!” (Matthew 16: 19 Living)

What are the “keys” of heaven? The GOSPEL is the “keys”!

Jesus gave Peter the Gospel.

Rejection of the Gospel locks doors on earth and heaven; acceptance of the Gospel opens doors on earth and heaven.

In four verses later, what authority did Peter have sitting in the corner with a duce cap after Jesus called him Satin?

Off The Cuff said...

Mr. Ray,

Thank you for your sholarly response. Mr. Parks is one of my "heroes" of the faith. Even though the preamble of the BF&M 2000 states:

"(4) That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.

(5) That they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life."

it seems that many have chosen to ignore this directive.

Christiane said...

FOB JAMES writes this, ""Keys" and "Open Doors" for instance signify authority."

The wording about 'keys' in sacred Scripture does imply a special authority, yes. The variance in the 'interpretation' of those scriptures has led to much division.

But are there any areas of agreement?
Yes, I think there may be.

The liturgy of Advent from the Sarum 'O' Antiphons speaks of longing for the coming of Christ, this:

"O Key of David,
and scepter of the house of Israel; youreveal and do not hide;
you close and do not open:
come and deliver us from the chains of our prisons, we who sit in darkness
and without life.."

So, down through the centuries Christ is recalled to mind as the 'Key of David' at the time of preparation for the Christmas celebration.

And what of the Scriptures themselves, if you search among them?
Examine the two that follow and note the connection between them:

"Isaias 22:22
And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open.

Isaias 9:6
For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace."

So, yes, all Christian people acknowledge Our Lord as 'Clavis David', the Key of David.

What is not agreed upon is the nature of 'authority' as it now stands in the Church.
Is there, as some say, the sacred Scriptures alone?
Or as others say, a living voice of authority in the ekklesia?

And if there is 'authority' among those who do only see Scripture as authoritative, and reject the living voice of the Church,
then how is their concept of 'authority' treated?
Perhaps this is the 'area' that this present post addresses more specifically.

Rex Ray said...

Off The Cuff,
Yes, I agree the 2000 says our faith and practice comes from the Bible, but ‘they’ don’t practice what they preach.

Why don’t they say the Bible is our doctrinal guideline instead of writing in our SS material:

“The 2000 statement of the Baptists Faith and Message is our doctrinal guideline.”

In my opinion, a “doctrinal guideline” to explain the Bible takes priority over the Bible.

Wow! To write something ‘higher’ than God’s Word would require wheel barrows to carry their egos.

Another example of making opposing statements in their man-made-paper by 15 friends of Paige Patterson:

1, “Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches.”

2. “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

Right or wrong, #2 is a confession of faith that was “imposed” by a “religious authority” (IMB) upon missionaries. It is also imposed on anyone seeking employment with any department of the SBC. (Isn’t that right, Wade?}

They may argue: ‘Oh, individuals are NOT churches’. But any Christian is in the CHURCH that Jesus built.

Anonymous said...

I think St. Paul got a pretty good explanation of just how close the bond is between Christ and His Church,
when Our Lord appeared to him and asked, this:

"Saul, Saul,
why persecutest thou Me?"

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,
So you’re saying anytime anyone persecutes a Christian, they are persecuting Jesus.

I’ve never thought of that.

That will preach. Well said.

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
Ah! Once again you bring the depth of Scriptures from other writings.

Yes, “Key of David” is Jesus!

So when Jesus told Peter, ““I will give you the keys of the Kingdom…” Jesus implies ‘I will give you me’ and my authority will be “Open Doors”.

Glory!

Off The Cuff said...

Christine,
If there is a living voice of authority,I believe it should compliment, not contridict the authority of scripture. Perhaps that living authority is the authority of the individual to govern one's self. In Doctrinal language that would be "the priesthood of the believer". Agree?

Rex Ray said...

Off The Cuff,
Sorry for butting in. [(I’m really not. :)]

Have you forgotten the ‘powers that be’ (2000 BF&M) changed ‘priesthood of the believer’ in the 1963 BF&M to ‘priesthood of the believers’?

What did adding ‘S’ do to our priesthood?

It is just as Al Mohler, president of Southeastern Baptist Seminary, said that without the ‘S’, priesthood gave too much freedom to the individual.

No longer (in my opinion) that means an individual can be guided just by the Holy Spirit but by the ‘group’.

That means whatever the majority says, you must go along.

(Wade found that out when he became part of the IMB.)

Rex Ray said...

On the subject of abuse of authority, is the authority of our President above the Law and the Constitution?

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/georgia.asp

Obama was subpoenaed for a court hearing on January 26, 2012 by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

The complaint said Obama was not eligible to be President because a 1875 Supreme Court ruled a “natural born citizen” had to have both parents U.S. citizens. Obama’s father is not a U.S. citizen.

Our Constitution states our President must be a “natural born citizen” and NOT just a citizen.

Obama did not attend the hearing that took place without him.

Off The Cuff said...

Mr. Ray,

You are not butting in at all.
I think you and I are definitely on the same page.

I did not forget about the "s" on the end of believer. I simply choose Hershell Hobbs rendering over that of Al Mohler's.:)

"Saying it's so doesn't make is so"

Off The Cuff said...

Mr. Ray,

In one regard our U.S. constitution is similiar to a church constitution, it only works when people are willing to stand up and defend it.

Kristen said...

Rex Ray:

Snopes points out that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution says that any born in the US is a natural-born citizen. The rule you are citing applies only to persons born outside the US.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/citizen.asp

(When I click on your link it says its a bad link.)

Rex Ray said...

Kristen,
I don’t know why my copy/paste link turned out wrong. I’ll try again. The last update of Snopes was January 31, 2012.

Snopes sad, “Georgia Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi in the Office of State Administrative Hearings, denied a motion by Barack Obama’s attorneys to dismiss the complaint and scheduled a hearing for 26 January 2012…Judge Malihi…[only] role was to gather facts…the official decision on whether Barack Obama will be listed on the Georgia ballot rest with the Secretary of State Brian Kemp.”

Kristen, it looks to me if Obama’s ‘natural born citizenship’ is as simple as you say, the judge would have denied the complaint.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/georgia.asp

Rex Ray said...

http://www.snopes.com/politics/
obama/birthers/georgia.asp

Kristen said...

Rex Ray said:

"Kristen, it looks to me if Obama’s ‘natural born citizenship’ is as simple as you say, the judge would have denied the complaint."

I appreciate your fixing the link. But what it looks like to you is not what the article actually says. It says that Georgia law requires that if a candidate's citizenship is challenged, a hearing MUST be held. The judge could not just dismiss the complaint because of that stipulation of the law.

It also says in that article that the judge believes the challenge to be without merit. But the judge's findings have to be reviewed by the Secretary of State for Georgia. That's the way it works in that state. So even though the judge is recommending the case be thrown out, it can't be yet-- not until the Secretary of State has reviewed it, and that hasn't happened yet.

As the Snopes article I linked to earlier says, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution says that anyone born in the US is a "natural born citizen." An Indiana court struck down a similar challenge in 2009 because of this fact.

Just because due process is not yet concluded in Georgia, does not mean there is any merit to the claim. Just because the President declined to appear, does not mean there was a good case against him.

Why can't people let this matter rest? Obama is qualified to be President and was duly elected by the electorate of the United States. You may not want him to be President, you may not like having him as President, but he is the legitimately qualified, legitimately elected President.

I think it's high time we let this matter rest. It is doing nothing for the reputation of Christians as a whole that we continue to beat this dead horse.

Lin said...

Scotty, Kristen is right about the very bad translation of Hebrews 13. A translation right out of the church state mentality.

I did a series on this passage spending a lot of time researching every word within context.

...see the right sidebar at this link...because it is one of the most abused passages out there.

http://coffeetradernews.blogspot.com/

Rex Ray said...

Kristen,
You start by quoting truth of what Snopes.com wrote: “Georgia law requires that if a candidate’s citizenship is challenged, a hearing MUST be held.”

But then you said, “It also says in that article that the judge believes the challenge to be without merit.” HUH?

I’ve read the article 5 times and I can’t find those words or any indication of what Judge Malihi thinks.

You go farther in backing up your claim by saying: “So even though the judge is recommending the case be thrown out, it can’t be yet…”


The judge’s name, Malihi, appears 5 times:

1. “…the issue was referred to…Malihi in the Office of State Administrative Hearings.”

2. “Judge Malihi denied a motion…to dismiss the complaint…”

3. “…although Judge Malihi had denied a motion…”

4. “Judge Malihi offered no verdict nor made any declaration regarding the case…”

5. “Regardless of what Malihi recommends…”

Kristen, your ‘putting words’ in the judge’s mouth, remind me of Peter ‘putting words’ in an angel’s mouth.

The Bible gives four accounts of what an angel said:
1. Angel: “Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter.” (Acts 10:5)

2. Servants: “A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” (Acts 10:22)

3. Cornelius: “…a man in dazzling clothes…send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter…we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.”

4. Peter: “…an angel had appeared to him in his home and had told him, “…summon a man named Simon Peter. He will tell you how you and everyone in your household can be saved.” (Acts 11:13-14) HUH?


Kristen, why do you think in the same article, Snopes.com printed an opinion of a columnist advising Republican secretary of state, Kemp, not to be a “birther hero” or he would look like a fool which would end any political ambitions?

I believe it’s just another example of Snopes.com ‘protecting' Democrats and Obama.

Kristen said...

Rex, I don't think you and I could possibly be reading the same article. But I did use the link you provided. In it Judge Malihi is specifically quoted as saying that he found that the President is "a natural born citizen. . . Accordingly, President Obama is eligible as a candidate for the presidential primary election." On some of the charges he said the evidence was "unsatisfactory" and "insufficient to support the plaintiffs' allegations." With regards to the natural born citizen issue, the Judge said he was "persuaded" by a court's striking down of a similar challenge. Yes, I did interpret that as believing the case was without merit and that he was recommending it be struck down. No, that was not putting words in his mouth-- it was summarizing the direct quotes in the article. I do not believe my understanding of the gist of the quotes was "putting words in his mouth."

I also think we are off-topic and need to drop this issue, as it has little or nothing to do with the original blog post. I don't know why you keep bringing it up, but I have felt duty-bound to respond for the sake of fairness. I have said my piece now, though, and don't intend to continue to take up space on this topic, uninvited by the blog owner. My apologies, Wade.

Kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Kristen,
You’re correct in saying, “I don't think you and I could possibly be reading the same article.”

I quoted from a printed copy of Snopes “Last updated: 31 January 2012”, so I apologize for saying you “put words in the judge’s mouth” when you quoted Snopes “Last updated 3 February 2012” which quoted what Judge Malihi issued on “3 February 2012” that I had not read.

It’s interesting the updated version removed that the lawyer Taitz of the ‘birther movement’ was fined $20,000 last year, and removed the Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist, Jay Bookman, remarks about Republican secretary of state, Kemp, would be a fool to end any political ambitions if he took Obama off the ballot in Georgia.

I guess you’re also right about being off-topic of Wade’s Christian Authority” since in my opinion the Obama deal would have to be ‘Muslim Authority’.

Kristen said...

Rex, your prejudice is showing. Other than having a Muslim-sounding name, Pres. Obama has done nothing whatever to identify himself as a Muslim. In fact, as far as personal conduct is concerned, he's a better Christian than many who call themselves by that name.

Enough, please? I wish you well and will try not to engage you on this topic again.

Rex Ray said...

Kristen,
You’re so funny—instead of saying so long, you say my prejudice is showing and Obama has done nothing whatever to identify himself as a Muslim.

How can I not reply to that?

You call Obama bowing to a Muslim king NOTHING??
Saying America is NOT a Christian nation?
Apologizing for America?
Greatly exaggerating the number of Muslims in America?
Speaking in church, he said God many times but never once—Jesus.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/coilofrage.asp

This link quotes the email “Coil of Rage” as “mostly true”, but explains how statements from ‘Dreams of My Father’ and ‘Audacity of Hope’ were out of context.

For instance the email states: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

Snopes quotes Obama: “Arab and Pakistani Americans…They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly…that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

Snopes quotes more: “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black student. The foreign students, The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling conventions. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated…Barry, you must help in your people’s struggle. Wake up, black man!”

I believe the “dark underbelly” is with Obama--in not realizing America was built on immigration. He majored on the ‘bad’ things of America. Why did he remain in a church so many years if he did not enjoyed hearing: “Not God bless America, but God D-- America”?

Kristen, where do you think Obama rates the sound of “God bless America” when he said, “The most beautiful sound on earth is the Muslim call to prayer”?

Rex Ray said...

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/
coilofrage.asp

Kristen said...

Rex, I feel compelled to speak out against prejudice when I see it. I agree that it may have seemed "funny" to you that I would ask to stop the conversation. But you had made a brand-new remark at the end of your last post: in addition to saying Obama was not the legitimate President, you were now saying he was a Muslim, despite his statements to the contrary. This did, and does, seem to me to be tied to his Arabic-sounding name-- which is prejudice. In the remarks you made following, you said nothing to prove that Obama is, or has said he is, a Muslim.

I also stand with the persecuted, be they Muslim or Christian, black or Hispanic or white, male or female. If the political winds shift so that Muslim Americans are categorically denied civil rights, I will stand with them too. If Christians want to treat Muslims as Jews treated Samaritans in Jesus' day, I will follow Him in outrageous Samaritan-sympathizing.

I also don't think America is a Christian nation. The Founding Fathers agree. And if "Christian nation" means "Christians are the favored people, and everyone else must do what we say," I want no part of it.

And if I were visiting a country with a king, and it were protocol to bow, I would bow.

I suppose you don't think I'm a Christian now either. So be it.

Rex Ray said...

Kristen,
Yesterday, I drove around Sam’s parking lot twice looking for a close place since my wife is in a wheelchair and being 80 next month, my knee hurts. I saw two and one was handicap. I drove around but when I was within 20 feet, this woman stopped me by driving the wrong way. I backed up so she could park, but she took both places. After two minutes, I walked to her car thinking this was the first time in my life I’ve ever confronted a stranger. I told her I needed to park in the handicapped. She said I could park somewhere else. She was about 40 and proceeded to dig in her purse. I told her I was going to park in the handicap and nothing else, but stood there until she finally moved to one place.

I said all that to say some people are ‘defiant’ and that’s the picture I get of Obama by him grinding his cigarette out on the hall rug.

My dad would have something to say about Obama “set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake.” My dad always said “The first sign of an idiot was; he liked noise.”

Dreams from My Father: “She was a good looking woman, Joyce…all the brothers were after her…I asked her if she was going to the Black Students’ Association meeting. [I, Rex, wonder if they had a White Students’ Association.] She looked at me funny…”I’m not black. I’m multiracial…It’s not white people who are making me choose….it’s black people who always have to make everything racial….”

Kristen, I believe Joyce nailed Obama…he’s still fighting the ‘war’ and pushing America into a socialistic country to get even.

Someone wrote: A government that has the power to give you everything, has the power to take everything.

You wrote: “you were now saying he was a Muslim, despite his statements to the contrary.”

His saying he prayed everyday was not much evidence that he was a Christian. Besides the first thing a Communist will tell you is they’re not a Communist. Even one President said, “I’m not a crook.” Ask Google how many believe Obama is Muslim.

Kristen said...

Rex, I'm sorry about the way you and your wife were treated. My grandmother died today and have no more stomach for this argument; somehow it just doesn't seem important in light of this loss. I wish you well.

Rex Ray said...

Kristen,
I’m sorry for the loss of your grandmother but happy for her gain.

I never knew my grandparents as three passed before I was born and one when I was three.

At 93, my father was confused when he asked for my belt to get out of a horse trough.
“No, daddy, you’re in a hospital bed.”
“I’ve done a lot for you” were his last words to me.
His tears turned to a smile as in a flash he had my belt in his hand.

Yes, this conversation is like the song: “Things go dim in the light of His glory and grace.”