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

Charles H. Spurgeon and Southern Baptist Racism

Charles H. Spurgeon
In 2019, the Southern Baptist Convention continues to struggle with issues of racism. 

Some question its existence in the SBC, others wrangle over proper ways to confront it, and a few are offering meaningful steps for racial reconciliation within the SBC.

I remain amazed that there are some prominent conservative pastors and convention leaders who deny a spirit of racism in the Southern Baptist Convention. 

The dogmatic are never diplomatic because narrow perspectives are the children of ill-informed studies in history and culture

Christian George, the former curator of the C. H. Spurgeon Library and former assistant professor of historical theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, authored a 2017 published book entitled The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon Volume I: His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854.

It's an excellent resource for contemporary Southern Baptist opinions of the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Mr. Spurgeon was a strong abolitionist and considered slavery based on race a scourge on humanity, not to mention Christianity.

Dr. George describes what happened to Mr. Spurgeon 140 years ago this month:
In 1859, an American minister named “Rev. H.” traveled to London to meet the famous pastor of the New Park Street Chapel. 
When Spurgeon discovered his guest was from Alabama, his “cordiality sensibly diminished.”
A six-month American preaching tour would expedite the construction of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, but could Southerners tolerate Spurgeon’s stance against slavery?
When Spurgeon asked his guest this question, the Alabamian said he “had better not undertake it.”
This advice might have saved Spurgeon’s life.
The same year, S. A. Corey, pastor of Eighteenth Street Baptist Church in New York City, invited the 24-year-old to preach at the Academy of Music opera house for $10,000. News of Spurgeon’s visit was met with anticipation in the North and hostility in the South.
According to an Alabama newspaper, Spurgeon would receive a beating “so bad as to make him ashamed.” On February 17, 1860, citizens of Montgomery, Alabama, publicly protested the “notorious English abolitionist” by gathering in the jail yard to burn his “dangerous books”:
Last Saturday, we devoted to the ames a large number of copies of Spurgeon’s sermons. . . . We trust that the works of the greasy cockney vociferator may receive the same treatment throughout the South. And if the pharisaical author should ever show himself in these parts, we trust that a stout cord may speedily find its way around his eloquent throat.
On March 22, a “Vigilance Committee” in Montgomery followed suit and burned Spurgeon’s sermons in the public square. A week later Mr. B. B. Davis, a bookstore owner, prepared “a good ore of pine sticks” before reducing about 60 volumes of Spurgeon’s sermons “to smoke and ashes.”
British newspapers quipped that America had given Spurgeon a warm welcome, “a literally brilliant reception.”
Prince of Bonfires
 Anti-Spurgeon bonfires illuminated jail yards, plantations, bookstores, and courthouses throughout the Southern states.
In Virginia, Mr. Humphrey H. Kuber, a Baptist preacher and “highly respectable citizen” of Matthews County, burned seven calf-skinned volumes of Spurgeon’s sermons “on the head of a flour barrel.” The arson was assisted by “many citizens of the highest standing.”
In North Carolina, Spurgeon’s famous sermon “Turn or Burn” found a similar fate when a Mr. Punch “turned the second page and burned the whole.” By 1860, slave-owning pastors were “foaming with rage because they [could not] lay hands on the youthful Spurgeon.”
His life was threatened, his books burned, his sermons censured, and below the Mason-Dixon Line, the media catalyzed character assassinations.
In Florida, Spurgeon was a “beef-eating, puffed-up, vain, over-righteous pharisaical, English blab-mouth.”
In Virginia, he was a “fat, overgrown boy”; in Louisiana, a “hell-deserving Englishman”; and in South Carolina, a “vulgar young man” with “(soiled) sleek hair, prominent teeth, and a self-satisfied air.”
Georgians were encouraged to “pay no attention to him.”
North Carolinians “would like a good opportunity at this hypocritical preacher” and resented his “endish sentiments, against our Constitution and citizens.”
The Weekly Raleigh Register reported that anyone selling Spurgeon’s sermons should be arrested and charged with “circulating incendiary publications.”
Southern Baptists ranked among Spurgeon’s chief antagonists. 
The Mississippi Baptist hoped “no Southern Baptist will now purchase any of that incendiary’s books.”
The Baptist colporteurs of Virginia were forced to return all copies of his sermons to the publisher.
The Alabama Baptist and Mississippi Baptist “gave the Londoner 4,000 miles of an awful raking” and “took the hide off him.” 
The Southwestern Baptist and other denominational newspapers took the “spoiled child to task and administered due castigation.”
More Distant Future
In 1860, an article entitled Mr. Spurgeon and the American Slaveholders offered the following words:
“Southern Baptists will not, hereafter, when they visit London, desire to commune with this prodigy of the 19th century. We venture the prophecy that his books in [the] future will not crowd the shelves of our Southern book merchants. They will not; they should not.”
In 1889, Spurgeon uttered a prophecy of his own:
“For my part, I am quite willing to be eaten of dogs for the next 50 years; but the more distant future shall vindicate me.”
The more distant future did vindicate Spurgeon. His sermons do crowd the shelves of Southern bookstores.
As Carl F. H. Henry rightly noted, Spurgeon has become “one of evangelical Christianity’s immortals.”
Throughout Alabama, Virginia, and the United States of America, the books of “the notorious English abolitionist” still burn—casting light and life in a dark and dying world.
The above narrative has been adapted from Christian George's preface to The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon Volume I: His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854 (B&H Academic, 2017).

In light of the past history and culture of the Southern Baptist Convention, I would suggest three things need to occur within the Southern Baptist Convention to move forward in racial reconciliation and eradicate racism:
1. Officially and permanently change the name of the Convention, eradicating Southern.
2. Intentionally and emphatically elect many racial minorities into positions of leadership.
3. Repeatedly and collectively make racial reconciliation a major theme of annual Conventions.
It's time for talk to turn into action. 

131 comments:

everette said...

Thanks for being courageous enough to post this, Wade. Many people in your position wouldn't even consider talking about SBC history, much less propose some changes that are feasible and not just symbolic. Thank you for continuing to fight the good fight.

Rileydogbarks said...

It seems to me the battle in the Southern Baptist Convention has always been about authority....who controls it and what has to be done to keep it: my Bible, my interpretation, my way of doing things. Makes one wonder why revival seems to have not happened in the SBC.

Kelley Kimble said...

Clinging to first century cultural norms as though they are the will of God is going to do the SBC in. I am tired of hearing that concerns for racial reconciliation and justice are - what is it they say? - godless ideologies.

Mark Sims said...

Five presidential posts in the span of a year...five.
Mark Sims

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I think removing the word Baptist might be a better start, since the SBC doesn't seem to care much for the Baptist distinctives anymore.

I grew up under preachers that would gladly have strung up Spurgeon, but not for his stand on slavery. Rather, his rejection of whosever will for limited atonement was anathema to them.

linda

Shawn said...

1. Officially and permanently change the name of the Convention, eradicating Southern.
2. Intentionally and emphatically elect many racial minorities into positions of leadership.
3. Repeatedly and collectively make racial reconciliation a major theme of annual Conventions.

I agree with 1 but it has failed often in the past.
I disagree with 2 and 3 in that 'race' is the qualifier, not qualification or Gospel.

The problem for the SBC at present is the Woke movement as exemplified by Danny Akin et al, folks who have all of a sudden determined that they are the experts on racial relations and require all to follow their lead, which, from what I have read, is more white guilt and not genuine knowledge of how folks of diverse backgrounds live and work together. They have determined themselves to be the experts much as had their 'father in the spirit' Paige Patterson knew how women should be treated.

Much can be observed by the fact that SEBTS's Kingdom Diversity page had to remove several of the videoes that were obviously over the line.

everette said...

Shawn, Wade's suggestions have very strong Biblical precedents. Note that in the book of Acts, the first conflict in church history had to do with racism: namely that Hellenistic Jewish Christians were being discriminated against by the Hebraic Christians.

In order to resolve the conflict, the Apostles--all of whom were of Jewish--asked the church to choose mediators who could resolve the conflict. The men chosen seem to have had at least some Hellenistic background, because they all had Greek names.

In other words, when the apostles realized that an ethnic minority in the church was suffering, they graciously backed out of the situation in favor of others who could be seen as impartial mediators. Even more graciously, the apostles accepted the fact that all 7 men were of Hellenistic background. (It would not surprise me if the racial hostility the Galilean apostles had faced from Judaean Jews in Jerusalem helped them better sympathize with the Greek Jewish Christians).

All of this serves to foreshadow the enormous contributions made by the Hellenistic Jewish Christian Paul later on in Acts.

But the appointment of the Seven was not the first time the apostles had to deal with racism; on the contrary, it is a continuing theme of Acts. Peter retained his anti-Gentile prejudices until God whacked him over the head in the dream at Cornelius' house (and even then, Peter later backslid into his old anti-Gentile habits until Paul confronted him as reported in Gal. 2).

By the same token, Paul circumcised Timothy before sending Timothy to preach to a largely Jewish-background congregation. Paul recognized that only a confirmed Jew would be able to successfully evangelize the Jews in the regions where they traveled. The absence of a foreskin did not make Timothy a better preacher or a more compassionate minister; it simply gave him an essential qualification for the job.

Furthermore, racism was essentially the subject matter of the first Church Council, which sought to compromise between Jewish purity laws and Gentile resistance to such legalism.

But finally, diversity is important in the church, as it has been since the days of Acts. Just as the Jewish apostles could not fairly deal with the specific needs of the Hellenistic widows, so too can an all-white, all-male executive committee fairly serve the needs of America's diverse population, to say nothing of the rest of the world targeted by the IMB. Adding a few token women or minorities won't help, either. Only genuinely diverse decision-making bodies can genuinely address the needs of an increasingly diverse American church and an increasingly diverse body of lost people.

Shawn said...

Everette, I appreciate your comments and observations but my criticism still stands. You are right to a point on the early church in that the issue seemed to be racial. But, as most translations treat the text, everyone is a Jew in the Acts 6 conversation. Hellenistic just means that they had adopted more Greek ways; but they were still ethnic Jews and the result of that discussion was the creation, most folks believe, of the diaconate. This is different than the chapter 15 council where actual Gentiles and their relationship with the Gospel and the Torah is the topic of discussion. Those weren’t ethnic Jews, unlike those under discussion in chapter 6. Plus, the apostles in chapter 6 didn’t look for those more culturally atuned, they merely wanted someone else to attend to the administrative aspects of running a church. Note, that there is no mention of ethnicity but only of work load and what they knew to be the work that they had to devote themselves to.

Acts 6.2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3 "Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4"But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:2-4 NAU)

Verse three is the source of my criticism of Wade’s position – Wade said only that the SBC should ‘Intentionally and emphatically elect many racial minorities into positions of leadership’ with no mention of qualifications (he may have assumed it), as in Acts of them being ‘men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom,’ and not for the purpose of ensuring ‘racial diversity’ but so that the apostles could “devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word" which is the source of my criticism of his third point; he didn’t mention ‘ministry of the word’ but rather to make ‘racial reconciliation a major theme of annual Conventions.’

I am all for racial diversity but not as an end in and of itself, and I am very concerned and skeptical of those who are leading the charge; they appear more to me as Virtue Signaling and demonstrating how Woke they are and are going about it in the wrong way, using folks and methods that are more headline grabbing and heavy handed and will not ultimately serve the church but will repeat, by their methods, mistakes of the recent past on other issues which Wade has well raised here. They have learned too much from their ‘spiritual father’ and teacher!

Thanks for the conversation!

Shawn

Anonymous said...

Perhaps less story telling and more inward reflection as to what you have actually done in your lifetime to contribute, or not, to racism in this country and convention is warranted.


Dec 7, 2015: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States"

May 2016, a human being, a US-born Citizen judge, cannot be impartial because of his "Mexican heritage" (skin), Trump states

August 2016, human beings from Mexico are "rapists" says Trump.

November 2016, Wade Burleson decides these are not deal breakers and votes for Trump anyway.

August 2017, Trump calls white supremacists "very fine people"

December 2017, Trump says all human beings from Hati "have AIDS" and the same month said Nigerians wouldn't go "back to their huts."

May 2018, Trump calls undocumented human beings "animals."

June 29, 2018: "I am a political conservative who voted for Donald Trump and think he's doing a pretty good job as President."
Https://www.wadeburleson.org/2018/06/nationalism-july-4th-and-kingdom-of.html

Wade Burleson said...

Shawn,

You make a good point.

Anonymous,

"Less storytelling and more inward reflection..."

Thank you for the advice.

Wade Burleson said...

All,

Senator Norman Lamb once told me, "Emmanuel will not be racially diverse as a congregation until you intentionally make the staff racially diverse." We are not where we need to be - yet, but we are getting there!

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Your August 11 post stated: “Jeffery Epstein, the owner of a $44 million Upper Eastside mansion, a private island, an ocean yacht, a party jet, and access to the worlds’ rich and elite is dead…In the end, Jeffrey knew his life wasn’t worth living, and that he would be a tragic stub on Wikipedia. That’s why Jeffery Epstein took his life.”

I believe in his mind he was still doing when a jury found him guilty of in 2008; being paid a lot of money for furnishing rich and famous men with young girls.

Besides Bill Clinton, the link below tells of another famous man.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/08/prince-andrew-jeffrey-epstein

I believe Epstein is dead because he knew too much.

Wade, I believe people become ‘bigger’ when they learn and admit they’re wrong.

Bob Cleveland said...

ANONYMOUS 8:14 ... 9:42PM: Could you please cite the references for the statements you attributed to President Trump?

Thanks.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: A well-known client of mine told me, perhaps 25 years ago: "America will never get a handle on racism until it recognizes that preferring to worship with people of your own race is not racist." The gent was Sy Erskine, a black gent who owned a Barbecue Restaurant in Hueytown, Alabama.

I also asked a young black couple, who were members of a SS class I led, if there were a lot of black people (a term they said they preferred) who wanted to worship in white churches. They both laughed, and said "Your music alone is enough to keep us away".

RB Kuter said...

Shawn proposed:
1. Officially and permanently change the name of the Convention, eradicating Southern.
2. Intentionally and emphatically elect many racial minorities into positions of leadership.
3. Repeatedly and collectively make racial reconciliation a major theme of annual Conventions.
I think those are good. Not sure why we continue to use "Southern" other than it being traditional. But sadly, our origins and traditions are not particularly something to which we would be proud. So given those connotations, maybe discontinuing its use would be good in addition to eliminating the appearance of our Convention being a "regional" entity.

But #"2" is the point I like most and agree would be effective in our transition from being an all-white church. I have heard before, and agree with, that if a church enlists members of its staff that are diverse in culture and color the church itself will be diverse in culture and color. Noticed on Wade's church's website that one of the eight members shown on his staff is a person of color, the student minister.

I wonder if our church's staff was made up of people whose ethnicities and color reflected the community if our church would evolve into congregations that mirrored the people around us. Why not more Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans and women? Most Southern Baptist churches, including my own, do not.

Christiane said...

It is hard to imagine going to Church and not seeing people from many ethnic group represented among our parishioners. I guess you move into a 'diocese' and you find a parish Church and join and then you can visit other Churches and that's okay, but it is hoped that you will support your parish Church if you are able to do so . . .

so are you all talking about a 'cultural' segregation rather than a racial one when you talk about a 'white Church' and a 'black Church'? The comment about music preference might indicate a desire to attend the Church where the music mattered a great deal, and that is a cultural feature.

we don't have any 'black parishes' around here, except if you go down to St. Mary's in town, many of the parishioners come from the projects nearby, but that doesn't 'matter' and it is not something that is even thought about . . . you go to St. Mary's to pray and it is much less of a casual 'social' event than it is the gathering of people together to form a Christian liturgical community in the same way that all parishes have their people gather in order to pray following the liturgical tradition . . . the focus is kept on Christ

my guess is that history must be 'overcome' by people who are READY to do it, and that is a difficult thing for people as the history of segregation has been so brutal in our country . . . it takes time for people to gain trust and to see the image of God in 'the other' so patience is needed and real mutual acts of kindness rather than any forced effort that might be interpreted as the insult of condescension. But people need to begin to move forward in a good direction, yes.

Shawn said...

R.B. Kutler,

Those are Wade's proposals. My critique of them is above.

Shawn

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous Aug 9:42 PM

1.Cartoon in newspaper of a family of four asking to be seated at a restaurant. The father is wearing a Trump Tee-shirt.
2. “We will call you over the loudspeaker when your table’s ready.”
3.“Party of Four Racist White Supremacist Latino Exterminators, your Table’s Ready!”

Rex Ray said...

We just returned from our once a month “Civic club” meeting of about 13 people. We ate at a popular place. I noticed many blacks eating, but we were ushered to another room where there were only Whites.

On the other hand a 60 year old Home Health White nurse who is caring for my ankle, attends a Black church.


Jeffery Epstein’s autopsy revealed his neck was broken.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAN4GxamfA0

The link above demonstrates how a neck can be broken in a split second.

Epstein was found hanging which would indicated he died from suffocation.

I believe they broke his neck and then hung him to look like suicide.

RB Kuter said...

Christiane asked, "so are you all talking about a 'cultural' segregation rather than a racial one when you talk about a 'white Church' and a 'black Church'?"

That brings up a valid point to be debated. Personally, I think it is both. By the way, it is not only Southern Baptist churches that are segregated and certainly not only in the south. Go to most churches anywhere and you will find them attended by one predominant race or ethnic group, so perhaps that points to it being more of a cultural preference.

I can believe your description of the Catholic church having congregations that are more diverse and that begs the question, "Why?". I have never attended Wade's church but I imagine that if a person of ANY race or ethnic group did visit, they would be warmly welcomed by the people there. Still, Wade and the leadership has to be very intentional and creative to come up with ways to evolve into a more diverse congregation mix.

I don't imagine that Catholic churches have to be that intentional about being diverse. So maybe this is something that you can shed some light on, Christiane. Just why do you think this is less of an issue in the Catholic church than virtually all Protestant churches regardless of the region in which they are located?

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, I bet there are a LOT of people glad that Epstein is dead no matter how it occurred and for a LOT of different reasons, don't you?

RB Kuter said...

Shawn, I see now and re-read your response to Wade.

I like that new term being used these days, "virtue signaling". Guess that's a new and improved term for what I think was "posers", which was a good un' too but "virtue signaling" seems to have a more direct reference to those "posing" as "do-gooders".

But what does "Woke" mean as you used in "demonstrating how Woke they are"? Is that a misspelling or just another new term for an old man like me to learn? Hard to keep up.

The world is rapidly changing, kind of like my church frequently changing the term for "Sunday School" class from that to, "BFG" ("Bible Fellowship Group") and now changed to "Connect Groups". I guess the old label, "Sunday School" is just antiquated and seems silly. Makes my head spin but I am so old that I was around when most churches in our region had a version of "Sunday School" every Sunday night that we called, "BTU" ("Baptist Training Union")! Wow! That DOES go way back!

But then again, I STILL wear a dress shirt, tie, coat and even a hat to church on Sundays! Gotta say that I am one of few that does. Can you even imagine what a sight that is??!! But maybe I just kind of get off on being different; kind of rebellious.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

The word, YES, answers your question. But not all wanted Epstein dead, especially the devil. Someone lowered the flag half way on his island. Could it have been a girl? No one has mentioned their feelings.

The link below tells in a song how a mother, desperate for money to keep her baby alive, had named her 18 year old daughter “Fancy” and “be nice to the gentlemen, and they’ll be nice to you.” (mother and baby died, but in Fancy’s mind, she came out a winner.)

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=cm9WXbXLB8mwtgX27IH4Cg&q=song+fancy+was+my+name&oq=Song%2C+Fancy+was&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.0i22i30.9660.36013..40071...1.0..0.229.1557.14j2j1......0....1..gws-wiz.......35i39j0i131j0.n8UlkSw_0oo

Christiane said...

Good Morning, Mr. Kuter

I'm smiling because my good father, of blessed memory, always wore his only suit to mass every Sunday, and he shined his shoes and made sure that we were dressed 'respectfully'. It's a generational thing, maybe, the clothing that is worn, and my immigrant father did not have a lot of 'dress casual' clothing anyway. He had his work clothes, and that suit, and some old clothing he wore to garden in and to work on the car. That suit was a bit worn and a bit shiny from years of wear, but he was faithful to wear it every week, and that is a memory I treasure.

I may have confused you a bit about the mix of ethnicities in my Church. When my father immigrated from Canada, the family spoke only French. There was an uncle already in Aldenville and there was a 'French' parish, where the nuns taught French half-day and English half-day. So my father learned. Across town, there was a Polish parish, and same thing, the nuns taught Polish half-day and English half-day. These were 'enclaves', but they were 'cultural' rather than 'racial', in that soon my Aunt Rhoda marries Polish Uncle Charlie and the next generation was born and it didn't matter where my crazy cousins Ronald and Larry attended mass . . . they were 'American' kids. And so it went.

We have in our parish people with all the ethnic names, and also various races represented: Filipino, Latin American, African American, Asian . . . no one thinks anything about it, this mixture. And sure, there are people of Italian appearance and them what has faces that have the whole map of Ireland imprinted on them. :) That's my parish. Father Brian has an Irish name, but he is more German he says than Irish, so there you have it. We are a mixed ethnic community of faith. But two generations ago, there WERE enclaves were ethnic people settled and the parishes helped them to assimilate, yes . . . and sheltered them in sanctuary for a time of adjustment that had to be, for them, an enormous change.

As to Protestant Churches, I have visited some of the local ones and there are representatives of different races present, although the white people outnumbered the others, so maybe things are changing??? I thought they were. I hope they will. It's about Christ, the Church. And in His Incarnation, He assumed ALL of humanity to Himself in order to be able to heal it. I guess the importance of 'healing' human divisions begins with Him, in Him, and through Him. Where He is the focus, people will be able to recognize their 'neighbors' as Christian brothers and sisters.


Christiane said...

“a New Commandment: ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’

“Love your enemies.
Love those who hate and persecute you.
Love those who have become outcast
and those who are excluded from the group

. . . Love not just those
of your own tribe, your own class, family or people,
but those who are different,
those who are strangers,
who are strange to your ways,
who come from different cultural and religious traditions,
who seem odd,
those you do not understand.

Love as the Samaritan loved the man he found
beaten up by robbers
somewhere on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho ”

(from ‘The Body Broken’ by Jean Vanier)

Christiane said...

Good Morning, REX RAY

Finally, you have a great current conspiracy theory to work on: how did Epstein die?

His 'hyoid' bone in his throat was broken. That IS very strange indeed. Here's some ammunition for you:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyoid_bone_fracture

Go for it, we need all eyes and ears to help solve this mystery . . . was he strangled first? And by whom? And why? What are the facts? What is known?

THE HYOID BONE? a very unusual fracture, yes . . . and possibly, a CLUE !!!
What a mess.

I keep my prayers and focus on the victims, whose lives have been tragically altered by those who hurt them. I hope justice will done for their sake. And to deter others from such evil predatory behaviors against minors. Very tragic case, all the way around.


Christiane said...

Dear Anonymous who disparaged Wade Burleson,

I think Wade could vote for Godzilla and he would still be one of the most Christian people in this country who works actively to help those of other ethnic groups, especially reaching out to former prison inmates.

Now I hope Wade votes for a good person, but if you want to know who Wade is, look at those he has helped, and you will find that it has cost him a great deal to support many who have been persecuted over the years. So I don't mind if he votes for Godzilla even, I look to how he (and his good wife Rachelle) have worked so hard to help those who need Christ.

To me, his character is unimpeachable. Wade is on the side of the angels. Please know this.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks, Christiane, for the kind words! :)

Patrick Mead said...

Yes and Amen!

Anonymous said...

Christiane,
Wade's own blog evidences your anecdotal argument as folly. The SBC is filled with pastors who do great ministry but hide sexual perversion.

Doing good doesn't mean total absence of anything evil. Your argument is nothing but fallacy.


Voting for evil and even calling it good (what Wade has done) is still supporting evil.

Both Donald Trump and Epstein sexually assaulted people.
One of these men, Wade wrote a blog post condemning.
One of these men, Wade wrote a blog job saying "good job."


On issues of race, the silence is deafening...

In the last two weeks:
One man shot and killed dozens because of race, inspired and verbally crediting the man Wade voted for and said is doing a "good job."
One man, in a job requiring partiality, admitted he was racist. Wade defended this man's position.


The issues you opt to take up, and the issues you decide to defend (or be silent on) speak volumes.

Christiane said...

Dear Anonymous,

I hear you about the troubles our country is seeing and I do blame the 'hate-mongers', yes.
I blame them for inspiring weak people to go out and commit atrocities, and then for saying that the weak people were 'mentally ill and we are going to lock them all up in institutions', thereby washing hands of all responsibility for 'the evil tongue' that sets the hatred in motion until it kills . . . .

but I also know that our country is divided and people live in 'bubbles' where the information they are counting on may not be accurate . . . . and it is true that the Russian attacks on our country have involved pitting 'sides' against one another, so that the divisions deepen and will continue to deepen until our country is no more as a viable entity in the modern world . . .

I am not a Trump supporter, no. But I have friends who do support him. And I'm still friends with these people because I feel that they are mis-informed, not that their hearts are bad. And I care about these people. I hope for better for all of us soon, but in the meantime, I don't see the need to attack people who have themselves stood between those who have suffered from abuse and those who are committing that abuse. Wade has tried to help abused people. He has suffered for it. In my faith, that counts for someone, that they gave of themselves for the sake of others, yes. How can I explain this better?

I don't know. There is a quote from a favorite author, Flannery O'Connor that says something meaningful to me, this:

"“I love a lot of people, understand none of them...”

(Flannery O'Connor)

something about the people I care for is that I know they have good hearts, even if I can't agree with their politics, or share all of their specific religious doctrines, but I have lived a long time, and I CAN promise you this wisdom is true:

"you can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time;
but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Pray for the little ones in the 'camps' who are suffering. Make phone calls, Write letters, blog, do what you can that is positive for their sake . . . in hurting those children as an administrative policy, our country has put itself under conviction and we must repent for this great sin, yes . . . you can't do something like that to innocent people and not hurt yourself worse, far worse

don't worry, Trump is 'under water' in the polls and the negatives are increasing for him, so you can have hope for better to come. I do. But I will not turn on the people I care about who see things differently, no. They matter more to me than any vote.

Bob Cleveland said...

Suicide vs Homicide: Hanging death, as I understand it, was normally caused by a broken neck. That's why you'll always see a drop of two or three feet when the trap door under the victim opens.

And the coroner just this minute ruled it a suicide.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

You said, “THE HYOID BONE? a very unusual fracture, yes . . . and possibly, a CLUE !!!”

YES, a clue indeed! Epstein was found with a sheet around his neck, and the other end tied to the top bunk. Now if he was two feet tall, that might have broken his neck.

Another mystery is how did the film in the hall mounters vanish? Who had access? That film would have identified who went in his cell. And who gave orders to have his roommate removed the day he arrived?

RB Kuter said...

Politics are crazy. Amazing how we can perceive those siding with someone we oppose as thinking totally absurd and they think the same of us. I was thinking that if I ran for President as the Democrat candidate against Trump I would see that side as being smarter. Didn't work. The Democrats still seemed absurd.

I guess the only way I can not think of Christiane and Anonymous as being absurd is to not think of them in terms of their political affiliation.

Anonymous said...

RB--it may be just a geographical thing, but where I have lived SS was where you went to learn what the Bible says. A Connect Group is where you go to make friends, find a surrogate family, or emote. It isn't at all about Bible Study.

No wonder we've gone from "what is right and what is wrong according to God's Word" to "how does this make me feel and how can the church make me feel better about me."

linda

RB Kuter said...

Maybe when we're all communists and party affiliates and there is NO opposing party we all will be buddies! I mean, "comrades"!

Equally poor (except for the "Party" bosses), but still, "comrades"! Isn't that the New Testament model? Wonder if Paul and Barnabas called each other, "Comrade" in Greek?

σύντροφος suntrophos??

RB Kuter said...

Hey, Linda, I think you have something there. I think the intent IS to make it more like a social thing in the sense of bonding, etc. But I know the folks in our church that continue to make the changes and their hearts are good and sincerely seeking to enhance The Kingdom growth in our midst, so I have to be careful to not be too cynical and critical.

Plus, before I got old, I used to really be hard on old people for being judgmental, rigid and narrow-minded. Now that I AM an old geiser, I really do try to have a "let it be" attitude in regard to things that really aren't that critical in terms of an eternal perspective. Know what I mean?

Things like, "What we're going to call the church group?" "Should we have concert music at worship time?" "Should we have Starbucks in the atrium?" "Do away with steeples?" "Have preachers and worship leaders wearing blown-out jeans, t-shirts and leather jackets?" etc. I mean, why should it disturb me? My time is too short.

Speaking of which, one of the neat things about getting old and life getting short is that it seems everything you buy lasts a lifetime! Get a new crown on your tooth and you figure its the last one you'll ever need! We just bought a new refrigerator and based upon how long our old one lasted, this one will probably be the last refrigerator I ever have to buy! The way they are making cars these days, I probably will only buy one more new car and it will last the rest of my life (Here on earth, that is).

Which reminds me, I better get worried about telling more people about Jesus than arguing about Donald Trump. I don't think God will mention how many times I talked about "The Duck" or "Bernie" when I enter heaven, do you? Can you imagine lying on your death bed and reflecting on things you wish you had done with your life and saying, "If I could have just convinced one more person to be a Democrat and vote for Liz Warren or Joe!"

Victorious said...

Speaking of which, one of the neat things about getting old and life getting short is that it seems everything you buy lasts a lifetime!

LOL! I loved your comments about being old, RB! Made me laugh because those are my feelings exactly. I always say (about things I purchase)...."it will last as long as I do."

For example, my Hyundai Accent is a 2005 and hasn't yet got to the 20,000 mi. mark! Every time I have the oil changed, the Hyundai personnel tries to talk me into a new car. Why would I want to have car payments again after having none for 10 yrs.???

Your question about convincing one more person....reminded me of Desmond Doss asking God to let him save "just one more person" and at the end had personally saved 75 soldiers without using a weapon during the war and received the congressional Medal of Honor. He gave God the credit. He died in 1991. If you haven't seen the movie, you will be blessed.

Victorious said...

The movie about Desmond Doss is Hacksaw Ridge. :)

RB Kuter said...

We did see the movie, Victorious. It was impressive to see how he could maintain his devotion to God while at the same time not compromising his devotion to his country.

Keep that Hyundai!

Rex Ray said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanging

This link describes three types of hanging.

1.Hanging is a common method for suicide. Full suspension is not required, and for this reason, hanging is especially commonplace among suicidal prisoners. This type of hanging may be obtained by self-strangulation using something around the neck and the partial weight of the body to prevent breathing. They will have their feet touching the floor.

2.The short drop is a method of hanging performed by placing the prisoner on something, then removing it, leaving the person dangling from the rope. This typically takes between ten and twenty minutes.

3.The standard drop involves a drop of between 4 and 6 feet. It was considered a humane improvement on the short drop because it was intended to be enough to break the person's neck, causing immediate unconsciousness and rapid brain death.

If Epstein wanted to die, he would have done the first type of hanging. But his neck was broken.

I would think many pictures would be taken by anyone with a cellphone. Where are the pictures?

And the conclusion of the autopsy report? I want a second opinion that gives their reasons.

Yes Christiane, something smells to high heaven.

Shawn said...

RB Kuter,

Shane, best western on film! The Searchers is a close 2nd. Been to Africa 3 times meownself!

Woke is one of those new terms (especially for we semi-old guys) that goes hand in hand with Virtue Signalling. It means that that person 'has woken up' to the specific issue they are virtue signalling. My observation is that they are folks who weren't paying attention in the first place and did it all wrong all along and now they are Woke and they consider themselves the experts and everyone had better catch up to their High Spiritual State, even those who have been living and dealing with what ever that issue is all of their lives and have lived it. Getting to be rampant among some of the children of the old oligarchy. One leader has threatened to throw under the bus (to borrow one of his buddies's favorite phrase) those under him who don't acknowledge his leadership of Wokeness and follow his lead.

For an example, on the race issue, unlike many of us who have served for most of our lives in the military or as missionaries, they have been for the most part in a mono-cultural bubble and have now emerged. Pretty much they ignore those who have lived the multicultural life all along.

Christiane said...

Hello Mr. Kuter,

I was thinking about what you wrote, and I'd like to try to explain a little bit about 'the other point of view':

it's like this:

people condemned the Democrats for supporting 'choice' and the argument was that it was the same thing as supporting the murder of unborn children

and now,

people condemn the Republicans for supporting trumpism and the argument is that it is the same thing as supporting the open policy of the torture of small immigrant children

so you can see the problem: people DON'T WANT CHILDREN HURT IN ANY WAY, and we humans can't understand the 'disconnect' that (Democrats who may be Christians) make between 'choice' and the hideous act of abortion of an unborn child;
and we humans can't understand the 'disconnect' that Republicans make between 81% of evangelicals supporting trumpism and the hideous act of Trump's open policy of discouraging asylum seekers by letting it be known publicly that little children in 'the camps' are not being properly cared for and are suffering . . .

so there it is:

and what a mess

and what do we do, who value our human friends above all their 'disconnects' and their strange ways and even foolish ways . . . they are still beloved friends more important to us than any trouble they manage to get into in our own eyes, yes

(sigh)

I'm not one for dividing people who care about each other. Let the Russians try that ploy, and they apparently are pretty good at setting 'sides/tribes' against one another.

But when it comes down to it, are not human persons to be respected BECAUSE they are made in the image of God, for that reason alone? We Americans need to work together, and stop paying court to those who are the dividers, who promote division and hatred for 'the others'. I hope this makes some sense. There's always hope, when things seem dark, if you know that 'the darkness is a passing thing' :)

Christiane said...

Good Morning REX RAY,

I see that you are hard at work on 'the case'. :)

I have many reservations myself, as do a lot of people, because the powers-that-be who knew Epstein was suicidal also were answerable to other powers-that-be whose names are connected up with Epstein socially. A lot of power there, and a lot of reputations at risk, and TOO MANY irregularities in the decisions made concerning Epstein's incarceration prior to the suicide/murder/whatever.

It looks like there will be a lot of conjecture for some time to come. Yep.
And we have seen politicians who had honorable names cave to 'power' and we have seen men in high positions of authority cave to 'power' and they had no problem losing their good names in the transactions they entered into (unless there is some kind of coercion or threatening to harm their families or worse) . . . .

so if such great men can fall down and shill and grovel, I wonder if lower level authorities might also fall victim to intimidation and/or to the lure of favor from the powerful who have something to hide?

I'm not sure what happened, but too many strange departures from professionalism have taken place and of course, it breeds 'scandal', which in itself is a great dis-service to the nation and our American way of life that has and I hope will continue to be under a system of laws. What's next? A public inquiry? A congressional examination of the 'case'?
A host of 'conspiracy novels' followed by some 'documentaries' and a movie or two?
I wouldn't mind all of this publicity IF the proceeds went to help Epstein's victims, then some good might come from it, I suppose.

Keep your eyes and ears open. There are SO many unanswered questions.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,
I agree to keep my eyes and ears open because of many unanswered questions.

All the news on TV today was talking about Epstein’s death. One doctor who was experienced in autopsies said other parts of his body should have been examined besides his broken neck. If he had hurled himself head first from the top bunk with a sheet around his neck, his knees would have been injured.

Also, his lawyers were shocked because two days before, when they talked with him, he was in a joyful and optimistic mood.

So far, the warden has been fired and two guards are in trouble.

Anonymous said...

The need for conspiracy theories around Epstein only arrives out of a refusal to admit that "yes, government workers are really this inept"

These same people at this same location accidentally released a serial bank robber.


The most obvious answer here (ineptitude) is the most probable answer.

RB Kuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RB Kuter said...

Shawn, my efforts to reply to you are not working, apparently due to the address.

RB Kuter said...

Christiane, I had written a long diatribe proposing the opposite perspective from yours regarding things going on at the border and my opinion about the response of both political sides to that. After I reviewed my posted response, I saw I was getting too personal and that what I was writing would likely be considered offensive by those holding an opposite opinion so I deleted it. Should you insist on being tortured and want to see what I wrote I might put it back, but probably not.

Let it suffice to say that we on the opposite side of your position and that of the more "leftist" politicians view that position as being a more cruel and inhumane approach than the President's.

The "left" scratches their heads and ask, "How could Christians support a political agenda that is so cruel to children of illegal intruders at the border by keeping them contained?"

We who are proposing our maintaining strong border security and compliance with immigration regulations are befuddled as to how anyone could continue to propagate the impression that if people can only get to the border with their children in hand they will be allowed entry without having gone through the proper process, thereby creating massive mobs pushing to cross the border and increased chaos and misery.

The "left" asks, "How could Christians support a President with such bad language and who is so unpolished in his personal demeanor and tweets and who does not have a sense of political decorum and diplomacy?"

We ask about the "left", "How could they continue to support politicians with an agenda that accommodates the casual execution of millions of babies, socialist ideology and undermines the integrity of our national borders?"

And it goes on and on. As I had concluded in my original, now deleted, diatribe:
"So, who are the most inhumane? Whose position is the most 'absurd'? Apparently, it depends more upon who is in Office, your side or my side, with no consensus as to what is the reality."

Christiane said...

Hello Mr. Kuter,

please post what you feel you NEED to say and do not worry for me as I am not one to want someone not to have a voice when they need to speak. . . . there is too much of people trying to silence other people in this world, and I believe that if you need to speak your mind, I will support you in doing that, even though I may likely disagree . . . I can say that I will also read it and think about it if you feel so strongly as to write it.

I'm not worried about being 'absurd'. I'm not worried if people don't agree with me. And, my goodness, I am probably one of the few people you will meet who isn't 'offended' easily by criticism, when I am the one being criticized. So fire away. And then be peaceful.

I don't know about 'labels' so much anymore, Mr. Kuter. I don't trust 'labels' to replace human persons, although isn't it easier to 'point the finger' when we can label someone in a way that indicates that we have contempt for them? I don't see it helps anyone, this labeling and name-calling, no.

My point in writing previously was that I cannot 'dismiss' a person who votes for Trump as someone who wants to see innocent children suffering because I believe that Trump has ordered this policy so that its cruelty will 'discourage' asylum seekers from coming here.
And if I refuse to dismiss these voters, it must mean that they don't see things the same way I see them, and I can ONLY focus on the suffering of the little ones, I admit this.

So, if I were to vote Democratic (and I do like Biden very much), it might be also better is someone were to understand that it doesn't mean I 'support' the murder of innocent unborn babies. I don't. But in my case, I know that 'changing the law' won't stop abortions. I remember before Roe v. Wade how girls from university would get their moms to pay for a plane to another country in order to get a medical abortion elsewhere, and one of these girls didn't make it back home again alive, and we all knew her, and you don't forget something like that, no.

So what DO I believe that might help prevent abortions? Changing hearts and minds. Giving practical support to young women who need help. Having a national program of paid leave for new parents. There are many 'changes' I can foresee that will 'encourage' the welcoming of new life in our country but right now, our country is the ONLY civilized nation in the world that does not provide paid leave for a new mother. We got it wrong.
For me, change will be time-consuming, expensive, long-term, and will mean a kind of commitment that most will not have the 'patience' to want to deal with . . . so maybe I am 'absurd' and 'foolish' but I do not see stopping abortions to be a matter of changing a law, no. The answer is something far more complex and I don't know if our country has the maturity to do what is needed to BEGIN the process of 'welcoming' new life . . . other countries have done it. Successfully.

Please don't worry that I will 'get angry' because of some 'diatribe'. I value your right to speak your mind to me freely about those things that have great meaning for you, and I will read what you write and consider it carefully and respectfully.

Rex Ray said...

What has this world come to?
At one time my father said America was going to hell with a football under its arm. I wonder what he would say today.

Two events happened this Sunday.

1. During the church invitation a girl that was sixteen came forward. The pastor asked all the women to gather around her. He asked Judy to pray for her as she was pregnant. Her father was present. In the group of women was a mother that never married. Her daughter never married but had a funeral for a miscarriage.

2. A couple of hours after church, a 60 year-old White lady who works for Home Health, told Judy and me her story. She had a child when she was six-teen. The father was her uncle who had molested her for many years. She had two ‘failed marriages’. She’s a Christian that believes in not having sex outside of marriage. She recently joined a Black church and is engaged to one of the deacons.

Shawn said...

Christiane,

You wrote, 'So, if I were to vote Democratic (and I do like Biden very much), it might be also better is someone were to understand that it doesn't mean I 'support' the murder of innocent unborn babies. I don't. But in my case, I know that 'changing the law' won't stop abortions. I remember before Roe v. Wade how girls from university would get their moms to pay for a plane to another country in order to get a medical abortion elsewhere, and one of these girls didn't make it back home again alive, and we all knew her, and you don't forget something like that, no.'

Here's your problem and the problem with voting for pro-abortion candidates - as a legal activity here we lose 1,000,000 children each year. Voting in someone who recognizes that abortion is an unscientific (how does killing our young help our spieces?) and un-biblical abhorrent practice will cause us to continue to lose 1,000,000 each year. Yes, if illegal there will be some who find a means no matter what. Same thing happens with just plain old murder - despite it being illegal many people are murdered each year. People find ways to destroy other people. But, shall we make murder legal because people will find a way to commit it any way?

Christiane said...

Hello Shawn,

Thank you for your comment.

I also wrote something else that represents my own thoughts on this issue, this:

"So what DO I believe that might help prevent abortions? Changing hearts and minds. Giving practical support to young women who need help. Having a national program of paid leave for new parents. There are many 'changes' I can foresee that will 'encourage' the welcoming of new life in our country but right now, our country is the ONLY civilized nation in the world that does not provide paid leave for a new mother. We got it wrong.
For me, change will be time-consuming, expensive, long-term, and will mean a kind of commitment that most will not have the 'patience' to want to deal with . . . so maybe I am 'absurd' and 'foolish' but I do not see stopping abortions to be a matter of changing a law, no. The answer is something far more complex and I don't know if our country has the maturity to do what is needed to BEGIN the process of 'welcoming' new life . . . other countries have done it. Successfully."

even now, as we speak, it is KNOWN publicly that the present administration persecutes living children in a way to make them suffer, and the policy of cruelty TO CHILDREN who are living is then used supposedly to 'deter' asylum seekers from coming to our country.

So if you had a young relative who KNEW what this country had become in regards to its contempt for children, would you think they would take 'comfort' in voting for anyone who supported the publicly-known policy of the open torment of little children in 'camps'? And do you think these young relatives might also be delighted to support a government with a national policy of NO help for new parents in the ways of paid leave and a guaranteed job to return to after maternity leave, as is now done in, for example, the Scandinavian countries, that have a full system of 'welcoming new life' by giving parents time off with their newborn and paid leave?

We now have this problem: Our country does NOT have active national policies of 'welcoming new life' nor does it now have an honorable reputation for treating living children kindly and compassionately. That is how I see this at present time, and I am heartbroken.

I think the ONLY good way forward is to do everything possible to 'welcome new life' by giving HOPE to people who now may not have hope for any help or compassion for their situation . . . and these people may look to 'abortion' as a 'solution', and you had better believe that for many women who feel they must do this, it is done out of hopelessness. . .
and that is something that the Church must minister to with all compassion.

I do think the Church, not the government, should lead in the welcoming of new life with tremendous support and that means a commitment and expense far beyond our present service;
instead of the Church seeking for 'Caesar' to pass a law as a 'quick fix' where we go to vote power to a political party who 'promises' to change things and never does, and then, having 'voted' 'against abortion', we then wash our hands and say 'we did our duty' . . .
and the political party? Oh my goodness. Please.

Christiane said...

Hello, Shawn,
this is the rest of my response to you. Sorry for length:

So there it is. We have SO many good people in this country taking an active part in welcoming new life, and they should be the ones setting the example for all of us . . . not some 'annointed one' in the White House whose 'camps' for little asylum children won't give them the kindness and care we would want for our own loved children . . . you see, Shawn, those little 'alien' children belong first and last to Our Lord. We can't not act and not speak on their behalf now, because 'not to act IS to act; not to speak IS to speak, and we must do what is right for the children who cannot help themselves and who now suffer.
Currently the Republican Party owns the treatment of those little ones. Please don't sign on to their suffering, please.

Whatever way forward, we need to do better on all fronts. The helpless always were dear to the heart of Our Lord. And so we, who follow Him, must reach out to them in their suffering now.

Thank you for communicating. We see things 'differently', and we both want good for children. I know that. God Bless.

Christiane said...

there is hope, thank God

https://youtu.be/fwmpH88X59E

Anonymous said...

RexRay:

"What has this world come to?

...

She recently joined a Black church and is engaged to one of the deacons."

Thank God that Jesus sees both of these people as people created in His image, in spite of church people like you struggling against it.

Shawn said...

Christiane,

'I do think the Church, not the government, should lead in the welcoming of new life'

Bingo.

And the welcoming of new life comes first in the form that the taking of the new life is wrong, evil, despicable, and should be, without hesitation and in all cases, illegal. Period.

Christiane said...

It is a very controversial issue, the termination of any pregnancy, but there are situations where even the Catholic hospitals do acknowledge a moral intervention IF the fetus is not exhibiting a heartbeat:

"California hospitals that use the Bishops' directives do treat ectopic pregnancies with methotrexate "when indicated ... and a simpler treatment is not available," says the Alliance of Catholic Health Care's Dangberg, "because ectopic pregnancies are a serious and present pathological condition of the mother, which we know can be life-threatening."

I suspect there are other areas where difficult decisions must be made, and Catholic hospitals do transfer patients to other hospitals that will provide services that the Bishop's directives can't approve.

I would not 'judge' in these matters myself, but I am for leaving them to a person's 'conscience' and to the council of the woman, her doctors, her priest, as to what is best to do in cases where her life is threatened.
Not to be open to saving the mother's life in certain extremely difficult cases seems to cross over into something I would not want to be a part of, no. I have nothing but compassion for those in this kind of situation, and no negative judgement of them at all.

Christiane said...

forgot the reference, this

https://www.scpr.org/blogs/health/2016/01/13/18103/some-catholic-hospitals-limit-treatment-for-pregna/

Anonymous said...

Christiane, you DO understand that many of those "poor little alien children" are arriving here with parents who are less than stellar? I can assure you that if a US citizen is convicted of some pretty heinous violent crimes THEIR little children are separated from them--often permanently. Some of the children brought to our borders are brought by criminals.

Honestly, I wish I could buy you a ticket to the border and let you experience the very real onslaught our nation is facing. If I still owned my old house next to a cartel worker I would gladly let you live there a time and come to know real fear when you close your eyes at night.

You parrot democrat talking points very well, well enough to convince me you have never ever spent significant time at our southern border.

I have lived the border war and survived by moving "inland."

Your arguments sound very pious but have so little to do with reality. Instead of posting on the net, why not move down there and do the good you think the government isn't doing?

linda

Christiane said...

even in sacred Scripture, we have examples of people confused when the powerful commit immoral acts:

“3but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food and drank from his cup; it slept in his arms and was like a daughter to him. 4Now a traveler came to the rich man, who refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his guest.”

5David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan: “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!…”

(2 Samuel, chapter 12)

so if today, we are confronted with something heart-breakingly cruel, and immoral, and
if we cannot know this and recognize it for what it is, we can begin to understand the blindness of a King David before he realized what he had done to Uriah . . .

So we are all human after all and my goodness, even sacred Scripture testifies to our inability to see what is right in front of us and recognize it for evil . . . God have mercy on all of us together!



“to the hard of hearing, you shout;
and to the almost blind, you draw large and startling figures . .”
(Flannery O’Connor)

Shawn said...

Christiane,

For you to pretend that ectopic pregnancy is any part of the abortion discussion betrays either a disengeniousness on your part or ignorance. So too the issue of the woman's life. Those aren't on the table for discussion as we all agree in those.

So to leave it to the mother and the doctor has led to 1,000,000 slaughtered children every year for what turns out to be, for the most part, birth control. There are no hard serious issues other than convenience. To somehow pretend that something in a woman's life justifies her murdering her child in the womb is evil plain and simple and those who portray it as such are willfully blind.

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

Christiane, I deleted my original post because it was rather hateful and disrespectful. God would hold that against me.

Regarding abortion, as mentioned by other commentators, repealing "Wade" would surely not eliminate it totally. But the position of national leadership does influence what happens and the direction of the winds of opinion of society. That is proven by whether we have a pro-abortion President or a pro-life President.

That is why that, under the leadership of those advocating that women should be totally free to kill their babies without their having to have any counseling or sonograms to show them what is inside their body, abortions soar. They put judges into the legal system that promote a system that facilitates abortions being more accessible and convenient. They promote rhetoric that it is only a matter of removing "tissue" and even take action to financially support the practice of killing the infants with taxpayer dollars.

On the other hand, when leadership is opposed to abortions, promote the reality that this is indeed a human being deserving of life, that the sexually active people should protect against unwanted pregnancies, that adoption is always a viable option, that appoint judges that resist efforts that would result in increased abortions and champion the rights of the infants to live, abortions drastically decrease.

Christiane, you and all others who support the politicians promoting abortion must concede to the reality that you are complicit in the increase of taking of lives. Your vote matters and makes a difference.

I know that this one issue is by far the most important in our nation. 50 million slaughtered in the US since "Roe"! 3 million savagely torn apart in the United States of America every year! For what purpose??!! Talk about a holocaust.

Then, to cry "foul" about the matter of the suffering children being used as pawns on the border by their parents and the demonic coyotes "mule-ing" them in is ludicrous. And equally demonic are those politicians orchestrating the propaganda that if those naive thousands can only get to the border they have a good chance of public opinion forcing the Government to allow their illegal entry; all for political expediency.

And please cease to propose that those of us who believe in strong national borders have no compassion for those being victimized by those traffickers and US politicians who continue to facilitate the likelihood that illegals will gain entry into the US. That is insanity and really is absurd.

Christiane said...

Thank you Shawn and Mr. Kuter for your comments.

I do not think that it is a good thing for any government to be making decisions for a woman's health, no. I think the medical field and the woman and her family should be involved.

I know that revoking R v. W will NOT stop abortions.

I do think that 'welcoming new life' is a better government policy than one that interferes with a woman's reproductive health, yes.

I appreciate your comments. As to how I vote in future, it will be done upon honor and conscience, so that I can answer for what I do before God.
I could not support Donald Trump, no.

As to the children who suffer, we must make up our own responses to that evil. I'm not judging you or Wade or anyone here. A vote is a sacred thing, private, and paid for by the blood of our soldiers that we have this freedom. I would just ask people to consider how the treatment of the asylum children as a moral issue. That would be important, yes.

RB Kuter said...

Thank you for your response, Christiane. I know you seek God's will in your decisions as do I. That's what He holds us all accountable for. I have a lot of friends who have political persuasions opposite of mine and I pray they will always be my friends and we will continue to be as we end conversations with the understanding that loving each other is what it is all about.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Back on the subject of Spurgeon, I don’t understand you saying, “This advice might have saved Spurgeon’s life.” (The advice was for him not to do a six-month American preaching tour.)

BTW, the link below gives the same picture of Spurgeon as your post. The link also states:

“Spurgeon also suffered ill health toward the end of his life, afflicted by a combination of rheumatism, gout, and Bright's disease. He often recuperated at Menton, near Nice, France, where he died on 31 January 1892. He enjoyed cigars and smoked a "F. P Del Rio y Ca." in his last days according to his grandson.”

Wade, since he died at the age of 57, maybe cigars hastened his death and not just the tour.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Spurgeon#Final_years_and_death

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,
You said to me, “Thank God that Jesus sees both of these people as people created in His image, in spite of church people like you struggling against it. Mon Aug 19, 10:53:00 AM 2019”

I’ve already told of the White woman planning to mary a Black man, and how she had been mistreated most of her life.
I believe she works for Home Health (she treats my ankle twice a week) to help people and not for the money since she has sold her ranch and has a large bank account.

I told my daughter about her today, and she said, “Daddy, I’m 60.” Then it hit me this Home Health woman must be in her 70’s. Also she is very much overweigh and her looks would make my daughter look like an angel.

The bottom line is would the Black man want to mary her if she was poor?

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

Hello Linda,

in response to your comment about the children, this:

the silence

for me, the silence of the Church concerning the cruelty shown to small immigrant children in custody is a great sin against God to whom those little ones belong . . . . they are helpless against the abuse, the neglect, the filth, the lack of care, the lack of water to drink, the lack of the right kind of foods to nourish them . . . . .

we KNOW the reason:
the administration feels that by being openly cruel in this way, it will 'discourage' others from coming to our country;
but the cruelty is somehow not as horrific as is the silence of the Church in the face of the suffering of those little ones . . .

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed."
(Proverbs 31:8)


And Linda,
I believe that on the Day of the Lord, there WILL be justice for these little ones who are dear to the heart of Our Lord Who loves them:

"The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,
And death squads spread their curse across the world.
But every Herod dies, and comes alone
To stand before the Lamb upon the throne." (Malcolm Guite)

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

Christiane, the thing is we DON'T know the things you say we know. Again, could you, if I suddenly showed up at your house with 3500 hungry small children house, clothe, provide beds, provide medical care, and in general properly take care of them? Without any outside resources? This is roughly what happens on our border daily, and it began long before the Donald had any idea of political office. In fact, things were horrific under Obama.

Real justice for these little ones would start with deposing the crooks in mom and pop's own country--which mom and pop must do. Real justice would be parents NOT dragging small children through Mexico without proper resources. Real justice WOULD have Mexico close its southern border.

Second best real justice would NOT be an open border and welcome mat. Second best real justice would have those appalled by conditions get off their hinies and go fix what they think needs fixing. I have personally supplied water, clothing, and food to immigrant families--from my own hand. Have you?

Go and do, then come and give an opinion. Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words. No more talk til you can share what you have done.

linda

RB Kuter said...

Linda, might as well give it up.

RB Kuter said...

See where fewer of my tax dollars are going to "Planned Parenthood". Thank God that fewer of my tax dollars are used to mutilate babies.

History will show the United States as being as genocidal as other notorious fascists and people of the future will ask, "How could they slaughter millions of little babies like that? Didn't they have any Christians? Why was the church so silent and complacent? You mean professing Christians voted for those facilitating the killing?" not, "How could Christians oppose letting everyone in the world from freely entering and living in the US?"

Christiane said...

Hello Linda,
you help the 3,500 children ONE-CHILD-AT-A-TIME

the numbers aren't overwhelming that way

my advice is for you to be free to express yourself openly, in as much as is possible;
without trying to shut other people up or using 'shaming' or 'intimidation' or 'challenges' or 'tests to prove you are worthy' or any of the games out there . . .

just say what troubles you, and what has meaning for you, and do what is possible on your own watch

asylum seekers will keep coming . . . learn what they are running FROM before you hold them in contempt, please . . .

I am the daughter of an immigrant who spoke no English when he came here.
My son is a Coast Guard officer who has been involved in interdicting and taking aboard refugees whose boats were falling apart . . . he said it was the saddest thing he ever saw, the condition of those people

if you want people to 'shut up' and not speak out, you must have a reason for that,
but is it a good reason? Does it accomplish anything positive? A long time ago, in another land, people HAD to be quiet, or they perished. One of the victims/martyrs of that time wrote this:

'Silence in the face of evil is evil itself.
God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak IS to speak.
Not to act IS to act."

This quote was reported by Eberhard Behage as said by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Behage is considered the pre-eminent source on Bonhoeffer, rather than the more recent information written about Bonhoeffer that presents him in a much different light, sadly. Here's a link re: Behage

Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Theologian, Christian, Man for His Times: A Biography Rev. ed. (Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2000).

So speak your mind. I'm not offended. But neither am I 'silenced'.
God Bless!

Christiane said...

Mr. Kuter,
over $700 dollars a day are going for each little one in asylum captivity, but the babies have no soap, no clean clothes, no diapers, and no donations are accepted for them . . . people have tried to donate and were turned away. The littles sit in their own filth.

I am not happy about my tax dollars going to abusers of these toddlers, no.

As I said,
none of us want to children harmed, not one child, not one infant, no.

Look for some common ground among people who see themselves as 'humane'. You will find it.

Christiane said...

Hello Linda,

that reference name is 'Bethge'. Sorry for error.

Christiane said...

Welcoming new life: there's always a better way that is more productive

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/gop-rolls-out-new-parents-act-for-paid-family-leave.aspx

Christiane said...

"an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
“Get up!” he said.
“Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt.
Stay there until I tell you,
for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.”
So he (Joseph) got up, took the Child and His mother by night,
and withdrew to Egypt"

(from the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew, Ch.2)

Please dear people,
'asylum seeking' is not something Christian people need to have contempt for, especially when little children are involved, it does not speak well for our witness, no

RB Kuter said...

"asylum seeking"

A term thrown around loosely these days.

Not sure what the solution to the billions of people living in poverty in other nations would be, but it is not to bring several billion to live in the US as apparently proposed by the "open-door" leftists. That would serve to put the 400 million Americans in poverty but there would still be billions in other countries waiting to come.

Wonder how many legit immigrants Christiane is sponsoring and inviting to come live with her? 10? 15? Wonder about Bernie? AOC? Hillary? Joe? My goodness, if they would simply put the word out to the United Nations Refugee Department that they were willing to sponsor 10 or 15 immigrants, a big dent could be made in the numbers coming illegally.

But wait! No! They all would prefer to spend MY money to pay for providing a high standard of living for ALL the Central/Southern Americans/Middle Easterners/East Europeans/Africans who fancy living in this amazing United States which prospers due to its law, order, immigration standards, and principles. Yeah! Better to use MY money to accommodate THEIR socialist agenda!

Of course, given that the leftists in this country would support a move to allow them all to enter with no restrictions and then give them the right to vote, automatically be given privileges of citizens, education, free lodging and meals, most of the billions would vote for the socialist-left.

What fun! It would be like expanding the chaos on the sidewalks of LA throughout the nation and have plastic tents and the "black plague" epidemic from the rat infestation like is threatening in Los Angeles now due to their open-door policies. What genius-ideology! Why didn't I think of that?! That way, "the plague" could wipe out 90% of the US population and there would be plenty of space for all the survivors!

Speaking of God's love, ever thought of why Jesus did not just heal ALL the people? Ever wondered why Jesus just didn't continually fill the baskets with bread and fish ALL the time for EVERYBODY? Why didn't He at least feed ALL the people that came to see Him and hear Him preach? "Why did Jesus ostracize the crowds saying, "You only came for the food!"
Why didn't Jesus just keep making barrels and barrels of wine for EVERYBODY?? Why did He have to go and say, "Hey, you have poor people with you forever! Get your priorities in order!"

Brother, Jesus would really get it from Christiane!

But God did give us a brain that is supposed to be of greater intelligence than any other creature on earth. If we ask and seek it, God will actually give us a funny thing that we seldom see exhibited by the socialist-left; "WISDOM". But for some reason, that seems in short supply these days. Maybe because some just don't ask for it and seek it.



Anonymous said...

RB, others, are you freaking serious right now?

The government is caging these people at a cost of $750/person/night.

Where can I sign up? I'll build a bigger house for that money.

But I can't sign up can I, RB?
Because being cruel to these people is YOUR ENTIRE OBJECTIVE.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

The subject of “transubstantiation” was in the newspaper yesterday. It means the bread and wine for Communion are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus. A Research Study found that 69% of Catholics no longer believe that happens.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

RB Kuter said...

Anonymous, you don't have to sign up! Just take a vacation to Mexico, lose your passport, then rent a child from the "coyotes" from among the masses standing there. Then you hold the child in your arms as a prop and claim to be from a hostile environment in Honduras or Venezuala and they'll let you in and you become a ward of the state too (meaning dependent upon MY tax dollars).

If they say that you don't "look" like you are from Honduras or Venezuala, or you don't have an accent like you are, you can just say that you were forced to serve as a subject in scientific experiments there that made you look and talk like you do and that your child (that you're renting) is proof that you are!

Christiane said...

Good Morning, REX RAY

when the priest who distributes communion says to me 'Body of Christ', my response is 'Amen'

and I don't despair for other Christian people who don't have 'the Eucharist' because we do not know how God provides for all those who may not say 'Amen',
and I like to think that the Lord cares for His people in ways far beyond their abilities to acknowledge OR understand :)

REX RAY, when you take the Lord's Supper, be peaceful. He cares for you in ways none of us can fully grasp, but you can trust Him.

So my answer is 'Credo', 'I believe',
and in the celebration of the Eucharist, an ancient prayer is also said:

'Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof;
but only say the word and I shall be healed.... '

I wish there was 'open communion' among all Christian people, but when the priest says 'Body of Christ', not all are able to say 'Amen'.
In the meantime, may we all acknowledge Lord Christ as 'the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world' and in our own ways celebrate the Supper of Our Lord, the Paschal Lamb of God, Who strengthens us for 'the journey' home :)



Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

I admire your spirit. In answering my question, we also got a good sermon. But a good sermon doesn’t automatically make the answer true.

Do you agree at the ‘Last Supper’ it was symbolic of flesh and blood when Jesus said, “…this is my body…this is my flesh…”? (Matthew 26:26-28)

It was symbolic then and it’s symbolic today.

Christiane, what does this Scripture mean to you? “Then Jesus shouted out with a loud voice, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom…” (Matthew 27:50-51 NLT)

https://www.compellingtruth.org/temple-veil-torn.html

This link states the curtain was 60 feet high and four inches thick.

Before the curtain was torn, only the High Priest could go to God behind the curtain, but now it was if God had reached down with his hands and tore that curtain from top to bottom to show the world that his Son is the High Priest and all people have access to Him without man-made priest.

“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 KJ)

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY,

I think we see things differently but I think we both respect the sacred Scriptures greatly.

The one thing I think that is most needed is for people to read them through the lens of Jesus Christ. That is the only way to begin to comprehend their meaning.

As for 'the Lord's Supper' I take the old tradition view point that is shared by the Eastern Church as well . . . the Eucharist

but I do think when someone from another branch of the family celebrates the Lord's Supper, it should be done respectfully, as it has been down down through the centuries. I've heard it is sometimes made into a joke, as one time a young pastor placed some stale bread on the back table near the doors and told people to help themselves to it on their way out the door . . . but that was, thankfully, an exception.

From what he has written, I do know Wade is respectful about the Lord's Supper. So, if you have questions about it, he is likely the best mentor you can find among those who are not 'sacramental' in orientation, as I am.

It sounds like you have some questions and concerns that are important. Ask Wade. He will know how to help you best.

Ken F said...

"Do you agree at the ‘Last Supper’ it was symbolic of flesh and blood when Jesus said, “…this is my body…this is my flesh…”? (Matthew 26:26-28)"

Hi Rex,
For what it's worth, Zwingli was the first reformer to insist that the eucharist was only symbolic (Luther disagreed with him). The very earliest Christian writings emphasized the importance of believing the bread and wine become the real flesh and blood of Jesus. If there were Christians who believed otherwise prior to the reformation their writings did not survive. Of course, they could have all been wrong for the first 1500 years of Christianity. Still, I think we shoukd take this into accout when we discuss it today.

Rex Ray said...

Good Gracious! People. God gave us a brain and he expects us to use it. If a dead man has a red stain on his cloths, a chemical test can identify if it’s wine, blood, or catsup.

But after a priest prays over wine and states it’s the blood of Jesus do you think he would dare have a chemical test prove him right. No! He might excommunicate anyone that dared suggest such a ridiculous idea.

RB Kuter said...

Wonder if the grape juice and wafers we eat at Communion turn into actual flesh and blood and we just don't know it? Wonder if it's only Catholic priests who have the ability to ring the bell and change it?

Maybe, some of the other orthodox church priests who claim to have that ability to cause the transition from bread and wine to flesh and blood as well. Wonder if their Russian, Greek, Ethiopian, etc., Orthodox priests are qualified as well as Catholic priests.

Wonder if Martin Luther is responsible for Protestants losing the ability to transform the grape juice and wafers into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ?

Wonder why Jesus Himself called it "fruit of the vine" after His referring to it as "my blood" when introducing the ritual? (Matt. 26:29) Wonder why Jesus didn't say, "I'll drink no more of my blood until I drink it new in the Kingdom of God" instead of Him saying, "I'll drink no more of the fruit of the vine until I drink it new in the Kingdom of God."

Man, lots of questions for Wade to answer!

Rex Ray said...

Tragic and sad this link that tells of the thousands of sex victims by priest worldwide. Wonder how many of them turned wine into blood. (I’ll admit that’s a low blow; I know of someone that was molested when she was 13 by her Baptist pastor while consoling her over her father’s brain being damaged to a 9 year old from a car wreck in the company of a prostitute.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_sexual_abuse_cases_by_country

Yes I know, “He without sin may cast the first stone.”

RB Kuter,
Just read your statement: “Wonder if the grape juice and wafers we eat at Communion turn into actual flesh and blood and we just don't know it?”

That’s the TRUTH. Without food, our flesh and blood would die. So, in a way the Communion is flesh and blood to us. But its not His.

Christiane said...

an ancient blessing, still said today:

"Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam ha’motzi lechem min ha’aretz."

"Blessed are You, Lord, Our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth
bread from the Earth"


indeed, in time,
Our Lord Christ, God, the Bread of Life, was Himself brought forth from the Earth (the tomb) after three days, when He was resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit, God.

Christiane said...

I am a sacramental believer, in that I am aware that God has made everything in existence from nothing (ex nihilo);

and that Our God maintains all of Creation in existence from moment to moment;

so I wouldn't take 'the Lord's Supper' for granted

. . . instead, I would give thanks at the Table of the Lord,
and in doing so, you join a long, long line of those who believed that all they had came from God ultimately.......

and in that sense, being fed at The Lord's Supper takes on a profound meaning for all Christian people, yes


"Then the disciples from Emmaus began to describe what had happened on the road and how He was made known to them in the breaking of the bread."

(from the Holy Gospel of St. Luke 24:35)



Anonymous said...

Wayne Allyn Root

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4813644/chosen

Victorious said...

Just as scripture speaks of God metaphorically as a rock, midwife, tower of strength, and one whose wings provide shelter, Jesus speaks of Himself as the Bread of Life so we will never hunger and Living Water whereby we will never thirst. The bread and wine are symbols of His body which will be broken and His blood that will be shed.

When we break bread and drink wine we do so in remembrance of that time when Jesus and His disciples were observing the feast of the passover.

Shawn said...

Christiane,

'I do not think that it is a good thing for any government to be making decisions for a woman's health, no. I think the medical field and the woman and her family should be involved.'

How about if the government had a say for A CHILD'S LIFE?

Shawn said...

Christiane,

'As to the children who suffer, we must make up our own responses to that evil. I'm not judging you or Wade or anyone here. A vote is a sacred thing, private, and paid for by the blood of our soldiers that we have this freedom. I would just ask people to consider how the treatment of the asylum children as a moral issue. That would be important, yes.'

You mention and apparently are trying to evidence concern for 'children who suffer' and for 'asylum children'. Are you so blind as to not see that the ultimate suffering for a child is murder in the womb, the one place where 'asylum' would be expected to be assured.

You are demonstrating Spiritual Blindness in spades.

Anonymous said...

I am THE CHOSEN ONE

https://youtu.be/pdA4jSNtyD8


Ken F said...

"Good Gracious! People. God gave us a brain and he expects us to use it. If a dead man has a red stain on his cloths, a chemical test can identify if it’s wine, blood, or catsup."

Hi Rex,
I don't think people 2000 years ago were unable to notice the difference between blood and wine. But the fact that they believed the bread and wine mysteriously become the body and blood of Jesus is well documented from the earliest Christian writings. As a protestant, I was surprised and disappointed to find that this was considered an essential belief for the first 1500 years of Christianity, and that if there were early Christians who believed he sacrament to be merely symbolic, their writings did not survive.

As for this sacrament being a mystery, one should ask whether or not modern examination methods could have detected Jesus' divinity. I suspect not. If we can believe that Jesus could be both divine and human at the same time, what makes it so hard to believe that the bread and wine can become the real body and blood of Jesus while continuing to be real bread and wine?

As for Martin Luther, he had vigorous debates about this with Zwingli because Luther believed that Jesus's real presence is in the bread and wine (called consubstantiation).

As much as I want go believe that communion is only symbolic, I am haunted by the fact that apparently no Christians believed this until the reformation, and even the reformers could not agree on it. The history is easy to find for those interested.

Anonymous said...

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.
To one without faith, no explanation is possible."

(Thomas Aquinas)

Rex Ray said...

Ken,

At one time how early Christians believe about the Lord’s Supper got them in trouble with Paul.

“When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. For some of you hurry to eat without sharing with others. As a result some go hungry while others get drunk.” (1 Corinthians 11:20-21 NLT)

Ut, oh, looks like the wine didn’t change to blood.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think people 2000 years ago were unable to notice the difference between blood and wine. But the fact that they believed the bread and wine mysteriously become the body and blood of Jesus is well documented from the earliest Christian writings. As a protestant, I was surprised and disappointed to find that this was considered an essential belief for the first 1500 years of Christianity, and that if there were early Christians who believed he sacrament to be merely symbolic, their writings did not survive."

Ken F - one problem that I see with the mystery interpretation is simply a pragmatic one. What passes as "bread" and "wine", and what does not? Would pound cake or cassava chips be ok? Cool aid (cherry flavor, of course) or hard apple cider? Water or milk?

Plenty of people throughout the church ages have celebrated a meal with staples other than bread and wine because they were unavailable. Did the mystery/magic still happen? What are your thoughts? Ken

Ken F said...

"Plenty of people throughout the church ages have celebrated a meal with staples other than bread and wine because they were unavailable. Did the mystery/magic still happen? What are your thoughts?"

Hi Ken,
I'm not trying to pick a fight. I just wanted to point out that history is not on the side of Christians who say it is merely symbolic. I suspect this is not a strict, either/or situation. However, one thing I do know is my protestant training seems to have hidden a huge trove of Christian history and tradition which causes me to be less dogmatic about the traditions and beliefs I was told are central to the gospel. As a more recent example, the new 9Marks journal is titled, "The Heart of the Gospel: Penal Substitutionary Atonement." Sounds good except for the fact that penal substitution is a theory of the atonement invented by John Calvin. If it is truly te heart of the gospel, it means that Christians were dead wrong for 1500 years. That does not seem plausible.

Anonymous said...

Ken F -

"I'm not trying to pick a fight. I just wanted to point out that history is not on the side of Christians who say it is merely symbolic." Got you!

"As a more recent example, the new 9Marks journal is titled, "The Heart of the Gospel: Penal Substitutionary Atonement." Sounds good except for the fact that penal substitution is a theory of the atonement invented by John Calvin. If it is truly te heart of the gospel, it means that Christians were dead wrong for 1500 years. That does not seem plausible."

Probably safer to say that you, personally, haven't found any evidence of PS before Calvin? :)

ken

Rex Ray said...

Hello out there; is anyone listening?

You heard from the Bible that Paul said some were getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper on wine that was NOT changed to blood.

You seem to say the Lord’s Supper is not symbolic, but want to talk about history and John Calvin. DUH

Tom said...

No I stopped listening when the posted comments were not about an old man from the 19th century. 105 comments and how may are on topic? Spurgeon would be turning in his grave at the level of discussion on conspiracy theories and the like.

Shalom

PS: - Time for a new blog where the horse will not bolt to greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

the Bible says

'Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away
from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted,
forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you'

Ephesians, chapt. 4

Rex Ray said...

Hello to the “Shalom guy”

Long time since we’ve heard from you. You grip about comments being made that’s not about Spurgeon, but you’ve made none. (talk about the kettle calling the skillet black.)

I believe Wade likes for people to make comments, but you want the ‘horse’ to stay in the same pasture. Have you noticed the number of comments on the previous post? They are: 11, 16, 15, 6, 6, 5, 13, and 4.

Reminds me of my dad who taught his older brother, Rex, by 13 years how to drive. Afterwards, they started to go somewhere and Rex got under the wheel, and my dad said, “Hey, I’m the more experienced driver. Rex replied, “This is one time the pupil got ahead of the teacher.”

He probably learned, as I did, not to drive so fast. Dad’s brother-in-law slowed him down by yanking the choke and bending it down. Also, a German doctor told him, “I don’t think God saved me from prison to die in a jeep wreck.” Once I told my 13-year-old twin brother as we huddled on the floor-board of the car’s back seat, “I’m glad you got saved; now we can go to heaven together.”

Ken F said...

Hi Tom and Rex,
The main point of this post is for Southern Baptists to get in touch with their history. I merely expanded on that to also include early Christian history. There are many current and competing voices out there trying to tell us what is and is not true Christianity. As each of us tries to sort out the truth among all the noise, I am suggesting that early Christianity should also be considered. I also wanted to make the point that many beliefs we are being told are essential by various branches of Christianity were unknown for most of Christian history. This does not make these new beliefs wrong (or the old beliefs right), but it does suggest that we should careful in what we label as essential.

Rex Ray said...

Ken F,

Well, let’s go back to early Christian history. You may think there’s a lot of disagreements in our comments, but they’re nothing compared to the book of Acts.

Paul preached Jesus plus nothing, but James (brother of Christ) told him: “You see brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law.” (Acts 21:20 KJ)

That’s like telling Paul, ‘There’s only one of you, so how do you expect to convince these thousands that believe different.’

Don’t you know Paul was shocked, because having to obey the law of Moses was decided against by the First Church Counsel in Acts 15.

“At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows…God knows peoples hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. “So why are you challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? WE BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALL SAVED THE SAME WAY, BY THE UNDERSERVED GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS. Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous…among the Gentiles.” (Acts 15:7-12 NLT)

So, Ken, what happened? The meeting should have closed, but James got the last word and appealed to TRADITION: “When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me…my judgment is…[who made him the judge] (Acts 15:13-19.)

James gave his judgment based on TRADITION: “For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on ever Sabbath for many generations.” (Acts 15:21)

Rex Ray said...

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

Man in general has wanted to see something to worship. The children of Israel at one time worshiped a golden calf.

Wonder if some look upon the Eucharist as a god to worship.

Christiane, if you drank half a gallon wine turned into blood, do you think it would make you sick or drunk? 😊

Shawn said...

In any discussion of church practice church history should indeed be reference. But, so too it ought most times to be given the same weight that Jesus gave to the 'traditions of the fathers' he found the Pharisees et al so strongly defending. Be careful when you point out how long a particular practice has been going on without also referencing Scripture to defend the practice because the reason for the longevity is too often the political entity known as the Roman Catholic Church who tolerated little deviation, especially one that threatened the place and power of the hierarchy - i.e., prominent and necessary place of the priests, an office not found in the NT Church.

Ken F said...

Hi Shawn,
While I generally agree with you, there is a danger in making tradition vs scripture some kind of binary choice because scripture itself is part of the tradition passed down. There is also the fact that scripture stresses the importance on non-written tradition:
2 Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

I have never heard any protestant teaching on what these non-letter traditions could be. The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics will say this verse supports their non-letter traditions.

There is also the problem that the Bible does not teach "sola scriptura" (there is no clear teaching in the NT telling us to use only scripture, there is no table of contents for telling us which NT books should be in the canon, etc.). Sola scriptura is therefore a tradition handed down by the reformers.

There is also the fact that it took a few centuries to canonize the NT, which means there was no possibility for sola scriptura in the early church. The NT canon was chosen based on the books that were traditionally read in the churches, and it took a few centuries to come to agreement because different churches used different letters. The first complete list of NT books is from AD 367 by Athanasius. There are some books that nearly made it in the NT, such as The Didache and The Shepherd of Hermas.



All

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

Well, old friend, I’ll admit that question was a low blow.

At one time Catholic priests read from the Bible in Latin, then told the people in their language what it meant.

In 1947-48 we were in German. My brother and I were teenagers. We were amazed at the tall towers and beauty of Catholic churches. Some ceilings had paintings that brought out the glory of God and heaven.

We asked our German house keeper, Hannan, how they got so much money to build their churches. She said that through the years, people that were unable to pay for Church’s services such as funerals would give some of their land until the Church owned the land and they became sharecroppers. She made fun of our white bread and we made fun of her brown bread. We lost contact with her when we came back to America. Years later we got a letter saying she was happily married and living in America.
https://money.cnn.com/2015/09/24/news/pope-francis-visit-vatican-catholic-church/index.html

This link gives five facts about the Catholic Church.
The first one: The Vatican Bank has $8 billion in assets.

It shows a church ceiling that’s beautiful and SHOCKING.

Shawn said...

Ken F.

Note what Karl Rahner has to say on Traditions referenced in the NT, ‘Karl Rahner (Dictionary of Theology, s.v. ‘Tradition’ noted that ‘. . . one can conclude that Tradition occurs always and everywhere in hearkening to Scripture, subject to Scripture as the critical norm which is always and everywhere necessary in order to distinguish ‘divine’ Tradition as the handing on of God’s revelation of himself in Jesus Christ from human traditions. . . . it is not possible at least for us to prove with certainty that explicit matters of faith (apart from the scope of canon) were held in apostolic times which have not been recorded in Scripture, SCRIPTURE ALONE REMAINS FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES THE SOLE MATERIAL SOURCE OF THE FAITH DRAWN UPON BY LATER TRADITION.’ (my emphasis. That is essentially the very definition of Sola Scriptura, from the pen of a Catholic theologian).

Your problem is assuming that those Traditions were ‘non-lettered’ or that they in anyway differed from NT writings. This non-Catholic will identify them specifically NT teaching.

The Bible does indeed teach ‘sola scriptura’, more implicitly. This is especially true in Jesus’s case in that his phrase is more often than not, ‘have you not read?’ Your counter to that teaching is to identify anything that Scripture says is on equal footing with and as authoritative with the Biblical text. I have challenged several Catholic apologists in this and no one has yet provided an answer. Rahner knew that.

You assume again on the canonization of the NT books. The NT writings were utilized early on and Peter himself references the authority of Paul. The early church relied on direct teaching of the apostles and then on the NT writings, even before there was wide spread agreement on the constitution of the canon – the books were there early on and used immediately. This is seen in the Muratorian fragment.

Ken F said...

Hi Shawn,
I am not denying the authority of the scriptures. What I am saying is the scriptures themselves do not teach sola scriptura. And the earliest NT books were not written until about two decades after Jesus died, which means Christianity was not based on anything but tradition and the OT for as least the first 20 years. Yes, all of the NT books were used immediately after they were written. But it still took a few centuries before Christians everywhere came to agreement on the canon. This is clear historical fact


I don't know of any Christian tradition that formally elevates tradition above or contrary to scripture. That said, scripture does not encompass the entirety of Christianity. For example, it does not describe what a Sunday church service should be like, how long it should last, who exactly should lead it, what kind of music/singing to include, what our prayer posture should be (standing, kneeling, sitting, eyes open or shut, head bowed or elevated), what kind of wine to use, what kind of bread to use, how long the sermon should last or whether there should even be a sermon, etc. Fasting is another issue that Jesus taught, but we have nothing in the NT giving us details on how to do it. If things like this matter, we cannot appeal to scripture for clear answers.

As for the non-letter traditions Paul stresses, we have no way of knowing what those were. I would assume they would not contradict scripture, but we really have no way of knowing because scripture does not say what they were or whether or not those traditions were later codified in scripture. We can only argue from silence or tradition to resolve this.

Another important point is when the early church had to fight heresies, they found that the heretics were very effectively using scripture to prove their heresies. This was particularly true of Arianism. The argument that eventually defeated Ariansim was tradition - it was defeated based on what Christians have always believed rather than by an easy scriptural battle.

I find it interesting that you appeal to a non-scripture source to prove sola scriptura.

As a protestant, I was never much encouraged to truly investigate early church history or to color outside the lines by reading non-protestant viewpoints on these matters. I suspect the reason for this is the actual history is not as tidy as we protestants want to believe. And the earliest Christian writings outside the Bible (and well before Constantine) paint a picture of the early church that looks much more Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox than it looked evangelical protestant. I was not expecting to find this.

RB Kuter said...

Ken F., if I may join in this conversation, I would like to respond.

I wonder at your definition of "tradition". I think you do make some good points regarding that time lapse between the ascension of Christ and the first New Testament writings. You mention "which means Christianity was not based on anything but tradition and the OT for as least the first 20 years."

I would say that the movement of Christianity during those early years was not based upon tradition but by the testimony of eyewitnesses who were either directly accompanying Jesus or obtained their message directly from those who had been. Like the Old Testament accounts prior to being penned by Moses, it was not what I consider to be "tradition" but by direct revelation of God to the prophet or by those historical accounts passed down orally.

But then again, perhaps we have no disagreement at all because when I review Webster's definition of "tradition" it is pretty much describing what I just wrote about the accounts being passed down orally.

The concern may be in that some of your statements led me to conclude that you were proposing that those teachings/rituals/theology that seem to be originated by "man" are "traditions" equal in validity to Scripture, whether written or oral.

For instance, Catholic "tradition" on "relics" and their being sacred and authentic in value, priests of the church having authority/position to change wine and bread into blood and flesh, praying to Mary, Mary's being "immaculate" never having a taint of sin, her assumption into heaven, worthy to be the intercessor of prayer, etc. So many beliefs in the Catholic church that can only be attributed to the manufacturing of man with no Scriptural support unless it is done by twisting and perverting it. The idea of the Pope having the level of spiritual application and being able to determine the proper application of Scripture due to his elected position. Not to mention teachings ("traditions"?) on purgatory, last rites, calling priests "Father", being saved from eternal damnation due to being baptized as an infant in the Catholic church, and on and on.

These are the things that I think of when I hear "traditions" as made in reference to the Catholic Church; not the oral testimony of the Apostles and prophets.

Shawn said...

Ken F.,

The only way that Scriptures do not teach sola scriptura is if they say, ‘this here thing is more authoritative than God’s Word.’ Find that and you have negated the implicit sola scriptura.

‘Christianity was not based on anything but tradition and the OT’, and, noting Rahner and meownself, when ‘tradition’ is equated to the NT then you are right back to sola scriptura.

‘scripture does not encompass the entirety of Christianity.’ You would be more accurate to say that ‘not all Christian PRACTICE is based on Scripture’ but all Christian DOCTRINE is. The sola scriptura debate is not about practice but about doctrine. Also, there is no ‘what a Sunday church service SHOULD be like.’ What you argue for is non doctrinal practice.

I have observed that Catholic apologists divide Tradition into two aspects, depending on what they want to defend. If they are arguing for authority (pope, canon, etc) then they go for Ancient Tradition; if they are arguing for Marian practices and such then they argue for Living Tradition.

As far as Paul’s reference, you either have to agree with Rahner and me or identify what those traditions are that are of the same level of authority as Scripture, show where we may find them to day and reference them.

I disagree with you on the battling of heresies. Arguments were made based on Scripture and their INTERPRETATIONS and which INTERPRETATIONS were more widely or more anciently held, not traditions.

I grew up as a Latin Mass Catholic, was a Latin Mass Altar boy as a matter of fact, and the truth is, outside of anyone’s seminary training, no one studies any aspect of church history, Catholic or Protestant! I did study it in my Master’s Work and every seminary I am aware of teaches it as a matter of their curriculum. When I taught Sunday School at my Baptist Church we got into it on a regular basis. I encourage it all the time.

For my Master’s work I did a paper on baptism in the early church.
https://conanlibrarian.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/de-baptismo.pdf

It describes nothing that can be recognized now in any Catholic church or Evangelical.

Ken F said...

Hi RB,
Thanks for joining then discussion. I've heard it said that if Christian tradition was like a museum, the Eastern Orthodox would be like guards who maintain it exactly as is, with nothing coming in and nothing going out. Nothing changes, ever. By contrast, the Roman Catholics would be like curators, who bring in new artifacts and arrange the artifacts in different ways, while moving some artifacts to the basement. I would add that protestants tend to act like pawn shops, were any ancient artifacts that happen to be there are only for the utility they provide, and all artifacts are for sale. I doubt that any of these are good models, but I don't know what is.

When I dig into other Christian denominations I try to get info directly from knowledgeable insiders rather than from their critics in order to understand why they believe what they believe. Last year when I left the SBC church I had been a member of for nearly 10 years, I looked seriously at becoming Eastern Orthodox, mostly because of their Trinitarian theology. I read quite a lot of their theology and history, attended their services, and met with the priest. I found they are real people who understand grace, take the bible as seriously as any protestant, and have true faith in Christ. Meeting with them personally broke every stereotype I had been taught as a protestant. I don't think anything did more to undermine my trust in Protestantism than to find out that what it teaches about Eastern Orthodoxy is nearly all wrong. It makes me wonder what else is wrong within Protestantism.

The fact that there are thousands of protestant denominations who divide over doctrinal positions all derived from sola scriptura tells me that there is something wrong with the protestant model. With all the various authoritative voices saying why their version is correct and all the others are wrong, it makes me want to run from all of them.

I wonder what Jesus thinks of all this.

Ken F said...

Hi Shawn,
I dont understand why you seem to be arguing so strongly with me. What point are you trying to make that you think I am missing? What would I need to write to satisfy you?

RB Kuter said...

Ken F., interesting analogies of "guards, curators, and pawn shops".

I also try to get my information straight from those adhering to various beliefs rather than simply taking the perspective of outsiders who comment about them. I regularly do this with Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, and Catholics. The most experience I have had directly with "orthodoxy" was in Ethiopia. It pretty much confirmed my impression based upon reading and observance regarding the orthodox church in various countries.

In respect to all of those orthodox churches and the Catholic Church, the element that seems to be buried beneath their devotion to their particular church's teachings and traditions is the essential, exclusive concept of having a personal relationship with the living, present, accessible Jesus Christ. That's where the rub comes in. The concept of being spiritually "re-born" as the consequence of surrendering one's life to Christ is considered heretical by orthodox folks, and probably Catholics, and they think of we who adhere to that as being cultic and bizarre.

I am not sure why you would search in an orthodox or Catholic environment to acquire a sense of fulfillment in worship and spiritual growth in your relationship with Christ. I also understand your quest to grow intellectually and in your understanding of divine concepts, and I think we all do that to a degree, but not to fulfill some spiritual void we have. That's fine if you do, it's your choice. But from all that I have observed and learned from the Catholic and Orthodox churches, it seems that their environment quenches the presence of Christ in a real sense of having a personal relationship with Him and growing closer in that. But of course, there are 100s of millions of orthodox and Catholic followers who would take exception to my saying that and instead be puzzled as to why I have more worshipful and personal experiences with Christ in my own Protestant environment.

I do appreciate and enjoy, to a degree, the formality, beauty, and quiet sense of peace encountered during the Catholic Church services. However,their process of using holy water, the lofty position of their priests and referring to them as "Father", the mystical aspects of transforming the wafers and wine into flesh and blood, their attempts to elevate priests to some holier position and portraying their life of celibacy/eunuchism as confirming that, etc., all seem to undermine the credibility of the genuineness of their worship to me. Add to that their general lack of application and use of Scripture, absence of teachings of The Word to their people, the papal hierarchy of their clergy, etc., and it all seems to be so superficial and misguided. But it's still pretty, in beautiful settings with all the ornate robes, candelabras, music, etc.

Really, Ken F., do you gain personally from all that? But if that scratches your itch, have at it. I know there are all kinds of blemishes in Protestant churches and the frequent corrupt clergy and administration as well, but the Bible is at least held up as being the authoritative source with a personal walk with the person of Jesus Christ being the objective and priority.

Anonymous said...

Ken F - Just curious, since the early church was pretty much characterized by a nonviolence stance with aggression are you as well? https://www.academia.edu/27661808/Nonviolence_in_Early_Christian_Thought?email_work_card=view-paper Lots of papers and resources out there on that tradition.

I forget if I've asked you that in the past, but I can't remember where you stand on that issue. I'm not, but was close to embracing it in years past. Ken

Ken F said...

Hi RB,
Thanks for the dialogue. For me, my relationship with Eastern Orthodoxy is a bit like the question of what happens when an irresistible force acts on an immovable object. I am way too left-brained for my own good, and what I find in Orthodoxy is a different kind of experience that invokes all of the senses in a way that stretches my right brain without sacrificing my left brain. I was very tempted to become EO, but ultimately I could not get past the complexity of it and what seems to me to be way too much emphasis on fasting and getting it right. That said, in my nearly 35 years as an evangelical there was just as much emphasis on getting it right, but in different way. So I am left with being strongly attracted to EO, until I get too close and start feeling strongly repulsed, until I get too far away and feel strongly attracted...

There is also the fact that there is quite a lot of variety in both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, so much so that it is difficult to put either of them in a narrow box. For example, I have been greatly blessed through the teaching Richard Rohr, who is a Franciscan priest. He breaks about all of the Roman Catholic steroetypes I was taught as an evangelical.

What bothers me most about the current state of evangelicalism is all the "right-fighting." It seems that so many prominent evangelicals, when they can keep their pants on, spend way too much time arguing and dividing over theological precision that I suspect has become an idol by now. If that level of theological precision delights God, why did Jesus seem to model the opposite? Jesus used quite a lot of story and simile, and rarely taughy with precision or detailed exposition.

Ken F said...

Hi Ken,
I have not yet sorted through the non-violence issue. While I think the ancients were mostly on the right track, it seems like they took it farther than what Jesus commanded. For example, if it was morally wrong to serve in the military in any capacity, why did Jesus praise the centurion for his faith instead of rebuking him for his military service? So like a lot of other issues, I suspect he answer to this one is not binary.

One of my beefs with evangelicalism, and especially the New-Calvinist movement, is all the effort they spend condemning others with words through right-fighting, litmus tests, and throwing around the heresy label.

Perhaps the issue is less about the details and more about the state of one's heart.

RB Kuter said...

Ken F., there is no religious institution on earth that is without its own faults caused by the sin of people involved. I have settled on Southern Baptist because it comes closest to having a focus on winning lost souls into the Kingdom, reliance on Scripture for guidance and growth, and especially elevating Jesus Christ in His correct identity of being God incarnate and the exclusive path to having a relationship with God as our Father.

All that being said, Southern Baptists do fight continually and there are always those seeking power and control and inflict injury upon many during their course of strife. I have attended seminary at a SB institution during the early 80s when the Convention wars were most intense. I was on the mission field with FMB/IMB and saw many missionaries leave in disgust. I was, perhaps am, in the survival mode of trying to protect myself from getting involved in the fighting and stay focused on Jesus and serving Him. God has blessed me and my wife and we have not been interrupted in our ability to serve God as He leads.

The key for me is to keep my eyes on Jesus. If I left the SBC I know I would not find any alternative that was without its problems. So I choose to remain with the one that, in my estimation, is the least of evils. Jesus will fix all this when He returns.

Ken F said...

"The key for me is to keep my eyes on Jesus."

Hi RB,
I read our dialogue to my wife and she said your last reply to me was one of the best comments she has seen in blogs like this. One of her key phrases is "keep your eyes fixed on Jesus." Regardless of one's faith tradition, this is the main point. I have found that people across deoniminations can have true fellowship when this is the focus. But when the focus becomes doctrine then no amoint if denominational unity will make the fellowship meaningful.

I was not raised as a Southern Baptist, but I had a grandfather who was one. When we joined this particular SBC church more than 10 years ago it had a different spirit than it does now. I applaud your effort to do what you can within the SBC. But for me I had to leave. I don't see "fixing eyes on Jesus" in the SBC leadership. It seems like the SBC is now much more focused on power and doctrinal purity, which is a very old problem in Christianity.

RB Kuter said...

Ken F., I totally understand all of your sentiments.

I am guessing that a number of SB Convention leaders believe they are doing God's will but often it is difficult to believe God is controlling a lot of things that take place.

The most disappointing aspect of our Convention is that the infrastructure is established and controlled by appointed players, and I don't mean "appointed" by God, necessarily. That DNA of "protected appointment" runs through the institution.

The "church" population does not determine who serves in principal Convention leadership offices. That is controlled by power-players who are members of the inner, deep-space, SBC institution. It's rather like a dictatorial committee that only allows certain candidates to be considered and then they decide which ones are to be selected. That is a sure way to maintain control and assert whatever strategy and emphasis the Convention institution is to pursue.

I know, it is not lovely. But again, I have not yet found a better alternative. I do not believe I could find another Christian organization made of a collective body of churches that are more compatible with my personal position on things regarding the Bible and following Jesus.

I could seek to be "independent" and search for an individual church body was not affiliated with any other collective body. But then I would discover aspects of that church group with which I do not agree. Also, I don't agree with the independent strategy. I believe it is healthy and can be more productive for churches to work together in Kingdom work and projects.

For instance, JD Grear, current SBC President, is promoting the "Who's Your One" evangelism method and our church is much involved in it. I don't know if JD originated this promotion or if it is simply a "LifeWay" project with hidden motives to make money. But I see that a lot of our church's members are awakened to their responsibility to actively share the Gospel with the lost of the world as a result of this promotion. That's a good thing and I believe souls will genuinely be saved as a result of the program in spite of it possibly having some motives that are not admirable.

I believe JD has a good heart and is sincere in pursuing the course he is taking as the President. He had to be an "insider" to even get the position of "President" given that the established power-player system determines who will be in those key positions, but hopefully he is attempting to use his position for Kingdom benefit.

But the Convention system is certainly far from perfect. LifeWay had $79 million in revenue in 2019. The SBC is involved in handling hundreds of millions of dollars flowing through its coffers. All of this taints its image given the stealth, insider-controlled leadership structure at the top.

I do the best I can as a follower of Jesus Christ to behave responsibly and in a manner that I believe will please my Father. Like Wade, I do try to be actively involved in bringing attention to those areas of corruption in our SB Convention. I actively write to Board Trustees and express my views on social media as I have the opportunity.

I also try to be involved in contributing to my own church growing spiritually and being more active in serving Christ as He leads us. The SBC will never be all that God intends. The United States will never be a perfect, God-approved government. But I love it, and I see its limited potential for doing good and prefer it above all others.

Until Jesus returns, I believe I will have to stay active and do the best that I can with the priority being, as your wife says, "to keep my eyes on Jesus".

Ken F said...

RB,
Every denomination needs people who are doing what you are doing. I hope that there are enough people like you in the SBC to make a positive difference and to turn it around from where it seems to be heading.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply, Ken F, as I appreciate the perspective you bring! Ken

Shawn said...

Ken F,

Are you not also arguing as strongly against me? Our 'discussion' is an argument. And that is not a bad thing. We disagree and I am attempting to present my case and persuade you.

I argue against the 'tradition' position because I see no validity in it; no on has yet shown where in Scripture it says, 'this thing/item/concept is just as authoritative as God's Word.' I have shown you that I see the 'tradition' mentioned by Paul as that which we find in the NT and I presented a Catholic theologian, who, surprising to many, agrees.

Ken F said...

Hi Shawn,
If you are trying to persuade me it would be better for you to not use phrases such as "your problem is" and "you assume." These phrases tend not to promote dialogue.

"Sola scriptura" has a nice alliteration, but it's not really what the reformers meant. I believe they meant the primacy of scripture over tradition rather than just the bible on its own completely separated from all hints of tradition. But sola literally means alone, like a pilot flying solo. There is no way for any of us to use scriptura alone because even translating it from Greek relies on different traditional ways of translating passages.

The reason I argue against sola scriptura is because the scriptures were canonized through tradition rather than through a process where a holy table of contents was revealed from heaven. As you mentioned, the only books that made it into the NT were the ones that were widely accepted and read in the churches. There is no way that the early church could have used scripture alone as the measuring stick for canonizing the NT because there was no scripture telling them how to do it. I don't understand how anyone could argue that the NT was canonized apart from tradition.

You mentioned the difference between doctrine and denominational practice, but scripture does not define this difference. So where do you come up with this argument? Sola scriptura offers no help for this. The NT talks about doctrine a bit, but does not tells us what is doctrine vs what is not. And it offers almost no help in resolving divisive denominational issues.

An even more important point you mentioned is differences in interpretation. I find that major divisions over doctrine boil down to differences in interpretations of the Bible. For example, the Doctrines of Grace is an interpretation held tightly by a small minority of Christians who disagree with the vast majority of Christians who reject the Doctrines of Grace. So what authority should Christians appeal to when they cannot agree on what the Bible means for vital issues like this? The argument eventually leads to some kind of answer along the lines of "this is what our denomination believes" or "this is how leader xyz interprets it." But this is simply an appeal to tradition. How do you personally resolve doctrinal disagreements over interpretations? What authority to you appeal two when you cannot resolve a doctrinal position from scripture alone?

How much time have you spent talking with knowledgeable people from Eastern Orthodoxy? If you ask them about the importance of the Bible they will sound like they agree with you that tradition can never violate scripture. Where they appear to differ is the importance of relying on tradition for things not mentioned in the Bible. For example, they appeal to the consensus of church fathers rather than to creeds and confessions of splinter groups. As for using the Bible to prove their points, I have personally found the Eastern Orthodox to be much more persuasive than anything I have heard from the Reformed perspective. I personally find that the Eastern Orthodox use scripture more effectively than Protestants.

Overall, my main point is we should not be too quick to ignore ancient church history, because they already solved a lot of problems that seem new to us moderns. This is not to say they were perfect or superior to us moderns. But neither were they completely wrong.

Ken F said...

Shawn,
Are you still following this thread?