Jul 092013
 

links_image1Christianity and Egypt…

Top 10 novels for pastors…what a weird idea for a list…

Should we expect politicians to act like Christians?

A good case for amill from a former premill…

Pastor loses people over Obama support…

Arrested for preaching in Britain…

Big growth in single father households…

Why don’t we talk about gluttony as much as homosexuality?

C.S. Lewis on legislating morality…probably a better authority than Jerry Lee Lewis on the topic.

Anglicans make strong statement on child abuse…

8 hour course on Calvinism from John Piper…don’t everyone click at once ;-)

Women are cheating more these days…

Modern worship wars…

Sam Storms on the wrath of God…highly recommended.

Grudem “specifically supporting” Mahaney

Finally today…Pat Robertson thinks Facebook should have a “vomit” button, for things like pictures of same sex couples.

The video has made the rounds as another stab at crazy ol’ Pat as the last bizarre thing he has said.

The problem is that as much as I want to be an awesome, cool, inclusive, non judgmental, guy…those pictures make me a bit queazy myself.

The other night Trey and I were watching one of the few shows we can watch together called “My Cat From Hell”.

It’s about this kitty therapist who helps people whose cats are so out of control that they are ruining the felicity of the home they live in.

He figures out why the cat is acting like a feline criminal and restores peace to all involved.

We tend to root for the cat and think the people are crazy.

I digress…

The final couple in last weeks episode was a lesbian couple who, (after having their cat issues resolved), joyfully kissed in celebration.

I… was not happy.

We’ll see this more and more…and we will have to respond to it and explain it to our children.

We don’t want to be bigots, nor do we want to teach bigotry to our kids.

We don’t believe that homosexual behavior is right or righteous either.

How do we respond with more tact than Pat but with truth, love, and righteousness?

 

 

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  271 Responses to “Links”

  1. Homosexuals have the most impressive public relations workers – paid and volunteer – and the most amazing public relations results that the world has ever seen.
    There has never been a section of the populace so revered.
    Thousands of years of belief has been upended and disposed of in deference to homosexuality.
    Those descended from a race targeted for slavery have even capitulated that their own suffering over hundreds of years pales in comparison to the struggle of homosexuals.

    That’s power and influence and it is unparalleled.

  2. Wow. I was just sharing with a friend the other day about how I struggle with gluttony. I am about 25 pounds over weight and I know I am “greedy” when I eat too much and continue to carry this weight. It is something I have prayed about, repented over and over about, but really struggle to overcome this continuing sin.

    I was sharing with my friend how this issue in my life is what makes me so uncomfortable about the church (as a whole) focusing on the one “big” sin of homosexuality. We ignore not only gluttony but what fornication and greed (look at the cars in the church parking lot, does anyone really NEED at $30,000 car?),
    Anyway, I believe the church has to acknowledge that Jesus came for broken sinners.

    Of course there is a difference between loving people who are struggling with sin, teaching the word of God, trusting that His word with renew their minds and they will understand we are sinners in need of forgiveness and desire to be set free from that sin that snares us….as opposed to the person that says “I will live as I want to live and if you don’t like it, that’s too bad, I’ll sue you and force you to agree that my “gluttony” (name your sin) is good and righteous.”

  3. Nonnie,

    Your last paragraph presents the conundrum.
    Rob, it all started with a change in the language.
    When the word “gay” become the new label instead of all the other ones we formerly used.
    The power of words…

  4. Interesting cultural studies on cultural / societal interactions with people who are perceived as ‘over weight'; what I’ve seen and read indicates that the obese are regarded very poorly and pay a daily price with biases in interaction. One article has deadly implications for the obese. If medical practitioners are biased against you, what can you expect with your well being in their hands? http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/05/24/many-medical-students-have-anti-fat-bias-study-finds

  5. Rob, I think that article was vague on what is “obese.” I’m guessing that they are “judging” the morbidly obese….the type of people who have to use the electric carts at Walmart because they cannot walk that well. (and yes, I admit that is a judgemental statement, right there….sorry)

    Gluttony does not necessarily imply morbid obesity.

  6. Oh, and I should have said that some people need to use those motorised carts in the stores because of other health issues that have nothing to do with morbid obesity.

  7. Many American Christians are not concerned about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East because most Christians in the Middle East are eastern Christians (some flavor of Eastern Orthodoxy) and most American Christians (evangelicals) do not consider these people to be Christians.

  8. I refuse to use the word “gay.”

  9. Xenia,

    I think your #7 is sadly true and worthy of discussion.

  10. Xenia,
    I wholeheartedly agree with you about how our horribly our Orthodox family are treated, and dismissed by evangelicals.

    Remembering the recent martyrs, Lord, please hear our prayer.

  11. Yes, to Xenia’s number 7. God help us.

  12. I just noticed the pingback on my recent Grudem/Mahaney article. Thanks, Michael. It’s important to know where key leaders stand on this SGM lawsuit issue and in this case, it’s just wrong to blindly follow your friend when everything around you is screaming for you to take a closer look at the situation. I wonder if he’s even read the 2nd amended complaint. Another thing that it shows is how powerful Mahaney is. To have 6 key Christian leaders speak out publicly in support of Mahaney, modify their statements (without properly notifying anyone that they modified key portions), remove their statements (and comments), remove the entire statement of support without any notice or explanation – – something is very fishy going on. It is making the whole lot of them look suspect.

    As far as Pat Robertson issue. I understand the strong emotions of not wanting to see two men kiss. My response to that is: how would Jesus respond to them? Would he vomit? I think not. So, the question is, how do we show love and truth?

  13. I have a wonderful young FB friend who is Coptic Christian in Cairo. He joins in the protests and I worry for him, but understand and admire his and his friends passion for their country.
    We have it so easy here.

  14. Many American Christians are not concerned about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East because most Christians in the Middle East are eastern Christians (some flavor of Eastern Orthodoxy) and most American Christians (evangelicals) do not consider these people to be Christians.
    ——————————————————————-
    Today I was with a group of CC pastors for a monthly get-together and we (not just me) not only talked about Egypt but we (not just me) prayed for our Christian brothers and sisters that are there and going through this nightmare.

    I can’t speak about all American Christians, but if anything, CC Christians are going to typically be quite concerned with issues facing the churches in the Middle East.

    Of course, if we express TOO much concern, then we are criticized by others for being overly focused on things over there.

  15. I personally know of FOUR different families with children of divorced parents where one of those parents has joined a homosexual lifestyle. (All four are women turning to lesbianism)

    These people are not homosexuals by birth or any such nonsense. They were in loving heterosexual marriages that had normal marital relations and they abandoned them.

    Maybe like Anne Heche, they will come to repentance one day. Maybe not. One thing I know is we don’t see ANYONE in the homosexual community condemning such betrayals and what that does to the children. Nope, in their minds their “team” just got a few more players for the cause.

    But it is these children we need to remember when we speak on this subject. (By “we” I mean especially pastors talking to crowds) Speak the truth, yes, but speak it in love.

  16. In the Middle East, it seems all someone has to do is sneeze and a Christian is killed for it. They don’t have to have any consistent reasons.
    This is why we need to pray for the churches that live under persecution around the world, send them money for needs and send them bibles. I find my heart reaches out to them much faster than to the 1st world problems of the church in America.
    ____
    On the losing people over supporting Obama, I would expect any pastor who seem to think that supporting some agenda over I don’t want to hear tax policy, climate change (more tax policy really), less government, more government or any other specifically tailored arguments from either party from the pulpit. To me there are only a few issues that cross into this area that Christians should concern themselves with.
    ____
    Arrested for preaching in Britain. Coming soon to a state near you!
    ____
    Worship wars…heard that yesterday on NPR.
    ____
    “Would a God who took as much pleasure in evil as He did in good be a good God? Would a God who did not react adversely to evil in His world be morally perfect? Surely not. But it is precisely this adverse reaction to evil, which is a necessary part of moral perfection, that the Bible has in view when it speaks of God’s wrath” (Knowing God, 136-37).
    ____
    Your last, well you aren’t the only one. I remember an article by Carl Trueman, I think, where he says that culture, as a whole has lost the yuck factor it used to have on this.

  17. Also on NPR, yesterday, I heard a homosexual activist talk about how he went to Verizon and AT&T to teach them how to market to homosexuals.
    I turned it off at this point.
    Why?
    Because, homosexuals use phones exactly the same way that everyone else does.
    Why then do they need special marketing?
    Tired of the endless propaganda to convert the population

  18. I can’t contribute too much on the novels for pastors – but I read an excellent article several years ago comparing the Tom Hanks Cast Away movie with the novel, Robinson Crusoe – the comparison presented as indicative of almost 300 years of societal change with God being diminished more and more.

    It prompted me to read the novel – and it was fascinating to make the comparison.

  19. How do we get statistics that show men cheat more than women? Do men cheat with aliens?

  20. I say we let Rachel choose. She can either have kids who eat too much or gay kids. She gets to sovereignly choose and she gets what she wants. Have her write a column on that.

    Yes I know what a jerk I am but the truth is she is being exactly the same with her challenge.

    The truth is there is a difference and she knows it… For the record give me kids who down too many fries over kids who cheat on their spouses. Sexual sins are indeed actually different and the consequences are much more costly.

  21. No doubt I will lose my food channel contracts over that last comment.

  22. Steve, my former CC pastor does not believe Orthodoxy is a Christian church. His exact words: “Orthodoxy is not a system that leads to salvation.”

  23. Julie Anne @ nr. 12:

    As far as Pat Robertson issue. I understand the strong emotions of not wanting to see two men kiss. My response to that is: how would Jesus respond to them? Would he vomit? I think not. So, the question is, how do we show love and truth?

    I realize I’m probably the only liberal here. I understand that, and I can also respect those of you who can only experience the Bible in terms of black-and-white constructs. But real life is not that way, gay and lesbian folks have the same revulsion and gag-reflex at the thought of doing things with those of the opposite sex as you hetero folks have when you reflect on what queer folk do.

    I am straight and happily married now for 33 yrs. I couldn’t care less what a person’s sexual orientation is, I am far more concerned with the content of their character. It is my fervent hope that the Almighty doesn’t see it as that big of a deal either.

  24. #23 “I am straight and happily married now for 33 yrs. I couldn’t care less what a person’s sexual orientation is, I am far more concerned with the content of their character. It is my fervent hope that the Almighty doesn’t see it as that big of a deal either.”

    I think my point is how we address all people, period – whether LGBT or straight. I have a hunch that those who say they would vomit seeing two men kissing would not even wince, but get drawn in when watching a hot bedroom scene between two unmarried heterosexuals.

    And to that I say why? Is one more sinful than the other in God’s eyes?

  25. Steve, my former CC pastor does not believe Orthodoxy is a Christian church. His exact words: “Orthodoxy is not a system that leads to salvation.”
    ———————————————-
    Well, I don’t know who he is – but I will assume he was not at my meeting today since we seemed pretty united. I thought it would be an encouraging note to share….

  26. Like the CS Lewis link (a lot), although in the US, the State exists to protect our rights, not ensure our happiness.

  27. Nonnie @ 7…amen and praying for our brethren in Egypt.

    What Dread said @ 20. The PC is getting a little thick.

  28. Christianity and Egypt…
    Not able to say if people generally do or do not prayer of these and Christians everywhere—I do, and I hope so.

    Should we expect politicians to act like Christians?
    LOL—-you mean they don’t? I say this in light of what the church today now represents, for what is practiced is no different than what is found in what scripture refers to as the world. On another note: this is not a theocracy, therefore, there will be issues that Christians will need to not be a part of while understanding that our country and the world will push for those agendas that they believe are most important to them in realizing their own description of freedom and liberties. As a politician, I would think it to be impossible to think for one second one can impose their values, but they can certainly practice them. For instance, not being deceptive, that is lying, cheating, practicing sexual immorality, or for one second not having a heart for the least of those in society.

    A good case for amill from a former premill…
    I find the arguments for these positions interesting—-not important to me which is correct. The point is, am I ready and that, He is coming back—–to fulfill all scripture, which includes Judgment and the Kingdom He promised a very long time ago. “People get ready, Jesus is coming.”

    Pastor loses people over Obama support…
    Stupid——-there are far too may other important reasons to leave a church than what person a votes for. Jesus did not get involved in the political processes of His day, although He spoke out on injustice, oppression, and sexual immorality. I believe Obama does the same. Hmmm. People has a right to vote for whomever they choose. What drives that decision could be a variety of reasons. Some being, that it has nothing to do with a party line—-it could be just because ——-. And that is his or her decision to do so.

    Arrested for preaching in Britain…
    This, I believe is what more and more Christians will be facing in the future—for hearts will grow cold and people will not longer want to hear the Word of the Lord. Even in the church, people do not like domestic violence and child abuse, yet they will not rid themselves of the things which, actually promote and enables them. I don’t think homosexuality is the issue here as much as becoming more aware that there is a real possibility that one day we will not even be able to own a Bible. In reading through the recording —- my heart was gladden in hearing this preacher stuck to the Word and did not permit the flesh to get in the way—–I would pray that I would do as well as this man did when, not if, my turn comes to giving answer for the things that I also would want others to know for the sake of their eternal souls. I know I won’t always, but God help me that when facing that which could take away what freedom, I do enjoy or destroy my body, I would.

    I am often surprised to hear that people don’t think that what happened to this preacher in London is not happening right here in our own backyeards. it is—and it will become even more so. I see it all happening in many places, circumstances, and situations. Truly, scripture has much to say—“being caught unaware.”

    8 hour course on Calvinism from John Piper…don’t everyone click at once
    John Piper has nothing of any value that I cared to hear. Calvinism, now that’s interesting and gives food for thought.

    Women are cheating more these days…

    Not all men cheat with live, in vivo women, but neither do all women cheat with live, in vivo men. There are many ways, a person can cheat on their spouses—-even without physical contact, The brain doesn’t know the difference. It just knows that the pleasure zone is being massages or triggered. The more you drink the waters, the more insatiable this becomes, the less you are able to be cognitive of the impact you are having upon your spouse, your children, and pretty much the way you see things overall. Your tolerance becomes increased just as your intolerance towards the needs of others is decreased.

    Modern worship wars…
    Well, I guess it’s no longer all about HIM, is it?

    Sam Storms on the wrath of God…highly recommended.

    Liked very much.

    Finally today…Pat Robertson thinks Facebook should have a “vomit” button, for things like pictures of same sex couples.

    Pat Robertson can be like most—too quick on his words to do any good.

    Personally, when I see this occurring, I simply turn away. As for comparing making laws to permit or to prevent, to me begs the question of adultery in the pews and congregation. Let’s start there first—for in this has the roots of child abuse, domestic violence, and spiritual abuse.

    Links that cause me to stop and think:

    1. Preaching the word in season and out of season.
    2. Wrath of God.

  29. . I have a hunch that those who say they would vomit seeing two men kissing would not even wince, but get drawn in when watching a hot bedroom scene between two unmarried heterosexuals.
    ———————————————————
    Depends. Are those heterosexuals in their 80s? Most will look away. Is one in their 80s and the other 20? What does that “hot bedroom scene” behavior consist of? And so forth…In fact, there is a reason why female porn performers are typically bisexuals for their male audiences, whereas males are either hetero in films with those bisexual women or involved in the niche of homosexual only gay male porn

    I see your larger point of course, but my point now is to focus on the mental aspect to sexual arousal. Some people find sexual pleasure in bondage, fantasy rape, other things frankly I won’t type. Although our world likes the word “fetish” – the real word is perversion.

    There is no doubt that all sin is wrong, and we all sin and need a Savior.

    But there is also no doubt that God sees a difference between a young couple engaged in premarital sex before their wedding date, and some of the many perversions that are out there. The Biblical word is “abomination” – and not all sins are called abominations.

    People speak of sexual “experimentation” (including homosexual experimentation) – to try out different perversions and see if any of them are mentally stimulating to be sexually stimulating. it is the result, per Ezekiel, of pride, fulness of bread, and idleness of time – and it is why it is rampant in Western nations in this day and age of prosperity, and was not nearly as rampant a couple centuries ago when life was “brutish, hard and short”

    But it all is tied up with Romans chapter one – which concludes that not only are people who have rejected the truth of God doing all sorts of sins (sexual and otherwise) but they are taking pleasure in others who do the same – i.e. promoting sin in a society. Some promote violence, some sex, some greed – but promotion it is all the same, and sin it is all the same.

  30. I Steve, I am heartened by the news that you and your fellow pastors do pray for Eastern Christians. Knowing you, this does not surprise me. God bless you.

    I would be pretty surprised if your generous attitude was common among CC pastors in general. I know 2 CC pastors pretty well and they both give Orthodoxy the big Thumbs Down, as in “This way to hell, folks.”

    But, maybe that’s the older generation of CC pastors. If you are representative of a younger POV, I am glad.

  31. Why don’t we talk about gluttony as much as homosexuality?

    I was reading this question while I was shoving a huge piece of apple pie in my mouth. For some reason, that last bite didn’t taste quite as good as the rest. Why do I keep reading this blog anyway? Sheesh!

  32. Well, technically that guy is correct when he said “Orthodoxy is not a system that leads to salvation”….mostly cause their is no SYSTEM that leads to salvation, only a person.

    He just left out all the other systems that don’t lead to salvation is all. ;-)

  33. London, that’s some good theology right there!

  34. I once attended every CCCM men’s Saturday night prayer meeting for a solid year. At the time I lived in Santa Ana. It was a period when gangs were shooting each other almost daily and a lot of young people were losing their lives.

    Those men never once prayed for anything concerning Santa Ana the entire year even though their own church resided there. Therefore I don’t think they would have prayed for the Coptic Christians either.

    Last October while in New York we had the honor of praying for and with a Coptic Christian taxi driver. He told us that they were leading Muslims to Christ and it was causing major backlash for them.

    He also told us that the Coptics have their own version of Benny Hinn…who knew?

    Do I pray for them? Not so much…but I do think about them now and then.

  35. would have, should have, could have…..

    All I know is that today, while Egypt is in chaos, today, there were over a dozen pastors in a room praying for the Christians there. There was also discussion about one brother from one of the churches who is planning a trip there, seeing this as an open door. We prayed for him too.

    Amazing what a reaction a simple point of fact receives.

  36. I would also say, in my circles, Martyrs are honored, and there denomination or theology is never-NEVER- discussed. I looked into a guy once just out of curiosity, and was shocked at some of the “heresy” he taught. I wondered if people would still be so passionate about him if they knew his theology.
    But I think that is kind of the point. When it comes down to life and death, a lot of our doctrine and theology just doesn’t matter.

  37. Steve, what are you doing differently than the pagans by praying for only the Christians* in Egypt? Isn’t one of the competing Narratives in the bible to love your enemy and pray for “them” and to unilaterally forgive them?

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  38. Nitpicking.
    The point made was that many evangelicals don’t even believe the Coptics or Orthodox are saved and don’t care about what’s happening there.
    Steve answered that he does.
    That’s a good thing,
    End of story.

  39. “Depends. Are those heterosexuals in their 80s? Most will look away. Is one in their 80s and the other 20? What does that “hot bedroom scene” behavior consist of? And so forth…In fact, there is a reason why female porn performers are typically bisexuals for their male audiences, whereas males are either hetero in films with those bisexual women or involved in the niche of homosexual only gay male porn.”

    “But there is also no doubt that God sees a difference between a young couple engaged in premarital sex before their wedding date, and some of the many perversions that are out there.”

    Steve, you seem to know much about porn but I don’t think this is accurate or the way God looks at things. In my church we have a couple that is engaged. The guy is close to 80, the girl is in her young 20’s. This thought of marriage kind of does make me want to vomit especially when I see them holding hands but not sure I am in a position to judge although I already have to some degree. It seems there are different strokes for different folks and I would imagine there is probably all kinds of porn for all types of perversions. If you insist that God sees a difference between the premarital sex before wedding date of a young couple and premarital sex of an older couple etc.. I think you are looking at things from man’s standard and not Gods. This is to me is a big problem.

  40. Andrew,

    Anyone who is in the ministry and doing pastoral counseling knows more about porn than they want to.
    It runs neck and neck with financial problems as the most frequent problem I hear about that is tearing marriages apart.

  41. Andrew misses the point once more. I did not say a word about an 80 year old marrying a 20 year old – I commented on whether the average person in their lust would find it arousing to watch two people of such diverse ages in a “hot bedroom scene”

    Premarital sex among heterosexuals is a sin – not an abomination. That is not “man’s standard” that is God’s opinion stated in the word.

  42. I invite my Christian* Fundamentalist friends to jump in the pool on this one. I’ve tried to boil the issue down to a couple of very simple examples and to make the point very simply w/o a lot of complicated philosophical machinations.

    I have confidence that the intellectually honest among us will see the point and change their opinion about the nature of Absolute Truth as it is often assumed in the bible (and often presented as infallible, inerrant, same yesterday today and forever etc).

    http://calvarychapelabuse.com/wordpress/if-you-like-the-god-of-the-old-testament-then-you-should-love-the-taliban-the-taliban-are-a-modern-day-example-of-old-testament-law-and-justice/

  43. “I commented on whether the average person in their lust would find it arousing to watch two people of such diverse ages in a “hot bedroom scene””
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Please define AVERAGE for me and if anything is outside average does this border on a perversion? These comments in same post is a weird juxtaposition if you are now saying its unrelated.

    Unfortunately Steve, your direct quote implies that a “young” couple engaged in premarital sex is looked at differently by God than other perversions. However, you didn’t really mention what those other perversions were but you hinted at it. But you did mention “younger” couple. Is being younger make things less sinful than being older or being in an older-younger relationship? You somewhat implied this when you went on you expertise as a porn guru and then you went on to say how God looks at thing.

  44. Andrew, I see you woke up itching to argue and insult. I’ll pass.

    I’ve been clear to anyone else…

  45. RB,

    Far more intellectual and still intellectually honest people than any of us have long discussed these things and still believe in the Word of God.
    I am not an intellectual, but I try to be honest…and those passages don’t trouble me in the light of what God was doing in history though Israel.
    If you reject the OT, you must reject the NT as well if you’re “intellectually honest”. The NT is honeycombed with OT references and Jesus affirmed it’s veracity over and over.
    So…either Jesus and the writers of the NT were in error or we have to look for other explanations for difficult passages in the OT.

  46. RE: Egypt

    Greg Laurie shared this on his facebook status: It has been liked by almost 5000 people and has been shared by over 1500 (which is how I just saw it).

    I’m sure none of those likes and shares are from CC people though ;)

    Here’s a prayer request I received through FB. Remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ suffering in Egypt.

    “Good afternoon pastor Greg,
    I am a Christian believer living in Egypt and i have a request. Would you please pray for Egypt? It looks like we are facing civil war and Christians here are beginning to lose faith and hope. We are so afraid, but I believe that God has a great future for Egypt and that the truth about the Muslim Brotherhood is being finally revealed. However, a lot of innocent blood is being shed away. Please pray for us. We need your prayers for the people of Egypt. Thank you have a good day.”

  47. “Andrew, I see you woke up itching to argue and insult. I’ll pass.”

    No sir, I am asking you for clarification of what is a perversion? We know that homosexuality is a perversion and agree on this but you mentioned many perversions and you have somewhat tied this in on what is considered AVERAGE in man’s standard. I am challenging you on this but instead of answering it you attack me.

  48. Michael, I don’t “reject” it at all, I acknowledge the ugliness of the OT, whereas some others try to apologize for it and claim the bible texts as “inerrant, infallible” etc and Absolute…when the text of the OT presents (self-evident) that Truth changes as you would not view the commands/permissions to execute with stones and to make women sex slaves as “righteous” in any context.

    If the bible in the OT “permits” execution with stones and sex slaves, then why doesn’t it permit the offenses it is commanding to be punished? Clearly b/c the OT views the offense of “unruly” as punishable by death, while asserting that punishment by death with stones is right and righteous (or at least at one time in history).

    This relegates the truth of the bible as Relative/Subjective and forces us to rely on something other than the literal text as an Absolute…which means we need to filter everything through our Conscience and Reason and what we believe to be “Good” and “Righteous” and what we believe is truly God.

    Our Founding Fathers said, “We hold these TRUTHS to be self-evident, all men are created equal”….well women sex slaves were not equal in the Old Testament God construct…something “changed”…the text in the Old Testament is not an Absolute.

    The Truth is self-evident as our Enlightened Founding Fathers asserted. There are some Universal Truths that contradict the command and practice of some of the texts of the bible.

  49. RB,

    I can spend the morning explaining to you where your argument fails in relation to the whole narrative of God…or I can actually try to do something productive.
    You can use your “conscience and reason” to create your own God, but I find that a risky proposition at best.

  50. Never seen this argument before….

    Wonder how it will end up :)

  51. Michael, you have created your own calvinist god, you may not know who God really is, which is remarkably sobering

  52. No sir, I am asking you for clarification of what is a perversion?
    ————————————————
    Andrew, I think my post 30 was clear, but I will try one more time and then I am done.

    I wrote of two different things. First, a response to the idea that (hetero) people are attracted to heterosexuals and opposed to homosexuals in intimate acts. THAT was the point about heterosexual pairings (age and so forth) and why I said “depends” – In other words, the hetero/homo situation is not the only factor. That is also why I mentioned the women/women thing in terms of marketing to hetero men (and there are plenty of R-rated movies doing that, not just porn). Even some prime-time TV shows have had their episodes where some guy is looking for a threesome with two other women.

    The second thing was my comment about so-called fetishes, which I called perversions. And about how people experiment in such sexual perversions – including homosexuality.

    Again, read post 30 in light of it being a reply to someone else – read this explanation…then feel free to disagree or agree with me – as far as what I actually wrote, and not your inferences or your conclusions on what I must “really” be saying.

  53. RB,
    I’m not sure what a “Calvinist” god is, but I suspect it’s not good. :-)
    I’ve known God and been known by Him from my earliest memories.
    I’ve learned about Him from the Bible and men like Calvin and Packer and a host of other teachers have helped explain that to me.
    My understanding of God may (and probably is) in error in some places, but my relationship is on solid ground.
    It’s based on grace, not on Calvin or anyone else but Christ.

  54. Not counting the opening link – there are five (mine being six) comments to RB’s – and zero on his own site where he posted it.

    Shocking, huh? :)

  55. “The second thing was my comment about so-called fetishes, which I called perversions. And about how people experiment in such sexual perversions – including homosexuality.”

    Steve, I understand your point and somewhat agree with you but I need to even challenge myself with this. First you are equating fetishes with perversions which you have equated with abominations. I don’t believe fetish’s by definition are perversions. My wife has a foot fetish and just loves it when I massage her foot. I don’t view this a perversion or an abomination but reading your post I have no idea where you are coming from.

  56. I had a small twitter spat with Rachel Held Evans a few weeks ago. She was going after the SBC for speaking out against the Boy Scouts decision to allow gay kids in the scouts. My question, which her followers did not like was, why should KIDS be calling themselves, gay, straight, or anything else. How does a 3rd grader, who doesn’t know what sex is, already know that someday he will only want to have sex with boys? Isn’t that ridiculous to put that type of sexual pressure on children? Apparently not, to Rachel and her crew.

    I do have several gay people who I care for deeply, and would never want to hurt, but I have other questions that aren’t allowed either:

    For instance, the whole LGBT thing. Why are B & T included? Doesn’t “Bi” negate the claims of the L and G? Think about it, if it is true that a Bi person is born that way, and absolutely cannot change, it is impossible that that person would ever be in a committed relationship. If the person did end up in a monogamous relationship, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, it is obvious the person CHOSE on of the two. But the LGBT lobby says there is no choice. Just born that way.
    Transgendered seems to be a completely different phenomenon all together. These are people who are born with boy bodies, but always feel like girls on the inside…or vice-versa. This would seem to be closer kin to multiple personality disorder than sexual orientation. Again, why are they included with the LGBT group? I don’t get it.

  57. A foot massage is not a foot fetish for Pete’s sake, Andrew. Good grief.

  58. Josh,

    Every time I try to engage my liberal, inclusive self on this issue I come back to the hellish confusion it is wrecking on kids…and then I get really, really angry.

  59. Josh, I think the Bisexual component is why the laws now must change eventually to allow marriage between 3 people, or to allow legal bigamy. It is not “fair” for a bisexual to have to choose between only a man or only a woman if that bisexual loves both and wants to be married to both.

  60. Steve, in all due respect I think you are using fetish in the wrong way. Stimulation of feet can certainly cause sexual arousal.

  61. Andrew, there is more than one definition for Fetish. The way you are using it is sort of a lighter, popular way, but by definition, a fetish is a perversion.

  62. Steve, unlike you and your CC brethren, I could care less if I have 4 million hits on my blog in three years and zero comments, or 4 million comments and 1 hit.

    I don’t play for anyone else other than an audience of One. That’s why some don’t like me very much. I don’t conform to boxes and I don’t care about money (from selling Jesus) and I don’t care about having friends or being popular.

  63. Andrew, with all due respect, this is why discussing these things is very difficult with you. I don’t know why you can’t stick to what I actually write.

    To review, I wrote @30 “. Some people find sexual pleasure in bondage, fantasy rape, other things frankly I won’t type. Although our world likes the word “fetish” – the real word is perversion.”

    Nothing about foot massages, and when you brought them up I specifically said that is not what I am talking about. Massage, touch, between a husband and wife of course can (and frankly should) bring sexual arousal. In fact, it brings arousal among non-married couples too which is why Christians have to be very careful when they embark down that road with someone they are dating and not yet married to.

    Now, I have never mentioned in this thread foot fetishes – I have no clue other than a pretty funny King of the Hill episode from about a decade ago, (where the wife allowed her large feet to be filmed for the internet without a clue as to why)

    However, one would have to live under a rock to not know there are people who take pleasure in BDSM and all sorts of other perversions. I do not appreciate at all your insinuation twice above that talking about such things as adults dealing with a decaying society makes me some sort of “guru” or “expert” in porn.

    If someone talks about the reality of child pornography and trafficking, does that mean that person is a consumer of such evil? Or does that insinuation only apply against those you otherwise have a beef with on other church government matters?

  64. Never seen this argument before….

    Wonder how it will end up :)

  65. Josh said, “Doesn’t “Bi” negate the claims of the L and G? Think about it, if it is true that a Bi person is born that way, and absolutely cannot change, it is impossible that that person would ever be in a committed relationship. If the person did end up in a monogamous relationship, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, it is obvious the person CHOSE on of the two. But the LGBT lobby says there is no choice. Just born that way.”

    Well then they could just have multiple husbands/wives as was “permitted” in the Old Testament by God.

  66. Josh, let’s see if Bill Murray is available to play the lead. :)

    Have to run.

  67. Yowzres! 60 posts on a new thread. Will probably be up to 80 by the time I post.

    Somewhere along the line movies became more interesting than church. This probably happened in the ’50’s cuz that’s when I came along and, therefore, that’s when the world actually began. ;)

    A lot of people believed it was God who helped us win WWII but many more people trusted in our god of war. We were bigger, stronger, and obviously had more determination. Even without God we were in the right. This pride probably drew people away from God and church. Many churches were drifting away from grace and the gospel and toward a focus on morality. Maybe those churches were filled with the proud ones. Eventually the backlash of their own lifestyle drove them out of even the most moral churches.

    No man can serve two masters. Movies got better and better and they outdid church. Ta-DAA! They became the new master. Movies were better entertainment, a better value for the money, and no added guilt. Naturally then, what movies promoted became popular. And of course church reacted. The culture war was in full swing. Now it’s in full drag. Nothing will be restrained from them which they’ve imagined to do. People get their values from the media.
    I’m not speaking of all churches of course. God still has His faithful in all denominations.

    On the other hand, I don’t exercise enough.

  68. RB,

    The OT is the history of God taking a barbaric people in a barbaric time and incrementally revealing Himself and His ways to them on the way to the fulfillment of His revelation in Jesus.
    Jesus is the culmination of the revelation of God…His last word, so to speak.
    The Taliban is the final word of the Islamic god in that sect.
    There is a huge difference…

  69. *way behind*

    2 of my family members are what I would consider obese. I can tell you it’s not due to diet. They don’t overeat and they don’t indulge in the wrong foods.

  70. One more quibble…. in past days, when my old CC prayed for Christians who were being persecuted, it was only the evangelicals they prayed for. When they said “our brothers and sisters in the Lord” they did not mean Catholics, Orthodox Christians, or Coptics. Believe me, I was paying attention.

    However, I 100 percent believe Pastor Steve and all the others here who posted that they are praying for the persecuted Christians in the Middle East, that this includes the Copts, etc. When other people say it though, they may not mean what Steve means. Where I came from, these people needed to have missionaries sent to them so they could be saved. (Think: Jackie Alnor and Dave Hunt)

    But I see Steve as a breath of fresh air. I am by no means criticizing him, I am commending him! 20 years ago his attitude would have been very unique among CC pastors, but maybe he is representative of a new generation. God bless him and his like-minded pastors!

  71. “Where I came from, these people needed to have missionaries sent to them so they could be saved.”

    Is there a place in the world that we should NOT be sending missionaries?

  72. Steve #14,
    I’m so glad to hear that about CC. My CCCM brother is also very concerned about the physical and spiritual needs of the poor all around the world.

  73. I wouldn’t mind sending a few missionary monks to North Carolina!

  74. Xenia,

    What you are describing is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to overcome in my own walk and thought processes.
    It has been your demonstration of the fruits of the Spirit that challenged me and forced me to embrace all my Christian brethren.

  75. @ 74 – Agreed!
    Should also be noted that the SBC sponsors missionaries in North Carolina as well.

  76. But Josh, you miss my point. They wanted (still want to) send missionaries to convert the Orthodox Christians to evangelicalism. The Orthodox are the target. I know this, I have talked to some of them. Maybe not all but the ones I have talked to, the goal was to get those dead ritualistic Orthodox out of their beautiful churches and get them listening to Chuck tapes ASAP.

  77. Steve #15,
    That happened to a friend of mine. He’s a devout (for lack of a better word) Christian. After about 25 years of marriage and 3 kids his wife left him for a woman. It’s my opinion that he drove her to it inadvertently. He was a very devoted husband and father but he showed very little emotion. I used to try to drag some emotion out of him. It may have been his ancestral roots. He’s a caring man, just not demonstrative.

  78. This discussion is teetering on the edge of “Why Xenia does not think western evangelicals should be sending missionaries to Orthodox countries” and this always gets folks mad (especially Dread) so I am going to go weed my garden for a while and hope the conversation moves on to something else in my absence.

  79. BD #20,
    I was hoping someone would say that. Thanks.

  80. I agree with Pat Robertson on the vomit button.

  81. If you don’t think I could have been a mega-CC pastor and worked the Franchise with the best of them…then you are naive. I understood the opportunity early on in life, but also understood my conscience and how wrong creating a man kingdom ‘for Jesus!’ was.

    Very few are in “ministry”…most are in a Career.

  82. I visited a website the other day that I thought was a normal mainstream humor site. What I saw made me want to vomit. I couldn’t close the window fast enough. I deleted the icon. I wish there had been a vomit button.

  83. Steve, you missed my point completely. Fetishes are not inherently evil although the ones you mentioned are. My point is the subjective nature of what you consider evil. We need to be careful to not go beyond what is written.

  84. @ 77 – I’m sure there is some of that. I’d like your opinion on something else, semi-related. Take a country like Ukraine, which is officially Orthodox. (Basically) everyone there is Orthodox, by birth. Would you then say, no need to evangelize Ukraine? They are all saved?

  85. Xenia,
    You are the first and only Eastern Orthodox Christian I have ever (almost) met.

  86. The Orthodox need to evangelize the nominal Orthodox, and they are working hard at this.

  87. There is nothing specially anointed about a Raul Ries or a Chuck Smith or Greg Laurie etc. They are no more or less “anointed” than a Benny Hinn, Rick Warren, Joel Olsteen, Ed Young, (insert your popular public speaker who sells a particular version of God and Jesus here).

    Marketing, public speaking, being in the right area at the right time, good business skills, ability to give the appearance of speaking authoritatively on an issue, ability to persuade, ability to cultivate a following and to amass an army of undershepherds to promote and protect your Brand etc.

    Throw in some radio and television and some shows and that’s really all it takes (and a bit of luck).

  88. David Sloan #35,
    I bet you know my CCCM brother. I’ve been trying to reconcile with him for about 27 years. Care to get involved? You would be the 4th CC man I’ve asked. So far I’m 0 for 3.

  89. Ok, off to the weeds and the cabbages.

  90. X, does the Roman Catholic Church have Apostolic Authority or does the EO?

  91. Steve Wright,
    You are giving me hope for CC just as Xenia is giving me hope for orthodoxy.

  92. @ 79 – Ahh, pooh. Xenia took off before I got the chance to ask.

    I personally think our churches, all of them, are full of lost people. We need to be constantly evangelizing them.

  93. Michael #39,
    YEAH!! You always bring the lens back in focus.

  94. Andrew, why do you pick at every word Steve says? He wasn’t condemning your wife’s foot massage. Let’s move on. This is getting weird.

  95. BD said, “The truth is there is a difference and she knows it… For the record give me kids who down too many fries over kids who cheat on their spouses. Sexual sins are indeed actually different and the consequences are much more costly.”

    The Old Testament and God’s Leaders and Prophets and the “inspired, perfect, infallible, inerrant Word of God!” doesn’t seem to make the distinction.

    It prescribes execution with stones for children being “unruly”.

  96. You guys can’t get around the claim that the bible is Absolute Truth on all matters and that every jot and tittle is “inerrant and infallible” and “absolute” and “never changes” etc.

    The Old Testament contains much that you now reject as Absolute Truth.

    The “perfect” Old Testament endorses, commands, permits, condones execution of “unruly” children. Yet, a BD claims that there is a “distinction” between sexual sins and gluttony as if sexual sin would and should be punished more severely than gluttony.

    …not according to the Old Testament. “Unruly” behavior is what kids do, half our kids today would be executed with stones if we followed the Old Testament commands as an Absolute.

  97. RB,

    Let me repeat myself.
    “The OT is the history of God taking a barbaric people in a barbaric time and incrementally revealing Himself and His ways to them on the way to the fulfillment of His revelation in Jesus.
    Jesus is the culmination of the revelation of God…His last word, so to speak.
    The Taliban is the final word of the Islamic god in that sect.
    There is a huge difference…”

    We need to ask questions of the text…what was God demonstrating in His dealings with Israel?
    I do not have to hold the OT civil law as perfect for today because I’m not living in a theocracy or in OT Israel.
    God’s self revelation did not end with the OT…it began there and is fulfilled in Jesus.
    I look to Jesus as the final revelation of God.

  98. I’ve always wondered if Adam and Eve spoke Mormon.

  99. My favorite Levitical law is “Thou shalt not give thy sons two first names. It is an abomination unto the Lord. It shall confuse them and distort their theology.”

  100. Oh- I have to add this ‘) so you’ll know I’m funnin’ y’all.

  101. “Unruly” is an unfortunate translation.

    21:18 Specifically the charge was that the child was “stubborn” and “rebellious” against his father and mother, disobedient and unresponsive to discipline (v. 18). “Stubbornness” here means more than just willfulness. With its companion word, “rebellious,” it possibly constitutes a hendiadys suggesting outright rebellion against constituted parental authority. That is, he was rebelliously stubborn, first with respect to his parents and then, by extension, with respect to God, whose sovereignty is transmitted through family headship. The same construction, in fact, occurs elsewhere to speak of insubordination to the Lord himself (Jer 5:23; Ps 78:8).
    21:19 That the child in question was not fully adult is supported by the instruction that his father and mother must “take hold” (Heb. tāpaś) of him and “bring” (Heb. hôṣ̂iʾ) him to the elders (v. 19). The former verb connotes a physical grasping with the hands (cf. Gen 39:12; Deut 22:28; 1 Kgs 11:30; Jer 37:14; Ezek 29:7), and the latter appears in the causative stem, implying that the son was being forced to appear. The place of the hearing was the gate, that is, the broad plaza just outside the gate where matters of public interest were conducted (cf. 22:15, 24; 25:7; Ruth 4:1, 11; Ps 69:12; Prov 31:23, 31; Jer 17:19). The tribunal before which the case is presented consisted of elders, not those of a district or the whole nation (as in 21:2) but the rulers of the local village (cf. 19:12; 21:3, 6; 25:7–8; Judg 8:14, 16; Ruth 4:2; 1 Sam 11:3). It was they who had to hear the evidence, pronounce a verdict, and prescribe appropriate punishment.
    21:20 Having arrived at the gate, the parents leveled their charges against their recalcitrant child, adding to the accusation of rebellious stubbornness those of profligacy and drunkenness (v. 20). The former speaks usually of immoderate consumption of food (i.e., gluttony) and the latter of insobriety. The two vices occur together elsewhere (cf. Prov 23:20–21) and apparently serve as a cliché for self-indulgence and lack of constructive activity. The sin was not so much incontinence as it was the laziness or indolence that followed in its train, a deficiency of character severely condemned in the Old Testament (cf. Prov 10:4; 12:27; 26:15; Eccl 10:18).
    21:21 Once the case was heard and the elders judged the child to be guilty as charged, the townsmen would execute the felon by stoning. Only by this drastic means could the “evil be purged” (cf. 13:5; 17:7, 12; 19:19; 21:9; 22:21, 24; 24:7) from the community. Youth who heard of the outcome would not be likely to replicate such behavior in the future. The severity of the punishment appears to outweigh the crime, but we must recognize that parental sovereignty was at stake. Were insubordination of children toward their parents to have been tolerated, there would have been but a short step toward the insubordination of all of the Lord’s servant people to him, the King of kings. This, of course, would have resulted in the breakdown and eventual dissolution of Israel as a chosen vessel.

    Merrill, E. H. (1994). Deuteronomy. The New American Commentary (Vol. 4, pp. 294–295). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

  102. #100 – is hilarious.

    Michael, don’t go talking ’bout translation. If Jesus spoke King James English, that’s good enough for me!

  103. Michael said, “We need to ask questions of the text…what was God demonstrating in His dealings with Israel?
    I do not have to hold the OT civil law as perfect for today because I’m not living in a theocracy or in OT Israel.”

    Yes, now we’re getting somewhere.

    What civil law do you live under today?

    What does that civil law permit?

  104. RB,

    This has no bearing on the subject, but I live under the civil law of the United States, State of Oregon, and city of Phoenix.
    God recognizes those civil authorities today.

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
    (Romans 13:1–7 ESV)

  105. Michael, you have just unwittingly argued for Cultural Context to define morality.

    In our Context today, our Current Civil Law and Culture…Homosexual Marriage is okey dokey, making women sex slaves is not okey dokey, stoning children to death is not okey dokey.

    Which are Moral Absolutes? For all of time? Universally?

  106. This stuff is called “reason” and “logic”…don’t stone the messenger.

  107. RB,

    You continue to avoid the argument I offer.
    God was using Israel to demonstrate incrementally who He was and was leading His people from barbarity to the fullness of the revelation of God in Christ Jesus.
    We have moved past the time of the theocracy and now live under the law of love as once again defined by Christ.

    To my mind there is no doubt that the original and eternal intent of God in marriage was one man and one woman.

    That is the NT standard and the one discussed and defined by Jesus and the apostles.

    Today we obey the civil law until it contradicts the greater law and Christian conscience.

  108. Are Donny and Marie going to heaven?

    Not sure I could bear an eternity without their syrupy sweet harmonies.

  109. The cognitive dissonance and confusion is mind-boggling to me. I don’t understand how so many cannot see the forest from the trees with regards to these basic logical/reasonable contradictions and the obvious conclusions.

    “Moral Absolute” is a term that has meaning. When one appeals to all of the texts and examples in the bible in one breath as “Absolute!” and then appeals to Culture/Context in another breath to explain away barbaric unrighteous bad practices that were once condoned and commanded and permitted…then appeals back to the Old Testament and New Testament Cultural Context to say that Gay Marriage is wrong and evil and a Moral Absolute…well then you see the predicament and contradiction.

    You can’t have it both ways…but the majority of Conservative/Fundamentalist Christianity tries to have it both ways, arguing Moral Absolutism in one breath and then appealing to Cultural Context in the next…all depending on the particular pick-and-choose issue.

    Again, I call it Selective Fundamentalism.

  110. Michael #102,
    This gives a whole new meaning to the threat “Wait until your father gets home!”

  111. Michael said, “God was using Israel to demonstrate incrementally who He was and was leading His people from barbarity to the fullness of the revelation of God in Christ Jesus.
    We have moved past the time of the theocracy and now live under the law of love as once again defined by Christ.

    To my mind there is no doubt that the original and eternal intent of God in marriage was one man and one woman.

    That is the NT standard and the one discussed and defined by Jesus and the apostles.

    Today we obey the civil law until it contradicts the greater law and Christian conscience.”

    I actually agree more than you realize.

    The Law of Love, yes!

    There is a hierarchy, there is a “new Law” and LOVE is “the eternal intent of God”

    A Good and Loving and Gracious and All-Powerful truly Sovereign Holy and Just God will “be perfect” and will “Love his enemies” as Jesus said we are to, and a perfect Loving God will “turn the other cheek” and not repay evil for evil. He will unilaterally forgive…which contradicts the Old Testament Narrative and some of the New Testament Narrative as well.

  112. “unrighteous bad practices”

    Who said that God’s commands were unrighteous?

  113. When I teach on a passage – one of my rules is that I find verification from some other Christian(s) scholar(s) before I dare share it.

    I’m just not that smart – and I don’t think the Lord waited 2000 years to give me some original insight on the texts that have been studied and discussed by those greater than I.

    Of course, that assumes one recognizes there is someone out there in history smarter than them. Which I guess is not the blanket assumption it would seem to be.

  114. “A Good and Loving and Gracious and All-Powerful truly Sovereign Holy and Just God will “be perfect” and will “Love his enemies” as Jesus said we are to, and a perfect Loving God will “turn the other cheek” and not repay evil for evil.”

    Jesus spoke continually about a final judgment where He would not forgive unilaterally, but throw a lot of people in hell.
    Jesus is far scarier than the OT God…

  115. “the greater law and Christian conscience.”

    Yes! Precisely. The Law of Love and our Conscience as to what is loving and what is “love your enemy” and unilateral forgiveness etc as Jesus also stated in the New Testament.

    Again, the bible is its own evidence of contradiction as exampled by the ‘barbarism’ as you put it of the OT and some of the NT and then the “new Law” the Law of Love as Jesus asserts.

    Jesus in one breath supports the OT Construct, but there is no argument that he also clearly states the opposite in Mark with regards to unilateral forgiveness and the clear “love your enemy” command and the “new Law” of Love etc “as God in heaven is perfect”

  116. “Ricky Bobby” is very “judgmental” towards “God”.

    Who “Made” RB the “divine” authority? I haven’t a clue.

  117. “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

  118. “Jesus is far scarier than the OT God…”

    No, he’s not. He was continuing the OT Narrative in those passages. He also brings about the “new Law” and expresses the true heart of the “perfect God in heaven” which is to “love his enemies” and to turn the other cheek and to unilaterally forgive.

  119. Michael said, “God was using Israel to demonstrate incrementally who He was and was leading His people from barbarity to the fullness of the revelation of God in Christ Jesus.
    We have moved past the time of the theocracy and now live under the law of love as once again defined by Christ.”

    Yes, Jesus continued this Narrative and theme as part of his message while he was in the flesh.

    Jesus also starkly contrasts this message with the “new” Law of Love narrative and the fact he commands us to “love our enemies” and “turn the other cheek” as the God in heaven does perfectly.

  120. RB,

    You keep missing a significant point.
    God did love His enemies.
    He sent His Son to die for them…to effect perfect justice and righteousness and appease His holy wrath.
    To those who reject the sacrifice given, that wrath remains on them and they will receive justice.

  121. Will there be puppy love in heaven?

  122. Michael, I know you didn’t mean it this way, but I want to clear it up for others…

    Jesus IS the Old Testament God!

  123. The OT God – and the proper response to Him. (Sounds the same as the NT Jesus)

    The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. (Exodus 34:5-8, ESV)

  124. Michael, if I “love” you…would I send you into perpetual torment forever with no end? Is that “loving”?

    Can God “forgive”…yet punish in an eternal torment forever with no end?

    If God has “forgiven” then what penalty is left to pay?

  125. Jesus IS the Old Testament God!
    ——————————
    Josh gets it.

  126. Josh,

    Thank you for clarifying that.
    Yes, I completely agree.

  127. RB,

    Anthropomorphic examples fail at this point.
    We are not the thrice holy God who will not dwell with sin.
    In perfect love He provided the perfect sacrifice for sin…for those who receive it there is forgiveness and reconciliation.
    For those who reject His perfect love and sacrifice there is judgment.
    God is good.

  128. “Michael, if I “love” you…would I send you into perpetual torment forever with no end?”

    1. Who are you to tell God what is and is not love? God IS love, therefore if God does it, it is loving.

    2. If I love you, would I force you to spend eternity with me, completely against your wishes?

  129. Ricky Bobby,
    You have many interesting points but fall short in your conclusions.

  130. “We are not the thrice holy God who will not dwell with sin.”

    Yes, I’ve investigated this angle.

    How then does satan hang out in heaven before the throne of God and argue that Job will denounce God? satan is in God’s presence a lot in the bible, in heaven, at the throne of God.

    How can God not dwell with sin, when sin itself is in his presence throughout the texts you claim are infallible and inerrant?

  131. Josh said, ” If I love you, would I force you to spend eternity with me, completely against your wishes?”

    Do you honestly think there is anyone who would knowingly choose an eternal perpetual torment over God?

    Folks go to hell b/c they don’t know for sure that it’s all real. If they found out, they’d choose God and Jesus vs. an eternal torment damnation scenario.

  132. Also, Michael, Jesus is “God” correct? And he dwelt with us sinners for 33 years. Supposedly the Holy Spirit dwells within sinful men etc.

  133. You ever thought about the genre in which Job was written? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  134. You are pulling God apart again into pieces.

    God the Father can’t dwell with sin, but Jesus and the Holy Spirit can?

  135. Josh said, “You ever thought about the genre in which Job was written? Yeah, I didn’t think so.”

    Same goes for Genesis and Revelation, just sayin’

  136. Sorry guys, you’re wrong…I’ve tested all the angles. Your version of god doesn’t add up any which way you rearrange the numbers and calculate it.

  137. “Do you honestly think there is anyone who would knowingly choose an eternal perpetual torment over God?”

    Yes! I’ve seen it said 1000’s of times. “If that is what God is like, I want no part of Him.”

  138. Josh,
    Excellent point about the genre of Job.
    God become flesh and dwelled among us…to save sinners.
    The key phrase is “became flesh”.
    Sin has no place in heaven or the eternal kingdom.
    When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in sinners he is dwelling in redeemed vessels.

  139. “Sorry guys, you’re wrong…I’ve tested all the angles. Your version of god doesn’t add up any which way you rearrange the numbers and calculate it.”

    Well, dang. Time to go rethink my life.

  140. RB,

    I’m sorry you fell that way.
    For me, all this wrangling has brought me even closer to God and more assured of His word.
    I guess I should thank you for that…after my headache is gone. :-)

  141. “Sin has no place in heaven or the eternal kingdom”

    Was satan in the Garden of Eden with “God”?

    Was satan in heaven in the book of Job?

  142. Michael, if “God” can’t dwell with sin as you stated, how is it that the devil was with God and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?

  143. RB,

    There are coherent explanations for all your objections.
    At this point you seem to have rejected historic Christianity, so none of those explanations will be sufficient.
    I believe the Holy Spirit will work in time to bring you to a place of understanding, but I’m not going to spend any more time trying to convince you .
    If you are truly looking for answers there are excellent volumes that have been written concerning all these things.

  144. The Holy Spirit dwells in me. He doesn’t dwell in my body. He doesn’t dwell in my soul. He dwells in my spirit which is not sinful.

  145. #137 is the reason that it is futile to answer RB. He is not looking for answers. He says it himself. He’s already looked at it every way possible.

  146. LOL, that’s the typical response I used to give when I ran out of intellectually honest answers.

    I don’t reject God or Christianity*…I am in the Liberal Theological Camp now that is much more intellectually honest about the glaring double-speak.

  147. “Josh said, “You ever thought about the genre in which Job was written? Yeah, I didn’t think so.”

    Same goes for Genesis and Revelation, just sayin’”

    Yes! and for every other book in the Bible! There are several different genres in the Bible which are all to be read different ways. If one is willfully ignorant of such things, he will definitely encounter problems with translation.

  148. “There are several different genres in the Bible which are all to be read different ways”

    LOL, that is funny.

  149. And Satan is a spirit being – not a man created in God’s image, marred by sin.

    I think that detail, more than the genre of Job, is in line with a possible answer.

    But in any event, I’m not logical enough to see how the first two chapters of Job clearly contradict Jesus’ teaching on hell and eternal punishment.

  150. Which Liberal Theologian do you most closely align with?

  151. RB,

    It’s not “intellectually honest” to say that you embrace Christianity when Christianity is based on the work of Jesus…who affirmed that His Father was “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” and who affirmed eternal punishment outside of receiving the benefit of His work.

  152. I’m guessing Voltaire or Thomas Jefferson. I hope that’s not too unkind.

  153. “Which Liberal Theologian do you most closely align with?”

    I align with the philosophy of intellectual honesty and using reason and logic to sort out the mess vs. dogma, tradition and bad answers to clear contradictions.

  154. Michael said, “It’s not “intellectually honest” to say that you embrace Christianity when Christianity is based on the work of Jesus…who affirmed that His Father was “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” and who affirmed eternal punishment outside of receiving the benefit of His work.”

    Of course it is, you stated the reason here:

    Michael said, “God was using Israel to demonstrate incrementally who He was and was leading His people from barbarity to the fullness of the revelation of God in Christ Jesus.
    We have moved past the time of the theocracy and now live under the law of love as once again defined by Christ.

    To my mind there is no doubt that the original and eternal intent of God in marriage was one man and one woman.”

    Only insert “the original and eternal intent of God is Love, Unilateral Forgiveness and Mercy”

  155. Clarence Darrow?

  156. Nowhere in Scripture does God give forgiveness without a sacrifice.
    Your “unilateral forgiveness” doesn’t exist in the Bible in relation to a man and God.

  157. @ 154 – So again, we get a wild, untrue statement. You have made up your own God, and he looks a lot like Ricky Bobby. You are not in any camp of Liberal Theology that I’ve ever read.

  158. RB would make me laugh if he wasn’t so sad. He talks about intellectual honesty, but he is intellectually dishonest. He is not looking for answers, he’s looking for an argument.

  159. Steve @ 150 – I do think genre is important, especially with a book like Job. For instance, you could pull multiple passages from Job that aren’t true:

    Job 9:16-18 : 6 Even if I summoned him and he responded,
    I do not believe he would give me a hearing.
    17 He would crush me with a storm
    and multiply my wounds for no reason.
    18 He would not let me catch my breath
    but would overwhelm me with misery.

    Now, if I read the bible like a list of fortune cookies taped together, that passage is going to cause me a great deal of trouble. However, when I understand the genre of Wisdom literature, and the form of ancient poetry, I can start to make sense of the Job when read in context.

    Same goes for the passage where Satan has an audience with God from the book of Job.

  160. “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
    Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
    (Hebrews 9:11–22 ESV)

  161. ““Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voiceand come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
    (John 5:25–29 ESV)

  162. I honestly have to pick up my boy from school now…be civil.
    Argue ideas, not personalities.

  163. Michael, great argument in the quote of you above in my 12:24pm for Progressive Revelation.

    Why do you assume that revelation quit progressing?

    Also, you state here:

    “Nowhere in Scripture does God give forgiveness without a sacrifice.
    Your “unilateral forgiveness” doesn’t exist in the Bible in relation to a man and God.”

    I agree in the Context of Jesus. Jesus was the only sacrifice required (assumed).

    As a calvinist, it is ironic to me that you would assume that God requires some sort of sacrifice from a created being (man) that you would assert is given the sacrifice monergistically with nothing from the being, only a gift of God?

    If the sentient being has no say in the receiving of the “free sacrifice” then how is it a sacrifice on the part of the sentient being?

    Your position here is a contradiction. You seem to ascribe some responsibility to the sentient being in one breath (God requires a sacrifice to forgive) yet you would assert that the sacrifice God provides and the response to that sacrifice is entirely monergistic.

  164. Impugning motives and bearing false witness, the common reply from those who don’t have a good answer.

  165. @ 165 – Who is doing such?

  166. Argument tests positions and is a means of learning what is true and what isn’t, which is the goal. Argument for truth not argument for argument’s sake.

  167. The self revelation of God ceased because Jesus is the full revelation of God.

    As a Calvinist, I assert that the sacrifice of Christ must be received by faith.

    I think all Christians believe that…

  168. Josh, Jamesk above.

  169. I posit no sacrifice on the part of men…that’s just weird.
    You must accept the sacrifice already made.

  170. Gotta go…

  171. “You must accept the sacrifice already made.”

    Can a sentient being (man) “accept” this sacrifice without God causing the acceptance?

  172. Now, if I read the bible like a list of fortune cookies taped together, that passage is going to cause me a great deal of trouble. However, when I understand the genre of Wisdom literature, and the form of ancient poetry, I can start to make sense of the Job when read in context.
    ————————————————–
    Oh i definitely agree with you Josh about genre. I just finished Proverbs and am now in Ecclesiastes (midweek – Romans on Sundays). Ecclesiastes is definitely not a fortune cookie book :)

    I think though the issue of Satan accusing God’s people before the throne, as illustrated in Job, is not necessarily a genre thing. That’s all.

    Job and Ecclesiastes are probably the two books most susceptible to people jumping to wrong conclusions because they grab a random verse and say “But it is taught in the Bible”

  173. “RB would make me laugh if he wasn’t so sad.”

    That’s his reaction, and he is entitled to his feelings.

    “He talks about intellectual honesty, but he is intellectually dishonest.”

    That is his opinion, but let’s not forget, you have said the rest of us were intellectually dishonest many times today.

    “He is not looking for answers, he’s looking for an argument.”

    Your # 137 is all the evidence needed to make the above statement.

  174. I’d reply but I can’t b/c unlike the others I have one hand tied behind my back, but even then it’s not a fair fight :-)

  175. @ 172 – Exactly. I agree.

  176. Of course all you want to do is argue. Otherwise, you would just wander off and do whatever it is that liberal Christians do.

  177. Woops. The #’s got off. My last comment was in agreement with Steve @ 173.

    Ricky’s 172 is now arguing the difference between Calvinism and non-Calvinism.

  178. I’m consistently pointing out the contradictions in what you are presenting as “correct” etc. It’s not so much “arguing” as it is applying and articulating critical thinking to your words and assertions appealing to the text you appeal to and then to your own words.

    You argue against yourself, really. I just point it out.

  179. “I’d reply but I can’t b/c unlike the others I have one hand tied behind my back, but even then it’s not a fair fight ”

    Reply to what? Has someone insulted you? Do you think you are “winning” this fight?

  180. All my comments are modded josh. Yours are not.

  181. Josh,

    You might enjoy my opening intro to Ecclesiastes – the first few minutes.

    http://www.calvaryle.org/Eccl%201-2.mp3

  182. “All my comments are modded josh. Yours are not.”

    That was your choice, but I still haven’t seen anything that you shouldn’t be able to respond to in a respectful manner.

  183. Ricky Bobby, since you are a fan of reason and logic, I have a recommendation for you:

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.toc.html

  184. “You might enjoy my opening intro to Ecclesiastes”

    This is really good. Others might also benefit, especially from the first 5 minutes. A good, brief explanation of Biblical hermeneutics.

    Listening to more, as I have the chance. Thanks Steve!

  185. Josh,

    I try not to pimp my links on Michael’s blog (ahem)..

    But it seemed relevant to the discussion at hand – as did the one I linked to a few days ago.

  186. “That was your choice”

    How so, I don’t recall making that choice, it was made for me, like calvinist monergism LOL

  187. Another link :
    http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/07/02/b21-panel-sbc-2013/

    So this video was linked at SCCL, and of course Mohler was called a bigot and a homophobe, ugly, old, and a possible homosexual himself.

    I watched the video, and thought it was a REALLY good answer. If *this* video is offensive, I’m afraid the conversation is officially over.

  188. “I try not to pimp my links on Michael’s blog (ahem)”

    No, just your CC apologetic

  189. “How so, I don’t recall making that choice, it was made for me, like calvinist monergism LOL”

    A couple of weeks ago, you guys were having your daily blow up. Michael said something was going to change. You said, Ok, just moderate me. Michael did.

  190. It was a concession, not a choice.

  191. No, just your CC apologetic
    —————————–
    LOL – I’m in agreement iwth a Baptist, a Calvinist, and an Orthodox Christian in this discussion with you…and if any others from different groups were willing to spin their wheels with you – they would be in agreement with us as well.

  192. Free Will Choice: I would say no to moderation.

    Gun to head Choice: I agree to moderation.

  193. …there’s a Philosophical/Theological truth in there above :-)

  194. Poor Ricky Bobby. Pushed around again.

  195. “they would be in agreement with us as well.”

    Probably not the Liberal Christian or the Red Letter Christian or the Universalist or even some Quakers, some Methodists, some Presbyterians, some Lutherans, some Anglicans, some Catholics etc if they were in the Liberal end of their Tent.

  196. My wheels dig in more than spin.

  197. Just stating the facts Josh, not appealing for sympathy, just equal scales.

  198. I could reply to you and others who are taking shots in kind. Your post would stand, mine would get moderated.

  199. AH yes. Michael has been sooooo unfair to you.

    I’m out for the day. Y’all have a good one.

  200. Just for the record…
    I’ve worked closely with Steve over the last month dealing with a very difficult situation.
    He has proven to be as honest, compassionate, and led by the Spirit as anyone I’ve ever known in the ministry.
    I’ve seen him under fire and he’s proven himself real.
    We don’t agree on everything…but I count him as a trusted friend and co-laborer in Christ…one of very few I have in ministry.

  201. I think he’s extended you more latitude as you haven’t been moderated for many comments you’ve made over the years that were equally offensive.

  202. I think Steve can be a good guy. I think Steve can be a jerk as well. I don’t think he’s the Jesus you vouch for, but I’m glad to hear the glowing review. I think he has tried to do the right thing in regards to the finances and in helping in that particular difficult situation.

  203. Free Will Choice: I would say no to moderation.
    Gun to head Choice: I agree to moderation.
    ————————————————
    This is a great illustration of much that has been said here today as words like logic and consistent are tossed around. And will have to be my last word as I get ready for other matters.

    How does a commentator “agree” to moderation? The “god” of this blog decrees it and the commentator may not like it, but he has no control or say over it ONCE THAT LINE IS CROSSED.. Of course, that moderation was brought upon himself as well.

    And yet earlier we read this. “Do you honestly think there is anyone who would knowingly choose an eternal perpetual torment over God?”

    So on the one hand, God is a lot nicer than Michael, in that he won’t put a gun to someone’s head to have to agree to something they would rather not agree to – once that line has been crossed, known as death. He gives people plenty of reasons to believe before death, and only the deliberately sin-hardened, obtuse person can reject the crucified Savior offered for them.

    On the other hand, those people will still have to accept what God decrees for their eternal destiny – like it or not. It’s possible they will spend eternity thinking they agreed to hell and God still did not really have any say in their life. Pride does strange things to a person.

  204. RB,

    I think all your posts have been approved swiftly on this thread.
    What you take offense to here is nothing compared to what is said about me on your blog.

  205. Thank you, Michael. Truly.

    And with that I am off…

  206. The comment I made prior to Steve’s that my comment he refers to has some Philosophical/Theological implications was ironically (LOL) moderated, not by my choice. Oh, the irony is thick and rather amusing.

  207. “What you take offense to here is nothing compared to what is said about me on your blog.”

    Yes, and you can come on my blog and defend yourself without moderation any time you choose.

  208. Ricky Bobby,
    There’s a glaring double standard. As a totally unbiased third party I see you taking personal shots just like those you disdain. Sure, Michael has his favorite like-minded friends but he’s still pretty benevolent.

  209. RB,

    In reality, this has been an amazingly calm discussion when you factor in the content.
    You are attacking the most deeply held beliefs of people…and that should invoke a strong response.
    On most venues this would have become a total flame war with everyone demanding the eviction of one side or the other.
    You have been able to post your article and respond to every post…I think it’s been more than fair.

  210. I agree with that assessment Michael. It’s been a good discussion and no one has gotten too inflammatory, including me.

  211. With that, I have to go help Trey pick out a birthday present for his mom and then tae kwan do. I’m out.

  212. Michael,
    “At this point you seem to have rejected historic Christianity, so none of those explanations will be sufficient.”

    Why is it when I say that, I get called on the carpet for directing motives?

  213. RB said “I don’t reject God or Christianity*…I am in the Liberal Theological Camp now that is much more intellectually honest about the glaring double-speak.”

    But they have left everything in Christianity except the name. You sound like you are reading too much John Shelby Spong.

    I know your motives and have stated them here – but I am not allowed to mention them any longer.

  214. Sex sins are appropriately ranked, in this case.
    They by definition involve potential harm to TWO people, while gluttony is a self-contained destruction, so to speak. Alex, the relationships that exist between ideas as you express them are many times muddled.
    Christ changed God’s relationship to humanity.

  215. I have said before, this is all an experiment with him to prove his “Selective Fundamentalism” (trademark pending) theory. I have seen him say as much in other places that part of motive is to see if he would receive unilateral forgiveness here or not.
    Sorry, not buying the whole truth seeker thing.
    It now seems to be personal as Michael seems to be mentioned in nearly every long rant of a post he puts up on his blog. Thus inviting the some to be as mean as possible in the comments section.
    Michael has been far more forgiving than many of us on this blog to RB, but he seems to catch far more flack than anyone else.
    But, just keep on with that experiment there RB, obviously that matters more to you than anything else. Just exposes the real god of Ricky Bobby and it obviously isn’t baby Jesus.

  216. Michael,
    This whole thing takes to much time and energy from you and isn’t worth trying to convince him of things he has no interest in changing his mind on.

  217. Michael continues to present his calvinist theology to others even though they aren’t likely to agree anytime soon (at least most of the stallwerts who have their particular mind made up.

    Jim Jr. said, “sex sins are appropriately ranked, in this case.
    They by definition involve potential harm to TWO people, while gluttony is a self-contained destruction, so to speak. Alex, the relationships that exist between ideas as you express them are many times muddled.
    Christ changed God’s relationship to humanity.”

    Sins are “ranked”? Like Mortal vs. Venial sins in the RCC?

    You say Christ “changed” God’s relationship to humanity. In what sense? Was God reactive or proactive? If man had not sinned, would there be a Messiah? Was Jesus Jesus before man sinned? Was Jesus “Messiah” before or after man sinned? Was Jesus “Messiah” only after he died and resurrected?

    When did Jesus become “Messiah”? Was he always “Messiah” or did he become Messiah?

  218. If a Glutton dies from his poor health and he has a wife and kids to support, it affects more than “two people”

  219. “When did Jesus become “Messiah”? Was he always “Messiah” or did he become Messiah?”

    This one is a real doozy if you think about it and the philosophical implications. It will rock your world-view and cause you to rethink things. Do you understand the question and the implications depending on how it is answered? I don’t want to force-feed you. Ask the question and answer the question and think it through.

  220. Jesus was always Messiah

  221. That was easy and didn’t rock my worldview at all

  222. I can’t remember the last time I posted a thread on Calvinism…though I would be well within my rights to do so.
    It’s not a thread of interest to most.

    Jesus was Messiah, the “Anointed One” from before the foundation of the world.

    “and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.”
    (Revelation 13:7–8 ESV)

    “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of youwho through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
    (1 Peter 1:20–21 ESV)

  223. Derek,

    My concern is not with persuading RB.
    My concern is to provide answers for those who may be thinking through the same issues.
    I think we did a good job of that today and I won’t be revisiting the subject anytime soon.

  224. From our friends the Jews who literally wrote the Old Testament.

    http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm

  225. I’m not sure where that question is leading…

    But then again I am not an expert on Mormon theology and I’m sure the question is peddling a bicycle somewhere in that neighborhood.

  226. Michael said:

    “I can’t remember the last time I posted a thread on Calvinism…though I would be well within my rights to do so.
    It’s not a thread of interest to most.”

    Interesting. Calvinism is consistently one of the more popular topics on my blog. Rarely do I bring the subject up in an article (the J.D. Hall book for children was an exception), but the conversation morphs there.

  227. The calvinist perspective underpins most every comment/opinion Michael offers so it is strange to me that he would seem to compartmentalize his calvinism to a thread on the specific topic.

  228. Julie Anne,

    I’m a very committed ecumenicist.
    I want all the different traditions of the church to feel comfortable here and feel like their traditions are respected.
    I have no desire to convert anybody to my tradition, but I will defend it when it’s misrepresented and I will answer questions about it when called on.

  229. RB,

    What a shock.
    The Jews didn’t recognize Christ then and they still don’t.
    I think Romans speaks to that…

  230. RB,

    Calvinism agrees with the rest of the church on the fundamentals of the faith.
    The differences would be around the doctrines of election and the Lords table…and thats about it.

  231. Jews do not believe that Jesus was the mashiach. Assuming that he existed, and assuming that the Christian scriptures are accurate in describing him (both matters that are debatable),
    ———————————————-
    I think a couple direct questions are in order – since that link includes this quote. As answers for others possibly wrestling with questions of their own. To any readers…

    A) Is it debatable TO YOU that Jesus existed?

    B) Is it debatable TO YOU that the 4 Gospels are an accurate description?

    If no, then why should one listen to anything else that link offers. I guarantee you THOSE Jews did not write the Old Testament. Throw it away.

    If yes, then the first order of business is to come to believe that Jesus existed and the Gospels are accurate. Discussion about hell, gay marriage and Levitical laws pales in comparison in importance.

  232. “Calvinism agrees with the rest of the church on the fundamentals of the faith.”

    What are the “fundamentals” of the faith?

    Seems the calvinist disagrees with a most essential aspect of the faith: God doesn’t pick winners and losers, he’s not like that.

  233. Steve,

    A: I think Jesus existed incarnate. I think there’s a reasonable argument for a historical Jesus. I think Jesus is also an Ideal, an Ethos, a Spirit the Truth.

    B: I think the Gospels provide an imperfect account of Jesus’s incarnate time here….much like testimony in court is often imperfect. This is proven by the contradictions, anomalies and mistakes between the different Gospel accounts of what is supposed to be the same cast of players and same set of circumstances and events.

  234. Steve, who wrote the Old Testament?

    I think you would assert that it was God who wrote it through man in one breath…and then hedge and say that the all the ugly stuff and contradiction was the result of Cultural Context and the barbarism was not God, it was man.

  235. Then, frankly, your faith is in even more critical shape than I imagined. If those are your two true beliefs today and you aren’t just baiting for more argument.

    You need our prayers, not our discussion.

    I urge you to get back to the basics of Bible reading and simple prayer.

  236. Steve, i think you misunderstand the comments.

    Maybe you can help me, how is one “saved”? What must I do to be saved?

  237. RB can never stay on one topic long enough to pin him down. He has always been that way and I do not see the appeal of even engaging any idea that flows from him when he will change the topic in the next comment.

  238. Derek, Steve said “back to the basics” so it opened a door to interject a “basic” assumption that ties in to the macro-discussion.

    It is not that I can’t be “pinned down” it’s that you haven’t given a sound answer to the macro-assertion. You guys keep appealing to a particular text, you appeal to “culture” (that was then this is now) and you dismiss the implications of the contradiction presented in your answers.

    You express a religious belief in hermeneutic then dismiss the Group (the Jews) that are the authors and the keepers of the Torah and should (presumably) understand what it says and what it means more than outsiders…but their interpretation and definitions of terms contradict your belief you so dismiss them in the next breath.

    It’s a very pick-and-choose very sloppy System you’ve created. Very slippery.

    “Absolute Truth!” then “NO! That was just the barbaric culture back then!”

    and:

    “Hermeneutic! Context! Exegesis!” in making the Old Testament text as “god”…then dismissing the Jews/Hebrews take on their Law and their book along with their interpretations and definitions, which is the Context in which the stuff was written.

    It’s like a Chinese speaking man from today who has no experience in the US Culture telling you as a Constitutional Lawyer in the United States that you don’t understand the US Constitution and that he has it all figured out.

  239. …all that to point out the major cognitive dissonance in your Position of the text as god and of your over-reliance and religiousness regarding texts and hermeneutic and exegesis which entirely misses the forest from the trees, just as the Jews did when Jesus arrived on the scene in the flesh.

    It is you who have constructed your own gods, one jot and tittle at a time.

    God is Truth and Spirit and Ideal, not an idol-shaped book and an idol-shaped systematic.

  240. I read the first 3 or 4 paragraphs of RB’s Jewish link. They are still clueless about messiah. The first reference to a messiah is in the garden of Eden when God pronounces judgment on Satan via the serpent. If RB is a Mormon it would explain a lot and it looks to me like he’s learned how to dodge like a Jehovahs Witness.

  241. I’m not a Mormon, LOL.

    You still haven’t told me what I must do to be saved. Do I have to hear the “correct Gospel?” How do I know if it is “correct”? What do I need to have a “correct understanding” of with regards to the bible and Jesus to be saved?

    Do I need to be baptized? Take the sacraments? Have “faith”? What must “faith” look like? Do I have to do good things? What if I sin? How much sin is too much?

    What if I live in Estonia, an Atheist nation, and never hear the “correct Gospel” and don’t have a “correct understanding” of the “correct Jesus”? How can I be saved, if I didn’t hear? Am I still responsible for my stint in “eternal perpetual torment forever no end”?

    Does God pick winners and losers? Are there many who have no chance at Salvation?

    If God picks winners and losers…a few for heaven and the vast majority of humanity for perpetual torment…is that “Good”? “Holy”? “Just”? “Loving”?

    If God doesn’t pick winners and losers and the responsibility is entirely on mankind to “accept” the “gift” to accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross who died for “all”…then what if I never get to the opportunity to hear the Gospel like so many throughout history? How can “I” be saved? If I didn’t know, is it “Good”, “Just” and “Loving” and “Holy” to cast me into hell for ever and ever no end?

  242. #240 No, it just made you change the subject as usual. Same old stuff, different thread.

    I wonder how this convo with RB will end? Oh wait, it never ends.

  243. Derek, I think it was Lute who stated the other day that everyone on here has their minds made up and no one changes there mind on here or something similar to that. Why am I so special that you would single me out for championing my seeking truth and my current position?

  244. A billion questions, but never really seeking an answer.
    Just seeking the opportunity to insert the doubt.
    “Did God really say?”
    Deconstructionist, indeed.

  245. You don’t have a good answer. Give me one and I’m happy to change my mind. G and brian and some others have changed my mind about many things

  246. Those are all rhetorical questions. You wanna rhetorical answer?

  247. Well, I am outta here for the night. Just bought the new Bob Lee Swagger novel, “The Third Bullet” by Stephen Hunter. Think I am going to read a bit of that before retiring for the night.
    Night all.

  248. Are you on the east coast?

  249. In fact, thank you to brian and G for helping me to think through some things that have always haunted me about Christian* fundamentalism. Thank you go BG and CC for obliterating the mythology of “specially anointed” and showing me that God is not the god of the Christian Fundamentalist and Old Testament.

    Thanks to Michael for allowing me to express my opinions and to dialogue.

  250. RB,
    Jesus spoke to the condition of the Jews – Read the parable in Luke 14

  251. Steve, MLD etc if you really like the OT God and the Torah and have this bizarre apologetic for the Levitical Law and even the evil stuff taught in some of the NT that is linked to the OT, then may I suggest Messianic Judaism. You really are more in that Camp than you realize.

  252. RB,
    Who is this OT God you keep talking about? I have read the Bible several times and have never heard anyone referred to as the OT God.

    Are you a poly theist and believe in more than one God?

    I guess anyone today can call themselves a Christian – and who can stop them.

  253. As a former Jew, I think that Messianic Judaism is just as bizarre as you.

  254. MLD, you say that Jesus affirmed the Law and the Prophets and that Jesus taught the folks in the NT to obey the Pharisees and Jewish Religious Leaders saying “Do as they tell you / teach you, but don’t do what they do, they don’t practice what they preach”.

    If so, then why aren’t you obeying the Jewish Religious Leaders today? At what point were you to stop obeying the Jewish Leaders and the Torah? When Paul said so?

    Jesus and Paul seem to be in disagreement, no?

    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. –Jesus Christ in the bible

    Basically, obey the teachings of the Pharisees, just don’t act like them.

    Are you stil obeying the teachings of the Pharisees today? Why not? Jesus told you to.

  255. There were old religions such as the Marcionites, the Bogomils and the Cathars who believed that the God of the OT was not the same as the God of the New Testament. These were not Christians, they were dualistic heretics.

  256. You know why you aren’t? Because Jesus also established a “new Law”…the Law of Love and he obliterated the Old Testament, the Torah, and anything and everything connected to it. It isn’t the ‘heart of God’ and wasn’t his “intent”

    “Love your enemies”

    “Forgive 70 times 7″

    “Turn the other cheek”

    The Greatest Commandment is Love.

    Love your Neighbor.

    Forgive Unilaterally.

    “repay evil with blessing”

    etc.

    Law of Love. No Law, no Torah, no “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord!” No wrath. No Judgment. Just Love, Mercy, Forgiveness.

    Jesus was “always” Messiah, he is eternally Messiah. He has always been the payment for sin before we sinned. We have always been saved, redeemed, forgiven…”all”

    I think that while some will be angry about this in the next life, most of humanity will be rather happy and relieved about it….especially since most never heard of the Gospel or Jesus throughout history.

  257. In order to explain away the Creator God of the OT these gnostic dualists invented complicated cosmologies. They did this right after they jettisoned the Old Testament because they needed something to take its place. I don’t think the modern gnostic dualist will have to do this. The modern dualist worships science and reason.

  258. X, EO thinks everyone else are heretics and everyone else pretty much thinks you’re a heretic. “Heretic” is in the eye of the beholder and has about as much power as “racist” today. Everyone’s a RRRAAAACCCCCIIIIIIISSSTTTTT! and everyone you don’t agree with is a HERETIC!!!!

  259. I believe in Creator God. The Enlightenment and those who came out of it believe in the Creator God. I know you have the need to compartmentalize and assign Boxes…so I guess those coming out of the Enlightenment are closer to the position I am articulating than the Marcionites of old.

  260. We only use the word “heretic” in extreme cases, which you are sadly approaching. We prefer the word “heterodox.” (Other belief)

    We don’t ever say that those who are not Orthodox are not Christians.

  261. Why is it so necessary for you to denigrate those who disagree with you? Does it make you feel better?

  262. Michael, Unilateral Forgiveness is a major theme in the NT, though it contradicts the other Narratives about Wrath, Justice, Judgment etc.

    The teaching on the fruits of the spirit expresses unilateral forgiveness. The Sermon on the Mount expresses the heart of God and his essence and is a Unilateral Forgiveness theme. So is the Turn the Other Cheek narrative, the Forgive 70 times 7 narrative, the Repay Evil with Good narrative and the Love your Enemy narrative, Bless those who Curse you narrative etc etc.

    You can’t do all those things without Unilaterally Forgiving and that is clearly the context of those many passages…though it does present quite a contradiction to other passages…especially the OT and Law and Judgment narratives.

  263. I think Ricky Bobby may actually be Bill Murray.

  264. RB,
    Lutherans don’t follow the old testament law at all. You should read Luther’s small catechism on the 10 commandments and note the postive spin he put on each to help your neighbor improve himself.

    It must be some of that Law of Love you are talking about.

  265. I didn’t denigrate anyone. I was addressing your denigration.

  266. Ricky Bobby,
    You ask good questions but you mock serious answers. You are not to be taken seriously.

  267. Ricky Bobby,
    Are you being moderated? Your post came in late.

  268. RB,
    You are laughable to compare yourself to the god believed by the enlightenment. They had no hope of salvation, and did not expect salvation from their god.

    Yes, they believed in a creator who did not care about them. You are right to align yourself with them, as you have made it clear.

  269. This has outlived any productive purpose.
    This thread is called.
    Period.

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