Mar 262014
 

“Gay marriage is the turning point for Christendom. There is finally a lever that will cause the rockslide to cover us. The hatred of those who oppose this disunion will foment until revenge has made dissent silent. Christianity will be hated over this matter or it will lose all resemblance to the historic faith.” A comment from Babylons Dread.

The announcement yesterday that World Vision would hire people involved in same sex marriages drew a swift and very negative response from traditional Christians all over the media.

The blogosphere in particular exploded, with scathing commentaries on World Visions stance from many well known evangelical leaders.

The backlash to those commentaries from liberals and progressive Christians has been intense.

This snippet of conversation represented the feelings of many I follow on Twitter;

Screenshot 2014-03-26 08.53.33

What is interesting to me is how the debate has been framed and how it is morphing today.

Yesterday, it was about “Christians” who “hate” gays and lesbians vs. children in need.

This morning the target has been narrowed and “evangelicals” are in the crosshairs.

Overnight, over 2000 children have lost World Vision sponsorships.

I have questions…

Could we have taken a stand on this issue (now and from the beginning) that was more Gospel centered and avoided much of the anger and enmity we are receiving now?

How much of our moral authority have we forfeited by not holding to our own standards so very often?

Is this the tipping point culturally that brings persecution?

  203 Responses to “The End of Evangelicalism?”

  1. And World Vision had already been very steeped in the “social gospel” false gospel, long before all of this happened. World Vision has been “social gospel” for years, not wanting to emphasize that Jesus is the only way to heaven and all other ways lead to hell.

    And those of us that pointed that out, were hated for saying it. But this is the next logical step of many steps. Throw out part of the Bible, and the rest goes with it sooner or later.

  2. “Is this the tipping point culturally that brings persecution?”

    All who live Godly in Christ Jesus, will suffer persecution.

    Not going to look for persecution, and not seeking it out in some masochistic way. But just keep telling the truth. The person telling the truth won’t have to go seeking persecution. Persecution will seek them.

    That is why, all who live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. There’s a promise not found in the “Bible Promise” books.

  3. “Is this the tipping point culturally that brings persecution?”

    World Vision??? Give me a break – 2 weeks from now no one will be talking about it.

  4. God’s word doesn’t change and God’s people must not waver on this issue or any other that goes against His word.

  5. I’ve often wondered why so many ministries based on good works (feeding the poor, education, etc) fall into liberalism sooner or later. Their initial motives were good: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, etc. But somehow along the way the good works become more important than the Truth. Maybe it’s because big-hearted people are attracted to this kind of ministry and in their big-heartedness, they begin to make excuses for the sin they see and start to ask “Did God really say…..? They begin to trust their own hearts more than the words of the Scripture, forgetting that human understanding is still darkened and imperfect. They begin to think they are more loving than the God of the Bible. It is a form of narcissism, actually. “I love these people more than the God of Bible does, ergo, the Bible can be discarded as a relic of an unenlightened age and I will believe in a God who is just like me.”

    Obviously, this is not true for all ministries but I think it is a problem among para-church ministries.

  6. @5
    Well said. One has to remember that there are standards of holiness that God Himself has demanded. There is a point where we can become dangerously close to insulting the Spirit as Hebrews 10 warns us. Whoa to us when we excuse the sin that Christ died for by not asking for an account.

    Our softness on sin is another manifestation of the myths of democracy where everyone should be given equal footing without regard for who they are, what their character is like, or degree that they actual engage in improving social welfare and justice. No one is wrong today, they are misunderstood products of their environment and are still in the process of self liberation, and thereby should be given a pass on what is in reality vicious behaivor. You are correct, X, it is the narcissist that thinks they can do the work of changing man’s heart and subtly replacing the God of the Bible with a god of their own creation. It is what the scripture foretold: a form of godliness but denying its power, of whom the scripture tells us to turn away from. Now that sure as hell isn’t very politically correct, is it?

  7. “Is this the tipping point culturally that brings persecution?”

    I don’t know if this World Vision controversy will be “the” tipping point, but it could end up being be a significant marker along the way. This whole agenda to accept homosexual “rights” or thus be scorned has just snowballed through our culture the last few years and seemingly continues to gain steam. As many have stated before, as Christians, we should not be surprised if and when we receive persecution. And the persecution we have received thus far and can even envision receiving in the future is light compared to the way some have been persecuted for their faith. But it is persecution, nonetheless. I think the surprising thing to many is just how quickly and forcefully this issue has come about.

    But probably what is most troubling, is the level to which other Christians are agreeing with the homosexual agenda and are in turn condemning those who hold to what has always been the historically held position on the issue of homosexuality in the Christian faith. Now I’m not going to say at all that those who are agreeing with the homosexual agenda have left the faith, but it is very troubling to see them in many ways cheering on the agenda and in turn condemning and possibly even joining in on the persecution of those who won’t follow suit with their progressive and enlightened thinking.

  8. I suppose many of the people in your Twitter feed, Michael, would love to see the end of Evangelicalism, and all forms of traditional Christianity.

    I’m not an Evangelical, but I would sure hate to see its demise as it is the predominant form of Christianity in America today and if it disappeared I shudder to think what would fill the void. What I hope happens is that Evangelicalism is refined through these trials, that some of the superficiality and foolishness goes away and the genuine core of Bible-believing, god-fearing piety remains in a purified form.

  9. The problem is “the love of money”…the root….that’s where the problem begins and that is where it ends.

    In my opinion…(and apparently with some Scriptural support)

  10. And that is not to say that there have been things and continue to be things said and done by those who hold to homosexual acts as being sinful that are worthy of condemnation. In many ways, the church has harmed its own reputation in the way it has acted and spoken towards homosexuality. But that still doesn’t make the condemnation and persecution right when it is based simply around the unwillingness to accept homosexuality as a morally acceptable behavior. Especially when the condemnation is coming from fellow Christians.

  11. People are afraid to say anything negative about homosexuality for fear of being disliked by their peers. I have a straight relative who is a zealot for the homosexual cause and I find myself clamming up around this person for the sake of keeping the peace. Plus, I want this person to continue thinking well of me. So I fear what this person thinks of me more than I fear what God thinks of me.

    It’s like the burglar who won’t rob a house for fear of the guard dog. He fears the dog more than he fears God.

  12. Xenia wrote: “People are afraid to say anything negative about homosexuality for fear of being disliked by their peers”

    That’s really the issue. I remember in elementary school, the worst thing you could be called is queer. Now, using that word in elementary school, will probably get you put into re-education classes.

  13. Michael,
    “This snippet of conversation represented the feelings of many I follow on Twitter;”

    I reread these comments – I do not find them “explosive” at all. You made it sound dire last night, but if these comments are representative, I find them mild.

  14. It’s funny, because I do not see any of this WV stuff as being centered on homosexuality or same sex marriage – and I think we are allowing ourselves to be dragged into the conversation on other people’s terms.

    To me the issue is that WV has given up being a faith based organization long ago, giving up one principle after another (the slow boiling frog) until one day we look up and they have deemed same sex marriage OK – and we are shocked.

    I just say good riddance and be done with them – not because of the same sex deal, but because they are no longer a Christian organization.

  15. To me the issue is that WV has given up being a faith based organization long ago, giving up one principle after another
    ———————————————————–
    Well…they actually very recently litigated the right to fire employees who no longer affirmed the Trinity, and these were just ‘worker bees’ behind the scenes. They have consistently fought for the right to determine their hiring practices for faith-based reasons.

    So this is a big change and most definitely is centered on homosexuality – but with the CEO hiding behind Jesus Christ and words like “love” and “unity” for justification.

  16. MLD,

    I chose not to post the more inflammatory stuff.

  17. Steve,
    You may be correct – like I said yesterday up until this came up I had no idea WV was still in business. I remember there was a big stink back in the 80s about them. I guess I figured they went under.

  18. I think this is a red herring of sorts. People who are putting children at risk, well, I find that hateful. If you promised to take care of a child that has no other source of sustenance, then keep going. register your complaint to the company (because yes, it is a company, not a “ministry”)
    For the gays who are feeling “personally attacked” and “feeling the wrath of all evangelicals” GET OVER YOURSELF. This is not about you, unless you are either A. an employee of the company,or B. a child getting support (or not getting it), you are not affected in any way. It may make you mad, or happy or whatever, But this is NOT ABOUT YOU!
    (I read a few blog posts yesterday that were so egotistical and over the top, that one might be tempted to call them drama queens, but will refrain from doing so in a more volatile arena.)
    there are so many other less black and waste issues facing the church, yet we waste all our time on this.

  19. Worldwide, hasn’t evangelicalism long since lost the baton to renewalism?

  20. While I understand and appreciate the opinions expressed here I simply can’t avoid the stench of our hypocrisy.
    We are outraged at the sins that we don’t practice and we institutionalize the ones we do.
    I started making a list last night of guys I’m personally aware of that committed adultery and are still in the ministry, in the good graces of their peers.
    I quit when I hit double digits.
    Sometimes God sends in the Assyrians…

  21. Michael,
    Where you miss the mark is that probably 100% of us here have abandoned support for the adulterers or other bad guys.

    So, we can still be consistent and point our fingers at an organization like WV and say, because of YOUR acceptance of sin, we abandon you also.

  22. I personally am outraged at my sin – however, that doesn’t seem to stop me.

  23. MLD,

    Everyone of the guys whose names I wrote down have flourishing churches.
    We haven’t abandoned them at all…we find ways to keep supporting them under the guise of “grace”.

  24. Michael, are you aware of any practicing adulterers, married to a wife with a sexual partner on the side, known by all, that are presently in good graces in ministry?

    Apples to oranges my friend.

    Now, if you want to discuss the issue of what constitutes true repentance, or what sort of sins are disqualifying for ministry no matter the level of repentance then fine….

    But they are two different issues, and hypocrisy is a false charge.

  25. Steve,

    I don’t believe it is.
    I believe it shows a hideous evangelical double standard.
    According to Jesus, if you divorce your wife without biblical warrant and re marry, you are in adultery.
    Would you like me to name names of those in the trophy club?

  26. “ism”s try to tell people who to love, who to shun, who to spend time with, who to invest in.

    EvangelicalISM is no different and its time has come

  27. “ism”s try to tell people who to love, who to shun, who to spend time with, who to invest in.<<<

    Even and maybe especially liberal-ISM.

  28. Michael, I do not join in your self-loathing that insists on using the inclusive “we” when not warranted.

    I’ve written my lengthy response to World Vision’s justification for their new policy change. And there is nothing hypocritical in that reply.

  29. Michael wrote: “According to Jesus, if you divorce your wife without biblical warrant and re marry, you are in adultery”

    Yikes. Are they eternally in adultery? Is this supposed to be our understanding of that Scripture?

  30. Michael,
    “According to Jesus, if you divorce your wife without biblical warrant and re marry, you are in adultery.”

    The Lutheran Church allows divorce amongst the clergy – are you saying that a pastor must be sinless?

  31. I believe it shows a hideous evangelical double standard.<<<

    This is where you are missing the boat, Michael. All churches believe and teach that fornication, adultery and divorce are wrong. Yet people sin, even the pastors. Depending on how well they hide their sin or the rules of their denomination, they will either get away with it or they won't but everyone knows it's sin, even if for reasons of their own they choose to look the other way. No one is re-writing their bylaws to say "We affirm unrepentant fornicators and adulterers! We will no longer be disrupting "Christian unity" by calling these things sin!"

    Yet this is what is happening with WV and other apostate ministries that are caving in to popular culture. They are calling evil good and good evil and making the rest of us feel like we are stealing the food out of a poor African child's mouth for not joining with them.

    Also…. when churches DO preach against immorality (of all kinds) they are often faulted for being legalistic fundamentalists, even before the homosexual agenda became so prominent. How many sermons have I heard about "liberty in Christ," etc.

  32. The Orthodox Church does not allow for divorce among the clergy. Even if you were divorced before you became a Christian, you are disqualified.

  33. And if your wife (who you must marry before your ordination) dies, you may not remarry.

  34. MLD,

    Your reading comprehension is slipping again.
    I said, very clearly… “without biblical warrant”.

  35. Steve,

    My “self loathing” is a recognition of the depths of my own sin and my identification with a a group (evangelicals) who seem to have a knack for acknowledging everyones sin but their own.

  36. This is the same mistaken argument set forward by Stearns at World Vision when he referenced the difference of opinion among churches when it comes to issues of divorce.

    I asked a specific thing. Name me the pastor who is actively practicing a sexual adulterous relationship while remaining married to his wife – where this is known and accepted by a church.

    As one of the community here as expressed many times in the past, divorce, repentance and ministry restoration is a very complicated subject with no “one-size-fits-all” I was once chastised by this person for making my adamant statement that would seem to be what Michael is saying (and what Xenia’s church affirms), namely that if you cheat on your wife you forfeit ever being a pastor again.

    There is no Biblical nuance to active homosexual behavior. And that is the key. ACTIVE – which is why I asked for active adultery and not a debate about the meaning of the Lord’s perspective which He gave in response to a direct question about when it is lawful to divorce.

  37. When we “look the other way” or cover the sins of our own, we may not be making a public statement that these sins are acceptable, but the message is loud and clear nonetheless.
    This should drive us to our knees in sorrow and repentance pleading for God to restore us and the moral authority He gives us to carry through His word.
    We won’t do that.
    We’ll just get madder and yell louder.

  38. “liberal-ISM” is such a worn out term used by those who do not understand progressive thought.

  39. Steve,

    You can parse it anyway you want.
    When a man dumps a faithful woman for a younger model it’s sin, and it’s adulterous and every bit as vile as any homosexual act.

  40. My “self loathing” is a recognition of the depths of my own sin and my identification with a a group (evangelicals) who seem to have a knack for acknowledging everyones sin but their own.
    ———————————————-
    That’s 100% bull – but it sure is self-righteous of you to say.

    And Stearns is just seeking unity and love and to model Jesus – so all of the rest of us apparently care little about that too.

    Why would you “identify” with those in a group that you speak out against and seek to reform?

    I guess no faithful husband and father who is black can ever speak out against other black men who impregnate and abandon the mothers of their children.

    I guess no woman can ever speak out against abortion.

    What a ridiculous standard you think you are required to live under.

  41. Michael,
    “I said, very clearly… “without biblical warrant”.”

    All sin is without biblical warrant. If it had biblical warrant it would not be sin.

    So, we are back at the same place – are you saying that a pastor must be without sin?

  42. When a man dumps a faithful woman for a younger model it’s sin, and it’s adulterous and every bit as vile as any homosexual act.
    ——————————————————————-
    Agreed. As you know, I place adultery, fornication and homosexual behavior all on the same level, just like the Bible does.

    So name the names, making sure you have all the facts correct of course. Likely half the congregation is unaware of that pastor’s past and maybe you will get your wish as they abandon him in light of the new knowledge. Those who are aware you can condemn just as loudly as the condemnation of World Vision and not feel like a hypocrite.

    By the way, most Christian organizations (like World Vision) specifically ask about prior divorces in their applicants and will use that information as ground to NOT hire the applicant.

    Meaning, once again, you miss the point with what specifically is happening at World Vision with this new hiring process, and what precedent it sets for others, and why it must be opposed.

  43. “So, we are back at the same place – are you saying that a pastor must be without sin?”

    I know this isn’t germane to the discussion, but I never understood the position that a person is disqualified as a pastor if they have divorced and remarried without Biblical grounds. Again, are they supposed to be viewed as eternally in adultery? The “husband of one wife” could just as easily be a statement against polygamy or current infidelity, rather than a statement against all past behavior. There are other things in those verses, like, a striker. So one that had been in a bar fight years before, is disqualified from pastoral ministry? But again I know this isn’t directly germane to the discussion.

  44. “That’s 100% bull – but it sure is self-righteous of you to say.”

    I’ll leave now before I do some real damage.

  45. I don’t know what else to say, Michael. If you aren’t going to remain jaded, as you say, about the final slide of a major Christian charity into apostasy until all the pastors on your list make a public confession (and all the thousands of others you don’t know about), then that’s the position you have taken and there’s nothing more to say. I don’t know how you decide what’s worth getting up in arms about. Plagiarism upsets you but the fall of a formerly great ministry to a force that threatens to overwhelm us all doesn’t.

  46. “the final slide of a major Christian charity into apostasy”

    Stearns book about the “whole in the Gospel” convinced me that he wasn’t preaching the true Christian Gospel back even then. He was basically teaching works for salvation and was against the true Gospel of grace apart from works. So I don’t think a Christian charity fell into apostasy. Stearns was already in apostasy years before based on his view of the Gospel. But I also know that is an unpopular view, which I have.

  47. Now if repentance is going to be the key, I think every Christian divorced person I know has repented of that. Some I know continually beat themselves up over it.

    Now, I would like to know the percentage of ‘christian’ homosexuals or same sex couples who repent over their sin? Zero ????

  48. Xenia,

    Another misrepresentation.
    I have made my position on homosexuality crystal clear and I brought J.I. Packer in to back me up.
    I see this as a far bigger issue than just the dereliction of biblical standards of one group.
    If we can’t as evangelicals own and repent of our own systemic sins then we will have little moral authority to address the sins of others.
    I don’t see why that is controversial in the least…but I was also just told that self examination and repentance is pure bull manure.
    I really need to get off here before I sin with my temper.

  49. You’re asking the wrong questions…and you don’t have the stomach or possibly the intellectual discipline to ask and answer the right ones, unfortunately.

    It is a matter similar to all other historical shifts in the faith…slavery, child abuse, divorce etc.

    That’s all we’re witnessing…another shift in Consensus that might possibly re-think the once Morally Relative taboo of homosexuality…just as is the case with many other Morally Relativistic issues of the “bible” and church.

    God impregnated Mary at age 12. Morally “good” and acceptable then…not so much today. God would be put in jail today and called “not good” for such an immoral act…even by evangelicals.

  50. “God impregnated Mary at age 12

    Just posted this in the other thread… but… Scripture citation with the number 12, please…

  51. My “self loathing” is a recognition of the depths of my own sin
    —————————————————–
    You insinuate in such a comment that the rest of us don’t.

    Just like Stearns said his new policy was to show the love of Jesus and embrace unity.

    I call bull on it all.

    Paul never stopped in his thunder against immorality while admitting himself as the chief of sinners for whom Christ died. The two are not incompatible.

    As far as moral authority goes….where on earth do we think that moral authority is found anywhere but in the pages of Scripture.

    A man may disqualify himself from proclaiming those Scriptures to others in the office of pastor, but the moral authority does not change in the least.

  52. but I was also just told that self examination and repentance is pure bull manure.
    ———————————————-
    HA! Talk about misrepresentation!

  53. “My “self loathing” is a recognition of the depths of my own sin and my identification with a a group (evangelicals) who seem to have a knack for acknowledging everyones sin but their own.”
    ———————————————-
    “That’s 100% bull – but it sure is self-righteous of you to say.”

    Hard to misrepresent that.

    You’re welcome to your selective thundering over the sins of others while our group parses it’s own, but good luck selling that to anyone with a real moral compass.
    The World Vision action offends me…but so does what we allow in our own camp.
    Thus, I become the enemy of all, evidently.
    So be it.

  54. Oh…and The Reformers all wanted to reform the group they were in…until they got kicked to the curb.

  55. When I’ve asked Christian from two different churches (with schools) how many of the (hetero) students in their church/school are in sexual sin (anything from Gal 5 definition of “sensuality” to fornication), the answer ranged from 75%-80%!

    Michael’s “sniffer” on evangelical hypocrisy is on to something real, that stinks.

    Let’s clean house, brethren.

  56. Selective thundering? Parsing sin? What “we” allow?

    It’s like I am talking to a complete stranger…..

  57. Now if Stearns would reverse his position on the false gospel he believes.

  58. That is good news, Steve.

  59. Now the final act must be – the board resigns.

  60. Just like with Duck Dynasty (a far less important example).

    I guess Rachel Evans’ surrender flag about how these “debates” are unwinnable once again proves hollow.

    We said all along, the goal was not the destruction of WV, but a reversal of their decision.

    Why do I feel that some people like RHE are going to actually be bummed that the evangelical and larger Christian community was successful.

  61. Now the final act must be – the board resigns.
    ——————————————————-
    Starting with Stearns. He obviously does not believe a word he said in the CT article, making him unfit for the office

    and if he did believe what he said, then he would quit on Christian principle (and leave behind his $400,000+ salary) much like a denominational split.

    Or he blows in the moralistic wind and continues to get paid and stay in power…..

  62. $400,000+ salary<<<

    Seriously? That in itself is a reason to find a different charity to support.

  63. Here is the full text of World Vision’s letter:

    Dear Friends,

    Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our employment conduct policy. The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.

    We are writing to you our trusted partners and Christian leaders who have come to us in the spirit of Matthew 18 to express your concern in love and conviction. You share our desire to come together in the Body of Christ around our mission to serve the poorest of the poor. We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.

    In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith, which says, “We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.” And we also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.

    We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters, and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.

    While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.

    Please know that World Vision continues to serve all people in our ministry around the world. We pray that you will continue to join with us in our mission to be “an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.”

    Sincerely in Christ,

    Richard Stearns, President

    Jim Beré, Chairman of the World Vision U.S. Board

  64. Wow didn’t expect to come in and see my comment on the top of a thread. World Vision is not the point of my comment. The out workings of a culture that insists gay marriage is normative IS. We were told over and over that there were no victims in this battle when people are allowed to marry who they please. We were told we should live and let live. “What do you care? Who does it hurt?”

    Now we have looming a country who will have to marshall all of its strength to undergird the ‘constitutional rights’ of a mistreated minority. Venders will be forced to service the gay community despite religious convictions. Schools will be tools of indoctrinating our children to treat people fairly at tax payer expense. Haters will be marked. It will become as unthinkable to be a member of a group that does not endorse gay marriage as it is to be openly a KKK member.

    World Vision is just a snapshot. Christians are being marked as hateful to children because of the decision of an institution. Redirecting your support to organizations that undergird your personal convictions is already being portrayed as violence against helpless kids. You are actually taking food from their plate.

    Shame is the tool when shear force is not enough. And there are plenty of Christians that are already releasing a flood of shame. Just catch the endless machinations of our own favorite liberal bloggers who love Jesus and find every person with a conviction to be fodder for their compassion canons.

    World Vision’s statement was masterfully scripted to wash the hands of the organization and shift the culpability on donors who were not consulted. World Vision calculated and knows what it stood to gain and what it stood to lose. Lawyers, image shapers, and power brokers who know where the big money is knew within percentage points what would happen to the dollars. World Vision will in one fell swoop demonize one group of people while replacing them with more ‘compassionate, enlightened and generous hearted’ givers. Not one child will go hungry and those vile fundamentalists will be exposed for what they really are.

    None of this takes into account the actual victims of the gay marriage catastrophe. None of this takes into account the millions of people who would never think of engaging in gay sex who are going to be influenced to do so. And to suggest that sexual experimentation is harmful to people will be hate speech.

    I was reminded this morning of how often Israel told God to leave them alone and what happened when he did. I was wondering if it is time for Christians to simply say to the culture, “do what is right in your own eyes.” People who will not be governed cannot be governed not by law, not by culture and not by God. “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Ps 106:15

    Dust in the Wind Dread

  65. Isn’t it sad that one can no longer tell if such institutional statements are a mea culpa or just spin control? I’m getting so cynical. It must be my old age.

  66. The $400,000 salary doing “the work of the Lord!” is ridiculous…and telling. Ya, such a servant….what a sacrifice to have to earn that sort of money to help kids.

  67. Wait did I just write my statement only to discover that World Vision caved.

    I still hold to my lament.

  68. BD,

    I used your comment because I found it almost poetic and sadly true.
    I should have asked first.

  69. Michael,

    If I post it use it. Your domain is public.

  70. Money…money money money money.

    It’s all about the purse.

    I acknowledge and even support the right of the Christian* to vote with their wallet…and fully recognize the power of the dollar to make policy decision. There are very very few Ideologues of pure heart who will die on a hill while suffering monetary loss.

    It’s humanity in a nutshell…and I support the right…while acknowledging what really controls and dictates most issues.

  71. I agree with Reebo, as earlier stated. This is a pure cash consideration, much like with Duck Dynasty.

    But a win is a win.

  72. We haven’t seen anything yet. This thing is going to BLOW. World Vision just turned itself into a culture war symbol but for who and for what?

  73. Morality is defined by Cultural Context and Consensus.

    You have to fight to win the Moral Argument.

    The conservatives have the power to create the Morality of our day and age in our Culture…the opposing viewpoints do as well.

    The battle is joined…and it is about money and power and votes and which Group applies more pressure and makes more noise etc.

    That’s how it works.

    I hope to persuade some of the conservatives through pointing out the flaws in the “Bible is Morally Absolute!” argument…while fully recognizing that most eyes are shut, mouths are open and ears are muffled…and minds are made up. Then it becomes which Group can win the battle and seize the issue and make it happen.

    That will determine today’s “Morality”…as it has always been in human history.

  74. It’s just the Enemy testing the waters. He made an attempt but the time wasn’t ripe, the remnant of faithful Christian is still too large. He will try again later.

  75. Liberals who signed on to sponsor a child abandoned by those fundies now have to make a decision… what a carnival!!! Could be a real boon for the kids. In America we love to put children in the crosshairs of our liberal/conservative battles.

    We always do it for the kids whether gambling, or drugs, or alcohol, or … sexcapades. Here we go.

  76. X, the “enemy” is within all of us, you included…it’s the dual nature of humanity.

    There is no Group including EO that has the Moral high ground…and many examples to prove such.

  77. None of this takes into account the millions of people who would never think of engaging in gay sex who are going to be influenced to do so.
    ———————————————————–
    Dread, I know of women who have had children in marriage, raised these children for a few years, who now are not only leaving their husbands but are doing so in order to join a lesbian relationship and get married. Husbands who may not be perfect, but have not cheated, not abused, and desire to keep the marriage alive and are willing to do whatever is asked to do so. Nope. She’s gone.

    Homosexuality may be as old as time, but this sort of choice (which is being repeated over and over) certainly is new to our nation. I can think of four examples in just a couple seconds..all with children (and thus a prior hetero-sex life)

    Since people always ask about ‘the children’ – what about these children? This is not two lesbians using IVF or even adopting an unwanted child…Mom leaves Dad to be with another woman? The kid has a mom AND a step-mom under the same roof?

    Process that through the mind of a kindergartener

    And not only will our world (and much of the church) not denounce it, but they will CELEBRATE it at being “true” to the lesbian you really are (or that God created)

  78. I hope to persuade some of the conservatives through pointing out the flaws in the “Bible is Morally Absolute!” argument<<<

    Yes, we are well aware of your purpose.

  79. $400,000!!!!! He’s still considerably short of what Franklin makes!

    Reminds me of a time years ago, at Youth for Christ rally, when a semi-famous singer spoke of all that he gave up to enter Christian ministry. Afterwards, we saw him drive off in his Rose Royce.

    Ah, to suffer for the Lord!

  80. First thing they should do is fire the $400,000 man and save some money and send the $300,000 per year savings to the kids.

    I will say this about conservatives….they are very philanthropic and do give a lot of money to help people which is very “good”…atheists and liberals seem more stingy, in general, and want the government to provide everything.

  81. In America we love to put children in the crosshairs of our liberal/conservative battles.<<<

    The reason cultures have mores, traditions and rules is for the protection of the children. Even pagan cultures have rules that may seem bizarre to us but exist for the preservation of the tribe.

    The American culture is in the process of throwing all our mores, traditions and rules out the window and God only knows what the result will be.

  82. JU’s number 66 is exactly how I am thinking as well. I’m very cynical.
    I believe their new decision is more likely all about the almighty $$$ rather than the Almighty.

  83. “The American culture is in the process of throwing all our mores, traditions and rules out the window and God only knows what the result will be.”

    No, we are making great strides against Child Abuse in the church and in state institutions.

  84. Unfortunately, the “church” is often the biggest perpetrator of much of the Immorality we need to combat and correct.

  85. It is “Immoral” for a Franklin Graham to make $1,000,000 a year “for Jesus!” and for the dude to make $400,000 for “helping kids in the name of Jesus!” and of the Furdick’s and Ed Young’s and so many many others.

    It is “Immoral” to teach that it’s OK to hurt your kids and beat them with “rods” and leave “stripes” etc and it is “Immoral” to protect Child Abusers in the church.

  86. Let me remind the bible thumping Group here what Paul the Apostle says in the “perfect, infallible, immutable, literal! Word of God”:

    1 Corinthians 5:12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.

  87. …and “church” is literally the “whole body of Christ” according to the Greek literal words.

    But, all manner of reason you all give to judge those outside the church like homosexuals wanting to marry….yet most don’t want to lift a finger to deal with child abuse or financial abuse/immorality at another Franchise b/c it’s “not my responsibility!”…yet the bible says, quite literally, otherwise.

  88. So, if you’re going to thump the bible as Absolute…then by all means…follow it. Nope, you don’t and won’t…you’ll all wax very liberal on areas you don’t like and explain away with all sorts of appeals to “context!” and “that’s not what it really means!” etc.

  89. Michael,

    Thoughts on World Vision’s reversal?
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-reverses-decision-gay-same-sex-marriage.html

    Or Rachel Held Evans’ response to it?
    “I have never in my life been more angry at the Church or more embarrassed to be a Christian. It feels like a betrayal from every side.” – RHE

  90. The problem with the letter is when you have an emphatic 5-page article in CT.

    One Example: ” “We’re not doing this because of any outside pressure. We’re not doing this to get more revenue. We’re really doing this because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s the right thing to do for unity within the church.”

    So now that they reverse what was the right thing to do for unity, is it safe to say they ARE reversing due to outside pressure and they ARE reversing to get more revenue?

    I found Driscoll’s repentance letter far more genuine…but like I said, as long as they now do the right thing….

  91. “According to Jesus, if you divorce your wife without biblical warrant and re marry, you are in adultery. Would you like me to name names of those in the trophy club?”

    Michael, I take no offense to that statement. But I gave up my trophy long ago.

  92. My response to RHE
    ““I have never in my life been more angry at the Church or more embarrassed to be a Christian. It feels like a betrayal from every side.” – RHE

    First, get your panties unwadded, Second, turn in your believers card and go home.

  93. Jeff,

    This whole thing grieved me deeply last night and it grieves me even more today.
    The social media responses on both sides have been harsh and graceless and I’ve read very little that reflected the heart of God.
    This blog has contributed (again) to that lack of thoughtfulness and absence of grace and that grieves me even more.
    I don’t see how we can possibly be agents of reconciliation when we count everything as victory or defeat and those outside our camp as enemies.
    I’m getting old and tired and none of this seems to fit anymore.

  94. Bob,

    You have been openly repentant over what you did.
    You have used your failing to strengthen others.
    You and I both know that’s the exception rather than the rule.

  95. My response to RHE would be that while I understand her beliefs, I only ask that she affirm mine as well…and that we would seek to find places of common ground instead of division.
    I believe homosexual behavior is sinful, she doesn’t.
    I’m not sure that excludes her from the kingdom of God.

  96. Michael,
    You are funny. If the WV announcement had been that they had appointed Skip Heizig and Bob Grenier as board members, your whole concept of “being agents of reconciliation” would have been down the crapper.

  97. Dread at #65. That is powerful, incisive. A heart of God lament indeed.

  98. Michael: I feel that this is the future we face. Alot of battles. As pastor of a church, I am glad to see that voices spoke and change happened. it can sometimes feel, especially in this issue (gay marriage and such) that the end result is inevitable. I know the next 20 years of pastoring for me will look quite different than the last years have. And I am glad to see lately a more public offering of repentance in the evangelical world. I think that’s good. Of course, since I killed Facebook, I’ve been more isolated from the social media responses. Social media can bring out the best and worst in people. got tired of watching it, and being beaten upside the head myself. its nice to be “free”

  99. and those outside our camp as enemies.
    ——————————————–
    I don’t know why you frame it this way, nor if you can receive this right now but this entire dust-up was NOT against those outside the camp, but rather those within.

    It was a criticism of World Vision and its Christian leadership. Period. End of sentence.

    Literally no different than what you do on this blog in your criticism of churches and their leadership.

    Maybe that’s why “none of this seems to fit anymore” – .

    I would think you would rejoice at the news, not be “even more grieved”

    But I’ll move on for now, happy at the reversal, happy the Body of Christ in this case cleaned up their own mess.

  100. MLD,

    If we are to consider the homosexual community as being lost…what is the biblical response we are to have toward them?
    You are the funny one…I’ve argued all through the thread that we should clean up our own mess and you bring up two that remain utterly unresolved.

  101. Oh yeah…and happy that a lot of innocent, poor children will not suffer on the altar of PC compromise and lure of federal tax dollars.

  102. Rejoice in your “victory” Steve.
    It was the victory of economics, not a change of heart.
    In the meantime, more hearts have been hardened, more lines drawn, and more division created.
    That’s what grieves me.
    I’ll say it for about the tenth time.
    I didn’t support the first move WV made and this one is purely economic, in my opinion.

  103. “If we are to consider the homosexual community as being lost…what is the biblical response we are to have toward them?”

    Preach the gospel to them, but don’t serve them communion.

  104. It was a victory of economics…but the root of it was a motivated Group of those giving the money and supporting that “ministry” that spoke up and cast their vote…as such it is a victory for Steve’s conservative Camp.

    The board certainly made the decision based on economics…and that’s the power the Folks giving the money have. Know who butters your bread. A&E found that out the hard way…now WV.

    Conservatives do have power and influence and they have the right to such. It is a Moral Opinion disagreement and not a “civil right” issue.

    While I think the conservatives are too pick-and-choose with what to freak out about and what hills they will die on…I do support their right to do so…and A&E and WV were both “wins” for moral conservatives.

  105. It’s why I’m Libertarian. I can’t be sure about a Moral Opinion…so I give leeway for Liberty or at minimum for the States to decide and define Morality for their populace based on the Consensus of that Populace.

    There are many issues where there is no quantifiable “correct” answer other than appeals to an ancient book that is highly subjective and depends much on which Group or Guru tells you what it says and means.

  106. Where the lines are crossed, IMO, is with Sects like Islam that teach abuse of women and kids and homosexuals etc and call for acts of violence and/or oppression (like making women wear burqas, beating them etc as “good” and acceptable).

    With regards to calling something “sin” and “wrong”…have at it. If you think owning a pawn shop is “sin”…no problem…I have the right to tell you to GFY and I disagree. If you mandate that my pawn shop is “sin” and then advocate for folks to burn it to the ground…then I grab my arsenal and we fight for Freedom and the Bill of Rights.

  107. Not hiring someone b/c they are gay is not a civil rights violation anymore than not hiring someone at Hooter’s b/c they have small boobies is a civil rights violation or not hiring a straight female to work as a bartender at a gay bar is a civil rights violation…or not hiring a Christian to work at an Atheist Foundation is a civil rights violation.

  108. MLD’s 105 is the best response yet.

  109. We didn’t wait for the south to have a change of heart about segregation before passing the Civil Rights Act. The nation sought to right a wrong, using whatever lawful means were at her disposal.

    Presently people continue to encourage our US leaders to use whatever pressure possible (including economic sanctions) upon Iran to right a wrong and free Saeed. To right a wrong. Who cares if we look back and say Iran only did so because of economics and not a change of heart.

    If the movie Wilberforce is accurate in the details, he and his allies used all sorts of means in order to get the legislation passed that would end British slavery. Lincoln certainly did some maneuvers on his end during the Civil War as well.

    I want to change hearts. But I realize I can’t. Only God can do that.

    I wish (and pray) America would have a change of heart about abortion, but I’m not going to wait until she does before I fight to see Roe tossed out. And if it takes brute judicial force to overthrow what brute judicial force established in the first place, I will still rejoice when it happens.

  110. My understanding of the victory of the Gospel is when God changes the heart of a sinner to repent and embrace Him, not financial pressure that causes a self serving reversal of course.
    He does this out of love…which seems in real short supply these days.

  111. In the case of A&E…they had the “right” to fire Phil for his contrary Moral Opinion….but those who support the show with their ad dollars and eyeballs had the right to tell A&E they’d be done with them…and the power of those who pay the bills was effectively meted out and conservatives won that one.

    Conservatives will win the battles where they are motivated and where they pay the bills. Where Conservatives are unmotivated or don’t pay the bills, they will likely lose b/c the Gay Agenda is very motivated and has a lot of political and business allies.

  112. “Transformation Gospel” is b.s. and not a true correlation.

    You define Morality…and like Steve said…it’s wrought through sheer effort and persistence and conviction…and being louder and more effective than the other Group opposing you.

    That’s how it works.

  113. While I am theologically liberal…I see Science as supporting via fact the human fetus has measurable and consistent brain activity and brain waves at 6-8 weeks which begs “consciousness”…and it is “wrong” and “evil” that we kill all those human babies…yet we sit by and let it happen and get so motivated by something stupid like gays wanting a state marriage.

    I don’t get it.

  114. Christians also don’t seem too motivated regarding Child Abuse and protecting the “least of these”….or too motivated about financial accountability and transparency (yet most conservatives demand that of our govt.)…

    …but gays wanting a govt. marriage contract…that’s a hill to die on.

  115. Christians are to blame for, BY FAR, the greatest Evil of our day and age: Abortion.

    Christian conservatives rolled over, gave up, threw in the towel…but want to die on a hill like stupid gay marriage which is meaningless to God IMO. It’s a state/govt. contract and marriage means absolutely nothing to most Christians who don’t honor it that well or don’t care that their pastors are divorced or commit adultery or watch p0rn etc etc etc.

  116. Gay marriage doesn’t keep me up at night…thinking about all the millions of innocent babies we allow to be killed in our day and age does. So does Child Abuse. Further down the list is Financial opportunism in the name of Jesus.

  117. “Christians are to blame for, BY FAR, the greatest Evil of our day and age: Abortion.”

    This is stupid. The only people who support pro life are Christians. Very few people of other faiths step up to the plate. Jews don’t because their religion says that life begins at birth, with the first breath – so they will never be on our side.

    RB, I am opposed to you calling anything evil as you have spent months dictating relativity. Just say you find abortion ickkey and you wish less people would do it.

  118. There’s a weird and fuzzy line here in the homosexual debate over marriage. RB does have one thing right and that’s marriage outside of religion is a community recognized legal and binding contract. But the fuzzy line I keep hearing is the idea the homosexual community is “lost.”

    What do you all mean by lost? Does a practicing homosexual, and I mean one who has sex with the same sex, exclude them from heaven or eternity? If that is what you mean then I believe all those who divorce,and commit all those other sins, and do them without repentance, are also lost.

    Then who can be saved? I believe that was a question of the day.

    Now does the church have to accept and affirm marriage between people of the same sex? Not if their understanding of marriage excludes such covenants. Why is that so difficult to understand and stand up for?

    OK I’m lost?

  119. Xenia and MLD both think the matter should be addressed sacramentally. I am not surprised but I am sure most people consider that completely irrelevant. Nevertheless, rooted inside that claim is the idea that the weakness of Christ is the strength of the Gospel’s power and the act of communion is the manifestation of God’s almighty love to transform death to life.

    Sacrist Dread

  120. MLD

    BTW you’re right about RB’s position on abortion. By what standard does he count it as evil? While science may tell him a person has a conscience at a very early stage in the womb, wouldn’t anthropological and cultural science tell him it wasn’t?

  121. Babs,
    I wasn’t thinking sacramentally – I was thinking tongue in cheek.

    Michael seems to think that the way to bring the homosexual along on the path to salvation is to first make him a member of the church. In other words, let a high visibility Christian organization welcome them aboard with no repentance, but full membership.

    So, as I said – “Preach the gospel to them, but don’t serve them communion”.

  122. MLD,

    I liked my take on your take better than your take but I’ll take it.

  123. MLD,

    Nowhere did I say that.
    Nowhere.
    My point is that we are told to speak the truth in love.

  124. Michael,
    If you are not willing to let the unrepentant homosexual become a member of your church, you have drawn a dividing line between you and he, that some would say is removing the love from your message.

  125. #65 was good observations even with the reversal of WV’s decision.

  126. WV was planning to grant admission to “married” homosexuals. “Married” homosexuals are not people struggling with their sin, these are people who have done everything they can to reinforce their sin. By accepting them, WV was going to confirm them in a sin that the Scriptures say will prevent them from entering heaven.

    People who genuinely fight against a same sex attraction have my admiration. They have been given a hard lot in life but no harder than the plight of people (of either sex) who can’t find a spouse and yet are expected to remain chaste. We all know of people approaching middle age who wish with all their hearts to find a spouse yet for various reasons find themselves single and are expected (by God and by us) to remain celibate.

  127. As per my #65 I stand by the bulk of it. BUT…

    Apparently the dudes in the room with the initial decision power did not have the facts and figures that I imagined. Incompetence is not limited to political persuasion.

    I would be fascinated to know the internals of this fiasco.

  128. Now, I see that people who yesterday were crying how mean-hearted Christians were for following principle are now denouncing WV for their reversal.

    See, selfishness.
    They don’t care about the children at all.

    For all their words and statements, they care more for comfortable, western civilization homosexuals in their easy American lifestyle than an impoverished third-world child.

    That is wrong.
    See, this reversal has shown their hypocrisy.
    They would rather have seen WV stick to their guns on the gay marriage debate and children suffer so that they could feel self-righteous and denounce other Christians.
    But, change the circumstances and they get bitter at that also.

    Sorry Michael, but exactly how can you reason with people who will not be satisfied until your “mind is right” on all their gay issues?
    Never, have I seen a more intolerant bunch than progressive Christians.

  129. So let me get this straight.

    People who were not supporting children through World Vision condemned people who were when they stopped because World Vision changed policies.

    Am I the only one that sees a wee bit of self-righteous hypocrisy in that?

  130. I think all these Twitter people just need to have something in life to complain about. Those of us who like peace don’t Twitter.

  131. Since I’ve been on this blog (which is longer than the vast majority) I’ve seen Evangelicals mocked and ridiculed a ton. End time illiterates who read mind candy like the Left Behind series. People who listen to Jesus is my boyfriend music. Chris Tomlin and others pretty much dismissed as being relevant. Those whose churches have inferior church governance that has led to all sorts of damage to the innocent. People who would dare use an altar call and sinners prayer at the conclusion of each service. Those who hold to crusades that employ decision made conversions. I’ve always sensed an attitude of superiority towards evangelicals from others.

    At the same time and for much longer I’ve watched the world broad brush evangelicals as morons. Today I saw a car with two bumper stickers. One read “ignorance is the most dangerous enemy.” The other read how bad Fox news was and to be avoided. It was easy to see the underlying connection. Tea Party republican christians with IQ’s lower than the general population are at the root of our problems or something akin to that.

    That attitude is played out continually as Christians are portrayed as what is holding this nation back. You know how we bomb abortion clinics and would see all gays dead if we were honest while our leaders are exposed for frauds as they bilk people out of their money while living sinful lives.

    We are portrayed terribly in media when it comes to movies and television while sinful lives are glorified.

    I’ll be the one to say I find it offensive that those who have belittled evangelicals as being a blight on the true faith now find we’re all in the same boat when circumstances are now changing.

    I imagine some believers will continue to paint evangelicals as the problem within the church and a hindrance to what God wants to do in the world. Others will hold hands with the world telling them all is well as they head towards a christless eternity. We don’t even know who the enemy is any more.

  132. MLD said, “If you are not willing to let the unrepentant homosexual become a member of your church…”

    Would you let King David of the bible be a member of your church? He was an unrepentant polygamist who had multiple wives and concubines…

  133. MLD, as “good” and “evil” are largely subjective…and rely on Conscience and Reason and Cultural Consensus…your claim that there cannot be “evil” is silly.

    My beef with conservative Christians is they rolled over too easily with regards to a real evil…abortion…but are all up in arms about gay marriage which means nothing and isn’t hurting kids or killing kids.

  134. RB,
    You hang with the wrong people. I don’t know any people in my church who are “up in arms” about gay marriage – but I do know several how are pissed about abortion.

    Change the crowd you hang with.

    “Would you let King David of the bible be a member of your church?”
    We do not allow dead people to be members of our church.

  135. “your claim that there cannot be “evil” is silly.”

    No, that is my claim about your claim. Your claim is always “what may be right or wrong for you is not necessarily right or wrong for me.”

    You can’t argue both side.

    When I was a kid it was perfectly normal and acceptable for my parents to beat me – and if they weren’t around, the neighbor lady or the boys vice principle.

    Today you call that evil. tomorrow, you may not – I can’t keep up with your changing ways.

  136. The hypocrisy of the progressive Christian movement has been obvious to me for a while.

    E, liked your #133.

  137. MLD, you certainly can. “Evil” and “Good” in the bible are Relativistic depending entirely on “cultural context” in most instances…i.e. your appeals to “well that wasn’t what God intended but he permitted it”

  138. MLD, if King David were alive today and was a polygamist and had concubines…would he be allowed as a member of your church?

  139. MLD, if God were alive today and knocked up a 12-15 year old girl and was unrepentant…would he be allowed to be a member of your church?

  140. Ribo,

    As long as he brought me the foreskins of the Philistines we could work something out with David.

  141. knocked up a 12-15 year old girl and was unrepentant

    I think I liked it better when you blamed Luther for 6 million dead in WW2.

    But I do feel sorry for you – it must be agonizing to be so confused.

  142. “MLD, if King David were alive today and was a polygamist and had concubines…would he be allowed as a member of your church?”

    He would have to go through our confirmation classes then we would decide.

  143. RiBo

    I’m not baiting you nor trying to get you to rapid fire comments like you tend to do, but I tend to agree with this observation; “they rolled over too easily with regards to a real evil…abortion…”

    The question is why?

    Sadly over 30 years ago I had a friend who was a faithful Missouri Synod Lutheran who had a daughter that was about 10 years younger than I. This daughter confided in my wife one day about how she had gotten pregnant while attending college and her father, my friend, quietly arranged an abortion for her. Why did this man, a father, respected in his church and community and my friend decide to quietly assist and encourage ending an unborn child’s (his grandchild) life?

    Someone said it above, selfishness.

    Why does our culture accept and allow people of the same sex to marry? Same reason.

    Another, non-Christian conservative friend of mine said it this way (as you also have) , “How does two men poking each other and wanting to get married effect me!”

    My Lutheran friend, his daughter, my wife, the unborn baby, my other friend, and so many more have been effected and touched by just these two simple situations, now multiply that by millions upon millions. Everyone is dirty.

    So what does Jesus save us from?

  144. “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.”–King David

  145. “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.”

    The two became one….

  146. “…and rely on Conscience and Reason and Cultural Consensus”

    So let’s test you out.
    1.) How many consensus meetings did you go to to make sure that you were in consensus with the culture.
    2.) How many people were at each consensus meeting and what were their qualifications to inform you about what the consensus was?
    3.) If you dissent from the cultural consensus,what are you called? … wrong?
    4.) Now that you are so consensus savvy are you now a consensus leader with your own cultural consensus group?
    5.) Do they have national consensus meetings.

    Can you build a consensus here?

  147. “if God were alive today”

    This comment fits into the area of vulgarity that goes beyond common decency of one who claims to believe there is a God.

    Reel it in please.

  148. RiBo

    I always suspect you come under the influence of adult beverages at night. Your comments and justification of homosexuality using David and Jonathan are boorish and indicate a grasping for straws.

    Let it be, chill and relax a bit. You won’t solve or convince anyone of anything.

  149. RB,
    You have asked the right question – you my friend are this close to being saved.

    “So what does Jesus save us from?”

    The consequence of your sin.

    RB, if you would like to know this Jesus, just place your hand on your computer and pray these words after me …

  150. “MLD, if God were alive today…”
    Well there is your basic non Christian give away.

  151. RiBo,

    You are simply trolling for a reaction and desiring to cause strife.
    Please stop or leave.

  152. MLD said, “Well there is your basic non Christian give away.”

    No, it was rhetoric to make a point…the point being that God did impregnate an underage girl with Jesus. It illustrates that “Morality” is largely Cultural Context and Relative…as today impregnating an underage girl is considered “immoral” and statutory rape.

  153. #153…. That is an example of why I would ban you RiBo. That’s perverse. Why you would even want to be here is beyond me. Since Michael refuses to ban you I’ll simply ask you to go away.

  154. Michael, I am making a solid point about Moral Relativism and I also think you should look into the David and Jonathan relationship more and look to the root words and the literal translations. There is a case that can be made that they were in a homosexual relationship if the literal text of the bible is your metric for truth.

  155. RiBo,

    I asked nicely.
    This is not going to be a topic and I’m tired of the constant baiting.
    Stop or I have no option but to moderate you.
    If you want to write articles for your site on God as a child molester and David as gay that is your option and your readers can choose to engage them or not.
    It’s done on this blog.

  156. I see progressives crying out today against WV not because they ever wanted the children to not suffer, but because they need to uphold all those loving gay couples living the American dream who just want a cushy ministry job in WV America.

    They had no real concern for the children or they would be happy that WV reversed its decision and now all those children might be okay.

    I saw a few people on the net posting a picture of pastors with this caption:

    “Claim to be followers of Christ. Think Jesus cared more about gay marriage than feeding and clothing poor people.

    They don’t see how they are guilty of the same exact thing they claim these people are guilty of.
    They have placed gay marriage above the poor and needy. It wasn’t as obvious yesterday, but once WV reversed their decision it exposed them.

    Sorry, this is really ticking me off.

    In fact I think I am through for the night.

  157. Michael, it is shameful that you are engaging in censorship in a discussion that is appealing to the text.

  158. You take a strong position publicly against homosexuals and then you moderate questioning your rationale when it appears David and Jonathan may have been too friendly and when I point out that the bible is full of Moral Relativism.

  159. This is why evangelicals become “hated” and distrusted by the Groups you derided and “hate”

  160. RiBo,

    It’s my blog and neither myself nor my readers want to read this stuff.
    This is not censorship…you have many other avenues to write in and many other places where you can express yourself.
    It’s really not worth staying up to constantly deal with you and the strife you create.

  161. RiBo,

    I’m not going to argue with you.
    I don’t have enough in the tank to deal with it.
    You can write all this stuff on your own site or you can choose to make mine not worth visiting for my readers.
    At that point, we might as well close shop.

  162. It is your blog and as such you took a strong position against homosexuals publicly…who are not “in the church” as Paul says not to judge those outside the church…then you run from the push-back that proves the bible is not Morally Absolute as self-evident in the bible…and the fact that the literal text portrays David and Jonathan as more than friendly and possibly in a gay relationship.

  163. This is why evangelicals are viewed by many as dishonest and why you are becoming so despised. Keep up the good work.

  164. Michael, you’d shut this down before banning him?

  165. Erunner,

    I’m tired of the strife.
    I have avoided much talk of my personal situation but suffice to say that It takes all I have to get though the day these days.
    I don’t need and can’t engage in battles online when every day is a battle for me right now.
    It might be time…who knows?

  166. I thought about just closing comments…but Xenia’s fans would burn the place down. 🙂
    People love her stuff…

  167. Michael, You shut down last week to regroup. When you re-opened I thought things might be different. You have posted good stuff and it’s generated engaging conversation with the usual give and take.

    I figured once RiBo showed up he’d continue on in his ways which he has done. It’s clear he is pretty much the reason things are so difficult for you??

    I have no difficulty whatsoever banning him as he has created issues for what seems forever. For some reason you don’t and things just keep repeating.

    You have banned Doug so I’m not understanding your stance with Alex.

    I fully understand if life issues caused you to shut this down but if it’s RiBo then I really don’t understand.

    You know I support you and I’d love to see RiBo come around but he seems determined to do what he does. I want my thoughts out there before you do something even if I’m the only one who feels this way.

  168. Closing comments make you a discernment ministry. Remember?? 🙂

  169. Erunner,

    A lot of folks have said similar things.
    My hope was to avoid any more enmity with anyone.
    Banning people just makes them go to war on you and then you have a whole new set of issues to deal with.
    If we can stay up while I get some health stuff addressed and hopefully employed…we will.
    If we can’t without more problems, we won’t.
    What I think I would really like someday is to have a new blog with partners where I don’t have to worry about all the writing and all the moderating and take the target off my back.

  170. The story we’re working on about the Philippine orphanage is really important to me…I want to see that through.

  171. As far as I can tell war has been declared on you here.

    You write mainly for Monday and then share articles depending on what’s going on in the world. Weekends are covered. Links requires you picking out subjects of interest. That leaves three days. You have some excellent writers here who might be able to cover two days each week?? That could do it. Just some thoughts. I’m sure you’re communicating with others off line who can offer you excellent advice. Good night Michael.

  172. “Could we have taken a stand on this issue (now and from the beginning) that was more Gospel centered and avoided much of the anger and enmity we are receiving now?

    How much of our moral authority have we forfeited by not holding to our own standards so very often?

    Is this the tipping point culturally that brings persecution?”

    Those were your questions and that was the subject of this thread. I answered them from my perspective.

  173. I have a vague recollection of a Roman Catholic visitor who got banned pretty quickly? Or am I imagining this?

  174. RiBo,

    Your perspective is antithetical to my faith and the beliefs of most of my readers.
    It doesn’t create light, it brings strife.
    You have made decisions about what you believe and what you reject and I accept that.
    Most of us here have come to different conclusions.
    This goes back to my metaphor of Monday…I don’t go to the vegan cafe and lecture them on why I think they’re wrong and why they should think like I do.
    I go eat where I want to and what I want to and I’m thankful that they have a place to do likewise.
    We get along just fine as long as we don’t eat together.
    I have no enmity toward you personally, I just don’t want to argue with you every day, nor do most of the readers here.
    I don’t have a problem with the occasional dissenting opinion from your perspective, but that’s not been enough for you to this point.
    I’m trying to make this work for all concerned, but I can’t do it without your help.

  175. Xenia,

    He got moderated and left.
    He was pretty rude and pretty radical.

  176. Xenia,

    I’m trying to get church history 700-800 together…

  177. “Ban him!” LOL. Typical Christianity*. I stayed on topic. You just don’t like the opinions and can’t handle the critical thinking applied to the issues…and you wonder why evangelicalism and Christianity* for that matter are under fire. This blog is an example of why…many times.

  178. Don’t forget to mention the 7th Ecumenical Council and the restoration of the icons!

  179. Xenia,

    That was going to be the focus…I’m thinking I won’t get it done tonight though.
    Out of gas for the day…

  180. I am really interested in that era of church history. On another note is evangelical faith really at an end, I think not. I think that Americanized evangelical faith is at an end, so to speak, but the faith itself, no.

  181. Actually, after reading everything, this was a really great thread overall. I liked the interaction that took place.

    Alex is Alex, what else would we possibly have expected from him? I do admire Michaels tolerance and restraint. He could have hit the red button, but he didn’t.

    Instead he basically told Alex to go back to his room.

    Amazing what the withdrawal of financial support can do in place of words to overturn a boards decision. Apparently there are more Christians who took umbrage then the board had expected.

    “Hey guys we shot ourselves in the foot and our pay scale is in jeopardy! We better think this through.”

    As Red Skeleton used to say:

    “God Bless and good night to all.”

  182. Back when I was 40, I lost two high school buddies to cancer. I wasn’t as kind to either of them as I should have been, and it eats at me. I’ll be 56 this year, and I recently lost a family member who was younger than I. My wife made memorial handouts that included things people wanted to say about him. I remember when writing mine, I was thinking, “it would have been nice if I had told him this stuff when he was alive”. It eats at me.

    As we age, it seems that we find our regret bucket surprisingly full. “Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight a long time…”

    I could say, “make your own application”, but I really just want to ask PP’rs to love each other in word and deed. This strife has got to stop. The participants will carry the weight of their words (or lack thereof) one day, and it sucks.

  183. Jim,

    As I age and battle health issues that comment strikes home…hard.
    Thank you for speaking it to us…and thank you for hanging with me for so long.

  184. Now the final act must be – the board resigns.
    ——————————————————-
    Starting with Stearns. He obviously does not believe a word he said in the CT article, making him unfit for the office
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Steve, I agree whole heatedly with most everything you wrote in this post. However, I would like to add to this story a little bit not to cause division but to open your eyes to what is going on. My ex-CC pastor often quoted Richard Stearns and lifted him up as the epitomy of one to follow. Richard Stearns is from my local area and was a very successful business man before allegedly giving it all up (w/400k salary) to serve the least of these. I wonder what my ex CC pastor thinks of this man now? I believe he knows him personally and probably admires him even more today than yesterday. That is what my gut is telling me and this is one of many reasons I have had problems with CC. I am glad you however are continuing to fight the good fight.

  185. Stearns may be a brilliant business man but he cannot see past his nose when it comes to vision. This outcome was predetermined by stupidity. My early post declared that I was sure the cost had been counted and that World Vision would come out the victor with the spoils. That was because I thought World Vision was led by business and political savvy people. Whoops!

    I also noted that Rachel Held Evans announced that she was DONE with evangelicalism. I actually quite like Rachel except for her endless moral high grounding. Anyway, as for her leaving, well, she is the last to know. No worries she will continue to enjoy the benefits provided by her former constituency and they are many. I am sure she will continue to accept the donations, speaking engagements and book purchases of evangelicals who share her enlightened condemnations of haters.

  186. I wish I had more time to be engaged here…that pretty much ended when I began homeschooling last year. I have snatches of time to read, but not much time to write. When I do find time to write, I don’t want to have to defend everything I think against attacks…I would love to converse and engage and even dialog with some level of challenge, but the aggression? yeah, I just don’t have the time or energy.

    The question of the WV situation is worth discussion. I think we as Christians have for so long enjoyed being involved with a distance and with some level of disengagement. We like sending our check and we like that we are doing something good, but we also like not having too much connection.

    Our church found a way to work around this some…we work with Compassion and we found a village we could basically adopt as a church. We have adopted over 100 children in that village, and we send a team down every summer to do a work project. We get to send packages to our kids, and our children’s ministry send a video and some large project down. We have built a school, we have sent one child on to college now (a home group took over that child’s sponsorship from the individual when the child went to college and the cost became too large for an individual). We are closely tied to the community and the pastor of their church has come and visited our church.

    We still work through Compassion, and our sponsorship goes through them…and I’m not really sure what would happen if they came out with some questionable stance. I think we would probably figure out a way to continue our involvement regardless, even if we had to do it without Compassion. The point is…we’re highly invested in the community, and we’re thankful for Compassion being the means.

    Alright…I was going to try to write more, but I just got asked three or four questions while trying to write this and now I need to focus again on homeschool. Yep. Not much time for engaging.

  187. Sarah,

    That’s good info for a bunch of us.
    I’ve got a stack of emails asking about Compassion and I had no real answers.

  188. BD,

    I’d like to publish your article…very thought provoking.

  189. Sarah, I am impressed with your churches involvement in Compassion! I had no idea they would let a church be focused on one village like that. We sponsor over 100 kids at our church as well, and I would have loved to know this was an option. Maybe I will give compassion a call and see what can be done. Thanks for the testimony.

  190. Michael,

    Publish away

  191. I think we as Christians have for so long enjoyed being involved with a distance and with some level of disengagement. We like sending our check and we like that we are doing something good, but we also like not having too much connection.
    ——————————————————————————-
    I don’t know whether or not that is true, but I have made a conscious effort that was missing before my arrival to inform and involve the congregation in our mission work, as well as expand that mission work. I have seen, and it has been remarked to me many times how there is an excitement as to what is going on overseas that was not there before.

    So maybe it’s not so much LIKING “not having too much connection” but that oftentimes the people just don’t know how to have one and need opportunity.

  192. RiBo @ 179 “Ban him!” LOL. Typical Christianity*. I stayed on topic. You just don’t like the opinions and can’t handle the critical thinking applied to the issues…and you wonder why evangelicalism and Christianity* for that matter are under fire. This blog is an example of why…many times.”

    Since I’m the only one calling for your banning I’ll respond.

    “You just don’t like the opinions and can’t handle the critical thinking applied to the issues”

    Not at all RiBo. I’ve always been up front with you and my thoughts about you and HOW you participate here. Your critical thinking doesn’t impress me and it doesn’t bother me. As I stated earlier in this thread your original comment at 153 which was removed was perverse and has no place on this blog let alone coming from an adult who prides himself on his critical thinking skills. Because of comments like that and other stuff through the years that I pointed out when they took place I have stated in my opinion you should be banned. I have always been up front with you RiBo. It’s how you carry and express yourself I have problems with. Banning you is common sense to me.

    ‘and you wonder why evangelicalism and Christianity* for that matter are under fire.”

    Not at all RiBo. I left a post at 123 addressing that. It doesn’t surprise me at all as I’ve seen it happening for decades.

    Don’t mistake my calling for your ban as dislike for you although in the scheme of things I don’t think it’s too high on the list of things that concern you. People will continue to ignore you while some others try to engage you. And if you continue on as you have been at some point I may call for your ban again. I hope your family is well and business is good. Really!

  193. erunner, I’ll second your agreement to ban and I like your attitude as well. I don’t mind dissenting opinions but its sheer volume of rapid fire attacks that’s just ridiculous to me and doesn’t add anything to the discussion. I am hoping RiBo is able to self moderate as he alluded to a few times before.

  194. “Is this the tipping point culturally that brings persecution?”

    I’m posting blind, so my apologies if this has already been said, but I think we may have passed that point already.

  195. Shaun…I will say we have someone from Compassion who attends our church, and I know this was a conscious choice when we started 10+ years ago. The leadership went in wanting to set up something like this, so the congregation could see their impact on one locale rather than impacting children spread around the world. I think it’s rather awesome, and one of the things I love about the leadership here.

    I also know that our church is really diverse. We have lots who agree with homosexuality and lots who disagree. I know this will eventually be more of a divisive issue. So far, we have been able to minister together and our pastor has been able to graciously take a stand on the traditional side. I know there will be a day when a harder stand has to be taken. Issues like this WV situation will make it more vocal and more present.

  196. I think it’s rather awesome
    ———————————
    It is awesome. 🙂 Sounds like good leadership!

  197. It’s not “attacks” and “rapid fire”…it’s a flow of thought and responses to multiple parties who jump in.

    Ban me, don’t ban me. I’m not fearful of any of you or anything. Fear-based doesn’t work.

    If you don’t like my take, then don’t respond and don’t challenge it. Don’t expect me to not respond with many posts to explain my position when you challenge it. If you don’t like thorough defense of a particular position, don’t enter the arena and keep your thoughts to yourself.

  198. It’s not “attacks” and “rapid fire”…it’s a flow of thought and responses to multiple parties who jump in.

    Ban me, don’t ban me. I’m not fearful of any of you or anything. Fear-based doesn’t work.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    I am just joining errunner in sharing his opinion so that you will see that there are others that agree with him and that his is not an isolated opinion. After all, you define everything by the collective conscience so now you have at least two in agreement. I’m not trying to put fear in you. I have no power to ban you at all so that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

  199. Andrew, I appreciate your thoughts. I believe I’ve been consistent in my communications with RiBo through the years as well as fair. I haven’t attacked him personally but have been vocal in how he goes about sharing his thoughts.

    I am sure he’s a nice man in his personal life and a good father and husband. I always enjoyed playing words with friends with him and thought I was a good match for him.

    He’s always candid in his posts and I’m sure mine don’t shake him up in the least. What I’ve posted in the last few days is nothing new. I do wish him well and hope he reconsiders the path he has chosen.

  200. erunner, I agree with your approach. I’m sure RiBo is a great guy in person too. RiBo has challenged me with a few things but all of it is with style and approach and not much with substance. He is correct that putting Fear-based tactics don’t work and that was never my intention. I do wish RiBo the best and mean no harm to him and I also hope he reconsiders the path he has chosen.

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