Mar 312014
 

RachelEvanswebRachel Held Evans has written an op-ed piece for CNN about her perspective on the World Vision debacle.

Saying that she watched in “horror” after WV reversed course on it’s decision to employed couples in same sex marriages, she goes on to say that the situation “put into stark, unsettling relief just how misaligned evangelical priorities have become.’

It’s those misalignments she delineates that I will address.

We simply can’t dialog or reach any place of understanding as long as both sides misrepresent the other.

 

“When Christians declare that they would rather withhold aid from people who need it than serve alongside gays and lesbians helping to provide that aid, something is wrong.”

That’s not what I heard being said by those who were upset. This was about adopting a policy that was in opposition to sincerely held beliefs that they believed were also held by WV. All the people I saw comment that they were stopping support for WV also began looking immediately for other ways to help. No one…no one…was advocating withholding aid from people.

“There is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality that consistently dehumanizes, stigmatizes and marginalizes gay and lesbian people and, at least in this case, prioritizes the culture war against them over and against the important work of caring for the poor.”

I would agree that there is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality and I argued that on these pages all week. However, the vast majority of conservative Christians have no desire to  “dehumanize, stigmatize, or marginalize gay people..they simply affirm (often with compassion and pain) what they believe the Scripture is teaching about homosexual behavior. To them (and to me) to call holy what God has said is sin denies those in sin the very Gospel we believe. To posit this a war against gays and lesbians where we would willingly victimize the poor to win it is to dehumanize, stigmatize, and marginalize those who hold to the faith as it has been understood for two thousand years. Those things look like hell no matter who is doing them.

“Evangelicals insist that they are simply fighting to preserve “biblical marriage,” but if this were actually about “biblical marriage,” then we would also be discussing the charity’s policy around divorce.”

We have often overreacted and we are often guilty of hypocrisy in how we address these issues. I would suggest that you are doing likewise with these misrepresentations.

“Furthermore, Scripture itself teaches that when we clothe and feed those in need, we clothe and feed Christ himself, and when we withhold care from those in need, we withhold it from Christ himself” (Matthew 25:31-46).

Amen…and who was feeding all those kids? The very people you are scorning now…

Why are the few passages about homosexuality accepted uncritically, without regard to context or culture, but the many about poverty so easily discarded?

Many of us have read the progressive responses to the passages addressing homosexuality and examined them critically and with an open mind and heart. I’ve read many books and scholarly articles as I’ve wrestled with this issue. I still believe that the traditional position of the church is correct and I am called to acknowledge and obey it. To make the statement that those who do so are simply ignorant and that they discard those Scriptures about caring for the poor is simply a lie. The proof is that WV reversed its course because so many conservatives were supporting the poor through them.

This whole article was crafted to do exactly what RHE claims that evangelicals do… and that we also have been guilty of at times.

It uses rhetoric and misrepresentation to demonize and marginalize an entire group of people.

I do not agree with much of RHE’s theology and doctrine…but I do not doubt her heart, sincerity, or salvation.

Does that work both ways?

She ends the article with this;

“I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.”

Me too…so when do we put down the rocks and pick up the towels?

  236 Responses to “A Response To RHE On CNN”

  1. “withhold aid from people who need it”

    This is going to upset some people, but, Jesus is not the Champion of the financially poor, as if that was the reason He came to the world or as if that was the only thing He talked about. Yes, it comes up in Scripture. But when compared to the huge and vast quantity of Scripture, it is a very, very tiny percentage of Scripture.

    Jesus is not the Champion of the financially poor. He’s infinitely more interested in the spiritually poor.

  2. I couldn’t possibly disagree more.
    A cursory ready of the Gospels will show a great concern for both the financially and spiritually poor.

  3. #1 .) Absolutely no one said that they were going to stop supporting or sending aid to the poor and needy children and this is the LIE.

    People said that they were no longer going to do it through World Vision.

    #2.) I guess we can start switching to foot washing mode when the LBGTers quit throwing bombs at the Church.

  4. Michael, I mostly agree with your take on this issue as stated in your article. I think you are very close to a good and right balance. Well put IMO.

    My only pushback would be that RHE does properly describe some large chunks in Evangelicalism and their attitude toward the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage…but there are certainly more moderate wings in the Evangelical tent.

    I do agree that the conservative Evangelicals would not take food away from the needy kids over the politicized issue of homosexuality…they would simply stop supporting that particular ministry and redirect those dollars to another ministry that more aligned with their conservative moral beliefs.

  5. MLD said, “I guess we can start switching to foot washing mode when the LBGTers quit throwing bombs at the Church.”

    Well, personally, that’s how I’d roll…I’d fight them…but Jesus seemed to be much different than you and me. I think he’d wash their feet anyway, no?

  6. “A cursory ready of the Gospels will show a great concern for both the financially and spiritually poor”

    I don’t see those two even remotely balanced 50/50. The spiritual aspect of the Gospels so far outweighs the financial aspects, that there is simply no comparison. That is in the Gospels alone.

    Then factor in that there is more to the Bible than the Gospels.

  7. #3.) ““I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.”

    Why was RHE waging war in the first place?

    When people realize that this has nothing (well perhaps a little) to do with homosexuality – then people will get it. This is war against the church by an ever increasing secular society who have realized that their best weapon is the homosexual.

    Believe me, if the church gave homosexual full church standing and membership, the secular seige against the church would not end. Do you hear me? It will not end.

  8. RB,
    “I think he’d wash their feet anyway, no?”

    I saw Jesus was the feet of insiders only – he could have just as well washed Pilate’s feet – the water was there.

  9. “People said that they were no longer going to do it through World Vision”

    B-I-N-G-O

    It is a stupid argument to say that someone departing from WV, means departing from helping the poor.

  10. I just read her whole article – she is the most condescending writer in the ‘christian’ community. Her stated causes are so slanted that all I can say is “don’t let the door hit you on the butt when your leave evangelicalism.”

    It’s funny, I am not an evangelical, I rarely involve myself in Christian sub culture and I try to avoid many of the ‘social causes’ pitfalls that Christians fall into – but even from my outside perspective she has managed to piss me off.

  11. ‘culture war’ is hyperbole. It’s more of a dance in a dark room between clumsy strangers.

  12. Fil, agreed, the real “culture war” is going on in the middle east where muslims are slaughtering Christians and secularists….but finally Egypt is a lone beacon of light and is putting to death some 500+ muslim brotherhood terrorists.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/24/world/africa/egypt-muslim-brotherhood-sentences/

    It is shocking to me (and telling) that our CIA chief Brennan is a muslim brotherhood sympathizer. Our enemies have infiltrated us at the highest levels.

  13. Actually, what RHE did was insert herself to the forefront of the culture war. What RHE did was mark evangelicalism as the enemy of virtue. What RHE did was as you said Michael, mischaracterize and misrepresent people, their heart, their motives and their actions. RHE embodies what I was protesting in my article published here last week. She is an intentionally polarizing figure.

    The vitriol in her article and condemnation of her moral opponents is no basis for a basin. She should have just started washing feet because she publicly cut a lot of people off at the knees.

  14. RHE is upset about the evangelical machine – of which guys like me are very much cogs. However, several of us cogs also were publicly adamant about NOT taking away the support from the children you may sponsor. Derek said the same. Kevin H. likewise and so forth. (And as was already said, even those who did spoke of moving that sponsorship money to other children)

    If her article was about the less than 2000 donors (for I assume some sponsor more than one child) that actually pulled support…that would be one thing. However, her argument was like the person who uses the public sins of famous televangelists to discount Christianity as a whole. An argument I know well, and heard often, as a debaucherous heathen who grew of age in the 1980s in rejection to all things Christ and the Church.

    She is seeking to villify those who oppose the homosexual activist agenda towards the Church …at least those willing to speak up in their opposition. Not simply those pulling support. World Vision caved to RHE’s agenda (and she applauded)…evangelicals did NOT cave in response, so WV caved a second time.

    But the icing on the cake is she can dare speak of children as bargaining chips in this debate, while apparently her readership consists in part of those who were willing to start to sponsor a child as a sign of support once the new homosexual policy of WV was established!

    Side note to Michael – This is a very good response. Well done.

  15. “She should have just started washing feet because she publicly cut a lot of people off at the knees.”

    Quite possibly a PhxP All Time Top Ten line…

  16. Michael, good job!

  17. Reading the comment sections in articles like RHE’s in a media outlet like CNN are always enlightening as to just what sort of dialog is possible. And sure a lot of those folks are yahoos, who think it is funny to make jokes about Jesus having homosexual sex with the disciples. Or they are filled with their own hate towards all things Christian. But these people are also found in large numbers at gay pride events and parades, Blasphemous. Hostile. Haters.

    But each of them has the same vote, the same voice, the same internet connection, the same freedom for influence as anyone else. And there are a lot of them..and many of them are quite loud in an attempt to drown out the voice of opposition.

    But looking past the yahoos, to see the denial of the Bible rampant in the comments. The level of relativism etc. The “Jesus never spoke about homosexuality” – these are the ones commenting on RHE’s side of the argument.

    But my favorite was the guy who said the Bible was wrong about Jesus washing feet (because John was wrong all over the place) and thus was critical of RHE for using that exhortation.

    She probably thought it was safe to reference Jesus washing feet without being opposed. Just like in the past centuries most thought it was safe to say homosexual acts are sinful by definition.

  18. Hey, I’m all for OT and Revelation Jesus. Let’s go smite our enemies. Who’s with me?

  19. It’s interesting to me that she says she wants to throwing rocks, just after she threw hers.
    I think what she meant was “I don’t want anyone to throw rocks back at me”

    It’s easy to be all about foot washing when you’ve already had your say and want to silence others from having theirs.

  20. Great response, Michael.

  21. If I keep giving up my convictions, even just one at a time, I won’t have any left. If my convictions are of my own invention, maybe that’s not a bad thing. But if my convictions come from a conscience renewed by God….?
    Or this quote from “A Man For All Seasons” (Thomas More)

    The Duke of Norfolk is rebuking Thomas More and says:
    “Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!”
    Thomas More replies:

    “And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?”

  22. This concerns me more than Noah as that is predictable from non believers while RHE is someone who in the world’s eyes represents us. What’s next on the agenda that we’ve been wrong about for a few thousand years?? Jesus is one of many roads to God. There is no hell. All go to Heaven. Christians are hateful. Oops… too late!!

  23. London,

    Just wow!

  24. It was “too late” in 40 AD. This culture war hand wringing just shows how spoiled we are.

  25. I think it is easier to get angry and stomp your feet, then it is to walk the extra mile with someone you disagree with to try to understand their point of view.

  26. Alan Hawkins gets a shout out from Janet Mefferd…http://www.janetmefferd.com

  27. Great comment, London!

  28. Anyone have any thoughts if instead of homosexuals we were speaking about active abortion doctors. Would anyone think about asking them to repent and stop their activity to be a part of the church?

    Dr. Tiller was a member in good standing at his ELCA church when he was gunned down.

  29. You know, one of the reasons (of several reasons) that there are so many hungry children in Africa is because they are AIDS orphans. AIDS was originally let loose upon the world because of homosexual behavior. So homosexuality is not a victimless crime; thousands upon thousands of people have died, been widowed or orphaned because of this disease.

  30. I decided to write Rachel on her blog.

    Rachel,

    I read your CNN piece. It was brilliant but you know that. You deftly characterized a whole group of people as dangerous, uncaring, hypocritical and fraudulent. Frankly you made them look like the enemies of Christ. That one article will mark you out as the true spokesperson for a generation that is seeking freedom from the moral tyranny of evangelicalism. You exposed their hollow ‘victory’ for what it really was; the death knell of an irrelevant ghost. World Vision’s bold but brief moral protest did more to advance the cause than they imagined. The subsequent reversal could not have been better had it been planned. No defeat could have been so victorious. And you catapulted yourself to the forefront stealing the moral high ground forever.

    Young people are looking for a voice and that line about washing feet will make them champion you as the greatest them all.

  31. Let’s see if she responds…

  32. Jim @ 25, I’ve been aware of the culture war for some time and sadly the things that take place no longer surprise me. I’ve grown accustomed to it.

    I do distinguish between culture wars and what comes from those claiming to speak for Christianity. I’ve also watched this take place through the years and the more I see the more I’m disturbed.

    I don’t know but maybe these things and who knows what else will finally allow us to come together as a body. This is where we are failing terribly and probably what bothers me the most.

  33. Michael,
    Great response.

  34. There is no ‘culture war’ – it is the devil against the church.

  35. A well reasoned response. Thanks, Michael.

  36. ““I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.”
    Me too…so when do we put down the rocks and pick up the towels?”

    Just some ponderings…

    If we’re all washing feet with anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus, is it ever apropos to lean over to the washer next to you and ask, “By the way, are you a faggot?”

    If we’re bringing a fresh armful of towels and soap and water, should I actually be asked, “Hey there, you’ve got a girl’s name, you must be a queer, ain’t ya, boy?”

    If we’re feeding those in need, organizing donations, delivering goods, should anyone say to my sister working next to me in service, “Hey there, ya look a little butch. Are you a ‘lezzie’?”

    Yet, the LGBT among us are subjected to these dehumanizing words, acts and attitudes, and increasingly from a segment of Jesus’ chruch, the American Evangelical Right, and all in the name of “adherence to Scripture”, where “correct” words and “right” doctrine mean more that actions. Somebody better tell Jesus’ brother James that he got it wrong when he wrote the church to exhort them, to show their beliefs by their acts.

    When my family needed “foot washing” the most, it was the VOLUNTEER Chaplin of Kaiser Hospital, Hayward CA who made the rounds, and reached out to me and my wife and daughters while my father’s health was ebbing. The man was kind, sweet, gentle, and gay. He never said a word demanding acceptance, rather he asked, time and time again, “can I pray with you… for you… get you anything… phone someone… ring a nurse… ring your dad’s doctor?” We were one of many families and patients. The nurses brightened up when he entered the ward, it was unmistakable that he was loved, valued and appreciated.

    I got the news via phone call, and flew up, having only been away from my dad for 48hrs. When I came in to pick up my dad’s belongings the Chaplain made a point to see us, asked if he could hug each of us, asked if he could do anything, if we needed anything…

    Jesus was beautifully represented to us by that servant of His Kingdom, who comforted us by his simple and profound care. When our eyes teared up, his did too.

    Genuine, an embodiment of The Resurrected Jesus, though he’d be the last to ever allow someone to call him that, humble man that he was.

    Pondering done for now.

  37. That was about the best thing I’ve ever read here. Nice work.

  38. Lemme see

    G-man’s point was that the gay chaplain is better than the other people and is too humble to even accept compliments. The rest are …. I dunno… what are those guys you are caricaturing G-man? You won’t stop the war until you stop shooting the enemy or you destroy him.

    G-man emptied his gun
    RHE emptied her rock pile

    How do we truce this thing? Wait … unconditional surrender required.

  39. My point is extremely simple. The acts and actions of the gent who ministered to us were exemplary to me, and hopefully to others as well, and embody The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    The gent was indeed humble and was embarrassed when we thanked him and spoke compliments to him

    The others in my pondering are real individuals who have spoken those words to me, because I have a name that ignorant men deemed as “girlish”. The other comments were said to my gay and lesbian friends.

    We “truce this thing” by simply rolling up our sleeves and keep focused on Jesus’ Kingdom, and let Him deal with our fellow servants’ shortcomings, as in what Jesus said to brother Pete,

    “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

  40. I didn’t read that at all in G’s post.
    He was giving a real life example of his own experience.
    He didnt say anyone else had to stop believing what they believe.

  41. Let me simplify it even more,
    “Jesus answered, “…what is that to you? You must follow me.”

  42. Why is this aberrant behavior (that we oppose) unhealthy? Until we articulate a rationale, we do not have a justification for opposing it, other than a religious one.

    God loves people and wants us to be healthy. That is why He does not recommend this behavior. He is not a religious nut or a control freak.

    However, in a traumatized culture such as ours, it is not obvious that aberrant behavior such as this is traumatizing.

    So our culture cannot see the damage that this behavior does to those who practice it.

    Keep making your religious anti-gay arguments and see where it gets you.

  43. There’s a point in the Noah movie where Noah is acting on his notion that it’s God’s good and pleasant will that he exterminate his newborn granddaughters.

    When he is at the very moment of action, ready to plunge the knife and slaughter his granddaughters in cold blooded obedience to his understanding of God’s will, he chooses mercy, compassion, to allow life, because, when asked by his daughter-in-law why he didn’t kill the babies, he said (as I can best recollect the dialog having only seen the film last night), “When I looked at them, all I felt was love.”

    When will it ever be that when we look at someone else, our first response be for them unconditional love?

  44. G shows how wrong it is to ask someone if they are gay, or to assume if by their looks or behavior. So a question seems proper…

    How on earth did you know that a volunteer chaplain with a duty to minister at the hospital was gay?

    If you did not ask him, and certainly weren’t making a stereotype by looks or behavior..

    Did he possibly tell it to you, despite his duty (volunteer or not) as a chaplain and thus learn your instinctive affirmation or disapproval?

    What possible reason could a chaplain have for divulging such personal information when his job responsibility is to minister to others and do so in a way that will not possibly upset the sick and their family?

    Did he tell you who he voted for? What his view on abortion or the Iraq War might be? His take on Obamacare? On the Tea Party maybe? Does he like Rush or Rachel? What his favorite football team might be? Anything that could lead to debate or disagreement at a time of death is way, WAY out of bounds for chaplaincy ministry – and wholly unprofessional.

  45. LOL.

  46. I was reading through and i was going to ask the same question of G that Steve asked. When my dad was dying in 2012 I spoke with the chaplain at Kaiser Anaheim 3 times … not once did he mention to me his sexuality.

    How did G know the guy was a homosexual???

  47. G’s preachy lecture to the community right when there was unity around Michael’s post to RHE does not work unless the chaplain is in fact gay.

    I actually will choose to think the best of the good chaplain. This is what I choose to believe. The chaplain, though a volunteer (most are in hospitals) has a professional code of duty and I am sure he followed it to the letter. I am sure that he realizes such personal information is not part of his job description and he values and recognizes the tremendous responsibility before him as a hospital chaplain. The man is an un-paid professional with a sacred trust he takes seriously and knows deeply personal talk about himself is out of bounds.

    So nothing but rave reviews for the chaplain. Five stars. Two thumbs up.

    So I can only guess that it was G, who took a look at the guy and made an assumption. Despite the lecture above for those who would dare do such a thing.

    And maybe he is right…maybe wrong. I’ve known at least 3 different very heterosexual men who almost anyone who felt the need to make that judgment have wrongly supposed were gay. One in particular was constantly and deeply hurt by it.

    So unless I am wrong about the chaplain and in fact he did volunteer such personal info inappropriately, I simply imagine the wheels in G’s mind going round as he watched this faithful servant and thinking “I need you to be gay. I’m assuming you are gay though I have no possible way of knowing such a thing”

    Maybe one more time. G, how do you KNOW the chaplain was gay if he did not tell you?

  48. Yeah cause you know no one in healthcare ever talks about their personal life on the job 😉

  49. I did not quite get that either, the new age spiritualist that came by daily to pray with my mother / sister often talked about their personal experiences. The more orthodox people came around but they usually spoke about issues my family just did not understand. The only person that even gave some resemblance of hope was the new age pastor, he actually liked my mother, and he prayed for her on many occasions. Of course I understand that because his doctrine was off he was praying to satan and my mothers hopes were dashed and she is lost, and her blood is on my soul. Yup that is the framework I got with the good news.

    My mothers oncologist is gay I did not have to ask him, but he seem to “hint” at it. I mean the first time I saw Ted Haggard I thought the “brother is gay”. I am not some prophet but, um nevermind. I was always more upset at Mr. Haggard because he was involved in drug use then when he was involved in a gay relationship. I cant read the brothers heart but he does struggle with it, I E being gay. Do you think sexuality is that black and white as to fit into some silly apologetic. It is a massive grey, if not color scale. Personally I have a “Hetrosexual‎” sexuality, I think one should abstain from sexual relations until married. I cant tell you the grief that has caused me with in the faith community. I am not man enough to get some, cant get a score etc. No I just dont want to, Why?, Because I saw what it cost, one abortion, that I could not stop and a kid out of wedlock that I gave 17 years + of my life to see he made it. I wont go into what I was told and called when I did that.

    He watched his father die of liver failure, and his mother die of cancer, he saw them shoot up and he came to me when he needed stability. I did the best I could, by keeping him away from church, the one time I did take him to church, well nevermind, I was gutted. There is no room at the inn and we are a dog returning to our vomit. I dont share this because I want any praise, though I am almost always accused of that, I just wanted my family saved. Well that cant happen and I failed them and their blood is on my soul. I get that, daily. Do you think I like parading my family’s failings here in public, I do it because I hope it might help someone else. I know some do not believe that but it is what it is.

  50. I’ve stayed away from this discussion because most of the posts are really good. I caught one though which spurred me to post and that was about the spread of aids. While homosexuals are the credited with the plague like spread of this virus world wide in reality it was more simple than that. It was selfish lustful, I’ll do things which please me most, sin which spread this plague.

    In Africa it is out of control sex, prostitution, filth and general lack of caring which spreads the disease. In the USA it’s no different, with the exception of blood transfusions and accidental transmission the Aids plague would be stopped dead in its tracks if people would have sex with one person and one person alone.

    STDs in General could be stopped, not through “safe sex” but through monogamy and sticking one person, but our lust, and entire culture stops such actions.

  51. Someone mentioned Haggard and his drug and sex issues but forgot to object to one thing, this man dumped on his wife, his children the people who supported him, who attended his church, who looked up to him and more…

    I don’t know what Haggard was thinking but I know this about such sin, generally we think we are the only ones affected by our lusts and yet the affect of sometimes simple acts can lead to so much pain and suffering. The issue isn’t Haggard’s “real” sexual preference, drug use or even the prostitute he paid for both, it’s all the destruction which followed in his wake.

    That is the real consequences of fulfilling our lust and sinning; it doesn’t take a flood from God to bring such destruction. All it took was just one man to not care.

  52. This is from a Huffington post interview with Stearns.

    “Q: Has anybody called for your resignation, on the board or elsewhere?

    A: If you read the internet, there are people that are calling for the resignation of me, the board and anybody else who wears a World Vision t-shirt. No, there have been no serious requests for my resignation. I would certainly understand if the board wanted to make a decision around that. Some of the board members have asked the question about their own resignation. Right now, our feeling is we were all in this together. We made certainly in retrospect was a bad decision, but we did it with the right motivations. We weren’t trying to harm, or trying to find revenue, we weren’t doing it for wrong motives. We were trying to find some kind of solution to a divisive issue that would create some space of togetherness around differences within the church. Our regret is that we caused more division instead of finding a place of more unity.”

    Richard Stearns doesn’t get it. He claims he made a bad decision with the right motivation. He is very worldly. We can find unity around the fact that we are all sinners but to find unity around the celebration and sanctity of sin is actually pretty divisive. I believe RHE is probably just reflecting the mindset of WV’s president. I commend the generous individual donors that have given so much to those in poverty around the world but I don’t put Richard Stearns in that category who chews up a whopping 400k or more of these donations for his own life style.

  53. It was only a matter of time before Ted got drawn into the conversation.

  54. MLD, I’d take a homosexual who is a consenting adult having sex with another consenting adult over a mass murderer like Tiller any day.

    But, as is the case, “sin” is quite hierarchical depending on your particular bias.

    Like I’ve said, for me, the most evil scum of the earth are child abusers both physical and sexual followed by “pastors” who con people out of money to live a cushy lifestyle under the guise of “you’re giving your money to Jesus!”

  55. This whole thread, once again, illustrates the Moral Relativism of the bible and of Morals in general.

  56. A friend at church approaches me. I see a troubled look on his face. He wants to talk. He has problems and needs a friend. We don’t say the words gay or homosexual but we know that’s what’s bothering him. His mother is large and domineering. His father is larger still and docile. Together they operate a Christian halfway house for teen girls. The father occasionally teaches at church. My friend is slightly effeminate. He has already tried to make a move on me. It didn’t happen. He knows I’m not interested. He also knows I’m open to talk.
    We sit on the fence and chat. Other friends are leaving the service. They look over at us and quickly look away. Some with battle scars don’t notice or are good at pretending not to. Ex druggies are not comfortable being around this friend. When my ride beckons I tell Earl I have to go.
    It’s hard to leave a life of sin whether it’s drugs, being homosexual, or something else. For me it was an overnight change but for many it’s a continual struggle. I would not work in a Christian ministry along side someone who was in a life of sin; someone who wasn’t following Jesus. You can have Jesus or you can have your sin. I have worked along side some who were struggling to live the Christian life though. Some made it, some didn’t.
    I can’t imagine a friend telling me God told him he could continue to shoot Heroine and giving me verses. That would be obvious. The sin of homosexuality or beastiality is no different. I have compassion for those who struggle but not too much for those who try to justify sin.
    For the next few weeks my Christian friends are a bit stand-offish. They are uncomfortable with the notion I might be gay. If they asked I could tell them ‘No’ but I doubt they would believe me. Another homosexual man is trying to seduce me. I don’t consider what my friends are thinking as we drive away in his muscle car.

  57. Fundamentalist: “The bible is ABSOLUTE! We are NOT moral relativists!”

    “As for your male and female slaves whom you may own: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.”–the Bible, God’s perfect, infallible, mistake-free law and Word

  58. Michael, thanks for your well-written and well-thought out response.

    My only quibble is with not doubting Rachel Held Evans’ heart and sincerity. I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems to me that Ms. Evans’ tone has become increasingly strident toward those who embrace a more biblically orthodox view of sexuality than she does. How can her heart be in the right place when she’s busy attacking her brothers and sisters for embracing views dissenting from hers?

    As for her salvation, Jesus Christ is a far more righteous, merciful and just judge than any of us mortals ever will be, so I’ll leave that for Him to decide. After all, I’ve got my own share of sins to deal with.

  59. I’m not sure a CEO’s salary has anything to do with the ‘story’ or issue at hand. Besides, just because one works for a ‘Christian’ organization doesn’t require a vow of poverty to do so.

  60. Fundamentalist that appeals to Moral Absolutism of the bible as the rationale for being so against gay marriage: “The bible is ABSOLUTE! It commands that marriage is between one man and one woman!”

    The Old Testament’s definition of marriage included multiple wives and sex slaves and King David, King Solomon, Gideon and many other bible heroes of the Faith had many wives and sex slaves and were not condemned for it.

    Fundamentalists appeal to Moral Relativism to fix that one…”The bible permitted it then, it was CULTURAL!”

  61. Hudson Taylor should’ve incorporated.

  62. “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”–the Bible.

    If the Bible is truly Morally Absolute…then why do we not execute children with stones who are unruly and gluttonous and rebellious today?

    The bible “commands” it in Law…”you SHALL”….”you SHALL”…

    Fundamentalist explanation: “Well we were under the LAW then…now we are under Grace”

    OK, then why are we still under the Law with regards to homosexuality?

  63. The truth is the Bible is completely Morally Relative, proven many times over…it is entirely self-evident.

    Christians* today are the strongest proof of Moral Relativism as well.

    Homosexuality tends (in general) to be a special taboo sin among the Evangelicals…but that is changing. In the 1980’s when I was growing up…homosexuality was much more of a taboo than today…much more.

    This is how things work. We’ve seen it since the Enlightenment.

    Today’s Fundamentalist Conservatives would have been called Liberals in the 1980’s.

    The Moral Relativism is healthy. You “conservative” Evangelicals display it w/o realizing it…and it’s part of how things evolved for the better (in many cases).

  64. In a few generations, homosexuality will not be as taboo as it is today as the Moral Relativism dynamic takes hold.

    …and don’t fight it, it’s “Biblical”…the bible itself demonstrates such many times over.

  65. Don’t argue…just read it and let it sink in. It’s about as good and accurate an analysis on the subject as there is.

  66. fil,
    The way excessive income makes him suspect, but what if he gives most of it back like R G Letourneau did? That would be cool.

  67. There goes the neighbor hood!

  68. Frankly, 400K seems low for attracting a first-rate CEO. Secondly, one cannot expect everyone to live by another’s personal conviction; otherwise, it is not personal conviction, but broad expectation. “Here, CEO, is your monthly salary check. We’ve taken the liberty of deducting your tithe, offerings, charitable donations, and heart-felt sacrifices. Use the $12 wisely.”

  69. If you get paid $400K a year to do something…it’s not a “ministry” or “serving Jesus!”…it’s a C-level Career and a job.

  70. fil,
    That’s the difference between charity and communism.

  71. RiBo ran out of words!

  72. April Fool

  73. RB,
    “mass murderer like Tiller any day.”

    Murder is a legal term – what he did was perfectly legal … so now are you going to go around and judge people based on your beliefs … your religion?

  74. RiBo,

    I know that you understand the difference between the Old and New Covenants. I think the gay=sin sentiment here comes from New Covenant verses.

  75. That was directed at the person who made the personal attack…not Jim or MLD or any others.

  76. Jim:

    ” I think the gay=sin sentiment here comes from New Covenant verses.”

    Can you explain this? I don’t get it.

    Thanks!

  77. Jim, not “sin”…that is not my issue…I think it’s technically a “sin” as is polygamy, child abuse, lying, gluttony, drunkenness, hetero fornication or adultery, p0rn, etc.

    It is a taboo sin, even today…though less than the 1980’s by far…in Evangelicalism. That is my position.

    My position is also that that tide is turning as Evangelicals are less hard-line today than in the 80’s and will be much less hard-line 40 years from now.

    Moral Relativism and “Culture” are in the bible…it “is” the bible.

    God “permitted” slavery, sex slaves, polygamy all sorts of stuff in the “Old Covenant”…in the “New Covenant” “god” supposedly changed a lot of that…which is the very definition of Moral Relativism….and “god” then redefined marriage more specifically to be between “one man and one woman”

    Well, that demonstrates Moral Relativism.

    If we’re going to fashion the bible as “god” then “god” is Moral Relativism to a large degree.

    Homosexuality may be one of many sins…but it doesn’t have to be a taboo…and todays’ Moral Relativist Evangelicals have already redefined marriage as “one divorced man and one divorced woman” and “one fornicator man and one fornicator woman” and “one glutton man and one glutton woman” so why not homosexuals?

  78. The other glaring issue is that the “marriage definition” verses in the “New Covenant”…if that’s what you are going to use as proof text…only apply to those seeking office of an Elder or Deacon.

    Show me the bible verse that specifically prohibits gay marriage?

    I find lots of verses discussing marriage between a man and woman, but none stating it as exclusive and none prohibiting gay marriage…unless it is specific to seeking the office of Elder or Deacon.

  79. “Show me the bible verse that specifically prohibits gay marriage?”

    Some things were just so unthinkable that God said, “that’s not even worth bring up.”

  80. MLD, LOL. Well, there you go. That’s about all there is…”well we have to assume it”…but it isn’t specifically in the “bible is god” text…and I’ve been scolded and lectured before by “bible is god!” Evangelicals that if it isn’t specifically “in the bible!” verbatim, then it’s not true.

    …but then other times I’m told we are to assume it…except when we assume something that they don’t like LOL. Nice trick on the part of the fundy evangelical “bible is god” Camp.

  81. King David committed Polygamy and had Concubines/Sex Slaves….and was “married”.

    Evangelical: “Well that was permitted, it was descriptive but not prescriptive but he wasn’t breaking God’s law b/c God didn’t specifically say he couldn’t have multiple wives and concubines!”

    OK, but you do agree that fornication and adultery are sin, correct?

    And, you do agree that the bible does not specifically prohibit “gay marriage” correct?

    It just says homosexuality is sin and that Deacons and Elders must not be Polygamists and must be heterosexual, correct?

    So why are you so against “gay marriage” if the bible doesn’t prohibit it specifically?

  82. Chew on that for a bit

  83. Dang I step out to go to the brothel and come back to a food fight… you children calm down

  84. My apologies. I’m not home and Ive been offline . I’ll end this when I get home.

  85. Hmm, must be objections from those who do think the Bible is a rule book. 😉

  86. Same stuff, same person, different day!

    MLD can you just stop humoring him.

  87. Some things were just so unthinkable that God said, “that’s not even worth bring up.”
    ___________________________________________________________

    Homosexual prostitution was not too unthinkable as to not bring up. A lady falling in love with another lady and living in a monogamous relationship is more unthinkable?

    I don’t know Greek, so Steve or Michael will have to help me at some point understand how they are 100% certain that NT references to homosexuality apply to monogamous love, and not to coercive behavior (prostitution, pederasty).

    I also think that sex is given too much weight in this debate. The gay couples I know may or may not engage in acts that people here find offensive. Their “sin” is loving someone of the same gender.

  88. Bob @ 78-sorry, I missed your comment. I was trying to say that I’m guessing most here are basing their view on NT verses.

  89. Jim,
    I give no weight to homosexuality over other sins. My whole thing is repentance … for any sin – and the homosexual is usually the last person to consider repenting, because he / she not only thinks it is not a sin, but actually an act that should be embraced by the church.

  90. Jim:

    Thanks for the clarification. However, I believe after reading Steve and the others they aren’t basing this on just the NT verses.

    The idea of “falling in love” with someone of the same sex is not the same as having sexual relations with them. I believe the perversion of the latter greatly distorts the view of the former.

    I am a full supporter of “true love,” and as should be obvious, not the perversion of God designed sexual relations.

    Coffees gone and it’s back to work. Thank you!

  91. MLD and RiBo are both now under moderation.
    MLD for using child abuse as a object of mockery and RiBo for the obscenity.
    I’ve had enough.
    The ones who will pay for all of this is me and those I care about .

  92. Christians are fat, stupid, lustful, arrogant, violent, covenant breaking fools and the gay agenda is to be endorsed by them? That’s what I am hearing. Rachel says unless they do you can add irrelevant to the list?

    I doubt that list will ever be completely irrelevant but I have been wrong.

  93. MLD,

    I’m aware of the activism, which rarely represents the group banner, as activists are..different.

    I don’t know any gay couples who want to change the evangelical church, as there are already “gay friendly” churches. Most want nothing to do with us.

    On the other hand, I think it’s reasonable for gay Christians who interpret some verses differently than others to believe that they’re not in sin, and therefore should be accepted.

    Again, there are plenty of churches available who don’t care what the Bible says, so I think we’re talking about two types of gay Christians.

  94. Sorry-was unaware of the moderation when I addressed MLD. I’m done with this anyway. Can only dance around the same tree so many times….

  95. Jim,

    The argument that Jesus never spoke to gay marriage is not compelling to me.
    As a faithful Jew he would have accepted the teachings of the OT and when he did show a different interpretation of the law he was pretty clear about the fact that he’d done so.
    As marriage teachings are all rooted in the creation narrative then if gay marriage were going to acceptable then He would have shown us that.

  96. To complete my thought…the fact that Jesus didn’t speak to the issue is a confirmation to me that the natural order of creation stands.

  97. I’m way behind on email and almost everything else…efforting.

  98. The reason the Bible does not address homosexual marriage is the same reason it does not tell us how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Not because it is so vile a thought, but because the connection goes against basic semantics as defined by God.

    They are categorical mistakes. How much does red weigh? How tall is the air?

    How many times in the Bible are the words married, marriage, all the equivalents, plus words like spouse, wife, bride, husband, groom…..not once are these words used to describe an actual or even to illustrate the possibility of two people of the same sex.

    As an aside, I love a whole lot of men. My wife loves a lot of women. Jesus said to love everyone. I’m underwhelmed to hear that the homosexual’s sin is simply their love for a person of the same sex without necessarily a sexual aspect. Find me a pair of celibate individuals who for some reason want to join in a same-sex marriage and I will consider a revision. Meanwhile, guys like Sullivan, Stafford, Savage are in fact the mainstream gay view – the most influential spokesmen. I’ll take them at their word when it comes to their disdain for the unhealthy and unnatural act of marital monogamy.

    But my online plan now is to let anyone believe anything they want about the Bible and they can take it up with Jesus when all is said and done. And if a shout-out to some Greek insight is supposedly the answer..so be it.

    I’ll teach the people God brings in our doors. Debate is not teaching.

    As an aside, I think the vast majority of gay couples would rather give their cake or photo money to a business that affirms their union.

    But as we have seen…in America all it takes is one activist with an agenda.

    All it takes is one atheist with a big-city ACLU lawyer with an agenda to remove a town’s religious monument that may be over 100 years old and loved by the entire town.

    My city just lost a small, memorial cross on the side of the road which marked the death of a loved one. All because someone was offended they had to drive by such a cross. .

    America’s freedoms are far more than the 2nd Amendment. All the more so to the Christian who isn’t exactly going to lock and load when an administration one day threatens compliance or hate crime on this issue.

  99. MLD,

    Bottom line is that you have been almost as much a part of the continual strife here as he has.
    I will no longer allow these personal references in any way, shape, or form.
    This was a great thread…an important thread, I think…and it went the way of all the others.
    No more.
    It simply takes too much out of me.

  100. The argument that Jesus never spoke to gay marriage is not compelling to me either. My question is more about Paul’s homosexual verses.

    Steve, I like the entire Bill of Rights : ) May they rest in peace…

  101. I apologize to the group for my share of the strife.

  102. Here is what I referenced to the roadside memorial. Also of note is reference to a legal battle against a monument to our troops that would have the solider kneeling before a cross and star of David. That one did not even get built – a preemptive strike by the godless. And while I am not going to get into details, the Christians in this town (including some from our church) are having brand new static from the city just for trying to minister to homeless people in the name of Jesus, which by the way they have been doing for almost 20 years. I wonder what has changed??

    So should we stay quiet or risk our church and possibly personal freedom (arrests have been threatened) for what is morally right?

    And Jim, this is a rock-solid, conservative Republican district, filled with churches and people of faith. But note, Washington D.C lawyers with American Humanist Assoc. flexing their agenda and muscles here in a town on the other side of the country. In the name of the Constitution?
    —————————————————–
    n May 2012, 19-year-old Anthony Vincent Devaney was struck and killed crossing Lake Street. In December of that year, the family erected the memorial. A complaint prompted the American Humanist Association in Washington, D.C., to intervene, contending the placement of the symbol in the city right-of-way violated the separation of church and state.

    Among those who attended the event was Laurie Howanec She said she was the stepmother of the 17-year-old boy who drove the car that struck Anthony. Howanec said it was the first time she had personal contact with the Devaneys in the aftermath of the incident, but she was moved to show her support.

    “I have no problem having a cross here,” she said. “It’s just what we do around here. There’s crosses all around here.”

    The association’s demand letter dated March 4 came a week after a U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of the group’s legal challenge to Lake Elsinore’s proposed veterans memorial. That monument would have depicted a soldier kneeling in front of crosses and Stars of David.

    Representatives of the association said they were prepared to challenge the city again if it didn’t ensure the Devaneys’ cross came down. The organization, which represents atheists and other nonreligious individuals, released a statement Thursday expressing gratitude the cross was being removed.
    ———————————————————-
    http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/lake-elsinore/lake-elsinore-headlines-index/20140306-lake-elsinore-controversial-roadside-cross-removed-but-more-appear.ece

  103. Jim,

    I hear what you’re saying and there may be something to that line of thought that doesn’t preclude the traditional teaching.
    Paul’s views on gender roles and marriage are still based on the creation narrative for the most part.

  104. Except when Paul says it IS good to be alone : )

  105. Paul’s teaching in 1 Cor 6 actually is quite comprehensive in covering the different sexual sins, hetero and homo. No hierarchy, but no compromise either. I covered it in detail, as well as the 1st century cultural aspect to it, when we went through the book – and how radical the teachings on Christian sexual morality were compared to the acceptable culture of that day.

    http://www.calvaryle.org/1st%20Cor%206.Mp3

  106. Jim,

    There was a specific context for that…Paul had end times madness. 😉

  107. G – I am done with you and that discussion. Post all the little insulting pictures you want but the simple fact is you lectured us about daring to either ask or assume someone else was homosexual.

    Yet you did so in the context of many of us asking why is it that many homosexuals insist on us knowing and affirming their sexual identity.

    You painted yourself into a corner with your little story, and your refusal to tell us how it is you know the man was homosexual speaks for itself. Either you don’t know and you just assumed despite your earlier rebuke, or the man told you despite his professional obligations thus making our point.

    But rest assured, I have no doubt you will be just fine as the freedoms of those you call brothers are under attack. You’ll goosestep your way into the “go-along to get-along” crowd I am sure.

  108. Aside to Michael, wondering if G’s mockery of a serious medical condition is really proper – even if the alternative is his calling me evil in the same picture.

  109. Aside to all of you…I’m buried.
    Multi tasking doesn’t even describe it.
    Sometimes we have to let things pass in a diverse group.
    G…let it go.

  110. Steve
    If you had asked me how I knew someone was gay, I would have flat out told you it was none of your business.
    You are sorely mistaken if you think people in hospital settings don’t talk about their personal lives with patients.
    You are the only one coming up with “professional obligations” not to speak of such things.
    The healthcare industry has many gay people in it. No one in the industry is shocked to find out someone they work with is gay. I’ve been in the industry for years and its just not that big a deal.
    I’ve also spent plenty if time with patients in hospitals. I can guarantee that very many personal conversations about relationships, family, etc happens in rooms and waiting rooms between patients, their family and staff.
    Get off your high horse.

  111. I’m done Michael. I teach my children to never call someone “retarded” no matter what they think of their actions. Mocking anyone with reference to a physical disability of any kind is about as vile as it gets. Even with a cutesy Star Trek photo attached.

    I’ll leave with this very relevant article from Janet Mefferd. I’ve always thought that Britain is like America just a decade or so ahead on the downward slide.

    Of special note – the preacher was doing what he had always been doing, and the homosexuals came up to him FIRST and brought up homosexuality and got him arrested.

    Glad he won though….this will come to America soon.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2593217/Christian-preacher-wins-13-000-wrongful-arrest-telling-gay-couple-Bible-says-homosexuality-sin.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

  112. I just walked up to one of my co workers and told her I was hetero … I got a strange look.

    So do homosexuals talking about their preferences in the workplace get strange looks also?

  113. Steve,

    As I have a child with Aspergers (and other conditions that have made this morning a hell of a struggle) I reserve the right to be the first to take offense.

  114. Re: # 37

    I know a homosexual man who is the kindest person you’ve ever want to meet. He’s the kind of guy you’d call at 3 in the morning if your car broke down on an LA freeway, as my daughter has done. However, he’s the reason my daughter (graduate of CC Bible college so she can’t claim ignorance of the truth) is now an agnostic. If this fellow is so kind, how could God send him to hell? She kept stewing over this question and finally decided that didn’t care much for such a God who would send such a nice person to hell.

    I don’t think she is unique in this. Using her own reasoning she has determined that this very kind man’s righteousness exceeds the righteousness of God. That’s what it boils down to.

    We are not saved by being kind. That’s a form of salvation by works.

  115. Xenia

    ” If this fellow is so kind, how could God send him to hell? ”

    Back for a moment or two.

    I hear this all the time.

    My answer is always this, “God doesn’t send people to hell, they send themselves.”

    Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it. Sounds good but the flip side is always the question, “How does the world get condemned to hell then?”

    My answer: From the beginning they/we refuse to listen to God, even before one single letter was every written down in any text, Hebrew or otherwise.

    One thing I don’t fully get is why does it seem more women than men are willing to support the sexual acts of homosexual men as normal?

    Also, why do people think homosexuals can’t be kind people? I’m sure the worst of sinners are kind to others also.

  116. The micro issue is the term “homosexuality”

    The macro issue is homosexuality being just ‘one form’ of fornication. All forms of fornication are bad, including adultery, incest, rape, molestation, voyeurism, consensual heterosexual fornication, etc.

    Sin is sin. Some in the homosexual community do not want to accept that…they gloss over the macro issue and focus on the micro.

    Should there be more consistency in the church in calling out all forms of fornication, and not just the homosexual variety? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean we should be silent on any of them.

    Gal 4:16 – “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

  117. Steve B:

    Yes sin is sin, but aren’t there others in a community setting which are more grievous?

    Why when the Torah was written was Homosexuality, Homosexual prostitution, the bringing of money from such business and either men or women taking on the “mantel” of the other be held to a higher standard (an abomination) of behavior? One poster here says it’s just a cultural thing and a need to protect the food supply (so to speak).

    BTW I agree about the damage done by the various acts of sin we commit, they wreck havoc on more than just the one who sins.

    Just got a call back to work!

  118. Bob @ 120 “Yes sin is sin, but aren’t there others in a community setting which are more grievous?”

    There are, STD’s as a very prevalent reminder.

    “Why when the Torah was written was Homosexuality, Homosexual prostitution, the bringing of money from such business and either men or women taking on the “mantel” of the other be held to a higher standard (an abomination) of behavior?”

    Because it brings not only bodily destruction, but a great delusion that separates the sinner from God. It leads to idolatry, the creation of god in their own image, one who approves of their sin (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit). It leads to the anti-thesis of ‘life’.

    Usually what I ask the gay “christian” community is, “Is it okay for unmarried heterosexuals to have sex?” If the answer is no, then how could it ever be possible for homosexuality to be acceptable?

    God designed marriage and the state doesn’t speak for God. A piece of paper that says “I am married” has no relevance to God. Whether homosexual or heterosexual in origin.

    God could care less that I have a state license that says me and my wife are married. I could have this license and have no marriage at all (cheating on her, don’t love her, etc.).

    God defines marriage, not man.

  119. I think one of the reasons women are so quick to affirm homosexuals is because they feel safe around them. Thanks to the sexual revolution and the advent of the birth control pill, many men expect that when they take a woman out for a nice meal they will spend the night together. My daughter probably called her homosexual friend to rescue her at 3am for two reasons: One, she knew he would come get her because he is a truly kind man and two, she knew there would be no strings attached- she wouldn’t have to “pay” for his kindness.

    I was in the Navy in the early 70’s and while I am no raving beauty, I looked somewhat presentable in my early 20’s. Every time I would take a seat in the chow hall some guy would sit down, strike up a conversation, and ask me out on a date. If I went out with them, they all expected me to pay for the dinner with sex. Of course I never did but there were some close calls, one in particular, which featured your Xenia fleeing through a dark forest to escape.

    So that’s why women enjoy the company of homosexual men.

  120. I reserve the right to be the first to take offense.
    —————————————————
    Can I at least take offense that he called me evil – since he knows I don’t have the condition of your son that he chose to use for his vile punchline.

    I’ve seen you absolutely lose your mind over far, far less around here – and I am sorry you are swamped but it boggles the mind when you still have time to post a defense of the offender.

    But when someone comes into a (rare) thread of unity and spits in the collective face of the groups’ convictions with holier than thou rhetoric….refuses to engage on the contradictions and hypocrisy of his remarks when pointed out but rather hurls nasty insults…then is encouraged by the moderator that the guy insulted is actually in the wrong and to “just let it go”…..well, it’s a sad day indeed.

    Sometimes this blog is like the NFL. Someone throws a cheap shot, but the one who responds is whistled for the flag. Except at least in defense of the NFL, usually the ref does not actually see the cheap shot.

    I too think it is time to join those on the sidelines. I can’t continue to care more about some of this behavior than the host. I blame myself and an inability to stay silent when sin is glorified and heresy is promoted.

    Maybe it’s just apples to oranges. MLD’s church is being focused on by the IRS. Xenia’s church around the world is being attacked by Islamic radicals (of whom I also repeatedly denounce to the refrain of being called a Muslim bigot), and a couple of our sheep are being threatened for arrest in my own backyard for helping the hurting because Jesus is involved. I wholly and totally affirm the value and significance of the small home church, but our problems (and the threats we face) are just far, far different – and thus my passions are as well.

    Peace.

  121. Steve,

    I didn’t defend anything…I just don’t have the time to sit in front of the computer and officiate everything that may be offensive to someone.
    Gman was entirely wrong to post that..and if I know G the way I think I do, my guess is that he regrets it.
    I was very offended by some things you said on the other thread…but at some point there is little good that comes from calling every foul.
    I simply choose to believe the best about you and move on to the next debate.
    There comes a point where I have to rely on people to moderate themselves and I have to rely on a group of mature believers to deal with things the best they can when I can’t.

    It’s Spring Break.
    Every morning I have a 40 mile round trip to pick up Trey at his moms so she can go to work.
    I repeat the process every night.
    Then I have him all day while looking for work, answering all the email this site generates (I’m trying) writing for the site, and dealing with a lot of things I would rather not go into publicly.
    Oh…and I pastor a church too.

    This is never going to be a site with a single opinion about anything…which reflects the church itself and the world it resides in.

    I don’t enjoy it a bit when people are upset or offended…but I have real limitations on riding herd here right now.

  122. I had a blog for 4 years, and aged 10. I think if anyone has a problem with Michael’s style, they should volunteer to moderate for a month, and show us how it’s done.

  123. Jim,

    Thank you…I think this is one those things you have to experience to understand.
    It can be very rewarding and utterly debilitating.

  124. I didn’t realize till recently you no longer had moderators. That makes things awfully difficult.

  125. Sarah tries when she’s able, but her plate is fuller than mine.
    Everyone else ran for the hills…it’s too stressful.

  126. Left to their own, here is how the pro same sex marriage crowd (progressive Christians included) would like to see things handled.

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/03/eich-steps-down-as-mozilla-chief/?_php=true&_type=blogs&hp&_r=0

  127. Yep, if you don’t agree with them you can be a second-class citizen.
    If you are a CEO, you better toe the line or you have worked hard for nought.
    If you are just a small business owning Christian, be prepared to lose it if you are asked to be a part of gay weddings or to in some way support the cause of gay rights.

  128. Derek, the funny thing is this guy is an industry giant who would have helped the company and by success, the employees – who turned on him. And for what? 6 yrs ago he made a $1,000 donation to Prop 8.

    The pro homosexual group are fascists at their very best.

  129. And this is what RHE would love to organize – a way that if you stand at all for trasitional marriage you will be labeled a Christian hater (a hater who is christian) and that RHE and whatever following she can assemble may well boycott and iPicket Christian conferences and events.

    I can see it on the horizon.

  130. Yeah, it looks closer than I would have thought even a year or two ago. Events are accelerating.

  131. One last thing – I was doing a little work on the New Atheists for a section of my Sunday class on Daniel and I realized; why can’t people see that the “new” proponents of homosexuality and same sex marriage are no less out to silence the church in the public square as are the New Atheists?

    With one difference, whereas the New Atheists do not seek penalties, they are just happy to shame people into silence – the homosexual lobby wants the church punished into silence.

  132. What significant figure in the Christian world has compromised on this issue? Other than ones who had already compromised on other significant issues? Anybody whom we otherwise respect?

    It seems to me that Christendom across many movements and denominations is standing together on this. I am pretty impressed.

  133. “Anybody whom we otherwise respect?”

    No, because when they come out for the homosexual stuff, we take away our respect as we should. But you do need to consider WV – even with their retraction we know what their initial statement was – Go along with the Homosexual agenda for, as they said in CT “Christian unity.”

    These statements have been applauded by the likes of RHE .. which in the end is giving aid and comfort to the homosexual community who will now use her endorsement as church entry or forced silence.

  134. To put it another way:

    Anybody flaky on this issue who is womb & tomb?

    (That is, openly and unabashedly and unashamedly affirms a virgin birth and a physical resurrection)

  135. Agree in general with #136.

    Where is the person that we would respect, except for their position on this issue?

    I cannot think of any. Every one that is flaky on this is flaky on a lot of other stuff as well.

  136. I never claimed that the “progressives” were those kinds of Christians … I am not sure that they make that claim for themselves.

  137. This idea of a “progressive Christian” kind of stumped me when I read it on this woman’s web blog. It sounds really sinister and maybe a new “buzz” word because this next generation of people have rapidly rejected what their peers (ten years older) formed because of their rejection…

    Here’s what I found from a web site:

    It’s just a cut but I think it says it all:

    First they are “inclusive”


    Following Jesus is counter-cultural, radical, and disrupts the status-quo. The good news of the gospel is intentional in its inclusion of those who are traditionally marginalized and refused by Mainline Christianity.

    The words of Jesus found in the gospels – specifically, what he states are the greatest commandments: “Love God with all of your essence and love your neighbor as you should love yourself” – are to be the focus for any disciple of him. We submit the rest of Scripture to the position of “sacred commentary.”

    Was Jesus “counter culture” in His own culture? If even a cursory study of the period is done the answer is clearly no! He did do a Rabbi’s job and interpret the traditions of the two major schools of practice, Hillel and Shammai, but counter culture, I think not.

    If they read the words of Jesus He instructed them to be more conservative and ultimately repeated the phrase from the Torah, “I you love me you will do…”

    What is a “progressive Christian?” One who makes up his or her own theology and ignores or doesn’t know the scriptures at all.

  138. Bob,
    The progressives are funny, if they really believe the “counter cultural” BS.
    So, after they have their way for 20 yrs and become “the culture” does he next group up become counter cultural, in the way of Jesus, and identify as Fundamentalist?

  139. “What is a “progressive Christian?” One who makes up his or her own theology and ignores or doesn’t know the scriptures at all.”

    If that is not the definition in the dictionary, it should be. 🙂

  140. PP Vet @ 135 “What significant figure in the Christian world has compromised on this issue? Other than ones who had already compromised on other significant issues? Anybody whom we otherwise respect?”

    I’m not sure if this will apply but what came to my mind were Christians who came out of the closet. I believe there was a ghost writer for Billy Graham who surprised everyone when he came out as being gay.

    There have been singers who have come out as being gay as well. Maybe those close to them were not surprised having known these individuals up close but they did surprise everyone else.

    Maybe some of these individuals are orthodox everywhere else except they believe you can reconcile being a Christian and gay?

    Do they lose their salvation if they came to grips with their homosexuality after they had a valid conversion?

    These are questions that come to mind and there are those much more qualified to tackle them than me.

    At times in the midst of people talking past one another is the indisputable fact that God will make the perfect decision when it comes to the salvation of every person who hasn’t heard, is in sin when they die, and those who after coming to faith chose to walk in a sinful life style.

  141. e,
    I don’t know that it is a heaven / hell issue as much as it is a church membership issue. Do we allow openly unrepentant people up to the table? not that they don’t sneak by, but as a church policy?

  142. What is a “progressive Christian?” One who makes up his or her own theology and ignores or doesn’t know the scriptures at all.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Bob, first I think you need to realize we live in a “progressive” society. So this idea of counter cultural doesn’t make sense when applying it to a “progressive Christian” unless you are only referring to the sub-culture of Christianity. However when the church starts emulating Hollywood and the church elder board looks more like a corporate HR diversity and discrimination department, I believe its probably necessary to call out these “progressive Christians” for what they are really practicing which is “syncretism”.

  143. MLD:

    It won’t take 20 years for the next group to become “counter culture.” Look at Mark Driscoll, he started out as “counter culture” and started his own church. Now he’s just another pastor.

    We can name others, Furtick… the same thing happens.

    Being a Christian when compared to this culture is being “radical and counter culture,” but that’s not really what they mean at all. They want to be part of their culture and have the benefits of being a “Christian.”

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, “at some point one has to buy in and go all the way or reject it all.”

    BTW let’s keep and honor Michael by keeping a conversation going but be polite and gracious as we can in all this. Thanks!

  144. MLD, ultimately it will boil down to a heaven/hell issue as each of us enter eternity, at least for those of us who believe there is a hell to be avoided.

    Church membership should never be dictated by the changing world around us no matter the pressure that might be brought.

  145. Andrew:

    Syncretism by any other name is syncretism and I think if we look back in history the church is really guilty at times of it. I would also submit much of what is practiced in the “Orthodox” Christianity today is a result of previous cultural influences. So what I’m trying to say is maybe we are guilty also of the same issue.

  146. PS Orthodox doe not mean or single out Easter Orthodox, it means the Christian basics.

  147. Yes, the church probably was guilty of syncretism to some degree in the past. Sometimes the broader culture follows the church in other cases. I guess its not a one size fits all situation.

  148. I think culture has always followed the church … until now.

    It would be better is the church were non cultural – just be the church regardless of what culture is doing.

    Who was the skunk that brought the culture into the Church. Well, if you listen to their story, CC says they did.

  149. Bob, When you wrote:

    ” I would also submit much of what is practiced in the “Orthodox” Christianity today is a result of previous cultural influences”,

    Do you specifically mean what is practiced or what is believed. Orthodoxy is about belief. Orthopraxy is about the behavior. In short one is believing right while the other is doing right.

  150. I’ll write about this next week unless I run for the hills again.
    This is a dead issue.
    This country has decided that it accepts the the homosexual lifestyle.
    Some of the church has decided it does as well.
    The ‘culture war” is over.

    The only question before the house is how those who are conservative and traditional in doctrine will respond.

    The ‘war” mindset will end up in our destruction.

  151. This is the normal course of things as the bible shows us that morality is relative.

    This is largely how issues like Slavery and “your slave is your money and property (according to the bible) and you may beat your slaves as long as you don’t kill them” became wrong and evil even though the bible at one time called it good and righteous and law and permitted it.

  152. I think conservatives have a much much stronger argument with regards to Abortion…as science observes that human fetuses have measurable brain waves and brain activity which begs consciousness and sentience…at as early as 6 weeks.

  153. Michael I respectfully disagree with you that the “cultural war” is over. In fact, I think its only beginning. Yes, in this country it appears the battle has ended but the church isn’t a patriotic institution in my estimation. Our citizenship is in heaven not here. Anyway, there are many countries around the world that aren’t even close to embracing homosexuality. There is a long way before that happens.

  154. “The ‘war” mindset will end up in our destruction.”

    First I think that is a false casting of the situation – war..
    Obviously you have not had to deal with this in a practical way. My denomination has been at the forefront of this just as we were with the Battle for the Bible back in the 70s – see Harold Lindsell’s book

    So, we hold our position and we do not recognize altar or pulpit fellowship with those who have gone astray. The largest Lutheran denomination in America, the ELCA went that way … but the became homosexual friendly long after they gave up the scriptures.

    This is the path that RHE and the progressives are on.

  155. “Morality” is not a bible verse and is not set in stone on all matters…as demonstrated by the bible itself.

    Morality is a function of Consensus of a particular Age and Culture, largely…with appeals to ancient texts that are imperfect and demonstrate some good things and some bad things.

    You have to seek the good and throw out the bad and that isn’t as easy easy as “thus sayeth the Lord!”

  156. MLD,

    I’ve worked for major corporations (when I had a job) since 2002.
    Every one I worked for was a strong advocate for gay issues and if you objected, you were gone.
    This has been a done deal culturally in this country for a long time.

    We hoped that politics would save our souls and it failed again.

    For me, I’m going to teach what I think the Bible teaches…and I might teach on homosexuality three times in 20 years, never apart from the other sins which beset us.

  157. The best we can hope for at this point is tolerance to have our own beliefs and churches, (and blogs).
    That concerns me far more than all the other stuff.

  158. “This has been a done deal culturally in this country for a long time.”
    The church is not the country – the church is not the culture.

    For a week now, you have ignored the fact that we are not talking about individuals with besetting sin .. and either was RHE.

  159. “That concerns me far more than all the other stuff.”

    Referring to my last post, this has been the concern – that they are trying to silence the church … and eventually, your blog 🙂

  160. Sometimes I feel like we are a pawn in this chess game. How much of the culture is being determined by the power brokers in office? Is it because Obama is in office that it appears that American Culture has taken the course it has? If someone like Regan gets elected to office, will it shift the other way. The church will prevail no matter what the culture does. But it irks when the so called church compromises because they don’t think they can be relevant and survive unless they do.

  161. MLD,

    I’m aware of the issues.
    I’m different from you and some others in this respect.
    I ask myself what I could have done differently or better individually and what we could have done differently or better corporately.
    I’m not convinced that God hasn’t brought this on us for our own failures…failures to address our own sins, failure to lead every conversation about “sin” with love for sinners, failure to show compassion for those who are different from us, etc.
    I would rather see us work on our own messes and address this later.
    Maybe God would bless our own repentance.

  162. Andrew

    Thank you for pointing out the question about what I mean. I would have to say both is the best answer.

  163. Andrew,

    I believe that this “gay revolution’ would have been impossible to pull of without the backing of corporate America.
    The same corporate America that has been the darling of right wing, conservative Christians for decades.
    When you get in bed with a dog…

  164. First as I said the other day, there is no “culture war” – it is Satan against Jesus Christ and His Church

    Second, I don’t buy into this so called “group guilt.” I couldn’t have done anything, I have only been around since 1949 – this battle has gone on long before me.

    Third, you won’t be able to address it later

  165. Michael, however I hear this constant criticism in the back ground noise from the liberals that the Islamic cleric mentality of the Christian fundamentalists is the result of Christian re-construction-ism which is the result of the right-wing nut cases. Christian conservatives get blamed no matter what.

  166. Let’s look at it this way – my church although it does allow for drinking does not allow for alcoholism. We have 2 AA groups on campus each week because we want to help people out of their, as you call it besetting sin.

    Why doesn’t the church do this for the homosexual? I advocate we do … some others would rather have their eyes poked out.

  167. “Second, I don’t buy into this so called “group guilt.”

    Neither did Israel until the Assyrians showed up…

  168. Andrew,

    I was hired by the fourth largest bank in the world in 2002.
    The very first thing, the very first day…was a movie about gay rights in the bank and in the culture.
    It was a velvet hammer and the message was clear.
    Go against this in any way and you’ll be on the street.
    When you hit people with their jobs, you win.
    That’s how they won.

  169. Would you guys be cool with someone preaching Slavery today and using the bible to justify it?

  170. Michael,
    Well, if your theology comes from the OT, I have no way to communicate with you.

    You are saying because some don’t repent that that outweighs the vast majority that do?

    Your little church – as a group are you a faithful group? Are you a repentant group? Do you love your neighbor?

    If you do, then how can you do anything different? And if you aren’t, well… get on with it.

  171. Why doesn’t the church do this for the homosexual?
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Well I believe there is two compelling reasons not to.

    1. This would be the exact place homosexuals would find to meet up with each other. The people going to the group would all be homosexuals. I wouldn’t want to be part of a church that encourages these kind of meet up groups.

    2. Why give special treatment for a special group of individuals based on their special need of their special sin. Its like all the divorce support groups. And all the drug user support groups. And the over eater support groups. All support groups based on your type of sin. Everyone is a sinner but I never found a support group for my special sin.

    Why discriminate on the type of sin you enjoy? Why not allow anyone to come?

  172. MLD,

    As the best argument about homosexuality comes from the Creation narrative, I’m big on the OT as interpreted through the NT.
    If you want to cut the Bible in half, that’s your business.

    What my group has had to come to grips with is how we feel about issues like this and if we are thinking biblically about them.
    In my church a sinner is a sinner like us, not our enemy and our job is to love them into the kingdom.

  173. “Why discriminate on the type of sin you enjoy? Why not allow anyone to come?”

    In my church, that is called the Sunday morning divine worship service – where people of all sins and weirdness come together to confess their sin, hear the absoultion -confess a common God, a common creed and a common prayer.

    A place where we have God’s word, his body and blood delivered to us.

    We do not discriminate on the type of sin you enjoy – bring your sin to lay on the altar. We allow all to come

  174. Would you guys be cool with someone preaching Slavery today and using the bible to justify it.
    _________________________________________________________________
    I probably already answered you this 10 times already. NO. NO and NO. But being an employee is very similar to being a slave and this is what the bible speaks to? In a sense I am a slave to my boss. I honor them and work for them and in return they pay me a days wages.

  175. Paul was big on the OT too…do Lutherans reject Paul now? 🙂

    “For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
    Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.”
    (1 Corinthians 10:1–11 ESV)

  176. Michael,
    You cannot keep talking this way – you cannot hit us with global guilt and then pick the individual sinner.

    I don’t know how to communicate with you that I, and others, including RHE are talking macro. No one has ever said that the individual homosexual isn’t welcome at church – and you keep arguing like that is our major point.

    I guess I will just talk to the air.

  177. Michael,
    Well, I didn’t want to bring it up because in the past you have denied national judgment for today. But now you are saying that it is possible that Jesus is judging us for not doing it right.

  178. MLD,

    What I’m saying is that God disciplines those He loves.
    That is how we avoid judgment…

  179. and I’m also saying that every macro is comprised of micros…

  180. I don’t think Big corporate American is the result of conservatives at all. In fact big corporate American and big government are in bed with each other.

  181. Well, I need to run out to Best Buy and pick up some new ear buds. And i don’t even care if the cashier is homosexual. See how open minded and fair I am.

  182. MLD, I don’t even use the Christian yellow pages anymore. I figured a homosexual plumber is just a good as a Christian one which is just a good as a Muslim one. Actually the Muslim guys that fixed my AC unit were by far the best. I’m very open minded when it comes to secular life.

  183. This guy nailed it…

    “The great revelation here is that evangelical supporters of World Vision showed themselves to believe that sexuality is ultimately more important to Christian identity than theology; behavior more important than doctrine; and church membership, least important of all. Depart from Scripture on your teaching about original sin? No biggie. Affirm that same sex unions may be chaste? You’re denying the inspiration of Scripture.

    This episode tells us more about the state of contemporary evangelicalism than about World Vision. In its pursuit of unity and pan-Christian cooperation, American revivalism and evangelicalism have always been willing to be doctrinal minimalists, while elevating particular moral scruples — even unbiblical ones such as the prohibition of alcohol — as arbiters of orthodoxy. The World Vision debacle is ultimately the evangelical debacle.”

    http://thefederalist.com/2014/04/04/for-world-vision-is-sexuality-more-important-than-theology/

  184. “In fact big corporate American and big government are in bed with each other.”

    Very true. Big Corp America has a better friend in 0bama than any other. Two sides of the same coin when it comes to Big Govt. in bed with Big Corporate/Big Wall Street.

    Big Corp/Big Wall Street is politically agnostic…whoever has the power to write the rules in their favor and give them the power to rape the general public and loot our treasury it their guy. As such, they have both sides of the aisle on their payroll.

  185. The reality is most government agencies are staffed primarily with contractors from big Corp America. And Big corporate American is outsourced largely to non Americans over seas. What a tangled web we live in.

  186. The Federalist article you quote is horrible.

    “Why should humanitarian aid be an exclusivist enterprise?” If I have the option, I will choose an “exclusivist” enterprise. That is not the same as saying non-exclusivist organizations should close.

    “The great revelation here is that evangelical supporters of World Vision showed themselves to believe that sexuality is ultimately more important to Christian identity than theology ….” I cannot believe that you, MN, believe this. This relates to the dreaded “thin ice”. It is all about theology.

    “Which is why World Vision is a perfectly fine relief organization, but has nothing essentially to do with the Gospel.” Well, some of us, given the choice, will support a relief organization that is Christian. That is not the same as saying quasi-Christian or semi-Christian orgs should cease to exist.

    What an absolute bunch of bologna.

  187. Micheal,
    I don’t know how he separates sexual behavior from theology? You even posted that Paul’s theology based on the OT was – and I quote – “We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.”

  188. I don’t like the Federalist paper either. Especially when it talks about the church authenticating (making an unmaking Christians). If you have ever been unfairly excommunicated from a church such as CC because you stood against the pastor’s vision casting you are considered an unbeliever and unmade a Christian. The problem is the author talks about pastoral discipline but no one there to discipline the pastor. That is un Christian.

  189. MLD,
    Here’s the point.
    There are multiple theological points that we all disagree on.
    I can’t receive the Supper at your church any more than the practicing gay couple can.
    When you deal with para church ministries you trade off some stuff…

  190. Andrew,

    In that writers tradition there are ecclesiastical courts that do discipline pastors.

  191. “When you deal with para church ministries you trade off some stuff…”

    So why were everyone from you to RHE upset when there was a trade off … evangelical money? or is the ‘trade off’ one way?

    You and RHE should have been silent on the issue.

  192. MLD, He didn’t say ecclesiastical courts discipline.

    But he wrote ““the Keys of the Kingdom.” This includes the Preaching of the Word, the Administration of the Sacraments, and the pastoral discipline of the church.”

    It must be other pastors that are disciplining the erring pastor when he says pastoral discipline. I could agree with ecclesiastical courts but not what he wrote.

  193. I find it astounding how many people want to silence me these days because I don’t completely agree with them.

  194. Boy, you know how to twist ’em. No one has tried to silence you. But based on what you said about it being perfectly normal to expect trade off, well… you didn’t handle the trade off very well.

    But I guess the real meaning of that comment was, that the evangelicals should have just accepted the tradeoff and shut up.

  195. MLD,

    You said I should have been silent.
    That’s what you said.
    This, despite two articles refuting RHE that got some wide distribution.
    The point of the article, that I think is valid…is that if you are going to go outside your tradition to a parachurch organization there are going to be theological trade offs.
    How that is deniable is beyond me.

  196. I keep reading this circular over and over stuff about acceptance, tolerance and sin.

    I see it this way:

    1. God is the one who sees and hears all, so that means to me He knows who are His and I don’t.

    2. If I claim to be His and love Him then I will discipline myself to deal with the rebellion to His design and words in the most minutia part of my life.

    3. The reverse is also true; If I claim to be His and Love Him and yet I openly defy or live openly in a manner contrary to design and His words the my public statement is, “I’m not really His.” I can talk all I want, immerse myself in water, drink the juice and eat the break, but if I deny Him, by denying His design and words, them I am just a liar.

    4. You don’t have to like me personally for me to be His. But if you’re His and claim to be, them you have to love me.

    Can a homosexual person be saved? If I can so can he.

    Now let’s talk standards for leadership and down the organizational ladder of groups which call themselves “Christian.”

  197. Well, I guess I should not take the potshots at you so much, but you only argued against the excesses of RHE and not her position.

    I didn’t mean that you should be silent to be silent – but you made the point that trade offs get made. So why is anyone upset at the trade offs that were made? .. essentially the evangelical money evaporating? Why did RHE even speak up in the beginning? She became the lightening rod – why couldn’t she just be silent and accepting of something that is inevitable?

    No, I think you meant it the way I said – the evangelicals should have just taken the trade off (same sex marriage benefits) and slithered off.

  198. “No, I think you meant it the way I said – the evangelicals should have just taken the trade off (same sex marriage benefits) and slithered off.”

    I didn’t say that at all.
    I posted the article after I read it because I don’t think that part of this issue has been looked at.
    So, in reality, it’s just another potshot.

  199. MLD:

    “I love ya dude!”

    Hey if Michael had taken the opposite view would you have pursued him in a similar manner?

    O think you just like to wrestle. You do know the WWF isn’t real, don’t you?

  200. Now, about para church organizations – I have yet to see one that is worth spit.

    Lutherans do their own with their own. The confusion that is caused by situations like this with WV is why we work alone. People think we are stuck up, but the last thing we want is confusion of theology and practice on the mission field..

  201. “You do know the WWF isn’t real, don’t you?”

    Wrestlemania 30 this Sunday afternoon. Hulk Hogan is back – don’t miss it – Pay per view $69

    Bob, I hate to burst your bubble, but you know that movies aren’t real don’t you?

  202. “I find it astounding how many people want to silence me these days because I don’t completely agree with them.”

    I’ll never be one of them 😉

  203. G,

    Thank you…I appreciate that.

  204. It’s a funny little thing called “respect”, the way two who may not see eye to eye on everything can indeed learn from one another

  205. “if you are going to go outside your tradition to a parachurch organization there are going to be theological trade offs.”

    However, if you can find an organization with fewer tradeoffs, and you switch, how is that wrong?

  206. MLD:

    “…but you know that movies aren’t real don’t you?”

    Come on now Michael Moore makes real documentaries, doesn’t he?

    Are you suggesting this exchange is really a movie?

    Action!

  207. G,

    It’s that…and it’s also about loving people who claim Jesus where they are at a given stage of their lives.
    The Holy Spirit is at work in all of us…we’re not finished yet.
    Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest.
    I’m a Calvinist pastor.
    He was gay.
    I’m not.
    Few people have taught me more about the heart of God than Nouwen.
    I disagree with him about a multitude of things…but I look forward to meeting him when I get home.

  208. PP Vet,

    Not wrong at all…but we all choose which tradeoffs we are willing to make when we go outside our own traditions.

  209. FWIW, Regarding the Mozilla CEO, libertarian Reason, a liberal at the Atlantic, and Andrew Sullivan have all said that the Mozilla board screwed up.

  210. With all that’s been going on here and elsewhere of late, I’m promising myself the treat of listening to this…

    http://theeffect.org/resources/messages.html

    2014
    not with ink
    dave brisbin | 3.30.14
    Have you noticed that Christians fight a lot? There has never been a time in the history of the church that we haven’t fought over this doctrinal issue and that from the first century on. And when we say fight, we don’t mean heated debates. We’re talking excommunication, exile, seizing of property, torture, execution. In the 14th century, the church was still so doctrinally angry at John Wycliffe that it dug up his bones 44 years after his death to burn them at the stake. When you analyze all this, what we’re really fighting over is our understanding of Scripture. Every doctrinal issue that seems so important is rooted in how we interpret the Bible, so it’s there we need start if we’re going to understand why in the world we can do these things to each other in the name of the Prince of Peace. What does it mean that the Bible is inspired by God? How is it inspired and how do we interpret its meaning? How is it living and active in our lives and how should we respond to its message? Stepping out of our own doctrinal bubbles into the larger world of Christian thought can help open us up to the reality Paul tries to convey in 2 Corinthians, that God’s word was written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but tablets of human hearts.

  211. Jim,

    That’s a tough call.
    Mozilla is open source and depends a lot on volunteer developers and coders that would have jumped ship.
    Everybody has decided to go scorched earth on this issue and the result will be a lot of people getting burned.
    This isn’t the first guy cut loose for such…just the highest profile.
    It’s wrong as hell, but when you have a war, there will be casualties.

  212. G,

    I’ll listen to that tonight…my guess is that I will disagree. 🙂

  213. G, that is some good stuff…but the “church” like it’s idols carved in text and bound in leather. Won’t happen in our lifetime…maybe never…but good ideal and I think he’s right.

  214. Tell me the guy (Brisbin) is not snotty when he says “I went from the people of the liturgy to the people of the book.”

    He is a bomb thrower too.

  215. MLD,

    He’s no more of a bomb thrower than you are.
    I didn’t takes that as snotty at all…just describing a difference.

  216. G,

    Interesting message…I can’t affirm all of it, but he is an able teacher of his beliefs.
    He was leaning heavily on Barth, which surprised me a bit.

  217. I get accused of being a bomb thrower – that is why I said “too” at the end of his.

    Whenever you think I am throwing a bomb, just consider it descriptive.

    You do realize in a liturgical church – with the 4 readings OT, Psalms, Epistles and Gospel and the sermon, there is more Bible (book) than in the VxV people of the book church.

  218. MLD,

    Here’s what I realize.
    You are a member of and completely hold to the teachings of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
    You think you have it all down and think the rest of the church is in error at best or apostate at worst.
    You would no more allow me at the Table then the gay people you have harped on for a week.
    I’m ok with that…but you are as divisive as anyone you could possibly point at.

  219. I can disagree with G…but he would be welcome to take the Supper with me any day.
    He is family.

  220. At least some agree that their own responses to things are a bit hypocritical.
    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/04/03/the-hounding-of-brendan-eich/

  221. Michael,
    May I ask this question. Which group among the Christian community do you believe has doctrine / theology more correct or down better that you / your group?

    Do you really think someone has it better than you? If you do, why are you staying with a less accurate group … that seems mighty dumb. You are just like me – you think you have it right.

    Now when have I ever said that the rest of the church is wrong or is apostate. Never, I agree with much of the church worldwide on a whole host of things..

    I don’t know why you bring up the table – you don’t agree with what we are doing, why we are doing it and even something as simple as the elements. Why would you want to force yourself at our table when you think we are wrong on the whole thing?

  222. The only thing I have disagreed with you on, especially these few threads about RHE is your seeming condemnation for those who are willing to stand up to the homosexual lobby trying to get non sin status in the church.

    I don’t think I have discussed other theological points especially today.

    And I will go back to my original point last night – what happened to the guy at Mozilla is exactly the drive RHE would love to lead into the church.

  223. Michael,
    Thanks for listening to Dave’s talk. Dave is one of the good guys.
    Have a great weekend. I’m keeping you in my heart, my friend.

  224. RiBo,
    You would likeDave Brisbin. He is one of the most genuine humans I have ever met.
    Drop me a line privately if you listen to any more of his talks.

  225. Michael,
    Ditto about family and The Supper.
    Realizing all that Jesus has done and continues to do, and realizing each other is a blessed privilege. May we ever celebrate God’s goodness

  226. I condemned no one .
    I suggested some humility and introspection which evidently is a hellish notion to some.
    The Lords Supper by design is where we affirm communion and fellowship in Christ and through Christ.
    To deny someone the table is to deny that fellowship explicitly with the brethren and implicitly with Christ.
    I have no desire to force myself to a table that should be freely offered.
    No, I don’t believe that either myself or my church have it all right…we are continually growing and learning together and I’m free to love and respect and commune with all my brothers and sisters in the family.

  227. G,
    Amen.
    I’m out…Trey time.

  228. MLD is right. And the rest of you people worry me. 🙂

  229. “No, I don’t believe that either myself or my church have it all right…”

    This is where you twist the words of others then get your feelings hurt whenit is pointed out.

    Did I ask if you have it ALL right. NO! I asked if you thought any other group had it more right than you.? And you did not answer. Because if you think another group has it more right than you then I ask why aren’t you there?

  230. I went back and looked and realized that I did not even speak of doctrine / theology last night or today except when I say that sin is not the issue – which is always my stance. (so Michael, why are you beating me up about LCMS stuff?) Nose pickers and homosexuals alike have nothing to fear from their sin. Jesus died for all the sins for all people of all time. Now Michael will tell me I am wrong and that I read the ‘alls’ wrong and his group has studied it harder and have come to the right conclusion. 🙂

    So, if in this discussion,if sin isn’t the problem why are you nipping at my heals? The issue is the same for all – and it is only one issue – repentance … nose picker to homosexual.

    Some in other groups than mine do not seem to be concerned with the repentance part.

  231. We don;t deny the table to anyone – we only ask that people are in communion with us and that they know and can confess what we are doing.

    We protect people from themselves – how can you be in communion if you are doing a completely different thing for a completely different reason with a completely different view of what you are taking in your mouth?

    But it is the reason that I pass the plate when I go to a memorialist church. I do not want to disrespect what they are doing and why they are doing it.

  232. MLD,

    We’re about done.
    There are many groups every bit as sound or sounder than our church.
    I am not concerned at all with the biblical call to repent…
    Back to takwandoe.

  233. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/04/03/Google-Executive-Resigns-From-World-Vision-Board-Over-Decision-To-Affirm-Traditional-Marriage

    Another person that believes that the needs of gay Americans are greater than the needs of impoverished children around the world.

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